Pink Alpaca

Friday, May 26, 2006

Absorba, the Great Bathmat

I finally finished Absorba, the Great Bathmat from Mason-Dixon Knitting. I love this thing! It feels great on your feet - so squishy - and it's 100% cotton so it'll be way easy to care for. This one is a gift for someone so I'll need to make another for myself.
One of the big topics on the Mason-Dixon KAL (KAL is knit-along, for you non-knitters) has been the difference between Sugar'n Cream and Peaches & Creme cotton yarns. Basically, they're the same. But the pattern called for a double-worsted weight, and all my store carries is regular worsted. I was too impatient to order it. So, I had to make some modifications...

I used four strands of Sugar'n Cream worsted (2.5oz / 120yd / 109m) held together - two strands of Ecru, one of Light Ecru, and one of Cream. I actually bought an 800 yd cone of the Ecru and wound it into two balls. I used US 15 circulars (plastic).

Original pattern gauge: 9 sts + 17 rows = 4"; finished dimensions are 18" x 27".
My gauge: 9.5 sts + 17 rows = 4"; finished dimensions are 18.5" x 24.5".

If I do it with four strands again, I'll probably use US 13's. The plastic needles helped speed things along with the cotton, but they caused me to knit a little loosely. And I might make an extra round of strips to make a larger mat.

I used about 2.5 balls (about 300 yds) of each color to complete this variation of the pattern. The Ecru cone cost about $6 and the regular balls were $1.27 at my store. So I figure this project cost about $13 for me to make. Thirteen dollars! You can't beat that.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Picking up stitches II

Ok, here's how I pick up stitches on a garter stitch piece. But, keep in mind that I learned by piecing together info from some books and online videos. I could be wrong. If I am wrong, someone please let me know so that won't embarrass myself in my knitting group! :)

Basically, I stick the needle through the hole where the purple arrow is pointing, grab my yarn, and bring it back through. I haven't had trouble with loose stitches before so I don't use a smaller needle. (But thank you to the person who suggested going a size smaller. I may need that tip in the future, especially when working on things like sweaters!)

Hope this helps!

Picking up stitches

This post is for bethc from the Mason-Dixon KAL.

Here's the back of my log cabin washrag. It's not the prettiest example of picking up stitches, but it's not something I'd be embarrassed for people to see. I'm not good at weaving in ends, and that's something I need to work on.

If yours is bumpier than this, it could have something to do with the way you're picking up the stitches. Maybe you could knit a quick square and practice on it.

I have to go celebrate an early Mothers Day today, but tonight I can post some pics of how I picked up the stitches.

I think your washrag is really cool!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Friendship beanies

Last fall I taught a friend of mine how to knit, and recently she wanted to learn how to make a hat. I figured it'd be easier to teach her if I was working on the same project myself. And we thought, why not knit matching hats? We picked some brown Misti Alpaca and some pink Cascade and set to work.

It's the Kittyville Hat from Sn'B, but we're knitting it sans earflaps, tassles and kitty ears. Instead, we're going to put a ginormous pink pom-pom on top.

I feel like I'm back in elementary school making friendship bracelets. Here's a pic of my progress so far.

Monday, May 08, 2006

A leisurely knit

Sometimes you just have to get away. A few weeks ago, hubby and I visited the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens for an afternoon of relaxation. He read and napped, I worked on a birthday purse. The squirrels paid us a few visits but were too quick for my camera.

A stroll around the Rose Garden was just what the doctor ordered. This tree was my favorite find of the day.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The basket runneth over

A 50% off sale - huzzah!

In the top left corner: I saw the turquoise and magenta and had visions of a windbreaker suit that I had in the early 90s (every cool middle schooler had one!). I need to find a kitschy pattern for this bag. It's gonna be a riot. Maybe I can find my old NKOTB buttons and pin them on...

In the top right corner is a lovely heathered brown. In the spirit of Ugg and all things sheepskin, I'm going to pair it with the white nubbly stuff for a small clutch.

Continuing clockwise, you'll see some red Cascade and some Berroco. I have a relative with a July birthday, so I wanted to make a little Fourth of July bag for her.

The Misti Alpaca will help finish out a hat that I'm working on.

And, finally, I'm thrilled to say that I could finally afford to purchase some bison yarn. This stuff is amazing. After knitting your garment, you give it a quick agitation in warm water, a quick fluff in the dryer, and then lay it flat to dry. What you end up with is a silky soft, fluffy, very smooth fabric. Come to think of it...214 yards simply isn't enough. I need another skein...

On top of all this, I'm trying to knit purses for my friend's bridesmaids. They're quick projects, but I struggle to knit a pattern more than twice. I get so bored. And now I have all this promising, fresh yarn beckoning me to start something new. Must. Finish. Bridesmaid purses. Then reward myself with more bison yarn.