Saturday, November 04, 2006

A Trio of Baby Gifts

Wow, two posts in one night! I made these three gifts for an October baby shower. The dress is a pinafore pattern from knitty using Knit Picks Andean Silk. The kimono is a Lionbrand pattern using Knit Picks Mainline. The faux suede baby booties (faux Baby Uggs) is from DIY Network using Berroco Suede and Berroco Plush.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Somewhat Cowl FO

Pattern: The Somewhat Cowl by Wendy Bernard
Yarn: 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.
Here's a picture of my
little lion at Halloween!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

On a Jane Austen Kick

After finishing Pride and Prejudice, I decided to buy the el-cheapo Barnes & Noble editions of Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, and Northanger Abbey. Right now I'm reading S&S, which I've read before but wanted to read before tackling the latter two books (which I haven't read). After Austen, I might read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel by Lisa See or The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards.

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.

Other projects:
Christmas stockings
V-neck pullover

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).