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Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category

Peonies

I return to this blog with serious intent to start posting regularly again. It was a busy season of conference-going and conference-organizing, and I’m so happy summer is here.  Went on a 7 mile walk through lovely Golden Gate Park with my hiking meetup yesterday.  Today my partner and I strolled down to the farmer’s market for lunch.  They had pizza from a portable wood-fired oven, can you believe it.  Then a few blocks to the Temescal Street Fair on Telegraph Ave (the part in North Oakland, not Berkeley).  Dozens of local artisans and more food, yum. I HELLA HEART OAKLAND!

I’ve finally downloaded Picasa onto my MSI Wind (my beloved little 10″ netbook that could) and taken some projects pics.

For some reason I’ve gotten into a lot of knitting lately.  It took a couple of weeks to knit up this bag, which needs lining.

Messenger Bag WiP

Pattern:  adapted from Guitar Messenger Bag in Greetings from Knit Cafe by Susan Mischer. Yarn:  TLC Heathers in purple heather .  Needles: Knit Picks Options Size 6.

Maude Louise WiP

I took a dive into my first knit sweater project involving knitting pieces in the flat: Maude Louise. The cardigan pattern calls for expensive drapey yarn, but I went with Cascade 220 in Flamingo Pink from my stash. The waistband pattern was a bit slow going but fun and easy once I got the hang of it. Working on the right front now, a bit scared about what the set in sleeves will be like to sew.

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I finished the charcoal raglan sweater just in time for Xmas.  Guess who it was for?  Er, my spouse.  We’ve been hanging out a lot, and I dared the curse of the boyfriend sweater to make it.  Apparently I dodged the bullet, will explain later.

I will try to skirt TMI territory, but suffice it to say that relationships are complicated and hard to explain to oneself, much less anyone on the outside.  And then there are the anxieties of parental units (mine and the in-laws).  To whom I say unequivocally, “Back off, you evil demons!”  Okay, maybe not the demons part.  But you get the gist.

Chacoal Gray Men's Raglan Sweater

Here is a pic taken on my sister’s crack delivery vehicle iphone.  Fuzzy resolution, but doesn’t it fit beautifully?  Many (grumbly) fittings en route.  I even did short rows at the shoulders and to make a kind of shirt tail in the back 🙂

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I’m stunned that it’s been so long since my last post.  At least I’ve been keeping busy crafting.  Finally wrapped up Babette.  Just the first 9 panels, then I ran out of steam and figured it would make a good lapblanket for the couch.

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Truncated Babette Blanket

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Also knit up a brimmed cap in three evenings using the Page Boy hat pattern from Stitch Diva and Lion Brand Landcapes, a beautiful bulky weight yarn.

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Knit Pageboy Cap w/ Brim

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Knit Pageboy Cap w/ Brim 2

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Here’s a another top down raglan I’m working on.  Lion Wool-Ease Chunky (works up fast!) in a beautiful dark charcoal gray that does not show in this pic.

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Men's Top Down Raglan WIP

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But let me vent:  I will never do a top down raglan again.  It’s supposed to be easy, but I never end up with the right number of stiches for body and sleeves, no matter how many times I rip back.  And I dislike the squared off neck.  Next time I’ll try a top down yoke with evenly distributed increases.

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The Knit and Crochet Show is in Portland this fall. Last year it was in Oakland, and I had a blast with my mom. Since it’s one of my favorite cities, I’m tempted to take a trip to this one. I’m practically drooling at the incredible list of classes, taught by knit and crochet design luminaries like Lily Chin. Didn’t count, but it looks as if there are as many crochet classes as knit classes (yay!).

Since it has been so slow to warm up this spring, I want to crochet a short, simple swing jacket with 3/4 sleeves, which seems to be all the rage these days. Now, I have yet to make anything with set in sleeves, but I’m determined! Here are some inspirations:

Juicy Couture @ Nordstrom.comKensie Lace Swing Jacket @ Nordstrom.com

I’m not crazy about the Peter Pan collars, will have to figure out how to make small lapels. The illustrations in the Vogue Knitting Bible should tell me what the basic collar shape is, at least. But those skinny sleeves ending in puffy cuffs (cream Kensie Lace Swing Jacket) are so darling!

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Brea Bag WIP #1

From the pattern from Berroco. The pattern is easy to follow. I’m actually quite happy that I managed to knit something like this! The pattern calls for double stranded alpaca yarn but I opted for a sheeny and sturdy acrylic (Vanna’s Choice). I figure there’s less chance of pilling, and the color choices aren’t bad.

Brea Bag WIP

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Many (belated) thanks to Yarnnut at gailknits who gave me a “You Make My Day” award. Here’s how it works in her words: “Give the award to up to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel so happy about Blogland! Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so that they can pass it on. Beware! You may get the award several times!”

So it’s my turn! I enjoy reading many, many blogs, most of them craft related. Here are ten nine that I take particular inspiration or pleasure from, in no particular order.

  • Geckogrrl of All in a Day’s…. I always feel privileged to read her crafty and emotionally honest posts, and genuinely look up to her. Thanks again for all the encouraging posts through my dissertation and career decisions!
  • Robyn of crochetbyfaye is an amazing design talent. I always look forward to seeing what she comes up with next. Her pattern sneak previews are tantalizing and leave me impatient for the day they get published.
  • Futuregirl has got talent and dedication to craft. Kudos to someone who tries to make a living out of doing what they love.
  • Lily of LilyGo designs and knits perfectly tailored, fine-gauge garments with a demure feminine sensibility.
  • Hannah of Bittersweet maintains a fabulous blog on craft and vegan desserts chock full of beautiful ly composed photos and witty amigurumi stories. She is only 19 years old. And has already published a dessert cookbook.
  • Mariannealice of Applehead specializes in collages and cartoons as well as crochets and knits. She has a distinct soft, charming aesthetic. I also love the photos of her two beautiful daughters because they remind me of me and my sis growing up.
  • Milobo of Without Seams is another fellow ambicrafter (that is, she both crochets and knits). I identify with her because of her affinity for the technical aspects of yarncraft design and for seamless garments. Wish I could finish projects as consistently!
  • Yarn Abuse is a hapa Korean gal (or so I assume based on her kimchi tchigae post) with fierce knitting skills, legions of regular readers and the self-deprecating wit of a Jewish comedian. Since so much of that wit is directed at her (imagined fat) ass, the feminist in me shrinks a little but she is still fun to read.
  • Last but not least, my friend Dotorious Judy of Otherwise is a fellow foodie and 1.5 generation Korean American leftist. I highly recommend checking out her “Missionary” comics based on her dissertation project.

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Baby Hats!!

Ambicrafty Baby Hat

Baby Hat

Materials: Knit Picks Swish Superwash DK, one skein each eggplant and turquoise. 5 mm hook, 4mm circular needles (extra long for magic loop technique).

size: made to fit 18.5″ circumference

This was a really fun hat to improvise. I first started out with base chain sc for the brim, and then worked upwards in granite stitch, switching colors back and forth which resulted in a cool tile pattern. Then picked up one loop from every crochet stitch with a circular needle, knit about one inch plain, and then did a normal hat decrease sequence with 7 markers.

Felici Baby Hat

Toddler Hat for Ben

Materials: Knit Picks Felici sock yarn in Aurora (2 balls), 5.5mm hook.

Size: made to fit 19.5″ head circumference

This took a bit of experimenting before I got something I was kind of happy with. I matched the stripes on two strands for this. Started with 8hdcs and did a standard crochet hat increase pattern. Then switched to hdc, fpdc mock rib pattern after achieving desired circumference with a bit of negative ease. The brim naturally wants to flare out and roll up.

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