Snowviolet

Honest, opinioniated, or rude depending on how you look at it.

Archive for the ‘Finished Projects’ Category

OMG

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As you may remember, I recently made a blanket for my niece, Hattie, who was born a few weeks ago.  I washed it twice today with a little boost of bleach hoping to get the blue tint out of the white sections. It didn’t really do much good, and the yarn started to disintegrate!!!! It literally fell apart in my hands as I was examining it, so into the trash it went.

I guess I should be glad that it didn’t happen after I gave the blanket to them. Has anyone ever had an old acrylic yarn fall apart on them? It just gives me more incentive to use natural fibers.

We went to my niece Hattie’s christening today, and the other gift I made to replace the blanket went over very well.

Hattie’s Shrug
Pattern:
http://www.allaboutyou.com/craft/Knitting-pattern-baby-shrug/v1
Yarn: Cascade 220 Wool
Needles: US 5 circular

Notes: What an easy and fun knit! It was really interesting to see how this came together, row by row. I’ve heard horror stories of Bliss’ patterns running large, but I didn’t run into that problem. The shrug was exactly the size it should have been.

I did have a bit of difficulty seaming the sides because of the way the stitches morph along the seam. I’ll probably make another of these in the future, but in a cotton next time. My sister-in-law loves the color orange, not a color I would usually choose for an infant, but I like how it turned out. Gotta love how vivid Cascade yarns look in natural light. Delish!

Written by Milwaukee Knit Chick

February 9, 2009 at 1:04 am

New Pattern – Bella’s Mittens

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I lost a lot of sleep this week, but I managed to finish the pattern. I really like how the mittens turned out, and I think I’ll wear them to the movie when I go tomorrow. Hopefully the movie isn’t sold out in my town! Enjoy!

Bella’s Mittens

I fell in love with the mittens that Bella wears in the movie Twilight and had to have a pair of my own. The extra long mittens come almost to the elbow, and the intricate pattern looks impressive when finished. Anyone with basic knowledge of cables can knit these mittens, and they are a quick knit due to the bulky gauge. The result is a super dense material for even the coldest nights in Forks. Hot vampires not included.

Materials

3 skeins of Plymouth Yarn Encore Worsted in gray (600 yards)

6mm/US 10 circular needles

5.5mm/US 9 circular needles

2 stitch markers

scrap yarn

tapestry needle

Gauge

28stitches and 22 rows=4 inches stockinette

How to Buy

Pay for your copy of this pattern via Paypal and I will email you a PDF version of the pattern. If any errata are found I will automatically email you any pattern updates in the future. I hope to have it available to download on Ravelry soon.

Written by Milwaukee Knit Chick

November 20, 2008 at 10:17 pm

Fall FOs

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It’s finally my favorite season! Going back to work has been really difficult, and it’s already been a month. It feels like I’m burning the candle at both ends, but what can you do really? Hopefully we can fall into some sort of routine soon so that we aren’t all so exhausted.

I finished the RNC socks for Aidan, and RNC booties for Jamie a while back and never got around to posting about it. I took some pictures with our crappy camera today, and wanted to throw the damn thing off of the balcony. Come payday I’m buying a Canon PowerShot A590 IS. I originally had wanted to save up for a DSLR, but with the economy the way it is, and how we’re struggling just to pay for necessities like groceries and gas, I don’t think that’s going to happen any time soon. They’re only little once, so I want to actually get a few pictures that are in focus before he’s a toddler!

RNC Booties
Pattern:
http://knitgirlinorway.blogdrive.com/archive/748.html
Yarn:
Plymouth Yarns Happy Feet
Needles: US 1 circular

Notes: Do you have any idea how hard it is to get a picture of a baby’s feet that doesn’t blur? This pattern is great as long as you catch the errors posted below. Supposedly they are guaranteed to stay on, but Jameson inevitably kicked his off. I did put a pair of socks on under them one day, and they stayed on pretty well though.

This yarn is a joy to work with, and the colors are very vivid even in the dark colorway. I haven’t used a lot of sock yarn, so I don’t know if this its normal for it to fuzz and pill up so much. I shaved the pills off before taking these pictures, and he’s only worn them a few times. The way the colors alternate so frequently is gorgeous though, and almost worth it. And isn’t the baby quilt my MIL made awesome?


RNC Socks
Pattern:
http://members.shaw.ca/sntdesigns/Most%20Basic%20Kids%20Socks.pdf
Yarn: Plymouth Yarns Happy Feet
Needles: US 1 circular

Notes: I love this pattern! So easy to follow, so well written! These were my first cuff-down socks, and I liked the logic of the heel better than toe-up. It just seems to go faster. I did knit the second sock in a bit tighter gauge, but I figure they’re going to stretch out and be washed anyways. Plus, Aidan is 7 years old. It’ll be a miracle if he can wear them longer than a few months before outgrowing them.

I’m currently working on a pumpkin hat and sweater for Jameson in time for our yearly Fall family trip. I’m using Cascade 220 for the first time, and I love it! I can see why it’s so popular with the lovely stitch definition and lack of pilling. I searched all over for a cute pumpkin-themed sweater, but there aren’t really any. I’m thinking  of designing something with fair-isle vines when I have some time, but right now I just want to finish the sweater before next Friday. This is what I have so far, and I really like the way the sweater is designed so that you don’t have to seam the back and fronts sides.

Pumpkin Sweater (aka Garter Ridge Baby Cardigan)
Pattern:
http://cache.lionbrand.com/patterns/70301AD.html
Yarn: Cascade 220 Orange
Needles: US 5 circular

Written by Milwaukee Knit Chick

October 10, 2008 at 11:45 pm

5 Commandments of Sock Knitting

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Yeah yeah, I know I make too many lists. But its fun, so if they bore you, you’re reading the wrong blog!

5 Commandments of Sock Knitting

1. Do not select a complicated or lacy pattern for your first socks. It just gives you a headache on top of all the other techniques that you have to learn for socks.

2. Do not select an extremely stringy yarn for your first pair of socks. Learning the sock techniques isn’t difficult, but it does take time. It’ll just make the whole project seem harder than it really is if you have a ridiculously small gauge. Had I known this, I would have made Worsted Weight socks for my first go for more instant gratification!

3. Do not use a combination of lacey sock pattern and brightly variagated yarn. You’ll end up losing your pattern in the rainbow of colors. Solid colors work better for lacy and cabled patterns. Variegated colors work better in simple stocking socks.

4. Do not expect to finish a pair of socks quickly, just because they are a small item. You are basically knitting with toothpicks, and the gauge takes time no matter how fast a knitter you are. When you throw in using the magic loop method or dpns for the first time, you are going to end up reknitting many parts over and over again until you get it right. Let’s not even talk about Second Sock Syndrome.

5. Do not attempt to knit socks without moral support from knitters and non-knitters alike. Friendly knitters should be consulted frequently for advice and problem-solving. Friendly non-knitters should bring you beer and chocolate whenever you throw your sock across the room in disgust. In fact, let’s just make an addendum of “Thou shalt not knit socks unless you hit a two beer minimum.”

That being said….I broke each and every one of those rules, and it shows. It took me 8 months to finish these damn socks, and they are definitely not my favorite FO to date. I ended up hating the yarn texture/weight, even though the colors were what drew me to them. And I now know that my gauge was horribly, HORRIBLY off. So please, gentle readers, learn from my mistakes.

Widdershins Socks
Pattern: http://knitty.com/ISSUEsummer06/PATTwiddershins.html
Yarn: South West Trading Company TOFUtsies
Needles: US 1 circular

Notes: I actually did these both at the same time on one circular. I didn’t enjoy working with this yarn, and I think that made the project more tedious. Its a beautiful yarn, but really really thin and stringy. I wish I had used sharper pointed needles than my addis.

The finished sock was much warmer than I anticipated, but less stretchy as well. I added a band of elastic in the cuffs, and made it an ankle sock since I got bored with making them. They do wash up really well and I even tossed them in the dryer with no problem. Unfortunately they are a bit loose, but not bad for a first-time attempt.

I am now attempting my second pair of socks, and am much much happier with the results so far. Using the right yarn for the right project makes all the difference in the world. This is going so fast, that I anticipate being done with them by the end of the weekend at latest.

Please note that I have not yet fulfilled the addendum. Hence, I shall strive to find a second beer posthaste.

I also stopped by “Once Upon a Child” today, and found the most adorable swing. $40 for a hardly-used swing that retails at $100. The complimentary baby ain’t bad either.

Written by Milwaukee Knit Chick

August 28, 2008 at 7:11 pm

Last-Minute Reprieve

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Yes, I actually come bearing a knitted item and yarn pr0n. Proof that I do still knit, and occasionally finish things.

First, the finished thingy.

Child’s Placket-Neck Pullover by Joelle Hoverson
Pattern: http://www.purlsoho.com/_gr/our_books/childplacketsweater.pdf
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk DK in Aqua and Plymouth Yarn Dreambaby 4 Ply
Needles: US 5 circular

Notes: I was very determined to use up my stash yarn for this project, so it made gauge a bit tricky. I also think that baby patterns aren’t the most accurate for sizing. I ended up double-stranding the Dream Baby, and using one strand of the Debbie Bliss in alternating rows.

I’m no expert (and this was the third baby sweater that I’ve made) but I found the instructions for attaching the arms pretty confusing. Now that I’ve done it once, I’m sure it’d be easier a second time around. I think the stripes make it more interesting, but it would be a lot less work making it in one color with alternating cuffs and collars. It’s a pain in the butt to line up the stripes of the arms and the body.

I’m happy with how it looks, but a few of the finishing details look sloppy no matter how much I mess with them. The right arm ended up with a small blip of stripe that doesn’t match up to the body of the sweater. And when I sewed the bottom edge of the placket to the body, it pulls at the other stitches causing a bit of a warp. They aren’t terribly obvious though, and I guess that’s how you know it’s hand-made!

And finally, my older son and I stopped in at Knit’N From the Heart on our “Super Special Top-Secret Fun Mommy and Aidan Day”. Its just a coincidence that it was two shops down from where we had lunch. Really, it was. He surprised me and asked a thousand different questions when we got inside, and was fascinated by the antique spinning wheel on display. When I showed him the sock yarn, he asked me to make him some toasty socks for his tootsies this winter, and I let him pick out the yarn.

This is only the second pair of socks that I’ve ever made, but I already like the yarn a ton more than the Tofutsies I used on my last pair. It feels like actual yarn instead of string. I bought two skeins because I have no idea how much yarn a pair of child’s socks will take. I figure if I have any left over, I can make baby socks or booties for Jamie.

I was thinking I’d just try to master a simple stocking this time around instead of a fancy pattern. It’d just get lost in those lovely colors anyways. I’m going to try out Evelyn Skae’s Most Basic Kids Sock, and see how it goes.

Written by Milwaukee Knit Chick

August 27, 2008 at 1:41 am

Posted in Finished Projects

Spring Knitting Spree

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Spring has finally arrived in Minnesota, in a fashion. It’s quite brisk outside (low 50s), but there is actual evidence of greenery and sunshine. Don’t believe me?

We went to the park near our apartment, and it was quiet as can be. I guess going to the park is too tame for most people on Mother’s Day. For those of you who don’t know, Minnesota is called “Land of 10,000 Lakes”, but there are many many more than that. You can walk about 1/4 a mile in any direction and find water here. They are cratered across the state from when the glaciers scraped the land in the Ice Age.

I’m as big as a whale so I just sat in the shade and watched Andy and Aidan play soccer. Nice and peaceful way to spend an afternoon, watching the birds chase each other along the shoreline.

Knitwise I’ve got a ton of projects that I’ve finished in the past couple weeks.

Rose’s Wristwarmers (Doctor Who)
Pattern: http://www.christinaslattery.com/
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk DK in Aqua
Needles: US 5 circular

Notes: This yarn was so delicious, that I’d like to roll around in it nekked…ok, probably TMI. This is the second time I’ve made this pattern, and it’s much lovelier on a solid color than a variegated yarn. If you’ve never used a chart before, the designer makes it super simple to follow so it’s a good learning opportunity. The only thing to keep in mind is that this yarn isn’t very elastic, so if you stretch it out it could be problematic.

Next, in my efforts to knit through all my yarn before buying more I used up the rest of the yarn from my floor pillow to make a layette for el baby-on-the-way.

Yoda Kimono
Pattern: Baby Kimono
Yarn: James C. Brett Marble Chunky
Needles: US 5 circular
Notes: Yes, yes, my son isn’t due to be born until the disgustingly sticky and sweltering days of early July, but I figure with the A/C he’ll still get some use out of them. The sweater is very quick and easy, and I ended up going with a shorter sleeve due to the time of year it will be worn. I also added a moss stitch border to the sleeves and hem so so that the stockinette wouldn’t roll. I used a crochet hook to do a single crochet border along the neckline too, to add a little color and contrast. The buttons were in my sewing basket, and while I thought they were a bit fussy at first, they kind of give it an heirloom look I like.

Baby Booties
Pattern: Saartje’s Booties
Yarn: James C. Brett Marble Chunky
Needles: US 5 circular
Notes: I altered the pattern since I was using a bulky yarn and newborn sized. I cast on 23 stitches on a size 5 needle, and did the math to subtract how much the pattern changed. They may be a little bit too big for my son when he is born, but we will see! I’ll post an action shot when the time comes. It’s really hard to capture the colors of this yarn accurately. It’s much prettier in real life than in the photos.

Doll Blanket
Pattern: Giant Granny Square Blanket
Yarn: Various wool and silk blends
Needles:
Size G hook
Notes:
This is a great project for stash-busting. I’ve made another in the past, but this one was just to use up some leftover yarn I had sitting around. It’s mostly wool blends, and I made it for my friend’s 3 year old niece. I added an improvised shell edging to make it a bit fancier. One tip I have is that you should definitely try to sew in the loose ends as you go, it makes your life a lot easier!

I’m having a hell of a time getting my next project off the ground. I bought 3 skeins of DreamBaby 4-ply by Plymouth Yarns to make another baby sweater, but it doesn’t seem to be working for the pattern. I may just knit too loosely, but it seems like there isn’t much elasticity to it. Since it is a ribbed pattern, that’s not good. One more attempt tomorrow, and if it doesn’t work I need to find another sweater pattern.

<—Ze pattern which will not cooperate. (Knit Simple Fall 2007)

Anyone have a suggestion for a simple baby sweater pattern that I can use this yarn for? I need a break from cables, and it has to be ok for all in cream colored yarn. Any ideas are welcome!

Written by Milwaukee Knit Chick

May 11, 2008 at 11:50 pm

Finally Finished!

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What a rough week this has been. Aside from work and pregnancy-related discomfort and pains, we’ve had a real challenge in our family. (Non-knitting related decompression at the bottom. I don’t want to unnecessarily depress anyone. Enjoy the pictures below if you’d prefer!)

….Just needed to decompress a bit from the stress. Thankfully knitting has been the perfect outlet for the stress. I may have had to add some inches to the nursery floor pillow, but it was very zen finishing such a simple pattern. Voila!

Pattern: Cabled Floor Pillow from Knit Simple Magazine Winter 06/07
Needles: Size 8 Addis Circular
Yarn: James C. Brett Marble Chunky (3.75 skeins)
Knit Time: Roughly a month and a half, but I didn’t work on it every day

Notes: This was a very easy project but since it is very large (24 in x 24 in) it is very time consuming. I changed the pattern so that I could knit in the round without seaming two of the sides and it worked great. It would have taken forever otherwise! The yarn is acrylic since it’s going to sit on the floor where it will probably be drooled on, flopped on, and tossed around. There is a serious error in the cable pattern that is pretty obvious. I must be the only person in the entire country that has actually knitted this project as there are no comparisons on Ravelry, so I’m not surprised that it never hit the KnitSimple website errata. I even managed to finish the seams with a tutorial from here, so it is barely noticable! Seaming it a lot simpler when you know what the hell you are doing have a good technique to use.

I freely admit to being an awful photographer, but I did try. I even got the colors pretty accurate at sunset by braving the freezing cold balmy Minnesota spring evening on our deck.

I finished up the pillow on the weekend, and then turned around and completed another long-standing WIP. So much productivity out of stress! I’ll post the other project tomorrow probably.

The big elephant in the room is to follow.

Just to get it out of the way so it’s not a shock later on down the line, our son Aidan is autistic. He was diagnosed before he entered Kindergarten, which is relatively late for an autistic child. Let me preface this with saying that there is no such thing as “slightly” or “mildly” autistic. Anyone who says so thinking that they are being kind to the family involved is really trivializing a serious disability. Every autistic child has challenges, they just may not be as evident to the rest of the world as they are to close family and friends. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but we run into it quite a bit.

We’re really lucky because Aidan is a very affectionate and sweet-tempered child. He doesn’t have any trouble showing emotions, he speaks and communicated normally, and is very friendly. He does fine academically compared to other children. But his mannerisms and the way he processes the world around him make everything that he learns that much more difficult. The challenge is finding the best ways for him to learn and grow. His recent difficulties are all the harder to cope with since he has had so much success throughout Kindergarten and the first half of the 1st grade. He has been mainstreamed in regular classroom settings, but receiving help from specialists at the school as well. When winter came around this year he just started declining in how he handles stress and direction from his teachers.

We had to have an emergency meeting with his teachers/specialists last Friday, and decided to have the school district’s autism specialist observing him in the next couple of weeks to help us plan out next year. The teachers all really enjoy having Aidan as a student, but his disability is outpacing their services and abilities. They made it quite clear that he will probably have to attend another elementary school in the fall that has a more intensive Special Education program for autism….I’m really not sure how we’re going to break that news to him if it happens. Transitions and change are very difficult for autistic children to deal with, and he has friends that he attended preschool with through the 1st grade. To lose those special friendships and connections would really be tragic. Its all so up in the air, and I worry about how fragile he must feel in the situation. He’s definitely been picking up on the tense atmosphere.

Sometimes I just wish I could protect him from all the things in life that are so much more difficult for him, but that aren’t his fault.

Written by Milwaukee Knit Chick

April 29, 2008 at 10:50 pm