Friday, February 29, 2008

Spring Fever?

It seems a bit odd that I would be so excited to knit gloves when the weather is so warm and beautiful for this time of year in the Bay Area. I am being seduced by this new book and the exciting innovative patterns throughout, and mostly by this cashmere yarn I just purchased from Marin Fiber Arts blowout sale. It is so absolutely gorgeous I can't put it down. I will pretend it is not Spring, the weather is sunny, the air is warm and fragrant...nope I will completely forget all about that.

I bought 4 balls of the teal and 2 balls of the olive. I wanted more olive yarn but I waited too long to pick it up. There were 8 balls in the bin, I picked up two and went on about looking at the other yarns...less than 30 seconds later I decided I should pick up 2 more balls. I went back to the cashmere bin and it was all gone. GONE...and in the hands of someone else at the check out counter. She saw how excited I was over this yarn and swooped in like a hawk when I stepped away...My loss.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Finished the Soleil Top last week. Two things wrong with this knit.
First the pattern. I modified this pattern so much that the only original part is the lace detail. I added more length from the cast on edge to start of armhole. I am 51 and showing my navel isn't my idea of a great look! I increased the length of the armhole from 7.5 inches to 8.5. After adding the crochet edging it is a nice 8 inches. I also narrowed the shoulder by an inch. The start of the vee neck is quite plunging so instead of a crochet edge I pickup the stitches and did several rows of purl to add 1/2".

Second the yarn. I ordered the cotton yarn from Elann, same yarn as the pattern calls for. Geez, and I ordered so much of this stuff, different colorways, lots of summer knitting all lined up, well shame on me for not just ordering enough for this project to test drive it! The colors are not at all like what is shown on line. The texture of this cotton is like knitting with fishing line, stiff and plasticky. And the color...hate it. It reminds me of those orange peanut shaped marshmellows.

TENSION issues. This yarn was so unforgiving.
I thought it would soften after a wash and block...nope!
Just the same stiff top as it was before the wash.

The top fits nicely, just doesn't feel all that great.

I do like the lace detail. It adds so much to this basic top.
I think I will make this (my) pattern again but with a nice soft cotton. Don't know what that will be yet.

When I think about the cost of this item I guess you get what you pay for. $10.

I have lots of wash cloths in my future!

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Love Affair

I am so in love with this yarn...the touch, the feel of silk gliding through my hands makes me just plain giddy.
The yarn is a bit more variegated than it looks in a ball which makes it even more lovely. I am working on the Printed Silk Cardigan by Connie Chang Chinchio in the latest issue of Interweave Knits - Spring 2008. This single ply 50/50 silk/wool is a perfect substitution for the suggested yarn. I purchased this at Stitches West in Santa Clara a few days ago from Brooks Farm Yarn. The unfortunate thing is they sell their yarns only at these shows. They are starting to sell some of their other lines of yarn on-line but sadly not this Solo Silk.
Almost time for the Academy Awards!!!!

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Fun At Stitches West

I had some fun at Stitches West. The drive down was long, but worth it. Stopped by the Ravelry booth and bought some BOB swag. There were so many people hanging out there that I had a hard time just paying for the stuff.
I have never been to Stitches before so my experience was like a kid in a candy store! I have been to other conventions before but a long time ago. When I was weaving it was Convergence...back in the late 70's. I was surprised that there was a couple of booths devoted just to weaving....
I tried to be good.....I bought buttons and yarn. And only buttons and yarn. I could have gone seriously crazy there and put myself into bankruptcy...there are so many wonderful yarns out there.
Wouldn't it be nice if Bob, in person, could attend these events!!!!
Cute Malabrigo free samples. Lots of free stuff handed out like nail files...guess you never know when you're gonna get a snag.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Yesterday's Love

Chocolates and Roses. How perfect! I gave the candy and he gave the flowers. My sweet husband...xoxoxo

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Happy Tuesday

I am actually trying to put a picture into the title above...just can't figure it out. Any suggestions?


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Alex, Dear Alex

Alex is all finished, the buttons sewed on, the ends woven in, the whole thing blocked...and you know what???? it's too big! I guess I shrunk some from the time when I started this sweater to now. I suppose I could go back and adjust the seams some but that just seems like a lot of work that I am not really wanting to do. I would have modeled it but it is Sunday and I am not ready for public exposure today. The buttons are lovely. They seem small compared to the pattern picture but any size larger would not have gone through the button hole. If there is any weak link to this pattern I would say it is with the collar. There is a whole lot of fabric there and it is a bit fiddly to get it to stay just were it should without it curling at the edge.

I feel just a bit deflated with this project to be quite honest. So my philosophy is: put it away for a while and revisit it and see if I feel the same. If I do, frog it. That seems really severe but why waste all that beautiful yarn on something that is just going to end up folded in a drawer!

I like these buttons.

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

More Christmas Gifts

I just finished the "first" hat of A Warm Hat by Elizabeth Zimmerman. This is a Christmas gift for my stepson Ryan. He is in Shanghai opening a new Lawry's Prime Rib Restaurant (he is a chef and a good one too) and will be back here in the states the middle of March....then off to go skiing for a week at Mammoth Mountain. I promised him this hat for Christmas but never made it in time for him to open before he left. This will be perfect for spring skiing!

I have the second one to make next. I think instead of a complete reverse of colorway and fairisle pattern, I am going to keep it simple with a few stripes at the bottom and a solid body. The hat only took a couple of days to make but I really don't feel like repeating the fuss again. So simple solid it will be.

I used Knit Picks Telemark yarn. This is the first time I have used this is okay, just okay. Not in love with it. The "hand" is a little rough but I think it will wear well for a hat.

Hmmmm....the spell check isn't working. Sorry for any typos!

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Just Waiting....

The selection is great...the wait is not. Online ordering is a fantastic way to find things you can't run out and get from your LYS or fabric store, but I get so impatient - I want it now. I am expecting the buttons to arrive in the mail today so I can finish up Alex. In the mean time I am working on The Ice Queen and it is coming along nicely. The yarn, Rowan Kidsilk Haze is amazing to work with. I usually have a hard time with mohair, the fuzz sticking together making yarn overs and ktog too much work, not this stuff. And is it soft...this will feel so sublime around my neck. I am wearing this on Valentine's Day dinner with my darling husband. After all these years we still act like newly weds!

On Your Toes knee-high socks. This is my after dinner and wine evening knit. A no brainer sock with self striping yarn. I have never made knee highs before so that in it self will be interesting. Interesting in that I hope it fits. The pattern says to knit 18" from CO to before the heel is worked...seems a little long to me. But I will follow the pattern, like cooking, follow the recipe once the way it is written then make adjustments. The yarn has aloe vera applied to it. It feels like Lorna's Laces but I wonder what will happen to the feel after it is washed. I would think the aloe would wash out and it will be just like any other superwash wool.

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