Wedding pictures!

Knitting continues on the tilted duster.  The pieces above the skirt are really small and easy to complete!

We got the proofs back from the photographer this week, and I am so happy with how all the photos came out!  We haven’t decided yet which ones to buy, but I thought I would share a few here.  I would recommend my photographers to anyone, they were really wonderful to work with!

Wedding party:

With my new in-laws

My favorite shot of Marc and I together:

With my piano (yes, it’s a little strange getting married where you work!)

The church:

Entering the reception (after we had a power scare – 15 minutes with no power!)

Dancing

I couldn’t be more pleased!

FO: Central Park Hoodie

Pattern: Central Park Hoodie, Knitscene Fall 2006

Yarn: Queensland Collection Kathmandu Ara, 11 skeins

Size: XS (32)

Needles: US 4 and 6

Mods: Shortened the sleeves by 1/2 inch, added 1.5 inches of length to the body.

Since this sweater has no shaping, I was expecting something sort of boxy and shapeless, but I am pleasantly surprised!  I knit the 32″ size and it came out to be a 34″ sweater with my gauge, so there is about 1/2″ of positive ease here.  It fits exactly the way I wanted.  It isn’t tight (I can button that other button, but I know that I won’t wear it that way) but it is fitted just the way I like my sweaters!  I will not wear long sleeved shirts under things, and this is perfect with a t-shirt or cami under it.  I am not a master of layering. The sleeves are perfect for me in both length and size, but I have super skinny arms, so be aware that the sleeves on this sweater are on the tight side.  There are no photos with the hood up because I know I will never wear it that way.  I love hoodies, but I don’t love wearing the hood… isn’t that odd?  I used my new button method (backing buttons) again here, and they turned out so well!  The pattern does not specify a button size, which I did not like, but I used 7/8″ buttons, and they seem to work ok.  You could probably go up to 1″ but not much bigger without a different buttonhole.  I didn’t need the top button, and I may remove is (or not – it looks ok, I just won’t use it.)

I loved the yarn, and after a wash it is not at all itchy.   It also softened up and started draping nicely after the wash, so be sure to wash your swatches if you use this yarn!  It also comes in a DK weight, and I can’t wait to try that someday.  It was more pricey than I usually go with my yarns, but I think it was totally worth it.  I would not try to seam with this yarn, as it breaks really easily then.  It does spit splice nicely, which is great when you’re using this many balls of yarn! The color is hard to photograph, but the photo above is close.  One thing I really like is that the tweedy bits are different for each color.  I hate it when tweedy yarns try to use the same tweed colors no matter what the yarn is.

This sweater has a lot of finishing, especially if you think of the hood as “finishing” (I do!)  There are a few hood mods I have seen (kitchenering it together, knitting the border in one piece) that I did not do, since I know I won’t be wearing the hood up.

More pics:

 

In love…

with my new work schedule.  I’m off on Thursday and Friday now, and it’s so wonderful having the first real “weekend” I’ve had in at least five years!  Having two days off in a row means I can do things like stay up til 4 AM finishing the Central Park Hoodie.

I love my buttons!  It’s blocking now, and I will have an FO post when it dries.  I can tell you that I absolutely love it!   I’m so glad that I made the 32″ size, because it would have been too big in a 36… especially because I never, ever button all the buttons on a sweater.

I made a tiny little start on the Tilted Duster.  I decided I wanted something that would have really smooth yarn, which is why I chose this over the Twisted Yoke cardi (that will probably be next!)  I simply love the color of this yarn, and the Peruvia is so, so nice to work with.

Last night I gave my Perfect Pie Shawl to my Mom for her birthday… hopefully she will not be allergic to alpaca, so she will be able to enjoy it!

I need to knit Marc a new scarf, as he seems to have misplaced the one I made him last year.  He has requested something a bit wider, and something softer (the last one was made of Araucania Nature wool.)  I’m thinking Malabrigo, because he really loves soft things.

So… what are your favorite Man Scarf patterns?  I’m looking for something pretty mindless to work (so nothing that involves lace) but not so boring that I lose my mind!  He loves Harry potter, so I was considering a scarf in Gryffindor colors, but I’m not married to the idea… and even if I do that, I’m not sure what kind of scarf to make with that.  I’d love any suggestions, both knit and crochet!

Fall?

Thanks to everyone who wrote with advice or commiseration on my mortgage woes!  I will get back to everyone individually soon.  I am attempting to resolve my issues (letters have been sent), although it may take some time… but in the meantime, it’s possible we may find a house that doesn’t need my name on the mortgage anyway.  We will see!

It’s raining here right now, which hopefully means that actual fall weather is around the corner.  I am so tired of summer now!  I am about 5 inches into the hood of the CPH, and it’s going pretty fast even if it is a little tedious.  I’m still working on the plain socks in the Austermann Stepp yarn as well… I love the colors of this yarn so much, but the yarn itself is awfully splity.

 

The gray yarn in the picture of the CPH is what I’m using for seaming.  My only complaint so far about the Kathmandu yarn is that it breaks easily if you try to use it for seaming.  The dark gray works well enough, and you can’t see it anyway.

Yesterday the cat (Leon, the Maine Coon) knocked over an entire can of Fresca onto my Fall Interweave Knits, so I had to buy a new copy.  Thank goodness he didn’t ruin any back issues!  He hasn’t been doing the “knock over glasses” thing for awhile… he once broke an entire set of glasses over a 3 month span.  I think he thinks watching things fall is fun.

I’m not sure what my next sweater after CPH is going to be.  It’s pretty much between the tilted duster and the tangled yoke cardi… I’m not sure which I would like!  In the meantime I’ve bought a few patterns (yes, I know… but I have not bought any yarn, so that’s pretty good!)

I bought the Debbie Bliss Luxury Collection off ebay, for this sweater, which I showed a long time ago. (I have been waiting forever for this to show up in the US!)  It has not arrived yet, but I just bought it!

I got this sweater, from Sweaterbabe.  I love the pockets and the buttons. I think I could use stash yarn too!

And, in a moment of weakness, I purchased the Gretel beret pattern from Ysolda.

I have only made two hats in my entire knitting career, and one of them was for Marc.  This is because I have an enormous head and a long forehead, so hats that fit closely look terrible on me.  But this hat… since it is slouchy, perhaps it will suit me better?  Mostly I think I just want to be the sort of person who can thrown on a jaunty beret and not worry about what their hair is going to do later.  I’m not sure I have any suitable yarn for this, but it would be a small purchase if I had to find some.

It’s funny because Stash and Burn (the best podcast, you should listen!) have been all about stash busting the single skeins this month.  I was going to join in, but then I realized I don’t have any single skeins.  Seriously – I’ve always been the kind of person who says “if I can’t buy a sweater’s worth I’m not getting it.”  So while I have lots of sweater amounts of yarn, I have no single skeins… does that make me odd?

Where I stand…

Here’s where I currently stand on the Central Park Hoodie.

I have finished the back, both sleeves, and one front.  I am about half-way through the other front, and then it will be time for assembling and knitting the hood, which I understand to be larger than I would imagine.  I have really loved knitting this pattern so far.  The Kathmandu Aran yarn is gorgeous, and it hasn’t been hard on my hands at all!  I can imagine myself using it many times in the future, especially with all the great colors it comes in!

I am knitting the size small (32″) and it is coming out, with light blocking, to 34″ at the bust.  I think that should be just about perfect!  The 36 would have been too large I think… sometimes I tend to overestimate what size I am, but I’m pleased I managed to talk myself down this time.  I am going to be making buttonholes, so perhaps today I can go looking for buttons.

I start back at work today, finally!  We were supposed to be closed for 3 weeks, but it has stretched to five since the studio has moved in the interim.  That means somewhat less knitting time, but I think that might be good.

We are still looking at houses.  I feel like I am being very picky, but I know we will find the perfect house for us, even if it takes six months.  I am also working on repairing my credit, which is damaged from a very bad time in my life several years ago.  It is frustrating, because we cannot currently get approved for the amount we can actually afford, and it feels as though I am being punished for things that happened years ago, even though I have since cleaned up my life and been responsible.  Marc’s credit is very good, and I feel bad to be pulling things down, even though I know he doesn’t blame me for it.

But enough of those problems… I know that things will work out for us!  I am working very hard to fix things, and sooner or later I will see results.

FO: Danica

Pattern: Danica Scarf, from Knitty

Yarn: Patons SWS in Natural Pink, around 3 skeins

Needles: US 8

Notes: I have a love/hate relationship with scarves.  By the time I finish one, I’m so sick of it that I swear I’ll never make another… until ten minutes later when I see one that strikes my fancy!  You see, I love to wear scarves.  I wear one almost every day from September to April, and I even wear them indoors all the time (I am terminally cold!)  This scarf seemed to take forever (I started in July,) but to be fair I did have a wedding in the middle.  I love the results – it’s so pretty and unusual, and I love the colors.  I think I could have gone down a needle size or two, but I’m glad it didn’t take any longer.  I chose to block mine, which does admittedly reduce the “woven” look of entrelac, but it also allowed the SWS to soften enough to be nice on the neck, as well as giving the scarf a good extra 9 inches in length.  I recommend this scarf – it was a good first entrelac project because the squares are relatively large – 10 stitches as opposed to the 5 in some patterns.  I did not have to learn to knit backwards, which is good, since I really didn’t want to.

And now, of course,  I have already discovered my next scarfy project.

It’s Gigi, from Annie Modesitt’s “Romantic Hand Knits” made of Tilli Thomas Disco Lights in Jade.  If this scarf takes as long as my past few have, I will not feel guilty about that yarn (and besides, I did get it at a discounted price a while ago… it has been waiting!)

The picture in the book isn’t great, but I have seen several others online, posted by test knitters for the pattern.  It doesn’t look too hard, but maybe it will keep my interest?  We shall see!

Surprise FO: Bainbridge Scarf

Pattern: Bainbridge Scarf, free pattern from Pepperknit, found here.

Yarn: Elann Highland Silk in Admiral Blue, 1 skein

Needles: US 4 24″ circular

Notes: I was getting a wee bit frustrated with my entrelac scarf yesterday.  I feel like I’ve been working on it forever, but it’s still not quite long enough to cast off.  I wanted some instant gratification.  So… I found this pattern on Ravelry, along with some cute finished versions, and 2 episodes of House later I had a new scarf/cravat thing!  Mine turned out longer than the pattern, because I think it really calls for a sport weight yarn (mine is dk) but it worked out pretty well.  The construction is interesting – sort of a knit tube with ties that you fold over.  I need some practice to get it working exactly right, but it’s cute in an artsy sort of way.  I think I can pull it off… or at least I will think that until someone says “Did you make that yourself” and I get all paranoid about it (seriously, don’t you hate that question?)

However, the Elann highland silk is terribly scratchy against my neck.  Keep in mind that I am not very sensitive to scratchiness, and I am in no way allergic to wool, and I did wash this in Eucalan, but still… I could not recommend making a scarf out of this yarn.  I don’t know that it would be terribly bad in a sweater, but it’s not so hot around your neck.

So… I’m about to attach the last ball of yarn to my scarf, so it will hopefully be finished this week.  The Central Park hoodie continues – one sleeve is finished and blocked.  This yarn tends to stretch when blocked lengthwise, so I’m glad I made the sleeve a little shorter (they will still be long, but I kind of like the idea of long sleeves.

Here is where I am on the back.

Right now it’s measuring on track to be about 34″ when it’s finished, which is what I want.  I am not knitting the body in one piece like everyone else seems to, because I don’t mind seaming, but I do mind those neverending rows.  Besides, I like having small goals!

By the way, I am still on break from teaching, which explains all my recent knitting time.  We are moving the studio and doing some remodeling, so I’m spending lots of time at home, when I’m not working at church.  I’m used to having to run between the two, so it seems like I have acres of free time!  One of the reasons I really want to buy a house and move is so that I can start teaching lessons out of my house, and not so many of them either.  One of our main criteria in a house is that it have an extra downstairs room that can be used for my studio, which is why we’re having to look at such large houses.

FO: Juliet

Pattern: Juliet, by Zephyrstyle

Yarn: Brown Sheep cotton fleece in Terracotta Canyon doubled, around 3.5 skeins

Size: XS

Needles: US 10.5

Notes: I may be the only person on the planet who celebrated the return of the empire waistline this year.  Don’t get me wrong – there is lots of fashion badness out there.  No one can convince me that skinny jeans needed to come back – I’ve already done my time stuffing my legs into jeans so tight that they need zippers at the ankles.   This sweater isn’t really an empire waist, being more of a short swingy jacket, but it’s close enough for me.  I love this style, and I love this sweater!  It knit up in around three days, and I didn’t have to make any mods.  I even used the size needles called for in the pattern, and that sort of thing never happens to me.  I think my favorite part is the buttons – the asymmetrical look works here, and crocheting the loops was fun.

I tried out a new method of attaching buttons here.  Putting buttons onto knitted fabric so they don’t gape can be difficult.  I’ve used ribbon as reinforcement, but I didn’t enjoy the process.  I read somewhere the idea of using a backing button – that is, using a cheap button on the back to hold the button in place – and it worked out so well!  Plus it looks much neater than my old method, so yay for that!

Knitpicks has new wooden tips for their interchangeables.  I ordered one size, as well as a few of their new dpns, to try out.  I don’t really love the colors, although they aren’t quite as bright as the photos, but they do seem nice.  I started a sock on the size 0 dpns, and so far they are nice – sharp and not too grabby.

The dpns are not as colorful as the options tips either.

I also got a start in on the Central Park Hoodie.

I started out using the size needles I got gauge with, but it was coming out seriously wide.  So I went down a size, and now it’s working out.  I have read the comments about the sleeves being small, but I have really skinny arms… plus I’m unlikely to layer anything with sleeves under my hoodie.   The yarn is still nice to work with for a tweed – and this picture is actually accurate on the color!

FO: Tiny Toes socks, an almost FO, and about houses.

Pattern: My own, basic stockinette socks

Yarn: Interlacements Tiny Toes

Needles: Crystal Palace size 0 dpns

Notes: I could have made them longer!  I always seem to be afraid of running out of yarn on socks, perhaps it is time to try toe up?  I really like the colors of these socks, and the fit is nice.  The heel is a tiny bit big, but I have narrow heels.  Next time I will make them smaller.  I thought the yarn was nice but not exceptional.  I should note that the 2nd skein had two sections that were unevenly spun, resulting in me having to cut the yarn in those places.

Stockinette socks are my new thing!  These didn’t take too long at all, and they are so warm and comfy – just in time for the weather to start cooling down!  Last night we walked to trivia, and it was cool enough for me to wear boots.  I love boots, I would wear nothing else all year if I could get away with it!

My next socks will be either Austermann Step yarn, or Trekking.  The Austermann I salvaged from a failed pair of chevron socks and I really want to make it into socks.

I also finished the main knitting on Juliet (wow, that was fast!) and it is now drying, and awaiting buttons and weaving in the ends.  I usually weave them in before blocking, but I wanted to be absolutely sure of the length before I hid them.  I found some buttons in my grandma’s old button jar, and I can’t wait for it to dry!

My next sweater will be either the CPH or the Tilted duster (I reswatched above, and got gauge on size 8 needles… unfortunately my size 8s are in use, but I can switch some things around!) Marc really was excited about the hoodie, so I might give it a go… but I do love that peruvia, so we will see!

Today we went to the bank to discuss loan pre-approval with our loan officer.  It went pretty well, all things considered, and while we have a few things to do to make our credit score look a bit nicer, all things considered I feel much better.  Not to mention, prices seem to be dropping in the area we are looking, so hopefully we will find something (I don’t have a date in mind, although we were thinking spring for a house, but when something we like comes up that is when we will buy!)

Has anyone got any experience with buying a house without a realtor?  I don’t mean FSBOs either (that’s what we did with the place we live now.)  Marc has friends who bought their house that way, and he really does not want to hire a realtor, but that makes me much more nervous.  I didn’t even think you could buy a house without one… and I am worried that we will not be taken seriously?

Prices in the area we want are so strange too… ranging from really low to crazy high for similar properties.  Of course, since it is a downtown area, the neighborhood varies block to block… but still.

From this house, at the low end of our price range to this house at the high end (the second house is located on a walking court, and I love it. I just want it to be cheaper… and have less wallpaper I would have to remove.  I am a wallpaper hater.)  And then there is this house, which is in a scuzzier neighborhood I suppose, but oh my goodness… I love that house so, so much.

It’s all so exciting!  I have always wanted to own one of those houses!  We were looking to buy one that needed work, but found to our surprise that we can afford one that is already nicer!

And another

I started my Juliet sweater the other day, and I thought I had better try to get in at least one WIP post about it.  This pattern is quick!  It will be finished in the next day or two, since I’m making the cropped version.  I am having to take it slower than I otherwise would, because bulky knits tend to be hard on hands, so I’m alternating between this sweater and working on finishing up my socks.

I will go to 5 or 6 repeats of the lace pattern, and then I will have a new sweater (again, so fast!)

I expect to be waiting for needles for the Tangled Yoke cardi for awhile (Knitpicks takes weeks for me) so I went ahead and swatched for a few sweaters.

Berroco Peruvia for the tilted duster.  I got gauge on size 9 needles (4.25 st/in) before blocking, but after blocking it had gotten a tad larger.  I will swatch again on size 8s.  This yarn is wonderful to knit with!

Queensland Collection Kathmandu aran  for the Central Park hoodie – I get 4.25 st/in on size 7 needles.  After blocking it gets maybe a tiny bit bigger, but I think I will just knit the smallest size then, and hope to achieve a bust in between the two smallest.

Cascade 220 –  for the Minimalist cardigan.  I decided against the peace fleece, wanting something not so rough.  I got gauge on size 6 needles (5 st/in ) before blocking, but after blocking it had relaxed considerably.  I will need to use size 5 needles.  This yarn is a really beautiful color!

I got the new Interweave Crochet in the mail this week, and while I am happy that it has gone to a quarterly magazine, there isn’t too much I’m dying to make.  I like crochet for accessories more than for sweaters, and there aren’t enough for me.  It’s also possible that I see crochet as being more of a summer craft, and so it doesn’t appeal as much in the winter.  I do like the cover sweater, make out of Louet Kidlin, but I’m pretty unlikely to actually make it.

I also received my copy of Knitting Classic Style from Amazon.  There are plenty of reviews of this book floating around, and  I agree with most of them.  Everything in the book is very wearable and classic.  Admittedly, nothing jumps out at me that I must make immediately, but I can see this being a book that I come back to again.  It’s also very beautifully photographed.  My favorite pattern is probably the shawl, although black is impractical with a long haired cat.  I also love the fair isle hoodie, and I love the men’s zip up vest pattern.  Here are a few of my favorites: