Sunday, February 28, 2010

FO: Tilia

Holy monkeys this thing took me a long time to finish.

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I cast on on my way to Portland in the summer of 2008 (July). Wow. Borrowed needles from my lovely hostess and have held them hostage ever since. I am sorry, CC!

I'm not really thrilled with how the neckline turned out; I added a few rows since I could see it was going to be extra boat-necky and stretchy, and that part turned out ok but the purl line where the neck-hem folds looks sloppy.

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It's a wear-your-hair-down sort of upper body.

The lacy part is fabulous though. And I had been afraid the sleeves were going to turn out to be wrist-length, but after dealing with all the shoulder and neckline finishing, they're above the wrist, which is good.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

WIP: Leyburn socks

I know, I've been doing so well with the finishing and whatnot, but a girl has to have a small portable project on the go. I've been admiring everyone's lovely finished Leyburn socks on Ravelry, and I just love the concept of toe-ups because you get to use all of a special yarn.

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The yarn is Fleece Artist BFL in red/burgundy tones and it's coming along well on 00s. The needles are so small that doing more than a few rows at a time starts to cramp my hands but that's ok, that's what this project is for, doing a few rounds at a time. I'm still getting used to reading the number of rows I've done and where I am on the pattern rows, but it's pretty straightforward and so pretty. I need to find a pair of mary jane style shoes for spring to wear with hand knit socks, now that I'm trying to use some of my pretty sock yarns for socks!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

WIP: Tilia

Remember this pattern?

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In the spirit of all the lovely finishing off of WIPs that have been gathering dust (not really, of course they've been stored away, so I suppose the dust is metaphorical), I have finally put the pieces of Tilia together.

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Over the last week or so I have set in both sleeves, seamed them, and just this morning picked up neckline stitches at long last.

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The yarn is Elsebeth Lavold silky wool in a pumpkin orange that doesn't photograph particularly well. The pieces lengthened when I blocked them (months ago) so the sleeves are wrist-length instead of 3/4, which is not really what I was hoping for.

The neckline is a real boat neck and was at risk of falling off my shoulders so I've adjusted the picked up stitches accordingly, and we'll see how that turns out. This'll be an FO soon, and a nice lightweight sweater for spring, I hope.

And in going back through my archives to find the last time I posted about Tilia, I apparently said the same thing last March. About a spring sweater. Yikes.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

WIP: Rosamund's Cardigan pt 4

Hopefully the next time you see Rosamund, she'll be an FO. I'm inspired by subliminalrabbit's fabulous example.

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She is getting to be a nice length. I have plenty of yarn to try something interesting with the lower hem - I'm going to knit a length of the reversible cable and attach it as the lower edge. Might be a bit of a fiddly process and will definitely take longer, but since the wool is so heavy and this is going to be something of a spring time jacket rather than a sweater I'd wear under a jacket, I think it'll be worth the effort.

And if it doesn't work out, I'll let it go and just do the lower ribbing or however it's actually supposed to be finished off. Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

FO: Drops cardigan

Here's the original.

Specs:
Yarn: Fleece Artist Nyoni (wool, mohair, silk, fingering 4-ply), approx 1066 yds (1.3 skeins)
Needles: size 0 (!!!)

Pre-blocking:

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Blocking worked wonders. Here it is - sorry it's fuzzy, I don't have a live-in photographer, sadly - before blocking, looking a bit short and rumpled. Also, when I tried to sharpen it it made the colors look more blocky and less subtle than they are in real life. Not going to lie, though, that left shoulder has a blue patch.

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After blocking, the length was better and the sleeves were just about perfect. Couldn't be more pleased.

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A few snaps of the FO:

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I forgot to include buttonholes when I was knitting it up, but it works fine with something stuck through it to close it up. I could also add some buttonholes without too much trouble. We'll see, might wear it a few times first and see how I feel.

My Rav notes tell me I started this in April of 2009, so at least it got finished faster than my Endpaper mitts.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

WIP: Drops cardigan

This is the last time you'll see this as a WIP, I promise.

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Last weekend I used some daylight to set in the first sleeve. It took ages, being such a fine piece, and I tried it on probably 15 times to be sure it was all laying right and whatnot.

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Then we had a magical snow day on Wednesday and I used some of the time productively to set in the second sleeve. I was interested to see what would happen with the blocking because the sleeves came out too short.

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FO post tomorrow!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

FO: Endpaper Mitts

Wow. I started these in November - of 2008.

Yesterday was a snow day at the university. This week (with five assignments due in four days before reading week) I had put on the final push for my never-ending Endpaper Mitts, and knit the ribbing at the top of the second mitt - only to realize after I'd botched the tubular kitchener stitch at the top; it looked so much looser than the first mitt (on the left):

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...Because although I'd read the part where the pattern said to switch to the smaller needles, I thought, I'm pretty sure I used the same size needles throughout. Rubbish. Ravelry set me straight, I ripped the ribbing back and did it on the size 0s needed. Also I discovered that the directions in the Knitting Answer Book are better illustrated than the source Eunny linked to from the pattern originally. So the tubular bindoff is slightly different on the first mitt from the second.

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Don't care. They're done. They're fabulous and have been getting some nice compliments. And I have so much yarn left over I am thinking of knitting a matching hat.

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Maybe a headband. I don't know if I can stand another year and a half of the same colorwork.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Vday crafting

Happy Valentine's Day! Whatever it means to you, or doesn't mean, it's a reason to be crafty, so I can't get too annoyed at all the hype.

Last weekend I collected a bunch of crafty materials and opened up my space to whoever wanted to drop by for hot chocolate and (mostly paper) crafts. Also having the Princess Bride running on my TV didn't hurt.

We had all sorts of paper - some I'd scavenged from various spots around campus, some dug out of my drawers of random stuff, and some brought by crafty girls.

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Stickers, tissue paper, markers, crayons, glitter sticks...

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More stickers, buttons, yarn, ribbon...

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Frankly, anything I had lying around that I thought might work for gluing onto paper, it was out.

And we had a lot of fun. One of my craftiest residents brought a couple of very cool quarterly obscure literary magazines that had stories and quotations printed on some nice cardstock so we might have gone to town cutting those up and using the images and text.

Hopefully we can do this again, it went over well and I had a ton of fun, plus it was productive.

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Have a lovely day, tell someone you love them!

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Olympic aspirations

I'm not formally doing the Ravelympics or whatever we're calling it now these days. Too many WIPs to start something new, and too much uncertainty in my daily life to commit to anything in particular.

That said, I am going to attempt to use the lovely energy that is flowing around the knitting blogosphere and Rav at the moment to inspire myself to clean up my list of WIPs. Finishing Citron last night does't count for much, as it wasn't a hard knit and I knew there'd be almost zero finishing, so I wasn't dragging my feet on that one at all.

I have two sweaters however that have been languishing in finishing limbo for far too long. I finally finished up the sleeve caps on the Drops Cardigan, and just need to set in the sleeves and weave in the ends and I will have a whole new cardigan to wear. That is so doable, I just need good light and to focus a bit. I also have the Tilia pullover which has been waiting for ages for me to finish up the neckline and sew the whole thing together, another case of just needing the time and space and light to concentrate for an hour or so, and add another lightweight pullover to my wardrobe. I can do it!

Most of my knitting time really comes when I have a class full of presentations to listen to, and am not expected to participate quite as much, or when I'm sitting down for some TV watching with friends and want to keep my hands busy. That's why I don't do the finishing, because those are scenarios when it's not possible to get something fiddly done.

The sun is out. I'm going to try to get some serious work done on a short paper due Monday, and then set in some cardigan sleeves. Go Olympians!

FO: Citron

I am so pleased with Citron. Just bound off the last edge last night - that took quite awhile, but finishing didn't. Just a couple of ends to weave in, what's not to love? A nice easy knit but such a nice drape and of course the malabrigo lace was a pleasure to work with. I'm interested to see how this piece holds up.

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I like that it wraps easily around the shoulders, bunched up as a scarf. or even turned around like a bib to cover the chest and with the ends coming around to the front again - this could be really handy on a chilly windy winter day when you need extra warmth on the chest and neck.

All in all, this is a great pattern to use one nice skein of malabrigo lace, which is a very affordable luxury. I added a few extra rows onto the last ruffle as I figured I had enough yarn. I just have 20 yards or so left over after doing that.

Monday, February 8, 2010

WIP: Rosamund's Cardigan pt 3

I didn't start the waist shaping two inches after the underarm join, which is what the pattern says to do.

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I've just been carrying on. I tried it on again after doing about five inches of the body after the underarm join, and it's now about at my natural waist (I have a short torso) but because of the sturdiness of the wool I think I am going to skip the shaping altogether. This piece is going to be more like a jacket than a cardigan, unless I douse it in conditioner, probably, so I think I'll be wearing enough layers underneath that the shaping wouldn't really work out.

Plus this means I can keep knitting in the dark or during the super bowl, without worrying about shaping anything. A handy bonus.

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I've just started in on the third skein of the four that I have. The pattern only calls for about five rows of ribbing on the sleeves at this point, which hopefully means I'll have plenty of yarn to make the body a nice length. I tend to knit things a little too short, so I'm trying to be aware of that. Also, I plan to stretch this a little horizontally when I block it, so a bit of extra length will be necessary.

This has been a great knit so far, and the yarn is starting to give me less trouble as my fingers toughen up a little bit. And the cables are so lovely!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

WIP: Rosamund's Cardigan - a snag

Rosamund's Cardigan is still coming along well and I'm pretty pleased with it.

I discovered once again the dangers of knitting on auto pilot in the dark while watching a Buffy marathon when I picked it up during daylight early last week however, and tried it on - only to look down at my chest and discover this:

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Need a close up?

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Four purl stitches on the stockinette side of the fabric. About three inches of knitting done since that weird blip on my knitting radar.

What's a girl to do? Get the crochet hook out. The purls were like centered in the middle of my chest, they could not stay there.

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Sorry about the poor lighting, by the time I had the chance to sit down and start fixing, it was nearly dark out again.

I'm so glad I'm confident enough to drop a stitch down, change the purl to a knit, and pick the laddered stitches back up.

All's well that ends well.

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(ha, ha, if you're really attentive you can actually see that this picture was taken before I fixed those purl sts. Newer WIP photos tomorrow.)

ETA (1:30 pm AST): I just saw this fresh post from Lolly Knitting Around - my little bit of emerg surgery is *nothing* compared to what she is contending with! There is colorwork involved, and inches of ribbing that should be stockinette. Respect.

crocheted stop motion music video

Just saw this posted to Boing-Boing.

If you haven't seen it yet, you're in for a treat.



So adorable and cool. And I love that the katakana is animated too.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

WIP: Citron

Citron's coming along really well, perfect knitting for not thinking very hard.

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The ruching is very pretty, and you can't really tell in the washed out pictures but the yarn is a lovely subtle olive. I worked on this a bunch last weekend while attending a conference on campus. Perfect for keeping my hands busy while listening to speakers. It's a nice light portable size. And it's going to be so warm and soft around my neck - I think it's almost half finished now. Great yardage on the Malabrigo lace.

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Podcast follow up.

I mentioned recently that I was trying out some new knitting podcasts.

I've just deleted two of the new subscriptions after listening to them on more than one occasion. Trying out new podcasts makes me appreciate podcasts that are well edited and have a good flow. Also, I don't listen to the podcasts of strangers to hear about other people's pets, children, or office jobs, so if the content strays too far away from knitting, I'm trying to be sure to get rid of it. There's plenty out there to listen to.

My favorite of the new ones I've been test driving is Knitty Nora's Knitting Natter. She has a sense of humor. That's critical.