September 29, 2005
I Need an Intervention
After finishing Zipo I feel like I have no direction.
I knit the entire day on Sunday and have NOTHING to show for it.
The beginning...I was so innocent
I started out knitting the 2 color socks -- Peony Garden by Hand Jive Knits. Very pretty socks and I've always wanted to do 2 color socks. I got gauge and knitted along for about 2 inches. They looked a little small -- and boy were they. They could just barely get around my heel. I really liked the look of the yarn at that gauge, so I need to either adjust the pattern or use a different yarn.
Onto the next project
I've been dying to make something out of Lavold Silky Tweed. I stopped by Loop and picked up a sweater's worth in green. I'm doing an in-the-round bottom-up sweater with a knitted in hem. But once I got done with the hem I stalled. I think I want to do a princess seam and I haven't decided how I want to knit that part. So that one went into the basket.
I thought this would be a breeze. Ribbed socks -- it doesn't get much simpler than that. I knit the toe and a couple inches of the foot and decided this yarn wanted to be something more than a ribbed sock.
Damn yarn and its grand plans.
And then there were 4...
So then...I decided to cast on for the Wavy Lace Shawl from the Fall VK. I cast on, knitted the setup row, and knit for another 10 rows. I kept thinking there was nothing wavy about this pattern. Finally I realized I started knitting the edging -- which is knitted on AFTER you knit the center wavy part. So I had to rip out all of that work.
After all this non-progress I've been daydreaming about new projects.
Here's where I get a little crazy
The vest is Snowflakes and Arrows. I love the look and I'm really excited because it doesn't have any sleeves to knit! Of course, there's absolutely nothing in my stash that would work for this.
Then there's Shana's Anastasia sweater. I love the details -- the way the ribbing falls right into the cables, and the 3/4-length sleeves. It's knit out of worsted weight yarn so I have lots of stash options.
Who wants to knit from their stash though when there's so much cool yarn to be had?
Then there's THE BOOK. This book is so good that I want to devote a whole post* to it. Seriously -- it's THAT good. I don't think there's a klunker pattern in the whole book. There are 2 tree skirts (one stranded and one cabled), christmas stockings, a tablecloth, a lace shawl, a stranded cape/wrap, a gansey, lace stockings (the kind you wear), beaded wire votives, stuffed animals, cabled socks, mittens, gloves, hats...you name it. This may be my favorite pattern book purchase for the year.
Then, just when I think I'm as overloaded I possibly could be, Rachael goes and posts about her damn aran and now I want to design one too. Rachael it's gorgeous, but you're killin me here.
*and I will do a lengthier post just about this book, but now that the sun is going down earlier in the day I can't take pics until the weekend.
September 25, 2005
It's amazing how much knitting you can get done on a train ride and while waiting around in a lounge.
I weaved in the ends this morning. It fits perfectly!
A few more detail shots:
I washed the sweater in the washing machine with cold water, and then popped it in the dryer for 15 minutes on the lowest heat setting. The stitches relaxed and the overall fabric got slightly fluffier -- really nice.
This sweater is everything I had hoped. It's comfy. It fits.
Pattern: Zipo from the All Seasons Cotton Collection
Yarn: All Seasons Cotton in Slash (color 161) -- less than 13 balls
Mods: I loosely followed the pattern. I used the slip stitch ribbing but knit the whole sweater in the round. I wanted to go in between two sizes so I modified the neck and shoulders to fit. I also used the Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns for a modified drop shoulder. I wanted a comfy and cozy fit, but not overly sloppy.
I have 6+ balls of yarn leftover. Anyone interested in a trade or purchase? Retail is $51 for the 6 balls. I'll sell the lot of $37 including shipping.
River Update -- Week 6
I missed a week of updates and wow do we have a lot of FOs!
Agnes finished hers a couple of weeks ago, but now she's thinking about seaming it into a shrug. I like it! Go tell her what you think.
Christine is done and ready to block!
Estee is done but she's waiting for her trip to Venice for a photoshoot. Poor Estee!
Felicia finished up too!
Kirsty WH is done!
Marichan finished up as well!
Yahaira is done and blocked as well.
Anmiryam decided on US 7s as well, but got a little off on one of the repeats and needs to frog.
Brenda is almost done!
Diana would be done except she decided to keep going until she finished up both balls of KSH. She's at 17 repeats and counting!
Kate has done several repeats and is plugging along.
Alison is starting for the third time. Go wish her better luck.
Audrey also likes her River now that she went down a few needle sizes.
Cambria also re-cast on with smaller needles and likes it better too.
Jessica re-cast on and modified the pattern to be stockinette stich lace rather than garter.
Julia is back at it again and is happy with the way it looks this time!
Kim re-cast on and is doing a single repeat instead.
When I made the chart I was supposed to flip it when I was done -- but I didn't. So the chart I posted is inverted. Sorry guys! Here's a new one. A special thanks goes out to Diana for bringing this to my attention.
September 20, 2005
Yup, More Zipo
Keeping my commitment -- sleeve inserted and placket knitted.
What's left: knit right sleeve, insert right sleeve, knit neckband, weave in a million ends*
* Million ends courtesy of Rowan. Small yardage combined with knots in one-third of the balls used so far. Rowan, you're giving Debbie Bliss a run for her money.
September 19, 2005
Oh yeah, I'm getting close!
September 15, 2005
Stitches East Ticket Discount
I just bought my tickets online so I don't have to wait in line.
They charge you a Ticketmaster-like fee of $1.50 per ticket. BUT....I found a promotional code that gets you $2 off -- so they'll still be 50 cents less than buying them in person. If you follow the link I gave up above, use promo code EMPC. Enjoy!
September 13, 2005
There's been very little talk in blog land about Stitches East. I had to check my calendar just to make sure it's still next week.
I took off Friday so I could hit the market on the first day. The prospect of getting early access to the offerings with a smaller number of people (and bonus -- less potential to be assaulted) made taking the day off an easy choice. Funny thing is, I think I'm looking forward to the train ride (quiet knitting time) as much as I am to the shopping itself.
I looked through the vendor list today. Here's what I have in mind so far:
What I'll be looking for
- Solid or near-solid sock yarn
- Yarn for a Fisherman sweater. After lots of comments (thanks everyone!) I'm currently leaning toward Aurora 8 (based on Julia's recommendation) but I'm definitely open. If I don't find something better at Stitches then I will go with the Aurora.
- Tess Yarn. I loved her sport weight Cascade Silk at MDSW but the colorways weren't working for me. And I'm sure I'll pick up more of her sock yarn.
- A niddy noddy. I want to do more handdyeing and it would really come in really handy.
Other booths I'll be sure to stop at
- Cabin Fever They have some nice sock patterns and it's always easier to see what they're really like in person.
- Ellen's Half Pint Farm by the time I found their booth at MDSW there were few choices left.
- Habu I've yet to purchase any Habu but I think I'm ready for something small
- Hand Jive They're new to me but they seem cool. They have their own yarns that they dye with natural substances in a gorgeous palette of colors, and they have some original sock patterns that are new to me. I especially like Aran Clog Socks and Peony Garden Socks.
- Just Our Yarn another handdyer that looks promising.
- The Mannings I wonder if they bring dyes to the shows.
- Rosie's Yarn Cellar Of course I'll be stopping by my LYS' booth
- School Products because apparently 2 cones of cashmere blend isn't enough in one's stash.
- Shelridge Farms. Christy made a pair of wristwarmers from their yarn last year and she said they worked up really nicely.
- Webs easy access to cones of yarn. Enough said. It's probably good I'm taking the train.
- White Lies Designs I have several of her patterns in my library. It'd be nice to see some of the designs up close.
September 12, 2005
Houston We Have a Body
I've been forcing myself to knit on this every day. It's not complicated knitting -- it's booooooring knitting.
Saturday evening I finished up the neckline and 3 needle bound-off the shoulders. It looked a little wide so a trial fitting was in order.
I had a small bit of panic because I shortened the length about a three-quarters of an inch to try and account for the cotton stretching out. I also made the sweater about 2 inches wider than most of his sweaters so it would be a little looser and more casual. I was confident both of those choices were good, but major panic ensues when you consider the possibility of having to -- yet again -- frog this most basic of sweaters.
But I'm happy to report that the fitting was a total success!
To keep the momentum going I already have the cuff of one of the sleeves on the needles. I find if I only have a little bit of time that I won't cast on something new. I wanted to make sure I didn't have any excuses for not working on this sweater. I'm doing it on 2 circs to keep the seaming to a minimum.
September 11, 2005
River Update -- Week 4
Agnes finished hers and it looks wonderful. Can you believe she knit this in a couple of weeks and it was her first lace project?
Brenda is about 4 repeats in now. You can see the rivery pattern emerging.
Felicia has done about 5 repeats. She's using the elusive Holz & Stein needles and shared the link where she bought them from -- Thanks Felicia!
Marichan's purple River is coming along nicely.
Melissa is making good progress too. She reports she's getting bored with it though and might plow through to finish it up quickly.
Audrey cast on too but might have to tink back. Tinking back KSH -- wish her luck!
Cambria finally got her yarn and cast on immediately.
Chrissy also cast on and will be working on River on the train ride to Boston.
Christine just received some KSN and is considering starting her River over in it.
Diana cast on too. She's using Addi Turbos and noted a sharper point would really help.
Eklectika cast on as well and changed up the decrease to better mesh with her knitting style.
Estee was 3 repeats in when she discovered a dropped stitch and had to frog. Go give her some support!
Gabby is past the setup rows and happily reports she hasn't had to tink back yet!
Jessica cast on and is using smaller needles too. Like me, she's planning to use it more as a scarf than a dressy stole/shawl.
Julia's camera shy River will be taking a trip to the frog pond. She's going to go down a couple needle sizes and add a repeat to keep the width.
Kellee tried a little too much multitasking and might have to frog her River too.
Kim cast on too and is really happy with her progress after just a couple hours.
Kirsty WH subbed a heavier weight mohair and is wondering if she should go UP a needle size.
Yahaira cast on and reports that she really likes the Clover Ivory needles she's using.
September 07, 2005
I've been more diligent about working on Zipo. The back is done and the front is up to the division for the neck. I should have the body done before the weekend (I'll post pics at that point -- really, do you want to see more rev st st?). Then all that's left are 2 very simple sleeves, basic neckline finishing, and that's it. I'll definitely hit the deadline of being done before I leave for Nantucket and Cape Cod October 8th.
Knitting miles of st st does give your brain plenty of time to wander though, and so I've been thinking what I might want to make next. I'd love to make a traditional Fisherman Sweater.
Then of course there's Gladys Thompson's Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys & Arans. I wish the pictures were better but they're original vintage pictures so I really shouldn't expect more. There are lots of stitch patterns in the book and I'm intrigued by the thought of designing a one-of-a-kind sweater.
I also want to check out Beth Brown-Reinsel's Knitting Ganseys. From what I've read this would be right up my alley as it teaches you how to design a gansey rather than giving you line-by-line pattern instructions.
Now here's where I'd have to stray from tradition. A traditional 100% wool will not do. And while I'm in love with the thought of doing this in a traditional 5-ply gansey it's not going to happen.
And now, for the crazy part. Is it nuts to try and use something like a Cashsoft or Cashmerino?
Typically these sweaters are knit tightly -- will that kind of yarn react properly to being knit so tightly?
I know merino has less stretch than some other wools -- will the cables go limp and not pop like they should?
I think the only way to answer this is to do a swatch and see how they turn out. And as always, I'm open to everyone's thoughts so if you have some experience here please let me know!