Monday, June 29, 2009

Eunice Report

Finished weaving in the ends on my Eunice socks today. So add these ones to the stack of socks waiting to be given away to someone with similarly sized feet to my own.

Eunice socks

First, let me say, I enjoyed knitting these socks. And I'm pleased with the finished product. But they were a bit more of a challenge than I'm used to from sock knitting, kinda fiddly with things being cabled front and back, and it took me a long time to memorize the charts (like the entire first sock), but challenging is good.

Eunice socks

I was concerned with how they would fit, given the number of stitches hanging out on the needles, but those cables snug things up just right. I really like how the pattern continues down into the heel flap. And this yarn was great to work with--ShibuiKnits Sock.

Eunice socks

Cast on today for a new pair of socks, simple Columbine Peak by Cat Bhordi. And I'm just about done with the Noro Kureyon Sock February Baby Sweater (aka, Baby Sweater of Many Colors).

Friday, June 26, 2009

Hey, Buttercup!

Finished up my Buttercup sweater last week and took it out for an inaugural wear just after weaving in the last threads. I finally got around to giving it a soak a couple of days ago and took some good(ish) pics this morning.

Hey Buttercup

Overall, I'm very pleased with how this sweater turned out. I love love love the yarn, Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool. It was soft to work with and has in interestingly nubby texture. I read complaints about all the vegetable matter in the yarn, but this didn't bother me too much--it made it feel more authentic, like I was knitting with yarn straight from the (blue) sheep. One thing about this yarn, though, it BLEEDS. Seriously, after the first soak, I was afraid the yarn was going to come out without any dye. Use some vinegar.

Hey Buttercup

I changed a couple of things about the pattern. The main change I made was waist shaping. Although I got gauge, I found there was too much positive ease after I did the increases below the lace at the bust. And I realized that if I was to follow the pattern and work A-line increases (no waist decreases called for), it would result in an unflattering tent. So I worked 4 sets of paired decreases, starting a couple inches from the underarm. In retrospect, maybe I should have worked it one side smaller--it is a bit baggy through the bust. But the waist shaping helped.

Hey Buttercup Bust

Initially, I worked a whole slew of increases starting a couple inches above the natural waist line, akin to the A-line increases called for in the pattern, but when I finished, I decided it looked not so good. So I ripped back until I had just 4 sets of increases (to match the 4 sets of decreases), then worked straight until the desired length. The other change I made to the pattern: it calls for 1 repeat of the feather/fan lace pattern at the bottom of the sweater. I did 3 repeats. I like this better.

Hey Buttercup

The other thing I wish was different about this sweater, besides the baggy bust, is the placement of the lace panel. I wish it had started sooner. If I were to make this sooner, I would start the lace panel an inch or more sooner. But still, I love this sweater! Especially the little sleeves. :)

I'm taking a break from yarn shopping, and so also taking a break from sweater knitting. But this doesn't mean I haven't been busy! I started a new lace shawl as soon as I finished the Buttercup.

Purple Pangea Shawl

It's Pangea by Sarah-Hope Parmeter. I'm using some lovely laceweight alpaca that (I think) I bought at Downtown Yarns in NYC. It's J. Knits Lace-a-licious, color "Tennessee." The yarn is just a little bit fuzzy, but the color is so lovely. I'm using size 3.0mm needles, a decision I may end up regretting. My previous lace shawls have been made on larger needle sizes, so we'll see how this goes. I think it will be fine, since the yarn is so fine.

I'm almost done with the Eunice socks, will post a finished object pic soon. My newest project is EZ's Baby Sweater on Two Needles, aka February Baby Sweater.

Noro Sock Baby Sweater

I'm making it out of Noro Kureyon Sock, color 95, purchased at Hilltop Yarn a few weeks ago. I think I've mentioned this before, I love Noro Kureyon Sock yarn. The color changes captivate me. I'm a bit worried this sweater is going to turn out smaller than any baby, besides a fresh new born. But I don't care. I love it anyways. And, it may be a bit scratchy for the skin of babies, but whatever. Maybe I'll put it on a stuffed bear.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


FDA is warning consumers not to use Zicam nasal swabs. Should I throw out my stash of Zicam? I have touted the use of this in shortening the length of colds. And I still have my olfactory abilities.

After frogging a good 4 inches off the body of my Buttercup, it is nearly done. I hope to have pics up soon. For now, let me draw your eyes with a picture of the socks I gave Tracie for graduation.

Lemon leaves socks

Pattern: Embossed Leaves from Favorite Socks. Yarn: Socks That Rock Lightweight, "Lemongrass." I love the vibrant colors of the yarn. One thing I would change about these socks: I made the heal flap a bit too short and these guys are a bit tight through the heal as a result, but I think they'll be okay for Tracie, her feet are a bit smaller than mine.

I'm plugging along on the Eunice socks, and I started a new shawl, Pangea. More about that later!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Let's make something! Part 8--the wrap up

In preparation for the debut of the blue cardi last night at Tracie's graduation, I gave it a good long soak (a note about Malabrigo: this stuff bleeds color like nobody's business--using a good glug glug of white vinegar in the soak helps). Laid it out to dry, carefully smoothing out that dang rolly collar.

Blue cardi all done!

Now the collar is certainly less rolly than pre-soak, but it still rolls a little bit, nothing I can't handle. The cardigan's debut last night went well.


But I wish it had been a bit of a chillier night. Despite having the weight of a feather, this puppy is warm! And so soft! Like wearing a warm cloud. I used the 2+ hour ceremony to finish up a pair of not-yet-blogged-about-because-I've-been-too-lazy-to-take-a-picture-of-them socks for a certain recent grad. Now I've been splitting my knitting time between two new projects. First off, as I mentioned last time, I ordered some silky wool in pretty much the exact same blue color for a Buttercup, which is progressing along at a nice clip.

Hey Buttercup progress

I love this yarn, the pattern is simple. I'm currently in the process of adding some shaping to the body of the sweater. The pattern calls for a-line shaping, but I felt like it might be a bit more flattering with a bit of waist shaping, so we'll see how that goes. It would be great to finish this up soon so that I could get some wear out of it this summer. Being as that the rest of the body is plain ol' stockinette (plus whatever waist shaping I do), it makes for good read-while-you-knit knitting. Which I appreciate, since I've been reading a good, entertaining book. Great summer read + great summer knitting = happy girl.

With the completion of those aforementioned socks, I had to start a new pair today. Eunice from Cookie A.'s new book, Sock Innovation.

Eunice sock

I'm not too sure about the gauge I've got going on with these socks, but I'm going to keep plugging along for a while more before I decide to commit to finishing or frogging them.

I (finally!) have a couple of job interviews this week. So, fingers crossed, I will have less knitting time soon. I love all the knitting time I've had over the past 3 months, but it would be nice to be employed again.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Let's make something! Part 7--the sleeves

The steps of the blue cardi: the sleeves. I thought these would be done in a jiffy. But I was wrong. The first sleeve took quite a while. Then I started reading a good book, and the second sleeve flew by, and then poof! I was done!

I made a few changes to the sleeve. When reading the pattern, I was a bit thrown off by the number of decreases called for--decreasing only 12 stitches??? That's less than 2 inches. The top of the arm was a bit loose on me, and I wanted the sleeve to have a more fitted appearance. So I seriously stepped up the number of decreases.

sleeve decreases

I did paired decreases every 6th row. The result is a nice little line of decreases and a fitted sleeve. I wanted my sleeves to be 3/4 length, so I worked the stockinette section with decreases until they were just beyond my elbows, then did about 2 inches of 1x1 rib and the same sewn cast off I used for the body.

fitted sleeve

Another change I made was in how I picked up the stitches at the underarm. The pattern calls for picking up 2 stitches, which is the number you made when you removed the sleeves to work the body alone. But I've found that when I pick up the same number, I'm left with bit holes on either side of the underarm stitches. So instead, I picked up the 2 cast on stitches, plus one stitch on either side of the underarm (where those holes would be). Then on the next round, I knit the first picked up stitch together with the last stitch before the underarm, and the 4th picked up stitch together with the first stitch after the underarm--sorry, no photos of this. Once the sleeve is done, these picked up stitches are a bit loose.

armpit loose

But it's a sinch to go through and tighten them up (did you like that pun???) before weaving in the end.

armpit tightened

Look, ma! No big holes in the arm pit! :)

I'm so happy to be done with this a week before my deadline (Tracie's graduation, 6/9). But I had some trouble getting a good finished object pic.

photo attempt gone awry

Hopefully I can get a better one next week at the big event. And I'm still a bit annoyed with the rolly collar.

rolly collar

Though I remain hopeful that it will relax a bit with a good soak.

I've already dug into my next project.

Hey Buttercup!

No, your eyes do not deceive you. It's pretty much the exact same color as the featherweight cardigan. I didn't do that on purpose, it was just too gorgeous of a color to pass up. More about this new project later!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It's pledge drive time at KEXP

and I just wanted to take a minute to demonstrate one of the reasons I love this radio station

They have awesome bands play in studio, then post videos for me to watch. :)

I (heart) KEXP