Archive for the ‘FOs’ Category

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Soft but pointy

April 14, 2008

Lace is really something. You work and work and work on this thing that’s basically just a bunch of holes held tenuiously together by a substance as thin as dental floss. When you’re done it looks sad and crumpled like pantyhose thrown in the hamper.

But dunk it in some water and magically…

…you have a lovely, opework scarf with discernable points around the border!

Now that it’s all done, I’m super excited to do more. I think I’ll get a ton of mileage out of Victorian Lace Today before I need to go around looking for more lace books. And there’s plenty of materials in my stash! Let’s see, I have the bright green Kidsilk Haze, the ultra-lightweight Cashwool, that malbrigo I bought once-upon-a-time ago…

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Hatpocalypse

March 20, 2008

After a partying related hiatus from my knitting (there are worse things in the world. Happy belated St. Pat’s), Slouchy Gretel is done.

 I am neither as orange or as surly as this photo wouls suggest

And man alive is it slooooouuuuchy. It’s huge! I forgot that Ysolda’s “regular” berets are pretty slouchy, so the shoulchy version is practically a dreadlock tam. I could, in fact, fit all of my hair in there with no struggle. But I really do like the way it turned out. Rowan Kid classic cables up…uniquely. The cables themselves are much more subtle than they would have been in something like, say, Malabrigo. Less of a contrast between the raised stitches and the background stitches. The halo around the hat is also very nice. It’s interesting (at least to me) to see how this wool/mohair blend produced such a different fabric than the Lamb’s Pride I used for Estella. The fuzziness of Estella just makes it seem more sturdy and warm, but the Kid Classic Gretel is a soft little poof with lattice work on it.

 There is, however, some tragic news. My nice light brown tweed Le Slouch, the hat I wear so often it’s practically a part of my hair…has met with misfortune. It went the entire St. Patrick’s Day weekend without a mishap…but then my mom decided that I was taking too long to unpack my overnight bag and threw the contents in to….

THE WASHING MACHINE!!

 …If it’s any consolation, Classic Elite Skye Tweed felts very nicely in to a soft fabric…but more to the point my favorite hat has now shrunk and turned to a loose felt…I really just don’t know what to do? I know I could make another one, and if I were willing to cannibalize another project, I could even make it from the same yarn…but it won’t be *that* hat…

The poor thing is currently being stretched across a dinner plate…maybe it’s salvagable.

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A need for focus

March 11, 2008

I was so proud of myself for finishing the Wishbone sweater. It’s big, it’s warm, I can tuck my legs in to it if need be…it’s exactly what I wanted out of this sweater! Since I finished it a few days ago, it’s been serving as  nice alternative to freezing my butt off in the basement. No “in action” shots yet because I was such a mess this morning when I took the pictures. No one needs to see medusa hair and red eyes on a knitting blog.

My guilty bit comes from the fact that, instead of finishing the sweater and buckling down on the lace scarf or the second sock that has been languishing, I cast on for (surprise surprise) another hat. But in all fairness it’s a really really cute one. The pattern for Gretel is, as usual for an Ysolda pattern, phenominally well written. It’s amazing just how much quicker a project goes when you have a detailed set of instructions to work with. I’m already lapping the “regular sized” version and headed in to the slouchy.  Moreover, this project lead me to learn an all new tublar cast on that I’ll probably be subbing in on any future hats. It makes a great edge that looks very clean. The yarn is also new to me: Rowan Kid Classic in a stormy blue that I love. It’s also much softer than I expected.

So there we go. This hat will be a happy diversion at which point I will devote time in front of the TV to that lace scarf (not even halfway through the center panel and the edging is nowhere in sight), and the sock will get done on the usual schedule of “when I’m on the go/away from my TV project.” Kinda sad, though. I haven’t had SSS this bad in a long time…

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I actually did it…

February 19, 2008

…I finished the sweatervest that I designed all by myself. Sure it isn’t the most complex or pretty thing in the world. You’d never see it in a magazine. But it’s just what I wanted. Something red, classy, and cute to wear that I made all by myself.

 

As for the technicalities, it’s three balls and change of Rowan Felted Teed in their beautiful red color on Knitpick Options size 7s. That central cable is from the Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns (Barbara Walker), and I sort of researched the basics of shaping and making a v-neck from several different vest and sweater patterns.

I can’t wait to block it. The last time I blocked a Rowan-yarn sweater it got even nicer, so I’m waiting to see what this lovely tweed will do.

I’m sort of between full-sized projects right now (debating if I should do another sweater or start some lace), but I will be picking up the new IK today. There’re like 8 patterns minimum that I’d *love* to make (I have a thing with cardigans and layers in general), but I want to clear out more stash before I buy another sweater of yarn.

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I have a bumpy head

February 15, 2008

But in a good way! I got through all the trinity stitch and bound of for a great looking hat a few days ago.

 

This is a really good pattern with a very clever four stitch decrease that is almost invisible on the hat itself. It blends perfectly without interrupting the pattern. Think I went to the straight up k2tog decreases a little early because the cap gets pointy and weird if I don’t lay it right. But when I do it looks very nice, is very comfortable and warm to wear, and best of all it fits my head snugly. Malabrigo is, as usual, fantastic and I feel like this was the perfect colorway for me to dip my toe in to the red-spectrum. Remember that song from the 90’s called “Blue?” My tastes are kind of like that, but without the repetative techno beats and French vocalists.

I’m also hard at work on the Hartshorn Vest. I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing, but the result seems to be coming out vest-shaped so I’ll run with it. I’m about to start the v-neck on the front and still have the whole back to do. Don’t have a CLUE how it’ll fit, but if nothing else I’ll be able to say I made it all by myself with only the cable having been prewritten. Let’s just wait and see, shall we?

And socks are on the move as well! The pattern for Toujours Pur is beautiful. I pick that adjective carefully and really mean it. There are cool sock patterns, nifty sock patterns, clever sock patterns, cute sock patterns, pretty sock patterns and many many more. This pattern, when combined with the yarn, is beautiful. Like a pair of old fashioned elegant lady’s stockings. I’m already thinking of getting some elastic to sew in to the cuffs (which are a nice break from the k2 p2 norm, by the way) so I can make them nice and tall. I always end up with so much leftover anyway that I might as well try to get the most I can out of this.

Here’s the deal. I *love* turn of the century style. I like looking at fashion from when women wore pretty things and it wasn’t weird or “Ooo you must be going somewhere fancy tonight.” Victorian style had layers and an overall prettyness that I really appreciate…even though I can’t bring myself to come anywhere close to it. Chalk it up to not wanting to buck the social norm too much and laziness.

Along those lines, I treated myself to a new book: Victorian Lace Today. I’ve got some nice red-ish Zephyr and I’m going to make the Victorian Ruby scarf. I’ve read plenty of charts before, so once I figure out the actual grafting and turning techniques, I think I’ll be okay with it. It seems like half the battle with lace is figuring out how to read a chart. Or maybe I’m just trying not to psyche myself out too much. Whatever. I figure I’ll start the lace after I finish the Hartshorn vest, which seems like it might actually be in the near future.

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Abberant Behavior in Socks

January 29, 2008

The Goblet of Fire socks are looking great! Now that I’ve got one completely done, I have a feeling that the next is going to fly off the needles. I know that’s strange, but it’s more often than not the first sock that takes the longest, especially when I really enjoy making it. Somehow, having the number of pattern repeats needed for the right measurements makes a big difference in how fast I get through. Like I can tell myself “oh it’s just another three pattern repeats then I get to do the heel turn,” and suddenly it’s done. I’m also just *so* excited to have these as a full pair. The taller leg will be great in this cold weather and I adjusted my usual foot measurements and got a much better length on the foot. These’ll fit in shoes no problem.

AND the stashdown continues! There’s still quite a ways  to go on the Hartshorn vest, which seems to have stopped growing despite all the time spent on it. I’m really starting to get nervous about it, though, as I think I may have overestimated my body measurements when calculating the cast-on. While it’s good news that I’m not as big as I thought, it might well be this miscalcutaion that makes the sweatervest way too big. Thank heaven for blocking, right?

I also knocked out a quick, one-skein project out of gift yarn that I got two Christmases ago from my friend working in Japan. It’s pretty stuff, I just never knew what to do with it. But a little while ago I broke out Cats and Zig to wind up some old yarn and kind of rediscovered it and other neglected bits. Note to self: The Baruffa stuff is beautiful. Somehow the color shows up more clearly now that it’s in a cake instead of a big droopy hank. Makes me *really* want to cast on something daring, but no. First it’s what I have on the needles, with the occasional one-skein project to chip away at the small bits.

Lastly, I actually did some crochet! My best friend is teaching herself crochet as part of a grad school class she’s taking (trust me, it makes sense) and called the other day to check on something that she was doing (she had it just fine, but crochet really is quite different than knitting so the caution was reasonable) and as I crocheted along trying to match what she was doing on her end of the phone I suddenly wanted nothing to do with my pointy sticks and just wanted to crochet something. Anything!

More stashbusting ensued and in a few hours I made this nice little hat out of one-skein of Patons Devine in black and about half a skein of the same yarn in purple. I’m a fan. It’s kinda gothy…but to girly to really be so (patern from the “accessories section of Mr. Funky’s Super Crochet Wonderful).

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Full spectrum scarf

January 4, 2008

Shocking as it is, the crazy presssure of making Ryan’s sweater in four days *didn’t* kill my desire to knit ever again! On the contrary. I wanted to do nothing BUT knit. In fact, when I stopped knitting and tried to sew a Box Bag for my best friend’s Christmas present, the results were disasterous. I got better, but seriously, knitting has been the way of things ever since and the madness is only now dimming.

The thing is, I wanted to knit, but my brain was blown out on the math EZ had been throwing at me (me no math good). Screw math, I decided, I wanted to make something where the YARN would do the heavy lifting for me.

  

Noro Stripe Scarf: Wow-factor without any of the effort.

 I grabbed the three aimless balls of Kureyon from my stash, guessed a reasonable order for them, cast on 41 stitches ans 1×1 ribbed myself in to a beautiful, colorful coma, with the two selvage stitches on the edges for stability. It’s pretty, it was unbelievably easy and it’s recharged me for other, more dificult knitting pursuits. For example, once the Kureyon scarf was done, I cast on for the sweatervest I’ve been meaning to make for ages. I did the math myself, figuring out stitch numbers from gague and my measurements, mapped out where the design elements would go, and now I’m ready for a long trip in 2×2 rib-land for the next inch or so. I’ll be taking this pretty slow since, well, it’s kind of haphazard. And I haven’t forgotten about those socks, either! They’re nice and portable, though, so I’m reserving the vest for TV knitting.

Also, I’m getting a yarn swift and ball winder! Late Christmas present that will allow my to FINALLY wind that lace-weght and give some real lace a shot.

Lastly, now that I’ve come down off the knitting high, I’m interested in getting back to sewing. I still have patterns cut out, but after the epic fail that went down on the box bag, I’m not so sure I’m ready to try and apply bias tape or anything like that. I think I’m going to try a few smaller projects first, and get some handstitching in with the newbook I got. The Cute Book is so damned adorable I was having cuteness fits. Now I *must* obtain felt and make a bunny. No, it’s not optional and no it can’t wait.