Sunday, September 25, 2005

Wrist Warmers

My mom recently made a poncho for my sister, using a pattern she'd first used in the 70's. She had a few skeins of Peace Fleece left over, and gave them to me. There wasn't enough for a kitty bed (those take a surprising amount of yarn), but I thought that maybe some wrist warmers to match the poncho might be nice. I've just started the second, but here's the first of the pair.

This was loosely adapted from the cable pattern on the poncho. I used two patterns -- Jo Ellyn Wheeler's "Cabled Wristers" from the Fall 2004 (4:3) Twists and Turns and Bonne Marie Burns's "Voodoo Wrist Warmers" from Winter 2002 Knitty -- for inspiration.

Cast 40 stitches onto two size 7 circular needles, joining into round. First round: *k1, p2, k9, p2, k1, p5; repeat once from *.

Beginning with round 2 of the four round pattern below, knit until piece measures about 7 inches. The pattern repeats once each round.
  1. K1, p2, k9, p2, k1, p1, k3tog, p1, k3tog, p1
  2. K1, p2, k9, p2, k1, p5
  3. K1, p2, cross 4 right (instructions below), k1, cross 4 left, p2, k1, p1, increase 3 (k1, p1, k1 in same stitch), p1, increase 3, p1
  4. K1, p2, k9, p2, k1, p9
To make thumb hole:
  • K1, p2, k1, bind off 7 stitches, continue in pattern to end (round 4)
  • K1, p2, k1, cast on 7 stitches, continue in pattern to end (round 1)
Continue knitting until the piece is 9 inches or desired length. Bind off.

I'm generally pleased with the result. I actually think a thumb gusset would be desirable, but I don't really have the gumption to figure that out.

Crossing instructions are from

Cross 4 Left: Slip next st onto cable needle and leave at front of work, knit next 3 sts from left-hand needle then knit st from cable needle.

Cross 4 Right: Slip next 3 sts onto cable needle and leave at back of work, knit next st from left-hand needle then knit sts from cable needle.

Here is my attempt to chart the pattern. Click on the picture to see a larger version.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Sudoku obsession could ruin my life

I'd been hearing about the wild popularity of Sudoku, the number placement puzzle. I finally tried it this week, and suddenly I'm obsessed. Web Sudoku is a good place to try it, because the "How am I doing?" button lets you know when you've made a mistake.

It reminds me a bit of Minesweeper; the logic involved in figuring out where a number must go because of where it can't go appeals to me. As my eyes scan over the grid hunting for certain numbers, I'm reminded of those Mah Jongg tile solitaire games like Shanghai.

The trouble? Sudoku takes attention. Unlike knitting, I can't do Sudoku and watch TV, carry on a conversation, or read. I obviously can't do Sudoku and knit. And if I keep trying to do Sudoku puzzles while Mike wants to play along with Lingo or What's My Line, then my relationship will be on the rocks.

My only hope is to get him hooked too.

Monday, September 12, 2005

A happy ending

You know, I really don't want this blog to be filled with stupid pictures of the cat, but Mike snapped this photo today, and I couldn't resist.

At last, Dodger seems to have abandoned the plastic bag and taken to the felted cat bed.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Larger bottle cozy

So here's a cozy I whipped up for a liter-size bottle.

And as promised, a pattern (of sorts)

I used Sugar 'n' Cream cotton, knitting in the round on two 24 inch size US5 (3.75 mm) needles. But the pattern is adaptable to your preferred yarn and needles.
  • Cast on 8 stitches. Join and knit one round.
  • (YO, K1) around
  • Knit
  • (YO, K2) around
  • Knit
  • (YO, K3) around
  • Knit
Keep increasing (8 yarnovers every other row) until your disk is the size of the bottom of your preferred bottle. In the picture above, I increased until I reached 48 stitches around.

Knit plain for 8 rounds or so (about an inch, or as long as looks good to you).

The "body" of the bottle cozy can be any stitch pattern you want. I've been experimenting with lacy stitches. Above, I used:
  1. (YO, K2tog) around
  2. Knit
  3. (K2tog, YO) around
  4. Knit
Nice effect, but not snug enough for my bottle. Next time, I'll decrease by 8 stitches or so before beginning the lace. Because the lace was too big, I went back to knitting plain rounds and added some ribbing. The moral? Experiment.

End with an inch or so of ribbing and bind off loosely.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Bottle cozies

A few years before I learned to knit, I went through a "waxed linen jewelry" phase, making little charm pouches and pen basket necklaces out of waxed linen. Around that time, my mom began freezing bottles of water to take to work. I used the same looping technique for the charm pouch to make a cotton pouch for the water bottle. I made a couple of these, stopped doing it because it was tedious, learned to knit for real, and forgot about it all.

My sister called this weekend to say her water bottle cozies have now fallen apart. She wants new ones. So I thought I might see what I could do with knitting needles. These are the fruits of my experiments over the past couple days.

Both of these are from worsted weight Sugar 'N' Cream cotton. I made the one on the right first, following this Water Bottle Tote pattern. The one on the left is my attempt at pattern refinements: a flatter bottom and less annoying stitch pattern (using Turkish Stitch instead of Purse Stitch). Both of them are a bit too small; they won't fit around a liter-sized bottle, but they'll work for smaller bottles.

I want to try again, then I'll post my own pattern here.