Thursday, December 21, 2006

The sweetest words

A girl could her from her squeeze:
"Will you teach me how to knit (omg, is he really asking me to teach him to knit, that is so awesome, I never thought he would ask!!) a pair of socks (what??? Oh no. Not socks, way to complicated, lets see if I can divert)
"That's great, but how about we start you on a scarf first?"
"No, I want to make a pair of socks for you"
Aaahhhh. So sweet. How can I squash his ambitions now? And why not socks, he's good at figuring stuff out quickly. So what will bf find under the ficus on Christmas Eve? His very own yarn! I haven't quite figured out what to pick, though trust me, it'll be aran weight or bigger. Any suggestions?
I've been busy with knitting. Bf's Christmas socks are finished and I started his birthday pair. The argyle vest is still waiting for its collar and armbands. After having breezed through the pattern, I'm experiencing a strange stiffling fear about these last few things that need to be done. Here's a picture how the vest looked a few weeks ago.
Lovely Blue Sky Alpaca melange, you make me swoon! And then more swooning over this.
I already starting swatching for this lovely coat, with Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Chunky, but I'm having a hard time getting the regular k1p1 ribbing to look neat and even. I've tried to k1tbl, p1 on one row and p1tbl,k1 on the next, and that gets me better results. Are there any other tricks I could try?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Buttercup, at last.

I blame winter time. Plus bf has got all kinds of funny shifts at work, so it's hard to get some pictures taken. I had also run into serious finishing issues, but more on that later.
With buttons closed:
Buttons open:
Pattern: Buttercup by Kim Hargreaves, available from her website as a kit.
Yarn: 5 balls of Rowan Cotton 4ply in Ripple, knit with US 2 and US 1 needles.
Mods: Plenty.
This knit was an exercise in emotional detachement. So much went wrong, I won't bore you with the details, but I'll share a few things. Cotton lace patterns are stretchy! I'm glad I realized that early on, frogged, and cast on for the small size. The explanations for how to keep the lace pattern intact while doing armhole decreases are non-existent. I tried many times and resorted to sending Kim an email. Her mom replied the very next day (nice) with an explanation that was about 75% helpful. Once I got the gist of it, I was able to figure out the rest on my own. If you're making this and are having problems with the decreases, send me an email and I'll be happy to forward you my version. Trying to seam this was a nightmare. If I had listened to my inner knitter, I would have used two edge stitches before starting the lace pattern, instead of one. The seams looked terrible with either matress or backstitch because the lace pattern would never line up. I ended up using my sewing machine and the seams came out perfect. I did frog the sleeves and reknit them in the round (but they're tiny so it took me only an evening). Instead of knitting a separate tie, I picked up stitches on the bottom, knit a few rows garter stitch, then crocheted little loops for the buttons. Now it looks good whether I wear it open or closed with no funny ties dangling around. I'm happy with it, but I don't think I'll order another kit any time soon. Her designs are lovely, but it was a lot of money for a little shrug that could have been made a lot easier by adding a few more explanations to the pattern. The good side is that I learned a few lessons about what to put into a pattern and what to think of before I start a project.
There is so much stuff I've been working on these past weeks, bookbinding projects, jewelry, and more knitting. My Argyle vest is almost finished and hopefully I'll get some pictures of it next weekend! Bf is getting socks for Christmas again; I'm making a few sewn presents, but more on that next post. No, it's not going to be another month until then ;-)