Monday, February 28, 2005

Stop the Presses!

It's a Finished Object!

The Rebecca sweater strikes a pose.

Pattern: Cable sweater from Rebecca magazine #28.
Yarn: Rowan Cork, color 48 Heather.
This is my first time working with Cork and I loved it. (Good thing, as I got lots more at the Wool and Company "If you think I'm counting all this" sale.) It is soft, spongey, very light-weight, and the color is super saturated. It is soft enough to wear against the skin!

Here is a boastful close-up at how the cables run into the ribs at the neckline. Since I have pointed this out to everyone who's seen it so far, I oughta just tape a big arrow to the sweater and wear it around all day.

Action shot.

And here's a bonus. Since I was wearing my (pre-blog finished) Clapotis yesterday, and simultaneously had my hair combed and makeup on, you get a shot of that, too!
Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 26, 2005

February Fix Up

My Fix-up on Mariah is in progress.

You can see right above the green marker on the front, the line where the blocked portion meets the unblocked portion. That's how far I ripped back. So far, the fix seems to be lookin' good!

Close up of the cable, extending up over the hood.

Posted by Hello

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

It's Girl Time

I realized yesterday that all three sweaters in my current line-up are named after girls: Rebecca, Mariah, and Molly.

I finished the back of Rebecca (cable sweater from Rebecca #27), did a 3-needle bind off on the shoulders, and she is blocked and ready for some seaming.

Mariah is being ripped....

And ripped some more...

And she's back on the needles.

Introducing the new girl: Molly. From Debbie Bliss Junior Knits. I first saw this on one of my favorite blogs, Froggy Knits. Can you tell what this is going to be? It's not even the same month as Easter, let alone the same week, and I'm actually getting started! Kaffe Fasset fabric from stash, a new Burda pattern and Cotton-ease Strawberry Cream for my little Miss Molly. Posted by Hello

Friday, February 18, 2005

A New Hope*

Here is Mariah in all her blocked glory. Technically, the only thing keeping her from completion is steeking, sewing in the zipper, and sewing down the garter stitch border around the hood and front neck. But, due to the baggy neck and hood (if you're just tuning in to the Mariah-saga, scroll down to my February 14th post) I would never wear her. If it weren't for Alison's February fix-a-thon, I probably would be putting this sweater in the closet until next fall, but I am challenged to forge ahead and make this the great wearable sweater I had believed it would be.

I have spent a few nights working on other projects, quilting, and figuring out my game-plan for my February-fix-up.

Here is the GRAND PLAN:
1. Rip back to where the cable ended at the top of the arm.
2. Continue the yoke with the raglan decrease about 2 inches beyond where I ended before (this will eliminate some of the extra fabric at the top where the hood attaches.)
3. Continue with the big cable, instead of switching to the cable/rib pattern as was on the cuffs .
4. Instead of the garter border at the front neck, do an inch of 2X 2 rib (this will bring the neck in a little more).
5. At the back neck, when I'm ready to begin the hood, bind off all stitches.
6. At the start of the hood, continue the cable across the hood, and pick up the stitches (maybe less than I bound off) across the back neck.

This is all theoretical, and I'll have to do some experimenting and see what I think when I get to each part. I hope to get started Sunday.

Meanwhile, I used my time off from Mariah to get out some WIPs. I had this Rebecca sweater from my Jan. 8th post halfway done (front and sleeve done.) I pulled that out and finished the other sleeve and am 1/3 of the way up the back. This is my first time knitting Rowan Cork, and I love it. It is so light and springy.

I also made a little progress on the 2nd green Koigu sock.

*In the hope that cheesey Star Wars references will keep my darling husband interested in the blog!

Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Cutest. Pattern. Ever.

The Knitty suprise patterns are up, and guess what just made my must-knit-now list?

Monday, February 14, 2005

So Close, and Yet So Far

Closing in on the finish, once again enamored of my Mariah, I diligently knit away on the big, honkin, hood. I was so sick yesterday that I had to miss a little knitting get-together. But even more reason to curl up on the sofa with a great movie (In America) and knit feverishly on the hood.

I finished by the end of the late news. I sewed up one sleeve. Somebody, please, please, PLEASE remind me that it is never good to try on something when I am tired, right before bed.




I tried to take a bathroom-mirror photo this morning but it didn't work, so I will try to describe it with these pictures.

Basically, the concerns I had when I started the hood (a couple of posts ago) were realized. There is so much extra fabric around my neck, it is loose, floppy, and sloppy. See the fold at the back neck, below? The hood hangs down and what should (I think) be the upper back sitting up securely around my neck, hangs down also like a cowl.

In the front, I can grab a handful of extra fabric on either side of the fronts, just below the hood. When it is snug fitting everywhere else, it doesn't feel like it should be this loose at the top. But, I don't have an ultra-cool snug-fitting hood, so should it be like this?

AND, this sweater is not even blocked, and I intend that it will grow when blocked, like the swatch, so that means that it will be even looser.

I went to bed so dejected. I was SO ready to be done and start another project. I will definitely have to rip the hood off, and re-do some of the yoke, and may make it a hoodless cardi. By the time I get that all done, it won't be sweater weather any more. I was ready to toss it in the closet and look at it afresh next fall.

Then I remembered one little thing, the last thing I thought of before I went to sleep....

February is for fixing.

Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Hood Progress

I'm closing in on the hood! Hoods are a serious committment to me. It's almost like knitting another (bleeping) back. I think "I'm almost done, I just have the hood", like its a collar or neckband, or something. Wrong-O!

But, now that I only have another couple of inches, I'm getting excited. I'm in the wonderful end phase where I'm so close that I love the project again. Full steam ahead!!!

A couple of people who's blogs I adore have visited the past few days! And left comments! First Leslie (see her Feb 2nd entry for super-cute felted bags), then Blue Blog Alison. To answer Alison's question about what yarn I am using, it is Brown Sheep Nature Spun worsted weight. Honestly, its a much more "ordinary" yarn than I ususally use, but I'm liking it just fine. And at $5.50 per ball, (and I got it at the Wool and Company sale for 40% off) I'm making this sweater for barely over $20. Gotta love that. I bought the yarn at the sale, just for love of the color (N64 Platt River Blue) without knowing what I would use it for, but within the day it was clear that it would be Mariah.

Thinking of what big project I might cast on is another picture of yarn from the dye day last weekend.

This brown is the "after."

And here's the "before". Believe It Or Not! Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Got Yoke?

My mom has been here all week, which is why there has been no blogging going on. Lots of knitting though! Here is Mariah as of last night; I finished the yoke.

A few days ago Leslie asked how I was enjoying the pattern. I like this a lot! So far the pattern has been very well written. I have looked around blogland at some that others are doing, and it seems that people had issues with making the sleeves too long, because they thought the repeats were all supposed to be done before you attached the sleeve to the body, when in fact they were continued on the yoke. I bypassed that part, just because I have short arms and always calculate how long arms are going to be, so I can see if I need to shorten them. (After years of turning up 1-2" cuffs on store-bought sweaters, I am thrilled to have sleeves that fit!)

The sweater is just the kind I like, some easy stockinette, some challenging cables.

I am concerned about the width of the neck at this point, as I begin the hood. You can't really tell from the photo, but it is about 40" around at this point, and I'm starting the hood. It just seems really, really wide. I already had reservations as I read the pattern, that there was no bind off at the neck/pick up for the hood to stablize this area. I just have a feeling that this will be too stretchy, and the hood will pull everything back and I'll be tugging in down in front. I've googled and can't find anyone who's knitting it and is finished, or this far along.

But, I have been known to be wrong! And it sure looks great in the pattern picture. My plan of attack when I'm questioning the pattern is to go ahead and try it the way it is written. So, I will forge ahead and be mentally prepared to rip back if it doesn't turn out. I would even be happy with a crew neck sweater with no hood, because it looks great! (I have resigned myself to the fact that it is never going to look great in a blog photo until it is blocked.)

This is one of my favorite batches from our dye day last Saturday. The paler part on the top right is glare from the sun, it is all deep saturated purpley navy.

Believe it or not, the deep blue yarn used to be this! This batch wins the award for most dramatic difference.

Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Dye Day at The Fine Line

Today I got together with a few girlfriends at a wonderful arts center, The Fine Line, to experiment with dyeing yarn.

Several of us had experience with dyeing fabric using Procion MX dyes (for quilting) but only Laura had dyed yarn using acid dyes. The funny thing is, we all had supplies sitting around, stuff that we had bought with the idea that we wanted to try it someday. So we all gathered up various dyes, vinegar, saran wrap and squirt bottles and trucked it out to a place that had 3 stovetops, numerous large pots with steamers, and three sinks.

We had a fabulous time, and only wished our darling Melody hadn't caught the flu and been unable to join us. (We really missed you Mel.)

Here we are just starting out. Frieda is fooling around and Laura is trying to keep her in line.

Frieda is preparing to mix dye, and still fooling around.

My batch of Trikolore is soaking in warm water and vinegar, waiting to be overdyed.

Frieda gets serious and starts painting her yarn.

Frieda tests her colors on a paper towel, Emily prepares for nuclear disaster.

I mix dye, apparently while dancing.

Here is a skein being painted by moi.

Now it is wrapped in saran wrap and steamed for about an hour.

Gretl gets serious with a crockpot.

Lookie how the cotton and silk fibers in the yarn took the dye differently!

Gretl is happy with her beautiful finished product!

Yarn drying in my kitchen tonight. Tomorrow I'll post pictures of the finished product. Posted by Hello

Friday, February 04, 2005

What IS that gonna be?!?! Posted by Hello


The baton was passed to me from Melody. As you will see below, I am in a rut, music wise. I feel super-lame and self conscious about this, please bear with me.

1. Total amount of music files on your computer? Zero. Yep. I'm slow with the technology like that.

2. The last CD you bought was: Technically, it was "Fiddle-dee-dee" Kindermusik. I can't remember the last CD I bought for myself. All my disposable income goes to yarn, tools to accompany my yarn, books to accompany my yarn.

3. What is the song you last listened to before reading this message? The last song I listened to that was MY choice was "Closer to Fine" by the Indigo Girls.

4. Write down 5 songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you:

The Indgio Girls--A lot of songs: "Closer to Fine", "Watershed", "Gallileo", "Hammer and a Nail", "Southland in the Springtime"
Mary Chapin Carpenter "Stones in the Road"
"The Power of One" Soundtrack, all of it.
"Solsbury Hill" Peter Gabriel
Christine Lavin-"The Kind of Love you Never Recover From"

A few other favorite artists: Shawn Colvin, Natalie Merchant, Norah Jones, Harry Connick Jr., Fred Astaire, Sarah McLachlan. I listen to jazz, fiddle, banjo, folk, and, gasp, showtunes. I am under 40. Really!

5. What 3 people are you going to pass this baton to and why? Sorry to be a party pooper, but I don't like reading these or doing these (I like reading about knitting on knitting blogs, sue me!) so the buck stops here. I think everybody's done it, anyway!

I have a super exciting day tomorrrow that involves yarn and girlfriends!! Stay tuned!!!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


Just a little update on Mariah. I have resolved to resist temptation of little tasty morsels (instant gratification projects) and get this sweater finished in February. The weather is going to be perfect to wear this in February and March.

I have finished one sleeve, the body up to the sleeve part, attached the first sleeve, and am working my way up the second sleeve. I should get this sleeve finished in a couple of days and then, onto the yoke and hood, Yee Haw!

In non-knitting news, I've been tagged by Mrs. Mel to do a meme. (If "blog" was the most-looked-up word in 2004, "meme" will be it in 2005.) That'll be up tomorrow. Stay tuned (or not!)