Sunday, July 29, 2007

Those Sticky Summer Days

It's pretty hard to get all hot to trot over wool and knitting when it's 110 degrees F outside and each stitch sticks to the needles. That said, I am knitting, but only on one project. That's right, the Sock That Rock is back in time out.


This scarf is just not doing it for me. I think that part of the issue is that the two shades of yarn are just too close to one another. After a nice time out, I'll pull the Marbles colorway out again and try the Sidewinders sock pattern. If that pools, I'll make mittens and let the yarn do whatever it wants!

When not endlessly frogging sock yarn, I can be found knitting away on Coachella. I love how this is knitting! The yarn has such an interesting hand, and subtle variegation that adds to the Suede-like illusion. It feels a little stiff right now, but I think it'll soften up some after a wash. Right now I'm in the nice, mindless stockinette portion. Just what I need on a day I want to go to hell to cool off.


I only have about six inches to go, and Coachella will be ready for her debut!

In other knitting news, I got my Fall issue of Vogue Knitting yesterday. It's the 25th anniversary issue, and in addition to several free patterns featured in the magazine and available on the site, this issue is chock full of patterns. There are so many, that I was actually able to pick out a few patterns I want to make, including one that's giving me palpitations. I haven't been able to find a photo of it yet, but I'll take one myself soon. For those of you who have this issue, it's pattern #45.

Well, this entry is late for me. Good night, everyone! Hopefully next time I see you I'll have an FO to premier!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Here comes the sun....

We had a brief moment of sunshine this evening, and I took advantage to show off my scarf!


For those who missed the earlier entries, this is my first actual, factual lace project. This assessment is based on my own set of qualifiers, and includes fancy borders, clever construction, and fine weight yarn. Now that I've had a taste, there's no going back! I've been using all of my willpower to resist stashing more lace weight yarn (I'm trying to abstain until Rhinebeck), and it's been so hard. I feel like that kid who dips their toe into the water, but once they're all wet, you can't get them out.


This isn't the most flattering picture of myself, but I wanted to show the scarf in actual use. To recap:
pattern: Scarf with the Striped Border from Weldon's, Volume 5, 1890, from Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby (pssst... the link leads to KnitPicks, where the book is 40% off!)
yarn: Handmaiden Seasilk
needles: US7 Addis (not the lace ones, though now I see the allure)

I love Victorian Lace Today! The book is beautiful, and the patterns are just incredible. I want to make almost everything in there. The best part about this book is that I feel, even as a novice, that I can make any pattern in there. There are instructions in the back for some lace techniques, and the instructions are so clear, I didn't even need to check another source for a clearer picture. For instance, I had to do a crochet cast on for this project, which I've never done before, and the succinct diagram and instructions had me casting on after my first glance. I definitely plan to make a shawl soon. And I've gone on about the yarn already, but seriously, it's fantastic. If you ever get a chance, snap some up. One hank is more than enough for a scarf!

In less enthusiastic news, war work continues with the Socks That Rocks.
Dear Blue Moon Fiber Arts People,
Please, please, please put your superior dying prowess to use on a true solid yarn.
Best Regards,
Knitter Who Wants the Pattern to Speak the Loudest


The issue here is clearly that, despite my intense denial and wishes to the contrary, both yarns are variegated (even though the word "solid" appears in the Navy description). Since both yarns are changing colors , the effect is less fair isle, and more Jackson Pollack. To make matters worse, there's still the issue of what basically amounts to pooling (both yarns hit the same color sections at the same time).


I thought maybe I could live with it, I even did two repeats of the fair isle instead of just one to make sure it wouldn't grow on me, but I just don't like how these are coming out. So, fine. I'll make lemonade, and make a nice, jaunty scarf using both yarns. My brother says the following whenever I start to lose my cool over an inanimate object, "You gotta be smarter than the [whatever I'm mad at]." Surely I'm smarter than yarn. Right?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

So Close!

Still no finished photos of the scarf. I'm hopeful for some nice light tomorrow, right now it's raining. Coachella languishes in swatch stage, because I decided it was about time I make that Socks That Rock behave, already!

Except, it's still not quite behaving. The fair isle pattern looks great with the yarn, it's just that there's a marked difference between the front of the sock and the back.


I think I like this side best.


This side is also nice, though.

I believe that reversing the dominant color in the pattern will fix this issue. I'm going to try it tonight. If that doesn't make this yarn submit, then I'm going to do one of those chevron scarves I've been seeing all over blogland. STR = Scarves That Rock?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Done Business

So, I finished my lace scarf yesterday in the morning and immediately set it out to block. Unfortunately, none of pre-blocking photos came out very well, so all I have to show you is the scarf almost done.


At least you can see the pretty colors! The yarn did an uneven striping, which I actually like in this piece, because it reminds me of ripples in the ocean on a calm day.

Looks like we'll have some sun around here for a few days, so hopefully there'll be an FO picture soon!

In other knitting news, I swatched yesterday for Coachella. Actually, I only half swatched. I knit most of the swatch, but didn't measure. This batch of Suede feels different to me. Softer, and bulkier.

Later, Gaters!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I Give Up.

Obviously the weather is not going to cooperate with my FO shot plans. That's fine. It was ever so slightly less cloudy this evening, and since my Rusted Root is black, I figured the shots would come out fine. And they did!


Honestly, my first time wearing this was for these shots! The moment I slipped it on, I just knew this was my new favorite sweater. It fits like a glove, and is so comfortable. Then I looked in the mirror and saw that it's cute, too!

I made just a few, minor adjustments. I added some length to the waist, about an inch, I guess, which I always have to do. I also added a little length before I started the waist shaping. One thing that has bugged me about some other Rusted Roots I've seen is the way that the lace panel causes a hump in the collar. I decided to try to remedy this by picking up stitches for the collar a few rows below the lace panel cast on, in a straight line. It totally worked! I also omitted a purl row in the sleeves.


I think my favorite part of the whole sweater are those puffed sleeves. I was a little worried that they wouldn't be very puffy, because I've read that some people were disappointed in their sleeves. I find mine to be perfectly puffy, and I only fear that I'll walk into walls as I twist my head to gaze at them.


Okay, so I don't think Tyra will be calling me for ANTM with my wonky hair, but she might want my sweater!
Pattern: Rusted Root
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease in Licorice, 2.75 balls
Needles: US5
Size: Small

Sunday, July 08, 2007

I'm Making Lace!

There was one other thing I got for my birthday that I hadn't taken a picture of for my last post.


Amy gave me this beautiful hank of Seasilk! The instant I saw it, I knew I would want to knit it right away. Having a single hank, I was pretty sure I'd be making a scarf.

I went through Victorian Lace Today and decided to try the Scarf with the Striped Border. I've done other lace projects (Branching Out, some lacy socks), but never anything I would consider a true lace project, with fancy borders and whatnot. I wound the yarn yesterday and did my first crochet cast on. I haven't been able to stop working on it since.


Please excuse the darkness. It rained all day today, but I didn't want to wait to take a photo! I keep pausing my knitting to admire all of the sweet eyelets and pet the incredibly soft yarn. Seriously, this yarn is exquisite. I'm also amazed by how quickly this project seems to be progressing. I'm already more than 25% finished with the center panel. I can't wait to block it!

PS: I finished Rusted Root Friday night, but don't want to take FO shots until we get some sunshine around here!

Thursday, July 05, 2007


I don't have any actual knitting pictures to share (for shame!), but will let you know that Rusted Root is so close to finished, I'm starting to forget it's a WIP. Two rows of ribbing on the hem, then just collar and sleeves. Easy-peasy, and I might have an FO to show this weekend.

Last weekend was my birthday, and I went on a Puffin Cruise out of Boothbay Harbor. I love birds, though I'm not an avid bird watcher or anything, and I've always wanted to see a puffin. Fortunately, that's not too big an order to fill, since the southernmost nesting place in the world for puffins is just off the coast of Maine on Eastern Egg Rock. I was expecting an egg shaped island with a bunch of birds sitting on it, but it's actually called Egg Rock not because of its shape, but because it's where the seabirds go to lay their eggs. I was not prepared for the vision of hundreds of birds flying around in one spot.


As is my wont on nature trips, I didn't try to take many pictures, and instead concentrated on finding the cute little puffins (they are so small!), and watching all of the terns and eiders and cormorants and gulls wheeling about over the water. It was incredible, and I'm sure I'll go again.

I also did some yarn shopping! One of my favorite yarn shops is closing for retirement. While that makes me sad, I'm pretty okay with it, since the owners are closing because they want to, not because they have to, and because now I have Purl Diva to fill the void. Also, the closing yarn store, Willows End is pretty freaking far away from me, so I hardly ever got to go there anyway. I scored a great deal on some Berocco Suede for Coachella, as well as twelve hanks of Classic Elite Renaissance in a fabulous dark charcoal gray. I'm not sure what to do with that yet, but I think it will be cabled.


Speaking of Purl Diva, on my way back home, I decided to stop in and pick up two things I had been thinking about since I attended my first ever knitting group there days before. Jo Sharp's Knit, volume 2, out of which I am most excited about the Ladder Stitch Cardigan and a lacy cabled pullover (I'm hoping Pure Silk will work for that), and a hank of Dream in Colors Gaia sock yarn.


It feels wonderful in the hank! It's a little heavier than I'm used to using for socks, but I think it will make nice, cheerful boot socks for winter. Who wouldn't love a little summer sky on their feet then!?

One last thing: I might be the last person in blogland to discover this, but did you know that WEBS has download-able knitting patterns? I purchased some yesterday and they were emailed today as .pdfs. I'm pretty psyched about the Deep Breath Sweater (which disappointingly doesn't have a picture on the site), a raglan pullover made with laceweight yarn and US8 needles. Also, if you do decide to order a pattern or two (or four), note that a shipping charge will show up on your invoice, but you will not be charged for the shipping when your order is complete. I was worried about that, but relieved this morning when I saw that I was only charged for the patterns.

Enough of my yammering! What's getting your senses tingling nowadays?