Archive for October, 2006

santa’s little helper

I said I was not going to stress myself out with “holiday knitting.” I said something about the rewards not outweighing the sacrifices and how it’s my hobby and I can be selfish if I want to and some other dumb melodramatic stuff and and yet somehow I find myself ordering yarn and picking out patterns to begin knitting Christmas presents. Maybe I was just in a bad mood when I went on and on about NOT knitting a bunch of Christmas presents this year. Or perhaps I am afflicted with some sick compulsion to knit for others when the mercury drops below 45 degrees. Who knows?

Well, I don’t think I’ve gone overboard yet. I’m not knitting something for everyone, but I have decided to knit a sweater for my dad. A top-down raglan of my own(ish) design. You can’t really call it a design since I’m using a top-down raglan formula created by someone else and cable patterns that I picked out of books and websites. I guess I’m assembling it, more than designing it. I wanted to make it a total surprise, but it’s hard to be discreet and/or sneaky when trying to get an accurate measurement of someone’s NECK, for example. So I just asked my dad for his measurements and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the whole thing will slip his mind by December 25th. The odds are in my favor. I’ve already ordered some Elann.com Peruvian Sierra Aran in “oak.” I just have to decide what cable patterns to use. I wanted a larger, more complicated one down the front, with smaller, coordinating ones on the sides of the body. I was going to use the Enclosed Cable from the Vogue Knitting reference, and just do basic cables on the sides of the body, but then I took a look at some of these aran diamond stitch patterns. I really like the Interlocking Diamonds pattern for this project, but I’m just not sure what kind of stitch I could do on the sides to go with it.

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ego boost

It’s so nice to bask in the glow of my finished sweater, and all the compliments you knit bloggers have sent my way! Thanks so much! I do feel pretty proud of what I consider my first really, truly successful sweater. Of course, the sweater is not perfect, but it definitely boosted my confidence. So much so, that I’m putting this Cashmere Lace Blouse on my To Knit list. I received Loop-d-Loop for my birthday this past weekend and it’s my favorite pattern in the book. It’s knit on size 2 needles, which would require skill and patience that I may not yet posses. But the potential challenges of knitting lace with toothpicks are not quite registering right now, due to my sweater-induced state of euphoria. I’m sure reality will set in presently. In the meantime, I have plenty to keep me busy. Lady Eleanor is coming along nicely and could probably be done soon, except that I tend to start new projects right when I’m nearing the end of others. So I began Lucy in the Sky the other night with Cashmerino Aran in a muted plum color. (I don’t care if this stuff is made with dog hair—I got it for 50% off and it’s so soft!) I’m not quite through the first repeat of the chart, so I haven’t gotten into the rhythm of the pattern yet, but it’ll happen, I hope.

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cabled turtleneck

I finally finished the cabled turtleneck sweater from Rebecca 28. I began in August and completed it this weekend. I used 14 balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky and size 10.75 needles. The only modifications I made were on the sleeves. Since they were too large for the armholes I ripped back and increased only two stitches on each side after the ribbing. I probably could have increased a couple more stitches, but I think the sweater is still very wearable. I was worried about the length of the sweater before I started assembling it, but it actually worked out really well—I wouldn’t want it any shorter. I got it done in time to show my grandmother at a family party yesterday, and she gushed, of course. But the best compliment I received was from my sister…who had no idea that I knit it, myself. 🙂

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rip-roaring fun!

So the sleeves were WAY too big. Boo. Looking back at the picture of the sweater blocking, I can see how big they are. A few people suggested that I “ease them in.” Nothin’ doin’. They were WAY WAY too big. They were of puffy sleeve proportions. I went and saw my grandmother for an emergency sweater intervention and she gave me her advice. She didn’t want to tell me to rip it out, but I dragged it out of her. Since I had Monday off, I had myself a sleeve-ripping party. Luckily they didn’t take that long to re-knit (as you can see, I also had a little “help”) and they are currently blocking…again. I’m hoping to have the sweater done by this weekend because (a) I have no shame and I want to impress my grandmother with it when I see her on Sunday and (b) the meteorologists have started using the “S” word around these parts…you know the one. Time for a cozy sweater.

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I finally got around to blocking my cabled turtleneck. (On my obnoxiously colored beach towel, pinned into my Persian rug. Eh, whatever.) The pieces look a little big to me. Or a bit long, at least. I’m still optimistic, even though the more I think about it, the more certain I feel that I messed up the armholes. But I’m very happy with how the cable pattern looks. Hoping to find some time to seam it this week, and then pick up stitches to knit the ribbed turtleneck collar. Hm. Hope I have enough yarn left.

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