Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Coming Apart at the Seams

Hello Readers!

I’m sorry that I have slacked a little, but seeing as I’ve started work (on the 10th admittedly) it’s already remarkable that I’ve managed a new post in the same month. I fell off the knitting bandwagon a bit, but I’ve jumped back on and I have some things to share with you lovelies.

So, after I discovered one of my favourite blogs (Allergic to Wool), it has been my dream to purchase a second hand sweater at a charity shop or such and unravel it and breathe new life into aka knit it into something else. Well friends, this dream has been realised. Not too long after I started work, I went to my local Goodwill shop and bought a highly unattractive sweater (but made of pretty yarn) and bought it for a mere 3 dollars! When I got home, I even noticed that the price tag indicated that it was originally FIFTY dollars! And, although there is no tag on the inside, I think it is real wool. The idea of a sweater’s amount of real wool for 3 dollars is just mind-boggling for me, but I have some big plans for it. I found a tutorial on how to best unravel a sweater, and that was quite helpful. I did also have some help from my tiny angelic (ha… ha…) cousins to unravel the sweater and wind it back up into balls, so that was helpful. So here are some pictures of this little adventure:

This is what the sweater looked like before. You might notice that I like these up-close pictures. It just makes me feel very warm inside to see all the fibres and colours and textures mixing together like best friends. As Jess once said to me “You’re a bit of a freak, aren’t you?” Yes. Yes, I am.

I was a bit too excited to start, so there is no absolute before and after pictures. I took ONE picture with only one arm off, but it was the worst picture ever, so I’m not even putting it on here. Here is one sleeve balled up and next is the entire sweater’s worth of yarn.

So you’ll have to wait and see what becomes of this. I have one plan for something for myself and I want to make something for Jaden, but I’m not entirely sure of what, exactly. I think I’ll have to let this yarn mature for a while so I can find the perfect time and place to use it :). It’s SO exciting! I really love the potential that yarn has. It makes me so jittery!

Until the next advancement in my knitting saga, dear readers!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Almost Ruby Slippers

Hello to my numerous readers.

I come bearing GOOD news! I have finished the baby booties!!! However, due to a sudden realisation, the prospective owner has now changed entirely. Changed continent even. My mom informed me today that one of our neighbours had her baby girl very recently, so I decided that the other pair could wait since that baby is still in-utero.

The first one took me nearly an entire day, whereas the second one was a mere 4 hour job from cast on to seaming! I felt quite proud of that accomplishment. I was a little disappointed to realise upon completion that one is a liiiittle bit bigger than the other. Damn you changeable gauge! It really is annoying and I don’t understand how I could make it in EXACTLY the same way and still have such a difference in the size. However, there is a bright side to this situation: I’m being forced to give “blocking” a go. To the non-knitters (aka most of my avid followers) that means wetting a finished piece and stretching it out. It’s usually done by pinning it down to stretch it out until it dries, however I do not have any pins right now, so I’m just stretching it by hand every once in a while. Hopefully that works… it’s drying quite quickly. Compared to the size difference before, there has been fairly significant improvement, but it’s not even dry yet.

So here they are in all their glory. I absolutely LOVE them. I think that every new (female) tiny human should own a pair hence me wanting to ADORN every baby I see with a pair. These were knitted on 2.75mm needles aka very tiny. I think the smallest I've ever knitted on even.

I, unfortunately, have not quite finished the scarf yet. It’s been proving to be a bit of a knitter’s block for me, actually. I get really bored knitting scarves. Luckily, this one’s quite a cool pattern to keep me intrigued, but it’s not doing such a good job. And I have a hard time knitting other things when one project is unfinished because I just REALLY want to get it off my shoulders before I start something else. I’ve got about a quarter of a skein left and I don’t think it’s going to be long enough, so Jenna, I’m sending you on a wild goose chase, because my mom was highly unnerved at the prospect of being responsible for that. I’ll tell you more details later :).

While I’m not knitting, I’ve been having some good times with my cousins! (since my pharmacy license has STILL not arrived, so I can't start my job yet...) After much debate, Mike (my uncle) and I purchased the blu-ray version of Coraline (as well as some rubber car mats which he proptly ripped while trying to take a staple out. I've taken the piss out of him A LOT because of that...)because I expressed my wanting to see it. Much to my glee (at the time) it came with a 3-D version and those ‘totally-awesome’ glasses. Here are Jamie (front) and Jaden enjoying the movie and looking quite futuristic and intense.

Unfortunately, we had to stop the 3-D version and commence viewing in the standard 2-D because it was hurting our eyes! I have to say I was immensely let down. I really love Tim Burton movies because of their colour and how crazy it is to make them (and also the slightly weird plots) and I was very disappointed that the colour is so lame in the 3-D version. Some parts were cool, but mostly it was just verging on nauseating, so I was relieved that Jaden and Jamie also wanted to watch the 2-D version. The coolest part about the Coraline movie, I have to say, was that ALL of the sweaters that the teeeeeeeeny characters were wearing were actually knitted by this girl (I’m linking you up to a youtube video of her talking about it). So that was pretty cool…

Well, I am going to wrap this up, but I’m just going to say now that my next post will not be quite as prompt as the last, because the next thing I am planning to work on is a fair bit larger and more difficult. Now, eager readers, as much as this news may pain you, I assure you, your wait will not be in vain.

Until then, farewell.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Forest Gump Scarf

Ok so really, this scarf has nothing to do with Forest Gump, except that I lovingly call it this in my head. I read “Friday Night Knitting Club” by Kate Jacobs – as an interjection, when I googled that to find out who it was by, and found out that it might be being made into a MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That would be suuuuuuuuuch a good movie! – and the main character, Georgia Walker, always secretly names her knitted things which I thought was an EXCELLENT idea, so I’ve started doing the same. So since it’s green and forest-y… you know where this is going.

So, I got this pattern from my current favourite blogger (Allergic to Wool – go there, read the WHOLE ENTIRE blog and love her.) who got it from this human, but you have to be a ravelry member to see that :). I was not even LOOKING for any specific pattern to use this yarn from Katy, and the instant I saw it, I knew this was the destiny it was meant to fulfil. I kind of love this pattern. It’s super fast and looks really good with variegated yarn. I tried a little swatch on single-coloured yarn because I was going to mail it to a friend so they could appreciate it, and it looked rubbish. I unravelled it even. Told it RIGHT off for being so horrid. No I didn’t… that yarn has served me well. 2 mittens and a hat and it’s still going strong! Well not strong… it’s looking a bit pathetic and unwound these days. Anyway! Picture time:

So, appreciate the excellent colours and extremely beautiful yarn. Like I said in my last post, it was a Late Christmas present from Kate. It was such a treat to be knitting with such good quality yarn, because I never get to do that! So thanks Katy. I’m going to include a picture of the initial balls of yarn because I don’t think the scarf looks quite as good as those little dandies did when their possibilities were still endless, but it served it pretty well, I think you’ll agree. I’m not quite done though. I’m hoping it gets longer than it looks like it’s going to, because otherwise I’ll have to send my mommy on a wild goose chase for this yarn!

Yes, I think that photo captures their absolute beauty right there.

So anyway, I’ll give you the pattern here I suppose, it’s SUPER easy:

Use a needle US size 8 (5mm) and cast on 26 stitches

Row 1-4: Knit
5: *k6, yo once, k1, yo twice, k1, yo thrice, k1, yo twice, k1, yo once* (you’ll get 2 little wavy things on this row)
6: k all stitches slipping off the yarn wound around the needle from the yo
7-8: k
9: k1, *yo once, k1, yo twice, k1, yo thrice, k1, yo twice, k1, yo once, k6* (you’ll get 3 little wavy things on this row)
10: k all stitches slipping off the yarn wound around the needle from the yo
11-12: k
Then just keep doing rows 5-12, but remember to finish the scarf with 4 knitted rows just like you started it. Easy peasy. And extremely beautiful to boot!

So I’m going to keep trucking with this little number and maybe I’ll take some pictures when it’s finished :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Breaking the ice

It's a little scary to write the first entry of this thing, now that it comes down to it. I've been wanting to start a blog for a REALLY long time, and I've finally gotten round to doing it and now I have next to nothing to say. I’m sure this problem will be resolved once I get going…

So, I’m just going to pretend that people besides my friends are going to somehow stumble upon this blog whilst on a quest for knitting patterns or the like and explain some things about myself.

My name is Bailey and I very much heart knitting. I’m essentially obsessed, as my friends all know (Margi). Just this past year I have started knitting absolutely regularly, and I feel REALLY weird if I’m not knitting when I’m sitting around, or if I go away for an extended amount of time without bringing something to knit. About a week ago, I realised it had been nearly 2 weeks since I’d even picked up a knitting needle, but I browsed some blogs and got caught up in the spirit of it and started on some projects (which I’ll blog about soon!)

I’m riiiiight in the middle of my gap year right now, so I have TONNES of time on my hands to knit and blog and whatnot. I usually have at least one project going at a time. I haven’t really knitted a big thing yet… I prefer small things so that I can get finished with them and give them to humans who I love. That’s another thing: I rarely keep the things I knit. I’ve knitted a (crappy) scarf and a hat for myself and EVERYTHING else has been given away. I quite like knitting pointless things (but I have to give them away because I then don’t know what to do with them). My favourite pointless thing I’ve knitted is the previously named Mervin the Molar, but Jenna changed it to Miguel la Muela so she could act like she is fluent in Spanish. I might do a blog entry about Mervin/Miguel actually… that was quite a good one.

Currently, I’m knitting a scarf for no one with the b-e-a-u-tiful yarn that KATE gifted me for Late Christmas. The yarn quite suits that little forest girl and I don’t know if I can stand giving it to anyone else but her… I’m going to try and convince her ;). It’s quite a cool pattern because it uses ‘yarn over’ technique which I’ve never done before, surprisingly.

I’m also knitting the most adorable little baby booties for an old friend which I have fallen in love with and I’m practically searching for babies on the street whom I can lovingly adorn with these wonderful creations. I have plans for a tiny teddy bear baby hat but we’ll have to see how that one goes. Oh dear. I’ve come across as a bit of a paedophile (ha JOHN look at the spelling go!)

So HOPEFULLY I have enough things that I’m working on to make blogging about it worth my and YOUR while. I’m going to try not to blog like once a year, but we’ll see how that promise goes. I also got a new camera for Christmas and I’ve recently been expeeeeeeeerimenting (in my basement lab just like Dexter, basically. I actually do currently live in a basement… it’s not as rigged as Dexter’s though… ANYWAY) with the settings on my camera because I have a MAD difficult time capturing the essence of my knitted things when I try to take a picture of them. It drives me SO CRAZY! Because all of these other knitting humans have basically the best blogs I’ve ever seen and they must have some wicked good cameras or SOMETHING because they just capture the very spirit of their pieces like it’s a walk in the freaking park. So, if you can tell me how to make my pictures a million times more awesome, DO IT!

Thanks for lending your ear (although, really it’s your eye…) I hope I’ve not bored you senseless :)