Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Something Vintage?

I'd never really noticed Knit and Tonic's Something Red pattern before. I thought it seemed like an ordinary cardigan. But I saw this, and I decided that the sweater had potential. I wasn't sure at first whether it was the cables she added or whether it was the fit, but I really thought it was a flattering sweater on her. So, on Friday night, I cast on, and I now have this:


I'm using a cotton/acrylic blend yarn (like Cotton-Ease, but not) that I purchased at the Yarn Lady bag sale nearly two years ago. I don't love the color, but alas, it does put a dent in the stash. As you can see, I ultimately decided against the cables. This is mostly because I felt that, in a worsted weight yarn, the cables would be clunky and heavy. The pink sweater (seen in the Ravelry link above) was reworked in a DK yarn, making it more delicate. I decided that what made this sweater look good on some and not so good on others was fit. I have made it point to have it fasten just below the bustline and to fit rather snug. It needs to be blocked so that the flare on the bottom is more obvious, but so far, I'm happy with th fit. In fact, it might be a little TOO snug, but we all now how cotton stretches.

My question is this: the original pattern has elbow length sleeves. What do you guys think of the idea of doing a shorter sleeve?


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hiking, Camping and Knitting

Last time I posted I mentioned my plan to head out to Bash Bish Fall out in western MA, I am happy to say that I made it out there, hiked around a bit and have made it back. I spent two nights camping at a "primitive camp site" in Mount Washington State Forest. Everything I needed for the trip I packed into my backpack and carried about 1.5 miles to the site. My pack, including food and water, ended up weighing about 39 lbs, which was more than I expected, but still manageable. When I arrived I pitched my tent:

put down my sleeping pad and sleeping bag:

and started cooking my dinner:Since there were all kinds of bugs flying around I retreated to my tent early and spent some time working on Rhiannon, my knee sock.

On Saturday I hiked about 10.5 miles and tried to find my way to Bash Bish Falls. I didn't make it. On one trail I decided that I had missed the turn off and turned around and went back the way I came, on another trail I hit a wide brook crossing that I didn't feel up to making (I was pretty sure that I would manage to fall and bang my head if I tried). I may have seen the falls from the side, but I am not sure about that. If I did it was up from near the top or over the top of the falls, and I could only see one of the 2 falls.

Over night between Saturday and Sunday it rained. When I woke up on Sunday and emerged from my tent there was no rain falling, so I decided not to delay and quickly packed up my gear and went back to my car. I took a longer route back to my car and had one brook crossing, which made me a bit nervous, but I managed it. There was no way that I was going to return to Boston without seeing Bash Bish, so I drove around to the trail head for the Falls and descended 300 feet to the viewing area and was rewarded with this view:

Oh, and since this is a knitting blog and I mentioned knitting, with my evenings at camp, the hour and a half I spent at the RMV yesterday morning, and my normal bus trip home yesterday and to work today I am now only one decrease row away from being done with my first Rhiannon knee sock.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Look at My Pretty Dress!

Even though I sewed it a while ago, I finally got to see Savannah wear the dress I made for her.


It finally fits - last summer it was way too big. She's in a dress phase now, so when she's wearing one, she says, "Look at my pretty dress!" She knows I made it for her, and when I saw her today, I was wearing a skirt that I made that she loved because it has flowers on it. Wearing a dress didn't exactly make her act like a lady though! She still horsed around in it. By the way, those oven mitts she's wearing are her lobster claws.

As for knitting, I finished Josephine and wore it to work on Friday. I was afraid I was going to run out of yarn (I didn't), so I did the neckline trim in the same color as the ribbon I used to tie the sweater. I was all ready to take a bathroom mirror photo of it on Thursday night when I remembered that my camera battery died. I haven't recharged it yet, so I also don't have photos of my Something Red that I started on Friday. I'm moving very quickly on it and it should be done my next weekend. Hopefully, I'll have my camera battery charged by then!

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Flutter Sleeve with Longmeadow

You may remember a few posts back I started Erin, by Kim Hargreaves. I wrote that I didn't think that the color of Longmeadow that I bought on the Internet was what I wanted for that particular sweater and I was debating frogging and repurposing the yarn. I received a couple of comments supporting repurposing, and K also supported repurposing, and that was all it took. Erin is not being made right now, instead, the Flutter Sleeve Cardigan from the current IK is now on the needles. Flutter is kind of flying. I haven't spent much time working on Flutter, but that back is nearly done.

One of the cool things about this pattern is that the sleeves seem to be part of the front and back pieces instead of being separately knit. I hate having to knit sleeves.

My gauge isn't quite right for this, so I am compensating by making a larger size. The sweater has waist decrease and ribbing around the waist, so this could end up being very flattering (fingers crossed).

The color of my yarn doesn't really show true on my laptop screen (which is how I ended up choosing this color) but I think the color and the pattern match much better than this color and Erin, so I am happy with this project so far.

In all likelihood, this project won't get any attention this weekend because I am planning on going out to Bash Bish Falls for some hiking and backpacking. I am really looking forward to this trip, but I have to check out weather forecasts because I was just told that there is still feet of snow out in the Berkshires and I am not sure that I am prepared to sleep with snow still on the ground.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

And She's Back!

Hello everybody! It's so good to be back! I haven't blogged in ages it seems - a few months at least. Sometime in January, my thesis began to take over my life and by February, I had given up all of my familiar leisure activities - walking, knitting, watching Netflix movies, listening to podcasts. I continued to work, but in all of my "spare" time, I worked on my thesis. However, on March 28, I presented by work to my committee and it was approved! I have a Master's Degree now! All that's left is finalizing the formatting and walking in May. J is coming to San Diego to help me celebrate my graduation, and we're going to have a blast while she's here. We're planning a trip to the Santa Barbara wine country to do a little eating, relaxing, knitting and, of course, wine drinking.

So, what have I been doing since March 28? I have been knitting, but my pace has definitely slowed since what it used to be. I'm not exactly sure why, but I think it has to do with the fact that the project that I have been working on is rather fussy and not a relaxing knit. I have been working on Josephine from last summer's IK:


I am using a DK cotton/linen blend yarn, but the pattern calls for a sportweight, so I had to do a little refiguring. I ended up making a different size and customizing the lengths for my body. So far, I have knit the front and the back, so all that's left are the cap sleeves and the seaming. I am very much in danger of running out of yarn, but I think I'll be OK. While my pieces were blocking, I picked up another IK project, this time Sylph from the Spring IK:


I'm using Calmer in a color that I absolutely love! This project is also not particularly relaxing. The upper portion in this photo is not stockinette - those are twisted stitches. They result in a subtle striping effect, but they're very difficult to see, so each row takes a while. I think the final product will be lovely, so I'm trudging onward. However, I need something that I can just pick up anywhere and knit on, so I'm going to cast on for Chaise from one of Jo Sharp's pattern books:


I plan on casting for that sometime this weekend.

I'm hoping to do better about blogging in the future, but now I'm looking for a job, so it's hard to say how successful I'll be.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Long Weekend, Long Bus Rides

With yesterday being Patriots Day here in Massachusetts I had a three day weekend. I used this extra time off to go visiting family in PA, with the cost of gas quickly rising, and with a general disinclination to drive 5+hours I decided to leave the driving to Greyhound and to NJ Transit. All that bus riding meant that I had plenty of time to listen to my Ipod and to knit, and what better project to knit on then a knee high sock on size 0 needles.
I don't remember exactly how much of the sock was done before I left Boston but now I am almost ready to work on my heel flap, I expect that I managed to knit at least 10 inches of leg on this trip.

Unfortunately, I didn't actually look at the yardage requirement before starting this sock. I had 4 skeins of knit picks essentials and I just dove right in. Now I am nearly through 2 skeins and haven't started the foot of this sock, so I think I might need to find a fifth skein if I want a pair of these very warm, knee high, socks.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Traveling Socks

I finished the second of my Mingus Socks last week and so needed to start a new traveling sock, so I pulled out some Knitpicks Essentials sock yarn that was given to me by C when she moved to CA and cast on for Rhiannon. Since I wasn't liking the way Erin was coming along this sock got more weekend knit time than would ordinarily be the case. I have finished the cuff:
and started on the calf, though I am not at the point of shaping yet, I am only about 2 1/2 inches into the calf/leg pattern and haven't made it beneath the section that would be covered by the cuff. I am using size 0 addi's for this sock, so it should be a time consuming project, which is fine since these are knee high socks and it is spring, so I won't be wearing them anytime soon.
This weekend these socks will have additional extra knit time since I will be traveling to PA via bus and don't feel like carrying home multiple skeins of Longmeadow and a copy of IK (Erin is not going to be done now, but the Flutter Sleeve Cardigan will be done in its place-photo to come next week)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A New Sweater?

This weekend I cast on for a new sweater, Erin, by Kim Hargreaves. I had ordered some Valley Yarns Longmeadow from Webs specifically for this project. When I placed the order I expected to receive a yarn that was basically just tinged with a hint of green. While the yarn I received basically meets that description, the green that it is tinged with is more appropriate for a baby shower gift (in my mind) then for the sophisticated cabled sweater that it was intended for. Despite not being thrilled with the color I cast on for the sweater. I haven't made much progress on it though, mostly because I am not thrilled with the anticipated FO this yarn will give. The Longmeadow is very nice feeling and seems to be a good sub for Calmer, but this color just isn't doing it for me.

I can't decide if I should just plug on, hoping that the FO will be better than expected or if I should repurpose the yarn for something more fun and summery.

In the meantime, to distract you from the unimpressive knitting shot, here is a waterfall that I visited this weekend. It is in the Middlesex Fells Reservation.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

When Icarus became too big to be my commuting project I started a pair of sock. Cookie A's Mingus socks to be exact. Until this weekend the socks were knit exclusively when I was commuting or when I went out immediately after work and had reason to knit. This weekend that changed a bit, in part because I was nearing the toe on the first sock and in part because the project I started looked ugly and will probably be frogged very soon.
Since I was no longer only knitting the sock on the bus or the T, I was able to make some speedy progress. I don't yet have a pair, but I have turned the heel on my second sock.
I made one change to the pattern, I modified the toe a little, the original toe was just stockinette, I decided to continue the twisted rib through the toe. I am pleased with this change.
Oh, while I am on the subject of Cookie A socks, I was lucky enough to be part of the yahoo group of test knitters for this sock which I am totally excited about. Test knitting won't begin for awhile, but once it does I expect to be able to post progress shots here.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Tick Tack Toe

Three FOs in a row:
Swallowtail Shawl from IK, Fall, 2006. I made this using left over Karabella Lace Mohair which I purchased from Circles years ago. I don't remember if I bought 2 skeins or 3, but whatever I purchased was enough to finish a stole from an old summer issue of VK with more than enough leftover to make this small triangular shawl.

This was a very quick knit (taking less than a week), which I mostly enjoyed. The border area includes nupps (you can see them above) and I am NOT a fan of nupps, the whole purl 5 together is rather irritating, but it does create a nice effect.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


As I mentioned before I recently I pulled out a skein and a half of Misti Alpaca Lace that I had left over from Ethereal Fichu and started the Icarus Shawl (I ended up needing to buy one additional skein). Over this past weekend, I finished Icarus and blocked it. A detail blocking shot:

The Icarus in use:

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Finally an FO!

I was lazy and didn't tear out the zipper in Celtic Icon, instead, I finished inserting the zipper and tried it on. When the edges didn't curl out I decided to declare CI complete! Of course, having a new wool/cashmere blend FO in early spring meant that it had to be worn immediately, before the weather had a chance to warm up a single degree, and I am very happy with it.
Pattern: Celtic Icon from Inspired Cable Knits by Fiona Ellis.
Yarn: Queensland Collection Kathmandu DK (10 skeins)
Needles: Addi Turbo US 4

Modifications: 1st--I used a DK yarn instead of a sport weight yarn, this meant that I had a different gauge than specified in the pattern, so I had to make adjustments, row and stitch wise for my gauge.
2nd--the Original is done in 2 colors with side panels in a contrasting color from the main (front/back) pieces. I eliminated the second color and eliminated the use of side panels (the less seeming the better in my mind)
3rd--the Original has no waist shaping. I do have waist shaping, so now my CI has waist shaping too.
4th--I don't know if this actually counts as a mod, but instead of using a standard separating zipper I used a two way separating zipper.