crafts · knitting

More hourglass pictures!

First of all I want to thank all the wonderful ladies who have already commented on my sweater.  Thank you for making me feel so special!  Knitting people are the best!

I wore my Hourglass sweater to church rehearsal tonight, and it’s quite comfy. The KP mainline seems to stretch a bit, but nothing outrageous for a cotton blend. I asked Marc to take pictures for me tonight… but he snuck up on me instead.

and here’s the actual posed photo

My only issue is the hem, which still wants to roll a bit. I’m not sure if I want to mess with it, because I think it may just be the result of the sweater construction. I may tack it down again to see if I can get it a bit more flat. But overall I’m just thrilled with my sweater! I especially love the neckline and the bell sleeves. It was a tedious knit, but I think the results were definitely worth it!

Now I have to decide on my next sweater. So many choices…

crafts · knitting

More WIPs

My hourglass sweater is finished! Here it is yesterday, blocking on the dining room table.

I’ll try to get a picture of me wearing it up later. Daylight Savings time is seriously messing with my ability to get pictures. I have to depend on Marc to take photos of me wearing my things, and I usually don’t see him now until it’s fairly dark. I’m going to pick him up at work today, so perhaps we will get a lovely photo of the hourglass sweater at UofL.

I didn’t think that the hemming was too bad. Admittedly it did take me 4 hours, but at least an hour of that was me trying to pick up the armpit stitches so I could kitchener them together. The bottom hem has a distressing desire to roll, due to some half-ass hemming (I was tired) so I may fix that later… but other than that the sweater is fabulous. Mods I made… let’s see. The body is 2 inches shorter than it’s supposed to be, and the sleeves are an inch shorter. I did one fewer increase round on the chest than called for. And I knit 2 extra decrease rounds on the neck. Speaking of the neck, I was really worried about tacking down those stitches, but it turned out to be super easy and unstressful.

Now that the sweater is finished, I have cast on for my first sock

It’s the “basic ribbed sock” pattern from spun magazine. I cast on 60 stitches, but I’m thinking about starting over with more… it seems kind of teeny. Don’t count on lots of sock progress – the whole time I was doing this I was waiting to get excited about socks. I was waiting for the “sock fever” to hit me. Never happened. So while I would like to finish these (and I will) I’m not in a hurry. I have to finish my other wip first, the short row rib scarf from magknits.

Isn’t it pretty? I love the yarn, even if it isn’t exactly “subtle.” You can tell it’s a gloomy day here when I start taking radiator pictures.

Closeup of the stitch pattern (with additional kitty feet)

I love this pattern, and now that I’m working on it almost exclusively it’s going really fast. I’m maybe 2/3 through the first ball of silk garden. I can’t wait to have another scarf!

crafts · knitting

I’m so embarrassed…

Yes, I’ve done it again.  I must make a confession.  The Hourglass sweater?  Sort of fits… really well.  I kind of love it.  Yes, once again I have been fooled by a project.  I ought to be kept away from my waste yarn until the project is finished.  I finished the knitting tonight while watching “Battlestar Galactica” and awaiting my last mass of the day (it’s at 7:30).   I thought “hmm, should I bother sewing the hems” and then I thought “better try it on” and then “oops”.  Yes, it fits very well, and I’m glad it isn’t any longer – I am, as I said, very short waisted, and it would have been too long if it were 2 inches longer.    I also shortened the sleeves by an inch because I wanted them to not show under a coat.

Ready for the obligatory bad, in the mirror photo?  My excuse is that Marc isn’t home to take the picture.  This picture sucks – the color is much lighter and it shows my unmade bed (Sundays are busy, ok?)  but you get the idea…

It fits!  My knitting confidence is restored.  Now I just have to figure out those hem directions and get Marc to take nice photos and it will be finished, in about 2 and a half weeks – not bad!

crafts · knitting · Life

Morning… so painful…

I am not a morning person.  This much is obvious to anyone who was ever attempted to wake me before ten am.  I’m up now, because today is Sunday so I have to be at my church by 8:30, so I got up at seven, took a shower, and saw Marc off.  Marc is playing a scrabble tournament this weekend.  Did I mention that he plays scrabble competitively?  That’s right!  I recommend the documentary Word Wars, which is about the competitive scrabble world.  Marc has played against some of the guys featured in the documentary, and can confirm that yes, they really are that crazy.  It’s a really great documentary, even if you aren’t into Scrabble (and I’m not).

I think I found a stole pattern for my Elann Alpaca yarn – it’s the Princess Wrap, free from Classic Elite

Isn’t it pretty?  I like that it’s geomentric rather than leafy.  I am rather tired of leaf motifs in lace.

Speaking of Classic Elite, the only one of their yarns I have used is their “flash” yarn, which is a decent worsted weight cotton.  I’ve become completely obsessed with getting my hands on their new “Desert” yarn, in the color 2015.

I want to make a Lady Eleanor entrelac stole out of it, but WEBs only has one in stock.  I wrote them and asked if they were getting more.  They said yes, but weren’t specific on when… but I’m going to wait.  I have plenty of projects for now, and if I’m going to have to buy 12 balls of this stuff I want it to be with their discount.

Enough time wasting… time to get ready and go play two masses!

crafts · knitting · yarn

Happy yarnday!

I’m approaching the end of my hourglass sweater – only a few more yoke decreases to go and it will be finished except for the sewing.  I still think it’s too big, but I’m oddly not bothered.  I’ll block it, and if it’s still too big I’ll just chalk the whole thing up to experience and reuse the yarn.  I think knitting this sweater has been a great experience (my first “bottom up” sweater), but if it doesn’t work that’s ok.

I’m finding myself avoiding cotton yarns now – even the blends like the KP mainline.  It makes for such a heavy sweater, and the drape just isn’t what I would like.  This afternoon I went out yarn browsing – to Dee’s crafts (local craft store) and to the Knit Nook.  I made a point to touch lots and lots of yarns, and what I generally found was that I don’t even want to touch the cotton yarns.  It was a good day – I hadn’t looked at the yarns at Dee’s before, and I was happy to find that they stock cascade, lorna’s laces, Noro, and lots of other nicer brands, some which the Knit Nook doesn’t carry.  I didn’t buy anything there, and went onto my favorite LYS, the Knit Nook, to browse.  I was looking for sock yarn, because I’ve decided that I shouldn’t knock sock knitting until I’ve tried at least one pair.  I was very tempted by some DB Cashmerino Aran in the bright teal blue, but I resisted.  Here’s what I did get

The magazines were 50% off, so I was glad I had waited on buying them!  The yarn is Brown Sheep co Wildfoote in Bluegrass.  I love the color name (I am from Kentucky, the Bluegrass state!) and really they have a very limited selection of sock yarn – but I wanted to buy something from them because I’ve done some online ordering and felt like I was cheating on them (see below).  Now I need a beginner sock pattern!  Is toe up or top down better to start with?  Hmm…  Here’s a closeup of the yarn color – blue and green (of course!)

When I got home from my yarn shopping, there were boxes of yarn waiting for me (when it rains it pours!)  I wasn’t expecting them yet, so it’s a super good day.

I ordered from the Loopy Ewe this week, because I wanted to get Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport in Baltic Sea, and the LYS didn’t have any.  I have to commend them on excellent, quick service.  My order shipped the next morning, and arrived beautifully packed up

She included Regia yarn samples,  needle inventory sheets, and a lovely handwritten note.  And the yarn – mmm, I love the color!  I bought it for armwarmers, but now I’m thinking maybe I need to make a mini clapotis – I just adore the colors, and hey – a girl can never have too many, right?

My Elann order came too, which is especially impressive when you realize that I ordered on Thursday.  I swear, it must have come by magic carpet!  I’d never ordered from Elann before – the shipping put me off – but I was lured in by the Baby Cashmere, here in Tapestry Blue

I’m going to make the Falling Water Scarf  out of this yarn.  It’s unbelievably soft, and as far as I’m concerned a total bargain.  I can’t wait to work with it!

I also got a whole bunch of their Highland Silk yarn, ostensibly to make the Gatsby Girl sweater from IWknits Fall 06, but really who knows.  It’s gorgeous, has very, very slight variations that give it depth, and is incredibly soft.

Lastly, I got Elann’s Pure Alpaca in the color Jasper to make a stole out of. The color is a gorgeous deep green with flecks on blue.

I can’t believe this yarn got here in 3 days from Canada!  Take that Knitpicks, and your $#%^& sortation center!  Anyway, I’m completely impressed with Elann’s yarn, and I anticipate many future orders.

Excuse me now, I have a mass to play, and then I’m going to fondle my yarn some more…

crafts · Crochet · decorating · knitting · Thrifting

Now I know why my Mom fears the granny square

Why am I awake at 2 am? Ok, maybe that’s not a surprise; I suffer from a combination of insomnia combined with working nights, so I’m often up at 2 am… but tonight I’m awake for a special reason. I’m attempting to avoid the “second sleeve” curse on my hourglass sweater. So I’ve knitted my way through 2 episodes of Deep Space Nine and half of Star Trek IV. I’m at 10 inches on the sleeve, as you can see here

Last night I put the body onto waste yarn and tried it on. It’s going to be too big. Don’t get me wrong; it’s the size it’s supposed to be (the smallest one) it’s just that I’m apparently exceptionally teeny. The body is slightly short too. I got scared that it was going to be too long (my stitch gauge is spot on but my row gauge is off) so I somehow in my delusional state thought I had achieved 15″ and stopped. It’s actually around 14″, but I’ve decided not to fret. This sweater is made of yarn that’s mostly cotton, and I have every confidence that it will be highly blockable into a slightly longer state. Plus I’m extremely short waisted, so it’s no biggie. Most sweaters are too long for me anyway. As for the body… well, I’ll try to reserve judgement. I think it’s big, but I’ve been fooled before. I was convinced my green gable was like linebacker huge until I finished it. We’ll see… and if it turns out to big I’ll just give it to someone slightly larger than me for Christmas.

I’m taking a break from my night of endless stockinette. Remember those magazines I found from my step-grandma? I decided to read them. It’s funny – women’s magazines today never contain much in the way of actual sewing and knitting patterns. Sure, maybe the occasional craft, but these are crazy involved. And also just plain crazy.

These are from Family Circle in 1974… and yes, that is a yarn ponytail. Sure, it isn’t described that way, but it’s definitely acrylic yarn hair.

Patterns for the men in your life. This is the reason I avoided brown my entire life – memories of being dressed in coordinating poop brown and beige as a child.

I swear that poor child is wearing an afghan.

There are groovy decorating spreads too (from Woman’s day)

I would like to own every single thing in this room. Ok, maybe not the teal shag carpeting. And certainly not all in the same place. But I like the individual pieces. I wish we’d had this sort of home growing up… but our shag carpet was orange. Nothing this exciting.

Bet you didn’t know you need a special product to clean your wood paneling. I personally cannot imagine there was a time when people said things like “How can I preserve the natural beauty of my wood paneling?” I myself have been known to walk straight out of an open house the minute I saw paneling. I cannot and will not deal with its removal, and I also can’t deal with looking at it every day… and this is coming from the person who loves the color avocado in the kitchen.

Ok, enough time wasting… back to sleeve knitting with me. I’m off tomorrow, so I can rest up from the marathon then.