Saturday, December 28, 2013

3.14159 winding down

I'm coming to the final rows of my Pi.  I had to dig to find another skein of the yarn I'm using, that's it, no more to be found...unless he is hiding real good.  I've had this since maybe 2002 or 2003 when I skeptically placed my very first order with Smileys Yarns.  I had never ordered yarn online and certainly had never heard of Smileys.  I knew Joanns, Woolworths, Franks Nursery&Crafts and small shops around town.  I was so afraid of getting ripped off but my yarn came, quickly, and I've been a fan every since.
Hoping to get out and get some bright sunny pics this weekend.

Thursday, December 26, 2013


For those who don't know, 3.14159 is Pi.  I have made a couple of shawl and find that knitting lace shawls is a lot of fun and produces beautiful pieces. After creating several shawls, following someone else's instructions it was time to do my own thing.
I'm using Elizabeth Zimmermann's pithy instructions for creating a circular shawl based on pi.  I pulled out some of my stitch books to find my own patterns and got to work.  I've found a couple of diamond and leaf patterns that are pretty and pretty easy to follow. It's slow but steady work watching it develop. 
The first pis shows the color the  best but the pattern shows very well.  I'm up to 576 sts now and have started repeating the patterns I chose rather looking for new patterns.  I want the shawl to be bigger than the ship wreck shawl so I'm focused on just clicking away.
I actually started on this shawl December 5th, it sure seems not I have been working on it so much longer.  Hopefully I will finish this up next month.  Blocking is going to be really hard, my apartment does not have the floor space.  I saw a pic where someone had blocked something vertically, I think that's what I'm gonna have to do. 

Keep stitchin'

Homemade Icord needles!

I love gifting me cause nobody else will.  I saw a video on YouTube that shows how to create your own dpn's and straights.  I thought this would be a great way to make some new cable needles since I do NOT like the ones I bought from Knitpicks. I love how pretty they are but working with them sucks.
So after watching this very detailed video I decided to give it a try.
The purpose for these needles is really because I like making Icord drawstrings for skirts, bags and maybe a hoodie one day.  Those 7" dpn's are a nuisance to me, way too long for 3-5 sts.  Now that is no longer a bother for me. 

The first pic shows my finished needles in sizes 3 and 8.  The store didn't have any other sizes to choose from.  For now these sizes will do fine.

The second pic shows the actual size of the needles they fit nicely and will make sliding from one end to the next quick and easy.

The third pic shows the comparison of mine to the purchased needles.  I think I did a great job!  They're smooth with no ridges to catch the yarn.  The only thing I wish I had is a dh, boyfriend or dad who is into woodwork so I could steal a little stain and sealant to coat them and add some color.  You know I'll be surfing around to see if someone has an easy solution for that too.

Finally the last pic show that I am, in fact, able to knit perfect Icords with these guys.  
It's a little rough because I'm not used to working with wood and the size.  The adjustment got easier, on both sizes as I continued to work with the needles.  I don't have any wax paper so mine are not as smooth as they will be after that coating that comes from waxing.  However, I think this is a wonderful idea and I'd like to make some straights just so I can bling them out with some shiny stones or something.  But they'll be for decoration, not to used at all.

Keep stitchin'

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Retro Inspired complete

Just in time for the holidays I have another top done and I love it!  I got a great fit with this one giving me a real understanding of what 'negative ease' really is all about.  It's a word I've heard so many times in the sewing, as well as, the knit/crochet world.  This top is not zero negative, which I don't do much of anyway, it's probably half inch to an inch...breathing room.
I wasn't crazy about the moss stitch because it seems to puff out a bit, it's kind of grown on me now.  I especially like the way it lays on the collar.  I would reconsider using it as a bottom hem because of this tendency to puff or roll, unless I did something wrong.  I think it's great for sleeves if I plan to turn the cuff up, there's a nice crease there. 
I did excellent in the waist shaping and hip proportions, the entire sweater for that matter including the length. This sweater provides ample butt coverage though it would not be considered a dress option.
Even though I stated I did not care for having to start this top with individual pieces that had to be put together, I enjoyed learning a new technique and will most likely use it again.
The only mistake I made is in decreasing at the bust to start waist shaping.  The top was not going to have the fit I wanted so I started decreasing and they were not spaced out enough or maybe I should have started sooner.  I think it's because I was busy trying not to mess up that beautiful stranded work.  Anyway, I have a slight pucker under each underarm.  Hidden away from the world so it's not even a big deal I just want to learn from it so it won't happen again.

Keep stitchin