Saturday, December 28, 2013

FO: Sparkle Holiday Hat

My middle kid wanted a hat for a Christmas party, so he went into my yarn stash and found my only skein of multi-colored Christmas sparkly yarn. The Christmas party got cancelled, so now it's a Holiday hat that will probably be worn for New Year's:
Knit in Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn Sparkle Art. 100, color #738 Christmas Sparkle, using US 7 needles and Melissa Leapman's Simple Hat pattern (Cables Untangled, p. 33). The yarn made a surprisingly heavy and warm hat. The pattern didn't call for a pompom, but it looked naked without one.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Entrelac and the Benefits of a Messy Craft Room

This is my first ever attempt at entrelac:
Thankfully, it looks exactly like it's supposed to (go, me!).

I am using Gwen Bortner's book Entree to Entrelac (2010), in which she explains the whole thing pretty well and makes great use of charts and images to help the beginner along.

There are a couple of things I haven't seen mentioned in the book, that I think should be pretty close to Page 1. First, it would be helpful to know up front that the bits that appear to be on the same row are not knitted together like they would be in, say, intarsia.  Second, each bit ends near where the next bit begins, so there aren't any floats like there would be for fair isle.  Both if these things started as questions I couldn't work out until I'd done this first square. Other than that, I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to learn entrelac.

And just what, you might ask, does a messy craft room have to do with any of that?  I'll tell you.  I was sitting in my chair flipping through the book and wanted to give it a go, but I didn't really want to go hunting through my yarn stash for scrap yarn.  Conveniently, I had the remnants of another project messily stuffed into a basket near my chair, so I used that.  Very convenient.  After all, who knows what other projects-in-waiting might have grabbed my attention if I'd gone through my yarn stash?  I can't be the only one who gets distracted by other potential projects or all the pretty colors when hunting for yarn.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Circular Sculpture: "Needles at Rest"

I was between sections of the sweater dress I'm knitting and thought I'd coil up the circular needles I was using and clip them together with a small holder. While my plan did not work quite as expected, the result reminded me of a sculpture. I call it "Needles at Rest":

Samhain Yarnblob

Samhain Yarnblob: a tiny colorful ghost flying towards unsuspecting victims (note the mouth near the bottom of the photo)...
I'm a little late posting this, but I was frightened...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Dangers of Doodling

Like an artist, a yarnista will often sit and create when the yarn muse strikes.  My artist offspring calls this "doodling" and can do it with eyes closed, while I can barely scrawl something vaguely sweater-shaped when trying to design one.

For the yarnista, this habit is usually the result of discovering an object that is needed immediately. A laptop sleeve, for example. Yes, a laptop sleeve can easily be purchased at an electronics store, unless one does not want the sleeve to be solid black or red or bear the markings of whatever the current obsession of the laptop-toting world is.  Purchasing a laptop sleeve is also a bad idea when one has repeatedly forgotten to measure the laptop before heading to the electronics store despite the dozens of tape measures lying around the home (not that I speak from experience...).

Recently, I was at home, and after much searching I had still found nothing acceptable for a laptop sleeve in the approximate size of the laptop I kept forgetting to measure.  Instead, I grabbed a random skein of yarn from the stash, measured the laptop with one of dozens of tape measures lying around the apartment, and after jotting down the dimensions and gauge, began to crochet a laptop sleeve.  Charging ahead without a pattern, all went well through the first half of the sleeve; the edges were straight and had no accidental increases or decreases:

And then came the turn.

Yes, those weird ear-looking corners are the result of accidental decreases at the edges, where I was trying really hard not to accidentally increase. When I discovered that my laptop sleeve universe was collapsing on itself, I had the same sort of panicked thoughts as any other yarnista: "Gah! This is for my work laptop; I don't want it to like like some cartoon character! But, I don't want to rip it all out and start over, then I'd have to actually draw a design! Noooo! What do I doooo?!?!?"

It is in these moments that we must remember to breathe, and perhaps say a calming prayer or mantra. I prefer "Llama llama llama ohm. Yarn comes from llamas and resistance is futile," followed by a few deep breaths. There are always options for fixing a yarn doodle gone awry.

In this case, I had three options. One, I could rip it all out, start over, and perhaps crochet or knit it as a tube. Two, I could rip it as far back as the turn, count the stitches, and resume the turn, being cautious not to lose stitches.  Three, I could rip it back as far as the turn, continue crocheting it straight, and just seam the edges together when it's long enough. 

I do not count the obvious fourth option of simply purchasing a laptop sleeve now that I have the dimensions recorded in my smartphone.  A yarnista will not be dissuaded by a yarn doodle snafu!

I'll let you know how that goes.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Pound of Yarnblob

This gem was created when I tried to use the center pull strand from this Caron Pound of Love skein. Happy Sunday, folks.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Yarntastrophe: The Flying Umbrella

This is only a mild yarntastrophe, assuming I'm able to get out back in the table without severe yarnblob issues...
Yes, it flew off the table spinning in the air like a Texas umbrella.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Friday, July 26, 2013

WIP: Dragon

How long do I have to hold the dragon's butt before his torso stops falling off?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Flying Ninja Sheep

Take your eyes off 'em for one second and already they're using their flying kicks:
This flying ninja sheep is so stealthy, the sheep in the foreground has no idea what's happening...

Marbled yarnblob

Sneaky yarnblob tries to blend in with the marble table, but fails its stealth check....

Saturday, July 6, 2013

WIP Update: Wizard Cross-Stitch

Another episode in the never-ending saga of the Wizard Cross-Stitch:
Yes, this really is as far as I've gotten. You might not be able to tell, but I am finally using a second color. Sigh.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Monday, June 24, 2013

F.O.: Blue-Green Stripey Socks

Texas summer or not, I've still been knitting socks:
I used size US00 circular needles, with Online Supersocke 100 Emotion II - Color yarn in colorway 1219. I made them for a close friend of my middle child; it took rather longer than normal because I had to stop and knit several hats and mittens for cosplay outfits.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Fluffy yarnblob is fluffy

This is Thursday night's yarnblob, in all its hand painted glory:
It emanated from this beehive-shaped cake:

Thursday, June 20, 2013

WIP - cabled tunic

This is a dress/tunic I'm working on. It's been knitting up pretty quick, partly because I'm not using a cable needle for the cables, and partly because it's big yarn. I bought the yarn quite some time ago because it was soft, pretty, and on sale. And it only took me a year to find a pattern for it ;-)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day Yarnblob

Happy Father's Day to all those who are Dads and all those who stand in as Dads!  And here's a Yarnblob just for this occasion, courtesy of Father's Day brunch at Mimi's Cafe:

Saturday, March 30, 2013

FO: More Stripey Socks

I actually knitted these quite some time ago, but never wove in the ends; now, at last, they're done:
These were made with Mini Mochi from Crystal Palace Yarns, colorway 107, Autumn Rainbow, probably using US0 circular needles.  The color looks odd because of the lighting in the room.

WIP Progress: Pink Kimono

So, apparently it's been quite a while since I worked on the Pink Kimono:

Since then, I've started school, separated from my husband, and moved me and three of my kids out on our own.  Here's the view from my balcony:

You can see two of my gnomes; two more are to the left of the picture, but that side of the view is mostly wall and Whataburger.  It's funny how moving has a way of helping you find old projects you misplaced in the daily chaos; that's how I found the pink kimono. My last memory of this project was that I had somehow messed it up again; the picture in my head was all those bobbins tangled together. Turns out, I made more progress than I remember; I'd already cast on the sleeves and compensated for having forgotten to do a color change at the ends of the sleeves when I cast them on:

It's wider than it looks; the needle wire isn't long enough to stretch the thing out to its full width.  I am also going to make a kimono using a size-altered version of this pattern for my best friend; I do not plan to finish this one first because my poor friend would be waiting until retirement. Hers, however, will not have color changes; we have a variegated yarn she bought long ago that is perfect for this pattern. Thus, no color-changing bobbins! Yay!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

FO: Stripey Scarf

This scarf was made as a gift for my daughter's friend, who wanted the Harry Potter Slytherin look.  I didn't want to knit yet another plain striped scarf, so I added smaller stripes between every third large stripe, and mixed up the colors for the fringe.  Bruce Shee(p) was kind enough to model it for me:

Tres sheep chic, non?

This was made with Ella Rae Classic in dark green (125) and Ella Rae Classic Heather in grey (122), using US 5 circular needles, which yielded about 4.25 st/in.

Monday, January 28, 2013

FO: Blue hat

My youngest son and I went to my LYS Saturday.  While we were there, he spotted some blue yarn he loved, so we got it.  The yarn was Plymouth Yarn's Grandiosa Hand Dyed yarn (75% Merino, 25% Alpaca; the boy has good taste).  His challenge: mom had to make something with just the one twist of yarn.  My answer to his challenge, a blue hat:

I used size US 13 circular needles, which produces about 2 st. per inch, and knits very quickly.  The twist had just a little over enough to make the hat, so he insisted I leave the tail attached.  I admit I did not anticipate its transformation into a blue Fu Manchu. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Alfredo Win

I love Alfredo sauce, and so do my kids, as long as it's not the stuff in the jars.  Pre-made spaghetti sauce can be doctored and made to taste good, but there's just nothing you can do to fix pre-made Alfredo sauce.

I finally hunted down a recipe for Alfredo sauce and made a batch last night, though I was worried how it would turn out since I've never made it before.  I also made some doctored spaghetti sauce as a Plan B in case the Alfredo experiment went badly.

The results?  As they say, a picture us worth a thousand words:

Note the untouched tomato sauce on the right, looking very lonely

The recipe can be found here: