Nothing Gold Can Stay

October 13, 2008 at 8:47 am (knitting)

So I took advantage of the last 80 degree day my part of Upstate New York will probably see this year to snap some pictures of my new scarf and gloves.

Noro

Here are the specs, we’ll start with the scarf:

Pattern: Clapotis by Kate Gilbert
Source: Knitty, Fall 2004
Materials: Noro Silk Garden (45% Silk, 45% Mohair, 10% Lambswool) in 269, 3 skeins; Size 7 Brittany Birch Single Points
Started: September 21, 2008
Completed: October 3, 2008

I bought this beautiful colorway of Noro Silk Garden on a whim from Little Knits (it’s still on sale if you want to check it out) with the original intention of making another multidirectional scarf. I had made one when I first started knitting, but only used one skein of Kureyon so ended up with more of a cravat. Unfortunately, that pattern in this colorway created kind of a patchwork, 80s-looking scarf that even two balls into the knitting I disliked enough to rip it out and start with a new pattern. Enter Clapotis.
Clapotis

I’ve made the ubiquitous Clapotis before, and I’ll probably make it again. It’s a lot of fun to knit and it really does justice to about any yarn you can throw at it. It’s really is just that great of a pattern. I do wish it was a little bit longer. I used every bit of the three skeins, even spit-splicing so as not to waste any precious yardage, and even with agressive blocking I only eked about 53 inches out of it. It is, however, about 17 inches wide so I probably could have forgone a repeat in the first section and got another few inches in length. Oh well, bygones!

ClapotisClapotis

It’s really beautiful though, and I’m sure I’ll wear the hell out of it this winter.

Next!

 Noro Mitts

Pattern: Noro Fingerless Mitts by Michelle Molis
Source: Another Knitting Blog
Materials: Noro Silk Garden (45% Silk, 45% Mohair, 10% Lambswool) in ??, 1 skein; Size 7 Brittany Birch DPNs
Started: February  2008
Completed: February  2008

These were completed in a stash-busting exercise way back in February but sat unblocked with ends unwoven, feeling completely neglected. In hindsight I would have knit the ribbing at the nuckles and thumb a bit shorter and tighter since the fit leaves a little bit to be desired. They’ll work for the timebeing, although I’m sure that once I’ve finished my Dashings these will find their way to a new owner. The colorway is just so pretty though.

I was very inspired by the beautiful fall weather that came our way this weekend, so here are a few more images from around my parents’ yard…

AutumnAutumn

AutumnAutumnAutumnAutumn

Sorry if I bogged down your computer with all the pictures! I couldn’t resist; we’re not going to have light like this to take nice pictures for much longer….

Next up, I finished my 28Thirty, so once the blocking is done and the buttons are on you’ll get to see it too… I can just feel the excitement. Happy Colombus Day!

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Time in a Bottle

October 7, 2008 at 9:23 am (Finishing, FO, knitting, Work in Progress)

Hourglass Pullover
Hourglass Sweater
Pattern: Hourglass Pullover by Joelle Hoverson
Source: Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Materials: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran (55% Merino Wool, 33% Microfibre, 12% Cashmere) in Plum, 11 skeins; Size 8 24″ circs, Size 8 DPNs
Started: December 2006
Completed: October 2008

I finally finished this. I repeat, I finally finished this. And I love it. Why, oh why did I wait so long!

Primary knitting on this lovely pullover was actually completed back in February 2007. But due to the extensive hem knitting that I apparently wanted no part of, this languished in my knitting basket for a year and a half. Cut to a new me, a new season, and a very refreshing finishing spree, and I decided, “Hey! I don’t have to do the hems! I should just knit a new border on this and be done with it.” And a new sweater was born.

As for modifications, we have the aforementioned seed stitch borders, and I also did matching decreases. The pattern calls for just a bar increase in the body and k2tog decreases in the sleeve. I did a lifted increase to make it a bit more seamless and matching k2tog, ssk decreases in the sleeve. It fits perfectly and the yarn is so very soft. I’ve heard some mixed reviews about the pilling factor in this particular Debbie Bliss yarn, but I guess I’ll just have to cross that bridge when I come to it.

In other news, I’ve finished another clapotis in Noro Silk Garden; I’ll do a full FO post when I finally have a picture worthy of its inate loveliness. I’m also well on my way toward finishing the 28Thirty (just one sleeve to go) and I’ve cast on a new set of Dashings in Berocco Ultra Alpaca to replace my favorite fingerless mitts which were tragically lost in a drinking related incident last year. (sob!)

Here’s a sneak peak for you…
ClapotisDashing

Hope everyone is enjoying the crisp, cool fall weather, and busting out their handknits to keep them warm as we head into my favorite time of year…

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Like a Record Baby

August 21, 2008 at 9:11 am (knitting)

I’d like to introduce you to my shrug, also know as the “first apparel item to make it out of the house on my person.” Yay!

Monotone Shrug
Monotone ShrugMonotone Shrug

Pattern: Two-Tone Ribbed Shrug by Stefanie Japel

Source: Fitted Knits

Materials: Paton’s Classic Wool Merino (100% Merino Wool) in Olive, 2 skeins; Size 5 and 7 24″ circs

Started: August 2007

Completed: June 2008

Procrastination is the devil, man. I started this at the tail end of last summer and put it down once Christmas knitting commenced. Or, actually I believe I put it down because I was putting off seaming the sleeves and picking up stitches. I finally did this in May and the thing magically finished itself. I then waited two (2!) months to weave in ends and block it. I’m officially the laziest knitter ever.

Anyhoo, now that it’s all done and pretty, I absolutely love it. See I have this problem in the evenings where just the back of my arms get chilled (a little weird, I know). This solves it. So despite the fact that the other night my friend kept teasing me that I was missing the rest of my sweater, and then going on to suggest all the things I could do to earn the money to get the yarn to finish the sweater….ahem….this is my first knitted apparel success story. See, I’m trying this new thing where I actually wear the things I spend hours upon hours knitting. A novel concept, I know.

So here’s the other stuff I’m working on.

Prairie Tunic
Prairie Tunic

This is now all seamed up; I just have to figure out how to make a twisted cord. Which I’ve heard is a lot trickier than the instructions might suggest. Difficult or no, the first step is to figure out how to measure out 48 feet (feet!) in fingering weight yarn without getting my dog completely entangled in it, since he rarely wanders more than two feet away from me when I’m home. This could definitely be interesting.

 Carnelian Ring

Alsoooooo…..on the conspicuous consumption side of things, I want to show you my new loverly carnelian ring, which I bought from Jenna ‘s Etsy shop Small Bird. Go there immediately and buy her beautiful and well-made designs! Go on!

I’d like to add that I totally forgot the point of my title, but have decided to keep it there anyway. Cuz it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want. So there.

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Is This Thing On?

August 8, 2008 at 9:08 am (knitting)

Is anyone still reading this?

Hellooo?Yeah, I know it’s been a while. More than six months is a ridiculous amount of time to expect your readership to hang in there, but if anyone is still there…hi there!

Due to some personal issues, which I’m not really comfortable getting into in this forum, my knitting and blogging mojo has been noticably absent these last few months. It’s a little difficult to focus, even on the things you love doing, when your entire life has gone topsy-turvy. But luckily for me, I have an incredibly supportive family and wonderful friends, and with their help I seem to be back on a path to health and happiness. It’s never too late to change the road you’re on.

So with this renewed sense of purpose, I’ve come once again to knitting. I’m happy to report that my return means that those WIPs that have been languishing at the bottom of my knitting basket are now finally getting their day in the sun. My shrug from Fitted Knits is happily blocking as I type, and the Hourglass sweater is all prepped and ready for seaming and blocking tonight. I’ve also rededicated myself to finishing my Prairie Tunic—I don’t quite understand why I ever put it down. It’s such a nice pattern to knit, and the yarn, Rowan Cotton 4-Ply, is really lovely on the fingers for 100% cotton. And the color…oh, how I love Rowan colorways. Pretty-Pretty.

  Prairie Tunic

Hello old friend, it’s really nice to see you once again…

So welcome back to my knitting blog—your patience and continued reading will hopefully now be rewarded by many finished objects as I get back on track with my favorite pastime…ah, knitting.

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A Gal with a Plan

February 2, 2008 at 3:56 pm (knitting, Work in Progress)

Yeesh I was a crab in my last post. Remind me not to post on Saturday mornings before finishing my first cup of coffee! I should always delay at least until the afternoon.

Anywhoo, I realized last week that the reason I’m a little discouraged knitting-wise right now is because I’ve once again let my WIPs build up. I don’t mind having a lot of things on the needles at once; I’m most certainly not a project knitter. I believe that this is my hobby, so I’ll knit what I want to, you know? But I still start feeling overwhelmed when I have too much going. And what better way to fight off the winter blues than with a little FO high, right? So with that in mind I’ve set out to make some progress on the two worst offenders in my WIP pile.

Broad Street Mittens
WIP Broad Street Mittens

Every time my husband sees me knitting something new, he says, “How are my gloves coming along honey?” Yeah. it’s a good thing I don’t find that annoying. At all. So yesterday, I sat down and knit the whole hand and most of the fingers on the second glove. This one really needs to be knocked off the list, since according to my records I cast on for this in January 2007. Yeah, you heard me right: 2007. Yikes.

Circular Shrug
WIP Circular Shrug

The problem here is that I really don’t enjoy the yarn (Caron Simply Soft – I was stashbusting) and the mock rib is reeeeeeeeelly boring. But I really want this one for my wardrobe. (Note: I won’t be picking out projects solely on this merit again.) I finished off the mock ribbing last night, so now I just have the five inches of 2X2 to finish, and then seaming. And while it’s boring, it was certainly nice to work on something I didn’t really have to pay attention to while watching Lost Thursday night.

Once these two are off the list, I’ll be able to turn back to my 28Thirty again. I’m just about done with the body, but I think I may knit the sleeves first and then see how long I can get the body with the amount of yarn I have. Here’s a little peak:
WIP 28thirty

And here’s a peak at the “travel” knit I’ve got going:

WIP Le Slouch #3

Another Le Slouch in Rowan Kid Classic, Smoke for my sister and a co-worker.

And finally, Punxsutawney Phil is a jerk. But Happy Groundhog’s Day anyway!

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Fickle Knitter

January 26, 2008 at 10:49 am (FO, knitting)

I can’t quite put my finger on why I’m so driven to finish certain projects, and why I come to detest others. It’s usually some kind of roadblock that leads me to set aside a project—the need to seam or pick up stitches, or some kind or error that causes me to have to rip back. But other times, for no apparent reason I just no longer enjoy knitting something. This is why I have a growing number of projects in various states of completion. It’s fine most of the time; I figure it’s my pastime, if I don’t feel like working on something I’m not going to. But I can’t do that when I’m gift knitting. Which is probably why I’m much more likely to finish and not rip out something I’m making for someone else than a project I’m making for me. Case in point, the Swallowtail Shawl:

Swallowtail Shawl

Pattern: Swallowtail by Evelyn Clark
Source: Interweave Knits, Fall 206

Materials: Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca Silk (50% alpaca/ 50% silk) in Amethyst, 3 hanks; Size 6 24″ circs
Started: October 2007
Completed: December 22, 2007

This is such a beautiful shawl, I just didn’t really enjoy knitting it. But the yarn is gorgeous, as always; it is one of my favorites. And the recipient, my sister, was just blown away by it. I’ve always really enjoyed knitting Evelyn Clark shawls in the past, I couldn’t put down the Lace Leaf Shawl and the Flower Basket Shawl when I was working on them. Maybe I’m just off shawls for now. I really don’t know.

Swallowtail Shawl

I didn’t modify the pattern at all, beyond the obvious yarn and needle size substitution. It turned out much larger than I anticipated. The pattern as written creates a rather small shawlette, and while I was knitting, mine did not seem to be coming out much longer. But I forgotten the stretch factor in silk—this baby grew by almost a quarter in size when I blocked it.

Swallowtail ShawlSwallowtail Shawl

I’m working on a few other things right now, like the new 28Thirty pattern from Zephyr Style in Cascade 220, some Serpentine Mitts in Dream in Color Smooshy that appear to be coming out waaay to small, and a Quant for a co-worker in Reynolds Andean Alpaca Regal. Probably mostly due to lack of inspiration and a case of the winter blues, I’m also feeling the allure of some quick stash busters, like these lovely Noro fingerless mitts and this cute little baby cap in fingering weight sock yarn. However those unfinished projects in the bottom of my knitting basket are still calling me, so who knows, maybe I’ll have another finishing spree soon. Stranger things have happened…

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Tell Me Your Size, I’ll Knit You a Sweater

December 22, 2007 at 4:16 pm (FO, knitting)

Edith Piaf was a knitter. I just discovered this when I recently watched the wonderful movie that details her tumultuous and often tragic life, La Vie en Rose. The above quote was my favorite from the film. She and the man who would turn out to be the love of her life are discussing their interests outside of his and her work (boxing and singing, respectively). She tells him that she knits, and then says, “Tell me your size, I’ll knit you a sweater.” There are a number of other references to her knitting during the film as well, and I found it notable that it was enough of a part of who she was that it was woven into the plot of the movie. It was an every day, natural part of her life, much as it is for many of us. That they highlighted this made her, and by extension the film, all the more relatable to me. I highly recommend the movie, even if its subtitles don’t make it the most knitting-friendly film. Just tackle your most boring stretch of stockinette in the round and settle in.

Since her voice was known as the “soul of Paris,” I thought it only appropriate to use my mini-review as an introduction to the ever-so-chic Clapotis, which will (begrudgingly) be given to my sister as a Christmas present.

Clapotis

Pattern: Clapotis
Source: Knitty

Materials: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool (50% wool/50%silk) in Rust, 2.5 hanks; Size 8 24″ circs
Started: Late October 2007
Completed: December 6, 2007

I know that everyone and their mother has made this, but I firmly believe that everyone and their mother, sister, best friend and aunt should have one. It’s that nice. I need one. And while it’s a whole lot of stockinette to take on, the thrill of dropping stitches every 12 rows carries you through.

ClapotisClapotis

I omitted the last increase row in the hopes of making a wide scarf more than a stole. This didn’t work, it still blocked out to about 20 inches across and roughly 70 (!!) inches long. I also used a DK/sport weight yarn with size 8 needles, where the pattern calls for worsted weight and the same size needle. This made for a drapier fabric; I think this is a nice effect. This sucker is huge, so I think that for a person with a small frame, like myself or my sister (seriously, it looks like you put normal-sized people in the dryer to create my family) the larger worsted weight version would overwhelm. What’s nice about this is that it is large enought to be worn thrown over the shoulders as a stole but it’s thin enough to comfortably wear it wrapped at the neck as a scarf. 

Can you believe that I’ve already posted more this month than I had in the last three? What can I say, I thrive on a deadline, and I’m too lazy to post most of the time unless I have an exciting FO or feel like showing off my shame for the multitude of things I keep on the needles at any given time! That being said, the FO parade will continue up until the holiday. I’m currently blocking Mom’s Le Slouch, and even though it felt like death was creeping up on me every time I picked it up, I just cast off the Swallowtail shawl this morning. I’ll begin blocking as soon a I wrap up the post. So now I’m back to selfish knitting, or, I could finish the three unfinished projects languishing in my basket. The possibilities are endless!

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Four Hours

December 16, 2007 at 3:54 pm (FO, knitting)

Was all it took to turn this . . .

Blue Sky Bulky

Into this…

Neckwarmer

ohmygoditssooooosooooft

Pattern: Cashmere Neckwarmer
Source: Yarn Abuse

Materials: Blue Sky Bulky Naturals (50% Alpaca, 50% Wool) , Polar Bear (1004), 1 hank; Size 13 straights
Started: December 15, 2007
Completed: December 15, 2007

While on a day trip to Buffalo yesterday I stopped by two yarn shops to get the supplies for my substitute Christmas present for Mom. I wanted the hat and scarflette to match, but not be too matchy-matchy. Although I hemmed and hawed about the yarn choice (Cascade Magnum, Takhi Baby, and Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grand were all choices), I eventually settled on this very bulky, and very soft alpaca blend. The yardage is on the skimpy side (only 45 yards) but it’s just so soft and fluffy that I couldn’t pass it up. I needed every last bit of those 45 yards – this only reached the pattern’s 25-inch length with some aggressive blocking. And I had only about an inch of yarn left.

The button was a bit of a surprise; I thought I was buying one of the regular $3.00 wooden buttons, but after I paid I realized I’d picked out the $7.50 version, which the store owner informed me was made out of “antler.” Ok. Well at least it’s pretty.

The pattern is fun to do and goes so fast – I got home from Buffalo at 3:00 and this was blocking by 7:00. I love that! Thanks Kim!

So now, I’m working on turning this…

Noro Kureyon

Into this . . . I’m thinking it will take more than four hours. Oh well, can’t have instant gratification with every project! I have to pat myself on the back for restraining myself while in the yarn shop, as they had stocked Noro sock yarn!! While I found a lot of the colors to be garish, they did have one or two really beautiful neutral, natural colorways that I absolutely loved. Well, they had two, 149 and 150. But, since this (I can’t believe I got my hands on some Vesper!!) just came in the mail this week, I held back. All in good time…

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Wolf Dressed in Alpaca & Silk

December 12, 2007 at 4:31 pm (knitting, Work in Progress)

Swallowtail

Don’t be fooled by this innocuous looking shawl. I know it looks pretty and soft. But, like the Sirens, it lulls you into complacency with its easy bud lace pattern only to smash you into pieces with its evil little nupps.

So maybe it’s not that bad, but I’ve got to tell you, I’ve had enough of the shawl knitting. I have to get this done this week, if only to maintain my already weak grip on sanity. No…more…lace….

So, sadly, it’s look as if I’m going to have to give up the ghost on my mother’s Arctic Lace stole. If I really pushed myself, I might be able to get it done in a week but I really just don’t think I have it in me. Plus, I’m thinking it’s going to be on the short side. Sigh…

Luckily, when I was home on Sunday for my sister’s birthday my mother made a big fuss about my Gretel slouchy hat, and then bemoaned the recent hat and scarf purchase she had made. That planted the seed of abandoning the stole for something a bit more practical—a hat. If I have time, I’ll whip up a neck gaiter too. I can finish the stole for Mother’s Day, which eases any guilt I may feel.

I’m deciding between Le Slouch, Slouchy Copy Hat, Mary Jane’s Pithy Hat, and the Last Minute Purled Beret. They’re all fairly similar patterns, so it may very well be an amalgam of all of them. For the gaiter, I’m thinking Cherry Garcia, Tudora, or Kim’s Cashmere Neckwarmer. Hell, I may even just make something up. A simple knitted tube can’t be all that hard, can it? (Said the tired, crazy-eyed Christmas knitter as she picked up her pointy sticks.)

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Oh Sh%&!

December 8, 2007 at 11:09 am (FO, knitting, Work in Progress)

Has anyone else noticed that Christmas is in 17 short days? Is that fact making anyone else break out into cold sweats?

Yeesh – How did I manage to do this to myself this year? Three shawls did not seem like an overwhelming undertaking back in late September. While I’ve finished Clapotis for my one sister, I still need to do the border lace (including nupps) on my other sister’s shawl, and I may or may not have enough yarn to finish the remaining 2/3 of my mother’s Arctic Lace Stole. This may be a short post, my fingers are needed elsewhere!

ClapotisWIP SwallowtailArctic Lace Stole

Maybe the problem is that in between stuffing my face with the closest food item over Thanksgiving I decided to knit Calorimetry and finish my Gretel slouchy hat. I know, I lack focus and direction.

Gretel

Gretel

Pattern: Gretel
Source: Ysolda

Materials: Cascade 220 (100% wool) in brown, 1 hank; Size 5 & 7 24″ circs, Size 7 DPNs
Started: Late October 2007
Completed: November 22, 2007

It’s so cute, it may just be worth the stress it’s caused me, since I sacrificed Christmas knitting time to finish it. I didn’t do the tubular cast-on, mainly because I’m lazy and mostly because the directions made my eyes go googly—I did the regular long tail. I like it, but I think I need to block it again, because it’s just not slouchy enough. The cable pattern is just gorgeous though, and it was a lot of fun to knit.

Carolimetry

Calorimetry

Pattern: Calorimetry
Source: Knitty

Materials: Filatura di Crosa 127 Print (100% wool) in brown, 1 hank; Size 8 24″ Circulars
Started: November 18, 2007
Completed: November 18, 2007

This took about a day to knit. But now I’m kind of wishing I’d picked a more neutral color, since it’s a little loud. Oh well. Also, if I ever make one of these again, I’ll go down a size and to make a denser fabric. It’s really stretchy, and a little bit too big. Still have to add a button too. *sigh*

In other news, I finally made it to my local knit night last week. Not surprisingly at all, I had a wonderful time. The lovely Jenna found me on Ravelry and invited me to come, which was just the push I needed. Everyone was so warm and nice, and I can’t tell you how great it is to sit at a table of women who are just as nerdily obsessed with the same craft as you are. Nerdily in a good way, of course. Yay fun!

And one last thing. Just as soon as all this Christmas lace knitting is done, I’m casting on for Dahlia in the new Knitty. So cute, and I have the exact yarn in the exact amount called for in the pattern in just the right color, just sitting in my stash waiting to be used up. Serendipity!

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