Friday, March 31, 2006

Mermaid Update

After procrastinating for weeks, Mermaid is underway and it's all I want to work on. I switched from Addi Naturas to Crystal Bamboo circs, but the join on these "grabs" the yarn too. I'm seriously thinking of switching to Turbos, although I always drop stitches from these metal needles and they are harder on my hands. I think I might finish this sweater sooner than I thought.

The skein of Hawaii Joy that I ordered from Brooklyn Handspun for Potatomus socks arrived today. Marie delivers superfast - I just ordered it a couple of days ago.

I've fallen off the healthy eating wagon - ate a bag of chips for lunch. Just had to confess that. Well, I'd better go pick up this place so that I don't feel guilty when I pick up Mermaid this evening.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


I finished the i-cord as instructed but found it tedious (and blinding) to pick up the stitches to begin the body. So I'm going to use Holly's technique in which she used the i-cord bind off after she knit the body. I learned a new technique in the process, the provisional cast on. Knitting at Noon has a great video showing one version. It took a while to develop some speed, and there may be easier ways to cast on provisionally, but I'm eager to get Mermaid underway. (Addendum: Eunny has beautifully photographed and annotated this and other cast ons on her blog. It's a must see. The entry is entitled "Casting On for Lace," but these methods can be used for other kinds of knitting projects too.)

Koigu Socks:
I couldn't resist winding one of the hanks Friday night and beginning the cuff. I have a meeting to attend Monday morning at which I may be able to knit a few rows. Mermaid and instructions are too cumbersome to cart around.

Thanks to Maeve at Knitting Musings, I got the code for the progress bars I added to the site yesterday. Need to add a calendar and figure out how to add left sidebar next.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I want to make these! (and adventures in I-Cord)

These are Annie Modesitt designs, the "Corset Tank Top Pullover." Aren't they just stunning? It's the same pattern, without and with sleeves. They're made of Artyarns Regal Silk. Finding a substitute yarn is obviously an option, but I so love the colorway shown. I don't have room for one more skein, but I should at least buy the pattern. It's so frustrating to finally decide to buy something only to discover that it is discontinued. I've done it often.

I learned how to make I-Cord for Mermaid last night. It was fun for a while, but it's going to get old fast. The Mermaid instructions say to knit as much i-cord as required to go around the perimeter of the sweater, then pick up stitches on the i-cord to begin the body of the sweater, but I'll go mad before that happens. (And how many pictures of i-cord progress do y'all want to look at?!!?) That may seriously sway me to knit the i-cord separately on my commute, knit the body of the sweater separately at home, and sew the i-cord on after the sweater is assembled. I made a sweater for my mom once that required sewing on a band of cable after the sweater was assembled and it work out just fine. On the other hand, sewing it on will create a seam that would not exist if I pick up the stitches as instructed. Maybe I should knit enough i-cord to begin the sweater and knit more as I go along. That's probably the best thing.

Wonder how it came to be called i-cord?

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Mermaid Swatch

I was accepted into to the Hanne Falkenberg Knitalong! Yea! I'm making the Mermaid cardigan in colorway 7, the one pictured on the HF KAL button on the sidebar. It's going to be wonderful having company while working on it. Here's the unblocked swatch of the Hanne Falkenberg Mermaid cardigan. The gauge is spot on. It knit up pretty quickly on 3mm DPNs. I will use 3mm circs to knit the sweater so I will have to double check the gauge.

I bought the 3mm circs today at Knit Happens. They were having an anniversary sale this weekend and I couldn't resist these:

I'll use the Koigu for socks (yes, another pair!) and the Noro for a clutch handbag I'm designing. The latter is strictly a design-as-I-go, based on a handbag that Sarah Jessica Parker had during an interview with Isaac Mizrahi. There was never a close shot of the bag, so I'm knitting it up as I imagine it is structured.

Then I bought seven skeins of Filatura di Crosa Zara in black to make a shrug and bobble necklace for that black and white skirt. Got a decent price on them tonight on eBay. I already have too many WIPs to count, so what's another one? I figure I can knit the socks during my commute and I'll figure a way to squeeze in the shrug. It's made up of crochet squares so I can whip a square or two when I need a break from Mermaid.

A fellow commuter showed up at Knit Happens just as I was leaving. I was delighted to learn that she's knitter too. She's resuming knitting again after several years hiatus.

Off to bed! Though tomorrow is the first day of spring, it's going to cold here - snow or icy rain forecast for Tuesday.

Good night!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Hanne Falkenberg Knitalong

So happy to have found this KAL. I bought a Mermaid kit a couple of weeks ago on eBay from the Cucumber Patch and found the instructions a bit intimidating. I've asked to join the group, but think I will start the sweater and knit along from the sidelines anyway. The posts are very encouraging. Looks like my little pink swatch is going to become a 15 minute project too.

Sunday, March 12, 2006


These appeared in my garden today:

Since summer is still some time away, I've begun swatching some pink Rowan Wool Cotton for a baby sweater.

I'm using new Addi Naturas US3 circulars that I just bought at Knit Happens. The yarn doesn't move as smoothly across the join as they do on metal Turbos. I'm a little surprised and little disappointed about that, but pleased with the way the yarn feels and slides on the bamboo needles. I like knitting baby objects because they work up so fast. And they're so cute.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Almost Finished Object

I do have a project almost ready for spring. So what if I started it last summer? It's "Flame," from Rowan Knitting Magazine, Number 31, made with Rowan Linen Drape. The yarn's lack of elasticity took some getting to used to knitting, but I did, and it will be wonderful to wear on hot, humid days. I just have to block and sew it up. Not my favorite things to do, but I apply Flylady's 15 minute rule: spend 15 minutes doing something I'm not wild about, then I can knit whatever I please. (Please excuse my photos and placement - I'm a novice blogger with a pretty basic camera and I have a lot to learn. Any and all advice welcome!)

Then there's the ubiquitous sock project:

I don't like the colorway anymore, so it may become a 15 minute project.

I bought a beautiful full white skirt with black embroidered flowers and a smattering of sequins for which I'd like to crochet a shrug and bobble necklace out of Filatura di Crosa Zara. Yes, that pushes back the Elann skirt even further! I draw inspiration for Amelia Raitte, whose productivity - and knitting and designing talent - impress me enormously.

Nordstrom Cosmetic Trend Show

It was great - even if I had to get up at 6AM in order to be there at 7:30. I was actually there before my friend and got us front row seats! Nordstrom served coffee, mimosas, fruit and pastries. The show featured models of all ages with the latest fashions and they were, of course, wearing the latest makeup trends. Nordies brought in national makeup artists who made presentations during the course of the show and they gave away lots of makeup and gift baskets. The show was over at 9:30 and the audience went to the cosmetic department for makeovers. It was packed. My only criticism is that we weren't told the clothing brands the models had on. There were several crochet tops and skirts and even handbags. Got lots of ideas for new projects.

Anyone have trouble knitting stuff for the season coming up? I mean, why didn't I start that Elann skirt months ago when the news letter was e-mailed? (OK, I'm whining again!) I wasn't in the mood to knit a summer skirt in the dead of winter. Now there isn't much time to finish one up before fall, unless I want to abandon every other project I'd like to work on.

A little late but...I'm really surprised that Daniel didn't win the Project Runway contest. I think he got the real prize though: a job offer from Michael Kors.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Desperately Seeking Endless Summer Collection Luna

Now that the ivory color I want is no longer available, I desperately want this yarn to make Elann's Luna Flickering Flames Circular Skirt. (ditto Elann's Sock it to Me Colori in "Seadrifter.") Does anyone else do this? Wait way too late to buy things? I've Googled and eBayed and there's none available anywhere. I suppose this is an opportunity to break out of my usual neutral choices for clothing and wear color, which is supposed to be the "thing" this spring and summer.

I'm meeting a friend at Nordstrom's beauty show tomorrow morning at 7:30AM. My friend and I are trying to start a style consultancy, otherwise I would be sleeping in or going to yoga.


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