Tuesday, January 31, 2006

What I did over my weekend vacation....

Clapotis in progress
Originally uploaded by belleange.

Because of a travel schedule that saved me two hundred dollars by taking a connecting flight to Philly rather than just taking the second flight out of Philly, I got a lot of knitting time in.

Yes, this is yet another damn Clapotis; my version here is in Knit Picks Sock Garden (in Hydrangea) with an extra width repeat and who knows, probably some extra length added too to make up for the size differences created by knitting on 3's instead of 8's and worsted weight.

Okay, so anybody who knows Clapotis knows that the pattern depends on dropped stitches. It seems like every time you don't want to drop stitches, they run down faster than you can see. However, in this thing, I have to pick out every darn one. (Or rather my mom did... I asked her to help and found out she enjoyed laddering down the rows.)

I'm not real excited about the way the coloring turned out in the increase section, but I'm too lazy to rip it out and alternate balls. I figure once I drop all the stitches and actually wear it all crunched up it won't make much difference anyhow.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Cozy up, it's Blanket Time

...or, as we shall see, time to see lots of things that were made mostly out of scraps.

Since I promised a quilt retrospective, we'll try that first.

Here is the very first bed-size quilt I made, right before I went off to college. This was before I realized that Log Cabins usually have red squares in the middle and that my layout could have been a bit more effective. For some reason I'm a sucker for doing things small... all those strips were 1" wide before they were sewn together. Good thing my mom convinced me to checkerboard the thing instead of making twice as many blocks.

And here is the back, consisting of all of my favorite worn out t-shirts of the time. I remember spending a lot of time trying to figure out how to make the whole shebang rectangular. In no particular order, there are Harley shirts, gym shirts (lucky me, I went to high school in Illinois where gym is required every semester), stuff from marching band and flags, Far Side shirts, my favorite dinosaur pillowcase, stuff from work and my sister's dorm, an original Chicago Bulls championship shirt, and some cute tiny things from when I was a baby.

This is my second scrap quilt, which was wishfully made queen-size but now resides on a double bed. I got the clever idea to make pinwheels and then arrange them much like a 'trip around the world' quilt. It turned out a little busy but I love all the colors. I did buy some fabric for this quilt, but there's also scraps of one of my prom dresses, one of my boyfriend's shirts, fabric left over from decorating my old room, old pyjamas, old sundresses, my sister's shirts, as well as gifts from my sister and leftovers from the first quilt. I used up all this fabric and it didn't even seem to make a dent in my mom's stash. I just barely got this completed before I made my trip out to Delaware, hence the label:

I like to include a pocket on my quilts. I don't know why. (There's a pocket on the t-shirt section above -- look for red.) This was also an opportunity to try some hand applique and cover up a small tear in the backing fabric. Here you can also see how much I really like to quilt. I'm more of a piecer than a quilter, I guess.

And that says "Whirlwind Trip" -- a play on my pinwheels, the trip around the world design, and how I felt trying to move and go through a number of changes in a short time.

Last but not least in the retrospective of scraps, a crocheted afghan which I think is called the "Trail of Tears" pattern (half double crochet, lumpy things, self-fringing) ... can you tell I'm a real precise crocheter, too? This project was undertaken a long time ago to try to use up some of the yarn that was taking over the spare room closet but it never really accomplished that.

Can you see the sickly shine? Can't you just feeeeeel the acrylic?!

But hey, it's cozy.

Finally, the current work in progress. After deciding that I had a lot of red yarn sitting around doing nothing, I pressed it into service to make something that is going to turn out much like the popular Absolutely Fabulous throw from Colinette. Not having enough money to buy a kit, and realizing that the pattern wasn't going to do me much good, I decided to just work Feather and Fan in stripes -- and in strips, to save me the hassle of carrying the whole darn thing around all the time. The goal is to run out of yarn, and I currently have over 25 different kinds -- probably 30 balls. This hopefully will be bedspread sized.

By making strips, I hope to make the final product even busier more exciting. Don't remind me that that just means I have more ends to weave in! The boyfriend has suggested sewing each alternate strip the other way, but we'll have to lay it out when we have more pieces and see what that looks like. Thankfully this thing is working up fast, using bulky yarns (or combining to get to that point) on a 10.5 needle. It's been a long time since I worked on anything that big so it feels great.

Monday, January 23, 2006

To-Do List

In the temporary absence of a digital camera, I'm going to list a number of things that I am going to knit -- and that I actually have yarn for already.

  • Red Afghan a la Ab Fab (but in strips... oh, the chaos of it all) in over 25 different yarns
  • Jaywalkers in Swizzle
  • Nordic Mittens in Brown Sheep Naturespun Sport (my Knitting Olympics project and a birthday gift for my sister)
  • Falling Leaves socks in KPPPM
  • Lace Ruffle Shawl in Karabella Gossamer
  • Felted Tote in Woolpak 14ply
  • a lovely gift for my mom (and something for me) in Lane Borgosesia Cashmere
  • Clapotis (yeah, me too) in Knitpicks Sock Garden
  • Pillows in various blues
  • Lace wrap in Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud
  • ripping out and reknitting a worsted-weight Fair Isle sweater
  • another pair of socks, pattern not yet chosen, in Sockotta
From this, it should be obvious why I'm on a yarn diet -- indefinitely. On a $0 budget, this is more than enough to keep me busy for a while.

Soon: photos of afghan progress, quilt retrospective.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

First post

Testing, testing....
I think the time has finally come for me to get a 'real' blog. Mostly so I can participate more easily in knitting-related web things, and collect pretty buttons. Maybe one day I will develop a blog that other people are interested in. Until then, here's some useless introspection.