June 26, 2008

I take it back.

This vest is not mundane. It's subtle. And, I think, potentially beautiful. I am a couple of repeats into the chevron pattern and my feelings about the project have completely changed. I'm enjoying watching it develop and daydreaming about wearing it.

vest detail

This was a good lesson in "just because it isn't flashy doesn't mean it isn't pretty, Vilde!"

June 25, 2008

FO: Hedgerow socks

hedgerow done

Pattern: Hedgerow by Jane Cochran
Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy in Spring Tickle
Needle: US1 addi turbo circs (2 of them)
New things learned: twisted german cast on, kitchener stitch (yes, this was my first time grafting!)

I love these socks! They are SUPER comfy, fit perfectly, and the color makes me grin. These suckers will get worn.

June 23, 2008


I'm lacking excitement about my current projects. Maybe it's the unwinding after the big sweater, but my knitting seems mundane. Yawn. Blah blah socks blah blah vest. I'm hoping that by wrapping up these current green socks and plunging into something new I'll regain some mojo. We'll see.

For now, here's a mundane vest-in-progress:
vest 007

The yarn is Classic Elite Princess and the pattern is this Shawl Collared Vest by Amanda Berka. And no, I do not plan on wearing it over formalwear like the model in the pattern photo.
The six inches of ribbing that start the pattern have been great reading knitting, but now I'm about to start a chevron pattern and so need to shift things around to have other reading knitting.

I'd really really really really really like to be done with my green socks now! They've been on the needles for too long. I love the color and the pattern and will LOVE wearing them, but I'm done with knitting them. I need a new color! A new texture! Bring it on!

(Maybe I'm craving a new challenge? Hmmm... what could I cook up?)

June 18, 2008

The experimentation continues

First, a great photo of Dad in the sweater!


Wohooo! I love it. Thanks for sending the photos, Dad!

In other fibery news, I've been spinning and dyeing much more than knitting. My arms have been bugging me a little bit so I'm trying to ease off the manic knitting schedule and do something a bit more reasonable. But the lure of the new hobby can't be stopped. Must! Spin! And! Dye!!

So you'll recall that I had my first dye day a few weeks ago. Well my first go at spinning and knitting with my dyed roving ended with this:

booties 030
They're pretty darned cute, but they're big enough to fit a three year old. And different sizes.


Most of the gauge issues came from my uneven spinning, so I'm hoping that my next pair of Saartje's booties end up fitting an actual infant.

So! On to the next batch of roving. On that same dye day I also made this bundle, reminiscent of my high school's Green and Gold colors.

june weekend 037

This pic doesn't capture the neon quality of the green, so you'll have to trust me. This was NOT a pretty green. I tried to temper it before dyeing with a bit of red sprinkled in, but it still turned out '80s neon sock green. Anyone know the socks I'm talking about? Came in three packs of PINK, YELLOW, and GREEN! Makes my eyeballs hurt just remembering them.

So yeah, I was not thrilled with this colorway. But I spun it up anyway for the practice.
Along the way, though, I started being pleased with my spinning results and panicked at the thought of having to waste this decent (for a beginner!) spinning because of a bad dye job. I mean, look!

aqua 003

It's waaay far from perfect, but definitely good enough to knit with!
So when I finished the skein, I plopped the whole thing in a pot with some packets of ice blue raspberry koolaid and here's what I got:

aqua 013

Still a little eyeball-burning, but I can definitely make something baby-related with this!

And you know what else? I just ordered some *real* dyes so I can stop messing around in kool aid neon-land. It's been fun and I'll probably use it again, but I'm craving some more flexibility.

I'm also realizing just how little I know about color. I'm looking at colors I like and trying to imagine how I would make them from primary colors and more often than not, I'm stumped. Luckily, I'm addicted to learning.

June 12, 2008

FO: Norwegian sweater for Dad

It's DONE!!!

Three crazy days of finishing work and it's done done done. DHL just picked it up and Dad should hopefully have it on Saturday, or Monday at the latest.

I had some hiccups in the finishing process (cut the armholes too shallow, had to tear out the sleeve and resew, recut, ugh!) but I couldn't be happier with the final product. This is, hands down, the best thing I have ever knit.

There was something enthralling about watching what I had envisioned grow into reality as I knit. Enthralling and, possibly, addicting. This designing thing could become a habit.

I might write about some of the techniques I experimented with, but for now I'm just going to celebrate completion with a deluge of photos. Hopefully sometime soon I'll have an actual picture of Dad in the sweater!

What a crazy ride.

June 10, 2008

Sweater marathon

Okay, folks. Change o' plans. I was originally going to give the sweater to my Dad during his visit here next week, but he's had a change of plans and won't be able to make it.

His birthday is this Saturday.

So I'm going to try to get the sweater to DHL by Thursday morning so he can receive it on his actual birthday.

The marathon part? I'm still not quite done with the second sleeve, I still need to knit both the split neck band and the collar. And weave in all the ends, and seam in the sleeves. Holy smokes. I think it's possible, but it's going to be close.

I got started with the steeking stuff Sunday night. Here's the neck opening now cut and ready for stitches to be picked up:

This is going to be close, but I think I can do it!! Knitknitknitseamseamseam!

June 6, 2008

The start of a restoration?

Yesterday my mother sent photos of her old spinning wheel that she's sending over to me. The hope was/is to get it into working order so I can actually spin on it. Looks like that may be a sizable challenge.

Here's the history on the wheel:
My mom's friend gave it to her as a wedding present back in the late 1970s. The wheel came from near the friend's childhood home, from a farm in southern coastal Norway. He got it into working order and gave it to my mom. She spun on it a bit, but through several moves and other circumstances the wheel ended up in pieces in the storage room.

Here's what it looks like now.

I'm trying to get a sense for if there's any hope of being able to spin on it. I'm willing to put time and money into it. But even if it's beyond functional repair, it's a beautiful wheel that'd be lovely to have out on display.

So... this might be post one of an epic restoration journey, or it might now. We'll have to see!

June 5, 2008

The State of the Sleeves

Oh, my - over a week since I last updated. Second sleeve sydrome has hit, for real. I have to keep my head down and plow through the rest of this project before I lose my will to knit. Right now I've been distracted by every pretty thing in front of me. Oooo! Roving! Oooo! Smooshy sock yarn! Oooo! Gardening!

No. Head down. Knit that sleeve. It'll become fun again when I get through it and start the collar and split neck lining. Must. Knit. Second. Sleeve.

Here's the current state of affairs:

The next bit should go fairly quickly with all those plain rows.

I have been letting myself do just a tiny bit of spinning here and there as a treat. I'm playing with this red fiber just to get the feel of spinning larger amounts. My plan is to make this into a two ply and knit some corknisser with it, but for now it's just a way to release some second sleeve boredom.