Thursday, June 28, 2007

OMG, I'm in heaven!!

I checked my email this morning and there was my invite to Ravelry! I just stopped and stared. I've been waiting for this moment for over a month.

I know it's hard to tell each other's traits through a blog, but I am an overly organized person. I am the type who is constantly cleaning out drawers, buying organizing bins and keeping things straight. I can't stand clutter. Ravelry is knitting heaven for me.

I am getting stuff up and am running home to photograph EVERYTHING today. I've been thinking that I should start taking photos of my stash, and now I will! I am going to look for you all to add to my friends section.

Ms. Marigold and Something Blushy are on their way to FO-land. Progress report soon.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Blogiversary and WIP update

Here is a look at the knitting pile occupying me lately:

Something "Blushy", aka knit and tonic's Something Red. This is attempt #2 at making a pink cardigan with cables to give it a fitted look. It needs to be blocked, but I think it gets at what I was going for. Unfortunately, I ran out of yarn here - with about 1/3 of the sleeve to go. Order for 1 more ball has been made. This should be done next week.

Trellis, from Knitty. I'm not sure yet who this is for. I have 2 pregnant friends and depending on who has what (sex-wise), this may get done speedy or slowly.

My poor mother's lingering sweater. I know she won't wear this 'til fall, but I really need to get my act together and finish it! I've got the back and one sleeve done and just started the front.

Ms. Marigold. Ah, Ms. Marigold. Those who read last week's post might notice that she looks a little shorter. Hmm. Well, I was just about finished the bottom last night and decided to try it on. It was way too big! I ripped back to the armhole and am inserting decreases instead. I tried it on again and am glad to report it fits. Maybe this one will get done next week too.

Last, and yes, least, is the Cable Down Raglan. Why did I cast this on? I don't know. I've wanted to get it going for a while and think it will get good wear on cool nights and early fall. Isn't there enough in my WIP pile as it is, though? What was I thinking? Seriously.

And, this week is my approximate 1 year blogiversary. Thanks to those who read and/or comment. I think the feedback, advice and help we share in this community is just amazing. So, thanks!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Ms. Marigold: Revisited

Last summer I knit Ms. Marigold using elann Sonata. This is what she looked like:

Hi, I'm Ms. Marigold. I'm too short (see Amanda pulling my sides down?) and too tight across the middle.

To make a long story short, I ran out of yarn for this project twice, which means the little ruffle was not very ruffly, and well, that's what I like about the project. In the end it took me 4 balls of Sonata, though I could have easily used 5 to make it longer and rufflier. So the total cost of that project was about $7.92 in yarn + who knows how much in frustration.

What was the fate of Ms. Marigold? Well, she was placed in a bag to be donated and may be in the land of misfit knits for all I know. I figured since I could buy a sandwich combo meal for what she cost to make, it wasn't worth frogging. It felt good to send her away and start over.

I bought some Berroco Touche in a yummy bubblegum color (and bought LOTS of it, no running out of yarn this time!) and have re-started my new, improved Ms. Marigold:

A few changes this time: I cast on for the 36" version and followed instructions to the point where the armholes are formed. At this point, there are no stitch counts. This section was tight on me the first time, so I took a tape measure and measured myself around where the front section would join. I estimated I wanted it to be 30" around, so at 5 sts/in, I needed 150 sts total on the needles after increasing and casting on the center 10 sts.

I had my problems with the pattern, but mainly I thought it was kinda half-a**ed. For $5.50, or whatever it was, I don't necessarily need a schematic, but this pattern was just poorly written, not to mention the underestimate of yardage! Anyway, I know the Zephyr Girls have improved their patterns since, as I purchased a copy of Wicked, which has schematics and stitch counts. Usually I like figuring things out and designing a little when I knit, but I don't want to feel like I have to make up for what a pattern that I purchased lacks.

Now I just have to go round and round til I reach the bottom hem. AND! I bought some fun beads to try decorating the neckline. More on that later.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Baby Booties

Thank you for the lovely comments on Swan Lake. I wore her to work and got many compliments. The Cotton Fleece was a little warmer than I expected. Has anyone machine washed Cotton Fleece, or do you follow the instructions to hand wash cold?

Some of you may have noticed that I am not really a sock knitter. Well, more accurately, I've never thought about knitting a sock nor owned a skein of sock yarn. Maybe I'm missing out on something, I don't know, but I've just never been excited by the idea of knitting a sock. I'm not saying anything negative about knit socks - the ones I see in blogland are lovely, but I just don't get the "OMG, I MUST knit that!!" feeling that I get from sweater patterns. Case in point: this week I found the Maude Louise sweater pattern by Knitting Kninja and practically squealed in excitement.

Tonight we are going to a duckpin bowling birthday party for my 3-months pregnant friend. We don't usually exchange gifts, but since we are being fed and entertained, I though it appropo to bring something. So, I pulled out some leftover Swish in red and green and knit up some little baby booties.

Pattern: Angora Baby Booties from Last Minute Knitted Gifts

Yarn: Knitpicks Superwash Swish in Fired Brick and Dublin

What I Learned:
This is why I brought up the whole non-sock-knitting thing. I was delighted at the construction of these and made me really appreciate all those lovely socks you all knit.

Modifications: I cast on 18 sts instead of 24 and followed pattern using a 2/3 stitch ratio.

Verdict: Well, they're a little big, but they're intended to be Christmas booties (baby is due December 2) . So maybe they'll go over socks. They remind me of those pull-on flippers snorkelers wear. Bill said they are Freddy Krueger socks.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Swan Lake Cardigan Finished!

When I started this pattern, I wasn't expecting fabulous results, but I am thrilled with how it turned out!!

We took these pictures this morning before I left for work and right before Bill got in the shower. I caught him
just as he was getting in the shower, if you know what I mean. Well, he decided to bare it all outside while snapping these pics (even though I did offer my lovely pink robe). I couldn't help trying not to bust out laughing at what neighbors would think . . . fortunately, we have old ladies in the houses next to us and no children.

Anyway, here are the details:

Swan Lake Cardigan, by Joan McGowan-Michael, Interweave Knits Spring 2007

Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Banana, just less than 4 whole skeins, size 3 circular bamboos

Size: I followed instructions for the smallest size, 33 1/2"

Modifications: I pretty much knit this one exactly as written. The only change was the middle section of the body. I knit the number of rows called for by the larger size because I wanted it to be longer. After years of knitting, I have finally realized I like my knits to be around 14" long before hitting the armhole shaping.

The only other change was that I could not get the gauge called for the in pattern. I went down to size 3's and still was getting 5 sts/inch, which is why I knit the smaller size. I figured it would come out closer to the 35" one, which I wanted, and I think it worked.

I worked an extra round of single crochet around all the borders before doing the rev sc, and I omitted the tulle.

Verdict: Oh, I really love this. It's so different from anything else I have and I love the puffy sleeves. They are so darling, if I do say so.

I got the buttons at Joann's with another project in mind, but when I put them up against the Swan Lake, I thought they went just perfectly.

After knitting this, I am ordering McGowan-Michael's Lingerie Style today. Her design was simple enough but so effective in its results. I can't wait to see what she's cooked up in her book.