Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Greens and Blues

I've noticed greens and blues are the most popular color choices for knitters (and people in general, I'm sure). I know that when I worked at a yarn store, those were the colors that were picked most often. Yarn companies almost always make sure to have more of a selection of those colors than any others. Me, I like all kinds of colors, but in the last month I have really had a chance to focus on greens and blues and think about how much I like them. First, green:
Pattern: Green Gable by Sarah and Rachel of Zephyr Style
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in color Oriental Jade, about 2.25 skeins
Needle size 6 (4mm)
Started - June 11
Finished - June 22
Mods: Added length to stockinette portion, added length to ribbing, worked one row of slip stitch around neckline, added hip increases.

I am pretty darn happy with this top! One of the great things about it, though, is the color. Jade is one of my favorite stones, and also one of my favorite colors. It's such a comforting color! This pattern was really amazing. I love top-down patterns so much! I really want to do Rusted Root now.

The next color I worked with was blue. Blue is a really special color for me. I always feel at home with blue. It's the color that I most identify with (although not necessarily my favorite - I don't think I could pick just one favorite color). That explains one of the reasons that I really love this top - Orangina! (or maybe Bluegina) Pattern : Orangina by Stefanie Japel for Glampyre Knits
Yarn: Aslan Trends Glaciar Del Cielo, 100% cotton
Needles - size 3 (3.25mm)
Mods: worked front and back over 67 sts each to compensate for bigger gauge, added about five inches to the lace part.

This color reminds me of blueberries. There's something so soothing about the color.... The top itself is wonderful to wear, but a little more boring to make than I had anticipated - no shaping, just a simple, four-row lace repeat. At least it went by fairly quickly!

Now, I'm taking a break from greens and blues, and working with ... pink! I'm making Liesl by Ysolda Teague. I'm pretty excited about this - hopefully it means I can finish it soon!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Two FOs!

I finished my Eyelet Surplice Dress. I ended up having to make a lot of mods to the top of the dress. The biggest one that I made was adding armhole decreases at the back. It was bunching up really badly at the neckline. I decreased nine stitches at each armhole. I also shortened the straps considerably, raising the ribbed waistband and creating more of an empire waist.
I also decided not to sew the fronts together because I didn't really see the point - I thought it looked nice the way it was! Again, I just have to say how much I love this yarn. Blue Sky Skinny Cotton is one of the nicest cottons I have ever had the pleasure of working with. It wears really nicely - I thought for sure the eyelet bodice was going to stretch like crazy, and it hasn't at all! All in all, I am very pleased with this dress (my first knitted one!).

I also finished up a pair of socks - "Child's French Sock" by Nancy Bush from "Knitting Vintage Socks". I've been wanting to try this pattern out for quite a while, and it did not disappoint! It was surprisingly simple, yet also very fun. I started this pair out in "Trekking Pro Natura", a bamboo-wool blend, but realized once I did one of the pattern repeats that it didn't have enough stitch definition. I pulled this Regia Silk out of my stash, and it proved to be just perfect! I am so happy with this sock yarn! The silk provides just the right amount of sheen, but doesn't intrude in the stretchiness of the yarn the way the bamboo does in "Trekking Pro Natura". I definitely want to use this again! Luckily, I have three more colors of it in my stash - I just have to pick out which patterns I want to make!
I'm working on the Printed Silk Cardigan now. I'm making it out of Louet Euroflax Sport in Terra Cotta. I think the drapiness of the linen will be a good substitute for the silk in the original. Linen doesn't have some of the same qualities as silk, however, so I will be making some mods to the pattern. I'm thinking of making the sleeves in stockinette, since ribbing just does not work in linen - it just adds bulk without any of the extra stretchiness. I've also added ribbed bands to the bottom of the sweater, and will be adding them to the fronts. I'm up to the twisted stitch part on the back, which I'm pretty excited about, since I love travelling stitches!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

FO : Cherry

Cherry is finished! I finished her up yesterday, in between studying for finals. I LOVE her! This is definitely one of my favorite knits so far! I used S.R. Kertzer Butterfly Super 10, a 100% mercerized cotton. I'd never used mercerized cotton before, and was very pleased with the results. It has a really beautiful sheen which is a little difficult to make out in these pictures. The only thing that kinda bugged me about the yarn was the fact that it was really splitty. And... we're talking REALLY splitty, because splittiness usually doesn't bother me. That wouldn't stop me from knitting with this yarn again, but I just thought I'd give fair warning.I think this is my first purple sweater. I really love that color, but I haven't had much of a chance to knit with it yet. This shade is especially entrancing. It just feels like a spring color - it reminds me of so many of the flowers that bloom in the summer.

I'm working on the Eyelet Surplice Dress from the new IK now. When I first saw the preview for it, I was kind of disappointed with it. I think I was wanting more of the same of the last two issues, since I have loved them so much. Then I saw the Knitting Daily galleries. It always helps to see the garments on different body types to let me see the potential different garments have. The dress wasn't in the Knitting Daily galleries, but once I got the issue and was able to see the garment on a page, instead of on a computer screen, I fell in love. I think it's going to be so elegant and fresh! I found the PERFECT yarn for it, too - Blue Sky Skinny Dyed Cotton in Cherry. It's the perfect easy knit for this stressful week, too - easy stockinette with minimal shaping, then a ribbed waistband, then the easy, easy eyelet lace for the top. Yummy!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Too Much Homework!

I've reached the point in my school semester where I've gotten really tired of going to school, and really just want it to be over. I had five essays to write for my Physical Anthropology class last weekend (it's a really interesting class, btw), two tests to study for, a speech to write, and all this while starting a new job (which is always stressful). Sigh. Anyway, somehow through the madness of the last month I have managed to get some knitting done. I finished Thermal, which was a great knit, even though it felt like it took five hundred years. Much of this was due to stupidity, probably induced by distraction by other aspects of my life. For example, I was about halfway through my second sleeve when I realized that I had somehow cast on four stitches less than for the first sleeve, which created a good half-inch of difference. Of course, I HAD to tear it back - it would have driven me crazy. And for some reason, I decided not to do the edges on the sleeve caps in plain knit, preferring to work them in pattern instead. I afterwards realized just how much nicer they would have looked if I had followed directions, but of course not until after I had sewn both the sleeves in. It was that kind of a sweater for me. But I love the finished product! Pattern: Thermal from by Laura Chau
Yarn: Knitpicks Gloss in Cocoa, six hanks (One hank less than the pattern specified!)
Needles: Size 2 (2.75mm)

After this sweater, I really just wanted something easy to focus on. I had bought some merino to knit the Puffed-Sleeve Feminine Cardigan from Fitted Knits, and afterwards found the perfect buttons for it - little yellow flower-shaped buttons. I've been wanting to knit it ever since, and knew this would be the perfect project right now. It was a breeze to knit - top-down sweaters are so awesome to make! I increased a lot less in the yoke, which led to a more fitted sweater than the one most people have made. I decided not to do the puff-sleeves, since I felt they would look out of place with the more fitted sweater I made, and also didn't do the lace peplum, since most of the versions that have inspired me most on Ravelry haven't had the lace peplum (and it was easier with my changed numbers).
I used GGH Samson on size 6 needles, which is a worsted-weight superwash merino that is absolutely HEAVENLY! Luckily, I have more of this yarn just waiting to be made into something scrumptious. I love the color of this one - I feel so happy when I wear it.
Now I'm working on Cherry from My Fashionable Life in a gorgeous red-violet mercerized cotton. I can't wait to post pictures of it - I've already got one of the sleeves done. I think it's going to be a really enjoyable knit. Anyway, I guess I should finish writing this book report I've been putting off for the last three weeks. Cheers!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Fancy things

I love elegant, fancy clothing. Even though I really don't have much of an opportunity to wear it in my own life, I love to knit it - hence a project I finished about two weeks ago - Eunny Jang's "Ladylike Gloves".I knitted these on size one needles with Alpaca with a Twist Fino, an alpaca/silk blend. The silk in the yarn gives it such a gorgeous sheen, making the gloves look as if they were knitted out a fine silver thread. The pattern itself was very interesting to knit - I got to try out a lot of different techniques I'd never tried before, like an I-cord edging around the bottoms of the gloves. It was also somewhat of a challenge - it was very difficult to work with laceweight on dpns without feeling frustrated at times. I'm very pleased with the results, however, and have enjoyed wearing these on cool spring nights.

I've been working on the sweater Thermal (from for the last month, and was needing a fresh project, so I decided I'd try knitting a beret. These are my favorite kind of knitted hat - so much more elegant and perky than regular caps. I fell in love with "Belle" by Ysolda Teague, discovered I had two balls of Rowan Wool Cotton in a basic black in my stash and enough purple ribbon for the bow, and two days later I had a hat.

(Sorry the pictures are sideways, guys - I didn't notice until now, and now I'm too lazy to do anything about it). Anyway, this was a pretty interesting pattern, too - it's almost entirely made up of dropped stitches! I'd never done dropped stitches before, so this was a good chance for me to try them out. I tried using bamboo circulars on this, but switched over to Addis after one repeat because the dropped stitches proved almost impossible to pass over the join on the Clover bamboos. I LOVE this hat!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Spring is here!

The weather is warming up here. While there's still a bit of a chill in the air, spring has definitely arrived! I love March! I can honestly say it's my favorite month of the year. I love seeing all the flowers bloom.
I feel like I'm walking in an Alice in Wonderland garden. Another reason I have for loving March is because it's my birthday month! My birthday was on March 1st. I had a party/art show. All of my closest friends contributed something. I, of course, knitted mine.
I saw the wall hangings that Mary Walker Philips did in the book "Knitting America", and thought they were so beautiful I wanted to do one of my own. She made hers out of linen, so I thought that would be the best fiber for mine. One of the things I love about knitted lace is the contrast between open space (blanks) and the fullness of the plain knit segments. I thought I would showcase all this in my art piece. I used black because I felt that would be the best color to highlight the graphic quality of lace knitting.
Yarn: Louet Euroflax Linen Sport (275 yds.) - 1 ball
Needles: size 2 1/2(3mm) addis
Pattern: my own
I called my piece "Blanks, Transports, the Dark", after a chapter from "The Western Canon" by Harold Bloom on the poet Emily Dickinson. I felt like the title really fitted the art piece well , with its blanks (the yarnover eyelets), transports (the way the lace pattern squiggles up the piece) and dark (the darkness of the stockinette portions).

This art piece made my birthday an extra special one this year!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

FO: Boatneck Bluebell

I love red. It's probably the color that I most relate to. I've been wanting to create some kind of homage to this color for a long time, and I think I've finally found a fitting way to pay tribute.

Pattern: Boatneck Bluebell from Fitted Knits

Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash in Col. no. 893, 6 balls

Needles: Size 6 (4mm) Addis for body and size 5s for edgings

Obviously, this is a Boatneck Bluebell in spirit only. I loved the design, and knew I had found the perfect yarn and color for it, but I didn't like certain elements of the design, specifically the bell sleeves. I think the cropped, fitted sleeves that my version has makes it look more Marilyn Monroe-ish. I had to add more rows to all the individual sections to make it fit my body, especially the bottom, flared-out part. I also did all the edgings in garter stitch instead of the reverse stockinette welts the original has at the bottom of the sweater and sleeves. I thought they added way too much bulk in areas that I really don't need bulk at. I did all the edgings in garter st instead, and used smaller needles for them, since on the same size as the body, the edgings looked huge and floppy. (I actually ended up taking out the yoke and starting over the first time I tried this sweater because of that.)
This pattern was really fun and relaxing to do. All those knit-purl patterns were exactly what I need right now. This is the first top-down sweater that I've tried, and I really enjoyed it. They're so much easier to fit to your body! I also love wearing this sweater, more importantly. It projects such wonderful energy! It's the perfect thing to wear on a beautiful day like today was!