Archive | November, 2007

Wintery blah

28 Nov

The Emily pullover is seriously going on forever.  I did finish the sleeve and attatched the cuff, and I’m happy with how it looks now – I’m only a bit worried that the sleeve may be a little long.  We will see, as I will sew the first one in before I knit the second.  I’m working on the front now, and I’ve just split for the neck.

I’m starting to get seriously worried about the amount of yarn I have left.  Ordinarily, I’m the sort who will buy an extra ball every time, but since this yarn has giant skeins I didn’t want to buy an extra.  It’s going to be close – keep your fingers crossed for me!

Also… this pattern calls for knitting the neckline edging (plain ribbing, no shaping) separately and then sewing it on.  Can anyone give me a compelling reason why I can’t just pick up stitches and knit it onto the sweater?  Seriously… I hate sewing on edgings.  The directions say to “pin and steam” half the edging into a u-shape before seaming.  I just don’t know… will it really make a difference?

I did finish one of my dublin bay socks, and I am happy with how it turned out.

I love the idea of socks that are stockinette with some sort of lacy panel for variegated yarns.  I’m looking for similar patterns if anyone knows of any!

I’m feeling pretty blah about things right now.  Emily is just not thrilling me, which is funny since I usually don’t mind stockinette.  I think it’s the enormous sleeves that are killing my mojo, although they are, I will admit, really cute when assembled.  I am so ready for some new sweater projects, but I am not letting myself start anything until Emily is finished… otherwise it will never be done.  I have so many great projects lined up!

I really love Oblique from the current Knitty, although I personally think the smallest size would be large on me when combined with the slouchy sleeves.  I’m considering knitting it at a tighter gauge.  I think it would be cute knit to my exact bust size, but not with 2+ inches of positive ease.

Yarn for that project is one of the things I will be looking for in Indianapolis this weekend.  I’m planning to visit at least 2 shops, maybe 3 if there is time, while Marc is at his tournament.  I’m looking forward to getting out of town, which I feel like I rarely get to do since my weekends do not coincide with anyone else’s!

I love books!

26 Nov

My Japanese knitting books came in today (wow, such fast shipping!) and I am very happy with them. I’ll post pictures of the insides of each, along with the ISBN, should anyone be looking on Amazon Japan or some such site for them.

Ondori book, part of the I love Knit series (or so it appears… I do not read Japanese.)

ISBN: 9784277172226

Notes: Contains around 21 patterns. They are pretty easily split between knit and crochet, with some patterns containing elements of both. This is something I noticed about all the books – there doesn’t appear to be such a great divide between the crafts. All the projects in this book are accessories, and I must say that this is my favorite book of the group. The patterns aren’t the most complex in the world, but they are all stylish, and they aren’t easy knits in bulky yarn either. I also think the photography is quite nice. Here are photos of my favorites:

Let’s Knit Series, Spring & Summer 2006

ISBN: 9784529042123

Notes: This book contains 42 designs. Once again, both knitting and crochet are represented, with perhaps a few more knit. Almost all the designs are sweaters. As with all Japanese books, they only contain charts for one size – usually a 34-36 – and you have to make changes for your own size. This book contains some really nice lacy sweaters (including several I forgot to photograph.) The diagrams seem clear to me, although I suppose we will see about that! I’m glad to see some nice summer sweaters, as I have trouble finding short sleeve designs that I care to knit.

Keito Dama, Winter 2007

ISBN: 9784529044974

Notes: Wow, there are some lovely sweaters in here! I apologize for the subpar photos, but as I have said, light is in short supply here lately! I count at least 57 patterns in this book, and most are knit, although there is quite a bit of crochet. There are patterns for clothes, accessories, and a few toys. The sweaters are very detailed and beautiful. My favorite is still the green sweater I posted earlier – I couldn’t get another decent photo of it, as the light ran away!

Holiday is over!

24 Nov

I’m glad that Thanksgiving is over, and things can go back to normal (well, normal for the two weeks until my Christmas Music activities start up in earnest!)  I do enjoy holidays, but I’m not really at my best around lots of people – my family is very small, and we always had small holidays.  I tend to just be very quiet.  We decided to order a television that was on sale on Target.com rather than brave the early morning crowds Friday (well, Marc would have – I just cannot handle the insanity!)  I’m happy because our TV is about to die, and then what would I watch while I knit stockinette?

Speaking of stockinette….

That’s the sleeve of Emily.  Yes, that’s right… a sleeve.  It’s decreased as small as it gets, and I’m really nervous about how large it is.  I know the sleeves are supposed to be blousy, so I hope it’s ok – I think I’m about the same size as the model, and it looks fine on her.  It is taking forever, partly because it is just so boring, but I know it will be worth it in the end – I just have to buckle down and finish!

I didn’t take Emily with me to Cincy, because we needed a little distance.  Instead, I took my Thanksgiving socks, to ensure they would get worked on during the holiday!

I’m very proud of my first Eye of Partridge heel.  I love the way the slip stitches look, and it’s nice and thick.  From this point on I’m not really following the pattern, since my numbers are different.  It’s all stockinette to the toe, so it should go quickly.  I’m feeling much better about the merino/tencel yarn, which has a nice shine and really good stitch definition.

Yesterday we did do a bit of shopping – we visited a really excellent Goodwill, where all the clothes were 50% off (I bought lots!) and we also bought a brand new espresso maker for cheap.  We went to Big Lots and the Dollar Store looking for little stocking stuffers (my Mom loves her stockings!) and… we did make it to Knit On in Bellevue.  Marc’s parents live on the Kentucky side of the river in Cincinnati, and I find the way there are so many little towns clustered together interesting.  Bellevue is an interesting town with a nice little main street.  Plus the knitting store has a yarn store cat, which I feel is always a plus.  I thought about yarn for the Colette Pullover, as I find myself obsessed with the kitty cats, despite my lack of color work ability, but I didn’t really see anything I liked for it.  Hopefully next week in Indy I will have better luck!  I love Reynolds Whiskey, so I will probably choose that, but I may change the colors.
I ended up buying Colinette Jitterbug in Velvet Damson (mine is a newer skein, and I think it has more yardage than the old ones?) and some Naturespun sport for the Gathered Pullover from the current IK, which has grown on me I think.  I don’t know any place that carries “Top of the lamb” so this is close enough.  The sweater is knit at a loose gauge for sportweight, which I think is important, and most of what I like about the sweater, so I was sure to buy sportweight yarn for it, although DK would have made gauge easier.

 

In real life the naturespun is a super bright teal, more green than blue.  And yes, I know, I said no more teal… but I cannot resist!  The bright colors call to me!  Besides, I sold most of my teal yarn in the last destash.   I also bought a book, Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush, since I have fallen so deeply in love with her sock patterns.  I looked through More Sensational Knitted socks, but I’m not really into it… I have the first book, and it’s nice, but I don’t really use it.

The preview is up for the new Interweave Crochet.  I’m really just not sure what I think of it.  I think for me Crochet is a summer craft, and so the winter issues don’t do it for me unless they are heavy on the accessories.  I do like the two hats in this issue.

 

But then, I don’t wear hats, so I don’t know.  Ah well… perhaps it will grow on me!

FO: Clapotis #2

21 Nov

Pattern: Clapotis by Kate Gilbert

Yarn: Karaoke by Southwest Trading Company, Mermaid Mix

Needles: US 8

Time to Completion: 1 year + 2 weeks.

Notes: I’m so glad to have this off my back!  I took about an eleven month break in the middle of knitting this, but ultimately I’m glad that it’s done!  Karaoke was nice to work with, but it does break easily – never while knitting with it, but often enough for me to be concerned about the yarn’s strength.  It also took forever to drop all those stitches – I finally finished them in about 3 hours last night.  I don’t know that I will be making another of these, but I’m very happy to have two, in very different color families, to rotate.  The color above is accurate but dark – we are in the part of the year with no sunlight, so I did my best!

On the sidelines

20 Nov

I wasn’t able to do any knitting yesterday, because I woke up with a very sore right wrist.

bad hand!

I have tendonitis (going on 8 years now), and occasionally it flares up – most like this time because I played an entire recital and three masses this weekend, plus whatever knitting time I threw in there.  I used my heating pad and occasionally my brace, and this morning the pain is gone – yay!  If it was going to act up, I’m very glad that it happened early in the week, and not Thursday and Friday when I will be stuck at the in-laws (they’re lovely people, but they go to bed really early, which I (the insomniac) have a lot of trouble with.  I will have to play for an hour and a half tonight, but they’re just lessons, so I can get away with using mostly my left hand… and then I won’t have to play again until Saturday.  It should be plenty of time to heal!

I live in fear of arthritis or carpal tunel… and I’m sure I’m not the only one!

I thought that since I couldn’t knit yesterday, it might be a nice time to finally drop the stitches on my Clapotis.  Umm… not so much.  I did two, but I still have 15 left.  I had forgotten how annoying it is to have to pick them apart… but more annoying is the fact that it’s finished but not wearable yet, so I suppose I will need to get on that!

Maybe tonight… I think I’ll give my hand another day before I try to knit at all.  I don’t want it to get worse again!

I’m doing a lot (for me) of traveling in the next few weeks, which of course means I will get to visit some new yarn stores!  We will go to Cincinnati this week for Thanksgiving, and I will go to my favorite store in the area, Knit on, which is in Bellevue.  It’s very near where Marc’s Grandpa lives, so it is convenient.  Last year I bought some Bearfoot sock yarn, which I have yet to knit, but I am working on it!

Then the next weekend we are going to Indianapolis.  I lived in Indy for 6 months about 6 years ago, but I wasn’t knitting then.  I’ve gotten some great suggestions, and I know where I will be when Marc is at his Scrabble tournament!

Lastly, I will distract you with recently purchased yarn.

Classic Elite 150, purchased for the henley in the current IK.  I’m not so sure on the color, so I don’t know if I’m keeping it yet – what do you think?

Japanese

19 Nov

I’ve finished the back of Emily and it’s already blocked.

This is finally an accurate picture of the color!  I love the Venezia Worsted, and it became a very different fabric when blocked – more drapey and light, which is exactly what this sweater needs!  The eyelets also opened up, which I was a bit worried about.  I’ve started a sleeve.  Since this sweater has full sleeves, the cast on for the sleeve is actually 2 stitches larger than for the back!  It does get decreased down quite a bit, but it isn’t going to be quick!

I’ve been admiring photos from Japanese Knitting magazines for quite awhile, and I was feeling grumpy last night (did I mention that we have not had hot water for a week?  It seems the part will never come in…) so I ordered 3 books for myself from SaucyLouise,  1 spring’/summer, 1 autumn/winter, and one accessories book.  I hope I’m able to figure them out!   Here are a few pictures I found around of what I ordered, but I will post reviews whenever they come in!

 

FO: Lozenge socks

17 Nov

Pattern: Gentleman’s sock with Lozenge Pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush

Yarn: SeeJayneKnit superwash merino in green tea

Needles: Knitpicks Metal DPNs, size 0

Mods: I knit only 2 sets of ribbing repeats, and 6.5 repeats of the pattern on the leg.  I also reduced to cast on number to 60 stitches.

Notes: These socks turned out pretty well, and I’m glad to have finally gotten around to the pattern I bought the book for.  What I like: The ribbing, the purl row in the middle is very distinctive and pretty.  The pattern, which was not hard but gives a nice effect.  The yarn – it was not a really skinny sock yarn, and it didn’t split easily, plus the color is just lovely!  What I didn’t like:  The seam stitch.  Yes, I know that most Nancy Bush patterns call for this, but I just don’t get the point at all.  In the future I will leave it out entirely.  The pattern also called for purl stitches surrounding the pattern on the foot, and I did do those, but if I had the choice again I would leave them out.  They don’t add anything to the sock.

Emily is almost to the armholes in the back, but I have no photo as it isn’t very exciting yet.  Perhaps once the back is blocked!

And true to my word I have started another pair of socks.

I reduced the cast on to 60 stitches again, because I have skinny ankles.  I’m very happy with how this yarn is knitting up, in lovely little stripes with no pooling.  I don’t know about the tencel in the yarn… it seems pretty inelastic for a sock yarn, but we will see!

In with the new

15 Nov

 While I’m waiting on my dinner (soup) to cook, I thought I would have a little update on what’s up around here!

Clapotis is finished, but no photos yet – I’m trying to finish dropping all those stitches.  Karaoke looks pretty in the pattern, but oh boy is it ever sticky!  But that has freed me up to begin a new large project.  I thought about starting the Drops Swing jacket, but I find myself feeling very unenthused about the project – really, I think the reason I haven’t started is that I don’t know about the silhouette on me.  I like A-line and all, but I fear looking swallowed by the coat.  But I do like the Taconic Pullover from Valley Yarns, which is written for the Williamstown.  So I will maybe reserve my yarn for that.

In the meantime, I have begun Emily, from Kim Hargreaves’ new book.

 

The color is more true in the first photo.  It is a very saturated color, but not bright the way it looks in the 2nd photo.  I’m using Cascade Venezia Worsted, a wool/silky blend that has a really lovely feel to it.  This is the back, and there are eyelet rows, although they aren’t so apparent here… I trust they will block wider.  The pattern is lovely, although I did find an error… in the schematic drawing it lists 15″ as the total length of the sweater, but it’s the length to the armholes (thank goodness – I was trying to work out how a sweater could be that short!)  Mine will look quite different from the model, but neutral beige is not my thing.  I love my deep colors!

I’m working hard to finish up my second Lozenge sock – I am past the gusset, so if I am lucky it will be finished by tomorrow.  Does anyone have any advice for me about a sock problem?  My picked up stitches at the gusset always look all elongated on one side.  I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong!

I want to finish it so that I can cast on for another pair of socks – Dublin Bay socks in Merino/tencel by Mama Llama in the Fall Leaves colorway.

I like the idea of making socks for holidays, so these will be my “Thanksgiving” socks, although I doubt they will be done by then.  Ah well – it counts if they are worked on during Thanksgiving!  I love the color, and I’m anxious to try a merino/tencel sock yarn, as there are several I’m dying to try out, and my love for tencel is well documented.

I’m going to swatch for the endpaper mitts soon too.  I already learned the tubular cast on , which wasn’t as fiddly as I feared (I learned the regular one, not the fancy one called for in the pattern.)  I’m excited to learn color work, as I’ve really been enamored by several color work patterns of late… notably the Colette pullover from the current IK (love the kitty cats) and the Ivy League vest from the same.

Back to life…

12 Nov

Thank you for all the wonderful comments on Thermal!  I am about halfway done responding to them, and hopefully I will get there!  I find I am reaching the point where I can wear something hand knitted every day, which I find very exciting!  Yesterday I wore the tree jacket, and today I am wearing hand knit socks and a scarf!

Speaking of socks… I went ahead and finished up the first of the Lozenge socks.

 

I think this is the first sock I’ve ever knit that actually needed blocking.  Since I sized these down from a man’s size to 60 stitches, I also had to rework the heel and toe.  I used the round heel/wide toe combo called for in the book.  One thing I really like about Nancy Bush’s book is the way it gives you instructions in the front for all the heels and toes, so if you need to change the size it is very easy.  I was convinced the toe was wrong the entire time, but as it turns out it is correct, it just is very different from any toes I have done before.  It’s a tad pointy, but that may be my fault.  This pattern is super easy, and really fast if you aren’t knitting a fingering weight sweater and a clapotis at the same time.  I have cast on for the second, and will try very hard to finish it this week – I want to cast on for some Thanksgiving socks, probably in the Dublin Bay (warning: opens PDF file) pattern.

Speaking of Clapotis, I am very nearly finished.  I’m in the decrease section, and hopefully I will be finished in the next day or two.  I will have to unpick about half the drop sections, as I am very lazy about doing that!  I am a little worried about the weakness of this yarn (it is a single ply) in relation to this pattern… I will have to be careful not to catch it on anything!

This week I received some yarn I ordered from Wollmeise (yes, I have to be like everyone else!)

To the left is Kurbis, and on the right is Poison #5.  Both are in the dark versions of their colorway.  She also sent a sample skein of worsted weight Spice market, which is lovely.  Both of these yarns are lovely and very soft, and the skeins are massive – over 500 yards each!  Kurbis will become a pair of “Gentleman’s fancy socks” sized down for me, and I’m thinking Poison would make lovely “Evening Stockings for a young lady,” also from Knitting Vintage socks.  I am totally in love with Nancy Bush patterns now, and I think I “need” her other sock books.  I’m actually a tad disappointed that Poison is so dark – it did not look that dark on the website – but that is the nature of handpainted yarn.  It will make lovely lacy socks perhaps, but not right now… I have many socks to knit first, and there are other things to think about!

Like these…

Transition gloves from Shibuiknits.  I think these are just gorgeous, and while I’m not exactly ready to make them, I have added them to the “someday maybe” queue.

And my personal favorite name for a sock pattern… S(p)ocks by Wendy Knits.  You know I have to knit those, right?

As soon as Clapotis is finished I can begin another sweater… I am thinking it will be either the Drops jacket or Emily from the new Kim Hargreaves book.  Either way, it’s going to be worsted weight – I am not up to another fingering weight sweater at the moment, or even sport weight.  I need a quickly finished sweater, and then I can think about other weights.  My queue is totally ridiculous right now… if you’re on Ravelry take a gander (I’m Stitchywitch there too!) It’s like 5 pages long, although I need to take a few out. Ah well… I like to have choices!

FO: Thermal

10 Nov

Pattern: Thermal from Knitty

Yarn: Knitpicks gloss in Pumpkin, 6.5 skeins

Needles: 2.5 mm… US 1s?

Today I had one of those days.  You know what I mean: the kind of day where the stars seem to be aligned perfectly for you to run into everyone you used to know.  Old crush? Check.  Mom of friend? Check.  Old friend who hasn’t seen me in 8 years? Check (x3.)  And you know what?  The entire time I was running into these people, I never once thought “Please God, don’t let them notice I made my sweater.”

.No… Thermal passed the “proud to be wearing my hand-knit sweater” test with flying colors.  In fact… I will even say that I am far more fond of Thermal than I ever thought I would be.  When I first came upon the sweater in Knitty, I never thought I would make one.  The fit did not appeal to me, nor the idea of making a sweater in fingering weight yarn in the round.  So there was my first mod…

I knit the sweater entirely flat and seamed at the end.  I am very happy with that decision, which kept me sane with the tiny yarn.  I added a stitch in stockinette, although I still can’t say it was fun to seam.  I do think that the seams are keeping the yarn from stretching terribly – I’ve been wearing it since 7 am, and no problems so far.  It did grow a bunch when I washed it (and I mean a lot), but the good news is that it is pretty pliable – when the sleeves were initially too long I reblocked them, and now they are perfect.  I had initially planned 3/4 length sleeves, but I decided it would be more wearable with long sleeves.  And, you will notice there are no buttons.  Although I initially planned some, and even sewed one on, I didn’t care for how it looked when buttoned.  I think I prefer the split neck.

And you all were right… I love the color.  And looking at these photos… I need a haircut.  Man, my hair is long!  And I look very chipper for 7:30 am, when these photos were taken.

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