April 30, 2010

Cecilia

Posted in Knitting tagged , , at 12:20 pm by stashnstitch

I promised there was knitting!

Fellow knitting friend, Elin Berglund, designed this cute and lacy mini-cardigan. Her first design, and I got a chance to do a test knit!

So here’s Cecilia:

Cecilia

  • Pattern: Cecilia by Elin Berglund
  • Yarn: Malabrigo Sock in Impressionist Sky
  • Needles: Size 3mm, 2.5mm Addi Lace Circs 32″, Size 1 & 2 DPNs
  • Changes: As noted below.

The cardigan is worked top down, and the lace is a simple 4-row pattern. Measurement wise, my bust is 33-34″, but I chose to do the pattern 26″ size for the negative ease. I probably would have been fine with the 30″, but I considered the 26″ as “petite sizing” for my needs. It fits really well in the body. The sleeves are little snug, if I had the extra yardage, I’d have increased more stitches for the sleeves for a little more room.

I did this pattern in a week! Granted, there were lots of late nights, but it goes quickly and is really satisfying to watch it grow, it was hard to stop! I learned the tubular bind-off, which is super stretchy, neat, and worth the effort. Trust.

My only changes, partly because I was working with only one skein of Malabrigo sock, are:

Sleeves were worked shorter — 30 lace rows, 20 rib rows
Body ribbing — 30 total rows of ribbing
Added 3 buttons (which by the way are really cool shell buttons that looks water-marked)
Oh and if you end up working a 26″ size, here are my numbers for the neck and side ribbing (note, I did do less body ribbing): 22 stitches up the bottom rib, 81 stitches (starting at lace) and up to shoulder, 31 for the neck. Total picked up stitches: 237 stitches

I currently have another one on the needles, and I know friends that plan to do 1, 2, or even 3 more! Elin’s lovely Cecilia will be available for purchase in May, be sure to look for it here!

February 15, 2010

Snow-cation

Posted in Sewing tagged at 4:06 pm by stashnstitch

No doubt, you have heard of the unprecedented double-blizzard that attacked our metropolitan area. The story goes that we edged out the record snowfall of 54.4″ in 1889 with our 54.9″.

I don’t know about 54.9″, but we did get a hell of a lot of snow. It’s been an interesting week.

The snow accumulation from both blizzards is higher than my front porch.

First off, as a collective, the imagination is abound with nicknames for our “storm of the century:”

Snomageddon

Snopocalypse

SnOMG

Snoverkill

Snowtorious B.I.G.

SnoWTF

Second, the cabin fever was pretty high in the area. However, I do not get cabin fever. I embrace the rare opportunity to not be expected to do anything because I am snowed in. In fact, I had not left the house in seven days. That’s right, seven days.

We had a routine of the kids play outside; return inside for food, rest, tv, video games, etc.; bickering ensues, kick them back outside for more snow play. Really, it worked out so well. At one point they did give me that glazed look, which I preempted a major meltdown with making play dough. All is well.

Meanwhile, I slept in (always a major bonus) and crafted. Oh! How I crafted! Which leads me to finally introducing you to Bernie. I know it’s not really original, but I said it, it stuck, and so it is – Bernie.

Bernie is my, new from Christmas, Bernina Activa 240 sewing machine. I was itching to start so I bought some fabric, watched some youtube videos, borrowed a sewing book, and took the snow-vantage to try something.

I made these:

Placemats.

I got the pattern instructions from Amy Butler’s “In Stitches” book. I didn’t quite follow the exact dimensions, and had a nice little lesson in seam allowance. So my placemat’s are roughly 11 x 17″, funny when I was shooting for 13 x 18″.  I chose placemats, with the reasoning that if I mess up they will still be functional (they are), I can try different techniques (I did), and how hard could placemats be, right?

So the first one took me 3hrs and 45min to make. Commence laughing. Go ahead, but Bernie and I got to know each other well in those three hours; my budding relationship with “Soze the Seam Ripper” grew as well.

I tried my hand at applique with that little triangle on the front. The triangle is placed on the left there, so the kids will know which side the fork goes on. I thought it was a good idea, but I’m not running to any applique projects in the near future (read: hard!). The remaining five placemats went much faster than the first. I learned a lot, and do pat myself on the back for my first foray into sewing.

Also, I craved more sewing after the last mat was done, so I made Lil’ Miss this little bag. Pattern again, found in the same book, but instead of leather handles, I made my own drawstring and smaller bag for child size.

My craftiness did not stop there. In the same week, I did up a “Thomas Jefferson” wig for Lil’ Man’s biography report and knit up a fabulously simple cardigan. Details for another post!

So many wonderful things done during my snowbound week; and after a four day reprieve, as I type, it is snowing again. Right. Now.

February 7, 2010

Oh blog!

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:10 pm by stashnstitch

To blog or not to blog.

Oh blog! How you make me feel guilty with your last entry having been posted months ago.

I really debated abandoning the whole thing all together, but I enjoy sharing my fails, wins, and general stash hoarding with everyone. Economically, it didn’t make sense to maintain the blog through a hosting service even if it is only $10/month. If I included the pro account on flickr, the domain name renewal, and then the hosting service; that adds up to $168 a year, just so I can prattle on about my small life.

However, since I do enjoy a good “rantin’ and ravin’,” part of the absence is because I’ve been painstakingly “moving” my blog back to [the free] wordpress.com. There is this handy “import” tool and import my blog entries it did! My photos, it did not. So I’ve spent the last couple of months going through a year and a half of photos and fixing links. Little by little at first, but really sped things up in the last few days to get to the new stuff all ready! If you follow my flickr, that is the reason why I have old pictures in my current feed.

I’m not sure why I went the “host service” route in the first place. I think I wanted that autonomy that comes with your own domain name, and independent play with your own custom templates. Oooo…custom templates. So as original as I’d like to be, free is a good thing in these rough times.

Some have asked, “Why not just leave the blog and start anew?” Eh, I really like seeing how I’ve come along with my skills, and reading my misadventures all over again. Once I tell the hosting service to cancel my account, all that will disappear, like it never existed; and the last two years of my knitting life did happen and needs to be somewhere.

You’ll notice that your link to http://www.stashnstitch.com still works, but the address bar does change to stashnstitch.wordpress.com, this is okay. Keep your bookmark, or change it; I do plan on maintaining the domain name, so either will work.

I haven’t been entirely inactive from the internets. If you follow me on Twitter, then you know I’ve become quite the micro-blogger (read: won’t shut up). It’s just so simple since I can just tweet from my phone! If you’d like, feel free to request to follow me. My account is only “private” to block out the spammers.

Anyway, I have lots to share with everyone! New things have come under way. Wait ’til you see!! ;)

September 8, 2009

Swallowtail in the Skies

Posted in Knitting tagged , , , at 11:12 am by stashnstitch

Swallowtail Shawl

I don’t remember when I came across the Swallowtail Shawl pattern, but I do remember swearing up and down that I’d never be at a knitting level where I could make that. I remember thinking lace seems so intricate, so intimidating; and what the heck are those little bauble bubble thingies?

Now, with a few first-timer’s lace projects out of the way, I sat down to make this shawl. Classic me starts this effort not with the suggested 516 yards of fingering weight. No, I have a 400 yard skein of Crown Mountain Adonis BFL. A beautiful blue that begged to be knitted the second it came into my greedy little hands. So first, I scoured the Ravelry projects to see if anyone has done this shawl with 400 yds, and I came up with absolutely nothing. That’s OK, I’m not to be deterred. Remember? Once it’s in my head, trainwreck – right? Nothing stopping me.

So I cast on.

Three days later, my shawl is finished. Then it sat in a heap for a day before I blocked it out. (Blocking is a whole other mental preparation that I have to do; another story altogether.) Still, three days? It’s the fastest knitting I’ve done for a shawl, it just flew off the needles! I got a bit stalled by the nupps (bauble bubble thingies), and the nupps are the biggest complaint I’ve seen about this shawl. It took me three hours of tinking, a lifeline, a few tries, several hours of researching “how to do the perfect nupp” and ultimately, I realized the perfect way is right there in the instructions.

Right under shawl notes:

Nupps are made by loosely working k1, yo, k1, yo, k1 into a stitch to increase 5 stitches; on the next row, purl those 5 stitches together. It is important to work the nupp loosely.

LOOSELY.

I made my YOs so loose, the needle slid through the five loops with room to spare, purled and went my merry way. Seriously. Nupps are often referred as “soul killers,” but just YO really, really loosely and you’ll be fine!! In other words, if there is the slightest question of being able to fit the needle through all five YO loops for the nupps, then your YOs are not loose enough.

Oh, and the yardage? I sweated over that bit for the entire project! I made it with 382 yards with a bit to spare. Crown Mountain says the Adonis is fingering weight, but it’s more light fingering I’d say. The pattern does suggest 437yds for the lace weight version, though I wouldn’t call the BFL lace weight.  So maybe my “awesome” knitting skills pulled through, maybe the Yarn Gods were smiling down on me, or maybe I sneezed twice on Tuesday that gave me that special luck! Whatever happened, I am very pleased with the end result.

Before Blocking

After Blocking

July 29, 2009

The Last Knit

Posted in Knitting tagged at 7:49 pm by stashnstitch

I saw this in one of my Ravelry groups; and thought I’d share with those that read this blog. :)

edited: ha! Just watched it again! I don’t know how moutons find these random things on the internet.

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