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March 2008 Archives

March 2, 2008

115 and then some!

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Ends, that is - a whole lotta ends going on here! But they're all woven in, and I did indeed wear this sweater to work on Friday after I sewed in the very last end that same morning. It fits poifectly - I mean poifectly. I'm thrilled that I can wear this to Knittapalooza in just a little over two weeks!

The pattern: Reynolds Whiskey Fairisle Patterned Pullover from booklet 82391

Yarn: Reynolds Whiskey in suggested colorway - I fell in love with the "lavender" stripe in the corrugated ribbing. Too lazy to get up and see what's left, but I know I have a ball or two rolling around somewhere. I maybe bought extra...

Needles: 3 and 4 circs - combination of addi, Susan Bates, and HiyaHiya!

Details: If you don't like stranded knitting back and forth, don't knit a Reynolds pattern. Not a steek to be found in this booklet. If I were to do it again, I'd figure out how to insert steek stitches for the sleeves, but I want to steek from a witten pattern before I go all maverick on it. Confession - I added a row and my own twist to a stripe on one of the sleeves.... hard to spot but now that I know where it is, it's the first thing I see. I'm over it - I'm just sayin'. Binding off in 2x2 ribbing made for a floppy neckline, so I took that out and tried just a knit bind-off - still floppy and untidy. So, the third time WAS a charm here, when I bound off in pattern AND purled the two purls of each rib together before binding them off - voila.

Here's my current knitting conundrum as I finish another "sweater" and set in more sleeves: the second sleeve always goes in better and easier and even-er and I start to feel bad for that poor first sleeve that had to be the on-the-job-training one. It just doesn't seem fair that I have to practice on the first and the second gets to go in so much better. I'm considering picking out the first sleeve seam in my mohair white blouse because it's just not quite up to the second one's standards! (I said considering - we're talking about fuzzy, sticky, white mohair here.)

March 6, 2008

Home Stretch

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I'm about to finish my Sally Melville for Needful Yarns White Blouse in Kid Mohair and I'm so delighted with this little project!

Sally Melville the amazing was a teacher at last year's Knittapalooza, and during breaks and after dinner she was knitting away on a white mohair something - turns out she just decided to measure up her favorite white button-down blouse and knit it - voila! Besides the fact that I love a good white blouse, I was there for the birth of this pattern, so it was pretty much a given I'd make it.

It's a super fiddly knit - Sally's not messing around. It has knitted button bands, a collar band, cuffs, and grafting galore. I've about knit up the separate cuffs and plan to attempt to graft them to the sleeves tonight. I have entered a new phase of my knitting life somehow - one morning before having to graft the collar band back onto itself, the way to do it just sort of arrived, circled around in my brain, and settled during my shower. Love that! As a spatially challenged person, to be able to imagine the path of the yarn was a pretty remarkable happening. I'm not saying my execution was perfect, but my understanding is much more bettah these days.

Of course I'm on this finishing kick because I must have new knits to wear to KNITTAPALOOZA next weekend - I'm already vibrating. Whiskey pulli - check. White blouse - almost. Haven't quite decided what else to wear - this is a Thursday - Sunday knitting retreat - my favorite weekend of the year. And bonus for me this year - I get to pick Annie Modesitt up from the airport a week from today - zippity dooh dah! And for the first time, deliver test knits to Melissa Leapman in person! And Barry Keinl from Trendsetter Yarns is having a pajama knitting party Saturday night - anyone know where I can get some crazy footie pj's real quick?

March 12, 2008

Like Wearing a Cloud

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Thanks to Brouhaha for that title - this blouse is light and airy AND warm - merino and kid mohair from Crystal Palace.

This is the absolute fussiest thing I've ever knit. Lots of pieces, lots of seaming, LOTS of grafting - live stitches to bound off stitches. I did get a clear image in my head on how to do that and made a fairly decent go at it all. I do make a damn fine button band these days!

I had to graft the cuffs to the sleeves TWICE for each side. Yup, I picked out all those white fuzzy mohair seams twice and re-grafted. I found it most challenging to keep track of what was a stitch and what wasn't - with this fine yarn it was difficult to tell the difference between the stitch and between the stitch. After I had accomplished my 2nd go at cuff-grafting, I realized I had slightly screwed up one of them. The buttonhole side of the cuff is supposed to lap over the button side, just like a regular blouse, but I managed to do the opposite. Oh well - I like it better unbuttoned anyway!

Pattern: The Sally Melville Collection for Needful Yarns (I'd love to link you to this pattern, but Needful doesn't seem to be listing it at the moment)
Yarn: Crystal Palace Kid Merino - 4.25 balls
Needles: KnitPicks Options US4

I grabbed the photographer at work for a quick shoot yesterday, and I sort of imagined he'd at least put me in front of a solid backdrop, but beggars can't be choosers, right? That's all his stuff in his studio in the background. The blouse grew a bit while wearing it, and I may end up sewing up the front partway to kill the gapping that inevitably happens.

I'm thrilled with this one - it fits, it's elegant, it's so different. And I was there for the pattern's birth - pretty cool. Sally Melville remains one of my top ten knitting godesses - this blouse is one of the many reasons why. Woot!

Now, should I wear it Friday or Saturday to Knittapalooza?

March 30, 2008

Spring forward?

Spring? Springy? More like stumbling chez the Dream since the early time change. As a confirmed sun worshipper, I do love the late day sun, but man, this early switch has been mighty rough on me. I also love my early mornings, and 5AM has still been mighty dark in these here parts. Or that's my story anyway... or part of it.

For the two weeks following my fifth Knittapalooza weekend*, I fumbled around in a fiber-overload daze trying to figure out what to knit next. Sure, I have a bunch of Melissa Leapman's fabulous sliip-stitch swatches to amuse me, and boy DO they amuse me, but I had nothing else on any needles since finishing the fair isle sweater and the white blouse. NOTHING. And nothing calling me, except that gorgeous Sheep Shop silk/wool, which has steadfastly refused to tell me what it wants to be. I've swatched it, stared at it, searched Ravelry for a pattern that called its name - nothing. then I remembered some pink Koigu in my stash and pulled that out to see if it might play well with the Sheep Shop - I'm still not sure. What do you think? Maybe a slip-stitch or mosaic something? Can I do slip stitch patterns with just one color? It's such a gorgeous semi-solid, I think a simple textured stitch of some sort will bring it out.
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So that's hanging out in the knitting corner of the couch. I'm thinking I might just do the ever-popular Monkey socks from Knitty with the Koigu and continue to hope for inspiration for the Sheep Shop stuff.

But then Captain America's vest from my brown handspun popped into my head, and I spent a couple of days pondering the design, and searching Ravelry some more, and staring at the yarn, and pondering some more, until I bit the bullet and cast on for the Cabled Rib Vest from Men In Knits. And I haven't put it down since. I admit feeling immense pride watching my handspun knit up into a gorgeous fabric, even though the yarn is both underspun and underplied in lots of parts, and even though those funky thick parts appear to enjoy aligning themselves over rows and cables, and the thin parts also often seem to seek each other out.
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I was able to get some photos when the sun finally made a brief appearance this week, and I'm just plain delighted with this project so far. I'm cruising up to the shoulder on one of the fronts, which is thick and square and handsome. Hopefully the three hanks remaining will a) be enough to finish the vest and 2) be enough alike in grist to continue at the same gauge for the rest of the project.
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Now that my mojo has returned, I've been pulled back to my spinning wheel, which has been languishing untouched in my dining room since (gasp) last July when my mom visited and I made her try it. The same purple wool that I tortured her with was still hanging out in the basket next to the wheel and on the bobbin, so that's what I've been spinning since last Sunday afternoon - I guess when my mojo comes back, it COMES BACK. I'm deliberately putting more twist than I've ever used in the singles since I seem to have a tendency to under-twist. I split the 8oz. of roving in half and I'm shooting for a sock-weight two or three ply. (That makes it sound like I have any control over what I end up with - which I really don't.)

*I do have lots to say about Knittapalooza V - another incredible, mind-blowing weekend, but even though I've started a post about it it feels too special not to write about it very carefully and thoughtfully. I'll get there...

About March 2008

This page contains all entries posted to Dawn's Dream in March 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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