Friday, 23 November 2012

It's So Fluffy I'm Gonna DIIIIEEEE! (Or: Why I Hate Feather Yarn)

This is the first thing I made from all the lovely yarn sent to me by my amazing mate in South Africa.

It's also the first time I've ever tried to knit using a novelty/fashion yarn.

It may be the LAST time I ever do that! It was an interesting experience, but not one I'd like to repeat any time soon. There is a darn good reason for the unofficial Knitting Squad motto of "Friends don't let friends knit novelty yarns"

But it's soooo fluffy and colourful and warm I may end up using it again a lot sooner than I want to right now.

See? SEE??

If you want to make one of these, grab four 50gram balls of feather yarn (I used the Pixels yarn that was sent to me) and some 6mm needles. (That links to a needle size conversion chart for you UK and USA knitters)

Cast on 15 stitches and knit until you run out of yarn.

Cast off and weave in all your ends.

This comes out very long. If you'd like a shorter scarf, knit until you reach your desired length and then cast off.

Be careful not to drop a stitch. BE VERY CAREFUL. I'm serious. After you get a few inches into your scarf, stop and have a look at the way this particular kind of yarn forms a fabric, and then imagine trying to find a dropped stitch in it.

I don't know about you, but the one I dropped had completely disappeared from the universe. I swear it's in a black hole somewhere hanging out with all my odd socks, missing D20s and a ton of spare change.

So: Cue the Knitting Rage Face and ripping the whole thing back to the start.

At least the scarf wasn't very big at that point. . .

Oh yeah, feather yarn is very slippery and your knots like to come undone as soon as you take your eyes off them. So if you're like me and you tie in your new yarn and leave long ends to weave in (Yeah yeah, I'm still a n00b) I would suggest leaving long tails, tying them in very secure knots and weaving in quite a lot of that tail so it doesn't work it's way out in a hurry.

Because of the way it's made this stuff does NOT like to felt in nicely like your bog-standard yarns do. Once the scarf starts to unravel you may as well rip it up and re-knit it, since it's nearly impossible to fix. SO TIE THOSE KNOTS SECURELY, KNITTERS!

With that said, I'm going to dive back into the box of yarn and see what else is demanding it be turned into something.

Happy crafting!


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

In This Hat I'm Not Afraid of Anything.

I am deeply indebted to the dedicated Browncoat Keiyla for her amazing pattern for a Cunning Hat.

The Message was my favourite episode, and I was very excited to be able to make myself a hat just like the one Jayne's Mum sent him at the start of the episode.

This hat RIGHT HERE:

Of course, mine has significantly less straw stuck to it:

From the thickness of the yarn required and the ratio of colours between the hat and the pompom I suspect Ma Cobb spun the yarn herself or bought it from a neighbour.

It's blasted hard to find thick enough yarn for this pattern, so I double-stranded some of Ashford's Tekapo 8ply and the test swatch came out just right. I used shades '052' for the orange, '065' for the yellow and '008' for the red.

Pretty darn cunning, don't you think?

Have a wonderful crafternoon!


Saturday, 3 November 2012

Amazing Shiny Box of Goodies!

I have an AMAZING friend in South Africa who sent me a big box stuffed to the brim with yarn and goodies for both myself AND Dralion!

Ermagherd, I'm feeling so incredibly spoiled right now.

SO MUCH YARN! SO MANY PRETTY COLOURS! *Dies* There are little sample-sized nailpolishes perfect for experimenting with, a book showing how damn pretty South Africa is, some goodies she knitted herself, amazing hand cream to keep my paws from becoming cracked and nasty and a delicious Pashmina in Otago colours. *Squeals and dies again*

See how pretty South Africa is?? SEE?!??

I could stare at those colours for hours, and those cliffs are the perfect inspiration for some scenery in this year's NaNoWriMo effort.

Dralion got a special pressie all wrapped up with a little card and everything! Spoiled kitty is spoiled.

We had lots of fun trying to get it open! Cats don't seem to understand tug-of-war very well. It must be undignified or something. Seriously though, who needs dignity when you have MOUSIES?

Trying to find more mousies.


Much sniffing and investigation of the box was carried out. (Yes that is a basket of cat toys in the background. Yes they're all hers)

Including objects for the purpose of cat-distraction is a genius idea. An idea I'll definitely be stealing. Jeanne is a GENIUS.

I could always shut Dralion out of the lounge when I'm trying to wind yarn, but since when have I ever done things the easy way?