Wednesday, January 31, 2007
I had already been checking the knitty site to see if their spring issue was up. Guess not. How much longer must we wait?
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Pattern: Slacker Scarf (pdf)
Mods: I replaced one repeat with garter stitch borders, 2 rows wide on each side, to help with the curling. I don't think it worked.
Needles: KnitPicks Options, size 9
Yarn: A Piece of Vermont superwash worsted, colorway "Rudolph". There is a fair bit left over.
Size: 72" x 6"
I love this scarf. I liked making it - it was simple enough to do while watching TV, and in the big needles it went very quickly. I almost couldn't give it away, but I thought of the potential recipients, and of course I did. I included some gift cards to Staples, too. I was a bit stunned at how long it was. I stopped at about 5'5" - longer than I am tall. But it stretched out so much in blocking! It did have a tendency to curl, but it still showed off the pattern, so I didn't really mind.
Here is a close-up, taken with my cell phone right before I mailed it:
Friday, January 26, 2007
I won! Which just goes to show, no good deed goes unpunished.
The sweetie contends that acquiring sock yarn via a contest could be in violation of the Stash Bust-along. But I think it doesn't count - I didn't buy it, after all.
PS- Welcome to those of you who came over from Beth's blog. Make yourselves comfortable. Tea is on the stove.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
I started my SIL knitting this weekend. I didn't think she was going to be very interested - she has not shown more than a cursory interest in my knitting before. But over Christmas, I gave her mom and dad scarf and hat sets that I made, and I got to talking with her mom about knitting. Her mom immigrated from Poland and used to knit, although I got the impression more out of necessity than for self-enjoyment. She said she knit sweaters for my SIL and her brother because there wasn't much choice for clothing. I found out she knits continental (Of course! She learned to knit on the continent!) and watched her knit a few rows so I could see in person how it is done. Even after many years of not knitting, she had lovely even stitches.
So this weekend, BIL and SIL visited, and we had a lovely time, and the Sweetie bonded a bit with his brother, and SIL and I got to talking about knitting. Well, one thing led to another, and led to a tour of the stash, and I started thinking, well, I should see about getting her started knitting, maybe next time I see her. Let her ponder it a bit...
And then I said, "Would you like to start now?" And she said yes! We only had a few hours before they had to leave, but I had her "shop" for yarn in my stash, and then I taught her the long-tail cast-on and how to knit continental. Why continental? Because when she was in 2nd grade in Poland, she learned to knit! She just hasn't done it since then. And that's how her mom knits.
I started her off just knitting back and forth, and then started her on Bejeweled*. It's a garter stitch scarf, and it has inc (I taught her kfb), yo, and k2tog. No perling! And I gave her my copy of YNotKnit, which has everything she needs to know, with step by step instructions with pictures. I'd bought it for myself to figure out continental, but I think she'll get more use from it. She was getting the hang of the pattern when they had to leave.
I have mentioned before I'm a great believer in beginning knitters choosing their own projects, and while I think she liked this project, I feel a bit bad that perhaps I pushed it at her. We talked about the kinds of things she'd like to make, and she said she wants to make large, long stoles and shawls. I cautioned her about starting a big project- because I wanted her to succeed and finish her first project, so we went scarf. And I hope she thinks it's stylish enough to wear. On the positive side, however, she had no qualms about pulling out the first 4 rows or so and starting it over when she got a bit lost in the pattern! She's a smart girl (she has a Ph.D. and a black belt in I forgot which martial art) and if she enjoys the knitting process, I'm sure she'll succeed and perhaps get into designing things herself. And the best part? She works in San Francisco right near Art Fibers! How lucky is that?
In two weeks, I'll see SIL and MIL, and we can see how the knitting is going. Two new knitters this year! One more woman in the family (Sweetie's sister) and then I can start in on the men!
*I bought another copy. I'm have no intention of violating copyright.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
How is your Red Scarf Project going?
And, just in case you missed it:
This is not my kitty. My kitty wouldn't stand for this sort of nonsense, and would claw his way out of the sweater and then go hunting for whoever did it to him. My kitty is a no-nonsense kitty.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
The first is this lace scarf. It's a simple lace scarf pattern - herringbone - from Cherry Tree Hill. On my way to Tahoe for 4th of July in 2004 (or was it 2003?) I stopped at Lofty Lou's. My MIL (who didn't at the time knit, but I started her on it this Christmas!) was with me, so I made it a super fast browse. And there was this scarf, and a basket of Possum Lace yarn. I don't think CTH sells it any more (it's not on their web site) but it's from Down Under (Australia or NZ) and not made of American possum fur, but their possum's fur, which is super soft. And I got it in this colorway, Peacock, and started it over that weekend. Then, I started commuting on a bus, and knitted it during the ride. But then my work moved so no more bus for me! The pattern is so simple, it's almost boring, really.
The next is the Heirloom Aran sweater. This was in the Spring 2004 Interweave Knitsbut is also available directly from Lisa Lloyd's web site. It was originally intended for a friend's baby, but the sweater took a long time to make, and I decided to save it for myself (for an eventual baby) or at least for later. I bought my friend a gift instead. This was my second project made with Schaefer Anne, and it's just wonderful. The red bled when I blocked it, but I emailed Schaefer and they suggested rinsing in a vinegar solution, which I will try when I block it when it's done. It needs sewing together, then picking up around the neck and finishing it, and then 3 buttons on the shoulder.
Next, we have the Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino baby bolero. I started this as perhaps a replacement for the Heirloom Aran sweater, but it went so slowly I ended up buying the gift, as I mentioned. This is the cover project for Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino 2. The pattern seems a bit wonky - sometimes imprecise or unclear. I love the yarn, but I might skip the DB patterns for a while. These need sewing together and then you have to knit the edging perpendicular to the edge, while attaching it at the same time. Sounds hard and fiddly.
Finally, my Green Gable sweater, in KnitPicks Shine Sport. I love this yarn. It's soft, it's machine washable, it comes in lots of bright colors. It's great for baby knits. I followed the pattern as specified, but I did add waist shaping as some described on the KAL. Did a fiddly bind-off because the Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques recommended it for ribbing. It's in time-out because I went to finish the sleeve, and I didn't like it. I think it needs some more rows first. And there was a big hole in the armpit where it needs some assistance.
So there you have it. The 4 contemporary UFOs, and the 3 old UFOs. I think for the Bustalong challenge I will resolve to finish the 2 red baby sweaters. That's in addition to the Red scarf project (due January 31) and the Pea pod sweaters (due March 1), which don't count; they're WIPs, and at least one chemo cap in fun fur (due February 28).
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
The first is a crocheted afghan. I don't remember if I started it before or after I started knitting, but I suspect before. Before I began knitting, I taught myself crochet and made several doilies. I found the pattern in a book at a used bookstore, and decided to make this. The construction is in long strips. Every other strip is in plain afghan-stitch, and then it is embellished with cross-stitch: diamonds framing little flowers. The alternating strips are formed from granny squares. You can see I have one whole granny square strip and one whole afghan strip, with the embroidery begun. This has 5 or 7 trips total.
I took a very good knitting class to begin with. Our teacher, Molly, had us pick our own first projects. For the first, I picked children's hats with colorwork. I didn't know colorwork was supposed to be hard! For my second knitting project, I wanted to do a fancy lacy shawl, but Molly wasn't in the shop the day I picked it. The ladies there talked me out of it and into this, a supposedly easier shawl. It's hard! It is K1C2's Douceur Elegant Evening Wrap. I chose to do it in Dale Baby Ull (they didn't have much choice in laceweight) and it looks wonderful when you stretch out the lacy bits. It takes a lot of concentration and I haven't touched it in at least 5 years. [Sorry about the dim photo; it was so old, I forgot about it when I took most of the other photos by daylight.] I later told Molly what the other ladies had said, and her response is my mantra when thinking about very ambitious new knitters: Don't let anyone ever tell you what to knit and what not to knit! If you want to make it, then do it!
This project was supposed to be a gift for the Sweetie's finishing his Ph.D. and getting a new job as an assistant professor. My friend, E, was destashing for his mother, who had long ago given up knitting for quilting, but was in denial and was not actively reducing her yarn stash. He wanted to reduce the stash to a knitter (me) before the eventuality of having to liquidate the stash when at some point in the future his parents would be gone and the house would need to be emptied. He came up with the idea that the Sweetie needed a "professoring sweater" and together we looked at samples of yarn he pilfered from his mother's stash, and patterns from his mother's collection. We met secretively, because this was to be a surprise; unfortunately, Sweetie got suspicious and even a bit jealous about these meetings!
In any case, a few months before his job began, I started the sweater. It is a traditional Guernsey sweater, knit in the round with a traditional pattern on the yoke. It is an old Spinnerin pattern from E's mother's collection. It was slow going and eventually on a day he needed cheering up, I showed him his initials on the sweater. After a while, I got busy and put it away. And then thought, well, it can't be for his "new" job after 2 or 3 years at it.... guess it'll be his tenure sweater! And now, it's been six years and the Sweetie was awarded tenure and promotion to associate professor last June. The next milestone is full professor, and after that there's nothing else but retirement! So let's hope I finish it before he is an emeritus professor!
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
When I was scanning it before deleting, I saw the following:
Both Knitty and Wendy are linked!
by Bascha HarrisIt's not just geeks who have to worry about their IP. Knitters, crafters, and cooks will all feel the sting of copyright restrictions in our brave new world.
Now that I've figured out how to upload photos, I just couldn't wait to show you my WIPs.
First of all, I did go ahead on my Red Scarf project, but I decided to do an easier pattern than Obstacles because it would allow me to go faster and hopefully finish by the deadline. I decided on the Slacker Scarf (pdf) from the Garter Belt design team. It is super fast and easy. And I love the yarn handdyed by Jessie of A Piece of Vermont. This is superwash worsted wool in colorway "Rudolf".
And I did finish the body for the first Pea Pod sweater, although this photo was taken before the last 4 rows were done. Sorry for how blurry the photo is. I'm still getting used to the camera. The pattern (pdf) by Kate Gilbert is free from Interweave. The yarn is Knit Picks Shine Sport in Grass. I plan the second one in Apple and I'll swap the sleeves.
I love the pea pod leaf shape in the ribbing and the YO button holes (no picking up for the button bands - yay!). The lace part was harder, as you had to pay attention both ways, and it didn't really repeat enough to memorize. And for the first time, I got confused in the charts by the YOs that made the subsequent stitches in the row not line up with the stitches they are to be made on. But in the end, I'm very happy and can't wait to start the next! I think sleeves first is definitely the way to go. If only you could do the seaming first....
Monday, January 15, 2007
As it turns out, I have quite a bit more stash than I imagined, especially for someone who hasn't knitted for very long (1 year in 1998, and since Feb. 2006).
See the whole photo set here. This photo is the Lorna's Laces Shepherd worsted (handwarmers) along with 3 skeins of Cascade 220 (felted slippers) and 5 skeins of Knit Picks Shine Sport, 4 of which are available for my Green Gable sweater (obviously, with only sleeves left, there will be several left over) and 1 which I ordered to use as a contrast to the green Pea Pod sweater. I have since decided to use another color green.
Also in the stash, in the photo set linked above:
- A Piece of Vermont extra large skein of worsted wool in denim blues colors
- Alpaca from a spinner in NH (bought at Harrisville Designs in Harrisville, NH)
- A hat kit
- 4 skeins of furry something. Originally thought it would make a cute hedgehog, but probably will be chemo caps instead. (Stashbusting!)
- 3 skeins of Noro Blossom. Thought it would make a cute hedgehog tummy. But probably not with the purple/pink fur.
- 3 skeins of Noro Tidiori, so beautiful, but so expensive I held myself to 3.
- 3 balls of Berrocco Plush, which I used to make "peeps". I don't want any more peeps.
- Debbie Bliss cotton angora, 6 of pink, 1 each mauve, purple, and blue. A sweater? A vest? It was on a super sale at closing yarn shop in Pittsburgh. The fur might have come from the same sale.
- Heirloom 8-ply superwash. Great colors for berry hats (I've made 2 so far). Plenty for 1 or 2 more.
- 9 balls of natural colored wool a friend gave me from his mom's stash (ssh!). He told me she had given up knitting for quilting, but was in denial of this fact. Pink yarn of some kind I bought at a garage sale. Some Jaeger Angora (2+ balls) and 1 ball Reynolds teal wool I inherited from a friend's stash who was moving.
- Sock yarn. STR and Briarwood Fibers won in a contest. Greenwood Fiberworks cotton/lycra. Lang Jawoll cotton jacquard. Mountain Colors Bearfoot, already wound into two balanced balls for doing 2 socks at a time. Schaefer Anne in a Clara Barton-like colorway. Wildefoote in tweedy brown/pink and blue. I made footies with the blue (really, I just got bored with the stockinette leg and got on with it).
- Odds and ends. Some left over from projects, some given to me. There's a significant hunk left of the Schaefer Anne I used to make the Sweetie's Jaywalker socks. Hmm...
- 12 balls of Noro Silk Garden for a Lady Eleanor shawl.
- 8 skeins of Harrisville Designs Orchid to make the Austrian stitch cardigan.
- 2 balls of Misti Alpaca laceweight (won in a contest) to make the Swallowtail Shawl. I know it only calls for one ball, but I was thinking I'd make it a bit bigger by doing more repeats.
- A Piece of Vermont, Real Vermonter yarn to make the Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
So here, off the top of my head, is a list of projects I have planned for the near future:
- Finish the Pea Pod twins sweaters.
- Red Scarf project scarf - I bought a big skein of superwash worsted on "Rudolph" from Jessie at A Piece of Vermont - and I told her this was what I was going to use it for, and she said she was happy to be participating vicariously, so I'd best get on it. I think the mailing deadline is January 31. I'm thinking of doing the Obstacles scarf pattern.
- Handwarmers for me and the Sweetie - I plan to make Fetching for at least one pair. I bought Lorna's Laces Worsted in Denim for this. Our office is super cold year round.
- Felted slippers - the same Fiber Trends pattern everyone else is using. I hope to finish these by April, because they are tentatively a gift.
- Another baby sweater for another one in the womb, due in the summer. I might make another Pea Pod sweater, or another One Skein Baby Bolero, or something to be determined. Or (shockingly) I could finish one of the red baby sweaters in the UFO pile.
- Socks for the Sweetie - When we were in Seattle for a wedding last year, I bought some Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Juniper (a mixed greens/browns colorway) at So Much Yarn..., and told him it would be for him. I think these will be my first toe-up socks. (Well, I tried to make Diamante, but they were way too big for his slim little feet.)
- Austrian Stitch Cardigan (scroll down about halfway; it's on the right) from Harrisville Designs. I bought the yarn and pattern when I was there last October, in a burgundy color. It was a nice memento of New Hampshire, but it will be a better one when I can wear it!
- Yarn to make Lady Eleanor, from Scarf Style. I think I bought 12 skeins of Noro Silk Garden, in a greys/blues colorway.
- Swallowtail scarf, from Interweave Knits. I won the laceweight alpaca in a contest. I plan to do a few more repeats.
- Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl. I bought a skein of Real Vermonter sock yarn in an autumn colorway. This is going to be for me! I even swatched for it already.
- A bunch of sock yarn. A hank of Shaefer Anne in a color similar to Clara Barton, which I bought in fear of running out for the Aran baby sweater. A skein of Greenwood Fiberworks cotton/lycra sock yarn which I bought on a whim after Grumperina raved about it. Also a couple of skeins of Jawoll Cotton Jaquard sock yarn in pinks I got in Illinois this summer, just hours before my husband's cousin's wedding. I also won a skein of STR in a pink and grey colorway and a skein of something else sproingy in a contest.
- A hat kit. Probably should be de-stashed. At the time, I liked the design and bought the kit to get the pattern, but wasn't wild about the colors. Does it count if I bought it years ago? Everything else in this list was acquired during 2006.
- Some Debbie Bliss cotton angora in pinks and purple, looking for a project. Bought in Pittsburgh while visiting a friend. The yarn was on sale when the shop was closing. For a while, I thought Tubey was the answer. But then I saw on Knitter's Review that it doesn't hold up well.
Monday, January 8, 2007
- Daisy sweater. I couldn't find Butterfly 10 at the time, so I substituted Tahki Cotton Classic in an aqua color.This was my Knitting Olympics project, which got me to pick up the needles again. No snakes or embellishment. I also did some baby booties (just made it up) and a hat, but the booties have tight ankles and the hat might be too small for a baby who wears this sweater. It didn't have a target baby, so it's sitting in the FO pile.
- Raspberry hat. This had been marinating, unfinished, in the stash for a long time. Now it's sitting in the FO pile. I can't remember what child this was (tentatively) intended for anymore, but seeing as it was started at least a year or more ago, that child has outgrown it.
- Around Easter, I made these crocheted chicks and the felted basket from Berroco. The chicks were kind of cute, but I don't think I'd make them again, as they don't really hold a shape. I used the recommended yarn, Berroco plush, which sheds all over, in the yellow color, and a sale yarn called Bunny for the basket. It kind of turned out to be a bowl with gathers at the bottom where the decreases are - a better hat than basket. I did love the Bunny yarn, though.
- Amana Star bonnet from Piecework, Nov/Dec 2000, in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Almost Solid Pine. This was a gift to my friend from college's new baby. I loved working with this yarn!
- Jaywalker socks, for the Sweetie, in Schaefer Anne, purple and blue colorway from Monarch Knitting. This was my first experience with handpainted yarn, and with Schaefer Anne, and I immediately proclaimed it to be my favorite. I finished them sometime this summer, and Sweetie didn't want to wear them because he was afraid to wear them out. He put them on during Christmas break (I still need to get a photo) and loves them, even though they are too big and slide down. Note for next time: socks need negative ease. And maybe toe-up would make it easier to fit.
- Baby Bolero from One Skein in Blue Sky Alpacas cotton. I didn't use the organic cotton (although it says the dyed cotton is organically grown, so I guess it is organic) because I thought a color would be better; I chose Thistle, which is a purple color. This was received very joyfully by a friend who is now a new mom!
- Natty scarf (pdf) and my own non-design hat (written below, for posterity), for SIL's father, in Lion Brand Wool-Ease chunky, dark green. Finished in time for Christmas. This scarf was awesome and so fun to knit!
- Cloche hat and School Picture scarf (pdf) for SIL's mother, in Lion Brand Wool-Ease worsted, autumn colorway. Finished in time for Christmas. The hat almost looks better inside out, and for the hat I had to go way down in needle size to get gauge- I think I used size 3! The scarf was a fun, fast knit - I obviously used only one kind of yarn instead of alternating. Both this scarf and the Natty scarf were free in the Garter Belt newsletter.
- Catnip mouse for (other) SIL's new kitten, in old worsted-weight wool left from knitting a friend a scarf (probably 3rd knitting project ever). Oddly enough, kittens aren't attracted to catnip until they reach 6 months or so, but it was still a fun toy. We attached it to a dowel which the Sweetie made into a cat "fishing pole" by adding ropework handle embellished with Turks heads. Cabled aran work for a mouse? This was a labor of love.
With size 11 24" (Knitpicks options) circular needle, CO 48. Knit 1x1 ribbing for about 1 1/2 to 2 inches. Switch to size 10.5 and do stockinette. Once past the turned up ribbing, do a row of purl, then 2 rows of stockinette, then another row of purl. Continue with stockinette until it's time to begin decreases. Decrease as follows, switching to DPNs: K6, k2tog. K. K5, K2tog. K. K4, K2tog. K3, K2tog. K2, K2tog. K1, K2tog. K2tog. Thread yarn through remaining loops and weave in ends. Look at the Sweetie and say, "See, I told you hats in chunky are fast!"
Anything I've forgotten? For my next trick, I'll try an enumerate upcoming projects.
ETA: I had forgotten the Baby Bolero from One Skein.
My current WIPS, in chronological order from oldest to most recent:
- Lacy ivory stole, in Dale Baby Ull. Started around spring/summer 1999?
- (new) Professor/tenure/??/retirement? sweater for the Sweetie, yarn provided by a friend with this sweater in mind. Started around August 2000. This is an old Spinnerin pattern for a Guernsey.
- Lace scarf in Cherry Tree Hill Possom laceweight (now discontinued). Bought at Lofty Lou's on the way to Tahoe, 4th of July 2005.
- Aran baby sweater, by Lisa Lloyd. Started this intending it as a gift in May 2006, but failed to finish in time and bought a gift instead. In Schaefer Anne, colorway Clara Barton. All of the pieces are blocked (they bled quite terribly; I emailed and they suggested a vinegar bath, which I will try next time I bathe them) and they need assembly, and the neck band picked up and knit.
- Baby bolero from Baby Cashmerino 2 (cover sweater), in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, a nice deep red color. I think I did the back and both fronts. Needs assembly and also knitting the edging, which is knit onto the sweater as it is being knit.
- Green Gable, from Zephyr Style, in Knit Picks Shine Sport in purple. All done but the sleeves, but when I finished one of them, I hated it. It's in timeout until spring.
- Twin baby sweaters, Pea Pod (pdf) pattern, for twins expected early March. Knit Picks Shine Sport in Grass and Apple. I plan to swap the sleeves so they are both both colors.
Sorry no photos yet. I'll have to figure out how to use flickr, and experiment downloading pictures off the camera. (You mean you can see them bigger than on a 2x3 inch screen? Get out.)