Sunday, December 20, 2009

Finished Objects: Azapa Scarves

Azapa scarves are done! (Well, okay, they were done a few days ago but I was too lazy to get the pictures up.) In time for both Hanukkah and the recent cold snap we had -- the morning after I gave them, we were in the single digits!

Pattern: Pattern, what pattern? Seriously, I cast on 28 stitches using the long-tail method, knit 3 rows, *knit 3 purl 22 knit 3, knit across*, repeated from ** until it was long enough, then knitted 3 rows. Easy!
Yarn: Araucania Azapa in color #819 Malted Cocoa, I couldn't even begin to tell you! 3+ skeins for both scarves.
Needles: Boye interchangeable set, size US 9 & Susan Bates 14" size US
Timeline: 11.1.09-12.13.09
Modifications: Well, I made up the pattern!

Opinion: Azapa continues to impress me as a yarn. It blocked quite nicely. I originally knitted the scarves to about 60" x 7", and they blocked to about 78" x 8".

Random Thoughts: If doing this again, I would probably alternate skeins from the beginning of the project. The skeins are different enough that it's tough to get an exact match. Some of them had a lot more red than the others, for example.

Also, I can't tell them apart!


Scarf #1.


Scarf #2 ... I think.

Oh, and guess what I learned how to do?


I was just playing with practicing, so it has no actual pattern or anything, but I'm impressed with myself! I used two great videos from YouTube to teach myself how to knit with a strand in each hand: this Knitting Daily clip with Eunny Jang (who I may officially have a knitting crush on) and this video from KnitPicks.

Now if only I could find where the heck I put the Binary Scarf pattern!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

IWTMT: Dipped Infinity Scarf

Introducing IWTMT: I Want To Make This. I'll be featuring cool patterns that I really, really want to make. Some may be mainstream, but some are hidden gems.

This week's IWTMT is the Dipped Infinity Scarf from cosmicpluto knits! I won't link the picture since I don't have her permission to, but pleasepleaseplease go look at it and love it like I do. It's worked with different colors of fingering-weight yarn and it looks dip-dyed.

There's even a kit out for it from Tanis Fiber Arts. I need this in blue or green.

It's not often I want to shell out money for a pattern or kit, but I'd scrimp and save for these!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I Vant to Suck Your Blood

Your blood-red yarn, that is.

I signed up for an appointment to donate blood next Tuesday. There's this big marathon-type thing going on, and since I get out of work early on Fridays, it seemed perfect. Only problem? I haven't successfully donated blood in three years.

I tend to get deferred for a high heart rate -- though who wouldn't be at least a little nervous in a situation like that? I've tried several times, and no go. I've decided to bring my iPod and start a new charity hat, since knitting is soothing (when I do it right). And if it turns out I can't donate, at least I'll have gotten something productive done.

And, if I do donate, I think I'm going to reward myself for helping to alleviate my donor issues. I'm thinking beautiful blood-red yarn. What's the nicest blood-red yarn you've used? I'd love to try a yarn I haven't used yet -- maybe Malabrigo? Something in a lace-weight, even? Mmm, possibilities. Any tips on keeping calm while waiting? Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

My Very First Knit

That's right, your special treat for today is to see what my very first knit looks like. I was putting stuff away the other night and found my first scarf, which has mostly been used as a draft blocker these days. I look back on it in shame, but now you get to look at it and laugh, so it's all good.

First, a little background. I inherited some knitting and crocheting supplies back in October of 2004 (aka before YouTube). I looked up how to knit on the internet. I was working with Red Heart Super Saver. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Red Heart, but it was basically a recipe for disaster. I think these were knit on some size 15s I bought from Stitchy Women, which was my local yarn store at college. (Yeah, I went into a yarn store, bought nice bamboo needles, and worked this up on them. No, I don't know why either.)


Hey, it's not that bad! I like the colors, it's kind of funky ... wait, what's that at the bottom?


Ah, yes. The abort-o-fringe. Why I decided on fringe, I don't know. Why I decided on inch-long fringe ... I must have been drinking.

I still wore it, because it was MY FIRST PROJECT OMG and I was a KNITTER. I imagine back then I even probably loved it. I also made a matching hat.


(The hat came out a lot better.)

It also has a hole in it. I don't know how that happened.


Well. I went on to knit many other pieces of crap, but this holds a special place in my heart for being the very first.


A special, locked-up-so-no-one-can-see-it place.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Time for some changes!

I've been thinking that the blog needs a new name for a while now. I mean, you read "Nitzie's Nutty Knitting Blog" and maybe you think I'm crazy. Or that I only knit (untrue). It's kind of limiting, actually. I mean, what if I branch out into scrapbooking or something? Ain't no way I'm making a new blog for that. I have enough trouble updating this one.

Part of the trouble is coming up with a new name -- after all, you see what a bang-up job I did the first time around. I'm the kind of kid who came up with the dorkiest names for bands, like the time the Northeast had a huge power outage and I decided "Niagra Blackout" was a good name for a band. (Well, I think it is, but maybe not for the blog.) I have difficulty titling poems too. Ugh. Anyway, at some point this name is outta here. I plan on keeping the URL the same, just because I'm lazy.

Anyway, suggestions are much appreciated. I started brainstorming, but all I could come up with was Panopticon, and no wonder it sounds familiar, it's already a crafting blog. I don't even have the guts to plagiarize consciously. Maybe I'll just steal a line from one of my poems, and then no one would have any clue what kind of blog this is.

I finished a hat.


Pattern: Ann Budd's Basic Hat pattern for a 20" head circumference at a gauge of 4 st/inch
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft, blue & gray (probably Country Blue or Dark Country Blue and Grey Heather) held together, less than one skein each (I can't find the scale to measure)
Needles: Boye interchangeable set, size US 9 for ribbing, 10 for the body; Takumi Clover DPN set, size 10 for decreases
Timeline: 11.14.09-12.7.09
Modifications: I accidentally knitting the ribbing to 3" instead of 2". But we'll get into that.

Opinion: The third basic hat I've made. I think it's a great pattern to use, especially for these charity hats I'm making.

Random Thoughts: You know, you think that by the time you've done something twice already, you might think "hey, maybe I should read the instructions real carefully just in case" but no, I'm just an idiot who likes to go full steam ahead. I started the thing in k2p2 rib, which seemed fine until it was done and fit on my husband's head. Yeah, not made for his big melon. I ended up ripping the ribbing and reknitting it, which was something I'd never done before -- usually when I rip, I rip from the top so all the stitches are oriented the same way. I think it looks fine, especially since the ribbing will probably be folded up anyway. Of course, having already made the first mistake, I then knit the ribbing to 3" instead of the book's recommended 2". In my defense, I'd originally thought I was supposed to knit it to 7". Did I mention that I have some awful reading comprehension? (Or lack of reading the pattern at all.) It seems like it will fit someone, at the very least. I figure they will find a head for it.

Oh, by the way, this is Sally's blog debut! I am seriously hoping Sally is just small-headed and the hat isn't like bag-sized. I still need to wash it; maybe that will help.

Poor kid who gets it. I'll probably do better next time.