Changes

1 Dec

Well, wattsolak.wordpress, you’ve been great but it’s time to move on. Wattsolak.com is the new home for all things Wattsolak. Come on over and join the party! Update your links and your bookmarks!

And since it’s in my head now, I leave you with a little Bowie.

Topsy Turvy Werewolf

1 Sep
How I love a good topsy-turvy doll, even though I’m not a big fan of the frilly dresses that most of them are adorned with.  I wanted to try to create one myself so I chose this more modern theme for a spin on the traditional.

I used Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift for this doll which turned out to be a great choice.  The yarn has a sticky quality that really solidifies the doll.  I highly recommend it.

Yarn: fingering weight wool in a cream, brown, gray and blue
Yardage: less than 60yds per color
Gauge: 30sts/4 inches in stockinette
Suggested needle size: US size 2
Finished measurements:  approximately 8″ tall
Price: $6

Find this pattern on Ravelry

Bean Monster

6 Jul topfull

There is so much love in this monster.  The original image for this pattern came from a drawing that my husband did.  A doodle, really.  But, as a friend once said, “he is a Norse god of doodling”, meaning his quick drawings are usually much better than us mere mortals can do if we sat down and concentrated all day.  Indeed.  In the years we’ve been married (nearly 8!) we’ve occasionally collaborated on art projects but this just may be my favorite so far.

Short rows create most of the shaping.  The ears and jaw are knit separately and sewn on, but otherwise there is no seaming.

Yarn: sport weight wool or blend of your choice
Yardage: approximately 110yds in cream, plus a bit in gray for embellishments
Gauge: 7sts/ inch in stockinette
Suggested needle size: US size 2, either 4 DPNs or one long circular
Finished measurements:  approximately 7″ tall
Price: $4

Find this pattern on Ravelry

Wrapping and Turning

5 Jul

This tutorial is an add-on for my pattern for this guy. Hello, little monster!

Most knitters I know have at least a marginal knowledge or experience with wrapping and turning.  I find that the idea of adding a wrap to a stitch is rather east and nearly self explanatory.  Where I think this process gets daunting (and some tutorials glaze over without much thought) is the picking up of the wraps.   This topic came up at a knit night a few weeks back and our poor knitter friend who was looking for help didn’t seem to be able to get a concrete answer from any of us.  It’s a hard one to try to explain, so I whipped out the camera today in hopes of adding some visuals to this technique.  I know there are plenty of sites out there that have these sort of tutorials but whenever I need to learn a technique I end up browsing about 4 or 5 sites until I find the one that explains it best in the way that I learn.  Hopefully I can add something here to help someone out there!

Say you have some stitches.

Wrapping on the knit side

You want to knit up to the point where your next stitch is the one to be wrapped.  Don’t knit it…

… but slip it purl-wise onto the right hand needle.

Move your yarn counter-clockwise around this stitch, moving it to the front of your work.

Now slip that stitch back onto the left-hand needle.  Move your yarn to the back of the work.

Turn the whole thing so the purl side is facing you.  Now continue the other direction with the purl side!

Easy peasy.

Wrapping on the purl side

Purl to the stitch you want to wrap.

Slip that stitch to the right needle purl-wise and wrap the yarn clockwise to the knit side of the work.

Return the stitch to the left-hand needle.

Turn the work to the knit side.

Swing the yarn clockwise to the back of the work.  Continue knitting on this side.

Now where things often get a little shaky is when you are knitting or purling and come across these wrapped stitches.  I believe there are a couple of ways to approach this but I’ll show you how I do it.

Knitting a wrap (knit side)

The next stitch to knit here has a wrap around it.

I like to slip the stitch purl-wise onto the right needle.

Insert the left needle through the bottom of the wrap, then through the stitch as if to knit.

Remove the right needle so both the wrap and the stitch are on the left needle.

Knit the wrap and the stitch together.

There.  Not so hard, eh?

Knitting a wrap (purl side)

Here, same thing, the next stitch has a wrap.

Slip the stitch purl-wise to the right needle.

Insert the left needle through the bottom of the wrap and through the left side of the stitch.

Now slip the stitch back onto the left needle.  Here you can see the wrap on the left, the stitch on the right.  Purl the two together.

There is one more version of knitting a wrap that I think is handy to know.  This is the one that I always had a problem with myself up until I started writing patterns that involved short rows and I forced myself to figure it out better.

Knitting a wrap (knit side, version II)

This type of wrap you come across if you wrapped on the purl side then began working in the round again.  In many patterns this will come up on the first knit round after a short row set.

You can see that wrap on the right side of the next stitch.

Stick the right-hand needle through the bottom of the wrap and through the left side of the stitch.  For some reason I always seem to make this wrap tight and it takes a little wiggle to get the needle in.

Leaving the wrap on the needle, knit the stitch….

… then with the left needle pull the wrap up and over the stitch (like you’re binding off a stitch, same general motion).

Done!

How much do I love self striping yarn?

15 Jun

Enough to go through these shenanigans.

That there is a long hank.

I’d say this is well worth the trouble.

Oh hello there colors, waiting to come out!

I’ve been wanting to do self striping rainbow for a while.  As a first try, I’d say this is pretty good.  The yellow is a little neon and the purple is a bit dark, but now I know what to do next time.  I’m anxious to see how large the stripes are too, as I didn’t plan that part ahead of time.  At least I’ll have a frame of reference of fencepost to fencepost next time I try this.

It’s been too hot to want to knit too much during the day.  Having this yarn dyeing outdoor operation is a nice change.  I wonder, could I somehow rig a dyepot to the gas grill??


Foot

2 Jun

Isn’t that just about the cutest foot ever?

That is all.

What to knit in the summer – Part 1: dolls

31 May

It’s almost too hot to sit outside in the afternoons this week.  Gone are the days of wanting to knit mittens and woolen hats.  What to do?  My answer this week: stuffed animals and dolls.

This one I started last July.  It’s based on an Edward Gorey drawing that I love. 

I put this away last fall because I just couldn’t get the dress right.  This week I had an epiphany as to how to do it so back onto the needles it went.  I’m happy with it now and am currently working on the hair.

The other current one is based on a drawing that my husband did.

I’ve been wanting to translate his drawing to yarn for a long time now and finally settled on this one.  I love how simple the shape is but it’s still expressive and has details that really make it.

It looks a little more fetal alien than monster right now but once he gets his face finished it’ll look better, I swear.

I had to special order the oval shaped safety eyes but I think it’ll be worth it.  I hope to write the pattern for this one so I’ll try a version with embroidered eyes next and see it that’ll work.

Ahh, knitting items with no trying on of warm garments.  Now to figure out what to knit for the next three months….