Saturday, August 30, 2008

Knitting Dreams

I've noticed that I have a rather excessive amount of black in my wardrobe (especially where skirts are concerned) and thus when procrastinating yesterday morning by reading knitting blogs, I had a thought.

Wouldn't the Beatrice Dame (second from the top) be a perfect honeybee stole? I probably won't go for it at this point, as I'd need two skeins and it's a little pricey. The orangey-red-purple isn't normally the color scheme I'd go for, but in my head, it looks gorgeous on top of a mostly black outfit.

In fact, to truly indulge the dreamer in me, I can see myself running around "town" doing errands in a simple black shirt and top and then throwing the shawl on when it's time for the evening opera.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ribbons at the County Fair

I entered four knitting projects in the Arlington County Fair and won two blue (first place) ribbons (for the Ladybug sweater, which you have seen) and a scarf which I finished just in time for the fair and two red (second place) ribbons for the blue sweater you have seen, and a more recent turquoise sweater. Lots of areas have fairs, and it's fun to see what other people have done and satisfying when your hard work is recognized. (My grandfather was a county and state fair manager in the first quarter of the 20th century, so fairs are in my blood.

The scarf was from the Filatura Di Crosa fall/winter 2007 collection pattern book, knit of one skein of "Superior" - 70% cashmere and 30% silk - very soft and fine. It is called Lacy Sampler" because it uses five different lace patterns, with eyelet in between - wicked because as soon as you get into the rhythm of knitting one pattern you have to learn another one. It decreased between each pattern so it was narrower around the neck. It was also knit in two identical sections and then woven together in the middle with kitchener stitch (which went much better than on the socks I tried).

The first pattern is Horseshoe.

The second is Flame Chevron.

Diamond Mesh is the one I had to rip out and reknit (and unknit - yes that is the only way sometimes) repeatedly to get it right.

After Diamond Mesh, The Cloisters was a breeze.

Then Twin Leaf was the center pattern that was joined in the middle. You can see where the pattern changes directions when it is connected.

Here's the Turquoise sweater.

It was a strange pattern, with the bottom band knit first as a long scarf-like band sewn together in a loop and then the stitches for the body are picked up onto the band. (Interestingly the judge at the fair commented that the seam attaching the band was too bulky and I should consider using the Kitchener stitch - which would have been impossible since there weren't unfinished stitches to weave together) I altered the pattern a little by eliminating the side seams and knitting it in the round up to the armholes. The pattern called for crocheting around the neckline and sleeves, but didn't tell how many stitches - so I had to improvise to find out how many stitches to skip when it turned out too floppy when I crocheted into every stitch on the bound off (or cast on) edge.

The Yarn was Saucy Sport, a very commonly available yarn, and the Reynolds pattern number is 82382.

Monday, August 18, 2008

it was bound to happen eventually

But I'm not going to lie: I thought it would happen while finishing up my writing requirement and finals. Yet law school typing didn't do it. And, no matter how many parts of my lower body I've wrapped in the past and no matter how many fingers I've smashed, I've never had an arm injury from a sport. Knitting, however, did me in. I *have* been knitting for more hours in the last few days than I've ever done before. And at least I know I'm in good company. But since I can't slow down, I'm just wrapping, icing and aleve-ing. And trying to knit faster because then I can be done faster and take a break. And maybe attend knitting PT. 6 repeats down, 9 to go.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

third time's the charm

Am currently speed knitting a shawl for a friend who's getting married at the end of the month. Because I just found yarn I liked on Thursday, I didn't get off to the start I'd hoped to. But I did have the opportunity to start the shawl with two other yarns, each of which I thought was the best yarn I'd find. Luckily, it turns out I was wrong. Unluckily, I now have 14 days to finish a shawl. Wish me luck.

Rejected option #1

Rejected Option #2

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Regrouping (aka, Yeah, Actually, We Can.)

So it turns out I didn't have the heart to totally frog my Obama Yarn Hat. It was so pretty! And it was fun to make. And I didn't want to relegate it to socks. I took out the ribbing and then laboriously put each stitch back on a needle. There was much re-knitting of stitches. I don't recommend it. Instead...

Unknitting! Did you know, one can knit backwards, i.e. unknit, and it is just as easy as knitting!!! Ok, maybe you all did, since it was in the Stitch 'N Bitch I finally bought, but it was not in the 25 cent booklet from the 50s which taught me my fine knitting skillz, and therefore I have only just discovered it. It's like learning how to BREATH. (i.e. AMAZING.) Anyways--check out me in my Obama Hat!! Yay Obama!!

Also worthy of happiness is the yarn I bought for super sale at my LYS. I was having a crap day, the store sent an email about the sale, QED: new yarn! The large bag is a really cool pinkish tweed (that did not photograph well here) that I hope to make into a sweater. It's unclear what kind of sweater though, since apparently I'm a ridiculously loose knitter and can knit on number 3 needles the gauge the pattern calls for in number 5s. This would be fine, except the pattern also calls for knitting on 3s and 0s, and I have no interest in knitting on a needle that is smaller than 0, even if that is humanely possible.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Scary, Sad Sea Creatures

Hello lovely knitting and crocheting people!

I have updates suddenly piling up and need to take pictures to share them with you, but in the meantime, here is a new friend, Mr. Ancient Sea Creature, yay!

I started making him as a belated birthday present for my sister (he's a nautie, and was one of the first patterns that I bookmarked for myself after I discovered
I've had this guy finished for a while, but I wanted to make him a buddy (wouldn't want to be the only nautie in the house, after all) and maybe a trilobite friend, but the second nautie was boring and black and the strands of shiny yarn I added just made him thicker and harder to work with.

I still plan on making a second friend, but there is so much knitting to be done, and so little time before school starts up again, alas!

In the meantime, a new online knitting magazine Twist Collective will create further distractions. It's probably the best knitting website I've ever seen. Gorgeous photos and a really functional layout. (I hate when magazine-like websites try to look like something on paper. So frustrating, and so not the point. This site has some really excellent programmers. I hate to say it, but they're probably mac users.)

More to the point, I seriously want to make all of the "That Girl" sweaters, as well as several of the Forest Fairy ones. Also, socks in cute shoes. I want it to happen.

All from me for now--I'll get pictures soon and post about my new knitting joy: Magic Loop!