Wednesday, December 26, 2007

my wish list questionnaire thingy

... for that crochet swap blog's January swap:

Are you a knitter or crocheter?? both
I love to make..... wrist warmers, but truthfully, anything with cables
I really want to make...... sweaters, specifically aran sweaters because I love all the detail. I just need to find the time to make them.
My favorite yarns are..... anything soft and comfortable. I'm not a yarn snob, I could care less if it's acrylic, although I'm not a fan of yarns that feel 'stiff' or 'sticky' when I'm using them.
My wish pattern is...... anything with cables, preferably, but in more general terms, my favourite things to knit/crochet are hats, scarves, and wrist warmers
My favorite hooks or needles are..... I prefer wood, but I'm starting to love those decorative ones I see in magazines, like with skulls and whatever other decorations they have on them now! funky!
I really wish I had..... time? Cillian Murphy? a million dollars? chocolate? lol, any of those would be great :D
My favorite colors are... I love all colours, although earth tones are my favourite
My hobbies... yarn crafts take up most of my spare time, although I also love reading a good book, cooking (I'm going through an Asian cooking phase atm), and trying to garden.
My kitchen theme and colors.. brown, green
My bathroom theme and colors... my bathroom's a work in progress, so there aren't actual colours set up yet!
My dislikes.... things that are too bland. I know that's vague, but in everything I try to find something that has a bit of character to it. Boring's not my thing!
My crafts... yarn crafts galore!
what I like.... Alfred Hitchcock & Stanley Kubrick movies, scary books, llamas, and anything 'kitchy'/vintage
My allergies... aspirin
My favorite pets... I don't have a favourite pet, although atm I've a cat. I love all animals.
My favorite scents... vanilla, lemongrass, lavender, anything summer-esque
My favorite novels or magazines... well, I'm currently reading a few knitting themed books, but I love a good scary book or mystery. Love knitting and crochet magazines, especially those with funky patterns.
Other stuff about me... hm, let's see - well, I enjoy a good cup of coffee, and that first-cup-in-the-morning ritual for me is quite important. I love functional items that are multipurpose, and yet decorative. I love classic rock, alternative, and punk music. If it's weird and fun, I probably would like that too, whatever it may be. I love gnomes. My favourite season is autumn, especially because of Halloween, but I also love the changing leaves. I love celtic-ish designs. My favourite shows on tv are the CSI's, Law & Order's, and LOST.

That's pretty much it, I can't think of anything else to write. Whoever has me for a swap, if you want to ask me anything else, please feel free to do so!

I made this hat for my brother

From this pattern I made this hat for my brother - he requested it over a year ago but I was unable to find the pattern until recently, via ravelry. The only change is that I crocheted the head part instead of seed stitch. Tee hee, and it fits me too :D (This was done precautionarily in case he didn't want it.)

Offset Cables Ombre Scarf

I lost the label of the yarn part way through knitting it, so bare with me while I note what I remember from the label:
The yarn was called 'Tosca'; 55% wool, 45% acrylic. Tension: 12 sts, 17 rows =4" (10cm) with US7 (4.5mm) needles. 50 grams, and around 95 or so yards to it.
What makes this scarf interesting is that the cables are slightly offset from each other, which is a nice detail. Nearly 4" wide (9.5cm) and 28" (71.75cm) long, it's ideal to keep your neck warm in the cold weather.

Pattern: (over 8 rows)
rows 1, 3, 5, & 7: p2, k2, p6, k2, p2, k2, p6, k2, p2
rows 2 & 6: k2, p2, k6, p2, k2, p2, k6, p2, k2
row 4: k2, p2, place 2 sts on cable needle and hold in front, k2, k2 from cable needle, k2, p2, k2, p2, k2, place 2 sts on cable needle and hold behind, k2, k2 sts from cable needle, p2, k2
row 8: k2, p2, k2, place 2 sts on cable needle and hold behind, k2, k2 sts from cable needle, p2, k2, p2, place 2 sts on cable needle and hold in front, k2, k2 from cable needle, k2, p2, k2
Repeat these 8 rows until your entire skein is used, but leave enough to cast (or bind) off.
© 2007 by Sabrina Thompson - original design and pictures. Please do not sell pattern or materials made thereof, or copy my pictures. Pattern cannot be distributed for sale, or as a 'free pattern' promotional tool for selling yarn or knitting supplies. If posting Finished Items on personal blogs, please link back to this blog and pattern, thanks. :D

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sock Monkey Fingers Popped Out (wrist warmers)

Inspired by those socks that sock monkeys are made from, I wanted to make wrist warmers with that sort of style. (And I need another pair of sock warmers to add to my collection!) In case you're wondering, my DH came up with the title of this pattern. :)

Size: adult. The ribbing makes it stretchy, so this should fit pretty much any hand size. Entire mitt, from top of finger to bottom of arm, measures approx 7.5 inches (19.5cm).

- Patons Classic Wool in Winter White, Grey Mix, and Bright Red. 3.5oz/100grams per skein, 223 yards/204 meters each.
- 1 set (4) 4.5mm/US 7 dpn's
- an extra set of dpn's to hold fingers that are put aside; also making the second pair @ the same time if you wish
- a small crochet hook to weave in ends
- scissors
- measuring tape

Tension: 20 sts, 26 rows = 10cm/4" in stockinette stitch; 24 sts, 26 rows = 10cm/4" in K2, P2 ribbing using 4.5mm/US 7 needles

Fingers: (index, middle, an ring finger)
1) Cast on 14 sts in Winter White. Divide on 3 needles. Do not knit first row, but tie on Bright Red. (Leave white, it'll be carried through the middle for the next stripe.)
2) Knit 2 rows in the round with Bright Red. Carry through Winter White, tying off red.
3) Knit 4 rows in the round with Winter White.
4) Devide stitches evenly back to 2 needles (7 on front needle, 7 on back) and cut white, leaving a 1 inch (2 cm) tail.

Pinky Finger: same instruction as fingers, but made over 12 sts. When finished, divide on 2 needles (6 on front, 6 on back) and put aside.

Thumb: same instruction as fingers, but made over 16 sts. When finished, divide on 2 needles (8 on front, 8 on back) and put aside.

To join:
1) Arrange 3 fingers and pinky finger on 2 dpn's. Pinky, ring and middle finger tails should be between fingers, index finger tail faces out. Add a 3rd dpn to make it easier to knit in the round.
2) Tie Grey Mix yarn with index finger's tail, and knit the first round as follows: k6, *k2tog, k5* 3x, k10, *k2tog, k5* 3x. (48 sts) Place marker to note beginning.
3) Next row, k2, p2 around. Use 1" tails and small crochet hook to weave closed the gaps between the fingers. Tie securely so it doesn't undo.
4) Continue in k2, p2 ribbing for 2 inches. (13 rows)
5) When doing your last ribbing row, do so around except for last stitch - it's going to be p2tog with thumb's first stitch.
6) On thumb: keep the stitches divided in two and add on to your dpn's. With grey, p2tog last grey stitch and first white stitch, knit across white stitches except for last, and k2tog last white stitch with first grey stitch. Use 1" tail and crochet hook to close the gap between thumb and hand. Place marker just before p2tog and just after k2tog.
7) Continue in k2, p2 ribbing pattern for 1 round. Rearrange stitches on needles to make it easier.

Decrease rounds:
8) a) On row 1: Continue to p2tog or k2tog just after or just before stitch markers to decrease thumb gusset. You may have to knit a purled stitch or purl a knit stitch to keep this pattern.
b) On row 2: knit the knit stitches, purl the purl stitches w/o any decreases.
9) Repeat #8 5 more times. (48 sts)
10) Rib 7 more rows around, redividing the stitches on the needles.

Finishing rounds:
11) Add Winter White, *k10, k2tog* around. (44 sts)
12) Knit 1 row around.
13) Bind off loosely.

Don't forget to make a second wrist warmer! Making two at the same time - at least for me - saves a bit of time.

Variation: make gloves in k1, p1 ribbing instead of k2, p2. The decreases are a bit tricky but turn out nicely. To decrease at thumb, mark off the (now) 14 sts. (Two were decreased when binding the thumb into the glove.) Make glove in the round, but at thumb:
Row 1: For the first four sts, switch stitches around so that on the needle, instead of it being k1, p1, k1, p1, it’s k2, p2. (The purled stitch is moved behind to go with the next purl stitch.) Then, k2tog, p2tog. K1, p1, k1, p1, k1, p1, then repeat the decrease with the last 4 sts.
Row 2: K1, p1 around.
Row 3: Make the decrease as in row 1 for the first 4 sts; then k1, p1, and make the decrease with last 4 sts.
Row 4: K1, p1 around.
Row 5: Mark the middle of the hand on the other side of the wrist, opposite thumb. Make the decrease (as in row 1) on that side of the glove. Continue in pattern around, and at thumb, switch with first four stitches to decrease, finishing by k1, p1 for the last two stitches.

Row 6: K1, p1 around.

There will be enough grey yarn to make 2 pairs of these wrist warmers. You can queue this pattern on here if you wish!

© 2007 by Sabrina Thompson - original design and pictures. Please do not sell pattern or materials made thereof, or copy my pictures. Pattern cannot be distributed for sale, or as a 'free pattern' promotional tool for selling yarn or knitting supplies. If posting Finished Items on personal blogs, please link back to this blog and pattern, thanks. :D

A variation, essentially the glove with an added actual sock monkey head, can be found on yoelknit's blog, Sock Monkey Heads For Gloves. They're actually very cute!

Monday, December 10, 2007

grammatically speaking...

To be honest, I'm a bit of a stickler for grammar. I may not always be perfectly grammatically correct, but I consider myself better than most.

Up until recently that is, when someone on started a thread debate about using the word 'gift' as a verb. (As in, "I gifted my MIL with a handknit scarf.") We all are familiar with 'gift' as a noun, but is it proper to use it as a verb?

Most posted that they'd never use it as a verb, because not only does it not sound right, but argued that it was grammatically wrong. I've often - for the last few years anyway - noticed I was using it as a verb. I've no idea why I did, I just did. Probably picked it up from television in passing, because I doubt someone I know would use it this way.

A few random replies to other threads prompted other ravelry posters to emphasize their using 'gift' as a noun only and not a verb. This motivated me to look into whether or not the whole gift-as-a-verb issue is valid.

According to the American Heritage Dictionary (copyright © 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company), 'gift' is both defined as a noun and a verb:
gift (gĭft) n.
Something that is bestowed voluntarily and without compensation.
The act, right, or power of giving.
A talent, endowment, aptitude, or inclination.
tr.v. gift·ed, gift·ing, gifts
To present something as a gift to.
To endow with.
Although, despite other searches, including google, the word 'gift' remains defined as a noun only.
I've mildly studied language on occasion, and always came across something that surprised me. What I thought to be grammatically correct often wasn't, and what was often sounded funny. I suppose if we use a term often enough, it eventually becomes grammatically correct. New words are formed to describe new things that enter our lives daily. New expressions are formed to describe what we see and do. Despite how something may sound odd at first, it's the evolution of language.
In the end, I suppose, despite how it may get under the skin of (it seems) many fellow knitters, I'll continue to use 'gift' as a verb. 'Tis the season to use it, anyway.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Help Make Blankets AND Win Stuff 2008!

I have this originall posted here, for the sake of reference. Be sure to email me at purplespirit1{at}hotmail{dot}com with email titled '8 inch squares' or 'charity blanket' for my mailing information so you can send the squares. I'm now accepting squares measuring 8 through 10 inches.

I'm still looking for knit or crochet squares. I have started a few blankets, although they need to be finished. I'm trying to peice together same- or similar-coloured squares to have matching blankets, so more squares are needed.

These completed blankets are going to be donated to local shelters in the Toronto area. I'm also planning some road trips to visit friends in Edmonton, Alberta and Kelowna B.C. some time in the future, so some completed blankets will be taken with me on these trips and donated to local shelters in those towns as well.
Contest: Every 3 months in 2008 (March, June, September, & December) I'll do a random draw for people who've sent me 5 squares in the same envelope. That person will win a knitting-or-crocheting themed prize valued at around $20. Every 5 squares that you include in your envelope will add your name again into the draw. (So, if you send 25 squares, you'll get your name in the draw 5 times for that 3 month period.) If you want your name re-entered in the next 3 month draw, send another 5 squares. Be sure to include your name, email, blog address, and full address so I can send your prize, if you win. At the end of the year, I'll include everyone's name who has not won that year but has sent their minimum 5 squares for a second prize, valued at around $15. (I haven't decided yet what the prizes will be, but I promise it'll be good and knitting or crocheted themed.)
Warmth is needed. Every knitter and crocheter has scraps. There's that one pestering ball of yarn that you just don't know what to do with. Those can be made into squares. Please destash your scraps, combine 2 or 3 colours or different yarns together to make ecclectic squares.
The type of yarn(s) you use is not important. Neither is/are the colour(s). Nor the tension. I don't care if it's sock yarn or the bulkiest chunkiest yarn in your stash, or anything in between, it can be made into a square.
Basic knit square pattern: Check your yarn's knit gauge over 4". Using recommended needles, double it so you're knitting across 8". Stockinette stitch the whole square or knit every row until you've reached 8" long, then cast off.
Recommended 8" Square Patterns, Knit or Crochet
(although feel free to use your own too!)
arches 8", crochet
circle of friends 8", crochet
stained glass 8", crochet - great if you've got variegated yarn
circle in a square make the 8" version, crochet
daisy in a square also 8", crochet
Again, feel free to make the design you wish. I just put these in as easy-access links to this partigular blog. Prizes will be distributed as long as I get a minimum of 2 people sending me 5 squares before end of march, june, september and december of '08, starting today. So get stitching. Post your questions and comments below. Extra scraps you have beyond this that are sent will help stitch squares together.