Monday, March 31, 2008

as they say on ravelry...ugh!

here, finally, is my disaster of a back-to-school u-neck sweater. i started this all the way back in...october i think? and then promptly set it aside in favor of christmas knitting. i picked it back up in january, and finished it in february. it's been a roller coaster of emotions with this one...i started out very excited, thinking it was SO cute, then got bored by all that ribbing, then excited again because the waffle stitch was fun and quick, and then...i got to the neck band, got it all finished, tried it on, and it was way.too.floppy. a girl in my knitting group suggested i do a few decreases on the neck band to pull it in and make it lay flat, so i diligently ripped out my neck band and started it over. i think i took her advice too much to heart, because now instead of flopping, it puckers and pulls and is basically no longer a u-neck!

it probably doesn't look too bad here, and obviously, i could do the neck again and try to reach a happy medium on the floppiness scale, but for now, i'm considering it finished, and unwearable at that. at this point, i'm over the whole sweater in general. i feel like all of those horizontal rib bands just make the vest look fussy. and the band in the middle hits me mid-boob, instead of at the base of my rib cage, which is really, really unflattering. maybe someday i'll take the time to fix it, or maybe the yarn will get reporposed for something else. on a happier note, i have a new project on the needles, and it's beautiful, and perfect for the new round of project spectrum. more on that later!

Sunday, March 23, 2008


thanks everyone, for the sweet comments on lu!

i was going to finally blog my failed u-neck vest today, but it's easter! i should focus on the good today, right? well, how about some cute, warm and functional leg warmers? last night i finished the super-easy legwarmers from last-minute knitted gifts, and here they are!

(i kind of tried to imitate the back cover of the book, but i didn't trust myself to photograph my own legs while standing on a chair!)

i had thought about making these for a while, but finally got the motivation to do so when i got that kidsilk haze in the fire sale i posted about earlier this month. the pattern calls for carrying a mohair yarn with cascade 220, and getting kidsilk haze for half off is pretty good inspiration, no? i also had filled up my punch card at my fave yarn store, and had $20 of free yarn coming my way, so i picked up a matching shade of cascade 220, and got to it! instead of costing, oh, $40, these cost me about $12, which makes them not quite so ridiculous i think.

anywho, it was my first time working with kidsilk haze, and while i don't think i would enjoy working with it quite so much on its own, it was absolutely lovely with the cascade 220. the yarn knit up in 1x1 rib created the SOFTEST and SQUISHIEST fabric you've ever felt. these babies are warm! and while they took considerable longer than the "2-4 hours" promised in the book, they still were pretty fast and nice and mindless. and i'm so happy with the end result! i will definitely be wearing these with skirts while it's still kind of chilly at night and in the morning, and i can see layering them under jeans in the winter.

pattern: super easy leg warmers, last minute knitted gifts
yarn: 2 balls cascade 220, in a teal color, and two balls of rowan kidsilk haze, in "trance"
needles: size 9 circular, for magic loop
mods: i went up a needle size and added a few extra stitches because i was afraid they would be too tight. i don't think it was really necessary in the end.

Monday, March 10, 2008

lovely lu

lu is finished and i couldn't be happier with it. so cute and springy! i bought the kit to make this at madrona and cast on as soon as i got home. it was quick and fun and just weird enough to keep me guessing and entertained throughout. lu is knit from side to side, all in one piece, with absolutely zero seaming. it was kind of an act of faith until i got through the first sleeve, because i just couldn't picture how it was going to work, and the pattern didn't include any sort of diagram. but it worked! the top is made using the same stitch pattern throughout and uses short-row shaping to create the sleeves. the unusual stitch pattern is called turkish stitch, and i swear it looks crocheted! in fact, when i saw the handmaiden herself wearing it at the village yarn and tea booth where i bought the kit, i didn't actually believe her when she said it was knitted.

pattern: lu, by perl grey
yarn: fleece artist scotian silk, 2 skeins, with about half a skein left over, in 'earth'

needles: size 10 1/2 denise needles

modifications: i added a pattern repeat to each front panel for a little more coverage. the pattern is one-size-fits-all, and it definitely would have fit, but i wanted it to fit more like how it does in the pattern picture, and my chest is just a little too big to manage that!

i should add that i really, really enjoyed working with the scotian silk. what beautiful yarn! it's a bulky yarn, 65% wool, 35% silk. it doesn't feel like a silk yarn, but the wool feels really soft and sleek. i would definitely use this yarn again.

oh! and i had to buy a little pin to close it up! i should probably get a real shawl pin, but this cute little birdy pin that i got on
etsy will work for now.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

yarn binge

i'm so glad we go on daylight savings this weekend (or are we going off? i can never remember how it works). the primary reason why i haven't been posting much lately is because i can't ever get good pictures during the work week, and then, during the weekends, i find myself too busy to blog. but i do have many things to blog about, to be sure! it's been a busy couple of weeks. i mentioned in my last post that i went to madrona, and i did finish the little wrap cardigan, lu, and it turned out very, very cute. i love it! i plan to get a good picture of me wearing it this weekend for sure. just to balance out the success of that project, i also have what turned out to be a disastrous finished object, my back-to-school u-neck vest. i'll post a pic of that later too, though not a modeled one. unless i do some serious reworking, that one is never, ever getting worn!

(you can see my cat sneaking into the picture in the top right corner!)

in the mean time, how about some stash enhancement? if you live in seattle, you no doubt heard about hilltop yarn and their recent electrical fire. no one was hurt, and in fact there really wasn't any damage to their stock either, but it was still considered damaged, so it couldn't be sold for full price. so last weekend, they had their fire sale, where everything in the store was half off. yes, half off! this sale reached epic and legendary proportions even before it started. everyone in my knitting group was talking about camping out a few hours before the doors opened in anticipation of a huge turnout. while i didn't resort to such drastic measures, i did make it to the sale, and i did pretty well, picking up a few balls of silk garden to try my hand at entrelac, some kidsilk haze to make the legwarmers from lmkg, and two balls of cashsoft dk to make minty's bainbridge scarf. plus a few pairs of addis in sizes i didn't have. all that for about $50! i was happy to do my part to help hilltop clear out their old stock to make room for the new.

as if that wasn't enough yarn excitement, i got an email saying that pureknits was having a closeout sale, and i finally bought the pear tree merino 4-ply that i've had my eye on for a long time (in a beautiful shade called 'turkey.'). so that's it--no more yarn buying for me for a while!

i'll really, truly be back very soon with pictures of some finished knitting!