Tuesday, March 28, 2006

FO: Bamboo and berries baby blanket

It's finally done! That's it, about to be packed up for delivery to the doting parents. Between work, a high performance computing course and all the other life stuff, I had to finish the applied i-cord edging during the trip. A couple of notes about the applied i-cord: I found that knitting the picked up stitches through the back loop looked neater, especially when working with strands of different colours.

I also got the idea from Grumperina to pick up yarn loops through the slip stitch selvage at the sides of the blanket, knit the loops, then finally use those slipped stitches to make the applied i-cord. The stitch patterns looked really nice on the wrong side, so no backing was necessary. I wish the picture I took of the wrong side hadn't turned out so blurry, but I was in a hurry. You'll just have to take my word for it.

I've already covered the pattern details. In hindsight, there are a couple of things I'd do differently with the border: I'd use a provisional cast-on for the i-cord instead of knitting a few extra rows (picking out the cast-on and getting those loops is a bitch), and I'd knit the i-cord starting with the wrong side facing forward (that way less of the underlying colour shows on the right side).

There was a little time for shopping in Vancouver, so I dragged the SO to Urban Yarns. They have a nice little sitting area, so he didn't suffer much. Since I'm trying very hard to be disciplined with money, I only bought a couple of balls of Cathay to try out with Glampyre's One Skein Wonder and something new from Elsebeth Lavold:

I haven't found her products locally yet, so I decided to get a ball of her Hempathy to see how it knits up and what it might be good for.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

A vote on a future project

I mentioned in my last post that I was torn between a few project ideas for a reasonable quantity of Lorna's Laces Bullfrogs and Butterflies in color black purl. Here is a picture I pulled off the web of that colorway.
Nice and somber... sedate yet refined. Now for the potential projects..

#1 A very nice worsted weight lace shawl from Vogue Knitting Fall 2005.
Pros: If I do it, I'll have a non-laceweight shawl. Perfect for those cold seasons. I also think that
pictures of this shawl are as refined and sophisticated as the yarn.
Cons: It's hard to keep a shawl under a coat, so if it becomes a shawl, it won't get worn as much
as a sweater would. Not nearly as versatile.

#2. A cute sweater from Holiday 2005 Vogue Knitting.
Pros: It's shapely and feminine, nice bell sleeves and wide collar, reminiscent of the Victorian era.
Cons: I'm not that sure the amount of varigation in the yarn will go with this style. I guess I'll have to swatch a fair bit of it to be sure.

#3. The Fjalar sweater from the Viking book by Elsebeth Lavold. I adore this book, and in my opinion this sewater is the most feminine one of the lot that would fit a petite frame well.
Unfortunately I have a few issues with the design which I illlustrated in this photo.
I hate the drop sleeve, and the ribbing at the wrist. It makes the girl's arms look funny. And I hate the way the neckline puckers, I have seen the same think on the small number of finished
Fjalars posted on people's blogs. The solution: turn it into a set-in sleeve V-necked wrap-front
cardigan, illustrated below.
Bear in mind that this is hand-drawn by me, and I can't draw worth a damn! I would keep the cable panels on the sleeves, but do away with the ribbing. I would try to make the sleeves as straight as possible, which is not illustrated very well. Issues: how would I close it? Buttons don't seem like the best option. Snaps? Sassy little ties? A belt? Suggestions please!
Pros: It would be a shapely feminine sassy little number, slightly medieval looking to boot (never a bad thing).
Cons: It will be a fair amount of work to swatch, figure out measurements, etc..

Votes Please!


Remember this?

I snapped a shot of my friend's baby, wearing the "Childhood" cardigan from Knitty that I made last November. Isn't he cuuuute?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


There, I released my barbaric yargh. Fans of Dead Poets Society anyone? Anyways,
I am swamped. Here is my progress so far...
1. Thesis: 2.5 Chapters to go
2. Job for when I'm done: Check
3. Preparing defense: No
4. Submitted Publication (that's been hangin' around for nearly a year (!)): No
5. Taxes: No

Finished objects since last post: 2. The cute mini-sweater from VK International (August 05)
and some cabled Armwarmers made from Lamb's Pride Worsted. I did them so it was a small project to try out LPW, and my conclusions are: a) it is a joy to knit with, b) it's itchy!

Now for my knitting progress, on the needles:
1. Flirty (Rowan Summer 2005 (number 37 I think)). My conclusions: The gauge they give is
in RIBBING! It inconveniently coincides with the gauge on the label for stocking sitch. How do they figure that eh? So I knit a fair bit, thought it was way too small, checked the gauge on the
pattern, and discovered that I will never achieve it. So now it's just hanging around, occupying
my number 3 needles. Yargh. I am seriously tempted to donate it to you, Thrace, so you can take this litle burden off my shoulders. Or maybe I'll change my mind when warmer weather approaches and I get tired of handling wool.

2. The stupid freakin' baby blanket mentioned below, ripped out and restarted as a Kiri.
I hate it. Why do SOME people have TWINS when I'm so freakin' busy? Yargh. I'm about 2/3 of the way there, and my main incentive to finish is to free up my US6 needles for a future project (See below).

3. A diamond trellis lace shawl, my own design, in a yarn I love (handpaintedyarn.com's lace pure wool, color little lovely). This one is pretty fun to knit, and I want to submit the pattern when it's all done to the Anti-Craft. I hope they'll dig it, but I haven't heard anything about my previous submission yet, so who knows.

Future Knitting:
1. A portion of another baby blanket. Yargh. If anyone else gets pregnant, I will scream. Or go to Baby Gap instead of knitting. Or scream at Baby Gap. You get the picture. (Note: this does not apply to you, Thrace. Feel free to have children, to get our mother off my back about having grandkids. But you won't get any knitted gifts :). )

2. Ragna. I recently aquired Lavold's Viking book, and I adore it. Most of all, I love Ragna, so I will make it for my dear sweet husband, who has been tolerating the accumulation of yarn admirably.

3. Menja from Lavold's designer collection book 1. I think it's the cutest sweater EVER and I HAVE to have it. The yarn is already waiting for me to free up those US6 needles! Yargh.

4. My congragulatory/depression yarn gift to myself is a bunch of Lorna's Laces Bullfrogs and Butterflies. I am torn between a lacy/cabled zippered cardigan with a wide collar in VK Holiday 2005 and a leafy lace shawl (made from cashmere! yargh) in VK fall 2005. Votes please....

I'll post pictures as soon as I get less swamped, I promise. Shame on me, I am a very bad blogger.


Monday, March 20, 2006

Coronet #2

So, I liked this pattern enough to make a second one. I made this one for myself. I used Naturally Sensation (70% Merino, 30% Angora) in lavender and it's really soft. I really enjoyed knitting with it since it's very springy (helloooo cables). I did some math to figure out how many stitches I needed, changed the cable pattern to one I found on an aran toque (5-fold braid) and used the Kittyville hat decrease (with more stitches) instead of the one in the Coronet pattern. I actually think that I would have been better off using the Coronet decrease. The goal in using the Kittyville decrease was to make it less puckered at the top, but I think that it ended up looking worse... But tolerable. I couldn't be too picky since I also needed a warm hat because of the bone chilling temperatures outside.

I also should have mentioned that I didn't make the hat anywhere near as long before decreasing as described in the Coronet pattern. Working 9.5 inches from the bottom band for hat #1 would only have worked if my sister's boyfriend was one of the Coneheads.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Coronet #1

Well, it was supposed to be one of my many handmade Christmas gifts, but this one didn't get finished in time. I completed it in January and gave it to my sister's boyfriend before taking a picture of it. In my haste, I forgot to... I was rushing since, well, baby it was cold outside and he had no hat. Anyway, I had them over to my place a few weeks ago to watch a few episodes of Smallville (one of my few guilty pleasures) which gave me an opportunity to finally snap a shot. I wanted a photo reminiscent of a hilarious shot I saw on "you knit what".

Except that he looks really happy instead of scared and dejected. Probably because the hat's just so amazing. Yeah... That's it....

Anyway, the pattern is Coronet from Knitty. I used the yarn specified in the pattern, which is Lamb's Pride Worsted. This was my first attempt at cabling and I'm pretty pleased with the results. It really wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Hey! I thought this was a knitting blog!

I have been knitting a lot, but have failed to post regularly to the blog (shame on me). But I do have a photo of a doily I made for my mother. Maybe I should think about doing the geologically sound thing next time and put a penny beside it for scale. It's actually fairly small. Truly I do make too many things for other people, but I'm now working on stuff for myself which I'll blog about later. The unfortunate thing about making stuff for people who don't do crafts (like my mother) is that they now expect that you can whip off 7 more without it being too much trouble (!)

While I don't mind making the odd thing for my mother, crochet with cotton thread and a 1.5 mm hook doesn't really yank my crank, if you know what I mean. I'd much rather be knitting!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Bamboo and berries baby blanket progress

As you can see, I've made it to the second colour set (the colours here are a little dark compared to real life). I think this pattern is working out pretty well.

This picture links to a closeup of the stitch pattern. The bamboo rib and berries stitch make for a nice thick yet airy and flexible fabric. Considering that the recipient lives in Vancouver, this should be about right for the damp, chilly but not really cold climate.