All Yarn, All the Time

Sunday, July 29, 2007

More knitted goodness (plus some spinnings)

First up, another successful knitted item, from Rowan.
Pattern: Stevie by Kim Hargreaves, It's a Tape Thing
Yarn: Rowan Cotton Tape (discontinued) Fever 555 colorway
Needles: I think I used US 10 1/2
Modifications: There was no closure specified in the pattern, so although I quickly finished the knitting in June, I didn't actually put this together until July when I got "Knitting Beyond the Edge" by Nicky Epstein and found this super-cute leaf toggle. This color doesn't seem to photograph well, but it's actually a nice blue-ish purple color. I wore this the other day received many compliments, but nobody thinks it's looks anything like the model in the book, which is true. I'm very happy with this, and like the drop-stitch detail on the hem and cuffs. I also made this a little bit longer than specified, but it's still on the short side.

Oh, and if you haven't yet, you should join Ravelry! I got my invitation a while back, but just recently started entering my projects, and doing that very slowly. The idea is huge, and I think it'll be a great knitting/crochet/fiber resource. I'm just taking it a little bit at a time, but if you are in and you want to see me there, I'm JulieG.

Next up, the Avocado broadripple socks!
Pattern: Broadripple by Threadbear Fiber Arts
Yarn: Cider Moon Flurry in the avocado colorway
Needles: US 1 dp
How many times have I made this pattern? So many I don't even know, but this is the first time I've used the Flurry yarn. I loved it, it is very soft and knit up beautifully. My picture doesn't look perfectly in focus, but you can see how nice it striped up. I have a bag of the avocado Australian Wool that I plan to spin on vacation to make a scarf this fall. How much do I love you, Cider Moon? :o)

Lastly today I have some nice lace weight merino that I spun, about 500 yards, a little less than 4 oz. This is no ordinary merino, however - it is Optimum stretched merino! I bought this fiber at the Knitter's Connection and now I can't find it, but I absolutely love it for both the softness and the sheen, you have to feel it to believe. The process that stretches the wool fibers basically removes the natural crimp and gives the fiber physical properties similar to silk or cashmere, but it also retains some of the merino characteristics, so I'm told. I can't wait to make something with this! Not sure if I'll dye it or keep it this natural color.

That's all for now! thanks for looking.

Friday, July 27, 2007

As promised

Not the really informational and interesting post that I intended to make earlier this week, but I put together a quick collection of pictures of stuff I've been doing. But to begin, some "toe painting" the girls did in camp this week (and yes, it's what you think it is - fingerpainting but with their feet and toes):


Nice, eh?
And now for something that should have been nice, but turned out wrong, for the time being.

Pattern: Shaped Lace Tee from Knitting Lingerie Style by Joan McGowan-Michael
Yarn: 8ish skeins of Noro Lily 70/30 cotton silk
Needles: US 4 Addi circular
Modifications Not enough, apparently.
I love Joan M-M's work, and as soon as this book came out I had to have it. Even if you don't want to make anything from it, it's beautiful to look at and she explains a lot of interesting stuff about lingerie history and evolution. There are many patterns in it that are suitable for "ordinary people" wear, including this cute Tee. However, for some reason I can't get the sleeves right! I've made them 5 times, including 3 times after getting a lovely and helpful note from Joan when I asked for help making this fit middle-aged arms better. It still pulls funny and I cannot make them work, even after aggressively wet blocking it when steaming failed. I'm sure it is just me, and not her pattern, and I'm not just saying that. The pattern is very cleverly designed and quick and easy to knit, and I can't actually say enough good things about the Noro Lily yarn - love it! So, I'm going to put this one away for awhile, and see if a little body shape change in the form of weight loss will help me work this out later. The picture doesn't look great because I wadded it up in a ball in disgust. Oh well.

Next up, a success story.
Pattern: Diamond Mesh from Knitter's magazine summer 2007 by Simona Merchantdest
Yarn: Cotton Fleece from Brown Sheep 80/20 cotton wool blend.
Needles: I'm thinking US 4, but maybe 5. This is why I need to stay on top of documenting things!
Modifications: Changed from cardigan style to pullover top. I also made it a little bit longer, but now that I've worn it I don't think I needed to. Anyway, I didn't see the point in having a sort sleeved lace cardigan, plus I hate to pick up all those placket stitches, so here it is. I made the front like the back and sort of ad-libbed the neck shaping, then made the sleeves, assembled the bodice and sleeves, then knit the bottom lace part in the round while reading Harry Potter 7 this weekend. The book saved me from a long and boring section of the sweater! It fits wonderfully, I love the mustard color, and I love working with Cotton Fleece. I must say I think this works very well, maybe even better than the cardigan version. I got tons of compliments when I wore it today.

You know, I have a lot more to post, and it turns out I am being informative in my explanations, so I'll try to get the rest done this weekend. I have the pictures, so it's just matter of writing! Bye for now!

Monday, July 23, 2007

You know it's time to post...

You know you've been away too long when your mother-in-law asks when she's going to see new work up on the blog. ;o) Hi, Judy!

I have been knitting and spinning all kinds of stuff, randomly, and will have pictures to document these activities soon. It's summer, and I've been busy with the girls home from school and have been having a tough time just making it through one day at a time since Mom passed away on June 14th. Mom was a very good person - you know how God wants us to be? she was that way - and I miss her so very much. My friends and family have been wonderful in helping me get through this, and I feel very blessed to have you, just as I feel so blessed to have had such a wonderful and loving mom.

Pictures to follow soon - the girls are in day camp all week! Yea, camp!!