firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
11/01/07
733 out of 50,000
11/02/07
912 out of 50,000
11/03/07
2103 out of 50,000

Widget from [livejournal.com profile] gngr here.

Other:

  • Started 3 Garage Band pieces and finished four others
  • Finished a sleeve of the Heartbeat Sweater
  • Started the second sleeve of the Heartbeat Sweater while watching one of the dumber Original Star Trek episodes ("The Naked Time")
  • Knitted several rows of the Tidal Wave sock (and ripped half of them out again) while hanging with Serene in a cafe in San Francisco
  • Finished one Tidal Wave sock (it took two tries because I misread the instructions the first time and produced a too-short toe)
  • Finished the second sleeve of the Heartbeat Sweater and started the neckline
  • Started the second Tidal Wave sock
  • Started and ripped a lace shawl (my own design)
  • Finished the Heartbeat Sweater
  • Finished the Tidal Wave socks
  • Started a sekrit winter gift project

firecat: kittens sleeping on yarn (kittens on yarn)
This info is written up more tidily on http://www.ravelry.com/projects/firecat/heartbeat-sweater

Pattern: Heartbeat Sweater by Jill Vosburg
Craft: Knitting
Made for: me
Size: 44" bust with side panel modifications
Needle: US 5 (back panel), US 3 (front panel), US 2 (side panels, sleeves, neckline)
Yarn: mercerized cotton
Colorway: purple and pink varigated (front/back panels), purple (side panels, sleeves, neckline)
I got the yarn in a swap. (Waves to [livejournal.com profile] punkmom)

Notes
The pattern goes up to a 64" bust, but as written it isn't all that well designed to accommodate larger sizes - the shoulders and neckline end up too wide. Also the side panel width doesn't change (but I think that it should—a person who is bigger around also tends to have wider sides).

We did it as a KAL on the ample-knitters yahoo group. Different folks modified the pattern in different ways to address these issues.

My bust is larger than the 44" size I knit; I made up the difference by increasing the width of the side panels. Also I modified the triangles at the bottom of the back sweater panel to accommodate wider hips. (I won't do that again if I make another Heartbeat Sweater, because it makes the bottom of the sweater into an upside-down vee shape, which isn't entirely flattering. But it looks OK for this one).

I used #5 needles and continental knitting for the first front/back panel, but the fabric was too loose. I switched to #3 needles and combination knitting for the second front/back panel. When I was ready to start the sleeves, side panels, and neckline I discovered the purple yarn was much thinner than the multicolored yarn, so I knit with two strands held together on #2 needles.

The sweater is loose on me - my gauge-fu for garments larger than socks or hats is weak (and it doesn't help when I change techniques and needle sizes mid-project). It has some drape so it looks OK at this size, but I may take in the side panels at some point.

Better pictures to come. I've mislaid my camera so I took this on my crappy cellphone camera. It's a detail of the front panel and neckline. stitches )

socks!

22 Aug 2007 11:11 pm
firecat: crocheted doily (yarncraft)
My third pair of socks, first pair of worsted-weight socks, first pair that didn't follow a specific pattern. I'm getting better, but I still haven't figured out how to get rid of the holes at the edges of the heels where I turn the short rows. Next time I'll try the flap-and-gusset heel.

Made from Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm worsted superwash wool, 1 ball red and 1 ball red and gray stripe. I used #3 casein DPNs. They were lovely to work with, except you can't hold them in your mouth or they start to melt.

Read more... )

poem

2 Jul 2007 12:41 am
firecat: person wearing purple and typing on typewriter (purple personality typing)
Over at [livejournal.com profile] poets_challenge the challenge was to write a Rhyme Royal. I tried.
Read more... )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Three photos beneath the cut.

adoptable cat! )

another photo of the dragon's garden necklace )
firecat: beads (beading)
It's [livejournal.com profile] wordweaverlynn's fault - she e-mailed me a little bit before Wiscon and asked if I wanted to participate in a group Fire Mountain Gems order. I thought I might, but of course in order to figure out what I needed, I first had to drag out and inventory my existing stash of jewelry stuff.

And while doing that I came across a bag full of beads and supplies that I had intended to use to make something along the lines of the "Floating Fantasy Necklace" from Beadstyle November 03 issue. I set that aside and started to work on it after Wiscon, only I found out that a number of the small beads I had chosen had holes too small to be strung on the waxed cord, and that I didn't have enough teardrop beads. What to do? I had received the [livejournal.com profile] botmo collection from May 07, entitled "Dragons in the Garden," and it had a lot of smallish flower and leaf beads, so I decided to use those along with the other beads I had set aside.

I made most of the necklace in one evening while watching my Two Fat Ladies videotapes. The videotapes are better than the Food Network version of the show, which cuts out a lot of fun stuff to make room for the commercials.

I used a dental pick to make the knots between beads. I got it from a guy who sells inexpensive hobbyist tools at the San Mateo County Fair.

The Beadstyle article doesn't explain how to make the macrame cord - it suggests a simplified cord with some overhand knots. I didn't like how that looked, so I did a web search to find basic macrame instructions. Somewhere in my search I found a tip that suggested you could tie the top of your macrame to the clip of a clipboard, so I used that instead of a macrame board.

photo )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
This scarf has been on the needles since last December; I started it in the airport waiting for a flight to Las Vegas to visit the OH's cousin and [livejournal.com profile] kitchenwitch. I've been carrying it around in my bag as my "knit in waiting rooms" pattern, and I ended up taking it to Wiscon. Every time I got annoyed in a panel I picked it up, so I quickly finished it. :-)

The pattern is from a book called Knit It Now!. The book teaches six stitch patterns and gives patterns for three or four garments in each pattern, each made with a different type of yarn, so you can see how a single pattern looks in a wide variety of yarn types. Nice idea, but the garments are mostly kind of dull.

They call this pattern Brick Stitch. It's a slip stitch pattern, which means that you're only knitting with one color per row but slipping some of the stitches from the row below to bring that color up into the current row. To my eye the result looks complex but the process is pretty easy. It was my first attempt at two color work that wasn't multi-row stripes.

The yarn is Classic Elite Wool Bam Boo. I really like the yarn; it feels really nice in my hands, drapes well, is lightweight, and has good stitch definition. It's not particularly warm.

I really like how this scarf turned out, and I got lots of compliments on it while I was knitting it.
pix - also available on flickr at firecatstef )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
I put together this soap bag from two practice swatches made from instructions in Module Magic by Ginger Luters et al. The bag is made from two different kinds of worsted weight cotton. The blue cotton is very sturdy and firm, the green cotton is soft and more stretchy. The bag has very long I-cord straps. There is knitted and crocheted edging. It's my own made-up-as-I-went-along pattern. I didn't try to make it pretty or neat.

Next time I will change it as follows: Crocheted strap instead of I-cord, which took forever. Body made in one piece, or two swatches of the same size rather than different sizes. The same edging throughout.
Read more... )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
After struggling with the Knitty Branching Out pattern I craved an easy project. I recently picked up Unexpected Knitting by Debbie New and it has a chapter on "scribble lace," which is basically knitting with a thick yarn and a thread on large needles. It produces an open fabric in which the stitches of thick yarn stand out.

A while back an LJ friend gave me some Gedifra Byzanz yarn and it seemed perfect for this project.

I started by knitting a scarf widthwise (10-15 stitches per row) in stockinette according to instructions in Unexpected Knitting—3 rows thread, 1 row yarn. Then I discovered a third ball of Byzanz in my stash. I picked up stitches along the long edge and knit using 1 row yarn and 5 rows thread in garter stitch. I finished some parts with crochet edging.

three photos )

FFFO

3 Apr 2007 04:25 pm
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)

I have a Finally Fucking Finished Object (FFFO), a version of Branching Out by Susan Pierce Lawrence on the Knitty web site.

I've had it on the needles since August or so.

I wasn't actively knitting it that whole time, but I had a very difficult time with it and probably knit about twice as many pattern repeats as ended up in my finished scarf. If this is "easy lace" (as billed on Knitty) then I'm not cut out to be a lace knitter.

(I haven't given up on knitted lace yet though.)

It's made out of some mystery yarn on a cone that I got in a Newton's Yarn Country sale. The yarn is soft, light and fluffy. It's not very elastic (and therefore not the smartest yarn to use for a first lace project. Oh well). My swatch was completely unaffected by the washer and dryer so I don't think the scarf is going to be "blockable" per se.



There are still a lot of mistakes—but most of them are relatively invisible, even to me. The one that isn't invisible (but I'm too lazy to fix) is that the first 1/4 of the scarf is "inside out." I noticed quite a while later that I had switched the right side and wrong side rows. It's still probably not noticeable to anyone but another knitter.

Design decisions as a result of mistakes department:

I hopelessly fouled things up around 1/3 of the way into the scarf and "fixed" it by knitting some rows of garter stitch and starting over. So then I knit another chunk of garter stitch 2/3 of the way along.

2 photos )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
I tried to make a Moebius scarf using Cat Bordhi's A Second Treasury of Magical Knitting. I failed to check the cast-on carefully for only one twist, and it ended up as a scarf with one side but three half twists instead of one.

I used one skein of Mountain Colors handpainted "Mountain Goat" worsted weight yarn, 55% mohair and 45% wool, and #8 needles. This made a scarf with about a 65" circumference and 5" wide (ribbed). The yarn is absolutely luscious - soft, light, warm, and developing a lovely halo.

I finished it with an applied I-cord edging of Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk DK, 80% alpaca and 20% silk. This yarn feels lovely but is very delicate. If you knit with the brand-new yarn it's OK, but if you frog it and try to knit with it again, it starts splitting very easily. It's hard to tink and impossible to un-knot. I won't be buying it again.

Two photos of a twisty scarf )

I haven't given up on Cat Bordhi's Moebius cast-on, but the first Moebius scarf I made used a different method for casting on (you cast on half the stitches and then pick up from the bottom edge for the next half...not sure if I'm explaining that very clearly) and I didn't have the problem of extra twists. Also Bordhi's cast-on, because it is over two cables, is either very tight to knit into or produces a loose center to your Moebius strip. A lot of Bordhi's projects are felted in which case the loose center wouldn't matter.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
I finished knitting my first pair of socks.

I used some German self-striping sock yarn, I don't remember the brand, washable wool/polyester. It wasn't the softest stuff I've ever knit with, but it feels good on my feet.

I used the Universal Toe Up Sock Formula from Knitty.com. This pattern works quite well to create a custom fitted sock (although for me the toe came out a bit too narrow. I have wide forefeet).

I had one problem with the pattern: When I went to start knitting in the round again after making the heel, there were holes in the corners. The pattern suggests that you make some extra stitches to compensate, but that didn't work for me.

I knit them on size 2 Brittany birch DPNs, which I loved. The gauge is a bit looser than I prefer for socks, though; if I did them again with DPNs I would use size 1. They are stockinette except for an inch of 2x2 ribbing at the top.

Herewith are photos of my socks and my hairy shins. )

My next sock project will use circular needles. I like working with DPNs; it's portable and most of the sock could be done without my full attention. And the yarn did not slide off the DPNs nearly as often as I expected it to, but it did do so a couple of times. I want to see if I can learn to do circular needle socks the same way and if doing socks on circs will solve the problem of ladders where one DPN shifts to the next. (I did find a way to solve that, which my brain isn't letting me describe in words right now. But the way I used would make doing patterned socks more difficult, I think).
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Here are some cabled wrist warmers I made.

I used this pattern:
http://wineandneedles.blogspot.com/2004/12/wrist-warmer-pattern.html

...but I made mine shorter, to just cover the wrists, because I usually wear long sleeves when it's cold enough for wrist warmers.

They came out quite big around. Probably anyone with medium to small hands/forearms who doesn't knit very tightly should make them using a smaller needle. (I used #8 as suggested in the pattern.)

This pattern is based on the Irish Hiking Scarf pattern which is available here. I made a short scarf based on that pattern...half in gray and half in pink-and-maroon stripes. It's a very odd looking thing. I rather like it, but I don't think I would wear it in public :)

The fun thing about this pattern was that I got to learn mattress stitch with the help of the online video at http://www.knittinghelp.com/knitting/basic_techniques/misc.php. Mattress stitch is cool because at the end you pull the strand of yarn and it "zips up" and disappears.

two small images )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
I finished my shawl collar cardigan! At least until such point as I decide to put some kind of closure on it. (I am thinking either a zipper or a couple of i-cord loops with chinese buttons across the front.) And it fits! It doesn't fit exactly like I thought it would, but it still fits.

7 small images of a fat lady wearing a sweater, and gory knitting-geek details )

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