Sunday, September 25, 2005

Not Knitting, but Still Crafty

I made a bag for my BFF for her birthday. I couldn't find a pattern that I liked, so I made this up myself. It's basically two squares held together by an extra long strap. To make the bag sturdier, I used double thicknesses of all fabric pieces, including the lining. I also did double zigzag seams. The zipper gave me some grief, but mostly because after I had the whole zipper set and sewn, I discovered it would not open. I finally got it to open, but it's still not as smooth as I would like. It gets better with every tug, though.

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This is Evelyn's first modeling job. Isn't she doing a great job?

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Lining and blasted zipper.

In other news, I went to the fair today to check out how my sweaters fared in the exhibition. I got a red ribbon (2nd) for my lamb all-in-one, and a white ribbon (3rd) for my Round Trip cardigan! Best in Show went to a lovely aran sweater. What they say is true: once you enter in a fair, you'll be hooked! I already can't wait until next year, and actually find myself thinking of stuff to make just for the exhibition! I also plan to perfect my pie crust so I can enter into the big apple pie contest (it's one of the highlights of the fair). My filling, if I do say so myself, is pretty dynomite, but my crust tends to be a little hit or miss.

Work continues unabated on Rogue. I'm almost done with the first chart, and am getting ready to split for the arms. Now that it's getting colder, I just want to be knitting all the time.

Friday, September 23, 2005

One Week to Go!

[we interrupt this knitting blog for an important bulletin.]

Each year, I walk in the Alzheimer's Association's Memory Walk. I work with people who have Alzheimer's Disease, and it's a tough disease to watch. It's a lonely, isolating disease, which strips people of the ability to communicate, because they forget how to form sentences and, eventually, words. It's difficult for families because the person they've known and loved for their entire lives is sometimes completely different, and oftentimes progresses to a point where they forget who they are. Alzheimer's Disease is so much more than leaving the oven on, or forgetting how to get home. It's a slow-motion forgetting of everything a person has learned since birth, right down to losing the ability to hold up their own head, if they survive the disease for that long. I feel grateful to know the people I do, and find joy in making them happy in any small way I can. My greatest wish though, is for this disease to be eradicated. The Alzheimer's Association is taking steps toward that goal, too, and that's why I walk for them every year.

This year, I signed up to accept online donations, and decided to post my sponsor page here. If you can help me reach my goal, I will be so grateful. Thank you for your support!

(ETA: The walk is on October 1!)

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Lookie what finally arrived yesterday!

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It's my dress form! They were on sale at Joann's a couple of weeks ago, and my boyfriend bought one for me. I spent last night putting her together and adjusting for my measurements, and now I just can't wait to put her into action. I think the first thing I'll do is finally take in some of the shirts I've been meaning to. I feel like I have a me-sized doll to play with!

Progress continues on Rogue:

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I don't know when it happened, but somewhere along the line I became a one project girl. I used to always have at least five projects going, and now it's as though I can't even force myself to work on more than one at a time. No worries, though, Rogue is plenty fun to work on, and I'm still not lacking for projects.

The big county fair is next week, and I have to get my entries in for the exhibition tomorrow! Tonight I will steam block my entries and send them off with fingers crossed!

PS: I found the perfect zipper for the Zippy cardigan! Once I have it set and sewn, I'll take a photo.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Slow Going

I've spent this whole last week coughing my lungs out and generally being ill. I also chose last week (Wednesday, my first ever sick day from my job), to begin work on Rogue. Maybe not such a great idea, that.

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While I managed not to botch it up too badly, I nicely crossed a cable wrong, way down at the end portion. Fortunately, I did it to both cable panels, so it is now a design element. I thought it looked a little strange. I also have to bring a question to the knitalong ladies regarding repeats. I don't know if my feeble brain is adding wrong, or if the pattern is incorrect.

Branching Out looks much the same as it did in the last entry. I did some more repeats, but I've been working on Rogue pretty much exclusively since the sickness hit. It's perfect really, almost mindless stockinette with just enough cabling action to make you pay attention. I think it's going to be a beautiful sweater.

Thanks for the advice on the Zippy cardigan. Piogga, thank you for bringing up the difficulty in fastening toggles on a squirmy baby, and Cheryl, thank you so much for that link! I'm going to order some zippers, stat. Have you ever ordered from them before?

Back to the sofa for me.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Cutest Thing I Have Ever Knit

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Yep, there he is. The completed lamb all-in-one. I loved making this, despite all of the issues I had and all of that garter stitch. I will definitely be making others for more special babies. As stated before, I used the elusive 7 Settembre yarn from Lane Borgosesia's Baruffa line. I used just over six balls of off white for the body and almost exactly one ball of charcoal gray for the ears, mitts and feet. I found the pattern in New Baby Knits by Debbie Bliss. The book is wonderful. I think there are only one or two patterns I could never see myself making.

I haven't touched Branching Out in awhile, but plan to pick it back up tonight.

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If I don't work on that, I'll cast on for Rogue (I guess it won't be done for my BFF's birthday).

And finally, I would like to solicit some advice. Remember when I finished the Zippy Cardigan (June 13th entry, I can't link to a single entry), and all I had left was to get a zipper? Well, the zipper is proving to be more difficult to find than I thought. I checked the Berocco site and noticed that they used what appears to be a black zipper with their model, but I really don't think that would work with mine. I wanted a green as close to matching as possible, and can't even find a dark green one the right length to save my life. I was thinking of skipping the zipper and using toggles for a closure. That way I could use a nice tan with wooden toggles. But then again, I feel the sweater was really designed to have a zipper. What do you think? Toggles or zipper? If you think I should use a zipper, what color would you recommend if green was unavailable? Thanks for the help! I want to get this baby shipped off before the baby outgrows it!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Here's the thing...

I keep meaning to get a photo of my WIPS so I can make a post with pictures, but whenever I've had a chance to take a photo I've felt like knitting instead. I'm sure you understand. So this will be a largely pictureless post.

I am so close to finished with the lamb all-in-one. The hood is knitted, the sleeves set in, the bootie fixed. Oh, what's that? You don't know anything about a broken bootie? Neither did I, until I began to seam. Somehow, I managed to have both booties facing the same way, instead of being mirror images of each other. See, the pattern uses short rows in the bootie, knitted flat, to create a wee pocket for the baby's toes. On one bootie, the pocket was facing forward, on the other, it was facing backward. No matter how much I twisted, pulled and prodded (and tried to convince myself for one insane moment that I could block it out), the toes obstinately faced the back. I obviously couldn't leave it that way. The problem was that the leg was knitted from the bootie up. When the bootie is finished, you join yarn for the leg and knit merrily away. So I couldn't just frog the bootie and reknit it down from the leg. I thought about threading lifelines through and cutting the bootie off, but wanted to see if I could come up with a better (read, "any other") alternative first. Finally, last night, I figured out that I could simply pull the last bootie row out, leaving live stitches at the leg. The result? The leg stitches, which I picked up as I unwove the bootie row, came out perfectly. I had the correct amount, and didn't drop a one. On the bootie side, there was some damage, but once the yan was free, I could frog back a couple of rows and reknit, which is exactly what I did. Tonight I have a date with kitchener stitch to reattach the bootie to the leg. After that, I predict smooth sailing. All I have left for knitting is a pair of ears and a tail. I have to seam the legs and add buttons. I've thoroughly enjoyed working on this project, and adore the yarn I used. Next time I'm near the yarn store I bought it from I'll have to do some stocking up.

I've been adding continuously to my list of future projects. One sweater that I am dying to make is the Debbie Bliss pattern in the current issue of Vogue Knitting. It looks so comfortable, yet suitable for work too. I am also quite taken with Sesame, from the new issue of Mag Knits. It's a more casual sweater, but cute as hell. I might be crazy, but I'm going to swatch with some Cotton Ease for it. I've also been rediscovering all kinds of patterns in my knitting magazine library. I was flipping through them to find hat ideas for the boy and kept pausing to admire all the sweaters I'd forgotten about.

I spent last weekend in Vermont, so of course I made a visit to Kaleidoscope Yarns. I love that store! The staff is so friendly and helpful, and they have such a great selection. Especially of things I can't find at home. I picked up a couple of skeins of Lorna's Laces Shephard Sock in Gold Hill, a couple of skeins of Lorna's Laces Shephard Worsted in Tuscany (I had never even seen this yarn before... it is so soft), a felted hat pattern and enough Cascade 220 to make two of them, and the Bobbi Bear pattern. Oh, and a Chibi. Whoa, I love those needles! They slip through the stitches like a hot knife through butter. I also casted on for Branching Out while I was in Vermont. I love how the pattern is coming along, and it's a very quick knit. If I could devote more time to it, I could easily have it finished in a weekend.

I'll post more knitting pictures soon, but for now, I leave you with this:

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A freshly shorn alpaca! Doesn't he look so soft?