Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Lots of Finished Knitting

Here's the front of the Silky Wool tank I've been knitting from Elsebeth Lavold's yarn and pattern. I like the strap pattern especially, and it's kind of boring knitting until you start the lacy leaves pattern. The thing that really surprised me is that I'm running out of yarn! I never run out of yarn, and usually have some (or a lot) left over. I'm knitting this at the correct gauge, and I'm even making it shorter by several inches than the pattern specifies. She calls for 4 skeins, and I started on the fourth one as I was finishing the front, so I'm way off, and it really makes me wonder. I checked Lavold's website for errata, as I could tell there was a YO missing from the lace pattern, and the lace pattern correction was there, but no mention of more yarn being necessary. It's really a puzzlement. I was able to order more from Yarn Country, and they had my dyelot too. It shipped today, so I will have it very soon. Here's a close up of the lacy leaves pattern on the strap.

Last night I also finished the second sleeve of my Bobble/Cable sweater! I am really thrilled about that. Of course, by the time I was onto the second sleeve, I had finally memorized enough of the pattern repeats that I didn't need the chart except for the center panel, which is tricky. It would have gone much quicker all along if I had been able to do this sooner. So, now all I have to do is sew the second sleeve on and do the collar. Pictures as soon as I'm done, which may be tomorrow, I hope!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Lupines on Finigan Ridge


These beautiful lupines are among the wildflowers we planted along the road when we developed Finigan Ridge. They're about 2 feet tall, and beautiful enough to be in any garden. What a great view, too! Posted by Picasa

May Flowers

Here's the first waterlily of the season. It's small, but lovely. This is its second day; they usually last 3 days, closing at night. The fish get all thrilled whenever I come by. I suppose they think it may be dinner arriving.

It rained hard, over an inch Tuesday night, and there was a lot of small hail, which really beat up the peonies especially, but you can see that a few of these poppies lost their petals too. They're such a fluorescent orange that they look unreal, but they're the same every year, although this is the best show so far, with more buds yet to open.

I was knitting out on the swing this evening and the Peep was out in the yard. I came in to take a phone call. When I went back out, the Peep was just coming in, very upset. He had clumps of hair (not his) all over him, and in his claws, and his middle claw on his left front foot had been jerked out and his paw was bloody. Obviously I missed a big fight. I think this must have been his first experience like this alone, without the Catso, and it didn't go particularly well, although the other guy must have a claw stuck in him somewhere at the least. I can't believe I didn't hear it, even from inside. I've got a cold and my ears are kind of plugged up; I guess that's my only excuse. Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 19, 2006

Color Everywhere

My package from Elann came today, and what fun! All the yarns look so summery and lovely. I'm planning some summer shells, mainly with my old favorite Berroco pattern.
The top left is Katia Jeans.
Top right is an OnLine yarn which will be part of a belt, somewhat similar to one shown in VK's Winter issue and in this earlier post, which includes a picture. I will add other yarns to it, but I liked this base color.
At the center is one of Elann's new undyed yarns. It's a nylon Ladder Lace, and I think it will make up as a nice shell.
The bottom two are Schoeller yarns, which will be shells. They're similar colors, but one is coral and one is rose, and I like them both.

Anyway, that's the plan for now. Changes have been known to occur!

I also ordered a couple pattern leaflets, one from Berocco for their Silk yarn, which has a laced front cardigan with interesting stitch patterns, and I now find out that is it rated as Extremely Experienced. Who knew they even had a rating like that? I'll have to see how it goes. I scanned through it quickly, and it mainly looks like you have to do a lot of shaping on both sides of a piece at the same time, while doing pattern stitches. I hope it's not worse than that.

The Dale pattern book I ordered includes this cardigan, shown in two colors, which I just adore! It's very much a ladylike, dressmaker-suit jacket style, and as I've been told, and pretty much agree with, that's me. I like both the velvet ribbon whipped edging and tie on the navy, and the more cording-like edging on the tan.

I also got a couple more Bryspun circular needles. After extensive personal research, I have concluded that these are the quietest needles on the market. Practically silent in most cases. This is very important, as I get many complaints around here for knitting loudly (i.e. making tiny sounds now and then). Anyway, I've tried a lot of needles, and I really like these, besides the fact that they're quiet. Everyone told me that bamboo was the way to go, but they're no better than Addi's in my opinion. I love Addi's for knitting, but for silence, the Bryspun are the way to go.

I will leave you with a view of my earliest peony, which only opened yesterday, but already looks like it's seen better days. It's 90 today, and getting windy, so they may not last long. I have a couple more further from the house, and they open successively.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Front of Toy Shell Done

Here's the front of the shell from Schachenmayr's Toy yarn. What a very silly name for a yarn, but whatever. I like the way this turned out, and I think the back will go more quickly, as I'm doing it in the smaller size. This sizing strategy has worked out well before, and I hope it will again.

Here's a photo of what's left of the spring flowers, taken from under the deck. The iris are just beginning to come into their own, and the peonies are about to pop.

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A Very Simple Knitted Shell


When I was trying things with the matka jacket, I ran across this knitted shell that I've had for years. It's the perfect color with the jacket, and in fact, because of all your kind, encouraging comments, I wore the jacket yesterday with this, and I think it is going to grow on me somewhat. I even got a compliment from a lady at the grocery store on the beautiful color combination! I think Mardel was right when she said that since it was not my usual style, it may not conform to my image of myself. That was an "aha" moment for me! So, I will give it a fair chance and see how it goes.

Anyway, I began to think that this shell might be a fun project for any knitters, or crocheters out there. It's done in a very loos gauge, and has only simple armhole shaping, and very slight neckline shaping. It's basically a square/rectangle, with an icord drawstring at the waist. I didn't make this one, but I did a couple crochet versions years ago, when sweater vests were popular, but I've always liked this as a shell. It's kind of a mohair-y yarn, and would be very quick. That's the project for the day, I guess. Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 15, 2006

Matka Marfy Jacket


I finished the silk matka Marfy 9411 jacket yesterday. I hope to get some better photos of it, but you can get the general idea here, anyway. I like it open better than closed. I think it may be the wrong length to be flattering on me, and I'm not sure that classic blazer styling is ever going to be great on me. Live and learn, but slowly, seems to be my motto. I do like the color, and I think it will be nice with the border print skirt and embroidered organza blouse I am beginning work on. You can see these fabrics with the Matka, below.


Here's a closeup of the jacket on a hanger. You can see the pink and white silk lining. These jackets always seem to look odd on a hanger, as they have a lot of shape built in, and when hanging, they look almost misshapen. Strange shadows also seem to be the norm for this fabric, and I had a horrible time getting any photos that were halfway decent, and I'm not really pleased with these, either.
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Sunday, May 07, 2006

One Sleeve To Go

I finished the first sleeve of the Cable/Bobble sweater, and made it quite a bit longer than the pattern specified, as I have long arms, and I also was attempting a slightly less dropped armscye than the original. I was worried that I didn't have it long enough, and I've also been a little worried about the fit in general, so I sewed the shoulder seams, set in the sleeve and sewed the side and sleeve seam, and tried it on. I think it's quite good, and maybe better than I'd hoped. The yarn I'm using, Silky Wool, seems to be quite a bit finer than the Rowan that's called for, and it has a different drape than the VK photo. I'll have to see whether I still think it's an improvement when it's all done, but so far, I like it. Anyway, it's spurred me on to get with it on the second sleeve, and I'm done with one bobble pattern repeat so far. 10 rows done, and only about 200 more to go.

As soon as I took the fabrics from FabricMart down to my sewing area, I held the silks up to the Matka jacket, "just in case" and was pleased to find myself liking the pink and white stripe with it. So, I think that it will be the lining for the seafoam Matka. It looks quite cheery, and I don't think it will matter that the silk is slightly crisp, rather than very soft. It might even be a plus.

Friday, May 05, 2006

FabricMart Order Arrived

The 2 fabrics above are from my FabricMart order. I ordered 4 lengths, but two were sold out, and unfortunately, they were the ones I was depending on. Sigh. That's about the way it goes, unfortunately. Anyway, I am planning a camp shirt from the turquoise, and the wild silk print was just kind of a spec fabric. I thought it was really nice, and it may be a lining and a blouse for something.

I also ordered 2 bundles, which I have not done before. This photo shows the Silk Bundle. They did quite a nice job of coordinating colors with things I have ordered, for the most part. The lime duppioni matches the silk print perfectly, and I think I'll wash it a couple times and see if it softens up. It's pretty stiff right now, as you might expect. The deep plum silk is a sheer, and the turquoise is a sueded charmeuse. The pink/white stripe will probably be a blouse.
The free bundle includes a muted lime print which feels like either a stiffish silk or a rayon, and has a vintage look to it that is quite appealing. It's not bad with the duppioni either. Also, a linen/cotton print which I like a lot, a nice blue shirting, a fine black wool, black/blue houndstooth wool and a black knit with floral print. So, all in all, not too bad. I'm not sure I'll try a bundle again soon, but it was kind of fun. I thought it was nice that they gave me the free bundle even though my order was under $100 because of the sold-out items. Not my fault, but still very nice.
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