Tuesday, December 16, 2008

One from the vaults

Here's a project I finished a while ago, but the pictures were held captive on my camera until recently when I *finally* got a replacement battery charger.

It's Knitpick's Checks & Charms hat, made using the pattern-specified US 5 needles and Merino Style yarn, although I used a slightly different color scheme. I finally learned how to do proper 2-handed Fair Isle on this project, and it knit up a lot faster than I thought it would.

Please forgive the super zoned-out look on my face. I took this at about 7am one day before work when I was still commuting over an hour.

Friday, December 12, 2008

When one hobby cannibalizes another (aka Random Thought 12/12)

When I first moved to my aparment, I practiced bass almost every day. Since I've started skating, my bass playing has become almost nonexistent. The money I was set to pour into bass lessons is being spent on league dues and skating lessons instead.

That could be another reason for my knitting resurgence: it doesn't cost me anything. Aside from the yarn I bought to make the sayonara sushi scarf and some beautiful impulse sock yarn, everything I'm working on has been made from yarn already in my stash using needles already in my arsenal.

And there's no end in site to the leftover yarn: last summer my friend had a stashbusting party (which I've mentioned but never ended up writing about in depth), her sole purpose being to get rid of as much as she could so she had an excuse to buy more yarn. Any time I mention using leftover Simply Soft or Microspun, that's where it came from.

Monday, December 8, 2008

When hobbies collide!

Seriously, have I not posted since July? Shame on me, really.

I figured "collide" was an apt choice of words given my newest pursuit, which I briefly mentioned in a previous post: Roller Derby.

Since I started skating in July (which was my first time on roller skates since I was about, oh, 12) I've worked my way up from beginner technique classes to more advanced technique classes, speed skating classes, skating with the lovely ladies of Derby Lite, and upon trying out at the beginning of November, a member of the Windy City Rollers!

Somewhere between speed skating and joining the league, I finally reawakened my crafting bug. I stopped into Have Ewe Any Wool? to buy yarn for my boss's sayonara present; since he was retiring and moving back to Japan, I decided to crochet him the sushi roll-up scarf from Son of Stitch n Bitch (marking the first pattern I've made from the book besides my own). If I ever figure out how to get the photos off my phone and onto my computer I'll post them.

As often happens when I stop in "just for a sec", I got drawn in by pettable yarn and lively conversation. The topic of roller derby came up, and the owner told me about Knockdown Knits, written, designed, and modeled by Naptown Rollergirls. Not too long after, I got my hands on a copy.

The patterns are a blast, mostly on the easier side of the spectrum, and the best part about them is that even though they're designed with a roller derby angle, most of them can be adapted to non-roller derby purposes. Arm warmers, leg warmers, and messenger bags have widespread appeal, and rollergirls aren't the only ones who need crutch cushions or slings (they just need them more often)! Heck, even the underpants-mouthguard cover could easily be used as a change purse.

I, however, made mine with the original purpose in mind. Fed up with wrapping my mouthguard in paper towel, I decided this nifty cover was just what I needed:

My US 8 needles were otherwise engaged, so I used Japanese 9s instead, which are similar if not the exact same size. It's made with leftover Lion Microspun, as almost everthing I've been making lately has been a stashbuster.

I have two other WIPs from the book right now: the sling (which I figured I should knit ahead of time, since I won't be able to knit should I actually need it), and the ice pack holder (since I slap an ice pack on my left leg every time I get home from practice, and I'm sick of holding it in place).

They're both made from leftover Caron Simply Soft. The sling is in our league colors, and the ice pack holder is bright orange because, hey, that's what I had on hand.