Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Knitting my knuckles off...

I just finished three demo soakers for the Munchkin Rumps Soaker pattern. I've been knitting like crazy. I started 12 days, but really stepped it up ~1 week ago. I'm averaging about 2 days per soaker.
I think I'm gonna give it a rest for a little bit. I DO have other soaker & longies projects in mind, but I have the "necessities" done for now.

Oh yeah! A woman at church saw dd's bloomers under her dress at Easter & wants me to knit a pair for her granddaughter. My first customer!! :D
Gotta tweak the bloomers pattern next...

Take a look.
Boy/Girl soaker 3-6mos

Girl Soaker 6-9 mos

Girl Longies w/"mock" flared leg 6-9 mos

Monday, March 24, 2008

I've been on a "Wool Bender"

Otherwise known as a "wool shopping spree."
I need help...but I don't really want it :)

This is what I bought at Hobby Lobby on Friday.

2 skeins of Bernat Felting in happy Bouquet.

This is what I bought at Michael's Saturday afternoon.

6 skeins of Patons Classic Merino & 1 skein of Lion Wool for felting.

And take a look at what I found in the mail on Sunday (delivered Saturday).

200g of Blue faced Leicester Aran wt in Natural/undyed & Country Patchwork...YAY!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Twisted Rib Fingerless Gloves

Here is how I turned a project that was originally going to be a twisted rib soaker into fingerless gloves...

Needles: US Size 4 straight & US size 3 dpn's
Gauge: No idea, shouldn't matter. I knit loose, but this seemed a bit tight for me due to the soft merino yarn.
Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted

Main body:
On size 4 straight needles, alternate knit cast on & purl cast on for 52 sts (or to desired length of glove).
Row 1: Ktbl1, P1 across
Row 2: K1, Ptbl1 across
Repeat rows 1 & 2 until work measures the desired length. The desired length of the work will be the circumference of your palm at it's widest part.
Alternate knit cast off & purl cast off.
Leaving a hole for the thumb, seam the cast on edge to the cast off edge with the right side together (I like the twisted knits to be the right side). I seamed 7 twisted knit "rows" together for the palm-to-thumb distance. Then seamed 13 twisted knit "rows" together for the arm-to-thumb distance.

Turn work right side out.
On size 3 dpn's pick up 29 sts around the thumb hole. Distribute the sts as follows: 9 parallel to length of glove, 10 perpendicular to length of glove, and 9 parallel to length of glove.
Round 1: Ktbl19, turn & wrap for a short row (K10, then turn & wrap to go back). Ktbl10, K2tog, Ktbl4 turn & wrap for a short row (K15, K2tog, K4, then turn & wrap to go back). Ktbl20, K2tog, Ktbl3.
Round 2: P4, P2tog, P24.
Round 3: Ktbl2, Ktbl2tog, Ktbl2, Ktbl2tog, Ktbl11 turn & wrap for a short row (K10, then turn & wrap to go back). Ktbl10, K2tog, Ktbl1, Ktbl2tog, Ktbl2, Ktbl2tog, Ktbl1 (25sts plus one wrap).
Round 4: P2tog, P1, P2tog, P2tog, *P1, P2tog repeat from * till end (20sts).
Round 5:Work ktbl cast off.

Finger holes:
On size 3 dpn's, pickup sts around the top of the glove (I started at the seam and worked counter clockwise to keep the first twisted knit "row" visible).
Put glove on hand. Thread yarn thru work in between fingers to mark where joins will be.
Remove glove.
Round 1: Work knit cast off until halfway around opening (ignoring threaded yarn). Work knit cast off until next threaded yarn. Work the "join" by slipping as if to knit the chevron of the farside stitch then do the same for the next live stitch on the left needle. K2tog, then cast off. Work knit cast off until next threaded yarn marking & work the join as above. Repeat for the last threaded yarn marking. Finish casting off till end.

Repeat for other hand.

Baby Pants by Yukiya

This is what I came up with for converting to English & knit-in-the-round…
Japanese pattern by Yukiya found here.

I'm sure there are errors, but I don't have the time or the desire to work it least it's a place to start.

This pattern will give you a FO sized for a small adult woman...since it is for "panties" not "baby pants."

Approximately DK or sport weight
Size 6 or 7 needles

6sts/ 3cm
8 rows/3cm
19sts & 26 row in 10 x 10cm

Knit in the round starting at center back.
Cast on 144sts.
Round 1: Work K1, P1 ribbing. Place marker at center front & center back
Round 2-4: Work K1, P1 ribbing.
Round 5: Work eyelet row
Round 6-9: Work K1, P1 ribbing
Round 10: Work K1, P1 ribbing increasing by 32sts evenly around
Round 11: Knit 38sts. Place marker (back right). Work side ribbing (K1, p1, k2, p1, k2, p1, k2, p1, k1). Knit 76sts. Work side ribbing as before. Place marker (back left). Knit 38sts.
Round 12-69: Repeat Row 11.
Round 70: Knit 8sts placing them on a stitch holder. Continue as previous round until 8sts before center front marker. Knit 16sts placing them on a 2nd stitch holder. Continue as previous round until 8sts before center back. K1, then place it and the other 7sts onto the first stitch holder w/o knitting them.

Work Gusset:
On straight needles for 15 rows, K1, P2, K2, P2 repeat * until last stitch, K1.
Row 16: Knit entire row. Work kitchener stitch to join to 16sts on 2nd holder.

Work Legs:
Divide 144 sts for legs evenly onto circular needles or DPN’s (72sts ea).
Round 1: Knit around grafting 16sts along gusset piece.
Round 2-15: Knit around
Round 16: Knit around reducing by 10sts evenly.
Round 17-22: Work K1, P1 ribbing.
Round 23: Knit around increasing by 20sts evenly.
Round 24-28: Knit around. Cast Off

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Munchkin Rumps Universal Soaker Pattern

I just had to enter the Munchkin Rumps Universal Soaker pattern I've been working on into the Ravelry database, for a test knitter that wanted to add it to her FO' I thought I should have an entry in my blog since it is listed as having more info.

I am nearly done with developing this completely customizable pattern & will be offering it up for sale soon...probably thru etsy.

Use any yarn, with any needles & any gauge to make custom fit soakers, shorties, or longies.
Currently, the pattern is for knit-in-the-round but I do want to develop one for flat knitting & maybe even crochet. I'm also going to finish the bloomers version that I made originally & maybe even make a skirtie version too.

This all came about after I spent three days obsessing over/translating/deciphering a Japanese pattern for ladies knit panties. The pattern was flat knit & written in Japanese. What I could decipher gave me a FO that was sized for a small adult woman...not very useful for cloth diapering.

So began the task of rewriting and resizing. With my severe gauge-matching impairment, I didn't think I could come up with a version that called for sticking to a hard & fast gauge so I started writing it in MS Excel. Also, the original flat knit called for two pieces seamed together down the midline...I didn't like that so I came up with a circular knit version. I also couldn't decipher the gusset area so I designed my own.

I've had some volunteer knitters testing it for me (they've been REALLY helpful) and have a few of my first attempts posted on Ravelry

Here's one of mine I really like (soaker w/extra long rise)

I'm still not quite ready for the debut...but hope to be within the month.

I'm VERY excited about this whole thing!

Saturday, March 15, 2008


I just won some Blue Faced Leicester yarn on ebay!!!
I got 200g for ~$27 shipping included. That's the best price I've seen!

It's coming from the UK...I can't wait :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

Friday, March 14, 2008

The "Aran Sweater Adventure" begins

So my friend Sally gave me a box of sweaters a while ago...donating to the wool-covered-baby-butt cause...and in the box was a HUGE Aran sweater! Actually a men's medium. Undyed & in great shape. Ooh I just had to have it :)
Here's a pic


It has some pretty extensive cabeling with some pretty big holes in the design as a result...didn't think it would work to cut it up & definitely didn't want to felt it. So the alternative...unravel it and reknit the yarn...I started yesterday.

Now I'm glad that I spent all that time figuring out how to unravel the cotton sweater (which yarn I have hardly used) cuz this one went much smoother. So far the only trouble spots have been where there's a bit of felting at the seams...not sure how that happened since I don't make sweaters.

Anyway, I got all four pieces apart...2 sleeves and front & back panels and weighed them all...

The part I disliked the most was the tiny crochet chain to bind off the tops (really the last live stitches) of all of the pieces...I actually haven't taken it off of the sleeves yet. Four chains from all the shoulder edges was enough for one day. Then I started unraveling and winding into a center pull ball on a paper towel roll. Then I stopped.

I had thought about washing the sweater before I started...but that thought crossed my mind weeks ago & was since forgotten...I was too excited to get started yesterday. As I was winding I thought...ya know it's gonna be REALLY hard to wash unraveled. to wash.

I kind of like washing wool :) It smells a little funny, but I REALLY like clean wool especially when it smells like the lavender baby wash that I was using on it.

I was really surprised at how dirty the wash water was. I know Sally said that she'd had the sweater for about 20yrs but that it's hardly been worn...seeing how HUGE it was compared to little Sally, I believe it. I had to rinse each piece about 4-5 times before I was okay with what was left in the water. A quick spin in the washer & it was time to figure out WHERE I was going to lay it out to dry...oops didn't preplan :)LOL

I came up with this...

On one two-piece section of "baby-fence" on top of the glass table in the sun room. The fencing is about 5 feet long & it still wasn't big enough to hold it all...the sleeves were hanging off the sides a bit.

So it's still there right now...the ribbing was still damp last night. It is a lot brighter now after the wash & I can't wait to get back to unraveling :)

In the meantime, here's some pics of the cabeling

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I think I'm a fiber-snob

It's either THAT or...
I've picked up a habit that's too expensive for my penny-pinching nature.

Maybe both.

First, the penny-pinching...
I went to Knit 4 Together in Dunlap yesterday. I knew it would be small...that didn't bother me. I guess I thought I would find a different selection. Oh yeah, there was wool, alpaca, the OUTRAGEOUSLY expensive buffalo...$75.00 for 100g!!! I just wasn't finding what I wanted. There was superwash merino...but only in 50g balls..and at ~$4-5 per ball, I wasn't going to shell out that much money (I'd want to get ~200g or more). So I ended up in the bargain bins. Not much there. I almost got some sock yarn just cuz it was on sale...even tho I REALLY didn't care for the colorways. Almost got a ball of merino...again didn't like the colorway. Finally, I settled on two balls of fingering weight alpaca/tencel/nylon blend. It was white & super soft. I figured I could use it to make some stuff for Kirsten's twins (coming in May or June). Of course, I needed a smaller circular needle but couldn't find them so picked up some bamboo #1 DPN's. Spent ~$16 total. Found the circulars as we were walking out the door, don't ya know >:(

Had to fly out of there cuz we'd already spent too much time & J had to get back (he took a long lunch to come with me so I didn't have to lug/chase Owen).

Now the fiber snob...
So I would find colors and weights that looked attractive, but I wouldn't like the texture...too scratchy. I was excited to see Liecester Longwool, but the twist in the plying made it really rough. Very disappointing. Lots of goofy, fluffy, impractical stuff for foofy ladies sweaters or wacky scarves...not interested. HUGE 8oz skein of very bulky, soft wool...but didn't come in a color I wanted...always looking for purples :) No luck. The white baby alpaca was VERY soft, but again was in really small skeins...WHY??? Some very nicely dyed 4 oz skeins of machine washable & dryable...but $13 each (oops, penny-pinching again). The Cascade 220 looked nice and was softer than I expected...but I can get that from TONS of places (especially the internet).

I think I'm going to have to take a trek to Glasford to the Fiberstation...and maybe get out to the Black Socks Farm to feel their roving. Not sure I'll ever find what I'm looking for. May have to "make" it myself.

Hmmm...there's another yarn store in Morton :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

J's Twisted Rib Hat

So, I'd like to post some knitting projects & patterns that I've done in the last couple months.

The first is a hat I made for hubby. He's been wearing this knit cap with a wool liner that he's had for years & apparently it started to come apart. When he saw that I was making a bunch of stuff for the kids (mostly diapers for the baby), he said he'd like a new hat. He was also gracious enough to give me till next Christmas to complete it. Ooo...a challenge :)

I scoured the internet looking for a suitable free hat pattern. Something like a skull cap but maybe with a fold up brim...I found this.

I thought it fit the bill. The only trouble was that it was for circular knitting. AAAHHH...I've never tried that before. Well there's a first time for everything, right?

Off to find yarn...I wanted something that was mostly wool (of course) and relatively inexpensive. Oh yeah, and it had to coordinate with a mystery project that hasn't quite been started (sshhh, don't say anything, ok :)

I picked up some black wool-ease thick & quick on sale & I was off.

Being bulky yarn, I had to make some modifications to the pattern as I went along, but I ended up with a skull cap. I was pretty satisfied with it so I let J try it...he didn't like the fit so much :(

Ok, what to do? I still had some yarn left so I picked up stitches along the bottom & knit a fold-up rim (a few stitches narrower than I'd started the rest of the hat so it would fit tighter).
With only a few inches of yarn to spare, I finished (again) but this time he liked it :) Yay!

So here's what I did...

J's Twisted Rib Hat Pattern

Modifications I made for bulky weight yarn to make a skull cap for a 24" diameter head…
(The needle size changes are only because that’s what I have on hand)

Alternate Knit Cast-on & Purl Cast-on for 77 stitches on #9 circular needle.
Round 1: Slip 1 stitch, Ktbl1,P1 for 74 stitches, P2tog (76sts).
Continued twisted rib for 6.5”
1st decrease: Ktbl1, P1, SSKtbl for one round.
Ktbl or P for 2 rounds as stitches appeared.
2nd decrease: Starting at last Knit stitch on last round, SSKtbl, P1 for one round (switched to size 6, 16” needle).
Ktbl or P for 2 rounds as stitches appeared.
3rd decrease: SSKtbl for one round (19sts) (switched to size 3 dpn).
Ktbl for one round.
4th decrease: SSKtbl for one round (10sts).
Ktbl for one round.
5th decrease: SSKtbl, Ktbl1 for one round (7sts). Leaving a 10” tail, break yarn & draw it through all remaining sts. Pull it closed on the wrong side of hat.

DH complained that it was too short & too loose around the ears so I added the fold up brim as follows…

Pick up 72sts from the bottom edge (skipping 4sts evenly around).
Ktbl 1, P1 for ~1.75” then knit & purl cast off.

I would’ve liked to have a thicker brim but I used nearly ALL of the skein and had only inches to spare. Maybe if I had originally only cast on 73sts to start the hat, I would’ve been able to add a thicker brim.

Also, adding the brim as an “afterthought” actually worked well to give the hat a natural crease for the bulky yarn to fold. I think the next one I make (with bulky yarn) I will add a regular knit round after the height of the brim so it can fold up easily.

The finished product...

Monday, March 10, 2008

My First Blog Post!!

Very exciting! I have a blog!
Okay. So I'm not the only one...but, hey it's a new experience for me :)
I've got lots of things that have been rolling around in my head and now I can get them out. Yay!

I've been tossing around the idea of opening an etsy shop ( and selling patterns and knit items. I even have a name picked I just have to do it.

First thing's first...finish the circular knit soaker pattern. Then work on the flat knit version...and maybe even a crochet version too. Got an idea for crochet baby booties too.

All of this has come about because of my newly developed wool addiction. I don't know how or when it started. But somewhere between washing the Goodwill sweaters to be sewn into longies and dyeing yarn with kool-aid, I became HOOKED.

I'll admit that sometimes I've been knitting instead of doing laundry...but I promise to be a "little" less obsessed from now on. It's hard though.