Tag Archives: knit

Travel Socks in Progress

Last weekend was a whirlwind!  I had an amazing time traveling down to LA to visit friends (and their perfect tiny baby!  Hi, Janey!), watch comedy, dance, and eat way too much good food.  I still feel like I have a hangover, despite not drinking anything since Saturday.  I guess it’s just an emotional “Why can’t I still be on vacation” hangover.

LA isn’t that far from Seattle- a couple hours on the plane isn’t that bad.  But, it still gave me plenty of time to get started on my Travel Socks.  And, I gotta tell you, I had almost as much fun working on these socks as I did the rest of the weekend.  (OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but they’re turning out really, really cool!)

I mean, look at this stitch pattern!You’d never know it was so freaking simple to knit.  It’s ingenious!

I showed it to a bunch of knitters over the weekend, and none of them could figure out how it was worked.  (And even when I told them what I was doing, they had a hard time believing me!)

It’s a 1×1 row stripe (1 navy row, one light blue row).  Every dark row, you knit, and every light row, you work K1, P1, alternating back and forth just like in seed stitch.  The finished fabric is beautiful, squishy and soft.  I think this stitch pattern might just start showing up in other knitting patterns.  (Right now, I’m dreaming of a raglan sweater with this pattern.  Maybe with variegated yarn?  Or maybe with stripes!  Or maybe with variegated stripes!)

I’m using the dark (MC) to make a simple cuff, heel and toes, which I think is going to look really classy- instead of an obnoxious striped sock, I’m going to have very cool, interestingly-patterned socks.  I can’t wait until I’m finished!What’s the last project you got really excited about?

Too Many Bears

Oof.

These bears are going to be the death of me.  There’s just so many!

I thought I’d done this before, but I must not have made this many all at once.  Because stuffing and finishing six bears takes. For. Ev. Er.

I put on a nice long movie last night and sat down with my box of bears and a big bag of fluff.  I figured two and a half, maybe three hours would be plenty to get all the bears put together- maybe even enough to put on faces.

Well.  I was wrong

It literally took TWO HOURS to stuff all six bears- I didn’t even get to start sewing them up during that time.So now I have a big box of bears/bear arms with stuffing popping out the tops.  (It’s actually kind of morbid… like I can see the bears’ brains!  Zombie bears!  Aah!)

It took another half hour to sew up one bear- closing the top of the head, attaching the arms and making the neck.  That means I’ve got another two-plus hours of work ahead of me before I even start sewing on faces.  Ugh!

I wish I could just send in the un-stuffed bears to the Mother Bear Project and have them finish them up.  I could make so many more bears that way!  (Although, then the Mother Bear folks would have to spend all their time stuffing them… They probably have better things to be doing.)

Have you been working on anything lately that’s taken longer than expected?

Road Trip Knitting

Summer’s Road Trip Season, and this year I’ve got a bunch of trips coming up.  We’re flying to California to visit friends, we’re driving to Mt. Rainier with my folks and we’re going to a family reunion waaaaay up in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan.

Of course, we’re not doing all this at the same time (we do have to work, after all).  But, I want to get ready for all that car/plane downtime.  That means stocking up on Dramamine, filling my Kindle with new books, and planning out some simple-yet-interesting knitting projects.

I’m a big fan of socks as travel knitting.  They’re small enough to fit into a purse or cary-on, but take long enough to fill up a whole week of travel.  And, other than turning the heel, they’re easy enough that you don’t really have to focus on what you’re doing.

They’re the best!

Anyway, I dug into my stash, and found a bunch of little ends of sock yarn.  So, I was thinking of doing something to use up that yarn.  Stripes seem too boring, and colorwork would make me carsick (simple is the name of the game, after all).

I poked around on Ravelry, until I found these beauties!

Broken Seed Stitch Socks by Hanna LevaniemiHer original pattern (it’s not a formal pattern, exactly, more like a design suggestion that I can use with my standard Socks by the Numbers pattern) uses a lovely cream color with a pretty variegated yarn. The little stripes combined with the knit/purl pattern make the colors blend together really nicely.

But, what I really love is the idea that Ravelry User mckr had.  Stripes!  But when the stripe colors are mixed with the background color, the whole thing looks gorgeous and cohesive.So, I picked out six mini balls of leftover sock yarn, and a full 50g skein of a lovely navy blue.  I think they’ll look great together.  (One of the mini-skeins even has sparkles!)

I’m making myself wait until our road trips are officially going before I start knitting these bad boys.  Vacation can’t start soon enough!

Are you looking forward to any upcoming projects?

 

New Pattern: Checkerboard Dishcloth

Happy Friday, everybody!

Hope you’ve got a nice weekend planned with plenty of time for some fun and easy knitting!

Might I offer up a pattern for you to try?

How about my brand-new Checkerboard Dishcloth?

It’s a super simple dishcloth knit in a single color featuring subtle texture, courtesy of knits and purls.

It’s simple, timeless, and easy!

Oh, and did I mention, it’s free?

Get the pattern here!

Inspiration: In the Shade

Phew!  It’s getting hot out here!

It’s been bouncing between the upper-60s and the mid-80s here in Seattle lately.  It’s been sunny and clear and dry.  I’ve had the windows open and the furnace turned off for over a week.  And, I’m down to only wearing sweaters first thing in the morning.  That means only one thing:  Summer’s just about here.

It’s hot, and I’ve become a total PNW weenie about the heat.  It gets over 70 degrees, and I start to whine, over 75 and I stop going outside if I can avoid it.  (The version of me that lived in Austin for three years is disgusted with current me… that version wouldn’t even think of breaking out the shorts until it was approaching 100.  That version of me was a little bit dumb, I think.)

Ollie totally agrees.  He’s been spending his days sunning himself out on the deck until he starts to pant too much, then trots inside and to sprawl out on the cool tile floor and drink from the toilet, even though he has a nice big bowl of fresh water… you’ve got to keep an eye on him.  He’s crafty (and a little gross).  He’s not a fan of hot weather either.But, as hot as it is in the sun, it’s actually been kind of nice in the shade.   If only there was a way to take the shade with you…

Oh wait!  There is!

We Seattleites might refuse to carry umbrellas with us when it rains, but we could totally carry umbrellas with us to keep the sun from our pale, pale skin.

I like the simplicity of this one, it would definitely provide plenty of protection from the sun.

Victoria by Kelly GriffithThis one is too cute for words- don’t you just love the stripes?

17S/Parasol by michiyoAnd this one is just gorgeous!  Unfortunately I think all that lace would take me until the end of summer before I finished.  But then I could have it for next summer…

Schattenspiele/R by Christine NöllerOr, I suppose Ollie and I could just drink some water, stay in the shade and stop being weenies about the heat.

What do you do to keep cool in the summer?

WaHoo!!!

You guys!

Hey!

Guess what!

Blocking is the best thing ever invented!

Remember my Cursed Sweater?  (I really wish I could show you real pictures of it…  Some day.)  Well,  I think I finally got the curse to lift!  Woo hoo!

So, last you heard, I had finished the sweater, but it fit me… not great.  In fact, it fit me so poorly that I thought I had messed up my math.  I spent the week worried, going over the math again and again.  What had I done wrong?  Did I misplace a parenthesis or a plus sign in my spreadsheet?  Did I accidentally cast on the wrong number of stitches?  WHAT DID I DO?

It didn’t help that the sweater made me feel distinctly like a plump sausage in too-tight casing.

(I can’t show you pictures, but I can show you poorly-Photoshopped representations of the sweater in question.)

The collar choked me, the sleeves were a good 6 inches too short, the body rolled up on itself.  It was awful!Awful!

Well, I went ahead and blocked it-  I didn’t have much hope, but I figured it couldn’t hurt.

But, holy knitwear, Batman!  It blocked out perfectly!  It fits like a glove, the sleeves are the perfect length, and I can swallow while wearing it.  It’s the best!It turns out, I had blocked my gauge swatch before I measured.   So, all my math was based on a blocked gauge (THE WAY YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO DO IT!), but for some reason, my brain had completely forgotten how pattern designing works and assumed that I had just really, really messed up again.

Come on brain, don’t stress me out like that!

This sweater is DONE!  It was a slog, but I survived, and I have a pretty killer new sweater in my closet (where it will stay for the next six months, because summer just started here… sigh).

Have you finished any big projects recently?

Also, if you are interested in having your project featured on On the Needles, send a photo with a short description to knittingontheneedles@gmail.com!  (Any project is welcome- not just knitting!)

Inspiration: Procrastiknitting

I finished my BIG SECRET PROJECT the other day (I’ve got it blocking right now, and I keep checking on it every couple hours… it continues to be damp, much to my chagrin).

I’ve got two other big projects waiting in the queue, so I really should get straight to work on them.  Buuuuut…..

I don’t wanna.

I just want to make something fun and cute and silly.  (And, since I really should be working on other projects, something small.)

So, let’s look at some little-bitty cute projects that I could work on while totally not procrastinating!

I love this teeny tiny kitty.  I don’t know what I’d do with him, but I think I might need to make him.

Tiny Window Cat by Sara Elizabeth KellnerAnd, I love this tiny earbud pouch.  I’m always getting my headphones tangled up with my purse knitting, and maybe this would help keep them under control.  Or maybe it would just be another thing to get lost in my purse.  Either way, it’s cute!

Earbud Pouch by Mary KeenanOr, I could just go all-in on the cute, tiny, silliness.  I could do the whole Christmas in May thing, and knit up some little Christmas Elves.  I mean, how cute are they?!

Jolly Wee Elf by Churchmouse Yarns and TeasHave you ever “procrastiknitted” before?  What did you make?

Inspiration: Warm Weather

It’s been absolutely gorgeous in Seattle for the last week- sunny and around 70.  (Unfortunately, the fact that I’m typing this out means that the rain will start up again in the next 15 minutes.  That’s just how good weather in Seattle works- it turns cold and damp as soon as you acknowledge that the sun is out.)  The windows have been open, the dog has been snoozing in the sun on the back porch, and I’ve been wearing fewer sweaters (I’ve still been wearing some, because I’m me and constantly feel like it’s 20 degrees colder than it actually is).

Which made me think about warm-weather knitwear.  I start thinking about it every year about this time.  What can I knit, or what can I wear, that would be comfortable in 70+ degree weather.  I always feels a little silly thinking about knitting up tank tops and shorts, skirts and t-shirts.  But people do it- heck, I even designed a tank top a couple years ago (which I think turned out pretty cute, if I say so myself).

I’ve dug through Ravelry, and picked out three (non-ugly) summery tank tops just for you.  (And, I guess, for me too, in the off chance that the sun sticks around a little longer.)

(I was going to look up an assortment of summery clothing instead of just tank tops, but I defy any of you to find a not-terrible pair of knit shorts for anyone older than in infant.  I don’t think they exist.)

I really like this top (I guess it’s got a tiny little sleeve, so it’s not really a tank). It’s feminine and pretty, with an interesting neckline.  I love that it’s made with stretch cotton-a perfect yarn for summery tops- and it’s a lovely, flattering shape.

Tee Top in Lace Daisy by Ekaterina ArndtThis tank top is totally adorable, too.  It’s so simple and such a classic shape.  And, anything with mini stripes is OK by me.

#02 Simple Tank by Debbie BlissSome (most?) knit tank tops end up having a weirdly ’90s vibe about them, but I love how modern this one feels.  I love the racer back, combined with the wide neckline and loose, draped silhouette.  I might actually have a go at knitting up this one… some day… when I have time…

Flying Buttress Tank by Andrea RangelDo you have any warm-weather knitwear?  What do you knit when it gets warm outside?

“Last Night Allison” Strikes Again

You all remember the last time Last Night Allison struck.  It wasn’t pretty. I mean, I managed to fix it, but it was touch and go for a while, and way more difficult than I expected it to be.

Unfortunately, Last Night Allison struck again.  But here’s the worst part.  I have no excuse for my bad decisions.  It wasn’t late (actually it was about 3:00 in the afternoon).  I hadn’t been drinking (except a cup of decaffeinated tea).  And, I really should have been paying attention.

I was starting the prototype of a sweater I’m working on.  The pattern begins with (spoiler!) a 1×1 rib for about 2 inches.

This is what I knit:Allison, that’s not a 1×1 rib!  That’s a 2×2 rib!  That’s a 2×2 rib that you worked on for about three hours before realizing your mistake!  (There was swearing.)

So, then, I had to decide, do I rip out the whole thing?  Start over?  Or, do I painstakingly go through with a crochet hook and change half the knits to purls, and half the purls to knits?

I bet you can’t guess what Last Night Allison chose.  (That’s right!  She picked the most fiddly and difficult choice possible.)I ripped each column of stitches out, one by one, carefully picking them back up in the proper orientation.  Which is totally not a super annoying process.  Ha!Amazingly, the fixed ribbing actually looks pretty good- I was afraid it would be a little wonky, but it looks OK.The only problem is I’ve still got well over halfway to go.  I think my “quick fix” is going to end up taking longer than re-knitting the whole thing would have.  Of course, at this point I’ve sunk too much effort into it, so I’m here for the long haul.What would you have done?  Would you have ripped the whole thing and re-knit, or do you have agreed with Last Night Allison?  Or, do you have a magical solution that would have been better than either?

Sockhead

I’m sure you were all waiting with baited breath to find out what I decided to do with my skein of Tosh Merino.

Well, I sat down on Monday night to start knitting, and I thought I was going to make the Annis shawl.  But, then my husband put on an episode of the new MST3K, and I couldn’t focus on casting on all that lace.  So instead I started on a Sockhead Slouch HatI love it so far- It’s a super simple pattern, so it’ll really show off the pretty color of the yarn.  I love how soft the fabric is turning out.  And, I think I’m going to get a lot of use out of it.  It’s not crazy thick and wintery- I’ve got plenty of thick winter hats.  I needed something a little lighter, for breezy spring days.I won’t lie, though, at this small gauge, it’s going to take me a hot minute to finish this hat.  But it’s so simple, it’ll be good TV-watching/coffee-shop-sitting/waiting-for-class-to-start knitting.  In fact, I knit about an inch yesterday morning waiting for my dog to get done with his haircut.

(Do you want to see pictures of him?  Of course you do.)

Before:  Shaggy old wizard dog

After: Teddy bear puppy

Anyway, dog aside, I’m enjoying this hat pattern.  Especially with some of the more *ahem* elaborate patterns I’ve been working on lately, it’s nice to make a super-simple project like this.

Have you been working on anything exciting lately?