Friday, August 31, 2007

Eh.

Not much to update... projects all look about the same, so I'm not bothering with photographs.

I didn't cast anything new on... well, okay, that's not completely true. I did start a cabled vest for Matt, but I don't like it with the yarn (too dark and the cables didn't pop enough), so it's not really a casting on... more like a swatch. Right?

Hmmm, not really much more to update. I am working on my sewing room... well, I at least took the first step. I got some garbage bags at the grocery store yesterday. Hey, one step at time!!!

Matt and I plan on having a nice relaxing holiday weekend. No races (yet... I never know, he might change his mind...) no classes. Maybe we'll actually get some things done around the house? (ya, ya, I know... the sewing room needs to be cleaned).

Have a good and safe weekend!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Just a quick one...

I'm off to run some errands this morning, but I didn't want to miss blogging two days in a row.

I'm finished with the length on the crochet lace shawl, and now comes the hard part... the border. I've been playing with it for a while on my swatch and I just haven't been happy. I think part of it is my hook size. I have something in mind, but it just seems sloppy. So I'll try some things today, and hopefully finish it up this week so I can block it over the weekend.

Matt's Sampler Cardigan is still progressing nicely. I have maybe 5" to go on the back. I'll then do the pockets for the fronts, block those pieces, seam the shoulders, do the buttonbands, then pick up stitches for the sleeves and work those top down. Hmmm, that sounds like a lot more work left to do then I thought. Here I was thinking it was getting close to being done!!

I did a little work on my Etsy shop yesterday, and I discounted my last 2 remaining tote bags. I hope to get back to sewing this fall (after I do a HUGE clean up in my sewing room... let's not think about it. It gives me nightmares) with some new totes, and in more sizes.

Gena
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Gena just thinks the whole thing sounds like too much work, but wake her up if there's a squirrel in the yard.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sampler Cardigan Progress

Matt's Sampler Cardigan, back click to enlarge

Matt's cardigan is progressing very nicely. It's even further than that, thanks to the 10 minute reboot I had to do this morning. I really am happy with how this is turning out. The fabric is nice and dense and I'm getting great stitch definition. Plus it's almost a color... for Matt!

I also got a photo this morning of the Tangled Yoke Cardigan.


Tangled Yoke Cardigan
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I had to try to manipulate the color a bit, as the yarn was looking a little off (too blue) in my photo. I'm using KnitPicks Telemark and I'm liking the yarn (the color isn't very accurate on their website, either... it's just one of those colors that doesn't photo very well). The color is great. It's a green heather with a touch of yellow and blue. It does split quite a bit, but it's a nice "stiff" yarn.

I really need to start changing construction on these "knit in one piece" patterns, tho. I really don't like having 250 stitches on my needle. It makes me feel like I'm accomplishing more if I turn my work more often. I like the stability side seams give a sweater. I don't mind seaming. Right now I have 3 cardigans on the needles that are knit in one piece to the armholes and they all feel tedious to me. While Matt's cardigan is flying off the needles... since I'm knitting it flat.

However, I wanted to keep this pattern as close to the original as possible. The only change (other than yarn) that I plan on making is to add some short row bust darts. I'm making the 42" size, as I want it to fit me properly thru the shoulders and neck. However, that's not enough ease for my 42" bust line.

Off to get some more knitting done... and maybe some laundry.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Monday Tidbits

Thanks to everyone that showed concern over my swift. Only a knitter would understand the impact of a broken swift.

However, here's the good news:

Swifty Goodness
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Ya, Jake may not be impressed (while he's stealing my knitting nest seat), but that is one bona fide fixed swift. My husband ROCKS!

So I actually didn't get much knitting done over the weekend. Saturday Matt and I went over to a friend's new townhouse to try help her unpack. Unpacking with someone is a lot different than packing. Packing is easy: you take it off the shelf, wrap it, and put it in a box. However, to unpack, the homeowner has to make all the decisions on where she wants stuff. It's still is a lot of work, and I think all three of us were exhausted (well, maybe not Matt, but I know Pat and I were beat) by the end of the day.

Sunday I met my friend Julie at Beadfest and we had a great time. Lot's of pretty things to look at! While I enjoy the beads... I must admit it's not like yarn. I brought home a few goodies (and we had a blast at one booth picking out what we wanted), I certainly didn't go overboard like I always do at Stitches.

So, let's see how projects are progressing:

Cutscene Socks
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Simple self striping socks (with an afterthought heel). I work on these while I'm playing video games. During cutscenes (which is why I don't like cutscenes that I have to advance... as even as much as I loved playing Sphynx and the Cursed Mummy, the cutscenes weren't knitting friendly). I'm using some Opal Cotton and I do like the way they're coming out. I'm just about to hit the waste yarn row on the second sock. Hmmm, maybe a pair of socks I can actually finish?

Just as a gaming aside. I don't have any of the next gen consoles. I think an Xbox 360 will be first on the list... for a couple of reasons (Bioshock and Halo 3 mainly), but I think the PS3 will be down the road (there is a new Ratchet and Clank coming out). I have absolutely no desire for a Wii. I'm very very wary of it, as I think it's only going to work well with self published titles (titles that aren't designed for the controller aren't working out too well, from what I hear). So, at this point, I don't see it being a priority for me.

Okay, back to knitting, Matt's Sampler Cardigan is progressing nicely:

Matt's Sampler Cardigan, back
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There is a reason I love this pattern. First, I love samplers and second, it's such a great short attention span knitting project. If I can keep focused (ya, I heard that derisive snort) I can get it done pretty quickly. Hey, I've hardly casted anything new on recently... oh, and maybe I'll have enough done on the Tangled Yoke Cardigan to show tomorrow (heehee... you KNOW I was going to have to cast that on). Bet ya can't guess what color I'm using!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Death to Swifty

My swift broke yesterday. The metal compenant that keeps it locked onto the table has worked itself loose and it no longer stays gripped. Matt's trying to glue it into place (wood and metal are hard to glue, so it may be wishful thinking).

I'm not sure how long I can live without a swift. There are very few knitting tools that I absolutely MUST have... and that might be number one on my list (after yarn and knitting needles). I can live without my ball winder... but a swift is a must have!!

So I didn't get much knitting done yesterday, as I finally attacked the WIP/UFO closets. Ugh. Never fun. Here's what I don't get:

Sock Yarn Stash

How on earth did I end up with all that sock yarn? I've knit a total of 5 pairs of socks (and I've got maybe an other 5+ on the needles). I don't consider myself a sock knitter. I don't particularly like wearing them, and knitting them feels tedious to me (that whole second sock thing... worse than sleeves). However, the yarn is luscious. Almost all of what's in that bag was bought on Etsy. Very little of it is commercially produced (there's some Opal solids and some Opal Cotton). Proof that my real hobby is collecting yarn... the knitting is just a way of justifying it.

I'm physically beat from all that yarn moving yesterday, so I'm going to work on some knitting today (plus I have all those projects to finish...).

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Tasting Fall

I know that the cool weather we've had for the last few days will be going away, as it gets warmer, then hotter as the week goes. However, the past few days have been great for me to be inspired to work on some fallesque things.

I only got maybe two rows done on the Sailors Ribs and Ropes Cardigan (I'll get it done by the year 2018). I'm also still plugging away on Matt's Sampler Cardigan. However, when I cleaned up my stash room over the weekend, I accidently created a color combo of some afghan yarns that I couldn't stop thinking about:

T.C.B. Afghan
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The tan, cream and blue yarn were all bought seperately, for solid color afghans (meaning I have a total of 10 skeins each). I was putting all my afghan yarns into large storage bags, and these three ended up together, and I loved how they worked off each other. I had to try them together. I'm using a simple double crochet "teardrop" style pattern (I used it for this afghan, and yes, almost every photo of an afghan I've taken has Jake in it. He's a big fan of afghans).

This afghan is going to be HUGE! It's probably about 70" long (it's worked lengthwise... so you can use the ends as fringe, but I've discovered I don't like fringed afghans... so yes, I'll be weaving in all those ends and adding a border). The problem with afghans is that they're a lot of fun in the beginning, then they start to get rather large and become cumbersome to work on. Matt even suggested doing it in strips then seaming it (basically dividing the afghan into say, quarters). This does have a certain appeal, but it would throw off my color striping due to the way I have it set up. Something to consider for then next one (or that would've been a great idea for the Sampler Stripe afghan, that I haven't finished yet... since it's moved into that "cumbersome" catagory).

I'm ready for some sunshine, as this cold spell has been very rainy and very dreary. I'll even take the heat if it comes with some sunshine! Well, off to do some much needed housework!!! Hopefully, I'll still get some knitting in today.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Post Project Restlessness

Thanks to everyone that left comments about the Rambling Shadows. I'm actually wearing it this morning, as it's quite chilly.

Some specific comments to address:
Nicole, The Rambling Rows Jacket is one of those "staple" patterns that's simply handy to have in your collection. It's sized from infant up to a 51", and since it's mitered squares, it's easily adaptable to any size. It's great for kids sweaters since it's such a fast knit (and there's a lot you can do with the color blocks!).

Joan, don't even get me started on it! I've already been going thru my stash (mentally) for other yarns to make this pattern again! Mexicanna? Silk Garden? Odds and ends of leftover yarns? It could be addictive!

Thanks Kristen and Sarah! (oh and Kristen, that's just what Matt says about me!!!)

Debby, I am so in the fall knitting mode due to this cool spell (however, it's not going to last... 90's again this weekend). I'm sorry to hear about Chris's flat! Nothing worse with only 3 laps to go. I'm personally ready for the season to be over... I think we're down to about 3 more races to go (all in September). Matt raced about 24 times. I think we're both a little tired of it all!

Okay, so it's cold (I bet my friend Betty has her heat on) and damp and not very summer-like. It's very inspiring to us knitters. I love the fall... and specifically fall knitting! I'm still trying to finish a total of 15 projects this year (I'm up to 12), so I'm working on some nice fall cardigans. One for me, and one for Matt:

Sampler Cardigan for Matt
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The back for Matt's Sampler Cardigan is progressing nicely. I have to say that working with Cascade 220 is delightful. This pattern always knits up fairly quickly for me (the change of stitches keeps me interested) and with the fronts done, I don't expect it to take me long to finish it up.

However, that's balanced by this:
Sailors Ribs and Ropes
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The Sailors Ribs and Ropes by Janet Szabo. Sigh, I love the pattern. I love the yarn (and the color is simply gorgeous). However, I goofed. I followed the directions for knitting it in one piece to the armholes. I don't like long rows... I feel like I'm getting more done if I turn my work often. I know it's as long as it is broad from a knitting standpoint, and that I'm saving finishing time by not having that seam. I just feel like one row takes forever!

It's worth it, as I know that this will be one of those classic, never go out of style sweaters that will wear hard (I'm knitting it at a very tight gauge: Paton's Classic Wool on size 6 needles).

So that's some of the projects I'm working on right now. I'll try to get Matt's Sampler to the first pattern stitch change today and an other 4 rows on the Sailor's Ribs and Ropes. Unless I get distracted by something else...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Rambling Shadows

Rambling Shadows Back View
Click to enlarge

Rambling Shadows Front View
Click to enlarge

The Rambling Shadows Jacket is fini!... well, that's not quite technically true. I still need buttons.

I will say that both Matt and I were concerned about it fitting me before I got the buttonbands on. It looked sloppy and not very flattering. However, doing the buttonbands was like magic, and I'm very happy with it. So let's do some project stats:

Rambling Shadows Jacket
Pattern:
Rambling Rows Jacket
Yarn: Caron's Simply Shadows and Simply Soft
Problems with the Pattern: none that I noticed
Changes to the pattern: Nothing technical, but I goofed on the lower front panels (the decreases go in the opposite direction to how the pattern is written. I don't think it matters for what I was doing...) oh, and I think I may have put the buttonholes on the wrong side (oops). I did use a smaller needle for the ribbing than the pattern suggested.
Design Notes: I used the Simply Shadows for the body and the Simply Soft for the sleeves and the buttonbands. I didn't have much of the Simply Shadows yarn (and I ended up needing 5 skeins, with not a lot leftover), so I didn't bother trying to do any color matchinig up. That's the way the yarn came out of the skein.
Overall impressions: This is exactly what I had in mind. It was fast, cheap and easy. It's cozy and comfortable and I'm very pleased with how it turned out. I would do this pattern again in a heartbeat. I plan on using this sweater around the house, so I wanted something fast to knit, in inexpensive yarn that I could toss in the washer and dryer. I also wanted it soft. This absolutely fits the bill. As I said, I had been a little suspect as I got the body done, as the garter stitch was all stretched out. However, I'm now very happy with the fit and the style. I'll give the project a thumbs up.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Don't you love a dreary Monday morning?

I'm curious... did anyone actually watch the Youtube video on my last blog entry? It's one of the funniest SNL skits I've seen... so if you didn't bother watching it, take a few minutes and enjoy (warning, it might ruin some of your favorite Stevie Nicks songs).

Since it's just so dreary and raining this morning, I'm not even going to bother taking pictures, as they'll be grey and dark. However, stuff was done over the weekend.

Including the stash room clean up. FYI: I have a shit load of yarn. There's simply not other way to describe it. It really is kind of overwhelming. Matt said, why not get rid of some of it on Ebay or something, then you can buy more.

My problem is I bought it for a reason... I liked it and I can see the "potential" of a yarn. I hate to get rid of it (plus it's mine. MINE!!! *cough*). Anyway... I might eventually, but I just don't want to pick out what I'm not going to use.

I will say that my new yarn purchases have slowed down considerably. I'm trying very hard to finish some things... and I'm plugging away on projects.

The Rambling Shadows Jacket is more than likely going to be finished today. I'm on the button band (at the buttonhole row) then some seaming, and it's all set. Matt asked me "why not seam just the sleeves to see if you're going to like it". I pointed out that at this point, does it matter? I'm not going to frog it... so I'll finish it and if doesn't suit me, I'll give it away (like the crappy San Fran Pullover... that was a disaster!).

I'm also still plugging away on the self designed crochet shawl, with maybe an other 10-15" to go before I add the border... which I'm still not set on what I'm doing. I'm also working on a little of this and a little of that... thinking about what else I want to get finished up.

I have Matt's Sampler Cardigan that I would like to finish, plus two Janet Szabo cardigans to finish (the Fall Back Cardigan and the Sailor's Ribs and Ropes Cardigan) that I know will get a lot of wear this coming fall (temps drop... fall knitting in on my mind!).

So lots to do, on a cool, dreary Monday morning...

Friday, August 17, 2007

For Theresa

As this just doesn't get old:

As Theresa's off to see Stevie Nicks in concert this coming week. All Matt could say was "Again?" (and yes Lindsey Buckingham is a man...which also doesn't get old. Thanks Lauren!)

Eh, not much here

I'm in obligatory knitting hell. I have a finishing class tomorrow so I've been swatching like crazy. This is the second time I've taught this class, and I wanted to have more samples of what I'm talking about.

Class samples do not make for an exciting blog.

I've also been writing up the pattern for the Box Stitch pillow (which is officially finished and ready for it's photoshoot).

I've also been working on the crochet shawl for Theresa's crochet class this fall.

So all my other projects are stalled while I finish up these obligations, but I am sooooooo itching to cast something on (like the Tangled Yoke Cardigan from the new issue of Interweave). I'm resisting. For now.

In bad news. We've got moths. We're not sure where they're coming from (my house is full of wool. Fabric, sweaters and fiber). So I'm being forced to actually do a clean up... and see if there's any damage. I'm not looking forward to any of it... however, I do need to do a sorting/clean out of yarn/projects etc. Just didn't want to have to do it right now!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Directions? I don't need no stinking directions!

So I've had my camera for several years. Have I ever bothered to learn how to use it? Read the manual? Done more than just point and click.

Uh. No.

So I learned that I can take movies with it (I found this out accidently at the Iron Hill Crit). I also figured out yesterday that I have a macro setting. For close ups. Meaning that I put some stitch markers up for sale in my Etsy shop (link in the side bar). I'll have more up today.

Meanwhile, I'm plugging away on the 12" pillow for the beginner knitting class. The front is done and I'm in garter stitch hell:

Box Stitch Pillow for Beginners
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I'm writting the pattern with out abbreviations, too. Thinking that will make it more beginner knitter friendly. The back is straight up garter and the front is basically stockinette stitch, but a little more interesting. It should be easy enough for a brand new knitter... and practical.

I did finish up the first sleeve on the Rambling Shadows Jacket (yay, more garter stitch) yesterday. I hope I can get the second sleeve at least picked up today. I'm ready to move on... and not on more garter stitch.

Jake's pouting due to no breakfast and he's off to get his teeth cleaned and a wart type thing removed from his head (that he keeps rubbing open). Then Matt and I are off to our dentist for a cleaning. Busy, fun day. Yeah.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Errand Day

I've got some errands to run today, so this is going to be a quick update.

The Rambling Shadows Jacket is still on the first sleeve, but I'm right at the cuff. I wanted to get that sleeve done yesterday, but I hit an issue with my beginner knitter pillow pattern for the class I'm teaching this fall.

I designed the pillow to be 10" X 10", thinking that was a nice comfortable number of stitches. However, I realized that 10" square pillow forms are a wee bit hard to find... so I decided to make the pillow 12" X 12". Easy to change the pattern, but makes my finished sample obsolete. So a new one was started yesterday. Won't take me long (but let me say I'm getting very tired of garter stitch! with one more sleeve to go, a pillow back, and the buttonband on the Rambling Shadows... I'm getting full up on garter stitch, which isn't my favorite in the first place!!!).

So a pillow form is on my "to do list" today, along with some other errands. Tomorrow is going to be busy as well, as everyone has a dentist appointment... except Gena. Jake is getting his teeth cleaned and Matt and I have our cleanings scheduled as well. This is going to be a little problematic, as Gena will be very stressed to be home alone without Jake.

Okay, I'm off to try to finish up this sleeve before I get dressed to go out!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Projects Galore!!!

I've sort of lost motivation on the Rambling Shadows Jacket. Again, garter stitch sleeves aren't nearly as much fun as the mitered squares:

Rambling Shadows Jacket
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However, I'm still plugging along. I want to get that sleeve done today.

I'm so easily distracted... as I finished the fronts for Matt's Sampler Cardigan:

Matt's Sampler Cardigan
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The photo is a wee bit blurry, and the color is a little washed out. Oh and it needs to be blocked. I'm very happy with it so far. I hope Matt is. The back is cast on, but I'm still on the ribbing (so not picture worthy at this point).

Last, but by far not the least:

Vest of Many Stitches
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Also a little washed out in the photo, but the progress on the Vest of Many Stitches is not bad. I'm at the armhole shaping, but I'm concerned about the length. I know that it'll block, but even for my short body, that seems short.

So lots to work on today! Plus a few other things floating around. I'm still going to concentrate on the finish 4 by the end of the year goal. I'm still up for a KAL if anyone is interested in joining me! Just leave a comment or email me (cindy[at]knittingpark[dot]com) to let me know if you're interested!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Rare Sunday Post

So I didn't go to any of the Tour de Christiana races this year. A combination of lack of sleep and really long days (Matt's time trial was at 9:00 this morning and the Cat 3 crit isn't until 4:00 this afternoon).

However, I feel a little guilty for not going, as I like to support him, and the Christiana crit is a great crit to watch. It's fast, hard and there's some really hard technical aspects of the course.

So, since I'm feeling guilty, I'm being productive on things around the house... well, not really. Let's say I'm being productive with my fiber projects? It's not like I'm doing housework or something.

I'm still plugging away on the first sleeve of the Rambling Shadows Jacket. I didn't make it deep enough the first time, so I frogged and restarted. However, garter stitch sleeves aren't as much fun as the mitered squares and it's feeling a bit tedious. Plus I've got the entire sweater on my lap... and the heat is kicking up again.

I've also been working a few other things... the crochet shawl is progressing nicely and I started playing with my border on the swatch.

I'm also to the armhole shaping on the Vest of Many Stitches. This is a weird project (I'll have an update photo tomorrow). Once I'm working on it, I get into the groove and it's quite fun, but picking it up and working on it is a bit of a challenge. I think it's not worth picking up unless I know I can get several rows done. It's not just a pick up and knit project... like st. st.... or garter st. sleeves!

Anyway I still expect to have the Rambling Shadows Jacket done early this coming week and that'll be my 12th finished project of 2007. So I'm thinking at this point I'm going to see how many I can get done this year...

We're at mid August, meaning there's three and a half months left. I think I can get at least 4 more projects done (I'm not counting the quick easy stuff... like the placemats or the beginner knitting pillow for class). Anyone else up for the challenge? See how many FO's we can get done by the end of the year???? Set your own goal (doesn't have to be project specific, just a number) and see how many we can get thru before Dec 31, 2007? If there's an enough interest, I'll start a KAL. Email me (cindy [at] knittingpark [dot] com) or leave a comment.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Rambling Shadows

Rambling Shadows Jacket
click to enlarge

I'm just about done with the body of the Rambling Shadows Jacket. The last square might be a bit of a mish mash of leftovers. It's taking 5 skeins of the Caron Simply Shadows, and as I said, I didn't try to do any color repeat match ups. Just didn't have enough yarn. The colors in the above photo aren't that accurate. This one is better:

Rambling Shadows detail
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That's a close up with the solid Autumn Red that I'll use for the sleeves and the button band. Not an exact match, which is a wee bit disappointing, but I think the overall effect will be fine. Again, this project isn't for "public" wearing. I want this for around the house to cook, clean and do laundry in. So that if I splatter food or get something on it, I can just toss it in the laundry.

All in all, it's going to take me about a week of knitting to do this project start to finish. With other stuff mixed in. Fits the bill for what I wanted. Quick, cheap and comfy. (I'm guessing I'll spend more on buttons for it than I did on the yarn).

To balance the quick and mindless knitting of the Rambling Rows pattern, Darlene at Olde Peddler Wools and I have been exchanging emails about upcoming classes. The fall schedule is set (and her website will be updated soon), but we're already discussing the winter classes. Looks like we're going to be doing the Vest of Many Stitches from the Best of Knitters: Arans & Celtics. I've started this project (back when the book came out) and due to it's "high concentration" factor, tossed it aside to work on something else. Now I've got a reason to finish it! I'm about 80 rows into the back:

Vest of Many Stitches
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That's on top of the other projects I want/need to finish up...

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Just an other Wednesday blog

Sampler Cardigan
click to enlarge

I'm out of yarn for the Rambling Rows Jacket, so I've put it on hold until I get more. So I'll work on Matt's Sampler Cardigan.

I'm using one of my favorite patterns: Sarah James' Sampler Cardigan with a few minor adjustments. I'm adding pockets and I changed the seed stitch ribbing to a 2 X 2 as I think it's more "manly". I also made each sampler section different (the pattern repeats the box stitch and the broken rib). This is my third version of this sweater (a cardigan for me, as well as a pullover) and I've done that on all three.

I started with the fronts as I wanted to play with the pockets. I'm doing "afterthought" pockets basically. I took some waste yarn (see the blue stripes?) and knit one row with it, then I'll pull out the waste yarn and knit around making inserted pockets. Fingers crossed it'll work okay.

I'm using one of my favortie yarns: Cascade 220, at a tight gauge (22 sts to 4", my preference for Cascade 220). The firm gauge helps with stitch definition and I think makes a nice warm sweater. Matt's not sure about the color yet... it's not one he would normally choose, but I think it's a nice change from all his non colors.

So I'll work on that and the crochet lace shawl today after running some errands.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Because you can't clean toilets in cashmere

As I've mentioned many times before, I try not to discriminate. I am willing to keep an open mind. I buy yarn of all fiber content, and that does include man-made fibers.

So yesterday while playing around with some things, I stumbled across some Caron Simply Shadows that I had purchased to make a shrug (free pattern on label). I thought this would be a cozy shrug for watching TV during the winter. However, it sort of got stalled, as there's some issues with the pattern (the sleeve increases are waaaay wrong and you will end up with monkey length sleeves if you follow directions). So it got tossed back into the closet to deal with later...

However, I just couldn't get into the groove of the pattern. I still like the shrug, and the yarn is soft and I love the color. So what else could I do with it?

Rambling Rows Jacket in Simply Shadows
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How 'bout the Rambling Rows Jacket? This is one of those patterns that every knitter should have. It's a classic fall back quick project... either for a fast baby gift or for an easy charity project. It ranges in sizes from child to adult and you can do a lot with it (a good use of left overs and odd balls).

I don't have enough to do the entire sweater in the Simply Shadows, so I'll be using the solid Autumn Red for the sleeves and the button band. Since I'm limited on how much of the Simply Shadows I have, I didn't try to match the colors. That was 100% by accident (now if I had tried to do that, it wouldn't have looked right).

So a fast, easy project that will be great to wear around the house this winter. As much as I love my wool sweaters, I don't do housework in them. I want cheap and easy care (and easy knit) for around the house.

Thanks to everyone that left comments about the Natural Beauty Fair Isle. I think my neutral feeling on it has to do with it being 8 years in the making. Matt really does love it and maybe with some distance it will grow on me. Considering that I did his Son of A.R.A.N. in about 3 weeks and the Fair Isle took 8 years... it might just be a taste thing on my part (heehee).

Monday, August 06, 2007

Natural Beauty Fair Isle

Natural Beauty Fair Isle
click to enlarge

Here's Matt modeling his finished sweater. He decided not to wear it to work today, even tho' it's going to be in the mid-90's and muggy. So I'm not sure if he likes it.

I'm kind of "eh" about it myself. I don't think it's very flattering on him personally. Even with the fixed neckline, it seems sloppy in the shoulders and the arms are huge. However, the fair isle section fits nicely. I think the design of the fair isle (not very stretchy) combined with the garter rib of the body (very stretchy) may not have been a great combo.

However, he's very very happy with it (even if he's not wearing it today), and that's all that matters. So let's do the project stats:

Pattern: Natural Beauty Fair Isle from Family Circle Easy Knitting, Fall 1999
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool
Problems with the pattern: well, the directions seemed to be accurate. The sleeve increases happend very quickly, and I think that's part of the reason the sleeves seem so big. I would've spread the increases out a little more if I were to do it again.
Changes to the pattern: I didn't do it as a V neck (per Matt's request) and I knit the body and sleeves in the round until I divided for the sleeves.
Overall Impressions: The colors are lovely and I do like it. As I said, for Matt I do think the shoulders and sleeves are too big (ie: a little sloppy looking). This project took me 8 years to do. I bought the yarn when the magazine came out and I started it then. Matt was a wee bit heavier in those days, so I had started it at the 53" finished size... ya, well I didn't even have to frog the first one and still had enough yarn to make the smallest size. I think Matt will get a lot of wear out of it, and the Patons yarn was quite nice to work with and I love the way it washed up. So we'll give it a B+. While there are some things I don't like about it, overall I do think it was a successful project.

Next on the list? As of right now, I'm sort of floating from project to project, typical of me after I finish a big project. I'm still working away on my self designed crochet lace shawl. Matt also needs a cardigan, so I'm working on a cardigan I had started for him a while ago. Plus playing with some things that are just sitting here. Eventually something will come into focus...

Friday, August 03, 2007

39 and counting...

Happy Birthday Matt!!!! Yes, any excuse to use the scarily accurate South Park (no relation) avatar.

As far as the Natural Beauty Fair Isle, there is some fine tuning to do with the fit... specifically the neckline. Since I changed the pattern from a V neck to a crew neck (at Matt's request), I sorta fugded as I went. It's way too large and not at all flattering! It's an easy fix... I'll just add more ribbing to close it up a bit.

Other than that, it fits great!!! The yarn washed up beautifully and Matt loves it. I'm going to try to fix it this weekend so it's officially done.

So Matt's the only person I know that is excited about being almost 40. Since he will be 40 next year, he'll be able to do the 40+ Elite races... so I guess that means he'll be doing 3 races a day then????

We have some things planned for today: mainly eating out and possibly a movie.

Thanks for the comments on the sweater... as I said, I'll do a full info write up as soon as it's fixed (with a modeled picture).

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Blocking...

Natural Beauty Fair Isle on wooley board
click to enlarge


Ya, I still don't think Gena is impressed...
I'll do the full stat page tomorrow (and hopefully with a modeled picture).

Deadline Knitting....


Makes for a boring blog... and Gena is soooo not impressed.

However, Matt's Natual Beauty Fair Isle Sweater will be finished today (still have one sleeve to sew up and a few ends to weave in) and I should be able to block it today as well.

I have 4 repeats done on the Diamond Fantasy shawl, and that's what I WANT to be knitting, but not only do I have Matt's sweater to finish by tomorrow, the Taste of Aran Afghan block of the month class is Saturday. So I need to finish July's block and get started on the August block by Saturday. Which makes the Diamond Fantasy "forbidden fruit" and therefore all the more appealing.

UPDATE 9:53 am: The Natural Beauty Fair Isle is on the wooley board blocking. Deadline made (with several hours to spare!)