Thursday, January 29, 2004  

Finally, Some Pics!

The weather here has been pretty terrible since Sunday evening... snow, then ice, then more snow, and then a little more ice. Consequently, I've been spending a lot of time snuggled up with Cricket at home... I didn't even dig my car out until yesterday afternoon, and then only to move it to a different spot in the parking lot. What does one do when one is forced into relative inaction?

Exhibit one- the knitted coasters.

Lest you think I've become one of the KL's who feel the need to fill my house with decorative (but wacky) knitted items, let me explain- had the leftover acrylic yarn and a friend who expressed a need for coasters. He happens to like green. So, once peachy was finished, I knit him a small square coaster... and he asked for the rest of "the set." I definitely felt like a big dork for knitting them, though... :)

Exhibit two should be the tea cosy, but I forgot to upload the picture from the other camera disk, so that'll have to wait until later.

I did, however, finally finish my ribbie pullover:

click on pictures for larger images:

I am, on the whole, VERY pleased with this sweater. For some reason, the neckline refused to be a crewneck, prefering instead to remain a U-shape... and I've decided I like it this way! :) I would have finished this one ages ago, but I didn't like the yoke I had done before, so had to rip it out and re-do it. OH, and yes, those are my pink flannel snoopy-the-astronaut pj pants. ;)

Speaking of ripping, last night, while working industriously on the sleeve of Sage (ah, alpaca, you are so soft and fuzzy...) I realized that I did NOT like the way I had handled the increases in relation to the pattern... it looked too abrupt at one point where I started the "k1" stripe. Since this was the third time I had looked at that place and been annoyed, I realized that I needed to rip it and start over. *sigh*. But I like the second try MUCH better. :) You'll note that I've used the provisional cast-on for the sleeve... I am being indecisive, and can't decide what to do for the sleeve edging- I'm debating using some cream alpaca as an accent, or perhaps doing a lacy edging... so I'm leaving my options open.

Here's the pattern swatch:

And here's my progress on the sleeve (take 2):

Oh, and I finally wrote up the pattern for Peachy... many many thanks for all your comments! :)

And last, but certainly not least, here's Cricket meeting her new friend, Patrick-

Patrick, being filled with air and all, was a bit nervous about meeting Cricket's sharp little teeth and claws, but luckily Cricket would much rather stalk the elusive green alpaca-strings.

crescit sub pondere virtus
"virtue grows under oppression"


Wednesday, January 28, 2004  
pattern for peachy

Snow and Ice

Well, the temps are FINALLY supposed to get above freezing today and tomorrow... so maybe some of this stuff will melt a bit! Not that I can complain- I took Monday off, and went in for a partial day yesterday, and will probably be able to leave early today... since it's "liberal leave," most of the senior employees, who have accumulated TONS of sick/vacation time, choose not to risk serious traffic accidents on icy days like today. Cricket has reaped the benefits of all of this "stuck at home" time... lots of couch snuggles, and lots of knitting. Plus, now that I'm knitting with alpaca, she has discovered that she LOVES to try and chew on it when I'm not looking. My kitty has good yarn taste... good thing I'm not knitting with cashemere! :)

I've just about finished the tea cozy that I worked on over the weekend... just have to weave in a few ends... I used it yesterday... I think it worked pretty well- I kinda got stuck under a kitty, though, and had to wait a few hours for my second cup of tea, so it had cooled down a bit by then. But I do love the way it looks... and it was fun to do. I'll post a picture (hopefully) tomorrow... I've been waiting to post pics until I could model...

the completed ribbie pullover! It's fresh from the wash, and is slowly drying on the rack. Since the cotton shrinks lengthwise when you wash it, I had to wait until it came out of the machine to really see how it fit... I love it! Now if it would just dry off so I could wear it with the matching ribbie cardigan tomorrow... plus, it's hard to take a picture of the new sweater when it's cold, wet, and heavy. :)

I also started my alpaca sweater last night- I finally decided on a pattern, and knit a proper swatch. I've just cast on for the sleeves (in case I end up changing my mind about the pattern or something) and hopefully this will knit up quickly... I'm planning for a basic raglan vneck with a cable/k1 stripe pattern. I'll take a picture of the swatch tonight.

I also joined the "rogue-a-long" (see the button on the right)... I have the yarn I want to use for this pattern, and I just printed out the pattern this morning, but I really want to finish the alpaca sweater first so I can wear it while it's still freezing! Hopefully I won't fall too far behind the others...

I hope all of my fellow east-coasters are able to dig out of the snow/ice!


Monday, January 26, 2004  

Luscious Alpaca

In the midst of all the snow today, I picked up my package of yummy yarn.... wow... the alpaca is amazing. :) Plus, I'm ready to start a new sweater... perfect timing! And, while waiting for my yarn to arrive, I knit a fair isle tea cozy... pictures to follow... I still need to do the steeks for the handle and spout. :)

Peachy is dry, and I think I'll be wearing it tomorrow... thanks so much for all of your comments! You guys give me more confidence as I start playing around with ideas for my amazingly scrumptious alpaca... I really think I might just make a big alpaca pile and curl up in it like a kitty. :)


Thursday, January 22, 2004  

Just About Done!

Still have some ends to weave in and the underarms to graft, but otherwise, it just needs a nice bath! :)


Wednesday, January 21, 2004  

Maeve and the Giant Peach

Well, Peachy is off the needles... but about 2 inches too short in the body and sleeves. Am I going to let my knitting boss me around? Hell, no! I'll be doing some snipping and reknitting, and *hopefully* some grafting... otherwise, taking a cue from the fearless alison, I'll be reknitting the ribbing. Hopefully that can be avoided by some extremely careful grafting, but, well, reknitting the ribbing would be a whole lot less painful than reknitting the entire yoke. Plus, I love the way it fits... just not the length. I'm working on writing up the new and improved pattern, and will hopefully have it posted in a few days.

In the meantime, here's an action shot of me working on peachy:

I'll post pictures of my attempts at sweater lengthening... cross your fingers that it isn't a complete disaster!

And So It Begins - Lengthening A Sleeve

click on images for larger view

Step 1: Thread scrap yarn carefully through 1 row of stitches on sleeve (these become the top edge):

Step 2: Breath VERY deeply, relax, and SNIP a stitch below the scrap yarn. Slowly and carefully unravel that row of knitting, putting each newly exposed stitch onto a second length of scrap yarn:

Step 3: Separate the two sleeve pieces, and using DPNS or circulars as desired, pick up stitches from the bottom section of the sleeve. Verify that the top and bottom edges have the same number of stitches. Knit desired length on bottom section.

Step 4: Divide stitches evenly between 2 dpns for each edge (4 dpns total):

Step 5: Graft (kitchener stitch) the two sections together:

Result: 1 Longer Sleeve!

Repeat for the other sleeve, and then for the body as necessary... unfortunately, it is necessary for me... all that grafting on the body will be quite a challenge!!


Tuesday, January 20, 2004  

No Willpower

Damn you, elann! Must you constantly tempt me? Maybe it was the post-holiday haze, but I couldn't resist buying enough glorious alpaca and some winter cotton for 2 more sweaters... then, to prevent myself from blowing my budget even more, I wrote out my current list of sweaters I plan to make- you know, the ones I actually HAVE YARN FOR... so I have to restrain myself from buying yarn until I knit all 5 of them. And a tea cozy. :) I justified the $120 I just spent at elann by pointing out to myself that I just earned a $10,000 a year scholarship to law school, and hopefully I'll still receive some need-based financial aid, so I'll just be in huge debt, not enormous debt when I'm done. :)

I should finish Peachy today or tomorrow- I'm on the t-neck. I'll have enough yarn leftover to make something else- I just don't know what yet! But don't worry, I counted the "something else" as one of the five future sweaters. :)

I also bought really adorable shoes. Perhaps I should put my credit card somewhere safe until it stops smoking? ;)


Thursday, January 15, 2004  

Peachy Goodness

I'm hoping to finish the second sleeve of Peachy today or tomorrow, and then I'll join it all together and start on the raglan decreases. I should be able to finish the whole thing next week sometime! I'm pretty sure I'll have leftover yarn... but I'm not sure how much. I think I might have enough to make a tank top... I think the peach would be nice and summery too! Plus, it's about time I made another chickami!

My other project for this long weekend is to finish the ribbie pullover... it shouldn't take more than an hour, and then a trip through the wash.

And (of course), I've already decided what to start on next... a cabled tea cozy using the yarn gifted to me by my good friend Jesse. Of course, I can't remember the name of the yarn- only that it's 50% wool, 50% alpaca, and it's really soft. I would have enough to make a scarf, but I couldn't wear it, so I thought of something to make with it that I can actually use and think of him... plus, we're "tea buddies," so it fits. I do wish I could remember the name of the yarn so I could look up the yardage- I have 2 skeins of white and 1 of green, so I'm playing around in my head with design ideas.

It's supposed to be brutally cold this weekend... so I'm looking forward to snuggling on the couch and finishing up a few sweaters! :)


Tuesday, January 13, 2004  


I think I'm finally starting to recover from last weekend- 2 concerts in one weekend is a little tiring! Plus, it was Grandma's 91st birthday, so that was exciting!

I have managed to find time to *almost* finish the ribbie pullover... I just need to finish picking up the stitches around the neck, and decide on the collar. I think I'll do a really thin dark grey collar- essentially just knit 2 rounds in dark grey, then bind off. I'll put in a lifeline, though, before i do the collar so I can easily start again if I hate it. Then, I have to clean up the ends and wash it (it'll shrink somewhat the first washing)... but then hopefully I'll have a sweater that I can wear with or without its matching ribbie cardigan! :)

On Friday, I got the cutest pj pants ever... they are covered with very fat sheepies!

And, of course, as soon as I even got close to finishing the ribbie pullover, I started the turtleneck with the GGH Boboli yarn:

In my defense, I did want to wait and think about the collar on the ribbie pullover before I finished it, so that's my excuse! ;) I am loving the peach turtleneck so far... It's knitting fairly quickly (although now that I'm into the solid stockinette stitch section, it is a little boring!) Plus, last night I put the body on a length of waste yarn, and tried it on- I wanted to make sure the ribbing section didn't pull in too much... and I think it'll be great when I'm wearing it. The fabric is a little stiff, so the ribbed section stays stretched out when I'm wearing it, and doesn't try and squeeze me too much. :) Assuming everything works out, I'll post the pattern for this once I finish it... the gauge is a pretty standard 5 sts/ 8 rows per inch.

In order to start the peach turtleneck, I first had to measure the sweater I'm more-or-less copying... apparently, though, I lay that sweater out on the bed not for measurements, but for Cricket. I'm glad we got that straightened out!

ditat Deus
"God enriches (motto of Arizona)"


Wednesday, January 07, 2004  


It really sucks to be back at work after all the holidays... {sigh}. Of course, this week is especially tough because my choir concerts are this weekend, so between choir and aerobics, I'll be running around every night this week, and both days this weekend. Plus, it was so cold this morning that my hair froze as I walked to work. I definitely think there is a conspiracy to make me stay in bed. Unfortunately, my work has this "thing" about me actually being in the OFFICE, so that doesn't seem to be an option.

I'm still plugging away on the ribbie pullover- I've joined all the pieces, and am working on the raglan shaping. The sweater weighs a ton and, since I'm not far into the raglan decreases yet, each round takes forever. I hope to finish it in a few weeks, though... and start on my next project: a simple bulky turtleneck out of the GGH Boboli yarn I ordered from knitpicks... it is SO amazingly soft, and the color is growing on me- it's kind of a cross between creamy yellow and peach. Not a color I usually wear, but I think it'll look really nice. Of course, I also just ordered A Treasury of Rowan Knits, so we'll see if I end up using the yarn for something out of that book instead... so I must resist starting a new project until the new book comes. :) And then I'll have to resist buying more yarn until I've made something out of the Boboli yarn, and also out of the Capri yarn. See, one of my goals is to use what I have instead of buying more, so I need to use (most) of the yarn I've already purchased... luckily, my stash is tiny- after all, all those "leftovers" from other projects don't really count... they'll eventually find their way into something, or into a new life as cat toys. :)


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