Monday, May 28, 2007

Niddy Noddy Quiver

Isn't that a lovely phrase?

A little while ago, Matt made me a PVC niddy noddy from instructions at He says it took him 8 minutes. He is a showoff.

I wanted to make a storage case for my new toy, so I whipped up this quiver. It took considerably longer than 8 minutes, but most of that was design.

As you can see from the pictures, it turned out a tiny bit too small (I was using a scrap from the stash), but otherwise, very pleasing. And the first project to emanate from our newly outfitted sewing/guest/TV/storage room in the garage. The remodel only took 7 years to complete, so it has all our other projects beat.

An Aura of Mystique

In response to turtlegirl's comment on the Monmouth Earwarmer, I asked Matt if we could explain about the pipe wrenches, and he said, "Heavens no! Cultivate an aura of mystique." Anyway, it's inordinately pleasing to have a comment. Somehow, I wasn't expecting that.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Monmouth Earwarmer

I suppose this comes under "don't advertise your man," but here goes anyway. For my birthday a couple of weeks ago, Matt gave me this. (The knitted object, not the pipe wrench.)
Among its many perfections:
  • It is exactly his second finished object and it's beautiful.

  • It is entirely his own design, including the decorative bits.

  • He neatly solved all the engineering problems I'd been struggling with in my own attempts to design an earwarmer. Plus, it's reversible.

  • The present included a complete written pattern, with chart (created in AutoCad, which, it turns out, is not a particularly easy tool for making charts).

  • He made it entirely in secret without ever asking advice or help from me (or at least not doing it in such a way that I noticed).

  • He gave it to me, along with the remains of the skein, just as I was about to run out of yarn for my Monmouth Cap, and figured I was going to have to go buy more.

At first I thought he ought to try to get it published somewhere, but then we found a very similar object in Elizabeth Zimmerman's Opinionated Knitter. If it had to turn out to be an unvention, who better to have unvented it from? (Is that grammar?)

Details: Lamb's Pride Bulky (85% wool, 15% mohair) in M77 Blue Magic, about half of a 125-yard skein, on size 10 needles

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Monster Feet Toddler Slippers

Pattern: Monster Feet from the book Felting on the Go

Yarn: Lamb's Pride Bulky (85% wool, 15% mohair), color M68 pine tree (flash photos below are much better approximations of the color); used about half of one skein (125 yards) for the larger slipper size

Needles: US size 13

Gauge: I made a swatch, but was too eager to start knitting the slippers to bother felting the swatch. I got a pre-felted gauge of 10 stitches and 13.5 rows = 4".

Notes:The construction is very clever, but there are no diagrams in the book so you have to simply knit on faith that it's going to turn into what you want. This is made more difficult by the fact that the pattern contains errata. Here are some process photos.

Heel: Start knitting at the top and decrease to the bottom. Switch to garter stitch to make a squishier heel. The bound off part at the bottom will later be sewn in half to make the back of the heel.

Foot: Pick up stitches along your original cast on and knit the foot. The sides will later be sewn to each other to make the top seam.

Toes: First, knit the two outer toes. Note that there are 1+4+1=6 stitches left over on stitch holders. The book claims there are 2+3+2=7 stitches. You will have to fudge it.

Third toe: Bring the leftover stitches into the center and knit the third toe.

Sewing up: It is not easy to do beautifully, but all that matters is that it be secure, since you will be felting.

Felt: It took 14 minutes in our top-loader with jeans. As it turns out, I should have stopped earlier. The slippers were a little too tight for our fast-growing nearly-3-year-old friend. He loved them anyway, viewing them as excellent slide-y toys. (And how cool to have socks with toes, just like Mum has!)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Monmouth Cap

It seems fitting that the first entry should celebrate a first finished object. These two hats were made from the same pattern, same yarn, same needles. One new knitter (Matt) determined to strangle the yarn. One experienced knitter (Sharon) exploring Continental knitting for the very first time.

Needles: Addi Turbo US size 10, 20" (a bit too short) or 24" (a bit too long); size 10 dpns; it also helps to have another circular needle for the stitches from the provisional caston when you knit the hem

Yarn: Lamb's Pride Bulky (85% wool, 15% mohair) in M77 Blue Magic or M03 Gray Heather; 125 yards per skein

Looser hat takes very slightly more than one skein; tighter hat takes very slightly less; to be absolutely sure, suggest seeing how much yarn it takes to complete a stitch, and counting stitches, so you can make adjustments on the fly to make sure you'll have enough.

Pattern: This pattern for a Monmouth Cap - the brim is constructed by doing a provisional caston, knitting for a couple of inches, doing a purl ridge, knitting a couple more inches and then folding at the purl ridge and knitting the two edges together before proceeding on to the body of the cap. The picture at right shows the cap just after the brim was knitted together.

Modifications: Knitted plain until hat is 5 1/2" (rather than 5") and tossed a couple of extra rows into the decreases, too. It's just too short, otherwise. Finished when there are 8 stitches on the needle - didn't make the little I-cord Jughead detail.

Sharon's looser hat is simply enormous, and will probably need to be fulled, which, fortunately, is traditional.

Notes: Very warm. Fits well. Handsome, simple, traditional and distinctive.

Additional background material: