Oh, for the wings of a dragon

Kim Harrison created her own pattern for a knitted dragon (if you want to check it out, it starts with the supply list), and being me, I immediately thought, “I want to do that!” Of course, my next thought was that each of my kids would be unhappy if I knitted a dragon for the other one first, so the only way to resolve this dilemma was to make one for myself.

However, I’m slow. Not so much when I sit down to do the work, but rather when trying to figure out how to slot it in around reading and work and planning novels and working on edits for the year-past-due mystery … which is why I have one and three-fifths wings done when the knit-along is so very much past that.

Left dragon wing

Left dragon wing

Right dragon wing

Right dragon wing

In fact, you’ll see if you look at these photos of the wings in progress, I added the third panel of the right wing to the wrong side, and I have to take it back off and sew it on the other side (which puts me at somewhat less than three-fifths of that wing done).

One thing this is definitely showing me is that I don’t have time and energy for more than one hobby thing at a time. The only way to have time to knit is to not sketch, color, crochet, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. I’m going to keep knitting (I want my dragon!), but that did mean I gave up my goal for sketching every day. Alas!

(And now my daughter wants a homemade Halloween costume, which is going to slow down my progress. Ah, well.)

Double-knitting for double the fun

View of daughter showing length of scarf

Not quite floor-length!

I realized my daughter needed a scarf for winter, especially with cold mornings waiting for the school bus. I decided to make one for her for Christmas (fortunately, not her only present), but got started rather later than I should have — and decided to do double-knitting so it would be warmer and cut the wind better. Of course, that makes the knitting take twice as long, as I effectively knitted two scarves, and as I believe it’s better, when possible, to make something large enough to last a long time, it’s a rather long scarf.

I finally finished the scarf this month, just before the last snow storm, which means she’s gotten to wear it all of two or three times this season. Oh, well, there’s always next year — and many more to come.

Heart knitted into scarf

The heart is the center of it all.

Doing the double-knitting allowed me to use two colors without worrying about the gaping that can happen with intarsia or the strands across the wrong side of the fabric; all I had to do was switch which yarn was in front and which yarn was in back. The end result was a scarf that’s pink with purple patterning on one side and purple with pink patterning on the other. I made up the pattern as I went along, and once I got to the middle of the scarf (the large heart pictured above), I simply repeated what I’d done in reverse — although I did miss one band of alternate color near the end. Oops!
Two ends of a knitted scarf

The two sides of the scarf, showing the reversibility.

Reversible brioche cowl

A little bit ago, I posted about learning the brioche stitch in knitting. Well, the real test of learning is trying to make something (other than swatches). So I poked around and found a simple cowl pattern.

Then I set to work, using the lovely yarn bowl that LJ Cohen made.

Brioche cowl in black and white with ceramic yarn bowl.

When I finished and sent it to her, she took a picture of herself wearing it.

I’m pretty happy with how this turned it. Next up: craft posts about learning Tunisian crochet.

Oh — and check out LJ Cohen’s new book release, Derelict, which just came out this week.

Cables and double-points and raglan decreases, oh my!

When I decided to make a sweater for my son, the first step was deciding on a pattern. I poked around a bit online. One of the things I noticed is that there are lots of patterns for kids up to age 6, and then not a lot until you reach adult sizes. Fortunately, my son has hit that age where he’s bordering between a youth extra-large and an adult small, so I looked at men’s sweater patterns. (Yes, it’s a bit of an emotional hit to realize I’m looking at adult sizes for my not-so-little boy who is growing up much too fast, but what can I do? He absolutely refuses to stop growing!) Continue reading

Biting off more than I can chew

I like doing handcrafts. I started young, learning basic chain-stitch embroidery from my parents (almost the only stitch I remember how to do), then crocheting from my mom (mostly because my little brother was learning, and I couldn’t stand for him to know if I didn’t — same reason I finally started riding a bike without training wheels). Eventually, I added more — knitting, sewing, quilting, and my new experiment, tatting. Continue reading