Monday, May 28, 2007

Lace Leaf Shawl

I finished the gift shawl last night and immediately set out to soak and block it so I can send it to my friend tomorrow. Overall I'm very happy with how it turned out and the yarn I used is wonderful and soft. It should be perfect for my friend's sensitive skin! I apologize ahead of time because the great pink color is just not apparent in these pics.

and a closer view:

Pattern: Lace Leaf Shawl by Evelyn A Clark/Fibertrends
Yarn: Handmaiden Sea Silk in Rose, 150g (oversized) hank--used 122g total
Needles: Size 6 Knit Picks Options
Misc: I followed the pattern to a 'T' and did a total of 12 leaf lace repeats before doing the edge lace patterning. I probably should have used the suggested size 7 needles, but I was a little nervous about the larger needles with such a fine weight yarn. Pre-blocking was about 45 x 17" and after blocking it was 68 x 28"!! Quite a decent size, I think.

The only other lace project I've done, if you recall, is the Shetland Triangle and I used a worsted weight yarn on size 8s. I also didn't knit up the gauge swatch because I figured it's lace. What the hey!!

I intend to knit another Shetland Triangle in the next couple of weeks for this friend's mother, so stay tuned for that. Until that gets done, I'm hoping to do up a couple of little knits I've wanted to do for a while. Like the baby kimono from the Mason Dixon book and the baby bolero from One Skein, and a Placket neck sweater from LMKG, and my dad's scarf... the list could go on and on, but I'm not so sure I want to admit how many things I want to knit!! :-)

Happy Memorial Day!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ok, here I go

I promised more later and it's definitely later now!!

We've had lots of time to play outside since the weather has been cooperating with us here west of Chicago. The humidity hasn't really hit, but I'm sure it's en route.

About my knitting...

The CPH is done, as you saw in my last post. It's a pretty good fit--enough that I'm happy with it, but as with all things, knitting has a learning curve. My gauge was off by quite a bit (the pattern called for 17 sts and 24 rows and my gauge was 19/24) so I adjusted by knitting a larger size. Unfortunately, if I ever want to button it closed I can't. Thankfully, I don't often button or zip anything, so no one will ever know. Except me. :-) I also adjusted the sleeves by knitting the largest size and extending the length because my arms are longer than the average woman and (almost) no store-bought sweater ever fits me right. So the real specs are:

Pattern: Central Park Hoodie as found in KnitScene Fall 2006 issue, 44" instructions (39" finished chest)
Needles: Size 7 KnitPicks Options circulars
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers, color #9453 Amethyst Heather x 7.5 skeins
Started May 1, 2007 and Finished May 17, 2007.

As for the Shetland Triangle, the pattern is from the Wrap Style book.
Needles: Size 8 addi turbos
Yarn: Plymouth Galway Worsted, about 1.5 or less of color #30
Measurements: Pre Block= 33 x 17", Post Block 55 x 24"
I don't remember when I started or finished, exactly, but it took 3 days plus one for blocking.

I also finally found buttons for my 4th baby surprise jacket:

And I received a desperate phone call from my friend in Arizona... It went something like this:

Me: "Hello?"

Friend: "Hi. I have a HUGE favor to ask. I'll pay you. I'll buy the yarn. I'll do just about anything... We need more flower washcloths!! Would you mind making more for us? My daughter won't take a bath unless we use the flower washcloths."

I am flattered, to say the least. I do hate knitting the Reverse Bloom Flower Washcloth, but for this friend, I'd do just about anything. So off I went to Hobby Lobby and got some more of their Yarn Bee brand Dreamy Baby Chenille in the approved colors. :-) Hey, her daughter is 3. There are only certain things that are ok at that age, and anything different is unacceptable. I can deal with that. So anyway, I knit a couple flowers and a few squares. I'm hoping to sneak the squares under the radar so they're easier and faster to replace down the road.

And since this friend's birthday is Friday, I had ordered some really good stuff to make a really great pattern. I had hopes (no, really, I did!!) of getting the gift to her before her birthday or even overnighting it to her the day before, but I realize now it just can't happen. It will be done soon, though. I hope to be posting that FO soon, but for now I can't divulge any more details than I have already.

See you again soon. I hope.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Short post... more later

My CPH is done... officially done!! I have no good photos of me wearing it, only those in which I look alarmingly like the unibomber. I'll try again another time to get some good pics.

Also, the Shetland Triangle has been received and I can now reveal it's true appearance post-blocking.

I have quite a bit more to ramble on about, but it's really nice outside and the kids wanna go play. Who can say no to that?!

Bye for now.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Shetland Triangle Done!

I decided that I just couldn't NOT work on the Shetland Triangle this weekend, so that's all I did. The CPH has been put to the side for now. Again.

Here are a couple of pre-blocking pictures for your amusement!

It's just about dry, but not enough to unpin it. I CANNOT wait to send it off and see how it's received!! I can say that it no longer looks like acoustic tile, but you'll have to wait for the real FO pics until it's been sent. :-)

I'm still searching for the (as-close-to-) perfect yarn to use in the shawl for my friend in AZ. I'm pretty sure it'll end up being the Handmaiden Sea Silk, but I'm not 100% sure. I'm leery because it's kinda $$ and I've read on so many blogs that it has an odor of sea water that lingers even after blocking. That kinda scares me!

Back to searching the web and LYSs for the right yarn... Have a great one!

**Edited to add: I ordered the sea silk for my friend's shawl. I hope I don't regret it, but I think it's a good decision. And on another note, I have a gmail account but I don't think I'm getting everything I should on it... Would I be horribly impatient if I sent another request to Ravelry on the off chance I have been sent an invite that hasn't made it to me?!? :-) (and yes, I do realize this is not likely... and I readily admit that I am one of the single most impatient people on this earth!!)

Friday, May 11, 2007

if the sleeve fits...

I sewed the sleeve into my CPH and it fits me! It's a little bit long, but I'm happy with it. I do wish I could sew set-in style sleeves better, but it's not terrible and I can live with it. So now I need to knit the second sleeve and finish the hood and ribbing. Shouldn't take too long, if only I can stay focused on it long enough to accomplish something!

I did my speech last night and sucked dog at it. The good news is that all but 2 or 3 of the kids in the class sucked just as bad or worse than I did! :-) We all chuckled about it as we left for home. Next week is the final exam and I couldn't possibly express how happy that makes me! YIPPEE!!

As for other knitting. You know, the ADHD thing? Instead of picking up on that second sleeve I just mentioned, I opted to work more on the shawl. It's making progress quickly since I'm using a worsted weight yarn. I tend to prefer the thicker/heavier weight yarns because I don't get the impression I'll rip the yarn to shreds if I move suddenly. The lighter weight yarns make me nervous. Here's a progress shot:

It's difficult to photograph for several reasons... 1) It's eggplant-colored-- purple tone which is VERY hard to get right in pics anyway... 2) It's lace, so the texture and beauty doesn't show until it's blocked... and 3) It's gloomy-bright outside. Nuff said.

I hope you have a great weekend and enjoy the weather!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I have knitter's ADHD

I have been trying to be good and only have a couple of WIPs going, but it's getting harder. Everytime I see something I like, I want to cast on for it and get it done. Until I see something else I like and the cycle repeats. For example, I have been chugging along with my CPH and now have a body (knit in one big piece to avoid seams) which is blocked and wearable as a vest. I also have a sleeve blocking as I type this. I'm waiting to work the second sleeve because I know the CPH is snug and added to that is the fact I have broad shoulders... Since it's a set-in style sleeve, I wanted to be sure the sleeve will fit me before spending a considerable amount of time working a second sleeve. Make sense? Well, it does to me. :-)

So while I'm waiting for the sleeve to block so I can seam it into the body, I figured I should start on my first shawl.

Did I forget to mention I'm taking a communication class at the community college and I have a speech to give tonight? And that I haven't decided on a topic or started the outline for said speech? Oops. My bad!

Back to the knitting. I have completed the first section of the shawl and think I like it. I'm pretty sure it's going to be a relatively simple-but-difficult thing for me to knit, though. It's simple enough as a pattern, but because it's got the lace component, I have to keep counting. And my kids like to interrupt while I count. So I count again. And again. And again... well, you get the idea. So I'm thinking this thing might take some time. It's a good thing the recipient is patient. :-)

I also have my dad's scarf in my car to work on whenever I have the time--like when waiting to pick up my oldest son from school. And I have the Log Cabin Blanket which has hit the point of stagnation. (is that a real word?!) I've said before that the blanket project is near bed and I don't often knit on it since we tend to watch TV downstairs and not while in bed.... It's almost summer anyway, so maybe T won't mind too much if he has to wait for fall... or winter.

I have no photos for you today. Sorry. Have a great day.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Yarn for sale!!

Not that I have lots of blog traffic or anything, but I've got a few things I'd like to sell because they're basically just taking up space and will never meet their intended destiny!! If you're interested, send me a line or leave me a comment and I'll get back to you asap! I'll accept PayPal for payment.

A few oddments:

One full ball La Gran Mohair by Classic Elite $5, shipping to US included

3 full balls Crystal Palace Merino Frappe in black $20 incl shipping to US

1 ball Nashua Creative Focus Worsted in yellow $5 incl shipping to US

Suss Knit Kit for Baby Boy set $15 incl shipping to US

7 balls of Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick in Wheat color... 4 in one dye lot and 3 in another. $30 including shipping to the US.

Thanks for stopping by and looking... I hope to find this stuff some good new homes!

CPH body done!

It took one week to the day to finish the body portion of the CPH!! Yippee! It's 'soaking' in my new trial size soak in the aquae flavor. I usually use Eucalan and have no problems with it, but I've been reading more and more about the soak and thought I'd give it a try. I'll be pinning this on the blocking board in a bit, then starting on my sleeves. I can't wait to finish this hoodie so I can wear it and so I can move on to my first lace project!!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

New beginnings

The dad-friend-sweater-project is kaput. Frogged. Rewound. She will never see the thing that was to be a beautiful EPS system yoke sweater with great little butterflies around the yoke. Ahh... that is the way of knitting, isn't it? I finally understand what other bloggers have written about. The resentment that sometimes grows within a project you thought at its onset would be a perfect (or at least great) item.

So I've moved on and have begun my Central Park Hoodie using Cascade 220 in color #9453. I thought this color was called Berry Heather, but now I'm thinking it's Amethyst Heather. Either way, I like the shade. It's a great purple color with flecks of pink and teal (and probably others I haven't identified yet) and it was CHEAP!! WEBS has had lots of their yarns on sale for unusually low prices. Unrefusable prices. I want to buy more but I'm trying not to...

So here's my progress shot on the CPH:

I think I made the body ribbing a bit shorter than the pattern calls for, but I don't really know. My gauge is way off, but I like the tigher stitches at my gauge, so I'm just following a larger size instruction and according to my math, I should end up with a good-fitting sweater.

I decided to knit the body in one piece, omitting the seaming stitches in my original cast on. I'll decide later how to do the sleeves. On the last one I knit, I did the sleeves flat and seamed them in, but I'm thinking this time I'll either knit them in the round up to the cap shaping or I'll pick up the stitches around the armhole opening and knit the sleeves down from there. I've never done the second option before, but it seems like a great way to do it. My decreases are much more invisible than my increases and my arms are longer than average, so this would (possibly) eliminate both of those issues entirely! My only concern is the cables looking odd because they're going the wrong way. Any input on this from my one reader?? :-)

I gotta run before the kids decorate the house in playdoh!! Bye for now.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


The sweater is cursed. There. I said it out loud.

I finished the fair-isle-y portion of the sweater and for a first time effort, it's not terrible. For my satisfaction, it leaves much to be desired. It's puckery, tight/loose/fine, and generally an obvious beginner's job. Add to that the fact that because I opted not to add any more misery, er I mean fair isle to the rest of the yoke, I misplaced the decreases too close together. This gives me a sweater with a nice funnel of a neck. I'm so dang frustrated with it--and myself--that it's been put to the side where it awaits either a stroke of patience or a nice visit to the frog pond. Again.

I know that the simple fix is to rip back at least to the start of the decreases where I can refigure them and end with more of a crew neck styling, but I'm at that point of disgust that sometimes comes with a project that's not all that captivating. I just don't look forward to working on this at the moment. Keep in mind, though, that this is in NO WAY any indication of how I feel of it's intended recipient!!

For now, I'll be working on the Log Cabin and maybe even starting my CPH.

Have a great day!