Sunday, December 17, 2006

Knitting furiously in time for Christmas...

Here are the photos of completed Christmas presents blocking away:

The little baby sweater in the center is Trellis from Knitty, and here is the detail

Now for the project details. Pattern: Trellis from Knitty.
Changes to the Pattern: I used a superwash merino yarn (Wolle Roedel soft merino) instead of the suggested cotton acrylic blend (Rowan all seasons cotton).
I did this partly because I can't get Rowan at the LYSs, and because I figure wool will keep the expected child warmer. I also changed the collar to picking up stitches all of the way around, because there is no way I am going to do more seaming than I absolutely have to! I think it turned out pretty well. It's super cute, and looks like a little old man sweater.
General Notes: The cable panels were easy to memorize, and I didn't sweat too much over this pattern. This is the first baby garment I've made, and it went pretty quickly. I like the yarn over all, as it has very nice elasticity for a superwash wool. I will definitely use this yarn again, and I already have for the mittens shown
blocking beside the sweater. I also used Kitchener stitch for the first time, and I don't like it. It's too elastic. I decided that I really like the ook of a shawl collar in seed stitch, so I think I will alter the pattern I am currently developing (the blue tweed cabled thing with Silk Garden at the hm, cuffs, button band and collar) to have one. It's a nice sophisticated collar. And not hard to pull off either. And, just to note, I purchased 5 100 m balls, and I had over a ball left over. So what will I do with one ball, hmmm? Matching baby hat for next year? Tiny little mittens and booties?

Now for the mittens:

Pattern source: me. I used a cable panel from Lavold's Viking book on my own general mitten template. I like it. I also used the Wolle Roedel soft merino on this one. Two balls, 200 m, with very little left over. Not bad, in my opinion. These guys will be a gift for a friend that is re-learning how to knit and always loses mittens, I hope that they will be inspirational as well as practical.

Here is a shot of one unblocked picky Mom mitten:

Pattern: my own. The same generic mitten template with another cable pattern put in.
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden color 84. No blue present whatsoever (phew!). You can never tell what mystery color is present in a Noro colorway until you knit up the whle ball. I think the mystery color was the light green, as it's the only non red or brown shade, but I kindof like it. Makes it look springy and fresh. Despite the poor quality of the yarn (loose threads lik CRAZY that I compulsively need to pull at, really thick bits, and fat white fuzz that does not go with the colorway spun into the fiber that I also try to yank out with tweezers) it looks amazing. Considering the cost/quality tradeoff, I would not use it for a large project, but for small things, it looks fabulous.

Now I'll really have to push it to get 1.5 pairs of top secret mittens done for Delenn, and 1 other mitten done for the aforementioned picky mother. I have cast on for the first Delenn mitten, I think it loks quite nice, and the yarn is SUPER LUXURIOUS. Like, woah. It's Alpaka from Schachenmayr, and can be viewed here. The color is top secret, but you guys can see what choices were available. I love this yarn so much, I'm tempted to make a shawl out of it next fall. Yes. ANOTHER shawl. But no impulse purchases, so I'll keep that potential project on the way back burner. It is a lovely fiber, though. Great hand, unbelievable softness, but much more fun to knit on metal than bamboo needles. I switched to bamboo dpns last night, in anticipation of airport security.

Now, for non-Christmas knitting, my buttons for the blue tweed cabled thing came in the mail. Here's a pic:

I got them on Ebay, they are called 'Tudor Rose' buttons. I hate plastic buttons, and I prefer ones that look authentic to the style of the garment, so I typically search for medieval style buttons. The best results I get are for the search terms - LOTR, LARP, renaissance faire. Go figure.

I don't know how easily I'll be able to blog while I'm away, so Merry Christmas!


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