Friday, December 30, 2005

Bulky Sweater

So, I'm making this sweater:

I got the pattern for free, so I can't complain too much, but I'm a bit out of it today, so I had a few inches done before I realized that this is only written in one size: for a 35" chest. Hmmmm....That's going to be close. I'm understanding how the pattern is engineered now though, so I'm thinking if I wanted to make it bigger, I'd just do more rounds on the circles for the front and back, so I might make adjustments accordingly later on.

I finished most of the back, but have a bit of wonkiness going on in the bind off rows for the bottom piece. I think it will be fixed when I pick up for the bottom rows, but I may need to rip some back. Ugh.

One more gripe. The sweater is knit mostly on size 17 needles, and the gauge is listed for the larger needles, but not for the smaller dpns that the pattern asks you to start out the circle in. It calls for 10.5 or 11. Well, since it didn't specify, and I had 10.5s but no 11 dpns, I used the 10.5s. The center looks a bit tight to me at the moment. Hopefully that will relax a bit when it gets blocked, but right now, it's a bit like a knitted in X-Men logo.

In any case, I'm glad I picked a varigated yarn to do this (Rowan Big Wool Fusion in Gooseberry) because I do think that's important to this design. The varigation helps to hide some of the oddities that arise due to the construction.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Probably the last FO of 2005

So, I finished up a quick project while home for the holidays. And even got to wear it to grandma's house!

Pattern: Ribbed Vest from Winter 2004/05 Vogue Knitting
Yarn: Noro Shinano Color # 8
Needles: US 10.5

The surprising thing about this? I had 5 balls of Shinano when I began. The pattern called for 6 balls of Kureyon, so I thought I was going to be skating by with the amount of yarn. But I have almost 2 whole balls left over! So I might be able to make these crazy flat-knit gloves. Fun!

Next up, that circular knit sweater that was in all the Skacel magazine ads earlier this year. I emailed them about where to get the pattern, and they sent me a free copy, so I'm making it out of Rowan Big Wool Fusion. Pretty!

Off to swatch.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Gifts! Gifts!

First gift unveiling:

After swearing off holiday knitting, I of course caved in and started projects nonetheless. So far, I've been good about sticking to smaller projects and not overextending myself, and I'm making good times. I have 2 more projects to knit, and one is about 25% done, and the other is yet to be started, but I have until at least December 26 for both of them, so I should be in good shape. I need to do a few more of these flower pins too, but those don't take very long at all.

Here's some of the things I have given away so far this year.

First up, to my female friends at the solstice party in Pittsburgh this weekend, random flower brooches. Last year I did freeform felted brooches for my work friends. This year, I decided to skip the felting and make some different types, embellished with beads:

  1. Berocco Denim Silk in Carob with vintage button and modern glass beads. Pattern from headhuggers, modified to make petals longer. While I like the flower this made, there were *tons* of ends to weave in. And Denim Silk is not a fun yarn to weave in ends on.

  2. Kool-Aid dyed Lion Fisherman wool that I traded for on livejournal. Decorated with modern glass beads (that you really can't see in the photo. Free form shortrow strip, wrapped around to form flower.

  3. Cascade 220, decorated with vintage glass beads. This was made from the rose pattern on Nicky Epstein's pillow from the last Vogue Knitting. It doesn't look anything like the photo to me at all. I think the sewing up instructions may have been lacking in that pattern, though it's possible I misread the instructions for flipping over the needle in the middle of the row.

  4. Recycled wool from ebay. Freeform shortrow strip with vintage button and modern glass beads.

  5. Debbie Bliss Soho. Icord sewn into loops and decorated with plastic vintage shank button.

Those two shortrow flowers looked like this before being wrapped up and sewn into flower shapes:

Weird, huh? I got the idea for these after seeing my friend Lisa wrap up the crocheted ruffle scarf she was working on at Stitch n' Bitch. Kismet.

And for the work girls, I made journal covers, aka, "this book has it's own sweater!"

These were pretty much made up out of my head. I just did 2x2 rib (1x1 for the larger gauge one) for a couple of inches, then stockinette (or garter for the color change one) for the width of the journal open, then the ribbing on the other end again. I sewed the ribbing down on either end to make a shallow pocket, and stretched the covers over the journals. Voila!

  1. This is a huge gauge. Noro Kureyon, doubled with a variety of yarns (cascade 220,kool aid dye and recycled wool from above.

  2. This garter stitch with random color changes is kind of becoming my trademark. This is in Berocco Denim Silk in 3 colors, a synthetic Berocco ribbon yarn, some chenille I bought on ebay a long time ago, and another synthetic ribbon yarn I had in my stash.

  3. Debbie Bliss Soho, with a random purl row thrown in every so often with a weird mohair I traded for a while back thrown into the mix.

So far, the gifts have been well-received. I just hope I can get the rest finished up, but with two Stitch n' Bitch meetings this week, not to mention having spent 4 hours knitting at Mojoe last night, I think I'll be able to get them all done, and maybe even finish my Shinano vest to wear to a holiday party. I'm over halfway done with the front of it, so I should be good!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Here's something fun!

Like many people, I love a good year-in-review. And since VH-1 doesn't have "I Heart the KnitBlogs" someone else had to step in.

Ergo, the Knibbies, by QueerJoe and crew. Read the rules for nominations here.

Not that I'm fishing for nominations in that first category or anything. Of course not. ;-)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Even more extreme!

As if the VW cozy I helped with wasn't enough, Knitting Iris pointed out this photo of a tree wearing a sweater in Cleveland. Wow. I have absolutely no idea how that was possible. But it's cool.

A big hello and welcome goes out to all of you coming to see the VW cozy. I can see there's lots of you from my blog stats, from all over the world. That's incredibly cool!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Techie post

Am thinking of switching to HaloScan for comments here. Anyone have any experience/comments they want to share with me before I take the plunge?

Saturday, December 10, 2005


Do you see this bag?

It's a big bag. It's my primary knitting bag -- a Kate Spade tote I got on ultra super sale a year or so ago. It's got a divider pocket and is big enough to fit several projects, including books in. Just in case my Chococat mug isn't really demonstrating scale for you, here it is with a Halloween pumpkin:

It's large. Huge in some circles.

Then how the hell did I just lose it in this house??? Obviously I found it. But not without searching for the better part of 20 minutes. It turned out to be in a laundry basket, with clean laundry. It filled most of the basket, but yet still, I was blind to it.

The whole point of this Saturday morning rambling, however, is to show you the contents of said bag. Now about half of it I can't put on display yet because there are gifties in there that I have to keep on the mum for a while longer yet. Those will come soon enough. After I finish them.

First, here's the argyle sock I started as a part of my class.

I'm thrilled with the way my intarsia looks, but a little scared on gauge. Someone else in the class ended up with fit problems, and I feel that the hand of this thing is more like armor than a sock. I need to do some measuring. It's Regia on Size 1s, which I think is a tad small for a needle.

Here's our under the hood photo:

Bobbins? I don't need not stinking bobbins. Yeah, I refuse to use them. I like those lumps of yarn dangling better. Blame it on that class I took at Kripalu in February, but really, I do find it easier.

Here's a little something I started in the interest of fun and easy the other night:

That's the Noro Shinano that's been in my stash since the Kripalu trip. It's going to be this:

That's from Winter 05 Vogue Knitting. I liked the pattern when I first got the mag, but thought I wouldn't wear it. Well, I have just enough Shinano to do this, so I hope I figure out how to wear it soon. I don't know why they discontinued this, the colors are pretty:

Off to the shower and then to the Stitch n' Bitch!

Oh, one more note: you may have noticed oddness with ye olde blog template. I tried to get fancy and am having trouble with the CSS in the template I started from. It looks especially bad in Firefox, I realize, because that's what I use. I'm working on it. Truly, I am.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Since I haven't shown it off yet

Here's the partially completed Hourglass sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

The ruffles aren't knitted yet, so that's why this is almost finished.

I was shocked at how quickly this sweater knit up. Even being miles and miles of stockinette, it didn't bore me. Sewing the hems down? That was a different story. I think I did pretty well on that though.

Here's the finished sweater body:

And a closeup of my hem and picot edge:

My yarn was Rowan Kid Classic in "Frilly." I think it took just over 6 balls for the whole sweater. Despite many of you commenting that you liked the tone on tone effect of some of my red/purple colors of KSH, the ruffles will be out of Rowan Kidsilk Haze in Black -- my freebie from the Rowan subscription! I'm not sure how much yarn I'll need, and I have 2 balls in that color, so that was one of the deciding factors.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The VW Bug Cozy

So yesterday, my friends Julie and Andy and I traipsed on out to the state fairgrounds to go to Winterfair and see the results of the handiwork of the Extreme Knitting Team. The vw bug cozy came out great I think. Here's a taste:

Cute, huh?

My only disappointment is that they left me out of the credits in the program! I'm a little irked by that. I think it must have been because I dropped off my piece early. Oh well, nothing to be done about it now I suppose. I haven't yet seen the Weekender article, but I expect they used the same list.

All in all though, I didn't really do this for fame, but for the challenge of seeing if I could knit a piece to someone else's spec. And it worked.

(Is it ironic that I just posted about not looking for fame in my blog? Discuss.)

Here's a photo of me with the ass-end of the car. I did the trunk, as you may recall from my frustrated posts of a couple of months ago. Another local Stich n' Bitcher, Aunt Gerry's Yarn Spinnings, did those awesome fuzzy dice.

See, I really do wear the funky hat. Being at an art/craft fair led me to want to dress like an artist. Or something.

More photos of the cozy.

Winterfair was cool--and productive: I got several gifts while there. I also ran into someone I used to work with who is now a glass artist, and a woman who did really cool funky scarves, who I enjoyed chatting with about knitting. Such fun. Maybe someday I'll be an exhibitor.

Edit: The Columbus Dispatch article is now online.

Classic Cloche

Here's the photo of the Classic Cloche from Knit One, Felt Too, post felting. While the pattern said it took them four wash cycles to get theirs felted down to a proper size, mine took less than one wash cycle. I spun it out, then put it over some stoneware mixing bowls to dry, then was wearing it out the very next day. It's very toasty, and most people don't guess it's a homemade hat!

Yes, in the interest of full disclosure, I'll admit to having PhotoShopped out my zit.

Those little white fuzzballs? Don't blame the Brown Sheep Prairie Silks. Blame me for putting two white towels in the washer for agitation. I should have put in jeans. Live and learn.