Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I'm flying high on the wings of...

a shawl.

So I'm working on the icarus shawl I'm making for my boyfriend's mother. She saw the icarus I had made and wanted to make one for herself. I sort of discouraged her from making a super nice one since I, ahem, had already bought the alpaca yarn to make her one.

I'd forgotten how nice the pattern is to work on. I think I may splurge on some addi bamboo needles to make the knitting go faster. I've just gotten to the point where I can purl without looking and yeah. I'm deathly afraid of dropping stitches - icarus is SO unforgiving of that. Ahh well.

I've got finishitis, so I'm trying to finish atleast 3 projects. The poet's sweater is ALL done!!! Dance of glee!!! Pictures coming soon, I promise. The neck ruffle stood up alot more than I would have wanted, but that's an easy fix. Someday, I'll probably buy another ball of the yarn and cut off the collar to make another. I would definitely make it wider than recommended, if you're using a mohair yarn, because I didn't realize just how much body the mohair would have by itself.

Hopefully, I'll get some pictures up for the finished projects tomorrow.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Are we there yet?

I've got the same antsy feeling that a 5 year old has after being in the car for more than 10 minutes. I'm so nearly done with the poet's sweater that I can taste it. And it's driving me crazy.

So I picked up 139 stitches or so. I didn't realize there's a doubling row on the ruffle. So now it's 278 stitches. And then there's a row after that where you make a stitch in between the knit stitches of the k2,p1 ribbing. So now it's 300+ stitches. It's a very fluffy ruffle and it's dead boring and it takes forever to finish a row. I have all these other projects that are just begging me to finish them, and I can't get to them yet because this project obsesses my mind.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sqeee! Leggo my legos!

I just had to squeal. I added (yet more) yarn to the stash, courtesy of the bestest boyfriend ever, who gave me the means to buy more yarn as a birthday present. I have a ball winder but I haven't got a swift. So I made one out of the legos he had bought a few months ago. We had intended to make a lego ball winder, but a lego swift will do!

And now, I must think of a pattern for 328 yards of filatura di crosa superior. I've never felt a yarn so airy soft.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Oh me, oh my

What do you do when your broomstick lace silk yarn looks like something the cat threw up after you've tried crocheting the lace?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Whence we shuffle off this mohair coil...

Notes on Poet's Sweater Mods. I didn't do the last two increases before the cap shaping until the sleeve measured just shy of 20 inches. It was maybe one or two rows or a quarter inch short of the 20. There are alot of sleeve changes that I've done, that I'll detail later.

9/17 - okay, finally, got some boring downtime where I can detail the vast changes I made to the sleeve. I cast on 138 stitches instead of 95, and knitted them in the round. Which irritated the crap out of me when I did the decreases, and suddenly wound up with a small diameter sleeve. On one hand, that's perfect for my ridiculously tiny wrists. On the other hand I hate knitting on dpns. Anyways, the decreases went as follows:

After 4.25" of the ruffle, I used a row of SK2P to decrease to 46 sts. Which was still big for my tiny wrists. So, I did 5 more rows of decreases at the beginning of the round - a k2tog at the first stitch and at the 23rd st. Then it was at the 1st and 22nd st. Then at the 1st and 21st... You get the idea.

After decreasing down to 36 sts, I kept that up until the sleeve measured 8 inches. Then reversed the decreases, with a Make 1 at the 1st and 18th st, then at the 1st and 20th, then at the 1st and 21st... Second verse opposite the first, return to 46 sts total.

I must confess, I only followed some of the recommended increases. I think when the sweater measured 10 inches, increased to 48. Four rows later, I increased to 50. Then, when the sweater was like 18 inches, I increased two stitches to the inch in length. So when It was 18, I increased to 52, at 19, to 54, and at 20 to 56. Finally, I arrived at the magic sleeve width number, and did all of the recommended cap shaping.

In retrospect, I would have done something different to hide the rapid decrease/increase at the cuff, but it's barely noticeable.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lights! Camera! Action!

Found the battery charger! So expect pictures of the WIPs within the week.

In other exciting news, I've finished the body of the poet's sweater! The best part is that it fits perfectly with all the changes that I made to it. Using size 5 needles + knitting loosely + in the round + leaving out 4 stitches total = perfect fit. Oh, yeah, I forgot, I also knit an extra inch higher before starting the neckline. I saw a sample of the sweater in the knitting store, and the original neckline plunged straight between the boobs on the mannequin. Since this was not the look for which I was aiming, I knitted an inch higher than the directions said, before starting the split for the neckline. I went and did the recommended decreases until there was the amount of stitches left for the shoulders - 12 total on either side, and it worked out well.

I want fluffier sleeve ruffles, though. I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to pull that one off. I also want them shorter, too. I'm thinking of increasing to 144 stitches, and using K3tog to decrease it to the right size for the sleeve shaping. Or maybe use larger needles before switching to smaller ones. I haven't decided yet.

Actually, I went with a 138 sts cast-on, and then I think I'll do a k2tog, k3tog decrease. I hope it works!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

By jove, I think she's got it!

There's nothing more boring in lab work than:
1)Watching a centrifuge run.
2)Watching alcohol evaporate from a sample.
3)Watching a gel run.

#1 took priority over #2 because centrifuges are louder than heat blocks, making them more annoying even though I am currently waiting for #2.

Anyways, I found a pattern to use for some yarn that has been haunting me for years now! I want to make this dress out of the pound of cotton flake that I ordered years ago from webs. Then, I want to dip dye the tiers.

Yeah, it might be a bit much, but it will be so much fun!

On the happy upside, I'm nearly done with the body of Poet's Sweater. I'm annoyed I can't add any photos of any of my WIP's because of the move. I've got rechargeable batteries, but no clue where the recharger actually is. So I have a camera, I have several works waiting for completion... and no juice for said camera. Such is life. Soon as I find it, I'll get photos up, promise. I've done something unique for me, I've knitted the sweater from the bottom up in one piece, and it works. I think. I have yet to try it on. I'll let everyone know how it's working out with all the mods I made to the pattern.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Objects of Covetion

I so want this yarn to make the Lacy dress from the Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer issue of 2007. How did I make this jump? I think I want to use the acorn lace edging for the cape. That or the lace edging for the flower motif shawl from the winter 2007/08 issue.

Stormclouds, part 2

After studying many pictures of the shawl, I realize what I need to do to make it for myself. 6 to 10 repeats of feather and fan make more than enough body on the shawl to comfortable wrap around the shoulders. For love of numbers, I think I'll go with 7 on size 7 needles.

As for the border, I really must thank my fellow ravelers who took pictures of the lady's circular cape while it was a work in progress. Seeing the lifelines really helped me understand how the shawl was knitted. The border has several construction elements.

1) A provisional cast on at the neck to be able to pick up live stitches for the collar which is constructed out of the lace border.

2) Half of the lovely border edging on the bottom of the shawl is actually knitted after the feather and fan motif is finished. It's predominantly in stockinette and garter stitch as far as I could see.

3) The border is one that I have never done before. Eep! It's one where you start with a little bit of a live edge and pick up stitches from the end of the work AS YOU GO ALONG IN ROWS. It's hard to explain, but I understand the construction. Double EEEP because I don't understand how they did the "corners" at all. With the feather and fan construction there are no real corners, because the shape of the knit rounds them out a little.

I'm going to have to dig around in my books for lace edgings. So far I'm leaning towards point edging, wave lace edging, and cypress from A Field Guide to Knitting. I'll have to dig through my vogue magazines to see if they have anything I like.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Stormclouds of thought

So, I really have to wonder why people publish patterns for books at ridiculous prices when the patterns contained use themes that are over a century old. Said themes have fallen out of copyright protection and are free on the web. For those of you who are familiar with fan and feather - this should look like a certain pattern out of a certain Victorian era inspired book of knitting patterns. Ahem. Needless to say, I'll be nabbing that pattern and modifying it for the cape. Notes on the pattern nabbing so far:
  • 10 sections or less look like the best semi-circle.
  • Atleast size 6 needles or larger.
  • Rowan kidsilk haze loans itself beautifully to this lace. I have 3 balls eager to be used up.
  • Border lace? I haven't stormed that one up yet.

It's just good to know I have an idea for using the last of the silver kidsilk haze Sean got me for our anniversary present. I prefer warm tones, so I usually don't wear grey or silver and had no ideas what else to do with it.

Ironically, this all came to fruition from a search for OTHER patterns. Isn't that just the way things work out? I was looking for a pattern to use up 600+ yards of silk that I bought off of ebay. It's on its way to the good ol' USA from India, so it's got a bit of time to get here. I couldn't resist the dirt cheap price they were selling it at... except I had NO pattern in mind for it. I was eyeing the hourglass jacket, but wouldn't know you know, the yarn I got isn't quite enough. BLAH. Actually... at 120 grams and 600-800 yards a gram, it just might be enough. Hmmm.

On other knitting notes - avert your eyes if you can't bear to hear a word against addi needles. I don't like knitting lace with addi needles. Stop. No error. You did read that correctly. I love knitting socks - well, a sock so far - via magic loop on my addi needles. I'm sure I'll love magic loop on my addi lace turbos. I do not like knitting the Icarus Shawl on Addi lace turbos. I found my pair of clover bamboo US 3 needles and switched the shawl over to them. After switching, I could feel the ahh of relaxation in my fingers as I stopped fighting the needles and got down to the business of knitting. I've given addi their best shot, but I am just a diehard bamboo fan. I'll miss the smoothness of the addi joins though.

I can't wait to try out the addi bamboo needles. There's a pair waiting patiently for me to cast on the giselle sweater, but I have to finish atleast 2 projects before I can start another one.

Speaking of finishing, I do not know why I currently hate making baby clothes. Maybe because they remind me that my clock is ticking. I HATE the pressure of medical advice all steamrolling women into believing they MUST have their babies before they turn 30. I'll be in the middle of graduate school then. Not the best time for a baby. Screw their medical advice. It'd just be even more ironic if I really was going to medical school at the time.
Welcome to Crazytown, where my friends have proclaimed me queen. Why did they do that you ask? For some reason, there's very little that I fear about knitting. Hmm, a dress in laceweight done in lace knitting written by vogue? Sounds great! I have very few inhibitions when it comes to knitting, and that sometimes ends disasteriously. Apparently, other people think this signifies a level of crazy that only the royalty can attain. Follow along with my escapades as I dive head first into all sorts of insane techniques and projects without much more than an "Oh! That looks pretty, I can make it!"

Those will probably be my famous last words.