Wednesday, 09 May 2012
It certainly has been a while since I last posted. Things have been busy, but I thought I'd get a quick entry in before I forget again.
Per my last entry, I had something else to post, but I was waiting until after the holidays to do so. I made my sister a blanket, which was something she requested quite some time ago. She didn't know I was making it for her, so she was pleased. I wanted it to be longer, but I got bored with all the rows and rows of knitting. It ended up around 42"x52". I used double strands for each of the panels, with one color that was consistent (the brownish one that I used for the border) throughout all the panels but the purple one.
During this time (November), I also started on another donation sweater. But I couldn't get it completed in time (due to other small projects) for the February deadline. I'll just hold onto it until Afghans for Afghans has another campaign that requires sweaters. This one I completed at the end of April. I had bought about 4 skeins of wool yarn from Joann's for this purpose. I liked the colors and thought it would make an otherwise boring sweater more interesting because of the variegated yarn.
One of the small side projects I decided to do was a baby sweater for my coworker. She was due in January. She didn't know the gender of the baby, so it was harder to find a pattern where the sweater didn't have buttons on one side or the other. I opted for this one, which is a pullover, and one I've done before. I used two strands of yarn, one yellow, and one variegated white. I'm not fond of the final project. I think mixing the two yarns made the sweater stiff, but I didn't have time to frog it and redo. During this time, I was in the midst of having all day sickness (not just morning) from my second pregnancy, and I could barely motivate myself to make anything. I literally decided to do this about a week before the baby shower in January. I almost just bought something from her registry instead. The mom-to-be said it was beautiful, though I'm not sure if the little guy Guy has actually worn it yet.
I did use a cute rabbit button, as he was born in the Year of the Rabbit. I don't think the parents cared about that though, as they aren't of Asian ethnicity, but hey, it was as genderless a button as I could find without just going for a boring round button.
This is the year for babies, apparently. My long time friend (and one of my bridesmaid) was expecting at the end of April. I decided to make a sweater again, and had to scour the web for a pattern that would be genderless (again) without buttons going down either side of the middle. So I found this pattern on the Ravelry site, and used up a generic white/pastel colored yarn that I used for the yellow sweater above. I tried to make it genderless, but my hubby thinks it's more for a girl because of the coloring.
She had a boy. Oh well. At least the bear buttons are cute! I finished this at the end of February or so.
Another friend is due pretty soon (May 11th) and she's having a girl. So this time I opted for making a baby blanket. Might as well use up some of my acrylic yarn stash. I started this after I completed the earlier sweater, and was able to complete it early March. It helped that I only had so much yarn left too, so that set the length and size for me. It ended up 30"x38.5". Good for a car seat blanket. Mom-to-be (she still hasn't delivered, as of this posting) loved it.
It's no wonder that it took me so long to finish the donation sweater. I had more interest in doing the others first. Now Afghans for Afghans has another campaign due in July, but it's only for hats, socks, and mittens. I've already knitted 4 hats, which I'll post on another date, and am currently working on a personal sweater, though I won't be able to fit it for some time.
Thursday, 24 November 2011
It seems I'm only periodically posting here now...it's just harder to knit when you have a toddler.
Speaking of having a toddler, I finally have an updated picture of him with that red hoodie sweater I made for him way back when. He's got a little bit more to grow into, but I think it fits him great!
Another updated picture, the last blue-green sweater I made for a cousin's baby...here it is on Andrew. He's only about 2 months here, so the sweater is much smaller than the pattern suggested, which is 6 months. And he's not even a huge baby!
I also completed my shrug. It took a few months, as I got a little bored with finishing it.
I had to knit it, then block it, then seam, then add the sleeves, and finally the pockets. I only added the pockets in the end because I thought the front of the sweater looked boring, compared to the back.
It fits ok, but I wish I knitted it a bit longer. Maybe then, the length will help the front drape better. I even had an extra skein. But I followed the pattern length, and even draped it on myself as a trial run. Oh well. As it is, it is what it is. It keeps me warm but we'll see how often I wear it.
I have something else to post about, but will wait until after the holidays, as it's a gift and I'm unsure if that person looks at this blog. Have a fantastic holiday season! Let's see if I can start a donation project before the year ends!
Thursday, 25 August 2011
As some friends and family are now increasing their family size, I thought I'd get busy knitting a few gifts. The first is for a cousin's boy that I completed in May.
I didn't have enough of each of the buttons to make them uniform so I thought I'd mix and match.
This other one I made for a coworker's daughter that I just recently finished.
Same pattern, but the border is slightly different. The original pattern calls for garter stitch. Here, though the picture is sideways, it's seed stitch. I think it's a bit hard to tell, given the acrylic/nylon yarn I used (it's fuzzier so stitch definition is not really good). I liked the color, and it was a way to use up some stashed yarn. And who wouldn't love those daisy buttons?
I have forbidden myself from buying more yarn until I get through a large stash...or until at least the next yarn convention. Hee hee. :)
I'm currently working on a wrap cardigan for myself, and when the weather gets a bit colder, perhaps I can post a picture of my boy with the red and tan hoodie I made for him a year ago!
Monday, 04 April 2011
I was talking to my hubby the other day, about the children I work with...We were talking about the devastation in Japan and how students in our school were trying to help out. Some classes were doing a bake sale with all proceeds going to Japan relief. The school was also working on another fund raising effort by folding paper cranes. The DoSomething.org organization has teamed up with Studentsrebuild.org for a special paper crane project. For every crane sent to them, $2.00 will be donated (up to $200,000). You can view daily updates on the project's progress (number of cranes received and dollars pledged) on www.studentsrebuild.org. They're also posting daily updates on Facebook (facebook.com/studentsrebuild and facebook.com/papercranesforjapan). As I talked with the children about this, most were unwilling to fold the cranes, either because they thought it was too hard to do, or because they didn't want to. (Most understood the general idea of helping people in need though--also please keep in mind that I see a small subgroup of children throughout the week~about 20, not representative of the whole school). I didn't force the issue, as I'm not their parents, nor is it a requirement from the school, but I wondered about this. In the schools, we try to foster a sense of social responsibility and empathy, so I was a little disappointed in the seemingly lack of participation (I will say I do not know what these students do at home or on their own time in this regard...hence the word "seemingly"). So back to my conversation with my hubby, he made a good point about some parents wanting to shield their children from the bad things in the world, and that perhaps, that's why some didn't know about the tsunami or how devastating it really was. I don't believe it's my job to push these kids to participate, but to educate through example (something a friend named Chris mentioned to me in a previous blog of mine about our kiddo. Thanks Chris!). That is, in essence, what my hubby and I agreed upon, when trying to teach our little one the importance of helping others out...at least, that's our plan.
So, back to crane folding...that Friday, I made about 55 cranes, 50 of which are shown here (doesn't look like 50, huh?). What an easy way to have $100 donated. My thumb was a bit sore, from all the creasing that I did, but it was worth it. Donations don't have to be monetary...donation of time is equally important. And doing both, if possible, is even better!
Speaking on donating time, here are two more items I've knitted for the Afghans for Afghans youth campaign. The sweater came from the Berroco Polly sweater design, without the puzzle pieces.
The vest came from the "What's In My Pocket Vest" design. I was initially going to make a sweater out of this too, but honestly, I was just trying to get it completed before we leave on our trip...and because I was just about done knitting sleeves, as I just finished the above sweater before I started on this vest.
I sent these out on Saturday. Glad I was able to complete them!
Thursday, 03 February 2011
My most recent completed project is a sweater I knitted for Afghans for Afghans. Their current project is to collect knitwear for children. I decided to use a pattern I've used before, since it's a relatively quick knit. It still took me a month to complete, in between the holiday season and other things.
Here's the final product on me. It's a little short on the body, but it will fit someone for sure.
A couple of posts ago, I wrote about a sweater I made for my hubby. I had to redo the zipper because the sweater length was short. So I re-blocked the sweater and re-stretched it to the proper length. But when I did that, the zipper I had originally sewn in was too short, so I had to buy another zipper. I would've rather kept the metal zipper over the plastic one, but that's all that was available. Either way, it worked out and my hubby loves the sweater (or so he says).
I had also made a sweater for my sister as was posted previously. Here is a picture of her in the sweater. She also says she likes it, and I've seen her wear it a few times already.
Until next time.
Wednesday, 22 December 2010
As the title of this entry states, I made Mother Bear #10. These bears aren't difficult to make, but they do tend to get a bit tedious. That could be why I'm not whipping them out like I do knitting projects. I think I just like knitting better than crocheting.
Anyway, with this newest addition, I hope to mail off the box of bears before the new year, though I think with the holiday season, the lines in the post office will be long. And honestly, while I don't mind waiting in line, I don't like waiting in line with an infant in tow. An infant who gets bored if I'm standing still. So because of that, this box might have to wait. Or I'll just have to brave the lines one day and hope little baby doesn't get too mad waiting.
You think he'll understand what "for a good cause" means when he's angry?
With all the random knitting I've been doing, I thought I'd make something for my hubby. I had found the book "Knits Men Want" by Bruce Weinstein and decided to borrow it from the library. Looking through, I found some patterns of sweaters that I liked, and I asked Ryan to pick out a few he liked. We agreed on one, and I proceeded to buy yarn for the project. Fast forward several months and I decided to start the project.
It's a rather easy knit, so I figured the turn-around time would be quick. It went between stockinette and reverse stockinette stitches in panels. Needless to say, I made great progress on it. I started mid-November, and by early December, I had all the pieces completed. Then it was time to wet block and then sew the pieces.
I don't have pictures of the whole process, but again (as it seems with most of my knitting projects), I made a mistake and had to redo something. I had started the armhole shaping on the wrong side of the left panel. I made sure I read the directions correctly too, but apparently I misinterpreted them. The author wrote, "knit the left panel the same as the right, reversing the order of the panels and reversing the shaping." I took that to mean that the front side would then be the panel with B-A-B, versus A-B-A. By the time I figured it out, all I had to do was sew down the collar, really, maybe 10 minutes left of work to do on it.
I had to take off one side of the zipper and un-seam that whole left front piece. Long story short and another week and a half later, I finally finished the sweater. I really hope it fits him. Ryan wasn't willing to do a test fit earlier on in the process, though I did measure his chest width and made the appropriate size according to the pattern.
I'll have to post another picture of my DH wearing it after he opens it as a present. Yes, he knows about it and has seen me knitting it, but it's just a process of gift opening.
Hopefully, whatever my next project is, I won't make any mistakes. A knitter friend of mine said it was very common for her. I wonder if, with time, these mistakes will stop occurring the more experience we get.
Friday, 17 December 2010
A short post...Here's a picture of the dress I knitted for my niece actually ON my niece. I had blogged about it before here. She's 3 months old and a total doll!
I'm glad it fits! It was cold up here, so her parents had her wear a long sleeved onesie underneath, but it looks great! Yay!
Monday, 08 November 2010
It's been a while since I last posted, and it's a two for one at that. I completed another Mother Bear for that organization. I believe it's #9 for me. I don't whip these out quickly, as I choose to do them in between other projects and mainly in the car when I'm traveling. I also thought it'd be neat to see how many I can make as long as I show interest in it, so I'm keeping count. I looked at other knitters online and have seen numbers of up to 200 bears for an individual knitter! Talk about motivation! I don't think I'll get there any time soon, but it's very cool to think about. That's 200 children affected by HIV in any way who gets some joy in life with a bear. You should look at the smiles on these children's faces. Just look at their photos on the website www.motherbearproject.org. Here's my contribution. I haven't yet mailed my box yet. I'm hoping to get one more done so I can send about 6 in this box.
The project that has been keeping me busy is a sweater I'm making for my sister for Christmas. Given that it's a surprise, I had to sereptitiously get her measurements by comparing her to me. She's about 6" shorter and has a thinner frame, so I figured that I could make a small size for her. This pattern from Phildar required blocking the pieces into the final sizes. That means that as I'm knitting, I had to stretch it out to see if it would fit the final measurements. If I knitted the pieces by themselves to the required size, and then blocked (i.e. stretched to size), then it would be too big. Anyway, it took a few months with a few mistakes here and there. Here's a picture of all the pieces without blocking.
Here's a picture of the pieces blocked. I soaked the pieces in water for about 15 minutes, then proceeded to measure and stretch it to the required size.
I had to reknit the button band...the result of one of my mistakes. I used size 3 needles to get the gauge, but didn't have (change) the needle size to a smaller one for the button bands. So when I knitted accordingly, the bands were much longer than the length of the body of the sweater. I reknitted using a lower amount of stitches. After I seamed all the pieces together, I tried on the sweater. Granted, my sister is skinnier than I am, but I felt it was too tight. The length wasn't right, even for her height. I figured I could reblock the sweater and stretch it.
So this next time around, I blocked the whole sweater in one piece. See all the pins here.
Although you can't see it in the pictures here, there were rust stains on practically ALL of the points where the needles pinned the sweater onto the board. I read this on a blog somewhere about using stainless steel pins to prevent rust stains. I didn't listen. -sigh-. I don't believe it rusted the first time because I only blocked for a day and the pieces were separated, so they dried really quickly. This time around, the sweater was soaked and pinned for several days. Needless to say, I was very upset. It's not like the sweater is supposed to be brown (by the way, my hubby asked if I could just dye the sweater brown to hide the stains). :)
Anyway, I scoured the internet for ways to clean the rust stains off. I already tried SHOUT spray, but to no avail. You gotta love the web. Different people were suggesting a mix of white vinegar and salt, or lemon, salt, and tartar powder. Given that I only had the first two, I tried that method first. It helped, but not much. So I sent my helpful hubby to the store where he purchased lemons and tartar powder for me. Thank goodness it worked!
My last step was to add my label on the sweater and viola! Finally finished! The sweater looked ok on me. I think it would be better if I wore a camisole underneath so it wouldn't be so bulky. But again, my sister is thinner, so I'll have to take a picture of her in it and post that when the time comes.
Lesson? BUY STAINLESS STEEL PINS!
Sunday, 22 August 2010
Time for another post on a completed project. After the purple sweater I made for myself, I thought it'd be nice to make something (yet again) for the baby. I saw a pattern I liked from Debbie Bliss's new book Design It Knit It Babies. It looked simple enough that I felt I could make it relatively quickly (instant gratification, you know), but not too plain to make it boring. And of course, boys will be boys so I felt making something with intricate patterning might end up getting snagged on something when he gets old enough to wear it.
I chose washable merino wool for the yarns. Here's a picture of the cover of the book, as posted on Amazon.com. I didn't want to violate any copyright by posting one of the finished product pictures in the book. (Perhaps I still did by putting this one up).
It's the dark and light blue sweatshirt type sweater on the left bottom corner of the book.
Given that I had to make two cuffs and two welts (the different colored edge on the bottom of the sweater), I decided to make both cuffs or both welts at the same time with two balls of yarn and a circular needle. I figured, that way, if I made a mistake on the number of rows needed, I would at least be consistently incorrect on both of them.
I wanted a color that was brighter than the dark blue that was suggested, and remembering that my boy looks especially cute (I think) in a red shirt he has, I thought red would be a great color. Besides, I had bought some red yarn a while back with the intention of making a different baby sized project. The yarn had been sitting in my stash for over a year...why not use it for THIS project? I had to figure out a contrasting color though. I didn't want the cuffs to be white, or else it would restrict its usage to only Christmas time (at least, that's what I'm thinking). I thought a dark gray would work, or a lighter gray. I opted for a lighter gray, but when it came to purchasing, they were out of the stock. So, what remained was "pearl gray", otherwise known as tan, according to my hubby.
I'm rather pleased with the final product.
Here's a close up shot of the bottom of the sweater.
And one of the side seams. I took this picture because I was proud of myself in how well it went together. I think this is probably the first time I seamed anything so nicely.
A treat...although he's got some growing into the sweater to do... :)
Knitting keeps your brain from deteriorating...