Thursday, January 27, 2011

How To: Lacey Tea Towel


I feel kind of guilty tagging this as a "tutorial" because it was so quick and easy! My dad gave me some tea towels (because well, you really can't have too many tea towels) and I decided to give it a bit of girly flair.  I was inspired by towels that I saw at W's mom's house, and I thought "Wow, how easy would that be to make...!?"  Plus, it can cover up tears, stains, or scorch marks when you leave your tea towel under your electric kettle and nearly set the fire alarm off and have to run the towel outside and wave it around in the snow...


Oh, is that just me? Anyway, all you need is a towel, some lace (I bought a spool of lace for about a dollar at Wal*mart ages ago: no idea why.) and needle and thread or a sewing machine. 

Sew the lace in rows into the towel.  For best results, pin the rows a little less apart than the width of your lace.

I wish I had some ribbon to finish this off! I think it would also look good mixing different types of lace, or maybe just add a lace edging along the very edge?  So many possibilities! And I still have a whole spool of lace left! I wish I more tea towels.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Giving in to Temptation!

Today I woke up. I worked for two hours.  Then, I researched stuff so boring that it's not even fun to blog about.  Then I wrote a paper.  Then I went to class.  Then, more research and homework.  Then, class again.  Then dinner.

When W left to shoot his two-quarter, I told myself I would get a head start on the weekend's homework (Why do teachers like to make assignments due on the weekend? Do they think we don't have anything better to do?)... and as I sat down at my desk, my knees bumped against a box. 

It was the Singer Simple that I got for Christmas.  Why hadn't I opened it yet?  Oh, right, school.

I figured I had done a good job today. I should treat myself.


I unboxed the machine, ooh-ed and ahh-ed at the automatic threader, sewed some scraps of fabric, sewed up some seams I needed to mend, sewed up a little tutorial for tomorrow... and then...

Well, then I ran out of things to sew.  My eye lingered on my bag of quilting stuff. I HAD SAID that I wanted to cut all the pieces first, then sew, but did I really?

No, not at all.


So, there's four squares and the center of a flower done! I'm proud that I managed to line up the diamond pretty well, and proud that I remembered to iron (almost) all the seams flat, but I'm a little disappointed at the fabric choice.


You can't even see my seams! Hopefully it'll look more like a flower when the side petals are on!

But anyway, that was my evening - see you tomorrow for a sweet, quick tutorial.

P.S. - If you think I'm some sort of quilting prodigy, here's my four squares before I sewed them. Hopefully I'll get better at this whole "cutting pieces the same size" thing.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

One Down, One to Go!


Last night I finished 50% of W's socks. I'm pretty proud to have finished one so quickly, especially with all the other WIPs I have going on right now. (So... Many...)

Anyway, for posterity, I feel like I should write down what I did.  I don't feel like anyone else will want to know my particular manly sock formula, but I need to know it, to make the second sock!

So, here's the knit code:
72 Stitches. Work in a 3x3 rib for 11 rounds.  Work half a round, then start heel flap over 50% of the stitches.  Heel flap is 23 rows long, with a slipped stitch edge. Heel is a half kercheif heel with 7 stitches in the middle.  Pick up 15 stitches from either side of the heel flap. Decrease 7 times on each side for the gusset. Should be back to 72 stitches. Work 12 cm, then decrease four stitches every other round until there are 26 stitches. Kitchner off.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Free Pattern: Slouchy Ridges Hat


It is finished! It, being me. I'm finished compiling data from my awesome testers, sifting through photos of my sorry mug, tweaking pixels on the PDF... and now, I present my first pattern of 2011.


Pattern Name: Slouchy Ridges Hat
Difficulty: Easy
Yardage: 200 yards
Techniques: Knitting in the round, Working stripes (if you want a multicolored hat), and another technique explained in the pattern.

My goal this year is to publish 11 patterns. The ones I self-publish will be free all year long, and on January first of 2012 they'll go up for sale, so download this one while you can!


What I like about this hat is that it's stockinette stitch in the round, making it a good zone-out project, but every so often there's the pick-up round, where you have to pay attention.  It's hard to find knitting projects that have that duality.


Anyway, I hope you like it, too! You can download your own free copy here: download now

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Dumb Moves!

So, I mentioned in my last post that I'm making my brother a Jaques Cousteau hat. Here's a picture of what I have so far.


Notice anything off?

The hat pattern calls for a K3 P2 rib.

My hat? It's worked in a K3 P3 rib.  I have no idea why! How could I miss something so obvious!?

Anyway, I'm thinking of just rolling with it. I want to finish the hat before I go home next Friday, because then I can give it to him. 

But let me tell you, it was so hard to resist the urge to just tear it all out! 4 inches in, I think I just need to deal with it, haha!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I have been stressed.  Let's not mince words, life has been on edge as of recently.  My new bank card hasn't come in the mail yet, so I'm forced to wait to cash back pay from last year and Christmas checks.  I had a test today, I've got a presentation tomorrow, and I still don't quite know how I'm going to bang out that term paper due in four weeks.  Homework for class A doesn't make any sense, I have to unload the dishwasher, and there's a pile of laundry in the corner of my room that won't wash itself.

So, my knitting has been blah.  I started this sock for W over the weekend, when the needles I was knitting Zucchi's sweater on broke:

The yarn is from the take and replace swap, just a simple stockinette sock with a kercheif heel.

And last night, I started a Jaques Cousteau Hat for my brother.


The pluses of these projects is that they're easy to do.  I can knit while I read, and in class, which helps me focus and worry less.  It's nice to have some easy projects once in a while, ones that I don't need a pattern for or whose pattern is just tres simple.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Socks All for Me!


Last night I finished my two socks.


I tried the first on.  It was heaven.  It was orgasmic.  I will never knit anything but socks again, until I can assure my feet will always be covered by socks as comfortable and squishy as these comfortable, squishy socks.


The second one...


I was not so lucky.

I don't know what went wrong.  I pulled, I tugged, I cried and prayed.  I felt like Cinderella's ugly step sister, desperately wanting the glass slipper to fit on my feet so I could go back to the prince's castle and live happily ever after.  No dice.  This sock was NOT coming on.

So, another knitting mystery to solve.  The socks were the same stitches, same width and length, same gauge.  I washed the good sock and pressed it flat to block (or something like it, I don't have sock blockers.)


And the other was punished severely.


Then, I went on a road trip, ate Stewart's Ice Cream for the first time, came home, and tried my socks on.


Apparently the bad sock learned its lesson in time out, because it slipped on.  It looks a little baggy, though, but oh well.  Viva la new socks!

Oh, and thanks a lot to Kathy and Emily for helping me solve my yarn mystery! I couldn't reply to your comment via email, so I thought I'd call you out in a post :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Special Delivery!


Today at lunch I picked up a lovely little present from the Take and Replace Swap on Irish Eyes! There were so many nice things, but I took out these:


A skein of sock yarn and a wristlet.  Perfect since my old one (from my wrist troubles two years ago) was starting to get icky and smelly, and this yarn will be great for new socks for W!  I loved everything in the box, and I hope the person I'm sending it to likes the stuff I put in!

Anyway, I don't get out of work until after the post office closes, but I will mail the box to the next person tomorrow :)

Oh and I've encountered a bit of a mystery:


This was in the middle of the skein of sock yarn! What is it? Thread? It's not more yarn, that's for sure.  There's still 100g in the skein (well, 94 g...) but... it's just weird.  I want to know what it is! :D

Oh, and no quilting tonight - I'm driving across the state on a mission to rescue some cats.  But I should have a nice FO (or two) tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Another collaboration finished - kind of

Once again, I find myself doing work for stop mo - this time with W.  And instead of knitting a baby hat at club (shame!) I made this:


Yes, it's a wee little Thorpe for a puppet! I got to put it on him and do my homework with him tanding by my teapot.


Tonight he gets his legs tuned up, his mittens on, and later on this weekend he will become a movie star! I'll make sure to post in the next 5-6 weeks, when the film is completed and up online.


I also got a belated Christmas gift from my friend at Hooks and Needles! Stitch markers!


I love the presentation! :)  She doesn't make them professionally, but I think she should - they're gorgeous.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Oh Happy Day!

Today is Ash's birthday, and I made her some smiley twenty-first birthday cookies.

And also, I got a very nice blog review from Tays Blog,  4.5 out of 5 stars! How nice, you can read the review here.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Strides in Quilting

I worked for six hours today, then spent two hours sewing.  While it doesn't feel like I've accomplished much, I have hit two milestones today.

First, I finished cutting the 40 edge pieces! I realize that I will probably need to go and find more fabric (Maybe twice as much, since I want to use this color for the back.)


Then, I finished cutting the pieces for my first flower! Yup, this is flower one of 25.


This quilt is going to be HUGE. Really, really big - but that's good, right?


I started cutting the pieces for the second flower, but my hands started to to hurt.  The rotary cutter is not so good for your wrists, I guess.

Now I'm off to eat veggie lasagna and perhaps some bananas foster afterwards :)  I've done so much today, it feel great!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

First FO of the New Year, and Start of the Baby Hat Parade


It's Hooks and Needles tradition: the annual baby hat drive! I made my first hat this year, based on Algerian Action's Sweet.  I cast on 40 stitches using size 6 needles, and worked the pattern as best as I could (ha ha).  The hat might be a little small - the norm is 50 stitches on size 5 - but it looks like it will stretch to fit.  The only other change to the pattern I made was I only knit in stockinette for 4 rows, so, it's definitely smaller than it's supposed to be :)

I knit this with yarn donated to me from a friend of a friend, whose mother passed away.  I have about 5 skeins of Lion Brand Wool-Ease in a sunny yellow, and I'm thinking about making a sweater with it.  Or more baby hats! :)

My goal this quarter is to make one baby hat every club meeting - so, two a week for the next 6 weeks.  If I just make plain stockinette stitch hats, I'll be able to churn out four a week- they really don't take much time at all to do!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I am so silly! I almost forgot to make my new moon TUSAL post! Thankfully I saw Dee's post here and remembered, thanks Dee :)  Hopefully I won't forget next month! Enter a photo snapped in Photobooth:

Photo 42

So what in my jar?  The ends from Christmas projects, and a bit of yarn from the mittens I made for W's puppet.  I hope to add the threads from quilting, but I haven't even gotten the machine out! :(  Vowing to cut all the pieces first is a hard promise to keep!

New Year, New Design


All crafters get requests from friends and families, but knitters more so. Whether it's a hat for a sibling, mittens for a guy on a bus, or dolls for who knows who, I've done a ton of knitting for others (all of my knitting). Last year, I even got a request to make someone a mer-horse.

Usually, when someone asks me to make them something, I assume they're serious. I ask for measurements, yarn support, what color they want, and if they want to pay me (usually all I ask is that the person buy yarn before the project, and after the project they can "tip" however much they want.) I admit, not a sensible business model but I'm not in the knitting business.

I've had requests for gloves, hats, and even a Barbie sweater "of the finest silk." Often, after the serious talk starts, the person blinks, suprised, asks "You'll seriously do it?" and then needs some "time to think."  Usually I don't hear back from them, the subject is dropped, and they never mention it.  But this time that didn't happen.

My friend asked me to knit her cat a sweater.  Now, my cat experience has told me that cats might not like sweaters, but this cat does.  Zucchi loves wearing her sweater, and by golly, if she wants to wear sweaters I should provide a variety for her.  What are friends for?

So tonight at club I'm going to cast on for my second WIP of the year.  The first sweater will be red, with embroidered white flowers on the back, and the second sweater will be faux argyle on the back and plain in the front.  I'm going to improvise the second sweater based on the measurements I took from Zucchi's current sweater, and the first sweater is going to be the Kitty Cat Argyle Sweater from Eat Sleep Knit.

You may say that all the stress from my vacation has warped my mind.  I will neither confirm nor deny that statement.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Best of 2010's Photos

I had a REALLY hard time making this post, and that's why it's coming up now instead of yesterday :)  I took over 5,500 pictures last year, and got that number down to 100 of my favorites.  Then I got that number down to 40.  So, here they are!

Let me know which one you think should be the best photo of 2010 :) Oh, and more knitting tomorrow. (P.S. - there are a lot of pictures, so I decided to put them all after the jump!)
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