Saturday, January 31, 2009

Munchies

Hi,

We're still struggling to get Mitchell to add some more things to his diet. He seems willing to add all sorts of chips to his repertoire.

Lately, we're just glad if he eats peanut butter. It has protein in it!

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Frog Business

Hi,

A conversation at dinner last night, watching "The Incredibles" on TV:

Daddy: If you were a super hero, what would your name be?


Mitchell: Frog Business.

Daddy: Frog Business? Where did you come up with that one?



Mitchell: I came up with it in the East.

Editor's note: I guess the sun isn't the only thing that comes up in the East.

Happy Knitting!
Lisa Kay

Monday, January 19, 2009

It's Mysterious

Hi,

We were playing with the vinegar/baking soda volcanoe, and Mitchell kept tasting the vinegar. He made some pretty interesting faces, which was fun. The mysterious thing is that he doesn't eat very much of anything... not pizza, not PB&J, not mac & cheese, ... but he'll taste all kinds of weird, non-food things.


Last week, his word was, "Mysterious." We were looking at a Berenstain Bears book that had little doors in it. I said, "What's behind this door?" He said, "I don't know. It's mysterious." He used it several other times last week, too (correctly, I might add). Today, he said something was, "Magnificent." He's also using adverbs correctly, which is strange (ahem,... mysterious), because most adults don't use adverbs, correctly. He said to Daddy, last night, "You can do it easily." (Is there supposed to be a comma in that sentence? I'll have to ask my son.)

Happy Knitting!
Lisa Kay

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Tomten Borders

Hi,

I now have my contrasting yarn for the Tomten Jacket borders. It is Elsebeth Lavold's "Silky Flamme'." (50% Wool, 30% Alpaca, 20% Silk). I think it is a very good match for my homespun Dragon Fruit. Here's a picture of the two together. I did a swatch with the black, and the size 9 (what I used for the pink) is a quite a bit larger (4.5" instead of 4"), and the 8 is just a tiny bit tight.


I made a test swatch, adding a border with mitered corners. It wasn't as wide as the actual borders, but it gave me an idea of what to do. I made the first attempt at the border using size 8 needles and a "lifted increase" (knitted into the stitch below the working row). However, it was too tight, and the corners too rounded. The "lifted increase" is supposed to be tighter and therefore more invisible, than other increases. On my second attempt, I knitted on 9's and purled on 8's. I also used EZ's "original" M1, per "The Opinionated Knitter," which is just a backward loop (like Sally Melville's "e-wrap" cast on) instead of a lifted increase or modern M1. (By "modern M1," I mean knitting into the yarn between the stitches on the previous row.) It is still a bit "rounded" on the corners, but much better than before, so this is what I plan to use.


I am going to start my pick-ups on the bottom at the "side seam" location (even though there isn't a side seam), and go all the way around the bottom, fronts, and collar. Every other row will be purl, because it will be garter stitch knitted in the round instead of flat. Mitered corner increases will be only on knit rows, starting with the third row. I'll need twelve ridges to get to size.

Happy Knitting!
Lisa Kay

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Tomten

Hi,

I started making Elizabeth Zimmermann's Tomten Jacket, using the homespun Dragon Fruit. I estimated yardage by measuring the length of yarn in a gauge swatch, and I don't have enough to do the whole pattern, as written. I've shortened it, and I also planned for half the fronts to be a "band" of contrasting yarn. I've ordered some black... more on that in a later post. Basically, I didn't want to go back to spinning, so it was either work with some contrast or pick a different pattern.


I looked carefully at Jared Flood's (Brooklyn Tweed) instructions for the adult version, and I do plan to incorporate some, but not all, changes. I didn't decrease for the front neck, because I'm only going to have a little over two inches of pink up the front in the first place, because of the wide band. I'm planning to do four-stitch shoulder seams, and I'll put some short rows in the sleeve cap. Based on the short rows in the back, it makes the yarn switch really obvious (I'm alternating rows, due to it being homespun, hand-painted roving), so I don't want to do more than two short-row turns per ridge in the shoulders.


I'm going to run a vertical band on each front for half the called for front width, around the bottom, and up across the neck for the collar. I'm planning mitered corners, but we'll see how that goes... The fronts are only 11 stitches wide. I'll use twelve ridges of band all the way around. With my gauge, the fronts should have been 23 stitches, so the pink up the front will be narrow. That will be accentuated, because I plan to put the contrasting (black) bands at the shoulders.


I'm really happy with the look of the homespun, knitted up. It is rather thick, but I knew I had fairly bulky yarn. I'm glad I'm alternating rows, because I can really see the different colors between ridges. That shows up the most in the top photo. Overall, it evens out an looks more variegated.

Happy Knitting!
Lisa Kay

Friday, January 2, 2009

Dragon Fruit Spinning Done

Hi,

I finished spinning and washing the Spunsilver Creations Dragon Fruit. It turned out about 1300 yards of two-ply heavy worsted/light bulky. (9 wpi) Below is just one of the six skeins.



Here are the bobbins loaded up with singles before plying. I actually had six bobbins, but I plied the middle two after they were spun, so that I wouldn't have to take them off the bobbins and put them back on, later. Then, I spun the last two and plied 1 to 6 and 2 to 5.


I had six skeins, of varying sizes. I tended to get about 120 niddy-noddy wraps (5.3 ft) per bobbin, when filled as full as I could get it.



The color looks very consistent, but I still plan to alternate skeins when I knit. I'm not sure, yet, what I'll make. I've got a couple of candidates in mind...

And, for completeness, here's a reminder of what it looked like as roving (though I posted it, before).


Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Cozy Critter Cap

Hi,
After making the Cozy Critter Cowl, I wanted to make a cap, just by adding decreases at the end. I ended up with two caps, in two different sizes. Here is the larger one. Instructions are below.
Sizes: Small (Large):
My head measurement is rather large (for a girl), at 22.5”, and the larger one fits me generously, the smaller one somewhat snugly.
Using a circular needle (I used 24”), CO 112 stitches.
Using Alpaca With a Twist, “Baby Twist,” and a size 5 needle, I knitted to a gauge of 22 sts over four inches in stockinette, for the mauve size small. I made the large version in black Classic Elite “Inca Alpaca,” with the same gauge and needle.
Place marker and join in the round.
Knit 5 rounds.
Round 6: * K2tog, YO*, repeat to end of round.
Knit 5 rounds.
Round 12: *K2tog, one from the left needle, one from the CO row*, repeat to end of round. [My latest trick is to pick up sixteen of the stitches from the CO row on one dpn, work the Round 12 instructions above for sixteen stitches, then repeat six more times.]
Round 13: Switch to the pattern stitch from the Monkey Socks by CookieA on Knitty.com. I used seven pattern widths around, and three (four) pattern repeats high. I suggest placing markers every 16 stitches, with a different color for the start of the round.
Then, knit another repeat of the Monkey pattern chart (seven times around and one chart high), but omit all the yarnovers. This is the fourth pattern high for the small cap, fifth for the large. At some point in this repeat, you’ll need to switch to dpn’s.
Finally, with 8 stitches left in each pattern width, work your last set of rounds as follows.
Round A: * p3, k2, p3, * repeat to end. Round B: * p2, k2tog, ssk, p2, * repeat to end. Round C: * p2, k2, p2, * repeat to end. Round D: * p1, k2tog, ssk, p1, * repeat to end. Round E: * p1, k2, p1, * repeat to end. Round F: * k2tog, ssk, * repeat to end. With two stitches left per pattern width (14 sts total), cut your yarn about ten inches long. Using a tapestry needle, pass the yarn through all remaining stitches, pull moderately snug, and sew in the tail on the wrong side. Sew in your CO tail, too, if you didn’t already. Block.

Happy Knitting! Lisa Kay