crafts · knitting · wedding · yarn

More wicked

My Wicked is moving along very fast, as it is made with worsted weight yarn, and I’m making the smallest size.

I couldn’t decide which size to make as I was (as always) in between the two smallest.  I decided to go on my theory that I won’t wear baggy sweaters and go for the smaller, since my previous idea of going for the larger was constantly resulting in sweaters I don’t wear.  It’s also easier to block bigger than smaller, so this should be fine.  I tried it on, and the fit is great – Marc even commented that it was a “sexy sweater” which is a new one! My swatch had a tiny bit of shrinkage (like 1/4 of a stitch) so I’m pretty sure I can block that out.  I think I’m going to go for 3/4 length sleeves, as that’s my favorite length.  Although it’s so cold in here today that I’m walking around under a blanket, so maybe an actual warm sweater is a good idea?

I want to hurry up and finish so I can start my Nantucket jacket in this tweedy yarn

Since I’ve made three quick sweaters in a row I think I’m ready to tackle something a bit more time consuming… maybe.  We’ll see – I do love my stockinette!

This afternoon I am going to visit the craft store in an effort to get inspired for the “save the date” cards for our wedding.  I’ve seen some really cute ones online, but we’ll see… a graphical design genius I am not.  We are printing our own invitations (the wedding is going to be in August) and I’ve already picked up the paper for those at Michaels (on sale, with a coupon = less than $40 for all our invites!)

I’m trying hard not to let the wedding planning bug overtake my life.  I was planning on October originally, but we decided it would be easier to plan it during one of my session breaks at work.  I have 3 weeks off in August, and after that not til next December (and Christmas doesn’t work for me, I have too many gigs) so August it is.  I was worried I wouldn’t have time to knit, but in fact I think it’s driven me to knit more, in an attempt to distract myself.  On Friday I’m going dress shopping with Marc’s Mom.  I already have a good idea of what I want – I like this dress, from Siri bridesmaids, in ivory (which I’m pretty sure will be extra… stupid bridal industry)

Or something similar…  I also like the neckline on this dress (well, the jacket)

Basically I don’t want a big dress.  I want tea length and simple, with a portrait (or similar) neckline, a medium full skirt, and absolutely no beads, lace, sequins, or (visible) tulle.  I don’t think this exists in a “wedding” dress, so I’ll be buying bridesmaids or regular evening.

crafts · finished objects · knitting

The really not so shrunken cardigan

I’ve finished my cardigan!

Pattern: Marilyn’s Not-so-shrunken cardigan from Knit and tonic

Size: extra-small

Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool

Needles: US 5

Notes: Overall I’m pretty happy with this sweater. It passes the test of not looking homemade, and I love the color. This photo is true to the actual color, unlike all the others I’ve taken. My only beef with this pattern is that it lacked a listing of finished measurements. The raglan depth was too much I think, and in the future I will stop my raglans sooner – it called for 9.5″ and that was just too much (I have skinny arms.) I tried it on at the time, but I must have been confused. I added 1 extra set of waist decreases, and did only one row of ruffles. I also modified the ruffles to make them more exaggerated by occasionally double crocheting 3 times into one stitch. I added 2 inches to the sleeve length to make 3/4 length sleeves. This sweater looks nice over any looser top – either button down shirts as in the modeled photo, or a loose camisole. I’ll try to get a modeled shot, but it won’t be today – I won’t see Marc til I finish teaching at 8, and it will be long dark then.

I’ll leave you with a shot of the buttons and ruffles instead.

Oh, I do have the obligatory “in the mirror” shot!

Last night after sewing on the buttons I cast on for Wicked. I’ve finished the collar and made it through 4 raglan increases.


cats · crafts · knitting

The new Interweave preview is up!

Go see it!

On first glance my favorite design is the cable down raglan

I love the way the cables emphasize the waist in the back.  I also like both the cardigans , but I’m on a bit of a cardigan kick lately, so that shouldn’t be a surprise.

The shawlette is an interesting idea.  I like the idea of ends that are easy to tie around your shoulders, as I’m forever fixing my shawls.  I like Grumperina’s socks and the raglan as well, but I’m not excited enoug to post pictures.

I want to like this design but I dunno… I just don’t get the back.   I don’t like shirts with overly bare backs, as I’m not so fond of my own bony specimen.  I’m also not sure that I get the idea of making really open weaved tank tops I don’t like the 2 different sets of straps or the different lengths.  I will knit tanks, but the fabric needs to be pretty tight.

Overall it looks like a good issue.  Oh Interweave… why must you tease me with your previews a month in advance!

I finished the “not so shrunken cardigan” and it’s drying and awaiting buttons.  I already sewed buttons onto the Jess jacket, and I should get pictures today.  I’m so pleased with how these have both come out!

My cat wants to sleep on my blocking.  I fail to understand why the cat that hates even being in a room with running water would be perfectly happy to lie on a sopping wet sweater for a nap… but there you go.  He loves it.  In fact, he tried to gnaw on my Jess jacket this afternoon, but fortunately I caught him in time.

crafts · knitting · yarn

Almost there

My Jess jacket is finished, and it currently lies blocking on the dining room table.

I just need buttons!

The “not so shrunken” cardigan is almost complete as well.  I’m in the midst of sewing the hems, and then I have to make the button band etc, but it’s close!  I’m feeling much better about my ability to make sweaters now, as these two are coming out so nicely.  For awhile after the Hourglass fiasco I was unable to even contemplate making another sweater, but now I feel much better!

I’m also thinking about remaking my “rusted root” sweater.  The stitches are uneven (it was my first sweater) and I really should have made the XS instead of the small.

I think my next project will be Wicked , in the green Debbie Bliss merino aran I got from littleknits (the green is actually more to the yellow and less to the blue side than it looks in the photo.)


crafts · knitting · Life · wedding

Still knitting…

Thank you so much for all your nice wishes on my engagement – it really made me feel special!

We’re trying to iron out details on a date.  This mostly involves finding a close catholic church that won’t charge a bajillion dollars to rent.  Yes, I work for the church, but I don’t want the wedding at my church because it’s too far out (a good thirty minutes from the Highlands and impossible for out of town guests I think.)  Hopefully we’ll find somewhere soon!

I’ve decided that I want to wear a suit with a little hat and veil… sort of like this or this.   I could also go with a simple knee length sheath and knit a little lacy shrug.  Either way.  I just know that I am not at all a big poofy dress sort of person, especially because I practically work weddings for a living (so I want mine to be different!)  I’m thinking a sort of 1940s or 50s vibe, including hiring some of my friends who have a jazz band to play the reception.  Yes, prepare for all the wedding talk here!

In knitting news, I worked for a solid 3 hours on the Not so Shrunken cardi last night, and I’ve finished the body and one sleeve.

Sorry for the sucky picture, but I simply am incapable of taking pictures of myself.  I lengthened the sleeve by 2 inches because I have super long arms, so they worked out about the same as the called for length.  The raglan depth is probably a bit long (it called for 9.5″, but I should have stopped at 9 or even 8.5″.)  The needle is still on the bottom because I have lots more yarn and was considering lengthening the cardi, but I decided that since I like cropped sweaters it wouldn’t be worth the work for 6 more inches.  So… one more sleeve and the button bands to go!  This has been a super quick knit, and I don’t even feel as though I’ve been slaving away on it.  The yarn for my Jess hasn’t arrived yet, I promise to sew it together when it arrives!

That’s all for now!



I have no knitting news.  Absolutely none.  Why, you ask?

and from farther away…

We are engaged!  I am so happy.  The ring was my Grandmother’s, which makes me happy since I wouldn’t want us to support the diamond trade.

That is all for now!

crafts · knitting · yarn

Slow and steady…

My Not so shrunken cardi has sleeves!

You have no idea how glad I am to have the sleeves on waste yarn. By the end there were so many stitches on the needle that it was taking at least 20 minutes per row (at least on the purl side.) The good news is that since it’s a cropped cardigan I only have 6 more inches to go on the body – I’m more than halfway there! The color of this yarn doesn’t photograph well… it’s actually darker and maybe a little less blue.

I’m so in love with this yarn… mmm, such lovely texture.

My latest yarn obsessions are cotton/silk blends. To that end, I finally received the yarn I ordered from WEBS.

Classic Elite Classic Silk, for Ms. Marigold. So soft, and with a texture very similar to the Silky Wool. And yes, it’s pink. I’ve discovered that salmony pinks look good with my red hair.

Cascade Pima Silk in pistachio. This is for Sahara, which I’m making with short sleeves. This yarn is also very soft, but it is not slubby the way the classic elite is. I’m happy with my choice, as it seems like it will be drapey enough to make a good sub.

Sweet Georgia superwash sock yarn in Slayer and Firefly, bought from the Loopy Ewe. Honestly, I only bought these because I’ve been searching for them, and this is the first time I’ve seen these colors in the superwash on a US site. Sock yarn is really not a priority right now. But won’t the firefly yarn be lovely in the autumn?

And… since the money for these yarns all came from the selling of stash, they’re all totally guilt free!

Tonight is our anniversary, so Marc is taking me to the Cuban restaurant we visited on our first date. I can’t wait!

crafts · knitting · yarn

 Since I can’t work on my Jess sweater and I’m not in the mood for socks I started something new.

This sad little bit of raglan is the beginning of the “Not so Shruken” cardigan.   I’m using Silky Wool for the first time, and so far I love it!  It’s slightly tweedy and textured with the stickiness of silk.  So far as I can tell this is a “love it or hate it” yarn, and I’m on the loving it side.  The only problem I have with it?  It doesn’t work as a sub in other patterns that call for DK weight yarn.  I’ve been trying to use it forever, and I finally had to get a sweater written for Silky tweed.  So I don’t suppose I’ll be buying any more.  I don’t care for the Elsbeth Lavold Patterns that are written for silky tweed.  Not my style.  Someone else write a cute pattern for this yarn please!
I do have one pattern question… maybe someone can help me?  The pattern says to keep doing the raglan increases until the “raglan portion of the sleeves” measures a certain amount.  Does this mean I should measure down the row of raglan increases?  The only other thing I can think of is measuring across the sleeve, but that doesn’t seem right.

I’m making the size XS, which the pattern says is for a 32″ bust.  My bust measurement is 33″.  I’m trying to avoid making a sweater that’s too big – apparently I tend to do that.  I measured my favorite sweater, and it measures 30″ across the bust, so I’ve decided to reject any pattern that makes a sweater without negative ease (unless it’s not fitted, of course.)  The other knit and tonic pattern I’ve made (the Ill-fated Something red) was turning out way too big in the 34″ size, so I hope I made the right decision!   This pattern doesn’t have actual finished garment  measurements, so I’m flying blind… but I figure better too small than too big… previous experience tells me that if the sweater is too big I won’t wear it.

I’ll tell you though… going from size 11 needles (for jess) down to size 5s makes you feel like your progress is glacial.  I’m a loose knitter (to avoid irritating the tendonitis) so I often have to go smaller (the pattern called for 6s.)

I’m glad to see that I’m enabling you all with the Phildar patterns.  Maybe if there’s enough demand they’ll start selling them in the US.

A few comment responses (I’m never sure where to put these – I can email back, but what if someone else has the same question? So I’m going to try this.)

  1. high-strung Says: these are gorgeous! which book(s) did these come from?!?!? i love the coat with the oversized buttons! They came from the three Phildar Tendances magazines on the Phildar Website.  Just click on catalogues and you can browse all the designs.  There is a knit along for the coat going on right now here.
  2. Melissa Says: I love that brown yoke sweater, and the fuchia one with the leaves on the side! Gorgeous.

    Funny, I thought I was the only one who’d skipped garments that are knit in pieces. When you’re picking up your stitches are you putting the needle through just one loop or two? The latter should give you hole-free results. The video here is helpful:
    (I just watched it yesterday.) I watched that video too, trying to see where I was going wrong.  But I’m picking up through two loops.  I think the problem is the way the shaping was done.  Those aren’t all regular bound off stitches, which are easy to pick up.  A lot of the stitches are longer, and so they leave a hole.  Oh well… I think it will be hidden anyway, perhaps it’s just a problem with my loose knitting.  Thanks for the suggestion (and you aren’t the only one!)

crafts · knitting · yarn

It was the best of times…

Last night I stayed up way later than I should have, trying to finish the Jess jacket so I could see the yarn situation.  My final determination?  I’m going to be about half a ball short.  Fortunately, the store I originally got the yarn from still has some, so I’ll be able to get a new ball.  Little knits has a $25 order minimum though, so I’ll have to get a few other things (oh darn – I have to buy yarn?) And last night I did manage to finish all the major knitting (except for half of the collar) and I even managed to successfully seam the shoulders.  Did I mention that this is my first real seamed sweater?  Because it is.  I’ve spent what seems like forever rejecting any pattern that calls for seaming, and I’ve finally decided that it’s time.  Basted together the sweater fits, so lets hope my seaming doesn’t mess that up!  I’m having some collar issues too… the pattern calls for picking up stitches, which is fine, but I can’t figure out how to do so without leaving a hole because of the way the stitches lie… oh well, it will be covered up anyway!  It’s still a lovely pattern.

I’m going to set it aside while I wait for my yarn, and I’ll go ahead and start my cardigan.  I’m getting a lot of good knitting time lately, and I don’t like to interrupt my flow!  Usually my end of session breaks (3 weeks) come with lots of FOs, but the holidays really threw me off this year… all I finished was a pair of socks!

I followed a link to Phildar’s website the other day, not realizing that this was going to lead to me ordering pattern books from France.  But ah – the patterns are so lovely and fashionable!  I can’t understand why these aren’t available in the us.  You can buy (some)Phildar yarn, but the patterns seem impossible.  Here are some of my favorites:


I would have felt better about my order if the dollar weren’t so weak right now, but ah well.  It was still cheaper than getting (for example) 3 Rowan mags… and these look to be mostly free of the crazy Rowan styling that makes it impossible to see the designs.  For reasons I dont understand it was cheaper to order from France than from one of the canadian websites that sells these.  I got the ones with the english inserts because 2 semesters of college French did not exactly make me fluent.  I have plenty to keep me busy until they arrive!