Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Excuse Me While I IGNORE My Knitting

The title of this blog should probably be changed to the title of this post. That's really how I'm feeling right now. This is, yet again, a pictureless post because I'm trying to sqeeze this in during my free time at work.

Tonight, I plan on washing and blocking the swatch I made so I can get an accurate guage of the cable patterns. I've also been creeping along on Cirque during my lunch breaks. I don't know if I told you all, but Cirque is my experiment in knitting backwards. I normally knit left-handed so now I’m trying Stockinette stitch using both my left and right hands so I never have to flip my work or purl. It has been quite the experience. My tension is beginning to even out and I’m knitting quicker with my right hand. This just might be my technique of choice for straight Stockinette pieces.

The most useful site I found on teaching how to knit backwards is this one on Kim’s website.

That's it for now. I promise, some pics and excitement to come.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Holding My Breath

Let me fill you in on the swatch from my last post. (I'm away from home and I can't post any pictures right now.) It is inspired by a heavily cabled, cropped cardigan I saw in a similar color. The inspiration cardi had cap-sleeves, and it really intrigued me! I thought it was weird to see such a heavily cabled garment in a cropped length with cap-sleeves. I liked it so much that I decided to make my own! The inspiration actually is a little shorter than my version will be, and it had long ties that wrapped around the waist as the closure. I think mine will have 4 or 5 button-type closures (maybe frog & loop closures). The collar will be similar to the shawl collar on the inspiration cardi. I plan to use short rows to accomplish this. [I've never done it before, but it is detailed in the Big Book of Knitting (I'll reference the author's name later.) and it looks very interesting.]

On to the good part............................I'm not sure if I'll have enough yarn, so I'll be holding my breath the whole way. Also, I've only seen the inspiration cardi once....................on a television show..........about 5 months ago! So, I'm going off of pure memory! (so much so that I consider this my own design, lol)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Distraction


Something to keep you distracted while I find time to create an actual post.

This is a swatch of a design I'm mulling over in my head. More to come.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Who's The Lucky Winner?!

Every chance I get, I've been petting this lovely yarn. It's just so soft and the colors are magnificent. I think my SP is someone who knows me and is just not telling! (Though I truly know no one in Ohio.) That's exactly how I feel! As I was searching for a more suitable pattern for my new shawl, I revisited the Knitpicks website. (I've been so out of the loop, I didn't even know about their new needles and yarn. Where have I been?!) I saw the Adamas Shawl by Miriam Felton and I knew I had seen her name somewhere before. So, what did I do? I googled her, of course! And I found her blog - Mim's Knitting Frenzy. It only took me a split seconde (okay, I'm exaggerating) to find this beauty - the Mountain Peaks Shawl! It's knit using Knitpicks Shadow, which is the same as Shimmer except Shimmer is it's variegated counterpart. I think I found a winner, people!

More details to come.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Did you miss me?

It's been quite some time since my last post. That's due to a completely different work schedule and a crazy household schedule, but no more excuses. I promise.

I was surprised on Friday with a very special package from a very special Secret Pal.

Isn't it beautiful?!! Here, we have 3 skeins of KnitPicks Shimmer in the Stained Glass colorway. Again, probably not a color I would choose for myself, but the combination is so pretty. This picture is slightly darker than the actual colors. I also received some Clover blocking pins. In the past, I've just used regular sewing pins, but now I can officially begin a real lace project!* My pal also included the KnitPicks Candle Light Shawl pattern. I think this beautiful yarn with it's magnetic colors is yearning to be something else, though. I'll let you know what I come up with.

You can imagine that while juggling my sanity, I haven't had much time to actually knit. Here's the progress on my toe-up Jaywalkers.

This is still the first sock and I'm just about to turn the heel. I've also worked a bit on Cirque - just a few more inches into the stockinette portion. Pictures soon to be revealed.

My day began at 6 this morning, and I still have much more to do before I leave for work. Time to get moving!

*My first actual project was a lace shawl that came out beautifully. I wound up giving it to my stepdaughter because I couldn't see myself actually wearing it. I will say that it was a good effort for my first actual project (what was I thinking?). My stepdaughter, to this day, drapes it over her bed when she makes it up in the morning. I think she might be prouder of it than I am!

Monday, June 12, 2006

FO's and Updates

I figured I might as well post about the finished objects I've mentioned here in previous posts. First up, the infamous Husband-Ankle socks! Complete in all their glory. I actually have quite a bit of yarn left over. Next up, Pivocoli! This was a very quick knit. It took about a week, and I only used 2 skeins of the Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Perry's Primrose.

And as I searched for a pattern worthy of the lovely yarn my Secret Pal gifted me, I thought, why not some Jaywalkers? I've seen a hundred different versions, and I figured, this yarn would knit up nicely in the chevron pattern. Here's my first attempt following the toe up pattern drafted by Natalia Knits. I cast on the suggested number of stitches, but it was coming out WAY too big! (The yarn was also pooling in a way I didn't care for.) So, I adjusted and cast-on 26 stitches for the sole and increased up to 30 stitches for the pattern side of the foot. I told you I have very narrow feet!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

I LOVE IT!!!!!

Guess what was waiting for me in the mailbox on Saturday when I arrived back home from the grocery store....................................It was this! I absolutely love it. It's Brown Sheep Wildfoote sock yarn in the Rock N Roll colorway from my Secret Pal. Isn't it gorgeous? The pictures don't do it justice. The colors are so bright and vibrant. I can't wait to start something (socks, of course) with it. This should give me the impetus I need to actually finish my husband's ankle socks. The first one only took 3 days, but the second one is going on several weeks!!

This makes me feel like a bit of a slacker in the Secret Pal 8 department. I've been so busy lately that I haven't been able to prepare a package for my SP yet. I have reached out to her and maintained some sort of interation, though. I'll try to get something together by Tuesday, but then, there's the problem of getting it sent off. I'm off to work before the post office opens and I'm home after it closes. What to do? What to do? I'll figure something out.

By the way, the orange fabric in the background is some medium-weight linen I picked up a few months back. It was only $2/yd at a fabric warehouse near me! Can you believe it?! The color is awesome and the quality is outstanding. I think I see some cute summer capris in my near future.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

How to design a pattern 101

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about pattern designing. Not necessarily because I'm a genius and have an impeccable fashion sense (which I think I do have), but primarily because I enjoy knitting and want to knit things I'll actually wear. I'm trying to wear down the stash right now and there are no (free) patterns around that spark my interest. So in an effort to begin this pattern-making journey, I've decided to start with the acrylic stuff in my stash that's been marinating for close to a year. First up, Lion Brand Microspun. Here's my current swatch as I'm typing right now. I'm actually not fond of this stuff at all, but I thought it might be nice to design a cute summer top out of it seeing as how I only have 3 balls (501 yards) and it's white. The yarn is very splitty, yet quite soft. But, let's face it, it's acrylic and it just might pill like the dickens. Only time will tell. I think it's going to be lacey and constructed out of two rectangular pieces with minimal shaping. (Now that I think of it, that's pretty much how Orangina is constructed.) It will be knit using a US4 needle, and hopefully, it won't take forever. I'll post pattern notes as I go.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Lookie what I got!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



On Tuesday, I received this beautiful hand-made card from my Secret Pal! It's so nice and thoughtful. Here's what it says:
Hope you are knitting up a storm.
I can hardly wait to see more of your work!
Yours,
Secret Pal 8
And on the left-hand side of the card, it says:
Keep an eye out for a package of fun stuff!!!
OH, the mystery and the suspense!!!! I can hardly stand it!!!

By the way, being the natural-born sleuth that I am, I have a clue as to where my SP is from. The postmark on the envelope says Cleveland, OH. I am all over this!!!!!!!

More to come later.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Green Gable



Pattern: Green Gable by Zephyr Style

Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Wild Sage CW-360

Start: May 1, 2006

Finish: May 12, 2006

Modifications: I listened to some of the suggestions on the KAL and decided to incorporate some increases just before the arms were seperated. I completed 3 more increase rounds for a total of 6 additional rows overall. Looking back on it, I think I could have done without these. Because I felt like I'd be swimming in the finished product, I also added some waist shaping. (I didn't have anyone to help out with the photo shoot. It's impossible to get a shot of your side by yourself!) Just after the short rows (3 sets to accomodate the bust), I began to decrease 1 st each side every sixth row. I think I did this three times. Then, I decreased 2sts each side once I was 5" from the separation of the arms. I knit for two inches straight and increased 2 sts each side every six rows five times. This added a nice amount of shaping. I tried it on pre-blocking and the fit was perfect. I blocked it and it was HUGE! So, once it was mostly dry, I tossed it in the dryer for about 20 minutes and that did the trick! I'm happy with the outcome. I think if I make it again, which I probably will because it was such a quick knit, I'll omit the 3 increase rounds I added before the separation of the arms.

Pattern Rating: 9.5 - Just because I feel there wasn't enough waist shaping, but that's totally a personal preference.

Yarn Rating: 10 - I love this stuff!!! And I haven't had many good experiences with cotton in the past.

Would I knit this again?: Most definitely!
Keyhole detail

Just after completion (before sewing in the ends)