Tuesday, November 13, 2007


While I've never been a very good blogger, it seems as though I've gotten substantially worse these past few months. I'm just too overloaded with work and school to be able to keep up with this as well. Instead of feeling bad about it, I'm officially going on break, and will be back when things settle down more. I realize I don't have a great following or anything, but I don't want to disappoint those of you who do stop by. I'm still hanging around Ravelry - my name is cherry1123 - and trying to stay sort of up-to-date there.
I'll be back with more exciting things, and hopefully a Birthday Purse pattern (I haven't forgotten), as soon as I can.
Thanks so much and see you soon!


Monday, September 24, 2007

In Progress

I'm still working on a pattern for the Birthday Purse. I'm making the pattern version in Malabrigo - it was the closest I could find in terms of weight and ply to what I used in the original. Stick with me, school and work are kicking my ass - as is the Hemlock Blanket!

Here's baby Berkley to amuse you in the meantime...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Anatomy of a Purse Part I: The Knitting, Roughly

I posted this purse on Craftster, and got some great feedback and requests for a pattern. I'm going to write a general description here of how I went about making it, and then will (eventually) put together a comprehensive tutorial. The tutorial requires me to start over from the beginning and document the whole process, as well as streamline it a bit. What follows is just a description of what I did - some of which I would(will) do differently the second time around. If you're an inexperienced or unadventurous knitter, I would recommend waiting for the full-blown tutorial. Otherwise, feel free to use this as a guideline, and have fun!
  • I spun my own yarn. The fiber is a merino/tencel blend from Chameleon Colorworks, in the Indian Wedding colorway. I'm not going to tell you how to go about spinning, because there are far more experienced people than I who can do a much better job. I think the resulting yarn was approximately worsted weight.
  • Gauge is not terribly important for this project. Make a swatch in whatever yarn/needle size you'd like to figure out stitches and rows per inch. The purse is started as sort of a tube. To determine how many stitches to cast on and how many rows to work, figure out what you'd like your dimensions to be (or just wing it), and figure out the perimeter measurement (if you want a 3x9 bag, it would be 2(3)+2(9) = 24"). Multiply this measurement by the stitches/inch, this is how many stitches you'll cast on.
  • I used a provisional cast-on for this purse. Next time I will do it differently, but I'm not going to discuss that now. I think there are better ways to do it, but the provisional cast-on is what I used in this case.
  • Cast the number of stitches you want onto circular needles. They should be approximately the same length as you want the perimeter of your purse to be, so you're not pulling or trying to cram on too many. Join to begin knitting in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches.
  • To get the basket weave effect, I did *k5/p5* for I think 8 rows, and then switched to *p5/k5* for another 8 rows. For me, the 5st/8rows yielded approximately 1" square. If you want the squared look, be sure to pick stitch and row counts that result in a square, otherwise you'll have a more rectangular look (which is perfectly fine too).
  • Repeat in the pattern until your purse is the desired height. Bind off.
  • The bottom is where the tricky part is, and where I made it more difficult than it needed to be. Take the stitches from the provisional cast-on, and place the number of stitches you want for one long side on your needles. It helps to put the stitches from the short sides onto another set of needles of the same gauge. Continue knitting in the same basket weave pattern as the sides. As you go, knit the first and last stitches of the row together with the stitches on the short sides. This can be tricky as there may be a different number of side stitches than you have rows. The point is to try and join the bottom to the sides evenly, so the squares line up and you end up with a solid fabric. When you've knit to the end of the bottom, seam two long sides together using your preferred hidden seaming method.
  • Break the yarn, and you're done with the knitted portion!

I'm going to post directions for how to construct it in a little bit. And again, this isn't a very good or complete tutorial. I am planning on putting together a comprehensive set of directions with pictures/diagrams/etc., so if this is too confusing (which it probably is, this is my first attempt at creating a pattern) hold on, there will be better instructions as soon as I can write them.
Thanks so much!

Friday, July 20, 2007


I spent most of June in and out of the hospital. I'm just fine, but, as turns out, my dad was not. What seemed as though was going to be a routine cardiac catheterization (with the possibility of angioplasty) ended up resulting in major bypass surgery.
This was a shock, as my father seems to be a fit and active man. Apparently he's been having (and ignoring) chest pains for at least a year. He's also been only occasionally checking his blood sugar and taking his diabetes meds. And he decided that an herbal alternative to his cholesterol medications would be a fine substitute, though didn't have his blood levels re-checked to make sure it was working.

Anyway, this was all shocking for me, who thought he was taking care of himself.
His arteries were 95-99% blocked in five places. The surgeon said he shouldn't have been alive, let alone mobile.

He came through the surgery well, I took him home a week later and spent another week settling him in and arranging his care before returning home myself.
All this would have been bad enough, but was made exponentially worse by the behavior of some of his close friends. It's not worth going into here, but let's just say it's very frustrating when educated adults act like jealous, petty children. I expected more.

While sitting in hospital waiting rooms, I had time to work on and finish the Clapotis. It's a blend of reds and pinks, fitting for a cardiac unit. I'm happy with it - the color and size are perfect. The yarn was a little hard to work with, as the 100% wool didn't like to be dropped, and I had to pick at each stitch to get them to unravel.

I had time a couple of weeks ago to block both the Clapotis and the Print O' the Wave Stole, which has been finished for months. The Stole is my favorite thing I've made up to now. I look at it and realize how much time and work went into this one thing. I didn't really notice while I was making it, but in hindsight, it was an extremely time and labor intensive project. But so beautiful!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Berkley's Fish

No, I'm not at all obsessive...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A List

I ran across this list, and I guess it's appearing in lots of blogs.

So here's my 2 cents:

Key: Bold=done, Italics=Will Do, Normal=Probably Not (though never say never)

Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting (does it count if you do it unintentionally?)
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with bananafiber yarn
Modular Knitting
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Baby items
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colours
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies...)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone elses handspun yarn
Knitting with dpns
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Knitting art (Isn't all knitting art?)
Knitting two socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars simultaneously
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with selfpatterning/selfstriping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mits/armwarmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public

It's interesting to see how much I've actually done, and in a relatively short timespan. Now I just need to actually update the blog to reflect what I've been doing...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Oh Baby!

My friend and co-worker Allison is very pregnant. It's not that she's overdue, or even terribly close to her due date, it's that her belly is HUGE! It is almost larger than the (petite) rest of her body. We threw her a baby shower at the office last week, and for her present I made a hat and booties. Both are heavily modified from patterns in order to use fingering weight yarn as opposed to the worsted called for. The specs are below:

Both are made from Claudia's Hand Painted Yarn, Fingering Merino in colorway "Carousel"

Pattern: Hello Yarn's Top Down Bonnet, without the ears or face
Comments: I really like this pattern. I made some modifications, as there was no chance I was going to get gauge with the fingering yarn. Other than sizing, however I followed the pattern and am really happy with how it came out and am planning on making more for gifts.

Pattern: fabulousyarn.com's Dreambaby Booties
Comments: I had to modify this pattern for the fingering yarn as well, I also used stockinette stitch on the lower part in stead of garter stitch. I also used simple braids for the ties, instead of an i-cord. I am also happy with this pattern, and anticipate making many more bonnet/booties sets for future babies.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I'm a Copycat, It's a Birthday Present

When I saw this, I knew I had to make one. This happened to coincide nicely with the nearing of my dad's birthday. Now, wool scarves may not be the best things in May, but it will be a nice piece of hanging art until October rolls around.

My photos are nowhere near the quality of Jared's, ever, and these are no exception - I shot them in a rush to get out the door to go to my dad's party. They pictures are not very representative of the actual colors, but they should give you an idea.

Please ignore the random stuff on the floor. I've been sick, I need to clean.

Pattern: brooklyntweed's Noro Scarf

Yarn: Noro Silk Garden, 2 x #047, 2 x #211? (I'll check the band when I get a chance)

Needles: Size 7 Inox Circulars

Comments: This pattern is great. It's simple, elegant and interesting. I am, however, conflicted about the yarn. While the colors can be amazing, the yarn has a ton of non-fiber stuff in it (twigs, threads, etc.). This seems to be a relatively common problem, and makes the yarn less fun to work with and kind of itchy. Overall I'm really happy with how it turned out. It took about two weeks of evening knitting, is a little over 7 feet long, and 5-6 inches wide. The ribbing looks like stockinette, and makes the scarf thicker and reversible. Slipping the first and last stitches of the second row of each stripe hides the non-working yarn on the side, and makes a nice edge. The changing colors are fun - I found myself getting all excited for the next big change, and it helped to get through the more boring spots. I may eventually make another for a gift - next time I may choose a second yarn with more of the bright colors, without the darker intervals.

Yards of Stripey Fun

Monday, May 21, 2007

I sometimes get overwhelmed with things to post, and wind up posting nothing at all. That pretty much sums up most of my absence. I'm trying, once again, to catch my blog up with my life.

So here I present you with everything I have pictures of online. Other things have been finished, but I haven't gone so far as to actually take pictures AND upload them. I will do my best to add those, and the finished versions of some of these, eventually.

"My So-Called Scarf"

Pattern: My So Called Scarf
Yarn: Manos Del Uruguay in "Mulled Wine", 2 skeins
Needles: Size 11 bamboo circulars
Comments: I love this stitch pattern! It's relatively simple to learn and looks more woven than knit. I'm thinking of trying to make a pillow cover out of it at some point. I didn't change the pattern at all, and I'm completly happy with how it turned out.


I finally ordered fiber to use with my new(ish) spindle. They're both from Chameleon Colorworks. There was a problem with the initial shipping, but it was all sorted out, and they were kind enough to give me a gift certificate for my trouble.

The first is a 50/50 Merino Tencel Roving in "Indian Wedding":

The second is 100% Bombyx silk. I'm not sure what colorway at the moment, I found it through some sort of "secret" link - I don't think I was suposed to be able to order it, but she shipped it anyway:

The actual color is a little more red than it looks in the picture. It's gorgeous.

I've already spun and knit the Merino/Tencel, it will be a present for my friend in June, so the finished object won't be revealed until then (not that she reads this, more that it's not so much finished as of now...)

Spinning reject

One of my earliest attempts at spinning, this was actually me pretending to "ply" the yarn. I didn't know what I was doing, still don't really, and it shows. It was a big fibery mess, and not even very soft. Berkley didn't even want to play with it. It's in the trash now.


Here are a couple of projects I've actually finished, though I only have in-progress pictures.

"Simply Marilyn"

"Print O'the Wave Stole"