Archive for January, 2007

(more) works (still) in progress

My zippered hoodie is coming along, and I have made my peace with the wool/acrylic blend. I just have to finish off the short sleeves and knit the hood. I’ll continue the cable around the front edge of the hood and graft the top together. I’m going to finish off the front edge of the cable by doing an i-cord edging all the way around. Then I have to attach a zipper, which I’ve never done before. I’ve heard scary things about installing zippers, but ignorance is bliss, so I’m not worried about it yet. I guess I’ll probably use the Chic Knits tutorial.

I started the February baby sweater from Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitter’s Almanac a few weeks ago, but it kind of stalled out when I realized that I was going to run out of yarn. I ordered more, but started the hoodie while I was waiting, so that project has been occupying most of my knitting attention lately. I found the EZ baby sweater instructions a bit confusing at first. I guess maybe it’s because I am newcomer to EZ and her knitting philosophies. But I realized that I was simply overthinking it. I momentarily forgot that I do, indeed, know how to knit a baby sweater and that I don’t necessarily need a pattern to walk me through every little step! Everything’s fine now.

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wip: zip

The zip-up hoodie is coming along fairly well. I consulted a couple more patterns to help figure out the decreases. Apparently, I would rather guesstimate than actually take the time to figure out how to make a sweater that will fit me, as this has transformed from The Sweater of No Pattern into The Sweater of 5 Patterns…give or take a pattern. (Sigh)…someday I’ll learn. I don’t have that much invested in this one, though. It was a spontaneous project, and I usually spend a good deal of time considering my projects before jumping in. And in that same spirit of spontaneity, I’m using some yarn I grabbed out of my stash. Or rather, my “stash.” Truth be told, I’m not a stasher. Actually, admitting that you don’t go berserk hoarding yarn in every color, fiber, gauge and texture will get you some very strange looks from other knitters! Stashing usually goes with the territory. But I don’t. Don’t know why. I just don’t. My “stash” consists of skeins that have gone unused because I fell out of love with the project before I even got started as well as leftovers from completed projects. The yarn I pulled out of there is an acrylic/wool blend and I am NOT enjoying it. I’m trying to tell myself that I’m keeping it real and fighting yarn snobbery by using an acrylic blend. Myself is not really believing me, though. The yarn just feels…acrylic-y. I don’t remember what my original intention for the yarn was, but I know I bought it a long time ago. When I didn’t know much or care much about fiber content. Sure…keeping it real. That’s what I’m doing.

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no pattern? no problem!

Actually, me – pattern = disaster. But I’m not currently knitting anything I’m all that excited about (i.e. for myself), so I brazenly decided to whip some yarn out of my meager stash and knit up a hoodie! (I must be going through my Hoodie Phase, since I also have yarn on the way for a lace hoodie from Rebecca 32.) I couldn’t find a pattern I liked in any of my books or magazines, so I decided to modify this Craftster pattern. It’s not going to be a shrug, since I came out of my Shrug Phase quite some time ago. Instead, I’m knitting top-down using the number of CO stitches, the neckline increases, and the hood instructions from that pattern and modifying the rest. I’m going for short sleeved, full length, zip-up, with cables along the zipper and edge of the hood. So far, so good. I needed a semi-mindless project to take to knitting club anyway!

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i am a stone cold…

Knit and felted using the fox kit from Crafty Alien. He’s only about 3.5 inches high.
But he’s really cute.

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kids’ stuff

I finished the Child’s Placket Neck Pullover this weekend. I completed the majority of it while otherwise doing jack squat on Sunday. I knit the 6-12 month size and used a little more than one skein of Reynolds Signature on size 6 needles. This will be gifted to a friend who will be having her first baby in April. They don’t know whether it will be a boy or a girl so, of course, I went with what I thought was a neutral pattern and color. But no pastels, here. I like my babies in bright colors! (And when I say “my” babies, I mean “your” babies.) The sweater is knit bottom-up, so I grafted stitches for the first time, under the arms. I had heard horror stories about grafting, but it wasn’t too bad. Although I had my nose in the Vogue Knitting reference book for every stitch. I’ve always thought this was a cute pattern, and I was happy to get the chance to finally try it. Not that I’m lacking in the Pregnant Friends Department…

I also began working on the baby sweater from Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitter’s Almanac. I’m using Karabella Aurora 8 in a deep magenta, since this sweater will be for a baby girl. I re-started a couple times because I was indecisive about my needle size, but I’m definitely ahead of schedule on this project, too. The baby girl isn’t due until May.

And as every older sibling knows, when you get saddled with a little brother or sister, you totally deserve a present. So I ordered the felted fox kit from Crafty Alien. I never had the urge to knit a toy until I saw her “Backyard Critters” on Craftster. They are unreasonably cute. And felted! It’s been quite a while since I felted something. I can’t wait to start on the fox for the big brother of the new baby sister!

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cabled yoke pullover

I am really pleased with how this sweater turned out! The pattern is from Phildar’s 2006 Winter I catalog, and it actually gave me a lot less trouble than I thought it would. (Aside from the mini-panic attack I had when the pattern wanted me to “leave 9 sts 5 times and 8 sts once on a holder.” Yeesh. I figured it out, but those directions were garbage.) I definitely had my doubts at the start, since 1.) the pattern was translated from French, 2.) I had to do some VERY fancy math to convert the pattern to work with my gauge, and 3.) I decided to knit in the round and was pretty sure I would do something weird in that regard. Miraculously, it went pretty smoothly. There were a few errors in the chart, but they were fairly easy to spot.

I remember a time when I wouldn’t come within 10 feet of a pattern that called for size 4 needles, but the sweater knit up much more quickly than I had anticipated. Less than a month, in fact. Knitting in the round helped a lot. I think I may have picked the wrong yarn, though. I love the look and feel of The Frog Tree Alpaca, but it might be a little too fuzzy to really show off the cables. But it did knit up into a fantastic fabric—really soft, really light, and really warm. I could not be happier with the fit of this sweater. I tried it on after seaming and it was looking like real trouble (mini-panic attack again), but I blocked the heck out of it and was VERY pleasantly surprised. The body and sleeves are long enough for my taste and the amount of ease is perfect. (One of these days I’ll get over the amazing mystical wonders of blocking…but for now, I’m astounded every time.) I’m still not sure about the rolled edge on the bottom. So far, it’s behaving itself, but if that rolled edge decides it’s going to creep back up when I wear it, I’ll have to take some sort of action. But I’m really, really happy with how this came out. I’ll wear it a lot and I’d knit it again in a second.

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new knitting know-how

Here’s a snazzy little knitting trick: cabling without a cable needle. I just learned how to do this and it’s great! What a time saver. (Wish I’d looked it up sooner.) As far as knitting-techniques-that-make-your-life-easier go, this is right up there Magic Loop and the Continental method, as far as I’m concerned.

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