Life · wedding


Thank you all for the warm wishes on my wedding.   Everything went far better than I could have expected!  Everything was beautiful, and we only had a few little mishaps (I forgot the ring and one of the bridesmaids had to run for it, and the power went out at the beginning of the reception (but it was fixed relatively quickly!)  I had a wonderful time, and I am so happy now to be married to such a wonderful man!  We are off to Chicago for the honeymoon, but I will leave you with some shots of the day from friends!

cats · crafts · knitting · Life · wedding · yarn

I’m calm… no, really

I keep telling people that I am not freaking out, but I’m not sure that they really believe me.  After all, my wedding is on Friday after all!  Everything is going pretty smoothly, although my relationship with the caterer seems to be quickly souring.

First, the on topic knitty stuff, then onto wedding!

I bought some Garnstudio Eskimo on the cheap, because I want to make this cardigan.   This yarn smells straight up like sheep, which to be honest kind of freaks me out (am I the only knitter who doesn’t like this?  People are always saying how much they love natural smelling yarn, but I am not such a fan.)  The cat, however, is totally fascinated by the stuff.  I’m not sure… maybe I will wash it? (And to answer the questions about this, I use my swift to get the yarn into hanks (is this the right word?), tie it in a few places so it won’t tangle, and then soak it in woolwash and hang to dry.)

WIP update!  I have finished all the pieces of my Nantucket jacket.  I need to block the pieces above, and then I can get to seaming.  This may or may not happen before the wedding, depending on what else I have to do.  It certainly can’t happen until I get my table cleared off!  The entrelac scarf continues, and I still just adore making it.  The photo above is slightly above one ball of SWS.  I bought 4, which looks like it will make a nice long scarf.

Wedding checklist: I have come up with a simple centerpiece (we got all the tiles, vases etc from friends who got married last year.)

Yes, those are coffee beans in here.  I left that one lit for hours, so that I could make sure it wouldn’t burn or smell.  It doesn’t.

Our escort cards and seating chart are done:

One of my best friends who is a fellow Catholic music person is both playing the music and made the worship aids.  He worked very hard on them, and they are so nice!  I think it will make the mass much easier on my (mostly) non Catholic family.  He’s also handling rehearsals with the musicians (we are having violin, flute and a cantor, and one of my best students is singing Ave Maria.)

I have made a little card that lists directions to the reception (unfortunately it requires highway travel) and lists the members of the bridal party.   Of course, the most important part is the little bride and groom robots I placed there!

I know, computer picture is not good, but I need to still print these off.  That quote is from star trek!  Let’s see if anyone notices who Leonard McCoy is.

Other than that… it’s all pretty good!  We can drop off most of our things at the reception venue tomorrow, and they will set them up.  I still need to get a few gifts for people who have helped us with the wedding, and Marc needs to finish up his favors.  I thought today was Wednesday all morning, so I was really happy to realize it was only Tuesday!  I think we should be ready in plenty of time (knock on wood!)

The most important part?  Leon is so happy when we get presents in the mail!

crafts · knitting · yarn

A present to me!

Thank you for all the comments about my blogiversary!  I was overwhelmed by the number of people stopping by to say they enjoy the blog… thank you all, and I can’t wait to see what I’ve made by the next!

I did pick myself up a blogiversary present.  Not yarn (ok, yarn too!) but something I wouldn’t ordinarily buy for myself.

A Namaste jetsetter bag!  I really wanted the avocado, but the color is no longer on their website.  I found one at kpixie and snapped it up – I love the color so much!  The bag is much larger than I was expecting, which is great because I have a lot of stuff.  It contains two compartments, one for knitting and one for purse stuff, it has one zippered pocked in the middle, and a few side pockets.  The straps are very sturdy.  It arrived yesterday, and I immediately started carrying it around.  We will see how it holds up… but overall I am pleased.  Now I don’t need two bags, and I can retire the sad nine west tote I had been carrying around.

Since I was making an order anyway, I picked up some Peace Fleece and the cutest little stitch markers I have ever seen (I think they are Japanese!)

The peace fleece is a gorgeous color, but it is a rustic feeling yarn (which I was expecting.)  I hear that it blooms after washing.  Has anyone ever prewashed this yarn before knitting with it?  I have done that before and been happy with the results, I just wonder about the mohair content in this one.  I want to make a little cardigan from the peace fleece (I got more than the one skein.)

I’ve got to recommend Kpixie again… they really have just great service, and they carry some hard to find yarns.

I’m still working on Nantucket.  Last night I finished the second sleeve, so now I only have the left front to go!  I hope to have time to pick up some buttons today, but we will see if that happens.  Today is my last day at work before I go one vacation for the wedding (it’s next Friday – I can’t believe it!)

crafts · finished objects · knitting · yarn

Happy blogiversary: A year in sweaters

Saturday marked my one year blogiversary!  Hooray!  I have enjoyed keeping this blog far more than I ever thought I would.  I have learned many new techniques and met some wonderful fellow knitters!

Bradyphenia at The Knotty Gnome posted a retrospective meme of her sweaters and how her opinions change, yarn has held up etc.  I thought… hmm, it’s been about a year since I started knitting sweaters (I think I made Rusted Root around this time last year) so it seems as good a time as any to join it!  Please note that you will not be seeing an appearance by the Hourglass sweater, which has the honor of being the only sweater I have knit this year that I won’t wear under any circumstances.

And I do wear my knits all the time, incessantly, even in hot weather (I was wearing the fitted knits shrug this morning in church!)  I do occasionally feel a little self conscious, but for the most part I am proud of everything I have made!

Top to Bottom:

Wicked: Wicked turned out to be a surprisingly flattering sweater.  I wore it all the time last winter.  Sadly, the Debbie Bliss Merino Aran yarn is not holding up well at all.  It is showing a distressing tendency to pill and fuzz, so a sweater stone may be in is future!

Dollar and a Half CardiganMy most successful cardigan, I wear it all the time.  It isn’t really good as a summer cover-up because of the extra long sleeves, and it does need to be frequently blocked to avoid puffiness, but I love it!  The Cotton Fleece is wearing extremely well.  I’m not happy with my seaming (I hadn’t learned to do seaming in reverse stockinette) but no one would notice!

Josephine top: Love this sweater.  I have worn it lots, even though it is a fairly recent fo.  The Karabella vintage cotton is really wonderful, and I really can’t wait to use it again for another project!

My camera does not photograph green well!

Top to bottom:

Bedjacket: I have worn this a few times, but it is waiting for cooler weather.  I have gotten compliments every time, so I will ignore that I still don’t love my seaming job.  Still love cotton fleece here!

Rusted Root: My first sweater, it lay abandoned for months until I finally wove in all the ends and found that I love it! The Shine Sport is wearing pretty well, and it is so soft and lovely to wear!  The lower bind-off is a bit tight because I hadn’t learned about using bigger needles, but it is within tolerable limits.

Lorelei: I’m not as happy with this one.  I love the eyelet rows and the band of silk garden, but it has a distressing tendency to roll at all of its edges, despite a crocheted border.  And while knitting the bottom sideways was fun, it does tend to stretch horizontally.  I don’t think I would do that again.  I do wear this occasionally, but it is not a favorite.

1. Marilyn’s “Not so shrunken” cardigan – Silky wool is so light and wonderful!  This one came out a tiny bit big, but I still wear it all the time.  It wears well, and it goes well with my wardrobe.

2. Camisa – I have worn this constantly since it was finished.  It’s very flattering, and I’m really into the red color right now.  This one is going a bit fuzzy, unlike my other cotton fleece sweaters – maybe it is the color?  Or maybe that I am wearing it to death?  Yes, I think that’s it.

3. Blue Sky Fitted Tank – Second to the hourglass sweater in sweater failures.  I hate the yarn, and the sweater came out too big.  The neckline, in spite of many modifications, is still wonky.  I might wear it in a pinch, but I consider this one a “learning experience.” Ahem.

1.Shrug from Fitted knits: Love it and wear it all the time.  The yarn is fuzzy, but so what?  It’s so lovely and comfortable!

2. Drops designs cropped cardigan: I do not like this one.  I was trying a new way of seaming, and the seams are majorly bulky.  I also do not think cotton ease should be knitted to its advertised gauge (at least by me), because the stitches are strange and uneven.  I do like the color!

3.Fad Classic: This one sees a lot of use, mostly because it works in both winter (over a long sleeved tee) or in summer (as a tank/vest thing.)  It does stretch out after awhile, but as in Rusted Root the Shine Sport yarn is wearing extremely well.  I am much more impressed now than I was when I first made it!  The stitch pattern also seems to impress non-knitters.

Puff Sleeved Cardigan –  My button saga continues.  I recently tried snaps, but those aren’t working either.  I think I need button/snap lessons for my knits, as they consistently give me issues!  Other than that it’s lovely, but I still await a better way to wear it!

Ms. Marigold: The Classic Elite Classic Silk just gets softer over time.  I love this one, and I would make another sweater from this yarn (I have some in stash, awaiting a good project!)

Jess Jacket: Again, the Debbie Bliss merino is disappointing, although soft.  It really likes to stretch too!  I love this jacket, but I need to tack down the collar better.  If I could do it again, I might make the collar separately and sew it on.  It is difficult to wear because of the collar issue, and I would really like to wear it more often!

Cropped Cardigan: Unfortunately, I might be allergic to alpaca.  I didn’t notice while knitting it, but it took 3 days so I didn’t have that much time.  I tried this one on and started feeling stuffy… never a good sign.  The cardigan is lovely though!

80s sweater: Still love it!  The rayon yarn does stretch out a lot though, so I don’t wear it as much as I could.

Yes… that is a whole lot of sweaters.   They aren’t perfect, but I am happy with what I learned from each one.  I’m looking forward to many new projects in the next year of knitting!

books · crafts · knitting · patterns

Rowan 42 and Vogue Knitting

Yesterday I received my copy of Rowan 42 in the mail, and I eagerly looked through it to see if (as others have said) it is nicer in person.  The verdict?  It is nicer in person… but overall I’m still a little underwhelmed.

One of my biggest problems with this magazine is how dark it is.  I know it’s the fall/winter issue and all, but there are some sweaters I cannot see at all:

The sweater on the right appears in the section where the staff wears the clothes, which is the only reason I like it.  You can’t even see the first sweater (there is another photo, taken from far away from the side,) and the middle is the same.  It also shows another peeve – displaying your models artfully draped over the landscape.  If you’re going to do that, please take another photo where the model is standing, without her hands on her hips, so that I can see what the sweater actually looks like. I will not make a sweater if I cannot tell how it fits.

I mentioned the staff section, and it is definitely the highlight of the issue.  There are several sweaters I would not have considered that I added to my list after viewing this section.  In fact, I would like it very much if the entire magazine were more like this section – well lit, focusing on clothes in colors other than cream, tan, and gray.

I love the first sweater, and the sweater on the right is the one from above that I mentioned.  I like a few more designs as well:


I really like the sweater on the right (called Earn) – look at the lovely detail!

I think I’m actually feeling inspired to make it in the original colors.   Anyway… I do like Rowan 42, I just wish that they would have more patterns that are actually pretty.  I haven’t mentioned the loads of bulky cabled sweaters in this issue, because I am not interested in them.  Out of the three stories I really only like one, plus the Earn sweater.  There are lots of designs in Cocoon, which is a heavy yarn that only comes in “natural” colors.

Ok, on to Vogue Knitting.  I bought it knowing that I hadn’t liked any of the preview patterns, and I was not disappointed – there is nothing I’m adding to my queue from this issue, other than the Silver Belle pattern by Debbie Bliss that I have already mentioned.  There are a lot of oversized sweaters, including a feature on reworking 10 patterns of the past.  Unfortunately, I didn’t like any of those patterns.  I didn’t realize that Vogue now is different from the Vogue Knitting of the 60s, so I’m disappointed they could rework any of the sweaters from that time period… but I guess if the 80s/90s is all you have to work from you get things like this:

The only design I really liked this time around was by Shirley Paden:

Unfortunately, since this is all we see of it, there is no chance of me making it (and really, the collar is a bit much.)

But ah well… I’ve never actually made a vogue pattern anyway, although I do have plans to make the eyelet blouse from last winter’s issue.  This issue has a very nice article on choosing flattering shapes, and it also includes two interesting interviews with knitting’s “old guard” vs “new guard.”  I also quite like Veronique Avery’s design from the Reynolds’ cover.  I’m glad to own it, because I’m totally a sucker for buying anything about knitting, but I don’t think I will be using it very often.

books · crafts · knitting · patterns

So many cables… and some reviews!

I have finished the back of Nantucket, and the pattern and I are still in true love!  I opted to add 1/2 inch to the length, and it looks to have come out just fine to me.

It isn’t really bumpy in the middle, that’s just the place I’m (lightly) blocking it!  Patons’ merino softens up considerably after blocking, which made me happy.

This week I came into posession of two new knitting publications: Romantic Hand  knits by Annie Modesitt, and the Vogue knitting 25th anniversary issue.

Romantic Hand knits

Romantic Hand knits is a pretty book, well photographed and with what would seem (on first glance) to be clear instructions. The book itself (thankfully) contains no “how to knit” section.  The patterns are divided into three sections, basically for tops, bottoms, and accessories.  The tops lean more toward warm weather knits. There is a nice looking kimono which I think would suit lots of people, a wrap sweater, and (my favorite)a nice off the shoulder lacy top (with unnecessary belting.)


There is also a cardigan knit in a fuzzy yarn, several cute tank tops, and two different lacy cardigans like this:

I’m not really feeling the lacy thing.  It’s a little much for me, but I’m not a lacy girl.  I prefer more tailored styles.

I do love the cover pattern:

I look good in skirts that are shaped that way, so it is a possibility.  I’m also likely to make this scarf, which is made with Tilli Thomas disco lights, because… well, I like the sparkley.

There are also some lovely opera gloves, more skirts and dresses (some of which are lovely but not for me) and a pair of stockings.  Oh, and two knitted hat patterns, and when I say hat I mean like fancy hats with brims.  They are really pretty, but I don’t think I will make one.  There are a few other patterns that I think are a bit over the top.  The range of sizes is excellent, randing from 28″ to over 50″ in most patterns.  The cover skirt is sized to fit hip sizes 30″ to 52″.  The book is also notable for the interesting use of different mixtures of yarns.  Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t, but it is at least interesting.

I actually received this book several days ago, but I needed time to think about it.  It was hard for me to look past the patterns I didn’t like, because I really didn’t like them… but again, I am a more tailored person.  Now that I’ve had the book for a few days, I’ve decided that I feel mostly positive about it, but I do recommend checking the book out before buying, so that you can get a sense of whether the patterns will suit your personal style.

Sorry for the muddy review, but I’m not totally sure how I feel – we will see after I attempt a pattern!

crafts · knitting

I think this is the first time I have really enjoyed a cabled project.  I have done small cables, and I have attempted to make others, but I always got fustrated really quickly.  I think I have finally reached the point of being ok with charts, so that is probably helping me out more than anything!  I’m using an extra circular needle as my cable needle, and I like it because it gets the stitches out of my way but won’t drop them.  I do know how to cable without a cable needle, but I only use that if there are tons of cables, because I find it sort of fiddly.

Here is my progress on the back so far!

This knit is really hard for the first few rows, but after the first repeat it gets much easier, and using my complicated system of stitch markers means I don’t have to use my brain too much, except on the cable row.

I’m just about to the point where I need to decide whether I want to lengthen the jacket or not.  This may not be apparent, but I am very, very short-waisted.  I dread the day they stop making low rise pants, because my waist is approximately 1.5″ under my bust.  I celebrate the empire waist, because it makes the entire subject moot.  My torso is not short, it’s just that the distance between my waist and hips is very long.  So I’m never sure on these things.  I have liked the looks of the jackets I’ve seen that aren’t lengthened better.  Oh well… I think I’ll have to do some measurements of myself and of jackets I already own, and then decide.

crafts · knitting · Life

A sleeve!

Today I have a nearly completed sleeve from my nantucket jacket.  I’m using Patons classic merino, and so far I’m happy with the stitch definition.  It isn’t soft squishy merino, but then I don’t think soft and squishy works as well for a jacket (I have heard comments that the Berroco Pure Merino in the pattern tends to stretch.)

I’m finding the stitch pattern so satisfying to work on right now, which is good because I’m a wee bit stressed.

We looked at this house today, but I think it wasn’t quite right for us.  It’s a beautiful home to be sure, but I didn’t love the way it was laid out, and it feels small for a nearly 2000 sq ft house.  I swear though, I nearly would have bought it because it was decorated so beautifully… but I know that if we wait we will find a house that is perfect for us.  I would also rather be closer to central park… that house is  almost literally across the street from my high school, near where Old Louisville ends.  I have hope that we will find a house on one of the lovely walking courts in that area.  We will wait and see.  It is all very exciting!

crafts · knitting

New start

I finally managed to get started on my Nantucket Jacket last night!  The pattern isn’t hard at all, but it does take a bit of thinking at first.  I had to go down to size 6 needles to get the gauge asked for, but I am happy with how it looks now!

Now that I’ve got the hang of the pattern I think it will go much more smoothly!

Last night the cat knocked the camera off the mantle.  He used to have a habit of knocking things off and breaking them, but this was the first in awhile.  The camera still works, but the button you press to take pictures is dented in and difficult to use, the case is cracked, and the zoom makes funny noises.  I think we will buy a new one, as this camera wasn’t really new anyway (it is a Canon Powershot A80.)  I’m planning to just get a newer powershot, as I have really loved that camera.   And this time I will keep it away from the cat…

crafts · knitting · patterns · yarn

I really do hate to fight

Agnes and I are in a fight.  She insists that she will be just lovely once her entire surface is covered with tiny little french knots.  I maintain that if I have to separately tie that many french knots I will lose my mind.  I’m  not sure there’s a lot of room for compromise here.

I spent quite awhile last night  working on tying a french knots, which, as it turns out, is way harder on knitted fabric than on linen.  And am I supposed to weave in all those ends?  Because that is not working for me.  Here’s what the fabric looks like now:

I did have some hope that I could just call the purls “texture stitches,” but even after blocking they are causing distortion in the surrounding fabric (I don’t know how obvious it is in this photo, but trust me… it’s there.)

So… I’ve decided to set Agnes aside for a bit while I work out what to do, which may involve ripping back to the peplum and working in straight stockinette.  I do love the shape of the jacket.  Fortunately, I haven’t done more than an inch on any other section, so it isn’t too much I will have to redo.  But then again… I’m not sure how I’m liking the color of this yarn, which is a bit too “grassy” for my taste (I like my greens more toward the yellow side.)  So we will see.  I am not upset… these things happen, and besides, Danica is going to wonderfully that I can’t be too upset!  I would have had more to undo on Agnes, except that I kept getting distracted by entrelac, which is certainly more fun than I could have anticipated.

I swatched for three new sweaters.

L to R: Valley Yarns Amherst in charcoal for Silver Belle (the Debbie bliss cardi from either the cashmerino collection or the new vogue,) Felted tweed in Rage for Patti (I love this color so much!) and Patons Classic merino for the Nantucket Jacket.

The first two haven’t been blocked yet.  Interestingly, the charcoal Amherst is considerably softer than the periwinkle that I have.  Perhaps the dying process made the darker color softer?  I now have yarn for 3 sweaters in felted tweed, so I should get on that soon… and the Patons merino is the only yarn I have yet found that works for Nantucket without being crazy pricey.  And yes, it will pill, but hopefully not too badly (I tried abusing the swatch above, and it seems to have survived, and anyway I have so many sweaters that hardly anything is in danger of being worn often enough to pill…)

I’m also excited because (according to amazon) my copy of Romantic Handknits is due to ship on Tuesday!  I love new knitting books, and this one looks nice from the preview.