finished objects

a bit of crochet

This is the Plaid Slouchy Hat by Bethany Dearden, a little crochet number I did with yarn remaining from the colorwork sweater I did in autumn. It’s not showing up too well here in the photo, but it’s pretty cute. I so rarely crochet, but I found I really liked colorwork in crochet. And what an ingenious way to do ribbing! You crochet a small strip vertically and then join that and crochet upwards. That way I was able to fit my head exactly.

This was done over the two weeks I was at home for Christmas, and was a good mindless way to busy my hands while watching a shit-ton of Netflix. Dang, I need to get myself a subscription in Japan.

finished objects

homemade not handmade :(

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Well, it was an interesting experiment. This is a cardholder I made for my business cards since my old is tattered and decidedly unprofessional. This new one is … not all that much better. It could be that I’m just looking on it with the extremely critical eyes that we all have towards our own projects, but it looks mostly “homemade” rather than handmade. I probably rushed the hand-sewing part, and I may have had better luck with a different stitch from this whip-stitch. The stitches are quite visible, but I’m hoping the furriness of the dark yarn will eventually felt a bit over that. (I may be able to crochet a little edging over this? It might ameliorate it even more)

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I do like the knit fabric, but even this fingering weight yarn knit on size 0’s is a bit bulky in the end. That’s just what you get when you hand-knit! You’re never going to get truly delicate fabric unless you’re knitting airy lace with cobweb yarn.  The cardboard inserts I used to reinforce the inside work well enough, but feel a tiny bit flimsy.

The last little annoyance is that I can fit business cards in here, but just barely. It’s just a skotch too small horizontally. I think it will stretch out a tiny bit with use though. From far away I think it still looks quite fetching, so I’ll use it for a little while at least. (It might wear quite horribly, and be ready for the trash within a year for all I know!)

finished objects

another baby beanie

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almost done

The best thing about knitting a hat for a new baby is that it gives quite a big impact for only a little amount of work. I finished this hat in a few days of infrequent knitting, with scrap yarn. To me, it was a fun little diversion, but to the expecting mother, it’s a sweet gesture that means more than a purchased blanket or toy. But it’s not so much that it’s overkill. I probably wouldn’t even make my own baby a blanket, let alone someone else’s. There’s also a pressure, too,  in receiving such a gift. We knitters talk often about the love and care that goes into knitting someone a piece of clothing- a hug in every stitch! – but that can feel weirdly intimate with people who you’re not too close to. To the knitter, knitting a baby sweater may only take a week or two, but to the receiver, it might be too much work to take care of, to repay. So I think I’ll stick to baby hats, for the time being.

I guess nobody really close to me has gotten pregnant, so there’s that too.

(the pattern is not my own, but it’s not on Ravelry. It’s a hat in a book of Japanese baby knits…the first knitting book I ever purchased. Yes, I was lured into knitting by cute baby clothes.)

finished objects

a garden of mohair and wool

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Wow!

So finally I finished knitting this sweater I’ve been dreaming about for years. To be completely honest, I’m a little numb? regarding it. I’m not as excited as I thought I would be to wear it, even though it turned out about as good as I could hope. Reknitting the body FOUR TIMES was a pain, but it fits pretty well now. The top yoke was really iffy before I blocked it, but blocking it smoothed out all the bumps. However, I think the yoke design itself comes down too low. I mean, anyone with eyes can see that, even in the pattern picture. It works because the model has a quite flat chest – not exactly my situation. But I was hoping it would work, and it mostly does, but of course it’s pretty awkward, especially when I raise my arms.

The only thing is, I don’t think reknitting it would change much! I’d have to take out some rows of the colorwork, which I really don’t want to do, since it’s such a piece of art. I love the colorwork! It’s pretty intense when I wear it, but I don’t even care. It’s just this undulating piece of color and light.

I just can’t believe it’s done. I’m happy, I think! It looks great. It feels great. I think I’m just in shock about finishing something that had been a goal for a long time. Does anyone else understand that feeling?

(I wanted a picture of me wearing it, but I haven’t had a good one yet – maybe I’ll update later with that?)

finished objects

cute lil’ baby

blurred for this lil' baby's privacy
blurred for this lil’ baby’s privacy
Berry Baby Hat by Michele Sabatier
I just had to share: I don’t normally knit much for others, unless it’s for cute lil’ babies, since knitted baby items only take like an hour, tops. I’m not a baby blanket-knitter (probably won’t even won’t be for my own baby (whenever that happens)), but I love to knit baby hats for expecting friends, family, and coworkers. A coworker of mine had her baby a few months ago, and today sent me this picture! Awww! It makes me so happy that something I knitted is being used, especially to protect such a precious human from the cold.
(and, well, hats are a great way to use up stash)
And what a perfect color for autumn. I meant for it to be a pumpkin, but from this angle, it looks like a persimmon. An adorable teeny persimmon baby.
finished objects

slow fashion october: a garment i almost love

From "Shawls, stoles, ponchos, and boleros", a Japanese knitting book
From “Shawls, stoles, ponchos, and boleros”, a Japanese knitting book

This is the first *real* sweater I knit for myself. It’s an alpaca vest-shell type thing that’s basically a long scarf wrapped around itself and sewn together. I figured it would be easy for a first garment project.

(Well, I did knit a bulky cardigan before this, but that was with some gift acrylic yarn and I knew it was just for practice. I probably wear it more, as I just wear it around the house for knocking around. It’s ugly, but I made it long enough ago that I love it warts and all. But it’s not a garment I would wear outside)

Anyway, I’m only 80% in love with this shell. I LOVE the fabric the yarn made. It’s a bulky alpaca-wool mix, and it’s SO soft. It sheds and felts a bit, but it still looks really good, mostly because there’s not a lot of places for it to rub together (no sleeves). And I like this idea of a shell over a black shirt or turtleneck. I’ve worn it a lot. But I’ve never loved how loose it is on the shoulders. It falls off constantly without a pin to hold it together. As you can see in the picture, it basically has no shoulders!

I’ve thought about repurposing the yarn, but the only thing I’d have in mind is a skirt, and I don’t think this yarn would work with a garment that needs to be sat on all the time (can you imagine the pilling on the butt??). And I do like this! So I think I just need to crochet in some reinforcement. I might even unpick the ribbing up top, pick up less stitches, and use a smaller needle to reknit. I might work on this in between the Bohus sweater (which, by the way, I’m much farther along than this blog indicates. I’ve got a backlog of posts, so while the next post will show me done the first sleeve, I’ve actually knit up both sleeves, the body, and most of the yoke. And then I decided to rip it allllll the way back due to fit issues. So I’m on my second go around. But you’ll see it eventually!)

finished objects

every last inch

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Hat pattern: Pompom Aran Hat by Mariko Mikuni

Mittens pattern: Christmas Magic by DROPS design

By making the hat 1/4th smaller, I had enough yarn left to make this matching mittens. The grey yarn was some Hamanaka Warmmy I bought for sweater swatching but I actually hated it for sweaters. Rather than having it go to waste, I used it up with the pompom and the color trim on the mittens. I love grey and yellow so much together!

I added the white diamonds on a whim, and it ended up being my first time knitting three colors in the round. This was about the easiest introduction to it – there are only two rows on every diamond repeat that require three colors. And it’s bulky yarn, so a tiny amount of stitch wrangling. It was a bit tricky to get the tension right (you can see that area draws in a bit because the tension is off), but it was pretty interesting. It’s good practice for my upcoming Bohus sweater!

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It’s still like 25 degrees outside…
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a true joy

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I finished my Equatorial Nights cowl. It was slow going for the first month, because I spent most of my time knitting the Fleurette cardigan. The beads were a little fiddly, and I just didn’t feel like counting stitches to get the beads in the right place. I had to be disciplined to get the purl rows done (although Alina gave me a great tip in the comments for garter in the round without purling!) Once Fleurette got done, I picked up the cowl again, thinking I would really have to hunker down… and it went by much faster than I expected. Quite frankly, it was a joy to knit the rest of this cowl!

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I don’t know what it was. Maybe it was the detour in between to knit a hat with rough, bulky yarn. Or maybe it was the slightly cooler temperatures, making it more comfortable to knit with wool. Or maybe it was just the tactile pleasure in feeling the beads glide under my fingers. The yarn is quite soft too! It was all very pleasant.

I love how the finished project really does look like the night sky. The yarn got very drapey after blocking, so maybe it’s not the best choice for a cowl, but I think it looks pretty fancy and would suit a night on the town.

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