Thursday, December 13, 2007

What should I take...

... on my holiday trip? I will be spending about 12 non-driving hours in the car, and with it being a car trip, I don't have space restrictions in terms of packing and project size. So... socks? sweater? lace? hats? I don't know what to pack! ::wails::

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


The buttons for my mom's Wicked came in yesterday. I was worried about them not arriving in time and they showed up two mailing days after I ordered them! So my mom will get her very belated 50th birthday gift (oh, didn't I mention that in my last post? Yeah, this gift is almost 8 months late... oops) on Sunday at our family's Christmas party. Hopefully I'll remember to take pictures!

Next up:
Knitwear Surgery. There are some things in my knit wardrobe that, while I really like, need some modifications. They will go under the knife soon. What am I changing? Well, since you asked...

This will be lengthened in the body and sleeves. And I may omit the the ribbed cuffs and hem and throw in a purl row instead. Nothing against ribbing, but it just isn't working for me on this sweater, and since I'm already going to be removing the hem and cuffs to lengthen it, why not change it?

Next is a big modification. One that's not actually a modification at all.

This is getting frogged. And re-knit. It is simply too small. Plus the neckline is too wide. Aggressive blocking has not helped. Wearing it has not helped. It is too small. I'm not too worried though, because it was knit on US 10.5 needles and won't take too long to re-knit. And I do love the sweater as well as the buttons, so lets git 'er done!

This lovely thing is great except for one small part

The turtleneck/cowl has relaxed just enough to resemble a bib. I will be re-knitting the turtleneck/cowl with a US 9 needle (it was originally knit on a 10.5).

This pile of coziness (it is a VERY warm sweater) needs a new neck.

I'm not sure how I'll do it, or if it will work (the neck is the cast-on edge), but it needs to change. I'm thinking rollneck?

This needs new buttons

The current ones are too heavy, stick out a bit too much, and are too many in number. I'm thinking wooden buttons, and I'm thinking of only sewing on a button at every other button spot. Don't know how that will work though.

This needs longer arms

...just maybe an inch will work.

These need shorter palms

and this is too big!

I'm going to re-knit it on US 6 needles because I really like the hat otherwise.

Whew! I have a lot ahead of me!

Friday, December 07, 2007


Well, its been awhile since I posted, and that's because I haven't finished anything very noteworthy. I have knit a few hats and scarves for holiday gifts, those will get posted at some time. Good daylight is hard to find now. I haven't completed the two additional sweaters yet, but I have re-calculated and decided that I have through January to finish, because this sweater streak started in February of 2007.

On Sunday I decided to make my mom a Wicked out of the huge pile of off-white Suri Merino I have. I had 66 balls of that yarn. Why 66 balls? Its a long, long story that I won't get into here. Lets just call it a mix-up. Anyway, white is not my color. I actually hate white things. Diamonds, clothing, underwear, shoes, yarn, walls. Ick. So the yarn has been sitting around for a couple of years. Recently I swapped a bag out for 7 more balls of yarn for this sweater. And I'll probably get rid of 7 balls of yarn to make my mom's Wicked. The rest I am thinking about dyeing. We'll see how that goes. The yarn is actually quite lovely, but I've never had any interest in dyeing. I guess it would put that crock pot with which I never cook to good use. Wicked is coming along well. I started it Sunday and have two inches of ribbing for the hem left. Then start the 3/4 sleeves. I just ordered shell buttons from here, so hopefully they'll get here soon. My mom's family's holiday Christmas party is next Sunday and that's the only time this season I'll get to see her. I know the sweater can be done and blocked by then, but only time will tell whether the buttons will come in time.

The other sweater that has stalled but is near completion is the Dollar and a Half Cardigan. Here is a picture of the back (unblocked)

All of the pieces are now finished, with the exception of the button band. The seaming is what is stopping me. I hate seaming and linen is not fun yarn to seam and lace is not fun to seam and I don't like seaming. Wah. And I'm not motivated to finish it because I probably won't be wearing it much in this weather. But it will be finished. At some point. Maybe I'll offer to knit someone's CPH button band if they seam for me :) :) :) Or knit them a hat or socks or anything else they might like.

Next episode: Knit Surgery

Monday, November 19, 2007

Which Typical Anti-Hero Are You?

Now I can hook up with Edward!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Not my FO

So about a year and a half ago, I was reading Grumperina's knitting blog and I fell in love with this sweater. For a while now I've been really wanting to make this sweater, sans turtleneck, just like Grumperina did. However, I've never had quite the right yarn in my stash for the sweater, and it has been on the backburner ever since. Now and then I would think I had found the right yarn for the sweater, but then when it came down to casting on I realized I really wasn't sold. The pattern I was more than sold on, but the yarn? I wanted a nice smooth yarn, perhaps a merino or something along those lines. Many plies, very soft. Then came Grumperina's post about selling off her handknit sweaters. Having never worn many of them, she decided to part with the lovely works of art. So I bit. I emailed her and asked if the Swirled Pentagon Pullover she had knit last May was one she was selling, and if there were any prospective buyers yet. Well I guess I was the first one to email her about it, and after double-checking against my other sweaters and determining that the sweater would fit, I happily sent her the money to pay for the yarn, a small commission, and shipping (Grumperina, thanks for buying sale yarn!). And now this sweater is mine. With only one problem. I can't photograph the damn thing! These pictures are the best I could get, even though some are in daylight with someone else taking the pictures.

This sweater rocks. I am contemplating doing some very minor sweater surgery to lengthen the body and sleeves a bit. We'll see. In the meantime, I'm all about this sweater! I've already worn it twice. Yay for sweater weather!

I have always wanted a penguin...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Swatch Wall

Apologies in advance. It is dreary out and I had to use the flash. Pictures are somewhat sub-par and sometimes washed out. Now that you're so excited to read the post, I present to you...

My Swatch Wall. I got the idea from the book Last Minute Knitted Gifts. Basically, I had swatches lying around and decided to hang them on the wall. You can't tell from the craptastic picture, but It is actually kind of cool. And it is right above my desk, so I get to look at pretty yarn and knitting every time I'm in my office. Its pretty nice. So now my dirty secret is out. Sometimes I swatch. Not always, though. Swatches lie. But sometimes you need guidance. Like the following swatches:

This is cashmere. It was knit on size 6 needles. Frogging compromises fiber, and I don't want to compromise expensive yarn (even if it was wholesale) by knitting with the wrong size needles and then frogging.

This is from the LSD cardigan. The first time I started it, it was waaaayyyy too big. I was also concerned (this being superwash wool) about having the problem I had when I knit Tubey, I wanted to do a swatch with smaller needles and throw the swatch in the washer (and dryer) to see if it shrunk or grew. It did neither. So I cast on for LSD v2.0. I don't really like knitting it very much, and the yarn's not that great feeling, so progress is slow.

To make Zeebee, you have to swatch. You can't just guesstimate by the label (well, maybe YOU can, but I can't) because you knit the hat in garter stitch. You need to know both row and stitch gauge.
And, oh, what is this?

Its another Zeebee! In Noro Silk Garden. Thanks, Swatch! Quickie specs, since this is the 4th Zeebee I've knit, it doesn't need its own post. US 8 needles, 58 grams of yarn. I could have used less than one skein if I was knitting it for myself, but I wasn't. It fits the wearer nicely though!

This swatch was actually knit after I started the garment. It is from when I was knitting the Bluebell Boatneck, about which I did not blog (I don't think). The problem was that the parts of the sweater in stockinette looked fine, but where I did ribbing and garter stitch (and even reverse stockinette), it looked like the fabric was being knit on too-large needles. I was wondering if the yarn plumped up at all after washing, so I knit and washed a swatch. The swatch did plump up, so I knit on, and finished the body of the sweater. I tried it on and determined that I am not wild about the purl ridges that Stefanie Japel (the sweater designer) loves so much, unless it is on a more... delicate (?) yarn and smaller needles, like this sweater. So the sweater is waiting to be frogged and will become a top-down raglan in stockinette stitch with rolled hems/neck knit on US 7 needles (because I still think it would look better on smaller needles. Just for the hell of it, here is a picture.

This was knit for the Dollar and a Half Cardigan (I've got both fronts done now, but its not very blog-worthy. BTW, I hate decreasing for armscyes in lace. Though I think I might have it figured out, now that most of the sweater is done, HA). I was trying to figure out what size to knit, and I wanted to see if linen (or, rather, a linen/acrylic blend) grows much after blocking. It does not. So negative ease would be bad in this situation. 36" bust it is!

So there you have it, my secret is out. I am a sometimes-swatcher. And actually, I kind of like swatching. I like the little pieces of knit fabric, and I like being able to look at them and think of the sweater I have knit/am knitting/will kint (there are some swatches up there for projects I have not started yet).

Next episode, I will answer Bek's question: "What are you actually working on right now?" She asks that because she knows the baby sweater and hats were finished a couple of months ago, but I didn't want to blog about them until I'd gifted them, on the off chance that the wearer's mom would come across them (she is starting to knit, a tiny bit).

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

There's a baby coming

...but it is sure as hell not mine! My co-worker is having a baby in less than two weeks. Her shower was a couple of weeks ago, and she was gifted with loose tea from Stauf's (the tea is for her, not the baby) as well as three knitted things from me.

Placket Neck Pullover from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts knit with two skeins of Debbie Bliss Rialto on US 7s for the smallest size.

The small and the large Umbrella Hat from Oneskein knit from one skein (both hats were knit from the same skein) of Classic Elite Lush on US 7 needles. This yarn was AMAZING to work with! Sosoft.

It was interesting knitting for babies... short, squat bodies, tiny arms, big-ass heads. And the knitting flew by, which was nice. Sorry for the bad pictures... normally I try to photograph FOs on the wearer but this wearer is in utero. Maybe her mom will give me a picture at some point?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

What a Koolaass haat!

I present to you the Library Hat (scroll down, the hat is called "Koolhaas").

While it does not resemble books, it has a really cool backstory. It incorporates two of my favorite things (libraries and knitting) as well as something that I bet would be a favorite thing if I had ever been there (Seattle). It is also a very cool-looking hat. And snug and and the perfect length. I knit it from 70g of Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran, a really great machine-washable merino yarn. I used US 6 and 8 needles (size 6 for the brim). The pattern itself was not the most fun to knit (it kinda made my hands crampy) but it was well-worth it, and this made things easier. Overall, I love the hat, and will be knitting another at some point. Although, not soon... what the hell happened to my sweater goal? I guess there are still two months left in the year. I could always knit up a couple more chunky sweaters, right? All of this fun hat and scarf knitting has gotten in the way. Instant gratification, my friends.

Monday, October 15, 2007

A Scarf for Me!

I am very excited about this scarf.

Knit from two skeins of Manos on US 11 needles, it was a total Instant Gratification Project (2 days, I think?). I love how the herringbone stitch of the sweater is perfect for Manos's variegated colors. Plus it is a nice thick squishy scarf, of which I have few. Bring on the scarf weather! And the sweater weather and the glove weather and the hat weather...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Zeebee for BeeZee and Zeebee for MeeBee

Two more Zeebees, knit on size 8 needles in Manos del Uruguay

and just for fun, here are two Octopodes, crocheted by Bek

and action shots:

The Octopodes are MeeBee and BeeZee

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Buttony and a long-term WIP

The last of my streak of sweaters knit on large needles

Meet Buttony. I'm a little "meh" about this cardigan. The design of it is great, but there were some problems with the pattern. It calls for 9 balls of Debbie Bliss Merino Chunky, knit on US 9 needles. Well, I decided to knit the sweater smaller than the one size that the pattern is written for (cast on 80 stitches instead of 96), and I decided to add waist shaping. I also knit the sweater on US 10.5 needles. So theoretically, I should have used less than the 9 balls of yarn. But I used 12. That's right. Twelve. And I didn't even lengthen the sleeves and torso (they were written long enough in the pattern). I'm wondering if the yarn that the pattern author used wasn't Cashmerino Chunky, which has 72 yards per 50g (for a total of 648yds) instead of Merino Chunky's 55 yards per 50g (for a total of 495yds). I used about 650 yards. Also, looking at the pattern photo, the yarn has a certain sheen that Cashmerino Chunky has but Merino Chunky does not. So that's my verdict.
Finishing this sweater was a bit of a pain. I had knit to where you separate the body from the sleeves (it is a top-down sweater) and I had used 3 1/2 balls of yarn. I realized that I probably wouldn't even be able to knit a 3/4 sleeve sweater with the 10 balls of yarn I had. So I set out to find more. Well, this yarn is discontinued. And apparantley the color I used (401) was discontinued before that. So I ended up having to beg someone on Ravelry to trade with me so that I could get a few more balls of yarn because the yarn was impossible to find from ebay or an online yarn retailer.
In the end, its a bit too tight and the neck is a bit too wide. I was trying to conserve yarn and thought the yarn would block out so that I could stretch the sleeves a bit, and thus knit the sleeves kinda tight, but no such luck, this yarn doesn't grow very much with blocking (maybe because it is superwash wool?). I might end up re-knitting the whole sweater at some point, as I have 5 balls of yarn left over. Lastly, I knit buttonholes every 16 rows instead of 10, as I wanted the sweater to be a bit less "buttony."

And now, for a much more brief introduction to a WIP that will most likely be long-term.

This is an Elizabeth Zimmerman-inspired seamless hybrid, and it is great movie theater knitting. It is for a man, so no waist shaping needed, thus it is perfect auto-pilot knitting. At least for now. So I only work on this when I'm watching a movie in a theater, hence it'll probably take a while to finish.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Dead Leaves and a Solution?

Well I must have been thinking about the next FO I was going to blog about when I accidentally typed "drop stitch" instead of "drop shoulder" in my last post (well, my last real post). That's because there is a non-intentional dropped stitch somewhere in this sweater:

Meet Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground aka the Lace Leaf Pullover from Loop-d-Loop. Dead Leaves was knit on US 11 needles using Rowan Polar in color Combat. I used less than 5 balls of yarn for this sweater. Modifications? The usual- waist shaping. I decreased a total of 12 stitches and then increased 12, following the shaping on Marilyn, since they were knit at a similar gauge. Verdict? I like it a lot. The yarn is a little itchy, but I guess I'll usually be wearing a tank top under it at the very least (or a long-sleeved shirt if I wear it to work), and I have thoughts about re-blocking the neck so that its a bit wider. Good idea? You can also see the graft line (cuts my boobs in half laterally), but I'm thinking that will even itself out after a few wearings. Why is there grafting involved in this sweater, you ask? Well, I guess you can't knit lace leaves upside-down, so you knit the bottom half bottom-up, then the top half top-down, and then graft them together. Which some people hated, but I loooooove grafting. Seriously, love it. Its a way to knit with a darning needle- how darned cool is that?! Sorry, moving on... Oh and speaking of grafting- seaming and grafting with this yarn is a BITCH. It gets fluffier and loftier until it is essentially roving and really easy to pull apart. In fact, I'm going to blame the yarn for my dropping a stitch when I was grafting the top to the bottom. I realized it after I was done and didn't feel like going back, so I just pulled the offending stitch inside the sweater and tacked it down with some yarn.
As an aside... I accidentally bought a lot of this yarn (we won't say how much or how one "accidentally" buys too much yarn. But it honestly was a mistake, and lets just say that British currency was involved and leave it at that) and was thinking that, especially since they are 100gm balls, a whole sweater would make a dent in the pile I had, right? Nope, less than 5 balls used. So, it looks like I'll be knitting a simple all-one-piece raglan out of this yarn, because I'm not freaking seaming anything with it ever again!

Ok, onto the promised "solution?" to my drop-SHOULDER sweater problem mentioned here. Well, here is the body and cowl of the sweater

This is the Placed Cable Aran. And I love the sweater. But yeah, drop shoulder, not for me. So I think I might rip everything out to the armpits and re-knit it as a set-in shoulder sweater, so that I can keep the cables the way they are. I'm afraid that if I knit it up as a raglan, I'd lose a big chunk of the cables along the way. The one and only thing that pains me about doing all of this is that what I've knit so far has already been blocked out. I guess that shouldn't matter, but I've never re-knit already-blocked yarn. Well, here goes nothing!

Sunday, October 07, 2007


oops, i meant drop-shoulder, not drop-stitch... hehe :D

A FO and a WIP

Wip wip! wip wip! What a funny sound. So believe it or not, much has happened since I last posted, even though (gasp!) it hasn't been ages since I blogged. So here is a Fabulous FO. Meet Marilyn.

Marilyn was knit with 8.5 skeins of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky in color 26. This bad girl was knit on size 11 needles. September was an instant gratification knitting month for me. I knit not one, not two, but three sweaters on size 10.5 or 11 needles. Yikes! And I love them all, actually. But back to Marilyn. Marilyn was heavily modified. The XS size had a bust measurement of a whopping 41". Thanks, but no thanks. I ended up casting on 112 stitches total for the body (this was knit in the round instead of flat, like the pattern calls for) and did the decreases and increases as written. For the sleeves I cast on 24 and increased when I felt it was necessary (sleeves were also knit in the round). All in all, I love this sweater. Its very cozy and still cute... but this thing is HEAVY. 8.5 skeins of yarn, 100g per skein equals .85 kilograms, which equals 1.873 lbs. Yikes! Good thing I live in Ohio.

As promised, I cast on for the $1.50 cardigan

... and wow, the back is done already. How did that happen? Am I not working with size 5 needles and linen yarn and half lace pattern? Well yes, I am, but this pattern somehow seemed to fly by anyway. Before I knew it I was ready to decrease for the underarms. I then put it aside to treat myself to some new knitting with some nice merino, and I cast on for the LSD cardigan. And holy moly my gauge is way off. I'm substituting Debbie Bliss Merino Aran (pattern calls for Artyarns Supermerino) and so I knew there would be some difference, but this cardigan is clocking in around 40" (I'm knitting the 33" size). So time to frog, swatch, and cast on again. Sigh.
And lastly, I think I've made a decision regarding the drop-stitch mess in the aforementioned post. Details to come.

Sunday, September 30, 2007


I jinxed myself with my last post. Well, maybe not jinxed exactly. You see, I realized last night, as I was knitting sleeves for this that the whole thing was just not going to work. You see, ever since I knit Central Park Hoodie in the 40" bust size and realized that it was a bit of a mistake (albeit a mistake I can easily live with, in this case), and then I knit Wicked a bit too small, I have been knitting sweaters with negative ease, or, if I'm feeling like a comfy sweater, I'll knit something with no ease. I've found that that works for two reasons. First of all, I have a belly. And women with bellies look much better in things that are form-fitting rather than boxy crap like this which was knit a size 36" bust with no waist shaping. Bleh. Second of all, blocking my sweaters produces a drapier fabric that I love, but that usually stretches out somewhat. So I knit things small. Back to the problem at hand. So the sweater I'm working on now is a drop-shoulder sweater. I've never knit one of those before. I didn't realize, when looking at the model whose sweater is slightly oversized (but she's a model, so it looks good on her), that the sweater HAS to be sloppy-looking in order to work. So now I have this lovely sweater body and cowl neck all knit up and blocked, and a nice looking half-sleeve that will simply never work. Pictures will come later when its not dark out. Flash sucks. So I think what I'm going to do is rip the body out to the underarms and re-knit the yoke so that the sweater will either be a raglan or will have set-in sleeves. Le sigh. I also realized that the Tilted Duster jacket is not for me. I can't pull that off because I will look pregnant. And I'm glad I was able to realize that before I knit it, because it is a large... um... duster. So I cast on for the Dollar-and-a-Half Cardigan and because the yarn is not that lovely to work with (linen), I'm also going to cast on for the drug sweater. That's right, thanks to Bek the Lucy In the Sky Cardigan has a new name. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds=LSD.

And because blog posts without pictures are bad blog posts (at least where knitting is concerned, I leave you with this:

The elusive Tina cat. She sleeps more than any cat I've ever had/lived with/known.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


Every now and then I will read a blog posting in which a knitter declares that she/he is going to knit one sweater per month over the course of one year. I have never known anyone to have met this resolution. I always thought it would be kind of cool, and that if I worked less (I have one full-time job) or lived alone or was new in a city with few friends or SOMETHING where I had more free time on my hands, only then would I be able to acheive such a goal. Um, yeah... so I've knit 11 sweaters this year. Well, almost. I have one that I haven't blogged about because it is still drying on the blocking board,

one that needs the sleeves to be blocked, then sewn on the body,

and one that just needs another sleeve knit.

I count those because I expect to be done with them this weekend. Whee! I also count another sweater that I expect to be done with by mid-October at the latest. It only needs another 1.5 sleeves.

So that makes four sweaters that are nearing completion that I have yet to blog about. Plus these:
Central Park Hoodie, finished in February (started Christmas Day 2006)
Cabled Spiral Pullover, May
Rogue, May
Snow White, June 2007
Trumpet, July
Wicked, finished in July (started in June)
Fonn, finished in August, started April-ish

Which equals eleven. Now they were not all completed inside of one calendar month. In fact, one was even started a week before 2007 began. But they were all finished in 2007, and I figure that as long as I average 12 sweaters over the course of 12 months, I can say I knit a sweater per month, right? Now, before you start saying "wow, you knit a lot!" let me point out that four of these sweaters were knit on US 10.5 or 11 needles. That makes for very quick knitting. The others were all knit on US 6, 7, or 8 needles. No 4ply yarn for me, no ma'am.

So I need to knit one more sweater this year to meet that goal. What shall I knit? These are all looking like tasty knitting... but I can't decide what to knit next.

Swirled Pentagon Pullover on US 7 needles in this yarn (Cash Iroha), minus the turtleneck, like Grumperina:

Dollar-and-a-half Cardigan on size US 5 needles in the recommended yarn (Reynolds Soft Linen, a linen/acrylic blend)

Lucy in the Sky Cardigan on US 7 needles in this yarn (Debbie Bliss Merino Aran):

Tilted Duster on US 8 or 9 needles in this yarn (Jaeger Shetland Aran):

Decisions, decisions...