June 26, 2011

Color Knitting Chart Maker

Hey this is pretty neat... it's a little mini-application from Tricksy Knitter that you can use to create a color knitting chart. You can choose any color. Click here.

I found you can 'paint' more than one square by clicking once on a square and moving your mouse around. Click again to stop.

June 17, 2011

Orchid Baby Set

Just love this cardigan! It's the 'Children's Neckdown Bolero' (pattern #275) from 'Knitting Pure & Simple.' Get the pattern here. I just think it's adorable...just love the curve in the front. There is another button on the inside on the opposite side that secures the other side of the cardigan.

The pattern was pretty straightforward, with the only slightly confusing bit being there was an incredible amount of stitches to be picked up for the ribbed band in front. That is because of the curve...you have to start with a lot of stitches on the pick-up in order for the curve to happen without bunching. The pattern author offers a tutorial on her website to handle this part of the pattern and it was very helpful. And I learned something!

I used one of my favorite yarns, Malabrigo Worsted in 'Orchid.' It's super soft and cuddly, with the only drawbacks being that Mom will have to hand wash it and apparently it has a tendency to pill easier than most yarns (read the review here). But I reckon its positives outweigh the negatives. I really should investigate some superwash yarns for projects like these, but it's hard to beat Malabrigo's softness and fun while knitting. And the colors! Don't get me started. Anyway, I had two balls of it and had some left over so I designed a little hat to match. So cute. Can't wait to give it away!

Update: here's a photo of lovely Willa wearing her new set!

June 10, 2011


Recently, I went on a bit of a bender. A yarn bender. A Yender? It happens to knitters occasionally. For me, it started with a sale at Webs on Cascade 220 (for $4.95 a skein). A good price for a yarn that I love and use a lot. Too good to pass up. And I needed more charcoal gray...and white for an upcoming project. Then of course, it's always a good idea to stock up, especially at such a great price and then I will be paying for shipping anyway, so may as well take advantage of that.

But then I noticed that not all the colors I wanted were available from the Webs sale. So then, naturally, I had to pop over to my other favorite yarn store, Angelikas. I know I can count on Angelikas to have all colors in stock. They've never been out of stock on anything I've wanted and the prices are pretty reasonable. And they ship FAST. So I ordered a few from there. A little of this and a little of that, just to round out the stash a little.

So this is the result. This is all the new yarn, to be added to my burgeoning stash of Cascade 220. I had to buy two new bins for the new yarn, plus some that's been collecting over time, and so my stash has grown from two full plastic bins to four full plastic bins. I wonder if I stopped buying any new yarn right now, how long it would take me to knit all of it? Maybe not a lifetime, but it would sure be a while.

It's a nice balanced selection of colors and don't they look pretty on the window sill, bathed in sunlight?

The neighbor's dog thinks so too.

That was a lot of winding. Many hours in front of the TV, patiently winding skeins. Someday I'll have a swift and winder combo.

June 01, 2011

Purple Mama

This is some sign artwork I did for my Mom who is starting a new branch of her jewelery designs called 'Purple Mama.' I love the name -- it's so perfect for her! The name was given to her by my friend's 2-year old son, Dominic, who remembers when my Mom visited New Zealand. She was wearing a purple outfit on that day and ever since, Dominic has called her 'Purple Mama.'

My Mom wanted a creative and playful design that is light-heartedly sophisticated, not serious nor child-like. She wanted a straightforward, puffy font that can be seen from a distance. She wanted 'bubbles' and 'clouds.' I think she'll like this, knowing her. It looks a bit like space too.

I started with just swashing a piece of paper with purple watercolor and threw in some areas of red and blue. Then in Photoshop, I layered in a photo of some bubbles (can you see them in there faintly?). Then I added another layer of some swirly bits -- in the upper left and lower right corners. Then cut out circles from some other watercolor I did (they look like purple 'planets'). Then I put yellow glows behind them and added other small yellow fuzzy dots and some other smaller, sharper white dots. I just love layering in Photoshop. You can really control how much of each image shows through when layered on top of each other. I particularly love the combination of traditional art, like watercolor, combined with Photoshop...most excellent!

I've also been knitting away on this...
A wee cutie of a bolero jacket for a certain lucky little lady who doesn't know she's getting this yet. I used one of my favorite yarns, Malabrigo, in Orchid. It is the softest, most wonderful kettle-dyed yarn and I love the subtle color shifts from pink to lavender. I should have enough left over for a little hat to match. It will be finished soon and I'll post the final photos.

And I'm not sure if I posted this hat. I made it a while ago and the photo looks like it's in black and white, but it's not, it's just the color of the yarn I used; very neutral earth tones. All done in Cascade 220. My own design.
 And these two I whipped out recently. The floral pattern is not my own, but I love it. Next time I think more contrast in the yarns would be better, but this is subtle and pretty. And then I did a stripey hat just using up all the bits of Noro I had laying around. I just hate having extra bits of yarn not being used. So that was a very satisfying hat to make.

So yeah, been a busy little knitter...