Sunday, October 29, 2006

Fall knitting

Happy blog-versary everyone (a bit late, I know)! I've been busy preparing demo material for this. We also went on vacation at the end of September and saw some amazing sights.

While driving around BC and Washington state, I took the opportunity to start gift knitting for the Moms. The photo has other WIPs that may look familiar. Click on the photo for annotations (I've been playing around with the Gimp for Windows).

The Trellis scarf is being knit in KnitPicks Gloss Woodland Sage (for the Mom who prefers heavier-than-laceweight gifts): I've used an entire skein of Gloss so far. The pattern calls for Alpaca Cloud, but I think it looks great in fingering weight yarn. I haven't tried washing Gloss yet, I'll post comments on how well the scarf blocks when it's done.

Icarus is being knit in KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud Tide Pool. The first part of the shawl with all that stockinette makes for a great roadtrip project.

The hat is my backpacking project since 50g + 1 needle isn't much to take in my pack. I've been motivated to work on it more since it got cold last week.

Trellis WIP and Finished Sweater

So here I am a week later, and I have finished the back of Trellis, from Knitty. It is very cute, and such small garments really do go faster! I am making the 12-month size, out if Wolle Roedel's Soft-Merino, superwash aran weight 100 % merino wool. My opinion of the yarn? I haven't tried a lot of baby or superwash wools or wool blends, I've only ever used the Mission Falls superwash merino wool for a hat. This stuff is more loosely spun, so it's a bit of a pain in the butt, as it splits more easily. Then again, I think I am too hard on plied fibers, and my preference is clearly for single ply fibers. On the other hand, I think it is definitely softer and hairier than the Mission Fals, so it will be a very luxurious feeling baby sweater. I'd be tempted to make a sweater out of it for myself... Let's do the math. Approx 1800 yards /110 yards per ball = 17 balls * 3.50 euros/ball = 60 euros. Ouch. Never mind :).

Here is a picture of my finished sweater, modelled by me, with my face scribbeled out to ensure anonymity. Not bad, eh? The sleeves are a bit long, but everything else is perfect. Good size, exactly the look I wanted, and the yarn (Kilcarra of Donegal Tweed) has softened up very nicely with a wash and a rinse with conditioner. Nice drape, I will definitely use this yarn as an aran weight staple. Let's compare this with the planning sketch...
Not bad, eh? I intend to write up this pattern in a couple more sizes, with a petite and normal
length. This sweater came out at 41 inches accross the chest.Would anyone out there be interested in trying it out? I will not pay for the yarn required to test knit this pattern.


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Some WIPs and a flash of my stash

So I promised yesterday that I'd post about knitting... I'm nearly done the collar of Menja, and making it was REALLY ANNOYING! It's a 48-row cable panel repeated 7 times (not so bad...) but then there are short rows thrown in all over the place to confuse me! In the spring, I thought it looked like cr*p, so I put it aside. I ripped the whole thing in France (5 repeats in), and now I'm nearly one repeat number 7. It looks MUCH BETTER the second time around. I guess I'm interpreting the short row instructions better this time around. Here's a pic of the cabling on the collar.
Not bad, eh? The short rows give it that curve. The yarn is Knitpicks Merino Style, and it's beautifully soft. I hope it dosen't pill though. And I know it's knot very colour fast, because my
woodn DPNs used to knit the collar are stained with a bluish tinge. Now for the Ivanova-original purple tweed sweater...,
All that's left is to seam that last sleeve in, and block it. It took me forever to get those deleted
expletive sleeves right, but now I think it's good to go. I may yet redo the button holes, I used a
crochet chain button hole, and they may be a bit loose for those tiny little buttons. Live and learn, I guess. The color is quite accurate in these photos, it is a very lovely purple.

I bought some new yarn, as I just moved and my stash was greatly reduced. While I miss my stash tucked away in my Dad's basement, I have a few future projects that will be in the works very soon. An old friend from back home is due in February, gender unknown, so I have decided to make Trellis from Knitty. I believe that Delenn is working on one now, so I'd love to hear feedback on the pattern. I bought some yarn I have never heard of before from a LYS, it is
aran weight superwash merino. It is SO soft, I could lie in it and snuggle up! Fortunately I don't
need that much for a baby sweater! I belive the price was about 3.5 euros for 100 m, so that's probably half the price that Rowan would charge for a comparable yarn. It's the store brand,
Wolle Roedel, so I have no idea who it is made by, or how someone would get it outside of Germany. I will deliver a full review once the sweater is done.
I figured that a soft gray is sophisticated and gender-neutral enough for baby clothes. I was initially gravitating towards a dark charcoal grey but the shop girl convinced me to go down the lighter color route. I also noticed a silk-wool-angora tweed yarn on a half-price sale, probably their equivalent of Garnstudio's Silke Tweed, and it was pretty cheap, 2 euros a ball down from 4. But I didn't note down the yardage, or get a good look at the colors before the sales associate pounced on me. I guess browsing is not really done here.

Now for the next Ivanova-original sweater, to be started once Trellis is complete. I bought some Noro in Grenoble, as noted below, and I also ordered some Donegal Irish Tweed to be combined for a sweater. Here they are, nestled together, and I think they'll look great.
The tweed is a deep rich blue flecked with cranberry black and light blue. The Silk Garden is going to be used for a 4-5 inch band at the waist, the button-hole and button bands, collar and cuffs. The tweed will be used as the main color. This idea was inspired by a design by Cornelia Tuttle-Hamilton in one of her Noro books, but her design uses chunky yarns. I do not believe (and I cannot overemphasize this) that short people like myself should wear chunky knit sweaters. Especially paired with horizontal lines. Plus, you can't fit that much cabling on a chunky sweater, compared to an aran, worsted or heavy DK sweater. I will post the sketch of my idea when I have selected the main cable pattern.


Friday, October 20, 2006

I took a trip to France...

Two weeks ago, I did some experiments at a synchrotron in Grenoble, France. I'm kindof amazed, now I'm doing Big Budget Science. Anyways, I most certainly brought the knitting. When things were working, I was running around the experimental hatch and was very busy, but when things were not working, there isin't much to do but peer over the shoulders of the people that run the place, and, you guessed it, knit. When the beam was down for about a day, I went to town, snapped a few photos, and hit the LYS for Noro Silk Garden, which isin't readily available in Germany, and when it is, it is quite expensive, about 1.5 times the price in North America. So here are a few photos of the town...
It is very pretty, near some very big mountains. There is a castle up in the mountains, so I took a cable car up there to check it out. Here is a view from an archway on the mountain-top castle
(it's called the Bastille)...
I went down the trail, to see if I could see the synchrotron from the mointain top, and I managed to find it. This is were I did my experiments...
The big red arrow is pointing at the synchrotron ring. I believe my beamline is 1/2 an inch to the left of the arrow, very very close to the freeway. So what did I get to see on my way to and from the artificially lit and constant temperature and humidity hatch?
The buildings were a cross between 90's modern and 50's bunker, as you can see in the photo above. This is where I slept, on the inside it is totally a bunker, but on the outside there is a lovely view.



Yay! Happy Birthday to us!

I second the motion, Delenn, to be better about posting. So while I am not posting about knitting, I will be poting very soon because I am nearly finished my original purple tweed sweater, as well as Menja. I will post about them in the very near future, I promise. So instead, I thought I'd finally post a few photos of the city where I am living. It is quite old, some of the buildings date to the 13th century, although very few of them. The Grimm brothers lectured at the University in town, so people around here like to think that some of the stories were inspired by nearby events and locations. My husband and I took a walk around the old town wall, and I snapped a few photos of scenery I thought was especially pretty.
Here is a rooftop view of an old church taken from one of the highest points of the wall.
My husband pointed out that the wall which was facing the general direction of France was much higher and more substantial than the sides facing other areas !
This is a view of a part of the botanical gardens. I thought it looked kindof fairy-tale-ish, with the big old house, fountain, and many clear plastic bags in the pond. What's up with that?
This is an alternate view of the church (in the first photo) taken from behind some pretty foliage. This city is very green, and there were beautiful gardens everywhere. Now it is quite cold, but not as cold as what some of you blog co-authors are experiencing! So I am knitting away on the sweaters because I need them! Happy birthday to us!


Happy Birthday to Us!!!

Wow. I was just scanning the archives and discovered that our blog had just turned one! To think that I could have forgotten such a momentous occasion! It's not every day that my poor, neglected blog turns one. This year will be different... I promise!

Another Modelling Pic

Here is a picture of my friend's baby who finally gets to wear that MF cotton hat that I made wayyyy back in July. C'est tres cute, no?