Where Sweater Envy Leads

It seems to me that everyone, everyone is knitting a super cool, gorgeous, must-wear it sweater. The Central Park Hoodie is very popular right now. Brigitte knit a CPH in a stunning pink. Margaux is almost done in a lovely grey Skye Tweed. Have I mentioned I love pink and grey? And Fearless Cara’s will be beautiful now that she knows how to cut open a mis-crossed cable and re-do the cross. Now I don’t actually want a CPH, but I do want a sweater. Faithful readers will recall that I have over a mile of Lamb’s Pride Worsted in Periwinkle (I should send it to Grumperina, but I’m afraid of repercussions). I want to knit a pullover and preferably one with cables. When I saw that Julia’s friend had knit the Marseilles Pullover from IK Summer 2006 in an aran weight yarn, I knew what I wanted to do for a first swatch.

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1×4 Ribbing! WooHoo! Color is really periwinkle!

OK, so 1×4 ribbing isn’t cably excitement, but it is the gauge swatch for the Marseilles Pullover. And the gauge is all off, but I must do the math to see if I could make it possible. I would also try the cable motif. The cables look hard to me, but then I’ve lately been choosing projects that I thought were my skill level and I have been bored to tears. It’s time to up the ante. I like the LP worsted in the 1×4, although I really should put the yarn I ripped in a skein and get it wet to work out all the little kinks (the sweater back was knit for a couple of years before I ripped a few weeks ago).

I have several other swatches in mind to knit for a cabled sweater of my own design, but I thought I would start here. Green may be the official color of generic envy, but sweater envy is obviously periwinkle.

I must now be good and knit on an official WIP.

Happy Knitting!

Finally, a FO!

This weekend has not been the most conducive to knitting. I spent yesterday with a couple of friends attending a diocesan congress on the Liturgy of the Word. It was very good, but it cut out some knitting time. Nevertheless, I do finally have a FO for 2007.

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Mitts for Karen in LL Swirl DK Purple Club

Karen arrives on Friday, so I wanted these done in time. They are not a big project, but they are a complete project, and I did manage to adjust the pattern from bulky to DK weight yarn. I will see on Friday if Karen will consent to a modeling shot for the blog. I didn’t put them on my hands, as I was recently told that I certainly didn’t have a “model’s hands.” Don’t you just love nice, elderly ladies who feel free to speak their minds? As M is fond of saying, age often thins the filter, and the thought cloud is spoken.

Also cutting into my knitting time is my need to finish this:

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The fourth Matthew Bartholomew Chronicle

Deadly Brew is the fourth book in this mystery series. They are very good both in terms of writing and mystery. The series takes place in Cambridge starting in 1348, the year the Plague arrives in England. In the first book, A Plague on Both Your Houses someone feels that they can slip a body in with all the plague dead and get away with murder. Physician and University Fellow Matthew Bartholomew, though, sees through the sinister plot and ensures that justice is done. I highly recommend the series to any who enjoy medieval or historical mysteries.

Tonight, I hope to cajole my swift, none other than M, to hold some yarn for winding into balls. He has agreed to help, the question now is how many skeins?

Happy Knitting!

Sock Futures Rock!

After hearing about all the banking angst Blue Moon Fiber Arts went through, I decided to do a little shopping there, especially since I have never knit socks with Socks that Rock yarn. Shocking, I know. I was delighted to find a color scheme that reminded me of my new blueberry tea-for-one.

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Socks that Rock in Nodding Violet and Henpecked.

The Nodding Violet doesn’t have any white, but I think the blue-violets and greens are a great match. Yay! The Henpecked results from blog envy. I saw Kristi’s marvelous wool/silk fiber from BMFA in Henpecked, and I had to have the color. Now I do. The only question is which one to knit first. I think I may reward myself by knitting a pair of these socks right away to help drive away sock ennui. I think these yarns deserve a whole skein shot.

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In further knitting news, the Landscape Shawl is now over 50% complete! To celebrate here is a close up of the moss stitch chevron.

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In 24 more rows I get to start the final chevron in reversed stockinette. I know I have complained a lot about how boring this shawl is to knit, but the CTH yarn is really working out nicely. Alison left me such a nice comment about the LS that I felt very encouraged to continue. She is knitting up an amazing Hidcote. You should go check it out.

Happy Knitting!

This and That

I’ve been feeling rather antsy. It’s January 24th, and I don’t have a FO for 2007! The knitting has thwarted every attempt at completion, but I have a deadline on the horizon, so a FO must be born. Karen is arriving a week earlier than I thought she would be, so I need to finish her mitts. Good thing: mitts are small. Bad thing: I didn’t write anything down when I made the first mitt. Why didn’t I write it down? I have no idea. Before this, I would have said it was inconceivable that I wouldn’t write down how I had modified a pattern to work with DK rather than chunky weight yarn. Apparently, I don’t know what “inconceivable” means, because I didn’t write it down. So, now I have to figure it out again by counting everything on the first mitt. Sometimes I really annoy myself.

All other knitting progress is added length. The Landscape Shawl is now 49% completed. It is beautiful but oh-so-boring to knit. I want it done. Bad. The Sea Silk berry scarf from VLT is about 14 inches long. It is lovely, but a total snoozer to knit. I have decided to give it to my Grandma Adeline who needs a new scarf. She is at best five feet tall, so a 48-inch scarf works very well for her. That would be far too short for me, and I don’t have it in me to make it longer.

I want to knit lace socks, like Grumperina’s Roza’s Socks, Sundara’s petal’s collection Lenten Rose socks, and Child’s First Sock from Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush. I want to knit more complicated lace scarves and shawls from Victorian Lace Today in pretty spring-like, feminine colors. I want to knit nifty cables into sweaters. I’ve decided that I have to finish the Landscape Shawl, the Gingerbread cable socks, Grandma’s scarf, and the mitts. Then all other bets are off. The Aran Pocket Shawl, the Jaywalkers in the Trekking Yarn (my friend Elsie, who is a sock knitting fiend, has had bad laundry and yarn breakage problems with her Trekking socks, and I find the yarn pretty scratchy), they may be put on hold until I think about Fall again.

Today we put to use a little helper that arrived at Molecular Knitting yesterday.
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M and I are very pleased. Scooba is such a good little worker. The water in the dirty water tank was really dirty, and it is hard at work on a second run tonight while I blog and knit. Now, if it only did windows…

Happy Knitting!

More Plans than Progress

Due to errant, painful sinuses, a busy social schedule, and a misbehaving sock, I didn’t have a big weekend in terms of knitting progress. While the gingerbread cable sock sat in time-out until Sunday evening (all is back now on track with it), I did restart the ice cream sundae socks on smaller needles in a broken, lightly twisted 2×2 rib, and I finished the first border of the berry sea silk scarf from Victorian Lace Today (page 80 “scarf with wide striped border”).

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I did have some time to do some planning, thinking and perusing. I had asked for suggestions for a sweater pattern to knit using Lamb’s Pride worsted, and I looked up all the suggestions. Thanks to everyone who answered my questions! Rogue and Samus were my two favorite choices, but Rogue seemed a bit beyond my current abilities, and Samus, although very beautiful with its wide horizontal celtic braid, would put that braid right where I wouldn’t want it. I generally try to pretend that my hips do not exist, and the horizontal braid of Samus would destroy that self-delusion. Several people assured me I could design my own if I chose a drop shoulder style, and I think they may be right. I also remembered a pattern from Knitters (Fall 2001) that I liked.

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And then I started perusing some of my stitch pattern books, which leaves me with some serious swatching to do.

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It would be nice if I could fit some swatches in among my other knitting, so that when I get the Landscape Shawl done, I could be ready for the sweater. I’d cross my fingers that this will all work out, but I don’t know how to knit with my fingers crossed.

So, I have a bit of a plan. Now it’s time for some more progress. Happy Knitting!

The Good and the Bad

The good news is that I have one mitt done of the pair for Karen. I successfully adapted the pattern from chunky to DK weight yarn.

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The bad news:

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I had a “little” sock knitting mishap.

Note to self: don’t knit with a headache.

At least I found all 60 stitches after ripping a third of the gusset and the entire heel (I mis-centered the heel flap by 3 stitches–quite noticeable in a cable-rib pattern, at least noticeable after knitting the entire heel and a third of the gusset).

I’m going to bed.

In the words of the immortal Scarlett O’Hara, “Tomorrow is another day.”

Questions

While thinking of various projects and possibilities, I have come up with some questions for which I have no answers. As I puzzled and puzzed about who could help me, I thought to ask you, my readers, if any of you have the answers. So, here are my questions, and if you know an answer or have an idea, please leave a comment. Thanks!

Question 1: Can a felted piece of knitting be cut with a scissors into pieces without unraveling? Could I knit a big rectangle, felt it to its felting limit, and then cut it like I would a piece of fabric before sewing? I would think this is possible, but I am unsure. I really, really want this to be possible.

Question 2: M gave me this lovely tea-for-one with blueberries on it.

blueberry tea for one

As I was drinking herbal blueberry tea from it (yeah, yeah, nauseatingly cute, deal with it) yesterday evening while knitting the second gingerbread cable sock, I thought how much I would like a sock yarn with the colors in my tea-for-one. I don’t know of any company that makes a blue-white-green variegated sock yarn. Do you?

Question 3: You may remember from the official 2007 Molecular Knitting State of the Stash post that I have over 2000 yards of Lamb’s Pride worsted in Periwinkle. I want to knit a sweater with it, most likely cabled, and I am on the search for patterns. Many that I have found use either a regular worsted or a bulky weight yarn, and swatching has yielded unfavorable results. Why can’t I find any patterns in a heavy worsted/aran weight? Where are they? Please, please, let me know! I don’t want to have to try to knit Victorian Lace Today in heavy worsted. I also don’t yet feel up to designing a whole sweater (I’ve only knit 2: a patterned gansey-like sweater and a cable-rib cardigan).

These are my current questions. If you have an answer, please let me know! Tomorrow: one mitt down, one to go.

Victorian Lace Cast-on and a Sock’s Disgust

Last night I taught myself the crochet cast-on and started the first striped, wide border of the “Scarf with wide striped border” from Victorian Lace Today. I knit two repeats before I needed to switch to more mindless knitting so M and I could watch Inside Man on DVD (I really liked the movie BTW).

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I started with the specified size 7 needles; the yarn is Sea Silk in Berry. The Sea Silk is working pretty well for me on these Clover bamboo needles. Grumperina found Sea Silk sticky and used addi turbos, and others have found it slick and used bamboo. Well, it’s neither sticky nor slick to me. I don’t remember who the slick-finding people are, but I wonder if it is all climate based. It’s dry here but not arid dry. However, I am wondering if I should use size 6 needles instead. I’ve decided to finish this first border before making a conclusion. Any readers opinions are quite welcome!

All this Victorian lace knitting has made the Gingerbread Cable Sock quite peeved. When I said I planned to make its mate my exclusive sock knitting project, it thought I meant exclusive knitting project period. It was very annoyed to find me with the VLT scarf and knitting on the Landscape Shawl (that I can knit while watching a movie). I have passed the 200-stitch row on the LS, so now that seems all down hill as 308 is the number of stitches in the final row before binding off (even though I’m only 44% done).

I did make, what I thought, was significant progress on the second GCS. Here you can see the first sock checking out my progress (8 repeats of 11 done in the cuff).
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The GCS was so disgruntled that I was going to work on the LS, that I decided it couldn’t stay in my open sock knitting basket. Rather, it needed a “time-out” in my sock travel bag. Here it is trying to get out before I could zip the bag closed.

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I really like the bag. It’s from Target (purchased many moons ago), and it is really a make-up bag. But for sock knitting, it’s perfect. The length is exactly right for my dpns, and they fit in the pocketed top compartment quite nicely.

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Finally, I got the bag all zipped up and the GCS into time out.

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Perhaps this evening I could take it out and finish the cuff, if it behaves.

The State of the Stash

Wendy and her friend L-B have christened 2007 the year of “Knitting from Stash.” They have set up some very flexible ground rules, and they have invited anyone who wishes to thin out their own stash to join them. I won’t officially join the Knitting from Stash movement, because unlike Wendy, who writes about a “stash room,” I have a stash tupperware crate. But in the interests of record keeping, and because it is an article of the Molecular Knitting Constitution, I present, The State of the Stash. Don’t laugh.

Since sock yarn doesn’t count toward Wendy and L-B’s stashes, I won’t show you that. Instead, let us survey the yarns I have purchased with lace in mind. I took this photo in natural light, and I thought my camera was set for that, but all the reds/fuschias are WRONG. But, anyway, it’s dark now, so we shall make do.
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The green, conspicuous by being the only yarn not red, purple or blue, is Sea Silk in Sunlit Glade. That was a special color in a kit from Colorsong Yarn. I have 2 skeins of it and no intention of actually knitting the pattern from the kit, I just liked the color. Above is Frog Tree fingering weight suri alpaca in bright red, which I bought because I am a sucker for red yarn. I have about 1000 yds. Nestled next to it is a cake of Jaegerspun Zephyr in Admiral (1100 yds) and a skein of Schaefer Anne in Blue Violets (560 yds). The big Merino Lace skein in the middle is actually fuschia in color and not red (1000 yds). Next to it are two skeins of Knitpicks Shimmer in Happy Dance and Morning Fog (5 skeins total–I can knit a shawl for California) and a skein of Knitpicks Shadow in Vineyard. The ball at the bottom is Sea Silk in Berry. I think we can safely say that I am primed to knit lace. I’ve told myself that I have to start a lace scarf from Victorian Lace Today this week, as I joined the VLT KAL when it first started. The berry Sea Silk is heading for the needles! I mean that, really.

For yarns that I have in sweater amount quantities, you may start to see a color theme in my yarn purchaing.
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Upper left is Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Cardinal, a Christmas gift, so it must get knit up this year. It is for a seed stitch jacket that I may start to knit as soon as I finish the Landscape Shawl. All WIPs and no FOs makes Brenda an anxious knitter. To the right of that is a skein of Cascade 220 for a brocade jacket that very faithful readers may remember me mentioning back in the dawn of time (the color is better in the link back). Next is the evil Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Cottonball that completely failed to maintain gauge back in November. All is now frogged. And on the delicate subject of frogging, the Lamb’s Pride Bulky in Raspberry and Worsted in Periwinkle saw significant frogging today. Gone are two sweater backs and one front. I have about 2000 yds of each, so I’m thinking big and probably cables, but I haven’t gotten any farther than that. I love the raspberry color, it’s such a deep red. Finally, I found 1400 yds of Bryspun Kid ‘n’ Ewe, which I bought about 5 years ago cause I liked it. I need a project for it. It really is a lovely dark red-purple that looks like total garbage in the photo (sigh).

There are a few single skeins in my stash and a couple of specialty yarns I’ve shown you earlier, but otherwise, the above is pretty much it. I look best in cooler rather than warmer colors, but I think I may be a little heavy into the red-blue-purple yarn. I may need to buy some pale yellow yarn as an antidote. No, I won’t be limiting myself to just stash, but I will be knitting a lot of red.

First WIPs of 2007

2006 was my most knittingest year so far. I completed 14 projects, including one sweater. However, not everything I started in 2006 I finished, and I am carrying some things over. As I have a lot of knitting I want to do this year, I have been knitting furiously the last several days to turn some of these WIPs into FOs.

First, I have made it to the moss stitch chevron of the Landscape shawl. 37% done! I really like how the yarn variegation looks in the different stitches. At the very top, you can see the green stitch marker sticking up indicating the start of the moss stitch chevron. I’m on row 188, and on row 244, I get to start the final chevron of reverse stockinette. When I get to row 308 I get to bind off.
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As I mentioned in my last post, I had to wear store bought grey socks earlier this week, and I think my lone gingerbread cable sock noticed. I decided I better get its mate started before it rose up in rebellion. I really, really like how this cable pattern is working out on the socks. I will have to use it again.
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I would have finished this pair much earlier, but I am using metal needles and I didn’t want to risk having them taken away by airport security when M and I traveled over the holidays. So, over the holidays, I started a pair of Jaywalkers in Trekking XXL (color 159) on my new 6-inch Crystal Palace bamboo double points. I love these needles!! They are by far my dpn favorites: slick, pointy and warm to hold. The sock isn’t bad either, but it will have to wait for the gingerbread cable sock.
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Finally, I am knitting a pair of mitts for Michael’s college friend Karen, who with another friend, will be coming out to California from Chicago to visit us next month. Karen saw my screaming red mitts on the blog and wanted a pair in blues and purples. M promised her a very soft, warm pair of mitts and totally vetoed! fingering weight yarn, which the fine cabled mitt pattern calls for. I was a bit disgruntled at first until I realized I needed to go to my LYS, and then I perked right up. I found a skein of Lorna’s Laces Lion and Lamb Swirl DK in purple club. The merino/silk blend is really soft, and the DK weight should make a warm pair of mitts. My only problem was a complete lack of pattern. I am adapting the twisted cable mitts pattern I used in a chunky weight alpaca on the fly. So far, it seems to be working.
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Once these become FOs, there’s a second sock to knit for my mom, a new scarf for my Grandma Adeline (she confessed over Christmas that she lost the scarf I knit her a couple years ago, which she loved), the Aran Pocket Shawl, a scarf for the Victorian Lace Today KAL, the ice cream sundae socks…Why am I still blogging? Back to knitting!