Archive for May, 2013

Have Revision Will Knit

May 26, 2013

New version of the Origami pattern was released to the test knitters, but I had already finished with the old instructions.  What to do?  Knit another one, of course!  Tried to knit the new pattern as if it was new to me, even though I had the stitch pattern already in my head.  This time I used Rowan Luxury Cotton, much more splitty and less yielding/forgiving than the merino.  But soft and light and better for the warmer weather of Spring.

spring origami pre blocking

I blocked it a little less aggressively, so it’s a little squooshier.  But very good stitch definition!  These are almost instant gratification, and fun.  Once you figure out what exactly is going on.  And a great project to use up leftover yarn.

Minor decision about where to store these gems: with the scarves, with the cowls, or with the miscellaneous accessories.    Went with the last choice.  My knitted objects are all kept in a deep and wide drawer.  Ever since some invading silverfish destroyed a shawl, two (different) socks and a cowl everything is further protected by super-thick vacuum bags.

Knit drawer

The extra-thick bags are tinted blue, that isn’t the defining colour of the finished objects!!  (And I’m learning to darn socks so that I can repair what was destroyed…except for the cowl, which was evidently the favourite creepy-crawly snack and can’t really be saved.  At least I seem to have left the creatures behind when I moved.  Still…..better safe than sorry.)

And on to the future projects:  Over on the Curious Collective Shawl, the first poll is over.  With 1550 people voting, textured won out over lace 51%-49%.  Very close race!  The new poll is all about shape – triangle, rectangle, or semi-circle.  My latest pattern-browsing obsession is crescent-shaped shawls, so I went for the semi-circle.  We’ll see if this time my first choice wins out!

So many projects, so little time.

From Crazed to Curious with Origami in between

May 21, 2013

I’ve been grabbing my knitting time out of a busy schedule, the odd moment here and there.

Crazed is twisting along crazily.  I finished Chart A with only one mishap – when retrieving a dropped stitch I must have accidentally picked up an extra loop and knitted it in..ended up with my count off, so I made up for it elsewhere and managed to keep everything in pattern.  Blocking should hide it – and if not, it’s a perfect feature for this project anyway.   Can you spot it?  Betcha can’t.

Crazed chart a

Now I’m halfway through Chart B.   The stockinette is curling meanwhile, because that’s what stockinette does.  Very predictable, stockinette.

Crazed chart b

I took some time off from Crazed to do a test knit for Kam at Everyday Peacocks, a little shawlette called Origami.  It’s actually more of a scarflette.  She initially thought it was an advanced beginner project, but we test knitters have persuaded her to classify it as at least intermediate.

It calls for about 70 yards of DK yarn.  I had enough Indigodragonfly DK superwash in Monster Mash left over from Nerwin’s sweater to manage just fine.

nerwin 2

So now Nerwin and I can be twins.  Except I’m not purple.

Origami is really an intriguing knit.  It seems deceptively simple, but the pattern was hard to wrap my head around.  Slips and wraps and short rows…  Once I got it, I still had to pay attention and really read my knitting to stay in pattern.  The stitch pattern is very textured, especially in the DK yarn.

origami pre-blocking

I decided to block it fairly aggressively, since the superwash does tend to bounce back somewhat.

Origami blocking

And the result is a very chic little accessory – a quick knit with a small amount of yarn.  This could be addictive.  Can be worn with a cute little shawl pin, or not…

Origami FO

The finished pattern, with all of our suggested revisons, should be published on Ravelry next month,  in early June.  Recommended!

Another recommended knitting adventure is happening at Helen Stewart’s Curious Handmade – the Curious Collective Shawl Project.  This is not a Knit-Along – well, not yet – it’s more of a “design-along”.   A kind of a choose-your-own-shawl adventure.  Shawl by committee.   Every week for the next five weeks, Helen will post a poll regarding the shawl design.  The only decision so far is that it will be a two-colour shawl.  Based on the poll each week, Helen will work in the winning feature.  In the meantime, you can sign up to download the pattern-that-isn’t-designed-yet here on Ravelry for when the shawl is released sometime in July.  (Then it may become a knit-along…)   The first poll is to choose whether it will be more of a lace shawl or a textured shawl.  Have a preference?  Go and vote!   (So far it’s pretty much tied…)  This is fun!   The price of the pattern will be free until 24 May and then gradually increase to full price after the full pattern has been released. So the earlier you get in on it the better deal you will get!

Life is anything but boring when you’re a knitter.

The Matrix in your shower

May 14, 2013

VADO is a well-known British company that designs, develops and manufactures bathroom fixtures and products, for both the local and international markets.  Their latest catalogue (p. 252) shows this “Sculpture” shower head.

vado-sculpture-1

Doesn’t it look like one of the Sentinels from the Matrix??  Or maybe you see Medusa instead?  Showering by snake or tentacle?

This can be affixed to the wall or the ceiling according to your preference.  The individual shower heads can be twisted and adjusted any way you want, making it a challenge to see if you can shower every part of your body at once.  (Or maybe that’s just me.)

It could make showering with a friend a little less awkward, as far as maneuvering…  But I don’t think I want to go there…

This would probably wreak havoc with my water pressure, and the thought of cleaning it doesn’t make me happy at all – although it would be fun to yarn-bomb the tentacles, maybe with cotton?   But never mind.  At an average price of $1500, I don’t think I’ll be adding this fixture to my home.

It is kinda cool, though.

Letting my inner crazy shine through.

May 9, 2013

So the Smart-Ass Knitters World Domination package arrived.

The mystery skein was wonderful – DK cashmere in the colourway Bright Lights, Big City, Busy Highway, Slow Unicorn.

indigodragonfly DK cashmere slow unicorn

Sooooooooooooooo  soft.  I am currently searching for a pattern worthy of this.

And the Club yarn?  Luscious Merino Nylon sock yarn in the colourway Kermidiot.  (For when you just gotta flail.)

indigodragonfly MN sock Kermidiot

I love this colourway!

The Club pattern this time is Crazed, designed by Ellen Poirot.

Official club bio of Ellen:

Ellen Poirot:  quaint Parisian yarn farmer.

Ellen Poirot:  sober woman in search of a Wine TARDIS.

Ellen Poirot:  only really sane on alternate Tuesdays.  When there’s a full moon.  And grapefruit.

Yes.   THAT Ellen.

(Side note:  Ellen discovered Indigodragonfly and the Smart-Ass club through this blog.  Kim says it’s all my fault…)

Ellen’s description of the Crazed shawlette:

Happy be the crazed, for they let the light shine through.

This asymmetrical shawlette is twisted enough to test your sanity with just enough stockinette to calm your nerves.

Let your inner crazy shine through.

Well.  Letting my inner crazy shine through has never been a problem for me.  (Maybe for others, though…)

I couldn’t wait to cast on for this.  One of those patterns that you have to pay close attention – no rhyme or reason to where it’s going, although it does line up nicely to wander around…  There are  lots of twisting stitches.  I tried doing them without a cable needle, which I have done many times before, but I kept dropping the live stitch and got tired of fishing it back up…so I added a crochet hook to grab the twisted stitches and it is all going along much better now.

Finished the set up section, using both chart and written instructions to help me figure it out and keep my place.

crazed set up 2

By the end of the set up, I could move on to just using the charts.

I’m now halfway through the first chart, entitled “The Scourge of the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Floor Since 1905”.

Yes, she names her charts.  Or maybe Kim-n-Ron did that before it reached our inboxes.

There are three charts, and the pattern calls for four chart repeats of  your choice in whatever order you want.  I will probably do the second chart – “Lousy Marxist Oysters” – twice, then finish up with the last chart – “Relax, It’s Only Laced With Turkeys” – once.  The charts become progressively more lacy as you go.

And all of this is being kept in the club swag, a Kermidiot project bag, designed by Darby Bayly, who makes all the project bags on the Indigodragonfly website.

Kermidiot bag

Another winning package,  and I’ve signed up for another year!

Knit On, fellow smart-asses.

 

 

Crazed and a Cozy

May 4, 2013

(Not a cozy mystery this time…although I am reading one.  A good one, too.)

Yes, the Smart-Ass package arrived.  And I have cast on for the new project.  The pattern is called “Crazed“, but I can’t say or show more than that since it’s still on spoiler status.  (Club patterns and yarns are not to be posted until a certain amount of time has passed since the shipment date.  Except in a special spoiler forum thread in the indigodragonfly group on Ravelry.)  But it will be here soon, I promise!

In the meantime, I knitted up a quick project today.

The other day, when I was getting a modem for the computer,  the company offered me a new limited family plan that would include the modem and upgrades for our phone service for a cheaper fixed price than what I was paying.  Sounded good, so after checking out other options I went for the new plan.   Then they told me that iPads for the family were also included in the price.  I told them we already had iPhones and a laptop, we really didn’t need iPads.  But they said I would still pay the same fixed price for the plan whether I took them or not, so why not?

So.  I brought home 3 iPads.  Kidlet was quite thrilled – a new toy for her.  Partner says it’s much better than the tablet she bought last year and almost never uses.  And I’m having fun checking out the possibilities.

But I can’t just carry an unprotected tablet in my bag, right?  I grabbed yarn and needles, knitted up a couple of swatches, and got busy on an iPad cozy.

iPad cozy 1

This is actually super bulky felting yarn (Schachenmayr SMC Wash + Filz it!), and my original plan was to lightly felt it.  But kidlet thought it was much better like this, so I shrugged and added the button and left it as is.

iPad cozy 2

From my knitting notes:

Cast on 30 sts with Judy’s Magic Cast-On.

Knitted with magic loop, slipped first stitch each side on alternate rounds.

When I reached length required: BO 18, k9, BO 3. Cut yarn, joined to remaining st.

Tab:
1: K9
2: P9
3: ssk, K7, K2tog
4: P7
stockinette 6 rows
11: K2, BO3, K2
12: P2, CO3, P2
13: K7
14: P7
15: ssk, K3, K2tog
16: BO in p

I would have liked to do a felting project, but I like this too.  Maybe I’ll knit and felt one in another colour for kidlet….

Clear the Decks!

May 2, 2013

Well, not really.  I did finish two WIPs this week, out of the many WIPs still on the needles.

The Rainbow Hands Feeding Ducks is finished and blocked.

HHFD blocking 2

 

And kidlet’s Minty Molly is finished and has been squealed over, especially the pompom.

It can be worn with the brim folded up

minty molly FO 1

Or with the brim down as a slouchy.

minty molly FO 2

Kidlet wants to stretch it just a little, so I gave her a balloon.  Molly is stretching in her room now.

stretching molly

(The picture is upside down so you can see the hat properly.)

Why the push to finish?  Because I have a notice that there’s a package from abroad waiting for me, and I just know it holds Smart-Ass yarn for a pattern I want to do right away!

I’m a little worried because normally they don’t do pick ups on Friday, so any notices on Thursday say pick up on Sunday.  But this one says pick up tomorrow – I hope I don’t show up only to have them tell me to come back on Sunday!!  That would be a typical  bureaucratic snafu.

Meanwhile, tonight is make-progress-on-one-more-WIP time.  While trying to ignore the noise from the TV – Kidlet is watching Twilight for the umpteenth time.  Feh.

Red Light. Green Light. Red Light. Green Light.

May 1, 2013

“Red Light / Green Light” was the version of the game that we used to play as kids.  It’s “Statues” in other countries like Australia, Sweden, and Finland.  In England it’s known as  “Grandmother’s Footsteps”.  Most countries count to three and throw in a word to make  everyone freeze.   In the Netherlands it’s  “één, twee, drie, piano” (one, two, three, piano), in Mexico  “1, 2, 3, calabaza” (one, two, three, pumpkin), in France “1, 2, 3, soleil” (one, two, three, sun), in Spain  “1, 2, 3, escondite inglés” (one, two, three, English hideaway), and in Portugal  “Um, dois, três, macaquinho do chinês” (one, two, three, Chinese little monkey).    The Greeks count three “immobile little soldiers”, in Italy they count three stars.  Here in Israel it’s “1, 2, 3, herring” (or “salty fish”).

Whatever you call it, all the versions of the game involve some sort of running forward as fast as you can and then freezing in place on cue, holding perfectly still untill released according to the rules of the version you’re playing.  And then again.   And again.

That was my day today.

‘Twas a day of rushing around and waiting a lot.  Picking up and installing new software on the computer, as well as having the lab make some changes, which took an amazingly long time.  Waiting in line forever to get a modem so that I don’t have to rely solely on wifi, after hurrying to get to the place on time.  Efficiently shopping and then standing in the slowest ever checkout line at the supermarket.

Argh.

stop go

I knitted as much as I could.   That’s definitely what saved my sanity.  What’s left of it.