Sunday, October 30, 2011

It's Fauxsoni, dahhhhling!

Thank goodness for Ravelry.  Otherwise I would have no idea when I even started this project.  Except that it was sometime after I moved to my current home (so in the last 3 - or is it 4 - years!).  It has been 95% finished for some time (I can't even remember that, either!).  Just waiting for me to sew a lining and sew on the handles.

Which I have now done!  So may I present the Fauxsoni Tote!

Pattern:  Felted Chevron Tote by Leslie Ann Bestor, from Interweave Crochet, Winter 2007.  I do love a chevron.  I do love Missoni.  I do love a self-striping yarn.  These three combined to make a match made in heaven!  This is a very easy pattern - basically make a big piece of crochet chevron, sew it into a tube, crochet a base and sew it on (I think - I can't even remember whether it is sewn on or crocheted on!) and then felt it!  Woo hoo! 

And just in case you think to yourself, "but I have a front loader, I can't felt", well, take it from me, you can!  I think I put a pair ofold  jeans in with this to add a bit of friction, and did it on a full hot cycle, and it worked perfectly!

Felted Chevron Bag - pre felting
You can see in the before and after photos how much it shrank with the felting process.  Just the right amount, fortunately.  This is a very nice sized bag!

Felted Chevron Bag - post felting
Yarn:  The sadly discontinued Cleckheaton Vintage Hues.  Sad because it is the perfect felting yarn.  I used 7 x 50g balls of colour 1273 for the bag, but of course you could use fewer if you made the bag smaller, or used a different yarn for the base.
Hook:  7mm.

Time:  3 June 2009 - 25 October 2011.  Really!  I think I finished the bag and felted it sometime in late 2009 or early 2010.  I really can't recall... And then I had a free afternoon last weekend so I dusted off the sewing machine (literally!  Oh my was it covered in dust! Thank goodness it has a cover thingy), and sewed up a lining for it.  With pockets even!  Because I really dislike handbags without pockets for important things like your phone, purse and bus/train ticket!  And pen, lip balm, keys and tissues.  Um, I think I should have put in a few more pockets, heh!
Modifications:  I think I made the pattern as written (I may have made it longer around), but I know I added a simple single crochet edging around the top of the bag.  Just to ensure the edge was flat.  I did plan to turn it over and make a seam, but that was an ill-thought out idea, as once it was felted it was too thick to even think about that! But not to worry, it is fine as is.

I am really happy with this bag!  I love the colours and I love the way it has turned out!  Finally! (Yes, another project for Binding Off 2011!)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Bah Humbug!

A quickie that I knit up over a few days for a friend's birthday - something I have been meaning to make for a while but I finally got my butt into gear last week!
Pattern: Red Comet by Loani Prior, from her Wild Tea Cosies.  A nice simple knit - two garter squares from corner to corner and joined in relevant spots to make a cosy.  So easy to knit to size, as you just make the square big enough to cover around your tea pot (from handle to spout), and then start the decreases! The pattern uses buttons as the "seams" to join the two squares, but I just sewed and crocheted in the relevant spots.

Yarn: Cleckheaton Country in black and white - just over 2 balls in total, for a medium sized teapot.  The stripe pattern is completely random.  I had more black than white so decided to make the black stripes wider, in general. It is meant to mimic the look of the old fashioned boiled lollies (humbugs, bullseyes etc).
Sticks:  The yarn is held doubled, so I used 6mm sticks - KnitPicks Options.  And a 4.5mm crochet hook to crochet around the edges of each square, to even out the lumpy garter edges.

Time:  21 - 24 October 2011.  As I said, nice and quick!    Happy birthday DrK!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Books! I've read some books!

Sorry about the blog silence - although I was pleased to see that I have actually posted this month - until I logged in to post this, I had the impression that I hadn't posted at all this month.  I had forgotten about the red vest!  That's how bad my memory has gotten lately.  Oh dear!

I have been on a bit of a Roald Dahl kick lately.  About two months ago I bought a collection of Roald Dahl audiobooks (on CD) - they were on big sale at a bookstore, no doubt due to the impending obsolescence of CD's!  I haven't read much Dahl until now, just both the Charlie books.  I thought the CD's would be great for the car, and Connor will enjoy them too (eventually!)

So far, I have "read":
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (picturing of course Johnny Depp, who was so great in the movie!)
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
The Twits (Dahl is so good at creating such abhorrent people!)
Matilda (loved!)
George's Marvellous Medicine
The Fantastic Mr Fox (mmmm George Clooney), and
The Enormous Crocodile.

Loving the audiobooks in the car!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Knit for Connor month: Floyd Vest

This is my third and final instalment of Knit for Connor month (which should more correctly be called Knit for Connor Two Months, since I made most of this in September rather than August!).
When I was planning the projects for KfCm, I found something very interesting - well, to me anyway.  And perhaps those also knitting for small children.  The sizes are SO INCONSISTENT!  It shouldn't come as a surprise, really, given that this is also the case for women's clothing (I can't really speak for men!).  But it is annoying, because it makes it very hard to knit in advance.  I knit the 12-18mo size in the Pembroke vest, and it is a good fit with a bit of room for next year (and with any luck, the year after, since people who know tell me small kids tend to grow up more than out for the first couple of years!).  This vest I knit the 3yo size, because I had enough yarn and I thought I might as well.  And what do you know, it fits pretty perfectly now.  With a little bit of room, maybe less than the Pembroke vest.  Although to be fair, I haven't blocked it yet, and being cotton it might grow!  And I even made it a wee bit longer than the pattern specified!!

Pattern:  Floyd vest, by Martin Storey, from Rowan Miniature Classics.  This is a lovely book of baby and toddler patterns.  Sizing issues aside, I will definitely be making more from this book.  I hope!

As with almost all Rowan patterns, it is knit flat and seamed.  It could be converted to knit in the round if you desire, although the shoulder and side seams are fairly short and don't take much seaming really!
Yarn:  Rowan Handknit Cotton, 3 x 50g skeins in red (shade 215 lot 3883038).  I liked knitting with this cotton, although it definitely is harder on the hands than wool.  It knits up really nicely though, I am very happy with the way it looks.

Sticks:  I started this when I was away, and even though I grabbed my set of KnitPicks Harmony Options, I found I didn't have the correct size for the ribbing (3.25mm) so I used 3.5mm instead, and I think it looks fine!  I used 4mm for the main part of the vest, as specified by the pattern.

Time:  27 August 2011 - 28 September 2011 (it took me a little while to sew on the buttons!)
Modifications: I knit the vest as specified, except for the change in stick size noted above for the ribbing.  However, I omitted the pocket, because it really is pointless.  Not big enough to be useful, and for some reason which I cannot fathom, the pocket flap does not have a button hole, even though the pattern shows it with a button on it.  The flap is knit separately and then joined to the front of the vest as you knit it (very clever!).  But the pocket itself is seamed on afterwards.  I figured it would just add bulk and drying time, and as the flap had a tendency to stick up, I thought I'd just sew it down when I added the button.
The button-hole-less pocket flap!
If you want a useable pocket and flap, I'd suggest adding a buttonhole to the flap when you knit it!

I think this is a very cute, easy and practical knit.  I just wish that the size was a little bigger so it would fit for longer!  Next time, I will pay more attention to the schematics and Connor's actual measurements!