Sunday, September 27, 2009

Are you bored of socks yet?

I do apologize if so.

The latest plain sock is done:

I'd plotted to keep these for myself, but unfortunately, this one was too short for my ginormafoot. So it'll have to go to someone for Christmas or a birthday--I can hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth from here.

The first Hibiscus Sock is also finished:

And its mate is well under way.

Otherwise, the sweater is DONE (!!!). Pictures will be forthcoming when it's all dry and I can finish the seaming and put the buttons on.

I have to get knitting on something else. Maybe a scarf? Or a hat, I haven't knit a hat in awhile. What I really want is to knit another sweater, but unfortunately that's beyond the budget at the moment . . .

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sock it to me

Bad blogger is bad. I've mostly been working on the Endless Sweater this past week, but there's been a fair amount happening on the sock front as well. The first Hibiscus sock is past the heel turn:

It doesn't look like much without a foot inside, but I think it'll be very pretty. This pattern has some odd things happening in the shaping--you break the yarn to start the gussets, which I've never seen before. It works out, though, so I suppose it's just another method to add to the mental list. This shot really shows off the silk in this yarn--see the sheen?

I've also worked some more on the latest Mindless Sock:

I really like the combination of the self-striping yarn with the plain white. I can't wait to wear these. They're so soft.

In other news, the Endless Sweater nears completion. The whole thing is knit and pieced, and I'm on the buttonbands/collar. Anything more will have to wait until Thursday's knit night, though--I want to pick out some buttons before I make the buttonholes! In the meantime, you may visualize a giant blob of oatmeal-covered yarn. (It looked pretty sharp and much less blobby until I picked up all the collar stitches.) And in the meantime, I'm going to knit some more socks.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sweater thoughts

The cardigan progresses apace--the first sleeve is done (pictured below), and I'm about halfway through the second. Sleeves? Are really boring to knit.

This leads to some thoughts I've been having lately, about sweater design in particular. This is the first sweater I've ever knit for myself. As you may have gathered, I'm a big girl. Sleeves for big-girl sweaters are bigger than sleeves for other people, making them 2485 times more boring to knit. (Scientific measurement.) But you know . . . they don't have to be.

In Borders the other day I was paging through a book of sweaters designed for, shall we say, ladies of size.* I asked my companion (my friend R3, an occasional knitter himself) to tell me what the patterns had in common. When he admitted he couldn't see it, I pointed out that all of the sweaters were shapeless. Baggy. Boring.

Now, there are certainly women (and men) in the world who look good in shapeless, baggy, boring sweaters. Some of these women are even plus-sized. But LOTS of us, if not most, look a thousand times better in something fitted. Whether or not you have curves to flaunt, odds are good you still look better in something that doesn't do its best to drown you. Also, can we talk color for a moment? News flash, my designing friends: FAT PEOPLE CAN LOOK GOOD IN RED. Astonishing, inorite?

So I decided to do something about it. Pictured above along with the sleeve is what came for me in the mail today--The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns.

I have this vision in my head, you see--of a close-fitting, V-neck, fine-gauge sweater (very like one I already own), in a sophisticated black . . . or maybe a bright crimson. And since it doesn't seem to be out there already--I'll have to design it.

*Note: this is not the famous Big Girl Knits, which features very shapely, fitted (and, not coincidentally, beautiful) sweaters. I've been waiting on the softcover edition and am SO EXCITED you have no idea omg.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A few new things

The cardigan is still on Sleeve Island--but at least progressing, however slowly. Maybe by next week I'll have the sleeves done so I can block everything and start putting it together? A girl can dream. (Note: sleeve one is not yet done. This is perhaps an unrealistic goal.)

Meanwhile, I've cast on some new stuff that will probably move at a snail's pace while I continue to focus on the sweater.

First, the beginning of a Dreams of Madeira scarf in JoJoLand Harmony. (I think it's colorway HC02; I don't have the ball band handy.)

Although the yarn is very, very fine and a little tricky to work with, it's absolutely gorgeous. Aspen knit a beautiful Gail from the same stuff in colorway HC08--go check it out.

That's going to be my knit night project for the near future--the lace pattern (thus far) isn't complicated, so it's a good choice for sitting around gossiping.

I also began (of course) a new pair of Mindless Socks with some Regia leftovers. (Oh, by the way, the pattern is now available as a Rav download.) My hope is to use up all the stripey stuff on heels, toes, and cuffs so I can get three or four pairs out of the white. We'll see.

Anyway, time's a-wastin'--and this sleeve won't knit itself.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Once again, I'm rather boring--still plugging away at the cardigan. I finished the other front and I'm now firmly on Sleeve Island. On the bright side, I seem to be looking good gauge-wise, and when I took my first sleeve off the needles to check fit, it was fine. Something I found interesting , too: based on the pattern info, it was going to take about eight skeins of the homespun to make the sweater (seven of the main color, one of contrast). I'm about halfway through the ball of contrast, so that should work perfectly with one more cuff and the neck and front edges to knit. Of the main color, though, I'm only on the fourth skein. Unless the sleeves somehow take twice the yarn the fronts did, I expect I'll have about 450 yards leftover--more than two skeins. Maybe I'll knit a matching scarf.

Otherwise, I've been plotting out Christmas knitting--there are lots of men in my life who'll be needing scarves, I think, and some other folks who rate socks. I don't knit socks for just anyone. Glad I'm getting the jump on it now, though; I think I have rather a lot to do . . .

I did finish these:

Another pair of Mindless Socks, in SWTC's Tofutsies, 50/25/22.5/2.5 wool/soysilk/cotton/chitin, size 0/2mm needles. This is the leftover yarn from the Waving Lace socks I knit for myself last year.

I mentioned it back then, but it's worth mentioning again--I love this yarn. It can be a little awkward to work with, but it knits up beautifully. It's also a great value--$16.50 or so for a 100g skein. This is less than you'd pay for the same yardage of many sock yarns, and I got not one but two pairs out of this skein, making it even more economical. And it's cute!

Said completed socks are now wending their way to a friend who lives far away. I hope she likes them.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I hate to leaf you hanging

I don't have much to show for myself lately. I spent most of the last week immersed in a Sekret Projekt (oooh, exciting) or, failing that, in the Endless Sweater. Which is kind of big and tan and boring, given that the bits all look more or less alike.

I have put in a little work on this, though:

This is the beginning of an Embossed Leaves sock from Favorite Socks in Great Adirondack Yarn Company Silky Sock (70/20/10 merino/silk/nylon), colorway Hibiscus. Yes, the colors really ARE that bright.

And . . . that's all I got. Stayed tuned 'til next time, when I demonstrate that big, tan, boring cardigans continue to be big, tan, and boring.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Almost forgot!

I neglected to mention--I put up the pattern for this little scarf the other day. It can be found as a Ravelry download here. (Those without Ravelry accounts can email me if interested.)

The Endless Sweater, Part Two

I've been giving the sweater a lot of love lately. See? Here's the complete back--

And left front, minus neck and buttonband, of course. (I think maybe I'll attempt steam-blocking everything before I assemble it.)

The light in the backyard was awfully gray when I took these--the real color of the sweater is much more buttery, and it's more accurate in this picture of the skein.

Here's a close-up of the cable, which is a simple front/back cross.

I've made a few modifications to the pattern so far. First, I moved the cables a little closer together. In the pattern as written, they're placed closer to the armscye. Having consulted pictures on Rav, I decided I didn't like the look. (I also thought they would fall oddly across the bust if placed that way.) As it is, if I were to do it over I'd move them even farther toward the neck. Second, I omitted the pockets--I didn't like the look of those, either. I do have a plan for them, though, which I'll get to later.

I will note, though, that these modifications were made because I'm picky, not due to any fault of the patterns. As always, Swartz's instructions are excellent.

Now off to work on the other front . . .