Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Passover

Passover started at sundown on Saturday night, so we traveled to Toledo for seder with Dave's family. The trip and celebration took a bite out of my weekend knitting time, but I did manage to finish knitting the Chocolate Pakucho tank top on Sunday. However, it didn't get on the blocking board until last night. I plead exhaustion.

Pakucho's 100% cotton, so it's taking FOREVER to dry. Or it seems like it anyway.

In the meantime I cast on a Lace Ribbon Scarf from Knitty.com. The pattern calls for fingering weight yarn. I'm using Elann.com Lara, which is sport weight, I believe. The yarn is splitty, but I love the color and it's got great stitch definition after blocking.

Unblocked and unstretched the scarf is about 10 inches across, which is what the pattern says I should get after blocking with fingering weight yarn - so this thing will be wide. I can't decide if I like it enough to keep going. This may be one of those patterns that looks better when it's knit on small needles with a smaller weight yarn. I'm also beginning to wonder if I'm going to get 60 inches with the yarn I've got. I'll have a better idea once I've used up the first skein. This one could end up in the frog pond.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Got Gauge? Forget About It!

I lost my head and ordered piles and piles of Pakucho in several shades from Elann.com. So this weekend I swatched. And swatched. And swatched. Then I cast on, and none of my swatches matched the garment I was aiming for.

Eventually I took a chance and proceeded to design a tank top on the needles. I've always admired the Ardee Shell from Maggie's Ireland, but I'm not crazy about the high neckline.

So I altered the design slightly and came up with the following back panel.

Maggie Jackson's pattern calls for the same size needles and the same number of stitches for the seed stitch hem and the stockinette body of the shell. I was dubious, but since I was tired of swatching, I decided to take it on faith that this would work. The jury's still out on that one. We'll have to see what happens after blocking.

I'm also a little concerned about the straight horizontal neckline. The yarn is 100% cotton so it's not as springy as wool. It may gap. Time will tell.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Molinda's Split Neck Pullover

It was a low energy weekend. We watched so many reruns of Deadliest Catch that we almost don't care if we see the season opener tomorrow night.

I'm designing a tank top on the needles, and took pics to show and tell. Unfortunately, the computer insists the camera chip isn't formatted and threatens to delete all data on the chip if I click "Format." So I'll have to hold off on photos until Dave can sort things out.

In the meantime, I've been meaning to post Molinda's Split Neck Pullover. It's gorgeous and fits her beautifully. I don't wear pullovers much, but her's made me seriously consider knitting one.

This was taken some time ago at a Knit Nite.

Pattern: Split Neck T-Shirt for Women
Source: Knitting Pure & Simple
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shephard Worsted 1007 Superwash Wool

I'm not sure if you can see the slight color variations in the yarn but they really add to the beauty of this sweater. Very nice sweater, Molinda. Thanks for letting me post about it.

Monday, April 7, 2008

A Bit of Spring

It might be spring in the Miami Valley. At least I hope so. I am so ready.

Yesterday was sunny and warm, so we took a hike at Clifton Gorge in Yellow Springs. The ground was pretty bare, but it was pretty none-the-less.

You can't tell from this picture, but that tree was high enough that people can walk underneath it without ducking.

Wild flowers are emerging even amid the dead folliage of last year.

There were a number of small waterfalls.

With all of the rain we've had lately, the stream at the bottom of the gorge might qualify as a river now.

It felt sooo good to get outside.

There was knitting, too. I finished the brown Twist cardi last night. I'll post pics and info on pattern modifications as soon as Dave and are in one place long enough to have him take my picture.

Monday, March 31, 2008

A Sleeve A Day

On Friday I did a little inventory and discovered I’ve finished the following projects since October 1st:

3 Scarves
2 Hats
2 Cardis
2 Pair of Socks
2 Tank Tops
1 Shawl
1 Log Cabin Afghan

That’s not bad for 6 months. Let’s not discuss how many pairs of socks and the scarf I started but haven’t yet finished. (Notice I said “yet.”)

At that point I was just about done knitting the 2nd front panel of the brown Twist cardi, and I realized I had a shot (although not a good shot) at finishing the thing before the official end of the 6 month period. That got me motivated.

So this weekend I knit a sleeve a day. By last night I had the brown Twist on the blocking board. But by last night I also had to admit I can’t finish the thing before midnight tonight – not if I want to remain employed. There’s still seaming, button bands, and a 5 or 6 inch sailor collar that seems to take forever to knit up.

The decisions to knit a second Twist cardi right after I finished the first one and to use brown yarn may not have been the wisest for a knitter with the attention span of a gnat. I’m craving color, and I’m just itching to start something new.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Shopping Expedition

Today feels like a Monday. I missed work on Tuesday when I was sick. Yesterday I took John shopping for "work clothes" for his co-op. His field is industrial design, with the emphasis on design, so the phrase "work clothes" means dockers and polo shirts to wear when clients visit the firm and jeans without holes the rest of the time. He is 20 years old, and this is the first time in his life that he was glad to go clothes shopping. That made it fun for me. I spent a small fortune, but when it was all said and done, he was happy.

After I dropped John off at his father's house, I made a detour to Lambikin's Hideaway in Hamilton OH. I knew they carry Malabrigo worsted weight merino, but their website gave no indication that they have Malabrigo dk Silky Merino in stock. Oh is it yummy! I just had to have some.

That's the Teal Feather colorway.

Once upon a time I made a shawl with Sundara silky merino in a semi-solid colorway, so I was able to compare the leftover Sundara to the Malabrigo. (The Sundara is in the bottom right corner.) At first glance, you notice that the Sundara was spun with a twist (not sure of the correct terminology), the Malabrigo is not. They are both exquisitely soft. However, the Malabrigo is less than half the price of the Sundara. I'm anxious to cast on with the Malabrigo so I can see how it feels to knit some up. BUT first I must finish the brown Twist cardi.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Nothing Exciting Here

I covered my agency's booth at a health fair on Saturday. Between 2,000 - 3,000 people attended, and every one of them must of coughed or sneezed in my direction. Hence, I'm home sick today. I've done nothing but sleep and eat, with maybe a little knitting, for the past 22 hours.

My son John is here for a couple of days. The school quarter ended, and he's leaving for NYC on Thursday where he will spend 10 weeks co-oping for a design company. He's psyched. Meanwhile, hanging around with his sick mom must be about as exciting as watching paint dry. I'll spare you the pictures.