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February 28, 2007

basic beastie bunny

Beastie Love

Knit with No. 4 Addis in stockinet in the round using the magic loop technique, using 100% alpaca by Blue Sky in cream (color 000). The arms are 2x2 ribbing, knit flat, 40 sts for 4.5 inches, seamed with mattress stitch and then turned inside out. The bunny was knit in the round making crazy alterations along the way...and I've lost the papers with all my calculations and adjustments, urgh. I'll have to start the next one by dissecting this one and of course I'll write down the whole process in this blog so I'll never have this "I lost my homework" frustration again. This finished beastie is 17" tall, 7" at widest point across the face and legs, each leg is 3.5", ears 2.5" all increases and decreases run in parallel down the side seams. It turned out quite a bit larger than I expected and the arms need to be smaller in the next version. I'll either go down a needle size or recalculate, ok maybe I'll do both? I think I'll switch approach too and knit from the bottom up rather than the top down since I'm not that happy with the picked up stitches seam where the ears begin. And I'll need to be adding in color so the beastie is more charming and fun. Thinking striped shorts or a circle of color for the face background would be sweet. I was so focused on writing a pattern and figuring out all the "how to" details I couldn't manage color changes or instarsia, will try for next time.


Stroller Beastie

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moving hands

Movinghands Quilt

A lovely quilt, an inspiring photostream, and lots of Japanese crafts to admire by moving hands.

Kimono Pink

Gorgeous fabric designed by Naomi Ito also found via moving hands site, ah the water color image is so delectably delicate. So much pretty pretty eye candy to devour yum, I've really got to get myself to Japan.

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February 26, 2007

designing a sweater II

Sweater Back-1

calculating the back panel of a sweater that's designed to fit my measurements (on sketch diagram stitches are circled, inches are not)

Notes to self:

Test gauge in multiple places: this Malabrigo swatch ranged from 4 to 3.75 inches across 20 stitches.
20 / 3.75 = 5.33 or 20 / 4 = 5 average the stitch change 5.33 + 5 = 10.33 / 2 = 5.165
Gauge = 5.165

Row Gauge = 7.5 rows per 1"

(measured 15 rows over 2") round down from 7.5 to 7
Bust = gauge 5.165 x 19 (half 36" plus 2" ease) = 98.135 (round down) 98 sts plus 2sts (selvedge, add 1 knit stitch on all edges for seaming) = 100 sts

[ I ] Bust = 100 sts
Waist = gauge 5.165 x 16 (half 31" =15.5 round down + 1" ease) = 82.64 round up and get to an even number = 84 sts plus 2 sts selvedge = 86

[ K ] Waist = 86 sts
To figure out the needed decreases calculate the difference between the bust 100 - waist 86 = 14 sts / half = 7 times, must decrease in pairs (2) = 14 sts. * need to calculate where to put decreases across 5" bottom to waist & 10" waist to bottom of armhole. Options: every 2 rows or every 4 on the right side of fabric. Or create a flat waist area and push decreases closer together away from true center?

[ D ] Back/Chest = 80 sts across back from beginning of armhole
5.165 x 15 [D] = 77.47 (round up) 78 + 2 = 80 sts
bind off over 2 rows (since you can only bind off at the beginning of a row) 5 sts on each side, decrease the extra 10 sts immediately over every other row on the right side (public) of the fabric

[ G ] minus 1" = 8"
knit for 8" then start decrease bind offs for sloping shoulder quickly over the last 1" (7 rows) 25 sts divided by 7 rows = 3.5

[ E] neck opening = 30 sts
[ F ] shoulders = 25 sts

[ E ] neck opening = 6" x 5.165 = 30 sts, subtract 30 sts from 80 = 50 divide in half = 25 sts
to check for correct calculation, divide 25 sts by gauge 5.165 = 4.84 round down [ F] = 4.5 a match!
bind off center neck 1" from end/shoulder (56 rows) in 2 stages/steps, bind off 14 sts in the center, then 8 each of the next rows (add new/2nd skein of yarn on one side)

test gauge for hem: folded over stockinet, use thread tack down fabric - thinking 1"? Undecided and too tired to continue.

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February 24, 2007

this was then

Embroidery Kids
Embroidery Kids1

Sharing the link to my favorite ebay seller, Meukin Co. I love her collection of Japanese craft and pattern books, especially the zakka and embroidery books. She also sells sweet vintage ribbon and retro fabrics.

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February 23, 2007

SP10 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I love natural fibers, wool, merino & alpaca are favs, I'm interested in working with bamboo. I also like silk & mohair. I'm not too fond of novelty, fluffy, rayon or synthetic yarns but I try not to rule anything out as it all depends on the project
favorite yarns: rowan, blue sky, brown sheep, debbie bliss, manos del uruguay, malabrigo, bouton d’or

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
a gorgeous clutch by offhand designs

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
Hmmmm not sure how long, I have a bad memory for time. I'm always saying last week when it was really a few months ago. I just embarrassed myself with an across the street neighbor when I said "so how long ago did you move in, six months?" He answered "uh, two years." See how I am! Anyway, I think I started about four years ago and I'm an intermediate.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
yes, I do right here, with lots of knitting books and other stuffs for my little man.

5. What's your favorite scent?
ylang ylang and verbena

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
sure do. milk Chocolate, licorice, cookies

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I love Japanese crafts and patterns, embroidery, photography, art, design, illustration. no I don't spin but I love handspun yarns

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I can play MP3s and like happy house, reggae, disco, old 70s, & 80s stuff, I think I'm all over the map really, just not so much into country or screeching operatic sopranos. I like world music a lot.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I love orange the deep orange reds and pumpkin shades, though I don't think it looks good next to my pale face so I rarely wear it. I like most colors, but tend to stay away from yellow and beiges.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I'm married (ten years last month), we have one son 2 years old named Max, and two black cats Madeline & Miro

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
yes, yes, yes, no

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
toys, scarves, sweaters, hats

13. What are you knitting right now?
robot, child's scarf and shawl collar sweater

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
of course

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
circular metal (love magic loop technique) & bamboo/wood

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
no, I'd love either but they are quite pricey

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
two years, I'm on the cusp of frogging it

18. What is your favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving to celebrate the love of food and family, Easter for the pained eggs, bunnies and chocolates

19. Is there anything that you collect?
art & design books, letterpress cards

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
Jo Sharp's Knit 1 book, I don't have any knit mag subscriptions

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
of course there's a lot I'd like to learn, but I'm too busy with life's matters to tackle anything really complicated. I like my knitting to be a little challenging but mostly relaxing

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
not yet, I've got big feet but I'm also tall so it's not too freaky

23. When is your birthday?
August 7

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February 21, 2007

sewn stuffies




Whie clicking around the www I came across a blog titled stitch marker with wonderful knits and other goodies that feel similar to the things I love. She had a fun posting on recycled sweater things to admire. I clicked through and found a little gold mine of cute stuffs including these sweetly sewn toys by scrappy nation. Her flicker set is a treature trove of inspiration. Her shapes are smiliar to my beastie and the pockets are the same as my other animal sketches. Well it just proves to me that there are no new ideas, just great new executions.




read past plushie posting

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February 20, 2007

string shopping

I had fun spending gift certificate money (thank you Lulu!) at Fabulous Yarn last night. I had a little difficulty with their shopping cart (it made me spend a little more than my certificate amount in order to work) but I was pleasantly surprised that they are live and responsive on instant messenger, so I had the ultimate customer service experience.




I couldn't help myself, I bought a bunch of hanks of my new favorite yarn Malabrigo in verdes and citrus colors. Malabrigo, located in Uruguay, works with a local woman's cooperative to create wonderfully organic looking, funky and beautiful yarns — their merino wool is super soft and the colors are deeply delicious. I figure I can either make another sweater like the one I am embarking on designing myself or I can whip up some gift items (I'm really only justifying growing my stash).


I also picked up some suri alpaca yarn in a rose color that was on sale and I'm thinking that this felted cabled clutch bag I found while perusing Spun Magazine would be the perfect project.

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February 15, 2007

malabrigo merino

Malabrigo Polar1
Polar Morn
I've swatched by new love, polar morn by Malabrigo — 5 sts and 7.25 rows per inch on No. 8 needles. Next I'll have a bunch of math to do to figure out how to design a sweater to fit me, and then figure out how to create the shawl collar I'm envisioning. Not being a math lover I've got my work cut for me, check and recheck eh?

Sweater Swatch

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February 12, 2007

designing a sweater I

I often use my blog as a way of remembering, so below you have me learning to design my own sweater. I hope you won't be too annoyed but I'm marking all my measurements (talk about getting to know me!) so I can just refer to the site rather than search for the paper or pad I usually write on — I've lost so many scraps with pattern and measurement notations!


A] 6.75" — circumference of cuff
B] 20.5" — armpit to cuff
C] 10.5" — bicep
D] 15" — shoulder bone/seam to shoulder bone
E] 6" (7.5) — width of neck opening
F] 4.5" — shoulder width, opening to end of shoulder
G] 9" — armhole depth, shoulder to underarm
H] 15" — armhole to bottom
I] 18" — 1/2 bust circumference
J] 18" — 1/2 bottom circumference
K] 15.5" — 1/2 waist circumference
L] 10" — underarm to waist

yarn standards, see the pdf download, how to measure diagram and fit/ease chart (standard fit add 2-4")

swatch fabric, CO 32, first 4 sts in garter, next 24 in stockinet, last 4 in garter, knit large enough swatch to get a feel for the fabric you are making. Be sure to swatch each different pattern you'll be using such as ribbing, seed etc. Measure gauge to two decimal points eg 4.75 per 1".
Yarn requirements says for a 4" - 5" stockinet gauge and a 36" bust I need approx 1,018 - 1,285 yards, good thing I bought 1,512?!

links to explore
Knitting Fool
knitting help
Knitty - knit by numbers article
custom fit raglan

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Yarn Plushie

I just bought this book of remixed plushies Neighbourhood. Each stuffie was started from a blank canvas, created by one then passed on three times and redesigned by each artist who got it. Some did radical remakes, others made just a few tweaks but seeing the progress of the whole process is very very fun. Some are quite brilliant and really give you a glimpse into the artist's mind. The site has a great list of participants links to explore.

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February 11, 2007

maxine sutton

Maxine Sutton
Maxine Sutton2

I aspire! I'm adoring these artistically embroidered textiles with an eco-friendly approach by british designer Maxine Sutton. Read more about her at design turf and at design sponge. Anthropologie is selling a reproduction (photo above top), Inhabit features her pillows and so does this eco-blog fabulously green.

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February 8, 2007

stitched drawings

Stitched Birdie
Stitched Woman
Stitched Flower
I'm loving my new subscription to Selvedge (thank you MonMon)! It's filled with inspiring images and full of wonderful textile resources. I'm most taken by the stitched illustrations by Claire Coles. I'm loving her work it's beautifully layered, intimately feminine, and you can see all the handwork so you know how much work went into each piece. Loverly!

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February 7, 2007

nourish one another


I'm absolutely loving this advertising campaign for Project Open Hand. Seeing these everyday in the BART station is a breath of fresh air. The integration of the photograph and illustration are done beautifully. The palette and drawing techniques are a wonderful stylistic match with the content. I truly feel uplifted by these radiant portraits and visually well fed by the delicious drawings.

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February 5, 2007

secret revealed

I've been seriously spoiled by my secret pal, many many thank yous! You are so good at giving, very generous and thoughtful. I love love love it all. The box Max and I opened tonight was divine. It was filled with yummy yarns in my favorite color and a beautiful hank of ribbon that I can't wait to wear; delicious chocolate covered strawberries and orange dark chocolate; chestnut and brown sugar luxury soap and lavender fine washable laundry concentrate (keep those knits nice); an utterly adorable teeny tiny "ich habe schwein gehabt" lucky pig (it's the lunar year of the Golden Pig too!); and a wonderfully humorous and inspiring knitting book Mason-Dixon Knitting. I read some super funny excerpts and perused the projects. I can't wait to dive in, especially the thin/thick open patterns scarves and the wacky pillow cover pattern (both below). I love the sidebar "must knit tv" it describes a scenario that hits home for me, "Kay has sat through The Hunt for Red October enough times to knit several ponchos, but still has no clue what it is about or why the captain of the Soviet nuclear submarine has a Scottish burr." Kay and I have a simultaneous reality happening in our living rooms.

Max Opening
Emily Chocolates
Giotto Ribbon
Yummy Yarns
Lucky Pig
Mason Dixon
Thick Thin
Pillow Cover

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February 3, 2007

gum chewer

Gum Chewer
Candy Store

On Main Street in Busy Town there's a candy store with a gum ball machine. Every night Max tells me he wants to go there, put the money in the slot, turn the knob and chew the gum. So how could I deny him the experience when we saw a candy store with a gum ball machine that looked just like the one in Busy Town? He did a pretty good job of chewing for about three minutes before he swallowed it.

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February 1, 2007

kit + lili


Christmas credits...I've got them all over town. So yesterday I tried to spend some at Anthropologie the darling retro la la la frenchy but also terribly over priced mega boutique. Critique aside I couldn't find a thing to buy, whoas me. I did happen to see a sweet little stripey elephant who seemed to be made with a super soft micro fiber (but turns out it was polyester!) and lightly stuffed so that he was perfectly squishy and cuddly. The little cutie could almost fit in my hand so I was shocked to see they wanted $32? of course I passed on the purchase but thought I'd snap a picture to remember him. Made by kit + lili. Now that I'm cruising through Anthropologies stuffie selections I also see an super cute love bunny and another stripey toy sibling named zeebo zebra, too cute.