Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Old FO: Cat toy

Several years ago, my SIL and her husband adopted a kitten. For Christmas that year, I knit him a cat toy, and The Sweetie made the "fishing pole", complete with a rope-covered handle. (Sorry, sweetie, I forgot the fancy name for it.) We stuffed it with catnip. (We had to keep it in the fridge to keep OUR cat from playing with it!)

I recently dug through some old email and found photos that they sent of the toy, and it in use.

Pattern: Catnip Mouse by Wendy Johnson
Needles: Not sure anymore.
Yarn: Brunswick Germantown, leftover from Eric's Scarf.

It seemed like a lot of work to do cables for a cat toy, but it was small and fast and cute.

Here's an action shot:

2007-5-20-CatToy 006

Monday, July 13, 2009

FO: Birth hat for R&H

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
My DH's currently favorite student, R, is expecting a baby any day now. We haven't heard whether R&H's baby is born yet, but one day DH came home and requested a hat for them. I found out it was to be a girl, and I acquired some appropriate colors. These hats just keep popping out!

This time, I looked more closely at the instructions for the knitted cast-on - it appears I was supposed to be twisting the stitches as I put them on the left needle. I'm not sure I like it better this way - I'll probably go back to the way I usually did it.

Also, I wanted to try out a smoother way to decrease in ribbing - I'd read somewhere to pick out knit stitches (evenly spaced) and whenever you get to a stitch before them, do a k2tog - the previous stitch slips under the kept stitch and so the rib continues upward. I did it this time, and I do like the effect, although it's not as pronounced as what I was doing before. I sort of liked the look of the dome in Florence of the previous ones. Oh, also I miscast on 60 stitches, instead of 64, and so dividing by 8 was a little hard. I kludged it until it worked out.

Pattern: Birth hat (just like this and this). Someday I'll write up the pattern; I keep doing it over and over, so it'll be worth it for my own use!
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, pink and a tiny bit of purple leftover. I'm amassing quite a collection of this yarn!
Needles: Size 3 (for the cast-on) dpns, and size 5 12" circular (Addi turbo) and dpn (Clover/Takumi).

DH gave it to R, and he was surprised and thrilled. That baby is due sometime in July. Any day now....

Thursday, July 9, 2009

FO: Football hat & sneaker booties

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
A friend of mine is having her second child, a boy. I happen to know that her husband is very much into college football, so I decided to make the football helmet hat for them, from Itty-Bitty Hats. I chose Northwestern University's colors, because that's where the parents went to college, and where they met.

I was looking around for an appropriate bootie to go with them (while the knitted Converse sneakers are very cute, they're not really footballish) and I found these great sneaker booties. I ordered some Cascade 220 superwash from WEBS and got started.

The ear flaps, while quick to knit, were HUGE. Like, they'd cover my ears and then some. But I persevered on (you know, like the Harlot has said many times before, your inner knitter knows this is wrong, but you have this hope that when you complete it, the rest will shrink to fit the size it was supposed to be?) Finally, I finished the hat and it was ... okay. The cap part seemed baby sized. The ear flaps were impossible. I thought and I thought, and I said, I am a knitter. I can fix this.

I decided that the culprit was actually that the ear flaps are in seed stitch, and my seed stitch (apparently) is way, way looser than my stockinette. (I'm starting to suspect that it's either switching to purl or purling itself that is looser than my knit stitch.) So I decided, the ear flaps are modules, I can cut them off and kitchener new ones on. But then I thought, well, the first few rows of the brim are also seed stitch, so I could just redo the beginning of the hat, and kitchener in stockinette. Much better. (And along the way, I can correct the number of stitches to be odd, so that I can seed stitch around. And I can center the ear flaps on the brim - the original offset them toward the back of the head.)

So while TLD was napping in the car, I took a deep breath and picked up stitches around the bottom of the hat, checked twice, and snipped the yarn. Pulled out that sucker, and I had a brim and a hat to attach to each other, with about the same number of stitches.

Then I had my inspiration - I could use the 3 needle bind-off instead of kitchener, and it would create a nice line between the seed stitch brim and the stockinette. I ran it past my knitting group, and it was decided.

I finished it with some brown KnitPicks swish DK I had around. Why is it that the Swish DK and the Cascade 220 knit at the same gauge? (I know it doesn't matter for the football but I used it in the booties below also). Exact same!

Pattern: Football, from Itty-Bitty Hats
Yarn: Cascade 220 superwash in royal purple, KnitPicks Swish DK in brown and white.
Needles: Size 7 circular 16" (my first needle; forgot the brand), DPNs (Bryspun), and size 5 circular 16" (Addi Turbo, I think) and DPNs (Probably Clover Takumi) for the seed stitch section.
Mods: I accidentally had too many stitches in the first few rows of the stockinette section, so I did a k2tog to fix it. It's visible, but I put it at the back. Should've seen if I could sew the football over it!

The booties were really wonderful, quick, and easy. And I'd wondered for a long time why I hadn't seen any bootie patterns that knit the bottom and attached the sides at the same time. I'd thought that's how I'd like to make a bootie, but I assumed there was something wrong with it that I'd find out. Nope, nothing wrong, just not a very common construction. This is great- it makes a rectangular sole, and no seams at all (no seam up the bottom, no seams up the side, just no seams!) The roll-top is perfect (I did sew it down, as it was threatening to reveal my woven-in ends), and the lacing was fun.

Pattern: Sneaker Booties
Yarn: Cascade 220 superwash in royal purple, KnitPicks Swish DK in brown and white.
Needles: Size 2 DPNs (Clover Takumi)

I gave these to my friend, and she asked if I'd put the hat on TLD. It was so cute, I've got to make another hat for him to wear during college football season!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

FO: Brown Bricks dishcloth

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Here it is, at long last: the Ballband dishcloth. I made it with two colors of Lion cotton I got on sale (boy, those balls have great yardage!). It is a fun pattern, and I could get into these easy slip stitch patterns. So easy to make colorful stuff with no fuss! As I made this, I realized that a blanket that was given to TLD is the same pattern, except that it's all in stockinette instead of putting the "bricks" in reverse-stockinette.

Pattern: Ball band dishcloth, from Mason Dixon knitting or the ball band of Pisgah Peaches & Creme.
Yarn: Lion Cotton, red and brown.
Needle: KnitPicks Options, size 6.

I did this exactly as written.

Here's a modeled shot:


When I handed this over to TLD, he put it in his mouth (of course), but then he started polishing his toys and wiping the floor! So now of course it's his.