crafts · Crochet · Life

At least it will be funny someday…

It’s been a crazy weekend, you might say.  Friday night, Marc and I went to the opera (we love opera, and one of my best friends works for the opera company, so we’re supporting!)

I especially love dressing up.  It was la Traviata, not my favorite (a bit too much dying of consumption for my taste) but the cast was phenomenal!

Saturday we made a trek to Cincinnati, to see Marc’s parents and go to Ikea (I finally got a new dressing table, and I am super excited to get my stuff out of the bathroom where guests and students can’t see it!)

We got back pretty late, and went to bed.  We woke up at 4 am to the sound of someone opening our front door.  I woke up Marc, who armed himself with our only real weapon, a fire extinguisher, and called 911.  We stayed shut it our room, as we heard someone coming up the stairs.  I don’t mind saying that I was completely terrified!  The police arrived and, as it turned out, there was a drunk stranger passed out in the bed in our guest room.  One of the policemen attempted to calm me by saying “don’t worry, we get this sort of thing all the time!” which was somewhat less than comforting.  Of course, the guy had decided that it would be a good idea to lose his pants in our foyer, so our neighbors got to witness someone without pants being dragged out of our house at 4:30 am.

As it turns out, I had left the keys in the front door when we got back so late, and the drunk thought he had made it to his friends’ house near us (and they had thoughtfully left the keys!)  Don’t ask me how he failed to notice that he was not even faintly in the right house.  He called this morning to apologize profusely and with much embarrassment.

I love my neighborhood, and wouldn’t leave it for anything, but tomorrow we are so getting an alarm system, so as to avoid more confused drunks!

Ahem… I have also been crocheting, although not since Friday!  After crocheting the yoke of my sweater at least twice, I’m on the body, which is pretty smooth sailing.

If you make this pattern, be sure to count your stitches after each row of the yoke – I could have saved myself so much trouble that way.

Happy Monday everyone – here’s hoping for a great week!

crafts · Crochet · knitting

Crocheting again

I’m trying out a new crochet hook  – metal tips with square wooden handles by kollage.  I will say that I didn’t have any aching wrists after doing what you see above last night!  My pinky got a little stiff, probably from wrapping around the square, but not in a bad way – more in a “I don’t use this muscle” kind of way.

The pattern (found here) gave me some issues.  I had a really hard time getting gauge, and ended up dropping from and H to an E hook.  That’s a big drop, but I do find that this designer’s patterns tend to be like that for me.  I also had trouble reading the pattern, as I found I needed info found in both the written directions and the chart, and neither were as clear as I would have liked.  I’ve finally worked it out, and hopefully I’m on my way now!

I bought the Colourscape Folk collection for my next knit sweater, but first I have to finish a pair of socks for my MIL’s birthday.  Maybe.  I’m not sure – I’m so lousy at obligation knitting.  I always run out of motivation.  I try not to tell anyone I’m making them a gift, because then I feel pressure, but this time I forgot!

Hope everyone is having a great Monday!

crafts · finished objects · knitting

FO: Blooming Cardigan

Pattern: Blooming Cardigan by Sarah Hoadley, Winter 2009 Interweave Knits

Yarn: Beaverslide Worsted in Mountain twilight

Needles: US 7 and 5

Notes: It’s possible that I have recently become obsessed with the tv show Mad Men. Not the plotlines (though I find them compelling) but rather the wonderful clothes worn by the women in the cast.  So when I found this pencil skirt at the thrift store the other day, I knew it would go perfectly with my nearly completed cardigan – and it did!  I even bought the shoes to match (I love this style of heel so much that I broke my rule of not paying full price for shoes.)  Yes… I’ve been going a little crazy lately looking for late 50s/early 60s era clothing.  And we won’t even talk about my new obsession with retro eyeliner.  I’m even wearing retro perfume – Baghari by Robert Piguet, a recent recreation of a classic 1950s perfume.  But that’s nothing new – I adore classic perfumes and have way too many – Chanel no 5, Guerlain Shalimar etc… they don’t smell old to me, they smell like a lady, which is how I would like to be seen.

Ahem… that’s a long way to say that I adore this sweater.  I made several alterations from the original pattern.  The largest, of course, is the subtraction of the belt.  As you can see, it doesn’t need one, and in fact is cuter without.   I added more buttons than called for in the pattern to compensate – I used 8 3/4 inch buttons, placed every 10 buttonband stitches or so.  I picked up fewer stitches that called for on the collar and the buttonbands.  Speaking of the collar – I love it!  I didn’t even notice how cute the large collar was in the magazine.  I left off the buttons called for on the collar, because I would never use them.  I slipped the first stitch on each turn of the bobbles, which made them not too huge.  The cabling I did without a cable needle, and it was pretty quick work.

The fit is great, though the sleeves are a tad bit small in the wrist.  I will say that the sleeve caps are too long to fit in the armholes – I don’t like so much ease, and they are a little big on me.    Unlike most cardigans, this one has enough shaping to be cute buttoned all the way up.   I also think that it would be easy to play with the proportions on this one by moving the cable panel in towards the center a little, which would give a slimming effect.  I’m not sure I approve of the cables being so close to the underarms, though I don’t think it’s that noticeable in the smallest size – the back would definitely be more flattering that way.

And the yarn… oh how I love this yarn.  A tweedy wool and mohair blend that isn’t as pricey as you would think.  It’s soft yet sturdy.  It’s minimally processed and I think it feels a bit of lanolin when you knit it, which I enjoy because it softens your hands.  It doesn’t smell sheepy.  It blocked beautifully, with some real size changes – so wash your swatch if you use this!  I did sew up with the yarn, and it was a little bit fragile, but not so much that it can’t be sewn with – just don’t pull hard enough to snap the yarn.

I think this is another victim of what I consider to be the lousy styling in Interweave Knits – this was the cover sweater last winter, but do you recognize it?  It was too big and not flattering at all on the model, and the belt didn’t really work.  It took me forever to finish, but only because warm weather interrupted the knitting – I’m so happy to have this in my wardrobe now!

crafts · knitting · yarn

A long time coming

It took almost 7 months, but the bobble cardigan is finished!

I hope to have modeled photos tomorrow.   It’s super cute on – so much prettier than it looked in the magazine!  It also didn’t really take that much knitting time, once I started doing all the crosses without a cable needle.

I’ve decided that my next project is going to be the crochet cardigan below, available for free from Classic Elite.

I think it’s adorable.  I’m using Cascade 220 in the colors below.

From right the colors are: Kansas, Jet, Deep Sea, and Siena.  On the bottom you see a cat.  Except for siena they are all heathers.  Jet (the charcoal) will be the main color, and I’m trying to decide the order of the others.   The yellow will definitely be the middle row, so I just need to decide on the other two – do I want more brown or more teal?

I love how adorably cranky Sarah Jane is.  She was not amused when I kept taking photos on “her” bed.

crafts · knitting · patterns

weekly randomness

So I finally got a new camera, and I have been amusing myself by taking photos of the cats.

Dionne appears to be less entertained than I.  Oh well though!  I got a Canon and I love it – the picture quality is much nicer than my old camera, and we got a good price on it at a labor day sale!

I’m working on my bobbled cardigan and considering what to make next.  I really want to make one of these 2 sweaters, both from Rowan Vintage Style:

The problem is my yarn choice.  Salina (the first sweater) is knit in felted tweed.  I love felted tweed, but it contains alpaca, which I am very allergic to.  In fact, nearly every nice tweed that I look at, other than traditional rough tweeds, contains alpaca. I know it makes the yarn soft, but even 5% alpaca content totally rules out a yarn for me (knitpicks has a nice new tweed that I really want, but it’s a no go for that reason!)  I don’t want something like Jo Sharp’s tweed, because I’ve used it before and it makes a soft but stiff fabric.  There should be more dk tweeds… Demi (the 2nd sweater) has lots of options because it’s a worsted weight.

Sorry for the rantiness, but I spend a lot of time looking for yarns that don’t contain alpaca or llama.  I’m a little allergic to angora, but it’s tolerable in small doses.  I’m afraid to try other fibers – for instance, camel – because I fear having a bad reaction.  It’s funny that I’m allergic to these animals, but not at all to any house pets.    I am, obviously, a big fan of plain old wool.

I’m also thinking of starting a crochet sweater I have yarn for, or knitting the dress from the new Kim Hargreaves book.  Would I wear a knitted dress?  Perhaps not, but I can always pretend it’s a tunic!

crafts · finished objects · knitting

FO: Heather Hoodie Vest

Pattern: Heather Hoodie Vest, by Debbie O’Neil, Knitscene Fall/winter 09

Yarn: Valley Yarns Northampton Bulky in Ocean Heather

Needles: US 10

Notes: I will confess that I was worried about a possible linebacker effect from this sweater, what with the bulky yarn and the lack of actual sleeve shaping.  Not to worry though – I love it!  I knit to a slightly tighter gauge and got a 34″ bust, which is perfect.  Since the sleeves are formed from the bust width, you want a little (but not too much) positive ease.

The yarn was nicer than I expected – I prefer it over Cascade’s bulky workhorse yarn, which gave me uneven tension and painful hands, but it’s not exactly soft.  It’s perfect for this sort of sweater.  I am hoping it won’t fuzz up too badly.  The color is really nice too – a muted teal heather, accurate in the first photo above on my monitor.

The pattern was pretty easy to follow, but does contain one major error – the cable setup row for all sizes is incorrect.  There is a correction posted on the pattern’s Ravelry page.  I chose contrasting buttons because I wanted a playful feel – this sweater is pretty sporty, and I didn’t want it to be too conservative.  I have only one complaint about the sizing – the hood is totally ridiculously large.  I didn’t bother with a photo of it up, but trust me… it looks like I’m wearing a sack on my head.  But besides that I love it – I didn’t want to take it off, even though it’s a warm day out!