Round Peg In a Square Hole-crafts

Friday, December 28, 2012

Here we are again.... the end of another year, and I have some things I need to say.

First, notes on Christmas:
  • Remember that 4 people for dinner (Christmas) is much different than 10 people for dinner (Thanksgiving).  I compensated, but not quite enough.  A work in progress
  • Sweet Potato Casserole with Praline Topping is the BOMB!  That's a keeper, and may become my standard potluck contribution.  NOM!
  • Really and truly, the rolls are done at 8 minutes, no matter what they look like.  All those freakin' burned bottoms make no sense.  Maybe next year, try a free-form roll on the double-bottomed pizza pans?  Or set the muffin pans on a cookie sheet?
  • 1 purchased pie crust = 16 cinnamon rolls.  Cooked on said pizza pans, 16 minutes appears to be not too long.
  • Sad to say, I think the time for the matching Christmas Eve nightgowns is past.  Mom and I have a gazillion of them.  Must think of something else for next year; no idea what.
  • Also, the Nutcracker is probably over, as well.  No clue what to replace that with, either.
  • Must go through the stuff in the garage, if only to find the missing Christmas items, such as the hooks for the stockings.  Though the chair backs worked OK, in a pinch.
  • Stuffing in the crock pot needs to be on LOW NOT HIGH!
  • For WeHoSnB Christmas party, take hot cider.  (Would have been lovely, if I had made it to the party.  On the up side, I finished my hat, so it's ready for next year!)
Now, for some crafting talk of the year.  I am proud that the following ANCIENT UFOs have FINALLY been completed!:
  • The Farm Blanket: only three years late, it actually was delivered at a good time, as the recipent is currently into farms and will make good use of it
  • Belle's hoop and petticoat: not so timely, as I don't know how much Victorian (non-Steampunk) stuff Belle is doing these days, but she has it if she needs it.
  • Belles' purple socks that have been languishing for several years
Several years ago, I tried an experiment aimed at getting some antique UFOs done and out of the house.  It was almost totally unsuccessful, but it seems like such a good idea that I am going to try it again.  The following are the past-due items that I will be concentrating on in the next year:
  • Mark and Mary Ann's sweatshirts: need to get some equipment to make sure the transfers stay transferred; everything else is done.
  • Mark and Mary Ann's scarves: definitely a project gone ferral, it shouldn't be this hard.  I think I will give up on making them shadow knit, and just go for stranded knitting, in the round.  This will make them thicker, but I am otherwise at a loss as to how to do something which SHOULD BE FREAKIN' SIMPLE.  Not that I'm cranky about it or anything.
  • Linda's tablecloth.  One of 4 corners is done, one is more than half-done.  I don't know that I can finish in the next year, but I would at least like to have 3 corners done this time next year.
  • Camp shirts for Bruce and Tom: the ones from two years ago I finally cut this year, but didn't get any farther.  The one from three years ago (for Bruce; Tom's got done at that time) has gone AWOL; what I thought were pattern pieces were, in fact, scraps.  I have no clue where to look for them.
  • Tom's Fair Isle hat from last year.  I dyed the yarn, but have yet to pattern it.  It should be straight-forward, once I get the chart done.  I hope.

This is another list of things that I don't really expect to work on, but are nagging me for a mention:
  • Kate's black beaded purse
  • pink cabled socks for me
  • natural kilt socks for Chris
  • DK weight socks for my mom
  • Thomas' jacket
  • Sam's planets quilt (it's so old, Pluto was still a planet!)
  • Sam's Disney Princess quilt (sell the squares on eBay?)
 And these are things that will probably jump the queue and get worked on, despite their lack of seniority:
  • new bodice for the white Regency
  • new bodice for the white Regency underdress (that goes under the gold gown)
  • new grey Regency
  • Daughters of Pele
  • Captain Dubois
And these will only get worked on in some fantasy world/alternate universe:
  • Regency riding habit
  • new sage Regency
  • yellow-green plaid bustle gown
  • dark green bustle gown
To facilitate all this, it would probably be smart to go through every box in the garage, pitch a good deal, and replace the crumbling boxes with sturdier types.  Unfortunately, that would require shelf units in the garage to stack the danged things on, but...

This is daunting, but I'm glad to have it written down.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Of Socks and Games and Other Things Yarny

Sock Madness has started and I have once again made it to Round 3, woot!  First two rounds weren't my favorite socks, but they're done:

Simple Side-to-Side Socks
Sock Madness 4, Round 1
Knitted with Love Baby Og Hosegarn gotten in a swap, on size 0 needles. This pattern involved a LOT of grafting, which I didn't mind all that much, and a LOT of picking up of stitches, which I found I really didn't like. I've been wanting to do a sideways sock, though, and I'm glad I've done one, so I know what I like and what I don't.

Cool Beans
Sock Madness 4, Round 2 final
Done with Knit Picks Harmony dpns in size 1; yarns are Elann Baby Silk (black) and Bernat Sox in Crazy Hot (variegated) I'm always up for colorwork, particularly after perfecting my two-stranded throwing technique that I developed during the colorwork pattern from last year's Sock Madness, so I didn't mind that aspect of this pattern. However, the gusset was much too large for my foot, even though I was spot-on for gauge, so I will either have to frog these to the start of the gusset and knit again, or just give them away. Leaning towards the latter.

Frankly, wasn't really happy with either of these patterns, though in both cases the pattern problems were exacerbated by things that I did (on the first socks, I picked up the stitches funny for the cuff; on the second set, I went overboard on trying to make sure they weren't too tight (used larger needles AND knitted them inside out AND loosened the tension) without realizing that there was a fourth variable having an effect: the contrast color yarn (the variegated), thought nominally the same weight at the black, was markedly thicker). All in all, since the first socks were too small and the second socks were to big, I'm hoping the third set will be Just Right(tm)......

Also, now have three new designs that I am working up for next year's game; the only hints I'll give are: shadow knitting, buttons and why?

In addition to the above-mentioned socks, I have made some good progress on some projects in the recent past: finished a baby blanket for my nephew and niece-in-law, who are expecting their first baby in early May; an adjusted version of Everlasting Bagstopper for a charity auction; baby surprise jacket for a former co-worker; quite a few bow-tie scarves; almost finished with Barbie's My Fair Lady Flower Girl outfit. In addition, I have done some work on the eternally-in-progress tablecloth (one corner is done, one more is probably 35%); dyed up some yarn with left-over Easter egg dye, 
Easter Egg yarn
which my daughter has claimed for socks for her; finished my brother-in-law's camp shirt (ya know, the one that should have been done for Christmas?); acquired many pieces for a villain costume needed for July; made the hoop, carrying bag, shoe and cosmetic bags and bum roll for a friend's Christmas/birthday present.

So what is still on the agenda? Hubster's camp shirt; one part of one villain costume, and prototype and actual costume (including headpiece and staff) for another; ruffled Victorian petticoat (to go with above-mentioned hoop, etc.; and which, unfortunately, has gone feral); transfer the drawing of a truck to the iron-on sheets, then iron them on to two sweatshirts; Chris' German Stockings; my Muppet. Previously unanticipated projects include DD's new socks; several more sweaters like my Fibinachi Tubey (hmm, thought I had a pic of that one, but don't seem to); another Barbie dress. And, frankly, I didn't expect to have made it to Round 3 of SM, so didn't really think I'd be knitting under the gun again for a while. Who knew? And what I really want to be doing is test-knitting my three new sock designs.....

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The Pledge--Conclusion and New Christmas Notes

First, the notes:

-OK, you got the sleep shirts done early. Now, it's time to make sure the camp shirts are done, too. Try starting in September this time.

-Candace, Dave and Tom like the cider.

-Having guests is an excellent reason to buy a new bottle of Bailey's.

-Custard pie cooked slowly carmelizes on top, mmmm. 10 min high temp, 20 min lower temp with foil, 20 min+ without foil.

-Either start Christmas shopping earlier or decide not to get everybody something AND make sure not to beat yourself up about it. If starting early, how about right after Convergence?

Now, The Pledge.

I have to say that this was a total, unmitigated failure. Of the five items listed, one got finished, one got worked on, and the rest lay just as fallow this year as they have been in the past. I really thought that this sort of challenge would help. I'm tempted to blame it on not getting a house. This is partly true, as not having a sewing room makes it much harder to work on two of the items. But the other two unfinished ones are portable, so that excuse doesn't hold. Not sure where the real issue is.

So, I won't repeat the exercise this year. I have several things that need to get done this year; in particular, two villain costumes I want to make for Convergence. But, I'm just going to work on them--no promises.

In the meantime, a pic of the only thing on the list that I did finish (albeit on Boxing Day, and I never did get it wrapped), the 20+-year-old-sweater-coat:

And she really liked it, and wore it that weekend. Yeah!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Alphabet chart

For the Sock Madness folks, I have built a seven-stitch-high alphabet that can be used with the practice pattern recently released. However, I'm unable to get any form of it posted here; not sure why. If you want it, let me know and I'll email the PDF to you. And any hints on how to post it here would be appreciated.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Pledge--Update

I had meant to do this on June 1, but that's how this year has gone. So, rather than put it off any longer, here is my evaluation of where I am on the 5 Things I Pledged to Finish in 2009:


Yup, that's right, I have done no work whatsoever on any of the projects mentioned in that post on January 1. I knew it was an ambitious project, but really thought I'd do better than this.

Oddly enough, a project that was deemed insufficiently overdue to make the list did get finished, however: the Rainbow Leg Warmers.
Now, that they're done, I actually like them. Heck, I liked the yarn (all but the thrice-bedeviled red) when I dyed it. And they went quickly (stockinette in the round) and the jogless joins worked as advertised. But the agony of trying and trying and trying to get the red dyed right will always overshadow these for me, I'm afraid. Can't wait to see the pix from my step-great-niece's dance recital where she wore them, though. Also have to remember to hunt up the address of the woman on Ravelry who was collecting small amounts of DK weight yarn for some project or other. I disposed of several of the earlier failed-attempts-to-get-red to her; I'd like to get rid of the rest of them.

Of the subsidiary list of things I was going to be working on in tandem with the Dreaded 5, I'm pleased with my successes there:
  • scarf and hat for a friend's daughter's school's auction

  • grocery bags for my daughter's school's auction.

  • belated Christmas presents
  • -scarf for my brother
Chargers scarf
  • -socks for my mom, and three friends These I have done no work on, alas.
  • -slippers for my sister and brother-in-law
one pair done

one almost done

    -Barbie's holiday dress
  • Barbie's Christmas dress

  • 6 freakin' corsets for sale Another no-progress, I'm afraid.
  • Mini-Muppet sweater for Samantha's American Girl doll Samantha
That one's done

AG Muppet

And one for my mother, as well
  • a camp shirt for the Hubster

In addition, I've started and finished two-almost-three more grocery bags, a test knit of a sock for Jenel Laidman's new book, two and a half pair of socks for Sock Madness, and half a pair of socks for the latest Sock War. And we won't even talk about all the man-thongs, especially as I have an order for two more of them......

Here's hoping I make more progress in the second half of the year than I did in the first!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Severe Case of Start-itis

I have seriously been trying to move a few UFOs to the FO column, but I backslid badly this weekend, worse even than for the Superbowl. While I did finish one project that's been on the books for a while, I managed to start seven.

First, the FO:

Test knit socks

Really like these Baby Fern Rib socks, that were a test knit for someone on Ravelry. I finished the first one fairly quickly, to evaluate the pattern, but hadn't finished the second sock, because Christmas intervened. However, I now have them to wear and am very happy with them.

Now, we come, in no particular order, to all the things I started. I have no pictures yet of the third Muppet, which will be for my mother, but it'll look a lot like the one for my daughter

"The Muppet"

and the one for her doll.

AG Muppet

Mine, when I get around to it, will at least be a different color, and may be a bolero/shrug-ish version. Maybe.

Also with no pix is a chemo cap for a friend who just finished her radiation treatment and is almost done with her chemo. Better late than never, I'm thinking, and it's being done with a lovely acrylic/mohair blend called Divine, in a soft purply-pink that I think she will love. It should knit up quickly.

Last with no pix is another pair of felted slippers for my sister. I really seem to have some resistance to making these: I've lost the yarn several times and forgot the pattern at knitting the other night (thank you again, Ellen, for mailing it back to me!) Hoping to get these done quickly, so they can actually be used this year. (Have another pair to do for her husband, but have yet to cast those on.)

Now, we come to some "cheater pants" projects, as my daughter would say, in that they were both started and finished this weekend. I was going over to visit with family at my nephew's house, and I had never been there before, so I thought I'd bring a hostess gift. Their kitchen is a bright, dark red, so I whipped these up on Saturday:

Dish cloth/hot pad 1

Dish cloth/hot pad 2

Haven't made many dish cloths, so I was pleased with how they came out, but my neice-in-law said they'd have to keep them up high, or the dogs would eat them. Oh, well.

Next is a KAL that I'm doing with the Lesser of Two Needles group (fans of the Patrick O'Brian Aubrey/Matchurin books). They decided to do a red scarf, because it is mentioned in _Desolation Island_, and picked The Not-Quite-Straight-Scarf. I was just charmed by it, so I had to cast on:

Red Scarf for KAL

My original intention was to make this for the Red Scarf Charity project, but I may have trouble letting go of it.....

And lastly, we have one of three bags that I am knitting from a lovely organic cotton, to donate to the auction at my daughter's school. I'm doing the first one from Knitty's Everlasting Bagstopper, but squaring the bottom and using different straps:

Square Bagstopper

Haven't decided if I'll do all three the same, or do different patterns or different sizes. We shall see; I have some time, as I don't believe I have to have these finished until April-ish.

This is totally ignoring all the WIPs I already had on the needles, and we won't even talk about housework. I plead temporary insanity.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Sock Madness III design

Since I just found out that neither of my designs made it into Sock Madness III, I'm releasing one of them here. I'm still looking for a test knitter for the second, because I hope to sell it.


Tessellation-side view

I love colorwork, and this slipstitch pattern is one of the easiest ways to do it. The original stitch pattern came from a tea cozy pattern, but I used it to make a sweater for my daughter, converting it to circular for the sleeves. I thought it might make a cozy and colorful sock. Hope you think so, too!

  • fingering weight: 70g main color (MC); 15-20g each of two contrasting colors (A and B) –OR- 70g MC and 30-40g painted or highly variegated; I used Elann’s Peruvian Baby Silk, in Sapphire (MC), Parchment (color A), and Cornflower (color B)
  • set of 5 dp needles, size 2, or size to get gauge
  • stitch markers (optional)
  • yarn needle

9 stitches/inch in stockinette

  • dip stitch(dpst): Insert needle into stitch three rows below next stitch; pull through a loop of working yarn and place it on left needle. Knit this loop together with the next stitch, through the back loops.
  • wrap next stitch (purling): bring yarn to back, slip next stitch from left needle to right, bring yarn to front, slip stitch back to left needle
  • wrap next stitch (knitting): bring yarn to front, slip next stitch from left needle to right, bring yarn to back, slip stitch back to left needle
  • w&t: wrap and turn
  • kfb: knit in front and back
  • m1: make one by lifting bar between the last stitch knitted and the next stitch using the left needle and going from the front; knit this stitch through the back loop

Just a few hints that may help:

-When doing the short-rowed heel, you can place a stitch marker each time you slip the wrapped stitch back to the left needle; this makes it easier to see where the next wrap should go. This uses a blurt-load of stitch markers, but it’s a lifesaver, if you have to put your work down in the middle of the heel! When working the wrapped stitches, take the stitch markers out only after the stitch and its wraps have been knit; slip the marker and the stitch when you do the second wrap, then slip both back.

-A very useful way to hide the wraps on short rows is shown in two Cat Bordhi YouTube videos:
Part 1:
Part 2:

-To avoid having a bazillion ends to weave in, you can just carry the colors not in use up the side of the sock at the beginning of the round, running the working yarn behind the others on one round, then in front on the next, and twisting them all together when changing colors.

Using a figure 8 cast on, (, a Magic cast on (, or your preferred method, cast on 16 stitches. Knit one round, making sure to k tbl on the twisted stitches, if you used the figure 8 cast on.
Round 2: (kfb of first stitch, k6, kfb in next stitch) twice
Round 3: (kfb, k8, kfb) twice
Round 4: (kfb, p10, kfb) twice
Round 5: k

Repeat rounds 4 and 5, increasing the number of stitches between the kfbs by two each increase round (so round 6 would have k12 between them) until there are a total of 64 stitches, 32 for the instep, 32 for the sole. On the following round, k16, m1, k 32, m1, k to the end of the round. There are now 66 sts., with 33 on the instep and 33 for the sole. Knit 3 rounds with no increases.

Begin pattern:

Round 1: with A, (sl 3, k1, dpst, k1) 5 times, sl 3; k1, (sl 1, k1) to the end of the round
Round 2: with A, k1, (sl 1, k5) 5 times, sl 1, k1; k1, (sl 1, k1) to the end of the round
Round 3: with MC, (k3, sl 3) 5 times, k3; sl 1 (k1, sl 1) to the end of the round
Round 4: with MC, k4, (sl 1, k5) 4 times, sl 1, k4; sl 1 (k1, sl 1) to the end of the round Round 5: with MC, k4, (sl 1, k5) 4 times, sl 1, k4; k to the end of the round
Round 6: with MC, k
Round 7: with B, (k1, dpst, k1, sl 3) 5 times, k1, dpst, k1; sl 1, (k1, sl 1) to the end of the round
Round 8: with B, k4, (sl 1, k5) 4 times, sl 1, k4; sl 1, (k1, sl 1) to the end of the round
Round 9: with MC, (sl 3, k3) 5 times, sl 3; k1, (sl 1, k1) to the end of the round
Round 10: with MC, k1, (sl 1, k5) 5 times, sl 1, k1; k1, (sl 1, k1) to the end of the round
Round 11: with MC, k1, (sl 1, k5) 5 times, sl 1, k1; k to the end of the round
Round 12: with MC, k

Repeat these 12 rows until foot measures 2” less than final desired length, ending with row 4, 5, 10 or 11.

Begin short-row heel: (done with MC)
(worked back and forth over half the stitches)
Round 1: Work in pattern for 33sts (note the round number); k 32, w&t
Row 2: p31, w&t
Row 3: k30, w&t

Repeat rows 2 and 3, decreasing the number of stitches worked before the wrap by 1 on each row until there are 9 stitches left unwrapped, ending with a wrong side row.
Row 4: k9, knit next stitch along with its wrap, wrap next stitch (there are now two wraps on this stitch), turn
Row 5: p10, purl next stitch along with its wrap, w&t
Row 6: k11, knit next stitch with both its wraps, w&t
Row 7: p12, purl next stitch with both its wraps, w&t

Repeat rows 6 and 7, increasing the number of stitches worked before the wrap by 1 on each row, until all heel stitches and wraps have been worked, ending with a wrong side row and turning, then knitting across the heel to the start of the round.

You still have 66 sts.

Begin leg pattern on the round following the round you noted when you started the heel.

Round 1: with A, (sl 3, k1, dpst, k1) 11 times
Round 2: with A, k1, (sl 1, k5) 10 times, sl 1, k4
Round 3: with MC, (k3, sl 3) 11 times
Round 4: with MC, k4, (sl 1, k5) 10 times, sl 1, k1
Round 5: with MC, k4, (sl 1, k5) 10 times, sl 1, k1
Round 6: with MC, k
Round 7: with B, (k1, dpst, k1, sl 3) 11 times
Round 8: with B, k4, (sl 1, k5) 10 times, sl 1, k1
Round 9: with MC, (sl 3, k3) 11 times
Round 10: with MC, k1, (sl 1, k5) 10 times, sl 1, k4
Round 11: with MC, k1, (sl 1, k5) 10 times, sl 1, k4
Round 12: with MC, k

Repeat these 12 rows 5 more times, for a total of 6 runs through the pattern on the leg. Tie off colors A and B as you finish with them on the last run-through of the pattern.

With MC, (Ktbl, p) to the end of the round. Continue until ribbing measures 1”. Bind off loosely.

Weave in loose ends.

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