Saturday, December 29, 2007

Kitty in Baskets

I hope everyone out there had a wonderful holiday, and that everyone has a great New Years.

I have made my annual journey down to PA to visit with family. I have now been here for a week. My stay is extending a tiny bit longer than originally planned, but plans are made to be changed, right?

Isis has come to PA with me and seems to enjoy having more space. She also seems to enjoy the many baskets that my mom has scattered about the house. The basket to the left is actually a trash can used in the living room. The basket to the right holds printing supplies including toner. None of that stopped Isis from deciding that the basket was a comfortable place to rest.
As far as knitting goes, I had thought that with a week off from work I would get a TON of knitting done, but that hasn't happened. For whatever reason there hasn't been a whole lot of knitting going on. I have started a new sweater, Venezia, by Eunny Jang from IK, winter 2006, but so far I have only finished one sleeve. I am making this using Lanett Superwash 100% merino wool. It feels so soft and squish. I plan on making some mods to the pattern. The first major mod is that I am using only 2 colors instead of the 10 or so called for in the pattern. Additionally, I am going to modify the neckline. Venezia is a boat neck pullover. I don't like boat necks, so I am going to make mine either a U neck or a V neck. I am also considering modifying the sleeves. The pattern uses sleeve caps, which you knit in the round using steeks. I think that I would prefer not having to steek the sleeve and sew them in, so I am considering either changing the sleeves to raglan or trying to figure out if you can create sleeve caps when knitting a pullover in the round. Until I have made the final decision on how my sleeves are going to work, I am putting the sleeves on holders when I reach the start of the cap shaping.I also did manage to finish my mini Jeannie (photo to come latter).
As far as FO flashing goes, I have one or 2 more sweaters that I planned on flashing (I hadn't expected to go so far in the month when this started), but I didn't wear a sweater when driving and I didn't bring the unworn sweaters with me, so I guess I am done with flashing.


Friday, December 28, 2007

Socks, Socks Everywhere

It has been a very busy week for me, as I'm sure it has been for everyone. As soon as I was finished with school, I dove head first into finishing my holiday knitting. I also had to do a lot of the cooking for Christmas Eve and Day dinners. I didn't really get a chance to relax until the 26th, but I have been enjoying life quite a bit since then. I have been doing a lot of cooking and baking, in addition to knitting. It's nice to have time to do these things.

I do have an FO to show you. Earlier this week, I finished my second Embossed Leaves sock.


This pair of socks has been quite a journey for me. When the pattern first came out, I knit the first sock out of Baby Ull, but I felt it had turned out too small. I was discouraged by the experience, so I intended to rip it out...someday. I never did anything about it though. Fast-forward two years when I decided to remake the socks. I wanted to make it out of Gems Fingering, so I cast on first with size 2 needles, which turned out too big. I figured it was because the yarn was too thin for the needles, so I tried it with a hank of medium-weight STR. Those were HUGE as well. I started to wonder if I'd ever get a pair of these socks. On a lark, I tried on the sock I'd knit previously and, while it was snug around the cast-on area, it fit very well otherwise. So, I cast on for the second one and quickly knit the leg and the gusset. Then, I lost the magazine. I knew where I'd last seen it but couldn't find it anywhere. In addition to losing the magazine, I lost my car key, my sewing machine power cord and the buttons for my Starsky. One by one, I found almost everything I'd lost over the next couple of weeks. About three days ago, I found the magazine buried under a pile of crap in my front room. It only took me two nights to finish the rest of the sock. So, that is my story. It makes these socks even more special knowing the trials and tribulations of getting them done.

So, now what? I haven't started a sweater in over a month because I have been undecided about what should be next. That was fine when I had holiday knitting to do, but now I feel like I should make a decision. I'm torn now between three projects. First, I have an idea for a design for a cozy, tweedy sweater, using a combination of design elements from the Cozy V-neck pullover from Fitted Knits and Banff from knitty. I'm going to use my Rowanspun Aran and I've already swatched for it. I just have to wash my swatch to see what my gauge is. I'm also considering Demi from Rowan Vintage knits and Gatsby Girl from the Fall 2006 IK. Totally torn. This is a first for me.

In the meantime, I've cast on for a neat little sock pattern:


These are the Nutkin socks which is a free sock pattern (found on Ravelry of course) designed by Knitzi. It's a fun pattern to knit because it's a breeze to memorize but it looks really cool and is more interesting than a stockinette sock. Plus, it has a hem, a short row heel and apparently the toe is done without grafting. I'm looking forward to learning a new technique or two. I'm using Claudia's Handpainted Yarn that I bought in Providence this summer. I know it isn't the favorite yarn of sock knitters, but I'm very pleased with it. It doesn't pool and it's very soft.

So, the anti-sock sweater knitter has no sweaters on the needles and has finished two pairs of socks in the last week (including the husband's Log Cabin socks) and has already cast on for another pair. It's just another phase of my knitting evolution. It keeps life interesting, n'est-ce pas?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Is it the Weekend Yet?

Whew! It's only Wednesday and I feel like I've lived a lifetime already this week! I'm really tired from working too hard, being stressed and being pulled in a million directions. But the good news is that the class part of school is done for me forever! No more sitting in class, no more homework assignments, no more class presentations! It's kind of a strange feeling, but it's a good one all the same. All that stands in the way between me and my degree is my thesis. Unfortunately, it's a pretty large obstacle.

Moving on to Christmas, my gifts are reasonably on track. I was going to sew my father-in-law a robe, but the only pocket of time I had to do it was on Friday night after a long, stressful day. I dragged all of my sewing stuff to my parents' place since they have a large work surface. I had a little trouble sewing the pockets on straight, but other than that, things were going fairly well. I was sewing up the sides and the sleeves (simple, straight seaming), so I was in the home stretch. It was only then that I realized that I'd sewed the long edge of the sleeve into the armhole instead of the sleeve cap! Gee, I was wondering why I was having such a hard time setting it in. Well, I guess it was good practice for setting in sleeves! Since it was double stitched, pulling it out was a nightmare, and since I'd already trimmed the seam, I didn't know how to fit the correct edges together, i.e. i couldn't line them up evenly. Plus, tearing out the stitches damaged and weakened the fabric. Needless to say, it was hopeless, and I was extremely frustrated by the whole experience. If I hadn't been rushing, I'm sure things would have turned out differently.

However, my mother in law's scarf turned out well. It's on its way to Chicago as we speak. Here it is with the handmade gift tag that the Nut Graf made for me:


I also wanted to take a photo in natural light so you can see the actual color and the effect of the two strands together:


I used a sport weight merino/cashmere/silk blend yarn held together with Rowan Kidsilk Haze and I really liked the effect. The stitch pattern is the Yarn Harlot's one row scarf, which produces a reversible, pretty scarf that doesn't curl or roll or anything.

Regarding the FO flashing, my crazy, stressful life has interfered on that front. With the exception of two days, I kept going with it, but didn't take pictures. I figure, once I have some time, I can just take a bunch of photos of what I wore in one day so you can at least see the FO's. However, on Monday, when getting dressed and basic hygiene even took too much time away from working on my final projects, I grabbed what was clean and happened to, at the same time, matched the pants I grabbed. Therefore, I wore an FO I'd already worn this month (Sam). Today, since the weather outside is frightful, I'm wearing Banff again because it's cozy and nothing that I have left in the line up is warm enough (except for Starsky, which doesn't have buttons yet).

I have to say that this FO flashing has gotten me off my butt to finish odds and ends on sweaters that needed to be done. I sewed in a zipper I'd been neglecting on Sam (photo coming soon), I finished the collar on Starsky (to be worn probably tomorrow) and I completed the finishing touches on my Somewhat Cowl and wore it yesterday (photo soon). That is enough to make me very glad I have been doing this.


Photo Posting Resumes

My camera card is still missing, but I figured out how to connect directly to my camera (a cord that I wrote off, turns out to be the camera cord, it just connects to the base/charger unit and not to the camera itself).

First, I am going to share a current knitting project. I have decided to make a smaller version of Jeannie as a gift for one of my Aunts. I am not sure that it will be done in time, well, actually I know that it won't because I need to ship it out. The original pattern used sock yarn, but I am using SeaSilk, which I beleive is a larger yarn. Now that I have a hang of the twisted rib/regular rib pattern, it is moving along quickly and smoothly.
Now, to tell you about my FOs:

Friday I went home mid-day and promptly prepared to crash from a long hard 24 hours of continuous working. I wanted to keep the FO thing going, so I put a pair of socks on to sleep. As I wrote yesterday, these were the second pair of socks which I knit. I knit these socks uing Opal sock yarn (not to be confused with Louet Sales Gems Opal). The yarn looked so pretty in the hank, but they did not look nearly as nice when I knit them up. The yarn has held up very well, but the socks themselves are too big for my legs, so the constantly fall down and slide around.

Saturday, I wore Autumn Rose, sorry still no photos to share.

Sunday, was my Pearl Buck Jacket, not the most flattering cut for me. I probably will avoid A-lines in the future unless I loose lots of weight. What intrigued me about this patter was the pleat on the back. I used knit picks merino style which seems to be holding up reasonable well. The edging on the front of the jacket has a tendency to want to curl. I have to attack this sweater with an iron to get it to lie flat.

Monday I wore my very first pullover. This is a Jaeger pattern, whose name I don't remember. I knit it using the called for yarn Jaeger Aqua (I was still exclusively doing that back then). I knit this sweater immediately following finishing my Big Wool sweater. The yarn was purchased over at Woolcott in Harvard Square. I knit this sweater during breaks while I served on jury duty, and at other times too. I don't remember how the fit was when the sweater was new, but it is definitely loose now. One thing I remember is that when I was sewing the pieces together, I discovered that the sleeves were WAY too long. I resolved this problem by creating a fold up cuff for the sleeves. Another issue with this sweater, was my make ones. As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I didn't know how to create a nice M1. I picked up the bar between stitches and knit a new stitch, no twist, no knit through back loop. This created big open holes where the stitch was created. These big open holes occur at ever crossing of the cable down both the front and the back of the sweater. I now pretend this was a design feature, but between you and I, I know it isn't.

On Tuesday it was time to pull out Whiskey, which I finished in late spring of this year. I don't wear this often because I don't like the fit of it. I think that I need to remember not to make button down cardi's for me. This one, which is admittely a touch to small, gapes at the chest, the cabled cardi which I made without a pattern is a touch too big (intentionally) and it STILL gapes! Actually, is there any way you guys know to prevent gaping?

Wednesday's sweater is York, a zippered cardigan made using big kureyon. It is a Noro pattern. The sleeve caps don't seem to be the best design in the world, but as I have worn the sweater it seems that that problem has become less noticeable. I wear York fairly often, it is a good everyday sweater. The yarn has pilled slightly, but not overly much.

And today, Thursday, I am wearing the cardigan that I copied from a tv show. This sweater is a recent FO, so I don't really have much to say about it. It was a design learning experience. Also in the photo is my modified Huckleberry Ascot made with Malabrigo. I just came in the office when I took the picture and the ascot feels soft and warm around my neck, so it is remaining for a bit.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Post Delays

I am afraid that there will be a delay in photo posts from me, J. My card reader has gone AWOL, originally I thought I brought it home on Friday, but then last night, when I didn't see it, I figured that it must have been in the office. Well, I still don't know where the card reader is. Unfortunately, I also don't know where my camera cord is. I have never once, in all the time with this camera (since Aprilish of this year, so not THAT long) used the camera cord, I always use my card reader.

Wearing FOs is still going on. If I had the ability to upload photos I would be showing you the second pair of socks that I made. I wore the socks on Friday, when I finally made it home. You would also see an FO shot of Autumn Rose, which I wore to tea at the Gore Place on Saturday. For Sunday's post you would see a photo of my in my Pearl Buck Jacket (not a very flattering style of jacket for me). For yesterday, there would be a photo of me in the very first pullover I made, complete with a commentary on my improperly done make 1s and the holes that are in the sweater where I made one. Finally, for today there would be a photo of me wearing my sweater made from a Reynolds Whiskey Pattern knit using Naturespun sport.

Soon there will be photos from me again, including all of the above mentioned ones.

In addition to my little tech hiccup, K is also unable to post right now. Things are a bit hectic (which is actually quite an understatement) for her, but she will be returning to posting at some point.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Reverse Snow Day

As a child in school, I, like most children in snowy areas loved the idea of a snow day. A day that we were free from the burden of going to school. Free to go sledding on hills, free to make snowmen, free to make snow forts, free to stay out side glorying in the frigid winter air and the soft snow flakes. Snow days involved knowing, without doubt, that when you finally went inside and removed you wet boots, hats, gloves/mittens, scarves, snow pants, and coats there would be hot tomato soup waiting for lunch and even better yet, hot cocoa to drink. You knew that you could relish the snow and make your poor body freeze because soon you would be filled with warmth again.
During this same time, I used to have something of a nightmare daydream that would occur when snow flakes started to fall during school days. The nightmare would involved snow falling hard and fast, school buses unable to run, sidewalks covered in snow so that they were too dangerous to walk on, and the principal declaring that it was too dangerous for any of us to go home, so we would have to stay in school were there would be no freedom to play. My reverse snow day never occurred, of course, but the fear of it was always there.

Now, as I write this though, my reverse snow day has occurred. As K wrote, I have been swamped with work today, and in fact should still be working instead of writing this. The result of my impending deadline is that I did not leave the office when I should have. Snow started falling here in Boston around mid-day. I did not pay much attention to it at first because the predictions were for somewhere around 7 inches, which really, isn't that big of a deal, especially since I don't drive to work, so while sensible Greater Bostonians were fleeing the office, I was at my computer (but I wasn't the only one). Around 5:30 I set out to catch a bus to Boston. My bus runs every half-hour. I knew that there would be some delay, how could there not be? At 6:30 though, as I was still the only person at my stop, and as I saw that traffic was not moving on the road, I walked back to my office to see if my partner could give me a ride to the T. We talked and decided that there wasn't much point to fighting traffic, why not just have dinner. With dinner done, we walked back to the office, stopping along the way to help push a couple of cars that were stuck on the road (see photo from cell on right), and resumed work on the project with the deadline. Perhaps traffic would lighten up soon.

Finally, it became apparent that if he didn't leave immediately, he wouldn't be getting home, so he left. I am still here, I am snowed in my workplace, finally, my nightmare of a reverse snow day is a reality. Now, before anyone gets too hard on him, traffic reports were pretty clear that if he tried to drive me to Boston he stood an excellent chance of not being able to get back out of Boston, 93N is apparently something of a parking lot. A recent report also tells us that 128 isn't very good either. Also, please understand that I have had multiple offers of local places to stay, but I have work to do and don't think I could openly do it around other people, or while they were sleeping. This way, I can wake up, go to my local stop, hop a bus and go home as soon as I wake up (assuming I sleep)

Enough of the weather and my busy, and admittedly boring, work life, what, you ask, am I wearing today, December 13th? Well, I am wearing a recent FO, Season of Darkness, which is still unlined. Still loving this piece :-) Oh, nearly forgot, at dinner tonight my partner was commenting on how amazed he is by this sweater, he still couldn't beleive that they make yarn that will form the patterns on the brown part. My response: "Um, the yarn didn't make the design, I did, it is 2 differnt yarns and you knit with both hands."

On December 12th, I was in Court in the morning, and chose not to wear an FO under my suit, instead, I came home and changes into casual clothes. Yesterday was a work from home day. I chose to wear my Twisted Float Shrug. My thoughts on Twisted Float: I kind of hate it. I hate to say that, it was an expensive piece and so interesting in the cover photo, but it was a pain in the ass to knit and it doesn't fit. I swear it grew when I went to block it. It just won't stay on my shoulders no matter how hard I try. I have even tried to clasp it closed with a hair stick (or a knitting needle depending on what is handy) and the damn thing still slips right off the shoulder. I am half tempted to frog it and turn it into something that might get worn more often, but I just can't bring myself to do it. (oh, just so you don't think I am some kind of lush, that is water in the wine glass in the photo.

A final photo from me, a kitty who wants to be let out of the bag. This photo is here because my poor kitty is all alone tonight and she doesn't seem to like that much. E, thanks again for going by and feeding her!
Oh, look for a brand spanking new FO to be shown here soon...


FO Hiccup

You know how it goes. Sometimes life gets in the way. After all, J and I have to work occasionally and so, for both of us, work is getting in the way of the more important things in life, such as blogging. For my part, I spent all of Tuesday evening (and I mean ALL of it) resewing in the zipper on one of my older sweaters so I could wear it as part of Flash Your FO's December. It turned out really well, thanks to instructions provided by Dis over at A Little Loopy. She took a class on zipper installation at Stitches West last year and provided some guidance. Anyway, I wore the sweater all day yesterday, but I was so busy at work that I never got a chance to take a photo. Since it's one of my favorite sweaters, I didn't want to take one of those "can't make out details because I had to use a flash" photos, so I figure I'll take a photo of it later.

J has a major work thing that needs to be finished tomorrow, so she's buried as well. I'm sure she'll be back to normal posting as soon as possible. In the meantime, this is what I'm wearing today:


This is my Plum Patina Gables. This project turned out OK and provided some learning experience in a few areas. First, for top down raglans, I should always cast on for the smallest size so the neckline doesn't turn out too wide. This sweater is hard to wear because my bra strap is always showing and when I wear a jacket over it, like I'm doing today, the neckline gets scrunched. However, as has happened with other FO photos I've shown this month, the sweater is not misbehaving in this photo, so you'll think I'm being over critical.

Also, I tried something different with the waist shaping here, putting all of the shaping lower down on my waist - not good.

It's also too short in my opinion. At least I feel like it's too short when I'm wearing it, although it doesn't look terribly short in the picture (hmmm, maybe I am too critical).

Final learning thing? Don't put Cotton Fleece in the dryer. This sweater is now super fuzzy which is disappointing because it is a pretty color that is now blurred by a layer of fuzz.

That sounds like a lot of complaining, but really, it's OK I guess.

Tomorrow I'll post a photo of my newly zippered sweater and hopefully a finished baby sweater (all I have to do is weave in a few ends).

Monday, December 10, 2007

More FOs

Yikes! I have fallen behind in my FO posting...

Anyway, on Friday, December 7th (I think that is the date) I went to work wearing one of my favorite FOs, my "boyfriend jacket" that isn't really the name, the name is Zippered Jacket, can you guess from the name that it is a VK pattern? The pattern comes from the Winter 2004/05 Issue and was another early FO. The sweater is loose and comfy. This sweater should have a zipper installed in it, but at the time I finished the jacket I didn't know how to put a zipper in, I was going to take it to a tailor to have one installed, but I was too anxious to wear the sweater, so I took a length of yarn and sewed it partially closed. Now, I know how to install a zipper, but somehow I never quite think of doing it until I am ready to put the sweater on. The pattern called for Anny Blatt's "Merinos" but instead I used Jaeger Extra Fine Merino DK. I love,LOVE, this yarn. The sweater has been in a washing machine on at least 2 occassions and has stayed in good shape. The sweater gets worn very regularly each fall/winter and there is NO pilling to be seen. The sweater is soft and cozy and everything I want an FO to be.

On Saturday, December 8th, I didn't actually ever get dressed. I have a cold and the cold was beating me up. I was exhausted and, worse yet, had a screaming pounding headache. My head hurt when I moved, hurt when I coughed, and hurt when the sun shined in my apartment. Despite all that though, I did wear an FO. I wore my Thuja socks which were made from Artyarns Supermerino. I was gifted this yarn from a former N.End knitter last year after I was involved in an auto accident (I blogged about the accident before, so I am not going to go into it again here). The socks are a bit loose on me, and, as you can tell from the photo, are worn, but they are great to wear around the house, perfect for a sick day at home.

Sunday, December 9th, I did get dressed and actually left the apartment (I needed food). To go grocery shopping I put on Rogue. This is another one of my favorite sweaters, not because of the yarn though. I made this sweater using Elann Peruvian Highland yarn. Detail shots of the sweater when new can be found here. This yarn pills, unfortunately, which is a detraction from the sweater. I also did not do such a good job installing the zipper, so if I ever zip the sweater completely closed it would become obvious that the collar cables don't line up. A final problem with the FO is that there is a whole near the wrist of the right sleeve. It looks like the yarn broke (or God forbid, the M word attacked it). I have absolutely none of the yarn left over, so a repair has not happened.

Monday, December 10th, the first of 3 back to back suit events for work. Under my suit jacket I wore one piece of a 3 piece knit outfit. The pattern came from Holiday 2004 VK, and from a Filatura DiCrosa pattern. The part I wore was a tube top. This was probably the third garment I knit and my first departure from ponchos. I was working my way to sweaters. The ensemble consists of a tube top, a shrug, and a ribbed scarf. Not much shapping involved for any of them. The yarn used was Zara (dk weight merino I think I have the name, right, but then again, maybe I am not). The shrug and scarf are hardly ever worn. I did wear the scarf today as well, but no photo of it. I bought the yarn in San Diego, perhaps even at Common Threads, but perhaps not. I started knitting this on the plane ride home from SD but then started to doubt the sizing. I hadn't previously taken any measurements of myself and wasn't positive of my bust size. Nevertheless, I tore out the original and started a larger size. When I finished knitting the tube top, I seamed it up and tried it on. It immediately fell to my waist, it was a bit too big. Instead of tearing and starting again, I just seamed it differently. I made the sweater overlap at the back. I tried it on again, and it STILL didn't stay up. This time instead of re-seaming (again) I crocheted myself a couple of spagetti straps, and now the piece stays up. It works very well under a suit, particularly under the suit I am wearing in the above photo. I do wear my suit jacket closed, but avoided it for the photo.

December 11th. 2nd of 3 suit events for work. Today I was in court (for 10 minutes & not in front of a judge, but hey, still needed to wear a suit) so it was time to pull out another tank type knit. This one is knit using discontinued Linen Drape yarn that I found on a yarn crawl in LA (I think K & I hit 15ish yarn stores from SD to LA in one week's time). This yarn was found at La Knitterie Parisienne. The pattern comes from a Rowan Mag, though I don't remember the number and is a simple Kim Hargreaves pattern. The bottom of the tank is knit in a one by one rib for a distance, then you bind off then you pick up stitches for the top and knit along, doing some shaping and following the pattern. After finishing with this sweater I decided that I don't like boat neck sweaters on me. Another problem is that I got bored with stockinette and fearful of running out of yarn, so the top is a little short, which is ok if I am wearing something that falls at my true waist, otherwise, I am flashing my belly button ring.

New knitting progress: I received my additional skein of Old Gold for Autum Rose yesterday (Two Swans was great!), you can imagine what happened last night here in the North End :-) I also started to make a mini-Jeannie though honestly, not much knitting happened this weekend.

This is knitzalot, now

I have two really boring unflattering FO shots to show you. Perhaps if I do it quickly, no one will notice.

Yesterday I wore a cotton/linen shell underneath a twill jacket:


The pattern is from Interweave and it is available for free on their website. I got the yarn for 50% off at the Grove in South Park. It is a Tahki yarn that is a blend of cotton and linen (can't remember the name at the moment). I believe that it is discontinued, which is unfortunate because it produces a lovely hardwearing fabric. The other good thing about it is that it is good to wear on hot days. Well, it wasn't exactly hot here yesterday. In fact, it was one of the coldest days we've had in a while. So, I spent all day freezing to death. I had to have soup fro lunch and coffee in the afternoon just to keep from shivering. SO, this FO will not get much wear except in warmer weather.

Today, I'm wearing the sweater I knitted for the Knitting Olympics a couple of years ago.


I knitted it out of Cotton-Ease in Ice Blue. The pattern comes from Debbie Bliss' cotton angora pattern book. This FO turned out OK, but it has some issues. It's larger than I would like. This leads to the sweater falling off the shoulders because of the wide v-neck. However, I really like the design, it's comfortable and it's machine washable, so I'm more apt to wear it than something I have to handwash. If I had it to do over again, I would make it one size smaller, and I think that would fix a lot of the issues. Looking at this photo, it actually doesn't look that big, so maybe I'm making too much of it. One benefit? I'm a whole lot warmer today! Yay!


Weekend FO's

Whew! I had a really busy weekend. I can't believe it's Sunday night already - back to the grind tomorrow. While I enjoy my last hour or so of the weekend, I thought I'd do a quick post to show you the FO's I wore this weekend.

On Friday, we had a little weather. A rather chilly winter storm came through, so I took the opportunity to wear Wicked. It kept me warm and toasty under a turtleneck:


On Saturday, I wanted to wear a sweater, but none of my wool sweaters were clean. Instead, I decided to go for Clapotis:



Today, I wore my Central Park Hoodie. I never did an FO post for this project, so I'll do a brief one here. Here is the finished sweater:


Here's the back:


A photo of the arm cable:


I used Classic Elite Skye Tweed for this sweater. I really liked the pattern and this is probably the sweater I wear the most out of all the ones I've made. I've already washed it once because I've worn it so much. I don't think I made many modifications to the pattern. I made the sleeves for the larger size because I heard they were snug. Because I did that, I had to shorten the sleeves by 1/2 inch. I tried to make the head no quite so pointy, but I was only kind of successful with that. This is a comfortable, stylish, versatile pattern that I highly recommend. Yay!

On a very sad note, I've had a sweater casualty. I wanted to wear Bristow as one my FO's this month, so I washed it today. I washed it using the Gentle Cycle in cold water. The sweater was knit out of Karabella Aurora 8. I thought that yarn was a superwash, so imagine my surprise when I lifted a FELTED Bristow out of the washer. I'm not sure how I felted something on the Gentle Cycle in cold water, but I did. I practically cried, but I held it together. I suppose every knitter goes through something like this at some point or another. My aunt told me she read that you can undo felting using hair conditioner. Has anyone ever heard of this? The felting was minor - I lost and inch or two in length all around. Help!

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Forest Path

If a shawl is blocked in an apartment and no one is there to see it, is it really an FO?

My Forest Path Stole has been waiting a long time to officially become an FO. It began it's journey at Logan airport as I waited for a flight to take me sailing in the Caribbean. I worked on Forest while aboard the boat, and on the flight home. I worked on Forest for months here, in Boston. The knitting was complete in July, but I didn't feel like blocking it. Finally, on Thanksgiving day Forest was blocked. If you aren't familiar with the pattern it is from an old IK, Spring '05 perhaps, but don't quote me on that. It is an entrelac stole ith 3 lace motifs.

One motif is has six leaves to it.

Another had bobbles on it, this was my least favorite motif as I hated knitting 5 or 7 or how many stitches together to form the bobble.

The final motif did not photograph well, but it too formed a few leaves, but in a different way than the motif on the left. The border is simple seed stitch. Over all the effect is entrancing. The different motifs meant I remained interested and didn't become bored with the pattern. I used Jaggerspun Zephyr to knit this, and let me tell you, Zephyr is fabulous yarn. I definitely recommend it.

On to today's flashing, December 6th:

Today I have no clients to meet, no courts to visit, just a phone call and a brief to write. I have a little cold too, so cozy was what I wanted. Today I am wearing a stole instead of a sweater. This is an IK pattern whose name I forget. I knit it using Berroco Pleasure, and yes, the yarn was indeed a pleasure to work with and to wear. This stole is like wearing a warm blanket wrapped around you. What I remember about making this is that it became hot outside as I worked on it and it was awkward to keep having to move the long rectangular piece every time I switched from a WS row to a RS row and vice-versa, so I decided to teach myself to knit backwards to avoid having to move and turn the piece. This method worked very well, and I now know how to knit backwards (taking stitches from the right needle instead of the left). I don't use this technique often though because it slows me down.

Hello, it's knitzalot now, and I wanted to share my FO for December 6th. This one was sort of a disappointment. It's my Hourglass Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I made it using Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted, which is a really nice yarn. It also means it is a really expensive sweater. However, I had only the variegated on hand because I had purchased it for another project. I'm not a fan of how variegated yarn knits up, so that's my first complaint. I


also wasn't thrilled with the fit. I added short rows for the bust, which worked out fine, but the neckline is so huge that it falls off my shoulders. To fix it, I pin the sweater to my bra strap, but that's awfully fiddly. The result is that I don't wear this sweater much. It is really soft against the skin, but I don't feel that it's flattering. I really, really want to make this pattern again someday. Another blogger out there did a really gorgeous version of this sweater, so I might want to do something like that.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Oops, I Did It Again!

Yep, this year, yet again, I've got too many Christmas gifts to finish and probably not enough free time to do them. What complicates things is that I've come down with a possibly life-threatening case of startitis. One of the complications of this serious illness is that I keep coming up with more ideas for Christmas knits! Yesterday, a Raveler inspired me with an adorable baby sweater, so I headed over to the sale at my LYS and picked up some Cascade 200 superwash and made it all the way up to the armholes last night. Not a great accomplishment - that's 5 inches! Gotta love the baby knits! I have to tell you, though, that my laptop has changed my life. My thesis research, at times, goes slowly to say the least. I always find things I need to do or would rather do instead of what I'm supposed to do to get out of school. Well, last night, I sat with my laptop on my lap, my knitting in my hands and the TV on and accomplished THREE things at once. I worked until 11 p.m. and it was so painless. Mostly, I knit. You see, most of my research involves waiting for the computer to process HUGE amounts of data or load 240 MB files, so there's a lot of downtime. That will lead to having a finished baby sweater by the end of the week AND having accomplished a lot towards my research. I don't have an in progress photo because it will be finished soon and I wanted to just show off the FO. Besides, I have to flash my December 5th FO:


This is my Remembering Honey sweater. Overall, I like this sweater. It's casual, comfortable and goes with a lot of my pants and skirts. I kind of feel like it makes me look like a linebacker, though. This is due to the fact that I used full-fashioned decreases around the armholes. This project actually taught me not to do that anymore. I used to like doing it because it made seaming easier, but the linebacker thing is so not good. My post for this project can be found here. It's rather wrinkled, too. This is because I have absolutely no storage space for my knits. They go in piles mostly, so they get wrinkled.

Coming up this weekend, we're having some chilly weather, so you may see an FO pic of a project that's been lingering for a while that I've finally decided to finish. Don't get too excited though. The final product is kind of a disappointment. Who cares though? It's soft and warm. Now, onto J's FO for today.

Good day all, it's Jeanette. For this 5th day of FO flashing I present my modified version of Louisa Harding's Jezebel. This is a newish FO having been finished in 2007. I used Freedom Spirit DK yarn. My modification was to change the neckline. Harding's Jezebel had a high collar and I wasn't interested in that, so I gave it a V-neck instead. This was the first time I changed the neckline fo a sweater pattern and I am pleased with the change. What I would change about this if I were to do it over is that I would make it longer, it keeps riding up and I keep tugging it down. Of course, perhaps if I blocked it that wouldn't be a problem...


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Obsession Confession

I have been wholly caught up in Autumn Rose. Until Sunday morning* all my free time (not including commutes) had pretty much been devoted to working on Autumn Rose. This is not to say that the knitting has been smooth sailing, no, unfortunately, I stumbled. This sweater requires many color changes. As I knit each of the sleeves, I always double checked the color name when I made a switch. As I knit the body to the sleeve join, I double checked the color names when I made a switch. It seems though that when I joined the sleeves to the body I must have become arrogant and not double checked the color names. Do you see a difference in these two photos?

I used the wrong color for the darker section. I used a browner red than I was supposed to. When I discovered the mistake I thought, very seriously, about leaving it as is. The color difference is not drastic (unless the 2 colors are right next to each other) and frogging hundreds of tiny stitches seemed too depressing. I thought for a minute, then pulled my size 2 needle out of the sweater and started to pull out 9 rows of knitting. When it was all torn out I went to work (the rest of the day pretty much followed the pattern for the morning).

When I returned home on Friday I really didn't want to start to put hundreds of tiny stitches back onto the needles, but I made myself slog on. I knew that if I didn't Autumn Rose would never be done. After I finished 2 rows I got back into the swing and the obsession returned. Eventually I went to sleep. When I woke up on Saturday I immediately resumed knitting. New trouble appeared to be brewing though, my last skein of Old Gold (the tan/brown color in the above photos) was nearly used up. Would I have enough? No, I didn't have enough. I knit like mad all through Saturday and into the wee hours of Sunday morning. I finished all of the sweater but the collar. My Old Gold lasted to that point, but with only about a foot of yarn left over. Now, I am paused in my Autumn Rose obsession. I am sending 6 unused skeins of yarn back to the on-line vendor where I purchased the yarn, and then they will send me the one skein of Old Gold that I need to finish Autumn up.

*By Sunday morning I am referring to 2 am, which technically is Sunday morning and not still Saturday. Those who know me outside of the blog know that I generally turn into a pumpkin MUCH earlier than that.

Time to Flash the Fos:

December 4:

My sweater for today is Lace & Tuck by Shirley Padden (if I remember correctly) from IK. This is made using 100% alpaca, Inca Alpaca, I believe. It was sport weight yarn, and there are two pieces to this garment, the big cowl like piece comes off. I made this sweater in late '05/early '06. The problem with using 100% alpaca is that the yarn had little to no memory, this mostly effects the elbow area since the sweater was not knit with negative ease. I don't remember how much ease there is in the sweater. I like this sweater and had fun making it, it moved along pretty quickly and was a nice practical use of lace (I have way too many shawls and I hardly ever use shawls). If you are curious about my previous posts on this you can find them here.

Hello, everyone, it's K here. My December 4th FO is Rusted Root:


Yes, it's a goofy photo of me, but the sweater looks good! That's all that matters, right? This is another one of my successes (the failures come later in the month...SO not looking forward to wearing some of those monstrosities. The relevant details about the project can be found here. This is a top that I wear a lot. It fits well, is comfortable, hasn't stretched out at all and can be dressed up or down. The wool in the Cotton Fleece has fuzzed up a little, which surprised me, but it still looks good and is going strong.

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Flash the FOs:

Since I have started knitting I have accumulated a pile of FOs, and I know K has too. The FOs basically fill a 3 drawer dresser and mostly consist of sweaters, but I don't know how many sweaters and the like I actually have. After seeing all the posts of people trying to knit a sweater in November for the National Knit a Sweater Month thing, I thought this would be a good time to show off FOs. Since I have a lot of sweaters, I will primarily be flashing sweaters, if you want to participate but don't knit many sweaters, feel free to flash whatever FOs you have (socks, scarf, shawls, hats, etc...). What we are going to do is show a photo of the FO in action and tell you a little about it. We may not post each day, so some days you will see more than a day's worth of FOs.

December 1st:

From VK, Holiday 2004 (I don't remember the name/number and forgot to look that up today, sorry). This was the first cardigan that I ever knit. This sweater is made from Rowan Big Wool, and is probably the only sweater that I will ever make from Big Wool. I love this sweater, but the yarn pills like crazy. When I wear this I feel something like a homeless person. It now looks nothing like a sweater that costs as much as this one did. On the up side, the sweater is warm and cozy. It is good to wear on cold winter days. I knit this sweater primarily while preparing for, and trying, a week long medical malpractice trial. I was working with another attorney on the case and would frequently pull out the sweater when it got to be very late at night and my brain had shut down, but he was still working (I needed a ride home from him and so had to stick around until he was done). Turns out that he found my knitting to be soothing, which meant it wasn't sending the intended signal (i.e. I am tired and done working, lets call it a night).

December 2:

This is the first piece I knit when I learned for the 3rd time. It is a simple poncho, a ribbed rectangle that you sew together forming a poncho on the bias. I made this with an acrylic yarn, which curled. I wanted to get rid of the curl, so I ironed it, using steam and relatively high heat. Fortunately, it didn't melt, but it became very, very flat. From this I learned that if you iron a ribbed garment, you don't end up with a normal rib. I really don't wear this anymore, but since I was having a lazy Sunday and had no plans of leaving the apartment I figured, why not?

December 3rd:

I had a court appearance scheduled for 1 pm today (the Judge canceled it at 9 this morning). Clearly I can't wear a pullover or cardigan to court. Times like this I remember that those summer knit tanks can generally work as a shell under the suit. This is Calla, from MagKnits. It was knit using Classic Silk by Classic Elite. Details of Calla are here. I really enjoyed working with Classic Silk and the yarn itself holds up well, though it doesn't have a great deal of elasticity.

Switching to K now,

December 1:


This is my Banff sweater, which is a knitty pattern. I can't remember where exactly this fit in, but it was either my second or third sweater (one my first sweaters, Simply Marilyn from the Spring 2004 IK, has already met its end at an unraveling party). Considering how the others turned out, it's remarkable how well this one did. It's not without its issues, though. I used


GGH Savannah yarn which, while lacking somewhat in elasticity for the ribbing, has held up remarkably well. I have wanted to remake this pattern for a long time, preferably in a smaller size. This, by the way, is the smallest size! Obviously, I'd have to do some tweaking to the pattern. I knit this in the days before I tweaked anything, but even so, it turned out well, and it's one of my favorite cozy sweaters.

December 2:


This is my completed Hudson, which I have blogged about before. This, too, is one of my favorite, and most worn, FO's. Despite the fact that it's a bulky, wool sweater, I'm able to wear it more than I would have thought in San Diego. It's not knit particularly tightly, so I think that has something to do with it. The yarn, Big Kureyon, has held up remarkably well, too. It's a comfortable, casual Saturday shopping and running errands kind of sweater. It's cozy, too.

December 3:


Since it's kind of warm today, I'm taking the opportunity to wear one of my summer knits. This is the Prosperous Plum Tank. This is a knit that fits really well and was fun to knit. It has held up well to wearing and it is something that I wear fairly often. As you can see, it's not just for the summer since I can wear it underneath a light jacket for warm-ish winter days. The original blog post about it can be found here.