Archive for knitting

bubble curtain

i finally finished knitting this curtain for our bathroom window. it’s the “bubbly curtain” pattern from mason dixon knitting.

the idea is that it’s supposed to still let light through, but everyone shouldn’t see you… the pattern concept was supposedly of champagne bubbles floating up.

i knit this with elsebeth lavold’s hempathy yarn (cotton/hemp blend), which i love, on size 6 needles.

this photo is actually kind of fake, as i’m waiting for jess to get home to move the curtain rod lower… this is actually only going to cover the lower window pane, and leave the top pane open for more light to come in.  this was partly intentional (i wanted to be done, and was trying to convince jess that this was a valid idea), and partly not (my local yarn store no longer carries this particular yarn, and i ran out – i assumed this was a sign that my idea for only covering the lower window pane was the way to go).

anyway, i think it’s pretty, and it really made me appreciate lace, even though this is a super simple pattern as far as lace goes.


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winter knits

it’s about time i posted some finished knitting projects, as i managed to eek out quite a few finished objects (FO’s as they’re called in the knitting blog world, i guess) this winter, and someone reading my blog may begin to wonder whether i’ve actually been doing anything for awhile now…

i may as well just admit right now, too, that nearly everything you’re about to see is made from wool.  i honestly don’t have much defense around this (being vegan) – when i started knitting 2 years ago i just kind of got excited and went out and got myself a big pile of yarn, mostly wool, mostly having no idea what i would do with it – i simply didn’t want to NOT have yarn on hand at any time my fingers might be ready to start a new project.  since then, i decided several months ago that i would go back to treating wool yarn the way i treat wool clothing (and leather, for that matter): which is to say that i will buy USED wool items or certainly make use of found free wool; but i will not buy NEW wool.  so, as that applies to yarn, i am no longer buying wool yarn; but i am excited to try re-using wool from used sweaters – i’ve been on the lookout for sweaters that i think may be a good candidate for my first attempt at unraveling and re-using the yarn, but haven’t figured out quite what to look for, or how i would begin to unravel the sweater in one string… (if anyone has tips, i’d love them! i know people do this successfully all the time…)  and in the mean time, i’ve still got a fair amount of wool yarn in my stash, so i’m using that up along the way.

so, with that out of the way, onto my finished pieces:

for the last two years, i have almost always had something on the needles in various stages, but haven’t always produced much very often.  however, my latest knit frenzy started in the beginning of november 2008, when i got excited about this A-line sweater pattern from Drops Eskimo.  however, i didn’t get very far along before i realized i needed to set it aside so i could make christmas gifts for my family members.  so this sweater began in early november, then sat aside until about dec 23 when all the gifts were finished, and then i cranked it out at my parents’ house while i was there over the holidays.

i’ve still got to find buttons for it and sew those on, so i guess it’s technically not fully finished yet (and i haven’t worn it), but here it is anyway.

another piece i started in the fall sometime and then finally put the finishing touches on over the holidays was this simple “scrunchable scarf”.  it’s a super easy pattern and creates a really pleasing, reversible, and “scrunchable”(!) scarf:

as for the christmas gifts, i made hats for my dad and brother, socks for my mom, and a little clutch pouch/wallet thingy for my sister-in-law.

dad’s hat was this “nottingham” pattern.  i’m really pleased with how it turned out, except that i wish i hadn’t used two different colored yarns (i used light and dark gray yarns held together throughout), so you could see the cable pattern more easily.

my brother’s hat was the “assymetrical cable hat” from the one skein book by leigh radford.  it has an interesting method for closing the top off – instead of decreasing for the crown, it just knits a tube and then you sew it straight across, then tack the two points together.  the pattern calls for putting a pom pom on top, which probably makes the crown less weird, but i wasn’t sure my brother would want a pom pom, so i left it without one.  i think he was weirded out by the top, though, so i owe him a pom pom to add to it now…

i was most pleased with the socks i knit for my mom – the pattern was called “mock cable socks”, and i ended up knitting them all the way up to christmas eve, because i got crunched for time; but the pattern was relatively easy (i tend to stick with simpler stuff).  i accidentally missed a mock cable here and there, so there are a couple places where the pattern gets interrupted, but leaving in mistakes is kind of my trademark at this point.

for my sister-in-law, i started out trying to knit this “knitting needle knitting bag” (although i was going to make it smaller, and not leave knitting needles in as handles) because i loved the way the “raspberry stitch” bobble texture looks, but i didn’t get very far.  embarrassingly, the pattern level says “easy”, but the k3together raspberry stitch technique was way too cumbersome for my taste.  so i searched for something else that had a fun texture similar to the raspberry stitch, and settled on this “seed stitch clutch”:

this little clutch ended up being a first for many things for me, since i had to learn how to sew a lining, then sew the lining INTO the bag, and attach a zipper – all things i had never done before.  the first lining i sewed did not fit, so i had to make a second, which worked out okay.  i found these two blog tutorials about sewing a lining and sewing a lining into a bag that were invaluable in helping me finish this project.

since christmas, i’ve started a couple other projects for myself.  i’m just about finished with the second one of these “twin rib fingerless mittens”, which is the first time i’ve sewn a thumb gusset (next i’ll have do actual full fingers).  i just have to finish the thumb on the second glove, and weave in all the yarn ends on both of them (my most dreaded task in finishing knit projects).

i also started knitting the “christine bag” using the chunky burgundy yarn i found for 50 cents at a garage sale last fall, but i ran out of yarn, and decided to try using a different color for the top 2-3 inches and handles, but i’m not happy with the way it’s turning out, so it’s on hold for now…

next up: a sweater vest for jess?!

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a saturday shopping adventure by bike

my partner jess and i started out our saturday with vegan brunch at fellini’s in berkeley, meeting at the restaurant after jess got off an overnight shift for work.  after french toast and soy bacon, and their fresh-squeezed orange juice (i love that orange juice machine!), we set off on our bikes to browse thrift shops, a yarn festival, antique stores, farmer’s market, and… paint stores.

my bike with a dahlia jess gave me at brunch

my bike with a dahlia jess gave me at brunch

we stopped at some thrift stores first, but not surprisingly didn’t find any furniture for the new apartment.  i’m going to have to be patient on this one.  the searching over the last few weeks has yielded us a sweet old sewing desk, but that’s it so far.

next we headed up north of the university to check out the “color: fiber festival” my friend kasha (from cultivating domesticity) alerted me to. neither of us really needed any more yarn – we’re still trying to figure out what to do with my current stash in the new apartment – but i was excited to check it out, since i’d missed all the other yarn festivals i’d heard about in the last couple years since i started knitting.  alas, the “festival” was one room containing about 6 stalls of local bay area yarn vendors, and a circle of women spinning wool outside under a tent.  all the yarn was beautiful and hand-dyed, etc., and everyone there seemed to be wearing a garment they had knit themselves.  it was all very cute, but we felt awkward, and got literally trapped by one of the vendors who was eager to tell us all about her yarns, and try to make a sale. we made our way out as tactfully as possible after perusing all the stalls, and were thanked for coming as we got back on our bikes.

the color fiber festival

the color fiber festival

ironically, just a block away from the fiber festival, we ran into a couple garage sales around the corner, and i ended up scoring a ball of yarn for 50 cents.  sweet.  i love when things like that happen.

from there, we made our way over to “mixed pickles”, an adorable antique store on shattuck, where we ogled an old bedroom set of two twin beds with matching dressers and night stands, in an olive green color with little painted flowers. i had to drag jess out, convincing her the dresser was not in our price range right now (always a dream-crusher, i am).  we set off hoping that we would find a dresser that was just as good at a nearby garage sale for only 50 cents, but i guess the yarn score used up that bit of good luck.

next we stopped for a strawberry nut milk shake at raw energy, this cute little juice bar on addison st., where jess is a regular.  the owner is so nice, we even got a discount (that’s how often jess goes…).

we took our nut milk over to the berkeley farmer’s market, where we sampled a few fruits, and bought some apples, persimmons, and grapes, and then found a delicious lavender hibiscus lemonade from this vendor who had all sorts of beautiful canned goods.

canned goods at the farmer's market

canned goods at the farmer's market

after the farmer’s market we biked down telegraph, stopping at a few more garage sales on the way (no scores), to a few paint stores in the temescal neighborhood, and brought home about a million samples, which we pored over, with heavy debate, deciding on colors for each room in the apartment.  right now we’ve picked out a shade of teal for the living room, pink for the bedroom, avocado/lime greenish for the arts & crafts room, goldenrod for the kitchen, and a lighter pink for the bathroom.  next up:  actually buying the paint and going for it.  we’ll see how it goes.

lastly, we stopped at a yarn store on piedmont ave on the way home, where i picked up my size 11 needles so i can start my next sweater:

anyway, it was just a nice saturday, that i felt like sharing with those who weren’t there.

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Tying up loose ends…

first of all, we finally got internet service activated at our new apartment (we moved 9/27), so i’ve been without internet access at home for weeks now, and thus-unable to update ye olde blog!  you’d think i would have at least spent some of that time writing, waiting in anticipation to post my ruminations as soon as the DSL kicked in, but alas, i did not.  i did read some good books (one hundred years of solitude and slaughterhouse five, and still working on resisting state violence with the book group i’m part of), and did a lot of unpacking.
ballet sweater by kris percival

kris percival's ballet sweater

AND – i finally managed to finish the “ballet sweater” (pattern by kris percival) which had been sitting around ready to be sewn up since i finished knitting it in july.

the first seams i did were the shoulders, which i accidentally sewed inside out – so i have these big old backwards seams on each shoulder that look ridiculous, but i almost ended up unraveling a whole sleeve when i tried to take out the seam and re-do it, so i opted to just leave them.  i end up leaving a lot of mistakes in my work because of that! oh well.

my ballet sweater

my ballet sweater

sweater back

sweater back

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