Tuesday, December 21, 2010

First fitting

Actually tried on the skirt today. My pictures are pretty awful, since I either took them by holding the camera out in front of me or with self-timer. Imprecise.

I love the colors. It's pretty but short, and I only have 1.5 balls left of the yarn. I doubt I'll be able to work down to the length I want. So I really have to return that other Stroll Tonal, and I guess I'll order one more ball of the Swish DK. With the yarn I have now, I can maybe work three or four more inches. I'll see how it looks when I'm finished. Tomorrow is my LAST day of work before a FOUR DAY VACATION!!! So I'll have lots of knitting time. I can't tell you how excited I am for my four days off. I've been getting up BEFORE SEVEN to go to work for the last three days. It's hell!! OK, maybe not hell, but it is painful. And tomorrow is the laaaast morning I have to do it. After that, I sleep in! ... Err... what was I saying? Oh yeah, knitting time. I'd like to finish up the yarn by Sunday at the latest. Maybe it'll be long enough. Although I may want to finish with a few rows of garter because of curling issues.... so then I'd have to plan ahead. So I'll just keep trying on the skirt as it gets longer.

Side view. Can you even tell which side is the front and which is the back? Barely. I have NO butt. I really wish I had thought of Sketchers Shape-Ups before Hanukkah, because they are a hundred bucks. I may have to treat myself to a pair just so I can fill out this skirt.

The buttonholes are too big. I used a bind-off/cast-on buttonhole, and I cast off two stitches because they are big buttons, but it should have been just one stitch. Oh well.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sundries: Skirts and Camera Cases

Okay, just one skirt. My Winter Wonderland Isobel:

It is at about 13" right now and it's super-lovely. I can't wait to wear it. But I do have at LEAST six and a half more inches but probably more. I have a feeling when I try it on at 19.5" it's going to be slightly too short. Though I want it to be short-ish, above the knee, I also want to be comfortable-- I hate constantly worrying about tushy/upper thigh flashing. This skirt naturally rests at the waist, so it'll need more length. I did about an inch yesterday watching Glee (that show sucks-- I don't understand the hype) and hanging out with my cousins, who were great. Love it!

Small side project-- always great for morale when you're working on something big. I got a sweet new camera and my old camera case is a bit too small so I decided to knit one. My first try was this:

Yuck, right? It was too small. I always tend to knit with negative ease because things tend to come out too big, so even though my gauge suggested I knit 6 repeats of the honeycomb stitch-- 36 stitches-- I omitted one repeat and only did 30 stitches. And it came out way too small, with the stitches pulling apart unattractively. I sewed on velcro strips (very poorly, obviously) and then I did one cool thing-- a fingering weight lining. Since my camera is new and has a touch screen, I want it to be sufficiently padded and protected, so I picked up stitches around the wrong-side opening with a sock yarn and two size 1 circulars, and I knit a little sock for the case. I didn't check gauge or anything-- why would I?-- so I had no idea how many stitches to pick up. Therefore I picked up too many and decreased a lot, too much actually, until it got too narrow at the bottom. Basically it was a fail all around.
So I decided to try again. I flipped around my stitch pattern books for a while and found a cool wicker stitch pattern that I liked, and decided to use up the rest of my Clementine Shine Worsted (see headband) because it's soft and has a nice weight. Here it is:

I like it much better. I worked a 17-stitch repeat-- purl 4, wicker stitch 13, purl 4-- for 11". I probably should have made it a little longer so the flap would be longer, but I didn't. Tonight I sewed the seams and sewed on velcro. The first kind-- see the picture above-- was a fancy kind for holding cables that my dad gave me, but it wasn't strong enough so I cut it off and sewed on the regular velcro. The flap is still a little short but it is secure.

Here's a close-up of the cool wicker stitch:
The pattern calls for a cross over-- using a dpn for like little one-stitch "cables"-- but I decided to do a right twist instead so I could work faster. It's so cool-- I like the stitch a lot and it's really simple.

It goes like this-- with multiple of 13 sts:

Right twist-- skip one stitch, k second stitch tbl, knit first stitch and remove both stitches from left needle.
Left twist-- skip one stitch, p second stitch, p first stitch, remove both stitches from left needle.

RS: K1, work right twist four times.
WS: P1, work left twist four times.

SO EASY! I worked it with a 4-st purl border on either side.

I'm also going to "line" it with another layer of fingering weight knitting. But probably not tonight. My eyes hurt.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Knitting Day Off

I had a day off today, so I watched my new 30 Rock DVDs and knitting. I'm working on my new skirt. Because I got my Knit Picks shipment the other day!! I forgot to tell you about it. This is what I got:

8 balls of Comfy Sport in Serrano. 75% Pima Cotton, 25% acrylic, sport weight, 136 yards. I want to use this to make a lace dress from Vogue Knitting. But that's not really a priority. I'm thinking I'll start working on that in the early spring, maybe. It's a summer dress. To be honest, I have my doubts that I can make this fit. It'll be much harder to modify a lace pattern than a stockinette one. But it's pretty and I want to try. However-- not for a while.

4 balls of Shine Worsted in Robot, 60% Pima Cotton, 40% Modal, Worsted weight, 75 yards.
I want to make a baby blanket for Eli and Shoshi's new baby boy Yitzhak-- Zevi's little brother! I won't see him for at least five months, though, unless I mail it. I'm a little worried that I might not have enough, since the yardage is very low. I'm considering returning one of the other skeins or maybe the needle I ordered and getting more of the Robot instead. I don't have a pattern yet.

5 skeins of Swish DK in Big Sky, 100% Superwash Merino, DK weight, 123 yards. I'm already using this in my Isobel skirt which I got going on today. I LOVE the Swish DK-- seriously, I absolutely love this yarn. I had one ball of Sugar Plum already so I'm combining it with the light blue for the skirt. The Big Sky colorway is beautiful, like an aquamarine blue. And I just love the feel of the yarn. It's soft, easy to work with, washable!! I'd love to make more stuff in this yarn.

1 skein of Stroll Tonal in Queen Anne, 75% Superwash Merino, 25% Nylon, Fingering weight, 462 yards.
This is the skein I'm considering returning. It's pretty, I like the colorway, but I don't need it for anything and I'm not in love with it. I only got it because it was on sale and I needed to break $50 to get free shipping.

I also got a new needle. Size 1 32" circulars. But I think the needle is the same exact size as my other Knit Picks needle, just longer, and I don't really need it. So I may return that too. I don't know yet.

Anyway, knitting wise, this is what I did today-- my new skirt:

Waistband in Sugar Plum, skirt in Big Sky. Instead of the button loops I did actual buttonholes and used some more of my Tiger Button Company buttons:

I'm going for a Wintery Wonderlandy theme-- icy blue, sugar plum lavender, silver buttons. The only thing is, it's extremely slow going. I don't know why but the inches aren't adding up that quickly. And the rounds are going to get big. By the last increase, there should be almost 300 stitches in each round. It is going to take a long time to finish this skirt, I think.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I finished it I finished it I finished it!!!!

It is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo(etc) pretty. I used six wooden buttons from the Tiger Button Company. The color is beautiful, the fit is perfect, it's totally comfy, it's just GORGEOUS!!! YAY FOR FINGERING WEIGHT SWEATERS!!!!

All my little mods:

CO 192 sts. Worked 2" in 3x3 rib.
Bust shaping: at 8", began increasing for bust, 4 sts every 10th row six times --> 216 sts.
At split, worked in pattern except less stitches between halves.
For collar, picked up only 133 sts instead of 180.
Didn't work any buttonholes at all. Used three buttons on the sleeve, three on the collar.

This was a lot of fun. Next project!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

So close!

Hello friends!

I am SO CLOSE to finishing my Plain & Simple short-sleeved sweater.... So close! All I have left is one more inch of the collar, and then the ribbing in the sleeves and final finishing.

Here are some pictures! I am LOVING the collar.

 If the images seem particularly sharp, it's because I took them with my BRAND NEW Canon Powershot!!!

It's plenty fitted... maybe TOO fitted... I don't know. The bottom hem ribbing pulls in a little bit. And the sweater may make me look a little chubby. Maybe I'm just being paranoid. Women of my particular persuasion, i.e., large chested, are never, ever supposed to wear high-necked tops. I'm breaking the rules here. We're only supposed to wear V-necks and never crew necks or turtlenecks. This is like a cross between the two. But I still LOVE IT!!! Once it's finished, it will be sooo pretty. My only issue is, worrying that it makes me look fat. Why does knitting have to be so lumpy??

There are a few mods-- I'll post them all when I'm finished with the sweater. Should finish it tomorrow.

Another finished project-- made myself a new hat Monday night:

 It's a newer version of my old entrelac hat. (See earlier posts for tribute.) It's the same color family-- the old hat was turquoise and red, and this one is jade and magenta. I did a ribbed border, then decreased across the next row-- k2tog, p2tog-- to achieve the smaller number of stitches needed for entrelac, and then I just proceeded as usual. It took about 3.5 hours start to finish. I like it a lot.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Mamash Progress

Yesterday was a VERY productive knitting day! I decided to finally finish my aunt Hayley's skirt. It had been weighing heavy on my knitting conscience. It just . . .wasn't going anywhere. I started it in September-- over two months ago!!! I got over the bulk of the work and then I just lost all motivation. But yesterday I knew if I didn't complete it I never would. So I went to work, finished the flare, worked the star stitch hem, bound off, and blocked. And it is DONE.

Thank goodness.

With that out of the way, I felt free to start working on more recent and exciting projects. So I went intently to work on my cowl neck. I got a HUGE chunk of it done. On Friday night I had split the top to work the back and front separately and worked the first few rows of the front. Saturday I finished the front, including the sleeves and neck edges. That required 35 rows back and forth after casting on 8 stitches at each end, for the sleeves, and then splitting the front for the two sides and decreasing at the neck edge. I worked the left front to a 7" armhole and the right front to 8". This morning I started the back. My only concern is that because I cast on less stitches than the pattern called for, I have less stitches left over in the middle of the front. There are supposed to be 29. I have 8. But I looked through the rest of the pattern and the only thing I see for the front is that I need to pick up stitches for the cowl, presumably including the leftover middle stitches, so I don't think it'll be a problem. The back doesn't get split-- you just work back and forth until the armholes measure 6", so that's a chunk of knitting. I am at 3" now. Just a few more inches and then I'll be finished with the body and ready to move on to the button band and collar. PROGRESS!!!

It looks much better too. I tried it on when I reached the split and it fits well! I wonder if I'll ever wear it. That's the problem with knitting, at least for me. I work so hard knitting sweaters and I never wear them. Maybe this will be different. I like the fingering-weight. It takes much longer for sure. But the fabric is much thinner and less bulky... we shall see. I always say, "I'll actually wear this!" ... yeah. Well, one thing I must knit and will wear is a new hat. It's getting freaking cold around here. I need a hat to keep my ears warm between my house and car and between the car and the mall. I'm thinking a newer, more evolved version of the entrelac hat. Hmmmm.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Okay, okay, getting back in the groove

Making some progress on my cowl neck:

Still not done with the body, but I finished with my custom bust-shaping. Modifications (so far) as follows:

CO 192 sts.
3x3 rib for 2".
Work to 10", then begin bust shaping. Place markers at beginning and middle of round.
Increase 4 stitches every 10th round four times as follows: Slip beginning marker, k3, m1 by knitting into stitch below, knit to 3 sts before the middle marker, m1, k3, slip marker, k3, m1, k to last three sts, m1, k3. 216 stitches.
Work even to 16".

And that's where I'm at now because I have only knit to about 14.25". So I still have to finish the body and then I'll start the yoke-- AND I'll be able to try it on and see if it is actually nice and FITTED like I want. It's going pretty fast despite the tiny yarn and needles.

On another note, it is HANUKKAH! Happy Hanukkah to all my brother and sister Jews! For the first night of Hanukkah yesterday, I got a knitting book I've been coveting for a while-- the newest Mason Dixon:

I really like this book. There are a few patterns that interest me, like some socks and some crazy Fair Isle throws that are simply beautiful. Also some dishcloths I'd like to try. I love adding to my knitting library!

Another knitting thing- yesterday I ordered another $50 worth of yarn from KnitPicks. I got yarn for a few potential projects: 5 balls of Swish DK in Big Sky for my skirt; 4 balls of Shine Worsted in Robot for a baby blanket (I hope 4 balls is enough); and 8 balls of Comfy Sport in bright red for a lace dress I want to make at some vague, random point in the future. I also got a skein of Stroll Tonal in Queen Anne, a colorway I really love. I have no plans for this, but it was on sale. And I also ordered another circular needle, since the tiny ones are A. hard to find and B. expensive. I got a 32" size 1 circular. I don't have any projects in mind per se, but it will come in handy. I also plan on ordering the Knit Picks Options Interchangeable Needle Set at some point. It's expensive, but less expensive comparatively with other needle sets, and I have had a good experience with my KnitPicks circulars-- sleek, sharp, flexible memory-less cable, great join.The yarn should come in a few days. But I really do have more to do. My aunt's skirt weighs heavily on my heart. I MUST FINISH IT, but I just have such a powerful reluctance, like a knitting mental block.