Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Finished Object and an Obsession

I would really like to show you all the baby knits that I have finished and that I have been gifted, but I want to photograph it in the frilly bassinette that is set to arrive some time during the next week.

Instead, I will show you a lovely finished object that needs to be wrapped up and sent as birthday gift to a lovely woman - my hubby's grandma. It is a Lily Chin pattern, Charlotte's Easy Lace Shawl, made from 4 balls of light pink Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk. I had two laying around from other projects and only needed to make a further investment in two more balls. I was quite impressed with what 284 yds on US13's could produce. I haven't done a ton of lace knitting and this is the first shawl that I have made; on both counts, this pattern proved very satisfying.

It was really easy to block; I just hit it with some steam as it draped over a towel on the bed. Though I finished it in plenty of time to have it ready as a birthday present, my Acheles Heal awaits conquering - getting it packaged and sent out of the post office. I am really tempted to hook up with Fed-Ex's pick up service but I don't have any of their envelopes either getting set up would take just as much effort as getting my butt over to the USPS that is about a block from our home. My PO issues are why I am self forbidden to ever attempt to participate in any swaps. As much as receiving and sending well thought out goodies, I am the worst at keeping on the ball.

Now for my obsession: I am calling it Not Kaffe. I bought this season's VK without even looking at the patterns because I had been looking forward to Lily Chin's article on waist shaping. I haven't seen much of anything that I could really care about making for about 2 yrs from this publication, but this issue has at least half a dozen things that I am having dreams about making. The first thing is pattern #14 which is a classic Kaffe thistle fair isle number. After cogitating on where I could get the eight colors of DK wool for the cheapest, disillusionment began to set in, nearly cemented by the fact that he designed it in pieces. Hope came with empowerment - It simultaneously occurred to me that I could make use of some of the tons of Noro Kureyon that I was stashing to make Interweave's Sunrise Jacket (though I think that jacket is too lovely, it doesn't light me up the way that it once did) a la Three Tam style and I could put this chart into a steeked top down cardigan in a larger gauge. The math and the chart worked out to be a perfect match. At 2:30pm yesterday afternoon, I cast on. At 2:30 am this morning, I finally set it down with about 5 rows to go before the split for sleeves and body. I am having a fine ole stranded time with this project and am having tremendous separation anxiety when I have to set it down. I charted the first 15 increase rows to make sure that I increased within the chart without compromising the design and fter that, for the reaming 8 increase rows, I have been able to fake it following the original chart.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I'm Back; RE: Podcasting

I have finally reprised my podcasting!

You can find it at Please go listen. Hopefully, it will also appear on iTunes as usual. It is hard to tell if I properly redirected everything.

If nothing else, there is some good JoCo as the musical choice.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Silent but Not Absent

I have really been very, very productive since my last post. I have been so productive that I couldn't possibly make the time to photograph and to blog about all this productivity, let alone even empty my camera of pictures dating back to New Year's. Since time is only going to be coming at a greater premium in the next month or so, I need to catch up. I am beginning with the items that I completed while we were visiting Portland over New Year's.

This set is inspired by the neck warmer from Knit 2 Together. I made the neck muff to the pattern specs out of Lamb's Pride Worsted in their new Landscapes. Then, having quite a bit left over, I made the brim of the cap in the same pattern and finished it up with some more left over LP. Finishing in just the nic of time, I was able to gift these items to my MIL on her bday, Dec. 28. She declared great liking of them and wore them when we went to the Portland Zoo a couple of days later - which was neat since it was quite, quite chilly. Chilly enough to enjoy snow for about 30 seconds as we walked between the primate exhibits. Xander enjoyed some petting time with some very sweetly dispositioned fiber beasts as we went through a farm like exhibit. (If you like Xander's hat, you can read about it more when I get over to my sewing blog to catch up a little there, too.)

One of my most excellent Christmas presents was a gift certificate to a yarn shop that I had visited on my first trip to Portland, The Yarn Garden. My SIL provided me with this great present. We all went together on a girls outing. I actually found it quite difficult on what to purchase now that I work at a really well stocked amazing store. While I was searching, SIL found some yarn that she was wishing would turn into a beanie. I was more than happy to oblige as I love! to whip out caps. I don't remember what yarn it was but it was quite soft and nice to work with. As for my long labored purchases, I settled on the new Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Sock Book and a ball of Noro's new Kureyon Sock yarn. The book is beautifull and thorough and I will share my opinions about the sock yarn later.

The final completed objects are an EZ Baby Surprise and a baby sized Tychus. I had left town thinking that I would complete all of my samples for my classes that would begin shortly after our return from Oregon. Unfortunately, I had overbooked my knitting
digits. Fortunately, I did complete this very classic fun pattern from the Zimmerman Knitting Goddess and the very thorough knitting notes needed to complete one with some sanity remaining intact. My mantra was that this pattern has been around for 40 years and bazillions of other knitters have successfully made it through. It is quite reassuring to have that history and track record behind a challenging project. The actual knitting of this item is quite simple; it is wrapping your head around the magic of the fabric that you are shaping that is challenging. You can get this famed pattern as a single sheet or in a couple of EZ's books, my favorite compilation being Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop. This edition is the key to following the infectious knitting antics of brooklyntweed. As for Tychus, a lovely customer came in frantically with the pattern and no knowledge of short rows. Her desire for vertical stripes and need for a completed Christmas gift were so strong that she quickly acquired the concept. As I worked with her through a panel, I became entranced by the need to make one too. This hat is actually the first bit of baby knitting that was completed for this incoming wee one. The pattern calls for five sections but I found four sufficient. I have since completed tons more stuff for the babe, which I will share later. I strongly recommend Tychus for short row practice, much like the Calorimetry is good for the same.


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