March 29, 2004

Absence Makes the Heart Grow.......

Perhaps my finishing spree took more out of me than I realized. These days I am up for nothing more complex than a mindless sock.

Koigu, dear Koigu.
The husband-unit made sad whimpering sounds upon finding a worn spot on the foot bottom of his favorite pair of handknit wool socks. He was made to feel better with the application of a little Koigu and a brave start. So badly did I feel, that I gave him free rein at the sock yarn basket. Little did I know that he would snag these lovely orange-y skeins which were a giftie from Kerstin. Which I'd been eyeing for myself, oh selfish beastie that I am. Gold star for me for sharing. I'm considering a blog-series of Crappy Sweaters I Have Knit. Truthfully, most of my serious blunders are but a memory, since I'm a champion thrower-outer. But there are some still around to remind me of less successful knitting days. Perhaps pointing out Knitting Mistakes That I Have Made might better explain my utter wet-blanket-ness sometimes when my partners-in-crime show enthusiasm for a dangerous but alluring knit-wear design. We shall see if I'm woman enough to show the dark underbelly.

March 23, 2004

Hat Trick

Presenting a Knitting Hat Trick:

The Wannabe wants Spring to spring before venturing outdoors. Brrr.
Three sweaters done in a little over a week? Right here, baby. Taking on all contenders for the title of Finishing Queen. However, in the interests of full disclosure, I finished knitting the Wannabe back in January. I couldn't face sewing in all those ends, and like a wussy I let the pieces sit. Until Alison gave me a gentle kick-in-the-pants recently about being a slacker knit-a-longer. A slacker no longer, Alison dear. This sweater is knit in Phildar Falaise from a Phildar pattern professionally translated by Becky. The yarn really exceeded my expectations for Knitting Fun. And I did spend my share of time just stretching strands of this cotton/acrylic/lycra blend and watching it BO-ING back into shape. Have I previously mentioned that I'm easily entertained? Mods. You knew there had to be some, right? Based on feedback from other knitters, I lengthened the body a little above the stripe and lengthened the armholes by about a half inch to avoid what others had characterized as a bit of a binding fit. Were I to knit this again, I would lengthen the pink lower body part a little bit more to avoid the dreaded Belly Peek-Through when wearing low-rise jeans. The neckline as written is unfinished. Which looked great in the front, but the free stockinette edge at the back neck rolled like a mother. First I tried a row of single crochet around the neck. Although this edging worked great for Tuja, frankly I thought it looked like crap in Falaise. That may be a function of my crochet ineptitude. Next try was a pick up stitches knitwise then bind them off purlwise. This I liked. What's next you ask? First up, a command performance in rayon ribbon for a friend that I started in the fall and let languish. After that, I'm taking suggestions for something spring-y.

March 20, 2004

Now Playing: Tuja - Live and Uncut

The clouds have broken, and the sun has re-appeared!

Tuja, their way.

Tuja, my way.

Tuja is a pattern out of Dalegarn #116. I knitted it up in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. Now, many folks have had their problems with this yarn, e.g. pilling and looking worn almost immediately after being knit. But this particular batch of eggplant has treated me well. Even after I ripped out and re-knit the sleeve caps at least four...count 'em....four times, the yarn looks good as new. Here is the snow bunny shot.

Girly purple sweater? Yup, but don't be fooled....
As usual, my row gauge was off, resulting in a shorter sweater from hemline to armhole. This actually was a good thing, because if I had knit the sweater to the length specified in the pattern, it would have pooled quite unattractively around my waist. The sweater is fairly narrow at the bottom, which is unaccomodating to hips n' butt. In addition, I significantly shortened the armhole depth. This sweater, in my opinion, looks better with a closer fitting sleeve and armhole. And, who am I kidding. This mod was essential in order to center the cable motif over my...ahem....modest bustline. All in all, I would recommend this sweater as a fun, quick knit. Anyone wanting to knit along, head over to Tuja Knit-A-Long Central.

March 18, 2004

Got Snow?

If it ever stops snowing and the sun re-appears, I will be able to show you Tuja. Let's see.....dark eggplant sweater + no natural light = no damned pictures. And perhaps, if I'm extra diligent, there might even be another finished sweater around these parts......

March 14, 2004

Watch out World....Rogue's a Cardie!

Claudia's Blog proudly presents the world-wide debut of the Rogue Zip-Front Cardie!

I will be stylin' for the rest of cold-weather-season..
Honestly, since I finished sewing in the zipper I haven't taken Rogue off. It fits fabulously and has the feel of an old, comfy favorite sweater already. I have nothing but praise for Jenna's pattern. A fun knit and an outrageously gorgeous garment. The very best $6.00 I've spent in a long, long while. And what's up with Rowan discontinuing Magpie Tweed yarn? This is good, good stuff...nice colors, well-spun and pretty soft for a rustic sort of yarn. Perhaps I'll give them an earful. Want more pix? Hey, I aim to please:

Little Red Riding Hood? Yeah, baby!
Although I'm unlikely to wear the hood up in real life, it makes me giggle to see it up. But then, I am easily amused. For a close-up look at how the throat cabling looks with a zipper jammed through it, click here. Can't get enough zipper? Well, then. You know what to do. If you are interested in making your Rogue a cardie, look for my mods to be posted here.

March 12, 2004

Someone's A Birthday Girl!

Who is having a Friday birthday? Why its my lovely sister Silvia!

Cake anyone?
Go on over and wish her a happy day. Maybe if we're lucky she'll show off her fabulous pressies. P.S. The zipper came! Thanks for the excellent zipper karma.

March 11, 2004

Some Day My Zipper Will Come

Now. If everyone reading this closes their eyes and sends mental energy to help lift a small, defenseless red zipper through the tortures of the U.S. mail from NYC to Boston, I would truly appreciate it.

This here is no help whatsoever.
ARGHHH!!! OK. I'm over it.

March 6, 2004

Claudia's Blog: The Agony Column

**** Dear Auntie Agony: My zipper for Rogue is the wrong kind! What should I do? Claudia Dear Claudia: Let me guess. When the zipper arrived you didn't look closely at it, did you? You said, "oh look, what a nice zipper color match". But you didn't check on cool 2-way versus boring one-way until AFTER Rogue was seamed and ready. Right? RIGHT? Moron. You deserve to wait for a replacement. And I know how you love to wait. Yours in agony, Auntie **** Dear Auntie Agony: Why does my armhole cap on Tuja give me big fat wrinkles of extra fabric on each side of it? Claudia Dear Claudia: You again? Geez louise, put me on your payroll whydontcha. OK, I sense some willy-nilly pattern fudging here. I'll bet you cut tons of length off this armhole to make the cably-bit sit correctly over your tits, (such as they are). Redesigning the shape of the sleeve cap won't help you (and I'm sure you've tried and failed). Dollars to donuts you need less stitches in that sleeve to start out with. Rip it back and get rid of a couple of increases. Rip it back girly girl. And don't you have a Monday deadline? What are you doing writing to me! Get back to work you slacker. Yours in agony, Auntie

March 4, 2004

Boring Knitting, Cute Dogs

Those of you sick of Rouge Rogue, your prayers are answered. That dastardly sweater is blocking as I type away. Click on the link only if you want PROOF of Rogue knitting finally being over...a more pedestrian picture would be hard to imagine. To make up for the boring knitting picture, let me present guest canines Oley (big dog) and Pecan (little dog) demonstrating True Friendship.

Honestly. How funny is this?

March 1, 2004

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Having split apart the lovely cabling of Rogue at the V-neck, it became clear that without an edging, the poor cardie would have that unfinished look reminiscent of the oh-my-god-I-slept-through-my-alarm-and-now-I-can't-shower sort of situation. Slipping the edge stitches, slapping in a zipper and calling it a day would be a felonious act on such a stylish sweater. Enter applied I-cord....

I ask again, can you see my grafting? Lie to me if you must.
The hood is designed with a three stitch stockinette rolled edge. Somehow this became four stitches in my version. I picked up about 85 stitches along each front edge and put them on a circular needle. Then with two bamboo double points, I knit on a four stitch I-cord band, once from the bottom up and once on the other side from the top down. On the bottom-up side (pictured), I grafted the live stitches of the I-cord onto the existing four edging stitches of the hood. On the top-down side, I did a provisional cast-on so that I would have live stitches to graft onto the hood at the end of the game. Rogue cardie is now zipper-slapping-ready. In the category of learn-something-new, I recently enjoyed the exploits of Bonne Marie as she re-designed a sleeve cap. The rule, she said, was sleeve cap = 2/3 the height of the armhole. Hmmmmm......< insert dream sequence music > The scene: the bar at Stratton Mountain lodge. The sleet is swirling outside, but inside, snug and warm on the table next to a frosty Jack and Coke, is Tuja. Wonky Row Gauge Queen is redoing the sleeve cap pattern. She carefully measures the sleeve cap slowly growing on her needles to the completed armhole. Why, they match perfectly! She is happy, and reaches for her frosty beverage in celebration. < end dream sequence music > Unsurprisingly, Tuja's sleeve cap has too much fabric. Rip-fest. See. I knew there was a reason I was procrastinating on the second Tuja sleeve!