Thursday, December 31, 2009

lacy baktus

There are certainly a lot of folks making the lacy version of the baktus scarf, and I'm one of them. This one was a cute, super simple, and super quick knit. It was done practically before I knew it, probably in large part because I took it over to a friends house and knit away while we gabbed and watched Project Runway as a group. I don't have all that many friends who knit, so it's usually a bit of a show when I bring it out, no matter how simple.

lacy baktus

lacy baktus

I wish I'd remembered to tuck the band from the skein into the ball when I wound it. I like this yarn and I wish I could remember what it was. I did go back to the yarn store to try and find more, but to no avail. Whatever brand it was didn't seem to have this colorway, and there were other brands with a lime green and bright ass pink that weren't the right ones. The base yarn is very nice, but there's a lot of really nice hand dyed sock yarn out there that looks just like it.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Here's a simple Christmas gift I did this year, another winner from the book Last Minute Quilted and Patchwork Gifts (so far, a great choice, this book is great for last minute ideas). This one was a simple set of coasters. I used a very vibrant yellow rayon thread and took it as a chance to work on my sewing, practicing sewing even parallel lines.



Wednesday, December 16, 2009

now... my very first spinning!

I have a bunch of christmas stuff ready to post up, but I'm waiting in case some of the family accidentally remember I mentioned that I have a blog and come and look at it. in the meantime...

My friend Ellie showed me how to use a drop spindle to make yarn (DANGER, new craft alert) and it was FUN! I'm certainly going to need a bunch of practice, but what I got I don't consider too bad for a first attempt!

I had four ounces of dyed wool top (still new to the terminology, but I think I have it right), and here were my results (on the right were the first two ounces, on the left the second two ounces):
first handspun

I still need to read up on spinning to get the hang of the whole "S" and "Z" twist thing and figure out how to get the right amount of twist in the singles so the plied yarn is as twisty as I want it to be. And to learn all the right things to call everything so I can sound like I know what I'm doing. A lot of learning how to be better is learning all the terminology so you at least know how to ask questions to get the answers you want.

Here's what that second two ounces looked like on the drop spindle before being plied.

first handspun

and here's a closer view at those second two ounces.
first handspun

Not perfect, but I am pretty darn proud of my first attempt. Now I just have to figure out what to weave, knit, or crochet using the stuff!

Oh, and I'm borrowing a spinning wheel from the WSSA, so look out, there may be more of this in my future!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Super fast beret

I've been finishing up a lot of holiday gifts in the last few weeks and have a ton of projects to get caught up on posting here, but I thought I'd share my super-fast quick and dirty beret guidelines, because a project that is really fast, really simple, and only uses one skein of yarn is a great thing.

I think you'd need to use a bulky/ chunky yarn for this. With a thinner yarn and more stitches you'd need to be more refined... bulky yarn is more forgiving. These guidelines definitely assume you know what you're doing and have a good eye for estimation.

quick hat

quick hat

quick hat

Yarn used: Rowan Chunky Print (100g per 100m/ 110 yards) almost all of one ball, although any bulky yarn could be used
Needles: two sizes, one smaller for the band of ribbing and one larger for the rest of the hat. I like to knit hats on a smaller needle than "called for" on the ball band, this yarn called for a size US # 13, and I used a US #8 on the ribbing and a US #10 for the top of the hat.

Cast on the "right number" of stitches for a somewhat snug fitting band of 1x1 ribbing (even number of stitches) . In my case it was 72.

Knit in 1x1 ribbing for about 1.5 inches.

Increase substantially by working (k1 in knit stitch, knit in front and back of purl stitch) around.

Work even for about 3 inches or so.

divide work evenly in quarters (either onto 4 dpns or using stitch markers)

crown decreases: knit around, decreasing (by k2tog) one time in each quarter every row (total 4 decreases per round). I didn't want to show a "line" of decreases, so I made sure that they were in a different place every time. For example... on one round I decreased by k2tog on the third stitch after the marker, the next round I did it on the 10th stitch after each marker, changing the place on every round.

Continue that way until you have 4 sts left. on next round k2tog and knit to end, work a tiny bit of I cord on these three stitches, then draw the working yarn through the loops and weave in the end.

Voila! super simple, super fast beret!

Sunday, December 6, 2009


This is an old project, but the second "quilt" I've done. It was for my nephew. My husband has two brothers, the youngest is a paleontologist, but the oldest has a child. The whole family has quite an appreciation for dinosaur-themed items, and since a lot of really cute stuff for babies is dinosaur-themed I think that any child in this family will have quite a collection.

Here was my first contribution:
dino blanket

It was very simple. Made with one yard each of two different fabrics, and cotton batting. The instructions came from "Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted gifts", and this could certainly be made at the last minute! The instructions call for a different method of quilting, but I used a running stitch and did sort of a log cabin block design (no patchwork, just in the layout of the top stitching)