Deeeee-stash Monday, Apr 7 2008 

I’m destashing, ya’ll. Tons of stuff, unearthed in the latest move. It was either for projects that I’ve moved on from or colors I’ve learned I shouldn’t wear. I’ll be adding more in the next week or so.

Oh, and hey, I won a Twinkle contest! I wonder what my prize will be…

I keep promising a big update. It’s coming, I promise, but life is extra crazy at the moment. If you’d like to see what I was working on in March be sure you’re subscribed to the Classic Elite Newsletter!

CR

Is nice!! Sunday, Dec 16 2007 

So, the poor, poor Blood Orange Cardigan/Minimalist Cardigan has been resurrected from the dead! It took hours of careful, careful repair work. Actually, it was more like repair surgery. I learned a valuable lesson–when ripping out seams to re-set a shoulder, don’t use scissors, use a seam-ripper. Duh.

Blood Orange Cardigan

All I could while repairing it was think about how beautifully ironic it would be if it turned out to be a dud. I wasn’t convinced at first but I’ve been wearing it all day and I officially love it. It’s comfortable and the yarn–I am head over heels in love with Terra. It’s the perfect blend of fibers (60 merino/20 alpaca/20 silk): it isn’t itchy at ALL, it’s soft, has really perfect body and it drapes and shines like nobody’s business. The texture is all lumpy and inconsistent in a good way and the color…I wish my photography skills were better, it’s honestly jewel like. When I roughed up ends to spit splice I noticed that that core was pure bright white–it’s almost like the outside was airbrushed with the color. I don’t know how this would be done but it makes the yarn glow. This particular color (Madder) has all the shades found in a blood orange, hence the nickname.

Blood Orange Cardigan

We got a ton of snow on Thursday and it’s beautiful!

Blood Orange Cardigan

Speaking of beautiful…check out Adriana’s Gallery Jacket!! I love this version because it’s in an awesome Valley Yarn (Colrain, shiny!) and she knit it with long sleeves which is what I had originally planned. Didn’t get it done in time, but now we know, it works and it looks awesome!

This is Marion, she works at Webs and wears a LOT of fabulous sweaters. She is a reckless knitter, and I love it, a lot of her sweaters are improvised patterns and when I asked her what yarns she used for this Kaffe Fassett Poppies vest she just shrugged and laughed. I love it.

Marion's Poppies

While I’m doling out shout-outs, look at Chloe’s adorable Foliage hat, complete with a hilarious tale of DIY circulars. I gave her a big bag of yarns that were just festering in my stash and the girl is whipping out FOs left and right! Awesome.

Oh…remember when I submitted designs to Knitscene? Well, one was accepted! I’m over the moon, of course, especially because Lisa picked my favorite submission of the bunch. I’m actually starting to feel comfortable calling myself a designer…

CR

P.S. Yes, my last title is a Griswold gem, I love the entire Vacation series, probably because I love dad humor. Puns, accidental slapstick, overt foolhardy enthusiasm, all of it.

“I vote for berets!” Tuesday, Dec 11 2007 

Name that film quote! So, last night Eric and I were rear-ended heading back from a show at a terrific venue in Allston. We called the cops and in less than two minutes there were 2 cop cars, an ambulance, a firetruck…I don’t understand how so many forces of…the force converged so quickly. I was a little dazed but I saw almost a dozen men in uniform, all asking me over and over if I was okay. I got a little teary at the attention we got, to be honest.

Then, I showed them my knitting. It was a sock in progress, on DPNs, and it was the first thing to fly out of my hands, thank God. They started roaring with laughter, making quips about how it could have been a total Farrelly Bros. situation. The last thing they said to me before driving off was “No more knitting in the car!”

This is the penultimate sweater in my NoSoNaFiSweMo runway “show,” it is Spray by Kim Hargreaves from the Rowan Plaid Collection. Since I knit it in in the Stormy Night colorway I renamed it T-Storms.

T-Storms

I don’t know what to say about it…the yarn was decent to work with, soft and lightweight. Another chunky knit with lots of clunky seams. I used the Plaid to seam but I removed one of the plies (the light grey) to reduce the bulk a bit.

Spray

My spinning is actually way more exciting than this FO. I’m flying through the sock set I ordered from Spunky Eclectic. I think my singles look pretty good!
Night Flower Singles

They’re a bit over-twisted but that should be okay after I ply it. Spunky’s sock kits are such an amazing deal–for $9.50 I get to practice spinning and plying sock yarn with a well-behaved wool (and coordinating nylon) and if all goes well I’ll have yarn to knit a lovely pair of new socks. So that’s hours of fun, PLUS a great pair of socks for UNDER TEN DOLLARS. I officially love spinning.

I kind of made up a method for preparing the fiber. I wanted to consult the Twisted Sister’s Sock Workbook, but it was checked out of my library. She includes two 2 oz. rovings (this kit was called Night Flower and included Banff and Pink Elephant, I think). I split each in half and then split each of those a few more times. I wound and weighed little “dreampuffs” and lined them up according to weight. I made two identical balls of roving alternating between the colors.

Dreampuff

So I’m spinning up two of these. Haven’t decided whether I’ll ply the two together or attempt to Navajo-ply each one separately.

Hudson Sunday, Dec 9 2007 

Edited to add: Okay, Winnie has unknowingly given me the answer!!  Why have I never considered headless photoshoots? You’re probably all sick of my face anyway! Question–does anyone know why my photos are showing up in Bloglines with a little bit of white between the photo and the border on the right side?

Hudson Hoodie turned into a zip-up, I have plenty of hooded sweatshirts. Eric tried his hardest to take some decent pictures for me but he had to contend with weak winter light and my ‘study face’–note grey-ish blue toned (hey, matches my Tilted Duster!) skin directly under my eyes. I don’t know what it is, I just can’t pose for him. Ho hum. I’ll try again in the future, maybe after my Gorillapod gets here.

Hudson Zip-Up

Hudson Zip-Up

One of the only non-blurry/well-lit ones:

: Hudson Zip-Up

Ha, this one is so Delia’s catalog. The photography duo that does the Webs catalog have a running joke about making a coffee table book that contains all the classic, cliched modeling poses (like, “Oh, just fixing my hair!” or “Squinting at Undetermined Point Far, Far Away”) and I think this qualifies. I’m trying to make sure my eyeballs don’t freeze open.

Hudson Zip-Up

This is a pretty straightforward knit, can’t believe it took me so long to pick it up and just finish it! All it needed was one raglan sleeve cap/top) and some finishing. It was pretty intense finishing. I hate seaming bulky knits, I used a lighter plied yarn but the seams are still large and in charge. Zipper installation takes time, this one was ordered from Zipperstop and sewn in by hand, twice on each side. The collar was improvised, which meant I had to rip and re-do 3x, mostly due to my lack of planning/number crunching.

I lined it in some delectable cashmere tweed , (a teensy bit that was left over from knitting a Panta for the store) so I didn’t really mind re-knitting it 3x! To work linings I usually work my collar as usual, work a purl turning row, then switch to my contrast yarn and increase a bit if it’s much thinner. I work until it almost matches the length of the collar and I usually bind-off while picking up a loop right below where the original collar started…I knit a stitch together with this picked up stitch so it’s bound-off and tacked down in one go. I hope this makes sense. Alternately, you can bind-off and tack it down with a whipstitch, which is what I ended up doing here. Is nice!

Hudson Collar

Tonight I’m happily spinning while Eric plays Mario Galaxy. Just two geeks, geeking out. Dinner was a Nigella recipe, onion pie (lots of caramelized red onions with a cheese scone crust) and some roasted cauliflower with plenty of wintery beer. Would you believe I already cracked a bobbin, most likely from dropping it. Those suckers are expensive. I might try to whittle a few =)

My father is insisting I give him Christmas wishes and while I was researching new knives on Amazon I came across Mollie Katzen’s new cookbook and promptly threw that onto the wish-list, but not before THIS treasure gave me whiplash. We’re not vegetarians but Eric doesn’t eat red meat or pork and I try to eat 90% vegetarian for ecological, fiscal and health…ful reasons. Besides that, the only thing I want for Christmas is more fiber!! Spinning is too fun…

Sepia Handspun

CR

P.S. Hope you’ll pardon my slow adjustment to WordPress, I’m a bit slow about Interweb things!

Pun time. Tuesday, Dec 4 2007 

I swear to Jeebus I wasn’t being clever when I took these. I really need a Gorilla. I won’t let the chimp I live with take FO pictures because he has an uncanny ability to capture ridiculously awful faces.

So this is the Tilted Duster! I did the best I could getting pictures of her. You’ll note that it is a bit snug. Andra, can you believe it, I’m TOO BOOBALICIOUS FOR MY DUSTER!! No, not really, I knew it would be too small. I knit the size 32″ assuming it’d stretch a little over time (I’m a 34″ usually). I could have wet blocked it to facilitate this but I just steamed it and I’m liking how it looks open, so I’m fine with the size it is.

Tilted Duster

Whoa, sun!

Tilted Duster

Tilted Duster

My mods were minor, I added garter stitch to the bottom to prevent curling and to the collar to sort of’ ‘ground’ that little design element. I happen to love when ribbing is juxtaposed with garter welts, a la Forecast, I think it works here.

Tilted Duster

I purposely knit the collar a little longer because I like it folded over. I stupidly forgot to knit the buttonholes on the other side of the collar, I might add Velcro or snaps or something.

I searched everywhere for buttons and finally found some winners at Jo-Ann’s. I think these are new JHBs, they are thin, light and they match the little strand of yellow heathering that runs throughout this Peruvia colorway 7183 Abusar, which everyone insists is gray, but is actually a nice steel blue. I love the Peruvia! It’s light, easy to knit and soft enough for me to wear the tightish sleeves on my bare skin with no problems. I didn’t encounter any shedding issues, and I’m really fussy about that. I knit it on a US8 and it looks beautiful, especially after the steam treatment.

Tilted Duster

I can’t think of anything else I want to mention. I’m wearing it now and it is very comfturbulhs! AND, it completely invalidates everything I said in my last post about hating to wear my handknits. I spent a lot of time finishing this sweater and I think it shows. I wore it to teach in today and no one asked if I had knit it (my students know I knit and even saw me working on this particular sweater during their presentations). One day and I’m already eating my words, sheesh!

As always, bigger pictures at Flickr and more details at Ravelry!

CR

And the winner of NoSoNaFiSweMo is… Monday, Dec 3 2007 

Dharma! I’m going to have fun putting together a custom prize package for her, she is a fellow graduate student and used to live in Northampton. She correctly guessed the # and name of the sweaters that I would finish by my deadline (which I unscrupulously extended to include this weekend)!! Until the weather clears up and the sweaters dry, the promised runway show is on hold. You’ll have to be content with this, the remnants of the FOs:

FOremnants

Clockwise from the top these represent the Hudson Hoodie (which ended up hoodless), T-Storms, Blood Orange cardigan and the Tilted Duster. Technically I also finished Thermal…and by finished I mean chucked it into the wastebasket! That pattern is too cute to knit in such a droopy, pill-tastic yarn.

I learned a lot from this endeavor! I learned that, like Grumperina, I don’t think I’m a sweater knitter! It could be the deadline that was making it unpleasant but as I worked on these long abandoned projects I realized that I almost never wear the sweaters I’ve knit. I actually sort of hate them. There are always little flaws that bug me. I’m not a fashionista or even all that well put together but I’m insanely particular about fabrics and the way things fit. If an outfit is itching, sagging, riding up or doing anything weird it will ruin my day. Most of my hand-knit sweaters are imperfect, and I’m fine with that but I don’t know how sensible it is to keep making things I’m not going to wear.

Of course, last I checked I had enough stashed yarn to make…50 sweaters. It sounds crazy and inflated but it’s true and probably a low ball estimate as well. UGH. My plan of attack for the time being is to finish Treeline, Enid and Forecast. Then I want to emulate Siri and knit up my equally insane sock yarn stash. Socks get worn.

So do hats! Jenny and Nicole were reading my mind last week with their excellent episode on my absolute favorite thing to knit. Gudrun was as well, check out her adorable Unst. Julie at Team Knit has got me plotting a Brownie’s beanie redux! Hat love never dies around here.

Spinning is also kicking lots of ass. Jenna stopped by on Saturday with her wheel and it quickly turned into a night of spinning Q&A, chocolate munching and raspberry wine swigging (it was made by a Webs co-worker). Somehow, we ended up wearing a batt and a flyer.

Jenna wearing a flyer

I’m not as drunk as I look, I promise.

Cirilia wearing a batt

The same Cormo I spun and plied on the drop spindle was given the same treatment on the wheel:

First wheelspun

I like!

First wheelplied

I’m currently waiting for two packages from Spunky Eclectic, a lazy Kate and some assorted stuff to try (I’m especially excited about this, which I purchased in Night Flower). Hot damn, it’s fun to buy fiber. Speaking of Amy, I finished the Girl Power shawl. And two dog sweaters. Wow, it was a busy November.

Finished object runway show in the very near future,

CR

NoSoNaFiSweMo Tuesday, Nov 6 2007 

So you’ve heard of NaNoWriMo and it’s knit twin NaNoSweMo. Meet NoSoNaFiSweMo.

It’s my very own Not-So-National Finish a Sweater Month…contest!

You see, the cold has finally arrived. My closet is pretty slim in the sweater department. The ones I wear the most are Salvation Army rescues. I’ve stupidly felted a few sweaters recently. My go-to black cardigan is full of holes.

L.L. Bean is offering free shipping at the moment so I went over to score some wool cardigans. I was happily creating a cart (tempting items: a red plaid coat a la Little Pete from “Pete and Pete,” a union suit and red plaid duct tape). Then it hit me–I have one kojillion unfinished sweaters all over the apartment. Well, I’m rounding up, but let’s take a head count of all the sweaters I have just…stopped mentioning (lots of Ravelry links, sorry):

1. Tilted Duster


2. Blood Orange Cardigan

3. Enid Cardigan

4. Hudson Hoodie


5. Treeline Cardigan

6. Thermal

7. Forecast


8. Spray/T-Storms

SO–I’ve decided to finish these. In November. Pretty sure I can’t do all of them, but I’m going to see how many I can pull off. Here is the contest: guess how many sweaters (and which ones) I’ll finish by December 1st! There will be a blog runway show to show off the finished objects.

The info about these sweaters is on the blog, on Ravelry and on some knit-along pages. Some of it isn’t up to date and starting now, I will not edit or update ANYTHING related to these sweaters until December 1st. No new info!! This month is a busy one for me but there is Thanksgiving break and residual energy from all the caffeine I’ll be chugging to get through the schoolwork. You can ask me ONE question in the comments before making your guess.

Winners will receive a custom prize package, most likely a combination of some stash items, books or Lexie Barnes bags I’d like to pass along and new items purchased especially for the winner. If no one guesses exactly correctly, I will choose randomly from whoever guessed the correct NUMBER of sweaters. Unclear? Please ask away.

The gauntlet has been thrown down!

CR

P.S. My statcounter tells me that I had a random jump in readership on Monday…but I can’t figure out why. The Visitor Paths are only reported for the most recent 100 visitors. Does anyone know who linked to me?

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