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!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A hat and some gloves

I've been feeling a little under the weather the last two weeks. I got the cold that it seems like everyone in San Diego has, and everything's starting to bloom here again, which means I've also been struggling with my yearly onslaught of allergies. What that means for my knitting life is that I've been forced to stay home a lot, and have been getting a lot of knitting done.
Since all the flowers and trees are beginning to bloom, I've become a little nostalgic now for the other end of the spectrum, for autumn's beautiful colors and feel. So, what better to knit than Foliage?
Pattern: Foliage by Emilee Mooney for Knitty.com
Yarn: Cascade Dolce (55% alpaca, 23% silk, 22% wool) in col# 934
2 balls at 109 yds. each
Needles: Size 7 ChiaoGoo bamboo dpns, Size 7 16" Clover circs for
body and size 5 16" circs for ribbing
This was a very enjoyable hat to make! I can see why so many people have been making this pattern. I've pretty much been wearing it non-stop since I made it. I think it's something about the color . . . it just makes me so happy! It was an interesting experience starting at the top for a hat - I usually start at the bottom. I like pushing myself to make things in different ways. I also have to say something about this yarn - it's pretty nice! It has the well-defined stitch definition of wool, mixed with the softness and fuzziness of alpaca, and the beautiful shimmer of silk. It's a nice yarn to pick for when you want something a little special at an affordable price.

And then there's my new fingerless gloves. Someone gave me about ten balls of different colors of Jamieson & Smith's Jumperweight Shetland. She bought them to make two different projects without realizing how hairy and rough shetland wool is. She has very sensitive skin and couldn't even work with it, much less wear it. So, she gave it to somebody who she knew would appreciate them - me! Thus, my version of Little Gems Mitts was created.

Pattern: Little Gems Mitts by Donna Schabes for IK Holiday Gifts 2007 (also available as PDF thru their website)

Yarn: Jamieson & Smith Jumperweight Shetland, 2 balls of main color and little bits of all the others

Needles: Empress size 0 dpns

I had to go down to size 0s to make them fit my hand (I have little child hands). I also started the fingers earlier than the pattern specified for the same reason. Otherwise, I followed the pattern as written and had a lot of fun with it, I must say! The shetland wool bloomed beautifully after washing, and while it's not as soft as merino, I have to admit I really like wearing them! It makes me feel kind of rustic and rural.

Anyway, I've been working hard on my latest sweater project, Boatneck Bluebell from Fitted Knits, and should have it done by the end of the week. I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I am so excited about having a blog! Reading other people's blogs brings such joy to my life - I hope to be able to bring joy to other people's lives as well. We had a surprisingly wet and cold winter here in San Diego, which pushed me to knit a lot. Anyway, here's my first FO of the year:

Puffed Wheat Pullover by Kate Gilbert for IK winter '07

Yarn: 10 balls of GGH Samson, 100% superwash merino color # 16

Needles: size 8 Addis for the body and size 6 Addis for the ribbing.

Can I just say that I LOVE this sweater?! The pattern was very fun to knit - I didn't have to make any modifications and it fit me perfectly. This yarn is absolutely wonderful to knit with and wear, and I love the color. It's such a soft, thoughtful shade of gray, with a hint of purple in it. And, I got to make cables! It seems like all the patterns I've been choosing recently have been lace, or colorwork - I really missed cabling. All in all, this made for a very pleasant knitting and wearing experience.

I loved the pleats in the sleeve cap - I just had to show it to you guys.

Anyway, shortly after I finished the Puffed Wheat pullover, I finished a pair of socks.

Gentlemen's Half Hose in Ringwood Pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks

Yarn: Louet Gems Pearl in Indigo, 2 skeins, and Cherry Red, 1 skein

Needles: size 1 (2.25 mm) Clover bamboo dpns

I saw the pair Terhi of Mustaa Villaa made and instantly fell in love. It's really hard getting excited about the patterns from the pictures in the book - you really need to be able to see socks on feet to get a good idea about what they look like. I pretty much knitted these the way they were in the book, except that I added the contrast-color heel and ribbing at the top like Terhi. It was a really fun sock to make - but, then again. Nancy Bush's socks always are. Anyway, next time I post I should have a new FO for you guys, so stay tuned!