Archive | May, 2007

Once again, yarn cures my ills.

30 May

Well, it doesn’t cure them, but it does make them much better.  I’m feeling very generally unwell today (I feel achy, I’d better not be getting the flu!)

This is Rowanspun 4-ply in midnight, $20 shipped (!) from the UK for 10 skeins.  It is a great bargain, and I could not resist the tweedy goodness.   I love ebay!  I’m going to make Hypotenuse from Knitspot, for which I already own the pattern.  Mine, however, will not be manlance.  It will be lace for me!

I have been working on the bedjacket, and I have completed the stockinette portions of the back, one front, and one sleeve.  Don’t get too excited… this sweater is 50% edgings, which I haven’t even begun.  So far my size mod is working out perfectly, and it is coming out in between the two smallest sizes.  It looks teeny here, but that’s only because it needs edgings desperately.

This table sucks the color out of everything, it is actually very green.  I think today I will start one of the edgings, so that my stockinette mojo doesn’t run out of speed.

Bedjacket beginning

28 May

Last night I cast on for Orangina, but I made a mistake in the lace pattern, so I ripped and will start again later. Sundays are hard for me, and yesterday was unusually hard as I had to take on 2 more services than I usually do (and I was cantoring, which is harder on me than playing… singing can make you physically tired.) I couldn’t concentrate on lace, so I decided the knitting gods were telling me to start the bedjacket instead. Here are my beginnings!

The cotton fleece is (as always) lovely to work with. I made several swatches before beginning this project. The pattern calls for using size 9 needles, which just seems crazy, so I swatched with size 8, 7, and 6. Cotton Fleece is practically identical to Cascade Sierra (the recommended yarn) but is maybe just a touch finer. I found that I liked the fabric I got on size 6 needles, so I am knitting the size small on size 6s, in order to end up with something in between the two smallest sizes.

I’m also knitting this sweater on Addi Turbo needles, which is a switch for me. I always use my KP options, but I happened to have a size 6 addi turbo, which I bought in desperation after I wore all the nickel off my first set of KP options size 6 (I use size 6 a lot… I have since bought new tips.) I wanted something a bit less sharp in order to avoid splitting the yarn (cotton fleece is lovely, but it does split) and they seem to be working nicely for that.

I may start another tank at the same time as this sweater, as we aren’t exactly in cardigan weather… I will see. I’m really not good with multiple projects. I’m very single minded that way, which is why I only have one long term UFO (my second clapotis. I got bored.)

FO: Boteh scarf

27 May

Pattern: Boteh Scarf, Interweave Crochet Spring/Summer 07

Yarn: Cherry Tree hill supersock in Green Mountain Madness, 1 skein

Hook: US size F

Notes:  Wow, scarves take me forever to finish, don’t they?  I’m happy with how this came out.  There is an error in the pattern (correction here)  resulting in me restarting this scarf after I was halfway finished.  It was fun and not too repetative, but crochet tends to hurt my wrists, so I took it very slowly.  I did find the border to be a bit confusing, so I fudged a bit and I’m happy with how mine came out.  It isn’t terribly long, but I extended it a bit in blocking, so now it’s fine I think.  I would recommend this pattern, especially to anyone with some sock yarn to use up.  I’m pleased that this yarn will not be hidden in my shoes.  I think the colors are so pretty!

 

 

Deciding is hard…

26 May

The worst part about finishing a project for me is that I have to decide on the next.  I have so many that I want to make, it’s really hard for me to commit.  In the past two days I’ve worked on my Boteh Scarf (nearly finished, but crochet hurts me sometimes) and done some swatching.  I actually cast on for the Summertime Tunic in the current Interweave Knits, but I’m not sure that the style would suit me, and that is an awful lot of stockinette for something that may not suit.

I swatched for Orangina in the blue cotton I bought yesterday, and I am very happy with the results.  I plan on leaving 2 pattern repeats out to make the sweater smaller.

I’ve also decided which yarn I will use to make the Bedjacket from Knitting Lingerie Style.  This is cotton fleece in Peridot.

It’s actually a bit lighter than it looks there.  And yes, I have a cotton fleece problem.  Now I have to decide which size to make.  The two smallest are 30″ and 34.5″ and that’s a big gap. I’ll have to think about it some.  I don’t mind starting this before the KAL begins, because I’m also planning on making the lace top in some discontinued Debbie Bliss cotton DK.

I think Dionne is so sweet when she lies on the radiators.  I don’t think she enjoys being snuck up on with a camera when she’s stalking Peacocks.  They keep Peacocks in the cemetary at the end of the street, and they are always escaping, much to Dionne’s delight.

Friday is for shopping…

25 May

Today it is anyway.  This afternoon I hit my favorite thrift store and the LYS.  I may have mentioned how much I love thrifting before… I think it’s the thrill of the hunt, plus you meet the most interesting people at thrift stores.  I’m usually shy, but thrift store people just start talking (ok, sometimes to invisible people, but still…)  It was a pretty good day, I managed to dig up a few cute tops, some summery skirts, and a purse I love, all for under $20 (there are a few items I didn’t take photos of too)

The bag is made of felt, and is precisely the sort of thing I would make if I made bags (which I don’t… my lone bag (The Fat Bottom bag) lies unlined and unloved because I fear sewing.)  My wardrobe is ridiculously huge, in spite of the fact that I regularly give things away or sell them at the consignment store, and I blame my thrifting habit.  I try not to let myself buy sweaters anymore though, unless it’s to recycle the yarn.

I went the Knit Nook and bought 2 back issues of Vogue Knitting (there are some really nice sweaters in the winter issue) and some pretty blue mercerized cotton to make Orangina (I decided I didn’t have enough Jaeger Siena to make it with, and I really don’t think Siena is a true fingering weight.)  I can’t figure out from the label what the brand is… umm, something German?  But it’s pretty, it’s the right weight, and it was cheap, so I’m happy.

And… I got the Sea silk I purchased off of Ebay.  I totally get why people rave about this yarn – it’s so lovely, luminous, and crunchy!  I was worried about the smell, because I can be sensitive to silk smells, but it is not overwhelming at all.  And the color… oh, it’s so pretty!  This one is lighter than the others in the Glacier colorway I have seen, which is why I bought it.  I’m going to make the Montego Bay scarf from the current issue of Knitty, just as soon as I finish the Boteh Scarf (almost there!) and I have an open slot for a small item.

And so it goes… I sell yarn, and then I buy yarn.  It keeps me from feeling as though I’m hoarding, and it makes me happy!

Tonight we’re having sushi out with friends.  I love Sushi so much that Marc has had to limit me on how often we go, or I would want to go every time we went out.  Fortunately, we have friends who love it as much as I do!  Now I’m going to go read my new knitting magazines.

btw…

24 May

I’m still destashing.  Actually, I’m always destashing.  I think, truth be told, that I just love to try out yarns.  So anyway… if anyone wants to buy some yarn, click here.  I’m selling some sock yarn, Rowan Summer Tweed, and some yarns from Elann, as well as some magazines and books.

FO: 80s Sweater Project

24 May

Pattern: Berroco pattern,  from a 1986 issue of “Fashion Knitting”

Yarn: Berroco Glace in Fawn, 8 skeins for size S

Needles: US 5 and 8

Notes: I love this sweater!  Putting it on instantly takes me back in time, and I find myself with the urge to get out the blue eyeshadow and wear legwarmers when my legs aren’t cold!  It’s the kind of sweater my cool older cousin wore back in the 80s, while I was stuck wearing crewneck sweatshirts we decorated in girl scouts and jeans that were not even acid washed.

*Ahem.*  Sorry, I got off track there, but I am excited by the fabulous eighties-ness of this sweater.   The yarn was nice – it wasn’t the best yarn ever, but neither was it the nightmare I had heard.  The fabric it produces is fabulously drapey, and the ribbon texture produced a nice interesting fabric (without venturing into novelty yarn land the way some ribbons do.)  If anyone wants to make this sweater, I’ve seen tons of copies of this issue up on ebay for really cheap.  You’ll recognize it because there is a sweater with bunny rabbits on the cover.  I made this sweater without any mods except for leaving out the bobbles.  It doesn’t really do the blouson thing on me, but I think that’s because I’m a bit smaller than the pattern was written for.  I’m not upset – I like the kind of tunic-y look.

We had so much fun with this photoshoot!  The gates and wall are from the really old cemetery at the end of our street.  I’ll leave you with more pictures!

 

Patterns I have loved (image intensive!)

23 May

I am so close to finishing the 80s pullover… I only have 4 inches (or so) to go before I can start the finishing process.  I could have been finished days ago, but for some reason the back of this sweater is boring me to death.  Possibly because it’s a giant rectangle of stockinette with no shaping.  Don’t get me wrong, I love stockinette, but I like some shaping or something to keep it interesting.  But I’m almost there – I should finish today!

Instead of working on the sweater I’ve been going through my patterns.  I’ve finally scanned in the vintage patterns I want to make (I don’t like to use the books, they are too fragile!) and I’ve rediscovered some lovely patterns I already own.  I like to make something out of every book I keep, otherwise what is the point of keeping them?  I’ve been in the mood to make a few shawls and scarves, and I also found some nice new patterns.  So here are some newly planned projects…

Perfect Pie Shawl from “Weekend Knitting” in some Elann alpaca I’ve had stashed for ages.

Veronica from Rowan 36.  This pattern calls for 4-ply soft doubled, but I’m going to give it a go with DK weight yarn that gives the same gauge, in an indigo color.

Lisette, also from Rowan 36 (4-ply soft), and Brooke(chunky cotton chenille), from the same.  Brooke is crocheted and is a Kim Hargreaves design.  I love Rowan 36, which is the only Rowan mag I own.

 

I’m going to make the Montego bay Sea silk scarf from the current Interweave mag, and I’ve bought a skein of Sea Silk in Glacier to go along with it.  Isn’t the color lovely?  I will soon be selling some sock yarn to get rid of the guilt of how much this skein cost.

 

I want to make Melody’s Shawl from Morehouse farms in the KP laceweight I bought a bit ago.  It has an interesting construction – it’s knit in the round and then cut(!) to make the fringe and open up the shawl.

I love this crocheted sweater from a Phildar book (I must make something from these books!)

And then there are my beloved vintage patterns.  Making the 80s sweater has given me the idea that I would like to make a sweater from lots of different decades… although, I confess, the 70s will be tough.  The only books I own from the 70s are overrun with the granny squares.  Here are a few I like from my collection:

1930s

1940s

 

1950s

 

1960s

As a side note, isn’t the outfit the guy is wearing in the 2nd 50s picture hilarious?  The 40s are possibly my favorite era.  Both of those sweaters have just such lovely details.  The vest (called a jerkin in the book) has two pockets and smaller ribbing to shape the waist area.  It uses fingering weight yarn (do-able in a vest) while all the other patterns show above use somewhere between sport and worsted weight.  These patterns are the exception – I have a number of patterns that call for yarn that gets 8 st/in which would have to be reworked, and a few books from the 1930s trying to convince me that I want to knit with crochet thread at 11 st/in.  No, thanks.

So many patterns… I must get to knitting!

Book review Monday!

21 May

I’ve finally been rewarded for not purchasing either “Lace style” or “No sheep for you” (I was meh about both, and the sizing wasn’t working for me) by the recent release of two wonderful new knitting books.  I love reviewing books, and I wanted to show some of the projects I haven’t yet seen on the web.


Knitting Lingerie Style by Joan Mcgowan Michael

I wasn’t really sure about this one, for several reasons.  I have been unimpressed by the “Naughty knitting” books we have been given this year, and I have in the past found that many of White Lies Designs do not come in sizes under a 36 bust.  I ordered this sight unseen (I needed to qualify for free shipping) and I’m so glad that I did.  First of all, this is a surprisingly tasteful book.  It is beautifully photographed, and the book is printed on lovely paper.  It is divided into several sections, each focusing on a different type of lingerie (the bra, the camisole, the corset etc.)  Although each section contains at least one lovely lingerie pattern, most of the patterns are for lingerie inspired street wear.  Most of the yarns used are reasonably priced (I noticed a lot of Cascade for example.)  The most exciting thing is the sizing.  There isn’t a single design in this book that doesn’t come small enough for me, as every pattern contains a size under 34″.  And this isn’t a book that skews towards the skinny either, as many of the sweaters have a very large range of sizes.  I am so pleased to see a book that keeps the needs of all knitters in mind, especially after my disappointment with several recent books in this regard (Fitted knits, I’m looking at you!)  The text portions of the book are clearly written, with some very interesting historic details (JMM is inspired by the vintage patterns that I love!)  The patterns contain very clear schematics, and look to be very easy to follow.  Below are some of my favorite designs from the book (it was so hard to choose – I love everything!)

 

But really… everything else in the book is so lovely, you really must see for yourself!  I am definitely knitting the bedjacket (first pattern on the top,) and there are so many others I would love!  And isn’t that skirt gorgeous?

Runway Knits by Berta Karapetyan

Runway knits is a horse of a different color.  The style couldn’t be more different from the first book reviewed.  The writer of this book is the force behind Karabella yarns.  So ask yourself… do you like Karabella designs?  Because if you do, you will love this book.  I’ve never knit a karabella design, but I’ve always admired the sexy edge they seem to have.  Don’t let the title fool you… most of the designs in this book are very classic and wearable.  The range of sizes in this book is only ok.  It serves the low end of the scale very well (all but two designs have a XS size of 32″) but is lacking in directions for larger sizes.   Most designs have a finished large of between 40 and 42 inches.  Compare this to lingerie style, where many patterns go to over 50″.

So that’s my negative for this book.  On the plus side, I am pleased to see a book of sweater designs that are clearly not for beginners.  Most patterns make use of textured patterns.  Does stockinette bore you?  There’s lots for you in here!  I think this book is a worthy purchase, and I’m definitely going to make something out of here.  Here are my favorites:

 

 

Right now (since it is summer)  I’m the most likely to make the first sweater (love the ruffles and eyelets) and the diamond stitch mock turtleneck.  For winter I really love the fourth picture, which is a sort of shawl with sleeves.  I love that idea.  I also want to make the turtleneck with the piot edging – did you know I’ve never made a turtleneck?  I do love wearing them, so maybe it’s time!

There are so many great knitting books coming out soon, I don’t know how I’m going to resist them!  Here is a sampling:

Folk style: Innovative designs to knit

Vogue on the go: Crocheted Shawls

Crochet me: Designs to fuel the Crochet revolution

Knitting new scarves: 27 distinctly modern styles

Knit Kimono: 18 styles with  simple shapes.

The best of Interweave knits: our favorites from the first 10 years

Loop-d-loop crochet

Lacy little knits: Clingy, soft, and a little risque

Sensual Knits 

Knitting classic style: 35 modern designs inspired by fashion’s archives by Veronik Avery

Romantic Handknits by Annie Modesitt

df

halfway!

20 May

The back of the 80s sweater is finished!  Here’s a picture of the design at the top.

Sorry for the focus, my camera doesn’t like late afternoon sunlight.  It took me forever to get through this part because the directions were unclear and maybe had a few mistakes.  I just did what looked right to me, and I’m happy with it!  I put the shoulder stitches on holders to use a three needle bind off later.  That’s one of my favorite tips, because I just hate the way my shoulder seams look otherwise.

I can’t wait to wear this one, so I’m going to hustle to cast on the back.  It’s all stockinette, so it should go much faster.   I’m using the combined knitting method for the ribbing, and I’m super pleased with that.  It does take longer, but it’s so even that it looks machine knit!  I was worried about size, because this sweater claims to be a size 8-10, but I think it’s going to work out.  Sizing was different in the 80s, it seems that I keep wearing smaller and smaller sizes now.

I ended up ripping the shoulderette.  I wasn’t happy with the pooling, so I’m going to make it again with non-variegated sport weight yarn.  I still want to find a use for this ball of yarn, since it’s all wound up and everything.  I’m thinking about Wendy’s “Dream swatch” headband from Knit and Tonic.  I made a swatch so I could practice the pattern, and I’m not sure I’m doing it right.

I like how the yarn looks in this pattern,  and I know the color will look good with my hair.  The problem?  I’m not sure my crossed stiches should be so loose (this is after blocking.)  Those of you who have made this, did you have this problem?  I know there are a few errors up there, so no need to mention those… how did you keep from getting confused on the order of purling after the cross?  Perhaps I am doing something wrong.  This is with size 4 needles.  I do plan on modifying the pattern so that there are fewer crossover rows.

Yesterday I picked up my wedding dress, and I love it!  It’s the one below, only in off white with a dark brown band.  It’s beautiful, although it definitely cinches you in (I can’t eat til the wedding… oh well!)

I tried on lots of different shoe types and decided that I only liked it with ballet flats and tiny kitten heels.  I’m deciding between these shoes:

 

I’ll have to try both on with the dress before I decide.  I do like the idea of wearing flats…

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