Sunday, April 16, 2017

Oz revisited

Still procrastinating. This time I decided to knit my g'daughter some socks with the leftover 'Oz' yarn. The problem was her feet have grown. For my socks, I knit rounds of 72 stitches, for her mom rounds of 64 stitches, so I took a gamble and made g'daughter's socks rounds of 56 stitches. I also knit them as tube socks - no heel - so theoretically she will be able to wear them for years.

Pattern: Short-row toe and heel basic socks, by Wendy D. Johnson
Yarn: Simply Socks Yarn Co Poste Yarn Striping in colorway 'Oz' and Simply Sock in 'Silver Lining'
Needles: US1
Modifications: no heel

I started these socks multiple times, once before realizing there was not enough 'Oz' yarn for a full pair, then several times as I tried to knit helical stripes, first with 'Silver Lining' then with 'Natural', but neither worked for me. Finally I settled on bands of rainbows interspersed with bands of 'Silver Lining'.

They are a trifle large, but I anticipate g'daughter will continue to grow. Children tend to do that, ya know.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Procrastination hat

I have several large knitting projects to wrap up, so of course I started something new, something fun, something quick. Think of it as a palate cleanser.

Pattern: Great Horned Hooter, by Valerie Johnson
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash, in 893 'Ruby' and in 871 'White'
Needles: US6 for ribbing, US7 for rest
Modifications: Used worsted instead of DK yarn, consequently upped the needle size, used two needle sizes, added a half inch of depth

My Fair Isle leaves a lot to be desired, but I do enjoy watching the image emerge.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Oz socks

I really love the base and the colorways of the self-striping Poste yarn created by Simply Sock Yarn Co. My craft room includes a fair number of fancy sock knitting books, but lately I just let the yarn do the talking via a plain vanilla toe-up pattern. Easy peasy.

Pattern: Short-row toe and heel basic socks, by Wendy D. Johnson
Yarn: Simply Sock Yarn Co Poste Yarn Striping, in 'Oz' and Simply Sock in 'Silver Lining'
Needles: US1
Modifications: none to speak of

I favor primary colors, so these rainbow stripes are eye candy to me. Sometimes my camera does not pick up the different colors of self-striping yarn very well, so I tried a different background and a close up. Must work on my photo skills.

Today may be the last day (fingers crossed) of wool sock weather. We didn't have much of a winter, so the hand knitted sock collection didn't get its usual workout. Still, I'm ready for spring.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Don't get too excited

As I've said before, my sewing skills are minimal, but I do find sewing by hand to be somewhat relaxing. "Somewhat" because of that lack of skill. Who takes three yards of thread to sew on three tiny buttons? Moi.

This little bear kit was purchased from the face painting lady who pops up at most of the local farmers markets. I thought it would be simple enough for my 6-year-old granddaughter to manage, but that was overly optimistic of me. She came across the kit recently and begged me to complete it. G'daughter has the pukes today, so I hope this gift will cheer her up.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Baby's got a brand new bag

I'm not much of a seamstress, but I figured I could sew the output from learning to weave on a triangle loom. Besides, I planned to felt the bag, so expected any "quirks" to be hidden. And that is what happened.

I used what I guess is called a running stitch to join two pairs of triangles to form the front and back of the bag. I wanted something relatively invisible so the fabric would not look pieced. And that is what I got (after felting).

To join the back and front, I used blanket stitch on three sides. For the flap, I'm guessing the stitch I used is called overcast. Across the purse opening, single crochet provides reinforcement. Fringe finishes off the flap; in retrospect, I should have left the fringe longer. Five-stitch i-cord became the strap.

I haven't felted much, but I remembered enough to put the purse in a mesh bag. Then I tossed it in with the regular laundry, intending to check on it after five minutes of agitation. I forgot all about it, so it went through the whole cold water wash cycle.

I half expected the result to be doll-sized. While the loom is ostensibly 8" on a side (okay, on two sides - the "top" is longer), the material contracts to about 7" when it comes off the loom. After my lackadaisical felting, the purse is about 6" on a side. Perfect for a six-year-old, me thinks.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Doggy couture

Weaving on a triangle loom is fast and easy. Doing something with the resulting triangles - not so much. A logical project seems to be dog scarves, but then one must figure out how best to attach the triangle to the dog in a canine friendly way.

This denim scarf in Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky was an experiment in trying out a different yarn weight on the 8" triangle loom. The fabric tends to be a bit dense, but otherwise chunky is an option. I picked up stitches along the "top" of the triangle, used a knitted cast on to add straps to either side of the triangle, then knit back and forth enough to have a strap of sorts. (Suspended bind off.)

A bit short, so I made sure the next one, in i-cord, was much longer.

This scarf is in the mystery yarn from class, which is a "heavy" worsted (aran?) On the loom, the weave looks rather open, less so when it comes off the loom, then even less so once soaked and blocked (and I use "blocked" rather loosely in this instance). The strap is 3-stitch i-cord, which is a bit tedious to knit, but definitely one solution for tying a scarf on a dog.

My daughter is the one who likes to dress up her dogs in bandannas, so I am going to let her product test these versions. There is another scarf in progress, which I hope to get to work with a D-ring closure. We'll see how that turns out.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Big Watson Sweater

Dogs have weird bodies, yet we try to design sweaters for them that are based on sweaters for four-leggeds. And every dog body is different, so patterns invariably don't quite work. In these parts, it does get cold occasionally (although lately at unseemly times, like NOW), so those of us with short-haired dogs persist.

Pattern: Big Penny Sweater, by Corrinne Niessner.
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky, in "Denim"
Needles: US10.5
Modifications: see below

Watson is a medium-sized dog, but the medium fleece jacket I bought for him, while long enough, does not go around him very completely, as he has a deep chest. So I knew I would have to make at least some modifications to the pattern. I started by mixing and matching the stitch counts for both sizes in the pattern, going for the smaller number for length and the larger for girth.

And yet I still had to add inches to the girth while extending the back and also ending the main part of the body soon enough so that he doesn't pee on it. I didn't seam the top inch or so, as it is too bulky with his collars. My plan to reinforce the leg holes also had to be abandoned, as the holes are a bit snug and misaligned.

At some point I will probably custom design a sweater for him, but since winter is almost over (DESPITE THE SNOW FALLING FROM THE SKY TODAY), I will postpone that project.