Saturday, May 30, 2009

Self inflicted yarn drama...

I did a silly thing the other day. I was buying yarn for my February Lady Sweater, and I found some beautiful Louet Riverstone worsted weight in fantastic shade called "French Blue." There was actually a sample of the sweater knit up in the store in the same yarn, and while the yarn looked a little chunky for the pattern I couldn't resist the color and got some. I then met up with my knitting buddies at Windsor Button in Boston, and soon saw some Nashua Handknits in an Alpaca/Wool blend that was the exact creamy-goodness color I was envisioning for the FLS. So what did I do? Well of course I bought four skeins of the Nashua.

What happened next? Did I act like a sane person and return the french blue yarn? No, no I did not. Instead I have begun a frantic search for a beautiful pattern to use every gram of that blue-goodness. That afternoon I drove both myself and the salesperson crazy looking through EVERY book and pattern booklet for a pattern to use approximately 1,100 yards of worsted weight wool in the most lovely color you can imagine. Of course because it is late May most pattern booklets are featuring cotton and bamboo, or fingering weight shrugs. I have not yet given up the fight though, and there are several options that I'm considering but I still haven't been struck by the perfect pattern. I'm counting on Ravelry to help me through this self-inflicted yarn craziness!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sweater updates

So here is the second sweater I've been working on; the February Lady Sweater, an awesome adaptation of the February Baby Sweater from Zimmerman's Knitter's Almanac. It is going ok so far, although I am developing a buttonhole phobia and have yet to make a good one. I think it may be coming out a little small through the chest area and if I can't block it out I may have to gift it. Now it's time to work on the sleeves!
Ignore the weird face I'm making, the sun was in my eyes and so was my hair!!

Here is the completely finished sweater I did (my first!) which was a heavily modified version of Ysolda's Cloud Bolero. I picked mother of pearl buttons because the yarn reminds me of the ocean and I thought the buttons would fit well with the style (rather than doing buttonholes I just fit the buttons through the yarn on the button band, why? see my comment above about my increasing "buttonhole phobia").

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Just another Ipod Bag..

This is my sister's Christmas present, I designed the pattern (graph paper is my new best friend) with some help from the Harmony Guides: Colorwork Stitches. It's a simply 2x2 rib pattern, then one or two plain rows of stockinette stitch before an eyelet row which I threw some I-cord in for a little bit more contrast. It was a little fiddly doing the color changes while also carrying the green and I had to do some fiddly float traps since the pattern has long stretches of main color in between the contrast color. I finished it with mattress stitch up the back, Kitchner stitch along the top, and rather than weaving in all those fiddly ends I secured them and trapped them under the lining (cheating I know! mea culpae). My favorite part of this project is that it is lined (I used the material shown in the photo) so that nothing will snag on the floats and it has an extra bit of fun pink. My little sister is into music and band so I figured what's better than a music note Ipod bag or small purse.

Now that I've gotten through the easy part of my Christmas knitting it's time to start on sweaters, scarfs, and purses OH MY!!

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


So I'm just waiting for the Grey's Anatomy season finale, and while I'm on tenterhooks over whether Izzie will live or die I figured I would share some of my favorite knitting blogs with you.

Flint Knits has great patterns including some kick-ass free ones like the February Lady Sweater that I'm very happily knitting right now!!!

Elliphantom Knits great projects and even better writing, every post on here is SUPER!!

Twist Collective
mmmm beautiful presentation of fun and quirky patterns, plus fantastic articles (like the spring of lamb-a-palooza!)

and that is all I can share, it is now time for me to cry like a baby about fictional characters...

Friday, May 8, 2009

Ipod bag extravaganza

On the left is Smariek's Four Cable Ipod bag in self striping sock yarn and on the right is my Cascading Leaves Ipod bag in rowan cotton

Both my boyfriend and I have a lot of sisters. Which means I have a lot of knitting for Christmas. Which of course given my OCDness means I have already started knitting and have finished his sister's presents (stocking stuffers will commence in October). Ipod/Cellphone bags have got to be God's gift to Christmas knitters, done in a day or two they're cute little stash busters that also give you a great opportunity to practice new techniques.
Rick's Masculine Ipod bag (maybe he won't "loose" this one)

For these projects I've actually been able to try (and even perfect one or two) important techniques. I've dabbled in cables, lace, and color work, memorized the Kitchener stitch, and finally have made it to the point where my mattress stitch is not embarrassingly bad. The above piece is actually the first color work I've ever done!
I am prep monster! Champion to all things PREPPY!

This little guy was the second color work piece I've ever attempted, and also the first chart I've ever done!! Once I get a cleaned up version of the chart for the pattern I will share it with all of you.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cascading Leaves Ipod Bag

This pattern was created to fit an Ipod classic and would also work well for a cell phone. The stitch pattern "Cascading Leaves" comes from The Harmony Guides: 440 more Knitting Stitches Volume 3 and is a great source of knitting patterns and inspiration.

Yarn: Rowan Handknit Cotton, 50g/93 yards pattern uses less than 1 skein
Needles: US size 2
Gauge: 5-6 stitches per inch in stockinette

Cast on 40 stitches on DPN, join to work in the round
Row 1-5: Work 3x1 Ribbing (knit 3, purl 1)
Row 6: p 3, k 3, k 2 tog, k 1, yo, p 2, yo, k 1, ssk, k 3, p 3, knit to end of round
Row 7: p 3, k 6, p 2, k 6, p 3, knit to end of round
Row 8: p 3, k 2, k 2 tog, k 1, yo, k 1, p 2, k 1, yo, k 1, ssk, k 2, p 3, knit to end of round
Row 9: p 3, k 6, p 2, k 6, p 3, knit to end of round
Row 10: p 3, k 1, k 2 tog, k 1, yo, k 2, p 2, k 2, yo, k 1, ssk, k 1, p 3, knit to end of round
Row 11: p 3, k 6, p 2, k 6, p 3, knit to end of round
Row 12: p 3, k 2 tog, k 1, yo, k 3, p 2, k 3, yo, k 1, ssk, p 3, knit to end of round
Row 13: p 3, k 6, p 2, k 6, p 3, knit to end of round
Repeat rows 6-13 five times, or until piece measures approximately 4.5"
Work one row just knit stitches all the way around
Divide stitches evenly between back and front of piece and graft using Kitchner method (tutorial coming soooon!)

P= purl
K= knit
K 2 tog= knit two stitches together
YO= yarn over
SSK= slip, slip, knit two slipped stitches together (tutorial coming soon!)

Sweater Success!!

I am proud (and amazed) to say that I have completed my first sweater! A huge part of the success comes from the fact that Ysolda Teague created a great, easy pattern with Cloud Bolero so I had no problem following the directions for the yoke, and then after that I did some adaptations.
Here you can see the completed version, and for anyone interested in doing the same modifications as me I'll lay them all out here:
1. After completing section 1, rather than binding off arms in picot, transfer them to waste yarn
2. After section one do three rows in garter stitch (to look like purl, knit, purl from the right side) then do stockinette stitch for the rest of the body with three stitches in garter on either edge
3. I didn't cast on any stitches in the underarm section and it's a great fit (I did size medium for a 36" bust
4. At the bottom I did three rows of garter stitch before binding off to mimic the transition from the feather and fan to the stockinette stitch
5. Once I knit the body I picked up the arm stitches, adding one or two extra from the arm pit to make it a tight connection, and knit the arms using the magic loop method. My sleeves measured about 3.5" before I did three rows of garter stitch and bound off.
I'm really happy with this sweater and still can't believe that I made something that wasn't a simple hat or sock. If anyone else out there is like me and struggling with first sweater phobia then Cloud Bolero is the place to start, see my previous post for the pattern source.

This yarn was a birthday present from my Mom and though you can't see it in the pictures there is great color variation. The yarn is dyed in seawater and to me it just looks so oceany with blues, greys, greens, and I really wanted a project that would show the yarn off and use ever precious inch of it!

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

My all time favorite knitter

I've been working at the library for 8 hours and still have another 2 to go (extended hours for finals) but luckily I've had my knitting and the internet to keep me company. I've been working on a modified version of Ysolda Teague's Cloud Bolero (more to come on this project later) and had to frog a huge section due to a significant sizing mistake on my part, I'm talking about 10-12 inches of ease, and since I don't believe I will be needing maternity clothes for a couple years I had to get rid of the increases and make it a normal size. Anyways, to cheer me up, here is my favorite knitter, and favorite claymation dog: Gromit of Wallace and Gromit fame.

Friday, May 1, 2009


I am a reference librarian by trade and have recently been dreaming of creating a knitting tutorial or two. Plus my travel blog keeps getting taken over by my knitting adventures, so I figured I would create a happy little corner for all my knitting stories, potential triumphs, hints or suggestions, or tidbits that are just too good to keep to myself. May this blog soon be full of happy knitting goodness!!

Happy Knitting!