Sunday, October 12, 2008

Christmas gifts are done / Prezenty Gwiazdkowe skonczone

Finally, the Christmas gifts are done. They're nothing glamorous or anything - just your basic, safe gifts, but made very much with warm thoughts and from the heart.

No, prezenty na Gwiazdke nareszcie zrobione. Nie zeby to tam jakies wspanialosci byly. Zwykle to prezenty, nie ryzykowne, ale za to od serca.

A hat for my DH from the always scrumptious and luxurious Malabrigo Merino, made from this pattern.

Dla meza czapka z wspanialej welny Malabrigo Merino. Wzor z tad.

flag hat

For my nephew, the jester hat from a Woolly Wormhead pattern. I altered the original a bit by adding a cable zigzag motif, elongating the "horns" and body of the hat, and by adding pompoms.

Dla malego siostrzenca - stanczykowata czapka. Wzor z tad. Oryginal troszke zmienilam poprzez dodanie zygzaka, przedluzenie "rogow" i calej czapki, oraz dodanie pomponow.

jester hat a

jester hat d

For my teenage niece - a chain-link scarf (idea taken from here).

Dla nastoletniej siostrzenicy - szalik-lancuch. Pomysl z tad.

chain scarf 1

And for my DD - a Cheeky Monkey (pattern by Fiona McTague). I wasn't sure that I'd be able to finish this toy, because as soon, as my DD saw it (and it didn't have its muzzle or face done yet), she grabbed it, run away with it and refused to give it back. Luckily, I was able to retrieve it the next day. Well, at least one of the gifts will be appreciated for sure, ha, ha, ha!

A dla coreczki - malpka (wzor Cheeky Monkey Fiony McTague). Ledwo mi sie udalo ja skonczyc, bo mala jak tylko zobaczyla zabawke (a malpka nie miala jeszcze pyszczka i wogole twarzy), to ja zlapala, uciekla i oddac nie chciala. Jednak udalo mi sie ja jakos odzyskac i dokonczyc. No, przynajmniej jeden prezent bedzie na pewno doceniony, he, he, he...

monkey 2

And that's about it for now. I'm planning to go back to my never-ending WIPs. Maybe this time I'll make some progress.

No, to by bylo na razie tyle. Teraz planuje wrocic do innych, wczesniej pozaczynanych robotek.

monkey 3

Monday, September 15, 2008

Moje biadolenie....

Dzisiaj bez zdjec.... tak sobie..... bez ladu i skladu i tylko po polsku (bo po polsku narzeka mi sie lepiej). A czasem trzeba sobie pobiadolic, zeby potem poczuc sie lepiej, razniej, i spojrzec na wszystko (w tym wypadku na brak postepu w drutowaniu i szydelkowaniu) z innej perspektywy.

Robotki niby sa w robocie. Jeden szalik skonczylam, ale musze mu zrobic zdjecia. Mialam nic nie drutowac na prezenty Gwiazdkowe, ale sama nie wiem jak to sie skonczylo na tym, ze jednak beda cztery: szalik (zrobiony), dwie czapki, i malpka-zabawka. O dwie rzeczy zostalam poproszona, a co do malpki, to moja corcia zobaczyla zdjecie wzoru w ksiazce, i juz zapomniec o niej nie mogla. A ze nikt przedtem nie zaszczycil mnie zamowieniem na moje drutowe "wyroby", wiec bylam milo zaskoczona prosba, i trudno bylo odmowic. A chcialam sobie zrobic sweterek, koronkowy szal..... i wogole milion innych rzeczy. Fajnie by bylo, gdybym byla szybsza w robieniu na drutach, bo wtedy nawet jak malo czasu na robotki, to i tak szybko idzie, bo rece szybsze. No, ale tak nie jest.... a ja, jak na zlosc mam szesc pozaczynanych robotek. Dwie, czy trzy leza "w kacie" i blagaja o litosc, domagajac sie swiatla dziennego. Nad innymi dwoma niby regularnie pracuje, ale efektow wogole nie widac, czyli syndrom "biegu w miejscu". Mierze je od czasu do czasu, zeby sie przekonac, ze dlugosci przybywa, ale zaczynam podejrzewac, ze 'centymetr' klamie abym sie nie zalamala. Oczywiscie, oba projekty sa z dosyc cienkiej wloczki/nitki. Jeden to roznokolorowy sweter, a drugi to firanka.

MT stage 3

crochet curtain WIP

No tak, mialo nie byc zdjec, a sa.

Z ta firanka to tez... kto przy zdrowych zmyslach porwal by sie na firanke z nici nr.30? A teraz to bede chyba dziergala przez nastepne 50 lat. Pruc nie chce, bo mam juz ok. 80% skonczone, a poza tym, ta firanka wychodzi nawet fajnie, wiec szkoda by bylo unicestwiac.

No, i teraz powoli mecze te prezenty gwiazdkowe.

Jak sobie nieraz pomysle, ile to rzeczy bym chciala zrobic, ile to pieknych wloczek uzyc, to lapie sie za glowe i nie wiem od czego zaczac. No tak, mozna powiedziec, ze od skonczenia tego, co juz zaczelam. I sama nie rozumiem jak to sie stalo, ze mam az szesc pozaczynanych projektow. Przewaznie pracuje nad jednym, najwyzej dwoma. A tu az szesc! OK, niektorym moze sie to wydawac niczym, szczegolnie ze pewne osoby maja z dwadziescia roznych robotek w toku, ale dla mnie to jednak duzo, bo czasu mam w zasadzie malo. Przewaznie spedzam od 10 do 50 minut dziennie na robotki (ale nie na raz, i nie codziennie).

No dobra, koniec z tym narzekaniem. Juz mi przeszlo, wiec lece dziergac dalej. Robie teraz czapke z welny merino (firma Malabrigo) - poemat w palcach! Super miekka, delikatna, puszysta, a zarazem miesista i sprezysta! Pysznosci! Lece, welna czeka!

Zycze milego dnia/wieczoru/nocy.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Inspired again… and again… / Znowu zainspirowana….

a line jacket 2

OK, rabbitpie75 (in Ravelry & Knitter's Review) has inspired me to make another garment – first one being this one. One day, I saw her rendition of this Cabled Cardigan from Runway Knits. I really liked it, so naturally, I had to check out the book. Because I liked other patterns in there, and decided that I HAD to have the book. I particularly liked the A-Line Jacket and decided to give it a try. Shortly thereafter, I noticed that rabbitpie75 also made this jacket, hee, hee. Here is her version.

If that wasn’t enough for inspiration, I remembered that knitloon - another member of Ravelry and the Knitter’s Review forum community - also made this jacket a while ago. Hers is this beautiful, delicious, red version.

Here, I must say that both ladies were extremely generous when it comes to advice and tips on knitting this garment. Since this was my first adult-sized garment, I had some doubts prior to starting this project and both ladies were very, very helpful.

Thank you rabbitpie75 and knitloon.

OK, rabbitpie75 zainspirowala mnie zeby znowu wydziergac ubranie (pierwsze to tu). Pewnego dnia, zobaczylam jej Cabled Cardigan z Runway Knits. Spodobal mi sie, a wiec naturalnie musialam dowiedziec sie czegos wiecej o tym wzorze. W konsekwencji kupilam sobie cala ksiazke. Jednym z wzorow w tejze ksiazce jest A-Line Jacket – troche rozkloszowany zakiet na styl lat 50/60. Okazalo sie, ze rabbitpie75 tez juz go zdarzyla wydziergac (tutaj jest jej wersja). Jakby tego bylo malo, przypomnialo mi sie, ze pewna robotkowiczka z Knitter’s Review Forum (takie forum dla ludzi robiacych na drutach), tez to juz przerabiala jakis czas temu na czerwono.

Musze dodac, ze obie kobietki byly bardzo mile i pomocne zanim sie podjelam dziergania tego zakietu. Nigdy jeszcze czegos takiego nie robilam i mialam pewne watpliwosci. A one nie dosc, ze cierpliwie odpowiedzialy na moje pytania, to jeszcze udzielily kilku porad.

Dziekuje Wam Drogie Panie.

a line jacket 3

It started with the yarn…

When I first saw this jacket in the book, I immediately envisioned it in Malabrigo’s Aquarella. Sure, it would give me a more rustic, raw, sort of painterly version of the original, but that’s what I saw in my mind’s eye. And here the adventure began… You see, although Aquarella is a bulky yarn with a gauge that’s close to original yarn (Aquarella: 9 sts /14 rows per 4'' vs. Karabella Puffy at 8 sts/13 rows per 4''), at those thicknesses, even 1-2 stitches can make an important difference in the final size of your knitted project. For example, if you cast on 98 sts in the original yarn, you’ll get a 49'' wide jacket bottom. Cast the same 98 sts in Aquarella, and you get 43.5''. That’s a 5.5'' difference! Important, if you want the thing to fit properly. So off I went to re-calculate the entire pattern in favour of using Aquarella. Grrr…. It was more time consuming than difficult, but still… It’s not just the stitch/row count that will change, but also the amount and placement of decreases, buttonholes, etc. I could have started a project that is already written for my size and with a yarn, that’s perfect for it – no alterations of any kind needed. But noooooo…. For some unknown reason, I decided to make my life more complicated. However, I must say that I loved knitting with Aquarella.

Because my finished garment would not have that sophisticated, high fashion-y look as the original, I decided that the somewhat short sleeves and jacket length would not look very good in my version. It would: a) hit my hips at their widest point (no thank you), b) the bottom button would land at the spot where my tummy sticks out the most (NOT my idea of flattering), c) it would look visually unbalanced given the jacket heft and quilt-y texture. Consequently, I decided to elongate the length of the body, sleeves and collar.

a line jacket 4

To continue with the rustic feel of the coat, I chose slightly raw wooden buttons found at The Button Drawer. They have two sections devoted to very large buttons of different types. My choice is slightly shy of the 3” used in the original design.


Zaczelo sie od wloczki…

Jak zobaczylam wzor na ten zakiet, to od razu wyobrazilam go sobie zrobionego z Malabrigo Aquarelli. Takiego troche rustykalnego, surowego, malowniczego – innego niz ten z ksiazki. No i sie zaczelo…

Ach, bo wlasnie... Chociaz Aquarella jest bardzo zblizona gruboscia do oryginalnej wloczki (Aquarella: 9 oczek /14 rzedow na 10cm vs. Karabella Puffy: 8 ocz./13 rz. na 10cm), to nawet 1-2 oczka potrafia zrobic duza roznice. Jezeli, np. narzuci sie 98 oczek z Karabelli Puffy, to otrzyma sie dol zakietu o szerokosci 124.5 cm. Ale narzuc te same 98 oczek z Aquarelli, a otrzymasz dol zakietu o ok. 14 cm wezszy. Spora roznica, jesli sie chce, zeby jako tako pasowalo. A wiec nie mialam wyjscia, tylko siasc z kalkulatorem i wszystko poprzeliczac tak, zeby zakiet nie wyszedl ani za maly, ani za duzy. O rany… Chociaz nie bylo to trudne, to jednak bardzo czasochlonne, bo nie chodzi tylko o zmiane ilosci oczek i rzedow, ale tez o rozmieszczenie i dodanie rzedow, w ktorych zmiejsza sie ilosc oczek, umieszcza dziurki do guzikow, itp, itd. W zasadzie to moglam zaczac robic sweterek, gdzie wystarczy tylko robic wedlug wzoru, bez zadnych zmian, ale nieeeee… gdzie tam. Ja musze sobie wszystko komplikowac. No coz… Prawde mowiac swietnie mi sie dziergalo ta Aquarelle.

Postanowilam tez podluzyc caly zakiet, rekawy i kolnierzyk. Gdybym zrobila wszystko krotsze, tak jak w oryginale, wygladalabym w zakiecie smiesznie i niezgrabnie, a sam zakiet wygladalby bardzo kuso.

Co do guzikow, to dobralam tez takie rustykalne i surowe z drewna. Maja prawie 7.6 cm srednicy, a nabylam je z tad.

a line jacket progr 2

Overall knitting experience…

… was good. It was a quick knit due to the thickness of the yarn. The pattern was easy enough to understand and interpret (thanks again rabbitpie75 and knitloon). The only two things I would change have to do with decrease types and collar directions, which are not very clear. For example, they have you pick up your stitches for the collar the usual way, then to

work WS row,
work RS row,
“Purl 1 row on RS”(pg.156) – well, we just worked a RS row. Which RS row are they referring to? ANY RS row?
Work next WS row
Work next RS row
Next 7 rows just repeat last two rows.

The way I took it, is that the purl row just serves to create a neat crease line to fold the collar along its width.

I also wish that the decreases were more unified. When you look at the picture below, you’ll see that in the original, the decreases in the back are parallel to the garment’s edge angles. They’re leaning toward the middle of the jacket.

a line decreases 2

This type of decrease will create a visible line along the edge of the garment. But when you look at the fronts, the decreases are leaning away from the middle of the jacket, and away from the angle of the garment edges. These won’t be as visible in the final knitting, as the ones that follow the garment angle. So, maybe I’m too picky, but why not have it so that all the decreases follow the same style? That means either version A or B - as shown in the diagram. I chose version A, because I already had a lot of texture from the yarn and adding another visual element (i.e. line along the decrease line) felt like too much.


So, I think that’s that. I love the jacket and I love how it feels on. At the risk of sounding insane, I’ll say this: I can’t wait until the cool weather arrives (so I can start wearing the jacket, of course).


Have a great day!


No, a tak ogolnie…

… to fajnie i szybko sie dziergalo. Wzor byl wlasciwie latwy do rozszyfrowania, chociaz zmienilabym w nim dwie rzeczy: sposob zmiejszania oczek i instrukcje robienia kolnierzyka. Na przyklad, w kolnierzyku nabieramy tele oczek co kaza, a potem

przerabiamy strone lewa,
przerabiamy strone prawa,
jedna strone prawa przerabiamy oczkami lewymi (KTORA to niby prawa strone? Jest ich kilka),
przerabiamy str. lewa,
przerabiamy str. prawa,
nastepene 7 rzedow: powtarzamy ostatnie dwa rzedy.

Domyslam sie, ze z tymi lewymi oczkami chodzilo o to, zeby po prostu zrobic zagiecie w kolnierzu – tak tez zrobilam.

Co do sposobu zmniejszania oczek. Jesli popatrzymy na schemat (powyzej), to w oryginale zmniejszanie oczek w tyle (back) nachyla sie rownolegle z katem brzegow tylu. W ten sposob tworzy sie takze widoczna linia oczek podlug brzegow. Jesli spojrzymy na przody (front), to zmniejszanie nachyla sie odwrotnie (no, niezupelnie prostopadle, ale w tym sensie) do kata nachylenia wewnetrznych brzegow przodow. W tym przypadku, zmniejszanie oczek nie zaowocuje bardzo widoczna linia, lecz bedzie bardziej subtelne wizualnie. Moim zdaniem, byloby fajniej, gdyby zrobic albo wersje A, albo B. Jak juz robic, to calosc w tym samym stylu. No, ale to tylko moja opinia. Ja zrobilam wersje A, bo moj zakiet mial juz wystarczajaco wypuklosci (z powodu nierowniej wloczki).

No, i to by bylo na tyle.

Zaryzykuje nastepna herezje i powiem tak: nie moge sie doczekac jesieni i chlodnych dni (no, po to, zeby moc nosic ten zakiet). Ha, ha!

Zycze milego dnia.

a line jacket 5


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

“…not for the faint of heart?” “…nie dla plochych?”

curlicue 3

I guess I’m a fearless knitter. I wanted to make the Curlicue Coverlet from Oat Couture for some time, but I was slightly put off by their description of the project, which states:

” This beautiful coverlet is not for the faint of heart, but experienced knitters will enjoy exploring what can be done with short rows.”

This definitely sounded difficult to me. I’m NOT an experienced knitter, never did short rows in my life and since I felt slightly intimidated by the description, I guess I was somewhat ‘faint of heart’. I also did not want to waste time on some doomed project. But… I like a challenge, so I decided to give this project a try.

_________________

Chyba jestem tzw. nieustraszona robotkowiczka, hi, hi, hi!!!. Juz od jakiegos czasu chcialam wydziergac na drutach Curlicue Coverlet, czyli taka narzutke, ale sie troche balam, bo opis projektu/wzoru mowi cos takiego:

” Ta piekna narzutka nie jest dla ludzi o slabym sercu (plochych), ale doswiadczone robotkowiczki z przyjemnoscia odkryja co mozna osiagnac z zastosowaniem ‘krotkich rzedow’. ” No, nie wiem jak te “short rows” przetlumaczyc na polski. Doslownie, to krotkie rzedy. Takie, jakich sie uzywa do ksztaltowania np. piet w skarpetkach.

No coz, brzmi to troche odstraszajaco, tym bardziej, ze co jak co, ale ja napewno nie jestem doswiadczona robotkowiczka, a krotkich rzedow w zyciu jeszcze nie tykalam. No, i sam fakt, ze sie balam, swiadczy chyba o tym, ze jestem/bylam plocha? Po za tym, nie chcialam tracic cennego czasu (ktorego zawsze brak) na robienie czegos, co jest z gory skazane na niepowodzenie. Ale… lubie wyzwania, wiec rzucilam sie w wir dziergania narzutki i…

curlicue5

Boy, oh, boy was I ever pleasantly surprised!!! It was sooooo easy to make. The pattern is written very well, the short rows explained very clearly, and if you need more instructions on this technique, you can go to the Short Row tutorial on the Knit Picks website. I know that some knitters found this blanket to be somewhat of a challenge – keeping track of scallop decreases/increases and wrapped stitches, but I found that if you use stitch markers to mark your wrapped stitches, you pretty much can relax and just knit away, especially that the pattern/blanket sections are repeated over and over again. Repetition often equals boredom for many knitters. I, too, had moments when I was getting a bit tired of this project. However, as soon, as I started to get bored with a section, the knitting progressed faster and faster – due to a clever and elegant short row design. I have to disagree that this project is ‘not for the faint of heart’ (unless a little bit of knitting boredom gives you palpitations), or for an experienced knitter. I consider myself to be an advanced beginner most of the time, and I did not find this project difficult at all. Unless… I did it all wrong. Still, it looks to me like it came out properly, so I’ll leave it at that.

Suggestions and tips.

This project tends to look ripply and as if the sections are not going to fit properly in the end. It made me a bit worried, especially after reading about Grumperina’s trials and tribulations with this coverlet. I wish that the pattern would stress that achieving proper gauge is important. Many knitters don’t bother matching their gauge when doing afghans, because attaining the same size as in the original pattern is not a top priority/desire – if you have it a bit smaller or larger – no big deal. That’s what I thought, too. However, when it comes to this pattern, it is a good idea to have a similar gauge or at least similar row to stitch ratio, because this thing is knit in one piece and the sections should have proper dimensions in order to fit together in a neat and flat fashion.

When I looked at Ravelry, I noticed that some knitters had problems with persistent rippling and puckering (even after blocking) and most coverlets in un-blocked state had issues, too. Nature of the beast, I guess. I was lucky, in that I looked at Mary Maxim website and checked what type of yarn and size needles they suggest for this pattern (they sell it as a kit). Still, ripples and puckering I had, but I was able to easily steam-block my blanket into submission. And I love it. I was hoping to make some star shaped pillows to match, but I’m not sure if I’ll have enough time or desire to make them.

________________________

Alez niespodzianka! Ta narzutka byla niesamowicie latwa do zrobienia. Wzor byl napisany bardzo dobrze, a opis wykonania krotkich rzedow bardzo klarowny. Wiem, ze niektorzy mieli troche problemow z ta narzutka jesli chodzi o sledzenie/liczenie ilosci dodawanych/ujmowanych/zawijanych oczek. Sadze jednak, ze jezeli uzyje sie jakiegos sposobu na zaznaczenie tychze oczek (np. agrafki) to robotka wlasciwie robi sie sama, tym bardziej, ze wzor/czesci narzutki sa ciagle powtarzane. Ach wlasnie… te ciagle powielanie dwoch/trzech czesci moze porzadnie znudzic, ale i tutaj jest niespodzianka. Wlasnie dzieki konstrukcji z krotkimi rzedami, wykonanie kazdej sekcji idzie szybciej im blizej do konca tejze sekcji. Czyli, ze czlowiek nie ma nawet czasu sie porzadnie znudzic, bo ledwo zaczal, a juz skonczone.

No, wiec ogolnie mowiac nie sadze, ze jest to projekt dla ludzi 'o mocnym sercu' (chyba, ze troche nudy/powtarzanie wzoru przyprawia kogos o palpitacje), lub dla doswiadczonych. Nic bardziej mylnego. Ja, w najlepszym przypadku, uwazam siebie za zaawansowana poczatkujaca (robie na drutach od 2006 roku), a ten projekt wydawal mi sie latwy. Chyba ze… wszystko zrobilam niepoprawnie. No coz, narzutka wyglada tak, jak miala wygladac, wiec nie bede sie goraczkowac.

Uwagi.

W trakcie robienia, narzutka wyglada na bardzo pomarszczona i tak jakby zadna czesc nie pasowala do innych. Troche mnie to martwilo, tym bardziej, ze pewna doswiadczona robotkowiczka miala podobne problemy (blog po angielsku). Dobrze by tez bylo, zeby w instrukcjach napisali, ze proporcje oczek do ilosci rzedow powinny byc bardzo podobne (jesli nie identyczne) do tych, ktore sa podane w opisie. Dlaczego? Poniewaz narzutka jest robiona w jednej czesci, i dzieki odpowiednim proporcjom, koncowy produkt bedzie sie ukladal jak nalezy. Podgladajac zmagania innych z ta narzutka, zauwazylam, ze wielu ludzi mialo problemy z marszczeniem i uwypukleniami przed naciagnieciem/ksztaltowaniem robotki, a niektorzy nie mogli sie pozbyc tych 'mankamentow' nawet po ksztaltowaniu. Ja pozbylam sie swoich poprzez naciagniecie i potraktowanie goracym zelazkiem przez bardzo mokra sciereczke. No, i wyglada fajnie. Chcialabym jeszcze dorobic do tego poduszki w ksztalcie gwiazdy, ale nie wiem czy bede miala czas i chec.

curlicue 2

Yarn info.

(OK, if you’re a yarn purist/snob/connoisseur, please skip this section. I’m about to admit to a yarn heresy ;-) ). I used Red Heart Super Saver and Comfort! Since this is a blanket for a 1.5 year old girl, durability and machine washability were a must. No, I did not want to use a superwash wool, because that would mean having to re-block this thing after each wash and that is definitely not my cup of tea. I bought 3 large skeins (454g each; in dark yellow and the blues) and 1 regular skein of Cornmeal, light yellow (198g) at Wallmart. Overall, I used approximately half of each skein, maybe less.

____________________

O wloczce.

(Jesli jestes koneserem wloczek, nie czytaj nastepujacego urywka, bo przyznaje sie tu do wloczkowej herezji ;-) ). Uzylam akrylu Red Heart! No, ale ze narzutka jest dla poltora-rocznej dziewczynki, wiec musiala byc zrobiona z czegos wytrzymalego i odpornego na traktowanie pralka. Owszem, moglabym uzyc specjalnej welny, ktora mozna tak prac, ale to by oznaczalo ksztaltowanie kocyka po kazdym praniu. To nie na moje nerwy. Co do ilosci zuzytej wloczki… Kupilam 3 duze motki (po 454g kazdy; ciemniejszy zolty i dwa niebieskie), oraz jeden mniejszy w kolorze jasnozoltym (198g). W sumie zuzylam moze polowe z tego wszystkiego.

curlicue 4

So, what’s next? I believe that I will give the A-Line Jacket from Runway Knits a try. I’m just waiting for the yarn to arrive.

Meanwhile, I would encourage anyone to give the Curlicue Coverlet a try. It is a truly satisfying knit.

I apologize if there is a jumble of fonts and styles in this post, but I just can't get them to work today. I try to select one, and something else pops up, or nothing at all.


Have a wonderful day.

________________________

No wiec co dalej? Chyba sie wezme za lekko rozkloszowany zakiet z Runway Knits. Czekam wlasnie na wloczke.

W miedzyczasie, polecam narzutke Curlicue Coverlet wszystkim robotkowiczkom – bardzo satysfakcjonujace dzierganie.

Przepraszam na wypadek gdyby byl groch z kapusta co do czcionek i stylu. Cos mi dzisiaj blog nie dziala. Wybieram jedna czcionke, wyskakuje druga, albo wogole wszystko znika. Makabra.

Zycze milego dnia.







Saturday, May 24, 2008

Lacy Sweater for my girl.

Some time ago, a fellow Knitter’s Review Forum member made a very pretty Lacy Sweater designed by Zoe Mellor. I liked her version very much, so I researched this pattern some more on Ravelry to get a better feel for this project. There, I saw another wonderful version and I just knew that I had to make one for my own little girl. The pattern was available on the internet for free (it can also be found in Adorable Knits for Tots: 25 Stylish Designs for Babies and Toddlers by Zoe Mellor). I checked the errata. I bought some Knit Pick’s Shine Worsted Cotton in Coral, and merrily started knitting away…

lacy cotton sweater 3

Hmm… Well…. Making this relatively easy garment did not go as smoothly, as it could have…. Prior to starting this project, I made sure that I read other knitters’ comments and tips re. this sweater. Some had issues with seaming, some with fit, gauge, you name it. I made sure to make a large swatch (7X7”) – gauge was good. I thought I was set… But it is one thing to read about potential project problems and another to encounter them face to face.

lacy cotton sweater 1

The fit.

OK, the thing is designed to have a relaxed fit (check the finished measurements table). But somehow, when I was doing the lacy border, it started seriously growing sideways. The finished border part easily fitted me, and I’m not a small gal. The reverse stockinette part of the sweater was also too wide, despite good swatch gauge. Frog. Switched to smaller needles (US 5). From there, it was smooth sailing until the dumb me remembered that this thing, made in reverse stockinette, will need to be sewn together in the end. Yup! Please don’t judge me too harshly, this is only my second hand knitted sweater; I’m not an experienced knitter. I was waaaay too far into the project to frog and make some sort of a selvedge for easy seaming.

The seaming.

So, off I went all over the web in search of a method for invisible way of joining purl stitch pieces. Found it. The technique itself wasn’t too hard, although it was a bit of a pain to execute. But next, aaaargh, I had to join sleeves that had stockinette running perpendicular to the purl stitches of the sweater body. Never did that before and it was a bit sweat-inducing, too, but turned out relatively OK in the end. Phew!

lacy cotton sweater 2

Well… now it’s done and behind me. It’s still a bit large for my girl, but that was definitely my intent – I don’t want her to grow out of it too soon.

* This is the link to the free pattern for this sweater.

Here is the errata info: Where the pattern says to "work 8-row rep of edging 7(8:9:9) times", the number of repeats should be: 14(16:18:19).


My next knitting adventure (besides my other two endless WIPs) - the Curlicue Coverlet from Oat Couture, marking my first encounter with short rows.


On another note....

I finally got my hands on some glorious crochet cotton from Poland. My husband's uncle brought it for me from his recent trip and I couldn't be happier. I find it much better, softer, more lustrous than what I have available here, i.e. DMC's Cebelia and Coats' Opera, which feel too ropy to me. This is what the Polish threads look like:

Kaja - somewhere between the equivalent of size 20-30 thread:

kaja cream 2

kaja green 1


Aria - close to size 10 thread

aria cream 3



Friday, May 2, 2008

The Pig

Here she is, Lola Curly the Pig - my first knitted toy. I wanted to make a toy for some time, but I never found the necessary motivation or time. Then my little girl saw a photo of this pig when I had it up on my computer screen and immediately took a shine to it. Needless to say, I got the motivation right there and then, got some yarn and voila, a pig was 'born'.


























This was a very easy toy to make, requiring little sewing in general. I would definitely recommend it for a first-time knitted toy project. It is also extremely easy to adapt to knitting in-the-round, if you're so inclined. I used Lion Brand Vanna's Choice Solid in Dusty Rose (just a smidge over 1 skein) on US size 4 needles. The resulting fabric was very stiff at first, but I was assured by a more experienced knitter that when assembled into a toy, it will become nice and cuddly - and it did - not a hint of stiffness. The yarn itself was OK to work with. I was not impressed with its immense propensity to snag. It was as if the snags appeared out of nowhere - and I did protect my knitting project from sharp, protruding objects and other such elements. As a result, the pig looks somewhat rough/rustic. Still, my little girl seems to like her new toy - she just got it this morning, but already has managed to bestow hundreds of hugs and kisses on this piggy.
























Here is the link to a (free) pattern for Lola Curly the Pig. If you're a member of Ravelry, check out other knitters' interpretation of this pattern.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Never say "Never".....

Yup.... I said before that I never knit the same pattern again... Well, I'm eating my words now, because I made 7 Better Bucket hats. The pattern is so easy and quick to knit - it's simply addictive. And the hats make neat gifts, too. Making them with Malabrigo Merino Worsted does not hurt either :-) . What a wonderful yarn! Not a hint of scratchiness! Just soft, soft, soft.... and yet it feels 'meaty' and substantial during knitting. The colors are nice and rich for the most part. I love this yarn!

So, here are the 7 hats I made:























Hat #4 was made with Mission Falls 1824 Wool in Sprout. With this one, I did not make any modifications to the original pattern and you can see that the brim does not flare out much.

The remaining 6 hats were made with Malabrigo Merino and I applied the same pattern modifications to each.
The differences in the degree of brim flare were achieved through blocking, e.g. with hat #2, I flared out the brim more than in hat #7.
Hat #6a is a felted version of hat #6. I did not like that specific skein colourway, but it looked nice on my daughter, so I shrank it for her (approx. 3 min in the washer). I later made one for myself in the same, but deeper, more saturated colourway.

The Malabrigo colourways used for the hats are as follows:
1. Amoroso
2. Pink Frost
3. Glazed Carrot
5. Christmas Green
6 and 6a. Glazed Carrot
7. Buscando Azul

What's on my needles now? My first attempt at a knitted toy. I'm trying to make Lola Curly the Pig. So far, it's kind of fun.
I'm using Vanna's Choice Solid by Lion Brand, in Dusty Rose, on US size 4 needles. The resulting fabric is quite dense, actually, and feels pretty stiff. However, it beats TLC Essentials Solid, which I tried for this project in the beginning, but it felt extremely scratchy and stiff. So much so, that it could successfully double as a pot scrubber. Not very pleasant to knit with - at least not for this project and on such small needles.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What am I working on?

My 7th a Better Bucket hat!!! Yes - 7th! I'll post more details/photos later, when all 7 will be finished, blocked and presentable. Talk about an addictive pattern! For now, however, I'm posting the details of the modifications I made to the original pattern (I wanted to make the brim flare out a bit more and to fit a 22-22.5" head without too much of a stretch).

Here is a link to a photo of the original hat by Amy Swenson (the hat's designer).

Here is a link to a free pattern for this addictive hat.


My version with modifications:

Bucket azul 2


OK, here are the modification details:

brim made on size 8 needles, body of hat on 7

Provisional CO 100 sts
Knit 2 rounds
(K9, k1fb) x 10 (110 sts)
Knit 4 rounds
(K10, k1fb) x 10 (120 sts)
Knit 4 rounds
(K11, k1fb) x 10 (130 sts)
Knit 3 rounds
Purl 1 round
Knit 3 rounds
(K11, k2tog) x 10 (120 sts)
Knit 4 rounds
(K10, k2tog) x 10 (110 sts)
Knit 4 rounds
(K9, k2tog) x 10 (100 sts)
Knit 2 rounds

Join hem and proceed as in original pattern until the crown decreases.

Crown decreases:
(k8, k2 tog) x 10 (90sts)
k 3 rounds
(k7, k2 tog) x 10 (80sts)
k 3 rounds
(k2, k2 tog) x 20 (60sts)
k 2 rounds
(k4, k2 tog) x 10 (50sts)
k 2 rounds
(k3, k2 tog) x 10 (40sts)
k 1 round
(k2, k2 tog) x 10 (30sts)
k2 tog around (15 sts)
You can draw thread through these 15 sts and finish hat, or continue decreasing a bit more.


Since we're on the 'hat' topic, here is the photo of my version of the Koolhaas Hat.

Koolhaas a Koolhaas b

That was such a fun knit! Easy, yet engaging enough not to be boring. This pattern provides an excellent opportunity to learn cabling without a needle.
Specs:
Yarn - Handmaiden Fine Yarn 4 Ply Cashmere (1 skein)
Needles - US size 2 and 4
Because the yarn I used is thinner than the pattern’s original, I cast on 128 sts (16 pattern repeats) and made Rows 1-8 of chart 6 times total. Finished circumference: 15-16” unstretched.
And it feels like a dream on my head! A crown of cashmere! Yum!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Eagle Feathers - version 2


It's done - finally! I never re-knit the same design again, except in this case. The yarn is much better suited to this project, IMHO - it blocks much better and retains its shape. The knitting went so much faster this time around. As usual, part 1 was a drag, but once that was done, the work just zoomed along and voila, here "she" is.


Project details:

Yarn: Elann Peruvian Baby Cashmere in Cashmere Blue
Needles: US size 5
5 pattern repeats and 12 10-row repeats in part 1
Finished size: approx. 8" x 78"














Next on the knitting agenda: the Koolhaas hat (designed by Jared Flood):
http://shop.interweave.com/store/Koolhaas-Hat-P211C0.aspx?AFID=12

I believe that Mr. Flood is a very talented knitwear designer. Please check out his blog:
http://brooklyntweed.blogspot.com/

You can visit me on Ravelry here:
http://www.ravelry.com/projects/solaris