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« March 2008 | Main | May 2008 »

April 30, 2008

enter elton

Did you know that I teach an amigurumi class at Twisted? Looks like the next class is June 7th.

Elton_2

I needed more completed samples for the class; and so, Elton was born. The pattern for Elton came from the same book as Wonky Ducky, and Big Head Bear.

Two years ago, this book was only available in Japanese. Now, there's an English translation titled: Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts!: Amigurumi.

Elton and Wonky are very good friends; especially because Elton hardly ever says a word, and Wonky never shuts up.

Wonky_elton

08:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

April 27, 2008

grocery bag purse errata

I found an error on round four of the directions for the grocery bag purse. It should read: Round 4: [sc1, 2in1]x3, sc17, [2in1, sc1]x3, 2in1, sc19, 2in1. (58 sts).

And Round 18 should be: sc9, dec, sc3, dec, sc8, dec, sc3, dec, 7sc, dec, sc3, dec, sc8, dec, sc3. (51sts).

Sorry 'bout that. I swear I thought I proofed this thing.

09:09 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

April 25, 2008

Dear Interweave Knits,

Please do not turn into Knitter's.

Thanks much,
michelle

01:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (14)

April 22, 2008

Grocery Bag Purse

Bag_bag_2

I didn't design this purse with Earth Day in mind, but the timing seems fortuitous.

I've switched to reusable bags and was hoping to use up the plastic grocery bags that exploded from under my sink every time I opened the cupboard door. I used up all the bags I had on hand making the prototype and then had to ask for donations of more at work to make the test bag for the pattern.

You will need:
N (9mm) crochet hook (metal or plastic)
25-30 plastic grocery bags
scissors
closable stitch marker
large darning needle

Terminology:
This is what *my* abbreviations mean, they aren't exactly standard
sc = single crochet
st, sts = stitch, stitches
2in1 = work 2 sc into 1 st, an increase
[2in1]x2 = work 2 sc in each of the next 2 sts
dec = sc decrease, make 2 sts into one

You can find instructions for how to make the 'yarn' and another plastic bag pattern here. You can make a whole lot at once. I work bag by bag, only adding more when I've reached the last loop from the previous bag.

A note about rounds and markers:
Rounds are indicated with a marker in the last stitch of the round. When working a round, work to the last stitch, remove the marker, work the last stitch, and replace the marker in the stitch just completed.

I would recommend using a marker that closes, because open ended markers can easily slip out. This is a sad thing.

The purse is worked in a continuous spiral, so it may bias as you work each row--this is less noticeable as the bag gets deeper. Also, the end/beginning of the rounds will slowly drift to the right. The pattern takes this into account.

Pattern:
Begin with a slip knot and chain 18.

Round 1: Skip first chain and work two sc in next stitch. Sc 15. Sc 4 in last chain stitch. Work 15 sc back along the other side of the chain, stitch for stitch encasing the tail as you go. Work 2 sc in last stitch and place marker in last stitch of the round. (38 sts).

Round 2: Work 2 sc in each of next two stitches ([2in1]x2). Sc16, then, 2sc in each of next 3 st ([2in1]x3). Sc16, then, 2 in last st (2in1). (44 sts).

Round 3: [sc1, 2in1]x2, sc16, [2in1, sc1]x2, 2in1, sc18, 2in1. (50 sts).

Round 4: [sc1, 2in1]x3, sc17, [2in1, sc1]x3, 2in1, sc19, 2in1. (58 sts).

Rounds 5-17: work straight (13 rounds).

Round 18: sc9, dec, sc3, dec, sc8, dec, sc3, dec, 7sc, dec, sc3, dec, sc8, dec, sc3. (51sts).

Round 19: dec, work rest straight (50 sts).

Round 20: sc8, dec, sc3, dec, sc4, dec, sc3, dec, sc7, dec, sc3, dec, sc4, dec, sc3, dec last st of this round together with the first of next round, move marker. (42 sts).

Rounds 21 and 22: work straight.

Round 23: sc11, chain 8, skip 8 st in the round before, sc13, chain 8, skip 8 sts in the round before, sc2.

Round 24: sc11, work 12 sc into loop (not into the sts) sc13, work 12 sc into loop, sc2.

Round 25: work straight.

Sc5 and fasten off. Weave in ends.

Copyright © 2008 Michelle Molis, all rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without prior written permission. May not be used for commercial purposes.
Sw_bag

05:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (11)

April 18, 2008

Yay! I’m overweight!

That is: I am no longer officially obese. Not long ago, I dropped to a weight that, according to a calculation of my body mass index (BMI), places me in the merely ‘overweight’ category. You can find examples of BMI calculators here and here.

The BMI is a measure of your weight relative to your height and it roughly estimates the amount of body fat you have. It has limitations; for example, it may overestimate the amount of body fat for athletes or exceptionally muscular people. Yeah, I don’t think that’s going to be a problem for me. There are other ways to measure body fat like skinfold thickness measurements with calipers or underwater weighing; but these methods aren’t always affordable or DYI.

I don’t take this designation too seriously, but it still gives me a grain of satisfaction. It’s another milestone achieved. I would have to lose another 30 pounds to fall into the ‘normal’ weight category. This will probably not happen. At the very least, I plan to drop another 15, but everything after that is gravy, or rather, lack of gravy. I think it’s quite possible that I will have to remain ‘overweight’. Or, I could grow a few inches taller.

04:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (9)

April 08, 2008

Book Review: A Fine Fleece: Knitting with Handspun Yarns by Lisa Lloyd

A Fine Fleece: Knitting with Handspun Yarns by Lisa Lloyd

Fine_fleece_cover

[A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review].

Allow me to introduce you to the next big thing. At least, it would be if all knitters were like me. When I first paged through I could hardly contain myself. I love this book.

As the title indicates, this is ostensibly a book about knitting with handspun yarn. However, as the author says, "you don't need to spin to enjoy this book..."

Got that one right.

There are 26 projects organized into three themes. Many are classic, textural designs based on Arans and ganseys. Every project is shown worked in both handspun and a commercially available millspun yarn. [Smart!] A number of the designs are unisex with guidance provided for subtle changes to make those designs a bit more gender specific. Some of the shapes tend to be boxy, but the suggested modifications can mitigate that. Of the 19 sweater designs shown, I could happily sit down and cast on for six right now, and I'd take a second look at another four. I have some yarn that has been waiting a long time to find a project and I feel that project may be between the covers of this book.

I do not think I will be knitting with my own handspun any time soon. I just began learning to spin at the end of last year. I have a long way to go before I'll be able to spin up enough decent yarn for a sweater-sized project. As a result, I only skimmed through the sections addressing the properties of fibers from different breeds and Ms. Lloyd's philosophy of designing handspun yarn through the combination of different fibers. I'll peruse those at another time.

Of course, you may be able to spin a sweater's worth of yarn. At first, I thought April was an unfortunate release date for this book—most knitters will be putting away their winter knitting soon. But if you do plan on using your own handspun, you could start designing and spinning your yarn now so you can begin knitting in time to have a wonderful sweater ready to wear when the chill returns.

Although millspun alternatives are given, if you must have handspun and are as spinning deficient as I am, remember that handspun yarn is available online and the spring fiber festivals are right around the corner—the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival in May, Black Sheep Gathering in June.

Bottom line: even if you don't spin, and never plan on learning, there is plenty here to keep a non-spinning knitter very, very happy.

06:51 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)