Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Casting on is fun!

I'm a bit of a project starter. Love buying wool and making plans. I made another mini circular... this time a 17cm 3.5mm one, and I'm knitting a broadripple sock on it. At least, I started.

Then I went shopping (Friday night is shopping night for Jasmine and I) and found some $2 balls of Zhivago in a pretty shade of... purple? I love zhivago. It's 50% acrylic, and I don't normally like acrylic, but it's also 50% tencel, and SO soft! I decided to use it for a Bunny hop pullover for my friends' new baby.

One of the great things about this project is that I get to use up a $1 ball of yarn I've been itching to use but haven't found a little project worthy of it. I had two balls, one in Rosewood and one in Mahogany. It just so happens that this yarn is the same fiber mix. The Rosewood is the same color as my zhivago, and the Mahogany is a shade darker... the perfect color and amount for the edges on my Bunnyhop.

It took me ages to do the ruffle edge, but I was so pleased with it when it was done. The first row is 185 stitches, and then it decreases down to 55. Now it's simple ribbing. I did about 15cm of ribbing yesterday, which is pretty good for me. Normally I can only do a row here and two rows there, and maybe 5 or 6 rows when the kids are in bed (before I fall asleep myself!)

Can't wait to see how it looks on my little model. I'll dress Jaz in it once for a photo, and then give it away.

Oh, and I finished my first pair of socks.
The cast on is a bit tight to get over my heel, but apart from that they are warm and cosy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mini Circulars

I spent a bit of time in the Shed today. Why? Because I was butchering a new Sullivans bamboo circular needle into two minis!

The original was a 3mm, 80cm circular needle. I cut the points off the wood (with scissors) and Nathan sharpened them for me. (Think he sandpapered them. I re-sandpapered the ends later, and it was quite easy.) The wood left was 5cm long. I found it hard to pull off the tube, so I cut it off one end with a sharp knife.
I measured my tube, cut it to length, and put the end back on. It was hard to squish on, but it went on eventually.
I found the cut-off points, and decided to try and whittle the ends so I could stick on the leftover tube. It didn't work so well, because I'm not much of a whittler. So, with a file in the vice, I filed the end down until the tube could be squished on.
My first was 20cm (about 8"), because I've heard of 8" circulars, and I figured it wasn't possible to knit with them much smaller.
The second was 25.5cm (about 10"). The joins aren't perfect, so I'll see how they go with knitting. I suspect my little one will work best, if I hold the original (good) end in my right hand.
If they work well, my future socks will be much easier!
Sock number 2 is down to the foot. So not long to go, and then I'll give the mini-circs a try!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

My First Socks

I have gotten to the point in the pinwheel sweater where I have to do sleeves. But I know I'm going to leave (stupid) dpn ladders all the way down them!

Tara says you can use 2 circulars, which I tested, but it's tricky. I will practice again sometime, this time with actual instructions! lol. She challenged me to make socks on 2 circulars, saying she would, too.

Anyway, I was suddenly hit with a desire to practice dpn-ing with an 8ply pattern I'd found. To my surprise, I have had a great time going round with my (stupid) dpn's, and have done about 10cm so far.

I am making socks! I'm even going to try the scary-sounding heel!

Byron looked up at me today, and (being neglected) sighed, "knit, knit, knit..." It is not the first time. Poor boy. I put "The Wiggles" on for him, balanced Jasmine on my lap, and we were all happy.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


This is my latest project, a cute little circular sweater that apparently fits a baby from age 6 months to 4 years. I think it looks a bit funny with the "hood" for the baby size, but I like the bigger "collar" size. (You turn it upside down to go from one to the other). I spent all my cash on the 5 different needles and 8 balls of 10ply they thought I needed ($70) but it's been worth it.

At first the (stupid!!) thing took me 6 tries to get started. I was wrestling with 8 stitches on 4 long 5.5mm double pointed needles, trying not to get them twisted while knitting into the front and back... But finally I got going. Once my hands got used to the dpn's again (it seems to take 5 or 10 rounds) I was right, and once I got onto the circulars (after about 16 rounds) I was laughing.

The yarn is Patons Jet, and they didn't have many colors. But I'm liking the colors I picked. They're very Autumny together, and just a bit different than what I would have picked, had I more choice. I'm not the sort to mix orange, purple, cream, white, red and a caramel kind of brown. But they look ok. The final color is a variegated (sort of) yarn that cycles (on the 3 different plies independently) between the purple, red and orange, though it's hard to see in the photo.

The edging was fun, though it took about 3 days. The final round had 216 stitches (though I think it should have had more, but never mind that!) and was finished by incorporating a 3-wide icord. Each bump of icord was 6 rows, the 6th being knitted together with the next 3 stitches to be cast off. So the icord was about 1300 stitches. Not difficult, but fiddley, and mostly done with Jasmine on my knee. lol.

The two lines of "caramel" in the orange section will be pulled out to make 36 live stitches for the sleeves. Haven't worked out how I'm going to do them, yet. I still get ladders with dpn's and it would be a shame to ruin it like that. I'll probably have a go, though. I can always rip it out!

A pinwheel group on Ravelry gave me the ideas about the sleeves and the contrasting edge color.
And here's my little helper! hehe. He taps the needles together and says, "knit knit knit!" But he doesn't quite get the concept... he gets annoyed if I try and put wool in his way!

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