Archive | March, 2007

Ripples

31 Mar

Last night, filled with ripple fever, I went to Michael’s crafts and actually bought yarn.  I haven’t bought yarn there in forever, but I want my ripple to be machine washable!  Here’s what I came up with for a color scheme (and I know the idea is to use up yarn, but honestly I don’t have many leftovers.)

And here’s an idea of how I want them laid out:

I think I might place an additional light blue stripe between the black and navy.  I’m considering another color instead, but I’m not sure what to chose there… any suggestions?  I chose these colors because they’re fairly neutral, they match the living room rug, and they are as far removed from the orange/rust/avocado ripple monstrosities of my childhood as possible.

I went looking for a good free ripple pattern online, but I couldn’t find one that I liked, so I made up my own.

It looks similar to the”soft waves” pattern everyone is using, and it doesn’t require me buying another book.  I’m also crocheting into the back loop in order to give more texture to the pattern.   And yes, the only other simply soft I had was hot pink… you see why I don’t want to use leftover stash yarns here?

This morning also marked the beginning of yarn sale season for me.  I know that I’ve waxed poetic about tag sales before, but I really do love them!  This morning I bought a cute (very fake) Kate Spade bag for 50 cents, and also this guy:

The wrinkling is actually the plastic it’s covered in… the print is perfect.  Isn’t it adorable?  I love his sad little face.  Also 50 cents!  and I continued my quest to own only green coffee cups.

These were a quarter.  You know, when we have to move it’s going to be because the place is overrun with yarn and random thrift finds.  That’s ok, right?

FO: Dollar and a Half Cardigan

31 Mar

Pattern: Dollar and a Half Cardigan by Veronique Avery, IW knits Spring 07

Yarn: Brown Sheep Co. Cotton Fleece in New Age Teal, about 5 skeins

Mods: None except the yarn.

Notes: I have many mixed emotions about this cardigan.  I love the longer length of the body, and I love the asymmetrical fronts.  The puffiness of the stitch pattern mostly blocked out, and I think if I actually tried I could get it totally flat.  The seaming was a giant pain, and the sizing is off.  The picture above?  That’s with the sleeves cuffed.  See below for what it actually looks like.  I’m not entirely certain what to do here.  The body fits perfectly, but the sleeves seem to have come from another sweater entirely.  It isn’t just the length – the entire sleeve is rather large.  I’m not sure that I’m willing to rip out the sleeves and make them shorter, so I’m probably doomed to cuffing.   This sweater is a departure from my usual style – I like my cardigans short if not cropped.   I need some reassurance that the sleeves don’t look totally dorky.  Here’s the photo with the full length sleeves (although I will never wear them this way.)

I like how my expression is all “Damn these sleeves are long!”

Done

30 Mar

The Dollar and a half cardi is finished and drying.

Closeup of the buttons:

I probably won’t have modeled pics before tomorrow, as it’s taking longer to dry now that all the pieces are together.   I think the first picture gives you some idea of how gargantuan the sleeves are.  I don’t think they’re supposed to be drop shoulders, but they are on me! Ah well… live an learn, right?  It’s still a cute sweater, just not exactly the way I wanted it.

Sometimes I get very tired of having to change knitting patterns to make them smaller (designers?  A size 34 is not an XS) although I will admit it has made me a better knitter.   I can change top down patterns in a jiffy, but I still have some fears with sweaters made in pieces.

I have been bitten by the ripple bug.  Now I simply must make my very own ripple blanket… but in what yarns?  It must be machine washable, but I do not like the colors of most acrylics.  Hmm… have to think about this one.

Moving on

29 Mar

I came home early from work last night, and I’m staying home today.  I’m not sure what’s wrong with me – sort of a general achy tiredness, combined with bad allergies.  Last night I felt faint through an entire lesson, and I don’t want to terrify any kids, so… I think I’d better stay home.  Hopefully it will sort itself out – I have tomorrow off as well, so that’s 2 days to rest.

Last night my cardigan pieces dried, so I approached seaming them together.  Dear god, I hate seaming so much.  Really, I just loathe it.  This was especially full of nightmares, as I had to make sure the stripes lined up on most of the pieces.  The selvedge  edge was also not very useful, as the changing stitch patterns kept causing me to lose track of it, and it would be alternately too loose or too tight.  The only easy part was seaming the side with the lace all the way down.  This lets me know that it’s not I suck that badly at seaming, this sweater was just especially hard.  I did pretty well though, except for the sleeves, which are just ok.  I don’t think it will bother me enough to redo them, because seriously – who is staring at my sleeve seams?

Well, you all are now that I mentioned it, but… this took me nearly three hours.  I still have to add the button band, and probably I will get to that tonight.  Yesterday I bought some pretty pearly buttons.  The fit of the cardigan so far is pretty good, with one exception.  The sleeves (as I feared) are huge.  And this is coming from someone with longer than average arms, I will have to fold them to wear them.  They’re also somewhat wide I think, but I can live with that.  But, as always, I reserve judgment until the sweater is finished.  Edgings and buttons can make an enormous difference in my opinion of a garment.

While I was waiting for the sweater to dry I also made a start on the Puff Sleeve Cardigan from Fitted knits.

I’m using Cotton Fleece again, since I was so happy with it the last time.  I’m hoping that it will have enough bounce to work as a sub here.  I did have to go down a needle size.  So far I’m loving this pattern.  It’s certainly a relief to do a top down sweater after all that seaming!  My row gauge is a little different, so I’ve already had to do some adjusting (I stopped my collar a few rows early, and I’m hoping it will stand up right when it’s finished – right now it seems big!)

I also received my yarn from the Knit Happens sale yesterday.  I was so good – I only ordered some Cascade 220 (the quattro is for the U neck vest from fitted knits, the sapphire is for the Bluebell Boatneck from the same, and the Sienna is for stash.)


Left to Right: Quattro in Aruba, Sienna, and Sapphire Heather.

As an aside, has anyone else noticed that the Cascade 220 heathers and quattros are much softer than the regular colors?   I usually only buy the heathers, so I was surprised to note that the Sienna is noticeably less soft (although it’s still nice.)

Today I am title-less

28 Mar

Last night I finished the cable panel and sewed the back to the fronts.  If anyone makes this sweater, please pay careful attention when seaming so that you don’t try to put pieces on inside out!  It’s all that reverse stockinette, it confuses me!  Anyway, the 3 needle bind off went well after that, and now the sweater is blocking before I seam and add the button bands.  This afternoon on my way to work I may go searching for buttons.

And yes, I have not weaved in all my ends yet, because I am lazy, plus I wanted to wait and see if any of them were useful for seaming.  Hopefully it will be dry tonight so that I can begin to torture myself with the seams.  It does seem to have lengthened a bit.  This may, in fact, be the only knit I’ve made this year that wasn’t too short in the torso for me.  I’m hopeful now that it will fit the way that I like my cardigans to fit – close in the bust, so that I can button only one or two buttons.  I don’t think that I’ve completely buttoned a cardigan in years.

I’m involved in two KALs that run during the month of April, so I’m considering my options on what to start next.  The “Sexy Knitters club” is doing Rusted Root, and I’m also in the “Fitted Knits along” for which I could make either the ribbed shrug or the puff sleeved cardigan (well, there are several others I’m stashing yarn for as well, but they will wait for autumn.)  I’m leaning towards that cardigan, even though I’m going to have to make up a smaller size.  Fortunately,  I looked at the pattern, and it looks as though it will be pretty easy to crunch the numbers.  I’m getting pretty good at adjusting the size of top down patterns, which is probably why I prefer those over knits made in pieces.

So close…

27 Mar

 

I’m more than halfway through the final panel of my cardigan.  If all my plans go well, I should finish it up tonight, seam the shoulders and then get to blocking the pieces.   I think this panel will be much improved by blocking.  Without the stockinette panels to hold it out, the lace kind of sucks together and the edges roll, and the cables are really puffy too.  Hopefully it will block to size (right now it is tiny!)

Two of the LYS here are having 20% sales this week.  Yesterday I went to do my part of the local economy and bought some silky wool (I’ve been wanting this color for ages!) and Cotton Fleece in Pinecone.

 

I might try the Knitting Pure and Simple shaped cardigan that I’ve got in the silky wool, and I’m wanting to swatch for the Fitted Knits puff sleeve cardigan in the Cotton Fleece.

Oh, my aching back!

26 Mar

We had a really busy weekend around here.  On Saturday we drove up to Cincinnati for Marc’s cousin’s wedding.  I thought it was a really nice wedding, very classy.  Here we are, one of the rare times that we’re both dressed up at the same time.

On Sunday I covered some extra church services to make up for missing Saturday, and then I spent the rest of my day repairing the house.  It’s currently 85 degrees outside, and we don’t have central air here.  We do have several window units, but one of them totally died last summer, so off we went to buy a new one.  When we got it home we decided to put the new, larger unit in the living room and put the old on in the bedroom.  Unfortunately, when we took the unit out, this is what we found.

When we moved in last summer the air conditioners were already in place.  I knew that sometime last summer that unit had leaked and damaged some paint, but I didn’t realize that it apparently it was an ongoing problem left for us by the last owners.  So I thought “No big deal, I’ll just sand it down and repaint.”  Unfortunately, once I got started I realized that the paint on the baseboard was damaged also.  And when I took it off?  I found this:

Lovely mold, right?  I think it was only mildew caused by moisture… or at least that’s what I’m hoping.  So I scraped and scraped, and finally repainted, leaving this:

It’s not the greatest paint job, but to be honest I just wanted it covered.  The sill is clearly rotten and needs to be replaced.  And this window is behind the stairwell door, which is frequently open, so it won’t be seen much.  You see how jacked up that wall is?  Nearly all our walls are like that… the joys of 90 year old plaster I suppose.  I also enjoy the old electrical outlet there that has been painted over lots.  I really think the walls are held together with spackle. We painted the whole house last June, and already I can see cracks reappearing through the paint.

Not to complain though… I love this place, and I do love the plaster walls (we never hear our neighbors!)

Oh yes, and actual knitting content!  I have finished all except the left front of my dollar and a half cardigan.

It still looks a bit big to me, but I’m reserving judgment.  I’m still loving the pattern and yarn!

Still plugging along

23 Mar

I have finished one front of the dollar and a half cardigan, and I’ve made a start on the second sleeve.  I would try to tell you exactly where I am with my $1.50, but I never was good with the maths.

I’m saving the cable panel for last, because I’m suspicious about how the 2 fronts look different sizes when knitted up.   I’m still in love with the Cotton Fleece yarn – I’ve been knitting like mad, and my hands don’t hurt a bit… my tendinitis (caused by too much piano practicing in college, not by knitting believe it or not) has made not a peep.  But then, I do try to be nice to my hands, since they are my living… I usually stop at a hint of pain.

I did cave at the big Knit Happens sale last night, but it wasn’t too bad.  I ordered Cascade 220 in Sapphire heather and Sienna to make sweaters, and 3 skeins of  Cascade 220 quattro in Aruba (blues and purples)to make the U neck vest from Fitted Knits.  It was a really great deal, and I do love Cascade 220.  I usually try to make a sweater for under $40, and these will be under 20!  Super exciting!

I’m going shopping in a bit, because Marc and I are attending a wedding tomorrow (as guests!  First time I haven’t been working the wedding I’m attending in years!) and I realize I no longer own any dresses appropriate for an evening wedding… or really, any dresses at all.  And we are currently invited to 5 weddings before September (only one of which is ours,) so I think I need a new dress.

And lastly… does anyone have any advice for removing white water spots from a wood table?  Do those commercial products really work?  I tried the trick where you use a hairdryer, but my arms got tired and it didn’t seem to be working.

The ring has been there since we bought it (and it should go too), but the rest is my fault.  I won’t say how, but I am just sick about it.  I know that it’s possible to get them out, I’ve seen it done before, but I just don’t know how.  Any suggestions would really be appreciated.  This is a pretty new table, it does not need to be refinished yet!

One sleeve…

21 Mar

I’ve finished the first sleeve for the Dollar and a half cardi

I don’t think I screwed up the shaping, it all seems to fit together so far.  The perfectionist in me does not like having those extra stockinette portions in the seams, even though I know it won’t matter.

I wasn’t sure about the sizing, so I thought I should measure my sweater against a cardigan I already own.  Then I remembered that I don’t own any well-fitting cardigans that are full length, so out came my old standby favorite sweater.

If I lose some rows into the seams, and this sweater shouldn’t be as stretchy as the pink one (it has nylon content), so it looks good.  I’m measuring pretty close to pattern measurements, and I’m pretty sure it will gain the extra 1/2 inch with blocking (the lace and rev. stockinette are bumpy!)

The sleeves though… well, I think they’re kind of big.  They measure what they’re supposed to, and I suppose a cardigan should have bigger arms, so hopefully it should be ok.  They don’t look huge in the modeled photo.  I do like that they’re pretty long, as I have long monkey arms and can never find sleeves long enough for me.

Yesterday I went to the LYS and flipped through “No Sheep for you” and “Lace Style.”  Eh… I was underwhelmed.  Of the two I probably like “No Sheep for you” better, but neither book contained any designs I really wanted to add to my (ever growing) list.  I mean, I like the Tuscany shawl, but I know I won’t get around to it, and I like the Katherine Hephburn cardigan, but it wasn’t that special to me.  But that’s ok, because I’m still in the process of wanting to make half the patterns out of “Fitted Knits.”

WEBs has RYC Soft tweed on closeout, and I think this color

will become this

at some point in the future.   Love the buttons, love the shape, love the fact that the pattern occurs around the bust instead of the waist this time.

More progress

19 Mar

I’ve nearly finished the back of my cardigan, and boy – those decreases are horribly confusing in the lace pattern!  I think I came out ok though.

I want to finish it before work tonight (at 5:30) so if I have any no-shows I can work on a smaller part of the sweater.  When I work a sweater in pieces I work it thus: back, sleeve 1, front 1, sleeve 2, front 2.  I can’t stand working the same thing twice in a row, but I don’t like knitting 2 sleeves at once because things get all tangled.

I’m trying to decide what to make for the Fitted Knits along that starts in April.  I have yarn for both the shrug and the puff-sleeved cardigan, but I’m second guessing the yarn for the puff sleeve.  It’s made of wool in the book, and I love the way it looks in wool, but come on… when it’s cold enough for wool I won’t wear short sleeves, and when it’s warm enough for short sleeves I won’t wear wool.  So I’m thinking maybe I should try to find a blend.  I really like Rowan wool cotton, but it’s so pricey!  And I’m already making a bunch of sweaters out of cotton fleece… Ah well, I guess I’ll have to think about it!

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