Friday, November 26, 2010

FO Friday 11

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving yesterday, and are getting great deals on Black Friday today in the US. For those of you NOT in the US, it's almost the weekend!!

I'm going to make this quick, as I don't have a FO project this weekend. But, since it's Thanksgiving weekend here, I wanted to thank you all for supporting my blog, WIPW and FO Friday. It has grown larger than I could ever imagine. Thank you for that. You guys keep me honest with my project and spurred me on to learn how to knit. I look forward to each Wednesday and Friday. I'm very excited to be doing more projects, and also seeing the great things you all come up with.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and has tons of time to knit and crochet!

Share your FOs!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Work-in-Progress Wednesday 16

Happy almost Thanksgiving to the WIPW peeps who live in the US! Have a great time with friends, family and eat TONS of turkey, pumpkin pie and sweet potatoes. YUM! Also, don't forget, a lot of LYS and craft big box stores have Black Friday sales, so don't forget to check all of the ads.

As I mentioned last week, I will be posting a FO Friday for everyone to take part in, but will not have a FO to share. It's been a crazy week, which is why I haven't posted anything since last Friday. It's the last real week of NaNoWriMo and I'm having to write my little fingers off since we will be away for the last four out of six days remaining in the month. Next month I'll probably be posting so much, you'll all be sick of me.

Now onto WIPW 16!

Yes, this is a different knitting project than I shared last week. Last week it was the scarf, but I screwed up and decided to start it over again. In the meantime, I wanted to try something I could make fast and really master the knit and purl stitches. Oh yeah, and getting these beautiful new KnitPicks needles kind of talked me into being used as well. The pattern is a dragonfly washcloth. Depending on how it goes from here, I may keep it or gift it out. How do cotton knitted washcloths/dishcloths hold up in the washer and dryer? I'm using Sugar 'n Cream, which I'm not crazy about for crochet (or any cotton for that matter, which makes this whole WIPW kind of odd since both new projects are cotton), but adore with knitting. I may have to buy a few more skeins on Friday since they're on mega sale to go crazy on making dishcloths and washcloths!

This is a gift for someone (and I'm not going to mention who, because they may read this blog) for Christmas. I wanted a practical gift, and this is one for sure. It's a market bag. Originally I started a different bag, but then decided to do one in the round because it was easier and worked up a lot quicker. I increased a few more rows, so that it would be nice and wide at the bottom for maximum holding. I'm using Bernat Handicraft Cotton that I got on clearance on Labor Day weekend. So nice to have a project for this finally. When I bought it, I couldn't pass it up. It was on clearance for $4.97 and then I got another 20% on top of that. Not bad considering it 710 yrds worth! The colors are fun without being too obnoxious (you should have seen my other choices!), so I thought it would be perfect for this project.

For those that are new to WIPW, to share your WIPW post with us, just fill out the Mr. Linky below. Despite it saying you must comment, don't feel as if you do. That is something Mr. Linky automatically adds. I just ask you to check out a few of the links posted to see what everyone else is working on and comment there if you can. Everyone loves feedback and a little encouragement on their projects! Also, please link back to this post in your post to get the word out! The more the merrier!

Friday, November 19, 2010

FO Friday 10

Wowzers, we're already in double digits for FO Friday. I feel like we just started!

This time, I actually have my FO finished on time. YAY, me! Also a side note, I might not be able to finish an FO Friday project by next Friday due to being out of town for the holiday (Thanksgiving). Either way, I will be scheduling a post so those who would like to participate can post their FOs. Just a heads up. :)

Now on to FO Friday 10!

You may remember the start of my amigurumi dog, pattern by Lion Brand. Here are pictures of it in progress:

Not much, right? Now on to what he finished off like. I think he's adorable and I can't wait to give him to my mother in law. I decided to change it up a little, making the nose flat instead of a ball on the end like the pattern called for, and also changed the tail to make it more like her dog.

I'm calling it done right now, but I want to make it a little sweater out of fabric, as her dog, Otto, always had to wear a little sweatshirt because he could never get warm. I thought it would be fun to also get a little name tag for him, too.

Materials used:

4.00 mm (G) hook
Red Heart Super Saver (body- Coffee), nose- Black)
Yarn needle
9mm safety eyes
Poly Fluff stuffing

And the finished product (sorry for the bad pics but it's 10:30 at night):

Share your FOs!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Work-in-Progress Wednesday 15

First off, I have to say a HUUUGGGEEE thank you to Stacey, one of our lovely weekly WIPW members, who made us a WIP Wednesday blog button to advertise on our blogs! I love it so much, and I hope you all do, too. Please feel free to use it in your WIPW posts and on your blog in the side bar. If you like, you can link it to my WIPW tag here, that will pull up all of our WIPW posts from the past, including the newest one that will appear first. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to let me know in the comments section.

Now onto WIPW 15!

That's right...I'M KNITTING A SCARF!!!!!! It's from this pattern, using the knit stitch and purl slip stitch. I screwed up on one row I realize now, so that the first few rows of the ribbing doesn't line up with the rest, but it's hard to see it so no big deal. It also doesn't look much like the project pictures, and I'm not exactly sure why. All the same, I'm super excited about it. At first I thought it looked like crap, but the more I worked on it, I like the way it's shaping up. I'm using Patons Shetland Chunky which I really like, though I wish it would slide on my needles better.

Thanks to all of you who suggested knitting videos and a special thanks to Paula and Alea on helping!

For those that are new to WIPW, to share your WIPW post with us, just fill out the Mr. Linky below. Despite it saying you must comment, don't feel as if you do. That is something Mr. Linky automatically adds. I just ask you to check out a few of the links posted to see what everyone else is working on and comment there if you can. Everyone loves feedback and a little encouragement on their projects! Also, please link back to this post in your post to get the word out! The more the merrier!

Friday, November 12, 2010

FO Friday 9

On Wednesday I mentioned that I wanted to finish the dog I'm making for my MiL, but I changed my mind. I figured I could crank out the hat for my BiL a lot faster and wouldn't have to do very much counting while I watched tv. This week has been hard for me, as I needed to catch up on my NaNoWrimo word count. I didn't write on Saturday or Sunday (and barely did on Friday). I paid for that dearly this week. By Thursday night (which is when I'm writing this), I finally caught up. I wrote over 3,000 words today and let me tell you, I'm tired. That being said, I was able to catch up. I learned my lesson, I will write a full day tomorrow and try and get a couple of words in on the weekend. No rest for the weary, right?

So the hat. I figured it would be easier and I was right. My only concern now is that it may not fit him. I guessed based on my husband's head, so let's hope they generally have the same size noggin!

Anyway, enough with my rambling! I hope everyone has a great and crafty weekend. I know I hope to finish the dog and get in a little knitting practice. I haven't been able to pick it up since I learned Purl. I've also decided to reward myself and head to Michaels today (Friday) with a 20% off my entire purchase coupon, on top of a big yarn sale they're having! You can find the coupon, good for sale items, here, good for only yesterday and today. I need more yarn like I need a hole in my head, but oh well! It's a great price and I need a few things for my Christmas projects.

I wanted to say a quick thank you to all soldiers who give their lives so that we can live ours freely in the US. Yesterday was Veteran's Day in the US and Remembrance Day in Canada. We shouldn't need a special day to thank or remember our soldiers, they should be thought of each and every day.

Materials used:

6.00 mm (J) hook
Lion Brand Wool-Ease (Denim)
Caron Simply Soft (Black)
Yarn needle

Pictures to come later. I realized I made an error and am going to be frogging several rows back. I'll post pictures when I fix my mistake. I know posting it as a FO is kinda cheating, but promise I will finish today. It's late right now and I'm pretty pissed I missed my mistakes, so check back later (again) to see it!

Share your FOs!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Work-in-Progress Wednesday 14

November is kicking my butt. There is no better way to say it. I was so happy to finish the owl bag, but that was only one present out of many that I have to make by Christmas. I still have faith in myself that I can do it, but haven't crocheted much since finishing the bag.

I did however, have time to learn the knit and purl stitch over the weekend. I posted about it yesterday here.

Here's what I've worked on:

You may remember from last week's WIPW that I started a dog for my mother-in-law. I was hoping to have it finished by now, but unfortunately, I don't. This is where it's at now. I'm going to try and finish by Friday for FO Friday. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

I thought I should probably have two Christmas presents being made at a time if they are small (the bag was way too much to work on two at a time, so this is my first time trying it). I started this hat yesterday for my brother-in-law. I'm using Caron Simply Soft, which I'm not a HUGE fan of when making the items, but love the way it feels once it's done and also Wool-Ease in blue. I didn't know what I wanted to use, other than the Caron Simply Soft. I dug through the stash and found the Wool-Ease. I love when I get to use some stash that I bought awhile ago and had no clue what I was going to use it for. Total win situation! It's the Animator's Hat pattern that I made for myself awhile ago, which you can see here.

For those that are new to WIPW, to share your WIPW post with us, just fill out the Mr. Linky below. Despite it saying you must comment, don't feel as if you do. That is something Mr. Linky automatically adds. I just ask you to check out a few of the links posted to see what everyone else is working on and comment there if you can. Everyone loves feedback and a little encouragement on their projects! Also, please link back to this post in your post to get the word out! The more the merrier!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Look Mom, I'm Knitting!

I feel like a little kid, smile beaming proudly, as I show my mom an ugly project I made at school. This weekend I made my first few knitting stitches and you would have thought I had cured cancer. I was SO excited, I showed it off to anyone who would look at it. Of course, that only included my husband, dog, two cats and Alea, but it didn't make me any less proud!

Now, if you don't laugh, I will share my first swatch. I AM calling it my first, despite starting another before it with Vanna's Choice that split like no other. It was so frustrating I almost threw my needles across the room. Instead, I decided to switch to another cheap yarn in my stash, TLC Essentials in Surf and Turf. Let me tell you, it was a smart move. This is the first time I've used TLC, which I got on sale on the big Labor Day sale Michaels and Joann's was having. It's a perfect practice yarn! As far as needles, I started on size 10 Clover bamboo needles when I was working with the Vanna's Choice, but when I switched to the TLC, I used size 8 Clover bamboo needles. I like the feel of the size 8 better I think.

I just noticed there is some crazy pooling going on with this yarn! It doesn't look as bad in person.

As you can see, I made an error, dropping a stitch (at least I think that's what happened), but instead of worrying about it, I decided to move on and just learn from my mistake. Other than that little booboo that resulted in a nice hole in my swatch, I think it looks pretty good. The last few rows I did were starting purl, so like 99% of the swatch is the knit stitch.

I love the differences between crochet and knitting. They are so different, it's like night and day. I'm left handed, crochet left handed but decided to learn to knit as a rightie. I'm one of those weird people that uses their opposite hand a lot. In fact, when playing baseball, I bat left handed, but can only throw accurately with my right. Same with hockey. I shoot right handed, but I play goalie left handed. Odd, I know, but I decided to do the same with crochet/knitting. So far, my choice was a good one, as there is less tutorials of left handed knittng as there is for the south paw crocheters.

I started with a few different videos, watching each technique for casting on (the Knitpicks video seemed the easiest for me) before choosing my poison. I know that different patterns need certain casting on (or I think), but right now I wanted the most simple. I then moved onto the Knit stitch, working on the garter stitch for this swatch, before moving onto Purl stitch Monday night.

Between Knit and Purl, I have to say, I like knit stitch MUCH better. Purl seems/feels so unnatural for some reason, but this may be because I just started it. I hope it comes a little easier to me. I was at Borders yesterday and saw a great book, The Harmony Guides: Knit and Purl: 250 Stitches to Knit (or it seemed great, I didn't buy it) that really opened my eyes to the K & P stitch. I didn't realize that you could do a ton of different stitches just with knowing these very basic things.

I did buy this book, Chicks with Sticks: Guide to Knitting, which so far is a great way to learn and have patterns based on my very beginning level. Each "lesson" they teach you a new stitch, which then leads to a pattern using it, so it builds on what you know from the previous one.

I'm SO excited to learn more, and I love how different it is from crocheting. I can't wait to start making things, instead of swatches.

I'd love to have a few books, patterns or videos recommended, so if you have any, please be sure to comment!

Friday, November 5, 2010

FO Friday 8

Can you believe it? The Owl Bag finally done! Now, I haven't been working on it for a long time (since October 25th) but I haven't been working on much else since I started it. Behold, the owl bag! Now, Wednesday night I was all smug, thinking I had finished the crocheting part and could work on the assembly. Of course, I screwed up. I was too busy watching Doctor Who to realize I did the iris' of the eyes black, not the pupil. My husband suggested that I just go with that but it looks too Muppet-like. So instead of taking the easy way out, I decided to scrap those. Thankfully they're super easy to make and fast, but still. I just wanted this dumb thing finished!

Thursday found me scrambling to finish, as well as write my words for NaNoWrimo. No rest for the weary.

Here's what it looked like last week and this week for WIPW (final product below):

Materials used:

6.00 mm (J) hook
Red Heart Super Saver (bag- Pink Camo/ Buff), eyes- White/ Black/Cafe)
Yarn needle
Sewing machine
Felt (for the beak)

And the finished product (for real this time). I have to say this has to be the most proud of a project I've ever felt. As a lot of you know, I recently got a sewing machine. I decided to go all out and not only line the bag, but also line the straps.

I worked on this project from October 25-November 5th.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Work-in-Progress Wednesday 13

Hope everyone is having a great week so far. It's been a little crazy, and will be for the rest of the month as I'm doing NaNoWrimo as well as all of the Christmas presents I plan to make. Sorry for the quick post, but I'm writing this at 11:30pm on Tuesday. Oh right, did I mention how crazy my life is right now?

And, I need to mention to you all, I am going over to the dark side, at least going to try it. I bought my first knitting needles today at Michaels and will be watching youtube videos to learn. As if I needed anything else in my life right now.

So, I'm just going to get to the chase, I didn't finish the owl bag. Oy! It's not that I didn't work hard on it, or that I didn't try but things have been crazy. That being said, I'm VERY close to finishing. As you can see in the picture, all I have left to do are the eyes, assembly and lining which I hope to finish today. So am I the only one that thinks the wing pockets look like a bikini top?

I started this last night at my crochet meetup. It is going to be a Wiener Dog for my mother-in-law. Her's passed away this year and I thought it would be awesome to make one for her with a collar that has his name on it (Otto). Also this year, her Corgi passed away (both lived long, healthy lives), so I'll be making one of those as well. I'm so happy to see this coming along quickly. That's huge for me at this point.

For those that are new to WIPW, to share your WIPW post with us, just fill out the Mr. Linky below. Despite it saying you must comment, don't feel as if you do. That is something Mr. Linky automatically adds. I just ask you to check out a few of the links posted to see what everyone else is working on and comment there if you can. Everyone loves feedback and a little encouragement on their projects! Also, please link back to this post in your post to get the word out! The more the merrier!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

I hope everyone had an awesome Halloween and weekend! Saturday was the day for errands, and an expensive one at that! We had to replace our vacuum (because our old one caught fire) and the Xbox360 (because ours red ringed), but it is worth it. Both were upgrades to the ones that died, so at least it didn't feel like we were buying the same thing over again. Sunday, Halloween, was fun too! We had a lot of candy, made popcorn balls in the afternoon and drank. What's better than that!?

I wasn't able to hit the deadline I wanted for the owl bag I'm making unfortunately, but I did get further on it. I hope to finish it tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I have one wing and the eyes left to do. Then need to assemble and make the lining. Shouldn't be too bad, right?

Speaking of schedules, I think I've mentioned a few times on the blog that I'm a writer. This month, November, is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWrimo) where participatants write 50,000 words from November 1st to November 30th. Crazy, right? I've participated almost every year of the last 5 or so. This year, my idea is a little rough, but I've decided to go ahead and jump right into it. That being said, I'm really going to have to manage my time just right to get it finished while also completing my crochet projects and keeping up with the blog! Wish me luck!

Now onto something more interesting, yarn dyeing! I think I mentioned last week that I was planning on dyeing more yarn. This time, I used the squirt bottle method with the microwave and I'm really excited by the results. I started with a skein of natural yarn I got from Knitpicks. I love how it was already prepared for dyeing! I wanted to pick two colors, but 3 dyes, so I used two blues and a yellow. I decided it would be fun to pick colors that actually mixed well, making another color, instead of a muddy mess. I also decided I didn't want each color to come out solid, but almost a tie-dyed affect, leaving some of the natural color of the yarn coming through.

I was really excited about using my ball winder once the yarn dried. At first it didn't work so well. My homemade swift kept collapsing and I wasn't putting enough tension on the yarn so that it was coming unraveled from the ball.

Here are the results! I call the colorway California.

Materials used:

1 skein of Knitpicks Natural Bare Superwash Worsted
3 bottles
a mixing cup
plastic wrap
2 large microwaveable bowls
plastic bag (to cover the counter)
Royal Blue Wilton's icing dye
Cornflower Blue Wilton's icing dye
Lemon Yellow Wilton's icing dye

(Sorry, some of the pictures are from my iPhone, so not the best)