September 26, 2007

I may have a bit of yarn.

Posted in Knitalongs, Yarn Stash at 4:50 pm by nephele

I’ve been on Ravelry for a few months now (username: nephele if anyone wants to friend me or just check out what I have there) but I’m only just now starting to add my stash into the database. I think I may have a bit of yarn.

I store most of the yarn in these pop-up mesh hampers that the local big chain drug store sells at 2 for $5. I spent an hour the other night photographing the contents of one of those hampers. I also took notes on yarn names, colors, dye lots and quantities for entry on Ravelry. Here’s the photos:
Stash Bin A 01Stash Bin A 02Stash Bin A 03Stash Bin A 04Stash Bin A 05
Stash Bin A 06Stash Bin A 07Stash Bin A 08Stash Bin A 09Stash Bin A 10
Stash Bin A 11Stash Bin A 12Stash Bin A 13Stash Bin A 14Stash Bin A 15
Stash Bin A 16Stash Bin A 17Stash Bin A 18Stash Bin A 19Stash Bin A 20

Most of these are in pretty good quantities, 19 of one, 14 of another, several 10s, some 4s and only one that’s a singleton.

I have 7 more or those hampers, all full to overflowing. I also have several other containers, some larger than the hampers, full of yarn. I think it’s safe to say I’ve reached SABLE status.

At least my timing is good. I’m going to be at the Knit and Crochet Show this Friday and this served as a timely reminder that I don’t need to buy anymore yarn, really! There is that small matter of my plan to buy a Spinning Wheel of course. I have a small roving stash, I’m sure I can fix that. That should curb any yarn buying urges. I’ll end up spending more money than I usually do at these shows for just the wheel (assuming they have one I like there).

In other yarn news, I finished knitting stocking number 5 and I’m up to the foot of number 6. I should have the last one finished by tomorrow. I still need to embroider the names, add beads and sequins and sew them up but I should be done with that fairly quickly. My goal was to finish them by the beginning of October and that looks do-able.

My concentration on the stockings means I haven’t done any more work on the Modern Quilt Wrap or anything else for that matter.  The little bit I did do was enough of a break to satisfy my itchy fingers it seems. Once the stockings are out of the way I’ll get back to it, probably.

Filed under: Yes, I nuts. I joined to new mystery knit-a-longs. Secret of the Stole and Secret of Chrysopolis. Both are lace the SotS is a stole with beads, SoC is a shawl of as yet unknown shape. I enjoyed the Mystery Stole, so now I’ll get a double dose. The SoC shawl starts this week and the stole starts a week later. You know, I may need to shop for yarn at the Show after all. I’ve got lots of really fine lace yarn in my stash but I’d like at least one of these to be on the heavier end of the the lace spectrum, maybe some Malabrigo.

Speaking of spectrum, did you notice how well those yarns I photographed work for the current – orange, brown, purple – colors of Project Spectrum 2.0? I know I haven’t mentioned that lately but that’s because all of my knitting was in colors that didn’t apply. I do have other colors in my stash but there is a definite orange bias. Hmm, orange Malabrigo Lace…

Well, I think I better stop before I talk myself into looking for even more yarn to buy.

September 20, 2007

I don’t even play by my own rules.

Posted in knitting at 4:24 pm by nephele

I mentioned before that I may have purchase the yarn for the Modern Quilt Wrap from Folk Style (pattern also available from Knitting Daily). 

quiltwrapyarn

Um, yeah. I did at least wait a week before buying it. I really need to get those xmas stockings done (I’m still on number 5) and I knew if I bought the yarn I’d be tempted to get started.

quiltwrap1

Oops.

Okay, well I am at least leaving it at home so I’ll work on the stockings during my commute. That should be okay, right? And I’ve only got one and two thirds left to knit so… Once I’ve finished knitting all the stockings I need to do a bit of embroidery on them – names, arms for the snowman, and add some beads and sequins to the designs. When I get to that point the stockings and the quilt wrap can change places. I’m not even going to try sewing on sequins on the bus. 

Sounds good in theory, right?

It was a bit chilly this morning which made me want to work on one of the light sweaters or shrugs that I have going for myself. My finished sweaters are too much for the current weather, I need an interim piece for the chilly mornings. So today I pulled out my Cropped Cardigan with Leaf Ties that is about two thirds done and added a couple of rows to the body instead of working on the stocking. I don’t feel too guilty about it. I’m going to be at the yarn shop all day tomorrow and I don’t think I have any students so I’ll get lots of stocking knitting time. I should be able to finish number 5 and get started on number 6 (the last one) this weekend. They’ll be all done in plenty of time and in the meantime I may manage to get my little cardigan finished. I’m making it in a cotton/silk yarn which should be perfect for warding off the damp morning chill on days that end up in the 70s by noon.

If you look at the (somewhat flash-washed) colors above you’ll see I went for the colors and yarn the pattern called for (ah, kidsilk haze, how do I love thee?)  or at least nearly the same. The shop had all but two of the colors in stock. I rumaged around, played with a few options and finally settled on these two substitutions:

quiltwrapsubcolors

For the color Dewberry, I substituted #579 Splendour and instead of Drab, I’m using 589 Majestic. You can see both of those colors at work in the second square (bottom right in the picture). I think they work fine and this way I’ll have a splendid, majestic wrap instead of a drab, dewberry one. 😉

Works for me.

I’m amused by the apparent size difference in those two balls. They are both full balls and factory wound but it looks like the machines were running a little faster they day they put up the Majestic yarn. It looks almost half the size of the other.

By the way, the wrap only takes about half of each ball of yarn. I have enough to make two if I want but what I may actually do is make the whole thing bigger. I’m thinking of adding one more column of squares (large square size column that is – the pattern uses two sizes of squares) and a few more rows of squares at the end. The additional squares would make it more clearly a wrap and not a scarf. I think I’d use a wrap version more – I certainly use my Birch shawl enough to support that theory. I’m going to finish it as written first and then decide.

I’ll keep you posted.

September 16, 2007

Grrr!

Posted in knitting at 2:00 pm by nephele

I was anxiously awaiting the preview of Knit.1 because I have a piece of knitting in it. Not my design, let me clarify that up front. I knit from the designer’s notes and sketches though so it is the first ever version of the garment. So, I was waiting. They finally updated the website but the skirt didn’t appear in any of the preview photos. I had to hold out for the issue to actually show up in stores.

Well it did. Worth the wait? Yeah, not so much.

First let me show you a picture of the skirt from right after it came off my needles, it hadn’t even been blocked yet:
soyskirt

Nice, yes? Not my style, I admit. Way to form fitting for me, but for those that can…

Someone involved in the photo shoot for the magazine decided that instead of wearing this as a high waisted skirt, it’d look better as a tube dress. Yeah, it doesn’t. Maybe if it were made to be a tube dress, but pulling it that high messed up all that lovely shaping. Oh, and speaking of that shaping, this shaping:
skirtbit

The published version of the pattern has it wrong. I had to do a lot of planning and thinking to put the increases and decreases where the designer wanted them and then they mess it up in the pattern.

So… Grrr. At least it’s not my own design. I’d be a lot more annoyed if it had my name on it. It was fun to knit anyway. I reviewed the yarn back in April if you’re curious.

Nope, still haven’t blocked the Mystery Stole. I have a good excuse though. My blocking wires are all here:
Ingrids shawl

Not my shawl. I’m blocking this for Ingrid. I plan to un-pin it tonight so maybe I’ll take care of the stole. No promises.

And in another smooth transition, I’ve got some more stockings done:
Stocking3Stocking4

The candy cane one was a pain but I’ve no one to blame but myself. I drew the charts for most of these including the *#%@$ candy canes. They came out pretty good at least. If I’d had to wrestle with those and they were ugly… I’ve finished the foot on number four since I took this picture and I’ve started number 5 (of 6 total! The end is in sight!).

My dedication to getting these done has left me itching to start something new. I may have come home from the yarn shop with the supplies to make this scarf.

And in another brilliant segue, comments:

Sarah said:

Yowch! That’s not fun. I agree with Gretchen, ice cream is an excellent remedy!

Gretchen said:

Vicodin’s good. Ice cream also works well. Really soothes the sore jaw after oral surgery (ask me how I know.)

I’m way ahead of you! I bought (and ate) ice cream the day after the surgery. I may have eaten a pint of Ben & Jerry’s yesterday as well. It definitely helps.

I have a pretty low tolerence for Vicodin. I took one the first night and half of one the second. That’s about as much of that as I can  handle. Fortunately it wasn’t too bad. I managed to avoid any of the common complications. The bad news is that I have another wisdom tooth that needs to go. It’s on the other side so I decided to have them done seperately so I could at least half-chew. I’ll probably get the other taken care of next month. Good times.

I think I’ll go cast on that scarf now. 😉

September 12, 2007

Ouch

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:57 pm by nephele

I had a wisdom tooth pulled yesterday. A very LARGE wisdom tooth – even the dentist felt compelled to comment on its size and I imagine he’s seen a few.

So… ouch.

I still haven’t blocked the mystery stole but I have at least finished another stocking. I’m on number 4 now.

I think I’ll go home and take some more vicodin.

September 6, 2007

Bound Off…

Posted in Knitalongs, knitting at 5:23 pm by nephele

But not yet blocked. I’m referring to the Mystery Stole 3. I finished it last night. See:
Mystery Stole 3 off needles

I’ve got something else on the blocking wires at the moment so it may be a few days before I block my stole. No, I’m not holding out on you. I’m just blocking something for a friend. As soon as I’ve got that taken care of, I’ll block my stole.

I don’t remember if I mentioned it before but when I was winding the Prism Lace Wool for the stole I managed to snarl it. I ended up breaking it more or less in the middle. I wasn’t to worried. There are plenty of yarns I could have used that would have required two or more balls. I just figured I’d run out at some point and need to join the other half in. Turns out I was wrong. Here’s what’s left of that half ball:
MS3 yarn remnant

Apparently the yarn knew what it was doing when it snagged up. I love smart yarn. 🙂

Speaking of doing stuff for friends… I knit a baby sweater this spring as a surprise. To keep it a surprise I didn’t blog about it. I then gave it to her before I remembered to take any pictures. Luckily, she’s taken care of that for me. You can see it on her blog. The pattern is from Natural Knits for Babies and Moms. The yarn is Rowan Wool Cotton.

On the subject of knitting of others, the red and white thing is a Christmas stocking. It’s one of six that I’m knitting for a customer. I’ve finished knitting the first two and I’m on to number 3.
stockings1
stockings2

They still need the names duplicate stitched at the top, the leg seam sewn and all the yarn ends dealt with but you get the idea. They’re also going to get a few beads and sequins added to the main motifs.

I don’t normally take on custom jobs (except for the design prototypes I do once or twice a year). This was by way of a bail out for my LYS. They had a – now former – employee who took in custom orders, took home materials and then didn’t do anything more. The stockings were one of those projects. The customer came in last January (!) looking for someone to replicate the stockings her mother had made in 1969. It’s actually kind of fun but not something I’d want to make a habit of, I’ve got way too many things I want to knit as it is.

Robin said:

Liz, your shell looks great, and fits you well. A nice color too. BTW, I washed my pima silk sweater, and it came out perfectly – gentle cycle, laid flat to dry.

Thanks. I envy you your washing machine. I gave the shell a soak in Soak and most if not all of the newspaper ink came out.

I don’t think I mentioned this on the blog before but while carrying the Lutea shell around it managed to get a little too up close and personal with a newspaper. I ended up with a gray streak about waist level on the back. Naturally it was about 5 inches down from where I was working. Since the mark was almost perfectly horizontal, I decided to just keep going. If it didn’t wash out I was going to cut out the soiled yarn and graft in a clean piece. Luckily, I didn’t have to do that.

Sarah said:

Liz, that looks so cute on you! I’ll bet it feels great on, too, that Pima Silk is so soft.

It is indeed very soft. It makes me truly regret the need to wear a bra. I found myself petting it a bit while I was wearing it.

knittingnoob said:

Wow I’m famous! It really looks fantastic on you, well done!

I don’t know about famous but I know how excited I get when I see my blog linked to from other peoples sites, so I understand. 😉

Next time: Mystery Stole Blocking (I hope).

September 2, 2007

Lutea Shell Modifications

Posted in How To's, knitting at 1:07 pm by nephele

I thought I’d do a quick post detailing the changes I made to the Lutea Shell pattern. If anyone wants to make similar changes you won’t have to start from scratch. As previously noted, I made the largest size listed. For other sides you’ll need to further modify things.

The first change I made was to purl the first round. I knew I didn’t want the rolled hem. I originally planned to crab-stitch around the bottom and I liked the idea of having the purl ridge as an added detail. From there I followed the pattern through all of the waist decreases. I’m  a bit short waisted so I took out 3 of the straight rows at the waist. Put another way, I started the increases 3 rows sooner. Other than that I did the increases as written.

The big changes started at the armholes. As written, the pattern has modified raglan style armholes. That is: decrease one stitch each side – repeat a bunch of times. I didn’t like this much. It even noted in the pattern that this would result in a deep-cut armhole on the larger sizes and might require an X-back or strapless bra. Ick. It would also make rather deep armholes. As a big gal I get enough of those from store bought clothes. I don’t need to make my own. No one needs armholes that go down to there waist! Also, since armholes are left unfinished, this technique left a bit of a pulled looking gap right where the two sides of the armhole split off. My solution? Scrap the whole thing and do my own shaping.

I started off by binding off 4 stitches on each side. At that point I continued working in rows on the back. I bound off 3 stitches on each side, then 2. Next I decreased one stitch on each side, every row for six rows, then every other row until I reached the stitch count called for in the pattern. I finished the back as written.

After the back was done I tried in on backwards. Why backwards? The pattern is the same front and back. I was pretty sure the neckline would be too high for me and this confirmed it. I wanted the neckline about two inches lower. This was slightly complicated because I would need to start the neck before I finished shaping the armholes but the neck starts with bunch of short rows.

It turns out it wasn’t all that difficult. I knew how many stitches were needed for the neck. I found the center and counted out from there placing makers to show where the neck section would be. The lace for the shoulders is a four row repeat. So all I had to do was to make sure that when I started the neckline the number of rows remaining in the armhole shaping was divisible by four. I wanted the neck to be about 2 inches lower so I went with 12 rows. So… when I had twelve rows left to do on the armhole shaping I started the neckline short rows between the markers. Once the short rows were done I continued with the armhole shaping and worked the lace pattern when I got to the markers. When there were no more stitchs on the armhole side of the markers, I just continued normally from there to the end.

Once the shoulders were finished off I tried on the top and decided it was just too short to look good on me. I thought about picking out the cast on edge and working down but then decided to make life easier and just pick up stitches and knit a few lace repeats.

The lace pattern alternates between 4 and 6 stitches but it starts with 4 so that’s what I worked with. The original cast on for the top was 220 stitches. I picked all of those up and I could have just gone with that but I wanted the front and back to be even. 220 stitches would have meant 55 repeats. So on the first row I worked two decreases on each side. That gave me 216 stitches or 54 repeats.

Since I was working with a stretchy lace pattern I didn’t worry about doing any shaping. I just worked 4 repeats of the lace followed by four rounds of garter stitch and bound off. That just left me a few yarn ends to deal with and it was done.

Gretchen said:

Your Lutea looks much better than the original– the lace hem suits it better than a stockinette curl. Good idea!

Thanks, I like it too. And really who needs a roll of fabric right at the high hip point? I’ve got enough rolls of my own.

knittingnoob said:

Do we get to see it on? It’s pretty, lovely color. And I certainly don’t blame you, I prefer longer shirts/sweaters.

I have no idea what you’re working on now, but I’ll guess something xmasy, since it looks red and white :p Hope its a fun knit!

-sigh- The things I do for the blog. I hate pictures of myself but I suppose it was inevitable that I’d have to do this someday…
lutea worn

At least it fits well. And you’re right, the new project is Christmas related. I’ve finished on and am almost done with number 2. Pictures next time. Probably of the Mystery Stole too.