Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Holiday Lights Headband



This headband is a super cute and simple DIY accessory for the holiday season. A few of these would be perfect for a holiday party photo shoot, or add just the right amount of festiveness on Christmas morning if you don't want to commit to an ugly sweater. I made a set of these for a pre-school holiday pageant — sure to be adorable. Each light requires only a few yards of yarn, so this makes a great stash busting project.

Materials
  • Worsted weight yarn:4 yds of each bulb's main color. About 1 yd of bulb base color (black) per bulb. 4-6 yards to wrap around the headband (green).
  • 3.75 mm crochet hook
  • Plastic Headbands. I purchased these in a six-pack from Dollar Tree.
  • Stuffing
  • Needle
  • Scissors

Bulbs
  • Row 1: With main color ch. 2, sc 3 into second chain from hook.
  • Row 2: sc 2 into each st. (6)
  • Row 3: sc all around (6)
  • Row 4: *sc 2, sc 1* three times. (9)
  • Row 5-6: sc all around. (9)
  • Row 7: *sc2tog, sc* three times. (6)
  • Stuff. Change to black color
  • Row 8-9: sc all around. (6) 
  • Fasten off and leave a tail long enough to tie the light to the headband. 

Assembly
Wrap the tails of each light bulb around the headband, using a needle to pull the tail through the base of the bulbs. I put five bulbs of different colors onto each headband. If the headband doesn't have teeth it will be easy to adjust the bulbs after they've been placed on the headband. With a long piece of green yarn, tie the yarn an inch or two below the first bulb and begin wrapping up. Remember to wrap around the tail, and any remaining bulb tails, as well so you don't have to weave any ends in the end. Using a needle, pull the yarn through the base of the bulbs. This will secure the bulbs in place. When you reach an inch or two beyond the last bulb, turn and continue wrapping in the opposite direction. Sewing through the bulbs a second time with stabilize them so they aren't so wobbly. Remember to cover any remaining tails as best as possible. When reaching back to the beginning, pull the yarn under and through the wrapped yarn using the needle and snip off the excess.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

November Favorites


How is it that we're in the last month of the year? I'm still dating things 2012! Anyway, it is finally getting cold here in LA. And by cold I mean below 70. Which the rest of the world deems not cold at all, but I will take the opportunity to knit all the cozy things!  Here's a few yarn things I've been loving lately. If any of you knit for the holidays, I hope this will provide you some ideas if you have the time!

  1. Andorra Wrap by Jocelyn Tunney. I love the mix of color and texture here. It's simple enough that it won't kill you to do it, but enough technique so that you won't abandon it out of boredom after a foot. I'm also in love with the ombre that comes from knitting with two different colors at the same time.
  2. Asante by Lynn Di Cristina. Winter is upon us, but autumn colors are still my favorite, and that's what initially caught my eye in this gorgeous tubular cowl. However this will look wonderful in any color combination — solid, ombre, even your favorite Hogwarts house.
  3. Baa-Ble Hat by Donna Smith. Ahhhh, I love sheep. I love sheep depicted in knitting. It's the cutest. I think this hat will make a great, quick Christmas present. The pom-pom on top just makes it extra adorably cozy. 
  4. Nakahi Shawl by Aroha Knits. I'm still going through that shawl phase. I think Francoise of Aroha Knits is a big reason why. She keeps designing these amazing patterns and all I want to do is make them. This is her latest pattern, in the beta testing phase. She is currently running a KAL on her Ravelry group to test this pattern. I don't have a nice variegated yarn as suggested, but I'm making it in a lovely midnight blue.
  5. Thicket by Annie Hamilton. Maybe it's the green, maybe it's the cables, but this pattern reminds me of Ireland! I was there over the summer and I think about it all the time. I have a green speckled yarn from the Aran Islands that I wanted to use for a heavily cabled hat or scarf and I think I found the pattern! I don't have enough of that yarn to make both of these, so now my problem is hat or cowl?
  6. Tales of Suspense by Lotta Groeger. Another shawl! I love the boxy color work on this one mixed with the lacy border. It feels very vintage-y, like I should wear it to my job as the teacher of a one-room schoolhouse on the prairie. It's an aesthetic I like so I'll take it.
  7. Mary Jane Slipper Socks by Nothingbutstring. These are only available for purchase, but I NEED pattern. I love the look of Mary Janes, so I am here for a super cozy version. You can wear them around the house, to bed, and they would absolutely make great gifts.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

FO: Sailor Jupiter & Sailor Venus


My last girls! And, may I state, my favorites. By the time I got to these girls I'd learned a lot about constructing the basic Senshi outfit. With regards to the collar, in making these two I figured out the perfect stitch count and how to make the three stripes merge in a point. I had to go back and remake the collars on all the dolls. I had the chance to play around with beads to make Sailor Venus' Love Me Chain. I also experimented with the hair construction, and I really have to admit that Jupiter has my favorite hair of all.

Sailor Collar
Ch. 22
Row 1-9: sc 21, ch 1, turn.
Row 10: sc 9, do not ch 1, turn.
Wings of collar
Row 11: sc into second stitch from hook to the end. Ch 1, turn.  (8)
Row 12: sc 8, do not ch, turn.
Row 13: sc into second stitch from hook to the end. Ch 1, turn. (7)
Row 14: sc 7, do not ch, turn.
Row 15: sc into second stitch from hook to the end. Ch 1, turn. (6)
Row 16: sc 6, do not ch, turn.
Row 17: sc into second stitch from hook to the end. Ch 1, turn. (5)
Row 18: sc 5, do not ch, turn.
Row 19: sc into second stitch from hook to the end. Ch 1, turn. (4)
Row 20: sc 4, do not ch, turn.
Row 21: sc into second stitch from hook to the end. Ch 1, turn. (3)
Row 22: sc 3, do not ch, turn.
Row 23: sc into second stitch from hook to the end. Ch 1, turn. (2)
Row 24: sc into second stitch from hook. End. Leave a long tail to sew on to body.
Turn the entire piece and attach yarn to the edge without a wing. Repeat Row 11-24.
Stripes: With white yarn, start from the right-hand tip of the collar and slip stitch all around the edge. Make sure to pull the yarn from underneath the collar so as not to have an edge alongside the stripe. End at the tip of the opposite side if only doing one stripe. If doing more stripes, continue from the tip by turning the direction of slip stitches all the way to the opposite tip. Make sure all stripes connect at the tips. Venus and Mars have one stripe on their collars, while Moon, Mercury, and Jupiter have three.
Attachment: Place around the doll's shoulders and tie together with the tails. Using the loose tails, sew the inner edge of the collar to the body of the doll.

Hair

Jupiter's hair was the easiest and my favorite! I could make nothing but pony-tailed dolls for the rest of my life! (Spoiler alert: I won't. I've already planned out what I'll make next, and easy hair is not it.)
She has a wig cap, which consists of making half of her head in her hair color. I tied strands of hair all around and underneath the cap. I gathered the hair, minus about half of the strands that in front of the head, into a high pony tail using a scrap piece of yarn. Then it's time to sew on the wig to the head. I cut the hair midway past the back. For the bangs, I gathered them all in the center and cut them just above the eyes. This gives them a curve, shorter in the middle and longer at the sides, that nicely frames the face. I added the bobbles of her hair tie with some puffy paint, and done!


This was my third time making Sailor V(enus)/Minako hair. I added the hair on the wig cap in three parts. The front half of the head, underneath the cap; since tying the hair creates two strands, half of this hair becomes bangs and the other half gets tied together with a pretty red felt bow. The back half can be tied above, underneath, however is easiest for you. The third part is a row of hair along the center of the wig cap, just underneath where the bow sits; this makes the hair appear fuller and hides most of the cap that gets exposed under the bow.

That's it for my Sailor Moon series! At least for the inners. I'd still love to make the outers (and Chibi Moon!), but I'm already excited to get started on another set of girls, and I plan to make their construction a lot more different than these.

Monday, October 12, 2015

FO: Sailor Mercury & Sailor Mars


Naturally, if I've made a Sailor Moon, I've gotta make Mercury and Mars. The body construction on these two was not much different than Moon, although obviously I had to change to the flesh color on Mars' legs earlier. However, I think my gauge somehow became much tighter, or a missed a row somewhere, because Mercury turned out so tiny. Then I tried to overcompensate by making an Mars' head a row bigger. The result for either is not my favorite, to be perfectly honest.

The hair is also an area where I'm not 100% pleased with the results. The problem with both is that the characters' hair is loose and unadorned; it just hangs free, so unless I gave them hair as densely packed as real hair their wig cap would show — which is not a good look. 

For Sailor Mercury, I tried placing strands in a side part and then tucking them through the edges of the cap as it came down. However, that ended up looking like she had a braid around her head — which was not the look I was going for. What I ended up doing was tucking the hair under the edges of the cap so no crochet stitches would show, but also have no loose strands (except a couple of strategically placed hairs). The loose hair was tied slightly above the edges, hiding under the hair that covered the cap, and was let sit loose. The end result was much better. You can still tell that the hair is in two layers if you look closely, but the blue yarn is dark enough to hide it at a distance.


I also cut her bangs too short. If I ever make her again I'd keep them about this length.


Sailor Mars' hair was also a bit difficult for similar reasons, but because her hair is longer it was easier to leave it loose. I knew it wasn't going all to bunch up in the middle, like Mercury's hair was doing.

I sewed the wig cap much like Mercury's hair, to hide the crochet stitches.


For bangs, I added another layer around the front and pulled them through the edge and cut. Along of back of the bangs layer I added a row of loose hair, and then added another row underneath that for extra fullness. If that doesn't make sense it looks like this.



This results in hair that flows down the back nicely, but also preserves her side part.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Horror...

Friends, I'm here to tell you to remain strong when the worst happens.

*insert Wilhelm Scream here*

I'm very disorganized. Since I have a very large bed it tends to basically be my daytime table and I just leave things on it all the time. Unfortunately I am also on the bed most times and when I move around that absurdly large bed I walk on my knees. And sometimes my needles just can't take it.

Fortunately I had to make a KnitPicks order anyway, but what to do in the meantime? I was on such a roll with this shawl and it's a KAL — I don't want to lose my motivation between now and when my package gets here.

Using a pencil sharpener and some sandpaper I got this

It's not the easiest knitting I've ever done, I'll definitely switch out the tips when the new ones arrive, but this gets the job done in the meantime.

Monday, October 5, 2015

FO: Sailor Moon

In the name of the moon, I'll punish you!

Yay! So after making Sailor Venus, I was excited to try making Sailor Moon. It was around exam time so I didn't have a lot of time to devote to crocheting, but all I really wanted to make was the hair. So I made Princess Serenity instead. She turned out adorably, and rather quickly thanks to her almost plain white empire waist dress. I was also very happy with how easy her hair turned out to be!

Once I was out of school and had all the free time in the world, I got started on a proper Sailor Moon. The main difference in the uniforms of the main Senshi versus Sailor V is that the Senshi wear one piece leotards under their skirts while Sailor V has a two-piece with some midriff showing. This made V's outfit very easy with regards to color changing, I had to decide how to make the V-shaped dip at the stomach that appears in the main Senshi's uniform. Based on Becky's Basic Doll Pattern, all of the Senshi skirts go like this: 

On the last row of the torso and the center of where the doll faces front and on the front loops only: hdc, dc, tbl, dc, hdc. This will create a V-shape. Sew the legs, and use the back loops of the previous row where the stitches above are; that way they are on the outside. 
Skirt
Row 1: Hold the doll upside down so the stitches face downward. Pick up 24th around the seam of the torso and the legs, and under the exposed V-shape. 
Row 2: *sc 5, 2sc in next st* all around. join
For the pleats of the skirt ch 5 or 6 (depending on gauge and how long the skirt should be) from the join in Row 2 and sc back to the same st, sl to the next st, turn and sc back to the bottom on back loops only. From the bottom, ch 1 and sc back to the top on back loops only. Repeat the back and forth all around. Sometimes, when making it back to Row 2 and if the skirt was getting too full, I would sl into the next stitch and slip again to the following before going back down.

Bun Head
The hair obviously gets the most comments when I show this doll off. Usage's buns are the most iconic Sailor Moon element of all the dolls. I'm glad to report that they were fairly easy to do.

First, I made a wig cap, which is the same as the first half of the head on the pattern, just before the decreases start. I tied some bits of hair at the front for the bangs and cut it. I think I cut the bangs too short, and that makes them the most difficult part of this hair. The buns are just two smaill and lightly-stuffed spheres that I sewed to the top of the head. the two pieces of loose hair that go under the buns are two pieces crocheted flat. Starting with a chain of about 40, turn and sc back two or three times Increases give the piece some curl so I added increases randomly throughout every row. To make the piece thicker on top I included a few hdc and dc stitches near the top. To make the tips of the hair thinner, I sl st through the final stitches.

The red accents on the buns (as well as the tiara jewel, crescent moons, and the brooch on the bow) were added with puffy paint at the end.

I'm very happy with how she turn out, even if I do keep going back and fixing little kinks as I've gotten better at making the team.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September Favorites


I've been seeing some beautiful and lovely patterns lately. I thought I'd consolidate patterns that I've found and loved in the past month, from perusing Ravelry, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc.

1) XOXO Kimono by Julie King.
I follow Julie King on her website, Gleeful Things, and she is one of my favorite designers! This was a design for a Design Wars Challenge that she won. It's obvious why; this sweater/wrap/kimono is so simple but beautiful. It covers but is very light, which is for SoCal autumns that can get a bit breezy but are still mostly very hot.

2) Mullspice by Alicia Plummer.
Sometimes,however, I do like to pretend that autumn does mean that the weather cools down around here. I can knit hats like these to mu heart's content, even if I can't wear them long before overheating.

3) Eyeglass Appliqués by Tangled Happy.
These are so cute! The author suggests using them as party Photo Booth props and I absolutely have to do that at some point. I can also see them as decoration around a bookcase or something.

4) Aran Knit Afghan from Ednascloset.
I was in Ireland this summer and I fell in love with everything, not least of which is the wonderful Aran knitting tradition. I was able to buy one skein of actual Aran yarn, and while this is probably too ambitious of a project to complete with one skein it's exactly the type of texture that I'd love to recreate.

5) No. 2 Pencil Socks by The Yarn Enabler.
I first saw these on Instagram and just knew that I had to make them at some point. Now I only wish I still had a school to go to so these would be an appropriate project.

6) Amma by Maria Valles.
This is a last-minute addition to this list. I was reviewing everything in my favorites for this post and found this in a post from Tangled Happy. It's so pretty and cool, and it looks like it'll be easy to make.

7) Acer Shawl by Joanne Scrace.
I've recently been falling in love with shawls. I never wear shawls and I don't know anybody who does, but they are a knitting/crochet must and I've even signed up for a KAL to make one. This one is crochet, and also very beautiful. I love the color combination in the example.

8) Nevelson Lace Pullover by Amy Christoffers.
I've only ever made one sweater, and I'm itching to make another. I'd like something like this. It's a sport-weight yarn so it would be lighter than the worsted one I made. It also looks like it would be fun to make, with a lacy pattern in front to keep it from being too boring.

9) Fluffy White Clouds by Vikki Bird.
I don't think I have to patience to make a full-sized blanket, but this makes me want to! It's so simple but beautiful!

10) Bradway Shawl by Shannon Cook.
Another shawl! This one is knit, and I love the rustic autumnal colors of the example as well as the mix of stitch patterns. If it ever gets cold around here this is definitely something I'd make in a heartbeat.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Fighting Evil By Moonlight


I've finally finished the gang! 

I'm not much of an anime fan. I've tried to get into other shows, but I've never really been able to stick all the way through to one. Well, except for Gankutsuou, but I that's just my love for The Count of Monte Cristo and the fact that it's only 24 episodes.

Sailor Moon however, Sailor Moon is my life! I remember being super tiny and getting up early to watch Sailor Moon. I getting a Moon Stick shaped popsicle from the ice cream truck, and crying when my dad bit off most of it.

In high school, I went through a period where I rediscovered my obsession. I watched fansubbed Japanese episodes of the anime for the first time, and I read fan translations of the manga as well as some of the original English translations that called Usage "Bunny."

In college, Sailor Moon Crystal was announced for the twentieth anniversary, and I became obsessed once again. While I quite liked Crystal and the original anime is obviously iconic, I have to say that my favorite adaptation is the live-action series. I was so sad when I watched the last episode knowing that there was nothing more. And "C'est la vie" is such an earworm….

According to Ravelry, I've been working on these girls since April 1st. Although I've been working on prototypes since November.  I made these in the order that they first appear in the anime/manga: Moon —> Mercury —> Mars —> Jupiter —> Venus. I've featured them here before, and mentioned what I've liked and what's been difficult. Like hair. Hair was so hard! Sailor Moon's was probably the easiest of all people! That said, I'm quite proud of how the final two turned out. Sailor Jupiter's hair is easily my favorite, and the only one in which I managed to cut the bangs the perfect length. After two other attempts at making Sailor V's, I think I finally got Minako's hair just right for Sailor Venus.

Overall, I think I became way more skilled over the past five months. The final two girls are the best for a reason. I have a better understanding of how the colors are going to look so, for example, their necks don't look literally choked by their chokers (tip: switch colors after a row of all single crochet's and not after the last row of head decreases!). I also think I perfected the sailor collars, and I am hugely resisting the urge to redo the first three completely.

I have a lot to say about each of them to be honest, so I will split it up between the next few posts.

I'm also debating as to whether to continue to make the rest of the team (including Sailor Chibi-Moon and Tuxedo Mask). I'll probably take a break for a while and do the outers once I have a reason to get super obsessed with the series again. Oh, if only Toei would renew Sailor Moon Crystal….

Monday, September 21, 2015

San Diego Yarn Crawl 2015

This is the best picture I've ever taken, trust me.
The San Diego Yarn Crawl was this weekend. I was only able to go on Saturday, and, due to an accident on the freeway, only started at around 4pm. That's why, out of thirteen shops I only went to five. Not bad for two hours.

The first shop was The Black Sheep, an adorable little store in Encinitas with super friendly staff. Outside the store there was a yarn tasting set-up, with various balls of yarn set up with needles and hooks so that we could test out how they feel when used. 


Next, and nearby, was Common Threads. It was tucked away in a tiny shopping square, but the store itself did not disappoint. Along with the usual free pattern, we got a little pouch.


Unfortunately, because I didn't have the tote bag yet I forgot to ask for their button.

A half-hour south, and we were at Needlecraft Cottage in Pacific Beach. I've been here a few times before because it was the closest local yarn store to where I went to college. And I was so happy to see that they still had this year's tote bag in stock! The bag is what really made me want to make the trek from LA; it's got a mystery pattern on it! All the shop's buttons are color coded to correspond to a stitch on the chart and you have to collect all the buttons to get the complete pattern. I knew there was no way I'd be able to collect all the buttons, but I'm pretty sure the actual pattern will become available online today.


Parked behind Needlecraft Cottage that day was the Yarnover Truck!  I've also been here before, including the first SDYC also at Needlecraft Cottage. And once again I bought the CoBaSi yarn, because I realized that one hank would not be enough to make anything. Luckily, they still had the same dye lot in stock. I also couldn't help myself and I bought their wooden needle sizer in the shape of the truck.


With minutes to spare, we made it to Arañitas Yarn by Sofia. It was a lovely little shop that thankfully stayed open long enough for us to get a stamp and button. Their welcome sign is in the picture above this post.

All in all, it was a super fun experience. I would absolutely return to any of these shops on any given day on which I have the opportunity. I can't wait until next year's crawl, and the LA one in the spring.

The buttons I got, and my passport.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Simple Lacy Hat

I'm especially fond of the bitchface in the center.

Monday, July 27, 2015

FO: Lacy Hat




I made this.

I also made it up.

This is the first hat that I've made one my own — that didn't turn out completely terrible. Usually when I try to follow my own brain for a hat it turns into an ill-fitting disaster. But this time I actually took the time to plan and do the math it takes to make hats fit. I'm sure there are a ton of patterns out there with a similar look, but I really just wanted to make simple hat in an interesting, slightly lacy pattern. If anyone is interested, I will be making the pattern available on Wednesday.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Renegade Craft Fair


I had a really fantastic time on Sunday at the Renegade Craft Fair at Grand Park in Downtown Los Angeles. I did not hear about it until the day of, when I was already out, so please excuse my shitty pictures and my shitty hair. It was wonderful to see all the local Makers around town. It was as inspiring as it was gorgeous.

One of the companies at the fair was the Yarnover Truck. It's an adorable repurposed Little Debbie truck repurposed into a portable yarn shop. I've been to it at various places around SoCal since it opened, and I'm always excited to see it again. This time I purchased a gorgeous fingering weight hank in a raspberry color (in fact, that's the name of the colorway!). The yarn in called CoBaSi (from the cotton, bamboo, and silk blend), and is from the brand HiKoo by skacel. It's not a yarn I've ever used before, but it was such a pretty color, and also pretty much all I could afford at the time. I've been on a fingering weight hat binge lately, so this very well may end up on my head. We'll see.

I also purchased some cute pins from Le Petit Elefant by Genevieve Santos. In the rush, I didn't get Genevieve's card and info, and so I had to go searching through the fair's website to find hers. Looking around her shop, I'm in love with her Boba Girl. She seems to be pretty popular on the site, and I must have every variation in my life.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Hooked On: Body Parts


I love amigurumi. I consider myself a knitter first and foremost, but there's something so satisfying about starting off with a magic circle and ending up with the cutest toys. And it's especially relaxing when it's a pattern I've used half a dozen times before. You can find random limbs lying around in all the nooks and crannies of my bedroom; the result of unfinished or discarded projects. My favorite human doll pattern is Becky's Basic Doll Pattern. I love it because the legs aren't sewed to the body; the two legs are made separately and then crocheted together to make the lower half of the torso. I'm also into the habit of attaching the arms with safety eyes so for this pattern I don't have to sew limbs together at all! It also has the consequence of adjustable arms. Since this is only a pattern for the body, I can go crazy with the colors and details.

Above is the beginnings of Sailor Jupiter. Ever since Sailor Moon Crystal premiered a year ago, I've been thrust back into reliving one of my favorite childhood cartoons. 


As you can see, I've made for previous senshi, including Sailor V — who was not part of the team, but an independent agent until she joined the other girls as Sailor Venus (complete with a different outfit). I really enjoy making their outfits and each of the girls' unique details. What I find really difficult is the hair and eyes. I don't think simple safety eyes really suit anime characters, so I've been cutting out pieces of white felt and painted on the details with puffy paint. However, once one of Sailor Mars' eyes fell off, I decided to look for alternative eyes. I found this guide on Tumblr for drawing and figured it could be useful.

And even on dolls I can't get my eyeliner even.
I printed the guide out and traced with puffy paint over wax paper. It peels off and I can glue it on the doll.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What’s on the Needles: Regatta Tee


I'm about half-way there. This is the front and back view of of half of the Regatta Tee I'm working on. I've had the Interweave Knits magazine this comes from for years, just because I fell in love with this shirt on the cover. I'm so excited to finally make it for myself.


I love the lacy yoke on top of the stripes. It makes the whole thing look look delicate, yet unconventional.

However, it has taken a lot out of me just working on one side of this. It's huge, since I'm making a large (sigh). I think I'll take a short break before starting on the other side. I have other, smaller projects on the queue that I'm also excited to start. But I hope I can finish it before going on vacation at the end of the month, I'd love to wear it abroad!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Knit Picks Haulin'


I've been making a lot of Knit Picks orders this month. I don't even have room to store everything I've gotten; it's all still in the boxes they came in. They're sales have been great lately.















These are the yarns from the monthly yarn sales in May and June. The Chroma Fingering yarn is when they offered a free skein with a $25 purchase. Since I got these colors just because and not because I had a specific project lined up for them, I think they suggest that I want to skip summer and go straight into fall.









Felici yarns are back! And they even have a special label that says they're temporary (sad face!). These are in the colorway Countess, and I'm going to make another pair of the Time-Traveler Socks from my last post.










Needles! I have a set of interchangeable needles from Boye, but although they are the most affordable set out there they are not the best. The cables are stiff and the edges of the needle joins burr, causing the yarn to snag. I got The Try It set in Harmony Wood, as well as the longest cord available (60”). I also got Caspian tips in size 9, and the longest fixed needle I could find in size 0 because while working on these and these, my needles snapped. I’ll report back to see how these fare.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Finished Project: Striped Felici Socks

I finished a pair of socks! And I was so close to only having to use one ball of yarn for both. Using Knit Picks Felici in Arugula and the Time Traveler Sock Pattern, I made these adorable green stripy socks. I'm super proud that I was able to match stripes on both until I got to the heel on the second sock. It was then that I had to switch to a second ball of yarn. I tried to match the pattern, but I seem to have picked the colors going in the opposite orientation. I think if I had made them ankle socks instead, I would only have had to use a single skein but I doubt I would have been able to match the stripes so perfectly.

I love using this yarn. It is soft and sturdy, and the stripes always make the resulting project interesting to look at without the pain of working with multiple balls of color. I was upset when I saw that Knit Picks discontinued the yarn permanently, and so happy when I saw that it's been brought back just in time for me to order more for a second pair of socks. I hope Knit Picks takes the hint and keeps this line around in the future!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What’s on the Needles: Cabled Socks

Why am I knitting thigh-high, worsted weight socks in April? Well, they were supposed to be a Christmas present. I'm sure I'll finish them in time for this Christmas.

I'm always wary of socks because I know my procrastinating ass will get second sock syndrome hardcore. Now, because a dear friend asked for warm, thigh-high socks I decided to suck it up and find a good pattern. I think that's still makes me a good friend even if I am still four months overdue. I searched all over Ravelry and the best pattern I could find that fit what she asked for was this beauty from the Vogue Knitting Holiday 2012 issue.

To avoid second sock syndrome I decided to knit both socks together, a technique I had never tried before. This is not a good pattern to do that with for the first time. This is not a good color of yarn to do that with for the first time. These are not good needles to do this with for the first time.

Maybe I'm just not used to the way Vogue Knitting presents its patterns but this is a horrible pattern to follow. (Not a horrible pattern, though, it's gorgeous.) It took me a few rounds and lots of mistakes to learn what their abbreviations for the cables were. Until then I had to deal with the app's unique problem. I'm not sure if the pattern is on two pages side by side or if you had to flip over the first page to get to the second part, but on the app two pages are difficult no matter what. The pattern key and the majority of instructions are on one page while the chart is on the second. Because my screen is only 7 inches I have to zoom in to read the pattern, and if I need to switch the page I must un-zoom, change the page, re-zoom, and — if my device is acting particularly slow — wait for it to all load again in a bigger size. It's not the end of the world, but it is unnecessarily time consuming and frustrating.

Another thing that is I'm having trouble with is the color of yarn I'm using. The first thing I tell beginning knitters and crocheters is to use a light colored yarn, it will help you see the stitches.

Light-colored yarns also photograph better.
Unfortunately, my friend and I are both in love with this dark purple and all I have are these thick, inflexible Boye interchangeables to work it on. I will just have to deal with choosing the most complicated way of getting these done because I know the end result will be worth the trouble.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

TESTING POST

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