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1  Toxicodendron - My straight needle holder in Knitting: Completed Projects by ImaginationsEnd on: June 09, 2007 11:29:55 PM
Pictures:
The Front.

The Back


What the Heck Is It and How do I use it?
It's a straight needle holder - It's got pockets for additional support on the bottom, but the needles are mostly intended to be slid through a slice of the knitted fabric - much like using a safety pin. The pockets support the base of the needles (sometimes unsuccessfully).

This project is NOT felted or fulled.



The Bare Basics:
Needles: US Size 6, fourteen inch straight needles. Susan Bates.
Hook: US Size E. Boye Balene II.
Yarns: Lion Brand Wool-Ease and a mystery yarn from the thrift store. Wool-Ease Worsted being 80% acrylic and 20% wool content.


As usual, I have the pattern available should anyone want to make this. I can post it here, if there are requests, or send it individually. Just ask if you'd like it.


The Short Story Long:
Born out of boredom, a need to store my wildly out of hand needle collection, and a hatred for my dendrology class, this needle holder is quite possibly the happiest creation of my life.

Named and inspired by one of the world's least favorite plants, Poison Ivy, it has no ill effects. I swear. I've tried it myself.

It's a pattern of my own devising, worked mostly out of a simple half-twisted stockinette base (I tend to only twist my knit stitches - I can never commit to anything wholeheartedly!) that's about 15.5 inches wide.

The decorative bands are interspersed about every three inches, give or take. The stitch is a modified version of what I saw deemed a "Pillar Stitch". It's supposed to make very firm fabric, which is what I wanted, but I realized it just had too many holes for needles to slip through.

 It's about 14.5 inches high - barely large enough to hold my 14 inch long straights. If I were to make another one or revise my pattern notes, I'd compensate for that and work in an extra inch or so.

There is a garter stitch border on three sides - the top and both longer sides.

It was knit from one skein (exactly, no extra left) of grey Lion Brand Wool-Ease Worsted. The green yarn which forms the pocket fabric and detail stitching, as well as the binding on the edges, is a mystery yarn that was gotten thrifting. It was in a bag marked 100% Unknown Fiber, but feels like a very soft animal fiber. I'm inclined to say it's an angora or cashmere, with possibly an acrylic mix.

The yarn isn't as shown in the pictures - the grey is a much more "bright" grey, being more white based than black based. The green is a darker green with hints of muted rainbow colors that shine only in light - the yarn reminds me of fish scales.

As I alluded to - there is a single crochet border (I can't seem to get past it in my designs, I just love it so darn much...) as well as detail stitching. The detail stitching, seen mostly only on the front of the case, is what forms the pockets on the backside.

I modeled (or tried to) this piece after Toxicodendron radicans, or, Poison Ivy in vine form. The big fuzzy grayish vines that grow on trees (Not to be confused with Parthenocissus quinquefolia - do you know how long it took me to learn to spell that? Virginia Creeper) is what I worked with for this project. I'm not sure if I succeeded in capturing the look or feel of the plant - you be the judge. I just know I like (mostly) how it looks.



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2  Hooded Tank Tops - the bane of my existence! in Knitting: Completed Projects by ImaginationsEnd on: June 03, 2007 01:50:55 PM
I finally, finally get to post a finished project here on craftster. This is cause to celebrate, since I rarely every finish a project. I'm either too lazy in seaming it, or something goes wrong, or I just lose interest.

So last Sunday I sat down, and had a long talk with myself. I told myself I was going to start a project - a project for ME. One that I could use, and one that would be mine when it was finished. I don't often craft for myself, either.

I didn't have a pattern in mind, or anything when I started. I just knew I wanted to make something black and blue. I knew I wanted to play around with making some bi-color ribbing, and a bi-color seed stitch. It just kind of snowballed from there.

I ended up with this:



I named it after one of my favorite novel characters - it's now being called the "Miss Danvers Sweater". (Claire Danvers is a character from Rachel Caine's "Morganville Vampire" series)

It's got bicolor ribbing at the bottom, with a few discreet rows of bicolor seed stitch above that, before sliding into a solid color stockinette stitch.

There's some subtle waist shaping formed by one of my favorite increases (the M1 stitch - it sounds so official!)

Here's a close up of the graphic detail on the front (Pardon my face in the shot....my husband was taking the photo using my parents' camera. I don't think they would have appreciated just a photo of my chest!):



The graphic is a fair isle design that I'd charted on paper. It was supposed to be just a simple checkerboard design. One square blue, one black. But everyone who has seen it thus far thinks it looks like trees or vines. So I'll go with that. It's got vines on the front.

To mimic the design on the front, I decided it would only be fitting to have a sort of flowery/vine-ish design on the back of the hood:



This was made with a few simple "yarn over" increases near the center. I just staggered them a little bit, and alternated between 2 y/o's and 4 y/o's.

There's a black crochet edging around the armholes, the neckband and the hood.

This piece was knit with icky Red Heart Super Saver in Royal (about 2 skeins were used) - it wasn't my first choice of yarns, but considering I'm doing a lot of travel (both by bus and horseback - the first to get to and from college, the second to fulfill my college major!), It's going to get a lot of wear and tear. It's going to come home everyday smelling like horse-poo, so it's going to be washed a lot. Red Heart will stand up to a beating like that.

The black yarn was gotten at a thrift store. Someone had dropped off a bag of the 1 lb Mill Ends, probably gotten at Ac Moore. The bag says "100% unknown fiber", but I'm 100% certain it's cotton.

It was knit on size 7 circular needles given to me by my grandmother a long time ago. Metal tips, and a plastic cord in the middle. I hate circular needles.


I did take notes and am formulating a pattern if anyone would like to make one for themselves, or alter it to suit their needs.
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