Friday, April 22, 2005

What's on my needles right now?

The fourth square of the Great American Aran Afghan. See knit-along at right.

I'm trying desperately to get the twist front short sleeved top from the lasted Vogue Knitting started. I've made two gauge swatches so far, and it looks like I need to make a third. This means that yet again, I'll be working on size 8 needles. At this rate, I'm dying to start a project that's not on size 8 needles just for some variety.

I also started a summer scarf:

I'm using a this free pattern which I printed out quite some time ago, though I'm making it a bit narrower because I know this yarn will stretch and block out to be huge.

The green on the left is 100% silk handspun I picked up at last year's Wool Gathering in Yellow Springs. The yarn on the right is a Diakeito Rayon blend. I have significantly more green than earth tones, so I've not yet decided on the stripe pattern. I think I'll either do each end with green and one earth stripe, then the middle in earth tones, or I'll just do the one stripe on either end and find an edging to do that uses the earth tones.

And yes, again, those are size 8 needle. Grrr.

I have another gift that I need to get done by the end of the month, and though it's boring stockinette stitch, it's at least knitted on size 3s. I'd better get moving on that.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Look, it's Bad Penny

I did this one in about 2 weeks. It's amazing how much faster sweaters without long sleeves are!

I tried to take this photo showing how my hair matches my trim as much as the designer's did hers in the original photo on knitty, but it didn't work out so well. My camera's got a good timer mechanism, but I wasn't really up to posing.

You can just almost make out those eyelets in the bottom ribbing. And because I'm wearing such the wrong bra, you can definitely see the ones at the raglan decreases.

I finished this in time to wear it to book club tomorrow. Now, to finish reading the book. Oops.

I just started a new Knit A Long

Want to undertake a massive and complex afghan project with me? How about the Great American Aran Afghan?

If so, come joing us at the Great American Aran Afghan Along. I'm choosing to pronounce this "GAAAA"

It'll be great fun!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


First off, a couple snapshots of Bad Penny. I actually finished the body part tonight and started the ribbing at the bottom. I used most of the 5th ball of yarn, so I feel confident in saying the pattern was a little off. I'll eat my words if this thing doesn't fit. I am happy with the way the colors work too, so that's good.

Here's where I was last night. This is about 1" further than what I got out of 4 balls:

And here's a closer look at Binario, and not as good a photo of those eyelets as I'd intended:

And another in the series of "don't click if you're my sister links" The third completed square.

I think I'm starting a knit-a-long soon. Watch this space for details!

Near yarn disaster ends happily

I went to Knitter's Mercantile last night, which is a new store which bought out Wolfe Fiber Arts' inventory to try to see if they by any chance had any more Lana Grossa Binario left. I had bought 4 balls there 2 weeks prior to WFA's closing but it seems the yarn requirements are off on Bad Penny, because I finished those 4 balls with about 4" to go. And my gauge was dead on, so I'm not sure what was up with that. I'd spent several hours emailing yarn shops all over the country Monday night trying to find someone who had it in stock with no luck at all.

So, KM was really my last resort. I drove up after work to check it out, and it's really a great shop--lots of space, a table in the back, couches in the front. The biggest thing I noticed about the space is that they had yarns with WFA stickers on them still that I never knew Wolfe carried because of how things were crammed into their space.

I asked one of the women if they had the Binario, and admitted I thought it was a long shot. One of the women working there and I dug through two big boxes from the Wolfe clearance shelf that hadn't been unpacked yet, to no avail. They said they could order it, or sound the alarm with other yarn shops, but I said I had one more avenue to try yet.

I looked around the rest of the store and picked up a few things (some Rowan Summer Tweed, and a Japanese laceweight scarf yarn to go with some handspun laceweight I have) when I heard someone come out of the back and say "Where is she? Did she leave?" Next thing I knew, she was walking around the corner with FOUR WHOLE BOXES of Binario. One whole box was color 17, which was what I needed. Hooray!

Not only did they have the yarn, they had it in the same dyelot I'd been using!!! They must have thought I was nuts, the way I was celebrating. But I love the way Bad Penny is knitting up, and the prospect of starting it over with a different yarn was not making me happy.

If anyone else wants to make Bad Penny, they have enough for four or five more people to do it. They had white, light blue, and beige and I think the fourth color was beige/white, but it could have been red--I don't recall. I didn't see any Rotonda, which is what the trim uses, but that's a lot easier yarn to substitute--a lot of Vittadini yarns are similar (in fact, I bought Rotonda to substitute for a Vittadini yarn in a project last year) and Lana Grossa makes another yarn called "Cable" which looks to be similar, just shinier.

I think I could have photos of a finished Bad Penny by this weekend. I didn't work on it too much last night because I had an afghan square to finish up. But I have SNB tonight, so I can handle a couple hours of mindless stockinette. Two weeks for a project isn't bad at all!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Because I'm a geek

I spent a fair amount of time this weekend photographing my stash, and cleaning up my Access database to reflect the yarn that's actually in my possession.

This week has brought a lot more yarn into my house. Such as the following:

Noro Lily that I swapped some stuff for:

Denim Silk for the twisted front top from the Spring VK:
Ooops...deleted that photo

Kid Classic for the Hourglass KAL:

Bamboo, just because I love it, from my trip to The Yarn Shop. This might be combined with my Sari Silk into some sort of bag. Not sure yet.

JaWoll for socks, just because the name makes me feel like shouting, "Ja! Es ist Wolle!"

I'm a big dork in any language.

Also, I joined a different sort of "along." where you make stitch markers and send them on in a secret pal sort of way. Simple and fun!

Monday, April 04, 2005

Replies to comments

Heather asked about the size/shape of the front of Sitcom Chic, and how it hangs open from its one button.

And I say:

I noticed that too when I went to finish mine up yesterday. I think it's mostly got to do with the fact that there's only one button. I think that there was plenty of ease to in theory wear it closed at the size I knitted, but it does curl in a little which causes that opening. If you wanted to wear it totally closed, I'd suggest knitting a wider band when you pick up along the front, and knitting in buttonholes and sewing buttons all the way up. But I think the "normal" size would still be appropriate. Good luck!

And Faith from the Karen Allen Kripalu workshop stopped by to say hi. Hi Faith! Did you ever work up to purple in your piece?? :-)

In other news, I've got about 2" done on Bad Penny, after a first disastrous casting on of 20 too many stitches, then a second disastrous casting on where I knitted three rounds before realizing the pattern is written top down, not bottom up, so I was using the wrong yarn. We're moving right along now. I'm a bit concerned in that I'll have gone through the first ball of yarn after the next inch or so. I know I'm at the point that I'm using the most yardage per round, since I'm going around sleeves and all, plus I swatched from this ball, but I've only got three balls to get to the waistband. And there's close to zero chance of finding more of that yarn, since I bought it at Wolfe, which has since closed, and seemed to be the only shop on this continent stocking it. Maybe my friend Lisa bought a ball? I think she did, but I'm not sure of color. Time will tell.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Sitcom Chic is finished!

And I'm not sure if I like it.

Here it is:

Pattern: Bonne-Marie Burns' Sitcom Chic, from knitty.com
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease in Orangeade
Needles: size 8 straights (straights??? what was I thinking?)

First of all, I need to redo the crocheted button loop, as mine is about twice as big as it should be. No one ever said I could crochet though. And I need to steam the frount loop to try to get it to lie flat. Someday, I'll actually finish a sweater before I photograph it.

And even though it's safety orange, I'm okay with the color. It's the actual fabric I'm not so wowed by. It seems a bit rustic. I think it's just that I don't really care for the way cotton ease works up. It's easy to split--and well, I think as a result of that, this one looks "homemade."

It's a good pattern though, and I'll probably at the very least wear this with jeans and t-shirts and such.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

This seems wrong

My gift certificate to yarnmarket has been burning a hole in my pocket since I got it, but the urge became unbearable when my Vogue Knitting came this afternoon. This, of course, started a whole long session with the calculator and several books/magazines.

I started by trying to find yarn for the Hourglass pullover from Last Minute Knitted Gifts for the Hourglass Knit A Long. My first thought was, "hey, make that puppy out of Cash Iroha, because you covet this yarn, and it will be a bit cheaper with the gift certificate." And, indeed, I found that the price would be the same at yarnmarket after the certificate as it would have been ordering it from Discount Yarn Shop or whatever they are called. However, all the colors I wanted were one or two balls short of what I needed, as it seems most people find themselves needing a ball or two beyond what the pattern calls for. I went back in the KAL archives and found several substitution suggestions, until I finally noticed someone using Rowan Kid Classic. I looked it up--it's mohair rather than cashmere, but it comes in better colors, and we all know I love me some Rowan yarns.

I priced it out. Here's what seems wrong: by substituting a Rowan yarn, I'm saving myself enough to buy yarn for another whole project!!! Wow.

All told, after a couple hours of websurfing and math, I'm getting Kid Classic in "Frilly" (a dark pinky maroon) for Hourglass and Berocco Denim Silk in Chocolate to do the Twisted front short sleeved top from the new VK for $1 less than it would have cost me to do the Hourglass in the Noro Yarn. Not bad at all. Plus, I should have some leftovers of both.

I also joined the Bad Penny Knit A Long this week, and started casting on for it this afternoon. I still need to finish picking up the front and neck edges of my Sitcom Chic, but I cheated and went ahead and started. Bad Amy!