Thursday, June 28, 2007

Selfish, selfish me!

I confess, I don't always knit gifts with the purest of motives. Sometimes, I just want to try out a certain pattern, one which would suit the recipient more than me. Other times, I'm dying to have a go at an untried yarn. But then there are times when my selfish interests and benevolent impulses happily collide:

This is from, in Lettuce Violet. My sister requested a poncho for her birthday in July, and chose this colorway herself. It's always a joy to make things for her -- she's a crafter herself, so she likes handmade gifts and appreciates the time that goes into them. :) You can view the pattern here, but I think you have to be registered for the Lion Brand website.

So, I'm still plugging away at the Petunia Tote, the Vine Lace Scarf, and the U-Neck Vest, and a Squatty Sidekick bag, but I'll be giving the poncho some quality time as well.

Monday, June 25, 2007


I am not a particularly lucky person. New tubes of mascara dry up after three days. If I suggest a movie or restaurant, it will almost always be horrible. If there is anything to be tripped over on the ground, I will trip. Actually, even if there is nothing on the ground, I will still trip. :P

But, the curse must be broken, because the very nice Anne of Knitspot informed me yesterday that I'd won a prize in connection with her MS fundraising raffle (held to support Claudia's bike ride)! Woohoo!!! I got to choose a skein of sock yarn from these lovely offerings, all dyed by Judy of Ball and Skein. I honestly tossed and turned over my choice, but decided to go with "Leaf" -- love those vibrant greens.

I would have been happy to contribute anyway, just to have taken a part in Claudia's awesome fundraising total, but I'm thrilled to have won pretty yarn, too. :)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Here she is!

Miss Alexandra is finished, just in time for...90 degree weather. ;) Here she is reclining on the sofa, in her unblocked (and more true to color) state:

And finished:


Pattern: Alexandra Ballerina Top, from Stefanie Japel's Fitted Knits

Size: 38", but FK patterns run large! My gauge was small, so this worked out perfectly.

Yarn: RYC Soft Tweed in Kingfisher, 8 balls

Needles: US 10.5

Time: TEN DAYS!!!

Thoughts, Mods, and Lessons Learned:

I didn't want a "cropped" look, so I used just about every last bit of yarn on the length. But after final blocking, I discovered that it was too long, so I had to rip back and shorten it. I'm pleased with the final length.

My best discovery during this knit was the miracle of back darts, now my most favorite shaping tool. I'm very short-waisted, so I'm a little leery of waist shaping, as it can exaggerate my squashed torso. However, the darts created a sleek, unfussy, and flattering fit -- woohoo!

I went back and forth on the yarn as I was knitting, but now that I'm finished, I'm glad I used it. RYC Soft Tweed isn't plied -- it's most like one felted-looking strand -- so I wasn't sure if it was the most suitable thing for cables. But once I blocked and shaped the cables, everything looked much better. The best thing the yarn's got going for it is the content: 56% Wool/20% Viscose/14% Polyamide/10% Silk. It's soft and cozy without being suffocatingly heavy and hot.

This is my third adult sweater, and it's definitely a keeper. :)

Saturday, June 9, 2007


The preview for the Fall 2007 Knitscene is up! No, I'm not a dork who obsessively haunts certain sites for news of issue updates. *coughcough* But if I were, I would tell you that Amy Singer said to expect a new Knitty at the beginning of next week. ;)

Knitscene's designs are often just a little too funky for me (let's not even talk about Knit.1), but I can usually find a gem or two in each issue, such as the Central Park Hoodie. This time around, the stand-out patterns seem to be staple pieces for the guys, such as the Hero Pullover and the Notting Hill Vest (which I especially like). I think they're trying to live down this.

Planning to buy this issue!

Progress Report

(I'm taking the lazy expeditious way out and copying my last post to the Fitted Knits KAL.)

It's been a crazy last day or two, as I cast on for the Alexandra Ballerina Top on Wednesday night and...couldn't stop.  :P  I'm usually not one for bulky yarns, but it sure makes projects come together quickly! I've used up 3 balls of my RYC Soft Tweed so far to get to this point:

My cables seem somewhat wonky, but I'm hoping that a little blocking and tweaking later on will help that.  I was quite pleased with how my swatch reacted to a wash -- the stitches smoothed out and took on a very pretty luster.  I was glad, too, that I re-did my swatch to make it in the round -- it made a definite difference.  Looks like I'll definitely be able to finish this before the end of the month!

I've also picked up my other Fitted Knits project again, the languishing U-Neck Vest. I'd been worrying that the vest would make me look too much like a busty barmaid, but once I actually seamed the shoulders together, it didn't look that bad. I've just got to do the shoulder and neck edgings now:


Also, have you donated to Claudia's MS Ride yet? It's for a wonderful cause, and there's some gorgeous loot to be won here and here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

You Know You're a Knitter When...

...your first response to a cold, rainy day in June is, "Sweet! I get to wear a sweater today!" Poor Wicked thought it was going to be put away for the summer, but it's now had a stay of hibernation. :)

And even though it really is summer, I do so love the colors of autumn:

This is KnitPicks Memories sock yarn, in the Redwood Forest colorway. I'd wanted this forever, but it was the "Clearance Colors" tag that spurred me into action. I wonder what that's that all about? Are new colorways in store? It's a nice, squishy yarn for the price, IMO. I haven't used it for socks yet, but I made a pair of Fingerless Mitts in the Fly Fishing colorway last year. They pilled TERRIBLY on the first wearing, but once I took a sweater shaver to them, they never pilled again.

Also in the KnitPicks package were DPNs to finish the Back-to-School U-Neck Vest, and Options tips to begin the Alexandra Ballerina Top, also from Fitted Knits:

I'd already ordered the yarn for this baby -- RYC Soft Tweed from WEBS, in Kingfisher. I'm trying to branch out from my reds, greens, and browns. :) I can't believe how light and, well, soft the Soft Tweed is -- thank the content (56% Wool/20% Viscose/14% Polyamide/10% Silk) for that.

My personal mandate it to now drop the Petunia Tote and Vine Lace Scarf, to see if I can finish these two garments by the end of June. I want to be able to enter the prize drawing in the Fitted Knits KAL. Eeep!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Cotton-Ease Aims to Please

My television-watching project of the moment is the Petunia Tote, from the Spring 2007 Interweave Knits. It's gone smoothly so far, and I've managed to keep my places in the pattern and Battlestar Galactica at the same time. :P I like the "obviously homemade, but cool" look it has to it:

This is my first time using Cotton-Ease (scored on Knit Swap), and I can see how the stuff has earned its cult following! It's soft, lightweight, and honestly, I have never seen my stitches look this even (in the portion in the round). It must be something in the ply. I'll take this any day over Sugar 'n Cream.

Also on the needles is a lace project -- a converted Convertible. Few repeats and no buttonholes, basically. The star of this project is the yarn, Fearless Fibers Superwash Merino Sock Yarn in Inner Sanctum. SO PRETTY. The hues range from rosy blush to rust to tomato red to deep terracotta...*sighs* Lace takes me ages, but I've been chipping away at this one, a few rows at a time:

There have been a few (incredibly boring) FOs around these parts lately, too...

A 1x1 ribbed scarf with a slip-stitched edge, done in KnitPicks Decadence (100% alpaca). Normally, 1x1 rib would drive me batty, but the bulky yarn eased the tedium and most importantly, the scarf doesn't curl. The Decadence is wonderfully soft and squishy stuff, but it just...doesn't want to do anything, pattern-wise. So, even though there's nothing terribly eventful going on this scarf, I'm going to pretend that it was supposed to be simply elegant and streamlined, like in a Michael Kors sort of way. :P (This was given as an end-of-the-year gift to my daughter's teacher, whose favorite color is purple.)

Yes, another felted bag. I think I've had my fill of them lately, although Amanda's Squatty Sidekick certainly is cute. This bag was for my daughter in response to her frequent whining polite query as to why I was making bags for everyone but her. The yarn was found in the bargain bin of a LYS -- I suspect it is hand-dyed Lamb's Pride.

My last, long-suffering WIP is the Back-to-School U-Neck Vest, but I'm waiting on needles to finish that baby off.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!