Sunday, January 27, 2013

Easily Amused

I can't believe it's almost the end of the month.  Where did it all go?  And why don't I have more stuff done?   I strongly suspect there's an element of work-swallowing-my-life there, but even that doesn't explain as much as I'd like.

On the crafting front, I'm still working on the same mitts and socks as last post.  Today, with the the moral support of the knitting group, I frogged the alpaca sweater back to the ribbing and started again with the lighter color yarn.   Really, not so much to show or tell.

On the home front, the major entertainment is my husband's new phone.  His old and extremely primitive prior phone got laundered.  Technically, I'm the one who laundered it, but there were extenuating circumstances- he dropped his jeans (with the phone in the pocket) in my laundry basket without telling me.  His reasoning was that the jeans needed mending and I would do laundry before he did-- perfectly logical, as I did.    But, not realizing I had acquired an extra pair of jeans, I didn't check the pockets before putting them in the washer.  (My own pockets are checked as they go into the basket.  My husband's, not so much.) extremely clean but only partially working phone.

The entertainment value of the new phone is that it has a camera.  And where there is a camera, there are cat pictures:
Pineapple upside-down cat
This wasn't the cat's idea.  But he was
surprisingly patient with it nonetheless.
Clearly we are easily amused. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

And In With the New

It's going to be another fun year on the craft front. After the large cabled socks, I cast on plain socks in a nice self-patterning yarn from my stash.  These are the first FO of 2013. 
Don't they look great with the new pants I got for Christmas? 
There are going to be plenty of socks this year- my sister gave me some more beautiful sock yarn from Deep Water Dye Works for Christmas. 
Pretty stuff.  The flash of white at the top is Cookie, who was keen to be certain they were thoroughly sniffed.

Just before the holidays, I finally got measurements from my sister so I can start on her corset  tank top. I swatched for it over the summer, but it's been on hold ever since while I waited to get her measurements.

I have a pair of fingerless mitts on the needles for a co-worker.

And the rustic Ella Rae sweater is in serious time out; ever since I discovered that I had inadvertantly bought yarn in two different colorways.  Yes, instead of 20 skeins of Navy, I have 10 of black and 10 of navy.   And even more annoying? The colorway that I've been knitting with is the wrong one.  Perfectly infuriating. Now I have to decide if I'm going to spend medium bucks and get enough black to finish the sweater. Or if I'm going to frog the whole thing and redesign in as a two-tone project. The thing is, I don't think I can just tear back the top of the body and change colors. I'd want the darker color on top. Quite annoying. I'm frankly leaning toward frogging and redesigning, because I got this yarn on deep discount, and I really hate the idea of buying a whole bunch more at full price to finish--and then having 10 unused skeins left over.   So, it's currently sulking in the knitting bag until I can bear to look at it again.   

I keep having the vaguely unsatisfied feeling that I want to cast on something else, but I haven't figured out exactly what yet.  Since I couldn't decide, I cast on more socks.  Socks are just never a bad plan.  


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Cabled Hearts Hat Pattern

This started as sort of an improvisation in yarn. About 2 inches in, I was wondering what to do with the wandering cables, and Kali at my knitting group said, "How about hearts?"  And when I finished, she asked for the pattern.  So here it is.:
Yarn- worsted weight,
Needles- size 8 or size to make hat of desired size.

Cast on 96 stitches using cabled cast on (or very loose long-tailed cast on) on circular needles or double pointed needles. Join, being careful not to twist.

Ribbing: [K1 tbl, P1] repeat until ribbing measures 1 1/2 inches.

Set up round: [K4, P8] repeat until end of round.

C4F- Cable Four Front: put next two stitches on a cable needle and hold to front of work, knit two stitches off left needle, knit the two stitches off the cable needle.
C2L- Cross Two Left: put the next two stitches on a cable needle and hold to front of work, purl one stitch off left needle, knit two stitches off cable needle.
C2R- Cross Two Right: put the next stitch on a cable needle and hold to back of work, knit next two stitches off left needle, purl one stitch off cable needle.
Top Loop- *Slip next two stitches to right needle, pass first slipped stitch over second slipped stitch and off needle, pass remaining slipped stitch on right needle back to left needle. Slip second stitch on left needle over the first stitch and off left needle. Repeat from *. The two sides of the cable loop will now meet. Pick up and purl two stitches from the back of the cable. Then purl one stitch.  You will now have a closed cable loop with three purl stitches crossing the top.  (Note that on the chart, the first two stitches that disappear have been shifted over as the third stitch winds up in the cable twist above the heart.)
T2F- Twist Two Front: put the next stitch on a cable needle and hold to front of work, knit next stitch through back on left needle, knit stitch off cable needle.
C2-4TW – Cable Two-Four Twist: Slip two stitches on a cable needle and hold to front of work, knit 2. Slip left stitch on the cable needle back onto the left needle, and knit it. Slip the remaining stitch from the cable needle onto the left needle and knit it.

Pattern Instructions:
Rnd 1: [C4F, P8] repeat [] until end of round.
Rnd 2: [K4, P8]
Rnd 3: [K4,P7, C2R,C2L, P7]
Rnd 4: [K4, P7, K2, P2, K2, P7]
Rnd 5: [K4, P6, C2R, P2, C2L, P6]
Rnd 6: [K4, P6, K2, P4, K2, P6]
Rnd 7: [C4F, P5, C2R, P4, C2L, P5 ]
Rnd 8: [K4, P5, K2, P6, K2, P5]
Rnd 9: [K4, P4, C2R, P6, C2L, P4]
Rnd 10: [K4, P4, K2, P8, K2, P4]
Rnd 11: [K4, P3, C2R, P2, C4F, P2, C2L, P3]
Rnd 12: [K4, P3, K2, P3, K4, P3, K2, P3]
Rnd 13: [C4F, P3, K2, P2, C2R, C2L, P2, K2, P3]
Rnd 14: [K4, P3, C2L, P1, K2, P2, K2, P1, C2R, P3]
Rnd 15: [K4, P4, Top Loop, P2, Top Loop, P4]
Note, you will lose 2 stitches for each top loop in Round 15; 4 per pattern repetition, 16 total. The pattern will continue on 80 stitches total.
Rnd 16: [K4, P16]
Rnd 17: [K4, P7, T2F, P7]
Rnd 18: [K4, P7, K2, P7]
Rnd 19: [C4F, P6, C2-4TW, P6]
Rnd 20: [K4, P6]
Rnd 21-24: Same as 20
Rnd 25: [C4F, P6]

Repeat last Rounds 20-25 until hat measures 6 1/2 inches or desired length.

Decrease rounds:
* The K4 is the cable, so substitute a cable twist (C4F) for the K4 every sixth round as it occurs in pattern. When you reach row 11 of the decrease rounds, stop cabling.
Rnd 1: [K4*, P2 tog, P4]
Rnd 2: [K4, P5]
Rnd 3: [K4, P2 tog, P3]
Rnd 4: [K4, P4]
Rnd 5: [K4, P2 tog, P2]
Rnd 6: [K4, P3]
Rnd 7: [K4, P2 tog, P1]
Rnd 8: [K4, P2]
Rnd 9: [K4, P2 tog]
Rnd 10: [K4, P1]
Rnd 11: [K3, K2 tog]
Rnd 12: Knit whole round
Rnd 13: [K2, K2 tog]
Rnd 14: [Knit whole round]
Rnd 15: [K2 tog]

Twelve stitches remain. Put six on each needle and graft closed.
Alternately, you can break the yarn, draw it through the loops, pull it tight, and run it through the loops a second time (for security). Weave all ends.

 *Note:  Thanks enormously to Kali for test knitting this.  Any remaining errors or omissions are entirely my fault.  If you discover any other errata or have any questions, just let me know.  Thank you! (edited 9/13/2006)

Friday, January 11, 2013

This Time For Sure

I can't quite put my finger on what has been consuming all my time these days, but there must be something, because I keep rushing from one thing to another to another and never quite getting to everything.   At least I started the year filled with energy.

As I got closer to the end of my vacation, I started to feel actually rested, which led to puttering. Puttering is when I wander around the house, absentmindedly picking things up and putting them away, uncovering unfinished projects and finishing them, and generally accomplishing things in a leisurely yet effective manner. It's highly satisfying.

I blew away the mending pile, and picked up the sewing room. This led to finding all the pieces of the top I started back in May and finishing it. Of course it's going to be summer before I can wear it...but at least Biscuit isn't batting the pieces around the sewing room. Any more.

And I finished off the mittens for the last FO of 2012.

And that leads to the FO statistics, since we engineering types love our statistics. In 2012 I had 78 total FOs, which broke down as follows:
43 pairs of mittens (not a surprise), and 2 pairs of fingerless mitts.
16 hats
2 sweaters
2 sewing
8 pairs of socks
3 scarves
2 blankets (one crocheted lap size, one knitted baby blanket.

No carpentry, which is a bit unusual. I did make that wooden base for the candelabra/sculpture made by my sister, but didn't feel that it was really involved enough to count as a 'project'. (I couldn't work up to tackling any carpentry on vacation. The bench tools live in the garage which is darned cold this time of year.)

While shopping is not one of my usual pursuits, I did go out and get new boots for the new year. This had something to do with the part where my old boots, after sixteen years of faithful service, had the paper-thin soles start to come off. Now, the new boots are quite nice and comfortable. But they're almost incidental. No, the real win of the day was the box. It is a marvelous box. Biscuit approves of it.

And Cookie is ecstatic. There's nothing quite like the love of a cat for his box. husband has just introduced Cookie to fish videos on YouTube.  Cookie is astonishingly rapt.  It's rather worrying.