Sunday, February 22, 2009

I did it again

That is, I completely frogged a finished object and reknit it (see previous example here). Although in this case I slightly changed the construction. Nearly a year ago I knit the Miranda scarf (Ravelry link; free pattern link here), which you can see on the blog here.

It is a beautiful scarf pattern and I love it, but the yardage of the cashmere I had wasn't enough to wrap around my neck and still have the look I love (although it is very generous yardage for the price), so I wasn't wearing it very often. I was working on another cowl when it struck me that it would be an excellent project for cashmere, which you want to wear next to your neck, and for the yardage I had available.

So the Miranda Cowl was born:

Miranda Cable Cowl, adapted by Caitlin Stevens from the Miranda Cable Scarf by Smariek Knits
Yarn: Black Pearl Yarns Cashmere in Singapore Smoke, 1 skein
Source: Frogged the Miranda Cable Scarf (originally from kpixie)
Needles: Susan Bates Quicksilver US Size 8 16" circular needle
Modifications: I meant to dig up my notes before I posted this, but if you're interested e-mail me (caitlin.stevensATsimmonsDOTedu) and I'll send you the information. I will also be posting it to my Ravelry notebook for this project (my Ravelry name is CaitlinGracie). I used a size 8 needle so that the finished cowl would have some drape (this is a DK weight yarn) and I cast on enought stitches to add two or three repeats of the cable (making the total number of repeats six or seven). I think it was 106 stitches. Then I just joined for working in the round and worked the rows as directed, except I knit the knits and purled the purls on the wrong side rows.

I kind of just played it by ear, and I did rip it out once and reknit it (I may have moved up to size 9 needles but I'm pretty sure it was 8s). I'm very happy with how it turned out and I think it will help me get through blustery March.

Now my knitting time will be decreasing somewhat as my yarn budget increases, because I got a job! A Real Full-time Job with Benefits. Huzzah!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

In Which I Knit Hats Designed by Jared Flood

You may remember that I lost my first Porom while running for the train after class one day. I had an extra skein of the yarn I used and I loved the first one so much that I knew I had to make a second one. I knit the whole thing on New Year's Day, except I made it too slouchy and had to frog back and start the decreases earlier a couple of days later. Still, it is definitely a quick knit and an awesome hat. It might look a little wonky in the picture because it needs to be reblocked. The original blocking was done on the too-large version.

Porom by Jared Flood
Yarn: Jamieson's Double Knitting, 1 skein grey
Source: Stash
Needles: US Size 6 and 8 16" circular needles, US Size 8 dpns
Modifications: None
Soundtracks/Movies/TV: Mamma Mia!, a Saturday Night Live DVD, When Harry Met Sally

Clearly, I cannot get enough of Jared Flood designs, especially the hats. This is the only one that wasn't a stash-buster, because I really wanted to try the Manos Silk Blend. Stay away, my friends. This stuff is so soft and luscious, you won't be able to stop yourself. And the way the silk reflects the light and enhances the colors! It's a good thing my local yarn shop is twenty minutes away, that's all I'm saying.

Koolhaas by Jared Flood for Interweave Knits Holiday 2007
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend, 1 skein Bing Cherry
Source: The Elegant Ewe
Needles: US Size 6 and 8 16" circular needles, US Size 8 dpns
Modifications: None
Soundtracks/Movies/TV: Annie Lennox (Medusa), The Bachelor, Real Housewives of Orange County

Last but not least:

Habitat by Jared Flood
Yarn: Harrisville New England Highland Style, less than 1 skein tweedy rust red
Source: Stash
Needles: US Size 7 and 8 16" circular needles, US Size 8 dpns
Modifications: None
Soundtracks/Movies/TV: The Bachelor, Real Housewives of Orange County

Jared's patterns are beautifully designed and impeccably edited. I get attached to certain designers (Jared, Stefanie, Ysolda) and want to knit everything they design, and I always appreciate designs that are well-edited and clearly written.

Despite this rash of hat-knitting, I don't think I'm done yet! Although part of me is starting to think of spring, and projects like this one.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Random Small Projects

From the pile of finished objects:

Calorimetry by Kathryn Schoendorf, from Knitty Winter 2006
Yarn: Knit One Crochet Too Paintbox, less than 1 ball; Noro Kureyon, less than half of a ball
Source: Stash
Needles: US Size 8 straights
Modifications: Cast on 96 stitches instead of 120 (I have a small head). I also knit a smaller width than recommended, by eyeballing it after working a few repeats of the short rows and deciding double that width would suit me (I think it was two or three fewer repeats; the Kureyon version ended up slightly thinner because I ran out of yarn but I was determined to use up that tiny ball). The Paintbox is the blue and green version and the Kureyon is the yellow-orange-green version.

This pattern is a fabulous stash buster. Plus, it is great for winter as it doesn't entirely flatten your hair. Since it buttons in the back there is minimal static and messed-up hair.

Urchin by Ysolda Teague, from Knitty Fall 2007
Yarn: Gray Romney wool handspun on a drop spindle by me, Rowan Ribbon Twist
Source: Stash (the Rowan was a freebie from when I worked at Patternworks)
Needles: US Size 11 straights
Modifications: Used two different yarns because I ran out of handspun; used size 11 needles because I didn't have size 10.75 as recommended. I think I still ended up cutting a couple of rows so I would have enough yarn to finish the hat.

Another great stash buster, and a great way to use handspun or artisan yarns, because the garter stitch really shows them off.

I love the ragamuffin look of this hat. Ysolda is also one of those designers that I really admire and want to knit everything she has designed. Her blog also makes me want to move to Scotland.

Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark, from Interweave Knits Fall 2006 (Ravelry link, with link to free pattern)
Yarn: Malabrigo Laceweight, 1 ball Polar Morn (used less than 1 ball)
Source: Webs (from when I went to see the Harlot!)
Needles: Addi Turbo Lace Needles US Size 4
Modifications: None.

I love this pattern, as I love all of Evelyn Clark's designs. It was my first time doing nupps (all the rage now that Nancy Bush's book Knitted Lace of Estonia has hit the shelves). This pattern is an excellent quick fix for lace because it works up so fast.

I know this is supposed to be a small shawl, but I should have swatched because mine was a few inches shy of the listed measurements in all directions, even with vigorous blocking. The Malabrigo is a slightly heavier laceweight (so delicious to work with--soft as butter, and the slightly variegated color kept me interested to see what was next), which is really nice but may account for my small shawl. I kind of knew something was up because my ball of yarn seemed curiously large as I neared the end. Oh well--I still love it!

Sunday, February 8, 2009


January's garment* is Forecast, designed by Stefanie Japel:

You can see the details a little better in the picture above, but the one below is closer to the true color of the sweater.

Forecast, by Stefanie Japel for the Winter 2005 issue of Knitty
Yarn: Patons Astra, about 4.5 skeins teal
Source: My grandma's attic (thanks Grammy!)
Needles: Addi Turbo US Size 5 24" circular needle, Inox US Size 7 24" circular needle (worked back and forth)
Modifications: Used Winnie's modifications (specifically starting the ribbing at the elbow and working 3 stitch bobbles instead of 5-stitch bobbles); sewed in snap tape instead of making buttonholes and using buttons.

Back details:
I am very happy with this cardigan, especially the snap tape. This is my second cardigan made with snap tape, the other one being the Treeline Cardigan. I sew the tape in with two strands of embroidery floss that match the yarn. I almost wish I had made the sweater a little longer, but I almost always tend to think that. The only other thing is that I can't really wear it open, because it looks a little odd with the ribbing (it pulls back in on itself); however, looking at the picture I kind of suspected that anyway. I love knitting top-down raglans and I love Stefanie's designs. The yarn is 100% acrylic but it is very soft, and I love that it is machine wash. The label classifies it as a DK weight, but I got gauge. It might be a little on the light side but that is fine with me. All in all, this one is a winner and will be nice to wear through the rest of winter and into spring.

*I don't exactly shoot for one garment a month, it just seems to work out that way sometimes. See the garments of summer, and the sweaters for November and December.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Still Here

Still knitting, too. Just not photographing or uploading photos or the uploaded photos show up incorrectly in Blogger. I'm also still decompressing from grad school, and the holidays were excellent but took a lot out of me, and we're getting lots of snow (meaning I have to shovel the driveway and dig out my car and leave earlier for work, etc.). I have a growing pile of FOs on my toy chest that will hopefully be photographed soon.

Moving along:

  • I promised I would show you what I got for Christmas. I received lovely Gingher shears (not my exact model), the Lucy Wrap kit and the Baltic Socks kit from kpixie, a really sweet knitting bag, Zakka Sewing (bittersweet now, because my sewing machine is dead), Blueprint Crochet, and Handmade Nation. My mom also got me a paint-by-numbers kit, which is an inside joke, but is also really fun and totally suits my anal retentive side.
  • I reknit Porom. Then I knit Koolhaas. Now I'm working on Habitat. Yes, I am obsessed with hats and Jared Flood designs. In my defense, the yarn for Porom and Habitat came out of the stash, and Koolhaas was an excellent excuse to try the Manos del Uruguay wool/silk blend and I used a giftcard to buy it (thanks Beth!)
  • I organized my stash and made a list of projects. I went through all my yarn and general craft stuff. This also really suited my anal retentive side and calmed my mind a little, which was calculating how quickly I knit (not very, but still) and how little money I make working only part-time and how I need to knit in order to deal with unpleasant realities. I have a (long) list of projects to work on so all is well for the moment (in the knitting/craft realm, I mean).
  • I seriously love the magazine Crochet Today. The patterns are great and they use cheap yarn from Michael's and A.C. Moore. So I know if the finished object looks great in cheap acrylic, I can either do it with that or use nicer stuff and it will look even better. The overall magazine design is fun and hip, too.
  • I knit a sweater, also from the stash. Next time there will be pictures
  • Happy February!