Sunday, December 30, 2007

Without the decreases, it's just a tube

Hey, good news! I actually finished my fake isle hat! Yay! It only took me two days. Yes, I cast on the 14th, and yes I know that's like 16 days... but I only worked on it for two days. Honest!

Here I am 8 rows from the end. This is where it got exciting... and interesting.

At this point, I had to endure the most exciting form of knitting. The great yarn race. I seriously had almost no yarn left at this point.

(Btw, no I don't just keep my medication laying about... that's what I use to help roll laceweight into a ball, and it holds my stitch markers lol) This was getting scary... and oh so much more exciting than a muggle (non-knitter) would believe. One minute I'll like "Oh, no, I'm going to run out!" and the next I'm like "oh, no, I'll be ok..." And then I'm back to thinking I'm going to run out... very exciting. (Anyone else thinking I need to get a life?)

That's what I had when I was done. I'm thinking that's 5 yards... tops.

Wow, I swear I'm not high... Pattern details? You got it. It's the Fake Isle hat from magknits. I made the larger size (but didn't check gauge... do I ever? Nope. You know why? Because it LIES. Honestly. lol) I used Patons sws in the colors Natural blue and Natural indigo, and a size 8 circular/dpns. I took out chart two because it was going to make the hat too big. I really dodged that bullet.

It's way too big. *facepalm* So I'm going to LIGHTLY felt it. SWS felts so easy, all you have to do is look at it funny... So it should be easy. Famous last words... This was my first ever fair isle attempt. Look how neat and even my strands are!!

I was so proud... And this last pic is just for Angie. Remember how I was missing a stitch... and something looked funny on the inside and I had no clue what it was, why it looked like that, or how it happened?

See it, there in the middle of the pic? What is up with that??

Anyone else have a great yarn race story they'd like to share?

Saturday, December 29, 2007


Ok, guys, Angie and may need some help. I'm working on a design idea for the shirts that were going to sell for our charity of choice, which benefits fighting aids in Africa. Here's the deal. I have this picture. This is sorta what I have in mind for the shirt, and it's going to say "Knitting for the Cause."

Now, I have the software needed to make something that looks like this on my computer... but I don't know how to use it. Angie is trying to get the software, but in case she has difficulties
or something, I'm asking for your help. Does anyone know how to help us make something like this, or would anyone be interested in telling me how... or even designing it? It's for a good cause... all the money we raise, every penny, is going to go to a hospital in South Africa that has a medicine that, if administered to a mother before she gives birth, will effectively stop the transfer of the aids virus to the children. We're talking about life saving medicine. It only costs 17 cents a day to give this medicine to them... and they can't afford it. This about it. If we raised 5 dollars for every shirt, and sold 20 shirts, just 20, that would be 100 dollars... That would buy 588 treatments, which would save 147 children from having hiv/aids. 147! So please, if anyone who reads this can help, please leave us a comment or email me at Krystalclear2006ATyahooDOTcom. Thanks guys.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Indeed! A Candy Cane.

Hey guys! Just thought I'd pop in real quick and let everyone know what's going on. Hopefully in the next week Angie and I are going to have a couple of sock patterns for sale, for the charity we mentioned the other day. I'm also going to try to work on the picture for the shirts we're going to sell through

Besides all that, there has been knitting.

See? Proof. And PLEASE if you care about me or your eyes at all do not click on that picture.. I haven't felt much like shaving for a few days and that's more than you wanted to know but hey, you're the dorks who wanted to click on it even though I told you not to... thought I'd at least give you a good enough reason not to... Anyway, he's what's planned for me in the knitting department soon. First off, I want to finish the first monkey by New Years Eve. Why? Because... well I only have one set of size 2 dpns and I need them to cast on for this.

Er... well, you get the idea. That's supposed to be a sock. It's not. I'm using it for my group on ravelry (Look me up, Krystalclear2006, or look up my group, Second Sock Finishers (click the link if you're part of ravelry... if not, sign up, it's still in beta!)). It's Loksins! which I was supposed to finish... months ago. I also want to finish my fake isle hat, and buy yarn to make Endpaper Mitts, and I need another skein of Smooshy, in a blue or green, to make the embossed leaves pattern from the book "Favorite Socks." Wow, sounds busy already... but then there's this.

Which wants to be something, possibly out of Victorian Lace today, possibly not... anyone have any suggestions? (It's Zephyr lace weight, 680 yarns to 2 oz, in color Ice Blue.) Please, let me know if you know of any patterns at all that I might want to try.

On a final note... look how cute my hair is!

Aww... Ok, drop a comment so we know you're out there, ok? :) Thanks for stopping by!

Pervo the Magnificent

So I went POOF and disappeared there for a little while. I got broadsided by Christmas. My apologies. I actually don't have much knitting news to share. I'm on the last chart of Icarus. I'm up to almost 500 stitches, so keeping up with my goal of at least 4 rows a day has been pretty interesting. I did 6 rows yesterday, though, so I can't be too bored with it. We spent Christmas Day with my SIL Zana and her family. Here, I'll show you some pictures since they're knitting related.

Here's a pic of Zana and Doug opening Miss O's presents for her. She got a red cabled beanie and a Baby Mozart cd. I actually made the beanie a year ago before I knew Miss O was on her way. You can also kinda see Zana's scarf in the background and Doug's hat sitting on top of it. I didn't get any proper pictures of those. Sorry!

And here's Miss O modeling her beanie. Can't really see the cables but you're not here to see the cables anyway. *grin*

That's a cuteness overdose just waiting to happen, huh? Look at the little double chin! She's come a long way since the skinny little thing she was in September. She looks like a real baby now! Anyway...

And this is Erin, who wins the crafty gift recipient of the year award for unwrapping her scarf and immediately putting it on then not taking it off all night. lol

I think next Christmas Erin gets a sweater. Because, really, her enthusiasm on the subject? Well you just can't beat it. lol

Thursday, December 27, 2007

That's practically like licking a sheep!

Wow, so I hate lots to update you all on! First off, I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah, or a good Yule... we could go on a while here. :) Mine was perfectly fine, with the exception of the burden of the children of poverty... but you all know where I stand there. I know what you're here for. You want to hear details of knitting related presents, don't you? :) I knew it. I'm on to you, ya know. Well, you've come to the right place! I got more than I expected that was knitting related, but not everything was on my list. First off, I got three books. Knit Socks, by Betsy Lee McCarthy, Wendy Knits, by Wendy Johnson, and...

Yup, you see correctly. The Holy Grail. Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac. I also got this chart keeper from Knit Picks... I love it.

Look how cute the outside is!

I also got this thing that's supposed to be a shoe organizer but we thought it would be cool to store individual projects in. I just haven't gotten around to putting it all together yet... the bad news? It's 15 slots. That's... a lot of ufo's just waiting to happen! Then, non knitting related, my mom got me this.

You can't see quite how pretty it is but... it's gorgeous. I love it, completely. It's my birthstone, and it fits me perfectly. I almost cried when I saw it. I also got a lot of other non-knitting related gifts, including lots of dog related stuff from Dave's side of the family, and a spring form pan from my sister, gift cards... I got WAY more than I wanted to get, but here's my complaint: If they're going to spend money on me, why don't they stick to the list I gave them. I mean, I may not be surprised by anything but then at least I get what I want and not stuff that I'm never going to use.. my side of the family was really good about that, or at least getting me stuff that I might not have asked for but that has really good use but I got a lot of stuff from the other side that I really like but might not really be able to use, ya know? Man I'm such a selfish... I don't know what I am but it's not good. Ugh, I hate being American sometimes lol. We're all raised this way, all selfish... anyway, rant over. I'm off the soap box.

Look! I cast on for a pair of Monkeys yesterday!

With my Dream in Color Smooshy that was my reward for finishing Icarus. (You know what? I'm not even gonna bother to link to either of those patterns. Monkeys are everywhere, and I know I've linked to Icarus before. Check it out. I bet I have...) That picture is pretty true to color, but it's maybe a little lighter. It's the colorway "Cool Fire." I LOVE them. Can't wait to finish! My goal? To have sock number one done by 12:00 AM New Years Day. Yikes. Must go knit now.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Oh... Tequila!

Look, a free pattern! This is my extremely, incredibly, enormously modified version of fetching from knitty. Basically, the cables are the same and the thumb's the same, but that's it. My gift to you. Use it for a last second late Christmas gift, because these babies are FAST, or make them for yourself to celebrate the end of Christmas knitting!

Fetchingly Cute Mittens

Yarn: One skein Patons sws (110 yards/ 80 grams) in a color of your choice. I choose Natural Navy.

Needles: Set of 4 size 8 dpns or size needed to obtain gauge.

Gauge: 5 sts/in before washing. 6 rows/inch.

Pattern Notes:
C4B: Slip next 2 sts to cable needle (or spare double-point needle) and hold to back of work; k2, k2 from cable needle. C4F: Slip next 2 sts to cable needle (or spare double-point needle) and hold to front of work; k2, k2 from cable needle.

Cast on 35 stitches. (I prefer long tail but it's up to you really.) Divide between 3 needles, placing 10 sts on the first, 15 on the second, and 10 on the last. Join to work in the round, being careful, of course, not to twist.

Work four rounds in 4 by 1 ribbing, meaning of course, knit four, purl one.

Next round: for the left mitten, work C4B across entire round. For the right mitten, work C4F across entire round.

Work five rounds 4 by 1 ribbing. Then work cable round.
Repeat the last six rounds once more.

Work one round 4 by 1 ribbing.

Next round: knit all stitches. Continue knitting until it's long enough to suit you. I knit fifteen rounds.

Next round: Using waste yarn, knit 5 stitches. Then slip those five back to the left needle. Knit those five stitches and the rest of the round with the working yarn.

Continue knitting in st st until it reaches the top of your pinky. For me that was 16 rounds (That is, 15 plus the round immediately after the thumb hole). At this point, the directions are different for each mitten.

For the right mitten: Readjust your stitches so there are 8 stitches on the first two needles, and 17 on the third needle. Knit a couple rounds of decrease* one round, knit one round plain. Then knit several rounds of just decreases until you have 19 stitches altogether. The last decrease round, work all of the decreases EXCEPT the very last one, so that you have 16 stitches (you need the stitch count to be even.)

For the left mitten: Readjust your needles as follows; slip the first five stitches from the first needle to the third needle. then slip four stitches from the second needle to the first, and two stitches from the third needle to the second. Sounds complicated, but you should end up with the five stitches that line up with the thumb stitches on needle three, and the needles should have 9, 8, and 18 stitches on them. Now do the same decreases you did for the right mitten.

*I did my decreases just lie a sock toe. Basically, set your stitches up like I said on the needles, and then on the decrease rounds k1, ssk, knit to the end of the needle. Second needle: knit to last three sts, k2tog, k1. Third needle, k1, ssk, knit to last three, k2tog, k1. I did a decrease round, a plain round (just knit them all), then I repeated those two rounds. After that I decreased every round until there were 16 sts left altogether.

You should now have 16 stitches on your needles. Slip the four stitches from needle two onto needle one. Then graft the stitches together. If you don't know how to graft, or do kitchener stitch, go here and scroll down for a video.

Thumb: Carefully remove waste yarn and place resulting live sts on two double-point needles; there will be 5 sts below the opening and 4 sts above. Attach yarn and k the 5 sts on lower needle; using a second needle, pick up and k 2 sts in space between upper and lower needle, k first 2 sts from upper needle; using a third needle, k remaining 2 sts from upper needle and pick up and k 2 sts in space between this needle and lower needle. 13 sts. Knit until the thumb is almost long enough (about half an inch shorter than thumb is what they say, but I say wait until the thumb is actually long enough... otherwise it'll end up too short). Then work one round of k1, k2tog around (knit the last stitch.) Break yarn, leaving about 8 inches for the tail. Pull yarn through remaining stitches, and weave in on the inside of thumb.

Weave in your other ends.
I wash my sws in wool wash, which takes away any ichyness. Lay flat to dry. When they're done, celebrate! Yay!

Hope Everyone had a safe and fun Holiday!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Don't make pancakes if you don't know how

Okay, so... I haven't finished the mittens yet. The pattern's all written up I just need to finish it and take pictures. So to distract you from that fact, I'll show you what I've been doing that's distracting me from finishing. (Besides playing pool on yahoo with Angie). Oops, forgot to upload the pictures. Duh... ok, there we go. First off, I have a LOT of patterns printed off, because I change my mind so much. So, I'm organizing. There's the pile that is the things I really want to knit and probably will sometime soon.

Yeah... I know. I know. Then there's the stack of magazines... all of which have at least one pattern in them that I really want to make...

Then, there's the patterns that I've either already done or don't really know whether I'm going to do it or not...

And all of that last group are organized into piles,

which are then going to go in this.

Sounds fun, right? It's not. It just makes me want to knit EVERYTHING right now. See ya tomorrow, hopefully with a mitten pattern!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Oh Man, That's Not Even Normal...

I finally wrote up the free coaster pattern. Here it is. (Note: This picture is of the coaster before washing or blocking. The wonkyness settled down with blocking. I'd take a new picture but the coaster has since disappeared.)

Gauge 4 sts/inch in stockinette stitch (if you use cotton yarn then you need to remember that cotton shrinks and either wash your swatch or take that into account when measuring your gauge)

Needles size 7

Yarn worsted weight (I've used both cotton and acrylic yarns. Cotton has the added benefit of being absorbent)

(Use whatever yarn and needles you need to get the gauge above)

Finished size 4" x 4" (10 cm x 10 cm)

Cast on 36 stitches (I used longtail cast on. You can use whatever cast on you like, I don't think it really matters too much)

Row 1: K1,move the yarn to the front and slip next stitch purlwise,yarn back to the back, k1,move the yarn to the front and slip next stitch purlwise, k1... etc until you reach the last stitch. Slip it purlwise, making sure you move the yarn to the purl side so that it's in position to start the next row.

Repeat Row 1 until the coaster reaches 4" (10 cm) or until it reaches the point that the coaster is square

Bind Off:

I'm not entirely positive this is the best way to bind off double knitting, but here's how I do it.

K2tog, k2tog, pass 1st st over second; repeat across. This makes for a very solid bind off, which I wouldn't use for something like a scarf or anything of that sort. But come on, it's a coaster. lol

Other Options:

This could easily be modified to having a different color on each side. Cast on the same way as the solid colored coaster. On the first row K1 with your MC, then after bringing both colors to the front purl the next stitch with CC. Making sure to keep both strands of yarn on either the front for purling or the back for knitting, work across alternating k stitches with MC and p stitches with CC. At the end of the row be sure to have both strands of yarn at the front so that the yarn is in the correct position to knit with it on the next row. You can even do colorwork patterns in this way just by switching around the colors. Experiment!

That's not a duck? Oh... that explains the shell!

Wow has this week been busy! I'm trying to finish up last minute Christmas gifts, and also making a hat for myself, plus Emmy's been here and between all that I haven't really had time to blog. So, I'm going to make it up to you! First, with some pictures. Now, I've been officially done with my mil's scarf for... a while. But I didn't block it or add my fringe. But it's finally done! It came unblocked... dumb dogs... but it's still 64 inches long, instead of 70, but she's only like 5'2'' so I'm sure that's perfect for her. Here I am wearing it.

It's hard to see my fringe but I bet if you make it bigger you can see it.

I'm also keeping busy making a group for ravelry. It's going to be a contest group for knitting second socks. I mean, I don't have THAT many second socks, but I think it'll be fun anyway. People can cast on for sock number two, and if they finish it within the month, they're eligible for a prize. Note: Emmy wants to know what the prizes will be. Well, I figured for the first month I'd give a prize and then every month after that someone else could donate something for a prize. What will my prize be? What else? A skein of sock yarn!

Next on my agenda is my gift for being so patient with my busy week. It's my gift for my sil, Linda. I'm making her a pair of fetching-inspired mittens, and I'm going to write up the pattern for you guys! Want a preview?

They should be done by tomorrow, so come back then!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Hey... is that the guy that smells like cheese?

I am so behind on all of my knitting obligations lately. It's driving me crazy. I'm working on three sock patterns at once (one at the swatching stage, one still in the planning stage, and the other is floating around in my brain waiting for something to get finished so I have time to think lol) to hopefully sell for charity donations to benefit *an AIDS hospital in South Africa. Plus there's the coaster pattern which is DONE except the writing up. And I need to take pictures of the beautiful, wonderful, incredible thing Krystal did for me for Christmas. And the yarn. Oh man the yarn. Anyway, to check one thing off of my knitterly obligations list, I give you the dropped stitch tutorial, especially for Krystal so she doesn't have to ask me every time. lol

This is pretty easy, once you do it a whole bunch (ask me how I know).

So you're knitting along....

And OOOPS! You've dropped a stitch. Before you can say "Bob's your uncle!" that slippery little bugger has laddered down a bit. Now now, no cursing unless you're cursing because you just now realized you don't HAVE an Uncle Bob.

Just grab a crochet hook big enough to grab your yarn without splitting it and small enough to not stretch your stitches out too much.

And stick it through the dropped stitch from the front to the back.

(From this point the pictures get crappy and I apologize. The digital camera really hates me)

And then, putting the hook behind the ladder...

Pull the ladder back through the dropped stitch.

Repeat this for every ladder you have. (Each ladder representing one row of knitting)

The stitch will be twisted the wrong way now (which is what these two pictures are supposed to show you but fail spectacularly at) so you'll need to orient it properly on your needle when you put the stitch back on the left hand needle.

And that's it. You can just keep knitting like normal. Really. Crisis over. Call Uncle Bob over and have a drink. Or two, depending on how many stitches we had to pick up here.

*None of the charity plans are completely solidified yet, so that's the tentative plan

Since when do ducks fly?

Ok, so this Christmas knitting thing? A LOT harder than it looks. I mean... it's not that I don't have time for everything but... I haven't quite gotten down the whole... putting so much of myself into something and then just... giving it away. Ya know? I guess I'm just selfish, or maybe it's because I really haven't been knitting that long, but I can't do it anymore right now. I'm done with just a little more than the toe on my mom's second sock, and I still need to finish Becky's gift, and I need to decide whether or not I'm making something for Linda... seriously, I haven't even done that. But I just CAN'T do it anymore so...

The Fake Isle hat was born this morning. I knew I wanted to do it and picked out the yarn I just... hadn't started it yet. I'm a little worried that I'm not going to like the colors, after seeing someone who made it with the same main color and white instead of indigo but... we'll see. I'm making it in Patons sws, the colors Natural Blue and Natural Indigo, with a size 8 16 inch circular. I'm making the larger size because... well I didn't check my gauge but Angie said that hers was a little small and so... yeah, that's going to bite me later, isn't it? Oh well.

Anyway, Wednesday, my friends Emmy, Adeana, and I went to this concert called Jingle Ball, which is basically a Christmas concert with a bunch of different bands. We saw Blake Lewis, One Republic, Colbie Caillat (if that's how you spell her name...) and the Backstreet Boys. It was pretty fun. Not as much fun as Hanson but... nothing could be. :) Before the concert, I got a picture of Adeana, in the Burger King Crown, just like Emmy and I, and wearing her Christmas present, the scarf I made a long time ago. If you want to see when I made it, click here.

It even matched her shirt! Anyway, I'm off now to work on the fake isle hat. Thanks for stopping by! Also, stay tuned soon for Angie's tutorial on picking up dropped stitches... right Angie?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sometimes? Sometimes... you need help

So, I finished the garden path socks! Whoo hoo! There is, however, a slight problem. Sock number two isn't nearly as comfortable as number one. It's a little too small, especially on the cast off edge. I may end up redoing it after Christmas. Who knew that switching from dpns to two circulars would affect gauge so much? I know I didn't... I guess I should've known it was affected though. The whole time I was knitting them I was complaining that even though there were the same number of stitches, the striping pattern was different. I guess I'm not that bright lol.

See how in the left sock as you look at it the stripes are so much bigger, but other than size, all the stripes are exactly the same? That is so irritating... Anyway, After I finished both socks, I had a ton of yarn leftover.

Any ideas as to what I should do with it?

Anyway, thanks for stopping by! I'm off to work some more on my story/novel thing. :)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

What Kind of Gay Muffins Do I Like?

The free pattern has been bumped by knitting tragedy.

My Icarus. 12 (I believe. I was in shock at the time) dropped stitches. I cried. Then I called Krystal and got her husband instead. Hung up the phone and cried some more. Hugged Dylan and cried. Tracked Krystal down at the movies. Got sympathy. Hung up the phone and cried again. I was convinced I couldn't fix it. It was beyond repair. I was going to have to rip it back at this point (close to beginning the last pattern repeat).

But then I took a deep breath and really looked at it.

"Come on Angie, you've recovered from worse knitting catastrophes than this." I told myself.

So I gathered my tools.

And I caught those slippery little buggers with a safety pin.

And using that tiny little crochet hook....

They all went back onto the needles.

Here's a pic of it once I'd fixed it completely and done a row. You can't even see where it went wrong. Immediately after this picture I just sat and laughed and laughed. Some sort of strange stress reaction. Or relief. Or something....

I'll be posting a tutorial on how I pick up dropped stitches, along with the coaster pattern, when I have some time to myself. Probably on Tuesday. That is all.

(PS Anyone who mentions lifelines gets a kick in the bum)

I'll be honest with you; it's not going to tickle

So, I'm soooo close to being done with the garden path socks. I have less than half a repeat to do and then the ribbing and I'll be DONE. I'm so excited. This will officially be my first completed matching pair of socks! Whoo! That is just so cool to me... I would take a picture but... seriously folks, it looks the same as the other one. I worked on them last night while watching "Fred Clause" and let me go on record saying that doing a charted pattern, even one you have memorized, is not as easy as pie. But it was either work on that or work on my mom's sock... which is still in the toe stage, and I'm picking up wraps. That would NOT be pleasant so... Everyone cross you're fingers and hope I'll finish today.

You know, I can not wait to finish up Christmas knitting (besides Emmy's present, I need to do my mom's second sock and a pair of Fetching for my sil. There's time, right? Oh, man... whatever you do, do NOT look at the countdown on the sidebar...) because I have so many fun things to start. First of all, I want to do a pair of Monkey's in my smooshy sock yarn I got a while back. (I am NOT linking to the monkeys. You don't know what they are, then you can google them. But I can assure you, you know what they are.) I also want to do something out of Victorian Lace Today with my Zephyr lace weight I got a couple of weeks ago.

Ha ha, I'm gonna finish here with a funny story. The other day, the Yarn Harlot wrote a post about the socks she just finished. They are the embossed leaves socks from the book favorite socks. She linked to the book on amazon and I'm like "That sounds familiar, I'm gonna click the link and see what it looks like." So I do and I open the link and I'm like "Oh, that's right, a lot of people have made things from that book, I should check it out. Wait a second..." then I jump up and ran over to my bookcase and... yeah, that's like, one of the only four knitting books I own. DUH! What a nut job, I swear... saying "That looks familiar..." Oy.

Anyway, thanks for stopping in, and stay tuned. I'm pretty sure Angie is going to blog either today or... sometime soon, about her adventures with Icarus.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Oh God, Oh God, Oh God... It's Celine Dion...

Hey there! I thought I'd have something special for my first post here on the new blog. So here it is. Presenting....

Icarus. I was inspired by Krystal's beautiful Icarus (go here to see it. and here. and here, if you scroll all the way down past the picture of Krystal and Zac Hanson.) so I had to knit one of my own, even though I know toward the end it will be the most miserable slog fest well... ever. It's ok though. Icarus and I are still quite enamored of each other, even if it is sucking my brain out through my ear.

So the other day I was walking to the library and the strangest thing happened. My hands got cold. But I had gloves on. It occured to me that since I live in Saskatchewan, which just might be the coldest place on earth, I should probably have something to wear OVER my sissy little Ohio-winter gloves. That's how these came about.

Pattern: I loosely followed "Fetching" here
Yarn: Sean Sheep Armytage
Needles: 3 size 7 dpns and 1 size 8 (I have a VERY hard time keeping track of my dpns. lol)

And as a "Blog warming" present to Krystal and I I've come up with a free pattern we can offer. Well, two actually. I'll be posting them tomorrow, I think. They're just coasters, but I'm only getting started here. lol

Here's one I finished tonight.

Oooh, I almost forgot this!

This is Manos Del Uruguay (color 117 if you're curious) that I reclaimed last night from an awful bucket hat I crocheted this summer. I'm thinking a Calorimetry may be just what the doctor ordered with this. Not sure though. Anyway, that's all I've got. Bye!