Thursday, September 20, 2007

FO: Urchin

Yeah, excuse my sexy sweatshirt from the early high school years; I was excited to get a picture, and in the nice afternoon light, no less. Had to take my own pictures though, at arm's length, no one around to help at present!

I used Classic Elite Inca Alpaca Print, 100% alpaca, and size 10.5 needles. The pattern is Urchin from the fall Knitty. I adjusted it for gauge, casting on more stitches than called for for the middle size as I had no bulky yarn on hand and I wanted to cast on right away. It has been quite awhile since I've done something that was so quick and satisfying. Of course it was cold as the whole week before the new Knitty emerged at last, so I was ready to knit a warm accessory. Now, naturally, we're back in the 70's every day so I have not broken out any hats yet. Scarves in the morning when it's still 50 before the sun really gets the fog out of the way, yes, but no hats. Fingerless gloves (hello, fetching!) definitely.

I did find right at the end that it was growing a little large in circumference (it's knit in garter stitch side to side, with short row shaping for the beret shaping) so I omitted a couple of the longer rows in the 8th wedge in order to make it fit. Used just about all of my two skeins of yarn, as it was held doubled to make it kind of bulky, which is what the yarn actually called for in the pattern would qualify as.


I really love these colors, all fall-like and warm and cosy. This yarn was super soft and lovely to work with. I used almost all of it. I would have used all of it had I knit the full 8 wedges but then it would have been too big to wear. And we can't have that, can we?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Urchin progress / Ravelry improvements

I am often amazed at the new and excellent features Ravelry keeps incorporating into the site--two weeks ago I squee'd when they added mini progress bars to the projects page for one's WIP's, and it looks like just today they've added a little feature that tells you how many times a project has been viewed. it's not retroactive, unfortunately, someone must have just thought it would be nice to start keeping track of how many times things are being looked at, which I can understand would be impossible to make retroactive since you would have needed to track it from the start. I know it's not retroactive, for example, because a bunch of people have commented and marked as a favorite my Intolerable Cruelty (19 people love it, but who's counting?) but it says it has only been looked at 1 time. It will be neat to see this feature catch up with itself in a way.

Someone beat me to a finished Urchin beret already! I checked last night and it was in a bunch of queues but no one had officially started the project yet; this morning one person had 'cast on' and this afternoon there are two official projects and one of them is done already! Mine is half finished, and I haven't had the chance to just plug away at it, in which case it would be done because it is a super quick pattern on big needles, but I just checked and someone has posted a picture of their finished one! I still hope to finish mine this weekend. No picture yet. Hey, it's a quick project, I'm hoping to just finish it and take a picture rather than waste the potential knitting time digging out my camera, hooking it up, downloading to my computer, fixing it in Picasa2, uploading to flickr, and posting to Ravelry. Too many steps, people.

(yes, I am addicted to Ravelry. No, I haven't logged in to Myspace this month. Or last month. Ok, maybe I did once.) back to the knitting!

Friday, September 14, 2007

FO: Josephine

I finished Josephine earlier this week, blocking and all, and managed to get it posted to Ravelry, but not here yet, sorry for the neglect! Ta da!

Close up of the overlapped neckline--I like how it came out:


I used handpaintedyarn.com's laceweight (held doubled) in 'sunset' on size 5 needles. I went down a lace repeat on the smallest size because my gauge was a little large but it was easily adjusted for this pattern. The colors came out really well, blending together nicely with only minimal striping in spots. I like the effect and the stitch definition is quite good too.

I eliminated the cap sleeves and just finished the armholes in the same way as the neckline and lower hem. I'm not really into cap sleeves. The yardage held up really well, I have two balls of yarn left, I would estimate they're each around 100 yards at least so that's a good bit of leftovers, not sure what will happen to them! I think it looks good as a sleeveless top. I wet-blocked it with a splash of vinegar to try to set the color. I had blocked the pieces before seaming (more effort that I'll usually put in!) also with a bit of vinegar but then while doing the finished I used un-set yarn so I thought it wouldn't hurt to do a bit more vinegar to try to make sure the color doesn't rub off. It did bleed onto my fingers a bit while knitting, especially on warmer days.

I haven't been able to wear her yet, though she fits beautifully, because I knit the piece in 100% wool and that is not wearable next to the skin the way that cotton would be, which is what the pattern called for. So I'm on the lookout for some sort of cream/pale yellow 3/4 sleeve closefitting top that would be good to wear underneath. Naturally I wouldn't have anything like that in my wardrobe at the moment, that would be too easy.

New Knitty is up! I'm a bit disappointed with the issue for a couple of reasons but there is a nice cardigan pattern called Mr Greenjeans and also I like Ysolda Teague's pattern for a cute cosy hat, called Urchin. Also the lovely lady who designed the pattern for Intolerable Cruelty has a new pattern in there which is really pretty called Cherie Amour; I've queued all these things on Ravelry of course. It has been cool to see the queue counts rise on the new patterns, as everyone tried to get on Knitty at the same time and put all these new things on their lists. I can only imagine the feeling of satisfaction and happiness at seeing that process take place for one's own pattern!

Last night after I determined there was nothing I could not wait to knit on the new Knitty, I could not for the life of me find my pattern notes for the Lace Leaf Pullover I've knit the bottom and one sleeve of, so I had to look elsewhere for knitting fun, now that Josephine is finished. Poking around in a yarn bin (they're accessible now that I've moved, stacked in t
he living room rather than stuffed under the bed!) I found some Classic Elite alpaca I got halfprice at a sale a couple of months ago and I've pressed it into service for the Urchin pattern, to see if it works, though there is no such size as a 7mm needle in the US, or at least in my Knitpicks Options kit, so I'm trying 10.5 and holding the yarn double since it's not a bulky like the pattern calls for. I swatched and decided to try casting on 28 sts to get an 8 inch length to work across. I'll be working on that tonight. The yarn is really lovely and soft and I'm interested to see how the pattern works, as it uses short row shaping to do a kind of beret.

I've just gone back to find my post about my Intolerable Cruelty and realized that I never posted a better photo of it. Here you go:

I think it came out pretty well. Ok, I think it's hot! What do you think?

Saturday, September 8, 2007

busy day

moved into a new apartment today...well, moved a carload anyway. Back in the house now, not the apt. very frustrating and hot work on a humid Sept Saturday. Caught a bit of the men's US Open Semi-finals before I left, the end of the second match when I returned, and watched the women's final tonight. Uninspiring, but I did bring Josephine from her blocking station in the basement and seam her shoulders and pick up and knit and BO sts on the neckline. just the side-seaming, armhole edging (skipping cap sleeves!) and bottom hem edging to go. she's going to be soooo pretty. lower back is hurting though and I need to get to bed! pictures soon.

Friday, September 7, 2007

so behind

What can I say? it has been weeks (it seems) since I've been able to reply to emails--this week I have even gone a day or two without checking my email. My rss reader is borderline triple digits on unread knitting blog posts, let along the (literally) thousands of news reader feeds and such that have gone unread for, oh, about the past three months. I'm moving into a new apartment tomorrow. started two new jobs on Tuesday. Can't wait to see the new Knitty. my first carload will be bins of yarn and crafty stuff. ok, and maybe a cooler with food for the fridge. I've never done such a close move before, where I only have to drive an hour to get to my new place. Usually it's coast to coast or across the ocean. Josephine is well-blocked (let's call her bone dry by now) downstairs but I'll be darned if I can find five minutes (right, three hours) to seam her. Poor dear, she's really lovely, wait till you see. I did manage to bind off the three hundred (300!) stitches of the empire waist tie piece this morning on my (soon to be obliterated) hour long commute this morning.

I wish I had fresh pictures for you but I just don't. Good news is, Verizon hooked up my new phone line today and delivered my modem to my new place so it was waiting when I arrived to do the walk through and sign the lease, as well as the check. I'll try to hook it up asap and use the moving in time and unpacking hours to catch up on podcasts!! Specifically knitting ones, though as I was writing a new pattern on Labor Day (good use of an extra weekend day!!) I did enjoy the NPR all-songs-considered podcast, as a knitting one would surely have screwed me right up. thanks for bearing with me!