Sunday, April 30, 2006

Rethinking...

So this is my third attempt on the Half Moon Bay Pullover. I need to accept that I do not like the construction technique for this. I have yet to have a comfortable rectangle, they've all skewed way beyond normal (yes, it's on the bias, but it shouldn't be this far off)



Yes, there is an errata for this pattern. There was also one the last time I attempted knitting this (and it was different than the current one... so I've used different directions each time I've knit it).

So it's off to the frog pond. I really love the yarn. The colors are stunning and I really love the feel of the fabric.


So now I'm thinking of just a basic cardigan (box stitch?) with this yarn. I am disappointed that this isn't working out, but I don't want to waste this fabulous yarn or any more time on this when I know it's just not working out....

Friday, April 28, 2006

Because Every Blog Needs A Montage

I think I'm all set for the weekend.



All that's missing is the Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper and Crack (aka: Baked Cheetos).

Have a great weekend!!!! Happy Knitting!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Okay, Okay, I'll post already... sheeze!

So I just got an email from Lauren who was all worried about me since I hadn't blogged in 2 days (see, she blogged twice in one week, after only blogging less than once a month, so now she's all "why haven't you blogged??? are you okay?". All joking aside, it's nice to have friends that worry about you. Thanks Lauren for checking in on me!!!). Yes, I'm okay... but I think I'm in a bit of a blog burnout right now.

Okay, let's see what's happened in the 2 whole days that I missed:

My hits counter broke the 100,000 mark (that's since I got my own domain and for my blog only). So a Big Thank You to everyone that reads my blog!!! So even if I'm finding my knitting a bit boring right now, at least you people still swing by to see what I'm working on (and hey, it might be something different, right???)

I'm almost to the armhole shaping on the back of the Rose Leaf Pullover. Trudging along. While the momentum has slowed, I'm still loving this project. I work a few rows every day.

I'm just about to the heel flap on the second Petticoat Jaywalker socks (it's my breakfast knitting).

The Half Moon Bay Sweater is progressing. Not quite half way on the first rectangle (it's my playoff hockey knitting).

I'm still sneaking in a row here and there on the Inspired Cable V.

I'm on the last section of the original Jak and Dexter. Let me say that I'm not particularly enjoying this game. The controls are touchy: especially for a platformer and the humor doesn't really appeal to me. It's no Psychonauts (you all bought a copy of this, right? One of the best games I've ever played. Ever! And I don't want to hear "oh, I don't have a console"... you can get it for your PC so there's no excuse!!)

Hmmm, what else?
Oh, Floyd Landis won the Tour de Georgia, but you probably already knew that, right?

The Devils are up 3-0 in their series against the Rangers (and I'm sure you all have a huge crush on Martin Brodeur, too. You just don't know it)

Ya, so I must admit I'm playing a bit more than knitting right now (and on a game that I'm not particularly enjoying... but it's like a book. Sometimes you just need to finish it for "closure"). Maybe I'll get some pictures tomorrow.

So see, I'm okay, just doing a lot of cursing (and I swear that I "gently" placed the PS2 controller on the floor... it just slipped out of my hand after Jak fell off that cliff for the 40th time. I swear it!) and not much knitting.

Happy Knitting

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Continuing with short attention span knitting...

First, I haven't abandoned the Rose Leaf Pullover. As a matter of fact I worked on it yesterday (and I have 2 "leafs"... or "leaves?" done. Let's say 2 repeats).

However I'm in a bit of a restless mode right now and can't seem to concentrate. So what's a girl to do?

Well start some more projects, of course!!!
Yep, I started the Half Moon Bay Sweater. I've started this several times in different yarns, but none on them turned out right (and each time I've checked the errata, it's been different). However, this one makes sense and I'm loving the yarn for it. It's the Wool in the Woods Helix (colorway is "Shy") and it's sooo pretty knitted up. The hand dyed yarns are so much fun to play with. They never look the way I expect them to look from what I see in the hank to how they actually knit up. This one does not disappoint. The colors are muted, dusty pastels.

Now I'm a wee bit short on yardage. I'm not really concerned (I mean I'm talking like less than 100 yards). If I end up with 3/4 length sleeves, I'll be fine with it.

So it's nice mindless knitting in contrast to the other projects that are sitting here in my knitting nest: lots of cables and high concentration patterns. I can just pick this one up and knit. I mean it is the playoffs.

One other little project started, not quite as mindless. My great nemisis: the Vine Lace Socks. I've changed yarn and I'm much happier with how they're looking:
Let's hope these fit...

So today's goal: to try to get an other leaf done on the Rose Leaf Pullover then play with my new projects.

Happy Knitting!!!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Knitting???

Lots of stuff done over the weekend, but nothing really photo friendly.

Worked a few more rows on the Rose Leaf Pullover.

Worked a few more rows on the Inspired Cable V neck.

Worked a few rounds on the Petticoat Jaywalker.

Fixed a problem with the Entrelac Satchel class sample.

Lined Rosie's Koigu Oriental Jacket.

Okay, that's what I spent the bulk of the weekend doing. We had this brain storm that lining it would help it keep it's shape. The garter stitch mitered sqaures grow. They grow a lot. The problem is that I can't attatch the lining at the bottom of either the body or the sleeves or the fabric buckles. It just keeps growing and growing. So I interfaced the lining around the neck and hand tacked it in. Just around the neck, down the front and along part of the shoulder seam. The rest just hangs loose.

Rosie is going to come over today for a fitting to see how the lining fits. It's hard to tell (The Coat-as we call it-doesn't fit me at all... or my dress form). The problem is that I measured with it laid flat on my cutting table... however, when it's on, it grows about 5-6". Well, the main goal was to keep the neckline from stretching and I do think that the lining is doing a good job of that... even if the lining is about 5" shorter than the jacket.

I'll keep ya posted on how it turned out!

UPDATE Rosie just left with her lined coat and it looked fine on her.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Warning: This Blog May Contain Knitting Content

I did get some knitting done yesterday. I needed to decide between vacuuming up the huge piles of dog hair dust bunnies or knitting and I think I made the right choice.



Almost one repeat done on the back of the Rose Leaf Pullover.


A few more rows done on the Inspired Cables Vneck. Let me say that the pictures do not do this project justice. The yarn is beautiful, with a lovely hand. The color is brilliant and the photos always look drab. Lovely lovely yarn (it's Katia's Bamboo, btw)

I also finished up a long sitting project: Suzanne* from Cool Crochet by Melissa Leapman. I had this baby done for some time, but I had put a white zipper in, as that's all I could find. While at the fabric store on Wednesday, I happened across a pink 18" seperating zipper. Woo-Hoo!!! So I ripped out the ugly white one and put the pink one in. I wore it to SnB last night (FYI: it's warmer than I expected). I'm very happy with it now.

*The photo is not of the finished sweater, but pre-zipper... I'll get an updated photo for the Gallery one of these days...

Speaking of SnB, I browsed thru two "must have" books last night while at Barnes and Nobles. Big Girl Knits and Knitting Nature

Big Girl Knits is a great reference for sizing, even if you're not a "big girl", but sizes start in the 40" finished area (some start at a little larger, say like 44"). The patterns are flattering on many figure types and I can see a couple of projects that might be "must knit".

Norah Gaughan has been a favorite designer for some time... I can usually spot her designs in the magazines. Knitting Nature is a lovely collection of projects that are very tempting.

Ya, I know, I don't need any more knitting books, or projects, but then knitting really isn't a need hobby. If it was just about needing sweaters, I'ld go buy them...

Well, I'm looking forward to a productive weekend! Happy Knitting!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Lack of knitting content... again

Okay, I absolutely swear that this is still a mostly knitting blog! I just haven't been able to get much knitting done this week. I just seem to have a lot going on and today won't be much better.

Luckily tonight is SnB, so I'll get some knitting done!!

Yesterday I did one of those most delightful things: jeans shopping. I think buying jeans is up there with buying bathing suits. Not a fun process.

Doesn't help that I have a swayback behind (small waist, low "shapely" butt). It also doesn't help that clothes are so frickin ugly right now that I have no desire to shop. I don't want jeans with sequins or embroidery or any other doo-dads. I don't want "bootcut" or cropped or low rise. I want good ol' plain jeans.

I did end up with a pair. It seems I'm a bit between sizes right now. I don't love them, they're not the most comfortable pair I've ever owned (again, the waist gaps out in the back and they're a little too snug over by "shapely" backside), but they look better than the loose ones I've been wearing.

The rest of the day was spent trying to set the tension on my sewing machine (oh joy). It was too be expected... the machine has set idle for several years now. It's working fine now and I'm all set to do some summery clothes.

Today I need to do some serious clean up. My knitting nest is out of control (and I'm not even doing that much knitting!). Too much stuff piled up.

Just because I hate not having any pictures two days in a row:

May all your dreams become reality.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Errand Day

I've got a handful of errands to run today... including a trip to the fabric store, so I'm going to make this quick.

I didn't do either of the planned projects yesterday. I didn't touch the Rose Leaf Pullover and I didn't cast on the second Jaywalker sock until this morning.

I did, however finish up one of the samples for the entrelac class and blocked it. I also started my slip stitch version. I will say that it does look fine from the front, but I still don't like that extra bulk to the back. This definitely is a taste thing, as picking up the stitches with the slip stitch is easier.

I'm not a "knitting rules" person. I don't believe there is ever only one way to do things. I love to try different techniques and hear how other knitters do things (I'm going to show 3 different ways to do the right decrease). I don't think my way is the "right" way. It's just what works best for me. I'm hoping that when I teach, I give more than one way of doing things, explain why I chose the way I do, but let everyone know that there is no "wrong" way to knit and that a knitter should feel confident to do the technique that works best for them. (now, if you do tell me that twisting my stitches while teaching me to knit contintental is fine, I do have an issue with that. As that's not true st. st... that's a twisted stitch and that's a whole other conversation...)

We're having beautiful spring weather this week. Makes me want to sew a summery dress... off to the fabric store!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Big Thanks!!!!!

Thank you for all the lovely birthday wishes yesterday!! I must say that I had one of the best birthdays ever! Spending Saturday with good friends at a great yarn store then yesterday Matt treated me to a special day ending the evening with coffee and cake with our good friends and neighbors. Perfect!!!

Here's the knitting bounty: Books!!!!!

A truely wonderful book (more about this beauty later)





This book is wonderful too. I've got about 3 or 4 projects already marked (this is the same designer who designed this... which I have started. Must get it finished so I can start one of these beauties!!!

Plus one more Barbara Walker book:


I looove knitting books!

Matt and I had planned on going to Longwood Gardens yesterday to spend my birthday. It was a perfect day for it. I put on my Spring Forward Cardigan, as even tho' it was sunny, it's still was a bit brisk out. Then as we're heading out the door Matt asked if I wanted to go to Brickerville to Ball and Skein. Well, ya, sheesh, of course I would!!! So we enjoyed a pleasant car ride up to Brickerville, I did a little shopping then we headed over to Adamstown to have lunch and a beer at the Stoudt's Brewery. Sadly, they don't open til 5:00 during the week, so we just stopped and had a quick bite at a diner.

I did buy some yarn at Ball and Skein (well, not much compared to the usual damage I can cause there... but I was with Matt, not Theresa and that makes a huge difference... heehee). I got some yarn to make Matt a vest (this seems to be becoming an anual birthday tradition. I'll see if I can have it done by Christmas again this year) and I got a few more skeins of the Katia Bamboo that I bought the last time I was there so I could knit one of the designs from Inspired Cable Knits.

I of course had to cast it on yesterday to "swatch" it.:

The yarn is a cotton/bamboo blend and it's just lovely. I'm not sure how the cables are going to "pop", but I'm pretty happy so far.

Well, the birthday celebrations are done, and I need to get back on schedule. I have 3 projects in rotation now, and I need to get focused again to finish up some things. I did finish up the first Petticoat Jaywalker sock and I'm about one repeat into the back of the Rose Leaf Pullover. I'll probably cast on the second Petticoat sock today and try to get at least one repeat done on the Rose Leaf Pullover.

So thanks again for all the happy birthday wishes yesterday! It was a lovely lovely birthday! Thanks everyone!!!!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Birthdays and Monday

Now there's a great birthday cake for ya! High in fiber, low in calories!!

I did finish my birthday socks on Friday:
Matt bought me the yarn for those socks on last year's birthday. These fit really really great. I just need to work on my grafting a bit.

In other projects, I'm at the toe shaping on the first Petticoat Jaywalker socks:
I ended up doing the heel flap.

We'll I'm gonna run, as I've got gifts to open and a day to spend with Matt!
Happy Monday!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Knitting Party!!!

Just returned from our Mannings Birthday Bash.

Check out the beautiful cupcakes Julie made:


Here's the birthday girls in their splendor:


Here's Ann (wearing the double hat) and Kate:


Joan finished her flamingo top in time for the party (hopefully she has a better picture of it on her blog) with Kate:


Here's a bad picture of Kathy, Rosie and Faith:


One more of Ann with Nicole C.:


Sadly, I don't have a picture of Julie!!!! So very sorry (but I did get a shot of her incredibly wonderful cupcakes!)

Oh, and the sign in the bathrooms at the Weis in Gap:


What an incredible way to spend a gorgeous Saturday! We did a little snacking, a little shopping and some knitting. Thanks so much ladies for the wonderful wonderful day. I'm so blessed to find such fun knitting friends!!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Just a bunch of random projects

Let's just take a gander at the projects I'm cycling thru right now. The Jaywalker sock in Opal's Petticoat (second attempt). This has been my waiting room knitting this week (3 different visits in 4 days... but that should be it for this year). I'm much much happier with the sizing on this version and I'm about to start the heel. I'm still debating if I want to do the afterthought heel on these or if I should just go ahead and do the heel flap. I don't think the heel flap is going to distrupt the pattern as much with the Petticoat, so I'm leaning in that direction.



These socks are getting close to being done (one sock finished). Just need to finish up the foot then do the afterthought heel on the second sock. Matt bought me this Regia yarn for my birthday last year, so I would love to have them done by the end of the weekend.

Speaking of Matt, here's his Gansey Vest. The back is past the armhole shaping (which I changed a lot from the pattern, it curves in much more than the original). The Pakucho cotton is not bad to work with (it's pretty splitty, so I do have to pay attention) and I've discovered that I don't like patterns that I have to pay attention on the "wrong" side. It's much slower for me, as I have to follow the pattern on both sides. However, it's going to be perfect for Matt when it's done and the knit/purl patterns are very simple.

Last, but far from least, I did get the back cast on for the Rose Leaf Pullover. I'm just about to increase and change needles.


So that's what I've been working on.

Tomorrow our SnB group is heading en mass to The Mannings for a little picnic/shopping/knitting. 3 of us have birthdays in April, so we're treating ourselves to a day out! Let's see if I can keep the yarn purchases to a minimum?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

A Quick Hello...

An other not quite interesting post today. Not much new to show.

I think I sorta peaked on my knitting, as I'm having problems focusing on it right now. However I did do something BIG yesterday...

My sewing room is now usable! Wow! It actually didn't take me as long as I thought it was going to (and we won't discuss the closets... those are day projects all onto themselves).

I have a couple of sewing projects that I would like to work on. I have a queen size quilt top done that I need to quilt. I also would like to make some summery clothes.

I looked at my patterns to see what I have. I have a huge selection of different sizes! However, nothing is quite as sobering as looking at sewing patterns for sizing. Since ready to wear clothes manufacturers do vanity sizing, and patterns don't, it really is a bit of a wake up call as to what size I wear (sewing patterns use the same sizes as they did post WWII). 20 years ago a size 10 in sewing patterns is the same as a size 10 today. There's no way I can wear that now (that's what I wore 20 years ago, btw). However, in ready to wear clothes, a size 10 today is actually much larger than it was 20 years ago. So looking at my measurements and my patterns is a much better indication of how my weight is doing rather what size I'm buying at the store. It's also a good motivator.

Now I just need to learn my body again so I can adjust the patterns to how my body has changed over the last 2 decades...

I do want to get back to my knitting. Matt's vest is sort of stalled. I'm just about at the armhole shaping on the back. I have yet to cast on the back for the Rose Leaf Pullover and I would like to get that on the needles. So today I might for go the spring cleaning and do a little knitting... I mean, sunlight still breaks thru my windows, so they can't be too dirty, right?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Book Review: Aran Sweater Design

I received my copy of Janet Szabo's Aran Sweater Design book yesterday in the mail.

While the previous edition of this book was full of good information, the latest edition is fabulous. Something I'd recommend for every knitter's bookcase.

From the basics of what makes a sweater an "aran style", to yarn construction and why some yarns show cables better than others, to compensating for cable splay, to different construction techniques, this book covers it all. Being of a visual mind, I love the amount of visual aids to help describe techniques. The chapters are laid out in a logical order to walk you through the process step by step. There's sample patterns to illustrate some of the different types of sweaters and there's worksheets to help you do your own designs.

I think there are certain books that every knitter should own. This is definitely one of them.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Monday

I finished up the front on the Rose Leaf Pullover

I'm pretty happy with how it's turning out. I did think it was going to be longer, but my experience with Cotton Fleece is that it will stretch a bit over time, so I'm hoping this one grows just a bit (and I plan on making the sleeves shorter with the same hope).

However, I've been feeling a bit guilty over all the "me" knitting. So I started a project for Matt. He wants a ribbed turtleneck (yawn), but I just can't seem to work on wintery projects right now. So we settled on a cotton vest:

This is a Melissa Leapman pattern from her book A Close Knit Family (a lovely collection of designs). I'm doing some minor changes to the pattern. Matt didn't want pockets (fine with me: less knitting) and he wants the shoulders a little smaller. Similar to the cabled vest I made him for Christmas. I'm using some of the Pakucho cotton and I "pre-shrunk" it. I'm hoping that it won't shrink too much more.

So that's all the knitting that got done over the weekend. I spent Saturday doing a little more stash enhancing. Theresa and I headed down to Swathmore to the Mason Dixon book signing, but we were there too early. They weren't going to open up until closer to the signing. So while we killed some time (and the weather was NASTY), we thought we would hit an other yarn store. Or two. We actually ended way up in Brickersville and the Ball and Skein shop. (Don't you love walking into a yarn store and being greeted by name??). So some more yarn and patterns added to the stash (again, all summery yarns) and Theresa and I had a lovely (apart from the nasty rain) day. Plus we deserved it: Theresa's birthday was Thursday, mine's a week from today. She had some painful dental work done on Friday and I had my mamagram (which wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was... well except for that part that I was informed that I should expect to have to come back for a follow up). So ya, a nasty rainy day in one of our favorite yarn stores was a great way to spend the day.

Today I'm going to concentrate on Matt's vest and probably cast on the back of the Rose Leaf pullover. I've got to get some of this yarn knitted up!!!!

Happy Knitting!!!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Yet an other photoless day

Sorry about the lack of photos, but again I'm off this morning. Sadly, not for yarn shopping. It's mamogram day. Oh joy!

Anyway, I did want to address MarilynB's comment from yesterday. I had mentioned that I don't like to slip the first stitch when I do entrelac and she asked why. Always a good question!

Well, there's 2 main reasons.

If you slip the first stitch, yes it does make picking up stitches easier. However, you then have to pick up an entire stitch. This makes the back bulkier (as there's now a full stitch rather than just a half) and it makes the right side 1/2 stitch smaller as well, making the rectangles even thinner. I also think that the slip stitch distorts the second stitch so that it simply isn't as neat looking from the front. As soon as I have my sample swatch done with the slip stitch edge, I'll scan it (front and back) as well as the non-slipping swatch.

So I don't like to do the slip stitch selvedge. I have to admit, I never do the slip stitch selvage*. I do do a seam stitch, but I use a simple st. st. as I like the look of it and again, I don't have to seam in an entire stitch. Again, I like the less bulky seam and I think the st. st. seam gives a neat appearance.

*Okay, never say never... I do do a slip stitch selvage occasionally, specifically for mitered things like the Diamond Patch.

Well, I should have some good knitting time in the waiting room today.

Have a good weekend. Happy Knitting!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

More Entrelac and The New Project

I started an other sample of entrelac for our SnB class. I think using two colors really makes it easier to understand entrelac. The Noro Kureyon looks cool, but the woven look of two color is pretty neat too:



I'll probably do one more small sample to show why I don't like to slip the first stitch when working entrelac.

The other knitting has been a newish project. I bought some Cotton Fleece at our last yarn crawl to The Mannings and I've been dying to cast it on. So here's the Rose Leaf Pullover (this pattern is from when Paton's didn't name their designs)



I did do some minor changes. I reversed one of the lace and moss stitch panels and I changed how the increases were done so I didn't break up the seed stitch side panels. So far it's been a fast knit and I just love the color.

Lauren and I had a great time on our little yarn crawl yesterday and we hit two yarn stores. I've got to get all these new patterns I've been buying a little better organized. Oh and I've got to find room for all this new yarn. I also need to knit faster... I'm certainly accumulating at a much higher rate than I'm knitting...

So back to the needles! Happy Knitting!!!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Drive By Blogging...

Just a quick post today (and no photos) as I'm heading out with Lauren to do a little mini yarn crawl.

I'm finishing up the little entrelac satchel with attatched I cord and I'm at the handle. I'm going to get a couple more skeins of the Kureyon to do another. I think it needs just a bit of fine tuning.

I'm also working on a Cotton Fleece pullover that I had started years ago in Paton's Paradiso. However, I didn't like working with the yarn and I'm making this one 10" smaller. I broke my plateau on today's weigh in, and this is a good project to celebrate my almost 65 lb weight loss...

It's overcast, gray and drizzly today, so it wouldn't photograph well anyway.

The High Fiber (iow: yarn) diet seems to be working well... need to celebrate with some new yarn today!!!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Entrelac Obsession

I love doing entrelac. The Kureyon yarn is delightful to work in entrelac and I'm still addicted to it.

I started a little satchel style bag to teach our SnB group how to do entrelac. So I did 2 basic pieces (both are done) while writing up a step by step pattern. Today I'll play with how to close up the bag... I'm leaning towards an I-cord binding? (sorry the picture isn't very clear... it's very gray out this morning).

I also restarted my Petticoat Jaywalker socks. I used size 2 resin needles for my first attempt and they were coming out HUGE! So back to bamboo size 2's.
Much much better. I do enjoy knitting this sock. I'm hoping that by not tugging the yarn between needles, the increases won't be quite as snug and give the sock a little more flexibility? We'll see. My Sweet Tart Jaywalkers are fine to wear, once they're on, but they are a little tough to get on. I'm also not sure if I'll do the afterthought heel on these. The Petticoat is stripey, but I think a heel flap will be fine with them. I'll make that decision when I get to the heel.

Well, today is a dark dreary Monday, with an hour lost yesterday. However, Baseball Season is underway (yay!!!) and there's a bunch of day games on today (yay!). Sounds like a knitter's dream: baseball, knitting then Stitch n Bitch tonight!!!

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

FO Sunday...

So, how long does it take Cindy to knit an entrelac vest you may ask...
I would say about a week.

Considering the amount of fudging I did to make this vest, it was a fast project.

Project Info:

Pattern: Entrelac Tuxedo Vest by Oat Couture
Yarn: Noro Kureyon in color 147 and Debbie Bliss Cashmerino in black
Changes to the pattern: weeeeellll, more than I wanted. I had to add side panels as I didn't read the directions that closely. While the pattern used two different colors on the front, I used just the Kureyon, but I did use 2 skeins at a time as if I were using two different colors. I changed the front ribbing to 2 rows of single crochet, as I found the ribbing to be too overwhelming against the Kureyon.
Problems with the pattern: weeellll, I wouldn't really know, as I barely read them. Oops. I skimmed them, got a few "cast on" numbers, then pretty much did my own thing...
Overall impressions: Um, I love it! The colors are beautiful, it fits great, was a lot of fun to knit. The killer? The buttons. I had these beautiful glass peacock buttons (Matt bought them for me for Christmas) and the colors are perfect!!

The buttons do not photograph well. Let's just say they are killer with this vest.

Okay, that was a fun fast project. I'm sorta liking this whole "finishing projects thing"! It's becoming a habit!