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Jan. 18th, 2010

Fluffybottom

Introducing the Inosculate Hat!



more infoCollapse )

The Inosculate Hat Pattern is now available for $4.50 through Ravelry.com.



Jan. 17th, 2010

Fluffybottom

On the Needles/Hook/Spindle

I'm going to try and make a habit of updating what my current projects are once a week or so. It won't necessarily happen on Sundays, maybe Fridays or Saturdays, depending on what I've got going on the weekends.

These only include projects that I have worked on since the new year started. I also have half a dozen or so UFOs that I haven't touched in a while but definitely intend to get to eventually, a few that I'm doubtful of ever finishing, and a couple of items on the frog pile. But those aren't going here.

WIPs ahead!Collapse )

That's it for what I'm working on this week. Three knitting projects, two crochet projects, and one spinning project.

Jan. 6th, 2010

Fluffybottom

Crochet Bucket Hat Pattern

It's cold here in California this January, but for my friends in the Southern Hemisphere, here's a crochet hat to keep the summer sun out of your eyes.



Recommended Yarn: Lion Cotton, or other sturdy worsted weight cotton yarn
Recommended Hook: J or #10 (6mm)
Gauge: 4 inches = 11 dc

Crochet Bucket Hat PatternCollapse )
Fluffybottom

Upon my return from the wilderness called Life

Due to a number personal and family issues, including a broken engagement and the passing away of my father, I have not posted here for over a year. I have kept up with a lot of knitting and some crocheting and spinning in the last year, but I have not had the mental energy to blog about it. But I return here in 2010, with not a resolution but an intention to regale the internet with my yarny adventures henceforth — and maybe offer up a pattern or two, here or there.

Join me and my mascot, Chancellor Fluffybottom, and I'll spin you a yarn.

Dec. 22nd, 2008

shiny

SEX (Stash Enhancement eXpedition)

On Friday, I went to the Yarn Boutique in Lafayette and acquired some new, squishy yarn. I wandered around the shop for about an hour, but I managed to limit myself to three skeins.

The first is Yukon by Pagewood Farm in the colorway "Bird of Paradise." This is a 70% merino/20% bamboo/10% nylon 3-ply sock yarn. Now, if you don't know me very well, you may not be aware that I, um, well, I don't wear socks. At least, I wear socks very rarely. I've made a couple pairs for other people, but I like to say that socks are tools of the devil. Yes, my feet do get cold sometimes, but they also sweat a lot in socks, and then they stink, and then nobody is happy. But I suspect that this yarn may be the solution to my problem. Wool wicks moisture, of course, but it's quite warm. The added bamboo, however, is both cool and antibacterial. I've heard great things about bamboo in sock yarn, and how it can help people with feet like mine.

So, in spite of my determination to finish my Christmas knitting first, I broke down and cast on for a new project. I won't be saying much about them now, because I'm thinking about submitting my design somewhere. And there will be no pictures until the pattern is either rejected or published. But I will say a few things. The yarn is quite nice to work with, but it is a little splitty. I have to be careful sometimes, especially with certain stitches, but it's not too bad. Because the yarn is hand-dyed, it has quite interesting pooling effects. Now, I am really not a variegated or multi-colored yarn type of person most of the time. I vastly prefer solids, although I am starting to become enamored of heathered and tweed yarns. However, the pooling of the shades of green in this yarn is quite appropriate for my design concept, and I like it a lot even though it's not particularly even or consistent. After half a day of knitting (and listening to a lot of podcasts), I have turned the heel and begun the cuff of the first sock.

The second yarn that I bought was two skeins of Mirasol Sulka in color 203, also known as Wine. This yarn is gorgeous and lovely and luscious and scrumptious and squishy and shiny and sooooooofffffffffffttttttt. It is so beautiful, and I'm constantly petting it and squeeing. Sulka is a 60% merino/20% alpaca/20% silk blend, and I think I'm in love with it. Sorry, Chris.

I think it is destined to be a Moebius cowl. I'm not totally set on it because I seem to be going through a burgundy phase at the moment, so I want to make sure to make items that can work together. I'm working on a sweater in Patons Classic Wool in the color Plum Heather, which is almost the exact same color as the Sulka. The only difference is that the heathering in 203 Wine is much more slight and subtle, while the heathering in Plum Heather is, as the name suggests, more obvious. Since I bought more yarn than I will need for the sweater, I'm thinking of double stranding the leftovers to make a calorimetry to go with the sweater. On the other hand, I could do a calorimetry with the Sulka instead. I don't think I will because the Sulka is sooooo soft that I want it touching as much skin as possible, and a calorimetry would only touch my ears. So another possibility is to make armwarmers. I did plan on getting yarn at the shop to finally make Brooke's Autumn Armwarmers, but I forgot. However, the Sulka yarn is really really warm, and my hands — like my feet — tend to get sweaty. So a cowl seems to be my best bet, but I'm still wavering a little. I might wait and see how the sweater turns out before I decide.

I'm content to just gaze at it and pet it longingly until I figure out what I'm going to do with it. Besides, I've got Christmas presents to knit!

Dec. 17th, 2008

Fluffybottom

Charcoal Jacket FO

This is the project that prompted me to try grafting.Charcoal JacketCollapse )

This sweater/jacket took me three days of almost continuous knitting, except for the second day. I could probably have finished it in two days if I had not had to graft the collar and if I had worked through the entire second day instead of just the evening. I'm not that fast a knitter, so it says something about the enormity of this yarn. It's the thickest yarn I've ever used, which makes for a very warm garment and a very fast project.

I'm thinking about calculating a couple other sizes and writing up the pattern for sale. What do y'all think?
Jayne is not afraid

Operation Graft

In celebration of my successful attempt at kitchener stitch last night, I have a new icon to display my knitting fearlessness.

Grafting 1x1 ribbing is both easier and harder than I suspected. Easier because I was able to get the rhythm of it pretty quickly, but harder because I could find absolutely no resources on using kitchener stitch with ribbing. Of course, there is a lot of information on grafting stockinette and garter stitch, including Math4Knitters as I posted earlier, but everything seems to suggest that you would be absolutely crazy to try grafting ribbing.

Well, I never said I was sane.

Because of the lack of pictures online illustrating kitchener on ribbing, I've decided to post my own. These are not wonderful pictures, because my lighting sucked and my project yarn is anything but smooth, but I hope this might help someone else who is "crazy" enough to graft ribbing in the future.

Kitchener on Ribbing TutorialCollapse )

I hope some of you find these directions helpful!

Dec. 15th, 2008

Fluffybottom

Kitchener stitch

So, tomorrow I am planning to try kitchener stitch for the first time. The very few socks I have knitted have all been toe-up, so I have never had occasion to try grafting before, but I understand the concept. The trick is really to understand the structure of knitting stitches, and how they interlock with the row above and below. I almost always weave in my ends by doing duplicate stitch, which also requires that understanding of structure, so I should be okay with grafting.

But I'm still scared.

I don't think it's the actual grafting that scares me. It's really a combination of two things. One: I have to graft 1x1 ribbing, which is a little more complicated than stockinette. I've done duplicate stitch on ribbing before, and I find it a lot more difficult than stockinette, although it is by no means impossible. Two: I have to take out my original cast-on in order to graft the new piece on.

The problem is that I made the ribbed collar way too short on the top-down cardigan/jacket I'm working on, and I used a long-tail cast-on that is not quite as flexible and stretchy as I would prefer. So my plan is to knit the additional length that I need using the stretchier twisted German cast-on, unravel the original cast-on, and graft the new piece to the top of the collar.

The yarn I'm using, Wool-East Thick and Quick, is the most gigantic yarn I have ever knit with, so this should give me an advantage when it comes to seeing my stitches. On the other hand, it's a dark, heathered colorway, which reduces the visibility of the individual stitches. The yarn is also heavy, and I'll have the entire weight of the sweater to contend with when I'm grafting the new collar piece. I think I'll lay it out on my bed to work on it, and at least solve that problem.

Fortunately, I've had some inspiration and encouragement from Lara Neel of the Math4Knitters podcast. Three of her recent episodes have been on duplicate stitch, darning, and grafting/kitchener stitch, and she has some handy photographs on the blog to illustrate the techniques. Go check out the blog, and listen to episodes 38-40 of the podcast. Then go listen to the rest of the episodes, if you're not already a regular listener, because she's awesome.

Dec. 13th, 2008

Fluffybottom

Writer's Block: Top Dog

What kind of dog (counting mixes and mutts) gets your vote as the champion of dogs?


I don't normally answer these questions on my personal journal, but I knew that I had to answer this one.

I love lovelovelove Newfoundlands. Newfies are my absolute favorite dogs in the world, for many reasons. One of those reasons is that I have the privilege to know one of the sweetest dogs on the planet, Kodiak:


Kodi is my fiancé's dog, and she is a huge sweetie-pie. I love her to pieces. And, to relate this to my fiber obsession: Kodi's fur is really wonderful to spinCollapse )
Fluffybottom

Crochet Snowflake Motif Pattern

This is my first original pattern for a crocheted snowflake that is approximately 3in or 7.5cm. It is now in the Ravelry pattern library.

Stiffen the finished snowflake with fabric stiffener or a mixture of glue and water for an ornament, or stitch many together to create a lacy winter scarf, shawl, or even tablecloth.

the patternCollapse )

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