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Archive for January, 2009

Favorite Knitting Book

I have nothing much to show for the Unleavened Raglan.  I have finished the back and moved on to the front.  My normal sweater piece knitting order is: back, sleeves (2 at once), then front.  I have deviated from this because I am too lazy to figure out how I want the sleeves.  I am well aware that I will eventually need to make sleeves, but for now I’m knitting the front.

Also, a quick side note, I am renaming the sweater.  Unleavened leads me to thinking of bread w/o yeast which does not rise and because this is one of the loftiest yarns I have knit with the name does not fit.  I have not come up with anything better, so until further notice I will still call it the Unleavened Raglan.

Because my knitting is not very interesting I thought I would share with you all my favorite knitting book and why I love it.  The book is Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard.  I have enjoyed her patterns for quite awhile (blog = Knit and Tonic.)  When I saw that she had a book I knew I wanted it.  I was not disappointed, the patterns are great, but the best parts are below.

The first thing I love about the book is the lack of a “how to knit” chapter.  I am absolutely against pattern books including the knitting basics.  It is a waste of space.  I think a knitter should own a good knitting reference book, and therefore negate the need of every single other pattern book including this information.

Another great part is the first chapter.  It is dedicated to understanding schematics, how to measure yourself, and other general information that will help a person knit a sweater that they will actually wear.  When I first read through this chapter I felt I could have written it myself.

The next chapters of the book are dedicated patterns that require almost no seaming.  Along with each great patterns is a “make it your own” blurb that offers ideas on how to customize the pattern.  As a person that can’t seem to ever follow a pattern exactly this is excellent information.

The last and best chapter has more in depth information on alterations and starting a pattern from scratch.  This is the best part of the book for me.  I can’t wait to try a top down set in sleeve pattern.

A great book that I would recommend for anyone wanting to make a sweater.  You can follow the pattern exactly, alter it slightly, or make up your own pattern.

Next up – the first sweater I ever made.  Yikes!

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sweater choice

I know that you have all been waiting on the edge of your seats for me to reveal which sweater I chose to start knitting.  (Poll post.)  Well I am going to pretend you all were.  Anyhow.  I have started the Leavened Raglan.  I am pretty sure that I have changed the pattern to well beyond recognition so I think I will call the project the Unleavened Raglan.

So far the changes have been:

  1. I am knitting this with Malabrigo lace yarn on US 4s, instead of bulky mohair/wool yarn and US 13s.
  2. I knit the bottom edge in garter stitch instead of a 1×1 rib.
  3. I have decided the sweater would be better for me a bit shorter, instead of 17″ to the underarm I have around 13.5″.
  4. I added more waist shaping to take into account that my waist and hip measurements are drastically different.
  5. I am planning at this stage to make the sweater with a loose-ish turtleneck.  I am not there yet so this may change.

So basically I took the stitch pattern, kept the raglan sleeves and ran.

Crappy photo for showing stitch pattern but does show progress:

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I really love the stitch pattern but couldn’t seem to do it justice in a photo.  I did eventually decide to drape my knitting over a light.  A great idea, I think.

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Another:

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These photos show the way the garter brioche makes little x patterns.  I think it is also called a honeycomb brioche, which fits.  The knitting was getting hot so I quit with the pictures of that for now.

The last photos for today are of Lora and her blanketa progress.

Mad Lora:

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Happy Lora:

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All I can say about the Blanketa is AWESOME!

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Spring?

I can’t help it.  I am dreaming of spring.  It has gotten a bit warmer here and I am looking forward to the warm days, new blooms, brisk walks, and did I mention warm days?  This weekend I have been going through some of last years photos, and so we can all pretend it is spring here they are.

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I know, all photos, no knitting, but that is how it is today.  I have knitting to show you but I need to get around to photographing it.  It is the sweater I picked to start from the poll a few weeks back.  I am very pleased with the progress so far.  I will try to post about it soon.  Until then I will delude myself that Spring is just around the corner.

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more yarn

For Christmas this year I received yarn from my sister and money to purchase yarn from my brother and grandmother.  I thought I would show you all what I scored.

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This is what came home from the Yarn Barn (Lawrence, KS) with me.  It is Alpaca Silk Georgette by Jo Sharp (40% alpaca, 40% merino, 20% silk.)

I went into the store fully intending to purchase something else entirely, but ran into a couple tables of sale yarn.  I decided to take quick look and was doomed.  I have been eyeing this yarn since it came in and it was on sale.  It is so soft and squishy.  (If no one has noticed yet I am a sucker for soft and squishy, also for soft and shiny but that comes later in the post.)  I realized I had enough money to buy a sweater’s worth so all I needed was help deciding what color to purchase.

I did the only thing I could think of, I left the store, drove home, called my mother at work and convinced her to meet me at the Yarn Barn in another 2 hours.  She not only helped me decide what color to buy but purchased some lovely Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed and an appropriate pattern for me to knit for her.  I don’t have the yarn or I would show you a picture.  Is a lovely light green with maroon flecks.  I have worked with the Silkroad Tweed DK before and loved it, a lot, everyone should have this yarn, really.

Also, while in Maryland my sister and I hit two yarn stores in Baltimore.  Woolworks was our first outing and amazingly enough I did not buy anything.  The yarn there was great, and the people working there were very nice, but we had a time limit and I couldn’t come up with anything that had to come home with me.  My sister scored big time with some great cotton/ silk sale yarn.  I would have purchased some too but I was not in love with any of the colors.

The next stop was a closer store that I have been to before, All About Yarn.  I am not a hug fan of the yarn organization (or lack thereof) but it has a decent selection of yarns not carried here at the Yarn Barn (I try to always buy stuff I can’t get here.)  I did find something worth getting.  My sister bought me a ball of Fiddlesticks Knitting’s Zephyr wool-silk (50% merino wool 50% tussah silk.)  It is a laceweight yarn and my one ball has 630 yds.  It is soft has a lovely sheen, hard to see in the picture below (with the Alpaca Silk.)  Black yarn is a pain to photograph.

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The color of the Zephyr is Ebony.  Do you notice the Alpaca Silk’s color?  Nothing?

Well, after viewing this picture I started humming the song Ebony and Ivory, unfortunately the color of the Alpaca Silk is Ecru.  Ebony and Ecru…….. hmmm, doesn’t quite fit.

The intentions so far are a close fit cabled pullover for the Alpaca Silk and a semi-lacy cover up to go over my summer dresses for the Zephyr.  Who knows how long it will take me to get to knitting with either of these, by then I’ll have a whole new idea of what to make.

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Not knitting

This post has nothing to do with knitting.  I promise more knitting content soon, I have yarn to show off and part of a sweater knitted, but today I am helping my brother out.

My brother is an Architectural Engineering student at KU.  He is doing research on sustainability with one of his professors.  They have a survey that everyone should take.  I will leave the link on the sidebar for awhile so please help Joe out and take the survey.

Sustainability Survey

It only takes 10-15 minutes.  I took it and you should too.

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Shiny Cowl

While away I knit up a pretty cowl using Shiny (the silk yarn purchased at The Studio I blogged about here.)

I thought I would share the pattern with you.  It is easy and quick and only uses one ball of yarn.  The pattern is a mock cable lace set off by a twisted rib.  I love it because it is super squishy, soft, and warm.

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Finished Measurements:

16″ around, 6.5″ height

Materials:

1 ball Debbie Bliss Pure Silk (100% silk, 125m) color 27002

Stitch marker

16″ US Size 6 needles

Gauge:

6.25 stitches per inch in pattern without stretching

Directions:

Abbreviations – k1 tbl = knit 1 stitch through the back of the loop

Cast on 100 stitches, place marker and join for knitting in the round.

Row 1 – *k2, p1, k1 tbl, p1, repeat from * to the end of the round

Row 2 – *k1, yo, k1, p1, k1 tbl, p1, repeat from * to the end of the round

Row 3 – *k3, p1, k1 tbl, p1, repeat from * to the end of the round

Row 4 – *k3, pass the 3rd stitch on the right needle over the first 2 knit stitches on the right  needle, p1, k1 tbl, p1, repeat from * to the end of the round

Repeat these rows until desired length.

BO in rib pattern after completing row 4.

NOTE:  The number of stitches are increased in row 2 and decreased back to the original number in row 4.

When making this cowl I only had 1 yard of yarn left at the end, if intending to  make this patten longer or wider you will need more than 1 ball of yarn.

The pattern is very stretchy and pulls on easily.

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I took that myself, so ya.

And because I love close ups (click to view larger)

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William McKinley

I’ll be honest, I know quite a few facts about William McKinley but am too lazy to type them. Most notable, he was assassinated by a Russian anarchist. After doing a quick wiki search to make sure I remembered that correctly, (WHICH I DID!) I read that he was also the last president elected who had served in the Civil War. Theodore Roosevelt succeeded McKinley.

mckinley1Medium: Crayola Crayon on Blue Construction Paper

This is characteristic of my drawing style. Uneven eyes. It happens quite often. I really need to work on getting the placing right. I would like to be all confident and pass this off as artistic license and style and that I meant to do this. The truth is that it really bugs me. Oh well, another goal to shoot for.

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