Category Archives: knitting

A long-awaited headboard

Word Lily knitsMixing home decor and our knitting and/or crocheting. This frequently takes the form of pillows and blankets, right? Maybe every once in a while a curtain, towel, or lamp.

I had this idea last year, while I was thinking of what I wanted to do to our bedroom, for a crocheted headboard.

Bamboo is something I’ve made for years and years now. This was really just a variation on a theme for me.

The headboard itself.

The headboard itself.

The bamboo headboard was more than a year from start to finish, but now it’s done! Done, done, DONE! I finished the crocheting in January, and then it was squarely in the hands of my handy husband. We’d discussed it along the way, and I sized each crocheted tube to fit around a PVC pipe. It’s not like I was working without thought to the installation framework. At some points I wondered if it would ever get finished.

With a bit of context.

With a bit of context.

I used a wide variety of yarn, all from my stash. Thirteen of the 28 bamboo stalks are from reclaimed sweater yarn, mostly cotton ones but not entirely. There are also stalks of silk/bamboo yarn (I thought that was appropriate), wool, wool/mohair, some wool/acrylic blends, and even a bit of novelty yarn. More details on the yarn used are available on my Ravelry project page.

The structure is PVC and a couple 2x4s, essentially. One of the 2x4s has pipe-sized holes drilled all the way through it, and another, maybe 6 inches lower, just has cups the same size for the bamboo pieces to rest in. The two 2x4s are affixed to sidebars, which we put some thin oak? veneer — something prettier than 2×4 — on the outside of. And then the whole thing is bolted to the bedframe.

A peek behind the scenes, as it were. The framework.

A peek behind the scenes, as it were. The framework.

I do not intend the stripey blanket to be used as a bedspread, this is a bit too over the top for me, but you can see it with the new wall color here, too, I guess. And it's too hot for a bedspread in the summer.

I do not intend the stripey blanket to be used as a bedspread, this is a bit too over the top for me, but you can see it with the new wall color here, too, I guess. And it’s too hot for a bedspread in the summer.

Below, you can see it in the greater context of bedroom. The citron nightstand is new, and can you see the spinning wheel lamp on said nightstand? That’s new to me, too. Now if I could only get the surfaces cleaned off …

The wide view.

The wide view.

Are you knitting or crocheting? Sewing? Remaking part of your home? I’d love to hear about it. You can see what others are up to in the fibery world today at Fiber Arts Friday.

Queen-sized stripey goodness

Word Lily knitsAfter two months of knitting, it’s finished!

What is?

That gigantic blanket of stripey randomness. The bed cover of brightness. The knitting project that would never end. Miles upon miles of stockinette. That one, yes.

The new blanket, on the bed.

The new blanket, on the bed.

Technically, it’s still not finished: The ends aren’t woven in. But it’s been in use, so I’m counting it, at least for the sake of the blog. I couldn’t stand to deal with it, to have its massive weight on my lap any longer, even in the basement. The ends will get woven in sometime, but not this month.

It’s 90-plus inches wide and 102-plus inches long. I finished the border (1 round single crochet, then 2 rounds half-double crochet) on 9 May. It’s pictured on our queen-sized bed. This blanket is 100 percent cotton, knit from recycled sweaters.

Here’s the project page on Ravelry, with a few more details. And here’s my previous post on the project.

I’m thrilled with it, seeing it makes me happy, and I like how it feels, too. The knitting got to be a bit of a slog toward the end, though. (Which always seems to happen to me. Solutions?)

Happy Friday!

Head over to Fiber Arts Fridays to see what other people are up to in the fibery world today!

WIP Wednesday: Random Stripes

Word Lily knitsI mentioned last week that I’m in the middle of another, even bigger, stripey blanket.

As hinted, here it is!

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I’m knitting this in reclaimed cotton yarn, picking the colors as I go. It’s about 90 inches wide and will, when it’s finished, be 100+ inches long. It will work nicely on our queen-size bed. I’m just over 57 inches into it, as of today, one month into the knitting.

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Here’s my Ravelry project page. As you can see below, I worked one garter ridge, just to change things up. The reference to Southwest’s colors there was unintentional.

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No idea when I’ll finish this; it’s quite weather dependent. If it warms up too much to have a large blanket on my lap, I’ll be forced to put it aside until the weather starts cooling off again in the fall. (It’s supposed to be 81° today, but then cool off again for the weekend.)

See what others are working on at Tami’s Amis linkup today.

Friday blankets

Word Lily knitsOne of the first things I cast on for in 2013 was a big striped blanket.

That blanket makes me happy, and it’s seen plenty of use already. So maybe that’s why it’s blankets galore so far in 2014.

The first one [Forgive me as I play catch-up, please!] I technically cast on for on 31 December, but I’m still counting it here.

Undercover blanket

Pattern: Undercover by Beata Jezek
Yarn: I alternated between crazy-old skeins of Brown Sheep Nature Spun (single ply, but without the mohair content, 169 yards per skein) and Brown Sheep Top of the Lamb (seems to be same as the current Lamb’s Pride, 190 yards per skein, except 100 percent wool, without mohair, again). 10 skeins, natural/undyed
Size: Blocked to 65 inches square.
More details on my Ravelry project page.

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This one is a throw for the house. To be available on the couch, like so. I kinda wish it was bigger, but working in the round has a ton of stitches on the needles to reach this size, and I didn’t have any more yarn anyway, so there it is. I’m pretty much a sucker for leaf motifs.

I also knit two baby blankets, as gifts, in January and February.

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Pattern: Groovy Little Baby Blanket by Meera Kothari Cho
Yarn: Cotton yarn of various colors, all reclaimed from old sweaters.
Size(s): The blue one is approximately 36″ by 38″ (although I didn’t exactly remember to measure after washing and before gifting, oops). The pink one ended up 32″ wide by 36″ tall.
More details on my project pages.

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This pattern is a riff on a baby sweater pattern, Tulips, by Lindsay Pekny, made famous by the Yarn Harlot.

I played with the size in all of these, but the biggest modification I made was to the baby blankets. No matter how I figured it, I couldn’t make sense of the number of stitches the pattern said to pick up for the edges. It didn’t translate to any standard stitch-picking-up ratios that I’m aware of, and the number was small enough I was pretty sure it would make the blanket cup instead of being able to lie flat. So I picked up a more normal number of stitches, on both of the baby blankets. The distinctive seed stitch color-change row is quite nice.

I’m also in the middle of a gigantic queen-sized stripey blanket, since finishing all of these. It’s taking quite a bit longer, logically. Maybe I’ll show that one to you next week?

Head over to FO Fridays and Fiber Arts Fridays to see what other people are up to in the fibery world today!

Stripey stripey blanket

Word Lily knitsHappy Friday! I’m posting about a blanket, and it’s ridiculously hot outside, but maybe this can remind us of cooler weather? At long last, I finished the striped blanket I was working on (blogged earlier).

blanket on bed without flash

It’s pictured here on our queen-sized bed, but it’s intended eventual use will be for A’s [twin] bed, once he’s out of the crib. It will be more bedspread sized. I think I was working a bit ahead of the need. :p This blanket has already seen use, both on the guest bed and for curling up on the couch. (I finished the knitting *and* the crocheted border in February — so less than two months of actual stitching — but it took me until June 5 to get around to weaving in all the ends. So it was mostly finished while there was still need for blankets, at least occasionally.)

Since it’s all in stockinette, it curls some, but putting it on a bed, combined with its own weight (cotton is soft, but it isn’t the lightest fiber around), counteracts that to a large degree. I knew the curling would happen, but I really wanted this blanket to be stockinette. The curling will be not that much of a problem — it will still function just fine for my purposes.

I’m really, really happy with it.

Here’s my Ravelry project page.

Yarn: I used all cotton yarn for this blanket, all reclaimed (unraveled) from old sweaters.

with flash

with flash

As an aside, these photos also give you one view of our bedroom, the one I’m working on decorating (starting with crocheting a headboard). Clearly it’s nothing special now; I’m excited for what it will become, though. Please pay no attention to all the messy surfaces; I clearly didn’t stage the space for this photo!

Photobombed by A.

Photobombed by A.

I just had to include this photo, too. Hm, maybe the tot helps provide scale?

Head over to FO Fridays and Fiber Arts Fridays to see what other people are up to in the fibery world today!

More socks

Word Lily knitsIt seems my default knitting, at least these days, is socks. And while the knitting itself might not be completely thrilling in the moment, I end up with hand-knit socks, which is a definite yay!

I think I finally realized that the reason I probably sound so ho-hum about so many projects lately is just that I haven’t really had any challenging (other than perhaps challenging my endurance) projects in over a year now, since before A was born. I’ve had a couple that weren’t the simplest, but they were hats. Small projects that, even with setbacks, didn’t really count as challenging because they were so short-lived. Maybe if there were more of them, they’d add up to … challenging (apparently I need a thesaurus today), but since there were really just one or two, they didn’t count.

I’m ready to get back to some projects that tease the mind, that engage my brain! And I think I know at least one thing I’m going to do to accomplish that. But first, here are those socks.

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These Blue Latte socks (as I call them) were begun in desperation. We were on a road trip, and in my restraint I’d only packed yarn and needles to cast on for a pair of simple socks. But the yarn and needles, in combination, were disastrous. This yarn, which I’ve now attempted half a dozen pattern and stitch count combinations with, pools in a way that drives me completely bonkers. I can’t stand it. No idea what I’m going to do with it. But that’s a story for a different day. So anyway, after being stuck most of the way to our destination without knitting, after attempting everything I could with what I had for that aggravating yarn, I went straightaway to buy more cooperative sock yarn once we’d reached our destination. But this yarn seemed like it needed a pattern, not just plain, so I cast on for the pattern I’d most recently completed, since I’d retained it in my head well enough to get going.

So that’s how I ended up making these socks — using a pattern I’d already made, which is quite rare for me. They’re good socks. But let me tell you, fourth sock syndrome makes second sock syndrome look like a weenie.

Pattern: Vanilla Latte Socks A good, simple, pattern, but I’m not likely to make again, at least not any time soon.
Yarn: Patons Kroy Socks FX in cadet colors
Notes: 64 stitches, star toe; photos are pre-blocking


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These are just basic socks, but they’re still fun, I think. I didn’t think attempting a pattern with this bold a yarn would be smart, or worth my time. Mostly stripes, but with a few waves/scallops thrown in. Vibrant and fun!

Pattern: Um, just a basic sock. I calculated for the stitch counts, but this is in my head.
Yarn: Regia Design Line Kaffe Fassett in exotic ember
Notes: I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of stripes.

What have you been working on lately?

Head over to FO Fridays and Fiber Arts Fridays to see what other people are up to in the fibery world today!

Fiber Arts Party debrief

Word Lily knitsWord Lily spinsSo, I had this party. I had the idea for a fiber arts party for my birthday this year, but I wanted all these people to come. And with a February birthday, I didn’t think asking people to drive and drive was a good idea. They’d end up not able to come — or stuck — and I’d end up disappointed. Instead of throwing away my plans, we just decided to move it to a time of year that usually has better, more drivable weather.

The party finally happened last weekend.

Not everyone I wanted to attend was able to make it, but we still had a really good time (as far as I can tell; I said afterward that I wasn’t able to step back and get a good perspective on everyone’s experience or the party as a whole because I was running around the entire time). Since I never took a step back from the action, though — and because the decorations didn’t really finish going up until after the party started — I don’t have good photos of all the things we did. Living in the moment, friends!

The set up /slash/ overview

I invited friends and family from near and far. All the moms were allowed to bring their children (After all, I’d have A with me!). I figured there were a few activities the older kids could do, and we’d bring toys to hopefully keep the littler ones occupied.

We had several stations with different activities. The pompom-making station was in use nearly all day. (The party went from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

I demonstrated wet felting, and quite a few people took a turn or two at the towels positioned in front of containers of hot and cold water.

A few of the girls were brave enough to attempt spinning on a drop spindle after my demonstration. My wheel got at least a small workout, but only from me.

One person learned to knit, a few others tried their hands at crochet for the first time.

We ate lunch and later had cake.

My fabulous husband made a set of giant knitting needles out of larger-than-a-broomstick dowels, and there was some rope on hand to knit with them. He also made the cake — chocolate with a peanut butter cookie layer in the middle, graced by peanut butter cream cheese frosting. It was yummy and pretty.

The decorations

Way back in January, when I started thinking of this party, I started pinning decoration ideas. Partly I was browsing for ideas, but a few of them came to me and then I found a pin to represent that.

We made a chandelier, except upon installation it changed to more of a waterfall.

chandelier, from below

The yarn … bubbles? hang from the 12-foot ceiling.

This was super messy to make. And practically required two people. You might want to wear and apron. And remove your rings. Also, we made up about 15 balloons, and we used a full two bottles of glue. So be prepared. It took awhile to get a system worked out for how to get the yarn through the paste and then out without it getting all knotted. And the instructions didn’t mention any starting points for how much yarn to use per balloon. I ended up with a range from 12 to 25 yards, I think. (And: yarn weight matters. Fingering weight yarn takes more yardage to give a similar visual coverage that can be achieved with fewer yards of a heavier yarn. It sounds like common sense, but it wasn’t included in the directions.) The first few balloons we made, we had cut too short of a yarn length.

We worked in a variety of shades of white, including creams and off-whites and winter whites and even a taupe or two. I thought the more subdued color palette would work, since the space where we hung it has bright walls.

I made pompoms, anchored them to chopsticks and stuck them in vases.

Pompom flowers of various sizes.

Pompom flowers of various sizes.

DSC_0048There are tons of pompom tutorials out there, but all the ones that used the poms as flowers seemed to require hot gluing the pom to the stem. I wanted to use our gigantic supply of plastic chopsticks, and I didn’t want to use glue, since I figured this was a more temporary installation than the chandelier/waterfall.

Instead, I left the strings I’d used to tie the pompoms long. I inserted the tip of a chopstick (thought about using bamboo skewers, too, which might have worked better on the smaller pompoms) into the center of a pom and used the long ends to firmly criss-cross down the stem a ways and ended with a knot. I just left the yarn ends, as a nod to leaves.

Also, I used little balls of yarn I had around in the bottoms of the vases to help situate the stems and give them a bit more height (the vases were taller than my stems, oops). And hey, more color!

I hung garlands of shawls on two walls.

Sarah knits plus garland of shawls

My sister learned to knit! Also, this is the best photo I have of the garlands of shawls. We were apparently having too much fun to remember to take photos.

I saw this photo of shawls on a clothesline, blowing in the breeze, in an online magazine. They were using it to showcase/introduce a knitting pattern. I thought it would be fun to replicate it with shawls I’ve made as decorations for the party. We ended up with two lines, on opposite walls, filled with shawls of all shapes, sizes and colors. (I like knitting shawls.)

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We hung a photo poster in a frame, kind of.

This one did double duty: We had the photo up at A’s birthday party (since it’s a photo of him, after all), and then we hung it for this party, on a wall large enough to accomodate the giant frame, too. It didn’t seem like too much of a stretch. :) (For reference: The photo is 16×20.)

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Conclusions?

I had a blast, despite the running around like crazy. (I knit and entire half a round on the sock project I brought with me.) We made a knitter and introduced a few people to crochet. Some current knitters hopefully gained some confidence in their abilities.

If you’re counting for #PinItDoIt, that’s four pins completed (in addition to the two from A’s party and the cookie one from my sign-up post, so, seven total).

There was talk of doing this again, maybe even regularly. Sounds like a good idea to me!

Fiber Arts Friday: Catching up

Word Lily knitsSince I’ve spent the last feels-like-a-very-long while not blogging, I have some catching up to do. Although not all that much, because I wasn’t knitting hardly at all for most of that time.

But! Socks!

I made these quite awhile ago now, but I’m still smitten.

Silk Garden Socks

• Started and finished in December.
• Pattern: So Simple Silk Garden by Glenna C.
• Yarn: Noro Silk Garden Sock — apparently I didn’t jot down the colorway number.
• I worked the cables without a cable needle!
• (More details here.)
• I love Noro yarns. The long color changes, the single, everything. It reminds me of handspun, at least in some ways.

And these were made even longer ago, but I think I might love them more.

Hermione's Everyday Socks

• Started and finished in November.
• Pattern: Hermione’s Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder
• Yarn: Patons Kroy Socks FX in Camelot Colors
• (More details here.)
• Yay, purple!
• I loved how not-just-a-plain-stockinette-sock this was, while still being very simple and straightforward. I will (and have) sought out more patterns like it.

Do you wear colorful socks?

Head over to FO Fridays and Fiber Arts Fridays to see what other people are up to in the fibery world today!