Sunday, September 28, 2008

I heart Koigu

Is there anyone who doesn't love Koigu? It is soft and delicious and the colors are just amazing, plus the yardage is excellent. I am partial to the handpaints but the solids are beautifully heathered.

Here we have a Chevron Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts and a Purl Beret. I had so much yarn I decided to make a matching beret, because I didn't need a ridiculously long scarf.

Close up of the beautiful colors:

Close up of the beret:

This yarn had been in the stash for more than a year so I'm happy to have it knit up now. And of course, the beret obsession continues (this is my second Purl Beret, also).

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Just in time for fall

While it's not exactly a warm article of clothing for the chill days of autumn, I can wear the Katharine Vest to school or work:

Katharine Vest by Eunny Jang, Interweave Knits Spring 2008
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fine, color Rue. I have no idea how much yarn, because this came from a frogged sweater. I originally had two cones, and made this vest and this crocheted halter top, and there is a lot left.
Source: see above
Needles: US Size 6 and US Size 3 circular needles, US Size 5 dpns for applied I-cord
Modifications: None

The pictures in the magazine look nothing like mine (it's a much looser fit), but the Ravelry photo does. I'm happy with the fit though.

Shoalwater Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark, from FiberTrends
Yarn: a honkin' big skein of hand-dyed mohair from Loose Ends in the colorway "Stormy Sea."
Source: Loose Ends booth at the Warner Fall Foliage Festival, hidden away till Christmas so it could be a present to me from my brother.
Needles: US Size 10.5 Crystal Palace bamboo circular needle
Modifications: I kind of fudged the applied I-cord at the top. It doesn't block out well, but there's this curve at the center neck that looks good when it's being worn but awkward when laid out flat. Since I plan to wear it more than lay it out flat, I let it go.

I love it. It's soft and warm, not too large, and the perfect colorway. This one will keep me cozy in the cold weather to come.

Completely unrelated, after falling asleep again after the alarm went off the first time the other morning, I had a dream that I was desperately trying to find a copy of Berroco's Norah Gaughan Volume III at my local yarn store (which looked completely different). I do really want the book, and I am a huge fan of Norah Gaughan's designs, but this is getting a little ridiculous.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Murphy's Law of Knitting and Crocheting

I don't have anything to show you this week because I'm working on birthday and Christmas presents, and since I'm not sure who in my family reads the blog and who doesn't, I'm going to hold off posting until I give them away. There is one birthday next week, so you'll get to see that one soon. I did finish the Katharine Vest (Ravelry link) this week, but I just managed to steam out the cap sleeves yesterday before I went to visit my brother at college and I haven't been home since.

Speaking of which, on Wednesday I had a couple of hours between class and work that I clearly blocked out as knitting time (my Wednesdays start at 5:30 AM and I don't get out of work until 10:00 PM). I brought the birthday present mentioned above, which was nearly finished, and the Katharine Vest, which only needed two-thirds of the applied I-cord edging on the front. I thought that I could finish both in the ample time provided (although I forgot to factor in eating dinner, changing, and actually driving to work). Almost, but no cigar.

The counter point to this is that yesterday I brought a sock to work on. I had finished the heel, and it was a short-row heel so there were no stitches to pick up, but I still had the entire foot to do. On size two needles, for an average woman's foot. I did the entire length of the foot during Down With Love, and this morning I did the toe. I always bring more than one project with me, except for this time. Which is exactly why I finished it, and why I didn't finish my projects on Wednesday.

Lesson learned, Murphy.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


On Labor Day, just before I headed back to school, my mom and I crafted these excellent lunch bags. Now I can finally throw out that old plastic grocery bag I've been using! We bought vinyl tablecloth material and I used iron-on vinyl to make the inside waterproof (that stuff is cool but expensive, and hard to find). If you want more details feel free to e-mail me.

I kind of made it up as I went along (when I was trying to explain to my mom what I did she got a little frustrated because I couldn't always remember!). I just enlarged the dimensions of a paper bag, added a ribbon handle, some beads as a charm,

and another ribbon around the top edge to dress it up. A snap magnetic closure from Clover and, hey, an awesome lunchbag with lots of room.

Happy fall!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

End-of-Summer Wrap Up

It took me a minute to realize that I had finished three garments this summer--and I even did one garment each month! I'm very happy with each of these but I'm excited to start knitting fall sweaters.

First up: Blissful (Ravelry link)

Pattern: Blissful by Keridiane Chez from Stitch'N Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fine in Rue, no idea how much.
Source: Stash. I had knit the Lucky Clover Wrap Sweater from Stitch'N Bitch Nation with a little less than two cones of this, but I wasn't happy with the fit or gauge so I unraveled it. It was more than a little painful but I'm happy to have reclaimed the yarn. It made this and there is a lot left over, some of which is going into another project that I hope to show you soon.
Hooks: Pony aluminum 3.75 mm (an E for me) and Clover Soft Touch 4.00 mm (an F for me). Here I got a good lesson in why it's important to check the millimeter measurements for your hooks--if I had just used an F and a G it wouldn't have been as tight (which is what I was going for).
Modifications: I did eighteen repeats of the lace bodice part instead of twelve and added extra even rows when working the cups to accommodate my figure. From the Ravelry photos it looks like I did something funky with the weaving row (a ribbon is supposed to run through the stitches under the bust), but it works for me. I didn't have hook-and-eye closures on hand, so I tried sew-on snaps, but they didn't work well. I ended up crocheting the back together. I'm a little nervous about it losing shape and sagging in the back as it gets stretched out, but we'll see how it goes.

I definitely only plan to wear it as in the photos above, over a tank top or a shirt. I intended it to be more of an apron-style top than a stand-alone halter, and I'm really happy with how it came out. I had to rip it out once, and I finished it just in time to wear it Labor Day weekend, but this was a good project for August. It also solved my dislike of knitting with cotton: crocheting with it is easier and seems to suit the fiber better.

This is July:

Pattern: Orangina by Stefanie Japel
Yarn: Patons Grace, (just over) 7 balls Rose
Source: Michael's
Needles: US Size 3 Inox 29" circular (pattern says 24" but I only a 29"--I think I did either the 38" or 40" bust size, and stitches moved around easily)
Modifications: I added an inch or so to the bottom ribbing.

I LOVE this sweater. I kind of got obsessed with the idea of it and the next thing I knew I had bought it and ran to the store to get yarn. Why I decided to start a new sweater project in the last week of my crazy summer semester is beyond me, but it was actually really calming. The pattern is an easy four-row repeat, there is no shaping (I think) and it goes pretty quickly for being on 3's. I knit it in just over a week. I love Stefanie's designs and I plan to knit everything she designs ever. (Her new book, Glam Knits, is coming out soon!!!)

Pattern: A Good Bias by Lisa Daehlin from the Spring 2005 Interweave Knits
Yarn: Cotton Clouds, 5 or 6 skeins "Sunshine"
Source: Stash. My grandma found this nubbly cotton and rayon yarn in her attic, and for awhile I had no idea what to make with it. I've wanted to make this and the original was knit with Mission Falls 1824 Cotton, which is also nubbly, so this yarn was a perfect fit.
Needles: US Size 8, Susan Bates Quicksilver 29" circular needles (circs aren't necessary, I just used them for portability purposes)
Modifications: None.

I finished this just before we left on our cruise to Bermuda in June, and I wore it with just about everything on the boat. It's a pale yellow, so I can wear it (some yellows do not work well on me) and it's better than a shawl because it stays on your arms. I've also worn it at work in over-air-conditioned libraries, and it's warm too.

A very productive summer, with lots of stash busting. Too bad I didn't knit very many socks (um, what Summer of Socks?) Time for wool :)

Thanks to Jack for taking the awesome pictures with his fancy camera!