Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pumpkin Toilet Paper Cozy

Nothing is sadder than a naked roll of toilet paper sitting on the toilet tank. To solve this problem, dress your TP in it's autumnal best! The ribs in the cozy imitate the ridges in a standard pumpkin.

Pumpkin Toilet Paper Cozy Pattern

Finished Size: Fits Standard Toilet Paper Roll

1 - 2 oz ball of orange 100% cotton worsted weight [MC]
Small amount of green worsted weight [CC]
1 - 16" circular US size 6 needle
1 - 16" circular US size 6 needle, or 1 set of double points when needed.

Gauge: 20 stitches = 4 inches in garter stitch

Cast on 70 stitches onto circular needle, join for working in the round
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: Knit
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: Knit
Row 6: K5, P2* (Repeat to end of round)
Repeat Row 6 until cozy measures 4.75" from cast on edge, or try it on a roll of toilet paper, knitting should equal the roll width

Begin decreases, switching to two circulars or double points when necessary

Row 1: K2tog, K3, P2* Repeat to end of round
Row 2: K4, P2* Repeat to end of round
Row 3: K2, SSK, P2* Repeat to end of round
Row 4: K3, P2* Repeat to end of round
Row 5: K2tog, K1, P2* Repeat to end of round
Row 6: K2, P2* Repeat to end of round
Row 7: K2, P2tog* Repeat to end of round
Row 8: K2, P1* Repeat to end of round
Row 9: K2tog, P1* Repeat to end of round (14 Stitches remain)
Change to CC
Knit even for 6 rows
Decrease Row: K2tog* Repeat to end of round (7 stitches)
Decrease Row: K1, K2tog, K1, K2 tog, K1 (5 stitches)

Cut off yarn, and use a darning needle to thread tail through live stitches, pull tight.

Weave in ends. Block on roll of toilet paper overnight to acheive proper shape.


Colors: I used Peaches & Creme #11 Sunburst and #53 Verde Green

Friday, November 27, 2009

Dewey Scarf

*This Pattern Was Not Accepted for the Winter 2009 Issue of I give it to you here!*

Dewey Scarf

Knitters are a subculture with their own language, jokes, blogs, and celebrities. Librarians are another subculture...also with their own language, jokes, blogs, and celebrities. Belonging to both, I wanted to design a scarf that wed my two loves together.
Libraries, much like yarn shops, have their own organizational system…and a secret language to go along with it. The Dewey Decimal System is a code that can guide those in the know, and confuse the non-initiated. The Dewey scarf was designed to allow the wearer to proudly, yet slyly, declare their love of reading, libraries, and knitting!
The Dewey scarf’s stripes and ribs are both taken from the call number for knitting pattern books at the library: 746.432! The vertical stripes give the call number when read horizontally. The horizontal rib pattern, intended to resemble a stack of books, gives the call number when read vertically. It is 746.432…or knitting…any way you read it!

1 size

4.5 inches wide
70 inches long

[MC] Ultra Alpaca, Berocco [50% Alpaca, 50% Wool; 315 yd per 100 g skein]; color: Cashel Blue; 1 skein
[CC] Ultra Alpaca, Berocco [50% Alpaca, 50% Wool; 315 yd per 100 g skein]; color: Stonewashed; 1 skein

24-inch US #08/5 mm circular needle

Tapestry needle

22 sts/23 rows = 4" in stockinette stitch


Dewey Rib Stitch (multiple of 26)
Odd Rows: K7, P4, K6, P4, K3, P2
Even Rows: K2, P3, K4, P6, K4, P7

Cast on 312 stitches loosely with MC.

Work every row in the Dewey Rib Stitch changing colors as follows:
Rows 1-7: MC
Rows 8-11: CC
Rows 12-17: MC
Rows 18-21: CC
Rows 22-24: MC
Rows 24-26: CC

Cast off loosely.

Weave in ends with tapestry needle. Lightly block if necessary.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gifts Given

I have, against my own better judgment, allowed a bit of a gift IOU queue to build up.

This is less than ideal for two reasons:

1. I hate giving IOU's instead of an actual makes me feel flaky.

2. With the holidays swiftly approaching I have lots of projects to finish NOW...I don't need to still be playing catch up with a retroactive gift list!

But...Frabjous day, calloo callay...I was able to almost catch myself up last week! (I would be completely caught up, except Psych still hasn't told me what she actually wants for her birthday...hint hint...not so subtle suggestion...TELL ME!)

First I finished Wiz's Whiz Bang Beanie. I know that I don't give Wiz nearly as much blog-attention as I give to his siblings, Spaz and Angel...but he is an AMAZING kid. He is genius smart, good natured, athletic, super polite, and (my favorite) a voracious reader. For his birthday I gave him a choice: hat or scarf. He chose hat, and asked for bright blue and red. I used a wool acrylic blend (all the warmth, none of the itch), but can't find the ball band so I don't know what brand/color it was. I made a simple 2X2 ribbed beanie, 80 stitches cast onto US8 needles. (I had to look at my Harry Potter knitting book to get an idea of juvenile head circumference, since I generally do adults or babies not in between.) I think he liked it.

I gave it to him Sunday morning. Knowing that a picture had to be taken for the blog, he wore it with a color coordinated sweatshirt to worship services Sunday night. We had a mini photo shoot in the back of the building, and he chose his favorite one for here!

Next up was Lady's scarf. She recently acquired a new coat that is a dark orchid color. She wanted a "fancy" scarf to match it, but one that would go with her other clothes as well. She specifically mentioned forest green. I know she wears a lot of jewel tones, so I chose a variegated wool that had the orchid, some royal purple, forest green, and turquoise mixed with a wee bit of black. (I think the black in the colorway offered a nice contrast and added some elegance. It kept the variegation from appearing rainbow-y.) My original intent was to use some sort of chevron pattern, or a mitred square. However, after casting on and knitting an inch or so I noticed that the pattern was totally obstructed by the color patterning. (Why put in all the work if it wasn't even going to show up?) So, instead I went with the lacy scarf pattern from Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair. The lace travels on the bias, and is enhanced by the color changes rather than obscured. I think it is marvelous.

This one was delivered tonight...and yet another church building photo shoot ensued. Now I can truly embark on my holiday knitting tomorrow with a clear conscience!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Miss-A's Birthday

Miss-A is allergic to wool.

Which stinks.

I like wool.

Also, other fibers I enjoy (such as alpaca or cashmere) are still for all intents and purposes...wool.

But, Miss-A had a birthday party on Saturday. And birthdays call for handknits.

Just not wool ones!

She had seen Mama L's birthday sushi roll and thought it was funny. Her bathroom is all pumpkins...she is obsessed with pumpkins...much like I am obsessed with the color orange. Also, having been in her bathroom, I had observed sad little naked toilet paper rolls sitting on the back of her toilet. So I made her a pumpkin toilet paper roll cover!

(It is so handy that pumpkins are orange...I had plenty of yarn available in stash for this one!)

I will write up the pattern and post it at a later date.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Another Midnight Showing

My friends and I went to the midnight showing of New Moon Thursday night.

There were 26 of us. Boys and girls. (Or, men and women...since we ranged in age from tween to mid 40's!) Luckily, my friends are not easily embarrassed, because I did indeed knit the entire time. In the car, in the line, in the theater, during the movie.

Last year I worked on my Twilight scarf at the Twilight midnight showing. This year I wore my Twilight scarf to the New Moon midnight showing.

The projects of the evening were:
1. Beret pour Moi, which was small and portable, but required some attention to be paid to it. I worked on this one in the car and then while waiting in line. Unfortunately, I messed up in one of the stitch repeats, and finding the error and unknitting was going to require too much attention be paid to my hands and not my friends, so I went on to my back up project.

2. Lacy Lady Scarf, which was larger, still portable, and brain-free. I worked on this one the rest of the time in line, and then in the dark DURING the movie. I didn't need to look at what I was doing. Also, I was sitting by the time the project grew to the point of being slightly unweildy.

The movie was good. The knitting was productive.

...and thankfully I was off work the next day, so I got to sleep in!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Broken Heaters

I got a text message from Vodka last week.

This is not unusual. We text a lot.

This particular message had the basics: she misses me, how is my life, we need to get together...

It also gave the interesting update that she loves her new job in Berkeley, but that the heater in her office building is broken.

The poor thing is freezing.

(Not to mention the fact that she has to take BART into work, and BART stations and trains are COLD!)

She needed wrist warmers. So, I obliged! (Actually, this was my ultimate frisbee project.)

We decided on olive green, since it goes with just about every other color. It wouldn't show BART dirt and grime as much as some colors. And finally, it just seems to be a good serviceable color that won't fade out! Why else is it used in so many military uniforms?

Depending on how this pair works out for her, and how soon they fix the heat at her work, I may be making more!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Wearing of Handknits Begets the Wanting of Handknits

I loaned JoNo my handknit wrist warmer gauntlets during my brother's Halloween party for his rock star costume...the black ones that go all the way up to my elbows. As the evening wore on, a lot of us ended up around the fire pit in the back yard. I was in a toga, and therefore cold. JoNo, the epitome of a gentleman, gave me my gauntlets back to keep my arms warm.

Tenn was also out at the fire pit, and also dressed as a rock star. She was wearing black STORE BOUGHT wrist warmers that barely covered her wrists. We started talking about how much we liked wrist warmers. Both of us tend to get very cold, and the wrist warmers allow us to stay warm but still work/type/knit. The next day, as we were both shivering in the back of Brother's car, wrist warmers came up again. She asked about commissioning a pair, I quoted her a price, she accepted it, and we settled on a color. We also discovered that our hands/arms are the same size, so I didn't need to take measurements.

I delivered the wrist warmers stayed with Tenn last weekend when I was in town for the ultimate frisbee tournament (cheering/knitting...not participating...see the previous post). They are a lovely shade of dove grey. I think she was pleased, considering that she didn't want to take them off!

(Unfortunately, in all the weekend hubbub, I did not get a picture of her wearing them...)

It strikes me that had I not been wearing the wrist warmers on Halloween, Tenn would never have known about them, and never have asked for a set, and I would not have the commission fee to put toward stash building. (Especially since *GASP* I did not knit at all at the Halloween party...I know, the mind reels! How was that even possible?)

Conclusion: The wearing of handknits begets the wanting of handknits...sometimes my best advertising is me!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Ultimate Cheerleader

I may not play Ultimate Frisbee.

I may not even completely understand the rules to Ultimate Frisbee.

But that won't stop me from cheering on my team.

And knitting.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Interlude of Supreme Silliness

What do you give the woman who has everything?

A knitted sushi toilet paper roll cozy of course!

Happy Birthday Mama L!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Open Letter To Wendy Bernard

Dear Wendy Bernard (Exalted author of Custom Knits)-

I purchased your book.

This is unusual...I usually check books out at the library, and only purchase if there are at least 3 projects in the book that I definitely want to make. Your book had a record breaking 9...and several others that I might alter...which I guess is sort of the point of the book.

Because I am not used to knitting top-down-in-the-round sweaters (my previous projects all being misadventures in bulky yarns and horrible seaming), I decided to practice the technique on the project that I was the least in love with. (Please note, still in love with it...just not in that desperate, must make, will die with out it, sort of way.) I chose your "Ingenue" sweater. I loved the classic old-movie feel. I call mine the MDM (using my initials to honor of MGM, old movies, and ingenue actresses from ages past.)

Again, because I was not sure how it would work, I was nervous about investing large amounts of money in materials. So, I cheaped out. I bought acrylic yarn from the craft store. Total cost: $7.45.

Well...I am done with it now...after overcoming a minor case of second sleeve syndrome.

AND YOUR PATTERN WAS AWESOME!!!! Very well written, very straight forward, and a joy to follow. I feel confident about making and customizing the other sweaters in your book...and the skirt. I love the skirt.

I don't know if you did this on purpose, but the way the book is actually put together and bound, the pages stay open to where I need them...without me having weigh them down...and without me having to "break" the spine. And it wasn't just a fluke with the Ingenue pattern. Every pattern stays open. Which is wonderful!

What's more...the sweater looks amazing. It is a little roomier than I would have liked (I forgot about negative ease...), but that is my fault, not yours. The fact that it only cost $7.45 is just icing on the cake...imagine how much better the next one will be out of quality yarn! I am getting goosebumps just thinking about it!

(Actually, I have already found the yarn to make "Skinny Empire." I am going to use a silk/alpaca blend. I can't wait!)

In closing: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for writing a quality pattern for a quality sweater with a quality fit.

This was the first project I have made in a LONG time that was free of headache, frogging, and despair!

Thank You Again,
Your Devoted Fan and Admirer.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I finished MDM...sort of...

...I still need to weave in the ends and sew the neckline facing...

But, rather than do that, I have decided to work on something else that I have been procrastinating on...the second Rivendell sock. I cast it on, like a good little girl, immediately after finishing the first one. I even knit the first 2 rounds. Then came the rounds which required chart reading...and, well...the socks went in the work basket.

This has not only kept me from enjoying/wearing the Rivendell socks, it has also effectively blocked all other sock projects. (I only have one set of sock needles...) Last night I was minorly stressed and wanted to do some sock knitting and couldn't cause charted sock knitting is not relaxing! So, in order to move on to some less intensive footwear, I need to finish what I started.

...and the MDM will be woven in and seamed up tomorrow when I am more awake. I don't want to do shoddy almost midnight work on this beauty!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Postings

For a brief moment of extreme cuteness:

Psych texted me the above photo of Angel yesterday morning...she is all decked out in her Envy Hat and carrying her Birthday Bangle Bag. I had an appropriate moment of reveling in the cuteness, and then went on with my day.

My day included redeeming my birthday pedicure gift certificate from Psych's family. I went to the nail salon, which was surprisingly busy for a Friday at 3! There were 6 other customers there. I sat awkwardly in the chair, wondering what I was supposed to be doing while my feet were being mucked about with. My choices appeared limited to watching a Vietnamese soap opera or reading trashy gossip magazines. I decided to do neither. I reached in my purse and pulled out a blue Envy Hat to work on. Knitting while getting my feet massaged is my new definition of bliss. (Also, since this hat is being commissioned, and the pedicure was free...I was essentially getting paid to have my toes painted...just saying.)

Anyway, by the end of the day I had hats on the brain. It has FINALLY gotten slightly chilly. It even sprinkled a bit yesterday. So I pulled out the tub-o-scarves (which also contains my hats), and started rummaging. I found my alpaca beret and decided on a whim to wear it to church. (We are having a gospel meeting this weekend.)

When I got to services, I was greeted by Angel. She started giggling and announcing that we matched. (This announcement was accompanied by her pounding herself on her head, in case I hadn't seen she was still wearing her hat.) Yet another moment of extreme cuteness:

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A New Style?

I have been diligently working on the MDM sweater, my version of Wendy Bernard's Ingenue Sweater in the book Custom Knits. (This may surprise you since I haven't blogged about it ...silly me!)

There has only been one minor problem thus far...and it was my problem, not the pattern's problem. I forgot to figure on negative ease! I measured myself, and then made a sweater at that finished size, forgetting that you want your sweater slightly smaller than your actual measurements because it is KNIT and should STRETCH a now my sweater is a little roomy. No biggie. (The book actually told me to figure negative ease...I just forgot to when I cast on! This is made more amusing by the fact that this is one of the few projects I have actually made a gauge swatch I went to the trouble to swatch it, but then still figured my sizing blonde.)

As of last night, I have the whole body finished and one sleeve. The other sleeve is hanging out on waste yarn waiting for me to pick up the stitches and get going...but I am developing second sleeve syndrome.

I have tried on the sweater. I love how it looks. I even love how it fits, roominess and all. But, with the weather still too warm to wear it, I am starting to lack motivation to finish the second sleeve. I can envision it finished, so my brain is trying to pretend it is. There are so many other projects that want me to knit them right now...

What if I cast the sleeve cap off and just had a single sleeved sweater? Would that be the end of the world? Maybe I could start a new style...

Or not.

Maybe I should stop blogging about the second sleeve and just go knit it.

Yeah. That's what I should do.

*Picking up needles...*

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hat Envy

There is a very cute little girl, Bounce, at church who came to services in a crocheted beanie a couple weeks ago.

The beanie was adorable, very 1920's flapper or 1960's Biba. Psych saw Bounce's beanie and suffered from...hat envy.

Angel had a head, so it followed that Angel also needed a cute beanie. Psych commissioned one the following Monday night. (And since Angel has a tiny head, I went ahead and took it on.) However, lest we be considered copy cats, the beanie needed to be slightly different.

The differences are:
1. I knit the beanie, I did not crochet it.
2. Bounce's beanie was pink, Angel's beanie is cream.
3. Bounce's beanie had a sparkly lame flower, Angel's has a cream knit flower.

Essentially, it is a very very sized down version of what I made for my cousins and I, out of a white merino/alpaca blend from the stash, on size 4 needles. The flower pattern is one I found online here. I started the beanie on Halloween, and worked on it while hanging out at Brother's house. (It was small...and so was portable... with an easily memorized stitch pattern...and therefore a really good travel project!)

I delivered it last night when I was at Preach and Psych's for a bible study. (Poor thing was pretty sleepy when I got there...hence the bleary eyed photo!)

Interesting side note: one case of hat envy has spawned another. I finished up Angel's hat in the break room yesterday...and one of my co-workers decided her granddaughter would REALLY look cute in a blue version...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Birthday

I am breaking with my tradition of taking the 31 or the 1 off, and posting two entries back to back because...


She is 24.

Sister gave me my first "commission"...sort of...she never actually paid me. Rather, she went to the yarn shop with Mom and I, picked up some yarn and said:

"Hey, this is pretty. Can you make me a scarf out of this?"

Well, I could. So, I did. I think it was officially her birthday or Christmas present.

Though I have made her a purse, a couple of scarves, and a beanie or two, I haven't knit as much for her as I probably should/could. The problem is that she lives in KY, and I live in CA. (Also, I know for a fact that she can knit her own stuff if she really wanted to, she just chooses not to...I mean, why should she when Mom and I will just knit things for her?)

Still...I love her, and am sad that I can't be with her on her birthday.

Looking forward to seeing you soon, Sister! Christmas is only 55 days away!