Saturday, February 11, 2017

Another New Pattern - This Time for Humans!

Tightly Knit Design is happy to share another free knitting pattern with our hordes of readers.  Our Stirrup-Footed Leg Warmers are stylish and practical!  We do a lot of dog walking in wintry weather, and we were finding the prospect of changing out of our skinny jeans into something that could accommodate long underwear underneath just a royal pain.  Clearly, leg warmers were needed, but we'd tried boot toppers before and found them fiddly to arrange inside our boots.  We considered the idea of super heavy tall socks, but our boots fit just right with our regular hand-knit and Smart Wool socks, and we didn't want to have to buy new boots to accommodate warmer socks.  And so, the idea of stirrups was born.

These work great and look good.  We made ours pretty tall (12 inches) for warmth, but they would be cute a few inches shorter, too.  They pull on in a jiff, pulling on your boots is a breeze, and everything feels snug without being tight or uncomfortable.  They keep our legs warm all the way down to our ankles (and keep out the snow) in our pull-on Bogs and work equally well in our taller, lace-up boots.  These were great stash-busters, using just under half a skein of Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool that we had leftover from a striped pullover we made years ago.

The legs are done in Brioche stitch, and we came up with what we think is a clever approach to make them seamless.  Check out the pattern to see how we did it!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Our First Pattern!!

I finally finished a toy project that I've been working on for over a year.  It's a "Little Prince" doll from the Arne & Carlos book Strikkedukker, or Knitted Dolls.  I've got extensive project notes on Ravelry, and if you're thinking of making this pattern, I encourage you to take a look.

The little guy's outfit had to be customized quite a bit because I wanted to match the look of Antoine de Saint-Exupery's illustrations in the The Little Prince book.  One thing he needed was black shoes.  Nothing fancy, but the shoes in the Knitted Dolls pattern book didn't look like they would stay on, and the recipient is a baby, so I didn't want shoes that would fall off and get lost forever.  An existing pattern for "Uggs" didn't really meet my requirements of actually looking like shoes, so I designed my own.

I'm pretty proud of how they turned out.  Here's the free pattern for Strikkedukker Boots with Toppers.  Make some!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Swatching ... socks???

I have pretended I was swatching for socks in the past, but I don't think I've ever really done it in earnest. Instead, I've cast on the number of stitches the pattern specified, or when a number wasn't specified, a guesstimate, and unless things looked waaay off, I'd just keep going. Such is the nature of socks. They're such a small project, that even when your better judgment says, "I don't think this is working out," the voice of knitterly inertia counters with, "Oh, just keep going. You can always rip this out and start over." Another problem has been that I wasn't working toward a clear goal in terms of size. I have a fear of too-tight socks (commercial socks that were too tight at the top of the leg is what caused me to be interested in hand-knit socks in the first place), so I've never really been a believer in negative ease for socks.

Not too surprisingly, I have knit a lot of socks that don't fit very well. But I'm inspired by Kate Atherley's new book, Custom Socks: Knit to Fit Your Feet, and determined to break the curse. Naturally, this does not necessarily mean that I am following her advice. Yet. Instead of starting by taking all the measurements she recommends, I'm starting with swatching. Because that's what I feel like doing. I will take the measurements -- I promise. I realize that a good set of measurements is one of the keys to success.

I've cast on a random number of stitches -- somewhere around 60 -- using the wonderfully round and squishy 716Twist (can't believe this is 2-ply) and I've knit a 1x1 cuff on sz. 0 and now I'm working in plain stockinette on sz 1 needles. Once I know what my gauge is for this project, I'm planning to start a pair of simple socks with arch shaping for myself. These are for practice.

Later this month, I'm going to spend a few days with my parents in Florida. I've bought some OSU striped BFL from String Theory Colorworks, and I'm going to make a pair of socks for my dad that fit HIS feet. This is a project from the heart because I've learned that a pair of socks I made for him a few years ago as a Christmas gift are his favorite socks. I find that amazing, and it puts Dad on my extremely knit-worthy list, which is short! He also raves about the felted clogs I made for him even longer ago. The great thing about gifting Floridians with hand knits is that they are so grateful to have them when they need them, but they need them so seldom that they last forever!

Note to self: remember to take a tape measure to Florida.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Our First Time

Libby and I went to Rhinebeck for the first time this year, and it was wonderful. We saw more knitterati than you can shake a stick knitting needle at, and had fun, short chats with Clara Parks, Stephanie Pearl-McFee and Kay Gardiner. We indulged in purchase after purchase and were still talking about what ELSE we wanted on the way home. Today, I saw this video by Gayle Zucker and it brought tears to my eyes while I was laughing at how silly it is.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Audiobook Recommendations from The Yarn Harlot's Commenters

Right before Christmas, as part of her series of great gift suggestions for knitters, The Yarn Harlot suggested audiobooks. Her commenters proceeded to suggest dozens of authors and titles they've enjoyed listening to. I thought it would be great to have the whole list for easy reference. So I put it into a table, which took quite a bit longer than you might think, and now I'm going to try to make it available here. This link to iDisk may not work after June 2012. If you have trouble, leave a comment.

So how many of these have you listened to or read? I count about 95 for me so far, including other titles by the authors mentioned.

I was inspired by The Harlot's post to subscribe to Audible, and I'm looking forward to working off this list for a long time!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Our little girl is all grown up!

Mom, did you see Laura's newsletter for River Colors yet? It's her very first try and it's way better than many newsletters I've seen from a variety of shops! Good job, darling sister!


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Wedding Shawl Musings

Mom suggested I put something up here about the shawl/stole I am planning for the wedding so you guys could see what I'm talking about. The one I like best so far is called Tibetan Clouds Beaded Stole from The Knitter's Book of Wool. So here's a picture from the book:

The stole is a rectangle knit in stages, starting with the central square which grows from the center out and then stitches are picked up on two sides and knit down for the sides. I imagined us knitting this as a trio, me knitting the center and then sending it to Cleveland and you guys each knitting a side section, it that appeals. The piece calls for beads but I'm not sure they're necessary, we can decide that together.
The pattern calls for fingering weight yarn knit at 21sts to 4 ins. in center pattern after blocking which is fairly loose for fingering weight. I bring this up because I see a bunch of these on Ravelry that look HUGE and I don't like that idea, I want it to be manageable, both to knit and to wear! I think the solution there might be going down a needle size or two and choosing a yarn that will have memory.

I have been looking at silk blends because they are so pretty and shiny and the wool content will help with memory. Specifically, I like the idea of Handmaiden MiniMaiden because it is a little lighter than fingering but not yet a lace so it would work well with slightly smaller needle size/gauge. Color is another big issue, I can't decide if it should be "wedding themed" and be knit in a neutral color like those below or if it should be bright, perhaps reflecting choices we make for flowers or even bridesmaids dresses. Here are some colors I do like, if I decide to go neutral.

Mom mentioned the other day she had read a lovely review of Swiss Mountain Silk Cashmere which sounds delightful but it's a little hard to find and this colorway isn't in stock at the only website where I found it. It is also very spendy!!

Another yarn I thought of is Madelinetosh Pashima which is is a wool, silk, cashmere blend and which people seem to LOVE. I like a bunch of the colors, but again, not sure what's right yet. Here are some pictures:
So there you have it, my thoughts so far. Any of you have thoughts?