Friday, November 16, 2007


Just about a year ago, as a very new knitter, I started the most ambitious knitting project I may ever do. (That's probably not true. I'm highly likely to do it again.) I had no idea.

But it's finally done!
Pattern: Heere Be Dragone
Designer: Sharon Winsauer
Yarn: Lisa Souza Alpaca Lace in Mars Quake

Now, it still needs to be reblocked. I had already started soaking it before I remembered that it would probably need a larger blocking surface than what I had available. I don't have carpet, or a large bed, so there really wasn't any way to expand the surface. So basically just laid it flat, with very minimal stretching (just enough to be able to see the borders a bit), and didn't bother trying to get straight edges. I know this isn't permanent. I think that, in order to get nicely blocked lace, it will have to be at least 12" wider and a few inches taller, but I won't know the final dimensions until then. It should also make the pattern stand out better when it has been stretched better.

I won't say that it was fun to knit--it was way too hard for me (at least, when I started). I made a lot of mistakes, and because I didn't have the patience or the skill to properly fix them, I did lots of fudging. But I learned a lot about knitting lace, I learned tons of new stitches, and I feel a vague sense of awe that I made that. Isn't it fun?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


So, even though this blog is quite young, I already abandoned it for 3 whole weeks. I'm sorry! But my excuse is...well, Ravelry.

They let me in a day or two after I finished the tangled yoke cardigan, and I just HAD to spend lots of time putting in my projects, prowling around and looking at everybody else's projects, and so on. I first heard about Ravelry in May or June, but I somehow thought it would be a good idea to wait to join until it was out of beta. In August, I got impatient and added myself to the waiting list (and got in mid-October). I like it very much. Hopefully it'll be open completely soon.

But I didn't stop knitting! Or crocheting, for that matter.


Pattern: "Lavish Cables" from the Leisure Arts book In Love With Crochet.
Yarn: Lion Brand Suede in Denim (lots of it! around 25 balls, but I lost track.)
Hook: size K

This afghan is a wedding/Christmas present for my sister. It was a request, so no fear of ruining surprises. The wedding was in July, but I had barely even started the afghan at that point, so now I'll give it to her and her husband for Christmas. It's crocheted, with lots of cables and bobbles. I think it may need more fringe (so the tassels are closer together, basically), so that's one tweak I may make before then, but otherwise it's done. Yay!

And this is the VK cabled cardigan. It's moving along. The cabling here is really easy, and it wasn't too boring at first either. Now I'm a little bored, though, after doing the back and the left front. I'm not that excited to move on the the right front and the sleeves, which will just be more of the same. I may just let it stew for a while and work on something else.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Tangled Love

I love this sweater. It's completely done, and I love it! It turned out just about exactly as I'd hoped it would. I wore it to church this morning, and the lady next to me reached out and touched it (she asked first, don't worry).

Pattern: Tangled Yoke Cardigan, IK Fall 2007
Yarn: Knitpicks Palette in Garnet heather
Needles: US 3 circs for body, US 4 dpns for sleeves

I didn't have any major issues with the pattern (nothing that I can remember, which means either there really wasn't anything or I forgot). I did mess up my gauge; I made a swatch at the beginning, which is why I used size 3 needles instead of the recommended 5's, but it didn't work. My finished cardigan is nearly a full size smaller than it was meant to be. This is okay since it's still wearable, if a little snug, and I'm trying to lose weight anyway. Either I knitted the swatch really loosely or mismeasured...since I unraveled it, I can't tell for sure.

This yarn was great for this pattern. I was a little worried, since I couldn't find any references to people using Palette for clothing (except in fair isle patterns), but it turned out really well. The sweater is nice and light, warm but not hot, and the cabling shows well. The only caution I would have for people is to make sure that it looks good at the gauge they're knitting it at--the fabric is perfect for me, but then I used size 3 needles and apparently made the whole sweater at a tighter gauge than I was supposed to. On size 5's, I'd want to make sure that the fabric isn't too loose to look good. And since I used about 6 1/2 balls of yarn, the total yarn cost was under $15.

The sleeves are a little long, but I like them that way. Initially, I had ladders from the dpns, but they pretty much disappeared after blocking. I'm not crazy about the buttons I picked. I'll have to keep an eye out for something better, but that's easy enough to change later on.

Have I said that I love this?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Almost a Cardigan

I'm getting so close with the Tangled Yoke cardigan! I finished the cable, which was definitely the most difficult cabling that I've done. I really didn't enjoy tinking rows that were 400+ stitches...and I certainly had to. Undoing those 5-stitch decreases when I did them in the wrong place was pretty miserable too. A few lifelines would have been a pretty good idea.

I think it looks a little small for me here, but it's still on the needle (32", rather than the suggested 40"), which isn't really long enough to let the sweater relax all the way without stitches falling off. Once it's finished and blocked it should be fine.

Now I just have to learn how to do short rows!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Cherie Amour, C'est Finis

Tada! My fastest knit ever.

The photo isn't so great, but my mirror has bad lighting and no one was around to take a picture for me--unless I wanted to ask my slightly creepy neighbor. That's okay.

Pattern: Cherie Amour, Fall 2007 Knitty
Yarn: Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in Amethyst Heather--6 balls/300 g for size L
Needles: US 13 circs, US 8 circs
My issues: Keeping track of the pattern and the neckline decreases got a little weird after the division at the armholes. I also kept knitting longer than I should have on the sleeves and had to unravel several inches--this could have been avoided by making and BLOCKING a swatch, or at least stretching the sleeve pretty ruthlessly when measuring.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with it. If I make it again, I'll probably use a heavier yarn. The worsted weight yarn used here seemed fine as far as the gauge went, and I like the finished product, but I feel like it would drape better if it were denser. So maybe not 100% wool? The pattern calls for bulky yarn in the first place, but I felt that the yarn should be denser, not thicker. Also if I used bulky yarn I would need to use smaller needles to come close to the gauge.

I'd also do the ribbing on size 9 needles. That was a mistake, actually--I had mixed up my Knitpicks options needles, and I thought I was using the 9's until I compared later.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Guess what this is?

I may have decided not to block the scarf, but something is pinned out and drying on my floor...

I cast on the day after I saw it in Knitty (Friday? Saturday? I can't remember), and it's already done! Less than a week, which is my record for knitting anything. I haven't even made a hat that quickly before.

Hopefully I'll have the sleeves sewn tomorrow, and it'll be all the way finished!

Scarf in Action (Temporarily)

I tried again to get a decent picture of this scarf. The color is much better in this one--it does actually glow a little.

It isn't really cold enough to wear this, even though it's a light scarf. I live in New Mexico, so I'd better give it a month yet.

As far as the blocking decision goes, I've decided that I like it just fine as it is. I may have to think about it again when it gets dirty and needs washing, but that can be put off for a while.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

To Block or Not to Block?

I just finished the Montego Bay scarf. I started it a few months ago, but it was a little boring to knit so it took a while.

The yarn in question is most of a skein of Schaefer Anne in a really bright orange-and-pink colorway. I tried my best to capture the color, but it's kind of washed out in these photos. That orange should be more like a traffic cone. I like the yarn (I'll just have to choose carefully when I wear it with anything). The scarf is about 95" without the fringe, and I could easily have added 2 or 3 more feet if I had used all of the yarn.

Now I just need to block it. Or maybe I don't? I like the slightly bumpy texture as is, but it does curl an awful lot.

Still thinking...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I hate DPNs

Well, I tried. And then I ripped back and tried again--but I still failed.

I finished the body of the Tangled Yoke, up to the armpits anyway, and one of the sleeves. The sleeves are knit in the round, and I don't currently know to use any technique other than dpns (I also don't have multiple circular needles in any size, so that lets out the 2 circ method). I actually kind of like balancing the needles and switching as you go around, but I apparently can't control that stupid ladder effect.

See these ladders? Somehow it wasn't this obvious to me when I was working on it. Or maybe I was just in denial.

I'm not quite sure what to do next. I think I'll try blocking the sleeve in the mad hope that that will somehow fix everything. Then, assuming that doesn't work, I'm thinking of trying to drop down and reknit 2 or 3 stitches on either side of each ladder without unravelling everything...maybe it won't be so obvious spread over 4 or 6 stitches? That's a really long drop, though. I don't think I'm likely to be able to do better by starting over.

Maybe I should learn Magic Loop? I think I have a needle that would work for that, but I'm not sure if I would have a similar issue there too. I think that method has two places where there could be ladders.

As a last resort, I could always make the sleeve flat and sew a real seam, since this particular pattern has a faux seam in the first place. But I'm not quite ready to give up yet, and I do want to be able to conquer this whole ladder business eventually.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Cables Everywhere

Sometimes it takes a little while to notice a certain theme or pattern of behavior, even in your own choices...and now, suddenly, I find myself surrounded in cables.

The last three projects that I cast on, all within a couple of weeks of each other, were:

1) "Juno" from Rowan 40. I'm knitting this in a brilliant purple.

2) "Tangled Yoke Cardigan" from IK Fall 2007. This one's going to be dark red.

3) "Cabled Cardigan" from VK Winter 2007 (Why can't Vogue Knitting give their patterns more individual names? Every issue has at least one Ribbed Pullover and Lace Stole, and I don't see why they would want to be confusing.). I'm not straying too far from the original color choice here.
There's no photo from Juno just yet since I'm having gauge issues.

Only after putting all three photos side-by-side did I also notice that these three are all cardigans. I feel a little dense.

Hi, I'm an Addict

Since I'm ready to face the difficult truth that my family members don't really want to hear about the details of my knitting (and other crafting) adventures, and I have far too much fun thinking about it all to keep it entirely to we are! I'm joining the many thousands of knitters who can't help blogging about it.

My youngest sister (she was 17 at the time) taught me to knit right around Christmas of 2005. I celebrated by making hats and scarves for most of my family for Christmas 2006, which was no real shock to any of them since I had done similar things before with crocheted or quilted or even woodcarved items. I may be a menace, but I'm a happy (and consistent) one.

I discovered knitting resources, including many interesting blogs, sometime in the fall of 2006. This was also when I discovered that knitting magazines are like crack (maybe chocolate is a better example, since I at least have some personal experience there). These enablers are the real reason that knitting has taken over my brain. Well, that and the 1500 miles that are currently between me and my sewing machine, which happen to do a pretty good job of curtailing my sewing and quilting.

Wish me luck!