Tag Archive | Projects

Science Doll

(Or, Hey, Look, There’s Some Knitting on the Supposed Knitting Blog!)

This is my friend, Sarah:

Well, a toonified representation of her alter ego, Science Doll, anyway. She’s smart as a whip, and you can follow her at her her site or her twitter feed.

I’d wanted to make something for her for quite a while, but I wasn’t sure what to make. And then I heard about the Stitched Selves that went on display in London last summer. How could I not make her her very own Sci Doll doll?

Sci Doll

Project Specs:
Pattern: Stitch Yourself (Knit) by Whodunnknit
Yarn: Cascade 220 in Natural for the body; Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Lightweight in Thraven for the shoes, and a bit of some alpaca blend for the hair.
Needles: Size US4 bamboo DPNs for the body, size US1 bamboo DPNs for the shoes

I made her a little skeleton of chenille stems (what we used to call “pipe cleaners” when I was a kid) so the arms and legs are poseable and attach to a spine that keeps the head from just flopping over. Her skirt is made of wide wired Christmas ribbon that I folded in half before bending it into the pleats. It’s sewn in place, right onto the body. The shirt is made of white felt, cut and sewn on. I made the hair by looping a length of yarn around and around a little toy beeper (it was the right size), sewing through the middle, and cutting the loops on either side, then sewing it to the top of the head. Finally, I embroidered the face.

The knitting itself was super quick. The clothing was a little trickier. I would have liked to give her some knee socks, but couldn’t quite get them scaled right.

When I handed it to her, she said, “It’s a little me!” The best reaction I could have asked for, really.

Lil Miss also really liked the doll, so I’m going to have to knit up a mini-Lil-Miss for her.

Related Posts:

Just a Little Crazy

It’s not that I hadn’t heard of the Sock Yarn Blankie. It kept popping up in podcasts and here and there in the Ravelry Forums. As cool as Shelly’s Blankie looked, I just didn’t have any desire to turn my scraps into a real, honest-to-goodness project.

And then Stacy started talking about it, too. She mentioned another lovely blanket, and then I stumbled on Elizabeth’s gorgeous project (also, she has the best blog name ever).

Somewhere in there, I reached the tipping point, and this happened:

The Beginnings of Insanity

I have been keeping sock yarn remnants neatly balled up in a drawer of my card catalog cabinet, like they were just waiting for this project.

Growing Blankie

I swapped several remnants with Stacy, joined the BlankieMania group over Ravelry, and found a mini-skein swap to join. I shipped off an envelope full of yarn.

Mini-Skeins

I can hardly wait for my new mini-skeins to come in.

Growing Blankie

Related Posts:

Saturday is Santa Day

There hasn’t been much knitting going on around here lately. I started the Couch to 5K program a few weeks back, which means I get up quite early to go running, which means I (usually) go to bed quite early, which means what used to be my evening knitting time now gets used up by things like checking my email while watching How I Met Your Mother.

And, of course, this:

Stocking #3 in Progress

Two weeks ago, it looked like this:

Stocking #3

And you thought it was slow going knitting a lace shawl.

This is the third of three cross-stitch stockings for our family. It was supposed to be done for last Christmas, but since I took more than a year doing the second stocking, that didn’t happen.

I am determined to finish it for this Christmas. And then, maybe I’ll knit myself a lace shawl.

Related Posts:

Meet the Mantis

Now that the Knit Picks catalog for March has arrived, I can show you all my favorite recent knit for them, the Praying Mantis, from Amigurumi Knits.

Closer Shot of Mantis on a Wall

Clearly deep in contemplation, she’s a thoughtful one.

Also, being an outdoorsy sort, she can’t resist climbing a nice tree.

Mantis in a Tree

But she didn’t mind hanging out at work with me, either.

Checking out my Cubicle

She found that Piggie, who regularly appears as my Ravatar image, is a very good listener.

Mantis and Piggy

But then she seemed to be getting just a little bit too close for comfort, so it was time to send her off to Washington for her professional photo shoot.

Mantis and Piggy

Knit from Wool of the Andes in Green Tea Heather and Fairy Tale (which is a really nice shade of purple) with two sets of bamboo DPNs.  Chenille stems down the legs and in the thorax keep her upright, and fiberfill in her abdomen and head round her out (so to speak).

I really, really like knitting toys. I’m going to have to knit a Mantis for myself.  With the right colors, I could totally make myself a little N’Grath.

Related Posts:

Winter Games

Before the Ravelympics, before Ravelry, for that matter (imagine that!), there was the Knitting Olympics. A simple concept: between the opening and closing of the Olympic Games, cast on and complete a project that challenges the knitter.

Two years later, Ravelry was in full (beta) swing, and teams and events were born.

Two years after that, another Winter Olympics season rolled around, and the Knitting Olympics returned.

I have actually signed up for the Ravelympics, entering as part of Team WeHo, for the West Hollywood knitting group that I haven’t actually attended in quite some time. I’m there in spirit.

But my spirit really finds its home with the purity of the Knitting Olympics. No teams, no events, no judges but ourselves. My challenge: to turn a bagful of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran into a Mr. Greenjeans.

Stash: DB Cashmerino Aran

I chose this sweater because (a) these skeins of Cashmerino have been sitting around for a few years and haven’t yet magically turned into a Cardigan for Arwen, the pattern I originally had in mind, and (b) I want a new cardi to wear to Stitches West, which falls on the last days of the Winter Olympics.

I was off to a fantastic start, casting on around 7:00 pm PST (despite NBC’s insistence on delaying the Opening Ceremony until after 8 p.m. for the West coast of the U.S.) and trucking on through to the point where the pattern changes from stockinette to ribbing. And then… equipment failure.

Mr Greenjeans

It seems that I do not have a US7 circular needle. Learn from my example, future Knitting Olympians. Check and double-check your equipment, or you, too, may find yourself halfway through the course without the right needle to continue, with your favorite LYS – after you’ve waited three days for your non-working hours and their posted store hours to coincide – inexplicably closed. Or maybe that’s just me.

Related Posts:

Experimentation

For the last couple of months, I’ve been engaging in a little experiment. At the end of August, I challenged myself to avoid purchasing any yarn until my birthday (at the end of January). When I decided to go to Stitches West, I moved the goal posts to the first day of Stitches.

And then Jenny of Stash and Burn talked about Cold Sheeping, a great term for Not Buying Yarn. This was prompted by a Cold Sheep thread on the Ravelry group, which I finally got around to reading right after buying a sock kit at a farm in October. Technically, K bought it for me, and I wasn’t even trying to weasel out of my own challenge! (Also, I’m knitting the socks for K’s classroom, anyway.)

I made two exceptions to the No Buying Yarn rule: (1) the Loopy Ewe Sock Club packages, which bill for each shipment rather than up front, and which I committed to back in the Spring, and (2) a possible extension of the Tempted @ 3AM club, which did take an upfront payment, and I can’t tell you how nifty it is to get yarn in the mail that you paid for so long ago it’s like the yarn is coming for free.

Other than that, I’ve been knitting out of my stash. Meanwhile, people have been confessing their falls off the Cold Sheep Wagon. So, I wanted to share a Cold Sheep Success Story.

It started out with me wanting to knit up a Jackalope for K. It was supposed to be a surprise, but that’s another tale. The stumbling block was a lack of rabbit-colored yarn. I have several single skeins of Cascade 220 in red, orange, green, and blue, but no brown or gray. But I do have something: several skeins of white (which I didn’t want to use for the body, because I want to use white for the horns; also, a jackalope is a desert animal, not a snow animal!) and a whole lot of tea.

I brewed a really big pot of tea:

Giant Pot o'Tea

That’s an 8-quart pot (not quite full) and 12 bags of Tetley’s British Blend.

Meanwhile, I soaked a hank of white Cascade 220 in my favorite pasta pot:

Soaking

Once the tea boiled (over, in fact, which is why I ended up scrubbing the stovetop, which might have made K happier than the finished jackalope will), I pulled out the teabags and very gently added the wet yarn:

In the Pot

And then I waited. I waited about half an hour, but it was still steaming, so I left it until steam stopped coming off of it, then very carefully poured off some of the tea into the sink until I could even more carefully take out the yarn and rinse it under the faucet. I rinsed with warm water until it ran clear, gently squeezed out some of the water, wrapped it in my old Swim Team towel (it’s old, and also dark blue, effectively hiding any tea stains), and finally hung it up to dry in my backyard:

Hanging Up to Dry

I left it there all day, then brought the nearly dry yarn inside to hang over a chair back overnight. The next morning, I took a comparison photo with some white yarn exactly like the original:

Before and After

It came out a very nice desert rabbit brown, I think. And I didn’t even need a separate set of pots. 

I’ve been alternating working on the jackalope with working on my third second Zig-Zag Diamonds sock. Progress on the sock is slow, but I’ve turned the heel and picked up the pattern for the foot in the right place this time. At this point, I really just want to be done with it.

Related Posts:

Scarf Weather

When my first installment of the Loopy Ewe Sock Club arrived, I knew there was no way that beautiful skein of cashmere blend was going to become socks.  It was so soft and lovely that I just kept the hank on my desk for weeks, regularly gazing at it and every now and then giving it just a little squeeze.

Handmaiden Casbah

Gorgeous blue and green, and so very squooshy. I decided right away that it was going to be a scarf of some sort, but I needed to find the perfect pattern.

And then came an email from Chrissy, looking for a few testers for upcoming patterns. I was assigned a scarf with lace and cables, designed for Handmaiden’s Swiss Mountain Cashmere & Silk. And I knew exactly what my Casbah was destined to become.

Midnight Lace Scarf

Project Specs:
Pattern: Midnight Lace Scarf, by Chrissy Gardiner. Available at many retailers.
Yarn: Handmaiden Casbah, “Ocean Currents” Colorway. Used as much of the skein as possible.
Needles: Size US 6
Dimensions: 6″ x 64″ – about an inch narrower and shorter than the pattern.
Notes: I blocked this really aggressively, because I knew I had less yardage than the pattern called for. While this works for the lace, the cables are a little bit more stretched out than I would like. Still, the scarf is incredibly soft and cozy. I found the pattern easy to follow and easy to memorize, but with just enough action to keep me interested.

I finished the scarf in early May, just in time for temperatures to hit the 90s around here. This autumn, I’m going to be hard-pressed to decide between this and my green Bugga! Clapotis. I can hardly wait.

Related Posts:

It Might Be Cursed

I’m starting to wonder if this particular yarn is cursed.

Cascade 220

Looks perfectly innocent, doesn’t it?  Nice orange Cascade 220 all skeined up, waiting to be knit into a cute toy for Little Miss.  My plan was a carrot from Amigurumi Knits for my daughter’s play kitchen.  I popped the yarn onto my swift, wound it up into a ball, cast on, and happily knit away for several rows before realizing that I had miscounted somewhere along the line.

Off to the Frog Pond with the carrot.  Maybe I should try something else.  So, I cast on The Deadliest Crab and knit merrily away for several rounds, all the way through the first set of bobbles, and then I noticed that something was wrong.

Miscount.  Again.  A really big one this time, and I could not for life of me figure out what happened where.

Ripping out stitches can be so satisfying.

Is This Yarn Cursed?

I’m hoping the third time is a charm in this case.  If this one goes all wonky, I’m afraid this skein will be in need of a time-out, and I’ll just have to comfort myself with stringing another couple hundred beads for Entomology.

The Beading Continues

Related Posts: