Saturday, October 24, 2009

Book Review Time

I just splurged and bought two new knitting books:

Reversible Knitting, by Lynne Barr


The Enchanted Sole, by Janel Laidman.

"Reversible Knitting" is just what it sounds like - a stitch dictionary of fully reversible patterns. I also enjoy several of the patterns included in the book - my favorites are a sweater by Wenlan Chia that you can wear top-down or bottom-up, a bubble dress / tunic with flubby cables on one side and a texture on the other, and a double knit tank dress with a great labyrinth pattern.

"The Enchanted Sole" is Laidman's second book, that I have, and I love her colorwork designs for socks. All her socks in this book are based on myth or fairy tale. My favorites are the Tree of Life and Firebird socks. She also has some interesting sideways-knit socks that intrigue me.

Finally, a couple of weeks ago I bought Cat Bordhi's new sock book "Personal Footprints for Insouciant Sock Knitters" (Rav link to patterns). I love Cat. This new method she has is certainly unique, but I am anxious to finish knitting my friend Priscila's socks so I can try it out. She has you make a cardboard cutout to match your foot, and then you knit a closed tube, essentially, to match your foot, and then use lifelines to cut a hole at the top of the sock, wherein you pick up stitches and knit up the leg. Neat!! And she explains it far better than I do here.

Meanwhile I am finishing up a book not about knitting, called "Bacchus and Me", written by a wine critic who I fear was not well known (Jay McInerney), but it is very delightful reading! He details his travels to different wine regions around the world.

I am off to relax for the evening and think about sleeping soon... pilates class tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Flapper Hat FO

I finished my Side Slip Cloche hat on Friday, while eating my way through Portland with a friend of mine. :)

Here it is, on the floor:

I was really worried that one skein of Dream in Color Classy wouldn't be enough for a hat. I don't know what I was thinking - I have about half the ball left!

The hat construction is interesting - you knit the band around, then you block it (and I wove in ends), and then you pick up stitches around the top and knit up the hat in the round.

My hat is not as poofy as the pattern suggests, but it just might need some blocking to stretch out a bit.

Overall, I'm very happy with it! And I loved knitting with Classy - the colors are saturated, and the yarn is nice and tightly plied, which I love. In my opinion, it feels like a high-class Cascade 220.

...Now what to knit???

I have yarn wound off for many projects, but I think tonight I will work on my Spring Forward socks for my friend Priscila...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Fiber Destashing

ETA: I sold the Lincoln Fleece!

I'm cleaning out my closet, and getting rid of some things! I want them to go to good homes, so hopefully posting them on Ravelry will be fruitful. I already sold a raw alpaca fleece, as well as a large bump of alpaca / Merino top.

The listings are on Ravelry: Lincoln fleece.

Here are the pictures. I have approximately 1 lb of raw fleece. Average staple length 5". $10 + shipping. It washes up to a beautiful white color (you can see it in the lower left of the picture below).

Below is a picture of an average lock, showing staple length.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Uber-Sweater

I think I have decided what to make with my Blue Moon yarn (BFL Sport) that I purchased at OFFF.

An Uber-Sweater. A basic, wear-it-around-every-day, colorful sweater that looks good on me.

I present a sketch:

Ignore the shadow on the paper. A childhood spent yearning to be a fashion designer, yet feeling I never really could until I wasn't overweight (have you ever seen a fat fashion designer, Karl Lagerfeld pre-weight-loss not included? OK, I should say - have you ever seen a fat female fashion designer? No. Because 90% of those women are neurotic, smoke, eat too little and party too much to be healthy anyway. And I bet none of them could do any sort of deadlift at all! Bam!)

I digress. So... sweater details:

- Nalgar shoulder shaping (courtesy of EZ; notice the two diagonal lines at the shoulders above. Since I haven't browsed Ravelry yet for real-life pictures of a Nalgar in the wild, I am relying on translating her drawing of a Nalgar from her "Knitting Workshop" book into what it would like on a body.)
- EZ's knit waistband (vs. a ribbed waistband, so it doesn't tuck in and bubble out around my waist)
- deep ribbed arm cuffs (cuz I like that!)
- waistband hits mid-hip. I learned with my February Lady Sweater that cropped things hitting at my actual waist are Not. Flattering to me. At All.

A note: I find it interesting how my perception of proportions on bodies has changed over the years. My initial sketch had the shoulders too broad, the arms hanging out to the sides beyond the ribcage, and the arms too long. The forehead was too high, initially. Also, the legs were too fat (at least to represent ME **thank you Mom and Dad for not afflicting me with Cankles, Saddlebags, and giving me Nice Leg Shaping!**). Thank goodness for pencil erasers, and patience. I think, for a 20 minute sketching exercise, this is a fair representation of myself. :)


What's this? The beginning of a new hat! The "Side Slip Cloche" from Boutique Knits, to be exact. This is the lower band of the hat, with the side ruffles. It's about 14" long right now, and needs to be 20.5" before I proceed with the rest of the hat. The yarn is Dream in Color Classy worsted in "Flamingo Pie". It is a beautiful base yarn, more tightly plied than Cascade 220 (which is what I originally thought the base was), and the dyers do a wonderful job. And there is more yardage than Cascade 220 (well, 30 more yards!), although it is much more expensive than Cascade 220... but I think for a one-skein project, it works great!