27 Oct

In progress: Jester slippers in Noro Kureyon

Still in progress: Re-felted slipper

I’m working on a pair of slippers from the new issue, 05, of CRAFT Magazine. In the mag, they are called Easy House Slippers, and they are made with two colors of yarn. But I’m taking the opportunity to use a few skeins of Noro Kureyon that have been frustrating me for a long time. None of my other plans for them have worked out, and I have been disappointed with the colorway (102), which is just terribly garish. For slippers, it should be fine. Loud, but fine. I am using 2 skeins, and alternating, so each square is recognizably a different color combination. Read on past the jump for more details and photos.

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23 Aug

“Baby Eleanor,” finished!

I’m a bit late getting this onto the blog. The photos have been up on Flickr for a couple of days now. Anyway, I finally finished the Baby Eleanor — a smaller version of the Lady Eleanor wrap from Scarf Style. It took much longer than necessary because I just don’t enjoy entrelac that much, so I would go a couple of months at a time without working on it. The results are nice, though. I’m glad I made it, but I won’t knit another one. 🙂

Technical info:

  • Yarn: Patons SWS Natural Geranium. Including tassels, used about 4 1/3 skeins… I think. Could have been 5 1/3.
  • Needles: US 9.
  • Dimensions, blocked: 63 inches long without tassels, 79 inches long with tassels, 10 inches wide.

More photos of the Baby Eleanor here.

My next project will be this gorgeous Gretel hat, which I’m already halfway finished with.

02 May

Project finished

…and not a moment too soon. The lace pictured here is from a project I finished early Monday morning, to be given as a birthday gift on Monday evening. (And then a muscle in my shoulder cramped up, and I could barely turn my head to the right for the rest of the day.) I would show you the whole thing, but it’s a pattern I created myself, and I think I will submit it to one of the knitzines. Which means I’m not allowed to post pictures of the item yet. So here’s something to mark its completion, at least.

In other knitting stuff, I’m still working on the “Baby Eleanor” scarf; it’s almost done, but I had to set it aside to work on this other project. I also have some gorgeous purple sock yarn I want to make something with — not socks. I have some ideas floating around and I’ll see where they go.

24 Apr

Kool-Aid, bronchitis, knitting, Edward Scissorhands

Well, I don’t post often enough in the best of times, but dealing with 3 weeks of bronchitis made me a lot less motivated to post. You know how it is — you do the minimum you have to do, and then your brain just shuts down for a while. And now that I am well, I keep feeling as if nothing I want to post about is important enough to post after such a long posting drought.

So, I decided I’d just post about some random stuff to get back into the posting mode.
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13 Mar

Pattern: Whirlwind (neckwarmer)

Another pattern, so soon? This is a neckwarmer pattern that I wrote last year. It’s knitted in a very easy spiral rib stitch, and there are only 23 rows so it is a very quick knit — a whirlwind knit, if I do say so myself. 🙂

I was going to submit this to a knit zine, but never got around to it — I wanted to get some better pictures first. And now it’s just about Spring again, so I figured I might as well post the pictures (though I wanted better ones) and pattern now, or else I’d have to hold on to it until Winter again. So the zine’s loss is your gain!

Here are a few more pics (click on each to see the larger photos at Flickr):
Whirlwind neckwarmer, unfolded Whirlwind neckwarmer, folded Whirlwind neckwarmer Close-up of new pattern

Download the Whirlwind neckwarmer pattern here.

If you knit this, I would love to link to pictures of your version! Please send me a URL and I will link to you.

This pattern is Worthware — that means, if you like it, please send what you think it’s worth via the PayPal button here. I hope you think it’s worth something. 🙂 Thanks for looking at my pattern!

11 Mar

Pattern: Detlef-13 (Felted laptop sleeve for 13-inch laptop)

Photo by litlnemo.

I finished the laptop sleeve this week! It came out quite nice; I think it will do a great job of keeping my Macbook from getting scratched! Here is the pattern.

It takes three skeins of Cascade 220 (two main color, one contrast color), and is knitted in the round, double-stranded. It has a zipper around three sides, so you can open it up all the way instead of having to slide the laptop in and out of a pouch-type bag. It’s a quick knit and lots of fun.

Here are a couple more pics (click on each to see the larger photos at Flickr):
Finished laptop sleeve and kitten paws Unzipped laptop sleeve and kitten

If you make one of these, please send me a picture! I’ll post a link to it here. 🙂

(Wondering why the pattern is “Detlef-13”? Well, the original name turned out to already be taken, by a German maker of laptop sleeves. And Detlef, a German name, is “felted” backwards.)

09 Mar

Blurry laptop sleeve progress

Sorry for the blur. This is the felted laptop sleeve for my Macbook, currently drying. It felted down to the right size, so my math worked! I think it could probably felt slightly more, because I can still see the vertical “grain” where the stitches were, but I can live with this.

The top is held together with safety pins so that it will dry tall enough. The rubber bands are not part of this project — they are on the safety pins for another project, so I left them there.

I will probably sew a zipper around 3 sides of this, instead of just leaving the opening at the top. I have a long zipper with a nice metal zip on it already. Hey! I should get an apple-shaped or computer shaped charm to put on the zipper pull. 🙂

That is NOT the Macbook in there. It’s two books that were about Macbook size, sealed in a plastic bag. I did not want to risk my Macbook getting moisture damage!

One note, the slight reddish bit in some of the apples is because I was weaving the strands in while I was knitting. This turned out to be a bad idea because now you can see the red yarn through the white. So if you knit one of these, don’t do that. :/ Maybe I will embroider something over those later, like initials or something. I don’t know.

20 Feb

Laptop sleeve in progress

Back to some knitting content — this is going to be a felted laptop sleeve for my Macbook. Note the repeating apple pattern. 😉 The tension on the apples is pretty bad but the felting should fix it. The swatch worked out pretty well. I might have to cut the strands to get it to even out when it felts, but it should be OK, based on how the swatch behaved. (I had to cut the strands on that as well but it was fine. And I could always line the sleeve.) Current plan is for it to zip on 3 sides. I still need to knit more of the plain red at the top, and I am a bit worried I might run out of yarn.

14 Feb

Sweater with, um, interesting detail

This sweater is from the December 2006 issue of the UK magazine Simply Knitting. It is a nice enough sweater from the front, and to 99.9% of humanity, I am sure. However, some of the rest of us have been corrupted by a certain Web in-joke that means we will never, ever, be able to look at this sweater without laughing. (Hint: look at the detailing toward the bottom.)

If you don’t know the in-joke, don’t ask. Trust me, you don’t want to know.

This has not been altered in any way. Though I admit it would have been an easy creation in Photoshop. Nope, this is the way the sweater actually looks in the magazine.

19 Jan

The Three Hour Sweater Project: almost completed

I’ve been working on a Three Hour Sweater, from this 1930s vintage pattern, found via this knitalong at Craftster. It promises “three hours” because it’s made on big needles (US 15/10mm for the bulk of it). But it’s not bulky yarn. It’s worsted, probably light worsted at that. It’s only just over 100 stitches around at the chest — usually if you are knitting something that is 100 stitches on worsted yarn, it’s a hat, not a sweater! The pattern sounded kind of unbelievable. But a couple of people tried it and said that it not only works, it runs a bit large! So I thought, what the heck, I’d try it.

The pattern called for a yarn that is no longer made, Germantown Zephyr. Supposedly Cascade 220 is an exact modern equivalent. I had a bag full of vintage yarn I got at Goodwill, and I figured I’d try it for the pattern. It wasn’t until I was already swatching that I noticed that the yarn was Brunswick Germantown, which is pretty much the same thing as Germantown Zephyr or Cascade 220. Clearly I was fated to knit this sweater. The color is “Tornado,” a gray blue.

So here it is, 8 days after I started. I didn’t keep track of the time I spent, but it was way more than 3 hours. I think 12 is closer to it. I’m a slow knitter and also read while knitting, which doesn’t help. It’s not finished yet — I need to crochet edging around the neckline, and probably rip out the sleeves and put them back in as I don’t think I did it right. But it’s pretty close to finished and you can see what it looks like.

It does run large, which is pretty darned shocking for a sweater made up of so few stitches, and less than 600 yards of yarn. It’s very comfortable, but awfully loose around the waist.

I might make another, and if I do I will probably make it a bit smaller and shape the sides. And I will stand up straighter when photographing it.

02 Jan

Knitpost: Boye needles with KnitPicks cables

I have a couple of sets of interchangeable circular knitting needles — the Denise set and the Boye Needlemaster set. Neither is perfect. The Denise needles are plastic which is not my preference (usually), and the Boye set has great colorful metal needles but possibly the worst cables ever, stiff cables with bumpy joins. Then along came KnitPicks with a new kind of interchangeable needles, the Options set, which are slick and great to knit with, and the cables are perfect. But. I don’t want to buy another set of interchangeable needles for $60. And the KnitPicks cables aren’t compatible with the Boye needles, even though they are designed similarly.

The problem has been solved. Apparently you just have to go to a gunsmith, who can retap the Boye needles and make them fit the KnitPicks cables. On the other hand, for $3.75 per tip, you might as well buy the KnitPicks needles, I think. But if you know someone who can do this fix for free, or if you like the Boye needle surface much more than the KnitPicks one, it would be worth it. Now the question is — do I know anyone with the equipment and skill to do this for me? 😉

21 Dec

Pattern: 2 Hour Santa Hat (with cheap yarn!), adult and baby sizes

I was thinking about making a Santa hat. Didn’t have the right yarn on hand, didn’t have time to go to the yarn shop. I wanted bulky yarn, with something that would make a nice woolly white part.

I was idly walking down the yarn aisle at Fred Meyer last night, where they generally only have icky yarn like Red Heart. Then something caught my eye. Red Heart, no less. Light and Lofty, a yarn that usually looks UG-LEE, but in the color “Puff”… well, it should have said “Santa Hat” all over it. It is fuzzy and woolly (in the 100% acrylic sense) and looks exactly like the white trim on a Santa hat. (I guess I will also use it to make bunny tails and such on some knitted bunnies I have planned.)

So then I needed a bulky red yarn that would not be as fuzzy and woolly looking as the Light and Lofty. There is very little to choose from at Fred Meyer, but the Lion Brand Homespun in Candy Apple was the perfect red, and seemed as if it would be a tolerable texture (though a little more textured than I wanted). So I bought them both and later that evening I had a hat! So here’s the pattern if you want to make a last minute Santa Hat too. (If you want to make the baby version, read on — it’s after the adult one.)

(Edited in Nov. 2007 to add some important notes — READ THESE!)

Important note: There are two methods included here — the quick and dirty triangle shape which takes no thought whatsoever, and makes a right-triangle shaped hat (the Adult pattern), and the more normal hat with evenly distributed decreases which requires one to count a bit (the Baby pattern). You can knit either hat for either size — just change the number of cast-on stitches. I recommend the Baby hat method, even for adults, as it makes a nicer shape. But the Adult hat is slightly faster.

Gauge note: The gauge given here, 2.5 stitches/inch, is using the Light and Lofty yarn around the brim. The Homespun gauge will probably be smaller, but in the hats I made, it didn’t matter.

Yardage note: I don’t know exact yardage, but it was very little. You should be able to make several hats from a skein of Light and Lofty, and at least a couple if not more from a skein of Homespun.

Size note: To make a hat for toddler or child size, you will have to extrapolate, as the baby size is designed for the smallest babies. Some folks have found that the baby hat comes out fairly small, so add some stitches to make this for larger babies, toddlers, etc.


  • 1 skein Red Heart Light & Lofty, “Puff” (you actually need much less than a full skein.)
  • 1 skein Lion Brand Homespun, “Candy Apple” (much less needed)
  • US 11 straight needles
  • Yarn needle
  • Pompom maker (or just use cardboard like I do)

The gauge is really hard to tell with the L&L; I just winged it and it turned out OK. Looks as if I was getting about 2.5 stitches/inch. The Homespun gauge is smaller but it didn’t seem to matter.

Cast on 44 stitches in the white yarn.
K all (garter stitch) for 1.5 – 2 inches, whichever you prefer.
Change to red yarn.
Knit stocking stitch until the cap is 4″ tall.

* K1, SSK, K until 3 sts left, K 2 together, K1
P all
Repeat from * until you have decreased to 12 sts.
Break yarn, leaving about an 18″ tail, then pull the leftover yarn through the last stitches to make the tip of the hat. Sew up the seam down the back of the hat.

Make a pompom with the white yarn and attach it to the top of the hat.

Voila! Santa’s hat!

Baby version of the Santa hat

A note about the hat: by doing the decreases this way you end up with a hat that is a right triangle. This means that the hat is longer in the back. For a Santa hat that looks just fine. But if you want it to be more normal-shaped you just put the decreases all the way around instead of on the edge. The picture to the left is the baby version of the hat, which uses this method.

Baby Santa hat (Same materials used):

CO 32 sts
K all (garter stitch) for 1.5 – 2 inches, whichever you prefer.
Change to red yarn.
Knit stocking stitch until the cap is 4″ tall.
*K2, K2tog, repeat from * to the end of the row. (24 sts remain.)
P all.
K all.
P all.
K all.
P all.
*K1, K2tog, repeat from * to the end of the row. (16 sts remain.)
P all.
K all.
P all.
*K2tog, repeat from * to the end of the row. (8 sts remain.)
P all.
K all. (You can keep on in stocking stitch for as many rows as you like to make a floppy point,or just stop here.)

Break yarn, leaving about an 18″ tail, then pull the leftover yarn through the last stitches to make the tip of the hat. Sew up the seam down the back of the hat.

Make a pompom with the white yarn and attach it to the top of the hat.

Voila! Santa baby!

If you make one of these please send me the URL to your pictures so I can link to you here! And MERRY CHRISTMAS!

16 Dec

Not really a snowman sweater

For the stranded colorwork knitalong (as mentioned previously): this is my first progress post. This is basically the Madison’s Hat pattern, only I used worsted weight yarn this time (cast on 96 stitches) and made up a new color chart so I could try knitting with more than two colors. I like it so far. It’s deep red, deep blue, and gold.

Of course, I could just decide to make a sweater for the snowman after all. 😉

09 Dec

On sending a pattern out into the world

I can’t even begin to tell you how thrilled it makes me to see that someone has knitted one of my patterns. This version of the Madison’s Hat, by geetargeek makes me very happy indeed. Especially because it’s one of my favorite color combinations. (I just might have to make one like it!) But part of the coolness of it all is that I’m never really sure the pattern will work until I see someone besides me knit it. So when I see it happen it’s a combination of joy and vast relief.

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