Monday, June 29, 2009

The collection of stuff I haven't posted...

Okay, I've been trying to work out a pattern recently, and unfortunately that tends to mean I can't post it... But to give you an idea of the kind of stuff I'd like to be working on soon, we have the collection of things I purchased while on vacation, and the stuff I found in my house recently!

First, the stuff I found. Yes, 9 year old shetland wool!

I can't believe it took me so long to find it!

And then there's the glow in the dark yarn I found recently at a craft store:

ANd I admit... I bought some sock yarn recently that are from the "cheap yarn" guys, but they seem to be getting a higher quality lately... So I decided to give them a try. Red Heart came out with an aloe-infused one, and Lion Brand came out with its own sock yarn with aloe:

I also picked up something my husband might actually wear! A peruvian spun sock yarn, Happy Feet!

I also have absolutely no idea what this is:

On top of all of this I've been periodically spinning silk (which just doesn't look like much when you're spinning at more than 100 WPI), and knitting booties (not been photographed yet, plus one set is a pattern Iv'e worked on).

It's been somewhat lacksidasical the last few weeks... Too much to do at work, really. Hope to change that up soon, I've got a crafter's weekend coming up this week at my house, all for the 4th!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The things you find...

Okay, we're having a yardsale at our house on July 12 to sponsor the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (details can be found at ). So, my husband and I are cleaning out the garage...

Let me back up about 9 years. Nine years ago I was still living in Jersey, and I went to Scotland with my then-boyfriend (now husband)... While we were there, I bought this beautiful shetland yarn, four skeins of natural white, one skein of natural "black" (dark brown), so I was going to use the white on the body of a sweater, and the "black" for the cuffs and collar. Well, shortly after we came back, I moved to VA, and so of course everything was in boxes. For YEARS, I couldn't find the yarn. Nine years to be exact. Could not find that, or the sporran that my husband was supposed to wear to the wedding.

Cut back to yesterday, as I'm going through a bunch of boxes in the garage. I stumbled across a few boxes I hadn't seen in a while... While I never did find the sporran, I found a bag that contained... My shetland wool! :)

Yum... Now I have to figure out a good sweater pattern to work with here... Any suggestions? :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Going backwards...

Okay, so I decided to make booties for the son of a friend of mine recently. I am making this pattern up off the top of my head, so I'm thinking I might actually want to publish it out there under one of the pattern websites, not just here. However, over the weekend I ran into a dilemna.

A YO, K2tog is not the exact reverse of a SSK, YO.

I wanted to do a reversed pattern for left and right booties... And while both booties are cute, the stitch patterns do not look exactly the same.

So since I appear to have enough yarn, I am knitting a third bootie.... BACKWARDS.

I picked up reverse knitting back when I was doing an Entrelac Shawl for my grandmother... And I actually discovered I like it! Most people don't, but I do because I'm able to use the strong right hand to hold the tension on a continental stitch (reverse knitting for me seems to be doing continental style from the left hand instead of English from the right hand).

So now, I'm knitting the second (well, third) bootie entirely backwards to see what the pattern winds up looking like!

If the third bootie turns out horrible, I may just frog bootie number two and have two booties in the same direction instead of reversed. But it would be *really cool* if I could get a bootie done entirely in reverse!

Wish me luck! You won't be seeing it here, not if I want to actually get paid for it. But Lori, you may have given me a dickens of an idea for this... :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Honeycomb booties!

So the camel booties are complete!

Lemme tell ya though, they are a *royal* PITA to photograph... Flash photography does not work well when the flash washes out the shadows that are half the point of cabling... And photographing without a flash gives you crappy pix.

However, 60-some-odd pix later, I think I got a few good shots:

(see what I mean about washed out by the flash?)

It's a honeycomb booty pattern that I thought up on the fly.

Maybe I should write this one down? :)

Okay, the pattern (done using fingering weight camel handspun on size 2 (2.75) DPNs. Gauge doesn't really matter, babies grow fast, so no matter what gauge you make them, they'll fit for a few weeks and the baby will outgrow them. If the baby is a newborn, this will be fine. Otherwise you may want to go with larger yarn/needles.):

K - knit
P - purl
K2tog - knit two together
K3tog - knit three together
SSP - slip, slip, purl
SSK - slip, slip, knit
SSSP - slip, slip, slip, purl
C4B - Cable stitch for four stitches, with the first two stitches on the cable needle going to the back
C4F - Cable stitch for four stitches, with the first two stitches on the cable needle going to the front
YO - Yarn over
W&T - Wrap and turn. Not used in this pattern
st - stitch
RS - right side
WS - wrong side

Cast on 32 stitches, long tail cast on (very stretchy), separate onto 4 DPNs and join, being careful not to create a mobius when you join.

Knit 4 rounds in garter, beginning with purl, then knit, then purl, then knit.

The next 8 rounds are in a honeycomb pattern, on all sides of the sock:

Row 5: *, C4B, C4F, repeat from *
Rows 6-8: K all
Row 9: *, C4F, C4B, repeat from *
Rows 10-12: K all

You've now completed the full cuff/ankle. The next rows are a version of the short-row heel (if you can't do W&T style short-rows, don't fret, this isn't that):

The short row heel is worked on needles 1 and 4.

Row 1 (needle 1, RS): K all until one stitch remaining. Turn.
Row 2 (needle 1 and needle 4, WS): YO and P all until one stitch remaining. Turn.
Row 3 (RS): YO and K up to the first st/YO pair. Turn.
Row 4 (WS): YO and P up to the first st/YO pair. Turn.
5: Repeat 3 and 4 until 6 stitches remain. Each needle will have a YO, 4 st/YO pairs, and 3 sts towards the center. This is a RS row, needle 4.
6 (RS, needle 1): K to the first st/YO pair. K1 from the pair, K2tog (uses one from the next pair with the remaining one from the first pair). Turn.
7 (WS, needle 1 and needle 4): YO and P to the first st/YO pair. P1 from the pair, SSP (uses one from the next pair with the remaining one from the first pair). Turn.
8 (RS): YO and K to the first YO and K3tog (K 2 YO's and one K from the next pair together). Turn.
9 (WS): YO and P to the first YO and SSSP (P 2 YO's and one P from the next pair together). Turn.
10: Repeat 8 and 9 until the last stitch on each end is used up. You will have 1 YO and 8 P's, and will be on needle 4.
11 (RS): YO and K to finish needle 4. You will now start the instep, and continue to knit in the round until the bootie is finished.

1st row of instep (RS): K to the last remaining YO on needle 1. Slip this stitch to needle 2, then do a C4B, but with three stitches on the cable needle (K2tog from the cable, then K to make it 2 stitches), C4F, C4B, then C4F with a stitch slipped back from needle 4 (that leftover YO from your previous row), with 3 stitches on the back needle (K2tog then K to make it two stitches), K8.
2-4: K all.
5: K8, 2x(C4F, C4B), K8.
6-8: K all.
9: K8, 2x(C4B, C4F), K8.
10-12: K all.
13: K8, 2x(C4F, C4B), K8.
14-16: K all.
17: K8, 2x(C4B, C4F), K8.
18-20: K all.
21: K8, 2x(C4F, C4B), K8.

The last ten rows are all two decreases per row.
1: K7, K2tog, K14, SSK, K7.
2: K7, K2tog, K12, SSK, K7.
3: K6, K2tog, K12, SSK, K6.
4: K6, K2tog, K10, SSK, K6.
5: K5, K2tog, K10, SSK, K5.
6: K5, K2tog, K8, SSK, K5.
7: K4, K2tog, K8, SSK, K4.
8: K4, K2tog, K6, SSK, K4.
9: K3, K2tog, K6, SSK, K3.
10: K3, K2tog, K4, SSK, K3.

You should now have 12 stitches total, 3 on each needle. Knit 3 stitches to the end of needle 1. Kitchner Stitch the toes closed.

Voila! Honeycomb booties!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Booties and more booties!

The English Rose and Robin's Egg Booties are ready to go!

OMG they're so tiny! They aren't "properly" blocked, I finger stretched them, since they really don't make sock blockers that small (I need to make a pair), but they are the perfect size for little tiny newborn feet!

And that camel I finished yesterday is already becoming a set of booties as we speak:

They're SOOOO soft! I didn't think camel would be this soft, but it's incredible! I just hope they hold up to baby usage!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Bollywood and Camels...

So this month's spinning challenge was "bollywood"... Well, a few months back, I won two samples of baby camel from Woolbunny, so what better time to work on them than for Bollywood, right? :)

Like anything around 50 yards lately (it came out to 51 yards, with about five yards being single color and the rest being two color), it's becoming booties. I'll post pix of those later, I've only got the cuff of one so far. :)

And lemme tell ya, camel is a dream to knit with.. so soft!

The robin's egg blue booties are done, and they and the english rose booties are currently drying in the bathroom... They're washed and are now drying their way to reasonable shape... :)

I can't wait to finish these though... Different pattern! I'm doing a honeycomb pattern on the camel socks/booties!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Booties plus one! :)

So our Robin's Egg Blue is rapidly becoming a second bootie:

And for scale, we have kitty paw:

Kitty is not a small boned kitty, so the scale may seem a little off. ;)

I started the second booty yesterday afternoon, and it's already half done, so I should be done with it before the weekend!

Then I need to wash and block both sets of socks/booties, block them, and ship to the brother's house along with a few pre-bought things... Hopefully he'll use them with his daughter!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


So the first pair of booties in the english rose is done:

And I've already started on the second pair in robin's egg blue. However, I'm modifying it so the cuff is shorter:

Once I'm done with the blue booties, I'm going to go back and finish that blanket for someone else, then begin a whole new blanket... But I don't know if I'll be able to show the pix unless I want to just publish the pattern myself as a free pattern... Decisions, decisions... :)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Done with booties, but still not picture-worthy yet...

The first pair of booties are done! The english rose booties were finished yesterday, after some tweaking... Had to make them both a touch shorter, since I ran out of yarn just before the toe of the second one... So I was literally knitting from the toe of one sock to the other sock! Wish I'd thought to take pix of them, but alas, sometimes I'm a little short on brainpower...

So I now have a pair of english rose booties, and now I'm trying for a slightly smaller pair (shorter cuff, smaller needles) in the robin's egg blue. Hopefully I can squeeze a pair out of the yarn I've got! Also hopefully I don't have to deal with the toe issue again... ;)

At this point I'm going royally ADD on projects... I've got a mostly-spun sample of camel hair, a semi-spun bit of tussah silk, a baby blanket that's mostly done but I keep getting frustrated with because it's circular and the further out you are, the longer a row takes, I just finished the rose booties, and I've now got the blue booties on needles. Oh, and I've got a bit of spinning I haven't worked on in a month that's partially done, it's superwash wool with angelina and firestar worked into it.

My brother's daughter is making me go into mass production mode. ;)