31 January 2007

Baby Shawl!

I have begun Eunny's Point o' the Wave shawl (thanks Stacie) with my gorgeous purple/blue/green Anne. I swatched a bit and then started the real thing last night. I am obsessed and feeling very sad that I cannot knit all day. The only thing I don't like is that I am a big fan of using markers to track my repeats, and the 16 stitch repeat doesn't stay put so I have to keep moving the markers around. This is becoming frustrating...

Also, I think I want to put in a full center panel instead of just grafting. Anyone got any ideas for that?

Here is the baby shawl, and one of my recently finished hats -

29 January 2007

Computerized Lace and Cocoa Alpaca

This so-called 'Radical Lace' reminds me of one of my favorite Yarn Arts things I've seen this year--Laura Splan's virus doilies. They are so striking! Being a bit of a technophile, I really want to understand more about computerized sewing- and knitting-machines. I'd love to experiment with it but have no idea where to get my hands on equipment without spending a fortune.

In the meanwhile, while I wait for a robot to do my knitting for me, I am using this lovely super-soft pale-cocoa-colored yarn from alpacas raised by friends of my parents (it was an xmas gift) to make the delightfully simple Irish Hiking Scarf (with thanx to Amy for the suggestion). You can put me firmly in the Ralph Wiggum camp of B2A--I'd never cabled before and had to restart once or twice but I'm psyched about how it's turning out.

Road Trip?

Check out this article in the Times about this exhibit on knitting and needlework. It's called “Radical Lace & Subversive Knitting” and it runs at the Museum of Art and Design until June 17.

28 January 2007

Snowflake is done!

Anyone who was at last Wednesday's group probably saw me working on my double-knit snowflake. I had really hoped to have it done by Saturday, when I was going to be teaching another double-knit class at Newbury Yarns. Well, the class didn't run (the proprietor of said store is such a nice person, but I've had more problems with her class scheduling than anywhere else I've taught), but I got the snowflake done. I'm glad I didn't put it on top of a hat, because while it's nice, it's not as nice as I think I could do it -- and I really would rather have it be a non-reversible pattern since no two snowflakes are the same (kudos to Amanda for that suggestion). Now that I have a snowflake in this technique, I can more accurately chart a better snowflake for next time. Now if I could just chart a believable 6-point snowflake in a stockinette field without decreases. Currently OTN: My non-reversible double-knit answer to Niki's hat, now with decreases. For more double-knitting fun (and the picture of the back of the snowflake), check out my antiblog.

26 January 2007

My first post ever in the blogosphere

My current project is a baby cardigan with a seed stitch trim from Baby Knits for Beginners by Debbie Bliss. I'm a fan of this book and so far the I've made numerous baby socks and one simple pullover sweater. This one is the 12-24 months size in a raspberry color baby cashmerino on #6 needles, although it's supposed to be on #3's. This is the first time I've had to adjust needle size for gauge, so her good pattern luck may be running out! I don't think that this qualifies her to be back on 'the list' just yet, though. Baby clothes are good projects for me because they're small, but those sneaky babies always grow so fast it sometimes ruins my plans.
I started it about 2 weeks ago and have given myself a semi cruel deadline...I'm hoping to finish it by the end of February, knowing full well that may mean early March. After a slow start---I ripped it out once and basically started again this past weekend---I've got about 4 inches of the back done. So far so good. Perhaps more structure and more deadlines will result in more completed projects.

At knitting this past week I came to realize as half of you are finishing you're 4th project of the day or using complex mathmatics to create designs, I'm the Ralph Wiggum of the knitting group. "I just did a seed stitch border!" "My cat's breath smells like catfood!" "I'm knitting with someone else's hands!"

Naughty Squiddy

Has anyone seen naughty squiddy before? He's so super-cute!

25 January 2007

Knitting purity test!

Oh, people - a knitting purity test from Moirae Knitting! Take it, and be truthful!

Those who were at knitting last night saw me finishing up this hat for Scott. It's made from a yarn I've never heard of before, but found at Wooly's. It's called Nashua/Creative Focus. It's a basic worsted weight that's really nice and basic. Sort of like Brown Sheep, but I like the colors of this better.

Allasdair gave me some good end-weaving tips--thanks! Boy, do I hate weaving in ends. If anyone ever comes up with a robot that weaves in ends and sews seams--I'll buy it!

The hat is meant to accompany this scarf. Scott seems to like it--but I just hope it's not too matchy-matchy. Or too "DTM" as Michael Kors would say (DTM = dyed to match; as in those satin shoes people are always forced to dye to match bridesmaid dresses).

24 January 2007

The Stash Buster

I made a baby blanket for my new boss. No, I was not sucking up, but I really can't make booties and I had all this yarn... anyway, she was soundly impressed (and said so in front of HER boss), so maybe the blanket turned out okay anyway.

I started out with yarn from http://islandyarnco.com/ which is close to my house, but the super bulky yarn I chose was super gorgeous, but also knitted up stiff, not comfy for a baby's blanket. So I did what I originally wanted to do (I only went to the yarn store b/c my MIL slipped me a twenty at lunch) and dumped out my stash and started to pull yarns I thought would look, um, interesting, together. I wound up with 1 strand of boucl√© and 3 worsted, and dropping only 1 yarn at various times & adding in the same weight. I was skeptical at first (it was for my BOSS after all) but then I began falling in love around the bright green / light green section. By the end, I was so toasty from having it on my lap all weekend, I have resolved to make one for us. There is only one flaw—I dropped a stitch and had to pick it up when the Colts somehow charged ahead of the Patriots with less than 5 game minutes to go.

23 January 2007

Technology foiled...

I have a riddle for you - first one to solve it correctly gets something fabulous (perhaps one of the Fairisle hats I've been obsessively making)....

If Alayne has: 2 skeins of Schaefer Anne (sock yarn weight) in a terribly gorgeous purple, green, bluey mix which add up to about 1000 yards, and many many needles of many different sizes, and a lot of commuter time in which to knit, BUT an attention span of approximately one month - what will Alayne be very proud of having made in March?

In addition to the Fairisle hats, I just finished a sweater modeled off of this one:

Which I felt was much too short, but I greatly admired the shawl collar. I ended up not doing the cables and using lovely purple Alpaca Grande and a slip-stitch pattern that made it very cozy.

I am attempting to post pictures of the hats and a Max-inspired Lizard Ridge scarf and the sweater, but technology is foiling my plans.. Hopefully tomorrow I will have figured it out.

Ok, so this is not a knitting project. . .

. . . but it is a finished project. And, I know we're all on a finishing tear lately. I'm trying to just complete as much as possible. Or, at least not start 500 other projects.
This is an embroidered pillow I made for Miss Briana for Xmas this year. Stacie may recognize the embroidery pattern from a stencil I bought at the Cambridge Quilt Shop. So, it's embroidered and pieced with some Amy Butler fabric.

Oh the infinitude

Currently on the needles is Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton's Tepoztl√°n in Silk Garden color #245. I suppose it's unimaginative, but I didn't deviate from the recommended color because I love it so much - it really feels like Mexico to me.

The part above is the peplum, knitted in one piece to be seamed up the side, gathered, and then attached to the bodice on the long side. Cornelia's version had two pieces, not to be seamed at all, if I read her woefully pithy pattern correctly. Not for me the wool-and-silk Empire-waist tabard, flapping in the wind! I prefer to keep my midriff quite, quite covered. Anyway, it is going on forever. I'm home sick today, and I'm about to put on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix to keep me going...

Just in time for the snow

I finished these Spencers (Sarah Hatton, from Rowan 38, in Wool Cotton) on Sunday - actually my third FO of 2007! I went down from the recommended 3s to 2s to get close to the specified gauge, but they're a little small. I'm going to try again, using 2s and adding a little length and width.

And using slightly bigger buttons! I thought that nestling the buttons inside the cables would be nice, but actually their edges are obscured and the one button (just a hair bigger) that sits on top of its cable looks best. These are all oddball buttons, some plastic, some shell, that I got at a very sad estate sale in Santa Cruz on my last visit there - an old woman was moving out of an intact 30s bungalow in Seabright into assisted living. I'd've bought the whole place, lock, stock, and barrel, if I'd had the money - and got there in time.

You can't see in this picture, but the color 'Rich', is anything but. I'm not crazy about knitting with cotton, and these mittens reminded me why. The color is dull! Faded! Hope I have better luck with 'Elf'.


Friends, my challenge over the next few weeks/months is to really finish up a few lingering projects - ones that I started aways back and really would like to see through to completion:

  1. Basketweave-type baby blanket in a lovely red yarn - halfway done
  2. Warm winter scarf in dark brown Cascade 220 - halfway done
  3. Fancy lace edging for Lacey Lamb Pi Shawl - barely started: 10 of 154 repeats completed
  4. Unbiased handbag in Ganpi Abaka tape - need to knit last panel and shoulder strap
Please, please help keep me on task - it's hard to set specific deadlines, but I don't want these to still be incomplete when I go off to the next retreat!

No, seriously.

I'm making a sweater! My first one. I mean, besides that monstrosity of a baby sweater that I finished, umm, last week for a "baby" that's now, oh, 3 years old. Lesson learned: make things for babies when they are still inside their mom. Or surrogate or whatever.

But anyway, I'm making a sweater! After a rough start (or five), it's looking pretty good.

Previous to this newest attempt, I was under the impression that I had inexplicably gone down about 4 dress sizes and should gauge and knit accordingly. The result (on top of a hoodie I actually wear):

Thanks to my friend Sarah for her skepticism and bravery in calling this error to my attention. Also, thanks to Stacie for completely rewriting the original pattern to accommodate my stylistic whims.

22 January 2007

Finished Endpaper Mitts.....

....in what seems to be the most popular color combo! These are from Eunny's site, and the pattern is wonderfully written! I made these with Koigu (I don't know the color numbers, drat!) and they were soooo fast and easy. I did the large size. I plan on doing them again - these are a great stash-buster!

Check, check. . . one, two. . .

Here's my very first completed knitting project of 2007. Of course, as always, I'm going to try really really hard to complete loads of projects. . .and chronicle them. But check back with me in 2 months and see how many half-finished projects I have going!

This is the second attempt at the Soulemama Hat of Choice that Becky introduced us all to. I did mine in Malabrigio. I also didn't really follow instructions too well: I should have done 1 inch of garter stitch at the beginning. Oh well. I also had to add two repeats of the pattern to cover my HUGE head. Here's the pattern if anyone wants to try. It's super fast!