Wednesday, June 29, 2005

New Patterns

I flipped through the new Interweave Knits during lunch today. I've never bought a copy before as I've only ever liked one project or two. It's the same this time:
1greek 1vintage
The Greek pullover and the vintage jacket are pretty. I like some of the bulky sweaters as well, but they're not practical for our climate. I also love this scarf from Kim Hargreave's website:
This pattern is called 'Flourish', and just like everything else on her site it only comes as a kit. But it's not offered in a color that I'd like (Candy Girl, Villain or Bleached), so I'm going to try to figure it out myself. It's crocheted with, I'm pretty sure, two strands or more of KSH.
The new Phildar Summer magazine is out and I'm not overwhelmed. These two cardis are cute:
Phildar L'Ete
There are similar ones in the previous mags though, so I won't be buying this one either. I'm so curious about the new Rowan and Rebecca, and it's only June!

Monday, June 27, 2005

On Aimee, finery, and the future

Aimee's front is finished. I have no picture because it looks pretty much like the back (see a few posts ago). I've made some changes to the front and will change the back accordingly. The pattern calls for a a shaped shoulder (you know, where you bind off some sts, turn, bind off some more, turn and then bind off the rest),but with the yo lace pattern it looked sloppy and impossible to seam. So after I finished shaping the front neck, I just knit all the rows straight up, ended with a row of stockinette, and kept the sts on a holder for a three-needle bind-off. I think this will turn out much neater and result in a sturdier seam. The sleeves are a different story. I want to knit them in the round, but dpn's made the lace pattern rather complicated (=I just couldn't deal). Now I'm going to try the two circs method. If you'd like to check out what that is all about, there is an excellent tutorial here.
To ameliorate my anxiety about seaming this oh so innocent little thing (how do you seam holes???) I relied on good old retail therapy:
rowan cork1
Hmm, a whole bag full of Rowan Cork in the color 'chilly'. This will be for a self-designed cardi I was planning on making in fall. But if it continues to be gloomy and cold around here, I might get an early start on it.
I also thought more about the corset pullover. Initially I decided on Rowan Calmer. But then I got a ball of Debbie Bliss Cathay to play with, and I have to say, this stuff is abolutely gorgeous. Even stitches (with Calmer they always seem wonky), wonderful feel and shine (Calmer is more dull); I think Cathay may be the one. Now I know it's not really the right gauge...but I'll make that work somehow.
Because it feels good to finish at least something over the weekend, here are some necklaces I made:
Gold Necklaces 1
On the left, gold-filled wire with labradorite; in the middle, gold-filled chain with half-opaque half-translucent aquamarine; on the right, gold-filled chain with tiny aquamarine rondels.

Friday, June 24, 2005


In the wintertime, chilly mists are hovering in the narrow alleys of Venice, perpetual soft-focus vision sharpens the hearing so I hear sooner than I see. It's the water, lapping lapping lapping gently, everywhere. Venetian water green he called the color of my eyes. Venetian water I think of when I wear this little wrap.
Pattern: Rebecca magazine 29
Yarn: 3.5 balls of GGH Soft Kid in light petrol, US5 needles
This was a fast and easy knit for me. Like many other knitters, I picked up the sts for the wrap-ties. I also crocheted around the front and back opening. For the sleeves I cast on with US4's because I wanted them to be snug, then I switched to 5's. I'm in love with this yarn.

Thursday, June 23, 2005


I love a toasty head. Unfortunately most wooly hats make my head itch, even the soft cashmere one I got on sale from BR. Then I saw knitbloggers making Shedir from Knitty. The pattern was intriguing, plus the comfort of Rowan Calmer. I got a ball in the shade 'calmer' and knitted the hat on dpn's from beginning to end. My stitches look rather wonky and it took me over a week to finish it, but that's fine. I wore it today (June gloom is ripping through SF)
Knitting is my prime passion right now but I also sew, make jewelry, bind books, well, I'm your classic 'I can make that myself' girl. Sewing is the hardest for me, and despite having taking classes, I still feel like a total beginner. This Kimono top was a painless project. I used a McCalls pattern and a tan-indigo cotton fabric from my stash. I thought it would be a great lounging top for those hot days when my room turns into a sauna. Where are you, hot days???

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Aimee in progress

This is the back piece of Aimee from Rowan's Vintage Style. I pinned it to the wall for a better perspective. See, I thought I might have too many increases before the armhole, creating little wings that jut too far out. It seems ok when I put Aimee on a similar size sweater. I guess I'l just have to finish the front, sew 'em up and try it on. It wouldn't be too tragic if I had to rip it back, the lace pattern is worked on US7 needles and goes pretty fast.
Aimee Back
Knitting hasn't progressed as much as it could have. The reason for this is that I've been dreaming about possible next projects and spent more time on the internet checking out yarns and knitting blogs. I love the corset pullover
(you can download the pattern for free from the website). For an absolutely gorgeous version, check out Cosmicpluto. I love the ribbon accent,this girl has great taste, evident in the color of her walls ;-)
Then there are countless Phildar cardis I'm oggling, as well as Tyrolean from Vintage Style and Laurent. Ah, choices...

Monday, June 20, 2005

Bliss-ed out...

Since the pattern for the Debbie Bliss' Cabled Jacket was so much fun I decided to try another cardi from the same book, the Rib Detail Jacket (renamed Pool by me). It calls for aran weight yarn so I got some inexpensive Jaeger Shetland Aran from Jannette's on ebay. I chose the bright blue because I was in serious need for some intense color, but it was a close race because the light-turquoisy blue looked pretty as well. Light blue happens to be my favorite color, so I always think I have too much of it and must try something else(but a serious closet cleaning this weekend revealed very little light blue indeed. Hmmm...) Anyway, knitting this cardie during our grey March was very therapeutic. The yarn, despite coming unspun as you work with it, results in a very even fabric and drapes nicely. The Alpaca content gives it a slightly fuzzy finish. I used bluish grey mother-of-pearl buttons from my bottomless button bin (I had used white mop buttons for the Cabled Jacket). Problems I had with the pattern: The cuffs and lower arms were too tight, I discovered that after I had already finished one sleeve and was about to start the next. I cast on an additional eight stitches, added two more inches to the ribbed cuffs, and stopped the increases according to the pattern. I now wish I would have made less increases, as the upper sleeves are a little baggy. To save the first sleeve, I cut the buttom off (at the point were it had enough stitches to correspond to my new desired width, reknit the cuff and grafted the two pieces together. It worked really well, after blocking, you couldn't tell where the seam was).
The buttonholes are done with a YO and I love how they came out (unfortunately my camera doesn't do well upclose) While the yarn feels soft, I can't wear the sweater on my bare skin, yet the collar doesn't bother my neck, so it's fine with a thin long-sleeve underneath.
I don't know what's up with those Simpson's fingers, or the disappearing arms.
and bigger
I thought I'd be done with the front of Aimee by the end of the weekend, but I haven't been in the mood. It's getting warmer out, so either I hurry up and finish or get another project going.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Noroholism manifests in Lady Eleanor

Soon I won't be just throwing this year's FO's at you (first socks and Nancy were made in 04) but show you what I'm working on now, which is this little sweater. I'm using the specified yarn in jelly, a gooseberry green. This yarn used to be the capelet from Judith Swartz's book 'Hip to Crochet'. What a failure! I ended up using nine (!) balls of ksh instead of six even though my gauge was right on. It looked terrible on and off, so I frogged it. I've heard many knitters freak out about frogging knitted ksh, but crochet takes the terror one step further. It became a battle of the wills, Craftoholic versus KSH. After a week, I won. Yes, I can be tenacious, hehe, I mean, no way would I let all that pretty (expensive) yarn go to waste. So far, the back is finished and the front is halfway done. I added one more pattern repeat right before the arm decrease so it would hit at the hips instead of the waist. I'll take pictures this weekend.
Oh and here is Lady Elenaor from Pam Allen's Scarf Style, which I knit in March. I bought a bag of Silk Garden #203 on ebay and aimed for a skein a day. Used 9.5 skeins for the scarf and the rest for the fringe (Grrr, fringe takes sooo loong). I finished after ten days of crazy knitting. Silk Garden makes me obsessive, the yarn just glows. I had to stop knitting for a while though to give my wrists a break.
At first I was scared I'd look like a jester wearing it, but now the colors put me by the Northern California coast fields, oceanblue, redwoods and granite cliffs.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

How I became a Noroholic

During my trips through knitblog world I'd see so many beautiful Clapotis, in all kinds of yarns. I envisioned a summer Clapotis made of champagne colored silk, very subtle and elegant. Then one day I went to my LYS to get some inspiration and found, stuffed away on a bottom shelf, some Noro Silk Garden. I always thought I didn't like variegated yarn, but the soft colors of SG #88 were gorgeous, so I bought a skein, just to play around with. Back home, I remembered the Silk Garden Clapotis on the web. I cast on and was hooked. After seven days and almost seven skeins, she was done. One pattern repeat less wide, but six more repeats long, Clapotis got even longer after blocking. I've never been so happy with a project before. Here's to you, Kate Gilbert!
And here is the 'look how long it is' shot, sorry, it's a bit dark
I made the dress from a tan paper-like silk and dipped the bottom 12 inches into a bath of wild plum RIT dye. The pattern is a vintage slip.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Leafy Scarf

Usually I have only one knitting project going. That said, there are times when that project bores me and I want to knit something start to finish in a day or two. While knitting the cabled jacket, I needed such a project. It became this scarf:
I got the pattern from the website of a German women's magazine, but I just went there and it looks like they're not featuring it anymore. I used two skeins of Rowan Big Wool #21, US#17 needles and after a couple of days I was done. It's so thick that I didn't make it long enough to wrap around my neck. Instead it's held together with a vintage pin. The wool has enough stretch so I can just pull the scarf off and don't have to unpin it, which would get old really fast ;-)

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Cabled Jacket

Sometime in January I started the Cabled Jacket from Debbie Bliss' Cashmere Collection. I wasn't quite ready to spend so much money on 15 balls of Cashmerino Superchunky, even though it's a beautiful yarn. I really loved the feel and color of Rowanspun Chunky and got a bag in the color cardamom off Ebay. Since the cardi is a 'one size fits all' I went down one whole needle size (using #10 all the way). There are some mistakes in the pattern, so check the website for corrections. I loved working with the Rowanspun and so far, it seems to hold up really well. I've been wearing the jacket a lot, it's lightweight, warm and cozy.
mmhh, just imagine the color being a soft sage with butterscotch flecks here and there. Not this odd...grey? I'll try and get a better picture sometime.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

It's warm. And fuzzy. And fussy.

When I saw Rowan's Ribbon Twist booklet, I immediately fell for 'Nancy', a wrap cardigan with ruffles, held together with an oversized pin. I fell hard and fast, seduced by the beautiful styling of the book, enchanted by my surroundings, and when I saw the Ribbontwist up close, there was no more thinking. The friendly sales lady at Liberty's wrapped up a bag of the dark chocolate colored yarn and two pairs of broomstick size needles. It knit up fast and easy, and fit like a dream. I have a small collection of oversized vintage horse blanket pins, one of which was going to hold 'Nancy' together. And then I wore it. Do you know where this is going? Suffice to say, it doesn't wear easily. The tucked under part of the cardi does not stay put, but starts to sag. You need two pins to hold it together which is not very practical. It is too warm for a Northern California climate. It does look pretty worn open, so maybe I should give it another chance. Otherwise, a little 'Honey' has caught my eye, and 'Nancy' might drown in the pond soon. The frog pond that is.
I also made the skirt. It's thick mohair, lined with a cream rayon. Very heavy, very warm. Too warm. My own pattern.

And some more socks

Originally uploaded by Finni.

After the BF confessed one day that he'd been wearing his bespoke socks for the fourth day in a row, I knew I had to make another pair for him. To be honest, I'm not that crazy about sock knitting. While loving them, knitting them makes me twitchy. Anyway, I had another ball of GGH Marathon with funky orange-grey-red-lilac-brown tones, and a week after peeling off the old socks, he pulled a new pair on his (freshly showered) feet. See above (haven't figured out yet how to make picture appear below post instead of above...)

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

At last..Hello!

M's Socks
Originally uploaded by Finni.

I've been wanting to set up this blog since September of last year...better later than never though! Since I've been reading craftblogs voraciously for months now, I thought it would be great to share some of my projects and get some feedback. I've always loved to make things and after a ditching a major in Industrial Design, I decided to become a bookbinder, learning both the traditional craft as well as getting a degree in Book Arts. I made clothes and knitted as a teenager and after a brief respite, I'm knitting again, sewing, making jewelry and bind the occasional book. I hope this blog will help me stay organized.
Let's see if I can figure out this photo posting thing. Here are the first socks I made, a X-mas present for the BF. I used one skein of GGH Marathon in a great green-khaki-orange colorway. I found the pattern on a German website, it's pretty basic but it worked ok.