Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Avoiding the Inevitable

I started a hat to match the purple and yellow mittens I showed you yesterday.

It is still very small (about 2 inches across), but I already know that I am going to run out of purple yarn. The yarn is Satakieli, which has very good yardage (100 g skeins of fingering weight wool). However, I have already used that skein of yarn to make the purple and yellow mittens as well as the red and purple mittens that I showed yesterday. There isn't much yarn left. So, I decided to start the hat from the top. I figure that if (when) I run out, instead of ending the hat with the pretty Latvian braid that is on the mittens, I can always do some yellow ribbing. Hopefully I make it far enough that the ribbing doesn't look dumb. I REALLY don't want to buy another skein of this.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Done, Done, and Done!

I finished the fish blanket. I ripped out the border and tried to crochet again. The first time the edge was too loose, this time the edge is too tight. I'm just leaving it. I didn't take a picture because I packed it in the box before I had a chance to change my mind. I included some of the red yarn I used to connect all the pieces, so if the mom doesn't like it, she can fix it herself. That's the beauty of giving handknit gifts to knitters.

I also finished the mittens and mitten liners for my sister in law:

I really like how they came out. They are soft on the inside, durable on the outside, and extremely warm. I hope she likes them as much as I do!

Here's the details:
Outer mittens:
Yarn: Jamieson and Smith color #124 (purple), Jamieson's color #150 (blue) and Jamieson and Smith color #9143 (red)
Needles: size 1 double points
Pattern: adapted from the Pattern from Hangvar in The Mitten Book by Gottfridsson and Gottfridsson. I added a wide thumb gusset and a corrugated rib cuff.

Basic mittens (no pattern) that mimic the shape of the outer mittens, but they are a little bit smaller. They have a 2x2 rib cuff that is slightly shorter than the outer mittens.
Needles: size 1 double points
Yarn: 100% alpaca fingering/sport weight that was left over from a sweater. I have about 1 yard left now!

Next up: I have two pair of Latvian mittens that both need matching hats. I'm not sure which one I'll do first. Maybe something to match the yellow ones? I think I have enough yarn for at least one of the hats.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Ripping again

Thanks for all the nice comments about the fish blanket.

I folded it up and put it in a box with a note and washing instructions. But I couldn't make myself close the box. The blanket is just not right. It is an example of poor workmanship, and I can't give that to someone else as a gift. If my Aunt had made that blanket for herself, she would rip it out and make it right. So I shouldn't give it to her as a gift when it looks wrong. I'm going to ignore the puckering of the fish heads because I don't really know what I could do that would fix it, and if I lay the blanket on a soft sufrace and smooth it out, the puckering disappears. But I think I have some ideas for how to fix the border. I'm going to try using a larger crochet hook and crocheting less frequently around the outside. Hopefully it looks better!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Finished Fish

Wow! You all had a lot of different opinions about how the fish should be arranged. When I started knitting them, I had option #1 in mind. But, once they were done, I decided to go with option #3. I thought it had the most interest, and I liked how the two light colors ended up in the middle and on the corners.

The fish baby blanket is finished, but I'm not really happy with how it turned out.

This is the result after hand washing it, then machine washing it, then machine drying it. After hand washing (and still after machine washing) this blanket GREW! It grew to about twice its original size and looked horribly stretched out. Fortunately, the dryer shrunk it back to the two feet by three feet that I started with.

You can probably see that the fish on the top and bottom look a bit disfigured. I think it has something to do with the crocheted edging. Also, every single one of the fish heads puckers. I think that's because I crocheted the fish together too tightly. But it seemed very loose as I was doing it. I'm not really sure what went wrong or how I would make it better, but I don't like it the way it is. In any case, it will be mailed off tomorrow. The way I look at it, there isn't much I can do at this point, and really I just want it out.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Fish Layout

I've finished reknitting fish! I decided to only rip out enough of them so that I would have enough yarn to make all six dark blue ones. The dark blue fish aren't all the same size, but I decided that the bigger ones actually fit better with the other colors than the reknit smaller ones do.

The next question is how to arrange the colors in the blanket. Which layout do you like best?

Option #1:

Option #2:

Option #3:

You may notice that in all three of my favorites (I did try about 5 other arrangements last night, but I'll spare you the gory details) there is a logical arrangement of the colors. Random is not an option.

It looks like the finished blanket will be just over two feet wide by just under three feet long. Please try to ignore the many, many ends that still need to be woven in.