Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Best Intentions

New year again. I've already managed to set myself up for total failure. I've decided to join 2 groups on Ravelry 1st one is NaKniSweMoDo (National Knit a Sweater a Month Dodecathon) and 52 books in 52 weeks. Neither challenge allows for total failure just out of the gate. The goals are actually 52 books and 12 sweaters by the end of the year.

1st Sweater (Hopefully) will be a zip-up fitted jacket like affair with set in sleeves. Made for Husband out of Cascade Eco-Wool in a lovely heathery charcoal color. I'm knitting the body in one piece back and forth. I'm sure it would be more efficient to knit it in the round and steek up the middle, but I find that too much knitting in the round is hard on my wrists, especially heavy projects. I'm trying to make up for the inefficiency by knitting the edges in a 3 stitch double knitting tube as I go so I wont have to pick up for it later. My plan is to knit the body including the armholes and adding the sleeves in by using the short-row afterthought method. There is an excellent description of the procedure in Custom Knits. I got one sleeve cap done and realized the it was way too big, ripped the whole thing out including about and inch and a half of the armhole and am starting again. This giant tangle of sleeves, armholes, ball ends and stitch holders can only be managed if I kind of bunch it up and hold under my armpit as I work on it. Kind of like playing the bagpipes if said bagpipes are wearing a gorilla suit.

The yarn is rustic and sheepy, but still feels pretty soft to me. The cat is absolutely enamoured with it. She doesn't usually pay that much attention to yarn, but wont leave this alone, sneaking clandestine snurgle sessions with it when my back is turned.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Last Minute Christmas Gifts

I'm so glad there are suddenly an abundance of beret patterns out right now. Ended up whipping out two last minute Christmas gifts out of two skeins of Dream in Color Classy in the In Vino Veritas colorway. Berets are so much more forgiving of head size than beanies. Hurray for a current fad that worked for me this year.

First up Ysolda's Gretel

Ravelry Link

And 2nd: Cabled Rangoli Hat from Desi Knitter

Ravelry Link

Both modeled by my favorite MacGyver contraption. A white balloon stuck in a compote dish.

Best of 2008

My favorite FO of 2008. My version of the Elizabeth Zimmerman Fair-Isle Yoke Cardi. I had signed up for a 5 week class on it at Churchmouse Yarns and Tea. I was super excited to attend what was going to be my first ever knitting class. However, not enough people signed up and class was scratched. Channelling EZ's can-do spirit and treating myself to a copy of a DVD of her Knitting Glossery, I finished it in 4 weeks.

Yarn : Jamieson's Shetland Double Knitting
Needles : Us 1 and 2
Gauge: 6 Stiches to the Inch
Size: 36 with 1" ease

knit in the round with a crochet steek and garter stitch button band, turned hem with inside facing done in 4ply weight.

I loved loved loved my first experience with true shetland yarn. It was so sproingy and full of memory it was almost like sculpting rather than knitting.

Gushing aside, there are a few things I wish I had done differently. I don't like the way the last round of decreasing pulled the collar in. I wish I had left out the ones closest to the button band. I also did a few more waist shaping rows than I would have liked because I started them too early. This yarn seemed particularly hard to measure almost defying reality and relaxing into the length I was hoping for when I measured. I wish I hadn't been so freaked out about my first ever steek. I ended up crocheting it so tight the inside of it is kind of wavy. I really wished I hadn't stepped on the needle that I stuck into the blocking board not 5 minutes after I had sewn in the last button. It entered my ring to from the blunt end and fractured the bone. My first ever wearing of the sweater was in the ER. Quite Toasty!

Raverly Link

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Even More Knitting

I finally had enough Silk Garden in my stash from gifts and sales at Little Knits and Webs to do a striped scarf a la Brooklyn Tweed for Hubby and me. Now I'm too embarrassed to go out in public with the matching outfit thing going on. I have been wearing mine only when I go out without him. He gets to wear his all the time and I think he's enjoying it. The previous scarf he was wearing around I made for him when I first learned how to knit and it's way too short. Sort of an Alpaca Cravat. Not a good look.

Ravelry Link