Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Cardigan complete

I just finished a cardigan out of the One Skein book and I love it. I chose this project becuase it was a cardigan knit flat and I needed something to force me to learn how to do a decent job finishing. I have been a crap finisher and completley intimidated by patterns that required any amount of seaming--until now!


I did the cardigan in a combination of yarns: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, Merino Aran and Cashmernio Astrakahan (spelling check please!?). I was going to do the back in the solid mustardy color but was clearly going to run out so decided to stripe it a bit-I was happy with that! I really like the Merino Aran and want to use it for a few more projects down the line this fall....




The arms I also wanted to be done asymmetrically so I did a fat stripe on the first arm and uneven width stripes on the second arm. I used bar increases to do the increases on the sleeves, and I had been unhappy with the sewing up I did on the first sleeve so thought I would try doubly hard to get things to line up neatly on the second--which turned out much worse, even not counting the fact that the stripes did not line up for CRAP. See what I mean?



The photo on the right is called the 'crap sleeve'. I tried really hard to be sure that the same amount of stitch was to be 'inside' the seam and at the same time, being sure that all future bar increases would also be inside the seam. It didn't work so well. I should have just eyeballed it and did it like I did the first one...a bit more casually. I had thought the first one sucked-ha!

In general I am quite happy with the finishing job, though. I might even finish the sweater I made for my son for his first birthday by the time he turns three or four!! I got faster and braver, but this was the start of my first ever shoulder seaming experience....I marked every stitch out of worry ... and let me tell you, I don't recommend learning to seam with a boucle as one of your parts! I had to 'feel around' in each stitch for the bars to grab because there was no way to see them .....














Most of the rest of it I am pretty happy with as well....I had to do the Icord several times in order to not make it too tight, (I had never done attached I cord before) though it still does roll a tiny bit toward the expected 'stockinette roll' side on the inner edge of the fabric. This picture makes it look like there is some puckering there that really isn't....






I'm pretty happy with the rest of the seaming.....and now I just need one magical photo of the whole cardie 'in action'....as soon as I get the buttons on!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

finit!

i finished the string bag in noro daria....and here it is!
It has been thoroughly road tested and passed with flying colors. It is perfect for the run to the shops. I followed the pattern-mostly. I used the 'error' pattern that the pattern warns against (so the thicker 'thread' runs in one direction rather than zigzagging). I made the bag only 10 inches long and I made the strap only 6 inches long. it stretches and this length lets it stay very thick and not stretch out (as in the pattern author's photo and comments). I used exactly 3 skeins of Noro Daria.

I am now working on a little cardigan for my son, photos very soon! I should be able to sew it up and start the sleeves tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

distraction

I am hoping to distract you (with numerous little pictures) from noticing that I have not blogged in ....forever....

First, I finished a little lace scarflet in Kerrie's (Hipknits) aran silk, here artfully draped over my swift.....I took the pattern from Harmony Guides and just 'scarfed it' and it turned out nicely. Short, easy to tuck into a light jacket on a cool spring day.......after buying so much beautiful silk this is the first thing I have yet knit with it! I do have another project on the mind for some more of her silk--Knitty's Convertible comes to mind immediately. I bought 4sk of aran silk in a gorgeous cream, tan, yellow, orange, green....spring and autumny colors.....all rolled into one and am in love with the stuff. I rolled one ball of it just to sit out and be pretty.


Then, here is a little purse made from Noro Daria, using the pattern "Corded" at Magknits. I love this yarn. I love this yarn. Did I say I love this yarn? It's very unique and I love it! I only need to figure out how I want to put a strap onto it...I had double threaded some remaining Daria thorugh each side, but becuase there is no liner, it really pulled on the corners--and because I had not made it permanent, my two year old kept managing to undo it (in three seconds flat) and I kept managing to not quite get it back to where it was (in way more than three seconds flat). Kind of annoying. It looks pretty on the shelf though ;)

For some reason the rest of my post keeps vanishing.......but here is try number 3 on the string bag...

Next up is the String Bag from tiajudys page. Noro Daria anyone ? The pattern says that if you get ladders going vertically that you messed up....speakign of three tries on the string bag, I did that.... I messed up and redid and messed up and decided I really did like the messed up version better. I might do another one (in Daria of course) the 'right' way but so far I'm liking this bag. Plan to finish tonight, toddler pending. It will be perfect for carrying home stash, or veggies from the farmer's market or....whatever.


Last but not least is the Waterlily Top from Spring 06 Interewave Knits. I just happened to have 3 skeins of Giotto in the colorway used in the pattern model sitting in my stash when the issue arrived on my doorstep. Is that fate or what? It took me ages to get an 8mm Addi out of anyone here in the UK for the longest time but now I'm on row 6 of the bodice shaping, and only working on it slowly, as there is plenty of time before tank tops are needed here in cool, rainy, foggy "is summer ever coming" London! Meanswhile I get to bring the project in and out of it's little hideaway, my new and zippy ruby red Offhand Designs Zelda clutch. Wooh hoo, need I say more?

The TODO list:
1. two Baby Boleros from Leigh Radford's One Skein. such imaginative and great one skein sized projects in this book--simply the best of it's kind, in my humble opinion.
2. Colorblock caridgan from the same book.
3. U neck top from VK Spring/Summer 06


Monday, February 06, 2006

My adventures in felting started with my adventures in modular knitting. I started out fully intending to make the Pinwheel purse from Iris Schrier's book Modular Knits. It is a sweet little octagonally shaped purse, just big enough to safely tuck wallet and keys beneath my armpit.
Problem 1: I didn't measure guage...so by the time I was halfway through the first side of the purse, it was clear that my triangles were too big and that my purse was going to be square rather than octagonal. Damn!
Problem 2: I had previously stopped/started this purse several times because I couldn't get the triangles going in the right directions--so when it was clear that this thing was not going to be what I wanted, rather than ditch the bound off triangles, I just sewed them together to finish off the purse. Yes, cheating! But it seemed otherwise wasteful--and I was not sure I had enough un-knitted Kureyon to finish otherwise. So, I decided, that the not-so-pinwheely pinwheel purse was going to be felted....partly becuase the guage issue also meant you could see daylight through my purse and partly to cover up the, well, crappy stitching I did when I cheated!
I have a frontloader which took me a bit to figure out how to use for felting. You have to sit in front of it to stop it in the right spot in the cyle, then switch it to drain...let it drain, let the door unlock, check the work, then either repeat or continue it on it's cycle.
I have never felted before, so I just put it on it's hottest cycle, stuffed the bag in a pillowcase, added a pair of jeans and a towel and let it rip, drained it, checked it: three times. Hardly any felting! I didn't add soap, however...so, I did, let it run again....and again...and here I have a somwehat felted purse to show for it. Ta da!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

I have been a bad blogger, yes....but a worse knitter! Since my last post I have managed sock toes (one pair, not one hundred) and two more inches on Aibhlinn. Sigh. Today I want to rant about my sock toes.

My sock toes are, well, not as nice as I had hoped they'd be. Perhaps I am too perfectionistic to ever try anything new and not be, well, perfect at it on the first go-around...but I am not content.
This is my first pair of toes being done toe-up on two circs. You can see where I have inserted a colorful little lifeline-I had dabbled with the idea of doing a lace pattern over the top of the foot and into the cuff, but decided that since I was still getting the hang of knitting with two circulars that I'd stick to stockinette until I got to the cuff. I used a provisional cast on (using the cable as the 'holder', as described in the Queen Kahuna's Crazy Toes and Heels sock workbook. It is supposed to be 'invisible'...but I don't see it being very 'invisible' at all. I had tried her 'signature' cast on which leaves a purl bump row, but tore it out because I really wanted my socks to be, well, perfect and I wanted them to start perfectly smoothly with a perfect flow over the top and bottom of a perfectly cast on toe. No go. See? I think the increase method she uses in the first row causes this effect. Maybe everyone's toes look like this-I dont know. I haven't examined many hand-knit sock toes so I can only go on little pictures (like mine) that I see on the web...and I am not sure why the increases make the toe 'square out' like they seem to be-this is a problem even when the toe is slipped over my foot. I am using a raised increase...but maybe there is a better one to use...any thoughts?

Saturday, January 07, 2006


I have given Aibhlinn a start, finally. If anyone even bothers to read my blog you'd have noticed (maybe) that Aibhlinn had languished at about 5% finished since the blog's inception. It languished under that heading simply because there was no heading entitled "Frogpond". I didn't do the bobbles tightly enough and they literally 'dangled' off the edge of the work. I couldn't stand it so frogged it, cast it on and it sat there waiting for clappy to be finished so I could use that needle (slightly smaller at 4.5mm than 5mm, but it made all the difference). Snugging up the pre- and post- bobble stitches, I am happy with how they 'hang' now. One thing that is strange to me--and perhaps an indication that I am doing something wrong--is that in this pattern it seems though the 'wrong' side is more the 'right' side. The stockinette side of the 'wrong' side, and the 'back' of the bobble faces the 'right' side. Thank goodness it won't matter on this particular pattern-I will just turn it inside out, as I did for the photo above. Here is a detail comparing the bobbles....the left one is the 'wrong' side of the work bobble (the nicer face of the bobble) and the right is the 'right' side of the work's bobble(the less nice face of the bobble)...I will just think of knitting the pattern 'inside out' :) It's a nice easy thing to knit while watching TV...unlike learning toe up socks!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

My clappy woes are over. I am in love with it! I don't even notice any differences in the ends when I am wearing it and its so gorgeous that I don't care!Now, that must be true love. I do not usually feel that way--too much of a perfectionist?

I have begun my new knitting year resolution list. Doing completely new knitterly things is very hard to do while watching a 17mo, in particular learning to juggle two skeins, two circs and learn toe-up techniques. I have to knit all over the kitchen table so I can set it down very precisely and come back to it easily, this is definetly not a good 'watch the baby wad it up and set it aside' project....but I have been dying to learn.

It's been slow. This is what I got done in two (admittedly short) sittings:


Kind of sad, eh? At this rate I will finish, oh, in about a year. Just in time for the next set of resolutions! I am using Queen Kahuna's Crazy Toes and Heels....the only book I have found that has explicit directions for both toe up and two socks on two circs. Other things have toe up socks....two socks cuff down....but this one does it all and it's full of pictures!! after this I think I will be able to confidently do any sock pattern on two circs!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

heresy

It is heretical, it seems, to be even a tiny bit unhappy with one's Clapotis.....but I hereby confess my bit of unhappiness. I was thrilled to be starting this pattern. I did it in a 100% merino colorway dyed by ebay seller Lotusblossom. From the project's beginning to it's ending, my guage changed pretty drastically. I never technically measured, but I could tell by the amount of daylight shining through the work at the starting end and at the working end that my knitting was seriously looser. I tried to keep it the same as when I started it, roughly, by eyeballing....but it just wouldn't remain steady. So, this resulted in a clappy with one paralellogram point being 'neat' and snug around the edges (far left)...and one being loose and floppy (near left). Not to mention it is seriously wider at one end than at the other end(right). I was trying to explain the angst I was feeling to my husband, but it wasn't working--he wasn't buying it. He thought it was silly that I should worry about this. Maybe it was silly that I was indeed tossing and turning all night, wondering what I could DO to the clappy to fix it...but it really bugs me. Then, brilliant as he is, he pointed out that you cannot see the difference very clearly unless you have it spread out on the floor or hang it in the window. And, he pointed out, how often was I going to wear it that way? I agreed with him...but still, it bugs me. Would you frog it? I thought that maybe I could dunk the wide end in hot water and shrink it? Ideas? Help!

Happy points: I really do love the fabric....I LOVE the curliness of the edges, and the way the dropped stitches curl up and peek looking at). At first I didn't like how all of the individual plies seemed to separate in the dropped ladders, but now I love it. (Maybe I can learn to love the funny ends...?) Then I started draping the clappy around me....I soon left my 'ends angst' behind me. So warm, so cozy, so pretty....I love alternating the 'sides' of the fabric as it wraps around my neck and flows over the shoulder....and I decided that Iout of the purl background (or dissapear from the stockinette background, depending on which side you are definetly have to wear it purl side out. The ridges of ladders are just too pretty! I was also very happy that some of the pooling that occurred as my gague went off into outerspace was 'diluted' by the laddering effect of the dropped stitches....

Notes: Done in worsted weight 100%merino from ebay seller I did start with the markers on the first few increase sections until I got the hang of the pattern. I also did the 'mirror twisting' from Clapotis Notes on both sides of the work to prevent gaps between the twisted stitches and the regular stitches, but it wasn't completely effective-because it took a lot of time and was tedious to do, I think I'd skip that on my next one. Verdict: Success! Summary: I had sworn I'd never do this pattern again....but I just HAVE to....

Thursday, December 22, 2005

It's not like I have not been knitting I promise....but between builders, Alexander being ill and having four molars coming in, nightweaning him, and basically being completely shattered on the run up to the holidays, I have not been blogging. Bad me.
But I am very excited I got this juicy stuff in the mail today from Hipknits.....handdyed 100% silk by fabulous Kerrie Allman (who also does MagKnits) See it and drool!

I am not certain what I'm going to do with it.....I'm open for suggestions. The beautiful buttery yellow is about 180m per hank, the blue/silver is 320m, and the multi orange/yellow/green is about 180m....

On the more knitterly front, I have been doing SOME. I finished Misty Garden, and I am now 80% finished my Clapotis. I was hoping to finish by Christmas but it isn't going to happen!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

I am still working on the stash-busting-holiday-gifting spree and have a couple of new WIPS but no new FOs and in general not alot of progress. Alexander has been a bit higher-than-usual-maintenance which usually means no knitting!

I started the Saxon Braid Scarf from Knitting On The Edge in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky, and it's turning out very nicely. I am still relatively new to cables, and I am having a bit of trouble with the right purl crosses...the last knit stitch of that cross ends up pretty 'loopy'-you can see one or two of the extra large legs of that stitch in the photo. Not sure what to do about fixing that problem--suggestions are welcome!!!

My second new WIP (gosh have to update the progress bars!) is the Misty Garden from Scarf Style in Touch Yarns(NZ) mohair. I forget the name of the colorway but it is really pretty in this pattern, looking a bit like some sort of fantasea-scape. This is also one of the softest mohairs I've ever knit. I usually don't like anything exceedingly 'fluffy' or catchy or snaggy to knit with but this has been quite nice! I am not sure if it will end up being a 'me' scarf or a 'gift' scarf. I am quite hung-up about gift giving--if I give it to X, then Y will wonder why I didn't knit her/him something....so this holiday, my first knitting holiday, I am really only knitting for my mother. Next year I will start sooner and maybe include others in my gifting. At the rate I am knitting my husband's Forbes Forest, it will only be finished by next holiday season anyway!!