rebeccmeister: (Default)
I spend so much time working on long-term projects. It's easy to wind up feeling discouraged by how long they take and how many wind up falling by the wayside.

For a while, I was knitting baby hats for friends with newborn babies. But after a certain point, my energy for knitting the baby hats just completely fizzled out. On the other hand, I still wanted to give [personal profile] annikusrex's kiddo a special hat. So I decided to compromise: I'd make a hat for Felix. Eventually.

So as it turns out, it may take a few years before he'll grow into this one:

Felix hat - front

Felix hat - back

It was fun and interesting to design this. The font is Monotype Corsiva.

It's not quite adult-sized:
Felix hat modeled

I also crocheted up a plant hanger while I was on the train. Overall, I'm ambivalent about it, but I might make another one anyway. You know, so we can get that whole three-level effect with a little path running down the middle.
Small plant hanger holding a fern

Darn It

Jun. 4th, 2015 09:56 am
rebeccmeister: (bikegirl)
I am still peeved by my cell-o-phone's camera. It is terrible at taking close-range photos! Sigh. Oh well.

Darn it

During the drive across Nebraska over the weekend, I worked on darning S's socks. Because I am mean, I used red darning thread on one conspicuous hole in each sock. I darned around 10-12 holes in the sock on the right, but only a couple of holes and weak spots in the sock on the left. If you look closely you can see a couple other darned spots on the inside-out sock on the right.

In case you ever find yourself darning socks, here are a few thoughts. First, the darned spots will not be stretchy, so overall while the socks will retain their structural integrity, they won't be quite as comfortable and elastic as they were at first. Second, the darning works surprisingly well. In a couple of places I first stitched a grid, and then stitched diagonally across the grid because the grid didn't seem quite substantial enough.

While thinking about what to do about an elbow hole in one of my favorite cheap sweaters (Old Navy but bought at a thrift store), I came across a website advocating for felted patches. This also would have worked as an alternative to darning the socks, but I'd already purchased the two-ply darning yarn and darning mushroom and didn't have un-spun wool of the right color sitting around, so I went ahead with the darning. I will probably try to felt an elbow patch for the sweater, however.

When darning, it's useful to use two-ply yarn that's thinner than the original material, so that it holds the material together but doesn't create a thick spot.

Keep your woolens in cedar and monitor them for moth problems, folks. Moths are tricky, annoying bastards.

Projects that are next in the queue:
-Aforementioned sweater darning and patching
-Quilted cat bed (practice for twin-size quilt)
-Twin-size quilt (FINALLY)
-Socks (so much sock yarn, so little time...)

Sock plans

May. 4th, 2015 09:54 am
rebeccmeister: (bikegirl)
I have decided on sock plans.

This Knitty article had some good thoughts on sock durability and holes in socks. Sometimes it's hard to decide whether to bother with repairs or let an item go, but S still wants those mothy socks, so I decided to go ahead and get some darned darning yarn and a darned darning mushroom. I'm somewhat tempted to use some of the bright-red darning yarn I pinched from my mother's yarn stash (sorry, Mom, but I can give it back if ya miss it!), but I'm going to try and have some restraint. Sometimes S has unusual aesthetic standards. :-P He wants to keep things limping along for as long as humanly possible, and I can respect that, from a resource-use perspective.

Second to that, I am going to knit socks. I might even knit some for S. But I also just want to knit socks, and see how they fare. [ profile] dichroic had some useful suggestions for how to deploy softer yarn in the knitting of socks, and the above article does, too, so we shall see how that goes. I'd been thinking about knitting socks even before this repair job, so off I go.

But I might also take a bit of a break from knitting to get back to quilting for a while. A less sweaty project for the summer.

Craft projects, man.
rebeccmeister: (bikegirl)
Yesterday evening, I got to wondering whether there are any other knitters out there who wind up saying up past their bedtimes to finish a certain knitting project.

I didn't wind up finishing last night, but this afternoon instead of going on a long bike ride, I finally finished this vest.

Completed vest

It either took a year and five months, or just five months, depending on what counts. I started the project in January of 2014, but eventually realized something was off. It was probably my fault, for failing to knit up a gauge swatch, and for deciding to knit the thing in the round instead of as front and back panels. Regardless, I had to frog several inches and start over because attempt #1 was too big, and it took me until my Grandpa's funeral this past December to get started again.

One of the other hitches was the yarn. I came up with this project as a way to use a skein of blue camel's wool yarn that my parents had given me from the Snow Leopard Trust, and to also use up a nice handspun skein of yarn that a friend from Minneapolis had given to me.

Well, as I knitted up attempt #1, I soon realized that two skeins would be insufficient. I didn't have any way to match either of the preexisting colors, so I wound up considering a different skein of cream-colored yarn that was given to me, and buying two other skeins of yarn, a hand-dyed red and the tan you see pictured (although I think I'm going to call it "burlap-colored"). It also came from the Snow Leopard Trust. So now I have two other odd skeins of yarn instead, although they're slightly less odd than the ones I used up.

The striping, as well as variations in yarn quality, meant that I had to sew in a LOT of loose ends at the end, a tedious step that is one of my least favorites:

Loose ends

But it is done. I can only show you the vest, and not how it fits, because it's still damp from blocking. The fit looks like it will be fine overall, though, so I'd give this pattern a thumbs-up (a free pattern from Ravelry).

So, hurrah for finishing that project.

Then I looked in my yarn box. The next thing I want to deal with is a pair of moth-eaten socks that belong to [ profile] scrottie:

Too far gone?

It's hard to tell from the photo, but these are so moth-eaten that it would be difficult to repair them by sewing up the holes. I had been thinking about noting down the pattern, and then frogging and re-knitting them, so as a test for how that might go, I went ahead and frogged a misshapen hat that I crocheted for my sister years ago, that she gave back to me because she didn't have a use for it (and I can't blame her):


Now I'm not so sure I want to attempt frogging the socks, especially given how fragmented the strands will be, due to the moth holes. I wound up tearing a lot of the fibers in the hat, to take it apart, and I suspect that would be even worse for the socks, given how much heat and moisture they've experienced.

Looking in my yarn box was overwhelming. As a PSA - please, unless there are really special extenuating circumstances, DO NOT GIVE ME ANY MORE YARN (a recent gift from [ profile] dichroic counts as a wonderful extenuating circumstance). I HAVE LOTS. I just don't have ideas for what to do with it, and I think I have about a 50% success rate at this point in terms of knitting nice, useable items. I don't know how to show you my "stash" on Ravelry, but I've listed almost all of my yarn there.

I still have some of the same grey yarn that I used for [ profile] sytharin's erstwhile hat, the two balls pictured towards the upper left in this photo, because I got the yarn because it was pretty and soft, not because I knew what to do with it:

Miscellaneous Yarn

Thing is, it's super-soft stuff, and I don't know what works best for socks, because I really haven't knitted many socks, but I suspect it isn't the super-soft stuff. S really likes those moth-eaten socks because they are nice, thick wool that will keep his feet warm in the dead of winter. So I'm curious to know whether anyone else has any ideas or insights into how to proceed.


Jan. 6th, 2015 09:51 am
rebeccmeister: (bikegirl)
On the trip to Seattle for Thanksgiving, I worked on finishing up a pair of arm-warmers for my father. While he warned that his hands are larger than mine, I succeeded in making arm-warmers that were still slightly too big when I tried to scale up the pattern I used for my cabled arm warmers. Ah well. On the trip to Seattle for Grandpa's funeral, I did observe that he's getting use out of them (evidence here, at the annual bowling outing).

So then, on the trip to Seattle for Grandpa's funeral, I brought along the next project on the agenda, a vest, where my intention is to create something warm and also use up two handspun skeins that have been gifted to me. One of the skeins is some camel wool yarn from the Snow Leopard Trust (their napkins and a few other items will look familiar to some of you). The other is handspun wool from Minnesota. I'm somewhat afraid that I'll run out before I get to the top of the vest. I had started knitting up the vest in a larger size, but decided to frog it after knitting about 7 inches so as to restart a smaller size. I made good progress during the drive to and from Big Bend, so now I'm back where I started. But slightly more motivated to churn my way through the project.

The weather here has turned as well, and now I'm also jonesing to get to work on other warm things that will serve me well in Nebraska, and maybe a few things that [ profile] scrottie might appreciate. Socks and mittens on the mind. This year's knitting season will be longer than usual, thanks to the move to Nebraska.
rebeccmeister: (Default)
Before it started to rain today, my father and I rode bicycles over to Nervous Nellie's in Ballard. They almost scored 5 out of 5 points on my dad's scale, except there was no bike parking in sight. You can click on the pictures for slightly enlarged versions.

Dad notes how Nervous Nellie's scores in his notebook

Toast! And not just any toast...Swedish toast (at least, for my dad): toast with butter and cheese. I got boysenberry jam, which was delicious. They use Great Harvest Bread, and you get to pick out your own mug from a huge rack of mugs. I was tempted by the pirate mug, but it didn't look like it would hold enough coffee.

Resisting change: When he realized where we were in Ballard, my dad took me to see a small house with a big story. Apparently a developer had been scarfing up all of the land around this home, but one little old lady refused to sell out. So the developer ended up having to build the massive development around the old home. Partway through the building process, the builders befriended the lady and helped her out around the construction--she was pretty frail. She died some months ago, but the house is still there, for now.

My current knitting project: Now that all of the gifts are done for a while, I get to knit something for myself. It's my first cable-knitting attempt--arm-warmers. With size 2 needles, this project is going to take forever. Maybe they'll be done by next fall.
rebeccmeister: (Default)
One of my goals while in Seattle has been to go through the boxes of memorabilia that I have left here to see if there's anything I'd like to take to Arizona or to get rid of. Unfortunately for my parents, most of the stuff is going to stay where it is--I'll probably enjoy getting to pull it out in 40 years, but right now it's not all that exciting or useful on a day-to-day basis, and I have much less storage than my parents.

In the midst of all that, I was reminded that I've mentioned a knitting pattern that I'd found among my mother's things for how to knit an Octopussy. After pawing through no small number of things, I've unearthed the thing, though it's actually called the Octokitten. My bad. Hopefully I'll be able to scan it in for your viewing pleasure. Just what every young lady needs, her own Octokitten pattern to help improve her knitting abilities. It's a pattern designed for people just learning how to knit, so there's not a whole lot of actual knitting involved, but I suppose that's just as well.
rebeccmeister: (Default)
I thought that I would have a reasonable day today. Sometimes I can be so naive.

Last night, instead of going to the painting class that I signed up for, I sprawled out on the couch and finished knitting a scarf. Now I can get back to knitting leg-warmers. I'm racing [ profile] kihle, who is trying to knit two hats that are over a year overdue. My goal is to finish the leg-warmers before she finishes the hats.

Our friend A just learned how to knit. All of a sudden, I'm totally into the idea of boys learning how to knit. I really *do* think it could be a way for them to pick up girls. The other night one of my friends said that all that a boy would need to do to pick up girls is sit in a coffee shop, look really sad, and work on some knitting and the girls would flock. Heh. Get to work, boys.

Anyhoo, T and I started placing bets on how many rows of knitting A would achieve. He bet 7. I bet 10. But A has already knit 18 rows, apparently.

I'm feeling better than yesterday. Man does it take a while to recover from a marathon. It's pretty fun to tell people about it, though. One of my undergraduate minions ran the half-marathon. I'm quite proud of her.

Well, it's about time to go and photograph a bunch of ants. I have such a crazy job.
rebeccmeister: (Default)
Many thanks to [ profile] purpurin for this one. I just got a little present from eBay for $8.00.

The Encyclopedia of Stitchery=Deep Fried Awesome. It has lots and lots of patterns for different types of stitches for those who knit or crochet. Plus good illustrations of everything. I think I might just find something to do with the ridiculous quantities of crochet thread I inherited from my grandmother.


rebeccmeister: (Default)

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