Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A finished sweater, pretty much.

I finished this sweater awhile ago, and finally, we had some sun today, so I took some photos. It unfortunately does not fit. I feel like this is the story of my knitting life lately.

It's too short, doesn't fit in the bust, and the sleeves are a bit tight. However, it was an excellent all-around sweater design lesson, in addition to being several smaller lessons, such as Measure Your Arms Better; Yes, You Really Do Want That V-Neck As Low As You Think; and the always classic If The Wool Looks Felty In The Skein, It Will Probably Look Felty As A Sweater.

However, it was a quick, enjoyable knit, so I think I'll just make another one that actually fits. Perhaps in a non-felty yarn this time, too. Love the color, though! I made this from Malabrigo Worsted in the colorway "hollyhock". It's a lace pattern I got out of a Barbara Walker book, and the rest came out of my head. Next time, some paper and pencil first, eh?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Embroidery can be hard

A bit ago I decided to knock off an Anthropologie cardigan, because I saw someone else doing it, and I like to copy. Not really. I just liked the sweater. So I went to the thrift store, and I didn't find a cardigan that I thought would work. Went to Walmart, and the same. But Walmart had women's 3XL sweatshirts on clearance for $3, and I thought, hmm. So I bought 3, took them home, and cut them up. Here's what I've got so far:

I cut it down the front and back, and took out quite a bit of fabric from each. Sewed the backs together with some shaping, and took in about a foot from each side. Ok, not really, but it was probably close. I took in the sides, and made the sleeves fitted. Cut off the ribbing, too. So now I have a sweatshirt cardigan. Then I knitted some 1x1 ribbing and sewed it to one cuff. I like it. I tried the embroidery, but it's hard. And I broke my yarn needle. I think I need a very large metal needle with a big, big eye. 

I only did 3 "v"s of embroidery before I broke the needle, and I'm pretty sure they took as long as knitting the cuff. I need a different strategy. I figure that I've got time, though, because it won't be cold enough to wear this here until probably November, unless we get a freak cold snap, or if the air conditioner at work goes haywire and I have to wear sweaters in the lab. Could happen. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Progress, sort of

Still knitting along on my Rusted Root.

I labeled it, because otherwise, it just looks like a pile of knitting. I've got some wicked calluses on my thumbs from this yarn. I'm not sold on cotton yet- I really don't like the way it makes my hands feel. I expect I will appreciate the cotton when I can wear this top in warm weather without roasting to death. But until then, ow.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Very Nice Birthday Gift.

I made this excellent llama hat for myself a long time ago. It doesn't fit. That sucks.

It was the Andean Chullo kit from Knit Picks. It was going to be my first color work project, but I got about 2 rows in a realized I was lacking some necessary skill. So I put it on hold while I learned how to do colorwork by making a much simpler, two-color vest. Then when I started this hat, I apparently neglected to check on the size as I was making it. I mean, it does physically fit on my head, but it's tight, and I get a little light-headed when I wear it, which I figure is not good for doing things like, for example, riding a bike. So I've decided to gift the hat to my sister, who a) has a smaller head, and b) lives in a colder clime and can wear it for much more of the year.

Makes me sad to give it away, but it's just sitting in a box at my house, and that's not doing anyone any good.

So off it goes. The kit came with enough yarn to make at least 2 hats, so someday, when I'm feeling motivated, I'll make a slightly bigger one for myself. That, or maybe some llama mittens. Hats kind of look silly on me anyway.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Cotton yarn is tricksy.

Here's my Rusted Root.

It's a top-down raglan, which I like because the sleeves are pretty much done already, and there's no seaming. I don't like it because I think the neckline is slighty strange, but that could be my fault and not the fault of the pattern. It's taking me much longer to make this than I thought it would. This is due to a combination of the cotton yarn (it's literally buffing my thumb shiny, and it hurts), not being able to simultaneously read and knit at lunch (because my dang library book won't stay open on its own, so I have to hold it), and my recently remembered love of Gallo sav blanc. That one did in my knitting time last night.

On a better note, I like the lace panel now. On Monday, I hated it, and spent like an hour brainstorming ways to insert a different lace without ripping back the 10 rows I'd already done. I suspect that I could have ripped and re-knit in the time I thought about ripping and re-knitting, but whatever. I think it looks the way I want now, so I'm happy.

It's sort of like leaves, see?

I know this is the second knitting-on-a-desk photo in a row. It's been rainy here, and that makes for crappy photos. Here's hoping it stops raining soon so that a) I can take better pictures and b) I can wear my new coral capris outside. I have a serious coral problem lately. I'm pretty sure that Pantone decides their color of the year, and it automatically becomes my favorite color. I used to hate coral. Now, I loves it. Who knew.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A General Update.

1. The leafy partial sweater is done, and it's ok, I guess. I wish I would have made it bigger, which is something that I wish with nearly every sweater I make. Clearly, I am dilusional about what size I really am.

2. I started a new sweater. Well, t-shirt. It's Rusted Root, and I'm making it with the yarn I so carefully selected for that Vogue tank top I'm obsessed with. It was just not going to work for that.

3. The accidentally-striped socks are sort of progressing. I probably could finished the second sock last night, but I watched that Justin Timberlake movie "In Time", and it required a little more attention than I ususally devote to movies. So the sock remains incomplete.

4. Also, I discovered Picnik. It's fun, but apparently going away in April, so I definitely need to use it as much as possible until then.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Long-Put-Off Sweater.

I've wanted to make this sweater since I got this copy of Vogue Knitting way back in spring of 2011.

Yesterday I was examining my Ravelry queue, because I'm pretty sure I haven't updated it in months, when I came across this cardigan. (An aside: is "cardigan" really the right word? "Vest", maybe? "Another partial sweater", in the words of my bestie?) It occurred to me that I had the perfect yarn already in my stash. Cue obsession. I think I was home from work all of 5 minutes before I had the yarn and pattern out. I'm using some Bamboo Ewe that I got on clearance at Michael's a long time ago. Not sure I love the yarn- I think it's making me extra sneezy. But it's soft, and the color is pretty. It's almost exactly the same as the sweater in the picture, which I don't love because I like to be different, but I do love because it's a lovely sweater.

I was having an embarrassingly hard time with this lace pattern. It doesn't look hard. But I had to un-knit a ton, on every row. I came to the frustrated conclusion that the pattern was poorly written, but it's possible that the, ahem, half a bottle a wine I drank before starting was the real problem. But probably not. I'm an excellent pattern reader. So, poorly written pattern- that's what I'm telling myself. Then finally, I realized that the leaf pattern is really similar to the leafy pattern on the pink sweater I finished knitting this week, and my brain went, Oh! I got it. And now I don't even need the chart. Much better.

I think it will be another quick knit, which is good, because it's a wool blend, and it's getting delightfully warm here. But I could always wear it over a dress, like the model in the top picture, and be fine.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A yarn dilemma, perhaps.

Since I got my latest Vogue Knitting (the spring/summer issue), I cannot stop thinking about this top.

How beautiful is that? I recognize the lace pattern as the Frost Flowers one that's on the cover of Barbara Walker's first stitch treasury book. I've always loved that pattern, and I think it works so well on this top. I can picture myself wearing this all the time. I mean, all the time.

The yarn called for in the pattern is something that seems obscure- it's Bahia, a viscose/acrylic blend that only has 80-something projects on Ravelry. Number of projects on Ravelry is how I judge a yarn. I'm a judger. So I looked and looked for that yarn, but I can't find it anywhere on the interwebs. Also- perhaps I'm just ignorant here- is a man-made fiber really going to block that well? This looks like a lace pattern that requires severe blocking. So that makes me think that I should use an animal fiber, but this is a tank top, and I live in California, so maybe I should use cotton, but that will probably be super heavy... this is what the inside of my brain has been like for the last few days. Round and round. It's just yarn, Emily. Get it together, right? I need to just pick something so I can make it. I really want to make it.