Sunday, September 30, 2007

Old FO pic

I've kind of been on an old UFO tear, and it's really just beginning. With the weather cooling down, I've opened up my "trunk" of unfinished projects and started working on them again. I'm going to have another FO photo for tomorrow. Yesterday, I did a little shopping in Encinitas (I even bought a little yarn) and I wore my Hourglass Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I finished this in February and wore it to Stitches West, but I never took a modeled photo. I am remedying that oversight now:

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I used Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worstedthat I had intended to use for the Twisted Float Shrug from the Fall '05 VK. I thought that project would drive me insane, so I re-purposed the yarn for this sweater. Overall, I'm happy with it, although the neckline is a little crazy. I will probably make this, or something very similar, again, and I plan on continuing with the raglan decreases for a few more rounds. I actually pinned my bra strap to the neckline and it stayed in place all day, though, so that's good news. I only wore it once because it kept falling off my shoulders.

I've also had a case of cast-on-itis. As a reward for finishing a couple of languishing projects, I cast on the Cobblestone Pullover in All Seasons Cotton for Joe's upcoming trip to Chicago. I also cast on for Juliet using stash Cotton-Ease (Jess, I'm going to be a good girl and not order any yarn from WEBS). Both projects hurt my hands, so I'll have to switch to my Wicked when things get tough.


Friday, September 28, 2007

Wicked Progress

With the evenings getting cooler here in San Diego, I had a yearning to work with wool, again. In November and December, we get our coldest weather, such as it is, so I want to be prepared. A couple of weeks ago, I cast on for Wicked:

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I'm using Brooks Farm Four Play that I bought at Stitches West last year. I LOVE this yarn, although I have a feeling that it's going be pill-y. It's sheer heaven to knit with, though. The Brooks Farm booth at Stitches is almost enough to get me back up there this year, but I'm not sure I'll be able to go. I may have to give my money to those who can go to pick up some more of this yarn for me.

In other non-knitting news (is there such a thing?), I got a big raise at work today. It really couldn't come at a better time, since I've been rather down about the sorry state of our finances as I grind away in my last semester of school. Both my husband and I are students now, but we're a little old to be living like students. In short, the additional funds are very welcome.

I've been sewing, too, and I have a skirt that is in the hemming process. I should have photos of it soon - I just love the way it turned out - perfect for fall. I'm even going to buy some knee-high boots to go with it to celebrate my raise!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Socks for a Hiking Trip

Yesterday at an undisclosed Massachusetts courthouse a green sock became part of a pair. I finished the second green Traveler's Sock. I forget the name of this sock yarn, but I did buy it specifically for these socks. I thought that the variegation in the same color would enhance the traveling stitch pattern that forms the cuff of the socks. As noted previously, these socks will coordinate with my hiking boots and my hiking pants (unfortunately they aren't really thick enough for backpacking). I plan to wear these socks on the first day of my White Mountain hiking trip. I don't think we will be doing much hiking on that day, and the hiking we do won't be of the backpacking variety. In addition to finishing these socks, I managed to finish my colorwork socks (from the current Interweave). One of the two is a Frankensock. This pair of socks was started using left over louet Gems sportweight merino. The yarn was left over from when I made Eunny's colorwork mittens last winter. I knew full well that there was no way I had enough yarn to make a full pair of the socks. I therefore made some alterations. First off, I made the leg shorter than the pattern called for, then instead of making 2 matching socks, I made one the inverse of the other, so that the color use would be roughly equal. Despite these changes, I ran out of the darker color yarn before the lighter, I then substituted some of the blue yarn that I am using for the edging to my Season's sweater to finish the dark part. Then I ran out of the light yarn mid toe. In order to finish the sock, I again used some of the Season's edging yarn. Now I have two socks that roughly coordinate, the fact that they don't remotely match doesn't matter much to me. These socks are going to be strictly "at home" slipper socks, with one exception: these socks will be going hiking with me. I am told that the huts that we will be staying in aren't heated, so these socks will be worn while I sleep so that my feet stay warm and cozy.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Weekend Outdoors

There was a lack of knitting progress this weekend. Instead of spending most of the weekend knitting I was hiking in the Blue Hills Reservation where I saw a river otter, a couple of turtle, and outdoorsy type stuff. I also went biking. On Sunday, I participated in Hub on Wheels, which brought me to parts of Boston I had never visited before. It was a 40 mile ride and was only my second time on my bike this year. I really should have ridden more before doing a 40 mile ride, oh well, lesson learned. At least I pedaled every mile and up every hill (who knew there were hills in Boston?(other than Beacon Hill, which we didn't visit)). We went through the Arnold Arboretum, which has a significant hill, the Stony Brook Reservation, Forest Hills Cemetery (yes, the word "Hill" in the name should have given me a hint), Hyde Park, Roxbury, Dorchester, and Southie. It was a very nice ride and one for a good cause, funds raised went to bring computers and technology to Boston city schools. Mayor Menino and Senator John Kerry both spoke before the ride. Sen. Kerry appeared decked out in full biking apparel, which was an unexpected surprise. As far as knitting goes, K found some velvet fabric that I may be able to use to line my Seasons sweater (brown colorwork), and I am nearing completion on the second Traveler's Sock (the sock that will coordinate with my hiking boots and hiking pants :-) )

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Nearly there. Litterball hasn't been used yet, but probably will be.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Minor Setback

Progress on my cabled cardigan was happening swiftly. The left front reached the point for joining the sleeves (assuming I make this a yoke style sweater) and the back was rapidly approaching that point too. As I continued knitting, something was nagging the back of my head, the back was looking a large. I kept telling myself that it wasn't really as large as I thought and that I want the sweater to have some ease. I want the cardigan to be somewhat loose and very cozy feeling. Therefore I kept knitting. I did some waist decreases and I started with increases, I had only a couple of inches left before the back was done. Then, I held the back up against my body...
The back is beyond being just a little too big. The back is way beyond the amount of ease that I want built into the sweater. The back had to be frogged back to the ribbing, there was nothing else left to be done.
On a non-design note, I am going backpacking in October. I bought some hiking boots (which I am now trying to break in) and some other stuff for the trip. After buying the hiking boots I discovered that the Nancy Bush socks I am working on will match the boots and a pair of pants I bought for the trip. Additionally, the socks are at just the right leg height for the fancy top to stick up above the boots. Therefore, I have to get the socks finished before I go on my trip. I finished the first sock this weekend and immediately cast on for the second.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Drop-Stitch Tank FO!

I'm about an hour away from finishing Molly Ringwald, but my last ball of yarn ending up getting into a tangled mess. Rather than dealing with that, I picked up the Drop Stitch Tank from Fitted Knits that I ended up abandoning in mid-August to knit Picovoli and the Lutea Lace Shouldered Shell. So, here it is:

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Pattern: Drop Stitch Tank from Fitted Knits
Yarn: Noro Lily, 6.5 skeins
Needles: Size 7 for body, Size 5 for neckband
Modifications: I didn't make buttonholes around the neckline so I made the neckband narrower. Other than that, I made the pattern as written. It fits well, although I wonder if I should have made a smaller size. It stretches a lot and as I wear it, it continues to grow. Overall, I'm happy with it, although it was a drag to knit towards the end.

As the weather cools down, I've been inspired to pull out some of my FO's from last winter. I'm working on one now and hopefully, I'll finish it soon and have photos for you.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Savannah's First Fitting

Although certainly not her last because she's a beauty and she's going to be over six feet tall, according to her doctor. I went over to her house tonight for the appointment I'd made with her for her fitting, but I was concerned that she'd be too antsy to stand still for me to pin her hem. Not to mention that I'd never pinned a hem. My burly ex-Marine husband does that for me - no kidding!

Well, she was an absolute angel. The only thing she wanted to do was play with my pin cushion - she kept calling it a ball. Other than that, she stood still for a long time while I clumsily pinned her hem. YOU try measuring something 2 3/4 inches off the floor! Anyway, I snapped a couple of shots of her in her dress:

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The flash was really bothering her eyes in that shot. I wish this one was clearer:

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I did make a decision regarding the trim. I was totally blown away by all of your comments. I thought you all had terrific insight and I took to heart each and every one. I ultimately left the decision up to her parents because I was still torn. I was drawn to the red crocheted-type trim, but your points about the pink being more youthful and more appropriate were very convincing. In person, though, the red trim is quite stunning and her parents were both very certain that it was the better choice. So, there it is.

I also dropped by Discount Fabrics in Normal Heights today. It's not a great shop, but it is two blocks from my house and they have a few gems, including silk shantung in every color of the rainbow. They also occasionally have a random Robert Kaufman print, and today, they had one that really caught my eye. At first, I thought I make a bag out of it, but then I thought it would make a great lining for a jacket made out of some espresso-colored twill I recently acquired. What do ya think?

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Cabled Cardigan

Well, I decided to go with the moss stitch diamond cable motif for my cardigan. So far, I am liking it well enough. I have finished the easy bit with the left front and now have to figure out what to do about the armscythe shaping and to figure out how to make it a yoke type sweater.

While I consider that I am going to start the back of the sweater. The back is going to be without cables and will simply be garter stitch above the fancy rib bit.

For my traveling project I have a sock. The sock has a fancy cuff and is pretty much stockinette stitch for the rest. It is a Nancy Bush sock, the Traveler's Sock from Knitting on the Road.

Finally, I think I made my final Fenway appearance for the season :-(


Monday, September 10, 2007

Opinions Please!

I need your opinion about something. I'm in the process of sewing a dress for my neice that will be worn to a christening this weekend. I'm polling everyone I know about their choice between two trims.

The first is a ribbon trim - pink with white stitching around the edges.

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The second looks like a crocheted lace trim, but it's not actually crochet - I'm not sure what it is, but it is lovely.

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I am having a really difficult time making this choice, so your help is greatly appreciated.


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Litterball to the Rescue? (The Curse of the Colorwork Sweater)

Do you remember the brown colorwork sweater I started last year? The sweater that was delayed as I waited for more brown yarn to come in? Seasons of Darkness, etc. If you remember that sweater you may remember that I finished the colorwork segment and that I finished the sleeve cuff segment before summer rolled around. I even merrily began the body edging, but I had problems, then heat rolled in and so I stopped. I quietly resumed this project when K was in Boston. I frogged the edging that I had done, recast on, knit, frogged, cast on again, frogged, then started one last time. Shear number of times frogged made me start to fear that I would never finish this project.

Then, a few more problems arose. First a partial ball of yarn rolled off my table and directly into Isis's litter box (hereinafter "litterball"). I thought about throwing litterball away, but it still had a significant amount of yarn in it, so I placed litterball in a plastic bag and set it aside for emergencies. Then, Isis threw up on the edging and on the pattern. Clearly this edging was cursed. Nevertheless, I kept on knitting (after washing my edging, of course).

This weekend I finished the bottom portion of the edging and started to move up the front side when my ball of yarn ended. No big deal, I thought. I set it aside and picked up something else since I wasn't really in the mood to wind another ball at that moment. Last night I was ready to wind. I reached into my bag to pull out another skein, there wasn't one. OK, I thought, I must not have pulled out all of the yarn (I have a pine trunk that I keep yarn in). I went to my trunk and searched my non-stash stash for additional yarn. THERE WASN'T ANY. Now I was starting to get nervous, I really don't want to go to litterball. After some search I discovered that I have bits of yarn left. There is a ball, smaller than litterball, and failed attempts at the edging that didn't frog well, and, of course, there is litterball. As much as I want to avoid litterball, I think I will have to resort to using it. The question becomes then, how does one clean litterball?

With my sweater design, I haven't settled on the diamond cable choice yet. Thanks for your input, the votes seem to be about even, though there are a couple of non-blog votes for moss, and one for twisty. Joanna, yes there will definitely be more space around moss if I go that way, I just didn't cast on enough stitches for my swatch, and had increased 4 stitches as it was. I have started the left front though. I am on the rib pattern, which will go for 5+ inches, don't know exactly how long the ribbing will be. I have a photo of just the rib for you and of the rib and cables placed next to each other. I don't know if seeing the rib with the cable will effect any one's opinion, but just in case...


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Hump Day

I have another bad photo of Molly Ringwald to show you:

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This is the back - the front is already done. I'm working slowly and steadily on this project and should have it done before too long. Even though it's still really warm, I beginning to yearn for fall knitting. I may only have one more summer project in me before I'm drawn to the wool stuff again.

Last night, Joe and I found a fun website that's kind of like a geek's computer version of the Kevin Bacon game. You know the Kevin Bacon game, right? It's the game where you connect any movie star to Kevin Bacon within a certain number of steps... Anyway, the site is called The Oracle of Bacon and it can be found here. Test it out. It's fun!


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A Rant and a Cable Swatch

Last week was one of those weeks that couldn't end soon enough. It was filled with literal and figurative headaches, most of which I won't get into here. The week ended with a formatting problem with an appellate brief which lead me to the discovery that my cell phone was out in the 'burbs, where I work, while I was in the city, where I live. After some thought I decided to try going the weekend, or at least part of it, cell phone free. I was amazed as the days went on, at how much I have come to rely upon the cell phone in my daily life. I am certainly old enough to remember a time when no one had these things, now, I can barely do without one. My cell acts as my watch, as my means of communication, and my means of checking Red Sox scores when I am out trying to have a life.
Another problem with the week/weekend was the discovery that my living room overhead light no longer works. I knew that it had a problem on Thursday night, I pretty much forgot about it on Friday (I went out after work then came home and fell asleep early, so the lack of light didn't bother me). On Saturday, I went to buy new light bulbs, then when dusk started to fall, I tried putting the new bulbs in, and low and behold....still no light. I tried an old bulb out in my bedroom, and the old bulb worked. Time, then, to call the landlord. Unfortunately, my landlord's telephone number was safely stored on my cell phone, which was out at my office. Par for the weeks' course.
On Sunday night, my cell phone was returned to me by one of the partners at my firm who happened to be going to the airport to pick someone up. Monday, a holiday, I called my landlady, and today someone should be coming to look at and fix the problem.
Enough ranting, sorry to bore you all with that stuff. I need opinions, please. I am working on recreating a cabled cardigan that I saw on a TV show. I am not wedded to doing exactly what I saw. The sweater had 3 cable motifs running up each front half. If you look at the photo on the left, the bobble cable runs along the button band (garter stitch), then the simple cable is next to the bobble cable, on the other side of the simple cable is a diamond patterned cable. The actual sweater has the moss stitch diamond cable that you see between the bobble and the simple cables. In lieu of that I was considering the other twisty diamond cable. This is where you come in, which diamond cable do you think will look better with the simple cable and the bobble cable?
Thanks a million!


Monday, September 03, 2007

Molly Ringwald Progress

It's that time of year again - that time of year I hate in California: September. The time of year where it hasn't rained for months and it's so frickin' hot. The heat lasts for days on end and doesn't let up, even overnight. Most of us in San Diego live in denial that we even have this kind of weather, except for when it's actually happening. We have an excessive heat warning today, with parts of the county having a heat index of 115 degrees F. Thankfully, we invested in an A/C unit last summer, so it's all comfortable here at Chez Knitzalot.

I did venture out into the world once or twice this weekend to brave the heat. Mostly, though, I sat in my Ikea chair and knit away until my hands wouldn't let me knit anymore. Here's the front of Molly Ringwald:

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The photo is dark, but the flash obscured the details so I thought this photo was better. I'm about 5 inches into the front and I'm really liking the pattern so far. It is, however, a LOT of ribbing. Thank goodness it doesn't have sleeves or it probably wouldn't get finished. I've ripped out Dune to rescue the yarn. I've washed it to get out the kinks and the months of dust and ick that had settled on it. It's all dry and ready to be rolled into balls. Once I do this, I can finish this sweater.

I purchased some really cute fabric, today, to make an Amy Butler bag:

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The pieces coordinate really well together and I think this pattern would look really cute in them.

Now I'm off for a delicious Mexican dinner. It's way too hot to cook today.