Tuesday, March 1, 2011

lacey fun times and new proj

The other day in Border's I found an interesting knitting magazine with some cool patterns I wanted to try. There's a "tee" which is really summery and cute, an interesting vest, a gorgeous lace shrug and some cool sweaters. I took it home and now I am already knee-deep in my lace shrug!

Took me a few days to get started. Sunday night I spent an hour or so wondering which yarn to use. I can't buy any more yarn right now-- I can't. Well, I shouldn't if can avoid it, and I do have a pretty nice stash so there was no real need for me to buy more. But my Silky Wool, which is supposedly DK, seems so light weight-- more like fingering really-- and my gauge was waaaay off! But I decided to take a leap of faith and do it anyway. The yarn in the magazine sample is so pretty and it's smoother than this. The silky wool is kind of nubbly. But it's very light, so it will be great for spring/summer, and you know what, I had no excuse not to use it.

The pattern calls for casting four stitches onto dpns, joining in the round and working four repeats of the lace pattern ON DPNS!!! As if. I halfheartedly tried it on Sunday night, but it didn't work so I just put it away and thought maybe I wouldn't even bother. But then last night I picked it up and went right to work and it went so smoothly. I cast onto two circular needles, then moved to dpn's, then when it got big enough, to a circular needle.

 Right at the beginning.

The lace pattern went very quickly and pretty smoothly until the time of night caught up to me. I really need to learn that after my brain starts getting fuzzy I need to STOP knitting, because at around 11 last night I spaced out and hit a little bump in the pattern and spent the next hour trying to fix it. Eventually I had to give up and go to sleep. Today I fixed part of it but not the whole thing, so there's a little section of the lace that looks kind of messy, but it isn't really noticeable.

The structure of the shrug is cool. You knit out from the center back in this square lace pattern, with four lace triangles, and then from that large square, you knit out the two sides for the sleeves, which are seamed. Then you join the top and bottom sides for the ribbed band. Here's a visual to describe what I mean:

So this is the back. The stitches on the sides of the squares will be knit out into extra-long sleeves (which are so pretty and feminine), which also incorporate a lace motif, and then the top and bottom become the ribbed band.

Closeup of one of the lace repeats. By the time I got to the last fourth of the chart, the repeats were getting long and I was having trouble following it. Once I took my eyes off the chart to look at my knitting I'd lose my place. It was driving me crazy so I came up with a smart solution: I recorded myself reading out the stitches, and then I just listened to it and knit so I didn't have to look away from my knitting! How brilliant am I. I just read out the pattern in a measured pace: "Knit.... yarn over.... ssk..... knit..... knit..... knit..... knit two together...." I learned I had to pause for an extra second or two to get the ssk done, that takes a little longer, but once I figured out the right pacing it was the perfect solution. I did a recording for each row, then listened to them four times over, once for each pattern repeat in a round.

It was actually an excellent idea. Like, a great idea. And if I ever do another complicated lace pattern like this again I will definitely record myself reaching the charts aloud again. With the smaller repeats it wasn't so much of a problem, but when it got up to forty stitches in a repeat, it was sooo easy to lose my spot. I've never loved lace so much but this is very pretty, and like I said, it didn't even give me a lot of major issues which is freaking miraculous-- I ALWAYS end up mysteriously losing or gaining stitches in lace. Ugh. Anyway, this is such a quick knit! Now the sleeves, then the band, and done. And it's something I can be especially proud of-- something intricate and finicky. Usually I like to knit fairly simple stuff. Stockinette, cables, etc. Even the "lace" dress was barely lace-- it was just feather and fan which is pretty much the easiest thing.

Speaking of my dress! I found the PERFECT slip at Macy's-- literally PERFECT. The only thing is the straps are a leeetle thick so I will have to sew them in a little, but other than that, omg perfect! It was the first one I tried on. It was slightly miraculous. I thought it would be very difficult to find something that would fit just right under the dress. It basically is exactly what you want in a slip-- it doesn't look like you're wearing anything, yet you're totally modest!!!

See what I mean?? I'm going to wear it to my Bon Voyage party in May.

I've done some other little knitting things the past few days-- made a few iPod cases for Etsy, and I also did this silly little thing...

Tee-hee... Can you tell what it is?


I can't take full credit for this idea. My friend Theresa put a truffle in a little piece of knitting I had and it looked so cute that the idea for a "truffle cozy" popped into my head and wouldn't leave. At the time it seemed like the best idea in the world. I would call them "Truffle Friends" (or "Frendz") and embroider little faces on them. I was so thrilled about this idea that I came home and actually MADE one. And it's... like... kind of hilarious. Everyone to whom I told my idea was at first like "Oh... um... ha ha..." but when I actually showed them the finished project they all cracked up and said "Hahahaha it's so cute!!!"

So I might make a bunch... for Etsy... haha... I know it's so ridiculous. But there's a lot of ridiculous, unnecessary stuff out there. I mean we have to get creative with our knitting, or we'll get bored, right?

I was thinking, packs of five, "Truffle Frendz", keep your chocolate safe! And each Truffle Friend would come with a truffle, of course. Hahahaha. So silly. But come on, it's so amusing.

Also finished baby sweater commissioned by my aunt:

Took way too long. Should have used a heavier weight yarn, but I had this stuff in my stash so I figured why buy.

And making a bit of progress on the baby blanket for my friend:

It takes a little concentration but I like the pattern a lot. It's like little pinwheels. It's also soft and summery (baby will be born in July) and unisex (I like to think)! Who says boys can't wear pink.

1 comment:

  1. I love reading your blog. Even though I see everything in person it's interesting to read all about it. LOVE the truffle cozies!!!