Monday, March 31, 2008

Let's learn to make socks!

I've never knitted a pair of socks before, so this may not go smoothly. You can look away if you want to. I'm a little apprehensive about this "heel flap" thing, but I'll do my best.

These will be similar to the pattern titled "Pink Striped Anklets" on the Rilana Knits blog. Except they won't be pink (Simply Soft Heather Grey), or striped (just plain please!). And we differ in our definitions of an anklet. I'm removing some rounds. Wish me luck!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Magic Calligraphy

Wow! The calligraphy is pretty good to begin with, and then he goes and does it upside down and backwards. I think if they made this into a T.V. show I'd be hooked for sure!

Starting off small ;-)

You might as well get used to the shameless puns now, I've got a million of them.

You also might as well get used to Harry Potter related crafts from time to time as I am quite a fan! Like this little project (see, another pun already) a mini Weasley sweater! They are super cute but surprisingly, not terribly useful. I like to think that the cuteness makes up for their lack of practical uses. I suppose you could use it to keep your iPod warm ...

[Disclaimer: I don't own the rights to anything Harry Potter or Apple related, nor do I make any money off of anything on this site, so please don't sue me Mrs. Rowling or Mr. Jobs. I come in peace.]

The knitting pattern I used was adapted from a website/blog run by someone named Monica. All of the creativity is hers, but I made some changes to make it easier for me to knit. (I'm not exceptionally experienced yet and I don't have dozens of needles hanging around.) So I hope I've given credit where it is due, and now for the pattern:

Yarn: I used a worsted weight Caron leftover in Cardinal, you can use any color(s) that you wish. [Side note: My house of choice is actually Slytherin, but my college colors are Cardinal and Gold. FIGHT ON!]

Needles: Double Pointed US size 4, but since this sweater won't likely be worn, use anything you want.

Gauge: Again, it doesn’t much matter.

K = Knit P = Purl KF&B = Knit through front and back (I had to look this one up online to learn how to do it)

Cast on 14 stitches. Join in the round and knit your preferred edging for 5 rounds. Whatever you do, DO NOT twist your stitches around at this point!!! (Unless you want to have some strange infinity loop sweater monster...) I chose to use Stockinette, for that authentic rolled edge look (as seen in the movies).

After finishing your neck edging, you start increasing to form the body of your sweater.

Round 1: KF&B twice, place a marker, KF&B, K3, KF&B, place a marker, KF&B of next 2 stitches, place a marker, KF&B, K3, KF&B. By the end of the round, you should have increased 8 stitches and have a total of 22 stitches on your needles. I also never bothered with the markers. Is it because I am cavalier and cocky about my knitting abilities? Nope, I just don't happen to have any markers. Although, I have used small paper clips effectively in the past ...

Round 2: Knit

Round 3: KF&B, K2, KF&B, move marker, KF&B, K5, KF&B, move marker, KF&B, K2, KF&B, move marker, KF&B, K5, KF&B (you should now have 30 stitches).

Round 4: Knit

Round 5: KF&B, K4, KF&B, move marker, KF&B, K7, KF&B, move marker, KF&B, K4, KF&B, move marker, KF&B, K7, KF&B (you should now have 38 stitches).

Round 6: Knit

Round 7: KF&B, K6, KF&B, move marker, KF&B, K9, KF&B, move marker, KF&B, K6, KF&B, move marker, KF&B, K9, KF&B (you should now have 46 stitches).

At this point I decided that I had achieved the proper length at which to separate out the sleeves. In order to separate the sleeves from the body, knit 10 stitches and put them on a stitch holder
(this is the first sleeve), (I have a fancy schmancy stitch holder. But you need two, there being two sleeves, so one of those extra large safety pins did the job quite nicely.) remove marker, knit 13 stitches, knit 10 stitches and put them on a stitch holder (this is the second sleeve), remove marker, knit 13 stitches. You should have 26 stitches on your needles, which forms the body of the sweater.

Knit the body of the sweater until it is as long as you want it to be, I just eyeballed it and can't remember how many rounds it is (I don't have markers, remember?) You can either immediately bind off for a sweater with a rolling hem, press said hem flat for a squared off look (like mine), or knit 5 rows of edging to match the neckband and then bind off.

Sleeves: Move the 10 stitches that you put on a holder to your double pointed needles. Pick up 1 stitch and knit the stitches till you get to the end of your row. Pick up another stitch. I'm no dynamo at picking up stitches yet, so one side has a bit of a hole ... [Note to self: learn how to fix that!]

Continue knitting in the round until the sleeve is as long as you want. Hint: look at one of the sweaters in your closet, or even a long sleeved shirt in order to make the sweater look proportioned. Then knit about a half-inch of chosen edging, mine was a K1P1, and bind off. If want your sleeves to roll, continue knitting until the sleeve measures 2”. Bind off.

Repeat for the second sleeve.

Weave in ends.
Actually, don't bother. Just tuck them in as it isn't a real sweater anyway.

Now it's time for the best part, the letter!
I would never suggest that anyone work unnecessary Intarsia on a tiny scale like this! Just print yourself a sheet of knitter's graph paper, make your letter accordingly, and work it in contrasting color with duplicate stitch. Don't be a glutton for punishment. Really.

My sweater is sad because it doesn't have a letter yet, but it will just have to wait until I pick up a yarn needle. Perhaps this will build character ... but I digress.

This makes a cute holiday ornament, gift tag, or key chain. For the key chain I'd probably stuff it with fluff and sew the openings shut for a more 3D effect. But I haven't tried that, so no guarantees.

I did decide to make a tiny hanger out of a standard brown pipe cleaner. I don't hang up hardly any of my own clothes, but my tiny Weasley sweater is prim and proper on it's pipe cleaner hanger. Go figure.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Thwarted by the technology again.

I accidently deleted my first post ever whilst trying to edit my labels.  :-(  I don't even really remember what I said initially, so I can't really recreate it.  Poo.