Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Why you should read the pattern

This is a good example of why you should always just double check the pattern even if you think you know what it is:

Doesn't the bear's head look a little small? I didn't notice until I sewed him up that it looked small. I thought I remembered the pattern, so I didn't bother finding it in the mix of all my other patterns, but I guess I forgot how many rows to do to make the head. Silly me. Once I realized it, it was much too late to do anything about it... so I gave him a turtle neck and figured 'oh well'. 
And it's not sooo horrible once he has the scarf on. Probably I will be the only one who notices. At least I hope the little african kid doesn't notice. Wouldn't that be throwing sand in his eyes? Here's your bear and it's totally flawed! 

But I FINALLY got that yarn I ordered online and now I can continue with the sweater. phew. Only I wanted to finish the bear first. So, by later tonight I should be back to the sweater. Soon the sleeve will be done and only one more sleeve and then the finishing. :) (although I don't really like finishing.)

Saturday, 26 January 2008

When you don't have the right yarn

I've got mountains of yarn... but not the right kind! Isn't that the worst situation to be in, ever!? Okay. Within the scheme of things. We aren't talking the same level as terminal illness or a bad hair day horrible thing, but not having the right yarn really is annoying. I WANT to work on that sweater, but I ran out of blue. I even ordered more online last weekend. It still isn't here. I waited patiently all week, but nothing. nada. nil. zilch. zip. you get the picture.

So, I've had to start something else. I couldn't watch tv without something occupying my hands. Better knitting needles than popcorn. ha! So, I'm going to try and make another mother bear teddy before the blue yarn comes. I think I should be able to. They don't take super long.
Even better! I found out today that the mother bear people will be at a knitting/crochet convention in Santa Clara, so I can drop off the bear directly to them. Wow. Fun! If I'd known about the convention before all of the good classes fill up, maybe I could have gone to a seminar/event even. I really have been wanting to learn how to knit socks. I've just put it off, always figuring I could follow a pattern one day. 
I guess that day still hasn't come...

Monday, 21 January 2008

minor crafts

So, I totally forgot these even existed until I saw them in my cupboard this morning. They're my signature half mittens, half gloves, vulcan approved apparel. That's what happens when you live in California... You forget about the winter things you make. Oops. 

Craft #4 - Mittens and hat

I had so much left over yarn from that sweater I made for my nephew that I made 2 hats (that was partially because the first one I made was WAY too big for a 1yr old's head, so that one went to my sister in law (same thing happened last year too!) and then a 2nd one got made that was smaller and more appropriately sized) and I still had enough to make these mittens for myself. 
I love these mitten type things. Half glove and half mitts, you get the best of both worlds. Warmer than gloves, but more mobility than in mittens. 
I made the pattern up myself, by modifying a mitten pattern I'd made a zillion times before. I like the white design I randomly came up with too.

Back to the sweater. After the frogging, things went okay. I'm more than half done the first sleeve. My biggest problem is going to be the yarn! Ah. I had to order more online, which was a little bit of a hassle. I couldn't buy it in a yarn shop down here cause it's Canadian yarn. It's called 'canadiana' for heavens sake. But at least buying it online was easy enough. Now I just hope it gets here soon! 

Friday, 18 January 2008

Frogging & crafts of 2007

Is frogging really the right term? Ripping out? Taking back? Whatever the term is for "I've made a mistake and now I have to undo what I've knit and redo it", I hate doing it and this is what I had to do this morning. Frogging = horrible.
I had to take out about 4 rows. But it's 4 rows of about 100 stitches. Not as bad as it could be, but still it isn't ideal. I hate having to pick up stitches after ripping. I'm always worried that I'm going to drop a stitch somewhere and not notice until it's too late. 
The worst part of the whole thing? I wasn't ripping because I made a mistake in following the instructions. No I was being overly careful about making sure to increase in the right stitch and not miss anything (like I sometimes have the tendency to do). No instead, I had to rip because I forgot to do the two plain blue knit/purl row between the rose patterned rows. I just forgot and ruined the pattern. 

That's what I get for knitting while watching Pushing Daisies. Great show. I love Chuck & all her dresses. Forgive the pie maker already. He didn't mean it. See, and that's how I forgot to do those two blue rows. 

So, since I think that blog posts are so much more interesting with pictures, and yet there isn't much to show on the sleeves I'm working on, I thought I'd review some of the crafts from last year. 

Craft #1: Good morning, morning glory

For the past about 4 years my go to gift for any of my friends getting married is a cross stitch. I've done five, and since I just heard that someone else got engaged, I might have another one of these on the horizon. They've all been different, and other than one, they've all been partially home designed. By that I mean I take a few different patterns and mix them together to get the end creation.
This one was for one of my University friends. I don't know why the Morning Glories said "Dan" to me, but when I saw them it just spoke to me. Then it was a matter of taking out a few of the blooms and adding in the lettering (it took 6 attempts to get the right font) I think he and his wife like it.

Craft #2: Mother bear Project bears

I got this book out of the library (love the library) last year called something like "knitting for peace". I thought to myself: "I like knitting, I like peace." Its a good book that has lots of different options for what you can knit and then organizations that you can donate your work to. This one was the one that caught my eye.  It sends the bears that you knit to orphan kids in Africa. How can you say no to that? These are the 10 bears that I knit up.
I had some girl bears with skirts and one with a flower in her hair. Not that you can tell in these pictures, but I used these bears to practice techniques like simple cables and patterning. I think my favourite was a little soccer player. He had cleats and a number on the back of his jersey even. So cute.

Craft #3: Snowflake sweater for my nephew

I made this snowflake sweater for my one and only incredibly cute nephew. It was a big accomplishment for me because it was
 the first real sweater I ever finished and it was made for the majority on circular needles. It wasn't as hard as I'd feared. The worst part was when I gave it to him and it didn't fit over his head and I was at my parent's so I didn't have any extra yarn. I had to take apart the matching hat so I could re-knit the neckline looser. But in the end it all worked out. It was a bit big, but hopefully he'll grow into it soon.

Those were the major crafts from 2007, although some aren't shown. i.e. the Ravenclaw scarf I made for a friend and then the matching one I made for myself cause I liked his so much. Also, there were a few baby blankets in there too. (Go to gift when a friend has a baby.) I now I think that's about it. And it's time for me to run.
But before I go,  just because I mentioned it last time, the car has been fixed. $800 later, Sue (the car) is okay and has been driving well, but I am sort of considering selling her. We'll see.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

There's good news, and then there's bad news...

Isn't that always the way? There's good news and then there's bad news...
The good news first: I finished the back of the sweater!!

See! Looks pretty good to me. Not too "flashy" which is the main thing I was worried about. I finished it on Sunday night and I've already started on one of the sleeves. (although to be honest, I haven't gotten very far) Hopefully those won't take all that long.
The bad news? Well, I'd be way more excited about finishing the back of the sweater if... well, if my car hadn't died. Yup. With billowing smoke and everything coming from the engine. It was a sight to be seen. Well, for someone else. For me it was pretty horrid. So I pretty much freaked out, called my best friend saying "WTF mate! What to I do?" As I'm on the phone with her, some woman pulls up and in a condescending voice says: 'you really shouldn't be stopped here.' What? The billowing smoke coming from my engine and my four way flashers on wasn't a hint that there is something wrong with my car? Hunh.
Well, good news about the bad new: it was just a malfunctioning thermostat and it's not like I need a new engine or something drastic. bad news about the bad news: it's going to cost ~$800 to replace/fix. So all said and done, when I finally got home (the car did start about 10 minutes later once i let it cool down and luckily I was only 1 minute from home so I coasted all the way back) I finished up the sweater while watching the latest Amazing Race episode, but with all said and done, that was a little anti-climatic.
But there it is anyways. I think it's shaping up quite nicely.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

What it's supposed to look like

So, If I was an amazing knitter (which I'm not) and if I was using these colours and these buttons (which I'm not), this is what the sweater I'm making for my mom would look like. Isn't it going to be a nice sweater? I think I'm doing a pretty good job on the knitting part, but it still probably won't look this good once I'm done.

As you can see from the last post I'm not using these colours either. My mom and I chose to substitute blue for the green, and for a while I was a little worried that it was going to be too 'flashy'. Here somehow the darker rose (I refuse to call it pink) blends into the dark green. Well, it doesn't do that with the blue. But now I think it looks pretty good.

I just measured and I'm at 12" along the back, and I only need 13" before I get to decrease.  I'm looking forward to being done the back, but I'm worried the arms are going to be even harder. 

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Front Right

As I promised (to myself), here's the first picture of the sweater for my mom that is my present knitting project.
This piece is the front right part of the cardigan. 

In the original pattern the sweater was green with these pink colours, and although this makes it a little more busy, I think these colours will look pretty good too. I was worried that it was going to be too busy, so thought about making the sleeves just plain blue, but I think it'll look good with the pattern on everything.  

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

First Post

It's New Years, a time for new things, new starts, etc, etc. Why not a blog?
Mostly the reason behind this blog is that so that I can stop sending pictures of all my crafts to people and just post them here. Yes. A craft blog. Mostly knitting, crocheting and needlepoint. 'How old are you?' you might ask. Okay - only 27, but I love my crafts. 'Aren't you too young to knit?' is a question I often get. Nope. I learned at age 6, and have kept going since then. Sometimes I feel a little like I was born in the wrong century, but oh well. That's the way it goes. Can't stop me now.

So, I meant to have a picture for the first post, but it's a no go. It was going to be a pic of the sweater I'm making for my mom for Christmas (yes, the gift will be late, but I didn't start it until Dec 20 so I need a slight extension on the due date), but my camera is in my luggage that didn't make the connection in Chicago. Once I have it, the picture will come.