I return to the blogging.

But not the knitting, since I hadn’t left that.

Let’s see.

I finished the patchwork vest.  I also figured out that among the defects on my camera is that it has a self-timer, but only in automatic mode.

Cedar gave me the bright idea to close it with hooks and eyes.  I used small ones, so they’re not noticeable when it’s open, but kind of a pain to deal with.  I’ve yet to find an actual occasion to wear this, but I have hopes, really I do.

The other recent big project has been significant progress on what I like to call the Sweater of Doom, but which is actually a Rowan pattern named Rapunzel.  The date on the pattern booklet suggests I’ve been working on this for the past 5 or 6 years.  It needs edging and buttons.  And preferably a way of making it fit.

Also for your viewing pleasure: my new bathroom rug, inspired by Mason-Dixon Knitting, and some hats inspired by a friend’s request for water-themed thoughts and art.  The big hat is on hold in its felting process at the moment, since one of my hands is slightly burnt and disapproves of hot water.

(You can click on the pictures to make them big.)

FO: winter hat

I finished this awhile ago, but didn’t get around to posting. It’s warm enough, I think.  It has a lining.

hat1It’s on the beret model.  I was hoping to make it a bit more… interesting than it came out; I was doing increase 1 every 8 hyperbolic shaping, but around the time I got to the yellow stripe it all started falling off the needles and I was in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin for a dance thing… and really wanting to keep knitting.  So I started the decreases too soon to just reverse what I’d done until it got head-sized (the original plan) and improvised the rest.  Also, I had to stretch it on a dinner plate to get it to be big enough, which I thought lost some of the hyperbolic goodness even on the part with the shaping. Knitting is so flexible!

But I like the colors and the pointy top and the shape of it on is pretty good.

hat2I get compliments.  I’m just wishing it were a bit bigger and mathier.  Next time I’ll plan ahead better.

I used Lane Borgosesia Knitaly (blue) and various Brown Sheep yarns.  I pulled off a bunch of equalish pieces of Knitaly and a bunch of equalish pieces of the other ones before I started.   Then I knotted them together to make a ball.  The problem with this is that the knots really want to come out– I felted it a little, which helps some with my worries about fraying, but the Knitaly is superwash, so it’s not a perfect fix.  So next time, also not skimping on weaving in ends, much as I like to.

FO: Klein bottle

When I’ve only been knitting for awhile, sewing feels like cheating.  It’s over so fast!

A friend of mine was telling again the story of how she made a Klein bottle of bristol board and tape, so that she could cut it into two mobius strips during a talk she was giving.  The rest of us in the conversation were, I feel safe saying, more of fiber artists and less of paper artists, besides which, I think anyone who knows what a Klein bottle is would know that Bristol board is not going to be the easy way to make one.

And so two days later, a re-usable deconstructable Klein bottle was born.

It uses two separating zippers to be “cut” into two mobius bands:

It’s hard to put together at first, but okay once you get the trick of it.  Just a word of warning if you ever want to make your own: those two bands are in position to be zipped together, and they have opposite half-twists.  I did it wrong the first time, and had to cut one open and switch the twist when I finally figured out that what I had was never going to work.  You can see the extra line of stitching where that happened in both of the above photos.

There are more photos, including a series of putting-it-together (but without explanation) here.

WIP: patchwork vest

Here’s one of those big slow projects I’ve been making intermittent progress on.  In fact, the monster yarn was stolen from the box of things belonging to this vest.  That’s officially alright, though; the crocheting is done with plenty of yarn (and in fact a few loose crocheted pieces) left over.

The color on that picture is none too good, though perhaps it helps to hide the fact that I did run out of one particular color of yarn– the seam color– very near the end.  There are two or three seams done in a greyer black that I cut out of a self-striping sock yarn.

Now I just need to weave in the ends and decide upon a means of closure.  I’m planning to use the side with the ends as the right side, inspired by some of Debbie New’s knitted mosaics that are reminiscent of stained glass.  I believe hers featured a fair amount more planning than happened to this vest, though, so I’m not especially confident of my ability to achieve results comparable to hers.  I can probably obtain results I like.

(Almost) FO: Baby monsters!

Well, I was sitting there studying for my exams, and overwhelmed with the urge to make something fast.  And easy.  And which I could do without impairing my simultaneous reading of notes.

So I gave in to the urge to appropriate yarn from another, still unfinished, project, and start one of Kate Kuckro’s Toasty Pocket Creatures.  I won’t say it didn’t actually impair my note-reading, but I don’t think it was a bad choice.  After all, I wound up with a temporary friend.  Who then wound up with another temporary friend.  The chain would have continued, but exams ended and I picked up the reins of crafting responsibility and started working on the big slow stuff again.  Here are Algebraic Topology (green) and Algebra/ Analysis (blue/ purple):

They’re still waiting for little rice bags, and some cold weather so they can warm somebody’s hands.  They don’t know it yet (shh!) but they’re also waiting to move to the care of someone with a microwave, so they can do their warming thing.

Oh, and probably they’ll be getting some more friends… so tempting… and so easily justified as Christmas presents for unspecified family members.

Here’s the details:

Yarn: Brown Sheep NatureSpun Worsted

Needles: Size 5 dpns

Pattern: Kate Kuckro’s Toasty Pocket Creatures

Buttons: Hanging around my sewing basket

Getting back into the swing of things

School starts in three weeks.  Exams are in two.  Group review sessions, organized by us, the folks who need to review, started for me today.  Yes, Labor Day.  I’ve got enough to do, and enough structure to do it in, for the first time in weeks.

So today I brought home a loom.

There it is, on my bed.  It’s a BRIO loom I had as a kid.  It’s small.  In case that wasn’t obvious, here’s my hand with it.  I have small hands.

I don’t recognize the project that’s in progress, so it may have been used by some cousins in the time since I last saw it.  On the other hand, I may have just forgotten.  I like the colors, you see.

I’ve been knitting a bit, on a sweater for Hazel.  It’s not really my style, and that’s getting to be a bigger problem the closer it gets to finished, because I have chosen to be involved in the design process.  This means trying to think of ways to make me like it more, although it originally meant trying to think of ways to make Cedar like it and me not get too bored with knitting it.  Since I know the overlap between my taste in sweaters and Hazel’s is not large, I’m worried.  This sleeve I’m working on now I have already finished and ripped out once.

The way it looks now is considerably more similar to my original sketch, with which all parties did seem satisfied.  I just can no longer remember why I liked it.  I guess I’ll try to wait and see.

This post brought to you by the Uptown Knitters’ Group

Which I visited for the first time on Sunday.  There could not be a more conveniently located and timed knitting group for me, as it is one block away from the El, and the stop is one which I pass at the correct time basically every week.  I expect I will be going back, though this week and next look to have atypical Sundays, so it may be a bit.

Anyhow, they bring you some spinning:

and some progress on stockings:

The stocking progress actually occurred in part at group; it’s so nice to sit and knit with other people around who aren’t secretly thinking, “You are not paying me your full attention.”  Or perhaps just whom I don’t suspect of secretly thinking that.

The spinning, on the other hand, occurred at home, inspired by conversation about one group member teaching others to spin on a top-whorl drop spindle.  I want someone to teach me!  I am definitely more inefficient than necessary, and that is in part because I learned from some very terse directions that accompanied my spindle into my possession, and not from an actual person.  My spindle has the whorl at the bottom, though, so I don’t think I get real teaching until I get a different spindle.  That’s probably okay.