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For the August iteration of Ongoing Wish Swap, I claimed Juicebox29for some cold weather goodness, when I decided to make in the form of pretty mittens:

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Pattern: Bella’s Mittens
Yarn: Jo Ann Sensations Rainbow Classic, a furry bulky acrylic I’ve had forever.
Needles: US 8/5mm
Mods: None, really. I had intended to make the cuff shorter but then I… didn’t.

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I like how these came out. Not enough to make them for myself, probably, but I do like them. Even in this fuzzy acrylic. It is a pretty color (I did buy it for a reason), but in general I prefer working with smooth wool.

I like these mittens a lot, as I said, and the pattern is good, if a little confusing. There are definite pattern repeats, especially of the cuff, but the instructions are written line by line so there’s no way to really memorize the pattern. I would have liked a chart I think. Still, they came out pretty well, even if I did goof and cross the cables every six rows instead of every seven. Oh well. Cute, as I said.

Oh, also, reminder! Don’t forget about the giveaway to win a copy of one of my patterns!

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Bring the fortune and life of a past finished project up to the present. Document the current state and use of an object you have knitted or crocheted, whether it is the hat your sister wears to school almost every day, or a pair of socks you wore until they were full of hole. Or maybe that jumper that your dad just didn’t like that much…

Note: This is actually yesterday’s topic (and yesterday’s is today) cause I accidentally mixed them up. Go with it.)

So, long-time readers of my blog may remember (vaguely, in the back of their minds) this sweater:

I started knitting it over a year ago (February 17 to be exact). I did finish the knitting (had to buy an extra ball of yarn, but, you know) but I left it in the car when I returned to school from Spring Break, so I couldn’t sew on the buttons. Then I lost it. And then I found it again! But I never gave it a proper FO post, so that’s what it’s getting today (but the pics are on Elizabeth (who you haven’t seen in a while!) cause it’s like, 85 out today and it’s a cabled sweater in acrylic).

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Pattern: Woman’s Cardigan from the Fall 2006 Knit Simple
Yarn: Vanna’s Choice (just over 5 balls in Burgundy)
Needles: US 8/5mm
Mods: Lengthened ribbing in the sleeves as well as the sleeves themselves, left off the collar (picked up stitches for a garter neckline), and didn’t add buttons.

I can’t say that I’ve ever actually worn this sweater out, but I do like and it is comfortable. It’s a nice lounging around the house sweater. I mean, it’s nice, and I would wear it out, but I have lots of nicer sweaters. Plus, it’s a little bunchy under the armpits because of my sub-par seaming. But other than that, it fits well enough.

Sadly, this is the end of Knitting and Crochet Blog week! Tomorrow we return to regularly scheduled posts, including a new pattern! Stay tuned!

So for my lastest OWS adventure, I claimed JodiLynn85 for slippers. Fast and fun to make, and now I’ll probably make some for myself. Take a look:

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Pattern: Mary Jane Slippers
Yarn: Bernat Alpaca Blend
Hook: H8/5 mm
Mods: Worked an extra toe round, only used one color.

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These came out pretty well, I think. And they were SUPER fast to make. Less than an hour per slipper. Probably close to an hour and a half for the pair. Yeah. FAST. They fit me, which means they should fit her pretty well too. I used a Bernat alpaca blend that everyone on Ravelry seems to despise, but I really don’t think it’s that bad. I mean, yeah, it sheds a lot, but so do cats and the shedding wasn’t really too bad. And I personally don’t find it that itchy, but I seem to be immune to all but the absolute itchiest of fibers. Like, I have no problem whatsoever wearing Cascade eco next to skin, and people bitch about that one all the time.

Pair two:

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Pattern: Same as above, Mary Jane Slippers.
Yarn: Vintage wool that I over dyed and now instead of obnoxious orange is just blood orange colored.
Hook: H8/5 mm
Mods: One color. I left out the extra round I added above.

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These were also super fast to make and probably took less than two hours total. There was a small hiccup when I realized I’d sewn the strap and button on backwards on the second one (I have a tendency to mix that up a lot), but that was easily fixed. And they came out pretty well. Ignore my purple feet; I didn’t feel like taking my socks off.

The reason, by the way, that one of them is two different colors is that I overdyed the yarn, and it didn’t take up the color evenly at all. The darker color is how I wanted the whole yarn to come out, but it didn’t. Boo. Oh well. That just means I have plenty of yarn for making swap things.

This post has been a long time in coming. FINALLY, this is the super secret knitting patten I’ve been talking about since probably July.

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Pattern: Counterpoint by Jennifer Crawford, available as a free Ravelry download
Yarn: Plymouth Encore, one skein of each black and white
Needles: US 7/4.5 mm straights, probably from a garage sale
Modifications: Went up a needle size because I didn’t want the scarf to be too difficult/uncomfortable to wear. Other than that, knit as written. I think I got 6.5 octaves.

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Now, I’ve knit some fairly complicated things in my knitting history. I’ve done cables and lace, sweaters with shaping, fiddly gloves, and I’ve used teeeny little yarn and fairly small needles. I’ve done color work and entrelac and all sorts of sewing up. All of this absolutely pales in comparison to this scarf, which is absolutely the coolest thing I’ve ever knit. Now, I’m sure illusion knitting is old hat to many knitters, but I don’t care. This scarf probably took me twice as long to knit as it should have, simply because I couldn’t stop admiring it long enough to just knit the damn thing. It’s beautiful and wonderful and cool.

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This has been fairly long in the planning. About a year ago, I was browsing Ravelry with my boyfriend in the room, and he thought this pattern was super cool. I’d made him a scarf for his birthday last year, but it was a pretty plain cabled scarf is Bernat Satin Soft – lovely, but nowhere near as nice as this particular pattern. I kept it in the back of my mind and didn’t actually buy the yarn until July. I started knitting in August, working on it off and on in between other projects, both on deadline and just because I wanted something different.

I will say that there was a significant learning curve to getting comfortable with illusion knitting. I couldn’t knit a stitch without the chart and I had no idea which knits or purls were doing what and what was creating that super cool patterns.

Then, all of a sudden, I got it. And now I’m fairly confident I could design my own illusion-knitted garment (though I find they’re mostly confined to scarves and dishcloths) fairly easily. My advice for those just starting illusion knitting, I would say to keep at it until it clicks. Because it will click. It just takes a little work first.

FO’s, that is. One I finished rather a while ago, and the other is something I whipped up during a movie because my current project was too complicated for movie knitting.

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Pattern: None, just a chart of a design I made up.
Yarn: Random scraps of acrylic yarn
Needles: US 8/5 mm I think

This was a present for my friend Sarah, whose birthday was in early June. I spent a week frantically knitting it and sent it off to her in time for her birthday, but I forgot to snap a picture. Fortunately, she is my roommate at school this year, so I snapped one for Ravelry and for the blog.

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Pattern: Calorimetry
Yarn: My handspun!
Needles: US 8/5mm straights
Mods: Cast on 88, did far fewer row 5 repeats

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My first FO with my handspun!

This pattern is perfect for just a little bit of yarn, which is exactly what I had. I actually have a fair amount of yarn left over, though I’m not sure what to do with it. Perhaps it can be a stripe on a crazy handspun hat. The barber-poling of the colors looks great, but kind of obscures the ribbing. I don’t really care though; it still looks awesome. And I made it! From wool to yarn to dyed yarn to FO. : ) I will definitely be getting a lot of wear out of it come winter because it’ll add a bright splash of color to my winter wardrobe and so I can brag that I made both the Calorimetry and the yarn itself. WIN.

Coming soon to a blog near you: Inchies. Beatles things (part of which is SO FUCKIN’ COOL I can’t stand it), and more knitting. I started an awesome cardigan and scrapped a project I’d been working on for a few days (it just wasn’t working out). Stay tuned!

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Pattern: Razor Cami by Katie Marcus.
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft, probably less than a skein
Needles: US 6/4 mm circ, Knit Picks Options
Modifications: Using light worsted instead of fingering, cast on 120 for 10 pattern repeats (which turned out to be perfect), divided for the armpits them did some garter in the front and bound off the back, and did two twisted chains for each of the straps. I was going to do icord straps, but by the end of this top, I was SO ready to get it off the needles.

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So I like this a lot, even though it’s juuust a tad too short. I keep pulling at it. But worn over a tank that’s long enough, I think it’ll be okay. I got reeeeally bored about two inches from finishing this, but I’m glad I pushed myself through it because I’m quite fond of the finished product. It’s made of acrylic, so it’s rather warm, but I think it’ll look cute paired with a long-sleeved shirt for the winter, when I’ll appreciate the warmth.

And for those of you playing at home, this tank makes the cut for sweater number ELEVEN for the dodecathon. Here’s the monthly break down:

January: Corona/Talia
February: Burgandy (Cable Cardi from Knit Simple)
March: Spring Cardi (Hey Teach)/Lime
April: Lime/Superman
May: Climbing Vines
June: Lelah/Tank Top (Tank Girl)
July: Razor Cami

One more to go!

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(Obviously it’s big and awkward on Mr. Frog. Go with it.)

Pattern: Green Zebra Baby Sweater at Dove Knits
Yarn: Nameless sport weight acrylic my grandmother gave me ages ago.
Needles: US 8/5 mm Knit Picks Options circ.
Mods: None, really. Accidentally knit the sleeves on US 6/4mm needles cause I forgot what needle size I was supposed to be using. *shrug*

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A good pattern, I say, though it’s basically just a bottom-up raglan cardigan. I like the knit-on button bands, though keeping track of three balls of yarn in order to do it was a little fiddly. I didn’t bother with button holes cause I hate to keep track of them, so I just sewed on little loops for the buttons. It came out great though, and I’ll definitely keep this pattern on my list of knits if I should need another baby sweater any time soon.

It helps that this pattern has a bunch of sizes. I used the 24 month size cause the recipient, my cousin Colin, is just under a year and already in 18 month clothes. Hopefully this will fit for fall/winter! Regardless, it was pretty fun to knit.

Unfortunately, there are no modeled shots cause it’s July and I’m not going to stick a baby in a hot sweater in July for a photo shoot. Also, it’s too big cause he’s not quite in 24 months clothes yet. Maybe come winter I’ll get some from the parents.

In other knitting news: I finished the Razor Cami, pics to come soon. I also started a sweater and I’m halfway through a spinning/dyeing project. Stay tuned!

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Pattern: Tank Girl by Vickie Howell, from a summer issue of Knitty
Yarn: NaturallyCaron.com Spa (75% microfiber acrylic, 25% bamboo) in Ocean Spray, about a skein and a half.
Needles: US 6/4 mm Knit Picks Options circular needle
Modifications: Knit in the round, left out the color change and the drop stitches, didn’t continue the ribbing up the back, didn’t bother with the lingerie rings (just did an eye cord and fastened it to the back of the tank). I probably also fiddled with the length– I basically just knit the bottom until I ran out of yarn in that skein then did the other part.

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So I’m a huge fan of this tank top. It came out amazingly. It fits perfectly (well, the straps might be a leeeetle long), and I will definitely be making more in other colors. Possibly in other fibers. I like making tank tops cause they’re quick to make and I don’t have to knit sleeves, so that’s fun.

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The yarn: I would definitely use this yarn again. The bamboo makes it nice and drapey and soft and lovely, while the acrylic makes it more hard-wearing. It’s hella splitty, so if you don’t like that, stay away, but I only had slight problems with it (splittyness is never really an issue for me). Also, ya know, big box craft store and all that. But I bought the two skeins separately, each with a 40% off coupon so the tank was probably $3.50 total? SCORE.

Coming up: That swap thing, some more knitted things. If you’re good, there might even be a wip post somewhere sometime.

More on the Ongoing Wish Swap: I had two claims in a short-ish period of time, and since they both received, here is what I made:

For Leighi123, a crochet sandwich:

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I used random scraps of acrylic yarn I had lying around and made up some patterns. There’s lettuce, cheese, hard boiled eggs, onion rings, and pickles. I really like how everything came out. : ) Also, I got to use up some scrap yarn.

and a tote bag for her son to use for the library:

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I used the legs from some old jeans to make the bag and strap and some other fabric for the shark, which I glued on cause I hate sewing appliques. I love how this thing came out. I didn’t bother to line it since it’s just going to hold books, but like I said, I love it. I’d have wanted to keep it if I needed another tote bag.

And for AbbyRose, a paintbrush roll

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Used some Houndstooth and some orange fabric I’ve had forever. The construction was pretty easy since I’ve made a bunch of this type of thing. There’s some interfacing in it like she requested so the bristles of her paintbrushes wouldn’t bend. I also included some felt and some kool-aid for dyeing, but I don’t think you guys really need pictures of those things. : )

I’m still waiting on another OWS package and also a rainbow swap package, so that’s coming soon. Also, I’m still plugging away on the Climbing Vines sweater (it’s taking FOREVER and I’m not sure why), but the last sleeve is ALMOST done. Then it just needs blocking and sewing and it will be ready to show.

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Unfortunately, this did not come out how I wanted, despite modifications, so it’s headed for the frogpond (or, well, hibernation I guess because I have a metric fuckton of yellow RHSS and I can’t see needing the yarn from this bag any time soon). It’s not so bad though as I didn’t really need another bag and I prefer to sew purses anyway. *shrug* Here are the specs regardless:

Pattern: DROPS cable bag, 98-54
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver, in Bright Yellow
Needles: US 8/5 mm Knit Picks Options 24″ and 30″ circular needle
Modifications: Many. Cast on fewer, made the increase and decrease rows less steep, lengthened the cable panel for a larger bag, made the cables wider (4×4 instead of 3×3, which actually made a huge difference) probably effed up the bottom bit (I basically just decreased, did garter for a while, then seamed the bottom using Kitchener stitch). I also cast on with a provisional cast on and knit the top garter band later because I wanted to see how my CO number would work and also I was anxious to get to the cables to see how they would work out. Planned to line with pretty pink fabric and use a chain handle, but didn’t get that far.

In happier news, the Climbing Vines pullover is nearly done. I have the entire body knit as well as a sleeve and a half. The other sleeve will probably be done by Tuesday. I’m also working on a special present for my friend Sarah’s birthday (if you’re reeeeally curious, Sarah can be found in the second ever post of this blog, modeling a hat, a crochet calorimetry, and a scarf thing), which I am planning to mail to her Tuesday. When she gets it, I’ll post pictures here. I also started a pair of gloves, mostly because I wanted something small I could knit while at Busch Gardens (Williamsburg) with some friends today. They have fingers, so they’ll be taking a little longer, but they will happen, and pictures will happen here. ALSO, there’s swap stuff (yes, another one). So stay tuned for lots more posts about finished things.

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