Saturday, March 25, 2006

Bon Voyage

It started out innocently. I just really wanted a new spring-y tote bag for my knitting projects. I was tired of carrying around the same ole dark, wintery, dirty, (diaper bag) knitting totes.

Sorry for the dark photo, it doesn't do justice to the beautiful Kaffe Fasset fabric.

It even has a zipper! Oooh, aaaah.

Within a half hour of owning my beautiful new tote bag, somebody tried to steal it. Good thing I love her.

So, I promised to make another one. Just for her.

What a can of worms that opened up! It's been tote bag city. At least my youngest knows what to put in hers:

I doled them out today, in time for the Spring Break pack fest. I tried to get a photo shoot with all three, but one of the models couldn't be bothered to show up. He was too busy coloring.

Darn those unreliable models.

So tonight I'm concentrating on the most important aspect of the trip, the knitting. I have three bags packed, and still I'm a little panicky that I don't have enough.

On the left, in the hard bin (the bury-in-the-back bin, for just in case) we have Remembering Honey, with extra yarn, and also that black thing in the corner is the black Debbie Bliss raglan I started in January. In the middle, three socks started, plus two extra balls. On the right in the tote is yarn for the daisy dress. On the floor are the directions to St. Theresa's Textile Trove in Cincinnati, in case my Jedi mind tricks work, and the van decides to take a quick detour.

Do I have enough? Will there be emergency yarn shops along the way? Hope you all have a great week and I'll see you when we get back.


Friday, March 24, 2006

New Projects

Spring Break is almost here, and four days in the car is lookin' good for some stockinette knitting.

Here's a pile of new projects:

At the top, Lamb's Pride Cotton Fleece in "Pink-a-boo". (I think the Cotton Fleece Color Namer had a couple martinis at lunch before she came up with that one.) That will be the little sister version of the flower dress I finished in navy and white a few weeks ago. (March 2nd entry.)

Next up, Cotton Ease in Strawberry Cream.

I am always on the lookout for sweaters that are C-E worthy, and going through and old issue of Interweave Knits, I found this:

Remembering Honey, designed by Leigh Radford, Spring 03 issue. I love the lace edged sleeves, the edging, and the yoke. And the mile of stockinette in between. Just what the Spring Break Doctor ordered.

And at the bottom of the photo you can see the socks. I already finished those.

Regia Crazy Color. One skein fits four-year-old-girl.

Speaking of going through old issues of the knitting magazines, I always do that when the seasons change. After I'm too tired to knit, I curl up in bed and read about knitting. I pull out a random magazine or two and look at them with new eyes.

Here are a few patterns I've re-discovered over the past few weeks:

"Gemma" from Rowan 37. Love this one. I am motivated to knit with mostly stash this year, but I would make an exception for this. Would knit it in the colors exactly as is.

This one, from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 05, calls for Berrocco Cotton Glace. I have the yarn, but it is white and I will dye it. I'm not sure the wrap style would be flattering on me, and I might change it into a short pullover. Not sure.

This one, so cute, from VK Fall 04. Not 100% sure about the nudity issue with all those holes, I guess it just takes a camisole? It reminds me a little of the sweater in the current RY Classic ad (page 41 of the new Vogue Knitting), that is also lacey/cabley/with 3/4 length sleeves.

I've always liked this one in the Fall 03 VK. But, requiring 12 skeins of Koigu Kersti, this one would cost a small fortune. And, if you're going to use Kersti, wouldn't you want to get one of the beautiful variegated colorways, and not a solid?

But what could you use in a dk weight to make this sweater that was next-to-skin soft, but not 100% cotton? (Because 100% cotton is too hard on my hands for me to knit). I guess that would be Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece and I just answered my own question! But any other ideas welcome!

Diane asked what I thought of the new Vogue issue.

I adore that skirt on the cover, but would never wear it. One of you young skinny gals must knit it (Lauren) and I will covet it from afar.

Here is the only one I really like. (But not in these colors). I like the interesting stitch with two colors, and the sleeves. I would eliminate the belt. And maybe the flower, maybe not.

I think this one has potential, but again, I would eliminate the belt, and make it a button cardigan.

I actually liked more sweaters in the ads than I did in the magazine. Page 27, Drops ad, Page 41 RY Classic ad, page 45 Nashua ad, page 53 Svale ad, page 57 Louisa Harding ad.

Anyone else have any different favorites from this magazine? I am behind on my blogs and haven't read any buzz about it.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


I've been AWOL!


I knew that life was getting in the way of blogging for awhile, but didn't realize how long it had been. At least I hope I left you with a good cliffhanger....

Retro Prep is really now totally finished. I love it as a cardigan.

On the subject of finishing, here is the green sweater for my daughter that I abandoned in January. This is what it looked like:

I shortened it, and just changing the proportion really helped (not the patterns fault, I knit it too long accidently). The buttons perked it up too.

Then, the embroidery:

And here it is now:

How about a nice action shot of sweater over pajamas:

And the back:

Here it is with the dress:

Daisy, from Knitty.
About 5 (?) balls Queensland Collection Llama Seta. A very soft yarn with a kind of crimped, vintage appearance. Didn't love the yarn. It was very splitty, but probably mostly it was the color, as I'm not fond of yellowish greens.
Odds and ends of Cascade 220 and Karabella Aurora 8 for the embroidery.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Retro Prep is Finished. Kind of. Sort of. Not Really.

You might remember in January I traded Melody for some Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran Tweed. The yarn is beautiful, and soft, and I decided it should be a very simple sweater. I picked the Retro Prep, from Interweave Knits Fall 02. Yes, you've seen it a hundred times on the blogs. Sorry.

I knit on it in January and February (stockinette in the round--good tv knitting) and had worked the body up to the armholes before the Olympics. I finished it this week.

I really thought I wanted a plain sweater.

Is it all those plain Crazy Horse shetland pullovers I wore in high school? With a monogram? A cross stitch monogram I stitched myself using waste canvas? (Shut up, I can see you laughing.)

Anyway. It needs a little something.

I found the center stitch and marked it.

Ripped off the neckband.

Basted up the center stitch with contrasting yarn.

Sewed one stitch away, on either side of the basted line.

Cut up the middle.


Here I have picked up stitches for the neckband again, and the cut line is on the right. You can see that even that one stitch before the machine stitching isn't raveling. Knitting does not want to unravel sideways. (Although it might get a little raggedy after I'm handling it while working the front band. But even if that one stitch frays a little, the knitting won't unravel because of the machine stitching.)

Next to do: re-knit the neckband, knit button bands, sew on buttons, and possibly sew some ribbon over the cut edges, for neatness and decoration.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Triple Whammy

What was I thinking when I said that I'd post my backlog of FOs, one each day? Hopeful, yet unrealistic.

So, here are three Finished Objects to report, from the recent past, long past, and present, all with the theme of "footwear."

First off, socks for my brother. (Go plead with him to start posting again, because his blog was highly entertaining, but he got off track last fall when he started a new job.) Thank you!

I posted these just briefly before. I made these in return for some renovation plans he drew up for me while he was here for Christmas. He gave me the Koigu and specified the design. He wanted a blue cuff and heel, and grey foot and toe.

I made the left one to his specifications, and weighed the leftover ball of grey as I wasn't sure I would have enough to do the other sock. Out of the 50gm ball of Koigu, I'd used 27 gms for the first sock. Oh maaaaan! So we decided to go with the blue toe (as you see on the right.)

I just had to rip back the toe on the first one. Thank goodness that was the only correction to be made, because these are some big honkin socks.

(Tres, you will see those in the mail next week!)

Here is part of my sister's birthday present from last October. Flip flop socks. For some reason, I never showed them. The pattern was a freebie from Blue Moon Fiber Arts that I got at Stitches. I used leftover Fleece Artist sock yarn.

I did have to modify the pattern though, you can see the first one I did on the left, was too wide, so I ripped that one out and did some more decreases (finished one on the right).

And a sock for me, I just finished this week. Just your basic sock pattern, but I was especially pleased with this one since it was my own dyed yarn. (Knitpicks sock yarn dyed with acid dyes.) This is the first one I've knit up from the Knitpicks yarn and it is soft and comfy!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Finished UFO

Two summers ago I made this dress for my daughter. I knit the pieces, sewed them together, and tried it on her. The top part was ill-fitting and I put it away.

After Christmas I was doing a little organizing, and I came across it.

It still fits her, except that the straps are too long. What must have seemed like overwhelming problems at the time seem minor to me now.

The bottom hem had 2 garter ridges, and that wasn't enough to keep it from curling. I tackled that first, undoing the sewing, cutting off the garter part, and knitting down several garter rows.

Here you can see the old hem on the right, the newly knit on the left:

Then I undid the shoulder seams, unraveled about an inch on each strap, bound off, re-sewed it, and added the edgings.

Hello, Spring.

Pattern: variation on the Daisy Dress designed by Zoe Mellor in Adorable Knits for Tots.
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. I've lost the ball band but I think the color was "midnight". The white is "cotton ball".
Notes: I enjoyed knitting this, I love that Cotton Fleece. I was an idiot for stashing it away for so long! (I'm lucky it still fits her.)

When I started this dress we had one girl, but now we have two. Last week I bought 2 skeins of pink Cotton Fleece to make one for her sister.