Apr 23, 2008

Two more tawashi

We got an XBOX 360 today, so before I disappear into the land of Bioshock, here you have a couple more tawashi. One is the BB style tawashi, the other one is a more successful attempt at the stripey flowery thing from my previous post.

Apr 22, 2008

New batch of tawashi

The last week or so, I've been knitting up a tawashi storm. Mostly fishies, but there's a fair amount of other kinds as well because, well, experimenting is fun. Some patterns I winged, others are linked in my massive tawashi linkdump post.
I had even more, but gave some away to share the love :)

Get ready for color overload! (as if there is such a thing, hmph)

Woven balls

Flowery thing

Fishies! 9 of them, to be exact.

Look at all the pretty colors:

Woven squares

Hypnotizing, isn't it?

Handtowel/washcloth set in cotton

I actually did some sewing

My sewing machine has been languishing in a corner for months now, so I let it come out and play a little bit again. Poor thing, it thought I had forgotten all about its existence.
I didn't make a lot this time, haven't had much patience for sewing for a while. I always seem to lack something; like zippers, the right size elastic, fun fabric... oh, and needles. So many little things to keep around just in case.
This headscarf/headband is great. It keeps hair out of my face, which is my top priority... growing out hair is the most annoying thing ever when it reaches that awkward in-between stage - long enough to get in my eyes, too short to pull back or do anything neat with at all.

Apr 12, 2008

Arrr, only rum can make this mug better

This may be late, but so what! For my birthday (11th of January), I received a great gift from my husband. You see, I had been looking for "the perfect mug" for ages, but just couldn't seem to find it. To be honest, it was turning into an obsession. I somehow thought that without my "perfect mug", I could not enjoy my tea the way it deserved to be enjoyed. So I looked and I looked. I googled, ebayed, and searched my little heart out. The "perfect mug" was nowhere to be found.

Until I discovered the works of Mr. Morrigan Quicksilver. His piratey mugs had the perfect shape, color, attitude and craftmanship (and I'm extremely picky).
Not only does he make great mugs. He communicates solely in "pirate speak". Yes, every word in this man's emails is completely in character. My mug was extremely well wrapped, in newspapers, cardboard and whathaveyou, there was no way the mail could possibly have mangled this gem. The package also contained stickers, a coaster and on top of that, a promotional flyer for an independent piratey movie.

The mug might seem pricey, but it's worth every penny. The only "downside" I can find, is that good old Mr. Mug demands that I use him to drink rum every now and then.

I can live with that!
In fact, I'd buy a lot more from Mr. Quicksilver if I could afford it. I love it that much!

(As usual, I'm not in any way affiliated with the store. I just love the product and want to share)

Shawl pins

Someone who enjoys making (and wearing!) shawls as much as I do, will of course eventually need at least one shawl pin. I'm tired of constantly fighting with the wind to keep my shawl on, while struggling with bags because I only have two arms, one of which is always busy trying to keep that pretty fabric draped around my shoulders from escaping.

Also, shawl pins are pretty. I haven't actually bought one yet, that will have to wait until the budget allows for such frivolous spending. But: There's no reason why an uncooperative wallet should stop me from hunting for the perfect pin. For some reason many of my favorite pins are apparently made to be hair sticks, and "real" shawl pins seem hard to come by. Not that it matters, if it can double as hair decoration, all the better.
I figured Etsy would be a good place to start, I like supporting small, creative businesses.

Note: I'm in no way affiliated with any of these stores, and I have never bought anything from them (yet). My opinion is solely based on personal taste and pretty pictures.

From Etsy-seller Nightblooming:

From another Etsy-seller, Castlemountain:
This seller has so much gorgeous stuff, it's hard to pick just one. But this is my favorite. Again, simple, but still decorative. A bit pricey, although I must admit I have no idea how much work goes into making these.

No more Etsy, now let's see what the rest of the web had to offer:

Many, many gorgeous pins from The Jelling Dragon. They specialize in viking age and medieval reproductions. Way out of my budget for now, but a girl can dream, no? Some of these are quite large, so they might not be the best for delicate lace shawls. My absolute favorites, heavy or not!

More museum reproductions, this time from Urweg. The same goes as for the ones above: Pricey, some may be too large for delicate lace, but I love them anyway.

That's it for the museum. Now some actual made-for-knitting shawl pins!

From Designs by Romi comes swirly, pretty silver (also available in bronze, for those who prefer that).

Last, but not least, more swirly silvery pins, this time from Leslie Wind:

Apr 8, 2008

Meet Cedric

Here you see him in his favorite spot. He loves sitting in the window while working, both because of the light and because he gets to see outside - something that isn't always easy when you're only a foot tall.

As it turns out, he's quite the naalebinding expert. Right now he's working on a hat for me in my favorite color. Isn't that sweet of him? Apparently he's been secretly gathering my yarn scraps for a while, just so he could make me a gift. Frogs don't have much of a yarn budget, you see.
He even offered to help me get started on my own project, because I don't quite remember how to make the stitches.

I think the first thing I make will be a frog blanket, so he doesn't have to get so cold while sitting in the window.

Apr 7, 2008

Slightly Slouchy - a hat pattern

Since my hair is in an awkward stage of growing out at the moment, I wear hats almost all the time. Thick hats are way too warm to wear inside, so I try to make them as thin as possible. My latest obsession is slouchy hats, so that's what I set out to make.

Unfortunately I ran short on yarn, which is why this one isn't as slouchy as I'd like – although I have a big head, so who knows, maybe my hat would be slouchy on the right person.

Here's the pattern for the hat in the picture. It's made to fit a head that is 22-23" around.

If you want it more slouchy, simply knit for an extra inch or so before you start the decreases. That's what I will do the next time I make one.
If the ribbing feels too tight when you're done, just block it until it fits you right.

Needles: US 2/2.75mm for ribbing, US 6/4mm for the rest of the hat – or whichever needles give you the right gauge.

Gauge: 23sts stockinette = 4"/10cm with the larger needles

Yarn: handpaintedyarn.com's lace yarn, held double. I love this yarn, it's both soft and cheap, and comes in so many beautiful colors.

With larger needles, cast on 127 sts. Change to smaller needles. Knit first stitch together with last stitch to join. (You're supposed to have 126 sts total, but cast on one extra for the join). Make sure to place marker where round begins.

Rnd. 1-6: k1, p1

Next round: Change to larger needles. K2tog once, then knit the rest of the round.

Knit stockinette for 6"/15cm for a less slouchy hat, or do as I said in the beginning and knit an inch or two longer.

Now on to the decreases. There are 3 rounds between each decrease round to make sure that the decreases never end up on top of each other, so they show as little as possible. I didn't want the decrease-lines that a lot of hats have.

*K3, K2TOG* around (100sts left)
Knit 3 rounds
*K2, K2TOG* around (75sts left)
K3 rounds
*K1, K2TOG* around (50 sts left)
K3 rounds
*K2TOG* around (25 sts left)
K3 rounds
*K2TOG* around, knit the last stitch (13 sts left)

Break yarn, pull through remaining stitches.

Weave in ends. Block hat if needed.

Admire your creation :)

(P.S If you prefer the pattern as a pdf, it's available on Ravelry.)

Please don't copy this pattern to other websites - provide a link to it instead. Thank you.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.

Apr 4, 2008

Frilly tawashi

(Inspired by the Japanese crocheted ruffle tawashi)

Needles: US7 circular, 32” or longer.
Yarn: 2 different colors of worsted weight acrylic.
Gauge: Not important, but try aiming for a fabric that is quite firm.

This tawashi is knitted flat and then seamed. You can knit it in the round if you want, just replace all the WS rows with purl rounds instead. I recommend you use magic loop instead of dpns - the ruffles can get unruly if you try to tame them with straight needles.

The yarn you're not currently using, is always carried up on the wrong side instead of cutting it.

Kf+b: Knit in both front and back of the stitch.

With MC, cast on 6 sts using the circular crochet cast-on

Make sure that you have leave a tail of about 6", you'll need this later. If you look at the picture, you can see that I ended up not having enough for a proper loop on top.

(WS) Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Kf+b in every stitch
Row 3: Knit
Row 4: Change to CC, knit.
Row 5: Knit.
Row 6: Change to MC, knit

Repeat rows [3-6] 3 more times.

Row 19: Knit
Row 20: Kf+b in every stitch
Row 21: Knit
Row 22: Kf+b in every stitch
Row 23: Knit
Row 24: Kf+b in every stitch
Row 25: Knit
Row 26: Kf+b in every stitch

Cast off, leaving a 6" tail for seaming. Weave in all ends except for your cast on and cast off tails, you'll need these.

Using mattress stitch, seam up your tawashi.

Pull on the cast on tail to tighten the first 6 sts, then pull it through to the wrong side and secure it. Pull it back out to the right side, and with a crochet hook slip stitch once through the top, then chain 12, slip stitch to top of tawashi again. Pull the yarn back to the wrong side (last time, I swear) and secure it.

That's all there is to it!

P.S If you prefer the pattern as a pdf, it's available on Ravelry.

Please don't copy this pattern to other websites - provide a link to it instead. Thank you.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.

Apr 3, 2008


Because I slightly lose my mind when I can't knit or do other crafts (I'm fidgety by nature, just cannot keep those hands still), I decided to try to knit left-handed today, just to see if it would hurt less. I don't think it's a viable option, unfortunately, since I still have to hold on to the yarn with my right hand.
It was fun, though. I managed to master the long-tail cast on, knit and purl. My brain knew the movements, I just had to mirror everything and convince my hands to change roles.
I also tried knitting back and forth, just for the fun of it, and I love being able to knit stockinette without having to purl.

All of this took no more than ten minutes, so I don't think I've compromised the healing of my arm. Speaking of which, I did go to the doctor yesterday. He seemed convinced it was carpal tunnel, and got me an appointment for an EMG at a hospital in July. If it's carpal tunnel, they'll do the surgery - I suspect I'll need both arms done, it's a family weakness.

July feels like an awfully long wait though... and that's just for the test. I have no idea how I'm supposed to last that long without knitting, crocheting, beading. I guess I could always sew, but the cutting of fabrics hurts just as much as the rest.
I think maybe I'll save up to buy some bulky wool yarn, maybe naalebinding could work.
I'd weave, but looms are expensive (and huge when you live in an apartment).

Any ideas for cheap arm/wrist friendly crafts?