Friday, December 7, 2012

Finished Object Friday: Smittens!

That list of WIPs I wanted to finish before the end of 2012?  I should really stop pretending.  I’m considering abandoning the idea that I will ever finish any knitting project again.  Ever.  That is, any project that is not a smitten.  I’m having no problem finishing smittens

The pattern is aptly titled—I am completely smitten with the smittens.  My WIPs?  Haven’t touched them.  Holiday gift knitting?  Not happening.  It’s all about the smittens.  It all started earlier this week when I stumbled across pictures of handspun smittens on Ravelry.  I imagined a garland of adorable mini-mittens hung up on my fireplace mantle, rejoiced at the idea of using handspun leftovers and single skeins, and it was all over.  I started knitting a smitten Tuesday night and haven’t stopped since. 

3 days, 6 mittens (I finished another after taking the above picture).  I originally figured I would knit 2 per month so as to have 24 by the 2013 holiday season.  It looks like that might have been too modest of a plan.  At this rate, I could have 24 finished by the end of next weekend and have a garland in time for this holiday season.  Too bad my fireplace is in pieces, and I don’t actually have a mantle at the moment. Mike has agreed that if the fireplace isn't fixed by next year, I get to strangle him with the smitten garland.   

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Finished Object Friday: Laika

Laika and I did indeed find our happily ever after.


Before I get into the details, reasons I love Laika:
  • I bought yarn with a project in mind and then actually used the yarn for said project.
  • I started it on the way to Lake Placid so it makes me think about Mike finishing an Ironman.
  • It kept me sane in the jury room for over 2 weeks in August/September. 
  • It fits.  Most importantly, the upper arms are not too tight (explained below).
  • I FOUND AWESOME BUTTONS! (more on this below too).

Basic Specs:
Pattern:  Laika, from Little Red in the City by Ysolda Teague
Yarn:  Verdant Gryphon Mithril in Dolce Far Niente (2.1 skeins, about 1550 yards)
Needles:  3mm and 2.75mm
Cast on: July 18, 2012
Finished: November 11, 2012

Notes, thoughts, and general excited rambling…

Pattern:  It’s Ysolda, the pattern rocks.  That said, being familiar with shaping lace was a huge help.  I found everything completely clear, but I read many comments that the directions for the yoke and body were confusing, so maybe this wouldn’t be the best choice for a first sweater or even first top-down sweater.  I’ve knit oodles of top-down sweaters, and at least three or four sweaters with lace shaping, so I found the pattern easy to follow. 

Construction:  For the most part, it’s a basic top-down raglan.  When the main body portion is finished, the stitches are put on hold until the hood is knit.  You then pick up stitches up one front side, around the hood, down the other front side, and join this together with the live hem stitches to knit the garter edging in the round.  I love the look of the end result, but cramming 500-600 stitches on a 32 in circular needle made this part a bit tedious, yet not tedious enough that I was willing to go buy a longer circular.  Messing up the placement of the second row of buttonholes and having to rip out the bind off and 4 rows to fix them didn’t add to my love of this part.  And seriously, bind off loosely!

Modifications:  Not much. I added a bit of length to the body, maybe even a bit too much, but I figured better to be a little long than too short.  I knew the mesh would lengthen when blocked but wasn’t sure how much so it was a little difficult to judge length.  And given the edging construction I explained above, fixing length wouldn’t exactly be a simple process of taking out a hem bind off and adding an inch or two if the sweater didn’t block out as much as expected. 

The only other minor change was that I pretty much ignored the sleeve shaping instructions and shaped the sleeve to my arm.  I think the directions instruct you to start decreasing after about 20 rounds, but I have biceps. Apparently freakishly large enough biceps for 2 or 3 of my handknit sweaters to have too tight upper arms--lesson learned.  I started decreasing around row 50 and tweaked from there.  Also added a few rounds to the sleeve cuffs just because I like the look of a wider cuff.  Judging sleeve length was also difficult due to the stretchy mesh, so I blocked the sweater after finishing the first sleeve to make sure I was happy with the length before starting the second one.  I really didn’t want to have to rip out 2 cuffs.  And again:  bind off loosely!  Even though I was consciously trying to keep things loose, my first cuff felt tight so I ripped it out and used the stretchier bind off I use for shawls (p2tog, slide stitch back to left needle, repeat). 

Sizing:  I almost always knit a 34 inch bust size, but for Laika, I knit the 36 inch (my actual measurement is around 35.5 if anyone cares for comparison).  My teeny tiny swatch seemed to indicate that my gauge was a little smaller than what was specified, and I didn't want to take a chance on the front gaping when buttoned. Plus, I sort of liked the idea of this sweater fitting a little more loosely than some of my super fitted knits. I think the fit came out just about perfect--fitted enough to be flattering, loose enough to be comfortable and lay smoothly.  I just went and measured and the bust is about 34 inches when buttoned.  Gauge was definitely off then!

Yarn:  Ysolda notes that using a  heay laceweight instead of fingering weight yarn is an option, and I ran with that.  I love that I used laceweight, even despite my dislike of actually knitting with laceweight.  I get warm easily so I like the lighter fabric, and I like that even the high quality yarn I used was by far less expensive than most fingering weight yarns.  Laika needs a lot of yardage (yarn is held double for the garter edging).  I bought 3 skeins, which was way more than I needed (used less than 100 yards from that third skein).  Even so, I still saved $$$, and now I have about 700 yards leftover for a lace stole or something.  Not to mention, being a huge Lord of the Rings nerd, I was excited to have an opportunity to use Mithril.  I fully expect arrows and spears to bounce right off this sweater. Bonus! And if you're not a Lord of the Rings nerd, just forget that last line.

Another fun fact:  the only yarn I bought in 2012 were these 3 skeins and 1 skein of sock yarn.  Yay for stash control!  Can't say I was as restrained with the fiber purchases, but let's not go there.

BUTTONS, BUTTONS!!  Can you tell I'm sort of excited about the buttons? I was sure button choice was going to make or break this sweater.  There are so many that they had to be unique but not too flashy.  I only wanted to match the color if I found something super cool looking, otherwise, I had to find a nice contrast, but not too much of a contrast.  In other words, I expected to struggle and be ridiculously indecisive and second guess for days whether I chose the right buttons.  Nope.  The first ones I held up were meant to be.

I love the buttons I found.  LOVE them.  Good thing too since at almost $2/button, buying 22 was starting to approach the cost of the yarn.  I do feel like buying such expensive buttons was a little bit frivolous, but I figure that after conceptualizing the sweater, buying nice yarn, swatching, and knitting for over 3 months, cheaping out on buttons would be stupid.  The buttons turned this from a sweater I'm pleased with to one of my favorite knits EVER.  So yeah, a few extra bucks seems worth it.

So there ya go.  Everything you wanted to know about Laika and more.  Unless you wanted to see it with the hood up, in which case:

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I'm a pretty reserved person and not usually prone to excited outbursts or squeals of excitement, but just this once.....

That, my friends, is a finished Laika.  Buttons sewn, ends woven in, blocked.  In other words, finished.  Completely finished.  Worn to work yesterday and everything.  So once again.....SQUEEEE!

Modeled pictures and loads of details coming on Friday.  I have a ton to say because if you couldn't already tell, I LOVE THIS SWEATER!

I'll be heading back to sweater #2 and the cables that never end now.

Simple cables, but lots of them.  Every other row.  Progress ain't speedy.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


I totally lied in my last post.  Okay, not really lied, just avoided the whole truth.  Like the fact that in addition to the new scarf I cast on, I also spent most of last weekend knitting a new sock instead of Laika.  It would be one thing if I was taking time away to work on other WIPs on my list, but noooo, I'm casting on new projects.  I blame the handspun.  My desire to knit with my handspun clearly trumps my desire to finish WIPs.  Not to mention, I really need to start making a dent in my stash.

A couple of months ago, a nice fluffy package arrived filled with all sorts of fibery goodness.

Hey, when I'm lucky enough to get in on a Bee Mice Elf co-op, I'm going to make the most of it.  Mike had a good ol' time teasing me about the new fiber, and I admit, even the dogs are aware that the stash is starting to overflow.

In trying to defend my fiber acquisition, I reminded Mike that he picked out one of the braids for me to make him socks.  After I listened to how he suspected that he'd never see those socks, I marched straight to the wheel to start spinning his braid.  I suspect he might have been using a little reverse psychology. It worked.

Mike's chosen fiber (apparently Hartford Whalers' colors circa 1985):

The fiber is superwash BFL.  Soft, fluffy, drafts-like-butter BFL. I seriously loved every minute of spinning it, and not being able to tear myself from the wheel, it only took a couple of days.  I was aiming for yarn that would be around DK weight after I chain plied, and estimated that I should be able to get around 225 yards of yarn to use for An American in China socks.

Plan:  Good.  Execution: FAIL.

I divided the fiber evenly and spun 2 separate skeins. The thickness looked and measured about right, but then I checked the yardage.   Each skein was only about 80 yards for a total of 160.  It was about DK thickness but dense.  Really dense.  F*&^%^K!!

On the positive side, the yarn did come out super pretty, and there was only a 2 yard difference between my 2 skeins, so I think I'm getting better with the consistency thing.

Consistent or not, 160 yards was not nearly enough.  There went my pattern idea, and Mike nixed the idea of ankle socks. I thought about knitting him a hat instead.  Thought about begging Ravelers to sell me some more of the colorway.  Thought about ordering fiber to spin heel/toe yarn. In the end, I just chucked the yarn angrily into a bag.  Perfectly understandable.

But then I went to the LYS to buy needles for Laika, which gave me a good excuse to look for some coordinating yarn to use for heels, toes, and cuffs.  Superwash Cascade sportweight was the only yarn I could find in decent color, and since it's lighter weight than my handspun, I've had to knit the heel and toe on smaller size needles and then do some funky increasing and decreasing to get the size right.  There has been a good bit of ripping and making Mike try on the sock 500 times to make sure it fit.  Even with all that adjusting and ripping, socks with heavier weight yarn go FAST.

So they won't be tall socks.  But they will be finished, wearable, nice thick house socks for winter, which I can point to as tangible proof that packages of fiber tumbling into the house is a GOOD thing.

And see, Laika is right there with me and not being neglected at all.

Laika sleeve update: I'm almost finished with sleeve #1 and resisting the temptation to turn this into a sweater with 3/4 length sleeves.  Despite sock and scarf knitting, I have been working away on it every night this week. It occurred to me that I listed 3 sweaters I wanted to finish by the end of the year, and they all need full sleeves.  That's 5 more sleeves!  Groan.  I figure if I can finish Laika by the end of the month, I should be able to finish Low Tide in November, and can battle Vivian in December.  Yes, I'm back to my old tricks of knitting schedules and deadlines. It's who I am and I'm embracing it.  Or something.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Commitment Issues

Thanks for all the positive feedback on my last post.  It was definitely a fun one to write.  One of these days, I’ll get around to the “when to call it quits” post, but I'm still in denial about those projects, so not yet.

For weeks I've been in knitting bliss working on Laika.  I've ignored all my other projects, cancelled plans with a sock-in-progress, and a month flew by and I realized I've been knitting and not blogging.  I guess I should have realized the honeymoon had to end at some point. You know what will almost always kill a perfectly good knitting relationship?  Sleeves. 

I happily stuck with Laika through knitting the hood, and even put up with over 550 stitches crammed on my 32 inch circular to knit the garter edging.  Even after I cast off the edging and realized the bind off along the hem was a little tight and that my second row of buttonholes were not placed evenly with the first row, I stuck with this sweater.  I took apart the bind off and ripped back 4 rows and over 2,000 stitches to redo those buttonholes.  As I bound off 550+ stitches for the second time, I was sure I was going to stick with Laika until the end.  

I went into the sleeves with an open mind, even buying new 11 inch circulars so that I wouldn’t have to fuss with DPNs or magic loop.  But I’m bored.  Bored to tears.  Size 2 needles and full sleeves is a lot of knitting.  Boring knitting.  On itty bitty circs that are convenient but not exactly enjoyable to knit with.  By row 10, I knew the magic was gone, and I'm ashamed to say it, but my eye started to wander.

It started so innocently (don't these things always?) with a spin along on Ravelry and a gorgeous braid practically leaping out at me from the stash.  I rationalized that a new spinning project and taking time away from Laika wasn't cheating.  I mean spinning is a whole different craft. But it had to happen at some point.  The yarn is finished.  

Fiber from Bee Mice Elf.  BFL in "Heatwave". 420 yds, 2-ply fingering weight

I was weak.  The yarn was barely dry before I cast on a new project.

Lacy Baktus

It's just a break.  A short one.  I'll head back to Laika soon if for no other reason than the weather is finally starting to cool off, and I'm so close to having something new to wear.  I can't let pesky sleeves hinder wardrobe expansion. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

If knitting were dating, your project would be....

I saw holiday decorations in Costco last week, which was enough to jolt me into my  annual “attempt to knit-down all the WIPs before the end of the year” tradition.  I pulled my half-finished projects out of the closet, and realized that despite being married, I have a good number of relationships on the side--only with knitting projects. My WIP projects have so much in common with relationship cliches, you'd think the list was thought up by Sex and the City writers.

One-Night Stand

That project you impulsively cast on and knit furiously for a day or so only to wake up feeling a little dirty.  You shove it into a bag or closet, blame it on yarn fumes, and hope no one noticed. 

Ah, the handspun striped scarf. I knew a 1x1 rib scarf was a bad idea, but it felt so good at the time.


You start knitting a new project; you put it down. You fall in love with it all over again a few months later; it doesn’t last and you push it away again. You keep trying to go back to it and make things work, but by now there’s so much baggage, the whole thing seems like too much work. 

Oh Vivian, it's been 2 years, and all we can show for it is 3/4 of the body of a sweater and 2 ripped out sleeves.  One more try, Vivian, then we're through. I mean it this time.  Really.

Friends with Benefits

The project you go back to every now and then for a good time, but that’s it.  No expectations.  No finishing deadline.  Just a break to distract you from all the other projects causing you headaches or tears. 

My handspun afghan may take me years, but the knitting is easy, each square is instant gratification, there's no pressure, and I get to use my handspun.  Everyone should have one of these.

It's Not You, It's Me

This project is like that best guy friend that seems perfect except for the whole lack of attraction thing-- tons of great qualities, but no chemistry. 

This Hermione sock has a lot going for it: merino cashmere sock yarn, an easy pattern with a little texture, and it’s a nice portable project.  But I’m just not feeling it.  

Good on Paper 

You think everything should work out.  The yarn is great, it’s perfect for the pattern, and you got gauge.  Despite everything it has going for it, the project is not sweeping you off your feet. This one is going to take a little more effort than you thought for things to work out.  Maybe it will, maybe it won’t.

Low-tide ripples, I really think I like you, but your fabric is a little dense, and geez, those cables are rather tedious. You've got potential though so I'm keeping an open mind.

Marriage Material

There might be some bumps along the road, but you’re happy with the project, you generally enjoy knitting it, and potential is there for a great finished item. 

Laika started out well, and we did hit a little slow patch, but she's my one and only right now.  Hip increases are finished, and I'm only a few rows from the main body portion being finished.  We spent the whole weekend together; I think I'm in love.

So there you go--my 2012 WIP line up (afghan exempted from the end of the year goal), most of which resemble rather unhealthy relationships.  This could get interesting...

Friday, September 7, 2012

Finished Object Friday: The Birdhouse Scarf

Back in January I started weaving a scarf with my new loom.  Everyone says weaving goes fast.  The only problem is that it only goes fast if you take the loom out of the closet.  Isn't this blog is just a wealth of useful information?  Don't answer that.  Nevertheless, after over 8 months, I can finally present my first finished weaving project.

Yarn:  Rainy Days and Wooly Dogs Strychnine, Little Birdhouse in My Soul
Pattern: Plain weave, 84 ends, 10 dent reed.
Finished Size: length=79 inches, including fringe; width=7 inches

Part of the reason the scarf lingered for so long in the closet is because I ran out of yarn and wanted the scarf to be another foot longer.  By the time I sought out some more yarn and a generous Raveler sent me some of her leftovers, I had completely lost interest in the project.  Only when I had a bout of insomnia a week or so ago was I motivated enough to pull out the loom and finish the scarf.  I'm happy with the finished project, although it certainly reveals I have a lot of practice ahead of me.  The main issue?  Edges.  One side is nice and neat, but the other?  Not so much.

I'm a little discouraged that I haven't been motivated to spend more time on learning to weave, but then I remind myself that it took a few tries before I really dove into spinning as well.  There were several false starts with spindles before the obsession really took hold.  Every relationship takes work; I know weaving and I will grow to love each other soon.  Before I start my next project, I think I'm going to spend some time watching the Craftsy lessons on Rigid Heddle Weaving.  A little instruction might be just what I need to feel more comfortable with my loom and eager to get weaving.  Well that and figuring out what else I can do with fabric from a small loom that is not a scarf.

Until then, just the one pretty scarf to admire.

I'm going back to my spinning wheel now.  Happy Friday all!

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Friday, August 31, 2012

Finished Object Friday: Helm

What does everyone need in August?  A winter hat, of course.  Duh.

Pattern:  Helm by Stephen West
Cast on:  Can't remember...a few months ago
Finished:  August 22, 2012
Yarn:  2 ply handspun from Fiber Optic superwash merino fiber, "Peacock"

I cast on this hat when I needed a break from a cabled sweater I was working on.  Note to self:  when taking a break from a sweater because you are tired of the cables, don't cast on a cabled hat.  A few rows into the cable pattern I realized my mistake, and Helm was tucked into the bottom of the knitting bag for awhile.  A few rows here and there over the last few months and ta-da, finished hat.  In general, a cool pattern (but really what Stephen West hat pattern isn't?), and it's perfect for showing off nice squishy semi-solid yarns.  I can see making this one again.  When my hands recover from the cables that is.

The only issue I have with the pattern is the sort-of earflaps, which are both my favorite and least favorite parts of the hat. The earflaps are awesome because they create a shape that completely covers ears, but they are shaped with short rows.  Everyone says not to pick up the wraps when you use short rows in garter stitch, and while this worked on one side, on the other, not so much.

Uh, yeah, the wraps always disappear in garter stitch and never leave holes.  Sure. 

But whatever, nothing a few stitches can't tighten up and with Helm, another skein of handspun bites the dust.  This was my third attempt at knitting this particular skein.  I was about to declare it cursed after knitting almost the entire skein twice only to not like the pattern on attempt 1 and to run out of yarn on attempt 2.  Helm to the rescue!

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Good Citizen

This is what the first 2 hours of jury duty looks like.


The knitting dropped off quickly after those first couple of hours when I was actually selected for a jury.  The general public does not seem to understand that garter stitch and listening to testimony actually go beautifully together.  For some reason I decided not to try to point this out to the judge and dutifully kept the knitting tucked away in my bag while in the courtroom.

Knitting in the jury room during our breaks has sparked some interesting conversation.  No, I did not grow up knitting as a child, nor was I taught by my mother or grandmother.  Yes really, it was a grown-up decision I made all by myself (with the help of a couple of enabling coworkers).  A couple women wished they knit but insisted they don't have the time.  Um, you just talked about the 2 hours of television you're going to watch tonight, but whatever, I smiled sympathetically.  Must be rough to be so swamped, and no, I didn't see Project Runway this week.  My favorite though was that apparently I only have the time to knit because I don't have children.  Seriously?  I'm sure none of you other knitters out there have children either.  Wait you do?  You work full-time and have children and knit?  Will wonders never cease? 

And no, I did not get my hand-dyed merino cashmere laceweight at Michael's.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Work-in-Progress Wednesday: Clockwork

The road of self-discovery was rather humbling this week.

Lesson 1:  I am not in the kick-ass shape I imaged.  Not exactly a news flash since I’ve been slacking since June, but even though I can boast completing a marathon and a half-Iron distance triathlon in the last six months, when confronted with the Insanity workout DVDs, I still collapsed on the floor in heap of sweat while gasping for air.  My quads feel like lead, and stairs are not my friend.  Oh yeah, and I’m only on day 2 of 60.  It’s going to be a long 2 months.

But you guys don’t really care about that right?  You’re here for the knitting.  That brings me to:

Lesson 2:  I AM AN IDIOT

Ages ago I planned to knit Clockwork, bought the pattern, and then whined when I realized I didn’t have as much yarn as the pattern called for.  Anyone remember that pity-party?  Apparently I needed 16 months of continuing to daydream about a red and cream Clockwork to come to the ridiculously obvious conclusion that it’s just a scarf knit lengthwise, and I could knit a narrower version.  Seriously, it took 16 months for that to occur to me.  Within hours of my monumental epiphany, the pattern was printed, yarn was wound, and Clockwork was in progress.

With the easy Citron project wrapped up and Laika currently acting like a black-hole of knitting, Clockwork is my new go-to project.  Is it all I hoped and dreamed?  No idea yet, but I'm enjoying it so I'm not stressing about the end result. After weeks of laceweight yarn and size 2 needles for Laika, I'm absolutely loving sportweight and size 6.  I thought I’d be further along after spending 10 hours at a dog agility event on Saturday, but the day was hectic and I was exhausted. Juno too.

Despite the blue ribbon, it was not one of our better days--only 2 clean runs of 5.  I think we were both hot, tired, and out of sorts.  Hiking and swimming with Rugby on Sunday was more her speed.  Wet dirty dogs are happy dogs!

Happy dogs will still refuse to look at the camera though. 

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Finished Object Friday: Starling Citron

Recent epiphany:  the amount of time it takes me to post a finished knitted item is directly related to how I feel about said item.  Jordan, which I was thrilled with, I posted within 2 days.  Citron?  It was finished over a month ago.  I could drone on that I was on vacation, or just too busy lately, and the colors weren't coming out well in pictures and I wanted to wait until I got better ones, but really, those are all just excuses.  The plain and simple truth is that my feeling on Citron is best summed up in one word:  meh.  And it's not that easy to motivate to sit down and write about something that you are not excited about.

The crazy thing is that it came out almost exactly as I envisioned and planned.  Apparently I had to see the actual item and not just the picture in my head to realize it is so not me.

Example of color wonkiness

I do not do bold stripey shawls. Unfortunately I had to make one to realize that.  So I'm chalking up these few weeks of knitting and over 700 yards of handspun (those runched sections absolutely devoured yarn) to a lesson learned.  I will be trying to remind myself regularly as I drool over gorgeous handpainted braids of fiber that solid colors are my friend.  Or at least slowing transitioning gradients.  And maybe variegated braids that aren't as vibrant.  Or I could spin the fiber differently to give it a more heathered appearance. Or....yeah, I don't see myself passing up all variegated braids anytime soon.  How about just:  choose wisely?

The good thing is that I adored every minute of knitting Citron.  Even those beastly 700+ stitch rows (I seriously think it took about 90 minutes to bind off).  The handspun came out so well that I think I just liked knitting with it no matter what I was knitting, even endless rows of stockinette.  And talk about utilizing every last bit of handspun--I had maybe 2 grams left.  So while I am firmly in the "product knitting" camp, even I can't regret all the happy hours this shawl provided.  You win some, you lose some--I'm calling this one a draw.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Work-in-Progress Wednesday: Laika

You know those vacations that you feel like you need a second vacation to recover from?  That would be my week in Lake Placid in mid-July.  We’ve been back for weeks, and I’m just starting to feel like I’ve got a handle on things again.  It was a fantastic week in a house filled with friends, good swim, bike, run training for me, and I got to watch Mike cross the finish line of his very first Ironman triathlon.  Amazing. But exhausting.  Especially when you top off a very active week with 2 long car trips.  I had some lofty crafting expectations for my “vacation” week, almost none of which amounted to anything.  My spindle never made it out of the bag, and my already lackluster Tour de Fleece fizzled to non-existence.

Despite a bag packed with 3 or 4 projects, the only knitting of the week, and pretty much the only knitting since, has been on Laika.

Sadly, not much to show for over 3 weeks of knitting.  I’m not sure what I expected from a sweater knit with size 2.5 needles and laceweight yarn, but in theory, I started this project with hopes of having a lightweight sweater to wear in the fall.  Even though I’ve been knitting Laika almost exclusively for weeks now, that goal is starting to appear rather delusional.  At this rate, the body alone will take a couple of months, and then when I think about sleeves and the hood…Oh. My.  I’m going to be knitting this sweater forever.  Perhaps I’ll shoot for a spring sweater. For 2014.  

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Next WIP

In contrast to my swatch-free spring projects, I swatched for 2 projects in the last 2 days.

Yes, the darker pink swatch is sort of pathetically small, but I was really convinced I was going to end up starting the light pink shrug.  The first swatch raised a bunch of doubts so I hurriedly swatched for Laika this afternoon since I seem to be under the impression that I cannot leave town without a new knitting project.  It always cracks me up that my knitting bag usually gets more attention than the rest of my packing.

I knit just enough for Laika to see that gauge appears to be okay.  Pattern is printed and yarn and needles are packed away, ready to cast on as we drive out of town Wednesday morning.  Today has been too crazy to actually start the sweater.   I'll be spending about 20 hours in the car over the next week, so maybe I'll have a legit WIPW post with actual progress for next week. 

And sadly, since today was so hectic, Citron remains without photos, so no FO Friday post this week.  It was a tough call between actually packing or spending time photographing and writing about a shawl.  The shawl is pretty cool, but having enough clothes and food for the week won out.  Go figure.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Have I mentioned that I love my Jordan top?  Love. It.  I’ve worn it twice in 4 days and not because I neglected the laundry or something.  It goes with everything, is super comfortable, and I adore it. My next project has a lot to live up to, and with Citron finished (pictures and details on Friday!), I’m on the hunt for patterns desperately hoping to repeat some of my Jordan success. 

I seem to have the best luck with lacey lightweight tops.  Something light I can throw over a camisole with jeans is pretty much my work uniform.  Conveniently, I have 2 sweater quantities of laceweight yarn waiting in the wings for just such a project.

Option 1 is Mithril from the Verdant Gryphon that I picked up at MD Sheep and Wool, intended for Laika.

Option 2 is the laceweight yarn I whined was taking forever to spin a couple of months ago.  It did take forever, but the end result was over 1500 yards of my first laceweight.

I’ve been going back and forth over patterns for this yarn, but I think I’ve finally decided on the Barton Cottage Shrug (Ravelry link) from the Interweave Jane Austen Knits 2011 magazine.  While I’m not thrilled with the idea of buying a $14 magazine for one pattern, I really think has the most potential of all the laceweight sweater patterns I’ve poured over for the last several weeks.

Knowing myself, I would likely dither over which to start for days, possibly weeks, then decide, but change my mind and start from scratch searching for new patterns.  Since I’m heading out of town on Wednesday, I need to have it figured out and ideally swatched (yes, I’m really going to swatch this time) by Tuesday night.   Perfect timing to post the new project for this week’s WIPW.  See you then.

On a side note, WTF is up with me and pink lately?

Friday, July 13, 2012

FO Friday: Jordan

Well it took me long enough to finally get around to seaming the sleeves onto the body (possibly as long as it took me to knit the entire top), but Jordan has finally made it to FO Friday!

Pattern:  Jordan by Wendy Bernard
Yarn: M&K Linen (aka, impulse buy at LYS), about 615 yards
Needles: 5 US 
CO: April 2012
Finished: July 2012

I’m thrilled with how the top came out.  It is yet another project that I was too lazy to swatch for and decided to wing it and see what happened.  So far this method has been working out rather well for me. The length is perfect, the fit is perfect, and I’m sure this top is going to get a ton of wear.  I knit the pattern with no modifications, with the possible exception of adding an inch or so to the body.  The pattern is clear, the lace patterns are easy to memorize, and the knitting really did go fast when I devoted more than 5 minutes to it.

There is really nothing else to say about it, which admittedly makes this a pretty boring blog post.  I’ll try to have some disaster next time so I’ll have more to share. 

Happy Friday all!  Visit Tami’s for more FO Friday!