Sunday, January 27, 2008

Who makes my day?

[2217276217_bf2e8a2057_o.jpg]Holy cow, I'm a winner! I won an award, twice! Now I have to pass it on!

First, thanks to Gitte and Knitography, who honored me with this award. Now, who has made my day?

1. Good Knits Road. She makes the most unbelievable sock. I mean, she made socks based on the album art from the most recent Morrissey album. That's just crazy! And awesome.

2. Craft Pirate. Look at her most recent sweater!

3. Knitspot. Always an inspiration. I would like to age into Anne Hanson. Anne Hanson can age into someone else fantastic while I slowly take over her identity.

4. The Runcible Bin. All manner of craftiness, with gorgeous pictures nearly daily.

5. Knitsane. Intelligent thoughts on fashion. Lovely photos. And HABU knits!

WHEW!!! Okay, I'll save my next five nominations for my next post, because that actually took a lot of thought and I'm pooped. Why? Because I've been working on this this weekend, and boy does it take forever:

Latvian mitten: 11 stitches per inch on #0 needles; four colors. Hours and hours. Better pictures soon!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The first demonstrable sweater of 2008!

I finished my cardigan last night and wore it to work today, to much admiration! It's warm and cozy and fits perfectly. I love it!

I made the back collar much more dramatic than the pattern suggested.
I also added extra rows of the contrasting color (yellow), used roving for the contrasting color, did no sleeve shaping, and redid all the numbers because my gauge was different than what was suggested.

So I made a sweater sorta inspired by the one on the cover of the Rowan Ribbon Twist Collection.
One of my bosses called it "The Admiral's Sweater," a moniker which has seemed to stick.

P.S. Chris is crafty, too. I saw the light on in our study/library/craft room, and upon entering I saw this, Chris using one of my sewing machines to make a cat toy filled with fresh catnip from an old t shirt. Wow.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Excellent New Cardigan

A while ago I bought a full bag of Schoeller / Stahl "Excellent," a rather nice wool/acrylic/alpaca blend, from Elann for about $25. It's been in the yarn room for some time. In the interest of making new stuff from my existing yarn pile, I started a cardigan based on one in the Rowan Ribbon Twist collection.

The yellow is roving that I dyed especially for this project. The dye is Cushing's acid dye, purchased from Crown Mountain Farms, which I heartily endorse for their amazing service and crazy great Sock Hop sock yarn. Yeah, I have some in the stash... you can get some too on February 4! Check out their web page!

I can't get this yellow color off my mind, expecially when paired with grey. I couldn't find the yarn I envisioned, so I made it. And it's perfect. The pieces are steam-blocked and ready to sew up. I'll be wearing it Monday with my NEW HAIR!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Delight Children and Astonish Adults! Oh, and thank you, but I don't need a sandwich.

I present: New Job look for January 9, 2008! Oh, the curiousity and delight I left in my wake as I commuted to and from work.

In knitting news, after the holiday present rush it's been nice to finish up some small projects. These baby shoes, for example, presents for upcoming baby showers my mom will be attending:
Or the Slate socks, really so lovely:

Receiving a giant box of Rowan in the mail isn't bad either. There are some pretty serious sale prices at Jimmy Beans Wool; I got the yarn to make an Anise from New Shapes (I knew I needed to make one after I saw this one on Flikr. Wow!!! I ordered Big Wool Fusion for mine in a light grey (which I've noticed is now sold out), since the marled colors look so nice.

I'm also going to make Bark, a crochet pattern from Rowan Magazine 38 that I overlooked many times due to the overwrought nature of the photo shoot. In a shocking turn of events, I'm making it in the very colors and very yarn called for in the pattern. Rowan... per specifications!
I appreciate everyone's comments on my previous post. The design I'm working up will be available in bust sizes 30 to 54 inches, because WHY NOT. It's a simple design and a matter of simple math. I understand the difficulty of sizing up/down patterns with a lot of cables or complex colorwork, but the simpler stuff? WHY NOT. No one should have to slim down or "eat a sandwich" in order to look good in their handknits. If I had a dollar for every time I was told to eat or even offered a sandwich, well, I wouldn't be working at New Job, as Fine as it is.

Friday, January 4, 2008

It's go time!

New designs are coming when the "Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns" is on the couch, opened to the "Sizing: Child" section. "Sizing: Adult" begins at a 36-inch bust. I have things to say about this, but I'll refrain for today.

The socks next to the book are for my mom, almost completed, made of Colinette Jitterbug in "Slate". Yes, I've heard the complaints, the complaints about knots, and fading, and the fact that colors vary widely from skein to skein, regardless of dye lot, and, of course, the cost. I had no knots in my skein, but the socks have patterned very differently, and I only used one skein. One is seriously brighter than the other, so two socks from two skeins could be a disaster, unless you're into fraternal twin accessories. As for the cost, I was able to make two medium-height women's socks, size 9, from one skein, but anything taller or larger would need two. And then you encounter the fraternal twin thing after putting over $40 into the project. Hey, I report, you decide if the entrancing colors and kooshy softness are worth it.

However, you could make this hat from one skein. Tempting!

And last, I offer you some details on one of my Christmas projects: Dud's Cobblestone Pullover (there are better photos on my Flikr album... see the right sidebar). The Pattern: Easy, flattering, manly. The Yarn: Nature Wool in color 44. A lot of work, winding skeins and learning the character of each (there's not even the notion of a dye lot here... I purchased a full bag and it looks like it came out of one big pot, and all the skeins had been sitting in different parts of the pot, and not really stirred about) and then planning which skeins to use for which portions and how to alternate them to get a relatively cohesive body and sleeves (fraternal twin sleeves, no thank you) and a yoke with higher contrast. I love it. I'd do it again. If you can find the Nature Wool, it's likely on sale, I got mine MAD CHEAP at Little Knits, where I noticed it's now out of stock. It's soft yet wooly, without any of the plasticky feel of Cascade 220 or other cheaper wools. Highly recommended!

Before I head out to do some yarn shopping (seriously, that's where I'm going: Windsor Button and Yarns in the Farms, which has a big sale this weekend!), check out this link: I got my Parfait 3 in the mail the other day and plan on ordering many for friends!