Koolsheep’s knit blog


Knitting on 15′s ain’t bad either!

Filed under: General — Karen @ 8:53 pm

I finally decided Nan had just turned out way too big. So I bit the bullet, frogged the entire thing and re-knit it. It only took 5 days! It really is fun knitting with these gigantic needles :)

So, here are pics of the new, improved Nan:

Much, much better! I’ve been wearing this quite a bit. Only thing is, the yarn sheds a bit, so it’s not great for wearing over dark colors, but other than that, it’s perfect!


Knitting on 17′s is kinda fun

Filed under: General — Karen @ 8:23 pm

So, I’ve discovered Kim Hargreaves. I now own two of her pattern books and will probably buy her Spring collection which I hear will be published this month. I love her patterns — very polished, easy to follow, love the styling. The first one I tried was Nan, which is knit using Rowan Big Wool and on 17′s (I had to order these from the Denise site because my kit only goes up to 15. Having finished it, though, I kinda wish I had knit it on 15′s ’cause it’s a bit too big).

This was a great pattern — easy, fun, quick, and resulted in a great piece of clothing. Like I said, it came out a smidge big, probably 10% big all around and I actually ran out of yarn and had to short-change the collar a bit. I seriously considered frogging and re-knitting, since it is such a fast knit, especially when I first sewed the buttons on and the collar gaped around my neck. But I re-sewed them in a slightly different place and wear the collar this way, which has the bonus of keeping my neck warm.

Anyway, I have a few more weeks to wear it while the weather is cool and look forward to breaking it out in the fall. Cheers :)


Lotsa little things…

Filed under: General — Karen @ 12:26 pm

So I did some knitting for the holidays, which is why I couldn’t post pics and stuff here. Didn’t want anyone to get a sneak preview of their gifts :)

First off, for quite a few of the women in the family, I did cotton washcloths in a basket of handmade soaps. I’ve had a soap obsession lately, so it spilled over into the Xmas gifts. Here’s a sample of how they looked — unfortunately for you, you don’t get to get a sense for how they smelled (lovely).

Next, came three pairs of Fetching (one for me, one for each of my sisters). I never realized how much warmer I’d be if my wrists were kept warm. This is a great, easy, fun, quick and useful pattern. Highly recommended!

Third, a pair of Baby Bobbi bears that didn’t get done in time for the holidays, but weren’t really a surprise anyway. The kiddos have been anxiously awaiting these. They came out a lot bigger than I expected! If these are the Baby Bobbis, I can’t imagine how big the regular ones are:

Finally, I finished the Classic Guy’s sweater from Knit Cafe. Recall I was using a DK weight yarn, but doubled up. The sweater came out a tad short on Todd (he’s 6’4″, so that shouldn’t have been a huge surprise), and I didn’t really like the rolled edge on the bottom, so I picked up stitches around the hem and added a 2×2 ribbing. It fits him much better now:

And one other little thing: the Chanel-like cardigan has never gotten the amount of wear that it could, mostly because having that front edge rolling in really irritated me. It was really detracting from the polished appearance of it. So I finally had a brainwave (replacing my earlier solution — ripping out the crab stitch and attempting to pick the stitches up in a manner which didn’t cause a roll): sew a piece of ribbon on the inside to stiffen the fabric up and force it to lay straight. Guess what? It worked beautifully. I also considered adding a zipper originally and I might still do that, but for now, the edges are straight and I will wear this more often (and it’s so soft and warm — perfect for this chilly weather). The first picture shows how it used to lay, the remaining are the ‘after’ pics.


Starfish shawl is done!

Filed under: General — Karen @ 11:16 pm

Whew! That was a *ton* of knitting. But you know what? It was nice, peaceful, stress-free knitting. Knitting without having to refer to a pattern. I’m a multi-tasker knitter — I’m either watching a movie, or having a conversation, or listening to an audiobook, so it’s a real drag to have to refer to a pattern while I’m working. This was a nice, round and round, same thing over and over again pattern that still managed to result in something interesting and beautiful, and not just a plain, stockinette tube (which is probably what I would end up knitting, if I didn’t have nice patterns like this to follow).

Oh, so some pics:

You may notice that the quality of my photography has improved. That’s because of my little photographer, who even helped me find some poses that look better than just standing there (supermodel I am not) For example, here are my lame-o poses before Julia suggested I put my hands on my hips and thrust my chest out a bit (“here!”, she demonstrated, throwing herself into a runway pose. She’s a natural – I swear, as far as I know, she doesn’t know modeling is a career yet).

As I ran in the house to grab something to keep the shawl closed, she took a few self-portraits:

She is obviously much more photogenic than her mommy!

I took the shawl to work today and it was perfect for keeping the chill off from our over-air-conditioned office. And I love this yarn! It’s nice, smooth, with a nice drape, and also warm and cozy. I am almost convinced I need to knit another one of these in a different color. Of course, that’s another 3-4 months of knitting…

I had to re-order yarn twice because I’m a dingbat, and although I have a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, I like to ‘estimate’ when I’m knitting (hah! That means guess horribly wrong) and not actually calculate out the correct yardage. I think I’m significantly over what the pattern calls for… (1500 yd. vs. 1050) so I guess even if I had bothered to do the math, I would have had to re-order anyways. I almost had to re-order a third time, but managed to finish up with about 3 yards of yarn left (that’s cutting it kind of close, eh?)

Oh, and one other thing — you’ll notice I skipped the armholes. Most ravelers have commented that they make the shawl unwearable and I figured 1) I’d rather just knit in a circle and not go back-and-forth; and 2) when I’m cold enough to want a shawl, I’m cold enough to want it to cover my arms.

So there you go. Here’s the Ravelry link: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/koolsheep/starfish-shawl

Catch y’all next time :)


Little break and next big project

Filed under: General — Karen @ 8:59 pm

So I took a nice little break and knitted up a pair of Cable Footies from One Skein:

They were so much fun! And I love the finished result. I used Elann superwash so they can be thrown in with our regular laundry, and I took heed of the book’s advice that I might want a pair in all my favorite colors, so I have yarn in dark purple and moss green to knit at my leisure. Maybe I’ll get generous and knit some as gifts? Hmmm… we’ll see.

I started these on aluminum dpn’s because I’d lost one of my bamboos. Let me just say, if you think you don’t like knitting with dpn’s but have only every tried metal ones, you have not given them a fair shot. I almost had myself convinced I don’t like dpn’s. Until I found my lost bamboo in the couch cushions and continued the project on those. It was *so* much nicer. And then it was a pleasure to knit these little guys.

And then, my current project… I had a lot of misgivings about this one. I really wanted to shy away from big projects after the Chanel cardigan. But the Starfish Shawl from Norah Gaughan’s Knitting Nature was calling to me. I really do need something to keep me warm in my over air-conditioned office. And this seemed like a nice, simple knit with a beautiful result. But, well, the cast-on is 730 stitches. Yeah. that’s kind of a lot. Doesn’t sound like a small project. But, despite this hesitation, I ordered the yarn (yummy Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK). And then, despite the misgivings, I cast-on the 73o stitches (it wasn’t that bad at all, actually. I placed stitch markers every 50 stitches and it wasn’t that hard to keep count). And then I started knitting. And you know what? This shawl is just a pleasure to knit (if you try it, don’t forget to check the errata). I find it very soothing — between the repetitiveness, the lack of worry about whether it will fit, and the wonderful yarn, I am in heaven when I’m working on it.

And, since I’m a complete and utter nerd, I did the geometry and algebra to figure out how far in I would need to be in order to be 25%, 50% and 75% done. According to my calculations, once I’m 3″ in from the cast on edge, I’ll be a quarter of the way done. Six inches will be the halfway point, and 10″ will be the 3/4 point. From the edge to the center (measuring from a flat side, not a point) should be about 19 and a half inches. I’m debating on whether or not to do the armholes. From what I’ve read, they’re placed in such a way as to make the shawl unwearable. Plus, it would mean I’d have to go back and forth, with two balls of yarn hanging off the thing for a while rather than just round and round and round… We’ll see when I get there. I’ve got a ways to go before I need to make that decision. I’ll post some pics when I get further in…

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