Sunday, January 28, 2007

Not Much To Report

I've finally started on Colette's mittens - just plain grey for these ones, with two cables running up the back of the hand. I hope they fit - the reason I'm knitting them is that she's got tiny hands and can't really find mittens that fit. I've got a tracing of her hand, so hopefully it'll turn out okay. I'm really liking the way the cables are looking. They're not too loose, despite the fact that I'm using acrylic yarn.

I've also been working on spinning some merino (in teal, royal blue, white, and orange) for Lindsay to knit a hat from. I'm not sure if I dyed enough fiber originally, so the hat may have to have stripes. I've Navajo plied some of it, and I really like the effect.

I love all the Craftster Challenge entries. Everything that's been posted is so different - despite all using the same stitch. I can't believe people had time to knit sweaters or clothing in the month deadline.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Laundry Day!

And around here, laundry day means I get to spend a couple of hours spinning, because the spinning wheel lives at my parent's house, as our apartment is rather too small for my wheel. I spun and plied a full bobbin of brown shetland. While I was spinning I was worried it was going to turn out too heavy, but after the whole thing had been plied, it turned out to be ~sportweight, possibly a little bit lighter. I think it'll be perfect for the hap shawl. Now I just have to spin another 150g of it.

Also, there is finally another Craftster challenge entry up, which looks very different in terms of looks than my tightly knitted cozy. It's rather interesting to see the different ideas people come up with from the same prompt.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Pattern is Finished!

The tea cozy pattern is all written up - a word of warning though, it hasn't been test knitted, and will probably need modifications for teapots different than mine. If anyone knits it, please let me know, as I'd love to see pictures.

Tea Cosy Pattern

This pattern is my entry for the first Craftster Knitting Challenge. It fits my nearly spherical tea pot, which is about 7 or 8 inches in diameter, but the cozy could probably fit a much larger teapot of the same shape, as the stitch pattern used is very stretchy. If you have a teapot with a spout that comes out of the body of the teapot opposite the handle, you'll need to make a hole in the cozy for this - a buttonhole in the middle of the center band would work. I think this would be lovely in a self-striping yarn like Noro Kureyon or Silk Garden, or Patons SWS. It should be slightly heavier than normal worsted weight yarn. Other stitch patterns could be used as well - I think it might be nice in ribbing for the top and bottom portions, with some other more decorative stitch for the center strip. However, this section needs to be somewhat stretchy, so choose a stitch pattern accordingly.

Worsted Weight Yarn (Lamb's Pride - Purple)
4.5 mm 16" Circular Needle
3 shank buttons

Gauge: ~4.5 stitches/inch, but it really isn't too important

Pattern Stitch: Garter Stitch Lace
Multiples of 2 stitches plus selvage.

Rows 1 to 6: K.
Rows 7 & 9: *YO, K2tog*.
Rows 8 & 10: *YO, P2tog*.

Cast on 12 stitches using removable cast on.
Work pattern stitch, leaving first and last stitch in garter stitch, for 10 repeats (100 rows).
Work 6 more rows of garter stitch, and place remaining stitches on piece of yarn to hold.

Pick up 54 stitches along long edge of strip. Work 1 repeat of garter stitch lace. Work 4 rows of garter stitch.
Next row - *K1, k2tog; repeat from * across.
Knit 1 row. Cast off loosely, or use sewn cast off.

Repeat this process along other long edge of strip.

Place 12 cast on stitches onto circular needle, and knit 10 rows in garter stitch, then cast off.
Place other 12 stitches onto circular needle, and knit 6 rows in garter stitch.
Next row: K2, YO, k2 tog, K1, YO, K2tog, K1, YO, K2tog, K2.
Knit 3 more rows of garter stitch. Cast off.

Sew on buttons matching them to the holes on the other side of the cozy. On top edge of cozy, add crochet chain ties (chain ~40), to tie over top of and below the handle. A bottom edge, sew up the bottom 1" of garter stitch, right below the handle. Weave in the many ends. Tea cozy can be blocked on the teapot it is to fit, but it really isn't necessary - blocking would open up the lace, reducing the heat-retention qualities.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Tea Cosy is Done!

Last night I finished up the purple tea cosy, and I'm giving it that test run this morning. Thus far, it's keeping my Jasmine Pearl tea nice and warm, which is wonderful, because the teapot tends to cool off very quickly, as it is mostly glass. It also catches any drips when pouring, which is also helpful, as I'm kind of clumsy and none to graceful.

The pattern itself is pretty simple, and I've got it written up, but I want to give it a once-over before I offer it to the general public. It's knit out of Lamb's Pride yarn in some shade of purple (I've since lost the ball band) on 4.5 mm needles. The fuzz from the yarn seems to keep in heat that is lost by the lace pattern. Also, the cosy hasn't been blocked, which means the lace isn't as prominent, but the holes also aren't as large either.

My tea pot is roughly spherical and ~7 or 8 inches in diamter, and holds about 4 cups of tea. The pattern could be easily upsized for larger teapots, and changed slightly for different shaped teapots. I've got a couple more pictures for you.

Here, you can see the way that the cosy closes - buttons inside the handles, and ties above the handle. You can't see it, but below the handle, the two sides of the cosy are sewn together.

And a close up of the closure under the handle.

And a top view of the teapot.

That's about it for now - I'll post the pattern later this week, once I've had a chance to go over it and double check everything is written right.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Tea Cosy o' Doom!

Well, the cozy itself is nearly done, and the pattern is written up, though the kinks still need to be worked out. Considering the challenge doesn't end until the end of the month, I'm rather early in finishing it. This doesn't happen all that often with me - assignments are usually finished a couple days before they're due, or even more likely, the night before.

I've also got another pattern running around in my head. About a year ago, Anthropologie made a cardigan called the Poet's Muse Cardigan.

I've wanted one since I saw it posted on Craftster, but nobody could come up with a pattern for it. So I've been thinking about how to make it, and I think I've got a workable pattern. I'll have to scrounge up some laceweight yarn to get the right drape for the fronts, but that shouldn't be too hard. I'll keep you updated on the pattern as it comes along.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

New Project

I know I said I wouldn't start anything new until I had finished some older ones, but I wanted to participate in the new Craftster Knitting Challenge. Originally, I wasn't planning on participating, as I didn't know what I could do with the theme ("One Stitch to Rule Them All"), but since I had been meaning to make a tea cozy for our new teapot, that I would give it a spin.

It's turned out quite well, for making it up as I go, especially considering I was without the teapot for most of the knitting (Lindsay's hockey games mean lots of knitting time for me). It's not done yet - I still have to finish the bottom edge and figure out how to close the tea cozy.

I'll post pictures and a rough pattern once it's finished, though the pattern probably won't be of much use to anyone unless they've got the same teapot as me.

I'm really interested in seeing what others come up with for this challenge. I was hoping for a theme that would allow me to knit some soft toys, but I think that this one is working pretty well.