Monday, April 30, 2007

My Sally Melville Weekend

Quick post, because I'm still recovering from a weekend spent knitting (and the weekend before that away). I decided the good thing about the house being a disaster after me being AWOL is that at least it proves I do something around here.

I had a fantastic knitting weekend with Sally Melville -- 11 hours of workshops! She was really great -- I feel like I learned so much. (And I was completely wiped out at the end -- it's been a long time since I've concentrated that hard for that long.)

I took: Basic Maneuvers; Borders and Buttonholes; Basic Pattern Drafting; and Emergency Measures. I don't think I can list everything I learned -- there was a lot! Some cast-ons, some dandy tricks, some design principles, how to cut a hole in my knitting, the Portugese around-the-neck purl ... and much much more. I also learned that I knit the same way as she does -- with the ergonomically preferred "Pencil Hold" :) That left me feeling smug.

It was really quite awesome. And after seeing her designs up close and personal I liked them so much better than I did in the books; I might need to make some!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Sort-of-Ugly Sweater

My husband says I shouldn't call it that, even in private, or it will rub off on my son, who so far says he likes it. Loves it, in fact. Even loves the colors, he says. (Have I mentioned he's colorblind?) I am not sure about the apricot stripes. Or about the stripe pattern, which I am making up as I go along. Not sure about any of it, really.

I got the yarn (Debbie Bliss wool/cotton - very nice!) on super-duper sale with the intention of making a different, all brown sweater with a little orange peeking out from inside the collar. But then time went by and my son got bigger, and I wasn't sure I had enough brown. Enter stripes! I think at first I was just going to do one stripe ... I'm not sure how or why it morphed into what you see. Perhaps I've blocked it out. Also, I decided I couldn't bear to knit it in pieces, so I am doing it in the round, and I think I am NOT doing the collar from the pattern (there is a zipper, and I fear zippers), which pretty much means I am completely winging it at this point. We'll see!

To your right is the yarn I won (bought) at the Knitter's Guild annual auction Monday night. Three skeins of Blue Sky Organic Cotton in a naturally grown Sage color. So soft! The plan is to knit something for Eli's cello teacher's impending baby. Now I just need to figure out what.

And, most importantly, I need to figure out my knitting for my SOLO plane trip to California on Saturday. Just under three days visiting my parents. I may be more excited about being alone on the plane than anything else. Don't want to waste it!

Oh, and Kathy says it's my 1-year Blogiversary. I'm too lazy to check, but I think she's always right. Cake for everyone!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Stash for Sale: Lana Grossa Royal Tweed

Sorry to bore everyone/anyone with this. I need to learn how to collapse boring posts. I am selling 1.75-plus skeins of Cascade 220 (Silver Spruce Heather for $9, including shipping,(SOLD - Thank yoU!) and five skeins (500m) of Lana Grossa Royal Tweed (Dusky/Royal Blue) for $25, plus shipping.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Talia's Rainbow Poncho

I knitted this a few years ago for Auden, who promptly declared it "too fratchy" and refused to wear it. Fortunately she has an older but tiny cousin, Talia, who is less fussy and appreciates the joy of a rainbow-colored, twirly handknit! I sent it to her back when I first knit it, but this is the first time I've gotten a picture.

And so they're not left out, here is my niece Kira -- Talia's big sister -- playing violin with my brother Harry on the piano. They played a trio with Eli on cello and it made me cry. My family! All making music together! Kira's playing is so beautiful that it made me cry too. But I may be a wee bit sentimental. :)

Anyway, here are the poncho stats:

Pattern: Children's Poncho, Knitting Pure & Simple, size 2-4
Yarn: Hmm, I thought I had the label, but can't find it now. Self-striping, anyway, though I had to fiddle with it to get more pink. Worsted weight.
That's all I've got.

p.s. Does anyone know how to hide the labels at the end of each post?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

More Hoodie Pictures

I am very, very happy with this (did I say that already? Yes I did.) It feels good, it's comfortable, it's warm, I think it's beautiful. I really enjoyed knitting it, and I'd make the pattern again, if I were the kind of person who knitted the same pattern twice, which I'm not sure I am.

I don't entirely love the way I look in it, especially buttoned, especially in pictures. Because a) I think I need to lose weight and b) it is slightly too chunky/boxy to be the MOST flattering thing I've ever worn. You may not be able to tell that from the pictures, which are carefully edited. And I don't think I will ever, ever allow anyone to see me with the hood up, unless the alternative is severe frostbite and/or death.

But that said, I do love it! I have been wearing it almost non-stop since I finished it. And I am no longer intimidated by the concept of making myself a sweater. So yay!

And now, back to getting ready for the houseguests ...

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

CPH is done, done done!

Happiness is finishing your Central Park Hoodie before your houseguests arrive. I actually finished a few days ago, but I wanted to block it before I sewed on the buttons. I didn't do a very good job blotting out the water, and it took forever to dry.

I'm very happy with it. I don't think you can tell that the fronts are different lengths! The only thing I don't love is the slight pulling between the buttons when it's buttoned ... but I think that has to do with my personal circumference. I'm not sure. But I wouldn't want it any bigger. It's a bit wide for me at the shoulder, otherwise I love the way it fits. If I made it again, I would shorten the sleeves so I could wear them without rolling up the cuffs -- I just think it would be a nicer line. This way I have built-in fingerless mitts, though.

Pattern: Central Park Hoodie, Knitscene, fall 2006
Yarn: Cascade 220, Silver Spruce Heather (9322), less than 7 skeins. (I followed the directions for the largest size, but at a tighter gauge, so my sweater came out closer to the 44" size as planned.)
Needles: US 7 and 9 circulars. (Though when I measured the Inox 7s I used for the ribbing, I discovered that one side was closer to a 6, and the other to a 6.5. The Addi circulars I used for the button band were a true 7.)
Modifications: I short-rowed the shoulders and bound off the front and back together, with mixed success. I kitchenered the hood, but still did the button band in two pieces and seamed it at the top. (If I did this again, I might do the button band all in one piece, but given that it was my first button band, I'm glad I did it this way so I could see what I was doing.) I suppose making the fronts two different lengths counts as a modification too. :)
I also got a tighter gauge than the pattern calls for, so I knit one size up. That worked out, though it's a little broad across my shoulders.

I have more pictures to post when I get time -- I made poor Will do a photo shoot in the lovely snow squall we had this morning! -- and more (scintillating) thoughts on making this -- but I've got to take Eli back to the orthodontist to glue back on the bracket that he got yesterday. Of course the orthodontist is only out in the boonies today.