This is going to sound really whiny, I'm afraid, but here goes nothing.
I love, love, LOVE the "Hot New Topics" page...if nothing else, that's what I check when I come to craftster. But I have to be honest, It drives me nuts when there are several posts on that page that include 10 or 20 or MORE photographs. It makes for tons of scrolling when I thought the point of the page was to have a quick, easy way to see what people are talking about at that moment.
I don't know much about code, but would there be a way to compact or cut off the posts on that page once they reach a certain length?
Don't you just love it when you block the "already too large" sweater full of hopes and dreams that it will magically fit better, only to find it is now LARGER and even more ridiculous looking than before?
I'm very tempted to throw this big mess of wool into the washing machine and see if I can't felt it down to a reasonable size.
Just needed to vent. This sweater came from Christmas yarn from my dear future MIL, and I really wanted to show her that I made good use of it. BAH.
So, my mother presented me with a wonderful surprise over Christmas. She gave me six balls of Pingouin wool (I think it's called File' de laine, which I think is french for wool thread, so yarn.) in a delicious colorway full of teals and olive greens.
She bought this yarn while in Paris on her 10th anniversary with my dad, which makes this particular batch 21 years old!
She has asked me to make her something with it, but I am scared sh*tless to screw up with this gorgeous yarn. I want to make something beautiful and heirloom-quality and give it to her for Mother's Day or her birthday (June, so I have plenty of time for it!).
The yarn label says it's "chunky", but it definitely looks more like worsted or aran to me, and suggested needles are US 6-7. I have six balls, each with 153 yards, so about 900 yards to work with. I'm comfortable with cables and stitch patterns, and would rate myself a advanced intermediate level knitter, but I haven't done a lot of lace so I can't say for sure what level I'm at in that respect.
I don't think a sweater would be right, since I can't say her size for sure (and she's losing weight, so who knows where she'll be when I finish it). I want to go for a wrap, or possibly an afghan, but I want something that will be timeless and classy. She also doesn't dress up most of the time, so I think an afghan is probably my best bet.
Nevertheless, I am really psyched for my first major project of the new year, and would welcome any advice you guys have.
Lately I've been reading Maggie Righetti's "Sweater Design In Plain English" and I just may fall in love with the woman! Not only was her book really informative, but her whole clothing design coverage in the book is wonderful! She talks about dressing for your body type and how certain colors and patterns are best for different body types, and it's changing the whole way I look at how I dress myself.
I now know that the reason I love wearing my long red tshirt under my short navy sweater with jeans is because the red band near my hips draws attention away from my big tummy down to my slender hips. I also know how to pick colors for my knitting choices to maximize the impact and emphasize my best features.
The sweater patterns included are mostly pretty timeless, but with enough 80s kitsch to be retro-hip.
I'm on a kick now. Who's got really good knitting books they love?
So, I wanted to make a stuffed parrot for the Pirate Swap recently, but had no idea how to go about making such a pattern. Then I stumbled across knitty's Kate, looked at the shape of the body, and realized it would be perfect for a fat lil' parrot. So I knitted up the body in Cascade 220 (it looked like a pear before anything was added), added eyes and wings and tail, and TADA!
He's about 8 or 9 inches tall. His eyes are safety eyes used for making teddy bears and stuff, his wings and tail are Bernat Boa in Toucan (teehee), and his beak is knit with dpns using some koolaid dyed yarn I had as a remnant.
He has no feet, I know. Sad. But I may be making another one for my boyfriend (who SERIOUSLY mourned the parrot's departure when I sent it to my partner) next month. Who knows? Maybe I'll have the feet worked out by then.
For the pirate swap, I decided to make a pirate doll, but having never done a doll before, I decided to use the Joey Ramone pattern from SnB Nation. Made some adjustments to the colors, and did some stashbusting, and came up with a reasonably cute lil' fellow!
I know his face and hands look weird, but the variegated yarn was the only one I had in any skin-like shade. I prefer to think of it as dirt on his buccaneer face. Closeup on the embroidery (my first attempt):
I only found the thread on here about the missing jacket pattern too late, otherwise he'd have had a black and red furry coat to wear over his vest and striped shirt. Ah well.
So, silly ol' me decides my boyfriend needs a blanket for Christmas. I thought for a long while about what kind of design to make, then I remembered he loved the Space Invaders blanket I saw on here. So I went for my own take on the video game idea and came up with this (having JUST finished it last week):
It's pretty much to scale with the controller, as I used it for a template for my chart. It's done in a doublestrand of worsted weight acrylic on size 17 needles,with a crocheted border.
He LOVES it and it has taken a place of honor at the foot of our bed. All his friends want one, but he gets the only one!
The beauty of this pattern is in its simplicity. Essentially, cast on, follow the chart, then bind off and crochet a border.
Yarn used was Red Heart Super Saver, held double throughout. I used a Pound and a regular skein of black, two skeins of grey, and one skein of red. I used a US 17 size 29 inch circular needle, which was plenty long.
The above link is to the chart, which is a RATHER large jpeg image, but necessary so everybody can read it without having a special program. I read the chart from bottom up, to save the number of stitches on the needle, but I suppose you could do it from top to bottom or even from side to side if you wanted.
Once you've finished the chart, bind off, and use the grey (again, a doublestrand) to do two rows of double crochet around the border. I bet you could do a knitted border if you don't want to crochet, or maybe just a blanket stitch.
Questions? Comments? Please don't hesitate to ask since this is my first distributed pattern!