Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Nantucket Jacket

Surprisingly, I am some how managing to make some real progress on the Nantucket Jacket. I managed to finish both halves of the front this weekend and to seem them to the back. I am a little worried that the sweater will be shorter than I want, but since it will be a cotton sweater, I am hopeful that gravity will help lengthen the sweater. One interesting thing about this pattern is that you make the collar simply by knitting 3 1/2 inches of seed stitch on the top of each of the front halves of the cardigan, then you seem the two cast off edges together (I don't know why you don't simple leave the stitches live then graft them together, but, whatever). I think that I am going to end up undoing my collar seeming and re-seeming it. The way I have it done now, if the collar folds over (which I think it will) the wrong side of the seeming shows, which will be rather unattractive.

I have just under one skein of my cotton-ease left, so I am holding off starting the sleeves. I figure that I can use my cotton-ease to do the crochet edging around the button edges of the cardigan, and if the cotton-ease K sends me is a different shade, I can just pretend that I meant for the sleeves to be a different color than the body. I think that I am making the 36" bust version of the Nantucket Jacket (one size above the smallest size). I am using the old cotton-ease, I haven't yet seen the new cotton-ease live.


Monday, January 29, 2007


Well, I'm not working on Wicked. I quickly realized that Wicked calls for a worsted weight yarn, and Cotton Fleece is a little fine for that purpose. The yarn is lovely, though, and will make a nice Sahara for the spring. I decided instead to cast on using Bubblegum Cotton-Ease on a size 8 needle (which was the needle required to get gauge). The twisted ribs at the neckline ended up looking really sloppy and gross and the color was just too bright so I ripped it out and decided to get back to it another day using a different yarn.

I'm on quite a tight budget right now, so rather than buy more yarn, I cast on for a new project with yarn from my stash. Ages ago, I made a very expensive purchase of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted to make the Twisted Float shrug from the Fall 2005 VK. Over time, I lost my enthusiasm for the project, so instead, I'm using it for the Hourglass sweater. I had quite a few trials and tribulations while starting. First, I ran out of yarn during my long tail cast on after casting on 180 stitches. Rip. Then I cast on the right number, but found I was twisted after one round. Rip. Then I cast on the right number, wasn't twisted, and knit furiously for 5 inches. Whoops, I cast on for the wrong size. Rip. Ugh! I really like this yarn, though, so I soldiered on again, cast on the right number, and knit the body:

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The decreases at the waist caused a little pooling, but despite that, I think this yarn is really well suited to the project. For a variegated yarn, it's not too busy. It's oh so soft, too.

I also seamed up Hudson, my Big Kureyon sweater. Now I just have to measure for a zipper and choose a color. It should be done soon. Oh, and the best part? It fits!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I have heat again, thankfully. After a beautiful, warm winter the weather if finally turning bitterly cold, it wasn't the best time to loose heat. My landlord was good and came right out and got my heat working again.

I have not made much progress with my knits. The wristwarmer I started I ended up frogging. It was too loose and figuring out decreases to go around my wrist was too much work. I redesigned the Arrrgyle a bit to make smaller squares, and cast on again. This time I decided to go with 3 colors. This is kind of a pain, but more significantly I think my carries may be getting too tight. Now I am having a little difficulty getting the warmer over my hand. It may be frogged again. Perhaps I will be back at just 2 colors, or will do a plain argyle type warmer. Then again, I may just try to do one pattern repeat and see how it looks and see if it is too tight and go from there.

I made more progress on the front of my Nantucket Jacket. I am still using my second skein of Cotton-Ease, though I will probably have to break into a third soon. Remember, I have only 4 skeins of Cotton-Ease (though K may be able to come to the rescue, Yay K!).

I know that I should be working on winter sweaters so that I can wear them as soon as I finish, but I am just not feeling the pull of any right now. Let me rephrase, I am not feeling pulled enough to spend money on yarn for any right now. It is a rather odd feeling...


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Wicked Wednesday

I call this post Wicked Wednesday because I'm going to show you my penance for starting another project. I guess penance isn't the right word because I haven't actually started the new project yet. However, over the weekend, I drove up to Common Threads in Encinitas to see the much ballyhooed Wall of Koigu that they have. I was suitably impressed by the mere volume of Koigu KPPM that they had there. They must have ordered every colorway, both solid and variegated. I managed to resist picking any up, but I did walk out the door with some Cotton Fleece in Tea Rose that I intend to use to make Wicked, the newest Zephyr pattern. I'm going to make the short sleeved version, I think, and layer it over a long T-shirt when it's chilly out, as they're showing in the photo.

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Rather than just start projects willy nilly, I decided that in order to start Wicked, I had to finish my vest, my mom's slippers and the knitting for my Big Kureyon sweater. Somehow, I managed to hold off.

You know what happened with the vest. I think I'm going to ask the Grove if they want to use it for a shop sample, and if not, I don't know what I'm going to do with it because I'm not sure I like it enough to invest all of that time into fixing it. Maybe I'll feel differently later on. Your suggestions were really great, though, and I appreciate them.

I finished my mom's slippers and they're ready for felting:

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The knitting for the Big Kureyon sweater (Hudson) is completed and the sleeves are blocking as we speak:

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By the way, the colorway of Big Kureyon that I'm using is 18 and I got it at a 50% off sale at Little Knits about a year ago. It looks like they're running a 45% off sale with free shipping on it right now, but they don't appear to have this color anymore

So, it's off to start Wicked. Turns out I wasn't so Wicked after all.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

No Heat

My landlord should be fixing it today. Once a year I seem to loose heat to my apartment. I still have hot water, so I don't know what the deal is. Isis is at the office with me today.

Well, that is my off topic bit. On topic, I have completed the back of my Nantucket Jacket, and started the right front. I am enjoying working with Cotton-Ease, the stitch definition is great and I think this will be a fabulous spring sweater.

The other thing I started is a wrist warmer using the Pirate Arrrgyle chart. The warmer is a little loose on my wrist, so I am going to do some stitch decreases near the wrist before increasing again for the hand. The stitches will be done within the navy arrrgyle blocks, not the pink. I have no idea how this thing will actually turn out, or if there will be 2 done. It will be a mystery to all of us!


Monday, January 22, 2007

RIP Eunny Vest

I'm very disappointed about it, but unfortunately, I think the Eunny vest isn't going to get finished. I had some hope that sewing down the steeks would make it feel around my shoulder area better, but, after almost finishing that process and trying it on, I realized that it wouldn't. I thought I would take a photo of myself wearing the sweater so you can see what I mean.

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The body part fits OK, but it's too wide just above my bust and to my shoulders. I feel like it makes me look like a football player or something. It isn't different from problems I have had with other handknits to be honest. My body is just oddly shaped. When I looked at the shaping on the vest, I thought it would be alright, but I guess not! There are still strings hanging from it, and I'm thinking there always will be. I'm sad and frustrated about it, but I've had a feeling for a while now that it wasn't going to work out.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Random Friday

I don't really have any FO's to show you, but these are the things I'm working on lately.

Here's my mom's first slipper, pre-felting. What do you think of the colors?

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I've also picked up a semi-abandoned project: Hudson, my Big Kureyon sweater. I started this sometime in November, a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, I think. Around that time, I got really slammed with midterms, then finals, then Christmas knitting. Before I put it down, I had finished the back, one of the fronts and half of the other front. I picked it up again a couple of weeks ago and have since finished both fronts and one of the sleeves. So, just one more sleeve to go! I've started blocking the picces. Boy, what a difference some water and a little Ivory soap makes. It went from rough, scratchy, burlap sacky to soft and cozy. Yay! Now, I'm excited to finish it. I think I'll bring the remaining sleeve to Rebecca's tomorrow. It's good "in public" knitting.

Here's a pic of my colorway:

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Provisional Cast on or Imaginary Cast on?

No, this isn't about a new technique. It is a whine. A month or two ago I bought some lovely Handmaiden Sea Silk with a gift certificate given to me by L (a blogless N.End knitter). For a variety of reasons I hadn't done anything with the yarn in 2006. The skein contains 400 meters, a respectable amount of yarn, but not enough to make a shawl. After much thought I decided that a lacey scarf would be perfect with this yarn. I picked out my main motif for the scarf then did a provisional cast on. My idea was that I would add an edging on both skinny sides. Little did i know just how provisional the cast on would be. I pulled out the scarf to show to someone last night and saw my provisional yarn sticking out midway through the cast on row. See the yarn end sticking up on the photo in the upper right? That thread should not be there, it should be sticking out of the end of the row. I managed to rescue most of the stitches that came off of the provisional cast on, but one is still lost. In order to prevent more problems, as you can see, all provisional cast on stitches (save the one lost stitch) are now on a stitch holder.

Since I knew that the fallen stitches would drive me batty, I chose to spend most of last night working on my newest project. I am making the Nantucket Jacket using Sugar Plum Cotton-Ease. I know that K loves this yarn, but I don't have any Cotton-Ease FOs (with the exception of a Baby Bobbi Bear). Originally the Sugar Plum Cotton-Ease I had was going to be a shirt dress. Well, I ran out of yarn before I got to the sleeves, the dress was so short that it barely covered what needed to be covered, and I looked like I weighed a ton in the sack like dress. Since it was so awful I just threw it aside and ignored it, and ignored it, and ignored it. Now, with a tight budget, a boredom with socks, and a desire to make a sweater, the Cotton-Ease called me. I have undone 3 balls worth of the yarn, and am knitting directly off the dress for the last skein that I have. I probably don't have enough yarn to finish the sweater, but will see how far I can go with it before I worry.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Warm and Cozy

It's rare that I have the pleasure of using stash yarn for the very practical purpose of keeping myself and those that I love warm and cozy. Living in Southern California typically means knitting with a lot of cotton and making sweaters and mittens that remain in the drawer. However, our recent cold snap has put me and most people that live here in a different frame of mind. Scarves and wool sweaters are getting worn daily and my husband actually requested a pair of fingerless gloves. Thanks to a pattern suggestion from Cora, this is what I came up with:

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Here's an action shot:

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The yarn is Araucania Nature Wool and the pattern is from Weekend Knitting. I knit these puppies up in one day. The pattern was so cool and the results so great that I immediately cast on for another pair, this time for me. I'm using some Silk Garden from my stash that I've had for ages and thought would create a very feminine, delicate and beautiful product. Instead, it looks like part of the standard issue Marine Corps uniform - very masculine. So, the hubby and I agreed on a trade. Yay!

In other news, I finally got the satisfaction of seeing my niece in the sweater I made for her for Christmas. Looks like a great fit:

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Here she is playing with her favorite toy - any ribbon she get can get her hands on. That's the ribbon from the Baby Bobbi Bear I knit for her last Christmas.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Bye, Bye Brioche!

Once upon a time there was a knitter in Boston who decided to learn a new knitting stitch, the bi-color Brioche stitch. This knitter didn't try to learn bi-color brioche with a hat, or even a scarf. No, that would be simple. This knitter decided to make a whole sweater out of bi-color brioche. Our knitter did learn bi-color brioche, she toiled away during the knitting Olympics with a back, then with a front, but our knitter did not like the bi-color brioche sweater she was making. She did not like it at all. When the Olympics were over she set aside the back and most of the front that had been done, thinking that after some time

she might be willing, and even eager to work on that sweater again.

I can officially tell you that that day will never come. Bi-color Brioche is no more. All that remains of the back are four balls of bright blue yarn, and the Pearl Buck A-Line Sweater, which was finished this weekend. No the Bi-color brioche sweater can be officially removed from the side bar.

Sorry that the photos aren't that good.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Before and After Clogs

I finally finished my first pair of Fibertrends clogs in Lamb's Pride Worsted. Here's the before photo:

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If you think one looks bigger than the other, it's not your imagination. This first pair was intended to be an experiment to see if the needle size I chose yielded the correct size post felting. What I didn't intend was to knit each one on a different size needle. That was just a dumb mistake. In the end, I'm glad I did because the needle I thought was correct turned out to make a clog that's a little too big. Here are the after felting photos:

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Right now, they're drying. Since they're imperfect (i.e. different sizes), I'm going to keep them for myself. Even with that defect, I love them and can't wait to wear them! I really didn't enjoy this pattern very much - very fiddly. But, the result is worth it.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

More Socks

Over the weekend I was able to finish my Bayerische cabled socks designed by Eunny. I, of course, had to immediately wear them.

I also finished the front and yoke to my Pearl Buck Sweater from IK (no photos).
Tuesday night I balled some Handmaiden SeaSilk and started a scarf. I have no photos to share with you because my camera card is here, in the office, and both digital cameras that I have access to are at home (neither has a card in it), and my cell phone, with it's camera, is in my car, which is at one of my bosses' house where the car refused to start this morning.

Note: I was not at said bosses house, said boss took my car from the N.End, after we dropped off the car of my other boss at the mechanic, to his house.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Ribby Cardi - First Look

Ever since Christmas, I've been working on my Ribby Cardi, but it hasn't really been in a condition to show it off. At this point, I've finished the back, the fronts and part of the sleeves, so I think it's ready. It took me a long time to choose a sleeve color and, as a result, I have a lot of yarn that I ended up not using. Looks like a felting project is in order.

I've started blocking it so that it will be ready to seam when the sleeves are complete. I'm not pinning it out in hopes that the ribbing will retain its elasticity. I'm really only blocking it to try and soften up the yarn and make it bloom. Here's a photo of the back blocking:

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I tried to get a photo of the fronts and sleeves, but the fronts are curling terribly. They are yet to be blocked. However, you can see how the sleeves work with the main body color here:

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The main body yarn is Ella Rae Classic Wool, which I'm not in love with. The stitch definition is blah and it doesn't feel particularly good. I definitely prefer Nature Spun and will opt to use that more often in the future. The sleeves are made out of Patons Classic Merino which I was very surprised to find that I absolutely LOVE working with. This will not be my last project with it. The only issue is that the color palette was not very sophisticated - typical of Michael's/Joann's yarns. This yarn is really soft and squishy, especially in comparison to the flat and lifeless Ella Rae. I'm glad that this will be what will mostly be touching my skin, since I'll probably only wear this with a tank top. I'm also making the collar out of the Patons, so the Ella Rae won't be against my neck, either.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Almost Done with Gifts

This is my last Christmas gift to be finished. I still have one present which needs to be blocked, but the knitting has been done for a long time now.

I don't really have anything worthwhile to say today. I am trying to do the 365 Project thing, and I have started a blog solely for that. Here is my photoblog: http://www.knitnclick.photoblog.com/user/KnitnClick

I hope to refind my photographic inspiration. I really used to love photography, but after I moved into the city I seemed to find less and less inspiration. The photographs I took before were primarily still lives. I would arrange some random objects and take black and white photos of the items. I then developed the negatives and printed them. It was wonderful. For equipment I have a Mamiya 645 (which fell off my bike in '05 and broke, I haven't fixed it yet), an old 4x5 press camera, a seconic spot meter, a tripod, a Canon Rebel (my first "serious" camera), an enlarger, a photo easel, trays, tongs, chemicals (too old at this point), paper, & film. I don't think I will shoot film, but then again, maybe I will work with my 4x5 on the weekends...

PS, if you check out my photoblog, don't have high expectations. I am not a particularly good writer and so far my photographs are mediocre at best.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Finally Finished Fetching

I have had a pair of unfinished Fetching lingering around in the UFO pile for about 6 months. The only thing I had left to do on them was finish one thumb. Well, rather than do that, I bought a whole other skein of yarn and made another pair! The first pair still isn't done! Well, that's how I roll.

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The cabling pretty much gets totally lost with this highly variegated yarn, but heck, I like 'em anyway. The cable is a little easier to see in person, but not much. This yarn is soft, soft, soft! It smells a little like dye, though, but not enough to make knitting with it unpleasant.


Pattern: Fetching from knitty
Yarn: Colinette Cadenza Dk in Jay, 1 skein
Needles: Size 6 addi turbo 32" (for magic loop) and size 6 Brittany birch dpn's (for thumb)
Modifications: added length in straight section before thumb and after thumb added an additional cable repeat
Date started: 12/30/06
Date completed: 1/2/07
Overall thoughts: Great pattern and fit with mods as mentioned

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Nose is Back to the Grindstone

Welcome to the New Year! I hope that everyone enjoyed their New Year celebrations.

I took last week off from work. It was a lovely break, though I didn't get quite as much knitting done as I had expected (I never do). What I did manage to do was finish my mother's sock (though I don't have any photos to prove it) and make some progress on my Pearl Buck A Line sweater from the last Interweave Knits. Months and months ago I started this sweater as something that I could knit while wading through some extremely tedious work documents. After awhile I no longer had to wade through all that paperwork, and didn't have any reading that I could do while knitting at work, which meant that no progress was being made on the sweaater. I brought the sweater with me down to PA and managed to finish the back, though not the yoke on the back (this photo is just of the pleat) and start the left front. I finished the left front yesterday and started the right front (see the gratuitous cat photo for progress).

The photoless pieces I am working on include: a seaman's cap (gift) and the second Bayerische sock