March 29, 2007

Bag Pattern and SP10

Posted in How To's, knitalong, knitting at 4:57 pm by nephele

I just finished uploading the pattern for the little orange and yellow bag I made. You can download the pdf file here. It’s also linked on the side in the free patterns section. It wouldn’t be hard to modify the pattern for different gauges of yarn. For the garter stitch sections I just used a needle one size smaller than the recommended size on the yarn label. Then for the mesh I went up a couple of sizes – or one size larger than recommended. I’m already making another one using some Rowan 4 ply cotton using smaller needles but more stitches.

Secret pal 10 has started. I’m very excited about this. I’ve been in contact with both my gifter and my giftee. I see from the comments that my first package is on its way to me from the foggy land of England. I sent a package off to my person this week too. I’ve already seen several posts where people have gotten packages already. Some the SP10-ers must have gone out shopping even before the assignments were handed out! I admit, I thought about it – any excuse to buy yarn – but I managed to contain myself. I went shopping the next day. I love the whole playing Santa Claus aspect of this exchange. Of course it works the other way too. I’m like a little kid waiting for Christmas morning. I’m sure I’ll have that package open the second it arrives here.

Speaking of blog projects – slick segue, huh? As soon as I finish this post I’ll be adding another swatch to the Walker Treasury Project page. I’ll be doing many more swatches but this will be the last one in the current Project Spectrum 2.0 colors. April first the colors change to green, pink and yellow. So the next batch of swatches will be in those colors. Don’t be surprised if this blog looks different too. I’m planning to change the theme to one that goes with those new PS 2.0 colors.

Short post, but at least I got 2 in this week.

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March 27, 2007

The Capecho Has Landed

Posted in How To's, knitting at 12:42 pm by nephele

It’s done! See:
capecho4

Okay, I hadn’t sewn the button on yet in this picture but close enough, right?

phoenix said:
Your capecho looks great. I’m dying to see how it looks on the model. I love the fit on the magazine cover, but have seen some people on the web complain about its fit in the real world. Is it knitting up the way you expected?

I saw some of the posts about fit too. I knit this using the instructions for the size small but it came out as a medium. This might be the result of using different yarn but I doubt it. If anything the cashmere was a touch lighter in weight than the wool the pattern called for. I used the same size needle as recommended. I’ve you want to make one I recommend carefully measuring you first finished pentagon. Compare the length of the straight sides to those on the schematic. If your pentagon is coming out large your whole Capecho will be large.

One thing I did to help it along was to ignore the intruction to “make the collar long enough to fit along the pentagons.” Instead, I had the intended owner try it on. I then took a measurement around where I thought the collar should sit. I divided that measurement by seven (the number of pentagons in the first round) and rounded down. I used those numbers to knit the collar. The pentagons were coming out 6″ long on the sides. The collar only allowed about 4.5″ per pentagon. I think that helped the final fit quite a bit. Judge for yourself. Here is the owner of my LYS modeling the finished (except for the button, still) Capecho:
capecho5

I think she’s happy with it and the fit looks okay to me. So, would I knit another one? You know, I think I just…
capecho6

…might.

Emilee said:
OMG, the robot monster is hilarious. When I first saw the swatch in the WTP I thought it looked enough like a bear, but as soon as someone said robot, that’s all I saw. Hilarious. PLEASE PLEASE share with us what you do. My sister needs a robot… something.

-snicker- I’ll be sure and post a chart for the final version. I need to make another pass at it though. It’s not quite there yet.

And speaking of posting patterns…

craftlover said:
The bag is gorgeous!
The colors are very attractive.

Thanks, it came out very sunshiny didn’t it? I can’t take too much credit for the colors though. The shop was selling off left over balls of yarn and they had a grand total of 4 balls of the stuff I used. I bought 3 of them: 2 orange and 1 yellow. I didn’t buy the lavender but that’s only because I didn’t see it at the time. So there you go, color design – just that easy.

dragonmommie said:
I’d love to see a pattern for the mesh bag. I’ve been wanting to make one for ages!

I’m working on it. I should have it up later this week. I might have done it today but I don’t have the bag with me and I need to take some measurements. Besides, this way I may manage to get a second post in this week.

March 22, 2007

It’s almost a … Garment

Posted in How To's, knitting at 4:02 pm by nephele

Wow, I’ve been bad this week. Here it is Thursday already and I’m just writing my first post of the week. Would it be cheating to split this into two posts to keep up with my resolution? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Oh well, I had a couple of 3 post weeks last month. I guess it was inevitable that life would even things out eventually. My only defense is that March is a busy month where I work. Of course for that excuse to fly I’ll have to do better in April. Time will tell.

So, knitting… The garment almost is – a garment, I mean see:
capecho3

The bit on the needles is the collar and the final piece. I did make a couple of slight modifications here. I didn’t like the ‘S’ bend the cable makes in the cast on edge. To eliminate it, I cast on 2 fewer stitches and then increased 2 stitches in the cable area on row 3 (row 5 is the first cable twist). I’ll decrease those two stitches before I bind off as well. The other change I made was to buttonhole. The neckband has an even number of stitches and the pattern uses a one stitch buttonhole. That means that the buttonhole will either be above or bellow the center line. The pattern put it above, I put it bellow. The weight of the garment will pull on this one lonely button a little and it will appear more centered. It’s probably a needlessly fussy detail but what the heck.

I expect to finish this over the weekend. I’ll try and get a picture with someone modelling it.

In other knitting, I made a first pass at the robot swatch:
roboswatch1

It isn’t right but it gives me more ideas to play with. I’ll keep trying.

The weather has been a bit distracting too. Springtime in Northern California, it’s tough to beat. I’ve been wanting to go out and play all week. Maybe I’ll take my knitting to the park – not the cashmere though, that’d be risky. This is what I saw sitting at the bus stop earlier in the week:
marchsky

Bright new leaves between a couple of well established palm trees.

All this great weather got me feeling green and needing to knit up something bright. I picked up some stray sale yarn at my LYS and did this:
springbag1

Now that’s sunshine colors!

Sarah said:

Congrats on the popularity of the pattern! I knew it would be a winner. I’ve been thinking of knitting a robot toy for the little dude at some point (I was thinking of knitting a blanket, but then I was given like 15 blankets at my shower) — do you have any pattern suggestions?

Robot toys? I know I’ve seen some but I’m not sure where. That would actually be a fun thing to design though. Hmm, more ideas… 

Emilee said:

Those are great socks!

I hear you on the blog stats – 85% of my blog’s hits are from the same free pattern I posted in October.

In the end I got 303 hits that day. I guess I’d better keep writing up those patterns. Anyone need a bright little mesh bag? I made that up as I went but I think I took enough notes to write up a pattern. Next post perhaps.

Another thing that caused a jump in my page views was the publishing of the list of Secret Pal 10 participants. Speaking of Secret Pal…

Your UK secret pal said:

Hello Nephele!

I am your secret pal for SP10. I have really enjoyed looking through your blog, and reading your SP10 answers. Wow! what a lot of projects you have on the go. I have really enjoyed reading about your choice of yarns too.

I am busy putting together a package for you… I will leave you a comment or email you when I post it.

Being from the UK, I am not familar with some of the groups and projects you mention, so it is good to learn about them.

I will send more news in your package.

Your secret pal!

Oh boy! I’m a closet Anglophile so this is perfect choice for me. I’m sure I’ll love anything and everything you send. I’ve already started shopping for my secret pal giftee myself. I think this will be a lot of fun.

Next time: a mesh bag pattern and perhaps a finished … garment.

March 15, 2007

Oh, That’s How

Posted in knitting at 12:29 pm by nephele

I now know how to boost my blog hits. Upload a sock pattern then mention it on a sock knitting list. Works like a charm. My previous best day ever was 55 hits. Then the pattern went up and so did my hits. 224 views when I last checked. Now I just need to see someone actually knit them. Hopefully the pattern is clear enough.

Sheila said:

I love your version of Capecho. My LYS owner is knitting in a red-blue and her’s is preceding along. Your sweater is going to be awesome in cashmere! Can’t wait to see the finished product.

Thanks! This cashmere is awesome. It’s probably good that I don’t get to keep it. With the pale color I’d be afraid to wear it much anyway. I just started the first sleave last night so it shouldn’t be too much longer. Of course my ADKD is a factor but the real reason it’s so slow going is that I don’t carry it around to work on. I live in fear of spilling coffee on it or something. That would be bad.

zeph said:

Your capecho looks great so far; looking forward to seeing the finished article. And I agree with you about the teddy bear – definitely a miss! It looks kinda like a mutant owl…

Some else saw an owl too. It really is just off. I’m not sure what I’d do to make it more teddy-ish though. It would almost certainly have to be larger to allow for a more rounded, cuddly shape.

Gretchen said:

I approve the sci-fi motif for kids’ gear! When I was six I demanded (and got) a set of “boy’s” pajamas because they had spaceships and asteroids on them. .

Sarah said:

Cool spider! And yes, I’m a sci-fi fan. Not as much as my husband is, but I can geek out when the mood strikes.

Ingrid said:

Yes and yes; I’m a huge sci-fi fan:) In fact, the only TV I watch these days is Star Trek, alternating between the many different versions of the show (Voyager, Enterprise, The Next Generation, etc.) And Battlestar Galactica. A baby blanket with robots and rocketships would be the coolest thing ever:)

Okay. Looks like it’s time to design a baby blanket or two. I’ve already got some ideas. I’m thinking entrelac. It’s still very much in the early stages though so I reserve the right to completely change my mind at least 12 times. Note to self: no more throw away comments about baby stuff when you’ve got two pregnant friends (kidding). I’ve done one robot conversion swatch already but it isn’t quite there yet. I need to tweak it a bit and try again. I’m also thinking about the rocketships maybe flying saucers too…

I’ll get some more swatches done and post pictures next time.

March 14, 2007

The Bumblebugs Are Here

Posted in How To's, knitting at 4:56 pm by nephele

Sorry, it’s been a crazy, busy week so this is going to be a post and run. The good news is: I finally finished writing up the pattern for the bumblebug socks. First let me whet your appetite with a couple more pictures.

bumblebug3

The image is a little flash washed but the color is accurate.

bumblebug2

No flash this time, hooray!

The lace has more holes than you can see in these pictures. The fake foot I used was child sized and these socks are me sized. It does give you a little idea of the toe and heel details though.

Interested? You can download a PDF file of the pattern here. I think/hope it’s accurate. Please, someone knit them and let me know. Thanks.

More later. Hopefully tomorrow.

March 8, 2007

The … Garment

Posted in knitting at 10:03 am by nephele

I promised a picture of the Capecho and here it is:

capecho2

I’ve finished the first 6 pentagons and started the 7th. You’ll note I put the quilt out to photograph this. Two reasons, first, I didn’t want it fading into my beige and brown carpet and second, just in that picture there is about $240.00 worth of cashmere – it does not go on the floor!

Pentagon number seven is the last one in row one. The next pentagon will be picked up along the edges of numbers 7 and 6. There are only 4 pentagons in the second row because two of the spaces, 6-5 and 3-2, will be filled by the sleeves. Once I finish up the Bumblebug socks and pattern I should start making faster progress on Capecho.

I posted another swatch on the WTP blog yesterday. Based on the response, this is the most popular one of mine to date. It is with me too. As soon as I spotted it in the Third Treasury, I knew I had to make it. Now that I have, I want to make it again. It’s inspiring me. I want to put this on a cardigan along with some sort of web motif. I could call it Charlotte!

The Spider

Isn’t it neat? Having knit it, I understand how it was put together but I still don’t understand how someone designed it in the first place. There is so much attention to detail and proportion. There are some other sculptural designs in the book that aren’t as good as this one, at least in my opinion. Some of them are near misses. Take the Teddy Bear for example. This is a great swatch, well knit and accurate. It’s the pattern itself that bugs me. Something about it always seemed a bit off to me. I think it’s the lobster claw-like front paws. It could be the face though. Probably it’s all of it together. He just looks more like a robot than a cuddly teddy. I’ll have to remember that. If I ever need a robot motif it would take much tweaking to put it over the edge. A baby blanket with robots and rocketships perhaps? I may have to make that. Sarah and Ingrid are either of you Sci-Fi fans?

March 6, 2007

Progress Report

Posted in Knitalongs, knitting at 1:20 pm by nephele

I think it’s time to check my progress on various things.

New Year’s Resolution:

I resolved to keep up a minimum of 2 posts per week. A quick check showed posts on these days:

1/31 & 2/1
2/7 & 2/8
2/11 & 2/12 & 2/14
2/18 & 2/20 & 2/21
2/26 & 3/1

Looks like the resolution is doing what I intended. I’ve even got a couple of extra posts in there. Hopefully I can keep up the momentum.

Knitting games:

Headgames is over and a winner has been declared. I managed to take out 3 players before declaring my own demise. My hat never did show up (and the post office wonders why their business is declining…). I did receive a nice thank you gift from the organizer. I think I mentioned before that I volunteered to help her. Anyway, I got a surprise package in the mail yesterday. It contained a thank you card and these:

Stitch Markers

She picked the color base on my stated preferences for hat color. They’re perfect. I have some small beaded markers but these are large enough to fit on bigger needles. What a neat surprise.

Jynxed, the Headgames organizer is considering running another game but it won’t be for a while yet. She’s got other projects that need her attention and I’m sure she wouldn’t mind a break just in general.

Death by Socks round 1 is coming to a close. No winner yet but there’s less than 6 people left I think. I only took out one person but I did get to knit a little bit on another pair of socks.

Sign-ups have begun for Round 2, no start date yet though. I suspect it will depend on when round 1 really ends. The organizer is also having people test knit the patterns so that will delay the start a bit as well. There were a few bits of pattern confusion during round 1. The test knitting should make things clearer for future rounds. To keep the test knitters from having a big advantage, she’s having several patterns tested at once. No one but her will know which pattern is actually next so no head starts.

The Knit-off has started but I dropped out. I had a horrible sense of deja vu. The game had started – some people were finishing the first round – but there were important questions. The pattern called for a different gauge of yarn than what we’d been told to prepare, not a big problem since it was a scarf. The problem came in that the pattern didn’t make it clear how many rows to do. It did give a finished, blocked length but individual gauge can cause variations there. So people wanted to know what to do. Unfortunately a couple of days went by with no answer. I started to worry that the whole game would be plagued by problems like this (something similar happened with Sock Wars), so I dropped out. The situation was making me feel stressed out. Now, several days later, I wish I’d stuck with it but last weekend I was still unwell and just couldn’t cope. This particular issue has since been resolved and with luck there won’t be any more. I wish everyone still involved well. The one problem Knitoff won’t have is mailing issues. You keep (or give away, or frog) everything. The only things the competitors have to send off are digital pictures and emails.

Blog Projects:

Project Spectrum 2.0 has entered its second month. The colors haven’t changed yet. Each set of 3 colors runs for two months. Look for different colors in April. In the meantime I’ll continue knitting white, blue and gray swatches for…

The Walker Treasury Project is building up momentum. There are already more than 60 swatches posted. I added two more swatches today myself. I’ve got another swatch on the needles and several more lined up. It’s really fun to knit interesting swatches for the swatches sake. No need to get a certain gauge, so no re-knitting with different needles or yarn. Just knitting. You should try it. There are still plenty of patterns to swatch.

Secret Pal 10 sign ups have closed. I posted my survey answers and now await my pal assignment. The pairings go out on the 15th of this month. I won’t have long to wait. I’m looking forward to this. I love getting and giving random gifts and that’s kind of the whole point of the secret pal exchanges.

Knitting:

The Capecho … garment is slowly growing. It’s actually a very easy knit. The only reason it’s moving slowly is because I’m using off white, expensive cashmere and I don’t want to get it dirty or messed up so I only work on it at home or at the yarn shop. I’ll take a progress photo before my next post.

The Clapotis on the other had is being knit with a nice brown and burgundy yarn.  This is the one I’m carry around for commute knitting.

Clapotis

As I think you can see in the picture I started off gartering the stitches that were going to be dropped. I didn’t want to have to fiddle with a marker every six stitchs so this took care of that. My knit and purl tension are identical and once dropped you can’t see any difference. It slowed me down a little though so I tried working the pattern with no markers. That was okay but I had to count and did manage to mess up once. So… I put in some regular stitch markers and have been slogging away at it. I think I might go back to garter stitching the to-be-dropped stitches. We’ll see.

I’ve started the second Bumblebug sock. I currently expect to have the pattern posted by the end of this weekend.

All the many, many, many other UFOs are languishing while I work to finish up these three.

Comments:

I’ve noticed that Akismet, the comment spam filter, has been reporting spam comments but then deleting them before I can check and make sure they really are junk. I don’t think it’s been deleting any real comments but if you’ve left one and I haven’t responded… If you are getting trapped by the filter or just want to contact me in a non-public venue, you can email me at: nepheleb AT gmail DOT com. Replace the ‘AT’ and ‘DOT’ with the obvious. Unless you say otherwise, I’ll assume that email comments should remain private. Speaking of comments:

Gretchen said:

Oh, I love that Colinette “Bright Charcoal” every time I see it in the skein. This is the first time I’ve seen it worked up– I wonder how it will look in mohair. . .

Less striped I think and generally more subtle. All the mohairs seem to be more mixed, probably because of that mohair halo. The Bright Charcoal mohair certainly looks more generally gray than the sock yarn does. It’s very pretty. Hmmm, I think I hear some yarn calling me…

March 1, 2007

Nothing to See

Posted in knitting at 1:33 pm by nephele

Why? Because I didn’t take any pictures. Yes, I know, bad blogger, no cookie. I haven’t done a ton of knitting this week though. I’m still not 100% in the healthy department. Apparently the  flu that’s been going around is the bug that keeps on giving. So I’ve been a bit listless this week.

I have done a little bit of knitting. I’ve put a couple more pentagons on the Capecho shrug/bolero/cropped sweater/thingie, oh heck, garment! I’ve mentioned it before. It’s the… garment… on the cover of the current Vogue Knitting. I also started the Clapotis with the Brooks Farm Yarn’s Acero I bought at Stitches. I got to the first dropping of stitches on it last night so now it’s fun. It’s also a pretty easy knit which is good given my current cognitive abilities – which is to say: none.

Speaking of cognitive abilities, I see from the comments that I managed to identify every yarn in my last post except the one in the socks. I have mentioned it before but still.

So, for Gretchen: the Bumblebug socks are being made with Colinette Jitterbug in Bright Charcoal. By the way, much comment has been made in blogs about the short yardage on Jitterbug. I do make short socks but I have wide-ish feet and fat ankles so take that into account. The point is: my finished sock weighs 44 grams and my sock plus the remaining yarn weighed in at 110 grams.  It was supposed to be a 100 gram skein but it was a humid day, which is why I weighed all the yarn together. Clearly, I’ll have no trouble finishing the second sock. I have started writing up the pattern but I’ll want to test it with the second sock so I probably won’t post it for at least a week.

Short post, but that’s about all I have in me today. Time for a nap.