Saturday, July 31, 2010

Here There Be Dwagons

The baby sweater is finished! Here it is, blocking. (Complete with the Irishman's toes.)

And here is the finished product:

Yarn: Dale of Norway Baby Ull, about 1.5 skeins 8523 (green) and 0.5 skein 0090 (black). This color of green has been discontinued, unfortunately.

Pattern: "Baby's First Tattoo" from Stitch 'n Bitch Nation, size 3 months, 3/3.25mm needles.

Once again, I used intarsia for the motifs rather than embroidering them afterwards. Here's a closeup shot of the adorable dragon.

There was a moment of extreme panic when I realized I was going to run out of green halfway through the second front. (And I'd already finished the damn sleeves, too.) Fortunately, a Ravelry hunt came up a partial stashed skein, and the very nice owner traded it to me for some of my leftovers. Even better, although the dyelots were different, it's impossible to tell which is which.

Once again, I found the pattern frustrating--even more so than last time, honestly--and I'll definitely never knit it again. (Especially because I'm finally out of the black Baby Ull.)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Candy cane

We've had some excitement around here lately. Remember the big storm that knocked out power to much of the DC area? We had power, fortunately, but we were without internet until this morning. Ah, sweet, sweet internet, how I have missed you.

And I have things to share. Among them, the candy cane scarf is finished!

Yarn is Venezia Worsted (70/30 merino/silk) in colorways 101 (white) and 104. This yarn is just a dream to work with (although somewhat splitty, especially if used with pointy needles.)

Pattern: my own, based on the Fleck Stitch from Knit and Purl.

Remember how I was going for 60"? Uh, try about 75. This is me, demonstrating the finished product. I may have overshot the mark a ~tad~. But no worries--I think it's very nice anyway, and it will keep someone nice and warm. (Isn't my pineapple shirt cute?)

Now on to scarf number four, and I'm not sure what I'll do. I'll have to go stash-diving and see what's appropriate. And I don't know if I'll just do my thing or seek out a pattern that someone, y'know, actually wrote down. So many options . . .

Also, it is the Irishman's birthday. Happy birthday to my main squeeze!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Old Navy scarf

See, it's blue, and I've had it for so long . . .


Anyway, this is the second scarf for the Red Scarf KAL.

Yarn is one skein of good old Cascade 220, colorway absolutely unknown. The cable is the Large Woven Cable from Cables & Arans.

And yes, the coffee table IS sitting on the loveseat in that picture. It says something about my house that when I asked a housemate why this was so, he replied "jumping jacks." Of course, I then decided to use the table to model knitwear . . .

Those of you keeping count may have noticed that while I pledged 12 scarves for the effort, I'm only done with two and a half. I think I may try for six, which is more reasonable given my schedule.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bits and Pieces

Pretty much same old same old here. Irtfa'a looks pretty much the same as last time. I've done about 20 edging repeats, so it is still stuck in big black blobdom. I've at least gotten into a rhythm with it, so I can do a couple repeats every time I watch TV or whatever. (The Irishman and I are watching Studio 60--he's a big Aaron Sorkin fan, and we've already gone through Sports Night.)

The baby sweater is getting closer to completion--both sleeves are done, and the first front is alllllmost finished. It'll be done today, and I can at least get the second started. Then comes some blocking! The dragon is adorable, by the way.

And the cross-stitch continues.

I've finished a couple of things, but I think I'll leave those for future posts. I'm so ready to move on to new and exciting knitting--I've already got a few things lined up. (As in, balls wound, patterns copied, the whole nine yards.)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Too Hot for Knit

Too hot for proper grammar, either!

I'm just blah these days--it's hot, and all my knitting is stuck at either super-complex bits or bits that are boringly easy.

Maybe if it cools off at some point . . .

Friday, July 2, 2010

Let's Talk Lace

Now, it may not show too much on the blog, but I am obsessed with lace. I consume Anne and Alison's blogs like they are sweet, sweet, lacy crack. I cruise patterns on Ravelry and elsewhere, favorite other people's shawls, and buy more laceweight than I can possibly knit. I've even published a lace pattern and have written several more that are in various stages of development.

So it probably comes as no surprise to anyone that I have quite a few books devoted to lace on my shelves. I thought today I'd discuss my most recent acquisitions, which promise to become favorites.

First is Nancy Bush's Knitted Lace of Estonia.

I have occasionally had--shall we say, issues--with Nancy Bush's patterns. (No way you got that gauge, lady!) But she's a wonderful writer, a wonderful knitter, and the flaws are really mine, not hers.

Knitted Lace of Estonia is a treasure for the serious lace knitter. It begins with a fascinating history of Estonian lace and knitting, then delves right into some Serious Knitting. The technique section alone is worth the price of the book; I've found myself consulting it for advice on other people's patterns!

I haven't knit anything from the book itself yet, but one of the things I love about Ms. Bush's books is that she assumes (nay, encourages!) that knitters will be consulting her work for ideas and influences for their own designs. To that end, she includes an Estonian stitch dictionary--with charts! (Seriously, written instructions just aren't the way to do lace.) In conclusion, A+, would buy again.

The second book I'd like to talk about is also lace, but completely different lace: Alison Jeppson Hyde's Wrapped in Comfort.

Rather than a history of knitting, Wrapped in Comfort is a personal history--a series of vignettes explaining the origin of each lace shawl (or scarf) and giving the reader a glimpse into Alison's life, complete with friends, family, and birds.

There's a handy intro to lace knitting, and the patterns are beautiful, but I confess, I probably won't be knitting them. (Well, maybe. I love the Ann Arbor shawl, and the Redwood Burl shawl is really pretty, and, um, I'm rethinking this.) The point of this book, really, is that reading it--and, unlike many knitting volumes, this book is meant to be read--is like sitting down with a old friend over coffee.

Alison's style is breezy, cheery, and funny as hell. Wrapped in Comfort is like reading a whole lot of her blog entries at once--and I mean that as a compliment. Incidentally, kudos to her editor for leaving her voice intact; it's so rare to find a pattern book that reads as if a real person wrote it.

As I said above, I don't know if I'll ever knit anything from this book, but I'm sure glad to have it and read it whenever I need a little cheer. (And you know, Michelle's shawl would look super in Malabrigo . . .)