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Tag Archive | knitting

Horseshoe Cable Scarf Surprise

I’ve been wanting to tackle a new version of cable – and have seen the horseshoe cable popping up on all sorts of nerdy knits – most specifically those related to Twilight. They are featured on hats and mittens Bella wears in the first movie.

Horseshoe Cable

Horseshoe Cable Example

But I’ve done my fill of hats recently, and haven’t yet ventured out into the world of DPNs successfully, so at this juncture my only option to test out the horseshoe cable is on a scarf.

Unfortunately – there were slim pickings for patterns and the ones featured were not to my liking. What I envisioned was/is a cross between the Irish Hiking Scarf and the simple single horseshoe cable scarf featured here. Something with clear dividers between the cables – and probably more than one column of cables as well.

So, I’ve written my own pattern in order to address the serious lack of horseshoe cable scarf. It’s really rather easy, and kind of surprising that no one has put it all together before.

Here it goes:

Size 8 needles

Cable needle

Worsted Weight Yarn/10 ply (9 wpi) = approximately 350 yards

Special Stitches:

6-st RC (3 over 3 right cross) Sl 3 sts to cable needle and hold in back, k3, then k3 from cable needle.

6-st LC (3 over 3 left cross) Sl 3 sts to cable needle and hold in front, k3, then k3 from cable needle.

Cast on 42 stitches.

Knit 2 rows.

Row 1 (RS): p2, k2, p2, k12, p2, k2, p2, k12, p2, k2, p2

Row 2: k2, p2, k2, p12, k2, p2, k2, p12, k2, p2, k2

Row 3: p2, k2, p2, 6-st RC, 6-st LC, p2, k2, p2, 6-st RC, 6-st LC, p2, k2, p2

Row 4: k2, p2, k2, p12, k2, p2, k2, p12, k2, p2, k2

Row 5: p2, k2, p2, k12, p2, k2, p2, k12, p2, k2, p2

Row  6: k2, p2, k2, p12, k2, p2, k2, p12, k2, p2, k2

Row 7: p2, k2, p2, 6-st RC, 6-st LC, p2, k2, p2, 6-st RC, 6-st LC, p2, k2, p2

Row 8: k2, p2, k2, p12, k2, p2, k2, p12, k2, p2, k2

Rep rows 1-8 until piece reaches desired length.

Knit two rows.

Bind off.

Here is the finished product:

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Jayne Cobb Hat: Installment One

My work and non-work life have been rather busy the last few days but I’ve also managed to successfully undertake what, for me, has been a rather complex knitting project.

The Jayne Cobb Hat.

Adam Baldwin proudly models the original

It should all be so easy. The hat itself isn’t exactly a paragon of difficulty. There are several well made patterns out there on the internets ripe for the picking. I just need the right yarn and tools. One out of two ain’t bad, right?

I went with one of the Jayne Hat recipients – the DH Dan – last weekend to pick out the yarn. And we got the wrong weight. And the colors are a bit off (but actually look quite fantastic together). It’s like a fall in the Pacific Northwest version of the Jayne hat. Which might actually look much sexier than the intention of the original.

Unfortunately in the knitting world, if you don’t follow the pattern exactly, you have to adjust and swatch and do math…all of which I am really quite opposed to. My answer is to eyeball it, knit something up, then find out it’s wrong, rip it all out and start over again. Ugh.

Which leaves me with my present predicament.

Jayne Hat w/o Earflaps

This is my third attempt at the Jayne Hat. It’s supposed to be for my DH, but it’s really only going to make it on my head. Which is fine. I think I’m going to make a stop by our LYS this weekend and snag some really amazing yarn in the right (bulky) weight and follow the advice/practices in this here Youtube video:

And this basic pattern – though I won’t be knitting with two strands held together once I’ve secured the right weight.

At the moment, the plan is to finish off the current Jayne hat incarnation and wear it for myself. It was intended for Dan’s head, but I don’t think my needles are going to support that. Probably gonna have to pick up some new needles as well.

Earflaps are tough for me. After a traumatic attempt at them on a hat for my niece…I haven’t tried them again. Apparently I have some weird emotional and mental block against them. It’s going to take some strong coaxing but once I get the skillz practiced, I think this will make a good starter hat for many more Jayne attempts to come.

Feeling kinda lame that I devoted my whole weekend (when I wasn’t at a baseball game, book-club meeting, house-cleaning or visiting with family) to this creation and still didn’t manage to get anything finished. Hmph.

Hopefully I’ll be able to update with the finished object this weekend.

LINK LOVE

In the interim, check out these articles I scouted about Joss Whedon related crafts, including an interview he did with a crochet website.

CrochetMe article on Whedon Craft

CrochetMe interview with Joss Whedon

Other Joss Whedon related crafts

JAYNE HAT PATTERNS GALORE

Pattern One

Pattern Two

Pattern Three

Bad Blogging and Other Assorted Crap

YES: I realize I’ve been a terrible blogger lately. Can I just blame it all on my new job? Basically I’ve gained the much coveted (in my world anyway) mantle of AmeriCorps Program Coordinator but it comes at the cost of tackling two programs. Which used to be staffed and supported by like 5 people. So here’s me…on the raggedy edge for the next 12 months.

So please, bear with me. I promise that I’ll post content very soon, but it’ll probably be sporadic the next month due to hosting multiple day orientations in the next three weeks. And settling into another office. And trying not to go stark raving mad.

BUT: I can promise you more content regarding the Phoenix tattoo (another appointment on the 11th!) AND the aforementioned post comparing the Lizbeths of the World (going to see Eat, Pray, Love this weekend). Probably some True Blood Season 3 wrap-up in there somewhere. Not to mention gurglings about some of my favorite TV shows right now…

October will feature a Wordstock wrap-up and lots of posts regarding the extravaganza known as Halloween (The Walking Dead TV series!).

November is the Portland Comic Book Show, Harry Potter and Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood.

ALSO: I’m applying for a MLIS program this year, which will hopefully start up in August. For those not in the know, an MLIS is a Master’s in Library and Information Science. I’ll probably update snippets here and there on ye old blog regarding that process.

ALSO: Expect to see a few knitting posts cropping up. I promise only appropriately themed nerd projects (Jayne Hats and HP scarves in the future).

RIGHT NOW: Emerald City Comic Con 2011 tix are on-sale today. I’m reserving mine immediately. I’m also clearing out my calendar. No, seriously. And there’s a kick-ass hotel 6 blocks from the convention center with free parking and wireless. It’s $59 a night, which is pretty comparable to what we ended up paying at a crappy Motel 6 two years ago. The hotel looks kinda skeevy, but oh well. I don’t plan on spending much time there!

Stumptown Comics Fest posted their dates already. April 16 and 17. They’ve also decided to wear big boy pants and move to the Convention Center. Read all about it here.

I feel like such a proud nerd right now – seeing my Pacific NW comic book scene pull its shit together so early. It is keeping me from going balls-out-crazy with work stress.

That – and the Assassin’s Creed II expansion packs (Bonfire of the Vanities, Battle of Forli) we purchased a few days ago.

Please, have patience with my slothenly ways. I’ll come back in full force pretty soon. Just need some space to catch my breath!

Antlers Scarf: Finished!

Whew – this little beastie took me 31 days total to complete. It was set aside at least twice for other knitting projects, and ripped completely to start over again exactly once.

New Skill Gained

Knitting Patience – this was by far the most time consuming of my projects since delving into knitting this year. Was it worth all the heart-ache? I think so. The pattern is quite intricate and there’s only a few places on the scarf where I look at it and ponder just WTF happened.

But, judge for yourself whether all that time, energy and hard work equals success.

Picture Fun Time

Happy Scarf Face

No really, look at the cool design

Jabba is visibly uncomfortable with how sexy this scarf looks

Up Next

Cupcake hat pattern purchased from Purple Goddess Design – come on, you remember this one. And you better think it’s cool because I actually paid $ for the pattern.

Cupcake for Kennedy

Frustrated with my lack of progress on any knitted related items last week, I broke down and started a project I’ve been ogling for the last month or so – a cupcake hat for my niece, Kennedy.

It also helped that Craft Warehouse was selling Vanna’s Choice for $2 a skein, and they had the perfect cupcake colors…which I’ve been scouting since I found the pattern. Well, I thought they were the perfect cupcake colors, anyway.

The pattern is actually deceptively easy – k2p2 ribbing for a few inches, then cast on your frosting color, knit for about 4-5 inches, decrease, bind off – make your cherry red pom pom and attach. I used size 8 circular needles (16″).

The hardest part for me was figuring how to add another color – something I’ve done before (like, five freaking years ago), but the visual effect of those first attempts left something to be desired. It was actually quite easy to add the color on the circular using this tutorial:

Knitting Tips by Judy is an awesome tutorial video series and she’s been my go-to for awhile with any really difficult projects.

Unfortunately – the outcome of the hat has left something to be desired. I love the color for the cupcake bottom, but the top frosting color just doesn’t work…especially with the cherry pom on top. The pom needs to be cut down a little more.

Cupcake or breast? Is there really a difference?

And the whole thing just looks like a breast to me. Less so when it’s on someone’s head…but I’m not really seeing “cupcake” here. There are a few other Free patterns on Ravelry which add a bit of a fringe where the cupcake bottom and top are joined, so I might try that. Unfortunately, the only pattern available is done with some kind of machine knitting. It might be up to me to figure out the fringe. Here’s an example:

 

My absolute favorite cupcake pattern is still in the test-knitting phase, but will eventually be published on this website.

This pattern will be the one I use for Kennedy’s hat. How can you not love the little bumps of frosting?

 

So, she might have to wait a bit to get the finished object, but it will be worth it if I can get my hands on a decent pattern! In the interim, I might whip up another – lamer cupcake hat which will actually fit Kennedy. This first one is WAY too big. Probably cast on 50 stitches instead of 80. And think it’s going to be a chocolate with a different colored frosting. 🙂 This is a great stash busting project, btw!

Shutter Island and Stalled Progress

Stalled Progress

*For the Movie Review – Jump to the “See More” Link*

Things aren’t going so well in knitting land. After accomplishing a series of successful and inspiring projects, my resolve has sputtered out.

The Antlers scarf, while a gorgeous pattern – is a time consuming and lengthy project which I find myself often dreading, as well as losing attention and patience with. Especially since I had to rip out the entire thing last Saturday and start entirely over. It’s been knit up to a little past the point where I had to rip it out, and then been stalled there for the last three days.

I’d like to get started on a pair of Staghorn mittens, but that means grappling with a skill I’ve been avoiding – double-pointed needles. I honestly attempted it last weekend – even went so far as purchasing a pair and cracking open several video and written/picture tutorials.

Probably didn’t help that I was on cold medicine at the time. Cold medicine and knitting anything new and/or complex are not happy friends.

So, the plan is now to finish up this damned scarf and really hunker down with the double-pointed needles. Unfortunately, unless the tutorials somehow manage to work miraculous miracles, it seems that I might have to bring in the big guns – a knitting tutor.

As we are gifted with a wealth of yarn shops here in Portland – it shouldn’t be hard to find a yarn teacher, right? That’s my hope. I’ll be calling around to shops on Monday to see if there are:

a.) Specific classes aimed at learning how to use double-pointed needles

b.) Someone who would teach me…for a reasonable price.

There will be updates sometime later this week when I either complete the Antler scarf (please) or have some success with the double-pointed needles. One or the other has to be a motivating factor, right?

Read More…

Antlers and the Wolfman

The next project is going to be an Antlers scarf, which can only be found in the pattern book Son of Stitch n Bitch, which I checked out from the library for an entirely different pattern, but ended up falling in love with the scarf. I knew I wanted to tackle the antler cables, and since my next project is going to be Staghorn Fingerless Mitts, it seemed appropriate.

The process has been nearly painless so far – aside from my own errors, which I’ve been able to frog and fix before they got out of hand. Not really loving the cables on either end, and probably wouldn’t have knitted the first four rows, as it has made the bottom of the scarf bow out in a weird shape.

Notice the curling at the ends

The cables do make the scarf seem a bit froofy. And I feel like it’s not nearly wide enough – the cables certainly make it seem smaller. So, while I like the effect of the antlers, there are already things I would go back and change.

The Wolfman

Rawr.

This was easily one of the worst movies I’ve seen in awhile. Yeah, I’m starting out like that. Honestly, it should be ridiculously easy to make a decent movie about werewolves right now. With their popularity on the rise because of their close relationship with vampires – it’s the second best thing to actually making a movie about vampires.  Unfortunately, this film is laden with so much suck, it hardly appeals to anyone in any demographic.

Visually – it’s as frenetic as a music video on speed. The repeated sequences of the moon slipping between clouds and rising/falling in fast-forward become monotonous and dull after the first five times they are shown. The shadows and fog are never creepy, as they should be in a monster movie, but rather fill up the space on the screen in a languid way which serves no function. The editing is hackneyed at best, with some of the transitions between scenes being worthy of guffaws.

The acting is equally uninspired. Anthony Hopkins fared much better in Dracula than he does here. He is simply phoning it in, hacking his way through the laughable dialogue with a machete, with no apparent grace or interest in what he’s saying. Benicio Del Toro is the most wince-worthy of all the actors in this film. Perhaps it was his crappy,  stilted accent – or perhaps it was a shocking lack of any soul in his role to grab onto. Whatever the case, he signed the contract and agreed to the crappy part, so he can take the punishment he deserves.

And The Wolfman costume? At one point my friend leaned over and whispered, “I can’t stop thinking about Teen Wolf.” Neither could I, after that. We’ve come so far in technological advances – CGI, non-shitty makeup. It’s really disappointing when bad make-up ruins the “mood” for you. Not as if this flick ever really has a “mood” outside of being unintentionally funny.

The other actors – Emily Blunt and Hugo Weaving are absolutely wasted in their roles. I didn’t even realize Blunt had a name until the very end when she pleads with Wolfman for her life, “it’s me, Gwen.” Oh yeah, old what’s-her-face. Weaving, is another forgettable name, he’s some kind of detective perhaps – but that’s never made quite clear.

Honestly – it might have literally been years since I’ve seen a movie this bad. With such obvious lack of caring on the parts of the actors, director and editors. It was so terrible, I regret giving it even this much mental attention.

Do yourself a favor, and rent An American Werewolf in London instead. It looks like there’s a remake of American Werewolf scheduled to be released in 2011. Let’s hope they don’t screw it up.

Owl Hat for Savanna

After seeing the pics of my first completed Owls hat, my friend Savanna commissioned me to make one for her. I asked her to chip in for the cost of supplies, and she graciously offered to pay me a bit more for my time. We discussed what kind of modifications or special additions she wanted, and she requested the same yarn (Wool-Ease worsted weight Blue Mist), with small black button eyes and a pom pom on top.

Excited, but nervous about tackling two unknowns (sewing items onto knitting and creating pom poms) – I procured the supplies last weekend, but wanted to finish up the Dog Sweater before I started another Owls hat.

I began constructing the hat on Friday night in a knitting party with my friend Addie, worked on it over Saturday and Sunday, and finished it up this afternoon while watching a marathon of the Dog Whisperer. I modified the pattern with six rows of purls between the initial ribbing, and six rows of purling before starting the decreases at the top.

Pom Pom Maker of Suck

In order to understand exactly how the pom poms are constructed – I watched several instructional youtube videos. Unfortunately, none of them had instructions on how to work with the Lion Brand Pom Pom Maker I’d purchased, and the pictorials on the back weren’t exactly assuring.

After opening the package and studying the makers for awhile…I determined they were not going to work for me. I would have to measure the yarn out before to wind it around, and there is no slit or opening to easily feed the yarn through. Honestly, more cumbersome than the product is worth. And this other blogger agrees with me.

Not exactly sure what I’m going to do with them at this point. They’d make nice miniature frisbees, I suppose. Instead of constructing any other products or purchasing anything else…I wrapped the yarn around my hand until I got the desired thickness – just as this video shows.

Read More…

Dog Sweater: Completed

The dog sweater is officially finished. It only took a day or two (while nursing a sick husband, mind you) to get the bottom half completed – had it nearly done last night and decided that I disliked the garter and wanted to add ribbing around the underside collar – so I had to rip it down to where I wanted the ribbing to start and knit it back up.

The result is not wholely what I wanted or expected, but seems ok for my first real clothing project. It’s pretty tight around the neck and legs, but fine around the rest of the torso, as you can see here.

Notice how his fur bulges out of the sweater

The cable and ribbing are barely discernible with the homespun, however, and that’s certainly disappointing. The flash on the camera doesn’t help  either, but all my hardwork is pretty much obliterated in the texture. Bedamned yarn!

Can you spot the cable and ribbing in this pic? Neither can I.

Ultimately – I must admit the Dog Sweater probably wasn’t going to get much use outside of satisfying my desire to knit some easy article of clothing for the pug, and entertain me with a photo session or two of him looking pestered. And on that end – mission accomplished. The damn thing is already too small, so note to self to knit up Medium sized, even if he looks too skinny. Dog bodies are quiet deceptive. And yes – I measured…but I’ve worked with homespun before and it always seems to stretch, so I wasn’t really anticipating the thing being too small, even when I knew I wasn’t knitting the full chest measurement. Well, I was wrong. I will admit it.

But if the end result is that I get one picture of Jabba dressed in an item I knitted, then it was worth all the effort.

The under-bite that drives all the old ladies wild

Dog Sweater and Food Inc

An example of the finished object

The most recent project: Need for Tweed Dog Sweater. Even though the weather is getting warmer, the Dog Mother in me needs to knit something for our puppy Jabba. He’s a seven month old Pug, which means it’s going to be a small project. That means easy, right? Well…I initially thought so. However, I set several challenges for this particular project. The first challenge – busting the stash.

The goal was to get rid of some of my stashed Homespun – it was great as a beginner yarn when I was relying on the varied coloring to do all the work for me, but since I’ve picked up more skills, this yarn simply doesn’t interest me as much as it once did. Especially since it “hides” so much of the knitting craft with it’s plumps and rolls. Boo.

It took awhile to piece together exactly how I wanted to approach this project – because the plain garter stitch seemed too drab after my success at the owl hat. I decided early on that I wanted to add cables, but I’m still not quite experienced enough with modifications to free-hand them. After much deliberation – I settled on the Kaya Cable scarf pattern to style the top half of the sweater after.

Unfortunately, I was still using the size 13 needles from the original pattern. After the first set of cables – I realized it was too loose and the cable stitch would not show up attractively (especially with the Homespun).

Swiss cheese or a dog scarf? You decide.

Sooo – late last night (while watching Food Inc) I ripped the whole thing out and started from scratch with size 10 needles. And it was smooth sailing from there on out.

For the most part. Until this afternoon during the Superbowl when I started moving from the cabling (3 sets of cables – roughly seven inches) to the decreased neck. I switched from the cable pattern to regular garter again…that’s when things got ugly. Homespun has the nastiest looking decreases, and it was simply boring to look at as well.

Ripped it back down to where the cabling stopped, and started adding a k2p2 rib around the neck (about four inches, so it now totals 11 inches). Success! I finished the top half of the sweater up this evening, and couldn’t be happier with the results. I’ll hopefully knit up the bottom portion tomorrow and seam it together, to proudly display the finished product.

Half-way done. Notice how the Homespun really doesn't allow the stitching to shine?

And now onto the review…

Read More…