Thursday, August 19, 2010

Shrug it off

As promised, here are the details of my latest finished project! (I love how the light in this picture makes it look like the sweater is the Holy Grail or something, haha).
I had two skeins of Seacolors wool from my Mom that I wanted to use for a sweater. Last time my Mom gifted me some of this yarn it became the modified Cloud Bolero by Ysolda. While I'm normally not a huge fan of shrugs I decided it might be useful to have in my wardrobe and it seemed like a good solution to the "how to get a sweater-ish item out of two skeins of yarn" problem.
So here it is- a heavily modified version of the Textured Circle Shrug by Stefanie Japel. While there are a lot of things I like about the original (namely the neck and the ribbing details) my yarn limitations required some big changes.
The most noticeable difference is that I removed all the reverse-stockinette texture. I never liked it that much to begin with so that was an easy change. It was harder to say goodbye to the 1x1 ribbing sections but ribbing eats up yarn like the dickens, so that was a no-go. I also knew I wasn't going to be able to achieve the same length so I shaped the front with short rows to try to get as much bust coverage from the yarn and some length in the back, without using up yarn on the neck.
This project was very free-form, I knit until I decided I wanted short-rows, then I added some in, then I knit some more. I kept my eye on the ball of yarn to try to figure out when I should start the border and cast-off. Then I decided I could add some length to the arms (and improve the shaping with decreases) so I ripped the arms back and knit them out again.

I'm not totally in love with this project, and I'm not sure if it's because I'm not a shrug-lover in the first place, or if it's because the modifications make it a little odd. At least my stash-busting adventures have continued, and I'm hoping that once cool weather rolls in I'll find this to be a useful little sweater.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Knitting progress

Please behold my newest finished project, the Foliage hat by Emily Mooney. This was a fun and fat project and I want it for myself (or to knit another one for myself). It has a really nice slouchy fit to it when it's on. Plus it used up another skein of spare yarn and will be gifted with that scarf I did the other day (forgot about it? here it is) for a combo Christmas and Birthday present . I'll have to post more pictures of it in better light, and I have a secret project that is almost finished and ready for its time in the spotlight!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Awesome Giveaway

One of my favorite crafting (and general awesomeness blogs) is hosting a very cool giveaway. Go to Jones Design Company and check it out. Or just get some very cool inspiration for DIY projects. I love the paper wreath they show (although my inner librarian definitely cringes at seeing pages ripped out of books!).

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sweater Love

We need to have a talk. About how in love with this sweater I am!!

Meet the Delancey Cardigan by Alexis Winslow.
This is one of those sweaters that I see and I don't even want to knit, I just want to steal the sample so I can be wearing it Right NOW! Oh wait, it's still 90 degrees outside... But you get the idea, I think this sweater is amazing.
Not feeling it yet? How about the amazing back? And don't even get me started on the delicious shawl collar (my favorite in sweaters). I'm picturing doing one for myself with a soft heather/oatmeal color for the main color, and then a light heathered lavender or purple for the stripes, although the bold orange on white combo is perfect for the retro feel.
Aack! Too much awesomeness for just one garment! I think I'm going to try a little taste of reason however. I'm F O R C I N G myself to knit up more of my stash, and get through some of my Christmas knitting before I buy a whole bunch of yarn and dig into this amazing project.

But Delancey, I'll be dreaming of you!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Twist Collective

Hi my name is Lulu and I have an addiction to Twist Collective.

Really though, it's amazing, and if you don't know what I'm talking about go here!

Do it now, do not stop, you can thank me later.If you needed a little incentive to click that link here is the amazing Acorns cardigan by Carol Sunday.

Or perhaps you prefer the more feisty Hazelwood by Robin Melanson?
Don't tell me you could possibly resist this absolutely adorable cardigan. The whimsical Cityscape by Laura Chau.
And if you're not already salivating on your computer, how about the lovely Anthera by Janel Laidman which includes a beret, cowl, and cuffs (and I think we all know how I feel about a good cowl).

I absolutely adore Twist Collective, and I'd been itching over the last couple weeks to see when the Fall one would come up. With other pattern sources I might like a couple of items in them, especially with Knitty where I might be lucky to find one thing I like. But Twist Collective is totally my aesthetic; beautiful and classic. Remember my Vine Yoke Cardigan? That was Twist Collective at its finest. Plus they have some of the best articles, like knitting in Peru, or life on a fiber farm. When a new one comes out I always make sure I have plenty of time to read everything and savor all the amazing-ness!

Why are you still reading me ramble on about them? Go. Check. Them. Out!

Winter White Cowl

The herringbone cowl is complete! I now want to knit everything in herringbone. I'm so in love with the texture, the easy peasy stitch pattern, everything about it!
I think the cowl will be gifted, although I will need to make one for myself. I had always had a cowl aversion but then it's like a flip switched, maybe when I accidentally dunked one of my long scarfs in my coffee one too many times, or when I got it caught in my coat's zipper, again. But now I'm loving these super functional items, and they make amazing stash busting projects. I'm sure everyone is relieved that I have moved on from my love of hats. Just have to say that I never understand people who say "I don't really wear hats," ummmm, doesn't your head get cold?!? We live in New England people! Not Abu Dhabi!!, phew I feel better getting that off my chest.
Anywho, here is one last photo, and it is full of the ridiculousness that comes from finishing knit items in summer, oh the insanity, modeling cowls and summer dresses together in one photo.

Time to pick my next project. Hmm, I would like a hat with a side of stash-busting.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Projects Projects Everywhere...

But not a cold front in sight!I know in the knitting world there is often the discussion about summer knitting. As in, do you like to, can you, if so what do you make and with what fibers? While I wilt like a fern when summer rolls around, I have obviously not taken a complete hiatus from knitting. Some of my projects stick within the realm of traditional summer knits (aka little projects) such as the cowl above that I finally finished with a picot edge, and the herringbone cowl below.

However my other project I'm currently working on is a sweater for my mom. And no, it's not cotton, bambo, silk, or any other summer-heat friendly fibers. Luckily though it really hasn't been that bad. I definitely took a break from anything fiber related while we had a heat wave in Boston that caused my apartment to be a steady, broiling, ninety-five degrees. That has now passed though and my knitting needles are back in my hands where they belong!
I'm happy to get a start on my Christmas knitting, plus I take Elizabeth Zimmerman's advice in Knitter's Almanac to heart. When suggesting to start knitting mittens and hats in August and September she points out that if you wait till it's cold to start these cozy projects you are going to have some unhappy (and chilly) waiters!
However that should not be my fate as some of my Christmas knitting is already done! Plus I made a lot of progress over the last week on this sweater for my mom. It now has a front and a back, which is good for modesty sake, and they have been joined together. Now it just needs some sleeves and for A L L of those loose ends to be woven in. Eek! I guess that's why God created the audio book though! To distract me through all of those pesky little finishing parts of knitting!