Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Coming up for air

It's been a long time since my last post. Fall tends to be a busy time at work, so there wasn't much time for blogging.

The Lopi vest is done and has been safely delivered to it's new home. I'm still really happy with Lopi yarn, and will definitely be using it in the future.

The rest of the vest photos have been saved on Flickr.

I've also been baby knitting. I knit Miss Dashwood in Mission Falls wool: it took about 104 grams to make the largest size, in other words I used only a small amount of wool from the third skein.

Miss Dashwood is a quick knit, and I'm very happy with how well it turned out.

Last week, C and I went to the local Barnes and Noble to see Debbie Stoller present her latest book. Her talk was worth showing up for, and it was good to see the samples in person. C approved of enough patterns to make buying it worthwhile, so I did.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Nearly FO

That cute Drops Jacket is nearly finished! All that's left is to weave in the ends, sew on the buttons, and block. This was a quick knit, but not as easy as I thought it would be.

Pattern: 103-1 Jacket in Eskimo or Silke-Alpaca with A-shape and ¾-long or long sleeves

by DROPS design

1. Shortened the sleeves because I'm short. I also extended the double seed stitch on the sleeves by an inch or so because I liked it and wanted it to be a bit more prominent.
2. Completely changed the sleeve caps. The caps as written would not fit into the armhole! As cosmicpluto recently observed, how can a 9 cm deep cap result in a set-in-sleeve sweater?
Instead of casting off 2 stitches every row until the sleeve was X cm long, I decreased one stitch each side every second row until it fit into the armhole, then cast off the cap according to the pattern. I'm really glad I followed my gut on this one because I achieved a very nice fitting set-in-sleeve sweater and not a modified drop sleeve others got by following the instructions.
See? Nice!
3. The collar was messed up too. The instructions said to pick up 24-28 stitches across the neckline excluding the front sides' cast-off parts (this is clear if you have the pattern in front of you). This was physically impossible for me to do unless I left huge gaps along the neckline pick-up row. So I picked up as many stitches as I normally would on any other sweater following the generic instructions of pick up stitch ratios along collars from the Knitters' Handy book of Sweater Patterns, and followed the pattern instructions from there until it was the right length to be sewed to the front sides' cast-off parts, then I cast off and sewed. I think it looks enough like the picture that I'm not sweating over this detail, and it'll probably sit nicer once it's blocked.
I think it looks OK.
4. A note on the yardage: the pattern says to use about 900 meters of yarn, and I used a touch over 600 meters. Go figure.

The yarn: Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Chunky, colorway Damp. It's a nice gray-blue with blue, cream, and celery green flecks. What do I think of it? I definitely like it better than the aran weight version. As with all Rowan yarns I've tried so far, it's definitely NOT worth paying full price for, but I got a great deal on eBay because it's discontinued. So this time, I feel that I got what I paid for and then some. It was filled with vegetable matter, but luckily there were no knots anywhere. And each ply snaps extremely easily, but luckily this is a 2-ply yarn so no problems there. And it's reasonably soft. So, good for 5 bucks a ball, but definitely not for 15 bucks a ball. I think my policy on Rowan products is to only buy discontinued stuff. There's certainly enough of it floating around...

Well, this is my last post of the year because of a conference with no internet access, and going back home to visit parents and in-laws with no internet access, so happy holidays to all and a happy New Year!


p.s. I leave you with some husband knitting humour!

Me: Hey honey, how does this collar look?
Him: Hmmmm.... I don't know...... I think it's more of an anti-collar.
Me: What's that supposed to mean?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

No Christmas knitting here!

I'm just too busy, and all of those baby knits sucked up my will to give knitted gifts this year. Being so busy, I decided to only pursue relatively mindless knits this holiday season, so I started that Garnstudio Jacket that is extremely popular on Ravelry. This is Ravelry inspired project #2, where #1 was Klaralund. I have to stop browsing the pattern pages! The pattern for #3 is in the mail, shame on me, but I'm using the stash for that one. Anyways, I'm digressing.
Here it is, less than a week in, and I've finished the back already.
I'm making the large, and using Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Chunky on a Denise US 11 needle. Huge needles+huge yarn+no cables = a fast knit! I've decided to use some buttons I picked up in Berlin, made of mother of pearl.
I may even have this finished by the time I go home for Christmas, which suits me fine 'cause I always freeze when I'm there.

I also cast on for the yarn-eating-monster a.k.a. Trud by Elsebeth Lavold.
This is not a fast knit, but the yarn is incredible to work with - Frankengarn Merino Naturwolle, which I knit at DK weight even though it claims to be a sport/fingering weight. This peplum has eaten 2 of the supposedly 9 balls needed for this sweater! Needless to say, I ordered more. For now, it'll be on hold until after the crazy business lets up a bit. I leave you all with a few photos from Berlin.

This was my daily morning view from the hostel boat. It's not a big party-boat like the website claims, it's actually very quiet and relaxing. I will definitely stay there again. It's also incredibly close (like 10 meters) from the last remaining parts of the Berlin Wall.
The wall isn't what I expected at all. I thought it would be huge and thick and made of bricks, and I guess I had that impression from that Pink Floyd album cover art. Well, it's not so big and certainly not thick. And right now it's very crumbly, and artists paint on it every year. Definitely worth checking out if any of you have the chance.