Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 In Review

It appears that it was a rather prolific year of crafting here at chez DPUTiger. The mosaic maker can only accept 36 photos for the mosaic, and I was just under the wire with 35 finished project posts!

There are two additional projects that have been sent out for some level of finishing. You’ll see those again in 2010. Meanwhile, I was able to sew more in 2009, which is a good thing and something I hope to continue into 2010.

The final tally includes four scarfs (Noro Scarf II, Bright Stripes, JC’s Moebius, Stealth/NU Scarf), nine pairs of adult socks (Leyburns, Cloning Anemone, Holidazed, SB09, Smurf Killers, Erin’s Socks, Calvin & Ripple, Christmas Class, Holiday Holidazed), three pairs of hand coverings (Knucks, Postwar Mittens, Lychee Mittens), five quilts (Picnic Plaid, Pineapple, Baby Bargello, Pumpkinstein, Quilt for Tiffany), three bags (Bagstoppers 1, 2 and 3), five adult sweaters (Cabled Vest, Yin-Yang, Mondo Vest, Side-to-Side, Big Thaw), four baby items (Ellie’s Eco Tulip, Nephew Tulip, Baby Bobbi Bears), two Christmas Stockings, one cowl (Christmas in the Country) and a Hippopotamus.


1. Noro Scarf II, 2. Leyburn Socks, 3. Knucks, 4. Cloning Anemone Socks, 5. Holidazed Socks, 6. Cabled Vest, 7. Postwar Mittens, 8. Softball Socks 2009, 9. Picnic Plaid quilt, 10. PPPPineapple Quilt, 11. Everlasting Bagstopper, 12. Bagstopper #2, 13. Yin-Yang Bolero, 14. Baby Bargello Quilt, 15. Ellie’s Eco Tulip, 16. Nephew Tulip, 17. Smurf Killer Socks, 18. Erin’s Socks, 19. Mondo Cable Vest, 20. Bright Stripes Scarf, 21. Side-to-Side Vest, 22. JC’s Moebius, 23. Calvin & Ripple Socks, 24. Christmas Class Socks, 25. Pumpkinstein, 26. Bagstopper #3, 27. Baby Quilt for Tiffany, 28. Big Thaw, 29. Baby Bobbi Bears, 30. Lychee Mittens, 31. Christmas Stockings, 32. A Hippopotamus for Christmas, 33. Holiday Holidazed, 34. Stealth/NU Scarf, 35. Christmas in the Country Cowl

Links go to the finished object blog posts for that particular project. Thanks for playing along here at Have Projects, Will Travel and we will look to continue with more of the same in 2010! (Minus the Craptastic Summer of Suck ™ I hope. I admit to being happy that 2009 is just about in the rear-view mirror.)

I've been participating in a Ravelry STASH KAL since Labor Day, and I've used 40 skeins and 7,180 yards of stash yarn in finished projects. The KAL is re-setting on January 15. I don't plan any additional yarn purchases between now and the start of the KAL and my weakness seems to be sales (hi, Mom!). If I can stay away from sales, then a tiny bit of club yarn should be all that enters the house between now and the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival. Here's hoping I can stick to that plan!

Happy New Year everyone! Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2010 and thanks for reading my blog!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas in the Country

I was mentally planning out blog posts for the remainder of the week when I realized that Thursday (tomorrow) is New Year’s Eve. And that I wanted to do a 2009 Finished Objects post for NYE. But there’s one problem with that. There’s still a 2009 Finished Project I haven’t shown you yet!


It’s my Christmas in the Country cowl!


This was a very quick, enjoyable knit. I’m becoming hooked on Susan Pandorf’s designs! This is going to be a sample/project option for a colorwork class I hope to teach at Bloomin Yarns.


And ‘cause I love you, I’m showing you my project’s guts! This was an extremely quick knit with the exception of the center section. The chunk in the middle with green has three “live” colors which started out as a challenge, but once I got into a rhythm it wasn’t bad at all.


Christmas in the Country Cowl

Pattern: Christmas in the Country Cowl by Susan Pandorf
Yarn: 1 skein each Cascade CashVero DK in Dark Olive,
Rowan Cashsoft DK in Cream and Opulence (red)
Needles: US 6 KA Switch 24” circular
Started: 22 December 2009
Finished: 25 December 2009
Mods: None
Notes: The red bled like a sonofabitch. I wet-blocked (had to -- ribbing was flipping in) with a dip in a bucket with Soak, then my usual drying procedure. Bucket water was RED.
Beware if you put this red into a colorwork project!

The Mother of All WiPs

Since I finished my Christmas knitting, I have picked up some purely selfish knitting. The Christmas in the Country cowl is finished (FO post to come), so I busted out some Rowan Colourscape that I purchased at Bloomin’s Black Friday sale. Here’s my progress since Saturday night


I’m knitting Alexis from Rowan Colourscape Folk. So far, so good.

In bigger news (literally and figuratively), remember the driveway skating rink I showed you a week ago? Here’s what has happened since. The links below the mosaic will take you to the individual photos in Flickr. I’ve put explanatory comments on all of them. Big fun!

1. 30DecFull.jpg, 2. DSC_0003.jpg, 3. DSC_0006.jpg, 4. IMG_5964.jpg, 5. DSC_0008.jpg, 6. DSC_0032.jpg, 7. IMG_5988.jpg, 8. DSC_0023.jpg, 9. 29DecZone.jpg, 10. DSC_0028.jpg, 11. 29DecHole.jpg, 12. 30DecCorner.jpg, 13. 30DecEmptyhole.jpg, 14. 30DecPump.jpg, 15. IMG_5977.jpg, 16. 30DecJackhammer.jpg

And on that note? I’ve gotta get out of this house for a while. Off to the gym, then for a shower at my parents house. The whole street is water-free for a second day this week. I’m sure my neighbors just LOVE us.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

One More Gift

Hi there! There is one final knitted Christmas gift that I haven’t shown you. Why? It was for the Hubster and I didn’t want him to see it on the blog before he opened it on Christmas morning!

Thanks to Derf for his scarf-modeling duties. Hubster declined the opportunity to model his new scarf. Party pooper.

As HPWT blog-watchers know, I’ve done several of these tube scarfs, and I really like them! They’re great TV knitting or while-I’m-focusing-elsewhere knitting

Yes, Hubster likes purple, as long as it’s a “good purple.”

Unfortunately, I couldn’t knit this scarf in any of the “usual places” because Hubster would then see it in progress! It would have come in very handy in Arkansas after I finished the Lychee Mittens, but despite all the hurdles, I managed to finish the scarf in plenty of time.

Why purple? He went to Northwestern University! Go Cats!

Fringe was cut before I started knitting, and put aside in ziplock bags. I fringed the scarf at the last Hurricane Knitters prior to the holiday, and bango! Finished! Scarf is currently sitting with Hubster’s work stuff, and will be worn to work on Monday. He likes it! Hey, Mikey!


Northwestern Scarf (alias “Stealth Scarf”)

Pattern: House Scarf Year 1-2 from Charmed Knits
Yarn: Louet Gems Light Worsted
Colors: White and Purple
Yardage: Approximately 2.5 skeins/440 yards of each color
Needles: US 8 KA bamboo fixed 16” needles
Started: 3 September 2009
Finished: 11 December 2009
Mods: Did a purl stitch on each “end” of the scarf (stitches 35 and 70 of the round), thinking it might make blocking a bit easier. It was a PITA and didn't help at all. Won’t be doing that again!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Work the Formula

What do you get when you add:

Need a Christmas gift + SIL with ittybitty feet + Pattern you know is fast + STR Mediumweight

The answer? A damn quick pair of socks!


These are a “redux” of the sock I knit for myself back in May. I liked the Holidazed pattern that came with the November 2008 Rockin’ Sock Club and it went very quickly on Socks that Rock Mediumweight.


I “mirrored” this pair just like I did with my own pair

Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off

I knit the first sock in three days. Sock #2 had a Hippo-sized break between cast-on 12/13 (I knit to the start of arch expansion, then put it aside) and when I picked it back up last Thursday (12/17). Very quick, so it was just what the holiday-oriented knitter ordered!


Heel brought to you by the Riverbed architecture in New Pathways for Sock Knitters (surprise!)

Toe pic!

This yarn was a mill end I purchased in Maryland this past May. It had two ginormous knots that I untied and wove in. Hopefully those extra ends won’t bother Erin’s feet. Again, it’s a great pattern and I can see myself knitting it again. Maybe the next time I need a quick pair of socks!


Holiday Holidazed

Pattern: Holidazed by Anne Hanson
Source: Rockin’ Sock Club, November 2008
Yarn: BMFA Socks that Rock Mediumweight
Source: The Fold, 2009 Maryland Sheep & Wool
Color: Mill End (no colorway name offered)
Needles: US 2/2.75mm Hiya Hiya 16” circs
Started: 9 December 2009
Finished: 20 December 2009
Mods: Stitch pattern mirrored for second sock.
Plugged into the New Pathways Riverbed architecture.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Back to Normal

All of the holiday knitting is finished. Two more FO posts and I’m all caught up! Hooray!

That meant that this week I could cast on for something selfish. There will be a sweater in my near future, but my first selfish project is actually going to be a class sample. Assuming the class flies, but that’s a whole different issue.


This is the Christmas in the Country cowl by fellow DePauw grad Susan Pandorf. Aside from the fact that we share an alma mater (TIGER PRIDE, BABY!!!), she is quite the prolific pattern-writer! I’m hoping to teach a beginning colorwork class at the store, and this will be one of the suggested patterns for students.

I was cruising until I got to the first row with three colors being worked. At which point I took a break and wove in (almost) all of my ends. So I’ve got that going for me. Which is nice.

I’m sure the Gumdrop Socks will return to the rotation sooner rather than later, but meanwhile it’s nice to have some Cashsoft/CashVero on the needles and a project with no deadline whatsoever.

In other news …

We got a new water heater yesterday


It's high efficiency and quick-recovery. A tankless heater would be really impractical and quite inefficient, actually, because of how long the runs are in our house. That info makes this a good energy-efficient alternative for us, and should qualify for the federal tax rebates.

And the water company is trying to turn our driveway into a skating rink


We’re hoping that the fix isn’t going to involve ripping up our driveway. I have a feeling Penn-American Water wants to do that about as much as we want them to do it. Meanwhile? Salt/calcium is our friend.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Warning: Earworm Ahead!

What do you do when your best friend posts as his Facebook status that he wants a Hippopotamus for Christmas?

As a knitter who had just purchased a copy of Susan B. Anderson’s “Itty Bitty Toys,” there wasn’t much of a debate. I had to knit Bill a Hippo for Christmas!


Each Hippo body part is knit separately and they are all whipstitched together. After a brief consideration of making a Hippo-colored Hippo, I was convinced to go stash diving and see what I came up with. The Ty-Dy Sock marinating in my stash did the trick quite nicely, I think!


The feet, “hands” and inside of ears were all in accent colors. That yarn came from leftovers from my second-ever socks, knit many many moons ago. It’s Cherry Tree Hill. That’s all I remember.


His head is a pretty darn “true” shape if you ask me. Susan really thinks of details I would not have taken time to figure out on my own


His nose is kitchnered together. Eyes, nostrils and mouth were sewn on with leftovers from the Hubster’s socks I knit last year.


The ears were the only part of the project that got annoying. The whole Hippo is knit double-stranded, and when the ears were folded over at the bottom prior to being whipstitched onto the head? Yeah. That’s 4 layers of knitting smushed into a very small space. But it worked out OK.

This is certainly something I’ll knit again. It went quickly, it was a lot of fun to knit, and Mr. Hippo was a big hit everywhere he traveled during construction. He’s a bit over-stuffed (hence the arms sticking out more than I’d like), but otherwise I’m thrilled. Bill will be instructed to return the little guy if he doesn’t like him. It was tough to put him in the mail!

Oh, and just a small word of warning: If you embark upon the project of knitting a Hippopotamus for Christmas? Just accept the fact that you’ll have the song in your head the entire project. I still think it’s worth it!


Bill’s Christmas Hippopotamus

Pattern: Hippo from Susan B. Anderson’s “Itty Bitty Toys”
Yarn: Knit One Crochet Too Ty-Dy Socks
Color: Blueberry Fields
Scraps: Fiesta Boomerang and Cherry Tree Hill
Needles: US 5/3.75 mm. Magic Looped with Knit Picks Options needles
Started: 13 December 2009
Finished: 17 December 2009
Mods: None!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

By the Chimney With Care

Please excuse me while I gush about a project.

For a very long time, I’ve been wanting to make Christmas stockings for the Hubster and myself. When we lived in Los Angeles, it was very easy to blow off that project, since we never actually celebrated Christmas in California.

And believe me. If you trolled my basement, you’d find at least four kits for Christmas stockings. There’s a book about knitted stockings with Cascade 220 and the yarn I blogged about in November of 2006 (yikes). But I really think that none of those projects were exactly what I was looking for, and that’s why I never actually sat down and made us stockings.

But then my Hurricane Knitting friend Melissa queued the Falling Snow Stocking. It was love at first sight! I enjoyed knitting them so much that I finished BOTH of them in seven days.

Yes, I love artisan glass and I do collect penguins. We had the nails in the fireplace from decades of hanging stockings exactly like this, so I used them!

I wanted to use Cascade 128 for this project, but I knew that I wanted the stockings to match, and the 128 didn’t have a green that I liked. A mental inventory of the stock at Bloomin had me coming up empty again. Hey, no store can carry everything!

Since I needed to take a trip out to Natural Stitches to give my friend Yvonne some finishing work, I shopped their selection and settled on Yvonne's suggestion of Lamb’s Pride Bulky. A single-ply yarn with mohair, I doubt it’s a yarn I’ll use again … I’m not much for yarns with a halo, and the fuzzy-ness of the mohair just isn’t my thing. But it blocked up perfectly for this project. (well, the red bled a little bit. Enough to pink some of the cream, but not enough to make me feel like the stocking was ruined)

Oh, and I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of hanging these stockings with yarn, and I knew I wanted to line the stockings.


I got some costume satin at JoAnn’s Fabrics, and bought some 5/8” ribbon out of the clearance bin, along with the cord I used to hang the stockings on the fireplace. I traced the stockings onto the satin and serged two layers together.


I pinned the linings in carefully and whipstitched the lining to the inside of the Latvian Plait (great tutorial for that knitting technique HERE, by the way) with a double layer of invisible thread. Let me tell you – hand-sewing with invisible thread sucks and I wouldn’t recommend it. But for this project? Yeah, it was worth it.


I solved the “how to hang these things” problem with the aforementioned ribbon, which was machine-sewn through the entire lining. I hand-sewed through the tab and complete project (tab-lining-knitting) across the entire “X”


Both stockings are hanging perfectly and should handle whatever loot they have to hold simply and easily. The cord I’m using also came from JoAnn’s and I’m quite happy with it. It looks kinda classy!

All in all, I’m really thrilled with this project and I’ll look forward to enjoying these stockings for many years to come


DPUTiger Family Christmas Stockings

Pattern: Falling Snow Stocking by Jennifer Hoel
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Bulky
Hubster’s Colors: M-10 Crème and M-197 Red Hot Passion
DPUTiger’s Colors: M-10 Crème and M-172 Deep Pine
Yardage: Around 1.25 skeins per color per stocking (150-ish yards)
Needles: US 10.5/6.5mm KA Switch 16”
Started Knitting (Hubster’s): 16 November 2009
Finished Knitting (Hubster’s): 18 November 2009
Started Knitting (Mine): 19 November 2009
Finished Knitting (Mine): 22 November 2009
Lined (Both): 13 December 2009
Mods: Added our names rather than doing snowflakes only. This is a really fantastic pattern and needed no adjustments other than personalization. Highly recommend!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Soft and Squooshy

If you guys have not yet figured out that my most favorite-est yarn pusher is unquestionably Roxanne at Zen Yarn Garden, then you either haven’t been paying attention or I haven’t been obvious enough.

And if I have not yet enticed you to try one of Roxanne’s yarns or one of her clubs, then I have been remiss in my duties as a blogger and devoted follower of Zen Yarn Garden.


This month marked the third and final shipment of the Cashmere a la Carte yarn club's first run. It starts again in February (sign-ups are open now!) As I’m sure you know, red is a notoriously difficult color to photograph, and this is no exception


The “Serenity Worsted” base is 80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere and 10% nylon. It arrived as a double-skeined knot comprised of 400 yards. And Oh My Goodness, does it feel amazing.


The pictures are reading more red and less maroon than the actual skein. The colorway is called Gothic Rose, and it’s just perfect. Either that, or Roxanne is putting something in the dye that is making me start to like her reds more and more. Don’t laugh – Roxanne’s favorite color is red, so it’s certainly not out of the question.


Any suggestions for 400 yards of an incredibly soft worsted weight? I feel like this has to be something that’s next to the skin.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Holiday Sprint

It’s the next-to-last WiP Wednesday before Christmas, and I’m actually in pretty good shape. Those socks I showed you last week? They now look like this:


I knit the first sock in three days, got the second sock to the arch expansion on Sunday afternoon, then put that project aside completely in favor of (drumroll please)


A Hippopotamus.

I started this bad boy on Sunday afternoon, and yes. It is a Christmas present. That has to be mailed. Which is why it jumped in line ahead of the socks, which are for a local recipient.

I’m hoping the Hippo can be finished tonight at Hurricane Knitters. It’s going quickly, but I don’t think it is looking very Hippo-like at the moment. Hopefully arms, legs, ears and embroidery will take care of that problem. As you can see, both arms and one leg has been knit. Second leg is on the needles. The finish line is in sight!

It’s off to the races as we negotiate the last week-plus until Christmas here at chez DPUTiger!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Lychee Mittens

You know it’s winter when it’s warmer inside your refrigerator than it was outside during the day. That was most certainly the case here in the ‘Burgh at the end of last week! Of course, that means it’s time for a new pair of mittens!

You only get one “worn” mitten since it’s impossible to photograph both of your own hands and I had no model available.

When I returned to knitting nearly 10 years ago, I jumped right in with a bulky pair of mittens on US 11 DPNs. Shazam! I generally prefer mittens to gloves anyway, and when the long-awaited shipment of Terra from The Fibre Company arrived at Bloomin Yarns, this free-with-purchase pattern was the perfect way to try this yummy yarn.

It’s a very irregularly-spun yarn, but it’s so soft and should be very warm. We have a pair of these mittens in the store as a shop sample, and we all get a chuckle out of watching knitters put the mitten on their hand. Everyone’s jaw just drops and they get a nice “happy place” look on their face. It’s awesome.


The length of time that it “officially” took to knit these mittens is deceiving. I cast on the first cuff in the car on the way to Akron for Thanksgiving and then promptly abandoned the project until we were driving around Little Rock on December 3. The first mitten was finished that day, and its mate was done the following evening.


I didn’t like having a harsh transition between the colors, so I did a bit of a jogless join technique. It’s quick and dirty and creates a line of slipped stitches up the edge of both mittens, but I decided I liked that look much better than if I hadn’t done anything to minimize the jog, so I kept on doing it.

Colors are most true in this photo

These were an enjoyable, super-speedy project in a very nice yarn. What’s not to love?

Lychee Mittens

Pattern: Lychee Mittens by Kate Gagnon Osborn
Yarn: The Fibre Company Terra
Colors: Charcoal and Mint
Yardage: Approx. 75 yards of the charcoal, 60-ish of the mint (less than 1 skein/color)
Needles: US 7 and US 8, KnitPicks Options (magic looped)
Started: 26 November 2009
Finished: 4 December 2009
Mods: Did a type of jogless join to minimize the transition between colors. Added four rounds to the hand and two rounds to the thumb of each mitten. I have puny hands, but I definitely needed the extra length!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bear Necessities

With a niece and nephew that have both made their grand entrances in 2009, there are most certainly going to be knitted toys in my future. Meet the first two!

First, I used the stash yarn that I bought months ago along with the Baby Bobbi Bear pattern from Blue Sky Alpacas.


This one is going to be for my niece. Since it was the first time I’d knit this pattern, it’s mod-free

Bear butt!

The construction is very simple. There are short rows to create its tush and make the legs stick out front a little bit, rather than going straight downwards from the torso


See? It’s legs stick out forward just a little bit.


The only part of the pattern that’s a PITA is the arms. The whole bear is stuffed as soon as the head is finished, so you stuff the arms as you knit them. Which makes it awkward to pick up the stitches to knit the arms out. Ugh. But once you get a few rows in, it’s really not so bad.

The second bear practically flew off of the needles. I would have finished in four days, but this was not a travel-friendly project, so it didn’t go to Arkansas. And then when we got home, I ran out of floof and had a day’s delay for a trip to Jo-Ann’s to get more stuffing. These are not bears that will do well under-stuffed.


This bear is for my nephew, so Hubster insisted that he needed a smile. Once I shot the pictures, I realized his smile is a little lopsided, but hey. That just gives him character!

Bear #2 benefitted from me having already knit the pattern once, with the exception of one tiny detail


I lost my mojo a bit while I was out of town, and his ears didn’t come out nearly as well as Bear #1’s ears.

As I had done with the first bear, I attached the ears and embroidered the face prior to stuffing. The pattern has you completely stuff the bear and finish the arms before you duplicate stitch the neck, attach the ears and embroider the face. That didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, so I did everything I could possibly do before knitting the arms.

Book ‘em Dano!

All in all, a very enjoyable knit. Twice!


Bears for Ellie and Killian

Pattern: Baby Bobbi Bear by Bobbi Intveld for Blue Sky Alpacas

Bear #1 (for Ellie)
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton in Bone
Yardage: 1.25 skeins/approx 190 yards
Needles: US 9 KA Switch needles
Started: 23 November 2009
Finished: 29 November 2009

Bear #2 (for Killian)
Yarn: Blue Sky Dyed Cotton in Sky
Yardage: 1.25 skeins/approx 190 yards
Needles: US 9 KA Switch needles
Started: 29 November 2009
Finished: 8 December 2009

Mods: Did all possible finishing work prior to knitting and stuffing the arms of the bear rather than doing the facial expressions, duplicate stitching and ear-attachment once the bear was enclosed and stuffed.