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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