Monday, March 21, 2011

The Invisible Aviatrix: a how to on short rows

I have absolutely fallen in love with the little Aviatrix baby hat by Justine Turner. So much so that this tutorial was made from hat #4 that I've knit. The hat is geniusly constructed utilizing short rows to shape the head and a cute miter for the straps.

One thing I found though, while working out the short rows, was that while it didn't really matter how you worked off the wraps when using a variegated yarn, if you used yarn that was a solid color, the short rows were really obvious if not worked a certain way.

The following tutorial and videos were how I worked my short rows (specifically the wraps on the wrong side) to be as invisible as possible.

Working off the wraps on the right side short rows was simple enough. Slip the stitch purlwise, fully unwrap the stitch, slip the stitch and wrap back onto the left needle and k2tog (the stitch and the wrap).

In the video I work 1 wrapped stitch, 1k, 1 wrapped, 1k

Working off the wraps on the wrong side short rows is a bit more complicated.

First, work to the first wrapped stitch. Slip the wrapped stitch knitwise.

Fully unwrap the stitch

Pass both the stitch and the wrap back onto the left needle

Purl two together (the stitch and the wrap) through the back loop

In the video I work 1p, 1 wrapped stitch, 1p, 1 wrapped st, and 1p

Lastly, you have 2 short rows per section that are worked in knit stitch on the wrong side. Here's how I worked those.

Slip the wrapped stitch knitwise and fully unwrap the stitch like before.

Insert the left needle into the stitch and wrap as if to slip back but instead, yo the right needle

Work the stitch and wrap over the yo and off the needle

In the video I work 1 wrapped stitch, 1k, 1wrapped stitch, 1k

Update: I forgot to show you what this looks like in the end. Here's the side of the hat that had the ws wraps. It's not complete but you get the idea. And here's a linky to my Rav project page where you can find the other Aviatrix's I've made.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A pair of Leyburns and a Baby

So I've finished up my second pair of socks for the HyenaCart sock swap. The pattern is Leyburn Socks by MintyFresh. The yarn is Stile from Lana Grossa in color 8012 (blue/purple/grey) purchased at The Loopy Ewe.

My notes: Started on March 6th, 2011 and finished March 19th, 2011. Worked two at a time magic looped on my 2.5mm bamboo hiyas. Judy's magic cast on with 11st on top and bottom (22 total). Increased 4 st every other round and then 4 st every 3rd round towards the end because the toe wasn't turning out long enough. I increased to 31st on the instep and 29st on the sole because my gauge was a little under. I did the foot increases as written and the heel was done across the 29st as though I had 25. I did the heel inc as written also. By the end I had more stitches total but still the right number for the lattice pattern. The leg was worked for about two inches and then cuff and Jeny's super stretchy bind off.

I am absolutely in love with this pattern! It kept me interested the whole way through because each finished lattice was a mini instant grat moment and the yarn kept things interesting because I was always excited to see what color was going to carry over. The lattice pattern was uber easy to memorize so I could take the project with me anywhere.

...and now for the baby :D

I was knitting these socks with a fair amount of urgency because our newest little one was due on the 23rd. I was fully prepared (and actually looking forward) to having our baby after his due date. With only the cuffs to go... B had other ideas.

On March 14th (only two days after my birthday mind you) I was woken up at 4:30am by a fairly strong contraction. After going to the bathroom (yay baby who's dropped) and crawling back in couch (I'd been sleeping there since the snoring started... yet another joy of pregnancy) I had another contraction and realised that they were definitely not braxton hicks. After getting over the, 'No, I can't have him yet, it's too close to my birthday' thoughts, I woke the hubby and told him to get ready because today was the day. After he shaved, showered, and packed and I got my stuff gathered up, we got the kids up, told them what was going on and took them to the neighbor's where they quickly fell back asleep. Contractions were 5 minutes apart exactly while we were driving and I was really thinking that if they got much harder (which I was expecting them to) I was really going to want drugs. We arrived at the hospital around 6:40am and were given a room. We arrived in the middle of a shift change so the nurses were sparse. After sitting around for a while and getting through some pretty gnarly contractions, the nurse finally came in to check on everything. After hooking me up to the heart rate and contraction monitors she checked how far along we were and to both our surprise I was already 8cm dilated and pretty much fully effaced. In a slight panic she called for a bit more assistance, reminded me to keep breathing through contractions and to not push. The doctor moseyed in around 7:40, tried to lay me back in the prone position o_O which I was not having and I'm pretty sure that frustrated him a bit, broke the sack of water, told me I could push on the next contraction, so I did, and in that one push, Baby B's head was eased out and when I the nurse helped me pull one leg up (cause it wasn't going to happen in prone... good grief) the shoulders came out and B was born before 7:45am (yeah, it really was cut that close).

We've been home and happy for about a week now and life is adjusting quite well. Lulu is absolutely enamoured with B and the older two are enjoying him too. For now he had an amazingly chill disposition which I pray will continue on and not morph into a devious and mischievous personality :lol:

Friday, February 25, 2011

Pink Cheeks

It's finally done! My project that started at Stitches West last year has finally come to a finish. I purchased this roving from Miss Babs' booth last year with big plans for it.

100% BFL in Pink Cheeks

This was partially spun on a drop spindle but when I got Gretchen (yup, that's what I named my wheel) I transferred the singles to her bobbin and finished the spinning on her.

The it was on to plying. I had planned on plying this with pearls strung on cobweb merino but the merino proved to be too weak so that go scrapped. The I tried with crochet cotton but the amount of time it was taking vs. the results just weren't proving beneficial. So I spun up 100 yards of beaded yarn that will turn into some sort of airy scarf probably and the rest turned into this:

About 390yds of fingering weight yarn that is getting sent off to GnaS (from Ravelry) to be made into a Clapotis like scarf.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Ruby Red Socks

Fresh off the needles and not even blocked yet... though I'm not sure if I'm going to or not... are a pair of socks made for a swap over on the Hyena Cart forum. They totally remind me of ruby red slippers!

All in all I really enjoyed this pattern. But on a funny side note... once I got to where I would normally start toe decreases on my own foot, my brain decided it wanted to stop making the socks and went on shut down for a while. I had to pick-up another project for a bit before I was able to jump back in and finish these. I have a small amount of yarn left so I'm really happy I didn't push the leg to 2 full repeats.

The stats: made from fingering weight yarn dyed by EcoWrapz in the color Ruby Red. The pattern is Belle Vitini (rav link) by Kristi Geraci. Knit two at a time and I had to use two 29" Susan Bates Quicksilvers because apparently Addi doesn't make size 2.25mm needles. Made in size medium to fit a size US women's 9.5 foot. The leg was made with 1.5 repeats of the pattern and the heel flap was knit changing the ws to k instead of p like the chart suggests.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sock Monkeying Around

So my latest craft endeavor has been to get some presents whipped up for the up-coming babies that are entering the world here soon.

A friend had a little treasure tucked away in her fabric bins that I ganked from her:


Yup, those are totally what you think they are! Three pairs of original Nelson Rockford red heeled socks... aka sock monkey socks.

Now, I've never attempted to make a sock monkey and I think that if I hadn't run into this specific item, I probably would never have tried. But I had to with these (that or sell them on ebay :lol:)

So after a little more research (the instructions are a bit on the vague side as far as limb placement -- the tail goes above the white butt, not in the middle), I got to sewing and stuffing and stitching and accessorizing and after a late night (love you Michelle!) and a couple more hours tacked on to that I now have three finished sock monkeys ready to go to three soon to be born boys! (accessory patterns are below)


Patterns for Accessories:

ch = chain
st = stitch
dc = double crochet
fphdc = front post half double crochet
bphdc = back post half double crochet

Hat: made with worsted weight scrap yarn and an H hook.

rnd 1: ch3. first two ch count as first dc. 9 dc in the third ch from hook and join to first dc (10 dc total)
rnd 2: ch2. dc in same st. 2dc in each st. join (20 dc total)
rnd 3: ch2. dc in same st. dc in next st. *2dc in next st. dc in next st.* repeat from *to* till end. join (30 dc total)
rnd 4: ch2. dc in every st. join (30 dc total)
rnd 5: ch2. fphdc around next st. *bphdc. fphdc* repeat from *to* to end. join. cut and weave in ends.

note: this also makes for a cute monkey beret if you let the ribbing tuck under instead of pull it around the monkey's head. Also, pom-poms would be a great touch but I decided against it for these because of the fact they are for newborns.

Scarf: made with worsted weight scrap yarn and an H hook.

ch 52. dc in back loop of 3rd ch from hook and each ch after. cut and weave in ends.

note: the green scarf is actually done in hdc because I didn't have enough yarn to make the full dc scarf. Also, a little fringe would be cute here if you like!

Friday, January 14, 2011

January thus far...

I've been working on a pair of socks that I'm making for a trade. The socks are made from Handmaiden Casbah (not Casbah Sock) in colorway Midnight and the pattern is Yarnissima's Firestarter.

Progress pic modeled on my hand. You can see the colorway beautifully here.

And the FO. There really are two but I can only find one of my blockers :lol:

Also, I found these at my local thrift store. Pretty much an entire set was included (missing one letter and one square) and the kids are getting a kick out of it.

But the real reason I purchased them was so I could use them for things like this:

Yup... mama got herself some blocking mats. I think my next investment is going to be blocking wires :blush:

BTW: the shawlette is hand spun and knit. Spun from chasing rainbows merino/bombyx in colorway Opal and knit with the Argus Shawlette pattern by Wendy D. Johnson

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Simple Pleasure #5

A PB&J sandwich with extra peanut butter and extra jelly.


I'd forgotten how good these can taste. After having 100 too many throughout my grade school life, I denounced PB&J sandwiches for what I thought to be forever. Then the kids came and PB&J was back on the menu. Though I usually did not partake in their sandwich lunches (I would make myself a salad or something) they seemed to enjoy it so much. So one day I caved and had myself my first PB&J in probably 5 years... and it was glorious! Absence truly made my mouth grow fonder :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My Christmas Knitting

The Christmas Knitting

During the loooong break, I was able to get a good amount of crafting done. As a tradition I started a couple years back, I make one knitted-ish item for each of the kids that goes in their stocking. This year, I asked the older two what they wanted.

My oldest told me she wanted a long pair of socks that kept her feet warm. That surprised me because she is so much like me in that her shoes and socks are the first things to come off where ever she goes. In fact, we were sitting in church today and about 5 minutes into it she asked if she could take her shoes off. Anyway, I happened to have this very loud yarn in my stash and though I didn't have a specific project in mind when I received it, it turned out perfect for my daughter who's top three favorite colors are pink, orange, and purple. The yarn is Happy Feet in colorway #9 and the pattern is the Mother's Day Trio Socks by Phyll Lagerman (who so so graciously gifted the pattern to me). Here's a linky to my Ravelry project page for more info.

turned into these:

Next up was a pair of mitts for Bubba. Bub has loved mitts since he learned how to put them on so I knew what project I wanted to work on for him. I had asked him what superhero he wanted on his mitts and he went off and drew me this picture:

He told me it is the symbol for Licorice Man, a superhero that he and my mother had invented a couple months ago. So from the picture came these. The yarn is mainly cascade 220 and the pattern came from the Basic Top Down Mittens by Patti Pierce Stone. Here's the project page for the mitts.

And lastly comes Loo's longies. She's been needing a nice thick pair of longies because it's starting to get cooler over here (if you count 50's as cooler :lol:). So, made from Araucania Nature Wool Chunky and the hand spun from my previous andean plying experiment came Loo's Christmas longies. Here's the Ravelry page for the longies.

Done up in my own Tunisian crochet pattern: