Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I love it when a plan comes together...

I am so pleased with my FWSM! The thumb has worked out just as I'd hoped. All grafting is complete and I've picked up the stitches for the cuff, which I plan to work in the round as you would for a more conventional mitten.
I'm so pleased with this that it started me thinking. Why did this project work out so well, when the Thing was so disappointing? It helps to have a plan. I didn't swatch for the Thing, didn't make a single calculation or sketch, just winged it. For the FWSM there was a plan. Here is the plan:
Note the little box in the upper left corner: that's my gauge swatch details. There are measurements of what the FWSM are supposed to fit (note that I traced my hand). There are approximations to make the knitting work. And it worked!
Can you tell I'm pleased?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Did you know your thumb is on sideways?

The fingering weight sideways mittens (FWSM) are progressing nicely. I've got the hand done, and am knitting up the plan for the thumb, hoping it works as I thought it would.

So far?

Using a 2.0mm circular needle, cast on 100 sts with a provisional cast on.
Row 1: k49, pm, k2, pm, k49
Row 2: sl1, k47, kfb, k2, kfb, k48
Row 3: sl1, k48, kfb, k2, kfb, k49
Row 4: sl1, k49, kfb, k2, kfb, k50
Row 5: sl1, k50, kfb, k2, kfb, k51...
... continue until you have 130 sts. You should have 16 rows.

Knit even for 26 rows.

Row 43: sl1, k61, k2tog, k2, ssk, k62
Row 44: sl1, k60, k2tog, k2, ssk, k61
Row 45: sl1, k59, k2tog, k2, ssk, k60
Row 46: sl1, k58, k2tog, k2, ssk, k59...
... continue until you are back to 100 sts.

Graft side of mitten closed. Transfer live stitches from provisional cast-on onto circular needle.

Thumb instructions to follow...

Monday, January 26, 2009

More Garter Stitch

I need new mittens. My Bayerische mitts (finished Jan '07) are taking a beating when I shovel, or ski, so I need something else to preserve those gorgeous cables for as long as I can.

I want a simple pair of mittens that are not too bulky and not too complex, but not something I've already done to death. I always make several pairs of worsted weight mitts for the kids every winter and didn't really feel like making the same-old-same-old in fingering weight for me. Inspired (as I'm sure others have been too) by the concept of the sideways scarf, I decided to try sideways mittens just for the challenge. I'm sure there must be a pattern out there somewhere, but I didn't bother looking. You can see my sketches and calculations beneath a good start of the first mitten. I'm using some Paton's Kroy sock yarn that I found in my stash and should be enough for a pair. I plan to pick up the stitches at the wrist and do the ribbing in the round. I may have to use a coordinating color if I run out of the burgundy.

And! my hyacinth's are sprouting beautifully. Except for one... he may be a dud. Seeing the gorgeous hyacinth's on Yarnstorm, I had to have some of my own. I love the reflections from the container on my coffee table!


Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Acrylic/Polyester Thing

It's been frogged. I finished knitting the available yarn last night and B's new scarf was way to long. When she's standing with the scarf around her neck, it's ends touch the floor and not just skim the floor either. We both agreed it was too long. Considering it as a giant gauge swatch, I've recalculated and cast on only 190 sts. This should have the added benefit of making a slightly wider scarf, too. The first try was a smidge on the skimpy side. So back to meditative garter stitch for the next bit...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

She hates wool

It's hard to knit for my daughter. She loves the idea of me making things for her, but hates the feel of wool on her head, hands, neck, face, body, feet, legs... This makes things difficult. I love wool, and hate to knit with anything else. But I do love B more than I love wool and so I'm making her a scarf to keep her darling neck warm in the -20C and colder temperatures we've been having. It's Alison Hanson's Sideways Scarf (scroll down a smidge for the pattern) or Ravel it, knit up with Bernat Satin in Admiral and a Dollarama Fun Fur/Chenille with Bumps 2 ply. I wanted it nice and long so I've cast on 280 sts on a 4.5mm circ and am in the process of knittng and knitting and knitting and knitting.
So far she loves it!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monster Blocks

After some tweeking and fiddling, the Monster Blocks are ready for stacking. The kids have already discovered that they are great for playing catch and for cuddling up with at night time.

M asked what sort of habitat they'd prefer - a cave perhaps? I assured him a cave would be just fine, and he said "Good! I've just made a little cave out of my blankies for him to sleep in tonight. But right now I'm going to give him a ride on my loader"

Available as a Ravelry download or through my Etsy Store.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009


It's to cold to think...
too cold to knit...
too cold to...
too cold...

Monday, January 12, 2009

by special request...

After Christmas gifts were received by my sister's family I got the cutest email from her kids. The youngest dictated this for my sister to send:
"Thank you Auntie Pog for giving me Mimi and Francois,
and maybe I could have a crab someday?"

Because she is so cute and such a little darling, I've started on one of two Opie's for her birthday. This little one is sitting on top of what will become the second of two crabs in her favorite color!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Monster Blocks

A herd of monster blocks are great for stacking, cuddling and tossing. Just be careful when they get hungry!
This pattern is suitable for someone who can knit in the round on double pointed needles. The size of the project combined with the worsted weight wool, make a monster block a great, quick project. If you’re planning on a whole herd, it may take a bit of time. Other skills required are increasing and decreasing, picking up stitches, short rows, embroidery, making I-cord, and seaming. Incidentally, this cube would be great to use for the more traditional baby blocks as well!

Pattern available soon as a Ravelry Download

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

101 things to do with a cube...

Well actually, I can only think of a few.

I really hate seaming things, so I was playing with my yarn and wanted to see if I could make a block all in one piece without having to sew it up after. First I knit the bottom, then picked up stitches on three sides of that "flap". Worked in the round until it was tall enough and then knit back & forth again while picking up stitches on the sides until the cube was done. I grafted the top-of-one-side to the side-of-the-top, wove in my ends and presto! a cube with no seams!
Baby blocks seem obvious, but I've got some other ideas for this particular cube...