Wednesday, August 31, 2005

it doesn't end with a F.O.

i don't know how or why i do this, but for some reason, i can always find an occasion or project, to lead me on to more work. ie: look, i just finished knitting this tank top. but, what to wear with it? oh! i know! i can sew a skirt to wear with it. so, off i go to mary jo's searching for something perfect. and you know what? i found something perfect :)

fabric up close

mary jo's doesn't necessarily label their fabric fiber contents ---- yes, the cotton/quilting fabrics are 100% cotton, and ultrasuede is 100% synthetic, but this? they don't know. i assume it will shrink, so i take it home and wash and dry it before cutting out. this is a skirt pattern i've made many times before. when you find something that works, why change? it's a very simple bias skirt pattern --- one pattern piece, cut twice. sew the side seams, hem, sew the elastic to the top. finito!

mccalls 3296 bias skirt

what you end up with is a lovely ensemble ... but, i have to find a camisol to wear with. maybe i will be off to wally world later tonight to find some acceptable undergarment.

tank & skirt

just in time for the changing season?! sometimes i'm a few steps behind, but i figure, better late than never.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

i finished, and .... it fits :)

yes! another finished object under the belt ... the rebecca holey tank!

rebecca 5

this is knitted with 2+ skeins of brown sheep cotton fleece, and i would knit with this yarn again. it held up great, inspite of my constant ripping and reknitting. i decided to finish my armhole and neck edges with 'crab stitch' (that's a backwards single crochet). i had left my center neck stitches on holders, to pick up later and knit the edging as the pattern described. i tried to crab stitch the free loops, and it looked awful, so i ended up binding off those stitches.

rebecca detail 2

rebecca detail

so, what's my reward? (i'm motivated by what's next?!)
of course i have my racy red rowan sweater to work on, and my sideways sock, and my stocking, and the phoebe capelet ... but, i want to cast on for something new!

justin's view

ps. my nephew likes this view of my sweater :)

Monday, August 29, 2005

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas!

well, sort of ... i decided last week that i need a christmas stocking. i have this book in my knitting library, and have always loved the stocking with the snowman and "flakes" (if you click on the link, just page through the book, and you'll see the sample stocking on page 4 in the top left corner).



i am knitting mine with rowan's 'harris' aran tweed ... it's soooooo yummy! it would make a beautiful cardigan. the pattern called for 185 yds. of the main color, and my ball of rowan yarn has 186 yds. guess what? i ran out of yarn when i got to the instep. (i always buy an extra ball) .... good thing! it's beautiful! the snowman is knitted with 'lite lopi'. it's quite hairy, and sticks to the stocking like colorforms or a felt board. i still have to knit about 40 bobbles, the hat, scarf, and embroider the details such as the carrot nose, stick arms, etc .... oh! and the i-cord too. i don't think the picture of the yarn reads well, but just imagine a 4st/inch tweed ..... dark navy with flecks of a brighter blue and white.

also on the knitting front is a finished object. yippy! i finally felted my kiwi bag (i've been procrastinating on this, since i can't really justify using a heavy woolen item when the weather is still screaming summer).

felted kiwi bag

the bag was knitted with 3+ skeins of lamb's pride worsted wt. yarn. i barely used any of skein #4. i love the color, but i have some issues with this project. first, it biased. just a bit, but enough to notice. also, it's sooooo hairy! i'm very tempted to have a sit down and shave/trim it. in use, i doubt i will notice the bias. now i just need it to get cool enough to not look foolish using a woolen bag. maybe i should 'embellish' it? with some other felted do-dads, or beads, ... something.

next in the line up is an older project that has be haunting me. i had tried on my rebecca holey tank, and decided it need more length in the body, and for the armhole shaping to not cut in as much. so, a ripping i went. i added one repeat (4 sts. wide) to each armhole, and have so far finished knitting on one side, and still knitting on the other. i won't really know how much i like the changes until i get the second piece knitted, so i can pin together and try on. but, here's how things are looking.

stitches on hold

clover holder

notice the blue stitch holder? it's a new purchase, and i LOVE it! it's so smart --- it opens at either end, and the long part that holds the stitches is shaped like a knitting needle. they're made by clover, and come in pairs. this is the size 'small', (the stitch holders have different sizes depending on what size needles you're using). i'll have to get some more. i also had bought some of the little sweater needle holders (for dpns), but, i didn't like them, and i'm going to return them.

sideways sock 3

this is the sideways sock .... i have all the knitting finished on the main piece, and i'm procrastinating on graphing the 140 sts. ... because, it's more fun to start something new, like, ...

racy jilly rowan sweater

this! it's the jilly cardigan from the ribbon twist book. it took me a long time to knit the border pattern. it's full of double yo's and dropped stitches, and i had trouble pushing the stitches from the cable onto the needle. it's going to be a beauty!

racy jilly close up

and lastly, what's a post w/o something extra cute? this is my 'bug in a shrug', knitted by ms. pinky on our way to stitches east last year (or two ago?). either way, the bug is wearing a circular knitted swatch with kid silk haze. what a swanky bug!

bug in shrug

p.s. i am not doing any christmas gift knitting this year. i have (sometimes) in the past, and it just stresses me out, thus, making knitting a negative experience. so, no gift knitting! NO SOUP FOR YOU!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

the state of things

i'm much further along on the the sideways sock. i actually started part II of the heel, so, i'm almost finished with the sock. but wait! there's still a toe to knit, after i graph the entire length of the sock together. but, i'm not liking my increases on the heel on this 1/2, so, i will likely rip it out, and begin that shaping again.
i also pinned my holey rebecca tank together. i stood in the bathroom, gazed into the bathroom mirror, and decided that i want the body about 3" longer, and the armhole shaping to not cut in as much --- to have the shaping more like a shell vs. a tank. so, i'll have to rip both pieces back to the armholes and knit up another few inches, before shaping (again). it's okay though. it won't take too much time, and i will like the fit better.
the phoebe capelet is on hold. only because i've been into the sideways sock. i will knit it until i almost use up ball #3, and then block, pin it together to try on, and maybe have to rip out some rows .... piece of cake!
and, i still dream of knitting a long sleeve cardigan of some sorts --- something to take to vermont at the end of september.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

happy accidents

i've restarted the sock, because .... i want this sock, and, it's also 'avoidance behavior' in regards to my other knitting. i used some other sock yarn to crochet a long chain, and then i picked up my cast on loops through the bumps on the back of the chain. as i started knitting, the fabric started twisting and turning all over the needle -- it looks very much like corkscrew fringe, and, i love the contrast yarn on the edge. i need to file this into my mental library of pretty knitted things, ideas for later projects. it sort of reminds me of rowan's 'ribbon twist'. by the way, have you seen this?


rowan's ribbon twist, and the color is called rhumba. i think it's soooooo pretty!

the BIG swatch unraveling

this is a disaster an opportunity to do the provisional cast on i mentioned before! perhaps i loosened up a bit after getting into my rhythm, but after "blocking" (with the iron), the foot of my sock looked suspiciously looooong. eeks!!! i measured from the heel to end of foot, and it was already getting close to my foot length, which would leave me with a 1" toe. not good ... as 'olive landlord' would say, "rats on a stick!".

be sure to move mouse over photo

oooh, what's this?

it looks like a sock .... i do like how the stripes are lengthwise, and the colors are very 70's. i made some adjustments on gauge, and i think my plan is to knit it 1/2 way, and then reverse shaping. it should fit. the knitting has been pretty fast so far. the only thing i would change about its design is to use a provisional cast on, since it will be graphed together vs. seamed, and maybe put that "seam" on the side vs. down the center back. this totally feels like an experiment anyways, so i'm not terribly concerned.

p.s. here's the linky dink for the translated pattern, then just click on opal sideways sock.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

spreading happiness

i think it's the socks that spread happiness, as my nephew, justin, tried them on, and decided that they fit (never mind the heel flapping empty behind his leg)!

more socks and swatches

as a reward for finishing my socks, i'm starting another pair. but, i wanted to do something different, so i'm knitting these sideways, from a translated pattern from 'opal'. my sock yarn is regia cotton. i have swatched, though i have not measured yet. i figure i'm going to have to do some adjusting, as the pattern is written for a size 7-8, which, i am not. a lot of times, i don't bother swatching for socks, but, i do want this one to fit! the good thing is that the toe is knitted last, after the body is graphed together, so i can make minute adjustments on length when i get to the toe, if needed.

opal socks

i also made, and unmade, some progress with my capelet. after 'overblocking' my first attempt, i decided that my edges looked kinda weak, ... ratty. so, i added a selvedge stitch to the edges, and knitted a row before starting the eyelets at the cast-on.

blocked phoebe

this time, i blocked gently on the ironing board, and i'm much happier with the results. this is one ball of 3 knitted, and it measures 10.5" x 15.5" blocked. WAAAAAAAY better!

now, what NOT is good is the new fall/winter rebecca. boo! this is my initial reaction. i'm hoping, by the time i finish my bottle of wine, that i will see things differently!

i do like the wrap sweater, though it is all in stockinette. funny how the magazine dedicated such a small strip to this design, and gave full pages to pirate warrior princesses on the beach! (no photo, sorry)(didn't have the patience)(you're NOT missing anything).

so, it's time to measure the sock yarn swatch, and play with some math, or knit on ball #2 of the phoebe yarn for my capelet, or, start a bamboo tanky-toppy! (i have some 'tequilla')! why am i thinking about knitting a summer item when fall is on its way? it was 101* today. and, i'm sometimes late with things.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

what's new?

here's the obligatory formal shot of my finished socks. a little song from 'sesame street' is bouncing around my head .... something here is not like the other. though i knitted sock #2 with the same needles, it seems a bit more 'firm'. this is mostly in the leg portion, i think the feet are the same.

i saw this capelet in the spring '05 issue of interweave knits. it's knitted with a yarn called 'phoebe', super soft baby alpaca. though i really like it, i decided for some reason that i would prefer a different stitch pattern. i found one called 'diagonal openwork'. i think i may have overstretched my fabric when quickly blocking on the ironing board .... so, i may have to eventually toss it into the dryer (yes, i have done this before).

i've had multiple false starts with this stitch pattern. it's a 8 row and 4 stitch repeat, but each right side row begins and ends differently. i finally devised a way to keep track of which row i'm on by making this little chart. when i'm on row 34, i work it as row 2. i'm using my kacha to keep count. the knitted sample is 30 sts. x 32 rows., and it's about 8" in length so far (blocked).

and lastly, this is my sheila ring. isn't it pretty? (thanks sheila!)

Friday, August 19, 2005

happy feet

yes! i FINISHED! and my feet are very HAPPY. see how happy they look basking in the evening sun? perhaps i'll post a more "formal" picture later. maybe not (i forget to do things, sometimes).
so, i am free to start a new project --- and, i want to make another pair of socks (see, i have lots of sock yarn. i hoard it. when i travel, and visit a yarnshop, often times i at least get some sock yarn as a momento). but, which yarn will i knit? which pattern?!

on another horizion, i've started a capelet lacey thingy. i really liked a pattern i saw, but then, i decided to change it. i often create more work for myself. so, i'm knitting a diagonal mesh pattern, which needs total concentration. and, if it works out, and i have enough yarn, i will have a little do-dad to wear to extend my summer wardrobe into the fall.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

wee hour knitting

i can't call myself the 'midnight knitter', because there already is one in blogland, and, i didn't start knitting on the gusset until 4:30 am.
there's something to be said about wee hour knitting --- it may not be the best idea in the world. mistakes! mistakes galore! oh well, it's just a sock.
i knitted my heel flap earlier in the evening, turned the heel (at which i noticed that i had one stitch less than the pattern said i would. don't ask where i lost it)(i'm sure it's a mistake in the pattern), and picked up my gusset stitches. partway through the decreases, i noticed a stitch under the heel that felt extra knobby. so, i dropped down about 12 rows and fixed it (normally, i would not fix it, but it was right under the heel, and i knew i would feel it or think about it all the time whenever i wear the sock). when i got to the point of finishing my gusset decreases, i noticed that i still had a couple of more stitches to decrease on one side than the other. oops. i just continued round and round, and decreased the extra stitches on one side.
i'm now on the homestretch! it's all foot & toe from here on out ....
i think i'm sleepy now.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

i think it's heel time!

i have been making amazing progress on sock #2! it gets me all excited about knitting with some other socks yarns held in captivity --- such as my mountain colors 'barefoot' yarn in shades of dark reddish colors, and my brown sheep wildfoot in shades of purples. i use to knit socks quite a bit, years ago, and i think i might have a renewed interest! i gaze at my sock, and almost sock, and imagine my feet propped up saying, "my! we are some HAPPY feet!"

Monday, August 15, 2005

it's looking like a tank top!

this is the shoulder shaping for the back right of my rebecca holey tank. i have a little bit of yarn left from this first skein of cotton fleece, and i have my fingers crossed that it's enough to bind off the middle stitches and complete the shaping on the other side.

i've also made some progress on the front side! now, this i know will take less than a skein of yarn because the neck shaping starts lower than it did for the backside. i'm dying to find out if this will end up being a two skein project. it sure would be nice to have just enough yarn vs. my usual 'oops i ran out' or i had to use '1 yd.' from a new ball!

and, i finally cast on for sock #2! i haven't made it very far, but at least it's started.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

i'm itchy wool!!!

You are Shetland Wool.
"You are Shetland Wool. You are a traditional sort who can sometimes be a little on the harsh side. Though you look delicate you are tough as nails and prone to intricacies. Despite your acerbic ways you are widely respected and even revered."

i don't even know what "acerbic" means!!!!

so, what kind of yarn are you?!

Friday, August 12, 2005

we have a toe!

yes, i got over my sock anxiety and stalling, and knitted the toe. lucky me got it right the first time, so no going to the frogpond. now, the next task is to cast on for the mate. ugh.

i knitted for awhile on my holey tank, and decided i didn't want to think about shaping/size anymore, so i slipped my stitches onto another needle so i could cast on for the front of the tank. i have about 4" of the frontside knitted so far.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

armhole shaping

stalled again! this piece is going to be the back, and it measures about 12" across the top (or bottom, as it's upside down). i'm trying to decide if that's wide enough, or do i want more coverage, and for it to look more like a shell vs. tank. i'll probably keep knitting along, since this has been a relatively quick knit, and if i decide later that it should be wider, then i will only have to rip back to the armhole shaping. or, i might just start the front instead and let the back do some thinking.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

stalled knitting

i always seem to stall when it comes to finishing a sock. it's the toe thing. i like my socks to fit perfect, and if i start the toe too soon or too late, i'm just going to end up ripping it out and doing it over. so, i guess the sock is perfect as it is now :) yes! i am the lazy knitter!
then, it gets worse, because this is ONLY sock #1.

i'm also "stalled" on my holey rebecca tank. i'm not making it as long as the pattern calls for, but haven't decided yet how long the body should be before the armhole shaping. did i also mention i'm stalled on orangina because i don't know how long i want the body before the ribbing? geeeez! someone take away my needles!

11:10 pm, ... okay, not too stalled .... i got slightly past the armhole shaping. i paged through my collection of patterns, seeing what's the average side length for tank tops, and decided my 32 cm was enough. (no, i don't usually work in metric, but the pattern is german, written in metric, and i forgot the # of inches) so, at that point, i followed instructions for armhole decreases, and will have to do some math later to figure out the next step. so, ... stalled again?! the hesitant knitter ....

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

knitting along on rebecca holey tank

rebecca 2i got some quality knitting time in last night, watching my dad's dive video. i was (sometimes) paying more attention to the stingrays than my repeats, so i ended up frogging about 8 rows.

i made some adjustments on the pattern. i eliminated the yo's next to the edge stitch, and i'm doing the larger mesh vs. the more condensed mesh at the hem. my sweater is not looking as "holey", but that's probably due to the yarn substitution. i'm using brown sheep's cotton fleece (80% cotton 20% wool), vs. the ggh safari. safari is 78% linen and 22% polyamide. either that's the reason for my holes seeming more closed up, or the photo stylist went back and opened up all the holes with a size 15 needle! cheaters!

rebecca swatch 2
i did "keep" the bottom edge the same though -- one row of 1x1 ribbing. it has a nice finished and uncurled look. i "blocked" it quickly on the ironing board. it's going to fit, so i'll keep knitting.

by the way. i just started this last night, and i now have about 9" knitted. but, it doesn't look like i'm really getting any farther. kinda like reciprocity failure.

Monday, August 08, 2005

sewing, knitting, and crochet, OH MY!

i finished the orange dress last week. i wore it to work, and it worked its strange magic, and i left work with some orangy yarn. (scroll down, you'll see how weak i am against my dresses.) i'm not complaining, and it's not the first time that has happened.

i sewed the butterfly dress yesterday. it was fairly quick, (you see, i've made at least 10 of these slip dresses, different fabrics, solids and prints).

and the crochet shawl is complete! ferengi and all! i thought about modeling it, but i don't have anything solid to wear to really show it off, so i just draped it over the floral dress.

this is what i mean when i was influenced by my orange dress. maybe i was influenced by my crochet too. but, this is knitted. it's from rebecca #29 --- a holey tank. i think it's very cute, and i will likely have to sew something to wear with it!