Friday, June 30, 2006

Lotus Blossom Tank Pics

Check out my Lotus Blossom Tank pics on the KAL! One thing I didn't mention on the KAL post: the bamboo feels even cooler to wear than cotton! It's really muggy here, but I felt very comfortable wearing my tank.

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

Lotus Blossom Tank is Drying

So, here it is: the Lotus Blossom Tank, finally finished! The neckline edging was completed last night, after which I washed the tank in Woolite. It has been drying ever since on a covered ironing board. When I first wear it, I'll be sure to take pics.

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

Reid Has Resurfaced

Finally, I bought and attached a wooden toggle button for Reid, Marie's lace cardigan. So now I'm going to inundate you with pics - ha ha! BTW, I finished this several weeks ago. Here is Reid unblocked and sans toggle button.

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

I'll Be Back

Tomorrow, we're heading to Ohio to look for a place to live. So, I won't be posting until we get back. Ladies at SnB, I will see you next week! 'Sorry I can't be there tomorrow night!

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

Calla and LBT Progress

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

It's Official: We're Moving Back!

We're moving back to Ohio in 3 weeks! Hubby got a job in Columbus, our hometown. We've lived in Raleigh over 8 years. He went to grad school, while I took some grad coursework to become a math teacher. Most of the family and some of our longtime friends live near Columbus. Now our daughter will get to see her family more often.

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 ;)

Knitting Update:
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 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

Started Calla

While knitting Lotus Blossom Tank, I decided that I wanted to start Calla. I thought it would be nice to have a second project in the wings and also as a reprieve from LBT. I'm using TLC Cotton Plus in medium rose. So far, I have about 3" completed. When I get a chance, I'll post some progress pics. However, I have family in town this weekend. So, it might be a while!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Planning to Modify Lotus Blossom Tank

Since my shoulders are narrower than the standard in proportion to my bust measurement, I devised a plan to change my Size S (39") Lotus Blossom Tank to an XS (33.75") soon after BO at the armholes above the bust. Here are my notes...

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)
4. 84

1. 82 (-2)
2. 79 (-3)
3. 75 (-4)
4. 75

1. 73 (-2)
2. 69 (-4)
3. 65 (-4)
4. 65

1. 63 (-2)
2. 59 (-4)
3. 55 (-4)
4. 55

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

And here is the Kidlet Tank

Marie is sporting her new Kidlet Tank, finished last night. It's a little large, but since she's growing, that's OK. The straps crack me up because they're so short!

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

Started the Lotus Blossom Tank and...

Here's a picture of my blocked Green Gable! I really like how well the yarn blocked. It's Tahki Cotton Classic #3331 - 100% mercerized cotton. After washing GG, I dried it flat after positioning and stretching it. The only part of the sweater to naturally curl, ever so slightly I might add, was the back neckline. After blocking, the front neckline doesn't curl at all. Washing GG seemed to make the yarn even softer, yet with no sign of any pilling. This yarn is a definite keeper! Someday if I make Picovoli again, I'll be sure to use mercerized cotton.

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

GG finished!

Due to Blogger uploading issues, I have included links to my pictures on this post. Sorry for the inconvenience :(

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 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

Crayons and Kool-Aid

"Mmm, yummy green crayon!" says Marie. Thank goodness it is non-toxic and washable, right?! About 20 minutes prior to the crayon-eating event, she was actually using her crayons to "draw" on a sketch pad.
droopy drawers1
I finished knitting Marie her first pair of diaper soakers. She doesn't need any since she wears disposables. But, I thought it would be fun to knit some as covers to wear during the summer. Here's a picture of soakers, made from Patons Classic Merino Wool and Wool-Ease. They're really droopy! I think the leg openings are too low. Good thing they're the trial pair because with the next pair I plan on using my Kool-Aid dyed yarn (see next picture).

Here is my first Kool-Aid dye job on a skein of Patons Classic Merino Wool (winter white). I used the following flavors:
1. orange
2. lemonade (yellow)
3. pink lemonade (pink)
4. grape
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 for The Somewhat Cowl. I chose rich olive for the color. I think it'll look nice with a chocolate brown cami underneath.