Saturday, November 04, 2006
Friday, November 03, 2006
Yarn: elann.com Peruvian Collection Quechua in rich olive
A tad bit too big, but not enough to make me think about not wearing it. The color goes so well with my skin tone, don't ya think? The only modification, which I would not do again, is I added short rows to round out the sleeves. Before blocking, you could see the bubbled-out short rows just above the ribbing on the sleeves. Thank goodness for the power of blocking!
Oh my goodness! -- I can't believe I forgot to mention this on my last entry... I went to the library and, along with some other highly reputable knitting books, I found Knitting in the Old Way by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts and Deborah Robson. If you're not familiar with this book, it's such an interesting read for knitting history buffs, specifically those who want to know what old techniques and designs were used in the past all over the world.
My favorite discovery in the book concerns Japanese short rows. When I knit Green Gable, which is a top-down raglan design, I used Japanese short rows in the round. Since I hadn't yet read Knitting in the Old Way (KITOW), I didn't know how to finish off the pinned purlside short rows on the knitside when doing the conclusion round. So, I ended up coming up with my own idea on how to do it, which looked fine but not perfect. Well... Upon reading KITOW, I discovered the correct way to do it. The authors use what turns out to be a SKP decrease to mirror the slant of the k2tog decrease used on the knitside short rows. When I made Green Gable, I crossed the pinned loop behind the slipped stitch and then did a k2tog (trying to mirror what would occur on the purlside when knitting flat). In hindsight, using a left-slanting decrease such as SSK or SKP should've been a no-brainer! Ah, well... Oh, BTW: the authors of KITOW don't use pins in their description of Japanese short rows. Personally, I find it easier to use pins so that there is no mistaking which loop gets pulled up onto the needles.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Since the last post, I've made serious progress on the Somewhat Cowl sweater. All I have to finish is whipstitching the cowl neck. I'd like to go back and undo the short rows I made on the sleeves. But it looks like it would be too tricky to do, being so close to the already grafted underarms. I don't know... we'll see. My reasoning for putting in the short rows was to add curvature to the sleeves (for the shoulder tops) with the intention of preventing stretching (it's a close-fitting raglan). It turns out, the sleeves didn't really need short rows. Or, shall I say, they didn't need short rows where I placed them. If my intention was to round out the shoulders of the raglan, I should've placed the short rows higher up... *ahem*...near the shoudlers. DUH!!! Other than the bungled short row placement, the sweater looks really nice, and I can't wait to wear it! It's a nice olive green yarn made with alpaca and tencel. When it's complete, I'll post pics.
I'm waiting on the yarn to arrive for the pullover and tote. For the v-neck pullover, I'm going to try to make a loose, 4 to 5 inch double rib crossover v-neck collar. I'm still trying to decide whether to make set-in sleeves or a raglan (top down, or bottom up with a CCD seam). Hmm... I'm thinking slightly belled sleeves would be pretty. As for the stitch pattern, I don't know yet. I need to see the yarn first. It's Decadence from Knit Picks.
I found a free felted tote pattern online which looks somewhat similar to the Oregon Tote. For this tote, I ordered Knit Picks WOTA in Chocolate and Arctic Pool Heather (blue).
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
The two short sleeve tees are my design... nothing fancy, just a way to get rid of some summer yarn. The hat was also made with no pattern and with an unknown marled yarn from AC Moore. The Clapotis scarf and cap were made with Rio de la Plata. I modified the pattern in order to use only 4 skeins (including the cap).
*GASP*, "NOOOOOooooooo!", runs to daughter to retrieve slightly unraveled sweater on circulars. Whew! She only frogged about 30 stitches...'Coulda been so much worse! ...now back to blog post:
There are 3 more finished projects to display, but I can't show them yet since they're gifts!! On one of them, I tried intarsia (as well as sewn-on pockets) for the first time. Now that I've tried stranded and intarsia knitting, I think I prefer stranded. You only have to deal with two colors at one time with stranded. Dealing with numerous yarn bobbins is not good for your mental health! With stranded, there aren't all those infinite strands to weave in; and IMHO, it's much easier to get the stranded knitting's stitches more even. I don't like waiting until afterwards to adjust the evenness of the stitches. This is not to say I won't do intarsia again - I just need more practice, I think.
I finally finished my latest read-through of The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and the LOTR, and just started Pride and Prejudice. Have you seen the Keira Knightly (sp?), movie version? Much is left out, but I did very much like the music and the overall romantic feel. I rented it last week. This week I'm watching the Colin Firth 5-hour version that closely follows the book. There is much to appreciate, but I miss the Keira Knightly version.
The main reason that I haven't been blogging lately is that I'm taking an aero circuit class. It's been kicking my butt! Class is on Mondays and Wednesdays, so the only day my muscles aren't sore are Saturdays and Sundays. This has been going on for over 4 weeks now. Since we're discussing exercise, I might as well mention that I bought one of those jogging strollers. Before trying it out for the first time, I assumed that the biggest adjustment would be the restricted arm movement. But, it turns out that the biggest adjustment is the burn that your arms experience while running. If you could let your arms hang relaxed, like when driving, then it wouldn't be an issue. But since it's a stroller, you have to push forward, and therefore get an arm workout. The other unexpected adjustment is turning corners - jogging strollers don't turn on a dime. When you approach a turn, you have to pop a wheely. So the moral of the story is: choose the straightest route possible!
Monday, September 11, 2006
The first is Fix You by Coldplay. Lukas Rossi will be singing it on Rock Star: Supernova this Tuesday. I thought I'd listen to the original a few times before seeing it covered by someone else. I think this is the song used with the TV movie trailer for World Trade Center because I remember hearing the words "lights will guide you" being sung at the end. This song starts out slow, but picks up mid-song and finishes with all the guys singing at a live concert. Note: you might have to turn up the volume slightly to hear the beginning of this song.
The second song is Headspin by Lukas Rossi. He sang it last week on Rock Star: Supernova when all the contestants got to sing their own original song. Again, I wanted to be familiar with a song before seeing it performed on TV. The myspace.com version is better quality audio. But I really like the longer, stripped down acoustic version shown here.
On the knitting front, I have finished Clapotis and am working on a matching cap I got from this site thanks to whimsical knitting. Once the hat is done and the scarf is blocked, I'll take some pics. Using leftover yarn from Calla, I made a short sleeve pink tee for Marie (24-month size). It's my own design and very basic. I'll post pics and details sometime soon.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
This is Sunset Pullover from Knit Picks. I used the pattern yarn: Knit Picks Vacation. It's a cotton/tactel/nylon/acrylic yarn made in Italy. The pattern is no longer available, and the yarn is now on sale. So, I'm assuming that Knit Picks isn't continuing with this yarn line. When I purchased the yarn, my first choice was the pattern color tangerine which looked like a "sunset." But, the color was no longer available. So, I went with Ocean.
It's a wonder that this pullover turned out because, 3 inches into the raglan seam, I could see that I was going to run out of yarn. I had just enough to cover my shoulders. When I had an estimated 4 rounds left, I drastically decreased the neckline to make sure that the top of the sweater didn't fall off my shoulders. When I bound off the neckline, I ran out of yarn three stitches to go! Luckily, I hadn't woven in all the tails because I ended up snipping off part of a tail to complete the neckline BO. Whew!
So, the neckline isn't even close to the pattern. Also, the sleeves turned out shorter than expected (very rare for me). But, I'm OK with the end result. It will be nice to wear outside on a cool evening/morning near the end of summer.
Current Projects: Clapotis and The Somewhat Cowl
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
The shrug is too big totally due to the fact that I ignored the pattern gauge... The pattern says "baby weight cotton blend yarn" and uses US 3 needles. So I assumed that meant a light sport/heavy fingering weight yarn and therefore bought Shine Sport from Knit Picks. However, the pattern gauge reads 10 spi. Looking back, it makes sense that a lighter weight yarn should've been used because there's a lot of 1x1 rib. I made the 18 months size, but it turned out to fit a two- to possibly four-year-old. At first, I thought that I might give this shrug to an older child. But, now I'm not so sure because it took forever to make the ruffle, and it looks too darn cute on Marie!
Since Blogger is having troubles, I will post pictures later in a separate post.
Friday, August 18, 2006
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Saturday, August 05, 2006
I finished her Friday afternoon and wore her unblocked out to dinner, ice cream, and a stroll. Very comfy!! Oh, and yes, I wore a camisole underneath. ;) Most people shop for camisoles after or while purchasing a top. Not me in this case: I bought the camisole first and later chose to knit Calla to layer over it to hide the smuggled raisins. I used TLC Cotton Plus, which I love for both the softness and repetitive machine washability. You might be wondering if the yarn was too hot to wear outdoors? Well, yesterday was the first day of relief for us Ohioans, and this tank worked out perfectly for the beautiful upper-80's weather we had. It sure was nice to be outdoors for a change! This is my last exclusively summer project.
Now, back to the lacy baby shrug and Sunset Pullover... I've been mulling over what to knit and when this fall. Besides the usual sweaters, I'm interested in making a KnitKit bag/tote/purse and felted clogs. There's also Christmas to consider... Between finishing my two OTNs projects and beginning my fall projects, I'm going to make The Somewhat Cowl. I've had the yarn for this for most of the summer. With the yarn being an alpaca/tencel blend, this is the perfect time to knit it in preparation for the late summer/early fall weather.
My mind has really been on Clapotis and also some scarf and shawl projects from Scarf Style. Have you seen the beautiful Ene's Scarf made by Rachel at Lickety Knit?! She used Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the Sand Ridge colorway.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Here's a picture of my beloved kitty Honeysuckle who still remains lost.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
How long does it take to unpack?! I still have CDs, DVDs, clothes, books, and extra bathroom stuff to put away. At first, I was pretty good at unpacking. Too good: after a while, I got tired and wanted to drive around town and get outdoors. I wanted to knit and do normal everyday things.
I've made progress on Sunset Pullover: I finished the 2nd sleeve and joined the front and back of the body. Calla has also seen some progress. I really should try to finish Calla first since the number of hot summer days is limited in my new locale.
My latest craze, just like last summer, is watching Rockstar: Supernova on CBS. The link I just provided is the MSN site which contains video of the weekly performances and clinics. Here's a link to the CBS site. If you haven't watched the show and are interested, here are my favorite performances so far (in no particular order):
1. Week 1 Dilana: Lithium by Nirvana
2. Week 1 Lucas: Rebel Yell by Billy Idol
3. Week 3 Dilana: Zombie by The Cranberries
4. Week 4 Lucas: Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve
5. Week 4 Dilana: Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper
6. Week 4 Storm: Anything Anything by Dramarama
7. Week 4 Patrice: My Iron Lung by Radiohead
8. Week 4 Zayra: I'm Not an Addict by K's Choice
My favorites are: Dilana, Lucas, Magni, and Patrice. I haven't really liked Storm Large until she did Anything Anything, ending with a kickass stage dive. And how about Patrice with her rendition of My Iron Long?! She kicked her performance up a notch! Jill has a great voice, but I wouldn't want to have her in my band. She really annoys me. She's soooo angry. I wish Toby would try harder and match the performance level of the leaders. Josh, Ryan, and Zayra have had some good performances (especially Zayra's renditions of Everybody Hurts and I'm Not an Addict), but they're just not right musically for the job. Dana is improving, but I don't think she'll be able to catch up to the others in the end.
Dilana is just so mesmerizing - she can be enchanting, sweet, edgy, hardcore, and downright scary-good. She had me from week one with her totally cool performance of Nirvana's Lithium. In week three she nailed Zombie by The Cranberries. Dave Navarro totally dug it. Week four's Time After Time is one of my favorite 80's songs, and I loved her duet of that song with houseband guitarist/backup vocalist Jim McGorman. Right now, it's down to Dilana and Lucas. Lucas would impress me more if he'd sing something different and show some more versatility like Dilana did with Time After Time. He's great with songs that require or sound good with a gravelly voice, but can he use his voice in a different way? Magni has a very nice, recordable voice. But, I want to see him get a little crazy on stage! I can tell he's got it in him and that he's consistent. But, can he put himself out there like Patrice did when she finally cranked it up with the Radiohead song? Hmm... I love this show!
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Saturday, July 01, 2006
Friday, June 30, 2006
Here are the ladies at from Stitch 'n Bitch. :) SnB Raleigh has three separate meeting locations. I go to the one at Caribou Coffee on Thursday nights with these lovely ladies. From left to right: Barbara, Merrie, and Nikki. If you look closely, you can see my mini LBT sitting on the table in front of the empty seat. I'm making an LBT for my 17-month-old!
... and here's a picture of our new home! I can't wait to move in!
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
I've been documenting my modifications all along. But, I thought I'd do a final summary. I made the 39" size, but did 5 repeats of the lace pattern and 4 inches of stockinette. After separating the front and back, I gradually reduced my total stitches down to the 33.75" size prior to the purl ridge rows in front (here's how). On the back, I reduced evenly on the same rows. Once I had the same number of stitches as the 33.75" size, I followed those instructions for the remainder of the pattern.
I tried on LBT last night before washing and it fit well unblocked. If I had to do it all over again, I would maybe make the straps longer - perhaps the 39" size length or longer - because the XS strap length pulls the front up a little higher than where it sat prior to seaming. I hadn't thought of this, but in hindsight it makes total sense. I'd also make the stockinette an inch longer to compensate for the straps pulling the front up, although blocking might make that happen anyway. I'm very happy with the modified length and the fit. I can't wait to wear this thing!! Now I hope to make a mini version for Marie ;)
Monday, June 26, 2006
Here are 2 pics of Reid completely finished: one is taken w/o flash to show the lace pattern better...
Here's Marie trying Reid on.
As you can see, she has some growing to do before this fits! Ah, well...
In other knitting news, I only have the neckline edging to do on Lotus Blossom Tank. I'm debating which project in my lineup to knit next. If I have enough bamboo yarn leftover, I might make a mini Lotus Blossom Tank for Marie. I have leftover Tahki Cotton Classic to make Marie either Katja or a mini Green Gable. I'm making Katja regardless of what yarn I use. Considering Ohio weather (since I'll be living there very soon), I should probably make the mini LBT and Katja first before the mini Green Gable. Hmm... Oh, and I started the other half of Calla while visiting in Ohio this past weekend.
Speaking of Ohio, we found a place to live! Yay!
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Knitting Update: Last night I finished the front of Lotus Blossom Tank with my planned modifications while watching the last two episodes of Alias on the computer. Before starting on the back, I tried it on: it fits just right! Yay! I finished my mods on the back and have about 5 inches to go before the shoulder shaping which uses Japanese short rows (woohoo!). I'm so glad that I was able to prevent any frogging by planning my mods way in advance. Thanks to seeing the models in Interweave Knits and reading Sarah's post, I decided to make the lace one extra repeat for my size and to make the top smaller (one size smaller, in fact). As for any mods after this... When picking up stitches for the neckline edging, I'll do some decreases along the front neckline if necessary in order to prevent any gaping. I don't want the front neckline to be loose at all.
If someone asked me which of my handknit summer tops I wear the most right now, I'd say Green Gable. Picovoli is really comfortable, but the picot edging takes extra maintenance (i.e., ironing). Green Gable doesn't wrinkle at all and I'm very pleased with the fit. My pink cable yoke sweater is made out of a wool/alpaca blend. Therefore, I can't wear it unless it's 70 degrees or less outside.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Here are Calla and Lotus Blossom Tank. I finished the front of Calla today. Now I have to make the back which is identical to the front. I'm about an inch or so away from BO at the armholes for LBT. Suprisingly - in a pleasant way - LBT measures about 17" across. That is, 34 inches. A whopping 5 inches less than the predicted 39. That's fine with me!
Thursday, June 15, 2006
I'll definitely miss my knitting group! Every Thursday, I've been going to Caribou Coffee to stitch and bitch. The women there are fun to talk to and very nice. I really look forward to Thursday nights. Other than a couple of regulars, you never know who else of the sporadic attendees will show. Lately, the group has dwindled to 2-3 people. The weather? Refusal to knit summer attire? Dislike of current regulars? Who knows why... I hope it's not the latter. That's kinda cliquish, don't ya think? Whatever. Anyway, after tonight there are only 2 more Thursdays of SnB before I move :_( I wonder how the SnB will be in Columbus? Of course, I'll keep you posted when that time comes ;)
I'm on the 5th lace repeat of Lotus Blossom Tank and the 3rd time through Chart 1 of Calla. I was thinking of creating my own pattern for a toddler apron top for Marie based on a pattern I saw on Little Turtle Knits. However, when I saw the very cute Katja pattern in the latest issue of knitty.com which is roughly similar in style, I decided to go with that instead. So, in the near future I will be casting on for Katja. I might still create an apron top, although maybe not this summer.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Monday, June 12, 2006
To drop from S (39") to XS (33.75"), evenly decrease 28 sts starting the 6th row after separating front and back: 14 dec for the front and 14 dec for the back.
After working the first 4 rows of the front separately from the back, the directions say: Work Rows 1-4 of decrease patt 4 times (= 16 rows). Using p2tog, decrease the following number of sts evenly on Row 2 (WS) of each patt repeat: 3, 3, 4, 4, repectively (Rows 2, 6, 10, 14). Here are the st counts with number of dec in ( ), beginning with 93 sts:
1. 91 (-2)
2. 88 (-3)
3. 84 (-4)
1. 82 (-2)
2. 79 (-3)
3. 75 (-4)
1. 73 (-2)
2. 69 (-4)
3. 65 (-4)
1. 63 (-2)
2. 59 (-4)
3. 55 (-4)
Row 2 (1 st rep Row 2): 22 * 21 * 21 * 21 (3 dec)
Row 6 (2nd rep Row 2): 19 * 19 * 19 * 19 (3 dec)
Row 10 (3rd rep Row 2): 13 * 13 * 13 * 13 * 13 (4 dec)
Row 14 (4th rep Row 2): 11 * 11 * 11 * 11 * 11 (4 dec)
* = p2tog
After working the first 4 rows of the back, the directions say: Work even in St st. On Rows 2, 6, 10, 14 of the St st, work the same number of dec to match the front:
Row 2: 22 * 22 * 22 * 21 (3 dec)
Row 6: 21 * 21 * 21 * 21 (3 dec)
Row 10: 16 * 16 * 15 * 16 * 16 (4 dec)
Row 14: 15 * 15 * 15 * 15 * 15 (4 dec)
* = p2tog
Anyway, that's the plan! Maybe you'll do yours differently. Note that all extra decreases are worked on the WS since I don't want them to be so noticeable.
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Pattern: Kidlet Tank
Yarn: TLC Cotton Plus in Thistle
Needles: US 7 16" circular
Gauge: 5 spi
Mods: CO 100 sts. Since Marie wears size 18 mths, I stopped knitting when CO to armhole measured 7 inches. When shaping, I decreased to 34 sts to keep in proportion with the number of CO sts and to have a multiple of 4 plus 2 extra for the 2x2 ribbing.
I really like the simplicity of this pattern. It made for a nice quick knit. The TLC Cotton Plus is very soft, and I am considering using it for myself before the summer is out! The Thistle colorway is variegated: it's a chained yarn where the plies are variegated, always with white throughout. Note: You can get solid colors as well.
On Lotus Blossom Tank, I'm into the 3rd lace repeat. I really think I'll be doing 5 total rather than 4, as my size indicates. It just seems more desirable to have a longer, flowing lace that covers my waist and grazes the hips rather than a cropped top.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Yesterday, I got my bamboo yarn in the mail and started the Lotus Blossom Tank. Here's a shot after completing the first repeat of the lace pattern. This yarn is different - it feels like rope! If it's like linen or hemp, maybe it will soften with wear...
Gotta go - my head feels like a watermelon about to explode thanks to the low pressure system moving through the state!
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
I'm done and it fits: Here's my Green Gable. Yay! I could've been finished last night, BUT... It took nearly 3 hours to do the tubular bind off using the Italian method. It looked like crap. [Note: The link to the Italian method was helpful in that it told me how to do the 2nd round of double knitting ITR: slip the knits wyib and purl the purls.] Unfortunately, being a novice at the tubular BO, I unknowningly used only one very long strand of yarn! Dumb, dumb, dumb! What the heck was I thinking?!! It twisted after every sequence of steps and took FOREVER to pull through the stitches. Also, I never could get an even tension using this method. Man, did I get annoyed! I had to mute the TV at one point! So today, I did the sleeves using the real method of tubular BO. When that turned out nicely, I then took out the crappy hem and re-did it. Besides looking bad, it was also rolling up. The 2nd time around was much faster, and I used 3 separate strands of yarn. Here's a link to a close-up of the tubular BO at the bottom hem. I lengthened the hem ribbing to 5 rounds (to prevent rolling), then double knitted for 2 rounds. On each sleeve, I picked up 7 extra stitches at underarm gap for a total of 64 stitches. Good thing because the sleeves wouldn't have fit if I hadn't. Unlike the hem, I chose not to do 2 rounds of double knitting on the sleeve ends.
'Still waiting on my SWTC Bamboo yarn to arrive for the Lotus Blossom Tank KAL. My Peruvian Collection Quechua from elann.com came on Monday. Here's a shot of it. The color is rich olive. The strands have a silky feel due to the tencel -- I like it! When I finish the LBT, I plan on knitting the Somewhat Cowl with the Quechua.
Now that I'm done with GG and will soon be starting the LBT, that leaves Sunset Pullover and Kidlet Tank. Also, my ball of Kool-Aid dyed yarn is waiting to be used on diaper soakers/shorts. When I finish the Kidlet Tank for Marie, I want to make an summer apron top for her. I saw a cute pattern for one online that I think I can mimic. It has two ties in the back: one at the neck and one at the middle of the back.
Friday, June 02, 2006
Here is my first Kool-Aid dye job on a skein of Patons Classic Merino Wool (winter white). I used the following flavors:
2. lemonade (yellow)
3. pink lemonade (pink)
5. berry blue (blue)
6. lemon-lime (green)
7. strawberry (red)
I used the microwave method. First, I unwound the skein and simultaneously rewound it into a circular ring/hank. After securing it with ties of scrap yarn, I soaked the yarn in lukewarm water and Wool-Lite with a glug of white vinegar. After rinsing it, I put it in a microwave-safe dish. Then, I painted it in wedges like pie slices with an infant medicine syringe using a mix of 1/4 cup lukewarm water + unsweetened Kool-Aid packet. Next I microwaved it 2 minutes, let it rest 2 minutes, and microwaved it again for 2 minutes. I let it cool off, washed it at the yarn's temperature in Wool-Lite, rinsed it and squeezed out the water, and let it hang dry for a few days. With this yarn, I think I might start out with a diaper soaker pattern, but at the end, turn it into shorts. We'll see!
I finished the waist decreases and several even rounds of Green Gable. Instead of k2tog, k2tog, I used ssk, k2tog. Either way looks wonky to me since the only waist shaping I've ever done used 4 darts rather than pairs of decreases at the sides. Finally, I finished the first sleeve of Sunset Pullover. So, now I've got the 2nd one to do before starting the body of the sweater. Since I strayed from the Kidlet Tank pattern the first time I attempted it, I decided to try again but with a different yarn: I'm using TLC Cotton Plus in Thistle. Also, I ordered an alpaca/tencel blend yarn called Peruvian Collection Quechua from elann.com for The Somewhat Cowl. I chose rich olive for the color. I think it'll look nice with a chocolate brown cami underneath.