Saturday, November 24, 2007

Knitting up a Storm

Ta da!!!

My Tilted Duster is finished!!!

OK, I confess, it's actually been done for over a week now. I even wore it to a workshop last Friday and got loads of compliments on it. That's really the big payoff for finishing a sweater, right? ;-)

And no, I didn't quite get the buttons sewn on yet. So sue me. I would probably never wear them buttoned anyway, and I really hate sewing buttons on, may or may not happen.

But I am soooo happy with the new sleeves! When I re-knit them I added another inch to the length and I think they're just perfect now. :)

Pattern: Tilted Duster by Norah Gaughan, Interweave Knits, Fall 2007
Size: 36"
Yarn: Berroco Peruvia
Color: # 7140 Purpura
Needle Size: 10
Mods: Made the sleeves one size larger than called for in the pattern since my first ones were such a disaster. But I think that's user error and nothing else.
I also made the sleeves 4 1/2 inches longer than called for because I'm 5'10" and I have long arms, dammit! (You know, just in case you were thinking of giving me a hard time.)

But wait! There's more! I whipped up the Koolhaas hat from the Interweave Knits Holiday 2007 issue for my little sister:

Try to ignore the fact that my hair was not made for little knit caps and concentrate instead on the pretty cables. :) I wish I had looked at the pattern more closely instead of seeing a picture and immediately ordering needles because, let's face it, those cables were a pain in the ass to do in the round and there were a lot of them! It got easier as I went, and I would actually consider making the hat again, but the first time tested my patience.

Since I used Cascade 220, and since I swear a skein of that stuff is like one of those giant, neverending jawbreakers that you can lick and lick until your tongue gets bloody and it still won't shrink, I used whatever was left from the hat plus another skein to make this ribbed scarf. It is currently 40" long and I have one more skein of yarn left so I'm going to improvise a pair of mittens from it and add the leftovers to the scarf and pack it all up for my little sis. I'm debating about whether or not to block the scarf out a little to separate the ribbing, or if I should just leave it as is. Any suggestions?

And still, there's more! I cast on for my Dollar and a Half Cardigan the other day. I'm already nearly up to the armholes on the back panel.

I'm using the same yarn called for in the pattern: JCA Reynolds Soft Linen. I was a little wary of the yarn because I was afraid it would have all the give of mercerized cotton, but I have been pleasantly surprised. This stuff is a little stiff coming off the skein, but it softens up very quickly. I'm sure this will make a nice lightweight cardy when I'm done.

The only concern I have right now is that the pattern pulls in quite a bit. I already had to go up a needle size to get gauge, but I am going to have to do some major blocking to get this thing wide enough.

You can also see that the lace sections pull in a lot more than the stockinette sections. I have read on other people's blogs and on Ravelry that if you're not careful the sweater can take on a "Michelin Man" effect. Not flattering at all. Some people overcame this obstacle by switching to a smaller needle size for the stockinette sections. I didn't read these accounts until after I had done most of the back, so I'm just going to continue as is and hope that a severe blocking will make everything right. This is one of those times when I really wish I had some blocking wires though. I am going to have to stock up on heavy-duty T-pins instead.

So how did I manage to get all this knitting done? Well...blame it on the writers' strike. Seriously. My boss gave me the week off because no scripts coming in = nothing to do at work. I was more than happy to stay home and knit. I even got a stack of books out from the library and I am on my 3rd one. It feels good to be interested in reading again, and it was nice to have something to read on the treadmill that wasn't industry-related. And since it was Thanksgiving week, The Brain was able to spend several days at home with me too (he's a prof so when campus is closed, he stays home). It's our first wedding anniversary today so it's really nice to have a built-in long weekend around it. Ah...I could get used to this! :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Yeah, I Know...I Lied

Yeah...remember in my last post how I promised a photo on Tuesday of my finished fingerless gloves? And then how I didn't post them? Well...when I said "on Tuesday", I really meant "whenever I flipping get around to it". I just forgot to mention that.

So here they are:
Pattern: 'Dashing' from

Yarn: Trendsetter Yarns Tonalita

Mods: None

Final Thoughts: I'm a tight knitter to begin with, and I didn't check the gauge (and btw, am I the only person who has to look up the proper spelling for that word every time I use it?), but I figured that since it was a pattern for men's gloves, they would fit me just fine. Well...they do...once I get them on. The cables tend to pull in quite a bit so I have to struggle just to get them on and off, but they're very comfy while I'm wearing them.

In other project news, I'm waiting for some needles to come in the mail so I can get started on some quick and easy hats for my little sister and neice. In the meantime I started knitting up a sock (shocker, I know, since I'm not a huge fan of knitting socks). But I have a copy of Sensational Knitted Socks that I never use, plus a boatload of sock yarn from a clearance Knit Picks had ages ago. And I can't afford to get any new yarn until January when my student loans come in (I don't have to buy many books next semester, so it's only fair that I spend the money on yarn, right?), so I'm just going to knit up the yarn I already have until then. I don't like having a lot of yarn lying around anyway. I prefer to get yarn for a specific project and then use it up. But I'm weird like that.

Oh, and I blocked my new and improved (?) Tilted Duster sleeves on Sunday. I'm just waiting for them to dry so I can seam them up and stick them on. I seriously have no idea what happened to the last ones because these ones seem quite huge and I didn't have to stretch them out when I was blocking them at all. I thought I was going to rip the previous ones in half just to get them into the right dimensions. It is a mystery that will haunt me, that's not true. I'm sure I'll forget about them as soon as the sweater is done.

And finally, I took the leftover yarn from the previous sleeves, soaked it, and hung it up to dry. I'm going to use this yarn for one of the hat and scarf sets for my neice. And yes, those are cans of spaghettios hanging in the yarn.

How did I have time to get all this done with my busy schedule? boss gave me the day off! Things are weird at work right now, and if the strikes keep going, I may not have a job (full-time internship, really) to go back to pretty soon. If my blogging regularity starts to pick up, you'll know the reason why.