Sunday, November 23, 2008

Using up wool

So, yeah. I guess I've been a little obsessive lately. heh Maybe it's being back in the NW where so many are crafty... or being near so many great yarn shops... or being in a better mood because I'm finally getting 40 hours a week again and am near other people I know for a change. Or... maybe it's just the season. =) Once I got started knitting again, I couldn't stop!

I'm sorta saving the stole for the airport/plane home in a few days. Don't want it to be too awful big before then. I had the majority of a skein of wool left after fixing Reilly's sweater so I starting thinking about ways to use it up. Then I remembered a pattern I saw for a glove/mitt that fits over your hand while holding a retractable dog leash to not only keep your hand warm, but allow a firm grip on the leash, unlike gloves or mittens. Perfect for walks on chilly days. =) Not that I was going to knit that exact pattern, but it was great for inspiration!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Learning to make repairs

Well, I learned pretty quickly that Reilly doesn’t appreciate wearing a sweater for too long in the house. Not long after I finished his Besotted sweater last year, he decided he’d had it on too long - maybe he got hot? - and decided to take matters into his own paws, er teeth. Yeah, wool’s tough, but it’s no match for little doggy teeth! It’s been sitting since last winter (Nov/Dec ‘07), waiting to be repaired. I finally got around to it today. Since the damage was on the cast ON edge rather than the cast OFF edge, that complicated things just a bit, making it harder (and much slower) to rip back the damaged rows. I finally got it all the way back past the mangled area and re-knit the 2x2 ribbing (this time on size 5 dpns to tighten up the neck a bit) and it’s fixed! Goofy little dog! =)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cabled Purse

Nearly finished!

This all started when I saw a handknit purse in a shop in Pike Place Market that I loved... and knew I could make myself.

I used one entire skein of Wool-Ease Thick & Quick super bulky weight in charcoal, knit on size 13 needles. I cast on 34 stitches for this bag and used a 3x3 cable pattern, staggering them to balance out the puckering from the cabling. I knit until I was happy with the size (folded in half) to fit with the handles I'd purchased, bound off and attached the two ends to the handles. I like the trapezoidal shape this resulted in. All that's left is to sew a simple liner with probably just a small pocket for my phone. This is such a quick, easy project and would make a great gift!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New on the Needles... and a couple of FOs

First off, I knit up a couple quick, small projects this week, finishing them up tonight. The first was a cover for my GPS. I wanted to keep the screen safe when not in use and give it a little protection from bumps in my travels. I also wanted a small, snug cover for my phone and an easy way to tote it around. I had cotton yarn. I had needles. I had time to kill in the hotel here in Seattle. Voila! Problem solved. =)

Knit in the round on size 7 dpn in stockinette stitch with a bit of crochet in the end, sized to fit my GPS and cell.

I started a cabled bag inspired by a handknit purse seen at a shop in Pike Place Market a couple weekends ago. I knew it would be pretty simple to whip up a pattern for my own. I'm using Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick super bulky weight in charcoal on size 13 needles and staggering the twists in my 3x3 cables. The size of the yarn and needles makes this a fast-moving project, but the larges sizes of everything makes me feel like a little kid playing with my mom's knitting. haha I'm a little over halfway done now. Just need to finish it, block it, attach the handles and line it.

I also cast on the baby alpaca (Plymouth Yarn grande tweed in camel with flecks of black) for my new stole. This yarn is yummy! SO soft. I'm using a super easy pattern. This yarn is seriously ruining me for all other, lesser fibers! It's so nice to knit with, it'll almost be a shame to finish this one... but then I'll get to use the stole so it's win-win. =) Only about a foot or so done so far...

I also made a trip to another local yarn shop, Bad Woman Yarn, in the Wallingford Center in Seattle and picked up yarn for a Christmas gift. I need to get started on that soon! So many projects, so much time in hotels and airports... =)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Catching Up

Back in June, I accepted a position that changed everything about the way I live day to day. No more full kitchen to cook/bake in. No more yarn stash to pull from whenever the mood strikes. My life is now in storage in eastern WA while I'm on the road in various cities across the US. Living out of a suitcase and cooking in a hotel room (with sometimes only a mini coffee pot or microwave on hand) has taken some getting used to. It has gotten easier as time goes on. The up side? I get to travel and see places I'd probably never get to see otherwise... and it's on someone else's dime! =) I haven't been knitting as much as I'd like, but it is a great way to pass the time in an airport waiting for the next flight. It has been fun discovering new yarn shops wherever I am as well.

These were one of my last projects before heading out on the road. They were a gift for my mom for her birthday back in April. These knit up SO quickly, holding three strands of worsted weight yarn together and working on size 13 needles and only require minimal seaming. The pattern can be found for free here.

After hitting the road, I took a little break from knitting. Not sure why since I definitely had the time! But I finally got inspired to pick up the needles when I came across this pattern for a water bottle carrier. I started on it while in Milwaukee, WI, worked on it in the airport in Indy and completed it in Yonkers, New York! Quite the traveler, that yarn. Works great for transporting a bottle to and from offices and the cotton keeps any condensation from ruining paperwork! I mostly followed the free pattern here (scroll down to the bottom for the link), but instead of knitting the odd rows, I repeated the row 1 instructions over and over. Oh, and I added a few rows of 2x2 ribbing at the top for stability.

Version two is a bit larger and has a shorter strap (discovered the long strap actually gets in the way). Again, I added the extra ribbing, but otherwise followed the actual directions for this one. I actually prefer this one to the first. I got a lot of comments on these when in use. If only people knew how quick and easy they are to make!

I miss having my stash accessible. My mom offered up her stash, but I have to admit I'm a bit of a yarn snob. I just can't imagine too many projects I'd want to use pure acrylic on. Acrylics certainly have their place, but that place is rarely on my needles... I'm now working in the Seattle area and went in search of a LYS Friday in order to begin a new project. Luckily, The Knittery is just up the road from my current hotel. Just waiting to complete a tiny project and then I'll cast on my yummy new baby alpaca! =)