Christmas Presents

Hello World!

I had mentioned that I had been very busy over the Holidays, and now I will show you why.

Holiday gifts!

For friends and family I made a hat, fingerless gloves, and scarves. I won’t get into how I made the hat, as that was my last post, but I will talk about the gloves this time. I hadn’t made gloves like these in a while, so it was a little tricky, but I found a great pattern through Pinterest and followed that.

First, I cast on 35 stitches and rib stitched until the piece measured about 2 cm. The next row had a bit of shaping to it, in which I decreased a few stitches. Then I knitted using the stockinette stitch until the piece measured about 5.5 cm.

Such a pretty color!

Once I knitted to 5.5cm I increased one stitch at the beginning and end of the next 2 rows and then I continued to knit until the piece measured 10 cm. I then placed a marker to start shaping the thumb. This was probably the strangest part, as I had never done an increase in the middle of a piece before, but once I had gotten into the rhythm of it, it wasn’t so hard.

Thumb shaping

I increased after the first marker and before the last marker until I had 13 stitches between the two markers. Then I placed a stitch holder and continued to knit the rest of the glove.

Thumb made!

This image is actually of the wrong side, or rather the inside, of the glove. I then knitted to another 4 cm from the top of the thumb, did 3 rows of rib stitch (even though the pattern said to do only 2), and then I cast off.

Next, I went back in and reattached the yarn to the thumb and knitted three more rows and then finished with two rows of rib stitch then cast off. I then folded the whole piece with the right sides together and sewed up the seam and did the same with the thumb.

Then came the cuff. The pattern I was working from had a very nice cuff, but I wanted to incorporate some cables. So I started by casting on 14 stitches.

Cuff cast on

I rib stitched only four stitches on each side, so knit, purl, knit, purl and made sure the stitches matched in the back to create a rib effect. Then I knitted a stockinette stitch in the middle six stitches for three rows. I used a cable needle to knit the cables on the right side of the piece.

Cable knitting begins!

I transferred three stitches to the cable needle to hold these stitches in place. Then I knitted the next three stitches behind those three.

Knit behind these three

And then knit the stitches on the cable needle back onto the regular straight needle.

Knit back onto straight needle

I finished the row with the rib stitching and continued with the stockinette stitch in the middle. I continued in this way, cable knitting every third row to get a nice neat cable design.

Cables!

I knitted this until it measured about 6 inches. I then added a buttonhole in the cuff using a great tutorial I found here. Then I cast off not in a cable. The whole cuff measured about 6.5 inches. I then added a gold button, because the gold looks so good with this green, and slipped them onto the gloves. The original pattern has the cuffs being secured to the gloves, but I like the option of being able to take them on and off at your discretion.

Finished gloves

Here are the completed gloves! I am so proud of them and all the ones that I made and I was so happy to present them to my friends and family for the holidays. They came as no surprise though. At first I had tried to be subtle about them and asking about peoples favorite colors, but in the end I was measuring people’s hands and making sure that they liked the colors I had chosen.

Next time, I will get into a new technique for me, color blocking!

Until next time!

Took me long enough

Hello World!

Okay, I did in fact finish knitting a slouchy hat, which I will now post about. Sorry about all the delay, but I had quite a lot going on this past holiday season and into the new year.

Anywho, on to the hat! So, some of you may remember that last time I cast on 60 stitches to my DPNs, and that ended up being way too small. This time I cast on 80 stitches.

It begins again

And I just noticed that my cat is just barely in this picture. Once I had finished this hat I made another for a friend in red, and my cat always seems to insist on getting in my lap when I am knitting.

My kitty!

Isn’t he cute <3.

Anyway, after I cast on 80 stitches, I rib stitched to about 1.5 inches.

Rib stitch

Then, I went once around knitting 4 stitches and increasing one, and then once more around knitting 5 and then increasing one. After that, I knitted in a stockinette stitch until the hat measured about 8 inches. My number of stitches was a little off, 118 stitches (I was following the instructions from the book I mentioned before), so I increased 2 to get to 120 stitches.

After that, I decreased every round, instead of ever other round, and it resulted in a neat spiral effect.

Slochy hat back view

This was a lot of fun and I ended up making one in my favorite color just for me!

Side view with sparkle! Back view

The little sparkle I had gotten at Michael’s some time ago and when I found it in my button box, I added it to the brim and I think it looks great!

Okay, next post will be about the projects that occupied my time during the holidays and the new year.

Until next time!

Knitting in the round

Hello World!

So, as you can tell from my portfolio, I’m fairly skilled with a pair of knitting needles.  But what about 4 needles?  I am talking, of course, about double pointed needles (DPNs).  Using such items can enable you to knit a variety of things without seams.  Truthfully, this method was completely foreign to me and I had never tried it.  Until now!

Let’s begin!

Cast on

Cast on

 So, using instructions from a very helpful book (Teach Yourself VISUALLY Circular Knitting) that has been sitting on my bookshelf for quite a while, I cast on 60 stitches to one needle and then distributed the stitches evenly onto two more.  Then, I started knitting a rib stitch until it measured about 1.5 inches.

Rib stitch

Rib stitch

You can see the rib stitch as well as how the fourth needle is used in this method.  I wish I had taken the picture where you could see the yarn being fed in, but that did not happen. Anyway, after ribbing to 1.5 inches, I continued up the hat in a regular stockinette stitch until the entire piece measured about 4 inches.

Keep going

Once it was long enough, I started decreasing every other row until I was down to 8 stitches in total.  Then I cut a long tail and threaded it through the stitches, pulling tight to close up the top.  Then I wove the tail into the inside of the hat and did the same with the starting tail as well.

Here’s the result!

All done!

All done!

A back view

A back view

You can see the decreasing in the stitch work.

Now, some of you who have knitted in the round before may have read the “cast on 60 stitches” and tilted your heads.  Yeah, even with my little pin head this hat is too small.  No worries, I have both a young niece and nephew, one of them may like it.

Since this turned out to be a little too small for me, I decided that, since I now know the basics, I would try to knit a slouchy hat instead.  Sort of like the one I made for my friend in one of my previous posts, but without a brim and no cables.

So, my next post will be a slouchy hat knitted in the round.

Until next time!

Black Tie Event

Hello World!

So, as I said in one of my previous posts, I did make a dress for a black tie event in Amelia Island.  I wanted the dress to be flowy and fun.  I designed a cowl necked front with a halter top and a low back.  When I went to find fabric, I found a beauty silk with teal ferns all over it.  A good match for my tan skin.

Amelia Island dress

And my hubby is looking sharp in his tux.

This dress was very simple.  It’s A-line, no seam in the front, a seam in the back with the zipper, and empire waisted, which is a little hard to see here. Then the skirt flows out at the sides creating a lovely silhouette.

I’m pretty proud of this one. Yes it’s simple, but the print makes the statement.  When the fabric is that pretty, there is no reason to make the design overly complicated.

Until next time.

Hat copycat

Hello world.  Recently I copied a hat that belongs to my hairdresser.  It’s her favorite hat and she wanted a copy in basic black. So, I took her hat for a few months (I took my sweet time working up the courage to try a new technique) and found that making the copy wasn’t all that hard.

First time cable knitting!

First time cable knitting!

So, on the right we have the store bought brown hat, and on the left is my basic black copy.  Not too shabby.  I was really nervous about trying cable knitting.  I had never done it before, which is why I had her hat for all of summer and only finally got to it when Atlanta started cooling down a bit in September.  So, I examined the hat, carefully counted the stitches to make the copy as exact as possible that set about making a muslin.

Using some yellow yarn I had laying around, I created a copy without the brim.  Shortly after that a friend expressed interest in the yellow hat and I gave it to her before I could take a picture of it, sorry.  I learned a couple of things from this first draft.  First, cable knitting is nothing to be afraid of, it’s fun and easy; and second, the yellow yarn was too bulky.  Also, I was off by one stitch to get the pattern to be correct, so I adjusted that as well.  So, armed with this knowledge, I went out and bought some black wool yarn in a couple sizes smaller and created the main part of the hat with relative ease.

The next part was the brim.  From what I could tell of the original, the brim was made of a thin, flexible plastic that the yarn was simply covering.  So, I went to the art store and chose a plastic that was a little thicker, but just as flexible to use.  I did a simple rib stitch for the brim and cut the plastic to match the size and shape of the original. I then had to sew the brim into the main part of the hat.

It's a little hard to see since the black so, well, dark.

It’s a little hard to see since the black is so, well, dark.

I sewed the brim in and then had to trim away the extra yarn that didn’t fit.  That was the most nerve racking part.  I don’t like having to cut yarn for fear of the piece unraveling, but I had sewed it down well, so it didn’t unravel or anything.

This was a lot of fun and now I know how to cable knit!!  The yarn I used ended up being just a little too small, so the copy is not quite as slouchy as the original, but the original is also many years old.  With use the black will stretch a bit.  I’m petty proud of my hat copycat and look forward to making another hat soon!

Until next time!

Almost a year. I’m bad at this.

Right, so, it’s been a while.  Yeah.  Okay, I have actually been doing quite a few things including commissions and projects for myself, but of course I have been very lazy and not posting any pictures.  So,  this month I will try to put up some new items on the blog as well as in my portfolio.  Mostly I have been knitting but I do have an evening gown that I made for a black tie event, so that will be going up soon.  Also, to try and get me on the site more and editing, I’m going to regularly change the appearance to reflect the holidays.  So, at the moment it’s got a Halloween theme to it.  Hopefully I will actually post images and info more regularly now.

Happy Halloween!

Updates coming soon

So, obviously it has been a while since I posted anything.

A few things: One, that lace shrug is finished along with another lace project.

Two, I am doing more sewing at the moment as well; including a bit of commission work for a work colleague.  I will post pictures soon of what I have been up to, but I wanted to write this update just to keep everyone in the loop.  And, you know, let everyone know that I haven’t died or anything.

With the new job I find I only have time on the weekends to make anything or take a moment just to relax.  During the week my husband and I go rock climbing after work and when we get home we tend to fall into bed, watch an episode of Deep Space Nine and fall asleep.  So, updates are scarce, and for that I apologize.

I will post some pictures this evening of some of the things I have made and maybe of the repair work I did for my co-worker.

Orange Scarf all done. Now for some lace work

And I have returned after many things happening, including getting a new job,so that was fun.  Yeah it was a bit of a transition going from part-time to full-time, but oh man am I happier.  Any who, I finished my scarf!

Orange Scarf

As I said before, I only had one ball, so it’s on the short side.  The fringe is actually from needle point yarn.  I was lucky enough to find an almost exact match on the orange.

Now, I’m working on lace.  I’ve never done it before, so I’m starting with some easy patterns from Lion Brand.  This is the project I’m working on now:

http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/L20122.html?noImages=

I’m working on a shrug with a simple lace pattern.

Purple shrug

I’m sure you can see there are quite a few mistakes near the beginning, but I’m getting the hang of it.  I’ll knit it to about 28-29 inches and then bind off and sew part of it up to make the sleeves.  I figured I should start with something really simple when getting into lace.  I have a lot of yarn lying about still, so I’m going to keep practicing and making random little things.

I have also had a few side projects as well, which actually have very little to do with yarn and fabric.  I’ll post about those soon.

New Project!

I finished the purple purse and went with a long shoulder strap for it.

Purple knit bag

I like the longer strap, I think it turned out well.  This piece is also available to be bought.

And now I’m working on a little project for myself!

Orange scarf

I’m working on a narrow scarf in this bright orange.  I only have the one ball though, so it may not be as long as I would like, but we shall see.  This is actually be the first time that I will be working with such a small gauge of needle and yarn (sz 6 US needle, unfortunately I lost the yarn information, so I’m not sure of the weight).  I’m doing just a basic seed stitch.  I have another ball of yarn in this weight in a navy blue.  The goal with be to try a more complex pattern in the blue.

 

Sold!

So, of the little knitted clutches that I have been making, the little red one that I first made has sold to a friend of mine.  The clutch is lined with similar colored red lining and closes with snaps.  The rest of the items still need to be lined, I’ll have to get some lining to match some of the clutches.  As I said before, I’ve just been knitting with left over yarn that I have lying around, so I don’t have the lining for all of them.  But, I want to finish them all off and get them out in the world!  Again, if anyone is interested in any of the items, just email me at catherine.heleen@hotmail.com