Tuesday, January 30, 2007

It's Finally Finished!

The Michael Kors Cardigan is finally finished.

Yarn: Filatura di Crosa, Zara Plus
Pattern: Vogue Knitting, Fall 2004
Needles: US 7 and 9 circs
Modifications: None.
Started: 2005
Finished: January 30, 2007

It is soft, squishy, and warm. I love this yarn. The sleeves are a little long, but not too long. I learned how to do button holes, the backstitch, and after experimenting with connecting the collar, I have kitchenering down. I didn't block it, I just washed it in Euclan and laid it carefully out to dry without pinning. Be warned, this yarn stretches when wet.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Gloves are the New Socks

At least for me! I just finished the thumb and have started the index finger on my very first glove! I feel like I did when I could finally ride a bike without Dad holding the back. WHEEE!!! The holes created by the yarnovers and the not-quite-long enough thumb (don't look too close) are the equivalent of the wavering of the bike as I try to maintain my balance and aim the bike straight.

OK, I know they're just gloves.

(I will probably make fingerless gloves and mitts too. I thought they were interesting and most are very pretty, but not useful. One's fingertips get cold too. In fact the coldest part of my hands are my fingertips! But after walking into the 15 degree night bare-handed after my mani last night, I will probably make them just like everyone else. Ivete pulled a pair of mitts over leather gloves, which I thought was clever and pretty way to wear them.)

These are opera-length gloves that I plan to wear with a Michael Kors sweater set, cardi for which has 3/4 length sleeve. (Don't they kind of look like Frankengloves with all the needles and needle holders stuck out all over the place?) I'm making them out of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, my yarn pr0n this week.

But I don't think it qualifies as genuine pr0n. It's wool, but it's not silky. In fact, it's not even soft as the name would imply. It looks like an old rumpled sweater, and that's fine, except maybe it should be named something else. Still I like it for my first ever gloves, and it will be warm at the bus stop. And I got it cheap on Destash.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Yarn Pr0n Friday: Habu, Silk Organizine, Lace Weight

I intended to dye this silk, but it's too beautiful as is.

Click twice to enlarge.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Nona expressed an interest in the seaming method I used for the MK cardigan. I used the backstitch. I got the name wrong in a previous post. You can find the instructions for it in Interweave Knits Winter 02/03's great article on seaming, Perfect Seams, Part II. You can find an excellent illustration on the Thomas B. Ramsden Company, Ltd website. Just scroll down to Backstitch Seaming.

I prefer backstitching because the seams don't pucker when I pull the seaming yarn tight. The major criticism of backstitching seems to be that the resulting seams are relatively bulky and may be difficult to block flat. I can see that that might be an issue for fine gauge yarns, but I don't find the cardigan seams to be objectionably bulky, even when I tried it on. Here are pix of the wrong and right side of the seam attaching the raglan sleeve to the body with the backstitch. I backstitched for my version of Orangina, knit with Rowan Linen Drape (22-24 stitches over 4 inches), and do not find the seams overly bulky.

The author of the Interweave Knits article also says that this technique is good for seams that can't be matched stitch for stitch, and another online article says that it's impossible to match row for row, but I found that careful pinning takes care of this potential problem.
I've completed the seaming and now I'm weaving in the loose ends. What a tedious chore! I kitchenered the ribbed collar, but I'm not perfectly pleased with the results. The instructions simply say "weave open stitches of each collar together." Careful adjustment with a needle will probably help some, and though it will be hidden under my hair, I will leave these ends the last to weave in case I find a better method. Any suggestions?

Friday, January 12, 2007

Yarn Pr0n Friday: Adrienne Vittadini, Rebecca

Turtlegirl76, hostess of Yarn Pr0n Friday, threatened to kill us :) if we don't follow the rules, so here on Friday morning, not Friday night, not Saturday, is Adrienne Vittadini Rebecca.

It's black cotton and nylon tape that I will use to make the Rebecca Jacket in the posting below. It requires (and I have) more than three skeins, of course.

I bought this yarn before I went yarn crazy, i.e. I waited to buy it until I was ready to knit the jacket. As most of you know Vittadini discontinues many yarns after a season or two. I panicked! I dropped everything, turning into an Internet Sleuth to find it. It took several hours but I found half of it at a store in Portland, Oregon, and the other half in another Oregon store clear across the state. And get this, it was all the same dye lot! Mom would say this yarn was just for me.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

"I Have a Dream" KAL?

Sistah Friends may host a "I Have a Dream" KAL this month. I was thinking of starting this cardi anyway, and there's nothing like a KAL to make you complete a project. (And forcing me to finish that MK cardi!)
This a Adrienne Vittadini's Rebecca Jacket, from Vol. 18. I've had the yarn for a couple years, so I'd be clearing my stash, like so many others are doing.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Just So You Know that I'm Still Knitting

The body of the Michael Kors cardi is sewn together and the sleeves pinned in, as you can see. There are masses of loose ends to be woven in. At least I won't mind seaming as I usually do. Olga showed me how to do the overlapping whip stitch, which looks so much better than the mattress stitch, and is much more enjoyable to do.

I have to knit the collar a few more inches before I finish. I like using these Clover locking stitch markers to hold the seams together. They enabled me to try on the sweater before I finished seaming.

I saw some knitted jewelry while in New York and have been obsessed with knitting this ever since.
I'm using 28 gauge wire and 4mm faux pearls I bought at Hobby Lobby. I probably should have attached the wire to a clasp before beginning, but I just had to start it. I'm going to frog it anyway because I need to add more pearls.

Here a couple of finished objects. I made a Perdita for a colleague at work,

and a pearl bracelet for my mother.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

I Got 'Em!

I got the Pentagon City Norstrom's last bottle of Chanel Noir Ceramic nail polish! I bought the Blanc Ceramic (left) in Texas and can't wait to get a French "V" manicure.
I never thought I'd wear black nail polish, but this just has the right amount of silver so that it's not Goth. Nothing wrong with Goth, it's just not my style. Maybe I'll try to sell my Chanel Black Satin on eBay.

I was going to get my brows done, but Rowan, the Anastasia rep, was booked until March! I couldn't believe it. She did manage to squeeze in an appointment for me in late January. Nordies at Pentagon City is paring down its designer clothing, but it is expanding its accessory collection, including a big sunglass section. I guess no one is buying the clothes. I can't afford designer fashions, but I sure do like to look! They've also expanded their cosmetics section and will open up a beauty salon in late March. Pentagon City is close to work - can you say "lunch time facial?"

Friday, January 05, 2007

Yarn Pr0n Friday: Sundara Yarn, Lenten Rose

Happy New Year!

Though I've been blog lazy lately, both writing and reading, I've joined a couple new things, including The Petals Collection Knitalong, for Sundara's Sock Club hosted by Lauren. Here's the January selection, Lenten Rose:

It's 100 percent hand-dyed superwash merino. I love the subtly variegated lavender color. My favorite. The pattern is open lace work that I'm not certain will show the yarn to its best effect. I think Pepperknit's Anastasia might be better. (I thought that I had made all the socks that I would ever need, but I seem to wear them all, and could have used a spare pair while I was in Texas. And what with knee socks on the agenda, I imagine that when I wear out the store bought ones, I'll likely never buy another pair.)

Project Spectrum's back too. See Lolly's blog for details. Then there's 007 Snap a Dozen Days - no commitment, just aim (no pun intended!) to post at least one photo a month to improve your photographing skills (just what I need and want to do), and explain why it's relevant to the month it was taken. No blog or webring. Both can be combined with other "-alongs" fortunately. I really appreciate that others think of these projects, as I find them very motivating, just the thing for January blahs.

I downloaded pix from Unravel in Las Cruces, New Mexico. They are not as good as the original ones I took, at least I didn't delete them! The staff was as nice as ever, as were the other knitters. They may give a dye class in March, which I have to attend. They were having a sale so I bought stuff - no yarn - that I will photo and post later. Purchases included a drop spindle (yeah, Tonya, I did it! ) and a tiny bit of silk roving that I'm afraid to touch. I have to find someone to teach me how to do it. I saw someone on Knitty Gritty spinning on a drop spindle and it looked easy, but I'm still afraid to ruin the roving. It was wasn't expensive, it was cheap actually, but I'm still afraid to ruin it. Unravel has a drop spindle spinning class in February, but I can't possibly fly back to El Paso in both February and March. I prefer the dying class because they teach how to extract color from plants and objects found in nature to create dyes, then show you how to use it to dye yarn and roving. When we visited the store in November, one of the knitters had the samples she dyed and and they were just beautiful, muted and subtle purples, earthtones and greens, yet rich and vibrant at the same time. The concept even intrigued Mom, who is not a knitter and has no intention of dying yarn. I ought to be ordering seed for flowers and veggies so that I have my own dye (and food) supply in the fall . I've said for years that I don't see the point of dying yarn, but one of my favorite hand-dyers makes beautiful laceweight that's always sold out when I get to her site, so I have to try to do it myself. Not having taken a class yet, I have to admit that I'm stymied by all the methods available: Kool-Aid, food dye, Rit, which? Microwave or stovetop pot? Any advice? What's your favorite?


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