FO: Nubby Cardigan

Well, this sweater has been done for a while; I’ve worn it many times. However, it was hard to find a non-rainy-foggy day to take some photos. We finally got ONE sunny day, so in the morning I stood at the edge of the muddy field of winter wheat next to our building and Michael took some photos.
Nubby Cardigan
All in all, the sweater’s a success with caveats. The pattern, Nubby Cardigan, from the Autumn ’08 Knitscene was great, and I was excited to knit a sweater by designer Deborah Newton, whose book, Designing Knitwear, was a major inspiration when I was a newbie knitter. It was easy and fun to knit, and I think I did a bang-up job on the knitting, and my best job yet on the finishing. I’ve come to enjoy matress stitch–it’s like magic!
Nubby Cardigan from back
Nubby Cardigan from side
The collar hides the raglan sleeve shaping, and it’s those raglan sleeves that are the problem. It took me a while to figure out why the sweater wasn’t as comfortable as I thought it should be. It’s big enough around, but the armsyce for the raglan sleeves is too shallow. I’m long from collar bone to bust, and I need more length there. The sweater doesn’t hang properly for long. I also have to wear it buttoned or it starts to fall off my shoulders due to the heaviness of the gigantic collar. So, here in California, it’s only good for very cool days.
Nubby Cardigan: off center
On the plus side, I like the Lamb’s Pride Worsted very much. A lot of knitters don’t seem to like single ply yarns, for reasons I don’t understand. This was fine to knit with, and the cables and textured stitch pattern worked very well. It’s also taking hard wearing pretty well too. The colors this yarn comes in are so rich, I’m sure I’ll make something else with it in the future. And I love the Jonah buttons I bought from Shelby of Heartstone Creations. They are ceramic and durable. Many’s the time I’ve taken the sweater off and dropped in on my desk at work and heard the buttons plink on the desktop, but they have remained chip free and as good as new.

In summary, I’m glad I knit the sweater; it was fun. I love the color and the buttons, and it keeps me nice and warm on a cool day. I just won’t knit straight raglans anymore. Good thing I don’t mind setting in sleeves!

Two WIPs: Only One Requires a Brain

The “little grey cells” have been letting me down lately. My counting skills have degenerated to those of ancient humans, which had only three numbers: one, two, and more than two.

I got started with the giant ball of yarn from my last post, which is the Corvid species of BMFA Raven series in BFL Sport. I originally bought the yarn to knit Audrey in Unst (it is the yarn called for in the pattern), and when I opened the box, I thought, “This is NOT sport weight.” It isn’t. The label says 4-5 spi on US 8 needles. That’s worsted! Ravelry calls it DK and the BMFA lists it as “variable.” Yes, well, not good for Audrey, but wonderful for Frost Diamonds by Stefanie Japel from the Winter ’09 Knitty.
I cast on, knit chart A, started chart B, and then I lost my ability to count. Row 3 of Chart B took me an HOUR. I think I’ve fixed it. I’ll count tomorrow. I don’t know what happened.
Today, in the 10 min of sun we got between waves of downpours, I got this photo. You can actually see the greens and purples in the yarn. It might be a good thing that the lace pattern is hard to discern.
Corvid Frost Diamonds-chart A

So to keep from having to twiddle my thumbs, I did some stash busting, and started a Josephine Shawl with some SWTC Karaoke yarn. It’s all garter, people. Just one little YO one stitch in along one side.
Karoke Josephine Shawl: 25%
The YOs form the hypotenuse of the right triangle (the needle cable is in the lower right leg stitches), so the stripes are at an unusual angle for a triangular shawl. I only have 4 skeins (436 yd), so we’ll see how big this gets. But I can safely say, it will be big enough to wear in some way, and that yarn will be out of my stash.
I’m keeping this project in a new bag my brother gave me for Christmas. He does a lot of photography, so he took this photo of my family’s cat, Katrina, and used a photo transfer to put it on the bag. Isn’t it a cute bag! Thanks, Bunky! You’re my only favorite brother!
Project bag from Tom
Now if only Katrina wouldn’t hiss at me when we visit. Since I got her two of her most favorite (after food) things in life–liberty to roam the entire house at night and a combing with a fine tooth comb to decrease hairballs everyday–you would think she would purr and be friendly. But, no, just hissing, just for me. Perhaps her little grey cells are out of order too.

FO: Norfolk Island Pine Cowl

What do you do when the sun refuses to shine for the seventy bazillionith day in a row, it’s either foggy or raining outside all the time, and you can’t decide what large project you should start knitting? Why, teach yourself magic loop and knit yourself a cowl! At least that’s what I did, since I hate/loathe/can’t stand and despise knitting with a 16-inch circ. I even used yarn from “deep stash” (i.e. can’t remember where I bought it or when)!

I used the video tutorial from http://www.knittinghelp.com, and it was very helpful, especially as the tutorial lady and I knit continental. I then cast on for the Norfolk Island Pine Cowl that I found on Ravelry. On the third try, I had success! The first try, I didn’t give myself enough “nascent” loop at the end of the right needle, so I couldn’t make the circle tight. The second time I thought I had twisted the stitches, but on the third try, when I thought that again, I realized I hadn’t either time. Then it was zippy fast to the end.
Norfolk Island Pine Cowl
Rose quartz on the left, cowl on the right!
When it’s too warm outside to wear it, I can use it as soft sculpture on our mantle. ;)
Norfolk Island Pine Cowl on mantle

Pattern: Norfolk Island Pine Cowl by Saccade Elyse (see link above)
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted in Limeade (although if offered limeade this green, I wouldn’t drink it); used about half the skein
Needles: US 8, 40-inch circular
Mods: Knit 8 instead of 10 repeats of the lace

Here’s one last look with the 660 yd ball of BMFA BFL Sport yarn in Corvid from the Raven Series that I wound up to start a big project.
Norfolk Island Pine Cowl and BFL corvid
It’s a big ball of yarn!

FO: Glace Vest

Well, after 2 weeks of overcast skies in California, M and I spent the holidays in Illinois and Wisconsin, dodging blizzards and arctic blasts. We came back to CA on New Year’s Eve, and for the next 48 hours I  despaired that we would never see the sun again. But late Sunday afternoon, the skies cleared (briefly)! I put on my striped shirt and my Glace vest, and I coerced M into taking some photos out on our patio.
Glace Vest: front view
My eyes are all squinty; the sun must be shining!

This turned out better than I expected it to. I really thought it would be horribly small, but other than perhaps making the ribbing a tiny bit longer, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Glace Vest: back view

I liked the construction, which did the ribbing across the front, split for the V-neck, rejoined with a back-of-the-neck stitches cast on and then knit down the back to the bottom edge. The only finishing was seaming the ribbing together at the sides. Very neat!

Glace Vest: side view

The pattern called for Rowan RYC Silk Cotton, which I did not have, but I did have more than enough Valley Yarns Goshen, so I used that instead. Goshen is much more drapey than the Rowan yarn (which my blogless/Ravelry-photoless friend Elsie used to make her Glace). I think the greater structure of the Silk/Cotton from Rowan works better in this application, otherwise, I didn’t have any problems with the Goshen. It’s not my favorite shade of pink by any measure, but, hey, it matched the light-colored stripes in my shirt.

Here’s the look M got when he told me to “run your hands through your hair and pout for the knit blog.” I think shooting with the DSLR camera is going to his head a bit.
Glace Vest: annoyed

Stats:
Pattern: Glace from Rowan Classic Summer Delights. Size to fit 36-38 bust.
Yarn: Goshen from Valley Yarns (Webs); 48% Peruvian Cotton/46% Modal (rayon)/6% silk; color 05, mauve; 6 skeins; 92 yd/skein
Needles: Addi Turbo, US 8
Modifications: I did not knit the ribbing on smaller needles, as I am not a 36-38 around the top of my hips.

I’d like to knit this again in a wooly yarn, but who knows when I’ll get to that!
Well, three more FOs to go to wrap up the 2009 handknits. Let’s hope for some more sun, or at least not gloom.