There's been knitting


I've kinda been out of the blogging world this week, but I have been knitting behind the scenes if you will. On Friday, I was able to bind off the body on Angelica, which gave me hope to finish this last weekend. But alas the bind off was too tight, so I undid the bind off, added an inch of length and bound off again with bigger needles. Still tight! umm me thinks I need to add some hip increases, oops. Oh well, at least that will be fast. I think I'll work on the sleeves though first and then go back and deal with the body. Nothing like false progress to raise the spirits.

So far this has been a relaxing and enjoyable knit, which I really needed this last week. I'm talking about getting both stitch and row gauge people! The fit ... perfect! And the hipknits silk is soooo soft. It doesn't dry my hands out like other silks or silk-blends have.


Just pics today!

one down!

starting angelica!



We Don't Need No Stinkin' Olympics!

child's french sock wip

Look ma! A heel! No clue how I did this other than I was motivated by some gorgeous silk in the mail and I don't want to leave a half finished sock hanging. Maybe I'll have a finished sock tonight! Who knows! And to think, I'm not in any team or challenge.

I actually can't believe I've been knitting these since it's mostly ribbing (to be technical it would be moss or seed stitch depending on what row you're on), since I think we all know how much I hate ribbing. It must be that little bit of "lace" thrown in there. These are the 'child's french sock' from
Knitting Vintage Socks, an 1800's Weldon's pattern Nancy Bush updated to fit an average woman's foot. I like the way it feels for the most part, except I think I should have gone down a needle size for the ankles. My ankles are of the skinny/bony persuasion and the sock feels a little loose around the gusset/ankle area...oops. At least the yarn is springy and is keeping mostly everything in place. Rumor has it that there's some sort of yarn gathering this week, if I were going to said gathering I would pick up a skein or two of Tess Designer Yarns. I'm sure she's going to have a huge a booth right in front. Just saying.

The sockpal-watch continues...I think I should have mentioned that my pal is a dude (I wouldn't go on and on about the size of the foot if it was a girl). A dude that would appreciate some cables. I have a loosely-set game plan in my mind: I'll be knitting with sport or dk weight yarn, I'll make up some pattern that will prevent me from going crazy but will also make my pal happy, and it needs to be green or purple or white uhhh I'm not sure yet. It will be some color. Did you
see that some people already finished their socks?! crap



I've caught a bug and his name is sock.... what? I don't know either, all I know is that instead of casting on or planning a sweater I wanted to knit I grabbed some yarn from the stash and started some socks. No, not socks for the sockpal I have yet to mention, but rather for my selfish little self.

I've been wanting to use this yarn, Tess Designer yarn, and this pattern, Child's French Socks, for a while now though I didn't think the two would merge. Lucky for me, in my snow induced haze I got perfect gauge with the required needles. Not so great for my sock pal.

Why have I ignored my poor little sockpal? I should be looking for yarn, reading patterns, swatching even! I've been in denial, that's why. Ever since that little email proclaiming who I was assigned to arrived in my mailbox I've been in a size-induced shock. People, I have to knit for an 11 inch foot. Eleven!! I'll wait till that sinks in......ready for more? Cables....CABLES. This person requested cables. I don't like letting people down, so cables or some form thereof they will get. I'll start swatching as soon as I finish this sock, of course the mail man had other ideas by bringing me a long awaited package. I promise nothing sockpal (not this week at least).



elfine socks

Yarn: Nature's Palette in Mallard
Needles: 2mm Addi Turbos
Elfine Socks by Anna
Date Started: 2.04.06
Date Finished: 2.11.06

The second time was definitely the charm! Note to self: DO NOT knit during the holidays or while stressed, you'll just end up with bent needles and an unfinished project. Last time I only managed to make it to the fifth row in the pattern and these poor socks lived in that state for months. I restarted them last weekend in a more relaxed atmosphere (syrah always helps) and let's just say it was for the better. I switched to one sock at a time and used a turkish cast on. I'm still surprised at how fast these socks knit up on 2 mm's (Addi's don't come in 2.25 mm), the lace kept my attention the whole way through. It never got boring to watch the pattern develop, especially with this yarn.

Elfine toes

The nature's palette was perfect for these, the slight color variegation kept things from getting or looking boring. I really like the feel of the yarn, slightly crunchy while still being soft. I like my socks to have a little body or weight to them and this yarn provided that.

The color is truer in the top pic, blame the snow for the second one.


What's next?

My blogging is a little behind my knitting, I restarted the elfine socks and I'm already on the second sock. I really didn't like the way the toes looked the first time around so I decided to use a turkish cast on for a much neater result. I'm not sure why I stalled on these, I think it had something to do with the needles. For some reason I kept bending them and hurting my hands on them, not a good time. Let's call it holiday stress. Thankfully I'm not as stressed now and can actually enjoy knitting these socks. But guess what, this is the last of the ufo's (not counting the mesh tank I need more yarn for)! Aren't you proud? I am! Though once I finish this pair of socks I won't have anything to knit. It's time for project ideas.

In the spirit of stash clearing, I would love to come up with a pattern for this brown and pink yarn. I have no clue what to knit though. Am I pushing my luck by knitting with variegated yarn a third time? Maybe. We'll just have to see won't we. What I do know is that I have a sweater's worth of this yarn just sitting in my stash mocking me. It's got to be used. I like the way it knits up on 5 mm's and I even get gauge for Jemima so that's one possibility. How about a couple more?

Sweater Ideas I've been eyeing that t-shirt sweater from the Ella Rae book for a while. I don't have a pattern for it, but it looks simple enough to make up. I like Mari's version and have the IK issue she modded from. The sweater under that one looks similar, but with a bigger scoop. I'm not so sure how that would look on a busty girl (who am I talking about?). My guess is: not great.

I love the cardigan to the right, but this is more of a 'well, if I have leftover yarn then maybe I can buy some solid yarn sans guilt and come up with a similar pattern" sort of sweater. The blue, eighties-looking sweater is from a Rebecca issue that I have in my stash and wouldn't mind knitting. I would probably end up making some shaping mods to it, but would mostly follow the pattern.

Any thoughts, suggestions? Any other patterns I should look at? Should I burn the yarn?


Hourglass Sweater

Pattern: Hourglass Sweater from LMKG
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted Merino in Rosa Vivacity (a little over 6 hanks)
Needles: 4.5mm 32" and 47" Addi Turbos
Gauge: 5 spi
Date Started: 11.09.05
Date Restarted: 1.18.06
Date Finished: 2.03.06

I present to you the world's most comfortable sweater. It's sheer luxury putting this on. The Malabrigo is perfect when knit with 4.5mm's, it's squishy (that's a technical term), soft, and cozy. Knitting it at 5 spi alleviated any pilling worries, as did the sweater shaver I bought (from Target) as extra insurance.

I originally picked up this yarn at Stitches East to knit up a 'hot lava' shrug, but thankfully my gauge never worked up for it. If it had, then I would have never decided to return a cone of yarn I got at the same time from Webs and exchanged it for more Malabrigo. I can't imagine not living with this sweater (am I overdramatic or what!?). My favorite part, aside from the softness, the halo, the neckline, and the fit? The little Missoni-esque stripes the yarn formed.

The pattern is zen-like in it's stockinette stitch, some may call it boring, till you get to the neckline hem that is. I HATED sewing it down. No matter how careful and methodical I was, the neckline wanted to turn out. Thankfully a little steam blocking helped things stay flat, which is the only blocking I've done so far.


Get me out of here!

I was going to post some things about the bulky cabled cardigan, but blogger keeps losing my blog and posts! I need to get out of here. Quick.
Any suggestions? Help?

Soooo, what was I going to say about the sweater? Oh yeah, I got a few emails and comments asking about the sizing and yarn.

Yarn and Ease
The yarn is handpaintedyarn's pure merino bulky 6ply, a yarn much thinner than what Stef used in the pattern. The pattern's gauge is 2.5 spi while mine was around 3spi (it changed a bit after washing). I knew I didn't want to double the yarn, but I also knew what fit I wanted. After looking at the number of stitches left for the body (after separating the sleeves), I knew knitting my size would leave me with four inches of ease. If I knit it at my gauge though I would get negative ease, three inches to be exact. Sounds insane, but that was perfect! I'll always tell you to go with negative ease, I'm all about a more fitted look. "But three inches is too much!" you say. The other thing I say is knit a big swatch and wash it! I knew that my sweater would grow width wise and, to a lesser degree, length wise. After all was said and done (and after adjusting for the button bands) I ended up with only one inch of negative ease. After wearing it for a week (yeah, I've been wearing it all week) it's the same size as my chest (uhh, zero ease?). I could have gone with the smaller size and been just as happy with the end result.

It was all me! It was my mistake when the sweater was too short the next time, not the pattern's. I measured it while it was still on the needle and might have, possibly, maybe stretched it while measuring. Blame the knitter. Try it on as you knit! If you use this yarn, then I'll warn you that it's going to grow after washing. My sweater looked HUGE after I took it out of the water. I figured it was the combination of it being merino, garter stitch, and wet. Luckily it springs back into itself, so all was saved (and my swatch had predicted it!). The cables ended up giving me some more length after they were washed. Washed cables = less puffiness.

I picked up the buttons at Kraemer's while visiting for Thanksgiving. Their website doesn't have much, but it's an interesting store. It's a mill that sells it's own yarn while also carrying things like Plymouth, Cherry Hill, and some other brands I don't remember at the moment. Anyway, that's where the mystery buttons are from.

I probably made no sense in this post, but that's because I'm trying to write fast so blogger doesn't lose my post (did I mention blogger sucks?). I hope this is helpful to someone out there! Feel free to ask any other questions.