Thursday, July 31, 2008

July Roundup

1. Six pairs of mittens for the Mittenz challenge for CIC. These will be mailed in September for the mittenz blitz. Two pair were done with the Mystery Mitten KAL, my first Mystery KAL where I kept up until the end.

2. A baby blanket out of Encore Colorspun DK that just a huge washcloth. It used most of 6 balls of yarn. Purpose? Because I wanted to.

3. Finally put up the pattern for "Try A Trio for CIC" socks. It had been done for awhile, but it was still a lot of work to get it blogged. (Plus, I made cardboard blockers and took new pictures. Not great, but better than before.)

4. A hat. Why not?

Mittenz #6

For pair #6, I decided to make a fair isle pair. These are made top down and in the round. The pattern was for a snowflake on the mitten's back. When I got to the chart, the directions just said to follow the chart.

Ummm... am I missing something? How do you do a fair isle pattern that's in the round and the pattern is only on one side of the mitten? (here's the pattern if you want to take a look.)

These are the only options that I'm aware of:
1. Knit them flat, not in the round, and then the white yarn is available as needed.
2. Cut the white each row with ends to weave in. (Ahhh---that makes my head hurt just thinking about it.)
3. Carry the white back to the beginning of the row for the next time. That crosses 12 stitches, so there would be big floats on the inside.

That's the only things I could think of. Are there others?

I decided to just put a pattern on the palm also, to eliminate those problems.

That way I just knitted around and around with no big floats and not tons of ends to weave in.

I think they turned out fine, and the pattern was fun, but what was I supposed to do?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I joined a team

Moving along from indifferent to interested. Next step will most likely be mildly obsessed. Please stand by....

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ravelympics and a Hat

Anyone doing the Ravelympics? If so, what teams are you on and what are you making? For those not already familiar with the Ravelympics, they are knitting "competitions" run by Ravelry that take place entirely during the Olympics. You basically sign up by saying what you'll be making within the Olympic timespan (I believe it's 17 days), and then doing so. (That's the hard part.)

I really wasn't sure if I was going to participate. I didn't want to commit to anything. Until....I remembered that I still have 5 pairs of Magic 28 socks left to do before I hit the magic number of...28. (Here's me, explaining the obvious again.)

My event will be the Gift Knits Pentathlon, since I'm doing 5 pairs of socks that will be gifts (most likely all for CIC). I'm also doing them all from stash, so maybe I should join a stash team.

It doesn't feel like quite enough knitting to make me really push myself, but I'm afraid that if I add another project I might have to join Team Hopelessly OverCommitted.

This knitting cannot commence until the opening ceremonies on August 8. In the meantime, I present a hat.

Why a hat? I suppose it's because I ran in to a partial skein of yarn of Lionbrand Homespun that said "I would make a nice hat". There's no other explanation than that.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Why taking pictures makes me crazy

In my little brain, it seems like if I take a picture then the picture should look like the real object. Oh, not so. There are so many factors involved (things like lighting and background and speed and lots of other things that I don't even know about.)

Just the fact of changing the background can really change the look of a color. Take a look at my (newly finished!) mittens photos. Not one looks close to the correct colors. The two on the green binder were taken only at a different angle, and the tan background is actually a chocolate brown bedspread.

The last one was retouched to get the closest I can to the real colors (but it's still not that good.)

Yep, going slightly crazy (but have a new pair of mittens finished.)

The baby blanket (knit like a huge dishcloth) is also done. And shown on my new chocolate bedspread that I actually bought to be a couch slipcover. (It's not wide enough, but that's problem for another day.)

(See my lonely spinning wheel in the corner? It misses me, I think. Maybe I'll spin something soon.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

New sock pattern

If you check out the sidebar, you'll see that I've added a new sock pattern. Also, you'll see it if you scroll down a bit. It was put in another post so that I don't have my normal blather attached to it forever.

I wrote this awhile ago but just now got a chance to post it. If you try it out, let me know how it went and if there's any problems with the pattern.

On the sidebar I also added Ravelry links to pdf pattern files. (These will only work for you if you have a Ravelry id. If you don't have one, I highly recommend getting one--it's well worth it!)

Try a Trio for CIC

Children in Common (CIC) knitting group knits warm wool items for children in orphanages in Russia. Where it's 45-50 degrees indoors, a warm pair of socks can make a big difference.
This pattern is written for toddler socks. There are a trio of sizes and a trio of stitch patterns. Mix and match the size and pattern for a unique pair of socks.

Yarn: About 150 yds. worsted weight wool
Needles: Four size 4 dpns
Gauge: 6 sts = inch in pattern stitch
Finished Size: Toe to heel = 5.5[6,7] inches.Heel to cuff = 6[7,8] inches. Gauge is approximate. As long as it looks like a real-sized sock it’s sure to fit some child.
K = knit
P = purl
Yo = yarn over
SSK = slip knitwise, slip knitwise, knit those 2 together
K2tog = knit 2 together
P2tog = purl 2 together
Sl = slip purlwise
RS = right side
WS = wrong side

Coffee Bean Stitch pattern:
Round 1: *K2, P2, repeat from * around.
Round 2: *K1, yo, K1, P2. repeat from * around.
Round 3: *K3, P2. repeat from * around.
Round 4: *Slip st, K2, pass slipped st over the 2 knit sts and off, P2. repeat from * around.
Repeat rounds 1-4 for desired leg length.

Example: 36 sts, Cascade 220 wool. K2,P2 ribbing was used on the instep to reduce bulk. K2, P2 ribbing was used on the heel instead of the heel stitch.

Fancy Moss Rib:
Round 1: *K1, P3, repeat from * around.
Round 2: P1, *K1, P3, repeat from * around.
Repeat rounds 1-2 for desired leg length.

Example: 32 stitches, Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride.

Red Rib:
Rounds 1,3: K.
Rounds 2,4: P.
Rounds 5-8: *K2, P2, repeat from * around.
Repeat rounds 1-8 once, then rounds 1-6 once.

Example: 28 stitches, Chaco 100% worsted wool.


Loosely cast on 28[32,36] sts, putting 12,8,8[12,12,8][12,12,12]sts on each of 3 dpns. Join in a round. Work in K2, P2 ribbing for 8 rounds, working needle 1, needle 2, needle 3.

Work in chosen stitch pattern (See above) for the desired length. I usually do the same # of rows down from edge as stitches around, so 28 sts=28 rows, 32 sts=32 rows, 36 sts=36 rows.

Heel Flap:
Note: The number of heel flap stitches was chosen to keep the stitch pattern centered on the instep. This can be fiddled with, but then make sure the stitch pattern is centered over the instep, or do it plain.
Working over 14[14,18] sts (taking from needle 1 and borrowing from needle 2 as necessary), repeat heel rows 7[8,9] times:Row 1 (RS): Sl 1, K13[13,17], turn.Row 2 (WS): *Sl 1, P1, repeat from *, turn.

Turn heel:
Sl 1, K 7[7,9], SSK, K1, turn.Sl 1, p3, p2tog, p1, turn.
Sl 1, K until 1 stitch before gap, SSK, K1, turn.
Sl 1, P until 1 stitch before gap, p2tog, p1, turn.
Repeat these two rows until all heel stitches have been worked. There are now 8[8,12] heel stitches.

Needle 1 (right side): Knit across all stitches of heel. Pick up 10[11,12] stitches down the side of the heel.
Needle 2: Work the instep stitches, keeping in leg pattern.
Needle 3: Pick up 10[11,12] stitches up the side of the heel. Knit 4[4,6] stitches from needle 1. This is the new beginning of round in the middle back of the heel.
Should now have: Needle 1: 14[15,18] sts, Needle 2 (instep): 14[18,18] sts, Needle 3: 14[15,18] sts.

Gusset decreases:
Round 1 (decrease round):
Needle 1:K to within 3 stitches of the end of needle, K2tog, K1.
Needle 2: Work leg pattern.
Needle 3: K1, SSK, K to end of needle.

Round 2: Knit, keeping instep in leg pattern.

Repeat these 2 rounds until needles 1 and 3 have 7[7,9] stitches each, needle 2 still has 14[18,18] sts.

Needles 1 and 3: Knit.
Needle 2: Work leg pattern.

Work for 28[32,36] rounds (counted from gusset pick up), or desired length.

Toe Decreases:
For 32 st size only:
Needle 1: Knit.
Needle 2: K1, SSK, K to within 3 sts of the end of needle, K2tog, K1.
Needle 3: Knit.(This round sets up for even decreasing so that at the end, needle 2 has double what needles 1 and 3 have.)

For all sizes:
Round 1: Knit.
Round 2:
Needle 1: K to within 3 sts of the end of needle, K2tog, K1.
Needle 2: K1, SSK, K to within 3 sts of the end of needle, K2tog, K1.
Needle 3: K1, SSK, K to end of needle.Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until 12 stitches left. [3-6-3].

Knit stitches from needle 3 onto needle 1. Graft toe sts with Kitchener stitch.

Copyright 2008 by Ruth Garcia. Socks may be made for personal or charity use. No socks may be sold from this pattern without permission from the author. Thanks for respecting that!

Monday, July 21, 2008

More mitten knitting

I went on a road trip this past weekend. Now, most road trips for me involve several hours in a car which equal prime knitting time.

This time, I was the driver with only one passenger. Some people would consider letting an 11 yr. old drive rather bad parenting, and I'm quite sure we wouldn't have reached our destination. Therefore, I didn't knit in the car. (Did I really need that last statement, or could you tell where I was going? Obviously, I like to over-explain myself.)

I knit about 2 rows on the baby blanket all weekend, so I'll spare you the picture. If you really want to look at it again, just scroll down to my previous entry and imagine that it's two rows longer. (The blanket's pattern is just the same as the basic washcloth pattern...but really big. This is the actual pattern that I used. )

However, since I've been home I've finished two pairs of mittens (one started earlier--I don't knit that fast.)

These are mittens that are using up my bits and pieces of yarn that are laying around.

The first pair used a bigger skein of yellow plus oddballs of various shades of purple and teal. The yarn is wool so the ends were spit spliced together to keep the ends to a minimum.

For the second pair, I laid out so yarn in various shades in a somewhat planned order. I thought I would need this much for a pair of mittens.

I only needed this much.

With the yarn left I can make another pair!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Friday report

Not much exciting knitting going on around here. I only have two active projects (plus the sock that is still in timeout).

I've rounded the corner on my baby blanket. There's about 1 1/2 balls of yarn left until it's completed. As the rows get shorter it should be going faster, but I keep getting bored (or falling asleep.)

I had so much fun on the mittens, that I decided to do another pair. These will just be plain. Well, sort of. I'm picking out yarn from this pile.

The rest of the yarn I carry around with me just in case. (Just in case what, I don't know. But there it is.)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Snowmen mittens

My mittens are done! I must admit that when I saw I had to do embroidery (as cute as it might be), I was tempted to put it off. But, I persisted through it and now they're done.

Little snowmen!

Although the yellow set look more like little chicks to me.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Why I should knit mittens one at a time

(Or, I can never pay enough attention to follow directions correctly the first time.)

I've been working on my Mystery Mittenz. They're toddler sized, so I figured I can do two pair at a time while waiting for the next clue.

Bad idea.

I can't seem to follow directions.

Even though I knit left handed with the throwing method, I usually don't have problems with charts. I just follow along like a right handed person, going from right to left on the chart, and ignoring the fact that it doesn't logically make sense, and it ends up right. This time, however, I didn't. I read the chart from left to right and so twisted the cables the wrong way.

(Insert picture of screwed up cables. Oh, wait, I didn't take one. Okay, then, just use your imagination.)

Since fellow knitters are posting the progress pictures, I was able to see that duh! I did it wrong. On four mittens. Sometimes I can fix the mistake by just ripping out a couple of stitches and knitting them back up. But it was too far back and they're just toddler sized, after all.

Clue #4 was out by now, so I ripped the first mitten back to the cable (at the very beginning of the clue, of course.) Fixed clue #3 and continued through clue #4. Did the same on mitten #2. Then..... I noticed that I also did clue #4 wrong. On two mittens.

This means that by the time I caught up, I have knitted clue #3 EIGHT times and clue #4 SIX times.

Just think how mittens I could have done now if I hadn't made mistakes!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Mystery Mittenz

For the months of July and August the CIC group is knitting mittens for the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. To go along with that, Jean is hosting a Mystery Mitten KAL over here.

This is what they look like at the end of Clue two:

Pair one uses dyed Fisherman's wool, while

pair two is knitted in two shades of teal green. The lighter is Lamb's Pride and the darker is Cascade 220.

I actually have 2 sets of size 4 dpns and 2 sets of circs, so the circs are the holders and the dpns are the active sets.

Clue #3 is posted, so if I clean house for an hour, I can knit for an hour before I have to go to work. Good plan! (even if it does involve vacuuming.)