Thursday, December 28, 2006

After the Lull

OMG! So the Lull of 2006 finally ended! Here's what happened. The set-in-sleeve dysfunctions were piling up - a sweater for my dh gone awry and a sweaterlette for me: both with puffy shoulders and looking hideous. So I threw them into the corner and just stopped knitting. Keep reading... its going to get better. This knitting boycott went on for 3 months until I attended the Midwest Stitches Convention, which I had signed up for when I was a happy, prolific knitter. I was dreading even doing the swatches for this event, let alone going, but my dh and I had a whole family trip planned around it.

Then came Judy Pascale and Margaret Fisher- sent-from-heaven. (sidenote - took a terribly disorganized and lame class from Debbie New who I highly do not recommend!) Anyway - Margaret's class - called "The Long and Short of Knitting Alterations" was life-altering - I'm not even joking. She taught how to take apart an item into an upper and lower section; basically, darn a scrap yarn through the row above and the row below your chosen cutting place. After cutting, you can lenthen, shorten, reattach, etc. So all I could think about was this scarf gone bad from last summer. My mistake was using cotton for a scarf that was a stockinette based lace. It rolled like a mother and no matter how much starching and ironing and blocking I did, there was no hope.

So I got home and took the scarf apart in 6 sections, then seamed them to eachother width-wise to make the bottom half of a shirt. Let me add now the wierd part of the story. During the Lull I went to Goodwill and bought for $3.99 a knitted top that someone made - it's gorgeous. I later discovered that the mystery knitter used a popular pattern called Lelah. Here's a gallery of them: The one I bought looks exactly like the grey one with the green ribbon. Anyway - after making the scarf into the bottom of the shirt I knitted the top in stockinette and voila!

Pattern: Mine, inspired by Lelah (above link). The leaf lace pattern was from Vogue Spring/Summer 2005 - the scarf patterns at the end of the editorials

Yarn: Knit Picks Shine in Blush

Needles: 7 for lace, 5 for yarnovers and midsection, 3 for bust and straps

Pattern: Nautilus Hat This girl has really cute patterns. I've now done this hat in 3 colors - same yarn. I have since added ribbing in last 5 rows.
Yarn: Royal Cashmere by Plymouth Yarns
Needles: size 7 dpns

If you're in the mood for a really easy project that is adorable this Baby Kimono is a winner. It's knit in one piece yae! and the only "wierd" thing you have to do is the cable cast-on.

Pattern: Baby Kimono - Interweave Knits Summer 2005?
Yarn: Knit Picks Ambrosia - 3 balls of Grass
Needles: size 5

Here's a booty close-up.

Pattern: Family Circle Easy Knitting Publication Holiday 2002
Yarn: Knit Picks Ambrosia in Grass
Needle: size 5

So, then I yearned to do more socks. Here's one of the pairs. Regia 6 - delightful yarn. Got it at Little Knits - online store.

Yarn: Regia 6 from

Needles: size 3 dpns

So, then one day I became fascinated with Fair Isle. I got a few books and was enthralled by its rich history. Of course I couldn't just start with a hat of gloves. I went straight in for the vest with traditional steeks and all. Luckily, Eunny Jang, in her infinite wisdom, has created a detailed pattern with steeking instructions for like $5. So I got it. You do the entire thing in the round and then cut the armholes and v-neck that have been steeked.

After about 4 inches I reaized my argysle wasn't working, so I made up a simple Fair Isle stitch pattern with a colorway of 4 colors.

Here's a close-up of the contrasting color steek that I cut between.

It all went well until it was all done. Because I used Cascade 220 and a size 7 needle instead of a thinner yarn and the size 4 that she used my seams turned out really bulky. So I machine steeked it with 2 rows of stitching and cut off the seems. Then I sprayed them with water, manually agitated them (just scrumpling them around) and ironed them down. I think it created a felting effect, because everything stays where it is supposed to. Its a really fun item to wear. I wear another shirt under it because I don't like to feel wool on me, but its not scratchy at all - and not too warm.
The only other mod that I did was decreased stitches in the arm and neck bands and used a size 5 needle. When I didn't do that it was totally Mad Max vest.

Yarn: Cascade 220
Needle: size 7 round

The following is a 2 color Brioche that didn't make the final cut. I frogged it and am currently using the Misti Alpaca for a baby jacket with matching Uggs. Going to be seriously cute.

Pattern: Brioche Scarf from Weekend Knitting by Melanie Falick
Yarn: Misti Alpaca Chunky in light pink and Brown ( I do not recommend this yarn for this project. It is too bulky, barely stays on the short dpn, and is scratchy by the face.)
Needles: size 10

Before the Lull

Pattern: - I used the lightweight pattern and adjusted for heavier yarn
Yarn: Knit Picks Parade - no longer available - but similar to Regia 6 in weight and feel
needles: size 3 dpns
Loved doing these socks in the thicker yarn - they practically knit themselves! So cozy too.

Decided to try felting. I found the following hat pattern online and since you knit it bigger, because it shrinks, while you're working on it it looks like a rasta hat that will have room for a bunch of dreads. I left it in the water maybe a minute or two longer than I should have. When I pulled it out I had to put it on my head and my dh and I had to pull on it vigorously to shape it. The worst part, besides the wet hair, was the smell of wet dog that came off of the wool - seriously gnarly. Next time I will knit a bit bigger brim and leave it in a few minutes less.

Pattern: - without the novelty yarn
Yarn: Knit Picks Sierra in Leaf
needles: size 10 round and dpns

So in love with fingerless gloves! I never thought of wearing these until I started freezing while working on the computer - BTW if you live in LA for more than a year you completely lose touch with real temperatures and 60 feels absolutely arctic. Found a great online pattern and did a shorter cuff and only 8 rows from end of cuff to thumb gusset - its the perfect fit and doesn't look to big and bulky for work.

Pattern: mod from this PDF:
Yarn: Knit Picks Andean Treasure in Granite
Needles: size 4 dpns
I'm having major stress from set-in-sleeve dysfunction! They just rarely seem to fit right! I now have 2 sweaters that I've set aside because they have puffy shoulders; one is for my husband and he's simply not going to go for that look. So I decided to do some items that are flat. Maybe just one item - I could get bored of it. I had some alpaca so I started making a baby blanket. I made it up as I went along - I've heard that babies enjoy poking their fingers through lace and playing with bobbles. It was relaxing and took my mind off the horrid set-in-sleeve monstrosities.
BTW - that's my 34 year old Snoopy on the left - I got him at birth and he's had 2 arm surgeries and a neck procedure. On his right is Belle - his girlffriend since my 12th birthday. Her fur looks a little fresher.
Pattern: Mine
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Alpaca Cloud, Misti Alpaca Chunky, and some random cashmere
Time for a stuffed animal! I saw the "Kate" pattern in knitty and there was no turning back; although a friend did rename her Bubar - I find it fitting. She's a wonderful addition to the living room, she keeps Ardvark company and always looks happy, whether she's playing, reading or just relaxing.

Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andeas in Pumpkin, Violet and Hollyberry
Needle: size 10 ( I would recommend a 7 as the seems are visible and in areas she's a bit holy)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Jumpin' on the Blogwagon!

Here they favorite projects of '05. I know its almost ’07 – I’m catching up! I only posted the basic info about the patterns so if you have any further questions please feel free to email me Also regarding any patterns that I have created I would be glad to share with you which source patterns I modified to get to the finished work.

Pattern: Mine - the cuffs were borrowed from a sweater in Vogue Fall 2005
Yarn: Debbie Blish Cashmerino Aran

Rose Gloves - softest fingerless mittens ever!

Pattern: Mine

Yarn: GGH Esprit in Slate

Lucky Socks:

Pattern: Beginners Lightweight Sock at

Dudes! This is my favorite sock pattern - it's easy, they fit well and its really efficient for mods.

Yarn: Lang Jawoll Jacquard in Chartre

Needle: size 2 - maybe a little too lightweight for my taste, but I love them because they are my first- born socks.


Pattern: Modified from a Lion Brand Free Pattern "Knit Capelet with Crochet Trim"

Yarn: Remnants really: Araucania Nature Cotton in 2 colors, Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille in Rosewood, some random gray Wool Ease-ish yarn and some beautiful autumn toned ribbon yarn

The Candice Sweater: I made this for my sister; the best fitting sweater that has ever come off of my needles.

Pattern: Vogue Knitting Winter 2004/05

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran

Needle size: 7

The Seraphina Glove

Pattern: used "Cabled Fingerless" : and replaced the long cable with a design from Nicky Epstein's 2nd edgings book (name?). Knit cuff flat and went into round at palm

Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool

Peruvian Poncho

Pattern: modified from a Lion Brand free pattern "Knit Lace Poncho"

Yarn:Araucania Nature Cotton