Saturday, October 25, 2008

Tomorrow, I seam

I (finally) finished the second sleeve of the Wee Wizard robe. Tomorrow I'm going to seam everything up and have myself a finished object, yay! A little 'blocking' and weaving of ends and I'll add some much needed final measurements to the pattern.

I wonder if it bothers people when I update the pattern, just for aesthetics reasons. There aren't dire changes like "oops, I forgot to tell you to do something vitally important" but when I noticed that the indents were wrong, I fixed it. And when I had some finished measurements, I added them. I hope I'm not aggravating people. I'll just do one final update with all of the pictures, pretty text boxes, and other fancy inclusions and call it the Rich Format, and re-name the original "Plain Text". That way people can look at the fancy one, but print the simple one and save ink. There, justification :-D

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Dumbledore Socks!

I've been a little gun-shy with the HP yarn, not wanting to 'waste' it
on something unworthy. So to work out the excitement/nerves I'm
making myself a pair of toe-up Dumbledore socks. There's nothing more
'worthy' than socks where TLG Dumbledore is concerned :-)

Monday, October 20, 2008

I can't seem to take a good picture.

No, not of myself. I'm somewhat photogenic really. Even my driver's license photo looks good! I'm talking about how I can't point my camera at something and capture a decent likeness on film. The camera is average across the board, so it has to be User Error, a.k.a. I'm the problem.

[Side Note: In an example of irony-and-coincidence that makes me laugh, I saw a license plate the other day that read 'vampyr1' so I decided to take a picture (for one of those aforementioned college friends), but guess what, the plate doesn't show up at all! Oooooh! Though, it could be because I took the photo while moving, in traffic, with my phone. I followed this guy quite a bit out of my way trying to get a picture, and I think I started to creep him out. Oops!]

I located and read the entire book that came with the camera and fiddled with my settings. They are all in order now, but still no quality pictures. Now that traditional research has failed me, I'll have to turn to the internet:

Dear Google,
how to take digital pictures that look great with the average camera I already have, free, no new equipment.
No, I'm not "feeling lucky".

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Test knitting on a wee scale

The prototype Wee Wizard Wrobe is zipping along. All I have left to knit is about half of the second sleeve. I'll probably finish it tonight during Trueblood. [Edit: Nope, did not finish it.]
[Side Note: I had no intention of adding another show to my TV viewing schedule. I'm two weeks behind on my DVR. But it reminds me of some of my best college friends. I'm sentimental about a sexually violent vampire show? Great.]
I did all of the seaming on Saturday in the daylight (see The Great Seam-As-I-Go Edict) because it is very difficult to see anything on black yarn. I guess that's a blessing too because I can't see any mistakes either :-) The neck area seems like it might be a little tight, based on the head of a Brand Name Patch doll (whose name is Charlie, very creative of those Patch people huh). I'll have to give it a little stretching when I "block" it. I know it's acrylic, but the preliminary blocking I did on the hood helped the stitches even themselves out and made everything lie flatter.

Speaking of the college friends, I'm eagerly anticipating homecoming in a few weeks here! Let's hope that all of this stomach virus plague nonsense dies down at USC before I get there. The hazmat suit just takes up too much room in my suitcase.

[Side Rant: USC did NOT run up the score against Washington. Mark Sanchez left at the half. There weren't ANY forward passes thrown after the half. We ran the ball using only 2 plays the rest of the game (left and right). Every Tom, Dick, and RUDY made it into the game. And yet, if the end-zone had been moved up to the 50 yard line, Washington still wouldn't have scored.
What more could we do? Play blindfolded? Take a knee? I think that would have been insulting. I'm finished now.]

Also, I'm still looking for an interesting pattern that will allow me to combine the Tonks and Lupin skeins of HP Opal in an 'individual and autonomous, yet matchy-matchy' sort of way. I'm open to suggestions!

Monday, October 13, 2008

It's a Pullover Sweater for the Wee Wizard

(and the Potter-fan parent who will be amused to no end, probably more so than the recipient)!!!
Wee Wizard Wrobe
(You can click on the title to DOWNLOAD a PDF of the pattern.)
SIZES: [Small/Knut] {Medium/Sickle} Large/Galleon
NEEDLES: US 6 / 4.0 mm (plus an extra for three needle bind-off)
YARN: [2]{3}|3| 85g / 3 oz. balls of Bernat Satin Sport in Black. This yarn is a slippery sport weight acrylic, making it easy to care for and not scratchy at all. Also, any little ones with wool issues will appreciate it.

Cast on [52] {60} 72 sts using the long tail cast-on method. The leftover tail will be used to sew the hood onto the body of the sweater.
Row 1: Purl all sts.
Row 2: Knit all sts.
Row 3: Purl all sts.
Row 4: Knit all sts.
Row 5: Purl all sts.
Row 6: K7,
[K3, M1, K3, M1, K3, M1, K3, M1, K3, M1, K3, M1, K2, M1, K3, M1, K3, M1, K3, M1, K3, M1, K3, M1, K3] ending with K7. [64] sts.
{K4, M1, K4, M1, K4, M1, K4, M1, K4, M1, K2, M1, K2, M1, K2, M1, K4, M1, K4, M1, K4, M1, K4, M1, K4} ending with K7. {72} sts.
K5, M1, K5, M1, K5, M1, K5, M1, K5, M1, K5 M1, K8, M1, K5, M1, K5, M1, K5, M1, K5, M1, K5, M1, K5 ending with K7. 84 sts
Row 7: Purl across. PM in the center of the row.
Row 8: K7, M1, Knit to 1 stitch before center marker M1, K1, Slip Marker, K1, M1, Knit to last 7 stitches, M1, K7.
Row 9: Purl all sts, and be sure to slip center marker.
Repeat rows 8 and 9 three additional times [80] {88} 100 sts.
Row 16: K to 1 stitch before center marker, M1, K1, Slip Marker, K1, M1, K to end. [82] {90} 102 sts.
Row 17: Purl all sts, and be sure to slip center marker.
Repeat rows 16 and 17 until there are [108] {116} 128 sts.
Divide evenly between 2 needles with right sides facing and perform 3 needle bind off.

Cast on [54] {64} 74 sts and work in stockinette stitch for [6”] {8”} 10” ending with a WS row. When measuring, be sure to flatten out the rolled edge created by stockinette stitch.
Shaping Armholes: Bind off 6 stitches at the beginning of the next two rows [42] {52} 62 sts. ***
Continue without shaping until the armhole measures [4.5”] {5.5”} 6.5”, ending with a WS row.
Shoulder Shaping: Bind off 7 sts at the beginning of the next 2 rows, [28] {38} 48 sts.
Bind off 8 sts at the beginning of the next 2 rows, [12] {22} 32 sts.
Bind off the remaining [12] {22} 32 sts.

FRONT: (If you’re adding something fancy, like an intarsia House crest, this is the place to do it.)
Work as given for back to ***
Continue without shaping armholes for [2.5”] {3”} 4” ending with a WS row.
Neck Shaping: K [20] {25} 30 sts, turn and leave remaining [34] {39} 34 sts on a stitch holder.
Working on these [20] {25} 30 sts only, continue as follows:
Next Row: Purl all sts.
Work 2 rows, decreasing one stitch at the neck edge in every row. [18] {23} 28 sts.
Work 5 rows, decreasing one stitch at the neck edge in rows 1, 3, 5. [15] {20} 26 sts.
Continue without shaping until armhole measures [4.5”] {5.5”} 6.5”, ending with a WS row.
Shoulder Shaping: Bind off 7 sts, knit to the end. [8] {13} 17 sts.
Next Row: Purl all sts.
Bind off 8 sts, knit to end. [0] {5} 9 sts.
Bind off remaining [0] {5} 9 sts.
Neck Shaping: With RS facing, join yarn and work remaining [34] {39} 34 sts.
Bind off 2 sts and continue to the end of the row [20] {25} 30 sts.
Reverse all shaping and complete to match the other side of the neck.

Cast on [35] {40} 45 sts and work in stockinette stitch for 2”.
Increase 1 stitch at each end of every following [4th] {5th} |5th| row to [55] {60} 65 sts.
Continue in stockinette stitch until sleeve measures [8”] {11”} 14", ending with a WS row.
Bind off.

Block and press as directed on the yarn label, but don’t block out the natural stockinette curl on the bottom of the sleeves, bottom of the sweater, or on the hood.
Join shoulder seams. Seam up the sides of the body and the sleeves. Sew in the sleeves, being sure to match up the seam with the bound-off stitches at the bottom of the armhole. Join the hood to the body, beginning by pinning the hood at the center of the center of the back and seaming from one side of the front to the other. Weave in ends.
Just like magic*, a sweater has appeared!

* magic ... and a bunch of knitting, seaming, and weaving of ends ;-)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I'm 'designing' a 'pattern', oooh fancy.

Wee Wizard Wrobe in progress!Actually, it is more of a wee pull-over with a nifty hood.
This is the first real pattern that I am designing, so I wanted to make sure that it would be something small, quick to knit, and inexpensive to test knit. When you add that all up it equals baby pattern. Trust me, I speak math.

I don't have kids [Side Note: Did you just hear the world sigh in relief? Yeah, so did I.] so I don't have anyone to try on my Wee Wizard Wrobe when it is complete. Maybe the neighbors would be willing to trade: baby sweater for picture of baby in sweater?

It's going to come in three sizes; small, medium, and large (or Knut, Sickle, and Galleon, if you prefer). But since I don't have a frame of reference for what sizes = which months of development (See: no kids, above) there will just be measurements. Kids come in all sizes, just like regular people, so enough with the population averages being used to size garments! Enough!

As soon as I get all of the pieces made and seamed up I'll get everything compiled into a pattern for the blog! This should be within the next few days (in time for Halloween? Well, only if you're a reasonably quick knitter). Also, I'm getting the hang of all the design posting stuff on ravelry (finally). So, this design will appear there in glorious PDF fashion as well. [Side Note: I can make pdf files now too! And contrary to what Adobe would have you believe, you can do it for free. Yes, free! Google around about it, there are many helpful programs out there.]

Friday, October 10, 2008

Not so easy afterall.

Thumbs help. So does not drooling on the yarn. Or rolling in it. Doesn't mean I don't do it too, but it's easier if you dont.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Welcome Dolores Van Hoofen and fellow Fibertarians!

Franklin, of Panopticon fame, has decided to send Fibertarian Party Candidate Dolores Van Hoofen on a cross-country campaign tour and I have been trying to track her down for some photo opportunities all week. Unfortunately, I live in Las Vegas, NV and Dolores has been busy.

Luckily for her, many new establishments have sprung up since the last time, and she has yet to be banned from them. That's not to say that casino security doesn't keep a close eye on her though. As well they should.

As a matter of fact, I haven't seen Dolores since I dropped her off at Bellagio days and days ago. And by "dropped off" I mean that I chauffeured her around for an hour before she decided to hop out, in traffic, to do some shopping and has been busy ever since. I did get a photo as she leaned on the driver's side window to tell me not to wait up.

Dolores Van Hoofen is my kind of candidate!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I do not concede.

This is the Draco colorway of the Opal Harry Potter series of yarn. I borrowed the pictures from Webs and Opal to illustrate a point [Side Note: Webs may still have some in stock in all the colors, hurry! I'll be here when you get back.] I know that you can see green in it. I can see it too. But my skein doesn't have any of this green in it. Mine has many shades of blue, and NAVY where the green should be. I'm going to unravel the whole damn thing when I get home and there had better be green in it. Otherwise, I have to learn German in order to pen a linguistically and gramatically correct crazy-person letter to Opal asking them Wo ist das Grün in meinen Dracosockenwollen? Hey, that wasn't so difficult. Or I could buy a solid green skein and intersperse its slytherin-y goodness as I desire. But I prefer the crazy-German-letter-writing.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Putting all my yarn in one basket

Normally that would be a bad thing (Ex. the eggs-in-one-basket metaphor), but this was a productive type of cleaning that prevents such tragedies as Yarn Loss.

[Side Note: Eggs in baskets? Ok. My eggs have always come in cartons. Also, I don't think I've ever seen a real live chicken in person before. I am a city girl. Which is a little ironic because I really really enjoy the outdoors and LOVE Man vs. Wild type stuff. Yet, I've never been camping. My parents weren't big on that sort of stuff. They worked hard to put a roof over our heads and food in the kitchen (and braces on our teeth) and probably didn't seen any reason to pack it all up, schlep it up into the wilderness, and 'rough it'. Plus, I had a very poor sense of direction and a tendency to wander, right from the beginning. It's ok, we enjoyed other outside activities, like parks, beaches, and our yard.]

My, that was a lengthy bracket. Where was I ... oh yes, I got all the yarn together and in a basket. I looks like I had more than I thought, since it filled a rather large basket all the way up to the top. The 8 skeins of HP Opal really fleshed it out too.

Speaking of the HP yarn, it's making me a little (more?) crazy as I try to figure out what the designer (yarn painter?) had in mind. I'm looking for their motives and inspiration. Yup, crazy. But the Lupin yarn has sections of greys (his werewolf-ness) and sections with red and gold alternating bits (his Gryffindor-ness) and pink (for Tonks!) . See how nicely it fits! What I can't understand is why the Draco yarn is just shades of blue and grey. It looks almost like denim. I'm not one to criticize someone else's artistic vision, but I need some green! There should be a nice slytherin-y green. Just saying. Grün Opal, grün!

I should take some WIP pictures. I'm making some Draco footie socks (with a surprise!) and a great big coil of white cotton i-cord that will become a drain-board mat thingy for by the sink. I just ripped back my Lupin/Tonks Scarf too. It wasn't turning out the way I wanted, just alternating the colors when I felt like it. There was no autonomy between the two skeins. And besides, it looked like Crayons-in-a-blender. Not good. I'm going to have to ponder my options for a little while on this one. Excuse me while I ponder.