afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
I've recently started doing more crochet to do more color-based / character-based stuff (e.g., a BB-8 toy and beanie), but you can tell that knitting was my first love, because of the long tails everywhere.

Similarly, I've not yet gone over to the poi side, but I've at least started playing with it a little bit, and you can tell that I started with hoops because I have yet to convince my body that the thing at the end of my arms is going to be floppy if I suddenly try to reverse direction.

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Tuesday, April 19th, 2011 01:40 am
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
I've been volunteering as a pattern tester over at the Free Pattern Testers group in Ravelry, and while my two experiences thus far have been lovely, I am beginning to feel the blah of being obligated to meet deadlines, so I'm promising myself that won't volunteer for anything unless it's:

1.) a hat AND
2.) it has no cables AND
3.) I'm absolutely head over heels in love with it

(I kinda want to say yes to arm warmers / gloves too, but there's the dreaded second-sock syndrome, so.)

Mostly though... these days, while knitting, I find myself wondering what would happen if I were to tweak $x ever so slightly, or add $y or remove $z or adjust or... YOU KNOW, and with the deadline plus the fact that I'm knitting to test other people's designs rather than to make any random finished product for myself, I can't indulge!

So here's to indulgence (and a copy of Debbie Stoller's Stitch N' Bitch Superstar Knitting); hopefully after this current project I can indulge myself more :-)

I don't know what's up with me and knitting/crocheting these days though. Right now I have ten projects in progress, only one of which is because I don't have enough yarn. About a third of what's remaining are suffering from second $stuff syndrome, and the rest are things like a tank top where I need straps, or scarves I'm saving for when I'm in queue or... mmm. I guess when I look at them as a bunch they look like a lot, but each project has a reason for not being finished so :D

There's only one in there that I absolutely hate. I started it because I thought it would be quick to knit up in a bulky yarn and huge needles, but the yarn feels like it's actively fighting me. It makes me want to bite something.

Meanwhile, my crochet learning continues. I've decided to space things out a bit by doing only crochet at my LYS where it's easy to turn to people when I get myself into trouble (:D), and doing only knitting at home when I'm trying to relax or need to zone out.

Because I'm only at my LYS rarely, the crochet project is going really slowly, but that's okay: better than stopping completely (which it would if I were at home. I've done knitting for much longer, so it's a lot easier, and it's a lot more tempting to turn to knitting when I'm relaxing, rather than struggle with learning crochet). However! Last time I was at the LYS I got into the zone and the motions for sc and dc started feeling natural which *fistpump* yay! Apparently it helps that I'm using appropriately sized needles and that I occasionally switch the way I'm holding my needle to reduce the stress on my wrists.

Things I want to try next in knitting:

* Travelling Loop (one-circular; variant on magic loop, with less adjustments required)

* some form of color-knitting, using the tips that I'm picking up from books to hopefully make it easier

* playing with the effects of various increases and decreases

* um. stuff. anything. everything. stuff!

I have at least tried out the interlock bind-off from the latest knitty; it's pretty interesting, and also really flexible! Not very pretty, but since I think it's going more for invisible and useful than pretty that's all right.
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
My mom has commissioned me to make a vest for my grandpa, so I am searching through ravelry for suitable patterns (male or unisex, forgiving fit, separate down the middle so you can shrug it on rather than pulling it over your head)

In the process, I have fallen in love with a lot of the for-female patterns and I think I would like to make vests -- lots and lots of vests.

I applied for a new credit card a couple weeks ago, one which supports double currency billing, which means that when I buy stuff in dollars, I'll get charged in dollars, rather than in pesos. :D Process was surprisingly painless! Not as painful as my first card was, and applying for one meant I didn't feel skeeved about about it the way I do preapproved cards (what's the catch? I still haven't figured out what they'll get if I accept, so I just reject them.)

So I haven't been buying anything online, because I know that I'll get a better conversion rate pretty soon -- but looking at all these patterns I am so very tempted *_*

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the LYS to learn crochet. It was awesome! I managed to catch the owner, and she helped tweak my handling of the hook so that I'm no longer fighting the stitches as much. Turns out that I was crocheting too tight, and that I was insisting on turning the hook around with every stitch so of course my wrist got sore quickly.

She also helped me figure out how to count my stitches -- I tended to alternate between skipping a stitch, and adding an extra stitch because I wasn't sure how to count. I'm getting much better at it. Ummmm. I need to pick a more interesting pattern soon, though. I'm getting bored with the sc-only pattern I picked out as a beginner, so I keep putting it off in favor of knitting.

Right now, I'm finding that with crochet, I love the finished product more than I love the process, so I really need to venture out and pick something cute but fast that I'll love at the end rather than something to teach me stitches, which will only seem like a chore.

Note to self: find time

Knitting projects are chugging along well:

I finally finished the magic mirror mittens, eeeh \o/

pictures behind cut )

One good thing I got out of having to do and redo (and redo) the mitten was that I got to practice the technique of cabling without a cable needle. It's gotten so that I'm reluctant to pick up the extra needle, except when the stitches are really tight, or the yarn is really slippery.

(Hmm I can't find the tutorial I actually used though, which led me to leave alone the crossed / temporarily dropped stitches while I knit the next stitches, and then putting them on the cable after, instead of putting them immediately back on the cable the way that was done in the tutorial from knitty).

Besides the convenience and the reduced number of needles to juggle about, doing cables without the needle made it much clearer how the stitches are oriented when cabling, and why holding it in the back leads to a right-leaning cable while holding it to the front leads to a left-leaning cable. It's kinda like -- instead of focusing on the cable needle, I was forced to look at the stitch without anything else in the way. That alone is worth the cost of an extra mitten's work.

I... after finishing the mirror mittens, I may have cast on two more projects to make up for it. Oops?

Having fun with Summit, a very hole-y shawl, which I'm knitting in a glittery slinky black yarn.

So far I've learned patience backwards purling. My backwards purling is a lot tighter than my forwards one, but it doesn't matter as much for this pattern.

I also just signed up for my first test knit *glee* It's a mitten with a flap, it's really nifty, and it's really challenging me to figure out ptbl / ktbl when I'm doing combination knitting which twists the orientation of the stitches for me already half the time. I found a couple of minor typos, so I don't feel useless (or like I'm freeloading) already :)

Last step in this pair of mitts, though I'm very far from it, is to add buttons. Why did I never know that buttons could be so pretty? :O Today I went to Carolina's (beads, buttons, sequins, ribbons, feathers, etc) and bought buttons. Lots and lots of buttons :D Lots and lots of different colored, different sized, buttons. Nothing that's perfect for what I need, but a bunch of them that are really interesting and that I think might work (if not for this project, for the next one).

Oh! Also my LYS is being helpful and is asking one of their other regulars (sort-of-employee?) to see if she has any of the yarn I need for. I may finally be able to finish the english driving cap, and knock that project off of my list *g*

Something not knitting related: I'm watching the concrete examples of accessibility problems that [personal profile] deborah linked to. Fantastic idea, really useful resource, awesome videos.
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
I've recently been introduced to random cheap items for knitting/crochet. Which is perfect: more money for yarn, yay \o/

  • Gigantic safety pins for a stitch holder, as recommended by [personal profile] yvi.

    I was initially reluctant to try this because I thought these would be expensive -- the way that gigantic paperclips are! (about Php 200 / 5 USD for five pieces) -- but these were only Php 10 / 0.25 USD for ten pieces at my LYS :D

    One safety pin is about two hundred times cheaper than a regular stitch holder

  • foldable twist fans for blocking hats (link goes to a Philippine classified ads site)

    I've been having trouble blocking my berets, because the ribbing stretches when I try to wrap the beret around a dinner plate. But a friend of mine pointed out that foldable twist fans are:

    a.) cheap
    b.) easy to find around
    c.) small when folded so it doesn't stretch the ribbing when you put it in
    d.) the perfect size to stretch out the body of the beret once its unfolded

    Perfect for blocking, and (if you don't have a friend willing to serve as model or cameraman) also perfect for laying out a hat flat for taking pictures.

  • crochet yarn for making amigurumi

    leads to much smaller finished products, and easier to get appropriate colors (much more choice than even acrylic yarns). Plus really really cheap, which is perfectly fine by me

So I've now saved hundreds of pesos, enough to buy a couple extra balls of yarn (or buttons -- but that's an entry for another day)


Thursday, March 3rd, 2011 08:17 pm
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Dropped by the LYS today, and managed to catch the owner which is a rare treat :D

I have been vaguely interested in crochet, but the last time I tried, I felt like I was fighting the hook and the yarn. She gave me a couple pointers, and I've signed up for a session with her so I can unlearn my old bad habits and get started on things properly.

I am excited! This is going to be *awesome*. (I hope)

This evening, I'm going to go through Ravelry and try to find a good beginner pattern. I'll also pick out yarn that I want to use up :D :D :D

I'm also biting the bullet and getting a flickr account so I can easily upload pics from my phone. (I'm too lazy to upload pics, even when I want to share them with friends, so maybe this is a step in the right direction? THOUGH given the whole yahoo shutting down their services thing, maybe flickr is not the best photo sharing site to go to!)

Most of it is probably going to be knitting/crochet related >_> Sadly, "afuna" was not available, and it doesn't appear to be my account -- I can't see any pics, so I can't confirm whether it's an old abandoned account of mine.