Fibersnob! Confessions of a Stashaholic

A little bit about me, all things knitting and the old day to day.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The other day I promised some Eunny Jang-esque design posts so I'm going to make good on that promise now. I've been kicking an idea around my little brain to do a cardigan for my friend A's new little peanut set to be born (sometime around) the end of August. I'm thinking challenge here: fair isle, steeks, non-traditional baby colour combo, hemmed edges and pu&k button bands and such. I was looking at basing the whole thing on this little steeked sweater, but adding stitches at the center front to accomedate the steek that will transform it from a pullover to a cardigan.

I fell in love with this fair isle chart:

which I think will make a really pretty allover fair isle pattern in this yarn:

Okay, I said non-traditional and I went with the pink, but in my defense the brown doesn't exactly scream "baby" (A knows she's having a girl otherwise it would be pale blue and brown). Lanett Superwash is a great yarn, I love it for socks and other fine work and it washes like a dream. I'll be swatching some of the pattern up in the next few days and I'll post photos then.

So first I had to see if I could actually do the steeking. I knit a swatch the other day for this little jacket I want to make for M. I have a ton of this yarn (thanks ebay!) and I wasn't getting gauge so I decided to cannibalize it to give steeking a try. So this:

became this:

then I pu&k on the button bands to give this:

(click here to see it unbuttoned)
Now I'm going to toss this through the wash to see what happens to the steeks.
I also need to play with the tension on my sewing machine a bit because it was a bit looser than I'm feeling comfortable with.

On to other things now. Forecast had a bit of a break for a few days to have a mid sleeve block. I was worried about the length and where the horizontal ribs were going to hit my arm so I gave it a preliminary bath and laid it out to dry to see what would happen and I'm glad I did, it's eased some of my fears about the sleeve length as well. You can't tell so much from the pic but the horizontal ribs on the sleeve fall exactly paralell with the ones on the body when the cardigan is on which is a total happy accident but I like the effect. I'm hoping to have this done by the end of the (long) weekend as I'd like to get buttons sometime next week. I saw the most perfect green clay ones at Lettuce Knit the other day and since I'm going down on Wednesday for Amy's party I want to be ready to pick them up.

Between swatching and steeking and all that blocking I started a sock too. The Child's First Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks. Yarn is Fleece Artist merino in the most gorgeous ruby red.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Well, as you're about to see I've been knitting not blogging. I appologize for the lack of posting here recently but I've been a shade on the busy side now that M is moving around at lightspeed.

Forecast is moving along nicely, I have to say that I love the one piece construction of this. Seaming is the enemy! This pic was from the other day and I'm actually a bit further along with it than I was there. The buttonhole band is on but the button band needs to be reknit as I picked up far too many stitches so it's making the front come to a nice point at the front (basically a big arrow to my crotch and we can't have that). I'm doing the sleeves in the round to avaid sewing them up but it's a bit of a PITA turning the whole body as I knit around the sleeve.

I've already made some mods and have a few more planned. I added two more increase rows before dividing for the sleeves (the smallest size was too small and the next size too big so I created a middle size), added a bunch of rows to the lower body and went with holes for nine buttons instead of ten (couldn't get the math to work out right for ten). I think I'll be ending the garter stitch and cables just above the elbow on the sleeves like some others have done because I prefer a more fitted shape but we'll see when I get that far. I was hoping to go and buy buttons tomorrow but I think it'll be Monday at this rate.

Finally pics of my Hourglass. The knitting has actually been done about two weeks but I haven't had the brain to remember to take a pic. It's blocking right now although I have worn it once or twice already. I'm glad I bought extra yarn because it took almost two extra skeins to complete. I totally rewrote the sleeve pattern because they were elephant-like on my spindly arms, I really like the way they turned out. I'm really happy with the finished product but I'm in no hurry to use Cash Iroha again. This is my first adult ls sweater and I'm super proud of it (and myself for sticking with it).

My Green Gable, another one that's been done ages (maybe a month?)and not photographed. I basically rewrote most of the pattern on this one, waist and hip shaping, neckline, sleeves.... Anyway, I'm happy with how it turned out and it's become a staple of the summer wardrobe already. I might consider doing this again in another colour. At last a (mostly) cotton yarn I didn't hate, BS Cotton Fleece.

This is the best FO of all though, Icarus from the current Interweave. I knit this in a blind panic day and night on a deadline and I think it came out well. It was a gift for S who spends all her knitting time and money on everybody else but never herself so she needed someone to knit for her. She was really shocked and pleased with it which is great, it's about time someone did something nice for her.

Okay, enough FOs for now. Over the next few days I should be posting about some designing I've been thinking about, as soon as I have something to show you it'll be posted here.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Finally I'm getting around to posting about the magical mystery lace project, Birch. All the secrecy was to avoid my new SIL Deb from finding out about her gift before she had it in her hands. Not sure she reads my blog but as I'm linked from M's I was keeping it all on the downlow just in case.

All in all it was a really fun knit and I'm super pleased with the results. I was a bit worried that a ten stitch, eight row repeat was going to be mind numbingly boring but it was a really quick project and it grew really fast. Once I was through the first pattern repeat I tossed the pattern and was able to knit from both memory and reading my stitches as I went. I had heard scary things in blogland about both the pattern and the yarn but neither presented any problems at all, after the first few repeats I chucked the stitch markers and lifelines altogether. I have to admit though that the first few rows were a schlog and the cast on almost made me cry (I can barely count to ten most days, 299 is asking a bit too much).

In progress (we both needed a rest):

I love and hate how lace comes off the needles. You have to suspend your disbelief a bit to get through the last few rows trusting that the wet ramen noodle looking lump of yarn that you've just dedicated three weeks of your life will actually be something really beautiful. Then the miracle of blocking, the magic wand of knitting (okay, it's a sink of tepid water and some eucalan but you get the picture) swoops in and transforms that lump into a coherent fabric of stitches and holes that defies beleif. There's a lot of faith in knitting lace.

Having her bath:

Blocked and dried I packed up the shawl for mailing, this was going traceable mail. I almost had a heart attack when the receipt with the tracking number on it dissapeared into the abyss (mess) that is my computer desk. Luckily Deb is as quick with thankyou cards as I am with panic, less than a week later I got a lovely card from her assuring me that it had arrived.

Ready for her trip:

The wedding was lovely, a really nice intimate affair. Unfortunately the weather left something to be desired, cold and wet for most of the day which forced the ceremony into a cold drafty tent. The whole wedding was held in a really beautiful apple orchard in full bloom with an apple theme, very tasteful and a lot of fun. Luckily though the clouds did break for about an hour so that the bride and groom were able to get some really nice pictures in the gazebo and among the apple trees.

My brother Chris, his beautiful bride Deb and Birch looking as happy and in love as two people (and a shawl) ever could be, I wish them all the happiness in the world. I know I'm over the moon for them.