Saturday, March 31, 2007

Half Linen Finished!

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The Half Linen Cardigan is finished. A super quick and addictive project. Here's a close up:
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I had just enough yarn:
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Probably less than 2 yards left... I probably could've seamed it with that yarn, but I still think the lustersheen worked out better. Wool/mohair/silk might have been more annoying to sew with.

So let's do the project stats:
Pattern: Half Linen to Gold from the XRX publication Jackets for Work and Play
Yarn: Brooks Fiber Farm Riata (a heavy worsted weight hand dyed wool/mohair/silk yarn... can't say enough about how lovely this yarn is!)
Problems with the pattern: none that I found. Pretty straight forward
Changes to the pattern: the only change was doing a single crochet row, then a reverse single crochet row for the neck and front openings to save yarn.
Overall Impressions: I'm very happy with how this turned out. The pattern stitch was easy to do and works well with the subtle hand dyed yarn. The fiber content gives it a lovely drape. It is very cropped, only about 18" long, making more of a bolero than a cardigan, so I won't get as much use out of it as I would like. I would absolutely knit it again, but I'll buy 3 skeins of the Riata and lengthen the body 4" or so.

Sadly, I won't be wearing it anytime soon. It's also fairly warm. It's going to be nice in the colder months and I think I'll be looking (or making) a dress to go with it.

Okay, off to start finish something else!!!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Half Linen Cardigan Update

I finished up the knitting on the Half Linen Stitch Cardigan and steam blocked it:

This is how much yarn I have left to do all the edgings:

Think I have enough? Ya, me either.

However, I don't plan on using it for seaming, and I might just do a reverse single crochet stitch around.

Fingers crossed, I'll have enough to at least do that!

Fair Play

Back when I was in second grade, I was accused of stealing a fellow students candy from her desk. I hadn't done it, but she choose me to accuse (for what ever reason) and the teacher supported her accusation. I had no way to prove my innocence, since the assumption was that I ate the candy. There was no proof, and the teacher really couldn't follow thru with any kind of punishment. However, she maintained her belief thru the rest of that school year (and maybe even thru the rest of my school years, as it was a small school system). The accussation was enough for her.

In our court system we have a "innocent until proven guilty" mantra. Yet we, as a society, don't always follow that. Sometimes an accussation is all we need. If we're told that someone did something, that's enough for us. The media LOVES to sensationalize the "guilty". Ask Richard Jewel. We feel that the media does it's homework before they sell their stories to us, so they must be accurate. However, it's all about sales. The first with the big story makes the big bucks... run it and we'll make a retraction if we're wrong.

So apart from cycling enthusiasts, I wonder how many people still assume that Floyd Landis cheated at the Tour de France and has been striped of his title. Unless you follow the sport, you might not realize that his accussors have not been playing fair. As a matter of fact, he has yet to even have his hearing... almost nine months later. He's not allowed to work in his field during this process (meaning he can not earn a living) and it draws out his defense expenses.

The sad thing is, this shouldn't never been leaked to the media in the first place. Due process to validate the information wasn't done, and the accussors now face huge embarrassment for wrongly accusing him. They can't afford to do that... winning is more important than the truth.

The sciene might be above my head (hey, just because I worked in medical publishing, doesn't mean I understand any of it... I just sized photos and set type), but luckily there's a lot of people out there that do understand lab procedures. (Trust But Verify is the most comprehensive and balanced site out there). This whole process has been an eye opener for me, and I hope that other people will take a look at what's going on and realize that the system isn't fair. Your tax dollars are at work here. To single out and screw up one man's life, just because they don't believe that he could've won without help (and anyone that follows cycling will look at that stage and say it was less about Floyd winning and more about the other teams using bad strategy).

Floyd expects his defense will cost him over $2 million dollars. I have no idea how much it's going to cost the USADA, but we're paying the fees for them to draw this process out, and for an unfair "Un-American" system. Floyd has to prove he's innocent... they do not have to proof he's guilty. The accusation is enough for them.

Sadly, even if the case IS thrown out, or if they do not strip him of his title, the stigma will follow him forever.
(*foolproof in science doesn't exist. Actually, I don't think there's anything in life that is foolproof... especially if the human element is involved. Mistakes happen).

Tonight is Matt's racing team fundraisor at the Iron Hill Brewery. They sold out of tickets, and we're thrilled at the great response. I will say that this is an expensive, time consuming hobby for Matt. The guys that do these amatuer races are passionate. The amount of hours they train. The amount of money they spend. It's a passion that I can relate to (I, afterall, do collect yarn). So my heart is breaking for Floyd and his family... because I know that he just wants to ride his bike. It doesn't matter if you're a seasoned professional, or just a local Cat 3 rider. It's about getting out there and riding and racing.

So if I still have your attention, I'll talking Knitting (hey, it IS called "Knitting Park", not "Cycling Park"... hell, I don't even own a bike. Matt and I have a deal: I'll start riding if he starts knitting).

The Half Linen Cardigan will be finished today... well, at least all the "swatches" will be finished (and a huge sigh of relief: I should have enough yarn... even for the binding), but I'll still need to block them. I think I'll do a light steam. It's wool/mohair/silk and I think a light steam will be the most effective.

I bought this yarn on impulse (ya, shut up, I heard that snort... again, I collect yarn. It's a good hobby. Practical.... and yarn doesn't have to be dusted) without any idea what I was going to use it for. I love when I stumble across gorgeous yarn then stumble across the perfect pattern for it. This one is it.

Ya, look for me at the Brooks Fiber Farm booth at the next knitting even (hmmm, Maryland Sheep & Wool? perhaps?)

Jane: I sent you info for the Rose Leaf Pullover, but for anyone else interested, the pattern is from a Paton's booklet called "Great Inspirations" and is sadly out of print. Look for it on Ebay, as I think there is one listed right now.

Sarah: oh ya, I think a road trip to Kraemer is well in order. I'm really enjoying the Tatamy Tweed. Darlene does have the worsted weight in stock now... hmmm, all I cas say is "Stone Cotton Cardigan"...

Nicole: Thanks! the ribby is "okay" and I really like the tweed looks. it's going to be a great "yard work" sweater (yes, I type "yarn" first every time I go to type "yard")

Debby: I'm lucky, as my allergies aren't bad (mostly just sinus headaches and a little draining), but that with stomach issues and it sucks! Hope your visit to the allergist went well!!!

Well, off to finish the last "swatch" for the half linen cardigan!

So keep on Knittin'!

Thursday, March 29, 2007


So I am totally sick. I blame Matt. "Flu-like symptoms" and allergies are not a fun combo.

Anyway, I still want to run up to Olde Peddler Wools today to drop off the swatches for the Spring Forward Class.

Let me state again that the pattern should be called "Obsession by Janet Szabo". How many Spring Forwards do I want to make???

Ah, good ol' Cascade 220 (the one I'm currently working on). You just can't go wrong with Cascade 220 and cables.

My new favorite yarn: Kraemer Yarns Tatamy Tweed DK. I'll give more of a run down on this yarn a little later.

This one is Cotton Fleece: the yarn the pattern originally used. I dropped down a needle size, and I still find the fabric a little loose for my taste. I would do it on 6's (like my Rose Leaf Pullover... one of my favorite sweaters).

So let's see... the Spring Forward works well with TLC's Cotton Plus (and it's soft and machine wash and dry). It's looking good in the Cascade 220 and I really like the swatch in the Tatamy Tweed DK.

I really like the Tatamy Tweed to work with. It's soft and silky, the cables work well (and easily... a huge plus with a 50% cotton yarn) and again, it's easy care. The dark teal color might not have the same cable pop as the pink of the Cotton Plus, but it still would look stunning.

I have to say out of the samples, the Cotton Fleece is my least favorite. Which surprised me. I like Cotton Fleece. The color palette is fabulous and the projects that I've done in it have turned out well (that Rose Leaf Pullover gets a lot of wear... the Sampler Cardigan no longer fits, so I don't wear it anymore. I do have yarn to remake it in the Cotton Plus in a smaller size). I think going down to a smaller needle would make it a good choice for the Spring Forward.

So that's what I did yesterday... swatches, swatches and more swatches! The back swatch for the Half Linen Cardigan is moving along and I should get that back done today (and I'll do a "weigh in" to see if I have enough yarn to to the right front).

I wore the Ribby Cardi last night and got some opinions on the back fold. Basically, we decided it's not that bad, plus my hair covers it (heehee). Debby, as far as fixing this one, I'm not going to bother. For what I wanted this sweater to be, it's fine (plus my hair covers the "bump"... heehee). I will do something different for Matt's, but that might be using a different pattern. I have a Debbie Bliss pattern that's almost exactly the same thing (minus the side ribbing, but the raglan shaping is more traditional... the Ribby uses a really "high" raglan shaping) that I think would work better with Matt.

So I'm going to shower, run up to Morgantown, then go back to bed. Or maybe I'll go back to bed, then shower and then run up to Morgantown (did I mention that I feel like Krap???)

Keep on Knittin'!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Ribby Cardi Finished Pics

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The Ribby Cardi being modeled by my dress form. Don't forget that my dress form is not a good representation of my body (she has a "B" cup... uh. ya. right.) However, let's look at the issue:
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See that fold? Now that I'm looking at it, I'm wondering if it's less of a raglan shaping issue or the straight back neck shaping. I'm thinking that if there was back neck shaping, it wouldn't be as much of an issue?

Anyway, here's the project stats:
Pattern: Ribby Cardi by ChicKnits
Yarn: Red Heart Tweed (ya, I heard that disdainful snobbish snort... don't care, it's soft, machine washable and cheap)
Problems with the pattern: Well, I'm not thrilled with how the sleeves fit or that little fold at the back of the neck. Easily corrected if I knit it again (and I probably will, as Matt really likes it).
Changes to the pattern: really the only change I made was the crochet bands for the zipper. I just think it's easier to sew a zipper in on a crochet (non stretchy) band rather than a knit band.
Overall impressions: this is the second ChicKnits pattern I've used. I think part of my problem with her patterns is my body. I'm full figured and the shape of her designs might not be suitable for my narrow shoulders and rather large bust line, at least not with out some changes. So while I like her designs, and I think she writes decent patterns, I'm just not sure they're "me". As I said, Matt does like the cardigan quite a bit, so I might make one for him.

On to the next finished project: the Jamacian drawstring purse:
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Not lined yet, but an overall, quick fun project. I find the spiral rib a bit addictive. The color didn't quite band as much as I had hoped, but it's still pretty cool looking (I'm going to try it in Berocco's Boho, how cool would that look?)

Project Details:
Pattern: Jamaican Drawstring Purse from One Skein Wonders
Yarn: Plymouth Bella Colours
Problems with the pattern: none that I found, however, several people who've made this (or started this) told me they had issues with the first row of the pattern having huge holes where you do the YO. I think this could easily be corrected by using the untwisted M1 (insert your needle in the thread between the needles and knit it, making sure NOT to twist it). This gives you a small eyelet and a smaller hole than a YO.
Changes to the pattern: None
Overall Impressions: as I stated above, a quick and fun project. I'll line mine with pockets to use as a jewelry bag. A great use for the long striping yarns... and with only needing about 200 yds, an economical gift idea!

Okay, so that's what I've finished, let's see what I've started ('cause you KNOW I started something!)

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That's my first swatch for the Half Linen Stitch cardigan from the XRX Jacket's book. As I said yesterday, I knew the photos wouldn't show of the loveliness of this yarn (yes, we sort of freaked out the ladies working at the Brooks Fiber Farm booth in Valley Forge last year when we asked if we could throw the yarn on the floor and roll around naked in it... it's that kind of yarn). This is their Raita, a wool, mohair and silk yarn. Lovely drape and the color combo, a light purple, denim and sage green, is very subtle and the half linen stitch really works well with the yarn (and it's much easier to do than the Linen stitch... as you get to purl the wrong side).

The swatching on it is going well: the left front is swatched and I have both sleeves swatched. The back is swatched to the armhole shaping. Fingers crossed, I'll have enough yarn (I'm calling it pretty close on it!!). I'm hoping to have it done by Friday for Matt's team fundraiser event.

Today I'll be making a "real" swatch. The Spring Forward class is coming up and one of the yarns I recommended for class is Kraemer Yarn's Tatamy Tweed DK, so I want to swatch it up and make sure it looks good in the pattern, then I'll run it up to Olde Peddler Wools for Darlene to show students. I swatched the yarn in just a broken rib stitch (as I'm planning on using it for either the Dancing Ribbons Pullover or an other of Janet's designs). I love this yarn. Inexpensive (always a plus), a soft, almost silky feel to it and easy care (my favorite!!!). We'll see how it works, and I'll give a review of knitting cables with it!

Quick Comment responses:
Matt must feel better, as he rode the training ride last night (tho' who knows... as Jim did too, even tho' he's on antibiotics for a bronchial infection. I'm beginning to think they're all idiots). Did I also mention the three hour "recovery" ride Sunday morning? And yes, Debby, long naps are an important part of training. "Sleep is a weapon"

Keep On Knittin'!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Too Much To Blog About

... and no photos. Matt has the camera someplace and I have no idea where.

It was one of those weird, busy, happy, disappointing weekends. Something for everyone!

Knitting content first:

I got a zipper for the Ribby Cardigan, and it's "okay". However, the back raglan shaping is too long, and folds right at the neck. I thought it was because of my body, but it doesn't it on my dress form and or on Matt. I thought as I was knitting it, the raglan shaping seemed really "deep", and it was. Oh well, it's a good knock around sweater, which is what I wanted (hence the easy care yarn). I think if I knit it again, there will be a lot of changes: the sleeves will move to a 3 X 1 rib and I'll change the raglan shaping to compensate for that extra fabric.

I finished up the Jamacian drawstring bag from One Skein Wonders. It's cute and I do want to line it. I'm going turn it into a jewlery bag, so I'll do a row of interior pockets.

I started swatching for a new project. The Half Linen Stitch cardigan from the XRX Jackets book. I'm using some Brooks Fiber Farm yarn from my purchases at last years Knitting Guild Conference. I only had 2 skeins, so I'm calling it close on the jacket. So I swatched the left front and the first sleeve and weighed them. I then weighed the rest of the yarn, did a little math, and I "should" be okay. Just to make sure I went ahead and swatched the second sleeve (heehee). I'll start swatching the back today. I do know that I'll never get a good picture of this cardigan. The yarn is absolutely beautiful and the half linen stitch shows it off beautifully (plus the half linen stitch is a lot of fun to knit).

The Inspired V cabled pullover in Katia Bamboo is really hard on my hands. The yarn is lovely, but I have to watch how much I work on it (which is why I tried to take a recovery day... Thursday night after knitting so much on it made my hands really sore). So I'll try to work a few rows in at a time, but no marathon knitting on it!

Racing update:

Matt raced in the first race of the season on Saturday. This year the goal is to be more "team focused" and less individual focused. Most of the guys have upgraded to cat 3 (with a few 4's that will upgrade in a couple of races). So they're going to try to do more team strategies rather than individual wins. Jim is the strongest rider in the group, and the team was going to try to get him the win. However, Jim was sick... (and still is), and didn't race. Sort threw the strategy off. So they changed tactics a bit and still had a decent day. Matt finished 5th and Tim finished 6th. Matt was surprised... he wasn't really expecting a top 10 finish. He's not in top form yet, and again, he was expecting to work for Jim.

The drawback of these early spring races is that I do think it's lowering the immune system. Jim is sick, and Matt started feeling horrible on Sunday (after the morning recovery ride of course). Well, we had tickets to go see Floyd Landis in Ephrata on Sunday and about 4:00 (just as I was starting to get ready) he announces that he's too sick to go. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. I think at this point I'm going to have to assume that all weekend activities that aren't directly related to a race will have to be postponed (or cancelled or not even planned) until the fall when racing season is over. He can't do anything other than race it seems (hmmm... am I bitter?).

Today I'll be hunting down my camera and swatching the back of the Half Linen stitch jacket.

Keep On Knittin'!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Fingers crossed....

I did an other swatched yesterday and I think I'll be okay with the Lasso Gansey. I should be able to block it to size. If not, I'll just have to lose some more weight!

However, the idea of working with wool yesterday just didn't feel right. It was so nice yesterday. Sunny and warm. Who needs a warm dense wool sweater for that?

So I did a look thru the massive amounts of started projects to find something a little more springy:
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A lovely cabled v neck pullover from Inspired Cable Knits. I'm using Katia Bamboo and the color is a much brighter blue than in my photo:
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I'm using color 10, a lovely pale turquoise.

I love the fabric I'm getting. The yarn is a bamboo/cotton blend and the drape is just lovely. The fabric is nice and soft and it's fairly easy to work with. It splits like the dickens (love that phrase) and I actually can't use a cable needle with it (it just slides right out). Which is fine. The yarn holds it shape so well, that I don't need a cable needle. (okay, I'm betting a wooden cable needle would work, but I don't like using wooden cable needles. I store my cable needle when not in use in my mouth and so wooden ones are kinda icky).

So I think today I'll be switching out some of my current knitting nest projects. Some of these warm wool projects will get stored back into one of the WIP closets so I can concentrate on some more spring like things. Matt also seems to think that the house needs to be vacuumed. Hrumph.


Thanks about asking about Jake, Debby! He's been taking glucosamine for his arthritis and he's like a puppy again. Well, maybe not that good, but definitley more playful and active. I will also say that part of his glucosamine regimine is half a Beeno...

I'll also confess that gauge swatching is something I'm extremely "eh" about. They lie. What I get in my swatch rarely translates to my project, so I usually don't bother making a "real" swatch. I'll swatch to see if I like the yarn, the drape and the stitch definition, but as far as actual "numbers" go, I find that it rarely translates. I ususally jump right into the project and check it there. However, since I did a huge yarn change for the Lasso Gansey (the original yarn is a 5 ply gansey and I'm using a dk weight yarn), I knew I would have to be more careful with gauge. Fingers crossed, I'll be okay. If not, I'll have to lose more weight or one of my smaller friends will get a lovely gansey.

So I guess I'll do a little housework today (hrumph). Matt thinks I knit too much and thinks I need to rest my hands. As he says, even he takes a day off the bike occassionaly to give his body a chance to heal. (double hrumph).

Swatches? We don't need no stinking swatches!!!!

Have a good weekend (good luck to all the racers this weekend!) and keep on knittin'!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Looking for a new hobby...

I have not had a good run lately of projects turning out well. As a matter of fact, apart from Matt's Because I Love You Sweater, nothing has really worked well this year.

I was happily plugging away on the Lasso Gansey (remember, dk weight yarn/size 3 needles) and held it up to see how it was looking.

It's not looking good. It's coming out too small. Now I did swatch, as I was trying to use a yarn not even remotely like the one used in the pattern, so I'm not sure what happened. The gauge swatch is given in st. st, and looking at the pattern, the basketweave stitch should be the same gauge. Mine isn't on the sweater. So I'm going to do a st. st. swatch and a basketweave swatch and block both of them. Hopefully the basketweave will block out to the size I need.

I've already put a lot of time into this sweater and I really do love the color and the look, so I'm really disappointed that it's not coming out to size. Fingers crossed that I can salvage it. If not, I'm going to only knit for Matt...

Nicole: I think the holes are part of the design. It's actually a lace type pattern. The yarn over on the first row might be the most noticable, but they do extend all the way up the bag. I expect to line my finished bag to compensate. You can make the hole less large (especially on that first row) by doing an untwisted M1 instead of a yarn over (just pick the thread up between the stitches and knit it normally... don't twist it when like when you do a M1). Or even if you don't want the eyelets all the way up, you could do a M1 instead of the yarn over thru the whole pattern.

Debby: I find pure cotton a little hard to work with, unless it's straight st. st. (which we all know I'm not a big fan of). To work cables, I much prefer a blend. I've used cotton/acrylic and cotton/wool blends. Both are preferable than pure cotton for cables, but I'm a lazy sort, and I like the ease of the acrylic.

I have been meaning to join the cycling webring, but I've been lazy (do you see a trend here?) about my website (notice the WIP list is way out of date... as is the finished project list). When I do buttons, I use Photoshop (since I don't own Illustrator anymore). All the buttons on my sidebar (that I made) were done in Photoshop. The problem is that photoshop is pixel based and Illustrator is vector based. Illustrator is much better for type and smooth edge graphics, while photoshop really is a photo program.

Lauren: uh. huh.

So today will be "let's try to salvage an other project" day... or at least I'll cast on something new.

Keep on Swatchin'!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Not So Fast, But Still Easy

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The Lasso Gansey is moving along nicely. I said yesterday that I'm going to switch my focus from fast and easy projects and try to get done some of my more complex projects that are sitting here... well, the confession of the Lasso Gansey is that it's not complex. It's actually a nice relaxing and easy knit... however, the tight gauge and size 3 needles keeps it from being a fast project, that's for sure!!!

This is one of those projects that I know I'm going to love wearing when it's finished. I wasn't sure of the color when I first got it, but it certainly has grown on me (and I have several yarns in my "collection" that are in the same color family).

Ya, so that whole "fast and easy" thing didn't last an entire day, as my copy of One Skein Wonders showed up (around 4:00 pm).
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Ya, it's fast and easy. Heehee. I'm using Plymouth's Bella Colour. Yet an other example of a cotton/acrylic blend. I have to say it's fast becoming my favorite fiber. I like the cotton, but knitting with 100% is hard on the hands. The acrylic makes it much more comfortable to knit, and I think it helps the cotton keep it's shape. However, it's not banding as much as I had hoped. I was expecting the color repeats to be a bit longer. Doesn't matter, as I still really like the way it's coming out and it's going to be a cute little bag when it's finished. I'll probably line it for either a summer purse or maybe a sock bag for all those socks I knit (bwahahaha).

Debby: yes, back in the day, I used Illustrator and Quark Xpress. However, it's been too many years since I've used either, that it would be like not knowing anything!

As far as number of projects on the needles right now? Well, I have to say I seriously have no idea. I'm sure it's the triple numbers... I have a short attention span. I love starting stuff, but I'm always easily distracted by an other project (see post above).

I'll work on the Lasso Gansey today and I should start some swatches for the Spring Forward class. I want to make up samples of cables washed and unwashed to show the example of how different yarns react differently to cables (ie: Ballybrae really relaxes the cables when washed, but Cascade 220 doesn't... and both are 100% wool). However, who wants to bet that I spend time with my little drawstring purse instead?

Keep On Knittin'!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I'm so ready for spring...

I ran up to Morgantown yesterday to Olde Peddler Wools. Darlene and I had a lovely visit as always and I came home with some yarn (hey, I heard that snort!). I've been wanting to try Kraemer Yarns Tatany Tweed and Darlene stocks the DK.

I did a small (like 2 rows) swatch. I'm going to love this yarn! It looks like wool, but it's my favorite fiber combo: cotton/acrylic. Easy care, easy to knit with and a great color palette! I'll make a bigger swatch and try some cables with it, then wash it up to see how it reacts. I'm already thinking of the Dancing Ribbons Pullover:
Click to get pattern info

However, I did a little knitting nest clean up yesterday... and holy krap I've got a lot of stuff on the needles or waiting to get on the needles. I'm running out of storage room. Which is actually quite scary, as I have a lot of storage space. I'm going to have to focus a bit and get some things done... and worry less about "easy and fast" and get some of the stalled complex things I have sitting here.

First up? The Lasso Gansey (which I was reminded of when I pulled out the pattern for the Dancing Ribbons Pullover). I am further than this photo, but I'm feeling lazy (hence the stealing of Janet's photo for today's blog):
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I have both fronts done and I'm better than half way up the back.

I actually haven't worked on this sweater for well over a year. The gauge is tight... just like I like it! However, it's a DK weight yarn (KnitPicks Merino Style) on size 3 needles. While I was working on it last year, I started getting some severe pain in my arm and I thought it was from the tight gauge, so I stopped working on it. The pain was in fact due to shingles and had nothing to do with the actual knitting... yet I've been wary of working on it again.

Well, I worked on it yesterday, and I remember why I started it in the first place: I love basketweave patterns! My only concern for the sweater on me is the placement of the "lasso"... right at my full bust. However, I think the verticle lines of the bottom section will be very flattering and I love the density and weight of the fabric. And what can I say about the color? Yum!!!

So fingers crossed, I can continue to work on this for a bit, while I prepare for my upcoming classes. The Spring Forward class is filling up and I have my own homework to prepare.

Off to knit!!! well, and maybe run to the grocery store. eh.

Keep on knittin'!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Body Awareness

I haven't finished a project for myself in a while that I've been happy with. I'm having fit issues or it's not the right style for me.

Here's the question... am I being honest with myself about how my body is actually built?

No one has the perfect body and we all deal with fitting issues. So I don't believe that I'm not dealing with something that every knitter deals with.

The Ribby Cardy is done with the exception of the zipper. I'm running into my usual issues with it.

The back is too large (I am small across the back). It's tight in the upper sleeves (yes, we know that I consistantly have upper arm issues) and of course we have the boob issue. The side ribbing, while showing waist definition (something that I love) makes it a snug bust fit.

I think the sweater is quite lovely and it was a great deal of fun to knit (obviously... took me about a week). I'm hoping that Matt will wear it (he loves the style and the fit, but not the tweedy yarn).

I'll do a full review once I have the zipper in (and hey, maybe that's all it needs for me to be happy with the fit? Who knows?)

Debby: Yes, I have a BFA in Illustration from Moore College of Art & Design. I no longer do any painting/drawing (except to sketch knitting patterns or doodling. I'm an obsessive doodler). I truely enjoyed my college education and Moore is a great environment and I wouldn't change a thing... except maybe my major! I actually looked into going back to get a degree in Textiles.

Yep, instead of racing on Saturday, Matt spent all day chipping out the driveway (2" of compressed sleet and ice). I think he worked harder doing that than doing a race. They'll try again this Saturday at Mt. Joy. Hopefully most of the mess will be gone!

Acornbud: I'll have pictures tomorrow of the Ribby Cardi. I'm going out today to get the zipper!

I'm off to Morgantown today to Olde Peddler Wools, so I have a few errands planned!

Keep on Knittin'!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Cranking Out the Sleeves?

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The Ribby Cardi is just moving along at an alarming rate. To date I've finished the back, the first sleeve, the left front and half of the second sleeve. I'm not sure why this is flying off the needles, but it is. I should be able to get that second sleeve done today.

Our tease of spring is done and we're back to the freezing rain/snow/crap of winter. Matt's first race was supposed to be on Saturday, and it looks like it's going to be cancelled. (Strasburg is forecasted to get about 4" of snow/ice tonight... not safe for bike racing).

See and I was getting all geared up to do some spring cleaning, too! Oh well, I guess I'll just knit instead!

Keep on Knittin'!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Quick Update

We went to see the King Tut exhibit at the Franklin Institute this morning. It was a fundraiser for my college and was well worth the price. Since it was just us (and an other small group that came in after us), we had the exhibit to ourselves. Like maybe 30 people total.

The displays were beautifully set up allowing you to see the artifacts from every angle and since it was so small, you really could take your time to study them. Absolutely stunning. I wish we could've seen the Dali exhibit under the same conditions. (To truely appreciate Dali's masterful painting skills, you have to get close to them).

I didn't know any of the other people who attended this morning's event, so we decided to skip out on the breakfast awards thingy. (kinda like skipping out on the reception after a wedding... or even better, skipping out on the ceremony and just showing up for the reception. And yes, I did have a family member do that).

The only drawback? My shoe choice. We decided last night to take the train into the city (which was a great way of doing it), but I chose the wrong shoes for all that walking. I wear these shoes all the time, but usually with socks, not stockings. Oops. I have blisters on the bottoms of me feet. No treadmill for me. Guess I'll be riding the bike for the next few days.

Knitting update: I got that first sleeve finished up very quickly yesterday morning and ended up cranking thru half the left front (I'm at the raglan shaping already). I'm completely addicted to this pattern. Seems like a nice balance of mindless without being boring (that 2X2 rib on the side panels keeps the st. st. section nice and short). I'm shooting to finish the left front today then I'll do the second sleeve.

Some responses to comments.
Nicole (for the yarn snobs: can just move along at this point) the yarn is Red Heart's Tweed. I'm loving how soft the yarn is and the green is just lovely. The brown not as much, but it's working well with the green. The yarn has been discontinued, but it's going to work up into a nice sturdy jacket. I originally started this for Matt so he could do yard work in it (he hates the "handwash yarns"), but the tweed is too much for his taste. So I'll keep it for me!!

Debby: Matt chose an aluminum bike this year to race with. He doesn't want to crash his carbon one, which is more likely to crack. It's more the issue of "when" not "if" you crash, eh? He just checked the weather forecast for Saturday (the first race), and while we're enjoying beautiful (muggy even) spring weather, it's going to be cold again by the weekend... mid 30's. I don't think I'll go watch this race (heehee).

In other exciting biking news (okay, mostly for Debby), Matt and I got tickets to see Floyd Landis's Town Meeting in Ephrata on the 25th. This time Matt says he's not embarrassed to ask for his photo to be taken with Floyd.

Well, I'm beat. That was an early and busy morning and tonight is Stitch n Bitch. Maybe a nap (and no, I didn't sleep much last night either) then back to the Ribby Cardi!

Keep on Knittin'!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Ribby Cardi

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The Ribby Cardi. Hmmm, a lot of 2 X 2 rib on those sleeves. However, it's obviously moving pretty quickly. I'm happy with how this is looking so far and the pattern is pretty straight forward.

It suits me right now, as I'm not sleeping. I feel jet lagged. I think a combination of not sleeping and the time change is just catching up with me. I'm tired and irritable.

I'm off to see the King Tut exhibit in Philadelphia tomorrow. It's part of an alumnae event at my college. So we have to leave bright and early tomorrow morning to see the exhibit, followed by an awards banquet. Since it's a private showing of the exhibit, it should be a nice way to see it.

So I'm off to work on the Ribby Cardi, maybe try to sneak a nap in. I need sleep!!!

Keep on knittin'!!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Blog Cheating!

So we took the dogs to the vets this morning (Gena for her annual and Jake for the always traumatic nail clipping). Makes for an exciting, busy morning.

So let's do the easy blog! Comments!!! heehee

I forgot to give responses to Friday's blog, so we'll start there!

Debby (combining Friday and Monday's comments): Sorry to hear about C's crash! At least it was over the line! I remember one race, someone took Matt out just before the finish line, and Matt had to walk his bike over the line. He was in position to have a great finish, but ended up with a not so good finish. (and isn't funny how they worry more about the bikes?.. "oh, ya, I broke my collarbone, but the shop was able to straighten out my rim so I don't need to buy a new wheel").

Matt does do time trials, but quite frankly, he's not very good at them. Part of it is size. Time trials are all about power, and when you weight 135 lbs, you don't have a lot of power. He's also a "carrot rider", he needs to push himself with competition, and that's really tough with time trials.

Nicole & Kristen: Heehee, yes, there's no hiding in a skinsuit! Matt is not quite at racing form yet. His first race is Saturday, and he knows that he's not ready. It will be good to get the miles in, but he always does better in the hot summer months: when the temps and the roads go up (the two hardest climbing races are in July... perfect for Matt).

As for the comments about Garnet, I have to say I don't love the faded color as much as I did the periwinkle. But as you all pointed out, at least I can wear the sweater again (and I no longer have to worry about it fading anymore!). I might remake it in an other yarn in a nice bright, colorfast yarn (hmmm... Elann's Sonata, perhaps?). It was such a fun, fast knit!

Okay, speaking of fun fast knits, I must admit that I've been distracted by yet an other project (yes, I know I have issues). I blame Lauren for asking for help picking out yarn for a Ribby Cardi (she has wool issues, so we were looking for a good substitute for her). Which made me realize that I bought the pattern, and started it for Matt, but I didn't love the yarn I was using. After some stash digging, I pulled out a nice tweedy yarn in a green, bought some coordinating brown tweed and I've addictively been working on it since. I have the back done and the first sleeve at the halfway point (see, I'm trying a new strategy... sneaking the sleeves into the middle of the project to see if they are not as annoying as at the end).

Since I'm not working on the Fall Back Cardigan until class, I think I'll take these last 3 weeks (hmmm, I guess I should say 2.5 weeks) and see how much I can finish up in that time? Once class starts, the Fall Back will become the major project again!

I'll not be as lazy tomorrow and I'll post some pictures of the Ribby Cardi and anything else I work on today!

Keep On Knittin'!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Doing Laundry!!!

I had a very busy weekend that entailed meeting the girls for Saturday morning knitting at Wegmans, followed by a little stash enhancement. Sunday Matt and I went for a long car ride to scope out some property. It was a lot of time in the car and I could use a day in to catch up on my knitting, but got some errands to run today.

However, I did tackle an issue that's been bothering me for a bit. My Garnet. If you remember, I used Elsebeth Lavold Patine. Which is not even remotely colorfast. This faded terribly sitting on my sweater shelf (and the whole reason I had to rearrange my stash/finished sweaters).
Click to enlarge!

It simply wasn't wearable. I wore this sweater a lot last year... one because it's pretty and I loved the color, and second because I don't have a lot of "summery" sweaters.

So I had to make a decision on what to do with it. Over dye it? Well, that was my first thought. Then I remembered that the yarn isn't colorfast and there were a lot of complaints about it fading when it was washed. Since I hadn't washed it yet, I figured, it couldn't hurt. Even if it didn't even out the color, I couldn't ruin it anymore than what how it was.

So I ran it thru the washer. On hot. Hoping to fade the entire sweater to a nice even color.

It worked.
Click to enlarge!

While I loved the periwinkle blue of the original, and the faded lavender color isn't as pretty, at least I can wear it again. I'll also add that it's not a yarn I would recommend (but since it's been discontinued, I guess that makes sense, eh?). Oh, and let's hope that the Hempathy is more colorfast, since that was my stash enhancement on Saturday...

I also had an other epiphany over the weekend. There's no way I can get the Fall Back Cardigan* done in time to be a shop sample for the class. The class is less than three weeks away. Even if I worked really hard, I would barely make finishing it in that amount of time and the shop sample issue would be moot anyway. So I've decided to actually stop working on it and just use it as my class sample. I will have to go back and do some of the steps again (no, I'm not frogging what I have done, I'll just make up class samples). That will also keep me from having to knit it again.

Well, I need to go get dressed so I can take care of all the things I need to take care of today. (can you feel the enthusiasm???)

Keep On Knittin'!
*The Fall Back Cardigan is my wool version of the Spring Forward Cardigan designed by Janet Szabo and can be found in the Spring 2004 issue of Twists & Turns.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Team Mom?

This is what I'll be doing today:

That's the order from Voler for Matt's team racing kits. They need to be sorted, checked and bagged for each team member.

When they arrived yesterday (Matt actually went to work), I had to dig thru them to find his. Seems he's the only one on the team that wears a small. Now for the eye candy for the blog. So Matt modeled the skin suit for me (used only when doing a time trial... or just around the house for me... bwahahaha). Yes, his teammates call him "Wee Man".

Thanks for the feedback about my comments! I'll post responses on the next post!

Debby: you and Matt both can't wait for warmer weather! He's so tired of the trainer. He likes to ride in the heat. Even during the peak of summer, when he's riding in hot humid weather he's thankful that it's not cold!

Rosie: Oh, ya, you know I'll be wearing the Fall Back a lot. It's a very "me" sweater!

Asa: The pattern for the Fall Back Cardigan is explained in this post.

And thanks Kristen and Lauren for your feedback! and to everyone about the Fall Back Cardigan.

Now for the confession. I didn't work much on the Fall Back* Cardigan yesterday. I think I worked so much on it the day before that I needed a short break. So after sorting thru all those boxes, I'll get back to it. Still shooting for one repeat done today!

Have a great weekend!
Keep on Knittin'!

*reminder that the Fall Back Cardigan is actually The Spring Forward Cardigan, but in wool this time.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Hmmm... Cranberrific!

Ah, an almost accurate photo of the Fall Back Cardigan:
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That's the closest I've come to the color so far. I love knitting the same project twice (well, if I love the project, that is) in different yarns. It's not even like the same pattern. Too cool.

I do have an error. I picked up too many stitches for the sleeves. I'm going to call it "ease" and just be sure to do it on the other side. I'm hoping with the wool, that it will all even out, and I don't think it'll be noticable when the sweater is finished.

I got more done on it yesterday than I expected. I had hoped to get one repeat done a day, but I'm a little past that. I'm actually at about the halfway point on this sleeve. Let's see if I can get an other repeat done today!!!

One of the things I don't like about Blogger is the noreply email for comments. So what do people prefer? My response back in the comments, or in the next day's post? Leave me a comment with your feedback.

Well, gotta throw a load of laundry in! Nothing like laundry to feel like a productive housewife, yet have lots of time to knit!!!!

Keep on Knittin'!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I did work on Matt's Natural Beauty Fair Isle yesterday. Didn't get as much done as I had hoped, but had a lot of false starts. I don't do a lot of fair isle, and even though I've discovered that I hate working fair isle with dpn's, it still took me a while to get comfortable using two circs. Now that I've increased enough to use just one circ, it's already going a lot smoother:

I'm not sure I'll work any more on it today. I really do need to get the Fall Back Cardigan done and expect I'll spend the bulk of today doing that. I would like to have the first sleeve done this week.

I am working on a crochet project too. I think it's nice to have a non knitting project to work on. Probably a little better on the hands, since the motion is different (just like the PS2 controller, right?)

This is just a simple texture stitch afghan worked lengthwise. The pattern only has 5 stitches that are repeated, but I'm going to be working in some other patterns (and already did one) so that it's more of a sampler afghan.

It's #%$@%$^ snowing out this morning. So I'm staying in and work on the Fall Back Cardigan. All I have to say is that there's 25 days to the first pitch...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Quick Update

No pictures today, mainly because I'm running late with the blog and feeling lazy.

The Fall Back Cardigan is still moving along nicely. The fronts are done to the armholes and I do have the first sleeve picked up.

Sarah asked about the pattern in my comments yesterday. Well, it's actually Janet Szabo's Spring Forward Cardigan (Spring 2004 issue of Twists & Turns), but since I'm doing it in wool, I cleverly decided to call it the Fall Back Cardigan (bwahahaha).

One more comment about the Fall Back... the color is way off in the photo. I know I mention it every time I post a picture of it, but at Stitch n Bitch last night everyone commented on it. The color is a rich heathered cranberry. Not in the least bit purple. The red family is really hard to photograph and I can't get a good representation of the color. As I said, even Cascade's site doesn't show a good representation on it (it's color 9341.. I may have reversed the numbers yesterday. I do that a lot. Not good with numbers).

So I've already been for grocercies this morning (FYI: it's very cold and windy out... we've also already had to do one yard clean up from the recycling bin blow over).

I might work on Matt's sweater today, since he asked me very nicely this morning if I would work on it. I'll try to get the first sleeve fair isle section done (since I bought 2 circs on Saturday 'cause I hate doing fair isle with dpn's). I'll tell ya right now... I'm not going back out in this weather again today. (and yes, I've been flipping off the weather forecast everytime I check it).

Stay warm and keep on knittin'!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Wool and Cables Rock!!!!

Click to enlarge

The Fall Back Cardigan is moving along well. Some starts and sputters trying to add an extra cable to the front, but I'm happy with what I ended up with. A few more rows on the left front and then it's off to the sleeves! Should get to that today, no problem!

Again, the photo is not represenative of the actual color at all. I'm using Cascade 220, color 9431 (even Cascade's scan doesn't do this color justice!). I haven't been working with a 100% wool for a while it seems, at least with cables. Now I remember why I have so much of this yarn in my stash... it is one of my all time favorite yarns.

The Sitcom Chic is slowly progressing. I'm not a huge fan of knitting st. st., but it does make for nice movie watching knitting.
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I'm thinking that the Cara Mia is just a little too loose at this gauge for my taste. We'll see how it looks when it blocks. It is making it nice and drapey... and I'm just not used to that. I like firm fabric, but then I do mostly textured knitting and that's the goal.

The Brooks Fiber Scarf is better than half way done. I will be making this pattern again, that's for sure. The lace pattern is sooo easy and I just love what it does to the hand dyed yarn (ah, a use for all that Fearless Fibers yarn I've been collecting!).

Today will be a Fall Back Cardigan day! Get that left front done and get the first sleeve picked up. For sanity's sake, I'm ignoring the frigid temp outside and I'll stay bundled up and knit!!!

Gena thinks it's good napping weather:
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Keep on Knittin'!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Thursday Blog

I did get the back of the Fall Back Cardigan down to the armhole depth.
click to enlarge

The color in the photo is very washed out by the morning sun, but it does show the cabled detail nicely. I'm not sure I'll get to the front today or not.

I have the Taste of Aran Afghan class on Saturday, and I guess I should get my block done. This is all the farther I am:
click to enlarge

I am progressing a bit on the Brooks Fiber Farm scarf (tho' I'm thinking it's going to be closer to a shawl for me:
click to enlarge

So that's the plan today... first priority is to get the afghan block done. Then work on the Fall Back. Maybe if I get enough done, I'll be able to sleep at night.

Keep on knittin'!