Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hexipuffs of October

Moda Vera Noir Laguna and Regia Kaffe Fassett

Look! Joined puffs! I read somewhere in the knitalong thread about knitting one puff onto the next to avoid having to seam them. I think it looks reasonably nice. I might just do that.
I'm not going to knit them all on to each other, but hey, any seam already done is one more I won't have to do later, right?
I've also aribtrarily decided that I won't just knit puffs from yarn that has already become socks (hello, addiction! I just can't wait that long!), and that I'm not going to have two puffs touching that are made from the same yarn base. Mainly becasue I've been using a lot of Moda Vera Noir, the Australian version of Regia, or at least that's what it feels like to me. It's a crunchy yarn. Some of the other yarns I've got are certainly nicer in feel. I've made a puff from 100% bamboo yarn and a few from bamboo/soy, but still, most of them are the wool/nylon yarns' you'd expect from sock yarns.

The vase is getting full, too. I might have to find a new storage space for my puffs soon!

How's your puffing going? Are you getting there? What's your favorite puff so far?
Do you puff and blog? Let me know!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cherry Chocolate Summer Socks

 Hermione's Everyday Socks is a well-loved pattern on Ravelry, and for good reason.
It's simple, straight forward, and pretty.

I finally got around to casting it on in Crystal Palace Panda Superwash.
After the Bamboo Baudelaires, I needed to try a bamboo yarn that was actually meant for socks, ebcause while the Baudelaires look cute, they slouch rather quickly and sag annoyingly after a few hours.
Washing restores them, but still. They're more pretty than functional.

I had high hopes for this yarn, and not just because I got it super cheap on sale.
It looks like chocolate and strawberries in the skein, and the yarn is so soft and squishy!
A pleasure.

I took these socks to knitting group, and they are easy enough to knit and chat at the same time.

The yarn was a little more splitty than I would have liked, but I got used to it.
As I knit these up, the colors reminded me less of ice cream and more of pink camo.
They're still cute.

The pattern isn't really visible per se, but it gives the socks a very interesting texture.

These are soft, summerly socks, and I hope I can wear them on warmer days when the wool socks just won't do.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sheldon and the Bozite hat

Look, Sheldon got a Bozite hat!

Nerd Wars Tournament 3, Round 1:
Nerd Culture: Best-dressed Nerd

The challenge was to create a costume piece inspired by our nerddom.
I foresee myself crafting more accessories for the squishy little cat who will now be known as Sheldon.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Expansion started -- wait!

 This was an improvised pattern for Nerd Wars.
More precisely, for the Round One Scientific Challenge: Prehistorical.

The challenge:

Nerds have been around since the dawn of time. That guy who invented the wheel? Totally a nerd. I mean, come on. All the other cavemen are out doing manly things like killing saber toothed tigers and that one nerd decided to stay home and invent a wheel. Just because it was just about the most useful thing ever doesn’t mean that guy wasn’t a total nerd.
This month, take your inspiration from things from before anyone thought to write things down. Dinosaurs, cave people, prehistoric fauna and flora. Land your time machine in a puddle of primordial goop and find your inspiration!

My submission read:

This hat spirals outward from the crown, an ever expanding galaxy of endless possibility that eventually turns into… a human head! (human not included) 
Obviously, it doesn’t get much earlier in prehistory than the forming of the galaxy.
(from the opening song of Big Bang Theory)

Our whole universe was in a hot dense state, 
Then nearly fourteen billion years ago expansion started. Wait… 
That all started with the big bang! 
“Since the dawn of man” is really not that long, 
As every galaxy was formed in less time than it takes to sing this song. 
A fraction of a second and the elements were made. 
It’s expanding ever outward but one day 
It will cause the stars to go the other way, 
Collapsing ever inward, we won’t be here, it wont be hurt 
Our best and brightest figure that it’ll make an even bigger bang!

 It turned out a bit smaller than I thought (a common theme with my hats), but I like both the color and the spiralling pattern.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Super Fun Stripey Socks, or: I made those up!

Thank goodness the move is finally over.
It's been a stressful couple of months of househunting and general home uncertainty, but once we found our new place, things moved relatively quickly.

We did most of the move ourselves, opting to hire a moving van only one day for all our big furniture items.

We're a short bus ride away from our old place, so I took the week off and started moving suitcases of stuff over.
And we all know that public transport time means knitting time, right?
My mom has sent me this awesome yarn of random stripes (Regia Design Line Kaffe Fasset) that couldn't be more my colors if I had chosen them myself!

I didn't want to waste a yard of this yarn, so I decided to make them into knee-high, ribbed socks for snowboarding.

I started with 24 stitches and increased to 60, then went for a 3x3 rib all the way. nice and easy, nice and flowey.
I loved watching the stripes appear.

There's a funny thing about bus rides. While on trams and trains, no one ever talks to me, on buses, there are more old ladies with a lot of time.

I've had two approach me during my moving day to chat about my socks.
One of them asked in broken English whether I was making them "for bebe". I held up the two completed my-size feet.
"No, for me," I told her.
She picked up the socks doubtfully.
"For bebe," she declared. "Too small for you."
Well, whaddaya know? She must know some big-footed babies.

Mr. Mechanicalpenguin took two days off for the move, too. We borrowed his parents' car and shuttled our various boxes and bags to and fro all day Thursday and Friday.
And the sock legs grew and grew.

Finally, everything was moved on Sunday, and the socks went all the way up to my knees.
I finished them off in 1x1 rib at the top for an inch, then bound off.
now it's time to put up my feet and enjoy our new home.
Life is good in stripey socks.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

In which I am in love.

The search is over.
I can call off my stash quest, because I. Am. In. Love.
When I first met my OTL (one true love), I wasn't expecting it to be love at first sight.
We met on the internet, *the* dating medium of choice for the lonely, stash-enhancement-seeking knitter anywhere in the world.
My OTL came from a pedigree I'd heard about. Others had fallen in love with it, too. Or at least, it's other-colored cousins.

I'm new at this, I thought. I should experiment. If it's not true love, it will still be a good fling.
Ah yes, the fling.

I tasked my favorite enabler with setting us up. Money changed virtual hands, and a month later, we finally met.

Can words describe the pure bliss when I first laid eyes (and then hands, and then, most disturbingly, face) on my OTL?
Soft. Smooth. Sleek. And the color of the autumn I always dream of experiencing. Or more precisely, the color of a bag of delicious golden Haribo gummy bears.
It was meant to be.

There were others with my OTL. Other potential flings. Famous pedigrees. Beautiful in their own right.
But they were not my OTL.

What? You want to know more about my OTL? Very well. let me introduce you.
The Sanguine Gryphon makes a rather well-known sock yarn called Bugga!, which is not only fun to say, but comes in a wide assortment of beautiful colors, all named after various invertebrae. From butterflies to millipedes, from scorpions to killer bees, you'll find rich, many-hued colors.
But none as beautiful as the Wandering Glider. MY Wandering Glider.

The yarn is made from 70% superwash merino, 20% cashmere and 10% nylon. And 31% fairy magic. One skein is a generous 4oz/412 yards.
Enough for a pair of socks.
Or, oooh, a shawl. I want to keem my OTL close. Close to my face where i can snuggle it with impunity.
it's time to tackle my first shawl project.
I chose Pogona, by Stephen West. It seems simple enough, and it's coming along nicely.
As a bonus, spring has been unseasonably cold. It might be shawl weather for a while yet.

Then again, I'm known to grossly underestimate how long knitting projects take. If I can get this shawl finished by February so I can take it with me when travelling, I'll consider it a great success.

So that's me and my OTL. Part of me wants to go out and buy a sweater's worth of this yarn. The other parts of me want to buy more. And in many colors.
Maybe I'm ready for the commitment of a full garment. Be afraid for me, my loves. Be very afraid.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A well-mustachio'ed lady

Nerd Wars Tournament 3, Round 1:
Technical Challenge: Colortastic.

For our team unity challenge, we voted for finger mustaches. The perfect excuse to try some colorwork!
It came out rather nice, and it fits the cat nicely, doesn't it?

There is a real-life application here, but in the interest of preserving my friendship with an easily offended individual, here's only the photo of my cat modeling the 'stache.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

We built the pyramid... bags

 Nerd Wars Tournament 3, Round 1:
Team Spirit Challenge: You Say It's Your Birthday.

I made a pyramid-shaped felted bag to submit to this challenge, and after a bit of persuasion, it came out rather nice, I'd like to think.

The challenge was to craft something we could give to someone within our nerddom.
I decided to give my decidedly practical gaming dice bag to Sheldon Cooper, inventor of his own board game. I'm sure he oculd use a dice bag.

Unfortunately, here in the real world, the bag didn't quite live up to its full potential. It was a nice bag, and an okay project, but in the end, I'm not sure how to turn it from light paper weight to useful tool.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Is it a hat? is it a tea cozy? It's pink!

 So I thought I was knitting a hat.
Out of some pretty, very variegated acrylic yarn.
The knitting was fun and went quickly enough.
Of course, I didn't swatch for gauge. Why would I?
It was going to be a slouchy hat, so it was going to be fine.
but I rushed, and I was kind of done with the project, so I finished it a bit faster than I should have.
The slouchy beret turned into a beanie. And on me, it looked a bit like a kid's hat. not a flattering style.
Not even my usual stand-in model, the feline overlord, was impressed. What to do?
I was seriously considering ripping back and redoing the crown for more slouch, when I noticed my teapot.
I'd been mentally queueing a couple of tea cozies. On a  whim, I dropped the small hat onto the tea pot.
It's perfect!

So while I thought I was knitting a hat for me, turns out I was knitting a cozy for my tea pot.
And we're both very pleased with the result.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Nerd Wars

It's Nerd Wars time!
What is Nerd Wars?
Why, I'm so glad you asked!
Nerd Wars is a group on Ravelry where geeks get together to craft for their favourite nerddom.
Whether your particular geekery is video games, Star Trek or Doctor Who, you will find like-minded folks here. You can even follow along on the team-crossing blog.

This is my first time participating in an organised crafgting event, and I'm super excited.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Still am not, actually.
But I got my first pick, and for the next three months, I'll be crafting for Team Bazinga! Go team!

Hexipuff Update - the first week

Addictive, you say?

Hexipuffs are the perfect tiny project to do when you just want bite-sized knitting.
Now that I'm used to the pattern, the puffs are coming along nicely. I'm still a very beginning knitter, and I knit slowly, but even I can knock out a hexipuff in under an hour, bind-off, stuffing and all.
I use Judy's magic cast-on to start, and a three-needle bind-off to finish. This gives me one smooth edge and the rest nice and defined. I don't know a cast-on that would give me a perfect edge at teh bottom, too.
If nothing else, my toe cast-on is getting better with all this little knitting. ^_^

Just for the lols, I tried knitting several puffs at once.
it was an interesting experience, but I think I'll stick to one at a time. Part of the fun is, after all, that they go so quickly.