Saturday, September 29, 2007

thumbs up!

So I almost finished these mittens at the beginning of September but, after doing one thumb, I chickened out because of how ridiculous they looked and had to bring them along on a visit to Keren for moral support. I almost believed the pep talk that the mitten czar gave me, but I still didn't work up the courage to finish the second one until yesterday, one day before I needed to wrap and give them away.

I think these mittens are a really strong argument for why I need to use a pattern-- even if it's one I've made up. I just started knitting with these and I think it clearly shows. Especially in how weird the thumbs look. And how totally asymmetrical they are. And how the cuffs aren't really cuffs at all. Oh well. When they're on, they don't look that bad. But compare to source of these mittens' color pattern: the sweater I knit last year for my nephew (straight from a published pattern). Relatively symmetrical. Cuffs that function as cuffs. And no weird thumbs.

I will add, though, that this diamond color pattern is so, so much easier to knit in wool (the mittens, made out of Shepherd Colour 4 Me) than in cotton/acrylic (the sweater, Plymouth Wildflower DK). The stretchiness of the wool really does make a difference.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Concentric "Squares"

This is a project that had me doing a lot of math at the start. I had three totally different kinds of yarn (Debbie Bliss: inner blue, silk; Alacama: middle, variegated purple, wool; Blue Sky Cotton: outer, orange, cotton), all rather different weights and textures. The colors seemed to call to one another as they lay on my yarn stash, and I decided that I liked the idea of bold, contrasting patterns in an ordinary shaped piece of knitting.

I now know how to pickup stitches, which is a good skill to have, though I wouldn't call myself a stitch picker-uper extraordinaire.

Maybe I'll be able to finish during Grey's Anatomy! (Which doesn't air until 9 Pacific Time?! Oh dear.)

Look what's cookin' on the southside

Greetings from the southside! Southside!

My thanks to Hannah for the inspiration to post works in progress, as I don't know that I still possess anything that I've finished.

I'm knitting this scarf for a friend's birthday in mid-October, so I guess I better get knitting!

The pattern is from Celebrity Scarves 2, which I received for my birthday last year when I first embarked on my knitting adventures. The associated celebrity is Katherine Heigl (fitting that I post this the night of the Grey's season premiere). The actual pattern calls for a fuzzy border, which I've decided to exclude. In its place, Hannah has suggested an icord edge in a different color, which seems like a good idea to me. For now, I'm focusing on the main cable pattern (my first cable!). The yarn is Manos cotton that I bought for less than $3 a skein at the Loopy Yarns end of summer sale.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

on the needles now...

Here's what I'm currently working on: the kusha kusha scarf from habu textiles ( It's pretty frustrating going because the yarn is so thin and slippery. I tried to knit it with dpns, but it kept slipping off the back end. It's rough because I have to pay so much attention to it while knitting Despite the frustration, the yarn is actually kinda neat: one of the strands has a stainless steel core so it has a "memory" and stays in whatever shape you want. That doesn't really make sense, but I tried to demonstrate with this picture:

What are you all working on?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Valerie's first completed knitting project

Hello, friends! I decided my signature color will be purple, so you always know it is me. I am happy to show off my first ever completed knitting project. Scarves were just so darn boring, I don't think I ever finished one! So, here is a baby bonnet I knit for my friend Kim, who is having a baby in November. In just one project, I learned how to bind off part of a row, sew seams, pick up stitches, weave in ends, and knit an i-cord.

The yarn is incredibly soft! I HIGHLY recommend it. It's Lang Zoom yarn, which is part merino, part wool, part acrylic. I swear, softest ever. Perfect for baby knitting.

(Pardon the poor photography skills. We decided to get the best pictures we needed a model, and the bear was the only thing we could find.)

The Tea Cozy of Fame

I've realized that none (or almost none) of you saw the much-bragged-about tea cozy since I finished it minutes before having to wrap and present it. So here it is: my most successful design yet. It wasn't really my own design; I based it off of the tea cozy pattern in S'n'B. But I did figure out the intarsia myself (including teaching myself cursive so that I could graph it) and figured out a knit lining (pink seed stitch), too, so I'm pretty darn proud. Yes, even though I finished it in July, I am still pretty darn proud. For those of you who care about such things, the yarn is Cascade 220.

Fingerless mittens of LOVE

Fingerless mittens are actually the only kind of mitten I have successfully knit. I made these for my sister because she was moving to Minnesota. Sadly she only lived there for 6 months before moving to SoCal. Even if mittens were in fashion, these are much too long and thick and delightful to really ever be useful to her there. Alas!

Check out the difference between on and off hand/arm though! They were called "Wavy" and the yarn I completely randomly ended up using for them fit the shape and really emphasized it in the pattern of blues as well. Super cool, if I do say so myself.


Welcome to Knitters UNITE, the blog I just made after reading an email of Hannah's.

It is known to perhaps a select few that I've attempted the blogging thing in a number of arenas. None were particularly successful, but oh my goodness, do I think this will be different. Knitting and blogs are meant to be together, uniting people across far distances, getting updates on work and help when problems and questions emerge, and just general consolation when a project is taking forever and a day.

Yay virtual knitting circle!

The title and just about everything else on the blog can be changed. The web address however, is not. It would be ridiculously easy to open a new blog, however, if for some unknowable reason, people don't like