Saturday, April 28, 2007

Swatching for Vanilla Spice

Knitty's spring surprises are out and I am really liking a couple of them. First up is Vanilla Spice, a cute cardigan with a subtle "seed" stitch pattern. It's not quite seed stitch but close. I have been hauling around 6 skeins of Artful Yarns Fable in The Boy Who Cried Wolf (aka color 96) for the last three years and this year decided to actually use it. I saw this pattern and thought - hey, why not? I swatched and the unblocked measurements were pretty close... I did a quick rinse/wring (note to self: this yarn doesn't really like being wrung out) and block, and re-measured. I'm close to spot on with the gauge so I'm going to go for it! The photo makes the swatch look really unevenly blocked but it isn't, I promise! It's also not dry yet :)
The colors are not accurate at all in this photo but you can tell how it is a 4-ply yarn, with each ply a different color. It's got a light blue (periwinkle), a lavender, and two shades of a kind of moss green. Very pretty!

I am going to try to add some waist shaping and I am undecided on whether to leave the pockets or not. I'm also not sure which size to cast on just yet - it'll either be Small or Medium according to the measurements, and since I can't conceive of being a size small I think I will go with the Medium. That means I don't have much extra in the way of yarn, and I have this idea that I would like a tiny bit extra length-wise, so ditching the pockets will give me a little bit more room for error with yarn quantity.
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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Cute set!

I made this cute set for a friend's toddler. I used Peace Fleece in Volgasippi Blue (more teal than expected) and Father's Grey (darker than expected). I seem to have a slight allergy to either Peace Fleece's processing methods or mohair. If I forgot to wash my hands after working with the yarn before rubbing my eyes, they got really itchy.

I used inspiration from some different wrap sweater patterns to come up with this one, which is completely seamless - I worked the body in the round and then did a 3-needle bind off for the shoulders. Then, I picked up stitches and worked the sleeves in the round down to the cuffs. Then, I picked up stitches and worked the band around the neck opening. The ties are twisted cords. If I did it again, I would probably prefer buttons, or maybe ribbon. Not sure, really.

These shorties are a little more capri-length, but the toddler will grow in to them. I love the little pocket detail - I got the idea for the pocket from a friend from my knitting group's longies/shorties pattern. Too cute! I just hope my sewing stands up to the abuse of a toddler :)

The two pieces together - the sweater looks huge compared to the shorties, but I wanted to be sure it fits for long enough to make it worth all of my time :)
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Monday, April 16, 2007

Cute Shorties!

I just finished these adorable shorties. They are "small" with an unstretched waist of 14", hips of 16", and a rise of ~15". The inseam is 3".
The yarn is gorgeous, an organic merino (Stallion). the colorway is called "Lion Cub" and it is a Yarn of the Month club yarn from the Irish Baby Knits yarn of the month club. This yarn is seriously heaven. It is dyed by Hilary of Dashing Dachs. According to IBK, "Stallion is a Aran/bulky weight yarn, with 152 yards per four ounce skein, and a recommended needle size of US 10-11."
I used needles sized 2 and 3 (I seem to get the same gauge with a yarn regardless of needle size, unless I go really small or big, and I had circs in those sizes readily available) and it worked up to a nice, firm fabric that is not stiff and just feels wonderful. They probably took about 5 hours total.
The best part? I used Every Single Bit of the yarn, exactly. It was perfect. Actually, I would have liked a tiny bit more yarn because I like the cord a bit longer but it's long enough and I'm satisfied :)
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Stupid Blogger

The day has finally come with Blogger would not let me log in to Old Blogger. I have now been forced to convert to New Blogger. I am not amused.

What are my options? I have a domain name and can host a blog there if I wanted to. The HUGE bonus of Blogger in my opinion is that I can upload photos/post directly from Picasa, without needing to put the photos on my photo gallery first. Can anything compare?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Gratuitous Kitty Pictures

It seems that many knitters have cats. The reason for this correlation is unknown. Is it that cat people like to knit? Is it that knitters like cats? The world may never know. I, too, have a cat. Here he is outside, checking out my as-yet-unused planters. You can see the one on the left still has a plant in it. That's the only thing that survived my tender loving care last year. Whoops.
And here he is posing inside, isn't he beautiful? His name is Tom├ís Murphy Hobbes and he weighs 16 lbs. Believe it or not he is only about 1 lb overweight. He's a big boy, that's for sure! Posted by Picasa

Mason-Dixon Knitting: Baby Kimono

I finally finished seaming the Kimono. I am still undecided if I will give it to my coworker or not. Apparently the kimono-style makes it "too girly". I love it very much, at any rate. The yarn is so pretty - it reminds me of a watercolor painting. I can't remember which one but it's famous. I am a little bit worried that the armholes are too small, but little baby fists and wrists are tiny, right? The arms look really long to me too, but hey, whatever. I hit gauge and it matches what the pattern says. I don't like it in general though and would probably not do it again.

Here is a picture of the inside of the side seam. Not too bad looking if I do say so myself. I chose to make the kimono in stockinette though the pattern suggests garter (the book was written by people who loathe purling, apparently) because I didn't think the yarn would look as nice in garter stitch and I think I was right if this reverse stockinette is any indication.

The underside of the arm. The arm is decreased across the length so it was not quite as easy as the side seams. I was also joining vertically rather than horizontally. But, I think I did reasonably well.

Maybe this picture gives you some idea of what I mean when I say it looks like a watercolor. You can also see my absolutely perfect side seam here. I am so proud. You only know it's there because the color of yarn changes ;) Posted by Picasa

Mystery Project, Part 2 - Seaming

I am giving these pictures their own post because they are about seaming. I am very proud of my seams on this project. I have never seamed stockinette like this before. It is very tedious, kind of annoying, but dead easy. The biggest problem was keeping hold of the selvedge stitches (tiny!) so I could pick up the bar with my needle.
See how long and straight and, well, perfect the seam is? See how annoyingly obvious the color changes are in from this angle?
The sleeve was not quite as easy due to the constant increases - but all in all, not too shabby for a first try! Posted by Picasa

Mystery Project Update, Part 1

You may or may not remember the mystery project I was working on in July of last year. Well, the pieces have been finished since August, but with mistakes. First, the back was too short. So, I frogged and re-knit. Then, I had to pick up a bajillion stitches for the front band so it sat for awhile. I finally did that and then I had to figure out how to seam the edges. The ladies at my knitting group were very helpful and I seamed the edges. THEN I thought to check the sleeves against the sleeve-holes.
Whoops. The front and back may be the same size, but they aren't the RIGHT size - as you can tell in this picture. I am still not sure what I am going to do about this. It would be easy to rip a few rows out of the front & back pieces, but I really do not relish the thought of re-knitting the front band. I might try to ease the sleeves into the armholes but I don't think that will work, either. Someone at knitting suggested I just make it a vest - great idea, but I am completely out of the brown yarn and I really feel like it would need some sort of cuff at the armhole edges.
So, this really cute back patch is just sitting around, waiting for me to make a decision one way or another. In the end, I will probably rip out the front band, rip back part of the front and back, and re-do it so the arms fit... but not any time soon, that's for sure! Posted by Picasa

Old Dishcloth

I'm working on getting rid of old stuff, and this certainly qualifies. This is the first dishcloth I ever made. It's out of that craft store cotton - Lion Brand Kitchen Cotton, or Peaches n Creme, something like that - in a variegated green/white color. See how the bottom right corner is really pointy? Yeah, that's cause I suck :)

All joking aside, I can tell that this is not a recent piece of work. The stitches are uneven, the tension on the edges is all wonky, and it just isn't quite right. But, it's a dishcloth for heaven's sake.
See how wobbly the stitches are?

I have half a ball left - I think I'll start another one :) Posted by Picasa

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Mystery Yarn Update

Just in case anyone was wondering - I had ordered "Summer Breezer", which was supposed to be mostly blue. The yarn I got, while mostly pink, was in fact Summer Breeze. How frustrating! I contacted the woman who runs the YOTM club and she was happy to let me exchange or return the yarn. Since I am not sure I trust that Front Porch will look like it does in the picture, I decided to return the yarn for a one-month subscription extension. Next month, it's back to my favorite dyer and I am looking forward to it :)

Monday, April 02, 2007

Wait... What color?

I belong to a Yarn of the Month club. This means that every month I get to choose one of two colorways of a handdyed yarn. This month, the choices were as follows:

1) Front Porch. I thought this was lovely, very reminiscent of autumn.

2) Summer Breeze. This one is also nice (although the photo looks a bit splotchy) and very springy.

This is what I received. Guess which colorway I ordered.
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