general adventures in craftiness

Friday, February 29, 2008

Me in Balthazar Vest

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Balthazar Vest

I finished the vest this morning before work. All I had to do was weave in a bunch of ends. I'll try to post a photo of me wearing the vest tomorrow. In reading reviews of Twinkle's Big City Knits, I was forewarned that the patterns had lots of mistakes that were not even addressed in the published errata. I didn't run across that many errors in the Best Friend Cardigan, but there were plenty of errors in this vest pattern. There is no real instruction regarding the eyelet detail aside from how to create the eyelets. There is also lack of instruction for the short row shaping on the cap sleeves. I was able to figure the knittng out, but not before I had to frog several times on the body and armholes. I would not recommend this pattern for a beginner.

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Monday, February 25, 2008


I finished the Best Friend Cardigan last night while I watched the Oscars. I wanted to wear it today, but it would have been too warm. As you can see, this is a very fitted pattern, but not uncomfortably so. I usually hate reverse stockinette stitch, but in this chunky yarn, it doesn't look too bad. I ended up buying the Twinkle's Big City Knits book, and my next project will be the Balthazar Vest, again in Rowan Big Wool in Acer, which is a warm brown shade.

I completed the stuffed pig on Saturday afternoon. It turned out much cuter than I thought it would. It was hard to visualize what it would look like just from the pieces. It was fun to stuff it, and then after adding each component (ears, tail, eyes, etc.), it started looking more and more real. It was a pleasant surprise!

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Friday, February 22, 2008

I [heart] Chunky Yarn

I forgot how fun and fast knitting with chunky yarn is. I finished the body of the Best Friend Cardigan last night. I actually had finished this two nights ago, but ripped out the first attempt because the gauge seemed off even though my swatch was right on. It turns out that I was knitting too many rows between turning the cables. The sleeves are supposed to be knit up in reverse stockinette stitch, but I may try something different, like garter stitch, instead. I really like the subtle shaping at the waist. I'll have to look for some good buttons this weekend.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Knitting Update

I finished the upper body of the stuffed pig last night. It's a little smaller than I thought it would be, but after looking at it, I don't think I'd want it to be much bigger. I cast on for the underside and hope to get that completed sometime during the weekend. I hope it will be cute!

I hadn't yet decided on my next knitting project, but I'd been eyeing this sweater, the Best Friend Cardigan, from Wenlan Chia. The pattern appeared in her first book Twinkle's Big City Knits, however, I got it for free here, via bits & bobbins. The only down side to making this sweater was the cost of any super chunky yarn. Granted, I only needed five skeins, but that would be at least $75. But after receiving an email from a LYS that was having a sale on Rowan Big Wool, I took that as a sign and bought five skeins in a color called Zing. This project should knit up pretty quickly considering it's knit up on size 19 needles!

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Pig and a Blanket [heh!]

I've been working on all the various projects that I posted about last week. Here's the upper body of the stuffed pig. I'm using Rowan DK Wool in the perfect shade of pink. I keep trucking along on the ripple afghan. So far, I haven't repeated any colors since I've got so much stash to use up. I also draped a sleeveless dress in muslin over the weekend. I have to true up the pattern pieces, sew a sample, and then refit the pattern. All of these other projects left me no time to continue further exploration with the knitting machine!

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Loop n' Hoop Night

The Trailblazers vs. Charlotte Bobcats
Saturday, March 29, 7 p.m.

For more information, contact Paul Rothschild 503-963-3963 or or pick up an order form at your LYS!

Order deadline is March 8.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Crafty Weekend

After finishing the Avast sweater Friday night, I wasn't sure what my next project would be. I ended up working on lots of different things.

I spent an afternoon finally figuring out how to use the knitting machine a friend gave me almost two years ago! I practiced plain knitting and it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. In fact, it was really fun. Click here to see my swatch. I plan to try using some of the punch cards next and practice two-color knitting.

Yesterday I ended up going to LYS Close Knit and its neighbor Bolt to get knitting and sewing supplies. I got some yarn to knit up a stuffed toy for a friend's baby shower, as well as a skein of bulky red alpaca for the Not Too-Too Beret from Knit and Tonic. I also bought the latest issue of Interweave Knits, so much time will be spent on deciding what sweater I want to knit first. The fabric I purchased is for a spring dress that I want to drape. The two fabrics on the left are by Jason Yenter for In the Beginning Fabrics. One is from the Bohemian Brights collection and the other is from the Floragraphix I collection. The Mod Dot fabric is from Alexander Henry. I'm leaning towards the Bohemian Bright as the main body of the dress with one of the other patterned fabrics and the gray as contrasting pieces.

Another project I started last night was a ripple afghan. I'm hoping I use up lots of stash yarn. Looks like I'll be busy for a while!

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Saturday, February 09, 2008


Here's the finished Avast sweater, modeled by B. I think it turned out pretty well. This is the first sweater I've made for him that actually fits. I thought it was perhaps a little too large, but he likes things a little roomier and it's about the same size as his jackets. As I was blocking the sweater, I noticed I had dropped a stitch, but luckily it was near the top and I was able to pick up several stitches and then blend it in with the sleeve decreases and then weave the ends in with the collar facing.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Zipping Along

I purchased three different zippers yesterday to test out with the sweater. There were no navy or midnight blue options to choose from, so I opted for a mustard yellow, gray, or black. I ended up going with the black since it matched the most closely. I sewed the sweater closed with a contrasting yarn and also sewed some bias tape along the edges of the sweater for a more finished edge. Next I'll mark the sweater and the zipper for placement and then baste it in place before handsewing with backstitching. Lastly, I'll sew down the collar facing. B will have a new sweater to wear this weekend! Photos to come!

PS Zipper tutorials from ChicKnits and not martha were very helpful.

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Monday, February 04, 2008

Spring 2008 Interweave Knits

The spring 2008 issue of Interweave Knits has some great projects. I have been shopping around for a perfect spring cardigan, but have put off buying anything because I'd rather knit something up. I particularly like these patterns: Mirabella Cardigan, Flutter Sleeve Cardigan, Dovetail Pullover, and the Auburn Camp Shirt. Thsi is an issue I will definitely purchase!


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Heavy Knitting

Sorry for the lack of posts during the last week, but all I've been working on is the Avast sweater. Since I've got the entire sweater on my circular needles, it's been some heavy knitting on the hands. Needless to say, after knitting for a couple of hours, my hands are pretty sore. I'm almost done with all of my raglan sleeve decreases. Just a little ways to go before I can start in on the collar.

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