Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Up for the challenge

Boy have I been busy lately. At work, when it rains, it pours. Everyone is done with the holiday festivities and late January they all come beating down my door. At home, things are the same, but my husband has been super busy at work and stressed out, and on top of that, things like this happen (the woman in the article was his law client) and he has put his work aside to address them.

Things are starting to calm down. We've booked a vacation for early May!! We're gonna do one of those out-west things that I never did as a kid. Right now, we're flying into Phoenix, seeing the Grand Canyon and then hitting Vegas for a few days. After that, we're still not sure. We have about a week between Vegas and when we fly out of San Diego. We want to see Los Angeles, but aren't sure yet what's worth seeing....

On to knitting. Sahara is done, ends woven in, blocked and folded in my closet. Hopefully Saturday I can get my photographer outside with me to take some pics.

In the meantime, I've cast on for 2 new projects. I contemplated doing knock offs of these a while back, and have decided I am up for the challenge. Part of the fun is figuring it all out, right? Well, first I am making a version of a cabled yoke cardigan from Karabella. I drew out a schematic and have hopefully calculated it all correctly. There's not much progress to show, but I am working from the top down and am ribbing away at the yoke.

I like the buttons though. They were $3.99 for 2 at Joann's, so I only bought 2 with a coupon. I'm waiting for a sale or more coupons to come in the mail. Am I cheapo?

The other new WIP is Beau, for my beau. I decided to make this one easy on myself and follow a basic crew neck sweater pattern for a guy and add in the stitch details. Here's my sketch of what I think it should be. I spent time zooming in on pictures on the internet and counting stitches and rows with my pencil tapping along the monitor screen.

And here's what it looks like so far.

I will surely show more of these when they get more interesting. American Idol and 24 have helped increase my knitting time, and there will be even more when Lost comes back next week.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Fickle Pants

Some of you may remember a cable v-neck sweater I had started for my mother in the hopes of finishing for her birthday, which was this past Wednesday. Well, shortly after I posted my pictures of the finished Forecast, I continued knitting feverishly on her sweater. I went over to see my mom one night and happened to have the sweater in my bag (since I was knitting it any chance I could get). She saw it, and the conversation went something like this:

Mom: "Oh, that's a thicker sweater than I thought it would be."
Me: "Well, it's an aran weight, so it's not going to be real light, like a lace-weight."
Mom: "Oh, ok."

Three hours later, after I went home:
Phone rings.
Mom: "I was thinking, I really think that sweater's going to be too heavy for me. I think I'm going to get hot in it. Can you make some lighter, like one with holes or something?"

So here's what's left of my mom's sweater:

I returned the unused balls. I figured I could use these for a baby knit or a hat or something.

This led me to thinking. I change my mind a lot, too. Could it be genetic? Or is it some socially learned behavior? Either way, I often think I should rename this blog to Fickle Pants Knits. I did a little re-organizing of my WIP and to-knit list and realized that I don't really love a lot of the patterns I thought I loved a few months ago. I was changing my mind, like my mother.

Every time I picked up my Grannie Smith Cardigan, it would take me like an hour to do 2 rows with the Kidsilk Haze. I think the diamond lace pattern just stumps me. This is the progress I had made on it over 6 months:

The pattern shown is from Luxury Knits by Amanda Griffiths and is what I hope to turn my Kidsilk Haze into. The sweater looks WAY over-sized, but I plan to shrink it down a lot. The lace pattern looks easier and is memorizable, and it calls for two strands of KSH, which should be easier to work with.

And here's what left of the Grannie Smith:

More fickleness: I got some lovely Cascade 220 to make the Bell Sleeve Jacket from the VK Holiday Issue. But now I am being fickle and thinking I want to make the Cabled Cardigan from the Fall Issue instead:

But, just to prove I must have some of my dad's steadfastness in me, I am making great progress on Sahara. Here's a peek:

The Disco Lights are fab! More details later.

PS. My mom picked a lace pattern from Luxury Knits too, to be done in elann's Baby Silk. We'll see.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Forecast Finished

May I present the first FO of the new year: Forecast!

Toby gives a high five - good job, Mom!

Stef Japel's Forecast from knitty

Yarn: Cascade 220 Tweed in Dark Purple (color 610, I think). A little less than 4 skeins.

Modifications: The popular ones from the KAL. 3 stitch bobbles instead of 5, starting the ribbing at the elbow and just under the bust. Made it a little longer overall and calculated for a 34" size, between the 32" and 36". And I only added 9 buttons instead of 10, only because there were only 9 buttons left at the store when I bought them.

Verdict: I really like this one, even more than Arisaig. I feel like it's a flattering fit and texturally interesting. The yarn is soft, and I feel like this is one I can wear with jeans or nicer pants, too. The only thing I didn't like was the yarn bleeding on my hands while knitting it and that it's started to pill on me already under the arms and sides :(

What I learned: I had never made bobbles before. They were fun.

Would I knit this again? I'm not one for re-using a pattern when there are so many fabulous ones I haven't done yet, but I would certainly consider this as a gift for someone.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A Happy 2007

Happy new year to all! Hope everyone had a fun time ringing in 2007.

Oscar partied his tail off.

Looking back, 2006 was a great knitting year for me. I had learned how to knit back in 2002, but it wasn't until I discovered all your knitting blogs out there that I really got motivated to take my hobby seriously. Thank you to each of you bloggers out there for being a source of inspiration, approval and help in my knitting journey!

Besides starting this blog in 2006, with the title Fancie Pants inspired by my college roommate who nicknamed me this when I painted clouds on my bedroom ceiling (she now calls me Fance for short), I did manage to knit a good collection of goodies, with some of them never even being photographed, as the blog didn't really get going until summer.

14 hats
1 long sleeve sweater
1 short sleeve sweater
4 sleeveless tops
1 shrug
1 one skein wonder
3 baby sweaters
1 camera case

As you can see, there are zero socks and zero mittens on this list. My knitting resolutions for 2007 include:

1) Give double pointed needles a fair chance. They aren't so bad....right? Maybe I'll make a pair of Fetching and see for sure.

2) Knit something with intarsia

3) Then step it up a notch and knit something in fair isle

4) Instead of being on a yarn diet, allow myself to buy and stash yarn. I am generally a stash-phobic, so this is a good one for me.


With 2007 now underway, I have two new WIPs to share. The first is a v-neck cabled sweater (free pattern from straw) for my mom. It's knit with Valley Yarns Superwash (gotta love WEBS). Trouble is, this is for her birthday, which is, uh, January 17. Yeah. Two weeks away. Will it get finished???

Part of the reason my mom's gift may not get finished is my absolute infatuation with this:

Not sure how it happened, but I managed to perfectly match up some Jaggerspun with some Tilli Tomas color-wise to make Sahara by ordering over the internet. They are pretty much exactly the same. I was hoping for a general color coordination, but this was a Christmas wish come true. Ok, I'm being dramatic, but I'm excited! This pattern is way fun to knit and I am SO excited to see how it looks when the disco lights are added at the edges.

Hope this year is prosperous and happy for all you bloggers knitwise, and in life generally!