Thursday, August 30, 2007

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Picovoli, I Hath Defeated Thee

As some long-time readers may remember, I attempted to knit Picovoli a while back - I think two years ago. At the time, it was sort of a challenging pattern because I'd never done a hem, a provisional cast-on or a knitted cast-on, techniques called for in this pattern. Since then, I've done these things many times and improved my overall knitting skills quite a bit, so now this pattern is well within my abilities. It is finally done and wearable!

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Pattern: Picovoli, designed by Grumperina and available for free from Magknits
Size: 38" (as usual, I had to create a size between a 36" and a 40"). Don't designers know that the majority of women fall between a 36" and a 40"? Apparently not.
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cathay, purchased from, 5.5 balls
Needles: Size 4 Knitpicks options for the hem and Size 6 Inox Express needles for the body
Modifications: Besides creating the in between size, I also used smaller needles for the hem than I did for the body which wasn't called for in the pattern, and I eliminated two of the decreases and two of the increases because it was coming out too long, due to my gauge being different than what was called for in the pattern. I also didn't use a provisional cast on for the hem but instead did a long-tail cast on. I did an e-loop cast-on for the armholes.

I really like this top. It did what silk tends to do (the yarn is a cotton/silk/viscose microfiber blend) which is to stretch. Just steaming it with an iron caused it to grow 2 inches. Hopefully, that's all the growing it will do, but experience tells me otherwise. At this point, it fits perfectly. However, I have to say that I absolutely adored this yarn. Luckily, I purchased enough for one more project from WEBS, but I think this yarn has been discontinued, which is a real shame. At full price, it was definitely too expensive, though, so maybe that's why.

I've cast on for Molly Ringwald using yarn rescued from this project that I decided needed to be frogged due to waning interest. I had planned on starting Fifi, but assumed there'd be a delay in getting the pattern since I had to email the French Girls to order the download. However, I got an immediate response from them, so I have to say I'm impressed with their service thus far.


Monday, August 27, 2007

Long Trip=Almost FO

When I decided I would start Picovoli to work on during my trip, I never dreamed I'd actually come close to finishing it on the trip. However, if I hadn't been completely exhausted and full of wine on the trip home, I would have cast off. Instead, I sat slumped in my seat trying to sleep through several hours or turbulence.

After I was done unpacking from my trip and getting ready for my first day of school today (bleh) I finally got around to casting it off and trying it on for the first time (I know, bad). But, I got lucky and it fits great! All I need to do is sew the hems in place around the neckline, the bottom edge and the armholes.

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I'm using Debbie Bliss Cathay that I got from last summer.

The only reason I got as far on this as I did on my trip was because I was so pooped from the RI portion of my trip that I did a lot of sitting and knitting during the Boston portion. Anyway, I'm hoping to having FO photos very soon.

Also, I neglected to mention in my last post that I finally got my Ravelry invitation. My username is knitzalot, so come on over and say hi! I've only got a few things up, so it's a work in progress at this point.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Since I Last Blogged

It has been at least a week since I made my last appearance here. During the time I have been away I have taken a day trip on the Fast Ferry to Provincetown, down on the tip of the Cape (if you haven't been there, you must, it is lovely, a small busy town surrounded by the Cape Cod National Sea Shore, with dunes and beaches, and bike trails). Unfortunately the trip was a business trip so I didn't actually have time to enjoy anything P-Town offered. I have also been visiting with K, though not in Rhode Island.

Knittingwise, I have managed to finish, but not block the MS3. This is the finished "wing"

I picked up a sock that I probably never mentioned here, the Millicent Sock by the fabulous Cookie A. The sock is a knee high sock, which I knit using left over Naturespun from my Whiskey Sweater. It has what feels like miles and miles of ribbing, but some interesting shaping with the ribbing. These photos don't show what the ribbing does. I will post more complete photos once I have a pair to show off. I think that I have enough Naturespun to make a mate for this sock.

Finally, I have started the Snowflake Sock from the current IK. I have modified the sock by making the leg part considerable shorter than intended. I am making the two socks the revers of each other. I am using left over Louet Sales Gems Opal, which was originally used for the Anemoi mittes by Eunny Jang.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

They Call This Summer?

I'm writing to you from a 9-day "vacation" in New England. It started with 5 days in Rhode Island, attending various pre-wedding events and culminating with a wedding at the Towers in Narragansett. The building sits on the sand and looks out onto the ocean. It was a lovely wedding and I had a really great time. I decided to boondoggle 4 days in Boston before heading back home and that's where I am now. The weather is very fall-ish and not at all of what I'd expect for August. I've heard that San Diego is sweltering, thought, so I guess I'm glad not to be there at the moment.

I did finish two projects for my trip - the Lutea Lace Shouldered Shell from the Summer Interweave and the layered Barcelona Skirt by Amy Butler.

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I knitted the shell out of Vanilla Cotton-Ease (the old stuff) and made a 38" bust even though as I remember, the pattern didn't come in a 38". I cast on a number of stitches between the size smaller and the size larger and then just made adjustments when it came time to do the shoulders. I made the skirt out of fabric purchased at Rosie's Calico Cupboard in El Cajon, CA.

Here's a close-up of the layering of the skirt:

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Since I've been here, I've visited 5 fabric stores and only one yarn store, if you can believe it. As expected, the fabric stores here are far superior to the ones in San Diego so I've been having fun. I've kept with discount/remnant type places, so I haven't spent a ton of money.

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The fabric in the lower part of the photo was purchased at Winmill fabrics in Boston's Chinatown. It's a remnant of wool/cashmere/silk fabric that was 60" wide and $7 per yard. The print fabric was purchased at The Fabric Place in Warwick, RI and it was $7 per yard. It's a polyester silk-type fabric. The pinstripe piece was also a remnant. It is 100% wool and was $7.98 per yard.

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These fabrics were both purchased in the Somerville/Lechmere area of Boston. One is a 100% cotton fabric and the other is a beautiful piece of chocolate-colored wool suiting. The wool was $5 per yard at Sew-fisticated Fabrics! I couldn't believe it. The cotton is 60" wide and was $3.99 per yard at Sew-Low Discount Fabrics.

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These fabrics were purchased at Lorraine Fabrics in Pawtucket, RI. This was a pretty amazing place. It reminded me of Michael Levine's minus the quilting cottons. They had tons of silk, a good amount of linen, wool, silk-type, flannel and all kinds of other fabric. They also had something called "The Loft" upstairs where I was able to get a piece of black courdoroy for $4 for 2 yards. The silk fabrics were $7 per yard. There was so much there that I got completely overwhelmed and dazed. The store was in an old mill so there was a lot of room to cram in lots of stuff.

I spent the first 5 days of the trip with my neice, so I got loads of adorable photos of her. Here's is her first experience at the beach eating her first Dell's Lemonade (local RI favorite).

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Thigns and Stuff

There isn't much I want to say today, so I am just going to share my progress on the Mystery Stole. This is the 5th clue, it is a "wing" which is being done using short rows.

To the left a close up of the lace motif on the wing.

Finally, finished Twisted Flower Socks.


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I finally got around to blocking one of the shawls which I have finished this summer. This is the Spring Things Shawl, which I finished about a month or so ago. I have blocking wires, so I don't exactly know why I delayed blocking this. I made this shawl using about 2 skeins of a mohair blend yarn that was gifted to me by a fellow N. End Knitter, Lissy. It was a pretty quick knit. I used size 4 Inox "jumper" needles, which have cords

like circs, but which aren't joined together.

Now, I just need to get the motivation to block the Forest Path Stole.

This weekend I did manage to get some knitting done. I finished clue 5 for the Mystery Stole, and I picked up a sock, something I haven't done for a couple of months. I am now working on the second Twisted Flower Sock, by the fabulous Cookie A., which is being knit with some Lemongrass Socks That Rock. I am surprised at how quickly this sock is moving. When I picked it up on Sunday I still had a couple of rows of the ribbed cuff to knit, now I am already finished with my gussett decreases.


Monday, August 06, 2007

You Say It's Your Birthday, Da Na Na Na Naaaa Na

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Another year older, another year wiser, one year closer to death. What can I say, I'm an optimist.

I'm 34 today. I was born on the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. I share a birthday with Lucy Ricardo and Punky Brewster, or at least the actresses who played them.

The photo is the birthday card my husband gave me. Purr-fect, n'est-ce pas?

Sunday, August 05, 2007


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I received my Fall IK in the mail yesterday, and I have to say that it really is a nice issue. The cover piece, in particular, will be knit as soon as the weather cools somewhat. I have some Berroco Pleasure in a deep navy that would be lovely. Other than this sweater, there are probably 4 or 5 other potential projects in there.

As for my own knitting, I'm nearing completion on the Drop Stitch Tank (I have about 8 inches left on the back) and the Lace Tee from Knit Lingerie Style (I have a couple of inches of the front and one sleeve left). However, I have cast on for a new project, probably because it has been SO long since I've done so. I broke down and cast on for the Lutea Lace-Shoulder Shell from the Summer IK.

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With all of my skirt sewing, I've decided I don't have nearly enough white tops (I spill more coffee than I drink, so they're a little dangerous for me). The skirts I make tend to be very colorful and hard to match so white is just the ticket. So, it's Vanilla Cotton-East (the old stuff) to the rescue. I knitted on it all the way through the Bourne Ultimatum. Pictures coming when I have more progress.