Thursday, June 28, 2007

Have you ever had one of those moments where you decided that you knew more than the designer of a sweater you are knitting? I had one last night. Yesterday, you see, I began a new project. The Sunshine Sweater by Lily Go, this pattern has a diamond lace pattern I decided that I didn't like the way the lace was designed and modified it. Unfortunately, my modification was a complete and utter failure and what I was doing was creating a shape that wasn't a diamond, which lead me to tearing out 3 or 4 rows. I then re-knit and still didn't get a diamond shape. Finally, I revereted to reading the pattern and now, I have a diamond shape. I am not sure how this flat knit ends up being the sweater, but I will keep my fingers crossed and keep knitting.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Lace, Lace everywhere and Not a Shawl to Wear

I finished the green Spring Things Shawl made
out of some lace weight mohair that was given to me by Lissy. It was a very quick knit and started at the top center of the shawl and worked it out and down. I haven't blocked the shawl yet which is why it isn't ready for wearing.
Before even finishing the shawl I came upon some lace weight Malabrigio. I had heard that it existed before, but I think it was discontinued for a while. Let me tell you, in the skein, this yarn is absolutely wonderful. It has the soft supple feel of traditional Malabrigio yarn. I bought 3 skeins of the yarn and I think that I will be trying to design a shawl with it.
Now that I have finished this shawl, it is time to move onto my next project, which I will try to blog about on Thursday.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Catching Up

Thanks for all of your comments on my fabric choices. I'm a little concerned about boring people with sewing, but it seems like all or most of you are simply fiber enthusiasts, so I think it will be OK.

This weekend was spent primarily in the sewing arena. I still don't have a machine (although mine is being shipped to me tomorrow!), so I have to rely on the kindness of others. I finished my PJ pants and I made good progress on my circle skirt. I had to hang it to let it stretch before I did the hem. I don't have photos of the PJ pants because there's a huge mistake in them that I have to fix and, heck, I probably won't put a photo of myself in PJ's on the web. I'll do a photo of the skirt when it's done...maybe. I say maybe because, well, I finished Indigo Ripples and was so excited to wear it after it was done blocking that I did exactly that, but didn't take any photos. Now it looks all worn and everything so it would photograph well. I got a fair number of compliments on it so I think it was a success. I was happy with it and it wore well and everything. I'm also basically done with my Fitted Tank. I just need to weave in the ends. I'm not as happy with that one. It seems too small, too short, and I made a major gaffe by making the front 6 rows shorter than the back. Ah, well.

Moving on. I scored this fabric at the Yardage Town in National City yesterday:

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I'm thinking it would make a nice semi-formal skirt for a wedding I'm going to this summer. It's 100% silk and I got it for $12 per yard. Not exactly a steal, but for silk, I think it was a good price. It was definitely a gem amongst a lot of crap.

Here's my progress on Rusted Root, which is coming along at a slow and steady rate:

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I had put this project down but now I've picked it up again.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sew, Have Ya Done Any Knitting?

In order to try and hide the fact that I knitted about 4 inches on my Fitted Tank and had to rip it all out because I forgot to do the increases, I'll show you sewing projects instead. First up is a pair of capri PJ bottoms that I'm going to maake out of the cutest fabric. I've already cut out the pieces:

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I also got some lace trim and purple ribbon that I'm going to add as embellishments. Here's a close-up of the fabric:

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Its called Paris Cats. That about sums it up, I'd say. I bought it at Rosie's Calico Cupboard in El Cajon.

I've also got a couple of skirts on deck. One is a pencil-style mid-calf skirt made out of the fabric I showed you last week. I've already cut out the pieces and the lining. Today, though, while I was at Joann's innocently buying lining at 99 cents per yard, I came across this fabric and it just HAD to become a half-circle skirt - like TODAY!!! I cut the pieces out and will sew it on Saturday.

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Its really hard to get an idea of how its going to look from that photo, but picture big, full, feminine and flirty - some of my favorite things in a skirt. I wonder what a masculine skirt would look like. Hmmm. Discuss, discuss.

Anyway, here's a closeup of the fabric that just had to be mine:

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But, but, but, it was 50% off! Famous last words.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Isabella FO

I finished Isabella today as I was taking the green line to my office. Not my favorite new FO of this season, but it also isn't quite as bad as I feared it would be. I need to wear this with a different/better bra, but you get the general idea (I wasn't wearing this top when I left home so I didn't get to see how adversely the bra impacted the look). I increased the waist shaping for my version knit this in the round instead of flat, and continued the lace up around the back of the neck, otherwise I made no changes.

I really hate seeing photos of myself. They remind me that I have got to loose a couple of pounds.

Enough whining. The following is being provided for Lissy:

Monday, June 18, 2007

First Skirt Almost Done

I finally bound off the last stitch on my Indigo Ripples skirt tonight. I finished the knitting on Saturday morning (the ruffle was almost 500 stitches around by that point), but I had to do a fussy bind off in order to get the ruffled effect. This part took until today (mostly because it hurt my hands to do it). Now, its done! The skirt seems to fit well, although the waist is really big, but that's because I haven't made the i-cord tie yet to cinch it up.

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I had an alternative thought, though. What about putting a coordinating ribbon around the waist instead of i-cord. Any thoughts?

I also got started on another project this weekend. I made major progress on it on Saturday and I finished the back today. It's the Fitted Tank from Blue Sky Alpacas, which I made last year. This time around, though, I'm trying some modifications so it will hopefully fit better. It looks lopsided in this photo because I took it from the side - its not really like that. Anyway, it seems to move really quickly. I'm knitting it in order to match the skirt I'm going to sew out of the fabric I showed last week. It looks like I'll be sewing that skirt sometime this weekend, so when I'm finished, I'll post a photo. I'm also going to block Indigo Ripples this week and hopefully have an FO photo soon.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Few Photos

I am a bit tense and feeling a bit disjointed today (nothing bad, aggrevated because my partner (busness) made an appointment for me at 9 without telling until 15 minutes before 9), so there won't be much text.

Progress on Isabella:
New shawl (Spring Things) WIP: Misc sketch:

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

So, I Can Knit Something Black

I have a surprising amount of black yarn in my stash. Before I knit my first project in black yarn, I thought this seemed like a good idea. After all, I wear a lot of black. As many of you know, though, its VERY boring to knit with and, in bad light, it can be hard to see. However, everybody's knitted skirts lately, here and here especially, have inspired me knit my own. Unlike other knitted skirt patterns I've seen, these don't seem to be inherently unflattering. So, last Thursday, I cast on for my very own Indigo Ripples from the Spring 2007 IK:

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I wanted to use stash yarn, so I reworked the pattern for Licorice Cotton-Ease from my stash. I figure doing it in black yarn will hide any bulges. I'm almost done, but its starting to hurt my hands (and the rows are long now), so I can only do about 12 rows per day. I've done 34 out of 50 rows of the lace section, then I need to do a ruffle, and then I'm done!

Yesterday, I decided to stop by the *best* used bookstore in San Diego, Adams Avenue Books on the corner of 35th and Adams in Normal Heights. Its the perfect used bookstore, right out of a movie, in my opinion, complete with hardwood floors, classical music playing in the background, 3 shop cats and TONS of great used books. I went looking for some mystery novels, and I found a bunch of them, including one I was stalking at Borders. I also found this:

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Yes, I'm getting back into sewing. The resurgence is a result of me getting a good job so I can actually buy my own sewing machine! Thanks to Marisa, I'm getting a really good deal on a previously "loved" model. Anyway, getting back to the book, its a little like having my sewing friend/teacher/guru Cora living in my house (I asked her, but she won't move in with me to be my full time sewing teacher). Its a really simple, basic book about reading patterns, sewing tools, making alterations, etc. As a bonus, it was only $8.50! Here's a sample of an inside page:

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Sometime in the very near future, I'm going to be sewing a skirt out of this fabric:

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Isn't it gorgeous? I can't wait!

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007


After finishing 2 cotton fleece tanks I decided it was time to move on to a tank out of a different yarn. It didn't take me long to decide on the Isabella tank from the Spring Knitty. This tank has a couple of things going for it, it is pretty, it uses a yarn I have never used before, and it is knit at almost 7 st to an inch, which means that I get more knitting time for my buck. The tank is supposed to be knit flat, but I decided that I prefer to knit it in the round. I also decided to add additional waist decreases. Unfortunately, despite getting gauge with my swatch, I seem to be knitting the tank slightly tighter than I should. I have tried to loosen up my knitting, but I am afraid that the tank will have less ease than I desired. I am trying to convince myself that it will be okay, since the tank is being knit in 4-ply cotton, and I expect it to loose up with wear, but I am not sure that my optimism is justified. I also have a little wonkiness happening on the right side of what will be the back. I accidentally did an extra YO in my eyelet row and didn't realize it until about 6 rows latter. I decided to fix it the lazy way and drop the row of stitches, then tried to ease the extra yarn into the stitches around the dropped stitch. I still have some work to go with erasing that mistake.

I am continuing to work on Forest Path and my edging is about 1/2 way up one side of the shawl.


Thursday, June 07, 2007

Knitter's Tea Swap 3

I managed to sneak in to the third Knitter's Tea Swap just under the wire. This go round things were arranged a little differently with participants being assigned a partner to swap with. My swap partner is in Singapore, and on Tuesday I received my wonderful package from her.

I received a beautiful big tin of loose China White Tea, some tea biscuits, dark chocolate, a skein of Koigu, a skein of cotton yarn, some handmade stitch markers (lovely), Inox knitting needles with long cables (though they are not circular needles), a buffalo horn incense holder, incense cones and stick's, a leafy green bag, a tea strainer, a tea cozy, then as an additional gift I received a copy of the Spring Things Shawl pattern (which I will probably be starting very soon). When I opened my package I felt like I was reaching into a bottomless bag, it was stuffed full with wonderful presents, each of which delighted me.

In knitting progress news, despite the lack of photos on this blog, I have continued to work on the Forest Path Stole. Yesterday I finished up the body of the Stole. I did not do as many tiers as the pattern suggested, but I think that my stole will be plenty long enough. Since I have finished the tiers, I am now left working on a seed stitch border. I find seed stitch to be extremely tedious, so I may end up repeatedly setting the stole aside, on the other hand, the fact that I am close to finishing may be just the push I need to get through miles of seed stitch.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

FO Prosperous Plum!

Here's my finished Prosperous Plum, from the front:

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and from the back:

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Overall, I'm really happy with it. The way I did the waist increases and decreases makes it kind of unflattering. I really should have made the narrowest part of it higher up. I think that's why its tight in the middle.


Pattern: Prosperous Plum Tank
Yarn: Valeria di Roma Topacio (60% cotton/40% acrylic blend), purchased at the Yarn Lady bag sale last year, 5 balls. It is discontinued.
Needles: Size 7 addi turbos
Modifications: I chose not to knit the hem up; instead, I tacked it down at the end. I used a different gauge yarn so I had to make a different size. I changed the rate of the waist increases and decreases, although I don't really like how that part turned out. Instead of grafting the straps together, I did a 3-needle bind-off. I lengthened it by about 2 inches. Oh, and instead of doing crab stitch, I did 2 rounds of single crochet. I think that's everything. That's all I can remember right now.
Overall thoughts about the pattern: I like this pattern. Its really pretty when it's done and it has a lot of design elements without being too much. This is the second time I've made this tank and I feel that, for the most part, my modifications made it a better fit for me.

My favorite thing about it is that I had sort of an awkward amount of this yarn, but I ended up being able to make something out of it. I've already worn in 3 times!


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

FO, a Party, & Cupcakes

I LOVE Sahara. I found the pattern to be pretty straight forward, and clearly written. I loved making it with Cotton Fleece. The only part that I didn't like was one row in the edging where you had to knit 3 together through back loop. I dealt with this dislike on the sleeves by doing a slip stitch, knit 2 together, pass slip stitch over. The final, albeit unblocked, fit of Sahara is perfect. I almost doubled the amount of waist shaping called for in the pattern and I am very glad that I did. I liked this pattern well enough that I am thinking about making the long sleeve version for the fall. The pose in the FO shot is my attempt to keep Isis from being part of the picture. I am busy scratching her head off camera.

On a different note, Joanna is leaving my little knit group, in fact, she is leaving my city. Last night she was kind enough to host a little gathering, where she made homemade guac, salsa, and even homemade chips! She also made wonderful vegan cream cheese and spinach filled puff pastry, and a fabulous fruit salad. Everything she made was delicious. I didn't take any photos of Joanna's food (sorry about that), but, one of the guests brought amazing cupcakes to the party. The cupcakes were not only tasty, but where little knitting works of art, there were marzipan knit objects on the top of many, though not all of the cupcakes. Joanna, we are going to miss you, thanks for having us over!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Even though today is Sunday, it ended up being a work day for me. So, I decided to take advantage of it by using my parents' washing machine (I did most of my work at my parents' house) to wash and block Prosperous Plum, which is now fini! It beats paying $1 to wash it in a community washing machine where the "gentle" cycle may not be so gentle.

Here it is blocking:

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I also took a closeup of the lace pattern:

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I took the photos without a flash so the color is way off, but the detail is good. The color is much more like the photos I've shown in previous posts. I've been wearing it for the last two days (because I'm impatient like that) but it didn't look too good. It needed a serious blocking, but now I think it looks good. The fit is good, so I couldn't be happier about that.

Re: Sizzle, the fit is more questionable. It's a little snug, but I'm sure it will all work out in the blocking. I hope so because, for the moment, I look a little like a sausage when I wear it! It also might end up being a little short. Uh oh. We'll see