Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Binary Hat FO! Cheers!

Finally. Finished.
Finished! Trumpets! I present le Hat!

Binary Hat

Pattern: modified Binary Hat by redshirtknitting
Needles: size 8 (Boye interchangeable needles
Yarn: Blue Sky Worsted Hand Dyes Colors 2016 (brown) and 2002 (green)
Modifications: CO 96 +2 stitches to knit flat and then seam, different word, decreased differently - started decreasing on row 35 with k10, k2tog (56 rows total)

Now I can finally put this thing aside and both my brother and sister now have a hat! Yay! I have accomplished something for each. They both have a Christmas present now! Thank the heavens! This hat should have been simple, but so was not. Gauge issues (even though I swatched - grrrr.), stripe issues, length issues and decrease issues all plagued me thoroughout. It might had been easier if I had ever made a plain hat before. I ended up whipping out the Droplet Hat pattern to see how the decreases needed to be done. I liked how that hat decreased, plus it fit well on my model man's head. Good thing is, now I have made a plain hat, and future ones will be easier. (because now I have gone through everything that could possibly go wrong in a hat all in one swoop. - and if you know of other things, don't tell me. I don't want to know anything else will go wrong. ever.)

Ended up starting the decreases on 35th row. Did K1 *K10, K2tog* to last st. K1; next row, P1; next row, K1 *K9, K2tog* to last st. K1; and so on until I had 16 stitches left on the needles. Then I broke the thread, ran it through the 16 stitches, pulling tight and sewed up the seam using mattress stitch.
Decreases are much better now.

Glorious Hat! My brother better like it. (I think he will.) He better.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

News Flash....binary hat not right again....stay tuned for updates

Yeah. It's too tall. And decreases too fast. Ugh! I made it practically to the end of the decreases and thought that I should hold it around my head to see how things are going. Too tall. Much too tall. And it looks like a rectangle on my head instead of fitting a head's normal shape. revamping it again.

Removing some rows. Ending up with 50 rows total.

Basic hat is now:

CO 96+2 stitches

6 ribbing

6 plain stockinette

Word (24 rows) = 36 rows

14 rows plain stockinette


Decreases will go somewhere in there, over a longer period of time. I just have to figure that out now. (and figure out how to evenly divide 96 stitches at the same time so I end up with a nice looking hat. No funky sections for me.) I need some knitting elves or gnomes to come in the middle of night and finish this for me so I can be out of my misery.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Binary Hat - take 2

I have cast on again for the binary hat. Turns out, I was on with row gauge, but not with the stitch gauge. How could I have messed that up? I always have trouble counting those little stitches and my gauge was supposed to be 4 stitches per inch, but I had 4.5 stitches per inch. Oops. I had another hat made with the same yarn and same gauge so I made my Dad try it on for size. The hat fit him pretty good around but needed about three or four additional rows to be long enough. So, I figured out how many stitches to cast on to make it big enough and to make the decreases evenly spaced. I am very much a perfectionist and I also prefer to do math *gasp* to make sure everything will work out in the end. I'd seriously rather take an hour figuring it out and diagramming it than knitting it and not ending up with what I envisioned.

Here's what I ended up with:

Gauge: 4.5 stitches and 6 rows per inch

Cast on: 96 stitches to be 21.3 inches around

Work for 56 rows.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

FO Droplet Hat


Yarn: Blue Sky Worsted color 0299 (cranberry)
Pattern: Droplet Hat from Knitting Nature
Mods: added an extra row of bobbles in the brim to make the hat slightly longer, kept the twisted
The first couple pictures show off the color pretty well - reddish hues are so hard to photograph!

Mods: second row of bobbles, ktbl in whole brim area, knitted in the round

I wanted a longer hat that would cover my ears so I added a second row of bobbles in the brim area - (thanks to lynnewio here on ravelry for the inspiration) just repeated the bobble row + the three rows once more.
Also did k-tbl in the knit stitches throughout the bottom band area. (even above the bobbles)
oh - and I changed this hat to knit in the round. I just thought that this hat didn’t need a seam, but this is just my personal preference.

Other notes:
This was my first hat ever knitted.
I used a little more than one skein of yarn. (I think the extra row of bobbles is the reason - and I had a knot in the middle of the skein I chose to use so that also contributed a bit.)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Binary Hat rocky beginnings

I'm knitting my brother a Binary Hat (from redshirtknitting blog). But I'm putting a different word in it.

Ugh. I cast on and knit a few inches. There is NO WAY that the man's size would have fit my brother's head. I was on gauge too. I'm going to have to measure some poor man's head. (Someone I know, of course!) Could you imagine me going up to strangers asking to measure their heads? Ha ha ha ha ha!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

FO Pasha the Penguin

My sister's godmother is a really awesome lady. I've gotten to know her and really like her bunches. She's great. For Chirstmas, she goes above and beyond normal decorating and hires people to come and decorate her house. It looks incredible. And it is sprinkled with many many penguins. I had seen (and saved the link) to Pasha the Penguin on, just saving it for some day when I would have the opportunity to knit it. I walked in her house while decorations were going up and BLAM! I knew I had found a home for a little knit penguin.

This is the cutest thing ever. I knit it up in a couple days and spent a Saturday while watching football seaming and stuffing. Oh - and one more day knitting a scarf. I just thought the scarf added a little something extra. (Plus, lots of the penguins in her house have scarves, so it went with the overall theme.)

Pasha the Penguin
Cute penguin!

Pattern: Pasha the Penguin from
Needles: size 6 - I think I used Clover bamboo DPNs or maybe my Boye interchangeable circs
Yarn: all from Michaels or Joann's -
Lion Brand Wool-Ease Solid, Color: 153, Black
Lion Brand Lion Wool Solid, Color: 187, Yellow
Lion Brand Wool-Ease Solid, Color: white frost - 501, White

Modifications: none really, although I did fold in more of the beak stitches (about half) to make a pointier beak and let those folded in stitches be the stuffing for the beak. Made a scarf out of scrap yarn. (6 stitches wide, as long as I thought it needed to be.)

Instructions are very complete. Great instructions. I did have to look up how to pick up the stitches for the short rows (my first short rows ever). Just wanted to make sure I was doing things correctly!

Top row: Under beak, close up of face
Bottom Row: View without scarf and posing with a kitty (Cassidy) for size comparison

Super Cute. I have to make one for myself! Lots more pictures on my flickr account.

Friday, November 16, 2007

We have a tree of beads!

It was inevitable that I would put the branches into tree form sooner rather than later. I now have a tree! Yipee! I just need lights and some more ornaments and I need to make a tree skirt. (and did you know that one of these suckers sold on eBay for almost $300!) Woah!
I present le tree!

Beaded Christmas Tree
Le Tree fini!

Tree with pen (for size comparison)

Yeah - it's leaning a bit. But hey - it's wire. I can bend it to straighten it out. Just didn't notice the lean. Of course, it could have happened when it fell over after this shot.....

Kaya loves to snoopervize.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Beaded Christmas Tree - branches

A long, long time ago, my mommie bought me a beaded Christmas tree kit. (Reminds me of the opening line to the song American Pie. Hee!) Yeah, so she bought this for me at Michaels (75% off, after Christmas) over a decade ago. It contained everything to make a beaded Christmas tree out of the little seed beads and floral wire. You string the seed beads on the floral wire and then twist the wire to make loops. Several to many loops make a branch. And many branches make a tree. I was young and lost interest after forming branches to make about the top third of the tree. (maybe even less than that, I don't know.)

Around Christmas last year, I was flipping through channels and passed the DIY channel and the lady was using a bead spinner to put seed beads on floral wire. The seed beads were green and I instantly thought of my long-forgotten beaded Christmas tree project. I mean, I was putting those beads on by hand one little bead at a time. It took FOREVER! Using a bead spinner was about a hundered times faster. Maybe even a million times faster. No joke. You can put an inch of beads on in about 10 seconds. So, my interest had been renewed in those five seconds and the segment continued. And the lady was making a beaded. Christmas. tree. Oh. my. gosh. It was like the heavens had opened and angels were singing. I just happened to filp by the DIY channel just at that moment. And I had not thought of this project in over a decade. Seriously! And I happened to be watching and saw the bead spinner and in moments remembered the project and how a bead spinner would be perfect but who knows where my stuff for the project is now and I will never find the directions, ever. Maybe I can figure it out or buy directions off of eBay or google it and find something. And *BAM* I'm staring at my project. Too perfect. The project instructions are at I also made my own bead spinner out of a small tupperware-ish container. (Not the real tupperware, but the reuseable kind you buy in the grocery store.)

So, I try and buy green seed beads at Michaels, but apparently there was some kind of green seed bead emergency somewhere and the three Michaels closest to my house were all sold out. So in February, I bought said seed beads and floral wire and was ready to make branches. I spun my spinner and *zip* filled the wire with my green seed beads and twisted and made branches. I have finished all of the branches I need now. YAY! Aren't they pretty?

Branches for beaded Christmas tree
My pretty branches.

Beaded Christmas tree
I have lots of them.

Monday, November 12, 2007

FO Fetching

These Fetching Mitts from knit up very fast.
I used the extra ball from leftovers from backyard leaves scarf. (which oddly enough, happened to be the same yarn and color from the Knitty pattern!)
I did make one modification - I added another cable row in the top part of the mitt. Just thought that it mirrored the bottom better.
Let's see, first cables, first picked up stitches (to make the thumbs). Neither gave me any troubles (but I also have my Vogue Big Book of Knitting to use as a reference - so I have good reference materials to help me out.)
Love them. I can drive in them and my hands won't slip on the wheel. They are suprisingly warm.

Fetching. Still needs blocking, but
that will have to wait until I can part
with them for a few days!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Last Harvest of the Garden

I am actually involved in other things besides knitting. But I designed and envisioned this blog to be almost totally knitting. *Almost* being the operative word here. So, prepare yoruself for a non-knitting post. If you choose to opt-out, then do so now. But this won't be a regular occurence. Plus, you might be inspired. I like to grow things. I've always had a way with all of my indoor plants and I had tremendous luck with a pot of tomatoes once, so this year, I started an outdoor veggie garden. I had mucho success - most of it due to my automatic watering system and my homemade earth-bucket. I might post the directions here at some point, but if you are somewhat proficient at a google search, you will find some instructions on a homemade earth bucket all on your own. I cannot say enough good things about a homemade earth bucket. I had three, two filled with tomatoes and one filled with peppers. (It also had zucchini, but the zukes fell victim to a wind storm and were broken off.) So, long after my friend who grew a traditional garden. I was still harvesting veggies. GO ME! I also had a couple tomatoes in regular containers and the earth bucket tomatoes outperformed the regular ones by far. Significant difference. I love having fresh homegrown veggies. They taste soo much better than store-bought ones. No comparison at all. I don't really like green peppers, but I love my homegrown ones. Also, nothing will ever compare to eating a ripe sun warmed tomato. If you ever grow your own tomato plant (which I highly recommend) then take the time to eat one that is still warm from the sun. Glorious! I absolutely got a kick out of eating my cherry tomatoes in front of my other gardening compadres long after their plants had kicked the bucket. I believe it was all due to my system. With out further ado, I present my last major harvest of the season. (I still have a few peppers and tomatoes to come off, but this is the last major bunch.)

Cherry tomatoes. I grew Sweet 1000s. Good to eat all by themselves. (In fact, I ate most of them by popping them into my mouth. Incredibly delicious!)

My last pepper harvest. Yummy!

Saturday, November 10, 2007


So, just wanted to show off the blocked Backyard Leaves scarf from scarf style. (Love this book! There are soo many things that I want to knit out of it.)
This was my first foray into blocking and boy howdy, did it make a difference! So much better now.

Hello. I am a scarf. I lie nice and flat now
that I have been blocked!

Another angle. Look at the pretty leaves!

When I was first knitting this - almost a year ago - I brought it to Florida and was showing it to my Grandma. (Who used to knit and ran a KNIT SHOP! I wish I could do that now....) My Grandma kept pulling the scarf wider and saying that it was so skinny and maybe I could add on to the sides. I could add on here or even use a different color. But my scarf was too skinny. Harumph. She did keep commenting on how nicely it was knitted and how even my stitches were, but she was stuck on the fact that my scarf NEEDED more width. (but it has this cool edge Grandma! It will be fine eventually! I don't want to add on to the sides! No really. Not. adding. to. scarf.) This time, after blocking, she thought that it was great and just kept on saying how nice it was and the design was so pretty. (and complicated! and look at all of those leaves!) Awww. Thanks Grandma!

So yay for blocking! Blocking helps. Go block your stuff!

And just for comparison - the unblocked version.

backyard leaves scarf
I am unblocked.
Determined to be too skinny by
professional Grandma knitter.

Friday, November 9, 2007

FO Pumpkins

I love these pumpkins! They are too cute. get to felt! I am sooo addicted to felting things! Okay, sure the pattern requires seaming (gasp) and lots of it. Maybe you could knit these in the round and no one would be the wiser, but hey - it's going to be felted! You don't have to make the seams all pretty. Just leave a long tail and whipstitch those panels together. Easy peasy. The end result is so worth it. I went a little pumpkin crazy and made lots of these. I gave three away and I still have some that I need to felt. Now get ready - cute pictures follow! (and many more on my flickr site - here's the link to my pumpkin set)

Pattern: Pumpkins from
Yarn: Orange, Lion Brand Wool Color 133 (which is named pumpkin, appropriately)
Brown, Lion Brand Wool Color 125 (named Cocoa)

The bigger pumpkins are the small sixe in the pattern. The smaller pumpkin I made by only increasing to 11 stitches, then decreasing. I also left off the last five rows. (So I decreased to seven stitches and then bound off.)


One of the bigger pumpkins.

Tiny palm-sized pumpkin!

Boring - but helpful - notes:
I felted these for two short cycles on my washing machine. (about 15 minutes) I marked all of the seams with cotton twine before felting by tying a loop at the top of each seam. I let them spin dry in the washer. Go spin cycle, go! Barely stuffed with plactic bags and tied cotton twine to make the grooves.

Sewing on the cap:
This project has such detailed instructions then leaves you to figure out the final finishing all on your own! So, here's how I handled it. I put a little bit of fiberfill inside. Then, I used brown thread and sewed through all of the grooves around and pulled tight. I attached a curly vine if I wanted one in a groove. To attach the top I sewed through the top of the panel, then right by the stem in the cap, then back to the middle of the next panel, then to the cap....and so on, all the way around. Voila! Pumpkin! (If this is not so clear, please let me know and I can try to explain better - maybe with photos or something.)

These are soo adorable. I gave two to my sister when she moved and she wouldn't even stuff them in a bag! She left them sitting out on top of all of her stuff during her drive! I gave another to my Grandma (who used to knit). She said that it was soo cute and better than a real one! (She also kept showing it to my Grandpa: "Look at my pumpkin, isn't it cute?") My brother even thought they were cool. Sooo cute. Cuteness rating - high. Very high. (Rated by all who see them.) If you have the slightest inkling to make these - do!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

magic y'all, magic! - and my invite arrived!

So, I have been invited! Finally! and if you're asking to what....well, where have you been? I've finally received my invite to Ravelry! I am very excited. I have spent numerous hours looking and adding (and more looking and more adding). The Ravelry site is so awesome.
Reasons why it is awesome:
(a) I wanted to make a hat and found a pattern, but couldn't find a picture of said hat on a head. It has cables and I had no idea what it would look like on. And said hat is for a boy and it couldn't look too frilly. There are 50 pictures of this hat on Ravelry! and google search turned up one pic on a head! Awesome!
(b) Wanted to make hat for my sister for Christmas, but I have no idea what. Found one! (and I thought I would have to design something when I have never made a hat before.) Now I know she will have a cool hat. (and I am making one for myself too. can't wait!)
(c) Resources, resources. Forums, pictures of FOs, ideas, stash organization, people's notes.

So, to sum up: Awesome! I've only been playing for a day, but man, if you haven't yet, get on that waiting list! I'm kristiknits on Ravelry. Go check it out.

Now for my UFO story....
My second knit item ever that I started was Backyard Leaves from Scarf Style. (great book, by the way. I want to make most of what is in there.) Second item and I'm doing a chart. I started it in New Zealand and finished one half of the scarf. Set it aside because I started driving into work and didn't have all that knit time on the subway. Fast forward several months.....
Get scarf out and realize I don't have enough yarn to finish another half! eep! Could have been that I didn't buy enough (but I bought an extra ball for my first project, so I think I would have bought an extra) or (probably) I lost a ball. Oh noes!

backyard leaves scarf
Hello, I am half of a scarf. Don't you want to finish me?

So, I set out on a quest for another ball. Call, call, call. Drive, drive, drive. No one seems to have any in the color I need. (don't even care about dye lot anymore, I just want enough to finish!)

I'm telling my problem to these nice ladies at Cast-on Cottage (Hello! Y'all are awesome!) and they take pity on me and my dilemma. They are pulling alternate yarns to add on to the ends, calling other stores and have a sheet out to order a whole bag of the color I need just so I can have another ball. (awesome, right?)

One lady, Susan, suggests to use a shawl pin. Genius! Half a scarf pinned stays cozy round my neck, I still have the leaves in front, and *POOF* UFO to FO. Magic!

Here is my pin (which I will be able to use with other future FOs)

Scarf/shawl pin
Cute shawl/scarf pin. Kitty and yarn.

So, my scarf still needs to be blocked, but it is finished! And I can wear it! Yay for magic!

Backyard leaves scarf from scarf style
Close up of the leaves. Pretty!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

I. Love. Yarn.

I've had this blog set up for about a month now and didn't know where/how to begin. Sometimes something so simple can be so hard. This morning, it struck me. I should start with yarn. (Yesterday's knit shop experience may have contributed to this realization)

I. love. yarn.
I think I'm addicted. (help! I'm a beginning knitter and I may have a problem. Is there some sort of support group for this?)
I also love yarn shops. (because they have YARN!) I love to touch everything. I also seem to be drawn to the mucho expensivo stuff. Y'all know, because it's all soft and squishy. For now, I seem to be controlling urges to spend all of my money on yarn and I am just buying yarn for slated projects. (mostly Christmas presents.) Well, except for this Mirasol Hacho yarn. For which I bought just because I love it. I think it will become my first pair of socks.

Mirasol Haucho

Due to yesterday's most excellent yarn shop experience, I now have all the yarn needed for four out of five knitted Christmas presents. (and yarn for a pair of gloves for myself!) (I can't believe I'm going to make gloves!) Yay for me! and I have my eye on buying out the rest of the shop. Well, maybe just half of it. I can save the other half for a later day.

Yarn for my gloves.

Yarn for my brother's present.

Yarn for my sister's present.
(The color is more cranberry/wine colored.)

Yarn for my sister's boyfriend's present.

Also, the awesome ladies performed some magic on a - err- problem I had and *poof* changed a UFO to an FO! whooo-hoo! More on that magic tomorrow. magic I tell y'all, magic!