Wedding crafts and the new IK

I am not a flower person.  I don’t particularly want anything in my house that’s going to die and leave dust everywhere, plus I’m allergic to lots of flowers.  But ever since I got engaged all I hear is “Oh, what colors will your flowers be?”  The problem is, I don’t want flowers, either to carry or decorate with, but I felt like I had to.  I had decided to just do some simple arrangements myself, but then I saw these:

Paper flower kits from Papersource.

I love these!  Some people over on Indiebride have used these.  They recommend getting one kit and then just buying paper for the rest.  After all, I’m crafty, right?  I’m already making all my own stationary products (save the dates, invites, programs, place cards etc) so why not go all the way?  I also want to make myself a shawl for the church.  I like the shawlette in the new Interweave Knits (which I finally got today!) because it looks easy to tie on, and because it isn’t massive (I have no patience for huge lace projects I think.)

My comments on the new Interweave layout?  I like it better.  I agree with the editor, the patterns will be much more usable in this format.  I don’t think it’s much like Vogue at all.  Most of the patterns are lovely (except the apron) and I even like some of the designs I passed earlier, like the bonsai tunic (although I don’t think it would look great on me.)  I am somewhat displeased with the big giant chart for the Swan Lake Cardigan.  I dislike charts intensely, although I do see the point here.  I hate reading backwards, and I hate it when the same symbol means different things on different rows.

I want to make the dollar and a half cardigan right now.  Patternworks is now showing the info for the Soft linen yarn here.   It isn’t in stock yet, but it does exist!   I have a lovely dark blue silk/wool blend that I would like to use up (Elann Highland silk), so I may swatch that.  I won’t be able to wear it in the summer, but lets be honest…. I won’t wear a long sleeved cardi in the summer anyway, and I’m cold all the way through May usually.  I love the cable down raglan still, but I’m not sure on a yarn for that.  It’s made in lovely merino, but I’m thinking a blend would be nicer and more versatile, especially with those lovely 3/4 length sleeves.  I’m even considering a cotton/acrylic blend.  Oh well, plenty of other patterns to try first.  I can’t wait to see some of these sweaters being made in blogland!

New yarn!

I ripped back the sleeves on sahara, and I’m really hoping I have enough yarn so that they don’t end up at a dorky length (at least elbow length.)

But I have new yarn to cheer me up! I did my best with photos, even if it is an incredibly gloomy day.

This is the Cascade 220 that I’ve chosen for my Nantucket jacket. It’s a little more brown than it looks here. My plan is to work the jacket off and on during the spring and summer, so that it will be ready for fall without being too stressful.

Charcoal frog tree alpaca to make the Blue Sky cropped cardigan. This is my test run for Alpaca. I’ve been terrified of making an alpaca sweater because of the itch factor, even though I’m not really at all sensitive to such things, and I’ve never found Alpaca scratchy. This should be a super quick knit, on big needles with doubled yarn, so we’ll see. I think this will be next after Sahara.

Jaeger Trinity in water, on closeout for a great price. This is a silk/cotton/nylon blend. I bought it for Zephystyle’s glee sweater, but we’ll see if that works. This one is cheating since I got it awhile ago, but I realized I had never taken proper photos of its crunchy loveliness! Amazing yardage – each of these balls has over 200 yards.

And just to show that I’m not totally living on neutral island, Cascade Pima tencel in Teal. This is a seriously intense color, and so soft! I love yarns with Tencel, even if they do tend to be a bit sheddy. I want this to be a sizzle tank. I had some red yarn stashed for that knit, but with my hair being what it is now the red was clashing. I think this yarn has enough sizzle!

My current insane knitting pace (and some destashing) has led to me being short on yarn for sweaters. There was a question about my pace in the comments. I think it’s a combo of knitting small sweaters with my lack of a stressful work situation. Since I work in the evenings I have all day to knit, and I do. I also knit a lot of things with acres of stockinette stitch, and I am pretty quick with that. I also knit continental style, which is much faster for me. And I have a Netflix subscription, which leads to a compulsive need to watch 4 Star trek episodes at a time.

I also think that since I work with my hands for a living as a pianist, my fingers are pretty good at moving really quickly. I’m in a knitting period… eventually that will slow down, and I’ll go back to turning out a sock every few weeks.

I need help!

Yes, I’ve been taking pictures of myself again.  Poor Marc is sick in bed, so I did my best.

I finished one of the sleeves on Sahara, and I am not pleased.

and closer…

It’s too big.  I saw a finished one on craftster with the same problem.  I think that the short row shaping doesn’t really allow for fitted sleeves.  I’m not going to leave it this way, since I know I would be unhappy.  This picture doesn’t really show the extent of the problem anyway… it’s actually larger than it looks here, and sort of stands out funny from the shoulder.(I have thin arms too, which aren’t helping matters.)

I have probably a little less than 2 balls of yarn remaining.  I’ve finished everything else, including the neckline (which I love, but I didn’t love those P3tog TBLs.)  I’m really not sure how long of a sleeve I can get out of the yarn I have remaining, but I’m pretty sure I can get them long enough to negate the giant floppy armhole effect.  Since the sleeve cap shaping is the same for the long sleeved version I won’t have to rip very far.  My other option would be to attempt adjusting the short rows, but I’m not sure I’m feeling that adventurous… and I like 3/4 length sleeves anyway.

I’m using my 16″ circulars for the sleeves.  I prefer DPNs, but I don’t have any in the right size, and the short rows would be annoying on DPNs I think.  But man do those little circs do a number on my wrists!  I may wait until tomorrow to attempt any sweater surgery.

But in good news I did finally recieve my UPS package.  He didn’t come before I went to work (and I don’t work til 5 pm!) but Marc caught him… and now I have lovely new yarns, which will get the full loving photo treatment tomorrow when there is sunlight.