Thursday, December 22, 2011

Plans for 2012

Wow, I sucked at contributing to this at the end of the year.

I'd like to do better in 2012 and use this, along with Ravelry, of a record of all my knitting plans, swaps, projects finished and frogged, and anything else I can think of.

So where do I stand at this point?

1. I've signed up on the CPA stashdown thread on Ravelry. My primary commitment is that I will not spend money on yarn at least until the end of June. I'm allowed to use gift certificates (such as ones claimed in a swap); I'm allowed to participate in swaps (yes, that will involve some postage expense, but that's minor). The ONE exception to the buying ban is if I find more skeins to complete my Bugga motherboard. I'm always allowed to buy them. BUT only one of any color.

2. I've signed up for the favorite colors swap, which is due to ship no later than 31 Jan. (Cyclical Swaps Rav group)

3. I want to participate in all the SG KALs that are anticipated to be held during the year. There are 4 in Q1. (SG Rav group)

4. I want to participate in the Socktopus KAL, to knit one pattern from the book each month. (Socktopus Rav group)

5. I'll run a Dexter-themed swap in early Q1. (Dexter Rav group)

6. I'll run a STCW KAL from mid-Jan to end of Feb. (STCW Rav group)

7. I'll finish the UFOs that are on the needles. There aren't many, so I should be able to finish them. First on the list is the Fronkensteek KAL that I totally flaked on (CPA KAL Rav group).

Sounds good! Over the next few days I'll not what gift certificates I have a what shops, list out what projects I've already got in my for 2012, and any other little housekeeping things that strike me.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Confessions of a Bugga!-holic

Hi. My name is Beth, and I'm a Bugga!-olic.
Bugga! is a wonderful merino/cashmere/nylon yarn from The Sanguine Gryphon. There have been over 175 colorways over the past years that it's been on the market. Over the past month, I've been on a crazy binge attempting to collect as many as possible.

This is my current stash of Bugga! goodness.

There are about 60 colorways. Most colors have only one skein but there are multiples in others.

There are 4 more skeins on the way from pending transactions.

I really really need to stop. BUT... I love them all. And I want MOAR YARNZZZZZZZ!!!!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Crocheted Baskets

Post is a work in progress. Whatever doesn't look finished will be finalized soon.

I bought way more cotton for that bathmat than I needed, so I've been using it to make some bathroom accessories. So far, I made some little facial cleaning cloths, a body puff, and a bath mitt. Steven particularly liked the puff, so I'm working on a second one so that they can each have their own.

I was looking on Ravelry for something else to make and found a number of containers. I thought I'd take my own stab at designing something. I wrote these out after I did the pieces, so I have not doubt the instructions are wonky. But it should be easy enough to tweak here and there as needed.

After I made them, I found I liked them better when turned down at the triple crochet rows... that makes them more like what I had originally envisioned.

Ivy League Basket Set

Tools and Materials
Peaches and Creme in colorway Ivy League
Size H crochet hook
Tapestry needle

st - stitch
slst - slip stitch
ch - chain
sc - single crochet
scd - single crochet decrease
dc - double crochet
dcd - double crochet decrease

Large Basket
Round 1: Using magic loop, ch 2 (counts as first dc) then 11 dc into the loop. Join to beginning ch with a slst; pull loop tight. (12 st)
Round 2: Ch 2. 2 dc in each stitch around, join with a slst. (24 st)
Round 3: Ch 2. *1 dc in next st, 2dc in next. Repeat from * around, join with a slst. (36 st)
Round 4: Ch 2. *1 dc in next 2 st, 2 dc in next. Repeat from * around, join with a slst. (48 st)
Round 5: Ch 2. *1 dc in next 3 st, 2 dc in next. Repeat from * around, join with a slst. (60 st)
Round 6: Ch 2. *1 dc in next 4 st, 2 dc in next. Repeat from * around, join with a slst. (72 st)
Round 7: Ch 2. Working in back of st, *1 dc in next 4 st, 1 dcd. Repeat from * around, join with a slst. (60 st)
Round 8: Ch 2. 1 dc in each st around, join with a slst. (60 st)
Round 9: Ch 1. 1 sc in each st around, join with a slst. (60 st)
Round 10: Ch 3. 1 tc in each st around, join with a slst. (60 st)
Round 11: Ch 1. *1 sc in next 3 st, 1 scd. Repeat from * around, join with a slst. (48 st)
Round 12: Ch 3, sc in same st, *1 sc in next 3 st. Repeat from * around, join with a slst.
End yarn, weave in ends.

Medium basket
Follow first 5 rounds of large basket.
Round 6: Ch 2. Working in back of st, *1 dc in next 3 st, 1 dcd. Repeat from * around, join with a slst. (48 st)
Round 7: Ch 2. 1 dc in each st around, join with a slst. (48 st)
Round 8: Ch 1. 1 sc in each st around, join with a slst. (48 st)
Round 9: Ch 3. 1 tc in each st around, join with a slst. (48 st)
Round 10: Ch 1. *1 sc in next 2 st, 1 scd. Repeat from * around, join with a slst. (36 st)
Round 11: Ch 3, sc in same st, *1 sc in next 2 st. Repeat from * around, join with a slst.
End yarn, weave in ends.

Small basket
Follow first 4 rounds of large basket.
Round 5: Ch 2. Working in back of st, *1 dc in next 2 st, 1 dcd. Repeat from * around, join with a slst. (36 st)
Round 6: Ch 2. 1 dc in each st around, join with a slst. (36 st)
Round 7: Ch 1. 1 sc in each st around, join with a slst. (36 st)
Round 8: Ch 3. 1 tc in each st around, join with a slst. (36 st)
Round 9: Ch 1. *1 sc in next st, 1 scd. Repeat from * around, join with a slst. (24 st)
Round 10: Ch 3, sc in same st, *1 sc in next 2 st. Repeat from * around, join with a slst.
End yarn, weave in ends.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bathmat for New Apartment

My older son is leaving me. For good. This Friday, he's moving into his own apartment, and I'm so happy for him! I'm making him a bathmat in colors to match his towels. I couldn't find a pattern I like, so I'm just going with all garter stitch on big needles to make it go fast.

Ivy League Bathmat

1040 yds (590g) Peaches & Creme 100% cotton in colorway Ivy League
Size 10-1/2 circular needles
Size K crochet hook
Tapestry needle

Cast on 75 sts.
Knit all rows (garter stitch) until 52 garter ridges are complete.

Cast off until 1 st remains on right needle. Switch to size K crochet hook.

Create edging by making 3 single crochet (SC) sts in each corner and 1 SC in each stitch along long edges and each garter ridge along short edges.

Secure last stitch; weave in ends.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Temple Fat Cat

A friend of mine has asked me to make a Fat Cat in red and white for her daughter, who will be attending Temple University in the fall. Since I am not a fan of sewing seams, I altered the pattern to knit it in the round. Here's what I did.

Main Color (MC): Red Heart Super Saver, Cherry Red
Contrast Color (CC): Red Heart Super Saver, White
Scraps of black and pink yarn

Size 9 needles (circulars and double points both useful for this project)
Size F crochet hook

I didn't bother.

Stripe Pattern
Knit 9 rows in MC, knit 9 rows in CC

Cast on 102 sts. Join, being careful not to twist.
Rd 1 - 9: K102 MC
Rd 10 - 18: K102 CC
Rd 19 - 27: K102 MC
Rd 28 - 36: K102 CC
Rd 37 - 45: K102 MC
Rd 46: (SSK K30 K2tog) around CC (96 sts)
Rd 47 -49: K96 CC
Rd 50: (SSK K28 K2tog) around CC (90 sts)
Rd 51 - 53: K90 CC
Rd 54: (SSK K26 K2tog) around CC (84 sts)
Rd 55 - 57: K84 MC
Rd 58: (SSK K24 K2tog) around MC (78 sts)
Rd 59 - 61: K78 MC
Rd 62: (SSK K22 K2tog) around MC (72 sts)
Rd 63: K72 around MC
Rd 64 - 65: K72 around CC
Rd 66: (SSK K20 K2tog) around CC (66 sts)
Rd 67: K66 CC
Rd 68: (SSK K18 K2tog) around CC (60 sts)
Rd 69: K60 CC
Rd 70: (SSK K16 K2tog) around CC (54 sts)
Rd 71: K54 CC
Rd 72: (SSK K14 K2tog) around CC (48 sts)
Rd 73: K48 MC
Rd 74: (SSK K12 K2tog) around MC (42 sts)
Rd 75: K42 MC
Rd 76: (SSK K10 K2tog) around MC (36 sts)
Rd 77: (SSK K8 K2tog) around MC (30 sts)
Rd 78: (SSK K6 K2tog) around MC (24 sts)
Rd 79: (SSK K4 K2tog) around MC (18 sts)
Rd 80: (SSK K2 K2tog) around MC (6 sts)
Rd 81: (SSK K2tog) around MC (6 sts)
Rd 82: (K2tog) around MC (3 sts)

Ears (make 2 of each color)
Cast on 10 sts.
Work stockinette stitch (knit 1 row, purl 1 row) for 8 rows.
Dec 1 st each end of next and every following alt row to 2 sts.
Last row: P2tog. Fasten off.
With WS facing each other, sew Ear made with MC to Ear made with CC.

With pair of double-pointed needles and MC, cast on 4 sts.
1st rnd: Inc 1 st in each st to end of row. Divide these 8 sts onto 3 needles.
Join in rnd, placing marker on first st.
2nd and alt rnds: Knit.
3rd rnd: *Inc 1 st in next st. Rep from * around. 16 sts.
5th rnd: *Inc 1 st in next st. K1. Rep from * around. 24 sts.
7th rnd: *Inc 1 st in next st. K2. Rep from * around. 32 sts.
9th rnd: *Inc 1 st in next st. K3. Rep from * around. 40 sts.
Cont in this manner to 104 sts, transferring sts onto circular needle when necessary. Cast off.

I crocheted the eyes and nose and backstitched the mouth and whiskers. I think he's rather adorable!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lookit Me... I iz a designer!

I uploaded the two little pet blanket patterns that I posted earlier (here and here) to Ravelry (here and here). As a result (after I requested them to), they linked my Rav account to my designs. Therefore, I am now officially in Rav's designer database.

Check me out!

Who knows? Maybe I will be daring and design a hat next!

Although, honestly, I feel overglorifying to call it designing. I'm just adapting stitches and techniques that have been developed long before I came along.

But I'll "struggle" with being called a knitwear designer. :) Could be worse.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Using up stash

I finished another little blanket animal blanky yesterday. Yay! I'm intending to donate to LV Pints 'n Purls for the charity knitting we've been doing for local animal shelters. Problem is, I only have until next Tuesday to hand it in, and I don't know that I'll get it handed in on time. If I don't, I'll either keep it and let one of my own awesome kitties use it or I'll donate to a shelter myself.

Here's the pattern; I found this stitch browsing through my copy of The Harmony Guide to Knitting Stitches. And I got to use up more of the Babysoft Solid that I've had in stash for years. Good stuff!

Little Checked Blanket

650 yds Lion Brand Babysoft Solid, in Bluebell, held double throughout
Size 13 circular needle

Gauge: I didn't even bother with gauge on this one... it's a little blanky!

Finished size: 25 in x 26 in

K = knit
P = purl
rep = repeat

NOTE: Yarn is held double for this project.

Cast on 76 sts.
Row 1 - 4: *K4, P4, rep from * to end.
Row 5 - 8: *P4, K3, rep from & to end.

Repeat these 8 rows 12 times. Bind off. End yarn. Weave in ends.

Needless to say, this finished size of this can be easily adjusted by adding additional pattern repeats per row (multiples of 8).

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bohemian Rhapsody!

No, I haven't started cleaning yet, thanks for asking. Instead, I've been browsing some forums (fora?) on Ravelry and found one or two things I wanna post here.

First, a funny:

Second, one of coolest things I've ever seen. I wanna learn how to sing like this!

No Snow, But Rain

Well, my historic two-day-in-a-row posting earlier this week didn't result in snow. We are, though, now facing a number of days of rain. I can live with that.

I finished my Wicket vest... yay! So now I'm full force on my Spring socks. To be honest, I'm not crazy over the pattern. It's a 6-st, 4-row repeat, so it's not complicated, but it involves a lot of YOs, and some are YO clockwise and some are YO counter-clockwise, and there are SSKs and K2togs that have to be kept straight. I'm glad I'm using a variegated yarn because I'm sure I'm not being consistent... with a solid yarn it would show!

I also signed up for a KAL for the Barton sweater. The designer is going to lead classes on various techniques, so it seemed like a no-brainer to me. I order some relatively inexpensive wool (the cost is just under $40) in Forest Heather. The suggested yarn for the pattern costs something like $25 for 2 oz!

Today's goal is to clean my room. It's a mess, and I've let it go way too long. So I'm off to get started. Woo hoo!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Two Days in a Row... Hope It Doesn't Snow!

Who knows what karmic havoc my posting on two consecutive days might cause! Come to think of it, if there is any karmic havoc going on over this, we are in a lot of trouble. Sheesh!

I worked on the Encore Baby Cardi last night. Ugh, do I hate the finishing work that projects need to look really complete. (Yeah, it's called finishing work for a reason, right?)
  • I wish I'd done the buttonholes differently. The pattern called for simple YO, K2tog. That definitely creates a hole, but it's not stable and not at all pretty. I should have thought to do something more elegant. So now I'm working blanket stitch around the holes, but OMG it's boring and causes even more ends to be woven in. Gah! I got 2 of 4 buttonholes finished.

  • I decided on the buttons I'll use. Pattern calls for 1" buttons... how the heck big are the holes they wound up with? The buttons I'll be using are only 5/8". Granted, the hole comes together a bit with the blanket stitching, but even without, there's no way a 1" button was going through. Doesn't matter; I have more than enough buttons to choose from. But you know what? When you sew on a button, you get another end to be woven in. UGH!! I got one button sewn on.

  • For some crazy reason, the two fronts don't line up. That is, if I match the bottom edges, one of the top edges is a bit short. Argh! I guess I must have lost track of row counting somewhere and have a couple more rows on one side than the other. I'm hoping I can fudge that with the button placement.

Why isn't this sweater done yet? ::whine::

On the plus side, I picked up the Wicket vest this morning. This is a test knit that I'm working, and I had some problems understanding the pattern. I'd posted my question on Sunday and so had put it aside for a bit. Today, I looked at the pattern again and had no problem understanding it. I guess I overthought the instructions and got myself all confused; by just going with the directions and trusting that I'd done things correctly so far, it was easy-peasy to move ahead. I finished the left side of the front; all that remains is the front right side, the neckline ribbing, the armhole ribbing, and sewing the side seams. My goal is to complete it this evening. Yay!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Whaddya Mean, It's May?

So where did the past 3 weeks go? I have no idea... zipped by like, um, a really fast thing passing by me. Easter's over, Mother's Day has passed, and we're well on our way to Memorial Day. I was going to put in some words about my weight issues making me not look forward to summer, but this is my knitting blog, so belay that, and let's talk yarn!

Today has been an excellent yarn day. My bestest yarn buddy, Mad Science Yarns herself, gave me some yarn today. Yes... gave me some yarn. And not just any yarn. Super scrumptious gorgeous yarn. Two skeins, no less! One is some Munchkin Knitworks Fingerpaints sock in Purpleberry; the other is Mad Science Beryllium in a colorway I'm calling "Spring Fantasy" (sorry no photo yet on that one!). They're both lovely, but seriously, I want to cuddle and hug the Beryllium and sleep with it at night. I'm going to use it for a pair of socks called Spring that I'm doing as a test knit. They are going to be gorgeous, and you are going to be jealous of them! And all she wants in return is for me to buy her dinner a couple times at our Monday night Pints 'n Purls gatherings. That is a done deal!

I have a few projects on the needles right now.

  • A baby sweater vest called Wicket (a test knit)

  • A baby sweater that I started cause I've been dying to see how the yarn knits up and I couldn't think of anything else I wanted to knit

  • The aforementioned Spring socks

  • A blanket out of some old acrylic to be donated to a local animal shelter

I've also committed to doing a few projects for friends, including a Fat Cat in Temple colors (cherry red and white) and one or two Steampunk petal chokers.

Happy knitting!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Internetz, forgive me for I have sinned...

It has been over a month since my last blog post...

And I have no excuse other than I just haven't taken the time to update.

I've done a lot of knitting, went to a number of knit nights, and got a number of projects complete. Woo hoo!

I knitted a little blanky yesterday to donate to the LV Pints 'n Purls charity knitting for animals in May. Washable fiber required, so I used some acrylic from stash. Here's the pattern; stitch is the Stocking Stitch Triangles from The Harmony Guide to Knitting Stitches.

Little Blanky

198 yds Loops & Threads Snuggle Wuggly Baby Sport, in Soft Yellow
Size 8 circular needle
Crochet hook size F

Gauge: I didn't even bother with gauge on this one... it's a little blanky!

Finished size: 13 in x 16-1/2 in

K = knit
P = purl
rep = repeat
SC = single crochet

Cast on 70 sts.
Row 1 [right side]: K across.
Row 2: *K1, P4, rep from * to end.
Row 3: *K3, P2, rep from * to end.
Row 4: Rep row 3.
Row 5: Rep row 2.
Row 6: Rep row 1.

Repeat these 6 rows 19 times. Bind off. Crochet a SC border around, putting 4 SC in each corner. End yarn. Weave in ends.

Needless to say, this finished size of this can be easily adjusted by adding additional pattern repeats per row (muli

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Another Rainy Day in March

Wow, it's raining again. Quelle suprise.

On the other hand, it's Thursday, so that counts for something. And I got a free hibachi lunch, and I'm currently enjoying a Starbucks caramel macchiato and a piece of pumpkin cheesecake. I have no right to complain about anything.

The other day I felt like I was between projects, but I've managed to fill up the needles again. Currently cast on are

  • Mardi Gras Chat. I cast him on last night: a nice big fat kitty cat that I'm striping in Mardi Gras purple, gold, and green. I'll probably rename him "Mardi Gras Fat Cat" since, well, I'm not knitting a chat, I'm knitting un chat.
  • Corny Menswear Socks. This is not my first time at the sock rodeo, but it's my first using magic loop and doing two at a time. And it's with very splitty yarn on size 1s. I'm guessing that once I get past the the toes I'll be good; I just have to get there. On the other hand, I bought this yarn in 2007 with the intention of making myself a pair of socks, and the time is now!
  • March 2011 Mystery KAL project. Not sure if this is going to turn out. I'm definitely off gauge (I measure 2-3/4 inches where by gauge I should measure 3 inches). Plus I found out what it's going to be (although I won't tell here!), and I'm meh. But for now I'm up to date with the clues, so I can let it rest until next Tuesday when the next clue is posted.
  • Padraig Cap. This is pattern testing. It's off the needles now. There is some pick-up knitting to be done and then assembly (building out the brim, etc.) and blocking. Also, I want to write up my suggestions for wording improvement and get that to the designer. My goal is to have cap and feedback complete by end of the weekend at the very latest; end of Saturday would be better.
  • Pesto Dotty Bag. This is another pattern test. I'm about half done and so far don't have any suggestions for improving the pattern; the designer's done a good job writing it up. It's a cute little bag, although there are two things slowing my progress:
    1. The 16" circular I'm using is too small; the 32" I also own is too big. I need a 20"!
    2. Every other row is K1P1 (or P1K1)... slow going! But the overall pattern is lovely.
  • Shamrock with bling, which is just a silly little pattern for a Ravelry contest. The shamrock itself is knitted; I just have to "bling it up" and submit my entry. I'll probably just sew in some of the seed beads I have from Mom's counted cross stitch supplies. (postjack/ Why do I still think of things as Mom's? She's been gone for 5-1/2 years. If it's in my house, it's mine. I know that, but why don't I know it? /postjack)

Most of these are close to done, so I'll have to be on the lookout for my next projects. There was a lovely cardigan in the Spring 2011 issue of Interweave Knits that caught my eye. Also, I know I have a lot of favorites on Rav I can contemplate. Counting Crows sweater? Easter eggs? Catfish? So many possibilites... fun, fun, fun!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Going Through Patterns

Today has been a good day going through all my knitting magazines, booklets, loose patterns, etc. This is a very long-overdue effort.

Ravelry is awesome because most of what I have is already cataloged there; all I have to do is search for the title, click a little plus sign, and POOF! the thing shows up in my library. Then everything is cross-referenced to groups, other Ravelers' work, and other areas of the website. Awesomeness in a big fat shiny bottle!

Other stuff I have in the magazine pile is a ton of pattern pages printed from the intarwebs over the past couple years. If I've knitted the piece, I add it to my Projects list; if not, I look the pattern up in the Ravelry database and add it to my Favorites. Then I can recycle and get rid of all that paper. W00t!

What Ravelry doesn't seem to have is a place to makes notes, store links to web pages, etc. I'll use this blog in part for that; more to come!

ETA: I've created pages! One for "Links I Like," one for "Library," and one for "Random Patterns." Between this and Rav, I'm going to be so organized I squeak.

ETA 2: SQUEEEEEEEEE!!! I found Mom's Christmas stocking pattern. That makes me happier than a very happy happy person. I've transcribed it to the Random Patterns page.

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