Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Shock the Monkey

Barrelled through a pair of Monkey socks in Socks That Rock Lightweight, colorway Rhodolite. Yes. They are very vivid. Shocking. Yup. But they are very happy socks.

Very. Now I need to find something nice a muted so my eyes can see colors normally again.

I'm making decent progress on the Cap Shawl border...have 11 repeats done which covers just over 2 segments of the 9 it's getting there, but I have all sorts of new sock yarn and I swore I couldn't start any others before finishing these very. bright. socks. So they're done.

Have to share another hobby of mine, doll collecting, for just a moment. I had ordered some clothing pieces from Boxpleat Fashions for a particular repainted doll I commissioned to resemble Maria I just have to show her off. Here is Divina, originally a Miss Gulch by Tonner Doll Company, repainted by the inimitable Jenise Mah.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Buttons and Borders oh my...

The blue Baby Surprise jacket is all done...buttons and all...

It blocked out a bit larger than it was knitting up (whew) because I was a bad girl when I frogged the original sweater and didn't reblock the yarn to straighten it (lazy LOL). But I like that it has retained the very homey look of the handspun yarn and washing/blocking has made it feel soft and cozy.

I started the border for the Cap Shawl last night as well. I don't know why I was approaching it with any fear or trepidation whatsoever (well, other than never having done a knitted-on border before). It was a bit fiddly to start but it's really very easy, and I'm glad I chose a circular shawl as my first lace piece with a knitted-on border as there will be no awkward angles or corners to navigate. It will, however, take a looong time to get around this thing. There are 738 stitchs around the outside and it's 2 rows of border for every 1 stitch...that's math I really don't want to do because thinking about 1400+ rows of border is a bit inertia-inducing. But at least it's an easy repeat to memorize and it does look rather nifty if I do say so myself. And yes folks, that's a DPN...Nancy now owns some DPNs. I got them solely for lacework...for that center start for square or circular shawls and for border work. Period.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Baby Blues

Just a quick entry to show off the latest Baby Surprise Jacket...still needs blocking and buttons, but other than that, it's done. I used some of my hand-spun for this and love how it striped.

I think I've had enough Baby Surprise jackets for the moment...they're fun but I think they're best interspersed with more challenging stuff...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Capping Along and Interweave Knits Spring 2007

Making good progress on the Cap Shawl (Victorian Lace Today) on row 156...need to finish 172 rows before the knitting-on of the border commences...hoping I have enough yarn...just started the third skein out of the four I have...eek.

The lace pattern part goes pretty quickly as it's interesting...unfortunately, 10 of the last 15 rows are plain knit or purl (6 eek!) so that'll take some muscling through, I think. I'm not sure I understand why there are no increases in the last 10 rounds, however...

Got the Spring 2007 Interweave layout for patterns...seems ok. But really, not much of any interest in this issue in terms of patterns I'd ever knit. Most interesting/useful thing is the article on entrelac technique. Very clear and is accompanied by a nice entrelac sock pattern. Here are the other patterns in a nutshell:

Ribs and Lace Tank

To me, the proportions are all off on this tank. The rib increases at the bust give an odd "zooming" effect...very unflattering and the lace around the midriff add thickness at the waist and then it goes just too long. If it makes a thin model look thick, it won't work on a normal body.

Green Tea Raglan

Perfectly decent but ordinary ragan sweater. And you have to wonder if anyone really enjoys doing THAT much seed stitch. I know I sure don't. But other than that, a decent basic sweater. Not sure the belt adds to it at all, however.

Dollar and a Half Cardigan

Interesting interplay on front panels of horizontal vs. vertical stitch patterns. Have to wonder if the styling problems (namely, bad gapping/pulling at the buttons) is just a fit problem (although it doesn't look tight on the model) or something that is problematic with the design and how the contrasting stitch patterns affect drape.

Bonsai Tunic

Another design that only straight-as-stick, boy-figured women could really pull off. Must be layered as it's very low-cut and will probably have the same issue, in terms of flattering, as the Stitch Diva Simple Bodice pattern with how it emphasizes the waist, thus thickens the waist. Nice use of stitch patterns, however. Would certainly be fun to knit.

Swan Lake Cardigan

Very pretty design, delicate details...but I'm thinking the added tulle at the short sleeve edges would itch like mad. Certainly can be left off. The embossed leaf patterns with the vertical lines give flattering visual interest. The puffed sleeve might be a little too precious for some, however.

Indigo Ripples skirt

In a word, WHY? I don't know anyone who wears hand-knit skirts and this one is a bit vulgar because the lacy lower part comes up too high and leaves little to the imagination. Too much tootie showing.

Slanted Neck Pullover

Extremely basic and the assymetrical v-neck isn't extreme enough to be convincingly intentional. It really needs a bit more angle to the side to make it look like it's not just a knitting mistake.

Rose Halter Top

Again, proportion problems and makes the model look very thick at the waist and droopy in the bust. Quick knit in a chunky yarn but best left for a layering piece for a pre-teen body type.

Clementine Shawl

Nice basic wrap. Would be a good beginner lace project as it's not as vast as the typical lace shawl and it's done in a non-lace-weight yarn so would work up pretty quickly.

Eyelet Rib Bandeau

Major Fug here...hand-knit, button down tube top. Looks like someone hacked up their grandmother's cardigan.

Cable-Down Raglan

My fave in this issue by miles. It's worked in the round from the top, nice, not overdone use of interesting cables. 3/4 length sleeve, which I personally like and would work on a lot of body types with its flattering vertical lines.

Ruffled Surplice

This is the cover design. It's...okay. I think it's done in a too-heavy yarn and I think the cutaway aspect of the other-wise flattering wrap front makes hips look larger. I think a slightly shorter length would be more flattering. And again with the puffed short sleeve...makes it a bit "precious."

Keyhole Top

I don't dislike this from the front, but the back limits its wearability with its very open, low-cut back that prevents wearing a bra, which limits who could actually wear it. The front is actually pretty nice...the keyhole tasteful, the proportions good, but the pinafore back limits it. On the right person, could be done in a dressy/evening yarn.

Cocktail Capelet

Pretty. Just one of those random drapey sort of accessory pieces that would be nice for a strapless, not-terribly-dressy dress or top. Good cable and bobble exercise.

Angela's Apron

It's supposedly "a refreshing change from the ubiquitous tank"'s an apron. It's not a tank substitute. Tanks can be worn on their own. This is an apron. It looks like an apron. Reminds me of junior high home economics projects.

Petunia Tote

Big floopy bag. I prefer knitted bags of this size to be at least somewhat felted so they can actually carry things without stretching all over the place and retain at least a little structure. To me, it looks like a pre-felting bag.

Bauhaus Fair Isle

Pretty straightforward very traditional fair isle sweater knitted in the round using steeks. Perfectly good first real fair isle sweater, if a bit uninspired in its color use. Not comparable to either Starmore's or Feitelson's color language, but certainly a worthwhile project for someone unsure they want to invest in fair isle-specific books or chasing down Starmore books at the high secondary market prices.

Merry Maiden's Dress

Cute child's dress, but I'd limit it to girls on the younger side...6-7 tops.

Rosa's Socks

Nice variation on ribbed socks. Uses the brioche stitch in a 3x3 rib. Not surprised I like it...Grumperina is the designer and she typically has good taste.

Florentine Pillow

Could use better color choices, but overall a cute pillow pattern and would be good for learning intarsia.

So, I'd probably only knit the Cable Down Raglan and the socks and might be motivated to finally try entrelac. Overall, I don't think it's as strong an issue as the previous one.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


There's just nothing cuter than small clothes. Color me behind the times, but I only recently discovered the works of Elizabeth Zimmerman and now I'm addicted. I just love how her brain worked and I finally got around to knitting one of her patterns, the Baby Surprise jacket (I used the instructions in her Knitting Workshop book. I love how her dislike of seaming (aka laziness) was quite the mother of invention for her...this jacket is done in one piece so that it looks like an amoeba...

...until you do a bit of simple origami and VOILA! it's a cool is that?
And lookie! Booties! I had never made booties before...found a great pattern online, Christine's Baby Booties and I just love the sense of history this pattern has...

Used 2 skeins of Koigu KPPPM with just maybe 10 yards leftover...great way to use sock yarn when you're not in the mood to knit socks...

Sunday, February 11, 2007

How I knit

Wendy of Wendyknits posted today about how to cable without a cable needle and also showed her unique style of knitting. This got me cool would it be for folks to show how they knit? I think many of us have been told at one time or another that we "knit wrong" regardless of the results being good. So, here's how I knit...I knit just like how I was taught as a small child. I never learned to thread the yarn around or through the fingers of my right hand to "tension" the yarn...I just feel the tension and my tension is very consistent. And it works for me.

If you have a digital camera, you might have the ability to shoot a short, here's a us how YOU knit...

Thursday, February 08, 2007

We will we will ROCK YOU!

Nothing like a box full of Socks that Rock sockyarn to brighten one's day...
From left to right: Romancing the Stone (lightweight), Cobalt Bloom, Citrine, Flourite, Carbon Dating, Fire on the Mountain, Waterlilies and Saratoga (all mediumweight)


Sunday, February 04, 2007

Round and round the Cap goes...

Making progress on the Cap Shawl...on round 98 already...just about 8 rounds into the more interested lace pattern. I'm liking this yarn for it...Knitpicks Shimmer's allowing for fast knitting.