Sunday, November 23, 2008

I am Knitting, I swearz it!


Well, winter has crept up with a bang here in Seattle, and like many knitters, I have returned to the roots of why I knit (other than reasons like "I enjoy it / something to do / excuse to spin lots of yarn")... it's time to make things that keep me warm!

[I apologize for the lack of knitting content recently... I am considering making other offshoot-blogs in order to better organize my thoughts, but perhaps those who read this blog may find the occasional tangent somewhat refreshing...(?)...]

First off, an FO: Ms. Marigold vest, from ZephyrStyle. It only took me 10+ months to complete. It's, uhm, heavily modified.

In my defense, this is the first article of clothing (other than hats / scarves / mitts / socks) I've ever attempted, so there were bound to be oddities. The first one being that I let it languish for so long in the WIP pile that my knitting gauge got considerably smaller between the top and bottom of the vest. (It happens right under the boobs, or thereabouts).

Instead of the ribbed collar the pattern calls for, I substituted a really easy ruffle border from a Nicky Epstein book (I think I may have mentioned it in a previous post...). I also omitted the ruffle details on the tops of the armholes. you can tell, I knit the V-neck portion too now it really looks more like a Rennaissance Faire bustiere than a work-appropriate vest. Although here it is included in an otherwise entirely work-appropriate outfit (shirt from Express, skirt from Filene's Basement).

All in all, I am glad to be done with it. I almost considered ripping it out at several points, but after a while I was reduced to thinking "Fuck it" and wanted to get it off my Addi #5's so I could put something else on there. Or at least get it out of the WIP basket. I finished it when Daniel and I were up in the cabin with Tori & Crew for Canadian Thanksgiving.

(Embarassing note: my eyes are pretty messed up in this picture - think "possessed-looking rolled back into my head" - so I took creative license to crop 'em out!)

Other Relevant Pattern Information for "Ms. Marigold"

Yarn: KnitPicks Elegance ( 70% alpaca /30% silk) in Barn Red
Needles: Addi US 5, circular (24", I think)


Next up: Wisteria, from the Fall 08 Twist Collective.

Yarn: Malabrigo merino worsted, in Cuarzo (bought mine at WEBS)
Needles: KnitPicks Options US 9, cable needle

I cast this sweater on pretty much immediately after weaving in the ends to my Ms. Marigold vest (yes, on the same day, up in the mountains near Mt. Rainier). I quickly figured out that I needed tons of stitch markers - which is no shame, mind you. It helps me actually keep track of repeats and when the stitches shift - the cables travel back and forth, and you have to pay attention to the chart to make sure you are shifting stitches back and forth between the beginning of rounds as appropriate.

I love working with the Malabrigo yarn - it is soo soft! This is my "on the ferry" project, or when I am sitting on a couch with Daniel and/or TV going. I can't actually watch TV while I'm knitting this - the cables take a little more concentration than that - but I can listen to my iPod or an equivalent background noise.

I had a Mexican woman come up to me at the laundromat last night, and tell me how pretty the knitting looked. Good thing I speak Spanish! :) She asked if the yarn was from "orro"... I don't know what that means. She stroked her hair as she said "orro" to indicate something hair-like; I ended up replying that the yarn was lambs' wool, essentially (since I forgot the Spanish word for "adult sheep". You would think I would have paid more attention to my mom teaching me Spanish, since I do speak it fluently, despite reports to the contrary...)


Winter Gloves

Here is the progress on the Entangled Stitches gloves (Ravelry link). Yep. Not much progress 'tall. I think I only like one fingering-weight project at a time... right now I have three (these, the leg of the second cashmere sock, and the two-at-a-time-magic-loop socks which have been sitting around for a month or so now, lounging in the Basket).

I am using Noro Kureyon Sock for these gloves. I don't mind Kureyon's less-than-perfect softness on my hands, for some reason. I bet the tougher wool would make good socks, too. (I also seem to remember that the Kureyon Sock has nylon in it? I originally meant to grab the Silk Garden Sock yarn, but the colors in this one must have swept me away...).

One thing I still don't understand: how in the heck are you supposed to accomplish a "ktbl" [knit through back loop]. I keep Googling and Googling, but no video or tutorial really explains it. It's ridiculous; one of those super-basic things I should know, but I don't, and everyone assumes you already know what the hell it is so they don't bother to explain it to you. Oh sure, there are bazillions of videos on cabling, and colorwork, and other things that seem to merit explanation...but I want someone to show me what the heck the action of KTBL Looks Like!!!

If I figure it out, I think I'll rip them out and start again. Right now, I've been sort of...knitting through the front loop. (Which I am just doing as the first half of a "kf&b" increase...the "kf" part...)

A picture of some 100% cashmere I bought from Colourmart. It feels like it still has sizing in it (the mill ends sold at Colourmart were originally destined for weaving mills and knitting factories, so they generally have sizing to keep the yarn a little stiff and easier for the machines to handle.) Thankfully, sizing washes out - if you order from Colourmart, you have the option to pay a few bucks more and have them wind off the cone into a skein and wash it for you, or to "spin up" yarns and ply them with other yarns on the site, a la Yarnia. This color was "green-black". It is pretty accurate to the picture, actually. The great thing about Colourmart is the price - $35 for 300+ yards of cashmere, fingering weight, including shipping from the UK or China or wherever they hold these skeins (I think it's the UK).
I think this might be for something for Daniel... it is a good color for him.

I found a one-row lace pattern in an older Knitting Daily (I think it's by Eunny Jang). The pattern for the lace is thus:
Over 27 stitches:
k3, *p1, yo, k2tog* rep from * to last 3 st, k3
Just keep doing that over and over. To start and end the scarf you knit a few rows in garter stitch.
I decided this would be a nice easy pattern to show off some handspun. This is from my Travelling Rhinos fiber club batts. It's got all sorts of stuff in it - different wools, Tencel, silk noil probably some white icicle...
The resulting fabric so far is really "sproingy". I like it! :)

So that's my knitting news for now. I am hoping maybe I can finish the leg of the second cashmere sock in teleconferences at work, by the time Winter Break rolls around. I want something different to take on the plane ride to Louisiana for Xmas. (I am pretty sad that Daniel can't come with me... sigh...)

1 comment:

Connor's Mom said...

Yay knitting!

I'm very envious. I've tried knitting, Mel. DISASTER.