Thursday, August 30, 2007

finally finished DB's sweater

These pics are the front and side views of my brother's sweater that I've made for his birthday (September 8th)... it's about damn time that I finish it too! (I started it back in January!)

The pattern's from Lionbrand - I only adjusted the collar from a turtleneck to a crew. The odd thing, though, is that the pattern calls for 10 balls of the Thick & Quick yarn for his size, and I only used 6. Well, not even 6, I've about a quarter skein left over, but still... anyway. It's in the 'charcoal' colour because it's the closest I could find to black.

Also, as a side note, my MIL called me today. My parents in law just came home from their vacation on Tuesday, and didn't see the ducks with hats until yesterday (the ones I posted on sunday) and they both thought it was a riot. :) Glad to see there are others with my sense of humor!

Ah, yes, and this is my update: (this is taking forever!)

You are #16435 on the list.
5502 people are ahead of you in line.
13486 people are behind you in line.
36% of the list has been invited so far

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Ducks with Hats + crocheted blanket

My parents in law have these glass door stopper thingies that have ducks in a row on them. Hubby and I spent this past week up there in Wasaga Beach, and out of both boredom and the sad realization that I have leftover scraps that I dare not throw out, I crocheted them hats and scarves.
For the sake of keeping myself busy, I also whipped up this crocheted throw for my MIL:

Saturday, August 25, 2007

a blanket from 8 inch squares

Well, DH and I in Wasaga Beach this week, on vacation, housesitting for the inlaws while they're in Newfoundland. Yesterday we spent absolutely vegging - and snuggling under a big blue ombre-varigated blanket I crocheted.

That blanket reminded me - for some reason - of when I was still working @ Lewiscraft. Every autumn, Lewiscraft and the Salvation Army collected handknits for Knit for Kids, which were donated to people who needed warm clothes. I realized how much I missed knitting for that.

So, long story short, I've decided to reach out to my fellow bloggers and try and co-ordinate some sort of knitting/crocheting themed charity thing.

What I'm thinking and looking for is this: Go through your scraps of yarn. Those partial & leftover balls of whatever. Stitch them together to create an 8 inch (20cm) square. It doesn't matter if it's knit or crocheted, nor does it matter the sort of yarn that you use. Or colours. Or pattern. Or combinations thereof. As long as your squares measure 8"x8". Once you have at least one or two done, email me at purplespirit1{at}hotmail{dot}com - titled Blanket Squares - and I'll send you my mailing info.

Once I receive your squares, they'll be stitched together to make a blanket Be sure to include in your envelope your blog info so I can give credit to all the bloggers who have contributed to each blanket made. I'll also keep posting as to where each blanket has been donated to.

Monday, August 20, 2007

a few ironic signs

I haven't blogged much in the last week or so because DH and I took a road trip from Mississauga, Ontario to Edmonton, Alberta.

On our travelling, though, we did find these two odd signs... The first, on a Super 8 motel:
This second one's a bit hard to read, but the sign reads "Trucks Trailers Keep Out Private Property" etc with a truck parked directly behind it.
:) I'll post some road trip signs later on, but I thought these two pictures were somewhat blog worthy.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

skinny boho seed scarf + a completed unbiased bag

I (still) have some leftover Patons Shetland Chunky, so some of it went to knitting this scarf.

Pattern: cast on 164 stitches on 6.5mm needles, then K1, P1 across. Row two: K the purled stitches, P the knit stitches to make the seed stitch pattern. Repeat row two throughout.

I had 5 different marl colours, so I stitched two rows of each colour.

To cast off and make fringe: Knit first three stitches. Bind off all but last three stitches.

Tie a knot at the end to end scarf. Drop the first and last 3 stitches, which makes the loops.

This scarf is a bit over 3 feet long, and at least 2 inches wide.

I also (finally) completed the unbiased bag from - not as deep as what I thought it would be, but still turned out pretty good nonetheless.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

crafting weirdness

This is how insane I am... I've been collecting these tabs from milk and bread loaf bags:

... and ended up taping them with clear packaging tape to a cut-up Ziploc bag to make this:

I've taken a picture of it from all angles: the colourful side is the front, the white side is the back, the top center picture is a row of tabs at the bottom, and the bottom center pic is the bag inside. I have been collecting these tabs for (litterally) years, not knowing why I was doing so, just knowing it needed to be done.

And this is what I ended up with.

But now, at least, I have a stellar little baggie which is the ideal size for things like dpn's, stitch counters, granola bars, and who knows what else. It's madness.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

I <3 styrofoam heads & boredom

When left to my own devices, this is what I end up doing:
She's a styrofoam head that my brother found and gave me to display my knits... I was bored last night and ended up decorating her with some Sharpie markers... and of course she's wearing my recently finished knits...

Also, I'm glad to see that I'm more than halfway up ravelry's waiting list:

You are #16435 on the list.
8210 people are ahead of you in line.
7293 people are behind you in line.

Tons of people after me though... can't believe it! A long line up to go through... but considering it's been about 3 weeks since I signed up, it's getting there....

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Shetland Marl Mittens free pattern

I finished the mittens that I had blogged about on Friday... so I'll share the pattern, in case anyone's intereted in making these! They're actually quite cozy and warm! They're called 'Shetland Marl' for two reasons: firstly, because the yarn they're made from is Paton's Shetland Chunky, and secondly, because the colours happened to be called 'marl' - in different shades.

Cozy Shetland Marl Mittens
materials needed:
- leftover Paton's Shetland Chunky in 5 different colours
- 6mm straight needles
- a crochet hook or needle to stitch the peices all together

Tension 15sts = 4" (10cm) using 6mm needles

Deside, firstly, which of your 5 colours will be Colour A, B, C, D, and E. These could be 5 different colours, or just 5 different dye lots, it doesn't make a lick of difference in this case.

Front Panel:
- Cast on 12 stitches in colour A. Rib in K1, P1 manner for 5 rows.
- Next row: K1, P1 in the 1st stitch. K3, pick up 1 st, K3, and K1,P1 in the last stitch. (16sts)
- Purl next row.
- St st (knit 1 row, purl 1 row) for 2 inches from ribbing.
- Knit side: bind off 2 stitches. This will accomodate thumb. Knit accross. (14sts)
- Continue in St st for desired length of hand, less 1 inch.
to decrease/round top of mitten:
- K2tog, K4, K2tog, K to end of row.
- P2tog, purl across.
- row 3: Dec 1 @ beg, K2, K2tog, K to end.
- row 4: P2tog, purl across.
- row 5: bind off.
Repeat this with colour B. To save time, you can knit both of these panels at the same time on the same needle.

Back Panel:
do the same as front panels using colours C and D respectively, BUT when binding off the two stitches to accomodate thumb, do so on the PURL side, not the knit side.

Thumb: (worked top down) - make 2
- Cast on 4 stitches with colour E. Purl 1 row.
- K1, P1 in the first stitch, K1, pick up 1 stitch, K1, K1 P1 in the last stitch.
- Purl next row.
- K1, P1 in first stitch. *K1, pick up 1* x4. K1, and K1, P1 in last stitch.
- St st for 1.75 inches
- K2 tog or P2 tog at the beginning of each row, and continue to work in pattern using this decrease until 4 sts remain, bind off.

Now, it's a matter of sewing/stitching everything together. I suggest using some pins or something to help lay out each mitten. Make sure that the wrong sides are facing out and thumb gussets are facing each other, it'll be turned inside out so that the seams are hidden inside the mitt. It may be easier to stitch up the thumb first, the closing seem will be at the top of the thumb. Secondly, stitch together the part of the mitt between the bottom of ribbing and the thumb gusset, thirdly stitch in the thumb, and then fourthy around your mitt (if that all makes sense!). Be sure not to close the thumb up!

I hope these instructions were clear enough... Paton's Shetland Chunky has a lot of yardage to it... I had originally knit a toque from each skein colour, had enough yardage to knit each respective mitten pannel in a different colour, and still had yarn left over in each.

Friday, August 3, 2007

WIP mittens, kleenex, bathrooms... just Friday nonsense, is what it is!

Today's blog post theme is 'post for the sake of posting' - so bear with me.

First and foremost, I wanted to brag a bit of my minor contribution to the world of interior decorating. This little shelve-bamboo-Ikea-picture-of-water-dripping thing is set up in my bathroom. The ceramic duck is something that my mother ceramicked (yes, I know that's grammatically incorect, so what!) ages ago and I found in the garage. The apple scented Lysol room spray is there for... well... you know...
I was a bit inspired by watching From The Ground Up, and the fact that we're in the midst of renovating the kitchen, to touch up other areas in the house too. Adding this shelf to the bathroom not only makes the room esthetically nicer, but it's a handy extra shelf for things like the spray and toilet paper and such.

Secondly, I found these Kleenex boxes a while ago whilst grocery shopping:

I just thought they were kinda campy because the print on them is different strands of yarn, and as it happens, in two of my favourite colours (green and blue). So there. These get filed under my "knitter's kitch" file.

Thirdly, this is what creating-a-pattern-for-mittens-from-scratch-&-scraps looks like:

Back just before I left working for Lewiscraft (over 2 years ago) I stocked up on some different kinds of Shetland Chunky in these five colours as pictured. The full skeins were in my stock for a while, and one day I got around to knitting 5 different cabled toques, using a Stitch n Bitch pattern. I had partial skeins - and being the pack rat that I am, I didn't want to throw these out, that being a waste of yarn in my book.

So, the goal this weekend is to create a pattern for mittens that look rather ecclectic. Hopefully a post of how the finished product looks like will appear during next week's posts!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

stitch markers + sock themed swap poll announcement

Firstly, I just wanted to brag about these stitch markers. I had made them for a Punk Rock Gift Exchange, and had meant to take a pic of them before sending them off, and didn't. I was lucky that my swappee did so, so I borrowed the picture from her. So there. I brag. This is the sound of me - once again - tooting my own horn.
Secondly: I'm thinking of doing a sock-themed swap of some sort. I haven't exactly decided on the swap's content yet, which is why I have a poll in my blog's sidebar. You can vote for more than one thing, or email me an idea. I'm keeping this poll up 'till the end of the month, to hopefully have a sock themed swap organized for September/autumn. Get that swap in and done long before December holidays roll around. Voting doesn't seal your commitment to the swap, it's just there to help inspire me, that's all.
Keep your eyes peeled for September-esque postings of a sock-knitters-themed swap.