Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Four: November 9, 2012

Four Patterns Sitting in My Ravelry Cart

  1. Hugo the Baby Unicorn – I am not a big unicorn freak or anything, I just think this is one of the cutest things I have seen. I think it would be an awesome baby shower gift!

  2. Acorn the Baby ElfTis the Season! I would love to knit several of these little guys up and attach to gifts. Perhaps next year as this year’s holiday knitting is already far behind.

  3. FANGula the Vampire – Who is not the least little bit attracted to vampires? Excluding my mom. I am not a Twihard, not even close. But I can imagine this little guy being my very own Damon Salvatore.

  4. Stain Glass Socks – I am not a sock knitter. But I could be with this pattern. I am not a huge rainbow fan, but I really like the look of these socks. I like the look so much I want to knit a pair! Like two socks!

Do you have a basketful of patterns on Ravelry? Do you do like I do and build up a cart and then decide later which ones you really want to purchase? What’s in your cart? Hit the comments and let me know.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Quickie

As I was sitting in front of my television last night, I had the iPad propped up on my lap and was perusing patterns. Now I don’t need any new patterns. I have more patterns than I will probably ever knit. I have a heavy investment in my library (I am sure some of my pattern stock’s net worth could have helped the dow). But I am always looking.

As I sat there, I thought to myself, “I should be knitting, not looking at patterns”. I felt sort of guilty that I have half a bear body in my project bag and was looking at NEW patterns. A total, WTF? moment. Feeling that guilty was going to weigh on me all night and I was going to go to bed with the knowledge that I did nothing. I am already behind and taking two hours to surf Ravelry was one of the dumbest things I could do.

Well I couldn’t go to bed with that hanging over my head, so I grabbed a pattern (thank god for iBooks holding PDFs (especially when I am out of black ink and am too lazy to replace it)), some cotton, an H hook and set to work on a special request Christmas present for Miss Bella. Now Miss Bella is a fickle sort of girl. She is apprehensive when it comes to strangers. She just flat out doesn’t trust them. And by them, I mean us. She barks and barks at us on Christmas morning. Oh, did I forget to mention that Miss Bella is of the canine persuasion? Well she is. A few years ago, when I learned how to crochet and realized how fast you could churn out little stuffies, I decided to make all the children in our lives toys to play with. I made Miss Bella an angel fish. She apparently fell in love with it once we left. She disemboweled it (like most critters do), but they kept the carcass and she just loved it to its demise.

It has been mentioned many times how much she loved her fish. So I got to work on another one for her. I feel so honored that she loved it so much (because let me tell you that my boys have barely touched what I made them!). It is over half way finished! See what I mean about crochet going so fast? An episode of General Hospital and the body is complete. I have to do the fins and assemble and a Christmas present is done!

Do you have a go to fast project? Do you make presents for the critters in your life? What do they like? Hit the comments and let me know.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A WiPy Sort of Wednesday

For once I actually have some work in progress photos to share. I am pretty excited about that.

First up, here is half a scarf.

I feel like I can’t work on the other half until I get some Christmas knitting done.

So, with that logic, here is a Christmas present on the needles.  A Brrr Bear.

This is going to go to my aunt, the bear collector…provide I get working on it!

And that is really all I have. I finished a project recently that I plan on posting soon and I have yet to cast anything else on. I realize I am running out of time and so I have had to cut things from my list.

How is your holiday knitting going? Are you, like me, expecting to find an extra month to get it all done? Hit the comments and let me know.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Instant Gratification: Raspberry Acorn

I was in need of some instant gratification today. I felt I needed a little something that was finished to kick start my crafting again. And I knew just the project to get me going…

The Lily Acorn cloth. A perfect quick little project. It didn’t hurt that it was one of the cloths picked for this month’s KAL/CAL over at the dishcloth exchange group on Ravelry.

I have crocheted this before using the colors called for in the pattern. This time I went stash diving and came up with some Raspberry Swirl and Chocolate.

What do you turn to when you need instant gratification? What’s your favorite cloth pattern? Hit the comments and let me know.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Perfect Session

I was thinking the other day about when I get my best knitting done. I was wondering because I haven’t been getting nearly enough done and I was trying to figure out what I had to change so I make sure I capitalize on the time and get it done.

Here is what I have come up with:

  • A good program to watch (I tend to do most of my knitting while watching television)
  • A comfortable place to sit
  • Beverage (knitting works up a thirst)
  • Blanket/socks/warmth!
  • Pattern/project bag/notions (I can’t tell you how many times I have sat down only to have the pattern across the room!)
  • Dogs who are sleepy or outside (they always seem to know when I have settled in and just HAVE to go outside)
  • A relatively empty bladder!

I think those are the basics to a good knitting session. I don’t think I could do a book on tape unless I had a mindless pattern to knit. I would get lost between the book and the pattern. Maybe some good music if I was without television.

So what are your must haves to a perfect knitting session? Did I miss something crucial? Hit the comments and let me know.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

FP: Heather's Hudson Hat

Project: Heather's Hudson Hat
Pattern: Hudson Hat
Yarn: Knit Picks Comfy Worsted – Seraphim
Needles: US 9
Size: Adult
Made For: Me

I actually made something for myself. That never happens!

Once the weather started to turn and I was leaving the pool with wet hair, I thought it was time to knit myself a hat to wear home. I had the yarn already (purchased for a blanket that didn’t happen) & decided that it would be perfect. It would be warm and it would wash easily. So I set out in search of a cute pattern.

I ended up looking at a lot of hats and settled on Heidi May’s Hudson Hat. I set about casting on and started thinking that 76 stitches was not going to be enough for an adult head when the pattern called for 72 for a child’s head. I don’t think a four stitch difference is adequate between a child and adult. I cast on 80 stitches and started knitting. At around the half-way point I decided to look at some other adult hat patterns to see if I was wasting my time. I didn’t want to knit a hat that wasn’t going to fit. I found that they called for between 80 & 84 stitches. Since I don’t like to frog and start over, I decided to just keep going. If nothing else I could donate it to some hip teenager. Are teenagers still hip?

The hat came out beautifully. As I mentioned, it took me some time to find the buttons. Actually I believe it took me little time to find the buttons and a vast amount of time to just sew them on. In any event, the hat is done and is beautiful.

The pattern has since been updated to account for the size difference. I like the pattern and I can see myself making it again. I think it would be adorable for a mom and daughter to have a matching set.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

On Finishing

Why is it that sometimes it takes us longer to do the finishing work on a project? Like blocking a shawl, sewing on buttons, assembling a toy? And sometimes it doesn't.

I finished a hat several weeks ago. It took a couple of evenings to get it done, it was a fast project. And at the time it was needed because the weather had cooled and coming out of the gym with wet hair was going to be bothersome. I deemed it finished. Then I was filing away the pattern and noticed that I had forgotten the buttons. I debated internally with myself about whether buttons were needed as it was more of a utility piece than a fashion piece. And then I found a scarf pattern and since I still had enough of this particular yarn to knit the small scarf and it REQUIRED a button, well I just had to do the buttons on the hat. A trip to the button jar yielded not enough matching buttons to do the pieces justice. So I was off to the craft store to seek out the perfect set of buttons. I left the store with two sets (and several more items I did not need), the final choice to be determined once I saw them “on” the fabric.

I made the choice right away and put the buttons IN the hat and set it on my desk. I finally sewed them on last night. A project that took two evenings to knit, finally finished four weeks later. Is it common or is it just the procrastinator in me?

On the flip side, I finished up knitting a cute little stuffy a few nights ago, had to make yet another trip to the craft store to get some felt, but started the finishing work right away. It took almost as long to do the finishing as the knitting of the pieces took. I was excited to see it come together. I could have easily put it off once I was half way through the finishing work with how long it was taking and how little the pieces were. But I forged ahead.

So why didn’t I do that with the hat? It might be one of those great mysteries. Perhaps we don’t do the finishing work because it took us so long to knit the project (shawls, blankets, sweaters). Perhaps it is because the full project is not complete (my scarf mentioned above is half knit). Perhaps it is because the finishing is tedious (buttons, weaving of ends, assembling of toys). Perhaps we are procrastinators. Or maybe we just don’t want to be finished. I highly doubt it is the latter. Whatever it is, the satisfaction that comes from completing a project far outweighs any reason for NOT finishing it.

Do you take your time finishing or do you want that instant gratification? Hit the comments section and let me know.