Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I Cut Off My Hair!

Aaahhhhh! I cut my hair off! Again! Every couple of years, I feel like I just can't comb through so much nappiness even one more time, and I take out the scissors and just start cutting stuff off. Look at my fallen hair!

And since I don't actually know how to cut hair, I was looking all busted. Or so I thought. So I wore a hat for a few days and today decided I'd better try to do something with it, so I braided the front and gathered the rest in a poofball in the back. Then I wore my favorite high heel sandals and also a new red cotton dress to compensate for my bustedness. This is how I look.

Btw, you can also see where I have to work all the time now, in "the dungeon" as we call it. No natural light. We just moved our office and so everything is in boxes. It looks like a storage facility. Thank goodness I only work 12 hrs a week!

For comparison, my hair used to be this long, if I ever blew it out or flat ironed it. I look a little shocked because I had just drunk bee wine in this pic. Yep, bee wine. Scores of bee corpses floating in the bottom of the bottle. I think I actually swallowed a wing.

So anyway, I was walking home, trying my best not to look busted, when some dude asks if he can introduce himself to me from the car. Considering my to'-up state, I was a bit shocked and decided I could do with the flattery, so I let him spit his little game. Aw, fellas, c'mon fellas. I'm going to have to run a class. "How Not To Flirt 101". But okay, so I'm beautiful and if we weren't in the street and he wasn't so shy he'd just stare at me in my red dress, looking beautiful in my red dress. And several things popped into my mind. One was Crazy Sotho Guy, about whom I will have to write a post some day (but you don't understand how I feel, Nikki!). Another was some other dude who gave me one of my all-time favorite lines: I wish I had all the time in the world to look at you. Come to think of it, he was Sotho, too! And the next thing I thought about was Smoove . If you don't know, it's time you know. It is time you got Smooved. And so I'm like, "do you read The Onion". You know what? I think I will call him, if only to get his email address and forward him an article from Smoove.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Pretty Princess Fingerless Mittens

I'm posting pics and the pattern now so you all are welcome to it. Update: This pattern will be in Knitting Pattern a Day Calendar 2008. It's April 21st, Earth Day!

Isn't my bunny Enif cute?

Description: Fingerless mittens with the body knitted in ribbing to stretch to fit the average woman's hand, with big crocheted ruffle trim on top and bottom, and matching crocheted bows at wrist level. No ruffle on thumb or underside of glove to allow fingers to still move freely. For maximum girliness, try it all in pink.

Design: by Nikki Adams

Difficulty level: Intermediate

Yarn A: 1 ball Cascade Pastaza (100 grams, 50% wool 50% llama)
Yarn B: 1 ball of Lion Brand Moonlight Mohair in coordinating color (50 grams, mohair blend)
Size 7 / 4.5 mm double pointed needles
Size H / 5 mm crochet hook
stitch markers

Substitutions: Cascade Pastaza is very warm, but slightly itchy. You might try Malabrigo, RYC Cashsoft Aran, or DB Cashmerino Aran . I knit a bit tightly, so other knitters may go with these slightly less bulky yarns to get gauge anyhow.
Substitutes for the Lion Brand mohair could be Trendsetter Dune or Valley Yarns Wildwood.

Size: To fit the average woman's hand.

Gauge: approximately 6 sts=1" / 2.5cm, 24 sts = 4" / 10cm in 4x1 rib with A on size 7 needles (approx. 5 sts/inch in st st), 25 rows = 4" / 10cm in rib, or any yarn/needle combo to give gauge. Gauge is not super crucial as ribbing will stretch.

Notes: You could make the ruffles slightly smaller by using a G (4.25) hook instead. For a slightly different look, weave a ¼ " ribbon around the wrist instead of the crocheted bow.
When number of stitches increase (as while working gusset) or decreases (once gusset stitches are put onto waste yarn), continue working the rib pattern as the stitches lie. That is, do not incorporate the new or lost stitches into the rib pattern; work these in st st.

Glove Body:

Cast on 35 sts with A. Divide over 3 dpns.
Work 4x1 rib (k 4, p 1) around until glove body reaches approximately 4 ½ ".

Begin Thumb Gusset:
Rnd 1: k1, pm, k1, M1, M1, pm. 5 sts between markers. Continue around in 4x1 rib (see notes).
Rnd 2: continue around in 4x1 rib pattern, slipping markers.
Rnd 3: slip marker, k1, M1 a total of three times evenly across sts between markers until you reach last st, k1, slip marker, continue around in 4x1 rib pattern.

Repeat rounds 2 and 3 until you have 14 sts between markers. Repeat Rnd 2 up to the point where you reach the 2nd marker. Slip stitches between markers onto waste yarn. Continue working around in 4x1 rib (see notes) for another 1 ½ ". BO loosely in rib pattern.

Slip sts from waste yarn onto 3 dpns.
For a small thumb:
Pick up 2 sts around the gap between gusset and glove body for a total of 16 stitches. Work in (k3, p1) rib for 3 rounds. BO loosely in rib.
For a medium - large thumb:
Pick up 4 sts around the gap between gusset and glove body for a total of 18 stitches. Work in (k2, p1) rib for 3 rounds. BO loosely in rib.

Crochet Trimmings:
Bottom ruffle: With hook and yarn B, sl st the yarn to join at any point on bottom end of glove body.
Rnd 1: Ch 1, sc in same space, and sc 24sts evenly around this bottom edge (or about 2 crochet stitches for every 3 knit stitches). (25 sts)
Rnd 2: sc in 1st st, *2 sc in next st, sc in next st* around. (49 sts)
Rnd 3: 2 sc in each st around (98 sts)
Rnd 4: repeat round 3 (196 sts). Fasten off.

Thumb edging:
Join B wth sl st, ch1, sc in same space, sc 12 sts around evenly (13 sc). Sl st in ch 1, fasten off.

Top ruffle:
Join B with sl st to align with thumb placement. Ch 1, sc in same sp, sc 24 around evenly. (25 sc) .
For right hand glove:
Turn. Working back and forth in rows now.
Row 1: ch 1, sc in 1st sc *2 sc in next sc, sc in next sc*, repeat from * to * 6 times more. (25 sc on this row). Turn.
Row 2: ch 1, 2 sc in each sc across (50 sc). Turn.
Row 3: ch 1, 1 sc in first sc, 2 sc in each sc across to last sc, 1 sc in last sc. (98 sc) Fasten off.

For left hand glove:
Do not turn, though you will be working back and forth in rows now. Do as for right hand glove from Rows 1-3, omitting the first ch 1 in row 1.

Ch 15.
Join ch on top of glove at side opposite that of thumb, around wrist height (approx 2 ¼ " above body bottom).
Sl st loosely across knitting every 2-3 knitted colums (if it helps you do it more loosely, use a bigger hook) all the way around the glove until you reach the point where you first joined the ch.
Ch 15.
Fasten off. Cut off loose ends. Tie the chains into bows.
Weave in all ends and you're done! Try them in pink for the ultimate in girly princess-hood.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Blue Sky Alpacas Cotton Vest

So I started this a looong time ago (back in May, maybe?), but my seaming was so terrible, the result was ugly and I couldn't wear it. So it went into the stash box. I pulled it out yesterday (since I was home anyhow having stabbed myself quite deeply in the ankle with some scissors. ouch) and ripped out the seams, re-seamed it, and added some ribbing to the neckline and armholes. Now it's wearable, and just in time for fall!

I used 3 hanks of Blue Sky Alpacas Cotton (it's soo soft, the nicest 100% cotton I've worked with) in the Tomato color on size 9 needles.

Friday, September 08, 2006

After knitting a couple of garments, it was time to design my own. I'm currently submitting or thinking about submitting these patterns, so I can't really show them to you. But I can tease you! Both incorporate crochet as well. If they aren't accepted anywhere, I'll show you the whole photo and perhaps post the pattern.


My second knitted wearable was this Evening Star Top from summer '06 issue of Interweave Knits magazine. I used Lorna's Laces DK Swirl in the Chino color.

Evening Star Top

Then I started knitting, some time this past February or so. I made one dishcloth, and it was nice, but it was not the reason I started knitting. I started knitting to make clothes. So this was my first item of clothing. It's made with Blue Heron's Rayon Metallic yarn. This yarn is heaven to work with. It's soft and beautiful. But to be honest, after several wearings, the top is a bit floppy. Now I know what knitters mean when they say a yarn doesn't have enough "body".

This is not my design, it's a slight modification of the free pattern you can find here:

My mouth is all twisted up because I'm chewing a potato chip. Oops.

Lacy Tank Top

This is a hat I crocheted in Paton's Classic Merino. Despite the gazillion hat patterns there are out there, none of them fit my big natural afro hair. That's why I had to make one. This is also my design. This hat is even cuter than it looks here. People are always stopping me to tell me my hat is so cute. Will have to take a better picture.

Paton's Merino Crocheted Hat

Gold Crochet Summer Top

Okay, so here's another top I crocheted. This one is also my design. It was done in Elann's Endless Summer Luna. This yarn is sooo pretty.

Gold Summer Top

Ripple Sweater

Okay, my first post in the knitting/crocheting blog world. Just going to put some of my pics up. The first is this ripple pattern sweater I crocheted. The design is my own. The white yarn is Lion Brand Yarn's MicroSpun. The turqoise and ginger yarn is Berroco Softwist. The glittery yarn is Trendsetter Dune in "Copper Patina".

Here is a closeup: