Archive for July, 2007
Ian asked me to knit him a sweater. I don’t often knit sweaters – something about having to knit so many separate pieces. But Ian doesn’t often ask me to knit him anything, and a sweater for him wouldn’t have to be very big, so I decided to go for it. The one he originally picked out was a beautiful fair isle of birds and leaves that was supposed to be done on size 2 needles with fingering weight yarn. When I saw that the front alone require almost 200 stitches I decided to talk him into something else. We settled on a Debbie Bliss fair isle pattern with a few changes. I prefer to fair isle in the round and so I adapted the pattern a bit. Instead of knitting all of the pieces separately and sewing them together, I used Elizabeth Zimmerman’s percentage system (from Knitting Without Tears) to knit the whole sweater in the round. First you knit the body to the armpits. Then you knit each arm separately and then join them to the sweater body. Here is the sweater with one arm attached.
Once both arms are attached you continue knitting for awhile before you reduce the stitches by a third. You then knit for another few inches before reducing again to the number of stitches for the neck. Here is a picture of the sweater with both arms attached and with only a few more rows before the first reduction.
So far the sweater has taken about three weeks. It would have taken less time but I had to rip out the sleeves numerous times because I kept skipping patterns. (My sticky note that was keeping my place kept falling off!) Speaking of patterns, here is a close-up of the pattern.
It was originally in oranges, but Ian’s favorite color right now is blue, so I changed the scheme to meet his demands. I am using one of my favorite yarns – Knit Picks Merino Style and my new set of their interchangeable needles. I love the needles – makes it easy to change the length and size of your needles in the middle of a project. I am hoping to finish knitting the sweater next week, but I am sure it will take a few days to weave in all the ends from the fair isle. I was going to take a picture of the inside of the sweater, but I thought it might freak Sherry out – I hear she has nightmares about such things. I don’t mind the weaving too much, and I love the finished look of fair isle.
I have been doing a little knitting… See:
But I spent most of the weekend sewing! What!? Yeah, I do take a knitting break once in a while. It was all inspired by the arrival of Bend-the-Rules Sewing by Amy Karol.
I made this smock for Ava. If you couldn’t guess, she picked out the fabric. Pink, flowers, sparkly… how could she pick anything else? The smock is a hit – she loves it.
And I finished this little number this afternoon. It was really fun to sew! I love how it turned out, though it is a little small for my needs. It will make a fab knitting project bag! (I wasn’t going to bother with the bow, but I love how it turned out!)
I took the day off on Friday and finished the socks for my Sockapalooza 4 pal:
Whew! I’m really happy with how these socks turned out.
When I was in Seattle in January, I found this little sock monkey in a small gift shop and decided to put it aside for my next Sockapalooza pal:
Do all sock monekys look so worried? It did come down to the wire, a bit — maybe that was making him nervous. And he’s headed to another rainy climate…but he’s well prepared.
Now I just have to pack it all up!
I recently purchased some roving from Funky Carolina’s Etsy shop.
This roving was to reason for my purchase – I just love the colors. And it is merino and bamboo – I can’t wait to spin it!!
While I was there, I felt the need to pick something else, too. This orangy-yellowy-red is what I picked. It is superwash merino. I’m going to try to spin both into sock yarn. We’ll see.
And… there was a little sample braid in the package. I decided to spin it up right away so I could practice spinning very thin single and navajo plying. It is a little sloppy but the fun part is that Ava helped. She was very excited that I let her do “the hand part” instead of just “the foot part.”
I just finished sewing in the ends of my Sockapalooza socks! It feels good to have that off my plate. I’m not going to show pictures until they are in the hands of my pal – I was less then discrete about my identity (accidentally) and I wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise.
On to the next….
The annual Ann Arbor Art Fair has been going on for a couple of days. Working in the downtown area means that it is impossible to avoid the crowds and the art. Here is a picture of the way I usually walk in from the parking lot:
On the way in yesterday, quite a distance from where the booths are set up, I found the most amusing thing. I made sure to bring my camera in today to get a picture of it.
Whoever knitted this hat realized that there were thousands of people in town looking for hand-made goods. Pretty smart if you ask me. If it worked, that would be a cool $5.50 in the pocket. But wait, there’s more. A co-worker spotted another one elsewhere in town! This could really add up.
Christina and I stopped to have another look on the way back to our cars at the end of the day. Sold out.
Maybe I’ll try it next year!
I happened upon these “Leggy Creations” last night.
Back in March I knit some matching Conwy socks for my friend and her granddaughter. I am happy to see that they fit their feet, and that they fit into the overall family color scheme! Here they are — one of them looking a bit wiggly.
I’ve been a big sockapalooza procrastinator this round. I’ve actually *thought* a lot about what I want to make for my sockpal and have been keeping up with her blog. Did I actually start knitting? No. Did I freak a little last week when I realized the date? Yes. Here’s a chart to illustrate my process:
The most excellent news is that I did settle on some socks I already had in progress. My sockpal and I have the same size feet and share some color preferences, so I decided to finish up the Spearfish socks already underway. I am now 1/3 of the way through the second sock, and should finish in a few days. I love these socks, and hope my sockpal does, too!
Spearfish Socks pattern from Designedly, Kristi
Lang Jawoll wool in red, with reinforced heel and toe. One pattern repeat in the cuff.
This Year’s Socks
Pattern: Mock Wave Cable Socks
From: Favorite Socks; pattern by Ann Budd
Yarn: Regia Stretch Yarn, in color 87, Jeans
Unique fact about these socks: I don’t think I made a mistake. Usually I catch myself making one or two errors, but can convince myself that one or two wrong stitches won’t show. As far as I can tell, all of these stitches are a-okay.
My sock pal’s feet are long and thin, she says, and she likes blues. Hope these suit.
After finishing these, I started another pair. I won’t say that I’ve gotten caught up in Harry Potter mania, but I re-read the 6th book and am looking forward to Book 7 showing up on my doorstep next Saturday. It also happens to be my birthday which makes for a perfect excuse for not doing anything but knitting and reading. Why am I talking about Harry Potter? Because these next socks are Horcrux Socks, available as a free pattern from the “I’m Knitting as Fast as I Can” blog.
So here are my predictions:
- Is Harry the last horcrux? Of course! But he won’t die.
- Who will die in the last book? Mrs. Weasley. And then everyone will realize how much they miss her handknit sweaters and scarves.
This was a pretty quick, fun knit and I’m pretty pleased with the results. The neck does a bit more rolling than I’d like (in the lace section).
Pattern: Green Gable
Yarn: Dale of Norway Svale
Needles: Size 5, Denise Interchangeable (not the best choice for the yarn)
I haven’t blocked it yet because I’m sort of afraid that it is going to stretch out of shape when I wet it. If it does, at least I have a good picture of it fitting!
It could be a little longer in the waist but it is OK. I seem to have a very long torso – I already added a couple inches in length. I was trying to be clever and used a stretchy bind-off around the waist, thinking a regular bind off would be too tight. It ended up being too stretchy so I ripped it back and did a regular bind off and it worked out just fine. Serves me right for trying to be clever.
I knitted some gifts for my Aunt and Uncle in Australia. My Aunt is very crafty and always sends me special, hand-made things. I wanted to repay the favour and let them know I think of them often. While they do live in AUSTRALIA, they do have “winter” there, and evenings can get chilly. I figured fingerless gloves and a cuffed hat wouldn’t be too out of place:
Both are my own design.
The fingerless have a simple cable up the centre and were made with a thumb gusset and simple ribbing.
The hat was made in simple 2×2 ribbing, reversing the ribbing after a sufficient length of cuff was knit. This makes the ribbing match up when the cuff is folded over. When I wove in the ends of the hat, I did it so the cuff would be stitched up and would stay in place.
The hat was knit with Lamb’s Pride and the gloves were knit with Paton’s SWS (Soy Wool Stripes). Both were knit on size 4 (6mm) needles…my favourite size!
There is a yarn store in Windsor that I’ve mentioned before – The Yarn and Bead Gallery. It used to just be The Bead Gallery and is soon to be just The Bead Gallery again. Apparently, beads are much more lucrative than yarn in that area. They have been clearing out their entire yarn stock at 40% off! Being the busy lady that I am, I wasn’t going to be able to make it over there for quite some time so I enlisted the help of my cousin (a non-knitter but expert shopper).
I just picked up the goods from her yesterday. Here’s what was in the bag:
Three single skeins of Sweet Georgia Superwash Sock yarn in colors: Afterglow, Kissed, and Elf. I could mix and match a pair of sock or use them for baby things (there are babies popping up all over the place).
Two skeins of Sweet Georgia Superwash Sock yarn in Life Aquatic. These were already wound into balls.
I asked for yarn to make a sweater and gave no hints as to color, texture, etc. She picked something I definitely would have picked for myself: Needful Yarns London Tweed in a sort of burnt orange/rust color with tweed of many colors.
With that, I think I may be set for a while. Since the inception of Expand Your Stash, I’ve sort of felt obligated to participate. However, I now have a closet packed with very lovely yarn waiting to be knit. So maybe I’ll knock off the yarn shopping for a little while. Well, except for the Michigan Fiber Festival coming up in August. And I might be able to make it to the “going out of yarn” sale before the yarn is completely gone. We’ll see.
I’m not promising anything.
That’s right. I stared another project this week and it isn’t socks. This time, it is a little cotton sweater – Green Gable by Zephyr Style. I’m using Dale of Norway Svale (cotton/silk) for the top. I’ve had the yarn sitting around for over a year (as a result of a failed, spur of the moment project).
It is my first top-down, in the round sweater and I’m liking it. Now that I am past the lace and the raglan increases, it is smooth sailing. Shouldn’t take me long to complete now. I just have to do a little shaping at the waist. The only thing I’m worried about is running out of yarn. I do have a plan, in case it does happen.
And look it is fitting! It is a pretty quick knit and I can imaging doing it again. Maybe it would be cute with some longer, 3/4 length sleeves.
“You go talk to people, a lot of people you find out what they know. No one knows the whole story, but you get bits and pieces.
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“Oh,” I reminded her of everything, again, “hello, Joe.” Milly was dressed to go out, and a woman who can only be her sister dressed to go out behind.
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I settled down to wait. I was starting to get hungry for lunch when the phone finally rang at one. “Spline.”
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Over the weekend I finished spinning up some more yarn. This time it was the 50% merino/50% tencel roving I started spinning a long time ago. Remember – the colorway is Biscotti! Mmmmm…. biscotti.
Although I couldn’t get the yarn to imitate biscotti, I did get it to imitate a couple other carbohydrate-packed foods:
As a single, it pretended to be a bowl full of ramen noodles.
And once it was plied, it took on the form of freshly baked multi-grain bread.
Yarn is so good for you. I can’t wait to have some more.
June was a month of travels and July will be a month of visitors. Therefore, not as much knitting accomplished as I anticipated, but I’ve visited a yarn store or two, and even managed to find a book that reminded me to start knitting again. At the vendor exhibits at the American Library Association conference, where I was last week, publishers hand out copies of books left and right. I looked at one when I got back to my hotel room, and the review said, “Readers will have fun and learn a great deal about alpacas. Well-done.” Well, I know how to knit with alpaca, but I don’t think that’s the point of the story. But, thanks to this book I’ve picked up my needles again.
In doing so, I finished a sock for my sock pal! I chose light blue Regia for her, and after some consideration, chose the Mock Wave Cable, from Favorite Socks. I had originally thought I would use a Nancy Bush pattern, since my pal says she has long narrow feet, but this pattern seems like it suits. It is, if I say so myself, an elegant sock. One done, one to go.
And, one sock for my hubby. My goal for my family is for all of us to have 7 pairs of handmade socks – one for each day of the week. Slowly, slowly, I keep making progress. This is the latest, again using Ann Budd’s MANLY sock pattern: