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


Elissabeth Halcyon said...

Your blog is the Bitchy Bees Knees Times Two! So many devastating little photos and tidbits here, one barely knows where to begin. The writeups are staggering genius -- I've learned loads just by, well, soaking in it. You and your sister are ferociously sexy! I'm looking to knit up four booties for my tiniest kitten—named Felixia. Wicked-small feet. This little pussy just sits by the windowsill, bewitched by the passerby—normally a ragtag collection of students and bohemian types here in the city. Note: I am hammered on wine while I type this! Question: Do you knit sauced? (I do.) I sometimes find that I must discard the product the next morning, but oftentimes, one finds a "drunken knit" to produce a more daring garment; indeed, one makes choices one would never make had one been sober-minded. Knotty by Nature is a fascinating home-base here on the WWW and I will visit it every day until I pass off this earth.
- Elissabeth Halcyon; age 30; Surrey, England

eejayya said...

Eunny's vest looks really great with fairisle pattern and all modification!!!
Now I am really motivated to finish my vest!
Thank you~