production/process/pre-process, pt 2

please excuse my typos.

i think way faster than i type (and i type somewhere around 90 wpm, so i'm not that slow), and occasionally my fingers get a little tongue-tied tripped up. had to put in that little disclaimer, because i do come back and re-edit, even after i've spent over an hour trying to clean up the original post a few times before hitting "publish" and i just start to short circuit after awhile! whew. ok, let me get to my point, geez. my point is, i am not a writer. i mean, clearly i am (did you see that last post?!), but i don't do this for a living. i do this for fun :) oh, forget it! onto the good stuff!

weekly wrap-up/finished object(s) current projects:
off the needles
i finished up the naked star hat just in time to weave in my ends and run off to the grocery store. it's funny, i have this fear of my "stuff" falling apart on me, especially in public places. i mean, i know the reality here is that as long as i put it together properly, i should have no problem. but still... this occasionally keeps my from wearing my handmade items out in public. but this hat right here... pure love. i'll be wearing it again to my class tonight! it's slouchy, fun, young, and sorry to say... a total hipster hat! hahahaaa ah, who cares. i love it! and if i love it, i'll wear it. again, the yarn is from the sanguine gryphon. it's "traveller" in the colorway "the geyser grand hotel."

FO: The Naked Star Hat

FO: The Naked Star Hat
 look at that smooth edge!

that professional edge is a result of using the "tubular cast-on" (don't worry, it's in the link section!). it really is quite a nice looking cast-on. a total p.i.t.a. (you know what that stands for!) and absolutely worth it! it gives great, professional looking results. this is a quick way to take your projects from a$$ to class. lol! i'm here all day folks ;)

i do enjoy trying new techniques, especially if it steps my game up, and i try to do this with each new project if there is an opportunity to do so. another nice cast-on for hats is the "german twisted cast-on" (or twisted german cast-on, whatever you like to call it). i used this on my dad's jacques cousteau hat, and that one is pretty nice as well, just different, and it has more of a firm and flat appearance. the tubular edge looks like the fabric gets folded under, and if you look at it in profile (side view) it looks like a tube. who would've guessed ;) the stitch pattern that you are using (rib) will look like it continues all the way to the edge on the tubular cast-on. i included a couple shots of the german twisted cast-on from my dads hat below. see if you notice the difference.

twisted german cast-on
what this cast-on looks like "on"

twisted german cast-on
detail shot of the g.t. cast-on

my other f.o. (wow, 2 in the course of a week!), which i finished up last night, are my first pair of socks! yay. i slept with them on. sooooo cozy and toasty!

FO: Retro Rib Socks

FO: Retro Rib Socks

*sigh* i'm a sucker for these "warm" photos. it's like i take my photos by candlelight :D

these are the "retro rib socks" from interweave's 25 favorite socks book. more info here! great beginning sock knitter pattern. the pattern contains a series of knit, purl, and ktbl (knit through the back loop) stitches. that's it! it's a 4-row pattern, which is easy to memorize, and do not let others freak you out about the heel or picking up stitches for the heel gusset. as i've said in a past blog on this socks, totally not a big deal at all. well, i shouldn't say that. it may be difficult for someone else, i know we all learn in our own way, but let me say this, the pattern (and i think most sock patterns) will instruct you to "slip the first stitch" as you are creating the heel flap, and this should help you tremendously as you are picking up your heel stitches. makes the stitches easier to see :) anyway... great pattern, well-written, and i am officially a sock knitter! already starting my second pair!

odds & ends:
what i love this week/who's inspiring me
a friend shared this fantastic youtube video with me, over the rainy weekend. i'm in southern california and rain is a big deal here! stormwatch 2011!!! hahahaa anyway, it was cold, gloomy, and raining all day (no exaggeration, it rained all friggin day!) and this was a lovely, bright little piece. and extremely inspirational.

Watch this piece first, and then follow-up with the making of - "it's not technology, it's what you do with it." Absolutely amazing and inspirational :) 

helpful links:
Tubular Cast-On - typically done with 1x1 ribbing, but can be adjusted for 2x2 ribbing.
Twisted German Cast-On (or German Twisted)

The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques - remember that "a$$ to class" line i used above (it was a play on words from a saying from the chapelle show - "ashy to classy"... i'm too hungry to search for the video. don't think it's available anyway)... well this book will help you step up your game. i got mine used off amazon, like i normally tend to do. mine is a retired library book.

this book includes visuals and step-by-step instructions for a number of commonly seen and used cast-ons, bind-offs, increases/decreases, borders/bands/finishes, buttonholes, joins and then some. what i really like about this book is that many of the techniques have a "benefits" and "drawbacks" section that tells you the strengths and weaknesses of using said technique. great for a newer knitter, like myself.

a quick sampling for you is a "drawback" on using the long tail cast-on: "cast-on edge, followed by stockinette, will not lie flat; it will roll toward the knit side." good to know. and this has happened to me on some of my beginning projects. also, for a more seasoned knitter, maybe this is something you might have forgotten.

and a drawback when using the tubular cast on: "takes more than usual amount of time." yeah, no ish! hahaaa here's another one since i mentioned this one already: "does not work well with bulky yarns; makes edge too thick, and causes it to flare out." so put away that lion brand thick & quick! i love these little jewels of wisdom. again, a more seasoned knitter may know some of this stuff instinctively now, but i'm not there yet and i like to try new things, so this is my go to guide. it's great when someone else has already compiled the research. saves me time. i mean, yeah, we could all sit around a table, 7 days a week, making nothing but little samples of each of the techniques available in the knitting world, in a variety of yarn weights and compare notes, but who has the time? wouldn't you rather be... knitting? anyway... excellent reference book which i use often.

i'd love to hear what your go to reference books are. it'd be great to read something other than my long posts!

until next time!