Thursday, May 31, 2007

More Summer Knittting

After the tragedy of my Lotus Blossom tank, I stared a new knit, Sahara. For Sahara I am using Cotton Fleece that was given to me by K. I am knitting it at a looser gauge than I did with Lotus (5 st to an inch instead of 5.5). This makes a more drapey fabric which is also softer. Sahara is my first top down sweater. I intend to add additional waist shaping to this sweater. The pattern calls for several inches of bust negative ease, so I assume that the whole sweater should have some negative ease, but the waist area ends up being slightly larger than my waist, so, I am going to try to make the waist have 0 ease, or do you think I should build in some negative ease to allow for the tendency of cotton to stretch? I hate the idea of something pulling around my stomach, but I do want a fitting garment. I am about to start the waist shaping now, so opinions would be greatly appreciated.

To end on an up note, I bought another skein of Candy Apple Cotton Fleece, and while it is a different dye lot, the color is close enough that I don't think it is obvious that there is a color difference. I finished Lotus Blossom but haven't taken a FO shot yet.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Second Time's a Charm?

I'm getting close to finishing Prosperous Plum at this point. Tonight, I made the straps, which turned out a hair longer than I intended. I think the crochet trim will tighten them up (fingers crossed!). When I decided to make this pattern a second time, I wanted to change many things. For example, I made a much smaller size, made the armholes smaller and didn't knit up the hem (I love the way tacked down hems look). Here's a comparison of the new one with the one I made last summer:

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As you can see, its quite a bit narrower. I still have quite a bit of work to do, though. I tried it on and it seems to fit well. It might be a tad smaller than I'm comfortable with, so cotton's tendency to stretch should help me here.

I also made a yarn purchase last week. I had been so good for so long. I hadn't bought yarn in ages, but I got an email from that Noro Lily was on closeout. I LOVE this yarn and I couldn't resist. This started a short period of gluttony that has hopefully come to a close. Here's the color I got:

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I just love summer knitting. I know its not for everyone, and I know that wool is great stuff. I think so, too. I guess its just my climate that makes me appreciate summer knitting. I love the bright colors, cheap yarns and sweaters with NO SLEEVES!!! I can whip out about a tank a week and always have new things to wear. Which will be great this summer when I have no money to buy new clothes. Speaking of which, I started Sizzle and I'm about 8 inches into the to come...


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Why Does this Keep Happening?

On Tuesday I popped into the LYS by my office looking for some Cotton Fleece for K. They didn't have what she was looking for, but I saw 3 skeins of Candy Apple Red that called my name. These skeins, the last on the shelf in this color, came home with me, of course. I had no idea what I was going to use the yarn for, but a tank top seemed like a safe bet. Surely 3 skeins of yarn with 215 yd a skein would be enough for a tank, right?

Since the weather here in Boston has gone from cool to hot, pretty much over night, I had an immediate need for a new tank so, on Wednesday night I started looking over several issues of IK to find the tank that would interest me. I settled on the Lotus Blossom Tank from the cover of last summer's IK. The original tank, in my size, called for 3 skein's of SWTC Bamboo yarn, each skein of which contains slightly more yarn than the Cotton Fleece, but I decided I would be safe anyway.

I then decided to make some modifications to the pattern. The first modification was that I added a 5th repeat of the lace pattern (see left) to make the tank longer (my size called for 4 repeats, the next size up called for 5). Next I chose to add additional decreases in the stockinette portion of the tank, so that it would fit a little closer under the bust. Then, I chose to add some bust darts (the first time I ever tried that). Unfortunately, the changes meant that I ran out of yarn with only one shoulder strap to go.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Prosperous Blue?

Its always strange to refer to a project by a color name when, typically, you are knitting it in a different color that the designer did. This is my Prosperous Plum Tank, which I'm clearly not making out of Prosperous Plum yarn. The yarn is Valeria di Roma Topacio 60% cotton/40% acrylic yarn and it is discontinued.

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I really like the yarn, especially the way that the color isn't truly solid. It looks more kettle-dyed, at least in this shade. However, it really does hurt my hands in a way that Cotton-Ease doesn't, even though they have a really similar composition. I think that's why I'm not further along on this that I am. I have to take frequent breaks to rest my hands.

Here's a closeup of the cable pattern:

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It obviously needs a good blocking. At least I hope that will make it look better. I'm making it with 4 inches of negative ease, so it will be stretching on my body, too. I have about 13 rows to go until it is the length I want before the armholes (of course, I had to add 3 inches to it!). Here's hoping I don't run out of yarn.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Edging Closer to Finishin Season

This weekend was filled for me with some reading, relaxing, and, of course, knitting. I spent some time working on the Forest Path Stole, finishing my second skein of the Zephyr yarn and starting the 3rd. After spending some time in the freezer I have not found any other creepy crawlies on my knitting. Before long I hope to have a photo worthy in progress Forest Path to share.

I also took advantage of the rainy weekend to start the body edging for Seasons. This edging is knit in the round, but then gets steeked latter. I am not sure why I am doing this, but I am willing to give it a try. Each row is over 300 stitches, so they move slowly. After I have finished this bit all that is left is steeking and sewing, so before long I hope to move this into the FO column.


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sick Day(s)

So, I got yet another cold. Its really frustrating actually since I was just sick two weeks ago. However, I never ended up getting that cold - I just felt run down and had a sore and scratchy throat for a week or so. This time, it hit full force and I just laid low as much as possible for 3 days or so. Even taking a shower was an effort. So, what to do with all of that down time?

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Here's a close-up of the sleeve:

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I finished the knitting on Mrs. Darcy! I pinned it together and all of the pieces seem to fit together well. I also tried it on, and with a good thorough blocking, I think everything will be fine. I had considered adding some short rows in the bust area but I was afraid it would mess with the angle of the neckline so I left it alone and hoped for the best. The sleeves fit well, too, so I'm very pleased. It rolls along the bottom, but the designer said she fixed that by adding some crochet rounds. That should also provide a nice decorative edge, too.

For my next project, I was going to do Rusted Root, but I'm having a hard time tracking down a color of Cotton Fleece that I like, so instead, I've decided to reknit the Prosperous Plum Tank. I made this last summer, and although it came out OK, I felt that it was too big to be flattering. So, I'm taking the lessons I learned and giving it another try. Its a quick enough knit that I should be done this week. I'm using a worsted weight cotton/acrylic blend yarn (NOT Cotton-Ease surprisingly, but one I got at the Yarn Lady bag sale last June). It's in a shocking blue color, but I don't have photos yet. I think the designer, Joanna Cohen, occasionally peruses this blog (if so, hi Joanna!), so hopefully I'll do a good job! The yarn is a different gauge than Cotton Fleece - not much, but you'd be surprised how much difference a 1/4 stitch makes. Anyway, I'm making a different size and changing the waist shaping to fit my body in order to compensate. Last time, the straps were too long for me, too, so I'll recalculate those as well.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007


I feel like I haven't done much knitting lately. I don't quite know why that would be though. Forest Path is in my freezer and has been since Saturday when I found 2 teeny tiny green worm/caterpillar things on it (the were smaller than 1/2 inch). Whiskey has buttons and may be considered finished, sort of. I want to reblock the sweater. While I did a gauge swatch and got gauge, I didn't re-check during knitting. I blocked the sweater to measurements, but somehow it is now at 36" round the bust. My bust is 37" though (unfortunately my bust has grown an inch, which probably means that the rest of me has similarly grown and I don't like to think about that) so Whiskey sort of gapes around the bust. It seems fine everywhere else, but not so good around the bust.

I got some knew lace yarn from Elann, but I don't know yet what I am going to do with it.

My red sock is paused while I try to re-create the heel. Seasons is paused until I cut the steek. I have finished the second sleeve cuff and blocked the sweater and the first sleeve cuff.

I have been to my first Red Sox game of the season and got to see Dice-K pitch his first complete game.

Finally, I am taking part in the 3rd round of the Knitter's Tea Swap. I was supposed to email someone when I got the notice that the swap was starting, but I forgot, I am so sorry, I almost forgot to sign up myself.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Mrs. Darcy - half done

I just finished the sleeve for Mrs. Darcy. I used this sleeve in my sweater design class to get help with calculating a sleeve cap. Then, just before I started the cap, I lost my directions! Fabulous. Luckily, I remembered most of what my teacher said, so I tried to recreate it. Now that its done, I'm a little worried. Its not so much that what I did on my own looks wrong, but some of what I know he told me looks strange. I won't know for sure until I set in the sleeve, though. I'm also concerned about the angle of decrease on the right front. When I held it up to me, it looked like it wasn't going to work - I may have decreased too fast. I won't know about that either until its sewn together so I may sew the pieces I've done together and see where I am.

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The modifications I've made so far is to make the body longer overall, make the ribbing around the waist deeper, change the curve of the neckline - I think its higher - and to make the sleeves 3/4 length with shorter ribbing. Its now exactly the same length as the body.

In other news, I done with school for the semester! I'm really excited and feel like such a load has been lifted. I'm not going to school over the summer because nothing I need to take is offered, but I will be working at a job and on my thesis, so I'll be busy. But it will be a different kind of busy - the kind that you can put away for the evening when you get home. Hopefully it means I will be knitting and blogging more. I've got BIG, BIG plans for summer knitting. I'm thinking of starting Rusted Root after I finish Mrs. Darcy.


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Light at the end of the tunnel

The days are winding down on this semester. I have finished all of the work for two of my classes, and I only one have one final project left to complete before I'm FREE!!! I can't wait. I'm so inspired that I've even been knitting.

I've done quite a bit of work on my hoodie, although I seem to have run out of steam on it for now. Maybe that has to do with the fact that it was almost 90 degrees today! Not exactly hoodie weather. I'm so close to finishing though. I'm sure once school is done, I'll get back to it.

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I've only got that little bit of the front to finish and then the hood. I'm going to shape the hood, so its not a pointy wizard cap. I haven't exactly figured out how I'm going to do it.

I also started a new project. Its Mrs. Darcy, pattern here. I'm using the New Cotton-Ease in Berry. I'm making some modifications to it that I'll describe as I go along. I'm aiming for a wear-over-everything summer cardigan, so we'll see how it goes.

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Our next installment of the Sweater Class is this Saturday, so I'm back working on my lace sweater. I'm about halfway through the front - I need to have it done for class on Saturday. If I'm loyal about working on it, that should be possible.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Just In Time

Just in time for 80 degree weather I have mostly finished Whiskey. Okay, I do still need to sew one sleeve closed, and i have to weave in some ends 9but not many thanks to using a cone of yarn!), I need to buy and apply some buttons, and I need to block the collar, but otherwise it is done! The button bands took no time at all to knit. Instead of knitting a hood for the sweater I just did a shawl collar (I wouldn't have used a hood, so why waste the time or the yarn?). Now I only have to hope that I don't forget about this sweater by the time it starts getting chilly again. Looking at my photo I just noticed the odd bunching near the collar. I hadn't noticed that before. Please cross your fingers for me that that is just from the way I laid it out and not from knitting issues.

On Saturday I joined a couple of my suburban friends for a different kind of S'nB. I spent the day doing some needlepoint. This was the expensive hobby that I had done somewhat extensively before swapping my sewing needle for a pair of knitting needles. I spent the day working on making a needlepoint belt. I didn't get very far then, and still haven't gotten that far. It was pleasant stitching again, but I think that knitting is still where most of my money and my heart will go :-)


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Season of Darkness

On Tuesday night I finished the colorwork for my Season of Darkness sweater. I also joined the two halves of the sweater together using the three needle bind off called for in the instructions. I don't love how the pattern calls for 2 rows of plain knitting with the main color at the end. This creates about 4 rows of plain knitting without any colorwork right down the center of the back.

I still have lots of edging to work on with this. While I now have 1 1/2 of the cuff edging done, the cable and lace edging extends all around the body of the sweater and acts as the collar. Then once all the edging is done I have to buy some crushed velvet to line the edging and sew it in place. So, there is still a good deal of work to be done with this sweater, but the end if very near now! I am both excited and a little disappointed. I really enjoyed doing the colorwork on this and I LOVE the brocade look of the knit fabric.


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Actual knitting progress

Finally, some knitting. I'm still working on Under the Hoodie and making fairly slow progress. I've finished the back, one sleeve and this much of the front:

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Its been chilly around these parts for the last couple of days, so I can actually imagine wearing it before the really hot weather comes.

I've also come down with a cold, which is really awful because I'm also working 12 hours a day. It hard to get the rest I need, but luckily, I'm sleeping well. Tomorrow is knit night, so I can relax there.

Speaking of relaxing, observe the Princess, doing just that:

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Despite being finished with all major pieces of Whiskey, the sweater is still not done. For some inexplicable reason I didn't bother with blocking the right front this weekend. I thought I would block it, I intended to block it, but yet, I didn't. In an effort to not loose complete momentum with this sweater I did some seeming instead. I attached the left front to the back and I attached the left sleeve. I tried the sweater on, and I wish that I made the sleeves a bit longer. They aren't so short that I won't wear this, but I prefer sleeves that reach a tiny bit past my wrist. I like the length of the sweater body though and am now looking forward to wearing this, though I don't expect that to happen until fall.

As far as socks go, I have started my gusset increases on my Trekking sock. I know that the sock in the photo looks short, but when I compared it to the finished sock, the gusset started at the same place. In other words, the second sock is moving along without any bumps (knock wood).

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