Saturday, June 23, 2007
I did a reasonable job on the raglan seams, too, even though I was talking to Jody and Lee while I was doing it.
Check the Flickr links at left for some photos of awesome lace knttting that Jody AKA Killerpeach completed for our yarn shop. I will blog some of them later, if I have time. (Since she doesn't post her stuff lately, I will just do it for her, hee hee.)
Off to vacation/work trip, where I will try to quickly finish sock #2 so I can move on to "Coupling" from Knitty, in a lovely Jitterbug colorway.
The sock is posing at Austin Bergstrom airport, where I finished it, so if you ever wondered what the floor there looks like, that is it. Glad my son's flight was a little late, so I could finish.
I also finished sleeve #2 on Juliet, so I am heading upstairs to sew those sleeves in and work on the border, plus pack for a long trip that will be filled with knitting! I may blog less often while I am out of town. Or not. Not much to do at my dad's house.
Other knitting news: I organized all my more recent knitting magazines last night as part of my massive home decluttering. They look so nice in magazine holders. Next, the patterns will be put into page protectors and organized by topic. Go me.
Friday, June 22, 2007
It's all wrinkled because I hadn't folded it well. I think when I am all settled from home improvements and travel in a week or two, I will reblock this, and see if I can get it to be more the size it was when it came off the needles--the sleeves hugged my arm, and the bottom hugged my hips. I think in trying to make sure the lace was well blocked, the rest stretched out.
Live and learn, only this is live and learn on expensive yarn!
In other progress, I began a cable rib top to my sock, only to find that the cable I was using made the sock not put-on-able. So, 2x2 rib it is. A nice, wearable sock. And this way I can zoom through sock #2 in planes, cars and airports, and try something fun for the next pair. One of the new ones in Knitty maybe.
As for my hair. Well, I got it re-colored yesterday and allowed my new hairdresser to put me in rollers and "set" it. I ended up looking a bit like Tammy Wynette. This photo is after it calmed down considerably. I must say it is silky and smooth.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
So, here is the Circular Sweater. There have been other similar items coming out lately, I've noticed, including crochet versions. I saw a sleeveless vest version that I think I'd enjoy doing.
This one is in Lorna's Laces worsted weight yarn in a variegated blue, a gray and a black. Plus there's Lorna's Laces boucle in a very dark grey for trim (boy howdy, I got tired of getting my needles stuck in the little loops--but it ended up so pretty!).
This sweater was pretty difficult to knit. It would have been easy if it were just knitting in the round, but there were many rows that alternated colors and you had to twist one around the other a certain way, because it made a rope pattern on the other side (yes, the purl side is the right side on this sweater). Your yarn would get all twisted together by the end of a row, especially toward the end. But then, a row later you'd twist the other way and end up just fine--if you could manage knitting with all the twists in the meantime.
But, it was a fun challenge and I like wearing it. You can wear it as pictured, or flip it and have a much bigger "collar" and more of a bolero length. I fasten it with a big pin in the front.
In other knitting news, thanks to spending quite a bit of time knitting last night at Chicks with Sticks, I am close to finishing the second sleeve on Juliet, and thinking of what technique to use on the cuff of the sock. I am thinking a cable instead of ribbing, but picot edgings also sound nice.
I think I'll dedicate these socks to the memory of Carole, who never mastered socks before her untimely passing this week. I wish things could have been different.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Doing the rest of the gusset and turning the heel was my reward for finishing the first sleeve on Juliet. One to go!
So, as for that Trekking wool/bamboo yarn. I am enjoying the mottled sort-of stripes. I think any of the colorways this one comes in would make nice manly socks--there is color and pattern, but nice and subdued. (Unless you are a man who likes bright socks--fine by me--I like a man in a happy sock!) It knits just fine, and is nice and soft, thanks to the bamboo. There isn't as much sheen as there is in some bamboo yarn. My only disappointment has been that there were some slubs or something in the beginning, which had me worried. But, it stopped after the first yard or two. If you get any of this Pro Natura yarn, be sure to check for pieces sticking out before starting.
I am using size 0 Knitpicks circular needles, and there are 64 stitches around the sock. It fits great so far. Onward and upward to the leg!
These are going to be so great at high school football games in the fall! (The McNeil Maverick colors are navy, dark green and white--very somber and hard to knit up perky items in.) I chaperone band students, and get a lot of knitting done on the way to away games!
Monday, June 18, 2007
I want to make Guido, the simple manly cardigan pattern in the beloved Debbie Bliss Rialto book, but the LYS doesn't have Rialto in sufficient quantities in the right shade to make it with that yarn. I put a piece of my off-white Rialto in the picture to show they are the same DK weight.
I did buy some more Rialto on Saturday, though. The pink colorway, so that I can make the short-sleeved cable sweater in the Rialto book (don't have the book here so I can't remember its name). This yarn will make beautiful cables and is in a really nice pink. Pink, I either love it or hate it depending on shade.
I did a lot of heavy lifting over the weekend, which made my hands hurt, so I didn't get as much done on Juliet as I had hoped. I am mostly through the first sleeve, however. Distractions at the yarn shop, and fatigue at home meant I kept messing up and tinking rows. I am about ready to start the gusset on the sock, which I only worked on in the car or U-Haul. Photo tomorrow.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Sometimes following instructions doesn't work out. the photo of the Mermaid Socks from Lucy Neatby (in Regia Stripe, done in 2004) shows an example. I knitted them according to the instructions, and really liked how the striped yarn made the squares come out. But, I knitted a short-row heel, as instructed. My wraps are fine, and it looks OK, I guess, but the darned heel is so slippery it will not stay put. The sock roams around on one's foot.
I made it for a woman who begged me to knit her a bunch of socks, and she returned them! I don't blame her (made her a few more plain pair, then came to the conclusion that I'd rather knit for me, thanks. She thought $20 was a great payment for a pair of socks, until I showed her the price tag on some of the yarn I was using. Uh, that $7 profit works out to less than a dollar an hour, if I knit FAST!
So, like many sock knitters, I will not knit them for pay again. I may give an appropriately grateful person a pair as a gift. Maybe.
So, on this one, I wish I'd gone with my gut and made another heel.
Now we come to the sock I started yesterday. As I mentioned, I decided to make the fingering weight, gusset-heel toe-up socks by WendyKnits. I started them on the way to dinner at some friends' house last night. I was going to follow instructions, but well, I only brought one circular needle (sock pattern is written for double pointed needles). I nearly always convert DPN patterns to magic loop, because that's how I do socks nowadays.
I could have started with the magic cast-on I used on my placemats. But, I said to myself, I will use the cast-on Wendy describes to see how it looks. It is one where you case on the backward loop way, then pick up stitches for the other side of the sock in the back loops of the stitches cast on. No problem! Well, until I realized that when I finished picking up, one needle was pointing one way and the other was pointing the other way. No way to loop them. Ha ha, silly me, again. So, I sucked it up, pulled out one needle, and stuck it back through the loops the other way. It worked!
So here, perhaps I should NOT have used the called for cast on. OR followed the instructions and used DPNs. You never know.
Now about that Trekking Pro Natura yarn (wool and bamboo blend). It's "rustic" looking, with occasional undyed blobs popping up. That is fine. What I have not found fine is that, at least in the beginning of the skein, I keep running into pieces of yarn that stick out. That is not what you want to see in a sock yarn. I will report back if this continues.
I got the toe complete (messed up a couple of increase rows because it is hard to pay attention riding in the car during a severe lightning storm) and am now cruising up the foot. The navy/dark green is making subtle stripes, which will go great with my high school football watching attire! I'll be working on the sock at work, and finishing Juliet this weekend, if I am lucky and don't have too many home improvement projects.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
I almost sewed the fringe up inside the bag when I briliantly thought I should sew the bottom from the inside. Ha ha, funny me.
The bag now holds a ball of that new Trekking Pro Natura yarn (which I earlier referred to as Zitron because I didn't have the label in front of me). I am going to make WendyKnit's toe-up socks with flap heel, and try out my new Nitpicks size 0 needles.
And as a bonus, since I have the camera and everything, I will also share a photo of Juliet in progress, to prove it really exists.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Finally got the camera, but no time to crop the pictures! Anyhow, here's the bag I am working on from the Louisa harding workshop. The body is worked side-to-side in a mix of garter, stockinette and eyelet patterns, and you change colors every other row, most of the time. You leave ends long so they can become the fringe. When you are done, you add a border to the top, with eyelets to put the drawstring through.
I still need to stitch is together, trim the fringe and make the drawstring (she wants you to make twisted cord, and I don't know if I have enough remnant yarn to do it).
It was nice to try out some yarns I had not knit with before. I especially am glad to use the shiny ribbon yarn of hers--it is so pretty but when you knit it, the beauty hides. Good to have the fringe! There was also a thin yarn with silver dots that was pretty, a cotton slubby yarn, and a mix of a red silk with a dark red string with square sequins on it. the final yarn was a soft pastel ribbon. Yep, it's glitzy. And made of yarns I'd probably never use in a garment. I'll post a finished product photo soon!
PS: I am crawling up the back on Juliet--not much knitting time in the past two days, but I go to Chicks with Sticks tonight, so I willl have more time.
Monday, June 11, 2007
- Coupling: socks made from that fun new yarn, Fleece Artist Sea Wool, which is not available where I live, naturally. But I love the pattern (more visible in photos in the text). I am especially fond of the lace gusset pattern. I think it would look smashing (I also liked the 'vog on socks--theyd be #6 if I were to add a sixth).
- Tangerine Twist: No, I am not a big fan of the color orange (you wouldn't be either, if both universities you attended had orange and blue as their colors--this surrounds you with orange...and then I moved to Austin, Texas, which is solid burnt orange much of the year). But I am fond of warm-weather tops that are not tanks. When you are approaching the half century mark and are not a big fan of the gym, chances are your upper arms are not your most beloved feature. I like sleeves. And this top is perky, with interesting shaping via needle size. I'd make it! Maybe I will! After the organic cotton top and (gasp) a sweater for my man!
- Wisp: How could I not love a delicate, lacy mohair item? It's a little odd that it has buttons, but they look like useful ones. I love how it looks as a cape in Kidsilk Haze. Drool.
- Askew: Yes, it is a sleeveless top. And worse, made in Silk Garden, which can't make for a warm weather option where I live. But I like the technique and always like what Silk Garden's color changes do to a garment. So, maybe I could wear it under a jacket, or make it for one of my Young Thin Friends (or less arm-obsessed older friends). I wonder if you can wear a foundation garment under it, with the sleeves so far apart, but it might work!
- Chapeau Marnier: It looks so good with the designer's hair under it! And again, lace, a nice scalloped pattern that I might borrow some day for the edge of a garment. I love lace. (And wow, that Louisa Harding lady has a lot of lace stuff in her fall collection--I will be buying one of those books!) Anyway, this hat looks like it would be really flattering to anyone with long hair. I have long hair right now...maybe I will use my handspun to make it. If I ever finish any.
Okee dokee, those are my favorites, totally subjectively. What are yours?
But, on Sunday afternoon I switched projects because I went to a little workshop featuring Louisa Harding at my LYS. It was so nice of her to come to our little shop in addition to the more well-established one in town! Around 30 people came to work on a little bag pattern using her yarns, and to hear her story of how she got to be who she is.
I admire both her and her husband for finding meaningful work doing what they like (and it helps to have talent and training in those fields) and for finding work that allows them to be with their children. My former employer's volunteers would like that part. She hardly saw her first baby, because she went back to work with a vengeance right after she was born, and didn't want to repeat that with the second baby. Good for her.
I got a photo with Louisa, and also a better one of the Shiny Green sweater--am just waiting for the kind photographer to send them to me.
So, since I am thinking of afghans and not getting any suggestions for mine, I am sharing this photo of an "interesting" afghan I made in 2005 I think, for a former colleague after her first and only (so they say) baby was born. She also had a beautiful, energy-efficient new house full of bright colors, so I made this for the house. (Too bad I'll never get to see it finished!) Anyway, yes, it is sitting on a tuba. A concert tuba makes a good stand.
I made it from Berocco Foliage yarn, sort of following one of their patterns. Well, really I just made a bunch of mitered squares and connected them, then added a border and a crochet picot edging. I like the way Foliage changes colors, but I don't like how it pills or how incredibly "acrylic" it feels. I made a vest from it, too, but rarely wear it, due to the pilling and fuzzing. Still, it is an OK yarn for something that needs to be machine washed frequently, which is why I used it here. Um, also because Noro Silk Garden or Kureyon weren't available to me yet!
Stay tuned for photos of my workshop project, the green sweater and Louisa Harding!
Friday, June 8, 2007
So, today I share a picture of the vest that was in the background of the dog sweater picture. The inspiration was a pattern in the book Dazzling Knits: Building Blocks to Creative Knitting, by Patricia Werner. I used two colorways of Noro Silk Garden. I remember I knitted it while watching the last Winter Olympics. I simply could NOT stop working on it, because it was so much fun seeing what color combination was going to come up. There is a front view here, featuring my previous hair color scheme.
Modular knitting is so much fun. I can't believe I haven't done any more of it--all the motifs in the Dazzling Knits book are great. Well, I am trying to decide how to make the afghan that Jody is going to dye me DK weight yarn for to match my new media room (colros are a lovely dark red, rich tan and denim blue). I had thought of a log cabin deal, but maybe I'll go modular.
Suggestions? I'd appreciate ideas to mull over.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
So, this is Juliet, which I would have made in the color depicted if we HAD that color, but instead settled on off white for. I will enjoy wearing it at work, fer sure. But mostly I am enjoying that springy, sproingy Rialto yarn! It feels so darned good to touch, hold, fondle...ahh, a knitter talking about yarn!! I don't want the nice, plain garter stitch square to ever end, but it will. I am on the third ball of yarn, and I think I am over halfway through the garter stitch, even with my slow progress. I'll enjoy the top half, too--it is certainly not mentally taxing knitting. But mmm, that nice vanilla-colored square. It's so nice and even, too!
Yes, Rosebud will get worked on more soon. I will eventually need some knitting stimulation, and won't want to work on the top in the car--you have to keep looking at the instructions, whereas I have memorized the Rosebud central pattern now.
Oooh, yesterday I got two more Addi Lace needles, so now I have US sizes 2-5. And, sigh, I bought sock yarn. New Zitron wool/bamboo blend that feels wonderful, in colors that are the kids' school colors (dark green and navy). If the indigo colorway I loved is still there on Saturday, I might get it, too. It has a slight sheen, and the indigo/deep navy just shades slightly. Would make a nice Manly Sock.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Since I am spending a lot of time decluttering and rearranging things in my house, the knitting is going more slowly than usual. The off-white garter stitch rectangle is very pretty, though, and I knitted a bit of it in a traffic jam, which made that awful experience slightly better. I love the Debbie Bliss Rialto. Such lovely wool yarn.
The house rearranging has a knitting-related ultimate goal, because my hope is to get a fairly large wardrobe-like object to put in our new media room and hold my stash, rather than having the scary sock yarn explosion as a "decor item" in my bedroom, and the equally scary plastic drawers that are bursting their seams in there (um, not to mention the stuff hiding under the bed or in my former knitting closet). Soon, all yarn will be in its place. All patterns will be, too, because I emptied out a bunch of notebooks that held periodicals, saving the magazine holders. They will look lovely with patterns filed by type in them!
So, what's the picture of? It's the most popular item I made on display at the LYS. Little children love to play with and pet the doggie with the fab sweater on. The pattern is on the cover of one of the books of dog sweaters that came out a couple of years ago: Knitting for Dogs: Irresistible Patterns for Your Favorite Pup -- and You! by Kristi Porter. I used it in teaching a class on "create your own dog sweater," which was fun. I made my pug a pink and yellow fair isle sweater. He has worn it ONCE. I'll post that at some point, too. Anyway, the yarn is Berocco Qwest along with Laser FX. One skein each. It is an easy pattern, too--would look really cute on a small doggie.
Oh, and I am wearing my beautiful modular motif vest in the picture. I will post about that one soon, too. I LOVE doing those modular patterns!
Monday, June 4, 2007
I got about three inches into my Juliet sweater yesterday, when I saw a flaw in my garter stitching and began to unravel one stitch down to fix it. At that point I LOOKED at my garter stitching. Hmm. Then I measured it. Everyone at my house got a real chuckle when I came up with 47 inches around. It was supposed to be 40 (second smallest size in the pattern). I swear, I did get gauge on my swatch!
So, I got one size smaller needles (down to us 4 now I think) and cast on the number of stitches for the small size. That got me a 40" rectangle. Hmph. I sure do init nice-n-loose in garter stitch. So I guess I'll knit the stitch count of the small size, but make the height a little taller if there are any differences in that are. I want this thing to not be a beach towel when I am done.
So, even an experienced knitter doing plain garter stitch can end up having to start over! But, it's all in the process.
My beloved did take a photo of Slimy Green Sweater with his phone. But it's a new phone and it took a long time to figure out how to get the photo off the phone. Sigh. If I hadn't spent so much on home improvement supplies this weekend, I'd just have gone and gotten a medium-quality digital camera this weekend! (We let the kids take the old and a little klunky one on their trip to Ireland with their dad.) Anyway, this picture is AWFUL! I look tired (I am) and my hair is wet, plus the sweater looks lumpy. We'll try again. And when I get home I will at least edit the eerie blue light out of this one.
Sunday, June 3, 2007
I can't wait to show you what it looks like! It is so shiny, green and lacy! And flattering!
I started on Juliet from the Debby Bliss Rialto book. What do I do first on it? Knit a beginning knitter rectangle: a big old hunk of garter stitch. I must admit it feels soothing to knit plain on lovely off-white yarn that is soft merino wool that does not split, slip around, bunch up or otherwise cause challenges. It just knits. This is a very simple short-sleeve sweater that has one button in the front. I think it will be great for wear at work, where it's very chilly, with a nice colorful tank or tee under it. And of course, I will be back to the Rosebud shawl now, too!
Friday, June 1, 2007
I didn't post much this week because I have been feeling sick and didn't have much energy to do much other than sit and...knit (of course!). I only have ten more lace rounds on the Slimy...er...Shiny Green Sweater, then a ribbed edge and that one will be done! So, look for a photo this weekend, I hope (we ARE doing a lot of home improvements to our "new" media room this weekend, so I may not knit much, but I will finally have a knitting corner again, so my stash will look pretty). I have enjoyed doing the lace section of this sweater immensely--it has completely made up for the less-than-fun boring stockinette sleeves and body.
PHOTO: Ooh, I found the Rebecca Magazine site and here is a link to the page with a photo of Slimy Green Sweater. It is the first one on the left. Imagine it in grass green.
Today's photo is the sweater I am wearing today, only it looks a lot better on me today, with reddish hair and about 15 fewer pounds. Thank goodness for all that exercise and dieting of the past year and a half!
The sweater is one we had a sample of in the LYS, but in a black cotton. I made it in March 2006 with Gedifra TopSoft, which is a microfiber blend that feels really nice and soft, but, sigh, snags if you look at it funny (like Slimy Green will). It's a Berocco pattern and I have to say is a WEIRD one. The decorative eyelet and cable edgings to the neck, side vents and sleeve (insertion) were really not fun to knit--very counter-intuitive, but they look neat and interesting on the finished product.
Another not -fun aspect was way too much boring plain knitting than I like, plus not being circular (I must note that my seams are beautiful, though I did a couple of them more than once to get them perfect.) I made the arms a little longer than the ones in the instructions. Note to self: don't do that again. The arms hit an inch below my elbow, which makes the sleeves curl up.
Nonetheless, I enjoy wearing this one a lot. Today I have a black tank top under it, and my strapless bra so I won't be so concerned about it sliding off my shoulders. I need to get little snaps or something to keep it up. But, I won't.
Another thing about this one is that, at list price, it would have cost over $100 to make! I am thankful for a discount AND the generosity of the people who gave me a gift certificate for my birthday that allowed me to get it as a gift! The moment I got the certificate, I ran over and grabbed my balls of yarn--I knew what I wanted!