07 February 2014

Better images

I have better images of many of the FOs I've completed here in the hospital. Here we go:

Here's Harbinger. Although it calls for a heavier weight yarn, I really like the fabric quality here:

This is a deceptive angle, since it looks like I'm not pregnant. Here's the real story:

The rustic fisherwoman hat:

Finished Wee Austin hoodie. I got the coppery leaf imprint buttons from Fusion

The buttons:

And two little projects for two very special preemies in the NICU:

I've done another two projects (toys), just haven't had time to photograph them yet. I'm planning on doing a big shoot of the two things I've finished and a TON of un-recorded yarn for my stash, so I just need to find the time to do that between blood draws and visitors.

I've put my Ysolda "Follow Your Arrow" Mystery KAL project on the shelf for now, as I'm not thrilled with the direction it's headed. I'm trying to determine if I want to write some new "clues" to make it more wearable (for  me), or if I want to just frog the whole thing and use the tosh on something else...

- YX

23 January 2014

FO: Wee Austin Hoodie

This post contains spoilers about the Ysolda Teague Mystery Knit Along, "Follow Your Arrow". Proceed with caution...Again!

I finished the baby sweater I was working on last time:

It's blocking right now. Although the hospital has some decent AC, I definitely miss being able to block things under the ceiling fan in my guest room. One night under the fan, and anything was ready to go.

I'm excited to get home and take some nice images of all these FOs, but sadly it's looking like I'll be here until the beginning of March sometime. Our baby will probably be in the NICU at first, so either I'll keep producing lots of knitted things, or I'll end up going radio silent again for a few weeks.

I'm still working along on the Ysolda KAL, and this time chose clue B, the short row clue. Here's the progress:

Sigh... All this terrible photography!

Anyway, I like the way this weird geometric thing is shaping up. I can't wait to see the next clue set!

- YX

14 January 2014

Weird things happening

This post contains spoilers about the Ysolda Teague Mystery Knit Along, "Follow Your Arrow". Proceed with caution!

Today is my birthday. Isn't that fun? Ask me where I'm spending my birthday...

...The answer is "in the hospital"!

Due to some complications with my pregnancy, I had to enter the hospital on 12/31. I'm now on indefinite bedrest until March, when I'll be delivering my baby a whole 5 weeks early. Kinda nuts! But in the meantime...

I've finished Harbinger, which needs a good blocking and deserves a better picture than this one on my hospital bed (Vice Yarns Sinful Singles):

I also finished a Fisherman Hat, which again is much prettier than these pictures give credit. See the Harbinger in the background? (Classic Elite Chalet):

I've started a Wee Austin Hoodie, which is coming along quickly. Photo doesn't represent the color, which is actually the same as the little baby hat I did. (Wollmeise 100% in Wasabi):

And to make things interesting, I've started Ysolda's Follow Your Arrow mystery knit along, which has a wonderful "choose your own adventure" feel to it. Out of the first two clues, I chose option A, which is an angular/ geometric option. Option B is a semicircular option. Although B is pretty (and I'd venture to say the prettier of the two), I tend to dislike wearing semicircular shawls, so I went for the other option. I'm using Tosh Sock in Antique Lace:

I need to do a wrap-up of 2013 (I'm SO late), and take some better photos! It's so hard to get nice images in the hospital!
- YX

12 December 2013

Recently queued

I've been working on Harbinger, the LondonLeo shawl pattern with such beautiful geometric elements I posted about in August.

I have a sad, blurry cell phone image of the WIP right now, but it isn't even the right color. The actual color is more turquoise. The yarn is from a local dyer, Vice Yarns, and I really need to do a writeup of her stuff, especially because I have a skein to give away on the blog! :D

In other news, I've added more things to my queue, and here are a few of them:

Mountain of Light Koh-i-noor shawl, by Alexandra Wiedmayer. A total color project; it would be fun to play around with yarn choices on this. I'd do lavender and grey, maybe. Or bright blue with cream. Or scarlet and grey. Or.....

Dreiecke, by Shannon Cook. I received this pattern as a gift and just love the texture. It has a ski chalet feel without the pain of Fair Isle. I have some oatmeal-y Tosh that would be great for this. Or an electric yellow. I can see it being so many things. 

And finally, the Maple Leaf Knit Shawl by Natalia @ Elfmoda, because wow. I really, REEEEEALLY hope she's in the process of doing a whole series of leaves. I'd die. And have to knit them all. Gah, I just get tickled looking at it.
- YX

14 November 2013

Yarn ball ornaments

I love all of the knitted holiday ornaments that I see in stores and on Ravelry. Unfortunately for me, I don't have the patient to knit a million little sweaters or mittens or penguins.

But I can make these:

These little yarn ball ornaments are pretty easy to make, and make use of your scrap yarn. I've been meaning to make these for a few years now, and I'm happy to show you my process!

2" Styrofoam Balls
1/4" dowels
Caps for the dowels
Silver cording (I used embroidery floss)
Sand paper
Pencil sharpener
Something to cut the dowels (not pictured)
A thin, sharp knitting needle (optional)
Some type of glue. (I chose 1991's favorite adhesive, my trusty hot glue gun.)
Scrap yarn (The green ornament uses fingering yarn, the red one at the end of the tutorial is worsted)

Step 1: 
Cut dowels into 1-1/2" pieces. I used a model-making chopper for this, but strong scissors, wire cutters, or a hand saw could do the same. 

Step 2: 
Use the pencil sharpener to sharpen the ends of two of the dowel segments. Use sandpaper to blunt the ends of the points. Place the caps on the remaining two dowel segments. The caps held on to the dowels with friction, but you could use a good white craft or wood glue if they don't. 

Step 3:
Stick dowel segments into a styrofoam ball, being careful to line up the segments so they look straight and continuous. 
I used a sharp knitting needle to make holes all the way through the styrofoam, which showed me exactly the angle I needed to use to place the dowels into the ball. 

Step 4:
Glue the dowel segments to the styrofoam, and make a small hole in the top of the ball, sticking both ends of a piece of cording into the hole. Glue cording in place. (I used 4" of cording)

Step 5:
Wrap your scrap yarn around the ball multiple times, in many directions. I didn't even secure the starting end of the yarn, I just overlapped it enough that it held. When I was finished, I slipped the yarn under the wraps and stuffed it under wraps in an opposite direction. Sometimes I could find a little hole of styrofoam and mash the end into the foam, securing with a teeny bit of glue. 

Ta-da! Knitting ornaments!

You could paint or stain the "needles", use i-cord or crochet chains in place of regular yarn, put beads on the yarn... Lots of options! You could even use some large, pretty beads for the needle ends. 

If you make these ornaments, send me a picture and I'll be sure to share it here!
Happy holidays!
- YX