DIY

Where technology meets the ocean and a hat I don’t want to knit twice.

So I have a problem with knitting. This problem is that I don’t like making things twice…might be why I still haven’t been able to make a pair of socks and sleeves are the spawn of satan. But anyways, the Skyping Beanie was one of my husbands favorite hats, until it got stolen. (Some jerk somewhere out there has a nice merino cashmere hat). I took this as an opportunity to tweak the pattern per his preferences: large fold over brim and tweed yarn. Continue reading Duchess of Dyepots & Free Pattern

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I always feel more comfortable with myself if I make expensive-ish things for myself instead of buying them from the store: wool sweaters and accessories mostly. A lot of where I shop doesn’t exactly scream haute couture anyways and it’s a hunt to find a good quality sweater that isn’t 100% acrylic, fashionable, and doesn’t cost $80.

Bring in the yarn. So I went to RCYC this year. Managed to hit up 3 stores with the helpful enabling of my friend @kathynancegirl. First up was a large purchase at Close Knit. I won’t disclose how much I spent, you can figure that out on your own…but lets just say that I bought $90’s worth of 1 sweaters amount of yarn.

But Marilyn! That’s more than the $80 you didn’t want to spend on that other pre-made sweater!! Continue reading Rose City Yarn Crawl 2017

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imageNarf! Pinky is one of my all time favorite cartoon characters. Sure he wasn’t all brains, like Brain, but his unique way of looking at the world and his creative intelligence, though a mouse cartoon, is just as important to embrace in society today as a PHD. So I have named my shawl made with Beachy Keen gradient kit by Fierce Fibers the Narf! Shawl.

(note: the shawl is really easy to knit, however my instructions are not detailed enough for a beginner, sorry…this is my first pattern, ever. Please bear with me! If you see anything amiss, please don’t hesitate to contact me on Ravelry.)

Narf! Shawl

Narf! Shawl:

Yarn: 1 gradient kit by Fierce Fibers in the Beachy Keen color way, or any other set of 5 colors of fingering weight yarn.

Yardage: 400-460 yards +- 10 yards depending on how full/long you want your tassels to be.

Gauge: 23 stitches and 32 rows = 4 inches in stockinette

  • Gauge is not important as the shawl is designed to use up all the yarn from the gradient kit. When a row cannot be completed, set aside the remaining yardage for the tassel. =)

Size: approximately 51″ wide x 18.5″ deep

Tools:

  • Size US 7 (4.5mm) 24″ or longer circular needles
  • the Loome tool or 3″ piece of cardboard
  • Darning needle
  • Scissors
  • Blocking supplies

Abbreviations:

  • M1R – make 1 increase right leaning (insert left needle into bar between stitches, back to front, knit into the front loop)
  • M1L – make 1 increase left leaning (insert left needle into the bar between stitches, front to back, knit into the back loop)
  • yo – yarn over
  • ssk – slip, slip, knit
  • k2tog – knit 2 stitches together
  • psso – pass slipped stitches over

Basic Construction:

Start with a garter tab. Cast on 3 stitches and work 8 rows. With 3 stitches still on the needle, pick up 5 stitches evenly along the edge and 3 at the other end for a total of 11 stitches. I went with 3 for a solid garter edge. Just my preference. =)

The main piece is a basic 6 increase shawl – 4 increases on the right side and 2 increases on the wrong side. There is 1 stitch in the center and three stitches each side for the garter edge. Check out the various shawl construction types here on Craftsy for the wide and shallow triangle shawl or if you’d like a different shape.

Row 1: Work garter edge. yo, knit to center, M1R, knit 1, M1L, knit to last three stitches, yo, work garter edge. (inc 4 stitches)

Row 2: Work garter edge, yo, purl to last three stitches, yo, work garter edge. (inc 2 stitches)

Work each color in these two rows until you cannot work a complete row. This leftover yarn will be used for the tassels.

End the 4th color after a right side row, knit row (inc 4 row). Begin wrong side row with the 5th/last color and work as a normal wrong side row (inc 2 row).

If you are using less than 5 colors, note that the lace edging section is worked with the 5th mini-skein being a little under 100 yards.

Lace Edging:

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Set up Row (WS): Work garter edge stitches and purl to the last 3 stitches, you will no longer be increasing for the rest of the shawl. Work last 3 garter stitches.

Row 1 (RS): Work garter edge stitches, repeat (k2tog, yo) across until the center stitch. Depending on how many stitches you have you will either come to 1 stitch before the center stitch, or just the center stitch.

  • If you have 1 stitch before the center stitch: yo, slip 2 as if to knit, knit 1, psso, yo. This should give you a neat centered decrease. Repeat (ssk, yo) to the last 3 stitches, work garter edge stitches.
  • If you have just the center stitch: knit 1. Repeat (yo, ssk) to the last three stitches, yo, and then work the garter edge stitches.

So now you’ve got your first set of eyelets going. The right side should be slanting slightly to the right and the left side should be slanting slightly to the left.

Row 2 (WS): Work garter edge stitches, purl across, and then work garter edge stitches.

Repeat this eyelet pattern across again (rows 1 and 2). (total of 4 rows worked! yay!)

Row 5 (RS): Next, to create the subtle zig-zag effect, on the right side of the shawl work garter edge stitches, repeat (yo, ssk) to the center stitch. Work the center as previously noted in Row 2 depending on how many stitches you have available.

  • On the other side of the center stitch if you did the center decrease: Repeat (k2tog, yo) to the last 3 stitches, work garter edge stitches.
  • If you did not do the center decrease simply continue to repeat (yo, k2tog) to the last three stitches, yo, and then work the garter edge stitches.

Row 6 (WS): Work as Row 3.

Repeat this eyelet pattern across again (rows 5 and 6). (total of 8 rows worked! yay!)

Row 9 (RS): Work as Row 2.

Row 10 (WS): Work as Row 3.

Bind off loosely knitwise. I prefer the double knit method: Knit 1 (knit 1, slip both stitches back to the left hand needle, knit together through the back loop), repeat. This should leave it nice and sproingy for blocking the edge out to points, or giving the shawl a nice curve. Your choice! =)

Tassels:

imageI used my H Loome, you can use any piece of cardboard or pegboard you have at about 3″. If you’re not familiar with tassel making, watch this video! (does not require the Loome)

Make 3 tassels.

For my tassels I did this:

Step 1: Cut off extra yarn from the edges of the shawl, leaving a tail long enough to weave in.

Step 2: Take the two shortest pieces and cut them in half.

Step 3: Taking one of each color of the yarn you just cut in half, wrap them onto the Loom for making a tassel.

I happened to only have three usable pieces of leftover yarn to use for the tassels. If I make this again, I think I will purposely stop each color earlier so that I make sure to have a little bit of each color in all my tassels.

I also made sure to use more yarn for the third tassel and placed it as the center stitch decoration. I managed to make it a little bit longer than the other two by wrapping loosely around my H Loome.

Note about blocking:

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For a subtle wave, I blocked out the top of the shawl as straight as I could, and then every 5 k2tog/ssk column along the bottom edge. (I really need to get my mitts on blocking wires!)

Attach tassels to the two opposite corners and the bottom center stitch, weave in loose ends. Wear and enjoy!

Narf! Shawl


*I am not sponsored to produce this blog post. All products mentioned were purchased with my own money and are things that I enjoy using. *

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Ever since I was a small child I’ve wanted to wear earrings. Little bits of sparkle always caught my eye. My grandmother wore these really gorgeous gaudy large earrings…well large jewelry anyways, and my mother has a collection herself that she now never wears.

Unfortunately, by the time I was old enough to make that decision of self-mutilation for the sake of beauty….lets stop here for a moment. Yes, piercing your ears is a body modification. This isn’t a natural part of the human body, but is a natural part of the human condition.

So anyways, I got my ears pierced at the local Claire’s at the mall. Problem #1. Problem #2 is that they were not done correctly. My piercings are not centered and are not horizontal. This has caused me no end of trouble finding earrings with back posts or back loops long enough for normal wear. Commonly, most if not all end up appearing lopsided.  I had and have no interest in re-piercing or expanding into gauge territory, so lets not even go there as possible solutions. The only recourse I had was to either not wear anything, or wear the smallest earrings possible.

Problem #3 is where things get incredibly depressing. I’m allergic to nickel. Surgical steel can be as hypo-allergenic as it wants to be, but alas it does not work with my allergy. A positive result is that I can wear 18k or better gold earrings, silver, and platinum…but that gets rather expensive…so maybe it’s not a positive thing after all.

And now we get to the point of this little tirade: Nail Polish Top Coat

That’s right! In particular the Seche Vite dry fast top coat. Not only is this a wonderful product for finishing off a manicure, but it is what is saving me from tossing all my jewelry out a window. I first got the idea to coat my posts with this from a youtube diy video. There are a lot out there, but unfortunately I can’t find the exact one that I saw that uses the Seche Vite. But, needless to say: it works!

I bought some cute little post earrings from VincaUSA. They’re a company based out of Austin, Texas and all products are made in the USA. Now, they do use surgical steel grade posts, which I knew were going to cause my ear lobs to turn red and puff up a little bit. So after trying them on and confirming that in fact I am allergic to these I went ahead and applied my Seche Vite.

VincaUSA

Results? YAAS!

These super cute earrings take care of Problem #2, lopsidedness because they’re different shapes for each ear! These are so stinking cute that I just had to have them. The tea pot is slightly big for my ears, but tipping it sideways as if to pour tea out of it seems to work well.

And Problem #3 is pretty much non-existant! The nail polish is doing its job as a buffering layer between my skin and the metal post. I’m super excited about this!

I did have some worries about the polish being in my ear, but after over an hour of wear I feel nothing. And after taking them out, there’s no residual or weirdness about my ears at all! Worried about it flaking off? Not really. I just have to remember not to push the backing all the way down the post when I’m not wearing them. =D

Now this won’t really do anything about the dangly type earrings I already own. But at least it’s a first step towards being able to wear all the cute unique post earrings!!

 

 

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In tandem with feeling massive amounts of anxiety lately here are some of the things I’ve been working on to channel that potentially self-destructive behavior into something constructive. And yes I have to admit that the sweater I was working on for my husband will not be ready by the time we leave for Ireland. =(

Rimski Kosakoffee Cake Shawl

Rimski Kosakoffee Cake Shawl

Beanie

Beanie

Out of all five of these only the beanie is completed. The Rimski shawl is crochet instead of knit. It was originally supposed to be my airplane travel project, but I decided to add beads…so I may just leave this one at home or hurry up on it and wear it in Ireland. I’m already almost half way done with it.

Crosspatch Creations Skalkaho Pass

Crosspatch Creations Skalkaho Pass

Frosty Acorn

Frosty Acorn

The Skalkaho Pass batt is spinning up a lot smoother than my first batch of Crosspatch Creations fiber. I’m really excited to ply it with a solid color. I’m thinking of getting some Corriedale or maybe even some undyed Vixen base from Thoroughly Thwacked. MOAR SILK!!! ALL THE RAINBOW COLORS!!! Hehe.

Frosty Acorn is my first project utilizing my own handspun. You wouldn’t think it, but the blue/pink actually works really well with the purple color of the Black Butte. This also won’t be done by the time we go to Ireland, but one can hope! (Also, this will likely be gifted to my sister…I made it slightly too small…oops…)

Teasdale Shawl

Teasdale Shawl

And last but not least, my Teasdale shawl. The border is a 21 repeat of a 12 row chart. Chugging along on it! I got about 10 repeats done while listening in on my husband’s DnD session last Sunday. Maybe this will be my airplane project…?

Sigh, my Ongoing Projects widget is getting too long! At least I don’t have a mountain of UFO’s to contend with. 5-10 is reasonable, right? >.<

Some other things I’ve been thinking about making include a crochet top. A basic cover I can wear over a tank top or light undershirt for the summer. I’ve discovered that the stranded yarns from Yarnia work best in crochet for me and not knitted. I still really like the peachy color I bought a few months ago so it should work out fine. Maybe THAT will be my airplane project?

I have a full skein of Dream in Color Smooshy as well that I want to make into a hat. And I also have some burgundy and blue skeins of lace-weight-ish yarn that I want to knit together stranded as a hat as well.Maybe I’ll make that into a cowl instead…hmm…nice light and airy lace thing that I can use to layer on…hmm…. Ah too many choices! Too many accessories!!!

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Tada!

image This is the baby giraffe hat I made using this pattern here for inspiration.

This little guy is destined for a gentleman by the name of Jordan. He’s due very soon and the baby shower is this Saturday! His parents have a safari theme going for his nursery, and a particular lean towards giraffes. I hope they like it! =D

The hat itself is a little bit on the large side for a newborn, but I did that on purpose. Since it will be a spring/summer baby, and since baby’s grow so darn fast, I figured I’d make something on the larger side so come fall/winter he can sport this cute little cap as he bops around town with his mom and dad.

 Modifications:

A. Hat is done from the rim to the crown. 60 stitches in a worsted weight yarn by Ewe Ewe Yarns.

  1. Three rows 1×1 ribbing in brown
  2. Approx 3″ in stockinette of the main orange color.
  3. Decrease every other row until you’ve done 5 decrease rows, then decrease every row until you have 5 stitches left, pull yarn through and secure.

B. Patches are duplicate stitch

C. Horns are 9 rows of 4 stitch i-cord in MC plus 3 rows brown.

D. Ears are (make 2):

  1. CO 3
  2. slip first (for ever row), purl front and back, purl 1.
  3. slip first stitch, knit across.
  4. increase 2 stitches per ws row in this way until you have 10 stitches.
  5. work stockinette for 9 rows
  6. decrease every other rs row. slip 1, k2tog, knit to last three, ssk, k1
  7. when there are 6 stitches left, k across, then slip 1 purl wise, p2tog twice, p1.
  8. attach to hat.

Granted the ears will curl inwards, but I think they make a nice cute floppy ear. Could be done for a bunny hat or piggy hat as well.

Successful FO! Now onto the rest of my list!

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You’re almost a third of the way through and I haven’t talked to you at all!

I finally managed an FO! I spent a few hours fiddling with the super bulky pink yarn I had spun and plied earlier this year and finally made myself a beanie.

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Tips for next time: 2-ply bulky and don’t fret if it’s not entirely bulky!

I used up every last bit of the super bulky and almost didn’t have enough for the beanie. Thankfully I do have size US15 needles! You can barely make out the quarter underneath four strands of the yarn. Since I let it sit for nearly a month it has not only revealed to me it’s ultimate sproinginess, as merino is, it has also grown on me. The pictures here don’t really show the color well. It isn’t orange. It is PINK. PIIINK.

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MMmhmmm some tasty handspun this is!

The pattern is basic 2×2 variation on Norichanknits Hipstamatic. My changes include casting on 44 instead of 52, working 3 rows on size US11 needles, switching to size US15 needles for the rest of the beanie. The four ply nature of the yarn meant that some spots were not as fluffy as others which gives it a nice subtle thick and thin effect without being so dramatic. I’m pleased with the results and need someone to take me hiking in the mountains! (hint hint).

Speaking of adventures, here’s a sneak peak at my goodies from the Rose City Yarn Crawl!

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A part of learning the craft of drop spinning is upping the game with advanced tools as well as advanced techniques. This little beauty is barely 1oz in weight and doesn’t have a notch! It makes up for that by having a sharper curve at the top of the hook to keep the thread in place. This one is made by Twist and Turnings right here in Portland! It is a 26g/.95oz with an African Paduak whorl and a solid Maple shaft. It’s an itty bitty spindle that I was able to try out at the store. I pretty much tried all of the spindles at Pearl Fiber Arts and this one called my name moreso than the others. There was another dark walnut whorl too, I think it was a 31g weight…yes I am still thinking about it but I’m pretty sure someone’s bought it already. Must exercise self-craft-control…lol

Since this spindle is lighter than my Kundert spindle, I’m hoping to get some consistent lace weight out of it. This spindle is also shorter than my Kundert, so for portability it does get higher marks. I wonder if I can take it with me on an airplane.

Anyways, my master plan is to take knitting with me on my trip to California in April to test out theories about taking circular knitting needles in carry-on luggage on a much trans-continental flight later this year. I’ll bring a set of fixed chiaogoos with me and a pre-stamped envelope just in case the TSA officers are a bunch of hooligans.

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