Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mad skillz

So, my needle arts mania has found some far and wide applications this year, and apparently has set me up a notch or two in the opinion of my children, or at least my son. After many a stuffed-animal surgery to repair split seams, my son definitely sees me as his go-to-gal when something -- especially that of the soft and flexible variety -- has come undone. Is it odd that I felt a trifle of pride when he brought home a hacky-sack from a friend at Cub Scout camp that was in need of repair? His friend was forlorn over the unraveling of said sack and Jacob piped up that his mom could fix it (queue the hero music). Cursory examination proved it to be crochet so I got out my tiniest hook and some coned cotton weaving thread (no, I don't weave, but I was a mad cone-yarn stasher for a while. Don't ask.) and went to work.

Not bad, eh?
Then there was the trampoline. The beloved trampoline. The well worn and time tested trampoline. Sadly, the precious injury-preventing net is getting old and brittle and has given way to quite a few holes that just get bigger and BIGGER. Gaping is a word that comes to mind. Stash diving once again to turn up some old black wool/cotton blend and hook in hand, the holes (one about 6 feet long) were summarily repaired. Who knew a little crochet could save kids from a few potential broken bones, and my pocketbook from the price of a new net?

And I get to be super mom. Life is good.
In other wonderful, happy business news, Sereknity Yarns are now live at The Loopy Ewe! YAY! And I also got word that Sereknity was also selected as a vendor at Spa Knit and Spin 2009. Again, YAY! Hope to see you all there.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I'm a very. very. bad girl.

Ummm...I recall last post mentioning that I had slightly fallen off the no-yarn-buying wagon and was mostly resisting casting on new projects. Remember that? Yeah, not so much, anymore.
First, I went to the JCA warehouse sale in Townsend, MA. And may I say, considering the offerings, I showed amazing -- AMAZING -- restraint. AND I went in with a list! No willy nilly stashing for me! Well, not totally willy nilly. I got two bags of Jo Sharp Silk Road Ultra in a gorgeous brown to make the Irresistible cables sweater by Cecily Glowick from Cast On Nov2007/Jan2008 (listed on Ravelry as Cable and Lace Pullover) that I have been dying to knit, and just waiting for the perfect yarn (I can't believe no on else on Ravelry has knit this!); 2 bags of Adrienne Vitadini Natasha in a pale, pale celery that will either be Wisteria or Sunrise Circle Jacket, a bag of Fragrance in the most be-a-utiful teal that may become Slanted Neck Pullover (yeah, Kate is kinda my go-to-gal, her and Norah G.!), and lastly 4 kit bags of Lopi that had 3 skeins each for $7 that I will use to make the Drops Jacket 103-1. Yes, I went with my list of projects and yarn requirements. But, well, Sunrise, Wisteria, and the Slanted neck weren't on it - but they are in my queue!
And even tho I have cast on my sleeves for Eastlake (this is for knitting at the shop), and Jacob's sweater (easy, mindless karate and soccer knitting, getting close to the divide for the sleeves), and I have started Jim's scarf in an abbreviated version of Kinetic (this one is kicking my ass for no good reason. Time out!), and I have numerous mittens and such to finish from LAST year, I cast on my cable and lace sweater.

I am almost at the point of starting the yoked ribbing, which means putting the rest on hold while I knit the sleeves. I'm debating a provisional cast on for the sleeve openings, and knitting them down, but we'll see. That decision will be made tonight, as I only have one more cable repeat to go. I LOVE this sweater, the pattern, the yarn -- everything. I have made a few minor modifications and am hoping I have judged my gauge properly. The Silk Road Ultra knits up to 12 stitches over 4" on size 10.5US needles and I decided to run with that rather than try to get gauge on smaller needles so as not to sacrifice the feel of the fabric. I am knitting in the round, rather than flat, eliminated 2 edge stitches each side on both the front and back since there will be no seams and am knitting the smallest size. If my math and gauge -- and estimation of what size I truly am -- are all on target, I'll be happily wearing this sweater by next week. YAY!
Now to go sit in the corner for being so bad. But I'm taking my knitting with me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Phyllo finished!

I finished my sweater and I am in love. I don't know whether I love my sweater or Norah more. Genius! But, you all knew that. I wanted a more fitted sweater than the original pictured version (the pattern is from Norah's inspiring book, Knitting Nature) so I knit the smallest size (I am a 38 inch bust) and the resulting sweater has just the look I was going for. It skims the body very nicely without being either tight or baggy. It also came out to be the perfect length for me. I normally add an inch or two to everything I knit to elongate my rather short waist, but I only added about 1/2 of an inch on this knit. I did knit it in the round, and fretted greatly over the front shaping, wondering why Norah would want a decrease across the bust (it isn't actually -- it was just under the bust and does create a nice shape). I decided to trust the master and go with it -- so glad I did) and if my mods for doing this in the round were done properly, but it came out just right in the end. What a quick and easy knit. I did knit the arm sections first and am so very glad I did. Once done with the very long and mindless portion of stockinette for hte body, I had only to join the sleeves and begin the yoke -- I think if I had to knit the sleeves after the body, I may have severely stalled out.
So, here it is -- photos courtesy of DonnaH -- thank you!

I used just under 10 balls of Cascade Pima Tencel -- 10 balls! I had greatly feared running out, and had 3 shipped to me by a wonderful Raveler in Canada who had the same dye lot, but turns out I needn't have feared. I do love this yarn, tho, and will certainly find a use for the remaining three. Perhaps a shrug for Rachel. She likes purple. My only critique of he yarn is that it does shed -- a lot. But, I haven't washed it yet (bad knitter) and I'm hopping the first wash will solve a lot of that.
finishing a sweater always leads me to a grand mal case of startitis, and while I have SOMEWHAT resisted the call of the needles, my queue (and stash) have grown. I did cast on a sweater jacket for Jacob out of some Lion Wool that has been languishing in the stash for this purpose.

Jacob LOVES yellow, so when I saw this wool, and the Jacob-approved companion colors, on clearance at my local W-big-you-know-who-store, I grabbed it. My search for the perfect pattern to fit the insanity in my head cannot be found, so I'll be designing this one myself. Nothing earth shattering, really -- a top-down raglan zip-hoodie, but the differences will be in the details. I may want to submit it somewhere if I am happy with the results, so pictures will be scarce.
Also cast on was the incredibly gorgeous Eastlake sweater from Norah's Norah Gaughan Vol. 3 in the very un-original (for this knitter) choice of yarn and color as that of the original pictured sweater.
I NEVER do that. But, well, Norah knows best, and the marriage of design, fiber, and color just couldn't be beat. HAD to have. I am knitting the sleeves first onthis one as well, as much to be as swatches as anything, but I do like getting the sleeves out of the way. (I did some swatching already, so fear not, but I'll double check after washing the sleeves, I appear to be right on pre-washing, and that is just where I want to be for this one, given the size I am knitting). I bought all at the Yarn and Fiber Co and that will be my in-store knitting. I really had a hard time deciding whether or not to cast this on first or Alison Green Will's Jaali from Twist (for which I have the MOST scrumptious Stacy Charles Dynasty in an amazing wine color, purchased at Sit N' Knit in CT), but Eastlake won out for now, but I have a feeling I just might end up with the two going at once. Of course, I also have that scarf I need to knit for the hubby...and we won't discuss the socks.
In other news, there has been a major update over at the etsy shop -- and I stil have more and yarn to list, so be sure to check it out! I do have multiple quantities of most items, so be sure to PM me if you need more for your project.