Tuesday, October 25, 2005  

Must Update More Often!!!

Again, way too many pictures ahead - perhaps if I managed to update more often than once a week, this wouldn't happen!

But at least I actually have something to show for my long blog-absence - the FO Parade!

First up - Pines II, the Debbie Bliss hooded cardigan that USED to look like this:

NOW looks like this:

To recap, the old version had a hood and set-in sleeves. Which, in the bulky-ish cotton yarn, made me look rather like a football player who had neglected to remove his pads. Therefore, realizing that I was never going to wear it as-was, I ripped out the hood, un-did all the seams, and ripped everything back to the beginning of the armhole shaping. Then I re-knit using raglan sleeves. This, in turn, changed the neckline enough so that the hood no longer really worked with the new shaping, so it became a wide cabled collar. The verdict? I LOVE IT. I wish, in hindsight, that I would have added another 1/2 inch or so before starting the raglans so the sleeves would be a bit longer, but overall, very pleased.

And next in the parade - Brownie. I'm actually wearing her again as I type this, considering that the temp is only 42 this morning!

I can't even describe how much I love this sweater. The pattern is the Drop Stitch Cardigan from the fall 2005 Interweave (i think), and the yarn is Karabella Margrite Bulky in Brownie. I used exactly 10 balls for the smallest size. In contrast with Pines II, I could have made the sleeves a teeny bit shorter. And I still have to shove it in the dryer for a bit to make it shrink back to the proper shape, which is a bit disturbing since it is cashmere/merino. But I still love this sweater - S calls it the "teddy bear sweater," and the name fits - it's warm, and snuggly, and perfect for rainy, cold fall days.

And to round out the cardigan group, Mariah is FINALLY finished!

I made this out of Calmer, and cut out the hood, replacing it with a sewn-on cabled collar. I love this sweater too - although knitting it was a b*tch (not helped by my inability to knit two fronts the same length.) I love working with Calmer - but PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT TRY COMPLEX CABLES WITH IT!!! See, Calmer stretches. A lot. Which is fine when doing simple k/p stitch patterns. When doing large cables, such as, hypothetically, Mariah's sleeves, you'll have to pull the yarn so tightly to keep the cables from gaping all over the place that you'll slice into your finger and have to resort to band-aids. But now that it's done, I'm happy. :) It was a great pattern - very well-written and easy to follow, and I would have loved knitting it if I had picked a better yarn. Oh well - live and learn, right?

In the "mistake" vein, I took this sweater:

and turned it into this pillow:

I cut out the zipper, and sliced across the sweater at the armpits, sewed it all back up, and stuffed it with filling. Why did I destroy my first attempt at aran design? Simply put - I had no idea what I was doing, so I made it out of cotton. It seriously weighed about 5 pounds, and the measurements were slightly off because the cotton didn't exactly shrink as I expected. So I loved the design, but hated the shaping and actually wearing the thing. So remember that yummy Cormo that I wound on my new swift? I'll be re-making this sweater using the Cormo and MUCH better shaping. I plan on getting it finished by August, in time to take it on my trip to IRELAND. :) (assuming all goes as planned and I book the trip in December!)

I still have to take a picture of Trinity, but she was in the laundry hamper during the photo shoot, and I haven't had a chance to get a good picture.

But don't worry, there are plenty more pictures -

Remember my dad's vest? I'm slowly (emphasis on slowly) finishing this up - I still have to do the armbands, block it, and clean up all the ends and the steeks. But don't worry - I have help. See?

And see how well she's doing? I've finished the neckband!

I've also been working on a simple top-down striped raglan - I made a felted bag (to be felted) out of these 2 colors of cascade 220, and I really liked the combo - so a sweater was born! This is exactly what I need right now - completely mindless knitting that's not a scarf or socks. :) I'm going to throw in some waist shaping, and maybe a little hidden pocket to hold my metro card or something. We'll see how creative I feel!!

And as if I didn't have enough yarn in my stash, Cindy and Kristine brought me back some amazing yarn from London - that's cashmere sock yarn and some fabulous silk! I'm still in the "petting" stage, so I haven't decided what it wants to be when it grows up - but I'm thinking that the cashmere is so yummy that it might want to be a lacy scarf. The silk just wants to sit there and look pretty until I get some inspiration - any ideas for approximately 360 yards of beautiful silk?

And FINALLY (yes, I'm finally reaching the end!), here's a couple of animal photos from this weekend -

Cricket, the black kitty, helped me decorate for Halloween by sitting around. She likes the addition of the pumpkins, though....

And proof that Sunday Morning Pancakes make EVERYONE happy - here's Abby and Cricket relaxing in their sunny spot.


Friday, October 14, 2005  

A Much Delayed Post

Warning - lots of pictures ahead!

There's so much - I don't know where to start! Of course, that's kinda the theme around here - I have a major project with deadlines approaching, and I'm sitting here, with a pile of research to read through, unwilling to face it.

So instead, some blogging.

On Friday, I had my "recovery day" at the Happy Place enjoying some yarn therapy - and working on the 12 Minute Sweater. I thought I was finished with the knitting (except for the button bands and the collar), and was in the middle of seaming and assembling, when I reached the step where you sew the sleeve into the armhole - yeah. Not so much. The problem?

Well - see for yourself. In the background, the re-knitted sleeve cap based on my completely re-written instructions. It fits perfectly. In the foreground? The sleeve cap produced by following the instructions exactly. (red line)

The good news is that I re-knit both sleeve caps in about 10 minutes due to the super-chunkiness of the yarn. I'm planning on finishing it by next week when Kristine comes home. I think it's totally doable - tomorrow is FOOTBALL day (go 'skins!)

I've decided that this week is all about finishing things up - I have a project I really really really want to get started, but I'm not letting myself do anything about it until I "clear the decks," knitting-wise.

First up? I've finished the body of another felted messenger bag - my friend J loved mine when she saw it a few weeks ago, so she's getting her very own for Christmas. It's cascade 220 (of course!) - purchased at the online shop - and I'm planning on finishing the 65 inches of strap (that'll be an interesting google hit...) before next weekend so I can felt it at my parents' house during NEXT week's football day. (I love football day!)

I loved the color combination so much that I bought yarn to make myself a basic striped crew-neck - I'm thinking I'll try a top-down raglan since I've never done one top-down before. I'll eventually get around to making a gauge swatch and plugging numbers into the raglan generator.

But wait, there's more!!

I knit a second zig-zag scarf - this time out of some Whispers yarn for my roommate, also for Christmas. This scarf was great fun to knit - but a word of warning - do not, under any circumstances, attempt to rip back in Whispers. Just cut, throw it away, and start over. Ripping cannot be done. I even have my doubts about tinking.

The scarf is currently hanging out at the shop as a kind-of shop sample until I bring it home for a good blocking and gift-wrapping. I think my roommate will be gone over Thanksgiving, so I'll probably block it then. It's awfully hard to hide a six foot long mohair blend scarf...

But speaking of blocking (and finishing things), I finally finished blocking Rippling Waters - I ordered a set of blocking wires, and got to work!

And here she is reclining casually at the back table at KH -

I cannot say enough how much I loved this pattern (from Two Lace Scarves by Fiddlesticks)- excellently written, interesting but not impossible to knit, and really elegant. I'm looking forward to starting my next Fiddlesticks project - The Lily of the Valley Stole. I'll make it out of either Helen's Lace in Lakeview, or in some cashmere-silk in a creamy color. I haven't decided yet - but hey, there's time, right? Especially since this is slated to be a birthday gift for Mom - and her birthday is in late June!

Oh, and look what I got in the mail! Isn't she pretty? I'm not sure what her name will be -

I ordered her from these nice folks, and I love her. It's the "delux folding swift" - and see how nicely she sits on my dresser?

Unfortunately, since I'm not allowing myself to do anything with my super-extra-special project (see reference above) until I've motivated myself into finishing my felted bag, the 12 minute sweater, grandma's fingerless gloves (1 down, 1 to go!), and my dad's vest, there wasn't any yarn to wind with my new swift!

HAH HAH HAH! Boy, I cracked up just writing that. Self-control? HAH!

And what yarn is the perfect choice for a brand new hand-made swift? Why, soft and silky Cormo from MDS&W, of course!

WARNING - Yarn Porn Ahead

OOOOO, AHHHHHH - that's 536 yards of 100% Cormo from Foxhill Farm.

See? Even Cricket can't resist helping - hint - she's sitting on my black laptop case, on the floor.

After all of that yarn-porn excitement, it was time to watch a little TV on the couch -

Next entry - completed sweater photos - Mariah, Brownie, Pines II, and Trinity!!!


Thursday, October 13, 2005  

Update Coming Soon

Each day this week, I have had grand plans to come home, take blog pics, and finally update the blog. One small problem? I haven't gotten home before dark any day this week, so my photos have looked like arse (nods to the Yarn Harlot). So there are grand plans for tomorrow, when I'll head to Knit Happens and play with Holly and company for as much of the day as I can manage. I'm hoping I can get my photos taken and finally do a proper update!

In non-knitting news, I've received my second offer - and one rejection. Now that I've heard from my top 3 firms, I have to make a HUGE decision - EEK! While I'm VERY excited to be able to choose between two great firms, a whole lot is riding on this decision, and I'm not sure how I'll make the choice. I have until November 9 to make up my mind...


Wednesday, October 05, 2005  


Total number of screening interviews: 21
Total number of callback interviews: 5
Number of offers received so far: 1 !!!!!

I finally heard from one of the five firms - I got an offer! Plus, when I sat down and ranked the firms for where I would want to work, it was in the top 3 of the 5. So even though I need to wait to hear back from the other 2 firms in the running before I accept this offer, at least all of this seemingly neverending interviewing was WORTH IT. I will be employed as a summer associate next summer.

I'd be doing a more enthusiastic happy dance, but technically I'm in class right now. I'm sure the professor, while perhaps understanding my exuberance, would nevertheless appreciate it if I at least pretended that I was paying attention. :)


Sunday, October 02, 2005  

A Four Sweater Weekend

Rather than doing the crazy amount of law school work I'm supposed to be doing, I've spent the weekend being extremely productive on the knitting front. First, I sent these three sweaters to the tailors for zipper installation -


Pines II:


The tailor is charging a bit more than I'd like to pay, but I know he does really first rate work. Plus, there's no way I'm hand-sewing 3 zippers, so really, I'm better off just paying the money and getting it done right. After all, I did hand 3 hand-knit sweaters over to a man who has easy access to scissors and other methods of sweater-destruction. It's worth a little extra money to trust that the sweaters will come back with no unpleasant "surprises."

Not only have I sent 3 (!!!) sweaters to get their finishing touches, I finished knitting a Christmas-scarf out of the Debbie Bliss club yarn -

This is the zig-zag scarf that Iris from Artyarns taught us how to make at her workshop a few weekends ago. I really enjoyed knitting this - the plain garter was "mindless" enough to be just what I needed when my brain couldn't take it anymore, but the short-row shaping kept me entertained so that knitting this never felt like a chore.

This took just about 4 full balls (the amount in the club gift), and I may pick up another 4 balls in a different color to make another short row scarf for another recipient. I'm working at the online store for the next few weeks while Kristine is in London, so it'll be easy for me to pick up some more yarn while I'm filling all the orders!

But wait, there's more!

That's right - not content with finally getting zippers in 3 sweaters AND knitting a scarf, I finally finished Trinity. WELL over a year since I started her. She still needs a good run through the washer/dryer to shrink up - the pattern is from an old Rowan collection, and is meant for Rowan Denim. I subbed another yarn that does similar shrinking.

Now that she's finally done, I'm really pleased with how this turned out. I decided against the mock turtleneck because, well, I really don't like mock turtlenecks. Plus, since I'll have to wear this over something anyway due to the strategically placed lace center panel, this way I can wear it with a collared shirt if I'm so inclined. Plus, mock turtlenecks take a really long time to knit.

WHEW! All this finished knitting productivity has worn out the animals -

And Cricket would like to show you what happens when you try to move the big furniture box she's been sleeping on for the last week. "You can pick it up," she seems to be saying, "but I'm coming with it."


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