Thursday, December 29, 2011

Remix has arrived for Dutch Tunic

I've started the VK Dutch tunic. Remix arrived today and I started the back. I'm using size 7 and size 8 needles ... the yarn is luscious!!!

Take care, Sue

Monday, December 26, 2011

Herringbone Cowl Finished!!

Big win this Christmas!! My daughter repeatedly tells me she does not want me to knit anything for her because she probably won't wear it (she is very picky and hardly ever wears knitted items). So despite these warnings, last February I decided to press her and say "If I knitted something for you, not that I will, what color would you like it to be?" She said, "Cerulean blue, like the crayon. That would make my eyes pop!" So I bought two skeins of Malabrigo Worsted in a glorious blue and proceeded to knit her the popular Purlbee "Herringbone Cowl." I struggled with this pattern as was discussed in my post at the time (see post) but I picked it up again in November and finished it ON CHRISTMAS EVE! Kate rolled her eyes when she opened up the present, but she did say she loved the color!! Success!!

Hope you all had a beautiful holiday!! Love, Sue

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Vogue Knitting Favorites

I've had a subscription to Vogue Knitting since the mid 80s. I love every issue and browse through them constantly. I had an idea the other day about the designs I've loved but never knit! I'm going to make an effort this coming year to make at least a couple of these beauties.

The first one I want to attempt is an Anne Mieke design from the Holiday 1987 issue.

Anne Mieke's simply designed drop shoulder sweaters were in almost every issue in the late 80s-early 90s. I always ahh'd over this one although I never made it:

The description states: "A Dutch fisherman's smock inspired Anne Mieke's drop-shoulder tunic with seed-stitched side slits, back panel, and front-buttoned placket. Coin buttons close the placket and decorate the back panel. In a Classic Elite cotton/wool."

I think I'm going to use an eco-wool for this in a heathered beige. The original yarn was Classic Elite Cambridge, a cotton/wool worsted weight. I would need around 1,500 yards for size 38 (with the oversized fit bust measurement would be 50"). I'm leaning toward Berroco Remix, although the gauge is a little off (17 st per 4 in).

Stay Tuned!!

Take care, Sue

Friday, August 12, 2011

How to Stop A Guilt Trip About My Ravelry Notebook - Statistical Analysis!

So I made a pie chart of my Ravelry Notebook. Actually I don't feel so bad about this. Out of 125 projects, 72 are finished, which is 57 percent. I have a rule that I don't have more than 6 WIPs at a time, so that only makes 5 percent. 34 percent are in hibernation. 4 percent frogged.

So now that I've made a statistical analysis of my knitting, I can fling the guilt of mounting stash and rest on my laurels!!! (or my yarn piles!!)

Have a great weekend. Sue

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Shadow WIP list

I assume that most people who read knitting blogs know about Ravelry, so you will know when I say that chronic starters like me have a "SHADOW WIP LIST." That group of started items that you don't put in your Ravelry notebook. I guess I think of these items as shameful starts that I don't want to admit to, like my inner critic is saying "you started another damn sweater? What about the 9 WIPs you have on your RAV notebook? Don't you care about them?" Damn I hate that voice (and why does it always sound like my ex-husband!!).

So here I am coming clean about the things I've started since I was going to start seaming this cute baby sweater for my friend's new granddaughter:

or this very simple dish towel that I wanted for my kitchen (only 20 rows to go!):

Well it's time to come clean ... over the past week I've started another pair of flip flop socks, Norah Gaughan's Kaiju from Vol. 1 in Origami, and a new design of my own with some Red Heart Eco Cotton Blend that I got at Hobby Lobby in Elmira.

Ok, I got that off my chest. Thanks for letting me share. Now to get back to that new design. More about that soon. :-)

Have a great weekend!! Sue

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Two Finished Objects ... Glint Lace Jacket and Seduce Spiral Cowl ...

This is the wedding season and I just came back from my niece Lisa's wedding in St. Charles, IL (a suburb of Chicago). We had so much fun and a couple of weeks back I decided I wanted to make the Lace Jacket by Sharon Sorken from Vogue Knitting Spring 2010. See picture here, knit in the beautiful Artyarns Beaded Mohair and Sequins (retailing for about $60 a skein!).

I couldn't afford that so I decided to make it in the new Berroco yarn Glint. I bought 4 skeins from Webs in colorway Goddess to match the Banana Republic dress I had just ordered. Number 1 mistake: 4 skeins was not hardly enough yarn. Number 2 mistake: The Banana Republic dress didn't fit. I ended up getting a dark pink Calvin Klein dress and buying two more skeins of Glint. Here is my finished jacket:

This shot is unblocked.  I blocked the sweater by lightly ironing it with a cloth.  Here is a shot from the wedding with the lovely bride!

Sorry the beer bottles are in the way!! :-)

I have really been manic about starting things and switching from project to project lately.  I had two skeins of Berroco Seduce from the stash my sister-in-law Wendy gave me, and I had a hard time deciding what to do with them since the colors contrasted so greatly: green and purple ... so I found this great free pattern on Ravelry called Spiral Cowl by Kerry McKiernan (it had 971 projects!) and I decided to make it color blocked so so when the cowl folds, you can see the contrasts. I think it worked! Here's a pic:

So on to more knitting madness.  Mantra for today: I can't stop starting ... I must start finishing!

Take care, Sue

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Lily's Birthday dress

My grandniece, Lily, turned 1 year old on April 19, and I wanted to make her this dress from the Debbie Bliss Spring/Summer 2011 magazine.  This pattern was #14 and I made size one.  Lily is pretty small and I wanted it to fit her this summer.  Instead of the Debbie Bliss Eco Baby yarn I used Brown Sheep Cotton Fine: two skeins cotton ball and one skein in mint, with size 2 and size 3 straight needles.

This was an easy knit but since I started the dress in late March I knew I had to keep at it or I wouldn't finish.  The straight knitting stripes became boring especially since the fine yarn and small needles made the progress slow.  But I stuck to my guns and finished most of the dress by the day before the birthday party (which was on April 16).

Don't you know while driving with my mom to the party I was seaming and picking up stitches for the finishing touches.  Why can I never get it into my head that even though I've finished all the pieces, the seaming and finishing sometimes takes just as long as the knitting!  Ugh.  I apologized and told Sara, Lily's mom, that she would eventually get this pretty party dress.  I was happy that I joined the party and forgot about the unfinished dress and spent time with my family (instead of sitting in a secluded part of the house trying to finish the damn dress!)

I actually ended up finishing the dress a couple of days later after I came back home.  I had already picked up another project when my daughter Kate said, "Mom, I'll mail the dress to Sara if you finish it tonight."  Ugh, she knows me too well.  So I got the dress back out and finished it in a couple more hours.  It was actually finished on April 19, Lily's first birthday.  Kate put it in the mail the next day.  I'm hoping Sara sends me a picture soon of Lily wearing it.

Damn I forgot to block it.  There you go, perfection messing with my head again.

I would definitely recommend this pattern to anyone thinking about how cute it would look on a little one.  The Brown Sheep Cotton Fine was a very good substitute.  The pattern is very straight forward.  I would put it an intermediate beginner level because the yarn is fine.

Take care, Sue

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I'm wearing my new Box Cable socks for St. Patrick's Day.  I made them last weekend.

I used the Toe-up pattern by Ann Budd from Interweave Knits Summer 2007.

I love this pattern because it not only makes nice fitting socks but it is very easy to improvise different patterns.  On this pair I used a cable pattern from my VK Stitchionary for Cables. The Box Cable is #141.  I used the pattern on the 24 sts on the instep and then when I reached an inch beyond the heel I switched to 4st cable and 3 purl st rib.  I have also perfected the sewn bind off by Elizabeth Zimmerman.  This makes a stretchy top so that you can actually fit the socks over your heel!! You can find this method in any of her books.  I used the Knitter's Almanac.

I also made the socks a little bigger so that I could felt them a bit.  I love this wool for socks but if I don't felt them a little right before I wear them, they will felt A LOT the first time I wash them.  I ran them through with some pants and then hung them to dry and they fit really great.  

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!  Wear your green socks!!!


Friday, February 11, 2011

Tangled Up In Blue or how to mess up the most popular pattern on Ravelry!!

So about mid-January I coveted (with the rest of the knitting world) Purl Soho's Big Herringbone Cowl designed by Whitney van Es. I wanted to use some stash that I had, a cotton wool, Cascade Sierra in light purple, because I knew by the time I finished it Spring would be here (although cowls will still be hot I'm sure).

My first attempt came out a wild mess ... the 17 needle was a bit too big and my stitches were ugly and uneven.  So I frogged (note this is frog #1 for whoever wants to keep count).  I went down to a 13 needle and after knitting about 10 rows the stitches looked great but the gauge was WAY too tight.  Stitches were supposed to be about 4 an inch and I had almost 5 and a half.  So I frogged again (#2) and cast on 290 stitches.  I was sailing along and then MY CABLE BROKE ON MY NEEDLE.  Cheap plastic crap!!!

 I was so frustrated at this point I put it down and made a pair of slippers.  It is freakin cold in Ithaca!!!

So I was telling my daughter about how much I loved this Big Herringbone Cowl pattern and I asked her if she would like me to make her one. "Yes," she said, "my favorite color is Cerulean Blue, like the crayon."  So I just got paid, so I went to my favorite LYS, Homespun Boutique, and as soon as I walked in I saw two beautiful skeins of Malabrigo worsted in what I think is pretty close to Cerulean Blue.

So I also bought size 15 needles and started my daughter's Big Herringbone Cowl.  The yarn was luscious and the color was amazing.  I got to about 4 inches.

It was coming out lovely.  Then the yarn started twisting around the cowl and while I was trying to untangle it I realized OH NO I TWISTED THE STITCHES ON THE CAST ON!!!!!  FROG #3 on Cowl #2!!!! And here is what it looked like after a frustrated frog - TANGLED UP IN BLUE ...
What a mess.  Well, this catastrophe waits for me on my kitchen table until I have a spare 72 hours to untangle it.  I'm sure there is a Frog #4 in my future.  God Bless all the lucky ravelers who are wearing their trendy Big Herringbone Cowls down a frigid 5th Avenue. I'm sure you look awesome. grrr.

Stay tuned. Sue

Thursday, January 06, 2011

My Favorite Christmas Present

Here is a video of the Christmas present I bought myself.  It's a Japanese music box that plays "Both Sides Now," a song by my favorite artist, Joni Mitchell.  When I bid on it at ebay, I was worried it wouldn't meet my expectations, but I was so happy when I got the package yesterday.  The lid is a wood carved, painted yellow finch, and the music sounds beautiful.  I'm so happy!

Take care, Sue