Saturday, May 30, 2015

Stitching Saturday: New blanket time

New blanket
So I guess it's just not possible for me to NOT have a blanket in my ready knitting rotation. It's so comforting to lay a half-knit blanket on your lap and feel purposeful while watching way too much Hulu. :)

Up above is my newest blanket - from a free pattern by Espace Tricot here. I've been wanting to do another chevron blanket, ever since my chevron baby blanket last year. This was just a bit harder, but not at all a problem after all the weekly knit stitches I've been practicing. I am winging it with the colors and stripes - I dug through my remnants from the Log cabin blanket and chose some nice bright shades I liked together, and stuck with the first 5 I knitted up.

I  spent most of my Memorial day holiday knitting this up while it rained cats and dogs outside:

Progress as of lunch break...

More progress

Yup, that was all done in one day.  I do wish I'd knitted this a bit wider, but it'll be a nice throw to have on hand, not too heavy or too large.

Here's the progress I made this week, while watching a fair amount of Hulu as it continues to rain here...

blanket progress

And what am I watching while I knit, you may ask? Oh, I know you didn't ask, but whatever, I'll tell you anyway.

Oh my God, Korean Drama. It took me awhile to get into it - I watched my first Kdrama about 3 years ago after Netflix suggested it to me - Boys Over Flowers - and I was amused, but still pretty "meh" about it. I tried another drama after that, also suggested by Netflix - My Princess, and I was just annoyed by it.

Fast-forward 3 years later when in a bored moment I take another Netflix suggestion- Fated To Love You:

That show is like crack, I tell you. Go ahead and judge me. I judge me. It is predictable, silly, weird, but somehow still moving and emotional. The thing about Kdrama is that for all that you're laughing at it and mocking it, there come these odd moments when you realize you're in love with it, and then there's no going back.

After that, I moved onto Coffee Prince, and I was permanently hooked. Coffee Prince is still my favorite in terms of music and a sense of "reality" that you don't quite get in the other shows (but that's not necessarily a bad thing). Mostly I am fascinated with the language, the culture, and comparing and contrasting the ideals in these shows, and what I've experienced in American (and Mexican-American) culture. I am always a sucker for language and culture.

It's also bizarre to me that every person I expose these shows to also gets permanently hooked. South Korea, what are you putting in your shows? We can't stop watching them!

Then, I watched the Korean film Sunny, and was in love with all the characters and wacky events. It helped of course that there was the 80's music I grew up on, and bad perms, girl gangs, and sweatshirts. But I have to say I was taken aback at how incredibly badass these tiny girls are. I thought my own Mexican-American peeps cornered the market on girl gang badass-ery. But no. It appears we have to share. The bizarrely hilarious fight scene with the girls and the riot police is my favorite action sequence, ever.

So, for now, I'm knitting my way through all the Korean shows I find. Anyone else out there discovered/ been hooked on Kdrama? :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

New Knit Stitch a Week: Checkerboard Mesh

Checkerboard Mesh
This creates a really lovely, fascinating open texture - the swatch on the left doesn't look like much because I only did 1 repeat - do at least 2 to see it in its full glory.

Here's a peek at the back:
Checkerboard Mesh, wrong side

Left: Using size 10 needles and Vanna's Choice yarn, I cast on 14 stitches
Right: Using size 6 needles and Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Almond, I cast on 24 stitches

Pattern found here:

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Stitching Saturday: Finally finished


Remember that Log Cabin blanket I started, almost 2 years ago? Well, I finally finished it and gave it to my niece as a graduation present. I decided to give this to her because it was one of the projects that was blessed at the knitting retreat I went to last year. Thinking of the group of wonderful women praying over my quilt, embuing it with all their good wishes and hopeful thoughts, made me know it was the perfect gift to send her into the world with.

As it grew, I of course had to upgrade to longer circular needles - my 60 inch Addi Turbos comfortably held the last rows of this blanket, and they are really a dream to stitch with. Super light and turbo fast, just like they promise. :) There were SO MANY ENDS to weave in - and that took up a few evenings in front of the TV.

Log Cabin progress

After my last update more than one year ago (above) it grew about 10 inches on each side. The last strips got longer and longer, eventually eating up grapefruit-sized balls of yarn for each strip! Something to keep in mind if you create a blanket like this that just keeps going and going.

This was all knit up with acrylic Love This Yarn, which was soft and wonderful, and all purchased at Hobby Lobby before their decision to dictate which types of birth control their female employees could have. I was so ticked off I haven't set foot in a Hobby Lobby store since. I still have quite a bit of Love This Yarn, but aside from using it up, I won't be replenishing my stash.

I have to say, I loved making this blanket - the bright colors brought me a lot of joy, and it was a hit everywhere I went. People seemed genuinely enamored with the colors and the design, and it was the perfect project to mindlessly knit when I needed to feel calm and grounded.

Amusingly enough, I even made it in the paper last year when I took my knitting to Shakespeare in the Park. Hilarious! :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

New Knit Stitch a Week: Trinity stitch

Trinity stitch

This is a re-stitch of one of my first stitches from the Complete Guide to Needlework book, c. 1979. The yarn I chose was dark and my light was meh the first time around, hence the re-stitch.

I really love the bobbly texture on this one, and it's very easy to stitch up. Bamboo needles help tremendously with this one, because the KPK is pretty slippery and frustrating on metal needles.

The back has a nice, open texture as well:

Trinity stitch, wrong side

Left: Using size 10 needles and a teal acrylic yarn from my stash, I cast on 15 stitches
Right: Using size 6 needles and a pink cotton-blend yarn from my stash, I cast on 19 stitches

Multiples of 4 stitches plus 3
Rows 1 and 3: Purl
Row 2: *P 3 tog, KPK into next st *, P3 tog
Row 4: *KPK into first st, P 3 tog*, KPK into last st