Wednesday, July 27, 2005

More boxing than knitting

First, thank you all for your nice comments on my socks! I'm still feeling the euphoria from having learned new things and completed something I like 100%. I promptly went to my LYS to pick up more sock yarn, some for BF, because he asked for another pair of socks, he chose the yarn ( I actually forgot what it was, but should have some pictures this weekend). And some for me. More of the Nature's Palette, which has really grown on me after a short initial dislike. Their colors are just too pretty. This one is called orchid
I'm working on the BF socks right now but I won't be getting too much knitting done over the next couple of weeks as I'm making a whole bunch of these guys:
marbled paper covered boxes for a client. A few years back, I made my living as a bookbinder, and I still do some work here and there.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Spring-Heeled Steph *

Somewhere at the beginning of my blog I mentioned I wasn't too excited about knitting socks. Oh man, was I ever wrong! During the whole Aimee trial I went to my LYS and picked up two skeins of Nature's Palette in the color spring grass, which is a softly variegated mix of aqua and snowpea green. I knitted them toe-up with short row heels, with a branch pattern from Nicky Epstein's 'Knitting over the Edge' which I mirrored to create the leaves in the middle. I love these socks, they were so much fun to knit! So please excuse the deluge of pictures:
close up
the yarn also dyed my needles:
* I've been dancing around to Morrissey; 'Spring-Heeled Jim' is one of my favorite songs.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Aimee, at last!

I couldn't help it, I had to finish the new Harry Potter book first. And then I had to get over its outcome. But here is Aimee:
close up and a bit overexposed
I started on June 1st and finished last weekend. Since the yarn was recycled from a former (awful) poncho, I don't exactly know how much I used, I think the pattern calls for 4 balls. I made a few modifications: Added two more pattern repeats, changed the waist shaping, changed the arm shaping, omitted the shoulder shaping and used a three needle bind-off. The best change I made was knitting one st stitch after each edge stitch, even when the pattern asked for a yo or a k2tog after the edge st. It made seaming much easier. At some point I wondered whether I should have left out the ribbon opening, but the weight of the ribbon helps to keep the shape, as it has a tendency to get wider. I need to put it away now. I'm sure I'll get excited about it again when I pull it out in autumn.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Much better!

Thanks to everyone for their feedback on Aimee. I knew I needed to rip but sometimes you just need to get that nudge to feel confident about it. My needles and fingers have been on fire as I will have no desire to pick this up once the new Harry Potter comes out and I get my Cathay. On the right is the new back (old front on the left):
I did a lot less increases and added another pattern repeat as I wasn't quite happy with the length (the pieces have the tendency to really stretch out horizontally). What a difference!
(Oh no, the postman just brought the Cathay. I'm shoving it in a drawer. It's not here. No, it isn't)
On to the front.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Ripping Aimee ?

It was one of those weekends where I attempted to work on so many projects that I became completely overwhelmed and ended up just eating and snoozing a lot. I also tried to avoid thinking about what to do with Aimee, though deep down I think I do.
See the bunching by the armpit? It does that on both sides. You can't see it too much on the front because it gets smooshed towards the back. When I first posted about this sweater, I mentioned concern about how far the little 'wings' (that area where you have increased from the waist and now decrease for the armholes) were coming out. I really should have trusted my inner knitter and changed the increases. But I trusted that the wings were ok, because they seemed ok when I draped the pieces on my body or when I compared them to another sweater. What happened? Everything else seems to be just fine, but all I see when I try it on is the bunches. Should I rip the front and back and do less increases? What would you do?
(add: My former MIL used to call me Perstephanie. She thought it was a "cute" way of calling me persnickety without incurring my disdain, because I insisted on washing my whites in the hot cycle and making mashed potatoes from in regards to Aimee, am I being too perstephanie??)
Excuse the picture, that's what you get when you try to photograph yourself from the back. Made me wish I was a contortionist.
Because craftywise nothing was going right, I took comfort in food. I made a huge batch of Butternut Squash Cannelloni with Sage-Walnut Cream Sauce (recipe from Martha Stewart 2002 cookbook) and this amazing Strawberry Salad
If you're close to a Trader Joe's, get a bag of their Herb Salad mixture, some strawberries, TJ's Strawberry Balsamic vinegar, a tub of Gorgonzola crumbs, olive oil and black pepper. Mix to your liking. It's incredible and so easy to make. (I tasted this in the store from their little test kitchen)

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Where's the love?

Whenever I held Aimee's parts to my body, they looked PERFECT. I was so happy with the way I shaped the neck and shoulders. The three needle bind-off looked awesome. Then I tried Aimee on.....guess what? The armholes are toooooo big! So big that, if I turned into an Indian goddess and had two more arms coming out of the sides of my body, they would easily fit through the armholes. I don't know how this happened. I put Aimee on top of another sweater and it all looked fine. Did she secretly stretch out over the weekend while I was gone, trying to get a peak at the fireworks outside the window??
Unfortunately I have no photo at the moment as I misplaced the transfer cord. I thought maybe I could reblock the pieces, but the lacepattern is very stretchy and not willing to get any smaller. So I'll just have to unravel and make the front and back shorter. That should do it. Hm.
I comforted myself with a trip to the LYS to pick up two skeins of this:
Nature's Palette in the colorway springgrass. This is going to become a quick make-me-happy knit, maybe a pair of socks or a little scarf, something I can take along. Usually I try to have just one knit going, to avert the fate that has befallen so many of my sewing projects, which is the ufo limbo. But I crave some knitting satisfaction, this week please, or maybe next, but soon!
At least the jewelry isn't getting all bendy on me. Here are some more necklaces I made:
Gold Necklaces 2
On the left, gold-filled wire. In the middle, labradorite and carnelian round beads. On the right, moonstone and freshwater pearl.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Yarn breaks bones (sort of..)

Let me tell you how back in March I managed to fracture a rib whilst shopping at my LYS. If you're expecting something dramatic, like a crazy lady holding up the store for yarn and me tackling her, or me climbing up on a shelf because I spotted discounted Noro, I have to disappoint you. It wasn't that glamorous. But it reinforced my decision to not, ever, go near a ball of eyelash yarn again. So, here it goes: Having a leisurely Saturday at my LYS, after working my way through the wools and the cottons, I ended up in front of the, uh, blends and others section. I looked at it and had to sneeze. It was the biggest sneeze ever but I tried to keep it quiet and demure. My body contracted and I heard and felt a crack, followed by the most breathtaking pain. Really, I just stood there, staring at the eyelash yarn, unable to move, eyes popping. I didn't know what happened. I managed to pay for some cotton I had picked out, walked out of the store and decided I had pulled a muscle and would be ok. But the pain got worse, so I thought, hm, maybe I should go to the ER. The closest medical center was about five blocks away, on top of a hill. I didn't even have the sense to get a cab, so I walked there. X-rays were taken, ribs got poked (ouch, did 'ya have to poke where it hurts???), painkillers were given. My rib was fractured, and it would take almost two months to not feel like a had a blade stuck in my chest. Two months of no LYS.
I blame the eyelash.