Wednesday, February 27, 2008

New Cardi on the Needles

Hello there! Thanks for the comments on Demi. She has quickly become a beloved knit and to prove my love to her, I've been wearing her non-stop.



Not giving my needles a second to cool off, I cast on for 28Thirty, the latest little number from the Zephyr Girls. I'm using some Farmhouse Yarn I picked up this Fall in a firey color in honor of Project Spectrum. This is my second ZG knit and I just love their topdown formula. I started only a week ago and the sweater is just zooming along. I'm to the point where the sweater is getting heavy and more cumbersome to shift around while knitting, but that also means I'm nearing the end of the body. Woo hoo!



There's an issue, though, see. I have a little extra wool than required and would love the cardi to be full length instead of cropped, so I'm skipping around a bit. In a couple rows, I'm going to put the body on some waste yarn and start on the sleeves. Once the sleeves are finished, I'll just knit the body until I run out of yarn. Oh, and did I mention I'm working with three hanks of one color and one of another? Yup. I knew they were different colorways when I bought them, but convinced myself they were "close enough." Not so much. So, I'm randomly knitting a few rows here and there with the oddball and will probably knit the cuffs with the leftovers. It's a bit more noticeable than I expected, but still workable.


color changes

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Demi: Done

I've waited a year to write this post - Demi is done and I couldn't be happier. I stalled out on this sweater after lingering doubt about sizing got the best of me. Way back when I was first questioning the size, a couple of you gave me some sage advice that warned of Yorkshire Tweed's growing power and so I pushed on - well, after letting the WIP collect dust for several months. And, hell yeah, I'm wearing it today (now yesterday by the time I'm posting this!) despite the balmy temps.

Warning: I went a teensy bit overboard with pictures.



Pattern: Demi by Kim Hargreaves
Source: Rowan Vintage Style
Yarn: Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran in Thorny purchased here
Needles: Size 6 & 7 Addis - down a size from the pattern.
Buttons: From Joann's



Dates Knitted: January 2007 - February 17, 2008. Sad and Pathetic.



Mods: For me, a sweater's length is directly related to its wearability. I added three whole inches to the body of this sweater and a couple extra inches to the sleeves. I'm medium tallish (5'5-5'6) for reference. There's nothing worse in my book than getting a draft at your waistline while wearing a nice, thick wooly sweater.



As I mentioned above, I went down a needle size for this sweater which brings forth another pet peeve of mine: when an undershirt is visible through the sweater. I have a hard enough time selecting clothes in the morning without having to match my undershirt to my sweater. The resulting fabric is nice and thick, yet still drapey. And not see through - bonus!



Bobbles: I'm one of the few self-professed bobble-lovers out there. (Funny side note: When I solicited my husband's opinion about the sweater, his only comment was " you know there are weird balls stuck all over it?" Apparently, he doesn't understand the essence of the bobble.") I knit the back first with only three-stitch bobbles, rather than five-stitch. But the three-stitch just weren't bobbley enough for me, so I upgraded to the five-stitch on the front and sleeves. Surprisingly, I don't think the bobble variation looks weird. I could be deluded, though.



Fit: Despite my initial sizing concerns, this sweater fits EXACTLY the way I envisioned - somewhat fitted, yet big enough to serve as a top layer.

My favorite part: The button band. These directions really threw me off. I had to completely let me guard down and follow Kim's directions. Plus, I had some weird mental block getting all the piece names straight. Left front shoulder band? Button band? (Okay, I probably should have been able to guess that one). I was concerned the layering of these mini-pieces would get bulky and look silly, but it looks perfectly polished once assembled and really adds character to the sweater. Can you tell I love it?

Getting Demi, my longest running WIP ever, off my needles has given me a newfound freedom! I still have much of my Farmhouse Yarns haul burning a hole in my yarn, um, dresser and a some new Noro goodness brought back by my parents from Hong Kong just begging to be ... something. I'm thinking a cowly pullover?

Maybe 28 thirty?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Demi's Back!

I picked Demi up again this Fall after a long hiatus. Like 8 months long. It's funny, when I first started knitting Demi (over a year ago now), I was a slave to the chart. With all the traveling stitches and not one blank square, it's a bit intimidating. When I picked it up this time, something just clicked. Me and Demi were at one. It took me a year to knit the back, and a week to knit the front; that really says it all.



Demi: back, front, and the start of some sleeves

I'm about 10 rows from finishing the sleeves, which I am putting off by writing this post and trying to muster up something to make for dinner (I'm leaning towards raspberry pancakes).

Me, cozied up with some Demi sleeves


Oh, and did I mention our basement flooded? Only a few inches and we've been diligent about only letting rubbermaid bins touch the ground, so nothing was damaged. But still! This was our very first drama as homeowners. I came home early to "protect" the house, but still ended up calling J in a panic and making him come home.

Anyway, Demi! I'm knitting the sleeves at the same time because I'm a glutton for punishment. Or maybe just because I can't handle the responsibility of maintaining symmetry on the second sleeve, so I have to knit them simultaneously. Now that I'm almost done, of course I'm glad I knit them together.

Once the sleeves are complete (later tonight. there, now I have to finish.), alls I got left is the little ribby top of sleeve doohicky, seaming (which I'm eagerly anticipating. I had the forethought to slip the last stitch of every other row, so seaming should be a breeze. okay, I just jinxed myself), and then the collar. I will have Demi done by the weekend! Woo hoo!

A couple notes:
I'm sticking with a bigger (normal) sized font.
I finally figured out how to use Haloscan!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

FO Extravaganza

Posting only FO reports has estranged me from this here blog. Sure it's dandy to sit on this side of the blog in a big pile of handknits, but it can't be interesting to learn how many balls of yarn (If I even remember back that far) I used for a project you didn't know was on my needles. It's sure not interesting to me to write about projects that I finished weeks, even months ago. To free myself from the looming pile of FOs (who knew I would ever complain about that?), I'm going to take a page from Ashley's book and run through them in one huge FO extravaganza!

Sara's Swedish Hat




My sister first requested a newboy-style cap with a Swedish Flag (we're 50% Swedish) oh, about a year ago. I dragged my heels not only out of intarsia-related distress, but because I couldn't for the life of me envision how this hat would look and how the hell would a Swedish flag fit on a newboy hat? Fastforward to this Fall-- I'm not exactly sure if her hat objectives changed or if I somehow forced my vision on her, but the blueprint changed and we came up with this:



Pattern: My Own. I probably should have taken better notes---oops, I mean some notes.
In a nut shell, here's my pattern:
Step 1: make a flag chart with some graph paper and colored pencils
Step 2: Cast on 96 stitches. Join without twisting.
Step 3: K2 P2 Rib for an inch
Step 4: K for an inch
Step 5: Incorporate 2 intarsia flags, spaced evenly so on either side of the hat.
Step 6: Once chart has been completed, knit a few MC rows
Step 7: Decrease using your method of choice.
Step 8: Thread tail through remaining stitches.
Step 9: Enjoy warm and patriotic hat. Make friends jealous.
Yarn: Black - Ella Rae Classic in Black; Yellow - Lamb's Pride Worsted in Lemon Drop; Blue - Plymouth Suri Alpaca in French Blue (leftover from this).
Needles: Size 6 Addis
Comments: The hat is a bit loose, which worked out because my sister prefers a looser, freeform hat over a more structured, skull cap. Intarsia Rules! Aside from the rats nest of knots I had to work out every 15 rows or so, intarsia is smooth sailing. I'm not sure why it took me so long to get on the boat.


Mom's Hat


Isn't my mom the cutest?

Pattern:
Robin's Egg Blue Hat by Rachel Iufer
Yarn: Farmhouse Yarns, Andy's Merino in Wine Rose. Less than one skein.
Needles: Size 9 Addis
Comments: I was looking for a hat like this (to make, not buy) and was elated when Rachel posted her pattern. I frogged my first version, but consider this one a success!


WEE SWEATERS



I had the romantic idea to knit a wee sweater for each member of my family. We could hang them on the tree, drink egg nog, sing Christmas carols, reminisce over Christmas' past. Start a tradition, and do this every year. Kind of like on Days of our Lives. Hmm, as I write this I realize we actually did almost all of those things... really. Anyway, I have a pretty big family, so I knit 9 of these. Unfortunately, being a last minute type of person, I had only two knit by December 23. Needless to say, I wasn't very helpful cooking Christmas Eve dinner. Sorry, Mom!


my "embroidery" is so embarrassing.

Yarn: Various.
Needles: Small ones--Size 3 Addis, I believe.

MARIGOLD SOCKS


Needles: Size 1 Addis
Time to Knit: September 07 to January 08
Comments: Great pattern, but could you really expect anything less from Pam? I will definitely knit these again, maybe in something stripey. The mix of wool and silk plies give the yarn a bit of a handspun look, which I dig. As soon as I opened my Rockin' Sock Club package, I knew the yarn was destined to be Marigolds.

SHIFTING SANDS



Pattern:
Yarn: Malabrigo in Dusty Olive, 2 skeins
Needles: Size 9 Addis


So, I lied. To come, a few of the FOs I have yet to photograph. For accountability's sake, the two knits are the ubiquitous Cobblestone Pullover, an Unoriginal Hat, and some Embossed Leaves socks. Also to come, several WIPs - including significant progress on Demi.