Sunday, August 05, 2007

An Endpaper Mitt

I am the Michael Jackson of knitting. I finished my first Endpaper Mitt last weekend and have been wearing it around in the anticipation of finishing the other. Why, in the height of summer, do I need to be wearing mitts? Just one mitt? Yet it gives me a zealous glee to sit here and type a la MJ. Except that my glove is pink.

Needless to say, the mitts are coming along fabulously. I am surprised at how little yarn they require; I will have enough leftover to make a whole extra pair. Or maybe those Anemoi Mittens? [Insert more zealous glee here]

One thing that is definitely not provoking glee is the packing of the stash. I move in with the fiance in 10 days, and I can't bear to box up my yarn. This whole moving this is going to put a serious damper on my knitting time. But, on the other hand, the extra cuddle time will surely make up for it. Where did I put that box, again?

Friday, July 27, 2007

Ravelry Prompts Two New Challenges

I cataloged a large number of my previous projects on Ravelry over the last few weeks and, when I looked at everything next to each other, I realized how many small and (relatively) simple projects I have made. So I started taking advantage of Ravelry's amazing searches to see what others are knitting. And boy am I amazed! To see these beautiful FOs reminds me of all of the knitting techniques I have yet to learn. For example, in the five years that I have been knitting, I have never done fair isle or made a sweater that I really like to wear.

And it's time to change that.

First, I'm going to try to tackle the sweater challenge with the Puff-Sleeved Feminine Cardigan from Stephanie Japel's Fitted Knits. I happened to already have the exact yarn called for in the pattern (Knit Picks Merino Style), so I cast on after finishing the Two-Toned Ribbed Shrug. I am now really close to dividing for the sleeves, and so far I like how things are going. The yarn is fabulous to knit with, and I really love the green color. The only thing I am worried about is how the finished sleeves will look; will they be puffy enough? The model in the book looks great, but some FO pictures have been a little 'flat'. We'll see...

To tackle the color work challenge, I am making the Endpaper Mitts by Eunny Jang. I found this pattern via Ravelry after putting Eunny's Anemoi Mittens on my to-knit list. The Endpapers seemed like an easier place to start my fair isle, though I plan on getting to those mittens soon. I'm currently on my third pattern repeat, and I already love these! Why has it taken me so long to get around to fair isle? Once I taught my left hand to knit, it has been a breeze. The yarn for this project, Knit Picks Pallette, is great for fair isle, though nothing particularly interesting on its own. As a bonus, this project is also from stash, which I guess means I should have a third challenge: knit more from stash.

I can't wait to see how these mitts come out!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Please Excuse Me While I Ravelry

I was 'Squee!'-ing with delight this weekend at my invitation to join the new knitting site, Ravelry. After being on the waiting list for some time, and hearing all of the rave reviews from Brenda Dayne of Cast-On, I was like a kid at Christmas as I poured through Ravelry's pages. As of Sunday night, I have cataloged 8 projects, added 3 books, and have found a few new designs to add to my queue. I can see myself spending many future hours cataloging yarn, needles, and past projects, because I think that this site is going to be stellar! Squee!

Oh, and I managed to harangue the fiance to take some pictures of my finished shrug:

Squee! again.

My First Baby Surprise

The baby surprise jacket has been finished and passed on to the mom-to-be. Mom has already 'tried it on' the baby and it turned out to be a little big. Next time I should probably swatch, but I figure gauge doesn't matter as the kid will always grow into it!

The lack of swatching also led me to run out of yellow cotton yarn halfway through. So the result wasn't exactly what I planned, but sometimes you need to let the knitting dictate and enjoy the beautiful results! Overall, I am very happy with the jacket and hopefully it will get worn and loved.

Now that the BSJ is done, I can finish up the shrug and post pictures here soon!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Shrug, Jacket, Cardigan

So the shrug is off the needles and all that remains it to tuck all of the ends into the fabric. Oh, and fix that tiny little mistake I made while knitting on an evening car ride:

So maybe there is not enough light on the highway to see that you've dropped a stitch. Oops. I of course caught my mistake after casting off the sleeve, so I am going to have to do some creative darning rather than unbinding and forcing the stitch back into the fold. I'm rolling my eyes at this one.

I might have to put the shrug on the back-burner while I work on my first Baby Surprise Jacket. I started it on a camping trip this weekend and I have two weeks to finish it before my friend has her baby shower. I trust Mrs. Zimmermann completely, but I have no idea how this thing is going to turn into a baby jacket. In the meantime, I am following the pattern to a T.

Once the BSJ is done, I have this strange urge to work on a large scale project. I must be hankering for a cardigan because I seem to be bookmarking a lot of cardigan patterns these days. I am also digging the Feminine Puffed Sleeved Cardigan from Fitted Knits, which I already have yarn for, so that one might win out in the end. Though have you seen the very cool (non-cardigan) design of Cochella in the summer issue Knitty? Genius! As always, so many patterns, so little time.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Fitted Knits Shrug

Since starting to spin, I have been trying to find projects that require only 4 or 8 oz of wool. Not enough to make a sweater, but nice enough yarn that I want to do something interesting with it. I picked up a copy of Stephanie Japel's new book, Fitted Knits, the other day and immediately fell in love with her designs. I was all ready to cast on the Feminine Puffed-Sleeved Cardigan when I remembered my handspun. Instead, I started the Two-Toned Ribbed Shrug from the same book:

I have about 8 oz of this handspun and the body of the shrug has used about 6 oz. I ran out to my LYS on Sunday to find the perfect shade of Cascade 220 for the ribbed border and am loving how everything is coming together!

Next up on the needles: a baby suprise jacket!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

A Spontaneous Shirt

I was looking for a comfortable shirt to wear this afternoon, but had little luck in my large pile of fitted t-shirts. Disappointed not to find a tee that I could throw on over a tank-top, I took out my scissors and took matters into my own hands:

I bought this tee at an event in the Fall; a mens small that fit well in the torso but was disappointingly broad through the shoulders. As much as I love the design, it was not the most comfortable t-shirt I own and I hardly ever wore it due to the weird fit. This afternoon, however, it seemed like the perfect candidate for my 'comfy tee'.

Being broad in the shoulders allied itself to a wide neck design. To do this, I laid my shirt out flat on the floor and took an identical cut through the top and bottom layers of fabric. I started and ended 1.5" from the shoulder seam and scooped down in the middle to a point just under the front neck opening. I then removed the bottom hem and cut off half of each sleeve, as they were a bit too long for my taste. The result is super comfortable!