Friday, December 26, 2008

Running behind on life

I stole the title phrase from a fellow blogger friend of mine. It fits perfectly at the moment.

That massive list of gifts I intended to make.

Yeah, it didn't happen.

The lace scarf for a friend. I've discovered I HATE knitting lace in 2ply. Seriously. It's a simple lace pattern really. Too simple. I started it at LEAST 5 times, probably closer to 10 times if you count the amount of times I cast on with the long-tail method then ran out of tail with 5 or so stitches left. And I managed to knit an inch or two - at the longest, I think, three inches thereabouts - before I royally stuffed up the pattern.

Lifelines are my friend. However this was not a lesson I heeded for this knit. Everytime I thought about putting a lifeline in, I stuffed up the pattern, and had to frog the thing anything. I would still like to finish it... if only to say "so THERE" to the project as a whole.... but right now I'm so hacked off with both it and myself that the yarn is sitting (and probably tangling) on the end table of unfinished projects.

Next item: Katerina's Op Art blankie. Well, it kinda was finished, and kinda not. I ran out of wool two stripes away from the edge. Rats. But hey, it's big enough to at least be a pram / throw blankie for a baby / kid, so I shrugged that off. I finished the knitting of it around 2am on Christmas morning. The blocking, however, not so much. It still needs to be blocked. But before I do that, I must finish weaving in the ends. The hundreds of ends.

Katerina's OpArt

But overall, on the 'right side' it's not too bad. Even without blocking.

Katerina's OpArt

The pattern was nice as well... garter stitch in the round, so a pain in the bum in that regard... but still better than seaming (and thus dealing with MORE ends). Also just when it would tend to get boring, it'd be time to change colour... so that kept it lively, for a garter stitch blanket. I used the WOOLganic wool I bought in a co-op a friend ran, and it is simply devine. The wool is slightly lighter than the one reccommended in the pattern, and thus I used the recommended needle size for the wool rather than the pattern, but I probably could have afforded to go up a needle size. Mind you, the blanket's not too thick - but it would have done fine being slightly looser. And thus would have stretched the wool further and had a bigger blanket to boot. Now, however, I think it will just be winter blanket.... that sucker is WARM.

Other projects:
Socks for hubby. Didn't get done. Didn't get started. Looked longingly at the wool a few times though.

Double-knit scarf for my step-mother. Did get started. Discovered double-knit is a bitch. Got to the colourwork and didn't have a clue what to do. Will have to do some reading somewhere to figure that out, unless anyone has done this technique and can tell me.

Knit toy / bear / doll / bunny / whatever for Zamara - didn't happen. Didn't even buy the wool for this one. Slightly sad at myself for it too, Zamara didn't have anything handknit by me for Christmas. I also had plans to do her a rainbow dress, but that didn't happen either. Road to hell, best intentions, yeah, that's me. To save face (to myself, because seriously she's not even three yet and does NOT know the difference) I sewed her a crayon roll at 4am on Christmas morning.

Crayon roll

The sewing of it is crap, but hey, she's two....

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Accidentally by design

I got this lovely 4ply yarn in the hand-dyed yarn swap on TNN.

Yarn Swap 2

The suggested yarn was for opera gloves, but I wasn't convinced I'd wear them... plus I've recently finished fingerless mitts anyway, so I'm a little over it. But because of the wonderful vibrant colours, and the 4-plyness, I figured it'd make a darling little something for Katerina.

But then I had a devil of a time finding a pattern for a cute dress or frilly top that was written for 4ply yarn, that was a free pattern and that was cute. I found several things for thicker yarn, and several things that were wintery, but I wanted something light and summery.

I did find one pattern, that called for more yarn than I had, that wasn't quite what I wanted, but it was almost the right weight of yarn (5ply instead of 4ply) so I figured I'd fudge it, and knit that since it was the closest thing I could find to what I really wanted.

Except then I altered the pattern so it was done in the round.
And then I figured I'd rather not have it be a cardigan at all, because I rarely put cardigans on babies, and certainly not in the late spring and/or summer.
So then the item 'became' a dress.
And then did away with the sleeves.
And then I did a gauge swatch to determine how many stitches I actually needed to cast on, since it was no longer the same ease (as cardi's are different to dresses in that regard) and since it wasn't the right weight of yarn anyway.
And then I changed a few things about the bodice, too.

So all in all, I have a lovely dress that was inspired by a different pattern, but the only thing it actually has in common with it is the lace stitch pattern. Which is just any old lace stitch pattern.

I'm still to name this outfit, but I'm thinking either the Butterfly dress or the Zamerina. I want to knit one in a plain colour too, to better show off the design of the actual knitting too.

That's not the best picture, it's not nearly as crooked / lopsided as it looks.

And on my incredibly uncooperative model:

My only slight reserve is that I should do something with the arms, to tidy up the rolled edges a bit. But I haven't bothered, and to be honest, it doesn't worry that me that much.