Friday, August 26, 2011

I think I broke it

My blogger is broken.  Not because I haven't posted in a while.  But because it wont let me leave comments on anyone else's Blogger blog.  After four or five login screens it just tells me I don't have access to view the page.  Hmmm, it has to be something with this laptop, because when I do it on the desktop I don't have that problem.  Trouble is the desktop freezes up after about two minutes, so that wont work either!  So just to let you all know that I have not been ignoring you, Blogger just thinks we're not friends anymore :(.  And if you know how to fix it drop me a line :).

Oh, and about the posting?  Well, I finished the little clutches for my mother's wedding. Then my camera died (I really don't think I broke that) so I took pictures of them with my mother's camera.  Which then went to Hawaii, and is now in the midst of a move from Columbus to Chicago!

But they are so adorably cute (if I do say so myself) that I am thinking about submitting them.  So no pictures, for now, might be a good thing.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Her ears must have been ringing

When I last posted about how my new bag ideas usually come out in the summer I had an idea brewing around in my head, ready to come out when I had some time and a little wisp of inspiration.  Well, my mother's ears must have been ringing because right after I wrote that she called me and asked for a little purse. 

Two actually.  She's getting married in August and she asked if I would make her a little something just big enough for a hairbrush and a compact. And one for my aunt, who will be her Matron of Honor.  I asked her if she wanted anything in particular or if I could come up with something.  She said "You're the purse designer, of course come up with something!" 

Flattery will get her everywhere.  This is one project for someone else I know will be appreciated (ok, two)!

All you purse knitting lovers stay tuned...a new pattern really is in the works!  And it's not the one I had brewing either :).  Stay tuned for a picture...Blogger is not cooperating this morning.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I'm in a yarn shop!

I haven't disappeared. I'm just in baseball/school's out/working part time/summer mode.  So in other words, don't expect to hear from me too much.  But on the plus side, I tend to come up with new patterns in the summer, so please don't disappear from the Backyarn!

I just wanted to make a quick post about a new yarn shop in Westport, MA called Sisters of the Wool.  Fantastic little shop with very friendly staff.  Oh, and they have a little something there you might recognize!
Find and friend them on Facebook!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cashmere for Baseball, or...adding a little style in the midst of a lot of dirt.

Little League season has started, and now both kidsters are playing.  Kidster #1 is on an instructional team, Kidster #2 is making his debut in T-ball, and of course Hubster is coaching both teams.  Today was downright cold with gray clouds tumbling in and just enough of a wind to chill you straight through.  So even though it's the end of April I cracked out the winter coat and finished casting off this cashmere cowl.  The yarn is reclaimed from a sweater that met an untimely demise.  I held two strands and knit on size 1's.

I'm not much of a cowl person for a couple of reasons.  First off, I haven't found a yarn soft enough not to be irritating after an hour or so.  And I hate having something too tight around my neck (I almost never wear turtlenecks!), plus there's the messy-hair-putting-it-on factor to deal with.  But I am happy with this one.  It is stretchy enough to avoid the hair issues, and not too loose or too tight on the neck.  The result is just right for tucking behind a coat collar and is super soft on the skin.  

Although I have to say that I won't be sad when the weather warms up enough that I have to put it away for the season!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Little socks

Sock minis?
Sock midgets?
Gee, I hope that wasn't politically incorrect or anything.

Whatever you want to call them, they are little socks.  From the Ballet School Dropout Sockettes pattern, I knit mine with a shorter heel and the regular (not cleavage) toe. 

I knit them specifically for these shoes.  I would prefer to wear them without socks, but they rub right at the inside of the ball of my foot.  So the socks are getting the job done as far a preventing blisters.

It has occurred to me that if I am going to make socks in the future, I need to stick with a solid or semi-solid color.  Trying to match up the stripes was just that, trying.  And having mismatched stripes?  My brain doesn't work that way.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Shrug it off!

My sweater woes have past. 
Spring has finally sprung (today broke 50 degrees, just barely).
And my Retro Redux Shrug is complete. 
Not perfect, but good enough!

Monday, February 28, 2011

In like a Blizzard, out like a Frog

This is how my February started. 

Full of high hopes and aspirations for some new winter wearables. I got my yarn and Knitpicks nickel plated interchangeables ready, and settled in for a long winter's knit.  (And since I don't have any other knitting pictures to show you, I thought this one would try to give a little life to this post.)

So if March comes in like a lion, how does February go out? 

Like a frog.

A frogged cardi. 
One or two button cardi's are going to accentuate my middle no matter how cute they look on the size 0 model.  And even though I plan to lose 10 pounds, I haven't lost it yet.

A frogged pullover, twice.
Even if everyone is making it, the bulky knit v-neck with the beautiful cable pattern in the center isn't all that flattering with negative ease.  Especially when I can't get gauge and have to make it one size two sizes bigger making the cable pattern, the highlight of the design, seemingly disappear.

March will be a return to the things I do best.  Small items finished in a relatively short amount of time.  I have some charity stuff to make, a cashmere (yes!) cowl to finish, and a second sock in teeny tiny sock yarn to start.  I will get some pictures up for you soon.  But for now I'm going wait for the April flowers to start blooming before I go and get all inspired again.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Faux i-cord

My newest pattern has been hibernating since June. I'm not sure why. It was fast, fun, and easy to knit. The pattern probably can fit onto one page. Which reminds me, where are my notes anyway? Darn it, see what happens when things just sit around for ever?

But one part of this new pattern has me pretty excited. For the straps I made an i-cord. But not the traditional kind that takes forever doing three or four stitches, one row at a time, or the kind that hurts your hands from trying to pull that yarn tight in the back.

Ladies, hold onto your needles. Gentlemen too, but I don't think there are any of you out there since I haven't heard from you yet! (Hint, hint.) I am about to present you with a groundbreaking knitting technique. (I checked.)

This is a faux i-cord. I'm sorry to say that it only works if it is felted, but it works like a dream and is so much easier to do!

For this particular one, I cast on about 250 stitches (you don't really need to count) and joined in the round. Keeping the stitches straight for the join is the hardest part, I promise! Then just knit away for 4 rounds or until your work naturally curls back onto itself (I was using worsted weight for this project, you may have to adjust rows depending on your yarn). Bind off.

Yes, that's it. Do not weave in yarn tails! Do not sew tube closed! Throw it in your washing machine and give it a nice strong tug when it comes out. When it's dry and you are ready to use it, cut it to the length(s) needed!

I'm starting a search party for the missing notes so I can finally get the pattern out. Soon!

I have been asked a few times about making this on straight needles.  Yes, you can! 
There are two reasons why I didn't.  First, I wanted to get as many stitches as possible on the needles and the best way (for me) to accomplish this was to use a circular needle.  And the second reason is that if you work in the round, there is no purling!  Yay!

Monday, January 31, 2011

My Mailman thinks I'm crazy

Shovelling snow once again. 

Talking to myself as usual. 

I turn around to see my mailman standing right behind me.  Now that I wasn't expecting.  He was holding my mail, a little package, and a delivery confirmation to sign.  I had almost forgotten about it, but here it was!  I ripped open the package and twirled the contents around my neck with glee.

One thing I know for sure, my mailman obviously doesn't know anyone who knits.

This lovely new addition to my wardrobe is Isobel.  Made by a Raveler who just couldn't stand the curling.  I happen to love the curling so I offered to swap her for it.  It's hard to describe the color.  Is it avocado, moss, olive, lettuce, or kiwi?  Frankly I don't care.  They are all my favorite colors!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Are you sensing a theme here?

My friend (husband's cousin's wife...yeah, easier to say friend) and I got our boys together last week.  We were getting ready to leave when she saw the bee mittens and went crazy.  If you're new to my backyard then you may not know that I made them two years ago.  They were originally made for Kidster #1 and have since been very happily inherited and now loved even more by Kidster #2. They've been shaved more times than my legs (Ha! Just kidding, I wanted to see if you were paying attention!) and the eyes have been replaced but they are a getting dressed for outside staple.
Nov 2008, Kidster #1 and his new bees

Anyway, I noticed that my friend's DD had the cutest little black coat with a gray checkered lining and little red turn back cuffs. The idea for these came to mind almost immediately.  I think she'll like them. We're getting together next week. 

Now as much as I love people fawning all over my kids' knits, I hope they don't bother me for a while.  I am trying to work on some selfish knitting. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

It could be a mitten?

iPod mitten.
Or iPod Sweater (kidster #1 giggles at this).
Or iPod Cozy for you more conventional types.

(Friday night post-beer prose deleted. Post is self explanatory, no?)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

More mittens...

This week I finished a pair of super cute mittens, if I do say so myself!
A friend asked me to make mittens for her 5 year old son, a friend and classmate of kidster #2. She wanted something that could go with his two winter coats, one blue and one brown. He asked for either Santa, reindeer, or a snowman. At first I thought about making these Cabled Snowman Mittens which I think are adorable (and will make for someone in the future!). While searching the Ravelry project pages, I came across these made by fellow raveler ironknitter and then I had my aha moment.
I am pretty proud of them and they even turned out just like I had imagined. They got thumbs up approval from both of my boys, and the look on Sam's face when he put them on was totally worth it. His mom approved too!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Retrofit knit

Do you remember these mittens from last January?

Well I liked the idea of them well enough but I didn't really wear them too often. So I retro-knit them and now they are great!

Problem #1: Mittens are not supposed to be drafty!
I picked up stitches along the bottom opening and knit about another inch. I sewed the sides of the new flap to the inside. No more drafts, and the opening is still very accessible.

Problem #2: Sock top.
The original mittens had sock type decreases. I'm sure there's some technical knitting name for it, but I don't know what that is. Anyway, I much prefer the new rounded top.

Problem #3: Try to do anything with only your fingers.
I took out the bind off of the thumbs and added about an inch, then ribbing for an inch. Because they are longer than my thumbs they are perfectly warm. But when I need my thumbs, they are super easy to scrunch down or they can be turned down like a cuff for extended periods. Now I can tie skate laces and snap coats without taking off my mittens.
Ok, I'll be honest, I really needed my thumbs for texting and playing on our new iPod!