Join me as I share my crafty journey with you. I continue to expand my repertoire of hobbies. I knit, sew, crochet, bead and probably most importantly am a lover of science fiction. Occasionally I even pick up a book. I play Nerd Wars for Team Stargate Command which consumes most of my time.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Progress and a Cold

     There is a cold working its way through the members of our household, yes all two of us.  It took a few days for me to catch it, I thought I was in the clear, then my throat started burning Wednesday evening.  I pulled through the week, but I back out of working tomorrow night shift.  (The fever and cold sweats are supposed to be hitting me about then, if I stay "on schedule.)  Okay enough icky talk of being sick.  I've completed some more items!

     I finished the scarf for my Mother.  Turns out I didn't need the buttons since its adequately long.  The pattern called for 200 yards, but 200 yards gives one a whole scarf.  I used the pattern Another Scarflet!, which is no longer available.  I downloaded the pdf to my computer when I first found the pattern.  It's written out a bit on the vague side and I missed some of the directions.  It also claims that only two repeats of the lace patterned rows will yield a scaflet.  Unless my gauge was really really off this wasn't true for me or the other people who made the scarf.  I'm overall pretty pleased with the outcome though. 
I used Madelinetosh Pashmina in the colorway Foxglove.  This is the yarn Mom "picked" out.  I showed you all while it was still in the skein.  It looks so different knit up.  I did have to block this and it wound up pretty wide.  I think that will be a good thing though since this yarn is so soft and drapy, its going to scrunch around the neck.  I think it will be long enough for her to wrap around once.  We'll find out when I present it to her.  I really hope she likes it.  I have to admit I'm a bit nervous about this one.  Other than dishcloths I've never made her anything really nice, so I hope this falls under the really nice category.

     On to my next project.  I've made another Whitecaps Hat.  One of my cousins saw the first one on Facebook and asked if I would make one for her too.  I still had over half the skein of Caron Simply Soft, so I said yes.  I think I could get one more hat out of that skein, so if anyone else wants one, let me know.  I love this pattern!
It looks exactly like the other one, I know, same yarn and pattern will do that.  I used this hat along with the baby hat to fulfill the Flexible Schedule challenge. I used the aforementioned scarf for the Nerd's Dream Date challenge.  For that one, we needed to take a character from a different nerdery out on a date choosing one of his/her favorite foods.  I took Kaylee, from Firefly, out for strawberries.  I thought the pink and green in the colorway resembled berries and leaves.  I used this scarf as my Team Unity Project as well.  This round we are honoring the "spear carriers" of Stargate.  I chose Katie Brown the botanist from Atlantis.  Since the colorway of the Pashmina is Foxglove, which is a flower, I thought immediately of Katie.  So this scarf was a gift from Rodney to Katie. 

     I have only one more challenge to craft for, but since I'm running out of February I thought I should start my Dissertation.  This tournament I'm making a sweater again.  This time though I'm combining two different patterns and making modifications to the parts I am using from the second pattern.  I'm making Cables and Garter Cardi.  Since this pattern only comes in one size I'm using the yoke from February Lady Sweater which has sizing.  I'll be going into more detail of my modifications of the cable portions once I get to them.  I'm going to be changing the cables in the sweater, but I'm following cables done by another Raveler.  The original chart for the cardi only showed right side rows, so I'm hoping to make charts of my own with both sides and the new cables.  I just need to learn how to use Excel.  I've found some tutorials on the web, I just need to go read them.  Until later, Happy Crafting! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Off and Running... I Mean Knitting

     I've now completed three projects and submitted to one challenge.  I think I've figured out what I'm doing for Giving Geeks as well, which will not involve crafting.  So onto pictures.

I made a hat in answer to the Simple Machines challenge.  I used Lion Brand Tweed Stripes and the pattern Chunky Dean Street Hat.  This pattern is also available in a worsted weigt version.  I've used the Tweed Stripes before, its 100% acrylic.  Its not horrible but I prefer some wool mixed in there.  The tweed effect is accomplished from the two plys being slightly different colors.  I found the yarn slightly splitty due to this feature.  Its difficult to see the stitch detail in this picture, but the twists aren't cables.  When knitting the Right Front Cross row, one inserts the needle into the third stitch in and knits that, leaves it on the needle and then knits the two in front still on the left needle.  That's where the twist comes from and its a really nifty effect.  This is where I noticed the splitting from the yarn.  Its a tricky stitch though for any yarn to pull off.  This was a request from one of my co-workers.  She wanted a hat to match a scarf she got from me previously.  I wouldn't have gotten more of this yarn otherwise.  I chose the "cable" pattern since the scarf was Rambling.  Rambling was my first cable project way back in the day.  I don't know if I ever blogged about that...
I think the tweed color of the yarn overpowers the cables, but it was a really great pattern to start out with.  Its a completely random thing.  The pattern is by Susan B Anthony, she explains who to do the cable stitches then where to put them is up to you, so every scarf will be totally unique.  I should make some more, it such a great concept.

Okay back to Nerd Wars.  The second project I've completed is only half of a challenge.  The Flexible Schedule challenge requires two projects to get full points.  Its designed to be a WIP challenge, but if we don't have WIPs we can submit new projects.  So I made a hat to go with the little mitts I made last tournament.
I used Lion Brand Amazing (which I personally don't think is all that amazing).  That pattern is 'Lil Nightowl.  Its written for DK weight but I found modifications for worsted weight.  I think it came out narrow and long, I would increase the cast on number if I was to do this again in the future.  The hat and the mitts went to the recipient this past Sunday.

I finished the knitting on a third project last night but I don't have pictures uploaded yet.  Its the scarf for my Mom from the MadelineTosh Pashmina.  It needs to be blocked before I can call it totally done.  So many pictures of that will follow.  

I still haven't submitted my dissertation proposal.  All the modifications I plan to do are throwing me off I guess.  I want to do it with the modifications, but I don't want to go through the effort of figuring it all out.  I think what I'm going to do is use one of those websites and make a chart for the cabled portion since the existing chart isn't that great from what I've read.  Proposals are due on the 14th which is yes, two days from now.  I need to do my swatch and get my proposal in, I can worry about the modifications later.  I really want to do the sweater and if I don't have the motivation of Nerd Wars it will probably never get done.

I have volunteered to be the Team Blogger this tournament.  I'm still waiting for my password to access the Blog on the official NW website.  Its powered by Wordpress which I'm not familiar with in the least.  Lets face it, I still have no clue how to really use Blogger...  I hope to do a recap of projects soon.  I will say that one of our newbs has submitted several projects already, go newbs!  That's it for now.  Must go swatch!  Happy Crafting!

Friday, February 1, 2013

January Thaw.... Well Not So Much...

     Tournament 7 of Nerd Wars is now underway!  So, lets look back at what I finished in January.  I've already shared the dishcloth, on to prettier things.  It took me the whole month but I've finished one pair of Elf Clobbers.  (I still have one pair to go.)
I called these Floridian Cuff as that's their ultimate destination.  The crochet part of these turned out very large.  I went up one needle size since the Ella Rae Extrafine Heathers is more of an aran than a worsted and my gauge is always so tight.  I used almost the entire skein for just this one pair.  (The Extrafine Heathers are only 85 yard to begin with, which is a bit short for worsted weights.)  That being said though, the Extrafine Heathers is one of the softest, springiest and pretty yarns I've worked with.  When I bought it, Beth told me its a really under-rated yarn and she is so right.  It is glorious to work with.  I picked up another skein back when I thought I may run out, so I have another one.  I'm hoping to figure out some kind of balance in the crochet area.  Perhaps I just need to crochet looser with the called for hook...  I just don't have enough practice yet to keep and even gauge.  The mohair portion is Louet KidLin.  I got this from Webs at a really great discount.  (I don't usually but yarn online since I have so many great LYS here.)  I ended up with two skeins in this purple and one in a beautiful bright blue.  It is lace weight but can be knit at a really wide range of gauges.  It is a two ply yarn, one ply is the mohair, the other is linen.  They tension at two different rates, which is common for a yarn that is constructed like this.  Luckily I've encountered such a thing before.  (See one of my really old blog posts.)  Every row in a couple places I had to "pick up the slack" of the mohair strand, so I made a backwards loop of just the mohair and put it on the right needle.  In the next row I just knit the backwards loop right with the stitch next to it.  I learned this trick from TECHknitters blog.  She has some truly amazing info there.  In fact I need to check out the button hole tips for my dissertation...
     The next project I finished was a scarf for me.  I'll give you some back story.  We got a cold snap here the week before last.  On the coldest night, it was -3F when I got home.  That was the night the heater in the Grand Prix didn't turn on.  (The Grand Prix has an electrical poltergeist named Betty Sue, its a long story.)  So, after I unfroze in my nice warm apartment I decided to start this scarf.  Before, I had a tiny bit of startitis.  I was working on the cuff, I had two other hats to do, the scarf for my mom, the list goes on.  Well let me tell you, -3 degrees is a terrific motivator!  So in honor of freezing my buns off, I named said scarf Three Below Scarf.
I used the pattern 2 Row Reversible Scarf again with the Malabrigo Twist I picked up for Christmas.  There was a decent amount of variation between the two skeins so I alternated every other row.  I also added two extra stitches so that I could do a slipped stitch salvage.  I used US10 and 1/2, I originally thought Twist was a chunky, its actually an aran.  I really love how this turned out.  By the time I finished this and was able to wear it the weather had turned warm again.  It was 38 degrees and raining.  But its gotten cold here again, so there is lots of scarf love going on right now.  I also need to admit that I am now totally addicted to Malabrigo.  Its so amazingly soft.  Its drapey and warm.  The colors dance off each other, love love love.
     The last project I completed was Whitecaps Hat

This was a request from a co-worker of mine.  Its for her daughter who didn't want animal fibres, so I broke out the Caron Simply Soft.  I got the pattern free as a promotion right around Christmas.  This pattern is excellent.  There are instructions for three different weights of yarn.  There are both charted and written instructions.  I may need to pay more attention to purchased patterns in the future.  The picture doesn't do justice to the lace pattern.  Its stretchy, so it can be worn more as a slouch.  There are sections that look almost like cables.  I want to do this one again at some point, the designer suggested an alpaca blend for drape.
     Thats it for newly finished projects.  I've already started my first Nerd Wars challenge.  Its another hat for another co-worker.  I also need to start on my dissertation.  One of my team mates has already been approved!  I'll be doing quite a bit modifications to the pattern I've chosen.  I may be getting in over my head, we'll see.
Happy Crafting!