Archive for February, 2008

Hats and Hair and Sweaters

February 23, 2008

Look! An FO!

(excuse the bathroom shot – it was the only room in the house with good light!)

It’s the Last Minute Purled Beret (links to pattern pdf) from Knit and Tonic! The pattern suggests you turn it inside out so the reverse stockinette side shows, but I prefer the stockinette. As you recall, this is the second time I’ve knit this beret – my first attempt would have easily fit a watermelon. This one is still a tiny bit big, and it’s not as slouchy as I would like, but I think it still works – and I don’t want to knit it again!

Also, I’m quite pleased with how berets look on me these days – this past Wednesday I got my hair cut from shoulder length into the bob you see here, and I think berets set off the new haircut nicely! I got about six or seven inches cut off, I think. I go through this cycle every couple of years – I let my hair grow and grow and think, oooh, I’m gonna let it get really long, and then it gets to a certain point, it makes me crazy, and I get it all cut off. I think I’m just not meant to have long hair. I also got some bangs – not much, just some swoopy ones that you can’t see in the above photo.

And…I broke the yarn diet. I had been so good – I gave up yarn to save money for an upcoming vacation, but then Knitpicks posted their sale…and you can figure out the rest. But I was really good – I only got enough yarn to make a sweater – yes, a sweater!! I’ve been wanting to try one for a while, and I think I’ve found a good candidate. It’s from Classic Elite‘s webletter – the Duchess Raglan:

The construction is fairly simple – in the round (no seams!), raglan shaping (which I like – especially with the slip stitch detail here) and in a bulky yarn (should knit up fast). I went with Wool of the Andes Bulky in Mauve – it looks like it should knit up to the same gauge, and I like the color. And with shipping, only $21 for enough yarn for a sweater! I even got an extra ball, cause you never know. I guess I am going to make the second size – the measurements listed are for 32 1/2, then it jumps to 37 – I’ve a 34 inch bust. I guess I need to decide if I want 1 1/2 inches negative ease or 3 inches positive. Hmmm. May need to do some more research into this. I can’t imagine that I would wear the smallest – although my bust is fairly small, my shoulders are fairly broad. I will almost certainly have to add length, though – I’m 5’9 and long torsoed and nothing is ever long enough for me. So THAT’S what the extra ball will be for!

Red is the color

February 17, 2008

Well, burgundy, anyway. More progress on the Shetland Triangle:

You can’t tell a whole lot about it from this photo, being that’s is lace and obviously unblocked, but I think this is going to be real purty. I just finished my fifth body repeat – got one whole repeat done today while we were watching Men in Black. Of course, the going will only get slower at this point, since it just keeps getting wider and wider, but I’m still enjoying the knit.

Also started this:

The Robin’s Egg Blue Hat from I Dream of Knitting – although mine is obviously not blue! I’m using a yarn that’s chunkier than what the pattern calls for (Encore Mega), so I decreased the cast on by 10 stitches, and made the flap ten stitches instead of twelve. I’m kind of flying by the seat of my pants on this one, so we’ll see how it turns out. I would probably be done already, since the yarn is so fat, but seed stitch takes me FOREVER, and I’m always slower with fat yarn and fat needles (these are size 10s). Given that it’s 60 degrees here today, I may not have much more time to wear it, so I should probably get on the stick!

Also, an FO:

My Cabled Scarf in Taos – this one was a long time coming. I blogged about this scarf’s long history here – but it is done at last! Even in time to wear it this winter! I do wish it were longer, but I like it all the same.

I finally got the new Interweave Knits this week – for some reason, my bookstore didn’t get it until a week late – and it was making me CRAZY. I was almost stalking our periodicals guy – asking him every day. He probably thinks I’m nuts – but it finally came in. I had purposefully not been opening the Knitting Daily emails that pertained to it, because I like to read and absorb the magazine in one sitting! I thought there were some very pretty patterns in this issue – particularly the Printed Silk Cardigan and the Sylph Cardigan – but I’m probably not likely to make anything from this issue. I’m just not up to sweaters yet – particularly super complicated ones like these. But I still love to look! I also love the galleries they’ve been doing on Knitting Daily – such a good idea. Were I ever to make one of these, those would be so helpful.

I also really liked the little short sleeved cardi on the back cover – that is something that I really would like to try to make – but apparently you can only get the pattern with the purchase of Forbidden yarn – but at $47 a skein, I can’t even afford one ball to get the pattern (much less however many it would take to make the pattern). I hope they make it available some other way – as a separate purchase, for example, because I really do like the sweater. Here’s hoping!

A Shawl? Why not? Plus more fingerless gloves…

February 9, 2008

So I have determined I should knit a shawl. Not sure why – I don’t even know that I would wear such a thing, but I have seen so many gorgeous ones – my favorite has been Brooklyn Tweed’s Shetland Triangle – I mean, really. Does it get any more gorgeous than that?

So I checked out Wrap Style, and it doesn’t look all that hard – so I figured I would give it a whirl. I’ve had two skeins of Gloss sitting around for forever – well, one is tied up into a partial scarf from Victorian Lace Today, but I wasn’t feeling the love on that one, and haven’t worked on it in forever, so it may be sacrificed to my own Shetland Triangle. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

That’s the 20 set up rows, plus two repeats of the body. You can’t tell much about the pattern from this photo, but it is very pretty. Once I figured out the cast on – and ripped it back twice – I was pretty much good to go. You do a provisional crochet cast on, knit some rows, then turn what you’ve got, pick up and knit, then turn again and unzip the cast on and pick up those stitches – I just couldn’t get my head around it at first. Plus, I was totally confused by the fast that it says in the book it’s constructed from the wide edge to the point – how can that be when you start with a two stitch cast on? I puzzled over that for a while, then just decided to go ahead and knit the thing and see what happened. Well, it IS constructed from the widest point – the repeats add width as you go!

I only have ripped back once since I figured out the cast one – in the first body repeat, I made the same error in two of the pattern rows, and knew I wouldn’t be able to live with it. Fortunately, I had used a lifeline, and only had to rip back about five rows.

With only two skeins of yarn, this won’t be a huge shawl, but I think it’s going to be awfully pretty! I like Gloss a lot – it feels nice to work with and the burgundy color is very pretty. I question whether or not it would be good for socks, like it is advertised as, but it’s working up nicely for this project.

I also finally finished hubby’s Dashings

I knit one with the yarn left over from his hat, then didn’t have enough for a second. So I went to pick up another skein, and of course, they didn’t have the same dye lot. The new dye lot was pretty different – much brighter – less muddy. I wish I had this one originally! But he didn’t seem to care that the two gloves would be slightly different colors. However, when I cast off for the second, and compared it to the first, it was a good two inches longer. Turns out, I didn’t pay close enough attention to my own pattern mods – oops! I shortened them considerably, but knit an extra eight rows into the second glove. So I made a THIRD glove – all signs were pointing to it. I could handle if they were two different colors, but NOT two different lengths, too. Fortunately, it’s a quick knit and only took two nights. Knit in yummy Malabrigo – possibly my favorite yarn. So soft, so warm, so pretty – I would like to knit a big old blanket out of it to curl up on the couch with!

And, I made myself a pair of garter stitch mitts (links to Ysolda‘s free pattern):

Made from some random Simply Soft I had lying around. Let me tell you, this pattern is ingenious. It uses short rows to shape the thumb gusset – brilliant! Really fast and easy, once you get the hang of the short rows. Unfortunately, the kitchener stitch I did on the second mitt to sew it up got all wonky, so it’s a little uneven, but I don’t know that I care enough to knit another one.

One final note – got my new Patternworks catalog a few days ago – I love to thumb through it and look at all the yarn – and they are now carrying Shokay – how much would I love to get my hands on some skeins of that? It’s made from yak down – how exotic! But at $32 a skein, probably will not happen any time soon for me. But get this – in the magazine, they offer a free pattern with purchase of this yarn – a striped stockinette scarf – that calls for NINE balls of yarn. That would be a total yarn cost of – wait for it – $288! Yep, that’s a little rich for my blood. But hey, if there are people out there that want to – and can – pay almost $300 to knit a scarf, more power to them!