February 27, 2007

a week of FOs

I've been finishing a lot of my knitting these past few days. Surprisingly.
After finishing the scrunchable scarf last week I picked up the odessa I had CO for a week or so ago. Hats go super fast and I finished it. Unfortunately, like my first odessa, it's STILL too small for me. =(

my perfect odessa!

I have a big head. x_X It has always been relatively large for my body. My cousin who used to babysit us when we were younger used to tell people who teased me that it was because I was very smart and had a big brain. =) I think, for the most part, I've grown into my head, but, when a hat says "one size fits all" it's usually wrong. For this green odessa I actually cast on an extra 10 stitches. Maybe, if I decide to knit it again, I'll add another 10... maybe even 20.

i love the greeeeen.

After finishing Odessa I began extra work on My So Called Scarf. I finished off the rest of the first skein and from there it was a breeze. I wasn't so sure about the colors when I first started knitting. Kevin said they looked like "old lady colors" but, I'm pretty fond of them. I'd definitely like to do it in a lighter colorway, but, I'm quite happy with how it turned out.
Binding off was a bit difficult. I tried a few different combinations because a simple k1, pass previous stitch over bind off made the edge flare out. I ended up doing a k2, pass previous stitch over and it really kept the scarf straight.


I think I want to block it. I'm not really sure exactly how to go about doing it though. It's a pretty long scarf and I've never really blocked anything before... but, we'll see.
The wool I used (Manos Del Uruguay) is surprisingly itchy. I've heard washing can soften everything, but, I'm not sure how to go about washing it either. My last washed object (scrunchable scarf) completely deflated and became flat--I would NOT want that to happen with this scarf.


My cousin IM'd me the other day telling me that she read my blog and really liked my knitting. So, I offered to knit her something and she chose a hat. Specifically, a hat with ear flaps and a pom pom on the top.
A month or so ago I was looking at my little nephew's winter hat. It was a hat with ear flaps and a pom pom. The ear flaps were ribbed and the ribbing continued around for about 2 inches into the main body of the hat. I really liked the look of it so, unable to find a pattern, I altered a basic hat pattern and added ribbing.
I decided it would be best to do a prototype first, so I grabbed a skein of Malabrigo: Autumn Forest and knitted up my hat.

my own pattern!

I feel like it needs a lot of changes. To start off, it's really thin. I think I'll have to double strand the one I make for her.
Second, despite all my calculations for the ribbing, it actually just disappears into the hat. I think I need to incorporate a color change.
I thought the earflaps looked small as I was knitting them, so, I kept adding more rows... after trying it on the earflaps were on my shoulders. x_X Those will definitely be altered.
I didn't make a pom-pom for this prototype, but, I'm assuming it should be relatively easy.
I also wanted to attach i-cord to the earflaps so they could be tied, but, I couldn't figure out how to do it. x_X We'll have to make another attempt soon.
The coolest thing about the hat though, is that I wrote out the pattern and knit it all in one night! Knitting stockinette in the round is awesome and superfast. =)

Knit hard!

February 21, 2007

oops, i did it again

i've been telling some friends to deny me if i ask to check out a yarn store. i've been buying too much and i don't knit fast enough to use it.
so, over the weekend i hung out with lora. i havn't told her yet that i need to stop, so, of course i asked her to visit a store with me. i ended up buying 4 skeins of malabrigo in autumn forest and solymar. oops.


my odessa hat is turning out perfectly. well, it was.
i figured that since the silk wool had less yardage than the recommended cashsoft i would need an extra ball. i "calculated" that once i get to the decreases i should be out of yarn.
i got to the decreases and i still had a good amount left, so, i continued.
not the smartest idea. i noticed that i was quickly running out of yarn but, since i had already started i tried to finish. instead of doing a decrease row followed by a regular-pattern row, i ended up doing consecutive decreases. well, i now need 6 more rows and i've completely run out of yarn. it's $10 for 94~ yards and i seriously only need about 7 of those 94. AND i'm supposed to be saving money. o_O
i was about to cut off my tail end and use it, but, my tail is only about 5 inches long. so, today i gave in and stopped in at my LYS and grabbed the last ball of silk wool in the green color.
i'm gonna have to rip back a few rows... well, i think i'll just tink x_X, but, i guess i'm "safe" now ... i just really didn't want to spend an extra $10 for maybe 7 yards of yarn.

oh well, .. i'm just happy that i havn't made any huge mistakes in this odessa.
here's a picture of the first one, btw.

i had cast on too few stitches in the beginning and didn't realize it until i had finished the ribbing and started the pattern rows. i figured i was too far into the project to frog.
i messed up on the pattern multiple times, and, i didn't really catch the mistakes until a few rows later when i realized my count was off. once again i figured i was too far from the mistake to rip back.
i started my decreases an inch and a half too early because i misread the instructions. and, as usual, i didn't rip back becuase i had already done a few rows of decreases.

so, i'm happy my green odessa is "perfect" right now and hopefully will end up wearable. =)

knit hard!

February 20, 2007

stitch markers?

i recently purchased a few sets of hand crafted stitch markers from artists on-line. i'd been using this set of thick plastic stitch markers from boye. they worked fine for large needles and thick yarn, but when i used them for smaller needles they left gaps between my stitches. =( but, now i have replacements that fit better and also look much more beautiful.

the first two sets are from charles. he was selling his stitch markers to help with AIDS/Life-Cycle so i bought them to support. ^_^

glass beads!

he shipped them really fast! and they look and feel really great.

i think the blues are my favorite!

i've been somewhat addicted to etsy.com lately. through flickr i see artists who dye their own wool put up pictures in the "crazy for knitting" group. i followed a few links to their own etsy shops and it's fascinating to see all the different handmade arts and crafts people put up there.
i recently found someone selling stitch markers made of freshwater pearls. i thought they were beautiful and i liked the idea that they were made of something "natural" as opposed to my set of plastic markers. the following are from zer0 markers.

pearls in shades of green

zer0 markers also shipped really fast. they even included two business cards each with a stitch marker attached. the markers weren't as large as i thought they would be, but i think i definitely got what i paid for. ^_^


i recently finished my malabrigo scrunchable scarf. i made it for a friend and so i decided to wash it in order to remove the malabrigo-vinegar-smell.
well... the smell disappeared but now the scarf isn't as soft and fluffy. i think i may have washed it wrong? or maybe i smooshed it too much when i dried it in a towel? i dunno... it's a little upsetting, but, at least the colors are still bold and it retained some of its softness.
since i finished a project i decided to continue with my 2nd odessa hat. my first one was a HUGE disaster. i didn't cast on enough stitches, i didn't knit the hat long enough, and i kept making mistakes. o_O, but, with my current hat everything seems to be going smoothly.

odessa! and a stitch marker to indicate the rounds

instead of the recommended cashsoft yarn i'm using rowan yarn: silk wool. it's the same weight but significantly less yardage. i'm almost done with the first ball and i havn't even started the decreases. x_X i'll probably buy another one tomorrow.

i think the inside of odessa looks as cool as the outside

that's all for now! happy knitting.

February 14, 2007


i wish i could knit faster. i have so much yarn and so many patterns i want to try out, but, i knit too slow. the scrunchable scarf has been a WIP for more than a week now.
i think i need to dedicated time solely to knitting. for some reason i can't just sit and knit... i have to be watching TV or a movie, or maybe reading, or at the very least drinking coffee. hmm. we'll sort this out so i can move on to more projects.

scrunchable! almost done.

my current largest project is My So Called Scarf. i originally bought two skeins of Manos Del Uruguay colorway 118: mulled wine. it was my first encounter with manos at a yarn store and they didn't have a large selection.
when i got home i realized that the two skeins were distinctly different. same colorway but, one was more saturated and the other was lighter and less saturated. so, i figured i'd need to knit from both and alternate skeins every other row.
i ended up pulling the "swapping side" too tight and my scarf started curving and puckering. so, i quit. it wasn't really a color that i would wear... and My So Called Scarf is REALLY hard to frog for some reason. i decided i would get 2 new balls of manos in another colorway.

manos, oh, manos

i visited a new yarn store recently and found a HUGE selection of the varigated manos. i took my time and found 3 colorways i really liked. and then i spent another good 10 minutes comparing skeins to see which colorway had 2 almost identical skeins. i ended up with #110: stellar.
since they were so similar i figured i could knit from one and then attach the second at the end. it's been going pretty good so far, but, just to be safe, i've decided to start knitting from both (the first ball is about half way done).


i've had major difficulties with MSCS. i've probably frogged stellar 4 times already. the edges always turn out wonky for me, nothing smooth and straight. i tried altering the pattern for a selvage edge. basically i added one stitch to each side so i could always slip the first stitch and knit the last. that actually stood out a lot from the pattern so i frogged that. i wanted something that wouldn't be too noticable.

what i FINALLY ended with was slipping the first and last stitch of the knit row. it's working out really well.

i bought stitchionary volume one the other day. i love it. i've been testing out different patterns on my amber gold malabrigo. it's definitly going to be a scarf, but, i havn't really settled on a pattern just yet. i'll keep testing though!
here's the malabrigo in its current condition: a slip stitch pattern (strangely the slip stitch pattern wasn't from stitchionary).

i love gold

so, that's what things are looking like for me right now. i think i'll be able to finish the scrunchable scarf by tonight and i've casted on for another odessa but i promised myself i wouldn't work on it until i finished a project.

February 7, 2007

moss rib stitch pattern for malabrigo!

People have been asking for the moss rib stitch pattern for the scarf I made in mmMalabrigo. The scarf was actually shown to me by the not-so-LYS salesperson after I had asked her for recommendations for a pattern in the very varigated charrua colorway. It was actually knit in a darker color of Malabrigo but it still looked very cool. A tag was attached to the scarf so she went to the back and made a copy of the pattern.

I don't really know who the pattern belongs to (although the tag has the name "Kathy" scribbled on the side), but, since it was shared with me for free I'll share it with you! =)

The original pattern called for 2 skeins, but, since I only purchased one I changed the CO number as follows:

moss rib stitch scarf in malabrigo worsted

#10 needles

CO 24 stitches

Row 1: sl1k, k2, *p1, k3* across row to last stich, p1
Row 2: sl1k, k1, *p1, k3* across row to last 2 stitches, p1, k1
Repeat rows 1 & 2 to desired length.

To Bind Off:
With right side facing (Row 1):
BO in pattern but in each "K3" section k2tog once to prevent ruffling of the edge.

So what I did was:
sl1k, k1, ppso (pass previous stitch over), k1, ppso, *p1, ppso, k2tog, ppso, k1, ppso* p1, ppso

If you decide to use 2 skeins the pattern says to CO 32 stitches.

Happy Knitting!

February 5, 2007


i am now officially obsessed with Malabrigo. it comes in such beautiful colors and it's so unbelievably soft. mmmm.

last week i went on a spontaneous trip out to evanston to check out their yarn stores. i brought kevin along with me. after a strange mix-up we got to closeknit and took a look around. i didn't really see anything that was really grabbing me. i wanted something REALLY thick in blues and browns. i had seen a scarf on grey's anatomy that i loved and wanted to make.

sadly, i couldn't find yarn that i wanted so i settled on this blue varigated wool. at this point kevin had become impatient and really wanted to leave. so, i had the hank wound into a nice ball and went to leave.
as i turned around to shut the door behind me i noticed a few skeins of yarn sitting on a table. my eyes moved to the tag and i read malabrigo. i made a grabbing motion towards it but at the next moment kevin pulled me out of the door.

the rest of our time in evanston was spent walking around, eating, and exploring. the whole time i couldn't get malabrigo out of my head. i've read SO much about it and i really wanted to get a feel. so, i finally asked kevin if i could go back. he agreed to wait in the car while i bought my yarn.

there wasn't a lot to choose from. only a few single skeins of random colors. i noticed glazed carrot, sunset, lettuce, and indigo. i went for the glazed carrot. when i got to the front i noticed they had a few more skeins at the counter. i asked if they were for sale and lady said yes and that they had just recieved a new shipment. she went to the back and brought out bags and bags of new malabrigo for me to look at. it was bliss. i ended up buying charrua and vaa.

charrua: browns and blues

vaa: blues

i LOVE them. the yarn store woman also gave me a copy of a pattern for a moss rib stitch scarf. i decided to give it a try. the pattern calls for 2 skeins of malabrigo but i only purchased one in each color. so, instead of CO 32 stitches i did 24. i ended up with a good 63 inches.

malabrigo charrua scarf in moss rib!

i've been watchin the knitting help forums often and they had been recommending the scrunchable scarf pattern to use with malabrigo so i figured i should try it out. a few days later i returned to closeknits in evanston to buy 3 more skeins in tortuga, velvet grapes, and lettuce.

i decided to take another trip to some new yarn stores. i really like to drive out and find shops that carry a decent selection and have great customer service. i've been looking for some manos del uruguay yarn in any of their varigated patterns and i managed to find some. i also found a shop with MORE malabrigo at a cheaper price than i had originally bought it at. so i ended up getting 2 skeins of amber gold. beautiful!

for the scrunchable scarf i ended up using velvet grapes.

scrunchable scarf in velvet grapes

i'm not too fond of the pattern. i definitly like the moss rib stitch more, but this is still pretty decent. i like how it causes the columns of stockinette to tilt a little on their side. but, what i like about the moss rib is that each column of stockinette has a decent amount of space in between, it's even on both sides, and it creates deep channels. here's a close-up.

reminds me of pebbles or cobblestone

well, that's my deal with mmmMalabrigo. if you havn't knit with it yet you should definitely try it.