Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Return of the Stripy Thing

Yipes, Stripes!

Oh wait, not that kind.

This kind:

The stripy thing is finished. Turns out it's a baby sweater. It's my standby pattern from Simple Knits for Cherished Babies, in the 6-9 month size. I added the one-row-stripe pattern from the Yarn Girls' Guide to Knits for Older Kids book and used Butterfly mercerized cotton leftovers from my BFF Wendy from when she had a major stash purge.

Two rows of single crochet around the sleeves and one row of single crochet around the neckline cleans up the stranding a bit.

I did a bit of my own stashbusting and came up with this goldish-brown ribbon to tie up the back.

It's a gift for a very sweet baby boy who is currently recovering from the heart surgery he had yesterday. His recovery is going very well according to frequent updates from his parents. I'm pretty sure his mom has figured out that the stripy thing is his, so I don't feel bad about blogging it. I'll hopefully be able to get it (and her sock yarn prize) to her soon.


That means the only October project not to get finished in October is my October socks. I'm not horribly sad about that... it just means the November projects will be a bit rushed (but it's not like that is surprising). I've already decided to use my
orange Pace scapegoat socks for my November socks, so that takes a little pressure off.

I'll leave you with a little Knit Knack related humor that my aunt found not too long ago.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Happy Turtleween!

Pirates are pretty popular these days, and nobody likes a good bandwagon to hop on like our dear Knit Knack. Trick-or-treaters, eat your heart out. I'd like to present...

Captain Knack Sparrow!

We made him walk the plank (but not without his effects...)

But he was able to lash himself to a seaturtle and escape the island...

So he could regain control of the Black Pearl!

And collect his loot.

Which he shared with his parrot, who I believe is still nameless. (Poor nameless parrot.)

May all your looting be as successful!


Thanks for all the comments on my projects in the last post. You may have convinced me to keep going with the chevron scarf as is. It's sitting next to my knitting chair hoping that someday I'll get a chance to knit some more on it.

The red & brown "sock" from the last post is actually the first of my
Endpaper Mitts. The red yarn is Paprika from Claudia's handpainted, and the brown is a Cherry Tree Hill solid. I just used the sock blocker to stretch it out a teeny so you could see it better. I'm glad you like it! I'm totally in love, myself.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

October's Almost Over Already

I'm still working on things.

I have a timeline. I get some things done some times.

Other things, well...

My October socks may be in trouble. This is only the first one, and I had to rip out about five rows. Why am I not able to read the chart for the foot of the sock? I tend to knit along, all cocky and full of misguided confidence, and all of a sudden I realize I've sailed past the part where the chart goes off the chart a bit. (Don't worry if that bit doesn't make sense. If I can't pay attention to it, I shouldn't expect you to.) I am pretty sure I did the same thing on the pair I made last year.

(Speaking of, something horrible has happened to last year's pair. If you're up for scary, disturbing, potentially upsetting knitwear pictures,
click here. You've been warned.)

The stripy thing, which is the only other project due by the end of the month, is... well... still stripy. I may be running out of stripy steam.

I may have turned elsewhere to console myself.

I may have started a chevron scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts with a skein of Fleece Artist (left) and a skein of Cherry Tree Hill. I may have come to the conclusion that the deep green in the Fleece Artist overwhelms all the other colors in a way that does not please me. I may have to knit a few more inches to know for sure. I may have to scrap the whole thing to go a whole different direction involving some Claudia's handpainted.

I may have started the entrelac socks from Interweave with some solid purple Opal and a variagated purple Trekking. I may have started them even though there's no way they could be quick enough to be November socks. I may not have actually started them at all. The jury is still out. I'll never tell.

I may have disregarded the order of the timeline in favor of a December store-sample project. I may be quite taken with this particular December project, so much so that it tends to be the first thing I pull out of my bag when I want to knit.

I may be so distracted by these two skeins of PacaPeds alpaca sock yarn that I can't think of anything else ever.

On the other hand, maybe everything's done and I'm just not telling you about it.

Or maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sweater = Baby Cozy

What makes a cozy a cozy?

Wiktionary gives the definition as "a padded or knit covering put on a teapot for keeping the tea warm." But tea pots don't have the corner on cozies anymore. A quick google search gives me patterns for cell phone cozies, tissue cozies, egg cozies, beer bottle cozies, toilet paper roll cozies, and so many other cozies that the word "cozies" starts to look like it's spelled wrong.

It seems to me like a cozy is just something that you wrap something else in, in order to keep that something else warm. By that definition, sweaters might be called "people cozies" since the main reason why people wear sweaters is to wrap up in something to be warm. Maybe a hug is a temporary cozy.

Some of my favorite kids live so far away that it's impossible for me to get as many hugs and cozy snuggles as I'd like, so for a long time I've felt that a good way for me to hug those kids is to send comfy sweaters that they can wrap up in and get a hug from Annie Grook whenever they like. Maybe that's kind of hoky, but it makes me feel good, and I hope those kids like knowing that somebody way far away loves them.

One of those kids just had her very first birthday! This is Brenda's baby Katherine, who shares my birthday. Her sweater was a little late, but hopefully she didn't notice too much.

Check out that cutie booty!

The pattern is the
Duck Jacket from Animal Knits by Zoe Mellor. I've wanted to make this sweater for a really long time, so I've had the yarn for a number of years. The blue is Lion Brand Cotton Ease in a now-discontinued color. The white is a baby cotton, the yellow is Tahki Cotton Classic, and the orange is another discontinued Cotton Ease color... the same shade with which I made Maggie's cable purse.

I used US3 and US6 needles, omitted the daisies all over the body of the jacket, and used the most perfect buttons ever. It was a fun knit, but once my deadline had passed and I still wasn't done, it was difficult to keep the momentum going. It was worth it, though. Thanks for the pictures, Brenda!

Sometimes there are kids I don't know very well that I get to keep cozy, too. Remember the
Notre Dame sweater set?

The little guy is big enough to sport his team's colors, and his grandma was gracious enough to send me a picture. What a cutie!


On a completely different yet related note, did you know there's such a thing as an apple cozy? Bizarre, I know, but my PPTC really wanted one, and since today was her last day in this job, I knit her one as a going away present.

I modified
this pattern so I could use some of the Rainbow Mills mercerized cotton I got this summer from my sister-in-law.

In this case, you're not trying to keep the apple warm as much as you're trying to keep it from getting beat up and bruised in your lunch box.

I suppose it's not as ridiculous as a grape cozy might be...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Duckies and Buttons

I have a finished project. It's only about two weeks late. But it's finished. And since I can't even mail it until Friday, I can only give you a sneak peek. But what a sneak peek it is.

(I really like these little photo montages. I'm especially impressed with this one. There's probably a fancy pants program out there that makes them, but I make them myself. I really like this one.)

I'm especially pleased with the buttons for this project. I had seen them at a nearby shop at least five months ago, but they were too expensive to buy without a project in mind. I was finishing up this project over the weekend and was trying to think of some good buttons to use, and I remembered that these would be, in a word, perfect. So I enlisted the help of my BFF Wendy to acquire them since I wouldn't be able to get to the shop in time. She dragged her poor, sick son and her own stuffy nose out of the house to make sure I'd have these buttons. Now that's a true BFF!

I love how it turned out. I should be able to show you the whole thing by the end of the month. Whee!

I also wanted to show you how the buttons on the CPH turned out. Remember when I asked you for your advice? I got so many good ideas, I didn't want to forget to tell you which ones I used. First, as my good friend Joy pointed out when I showed you the finished sweater, I did only use five buttons. When I pinned it together with six and tried it on, it was just too many. I think five buttons is perfect.

I used embroidery floss to attach the toggle buttons, and anchored them with clear plastic buttons on the wrong side. Bonus, I had the embroidery floss from my days as a cross-stitcher (I don't think the T-rex picture will suffer too much), and the clear buttons were already in my button box. It helps to have more than just yarn in your stash!

I actually wore the sweater as an integral part of my outfit one day last week, and not just to show it off. It felt strange to walk out the door with it on, but it was definitely a cool feeling. I wonder if it will ever feel normal to wear my own handknit stuff out and about. I still get a kick out of wearing handknit socks in public.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

We Have a Winner! (Or Four..)

#1: Top Left: Regia Color (mostly blue, some green/different shades of blue)

#2: Top Right: Brown Sheep Wildfoote (color: elderberry, blues & purples)

#3: Bottom Left: Opal (heathery brown)

#4: Bottom Right: Austermann Step (autumn colors... brown, oranges, greens)

Winners will need to email me with their choices and snail mail addresses. You can send your email to brooketyler2002 AT yahoo DOT com, replacing the "at" and the "dot" with their respective symbols.

I used the Random Integer Generator at to find my four winners. Here are the results:
23 is Crafty Carolyn. Congratulations! Choose your favorite and let me know what you'd like!

24 is Donna of
Knit One Purl Too. Congrats! Make sure you let me know your favorite and your second favorite.

3 is Joy of
Joy in the Journey. Congratulations! I need to know your top three favorites.

15 is Annabelle of I'm a Knitiot (she's totally not!) Congratulations, Annabelle... you'll get the fourth sock yarn and a surprise!

Thanks to everyone who commented. It's been fun to find new blogs and revisit some I hadn't been to in a while. Please keep coming back... you know there will be more contests in the future!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

September Socks

Arrr, mateys! They be done at last!

Pattern: combination basic sock pattern +
this chart. You can download a full page chart from that link in PDF form.

Universal Yarns Pace, in black, cream, red, and gray, one skein each, $6 a piece.

Needles: US 2 47" circular, and 7" double points

Here are some notes from my socks:

1. The intarsia argyle pattern is worked back and forth. You will have to seam the back of the cuff later.

2. There are 68 stitches in the chart. I cast on two extra stitches (70 total) in order to have selvedge stitches for the seam.

3. If you're making a cuff down sock, you must read the chart upside down in order for the skull to face the correct way.

4. I used duplicate stitch to add all the white stitches after my red/gray/black diamond colorwork was complete.

I seamed the cuff as soon as all of the colorwork was done, then joined the sock into the round and worked 10 more rows before starting the heel. I used a basic slip one, knit one heel flap and alternated red and white every two rows, starting the new color on the purl row. I turned the heel using only the red. I worked the gusset and the foot in black, and a row before I started the toe decreases, I went back to the red and white striping. Finish with my favorite kitchener stitch, and ahoy! (Or "avast", depending.)

These socks were a very fun knit. The only part I had trouble with was the stockinette feet, which went on But I've gotten a ton of compliments while I've been knitting them, and I can't wait to wear them. I love the groan and eye-rolling every time I tell someone new that these are ARRRRRgyle socks.

I have plans for another pair of argyles in the works. I have an idea for an all-over argyle that just might work.

Oh, I almost forgot. I made the whole pair with only one ball of the black Pace. For size 12 mens feet, that ain't bad. Leftovers shown with a mangled quarter for scale.

I had tons of leftovers in the other colors.


A couple of things for housekeeping's sake:

1. The PPTC never applied, Brenda... she was self-appointed. There wasn't much I could do to stop her. Today one of my other co-workers provided the model feet for the arrrgyles, and the PPTC couldn't resist showing off her snazzy feet as well. She thought my blog readers would appreciate her "kick-butt-then-take-names" shoes.

2. The fullness of the stripey goodness will be revealed in due time. The PPTC has declared it due by the end of the month, so you will see it in its entirety then. And hopefully soon after that you will see it on its intended recipient. Eeeeeeee!!

3. This is your last chance to win some sock yarn! Just leave a comment on
the CPH post by midnight tonight (I'm going to be generous and give you until midnight Pacific Time... you lucky dogs!), for your chance to win one of four amazing, outstanding, soon-to-be-cleared-out-of-my-stash sock yarns! And probably some surprises thrown in, too! How lucky can you get!?!?!

(Okay, that's my allotment of exclamation points for about three years. See you tomorrow.)

Monday, October 8, 2007

Timeline Re-Org

Today I met with my Personal Project Timeline Coordinator (PPTC), and we discussed the list of current WIPs (works-in-progress). She confronted me about two projects that had been slated for September that are not yet finished, and we plotted out due-by dates and even a few per-diem assignments from now until... um... January. Me? Over-committed? Not a chance. There are only four projects to complete each month. No big deal.

Anyway, the PPTC has declared tomorrow the due date for the Arrrgyle socks. All I have left is the toe of the second sock. I am blogging on location from Panera Bread, but I only have an hour to finish eating, blog, and do all the other online things that I want to do, so the toe will likely not be finished here. However, I will be finishing them at home tonight, and soon you will get full pictures and a play-by-play of my notes for Arrrgyle sock construction.

Speaking of socks, don't forget to leave a comment on the CPH post for your chance to win some free sock yarn!

I'll leave you with a current obsession, and fortunately a project due by the end of this month. Mmmmmmm.... stripy.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Sock Yarn Spoiled

Part of the reason why I'm able to give away so much sock yarn (just go leave a comment on this post for your chance to win! Thanks to everyone who has commented already!) is because I'm totally spoiled when it comes to sock yarn.

I have an amazingly cool blog friend named Leone who blogs at
Land Unknown. She's very creative and funny and super sweet, and sometimes she sends me sock yarn for no reason at all! For those of you who don't know, for the last two months I haven't had a working mailbox in my apartment building, and I've had to drive to the post office every time I want to pick up my mail. (This is supposed to be fixed today. I'm not holding my breath.) Two weeks ago, I checked the mailbox in the building (it wasn't latching properly, which is why they started holding the mail at the PO) just to see if there was anything in it. And there was! It was a little sock-yarn-sized package from Leone. Who knows how long it was sitting in there. Want to see?

Mmm. I'm looking forward to using it. Thank you so much, Leone... I'm sorry for being such a slacker in sending thanks and posting about it. You're very generous!!

Then last week I got a mysterious package when I stopped at the post office. I'm certainly not against receiving mysterious packages, especially when this is inside:

It's the New York City colorway from J. Knits. There's 550 yards! I will be able to make an awesome pair of socks for my huge feet with this yarn. It's SO pretty. I asked around and finally figured out who sent it... Brenda!!! She signed me up for a sock club through the Yarn Grove, so I'll get more sock yarn in December and February! How cool is that! Thank you, Brenda!!

This past Monday night, my BFF Wendy gave me three skeins of Claudia's Handpainted in the limeade colorway. I've been drooling over it since we got it in the store a month or so ago. It's sooooooooooooooo limey. I'll have to find the perfect pattern for it. Thank you, Wendy!

I've definitely been blessed in sock yarn acquisition lately. I better get cranking on more socks!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Finished CPH and a Contest

Pattern: Central Park Hoodie from the fall 2006 Knitscene magazine

Yarn: Tahki Donegal Tweed, color #803, a little more than 11 balls (I think)

November 22ish, 2006

Finished: September 25, 2007

This is my very first completed adult-sized sweater. Thanks to my mom for being a great photographer. Yee haw! I can't wait until it gets cold enough to wear it. I mean, until it gets cold enough to wear it ALL THE TIME. ahem.


So, the blog is officially two years old, and I'm officially another year older ('bout time I made my very own birthday sweater, no?), and it's time for a contest.

Okay, the real reason I need to have a contest is because I did very poorly on my sock challenge during the month of September. Not only did I buy sock yarn, but I did not finish my September socks. I did get past the heel of the second one, and I'm almost done with the gusset decreases, so I'm on the way. But it's still not done. So... the contest.

All you have to do to win is leave a comment on this post. I'll use a random number generator to choose the winners. There are four prizes, which means there will be four winners. All of the prizes came from my sock yarn stash.

Top Left: Regia Color, 4 fadig, 75% new wool, 25% polyamide, two 50g balls.

Top Right: Brown Sheep Wildfoote, 75% washable wool, 25% nylon, two 50g balls, color: elderberry.

Bottom Left: Opal, 75% virgin wool, 25% polyamide, one 100g ball.

Bottom Right: Austermann Step, 75% virgin wool, 25% nylon, with aloe vera and jojoba oil, one 100g ball.

You can post comments through midnight one week from now: October 10. I'll announce the winners on October 11. Think of it as my birthday gift to you.

Oh, and just to make it interesting, the first winner gets their pick of the four. The second winner gets their pick of the remaining three. The third winner gets their pick of the last two. And the fourth winner gets an extra surprise.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Maggie's Sweater Update

My sister-in-law posted pictures of Maggie in her fifth birthday sweater... the one where she got to pick out her own yarn and pattern. I stole a couple of the pictures to share with you, or you can go read Morgan's post about the sweater. Thanks Morgan!

Click here for my original post about the sweater.

I think it looks great!!

also posted a picture of some handknit-sock-clad feet. Check it out!

Looks comfy! Thanks again, Morgan. :)