The background is a little bright, thanks to the snow/wall of my house, but here are more shots of the yoga mat bag. This colour is MT33 which has beautiful bands of pink, red, purple, stranded with blue and green, which my iPad really doesn’t pick up well. I knitted this loosely (biggest Keyplate on the Bond) so it’s very stretchy, and I think I might have run out of yarn if I’d knitted it tighter.
Since I set up my crafting table, I have been feeling edgy and wanting to use my knitting or sewing machine. I took a look at the Notes app on my iPad tonight and reminded myself that I wanted a knitted yoga mat bag. Since starting yoga sort of regularly, I bought myself a lime green mat which came in a cheap black mesh bag. I’ve seen a few patterns on Ravelry but didn’t really want to handknit one.
Bond to the rescue! (Ha, sounds like James Bond, but not this time. No, sadly, no handsome tuxedoed gentleman is going to swoop from the sky to rescue me, this is just the name of my knitting machine.)
It took a few minutes to reacquaint myself with the machine (Why isn’t it working? Duh! Forgot to hang the weighted hem!)
I enlisted Tai Chi Man to help me convert some dollar store forks (metal but really thin) into claw weights. I can’t remember where I saw this idea, but if you bend the prongs of a fork over and attach a weight to the handle, voila, you have weights for small items or areas that need a bit of extra tension like the edges when the work is getting long. I could have done it myself, but he has a LOT of tools in a large number of boxes and it was easier to get him to dig out the right tools for the job. The ones I saw online used rolls of pennies, which is probably a better idea than the heavy magnets I used, as they tend to misbehave and get too friendly with each other.
I shall probably write up this pattern. It’s really easy. I’m looking forward to seeing this yarn in the daylight. It’s James C Brett Marble DK and I shall post the exact colourway when I get a daytime shot. In the meantime, here are some photos of the work in progress, a close up of the fork weights, and the finished item.
I had a frustrating couple of hours today. I finally brought a table upstairs so I could set up my knitting machine. You may recall that what was my sewing/knitting room is now a fitness room.
Initially I tried my ironing board but the clamps wouldn’t hold properly and my poor Bond went crashing to the floor along with a short length of knitting that I’d managed to complete before the Fall. A little piece of plastic broke off the end of the Bond but thankfully it doesn’t affect the operation of it.
So, I start again on a sweater that I’d planned to make with the Sienna brown Brava Worsted. It took me ages to decide on what to make but I found a cardigan pattern on Ravelry issued by Cascade Yarns called the Summer Lace Cardigan, a pretty little number, long in the back, sleeves, with two drapey lacy wrap fronts. Aha, I thought, I’ll use the machine to knit the back and sleeves and hand knit the lace fronts (I am limited to 100 needles on the machine).
Well, it was a good plan and I did all the math and thought optimistically I might even get all three pieces completed in one day. Hmm, guess not. The back progressed well at first, past the waist shaping. Not sure what happened with my gauge as I reached the 78 rows that I thought would give me 12 inches of length but it was only 11… and this while stretched out with the weighted hem. I added 12 extra rows. Time for the raglan shaping – and here’s where I came unstuck. Twice (TWICE) one of the sides started to unravel, right where I had been decreasing. I almost gave up the first time but my trusty crochet hook and a lot of patience got me through. The second time it happened I just couldn’t seem to fix it AND I spotted a knot in the yarn further down that I hadn’t noticed while pushing the carriage across. Gah! I ended up taking the #%*€¥ thing off the needles, putting in a lifeline below the knot and the unravelled bit, ripped out down to the lifeline and then painstakingly put each stitch back on a needle.
I have fewer stitches than I should. I am tempted to forget the whole thing.
When I ordered all the Brava, I bought enough of the sienna and the currant to make sweaters, but now I am feeling very underwhelmed by the thought of making another dark sweater, preferring to go for something lighter and brighter. It’s time to say, okay, I can put away the brown for another day, it will get used eventually, but for now I shall work with other colours.
I gave away a massive bag of odds and ends last week to a friend who only seems to knit and crochet with thrift store yarn. I’m sure she will appreciate it. It feels good to clear that out as I am not a natural stasher of yarns. It’s nice to have a little extra lying around for mystery KALs or spontaneous projects, but not a tonne of it.
So yes, time for a bit of frogging methinks, put that brown yarn away for another day. I have just enough time to do that before starting on dinner.
Have you frogged anything lately?
If you look at my free knitting patterns in the sidebar, you’ll see a One night stand Wrap. Why’s it called that? Well, I made it on my Bond knitting machine and it only takes a couple of hours from start to finish. Maybe an hour of knitting and another hour of finishing. Here’s a photo of the second version that I made today, before I tossed it into the washer with a towel to upset those stitches a bit. Right now it’s in the dryer on low heat and will (hopefully) emerge all warm, fluffy and relaxed! This is for a friend who has been going through a tough time emotionally and physically during 2012. It’s her birthday next week and what more excuse did I need to knit her something. I didn’t have time to handknit a prayer shawl so this made for a perfect alternative. The yarn is Lion Brand Homespun – yes, not a yarn that’s very popular with some people, and not one that I use much, but it is lovely and soft and my other wrap has stood up well to the tests of time.
I went in to Michaels today looking for Homespun, expecting to use a coupon to get 40% off one ball and pay full price ($7.99) for the other two. Instead I found myself rummaging through the clearance bins, looking for matching dye lots on skeins of certain colours that were marked down to $3.99.
I ended up buying 6 of this plum colour and 6 of one called Spice. They had tonnes of the Spice – I could have come home with 50 skeins if I hadn’t had an inbuilt moderation mechanism!
They also had packs of 5 notecards marked down from $1.50 to 25 cents, so I bought a few of those too.
We were out to dinner at our favourite restaurant tonight, so I didn’t have to cook. 🙂
And tomorrow we’re having friends over, so I will have to cook lots, and I still haven’t figured out what we’re going to be eating. Oh well, it’ll all come together in the end.
Two very quick projects for almost instant gratification….
a machine-knitted scarf for ds1.
And two crocheted mug cosies for my friend Jeanette.
One morning last week, ds1 said he needed a scarf. My eyes may well have lit up at the opportunity for more knitting. He goes out for walks around the neighbourhood but doesn’t like wearing a coat unless it’s minus 30. He has a very thick hoodie but obviously he needed something for his neck and face. I was happy to oblige. A cowl was out of the question – he just wanted a plain old-fashioned scarf that he could wrap around, and when I said I had enough of the Currant-coloured Brava Worsted to make him a scarf he said that would be ok. It’s dark enough to be manly.
So the Bond was clamped back onto the sewing table and I used three balls of yarn to churn out a nice long strip, which I seamed into a tube for a double-thick scarf. Didn’t think he’d want a fringe, so buttonhole stitched the ends shut. He seemed pleased. And what service! The request was made in the morning and the finished product was in his hands in the evening.
The mugs are from Wal-mart. I was going to get the plain old white ones and jazz them up with colourful crochet, but when I saw these classy striped ones I couldn’t resist. And the paprika Brava Worsted co-ordinated very nicely. The square orange buttons are from my extensive stash of dollar store buttons. I made up the design, using a combination of single crochet and puff stitch. The reverse of the puff stitch was more textured so I have that side showing on the mug. These mugs and cosies are going in a box with the snow couple, some Christmassy tea, and maybe some chocolate.
Apart from that, I’ve done absolutely nothing about Yule decorations or gifts for my family. Oops!
I can hardly type, my fingers are so cold. Add to that our sticky keyboard and it’s a bit of a PITA!
I’ve been thinking about ways to help others this Yule season and I’ve come up with three ideas. Bird feeders for the garden….those birds need every calorie they can get in the winter! A donation for the SPCA, including this blanket that I ran up on my machine last night. (It’s a long rectangle, made from oddments, folded in half and sewn around the edges.) And a gift box for a family who we know who don’t have an income at the moment.
What you are doing that involves giving rather than getting this month?
I love the idea of yarnbombing, or knitted graffiti. Leaving colourful pieces of knitting or crochet attached to railings, trees or whatever is, I think, something that can brighten people’s day without being destructive or hard to remove.
I do have a lot of spare yarn which I could use right now, but knitting the pieces takes me away from other (more useful) projects. I did find the time to machine-knit the short red scarf in the photo and hand-knit the blue one. What better use is there for fun fur and eyelash after all?!
I have a particular sculpture in mind to tie these to. Hopefully tomorrow. I will definitely post a photo if I can.
Last Tuesday at knit night, I bought some 100% hemp yarn with the intention of making a belt. I didn’t particularly enjoy knitting a thin strip with that yarn and it wasn’t looking as good as I’d hoped, so I ended up trying it on my Bond knitting machine. The machine didn’t like it – it kept dropping stitches.
So I used a scrap of a different yarn to knit a strip which I estimated to be long enough. At a coffee night with some homeschooling mums on Monday, I sewed it up and added a buckle and it was done. It’s pretty stretchy, but that’s probably a good thing! And it didn’t need holes as the spike of the buckle just slides between the stitches.
As it didn’t cost me anything, I don’t mind if it’s not particularly hardwearing – I know that I can myself a new one anytime. (The non-leather one I bought a couple of months ago cost $8, I think, and it’s toast.)
Since we have our new furniture and are trying to keep it nice, I used a little left over James C Brett Marble to knit a couple of coasters for the coffee table yesterday. They’re just mitred squares. The beauty of these squares is that they start out with 51 stitches and end up with three, so it feels like they go really fast. Two isn’t really enough so I’m sure I’ll make a couple more of these today.
…the finished scarf. This size scarf would take weeks to knit by hand, and this one was done in three days. There is a lot to be said for having a machine to take care of yards of stockinette!
It wraps around my neck twice and still nearly reaches the floor at each end. (I just noticed my rather wild hair this morning looks almost like Tom Baker’s did as Doctor Who!) Here’s another image showing more of THE SCARF! If you look carefully, the original was actually garter stitch, so somebody did hand-knit it. I prefer his colours too, less bright than mine. Ah well, you work with what you have (c:
Lego Nut spent a while sitting on top of a heating vent this morning with the scarf covering him. It gets his approval for keeping him warm!
Last night the scarf was sewn up – it took a while! I had to go out in the evening, but a session before and afterwards got the job done. It was tossed into the washer with a load of clothes and this morning it’s in the dryer. (Wet acrylic feels pretty bad!)
I thought it better to add the fringe after washing so it didn’t get shredded.
Here are the stats if you’re curious…
- total weight of yarn: 1lb 10.5oz or 760 grams
- total length before washing: 12 feet 9.5 inches or 3.8989 metres
- width: 9 inches or 22.86 cm
Photo will follow.