Wednesday, September 5, 2007

But I Have Been Knitting

Well, I was knitting before I went back to work this past Tuesday. School is in and I'm busy as eff. The Saturday before the holiday, though, I sat in bed and almost knit an entire cardigan; all I needed were sleeves and a collar. Unfortunately, I realized it did not, could not fit once I tried it on. That joint wasn't even trying to pretend to work. It was looking pretty cute too. See:

It's knit from that Rowan Big Wool I got on sale. Good thing I have balls and balls cuz it's gonna take a couple more to actually fit. After I took it apart (and I didn't feel too bad about this; it only took one day's work), it looked like this (and yes, that is an Ebony, so what?):

So, I've started the process all over again. I guess I should note it's Twinkle's Best Friend Cardigan, but I re-wrote the pattern to have raglan sleeves cuz I hate the idea of knitting an entire body and then having to go back to do sleeves. Oh, and I also eliminated the reverse stockinette. I think I like the regular stockinette better. The alterations seem to be working out well. I just need to decide which buttons to use. What do you think?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

New FO + New Yarns = Excitement

My title's terribly corny.

Now that that's out of the way, let us view my latest triumph over boredom. Remember that Stephanie Japel Bold & Bulky Mini Cardi from
Fitted Knits? Yeah, well I finally finished it. The knitting of the body took no time. It was the picking up of stitches for the button band and actually finding the right sized buttons that was a problem.

Le Front

Le Back

Knit in Lion Brand Thick N' Quick (Pumpkin [MC] & Cranberry [CC])

I do love the shaping in the back and on the sleeves (sorry, no picture of the sleeves), but there is this terrible extra bulk right above the chest area that bothers me. It's not really noticeable when the cardigan's worn open, so that just may be my solution. Cute item, but I doubt I'll make another one.

New Yarn!!!!!!

As a beginning knitter, I've been awfully fond of Lion Brand's Wool-Ease Thick & Quick because it's aptly named and it's cheap. This is kinda funny, as I learned to knit in a store that carries nothing cheap and my first project was knit in 100% alpaca (that stuff was like 13 bucks a skein, whew!). Well, now that I'm convinced that I know what I'm doing, I'm moving up the scale of economy a bit. I like nice things. Why not pay for them? My recent purchases from Jimmy Bean's Wool and Roxy Yarns are moving me along. I'll be purchasing cashmere yarn in no time.

Good ole Big Wool from Rowan. Before, this stuff was out of my league. I bought Thick N' Quick if I wanted to make Twinkle knits without the Twinkle price, but I came upon a load of this stuff markeddown 50%(thank you Jimmy Bean's) and figured the knitting gods wanted me to have something that isn't mostly acrylic. I bought seven balls of this and plan on making them into the Groovy Sweater Dress. Apparently, this color is being discontinued. Too bad, I think it's quite nice.

This is a brand I hadn't heard of until I found it in the store. This is Limari Multy by Araucania, and I love it. It's a blend of merino wool (soft), alpaca (warm), and silk (smooth), which means, of course, that it feels fantastic. I wanted to make Teva Durhams's Bobble U Neck out of this, but my bobble game is beyond sorry, so this'll probably be in the stash for a minute. There's no way that I'm using $17.00 a skein yarn for any ole mess. No, I must wait. Got this from my not-so-local yarn shop, a place called Knitting Workshop on Lincoln & Webster (right next to the Orange Julius/DQ, on the Lincoln side). If you're in Chicago, definitely go; they have a really nice selection of yarns.

Finally, there's my Cascade Lana Grande in colors I call Cookie Monster and Grouch. The first really is the exact color of Cookie Monster, but Grouch is actually a bit more vibrant (like the color of a perfect lawn). These, too, were on sale at well below their regular price ($3.50 a ball at Roxy Yarns), so I had to get them. These colors are a bit much, so they'll probably end up as vests or striped with something; I don't know.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Plans and More Plans

So I've finally amassed a list of must-have items from my premier fall knitting magazines.

First up is the Kangaroo Tunic (a Wenlan Chia [Twinkle] design) from Vogue Knitting's 25th Anniversary fall issue. It's pretty much a shopping tunic with a buttoned collar and a kangaroo pocket, and I LOVE IT! I'm working on this now in Lion Brand Thick n' Quick.

From Interweave Knits I've selected another Twinkle pattern, the gorgeous Belle Cardigan. It has a cute little peplum and a v front. I love it.

I've also chosen a Teva Durham design, the Concentric Vest. I know for a fact I will be substituting yarn here; I hope it turns out okay.

There's also the Luna Dress. We all know I started knitting strictly for the sweater dresses; however, this is a maybe. There's still the Groovy Sweater Dress waiting in line.

I went to my LYS (Local Yarn Store), Nina, yesterday and picked up two Rowan magazines. One, entitled Newshapes, features patterns knit exclusively on their Big Wool and Little Big Wool, which means (yay!) big needles and fast finishing. The other is the fall issue, number 42. Unfortunately, their Britishness makes the patterns a little harder to understand than the ones I'm used to. They use different terms and insist on knitting portions of garments separately and seaming them together. I hate seaming, so I'll be taking a chance and re-writing them for simple one piece knitting. Anyway ... from fall issue 42.

Dude, I wish I could find a close up. The pattern on this baby is gawgeous.

A cute little cardigan.

I MUST learn to crochet because this shrug has to be mine.

There was also a dress in the magazine that I can't find a picture of, but I may be embarking on a small-needle project. It's just that darn cute.

From Newshapes (They all are named after spices cuz they got mad flavor yo.)

As you can see I'm going to be hella busy upping my sweater game. Stay tuned, I have new yarn coming in, new buttons to show, and a finshed object to photograph.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

What Kind Of Knitter Am I?

What Kind of Knitter Are You?

You appear to be a Knitting Adventurer. You are through those knitting growing pains and feeling more adventurous. You can follow a standard pattern if it's not too complicated and know where to go to get help. Maybe you've started to experiment with different fibers and you might be eyeing a book with a cool technique you've never tried. Perhaps you prefer to stick to other people's patterns but you are trying to challenge yourself more. Regardless of your preference, you are continually trying to grow as a knitter, and as well you should since your non-knitting friends are probably dropping some serious hints, these days.
Take this quiz!

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Another FO (Finished Object)

So, I haven't finished my Bold and Bulky Cardi. I'm almost done, though. It's just that the whole picking up stitches and knitting the button band is tedious as all hell, soooooo I decided that I'd make another Shopping Tunic. This time, I made a 2x2 ribbed band at the bottom to prevent it from curling. I thought about adding a kangaroo pocket, but the sweater is bulky enough as it is, so I didn't. It only took a day and some change!

Taa Daa!

Close up

This time I made the medium and it's definitely not as snug, but I'm not sure I'm happy about that. I used 1 and 1/2 skeins of Lion Brand Thick n' Quick in Lemongrass and some brown stuff that I had hanging around (pretty expensive stuff, an alpaca super chunky). I like it. Up next is the Steek Tunic that I never finished.

Friday, August 10, 2007

New Stuff

So I've all but turned my back on my sewing projects. I've finished a few things, simple things (my skirts). They're okay, but I'm not in love with them. I guess I'll have to step up my skirt-making game.


I went from this:

To this:

This is the other completed skirt:

So anyway.

I've decided that pictures of me wearing my finished knitting projects look like soft core porn (see here for proof), so I've decided to make use of my decidedly less offensive mannequin.

First up, another Ballet Tee from Teva Durham's Loop-d-Loop.

I used this yarn:

It's 100% extrafine merino wool from Karabella and feels fantastic. It stretches wonderfully and will probably hold up quite well under machine washing (though I won't chance it). The only thing is that it knit tighter than the cheapo Bernat stuff, so it shows more of my belly than I'd like to reveal to the general public.

Here's the new tee:

And I finally made an item from Twinkle's Big City Knits, which I've had since March or so. I decided to start with something simple, the Shopping Tunic. Because I'm cheap, I did not use Twinkle's yarn but Lion Brand's Thick n Quick. I think this may have affected the fit; it's a bit snug. I striped in Fisherman (cream), taupe, and black. I think I like it.

Close up of turtleneck:

Now, I'm working on Stephanie Japel's Bulky Mini Cardi also in Lion Brand's Thick n' Quick. It's the cardigan in the top row, second from the left or right (why didn't I just say, "the one in the middle"?)

This is what I have so far:

I figure I'll be done with it by next Tuesday or so and will be able to move on to a sweater dress.

Well, that's it for now. Progress must be made.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

And I Sew Too

So, about a week and a half ago, I fished my sewing machine out of the throwaway room and decided to start making cute summer stuff since I'm broke. True to my hoarding behavior, I made several trips to fabric stores and have amassed quite a fabric stash. Of course, my laziness and my inability to finish things will not allow me to complete each and every project I have planned for these gorgeous fabrics, but a girl can dream ... and plan ... and draft with the good-natured intention of actually doing all this work.

Since you may never see finished projects, I thought I'd at least share the materials and plans with you.

Lettuce begin (hardy har)


1. I saw this gorgeous Martin Margiela skirt on sale at aloha rag the other day and immediately decided that I wanted it.

I almost simultaneously decided that I didn't want to pay 400 bucks for it, so I set out to Vogue Fabrics (that place is like crack, so hard to walk out without spending your life [no offense to those struggling with actual crack addiction]) to find suitable fabrics with which to emulate the look. What I found was pretty cute, and I can't wait to make it.

Next up is a journey through my obsession with loud, colorful "African-inspired" prints.


These (the yellow-based prints, exclude the green one) I hope to turn into a cute halter dress, as shown in this cute little Vogue pattern:

I've actually made some progress on this one, so it will probably be worn. We'll see.

3. The next combo will also be a dress, probably of the strapless variety. Since I'm lazy and get frustrated easily, I'm thinking something super simple, like this (the yellow, strapless one):

This will be the fabric; hopefully, they're not too busy. (I may use a bit of black to break the patterns up.)

And finally a few simple straight skirts. I saw this one:

at Nuvany Nice (great blog and shopping site, check it out), and decided to make a few of these since they're simple, cute, and can be made without a pattern. Mine, of course, will be much longer, probably knee length. My fabrics:




So that's six projects to complete before summer (assuming that I'd like to wear them anytime soon). Barring death, I'm really gonna try to complete these. We'll see.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Effects of Boredom and Idleness

Since becoming obsessed with knitting, I've bought a zillion books, one of which was this one:

It's by Teva Durham. One of the projects in this book kept beckoning to me saying, "make me, make me." So, after much procrastination and dilly dallying, I finally made it. This is the original:

And this is mine!

It started as this:

And progressed to this:

Then finally became an actual garment, and it only took two days. I'm making another in pink and gray. Stay tuned for pictures.

I recommend the hell out of this pattern and book. I made the small/medium, and though the book states that the finished chest measurement would be 28 3/4", you must keep in mind that it stretches by virtue of being knit on 15" circular needles. The instructions were very clear (unlike those in Twinkle's Big City Knits [see Knitting The Pain Away]) and is super suitable for beginners. You're essentially just knitting in the round and making a few increases (knitting into the front and back of a stitch). The only marginally unsure moment was when I had to cast on stitches at the end of the row using a single loop method. I figured it out in no time despite having never done it. Trust me, this pattern is gold.