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What’s not to love? The cool weather, pumpkin pie and leaves changing color are all wonderful but what I also love are all the sweaters! Everywhere I go I see fabulous knitwear that makes my closet seem boring. Okay, my closet’s not too boring but I can’t stop coveting other people’s sweaters, hats and scarves. I sit in church and focus my attention on the backs of people’s sweaters. I have been known to follow shoppers a little too closely at the supermarket because I was trying to burn a stitch pattern into my eyeballs so I’d remember when I got home. It never works, by the way. I only remember that there was something that I loved. So far I’ve never been bold enough to snap a picture but one of these days I may just have to do that.
This is the season that causes my knitting mojo to come out of hibernation and so here it is- my first finished project of the season. It’s the Essential Tank Top from the book Lace Style. A knitted tank top, you say? True, a tank top is not the most common item of clothing this time of year, but it’s an awesome layering piece and here you can see it in action on a cold, rainy, blustery Portland day. The merino/silk blend of the Knitpicks Gloss lace yarn is really pretty and warm, even in lace tank top form. This was my first time knitting a lace garment where size mattered and it was a little nerve-wracking. I didn’t really know if it would fit until it was all done and then I was convinced it was too big until I seamed it all up. Ahh, perfect. I love it and will wear it all season and I’ll keep wearing it when the weather gets warm.
I carried my camera around all day and went some pretty places but the wind and rain canceled any hope of a pretty photo shoot. Mike snapped these pics as we were grocery shopping when we were tired and windblown but hey, it wasn’t raining! I’m loading up more canning jars in the car. I have a whole basement of canned goods now and these are the latest addition to my food stockpile- A whole lot of quince products. I got quince practically free from a nice lady on Craig’s List and they just may be my new favorite fruit.
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My kiddo is just about to turn 2! It feels like time is flying by but then it also feels like little Sesame has been with us a lot longer than just 2 years. I barely remember life before her sometimes! We’re having a birthday bash this weekend and I whipped up this cute and colorful banner for her party.
I cut the triangles out with the top edge along the fold of the fabric, so they’re double sided. They’ll probably flip around when the wind blows them so I wanted them to be pretty on both sides. I folded them with the wrong sides together and sewed along the edges using the rolled hem stitch on my serger. (side note: My husband is awesome. When I told him I was sewing the flags he said, “You’re not sewing, you’re overlocking.”) The letters are cut from white felt and I attached them with fabric glue.
I attached them all together by sewing a length of rick-rack along the top edge. I can’t wait to hang them up for her party!
Now that she’s nearly 2, Sesame is getting to be quite helpful around the house. At least she thinks she’s helping. Here she’s trying to wash the dishes. She mostly just got water all over. Notice where she’s standing- not on the platform of her learning tower, but on the rail. The kid is fearless.
She’s wearing some shorts that I just finished knitting. She wears a wool soaker (or woolly as we call them) at night so these will be nice for the summer. They’re a short version of the Perfection Pants that I’ve knitted before. I used one skein of Cascade 220 Quatro that I had left over from a cardigan I knitted. I embroidered some flowers to make them a little cuter and added some extra stitches in the bind-off of the cuffs so it made a little ruffle. It just needs a drawstring. They were falling off of her when I took this picture- her little bottom is not really so square shaped.
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First I want to thank you all for the nice comments, emails, and tweets about my new website. I’m still adding some pictures to it and tweaking it a little but I’m really excited about it.
I have several finished items that I’ve neglected to share on the blog. I keep wearing them and forgetting to take a picture and when I do think of taking a picture, they’re in the laundry or some other unphotographable state. But no more! What’s more, even though I knitted them a while ago, they’re lace so I’m thoroughly enjoying them this grey, sunny, hailing, heat wave, cloudy, normal Portland spring. Winter and Summer fight over who should dominate Spring, but eventually Summer always wins out.
In the meantime, I will wear these lovely green socks. The pattern is Polly Jean (though I had Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean stuck in my head the entire time I spent knitting them) and it’s a free pattern! I changed it up a little. I subtracted a couple stitches from the cast-on since I like my socks pretty snug. I also opted to not to the twisted stitches, though they do look pretty, just because I don’t like to knit twisted stitches.
Thirdly, I did a basic 2×2 ribbing for the cuff instead of the 1×1 ribbing called for in the pattern. I like how snug the cuffs are but I did lose the way 1×1 ribbing would have flowed right into the main pattern. To that I say oh well. I love these socks! I also love that the yarn was free. It’s Louet Gems that I won in a contest. How awesome is that.
Another free lace pattern with free yarn. These super soft fingerless mitts are Cafe Au Lait Mitts (free Rav download).
The yarn is Bouton d’Or Ksar and I got it from a secret pal a while back. It’s 50% camel and 50% wool and is so amazingly soft! I had 2 balls of it and I have maybe 1/2 a ball left. I wish I had a thousand balls of this yarn. I changed not a thing on this pattern and I love love love my mitts.
In other news, I have doing a ton of gardening! I really want to put a picture of my garden on here but, like my knitting, every time I think of it, the conditions aren’t quite right for picture taking. Things are starting to grow and I’m excited for the summer when everything will be leafy and full of vegetables. I’m looking forward to a summer full of yummy salads like this one from Eco Metro!
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I love this little dress! Like everything I’ve knit recently, it’s making wasn’t without a near-disaster. It was almost ruined when I put it on the little ungrateful toddler and she had a screaming fit and yanked at it so hard that she totally stretched out the buttonholes and I was afraid for the hand-stitching. Luckily it survived (with lots of buttonhole reinforcement) but not until I took a time-out from her, though lying down on my comfy bed while mentally fixing I dress I just finished making and trying to tune out the sobs of “mamaaa, mamaaa” and little toddler fists pounding on my door is not very relaxing.
I shouldn’t have been too surprised. She was crying just seconds before I took this picture, I thought she was going to ruin this sweater with the yanking at the neckline the first time I put it on her and she even had a fit when I first made her wear this little cardigan and it’s made of cashmere and silk! What a terrible mom I am. She doesn’t cry about new store bought clothes so I’m trying really hard to not take this personally. At least she gets over it and is usually more cooperative by the second wearing.
The pattern is the Two Summer Sundressand it’s pretty darn clever. The straps can uncross to add a little more length and the straps have 2 buttonholes too. This one can grow with the kid. The yarn is Cascade 220 Superwash so the whole thing can go in the washer. I will definitely make more of these, although I may have to try machine sewing my knitting, something I’ve been avoiding. I hand-sewed the skirt to the bodice but it was a little tedious.
Finally, a sunny day and a willing husband! Here are pictures of the cardigan I finished last month. I would show you my face but it was sunny and I’m all squinty. I love it (the cardigan, not the squinty face). It’s so simple and cute and warm but not too warm. It’s just a basic top-down raglan and I saw the horseshoe lace pattern on this cardigan and loved it so I added it to mine. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to close it so I employed the knit-now, decide-later method and as it turns out, I can just shove the buttons through the knitting so no buttonholes are necessary. Simple and easy.
The best part? I got this fabulous hand-painted yarn (blue mountain fiber arts icelandic) in a yarn swap! The color in the first pic is more accurate. Someone took my crap and I got this. It’s hard to imagine it being someone’s crap but then again, that’s probably what someone is saying about my unwanted yarn.
One more thing I love- signs of spring!! It really is coming.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged FOs 2009, sweaters on January 22, 2009|
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I had a birthday and Washington threw a big party! It was for Obama, I know but it was fun to celebrate with the rest of the country. Whether you voted for him or not, weren’t you at least a little glad to see someone without the Bush name take the office?
I like this picture of the new team waving bye to Bush.I’m happy for our country and eager to see what Obama does in the months ahead.
As for me? I’m one year older and hopefully wiser and probably a little heaver due to the delightful coconut cake Mike made me from scratch. He really is the best.
I’ve been knitting more sweaters. Today is my mom’s birthday (Happy birthday, Mom!) and I knit her this fabulous little cardigan. It is both good and bad that we are about the same size. Good because she lives in another state so she couldn’t try it on and see if all my modifications were going to work. Bad because the sweater now fits me perfectly and I really want it for myself! I’m happy to give it away because my mom deserves it and I know she’ll love it.
It’s Bianca’s Jacket from IK, and from the moment I saw it in the magazine, I knew it would be perfect for my mom, though I made some big changes. The yarn is Ella Rae Shibu (90% silk, 10% viscose). My gauge was off so I had to account for that. Luckily I could get the right numbers to have the lace pattern work out right without too much fudging.
I knitted the body straight, instead of a-line because that’s what my mom prefers. I also made the cuffs narrower then the pattern called for. The jacket is pretty short as written so I added quite a few inches to both the sleeves and body. The sleeves are now bracelet length and I’m hoping they’ll be that length on my mom too because I think it’s really pretty.
Oh, and the best part about this little sweater? It only took me 3 weeks to knit! (Better then 2 years, right Mike?) I then had to carry it around with me for a week while I looked for buttons andI thought it would never dry after I blocked it so I still ended up putting it in the mail at the last minute.
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You do not know how happy it makes me to be done with this sweater!
It started about 2 years ago with Mike picking out his yarn, and hours spent finding The Right Pattern. He settled on the Spartan Pullover from IK, but wanted it to be a cardigan and the design at the bottom to be a little simpler. I did the alterations, started knitting and it became apparent that the size wasn’t working. I frogged it and refused to start on it again for a while. I eventually scrapped that pattern and that led to more time spent finding The Right Pattern #2. Mike’s a little particular but I don’t really mind because the end result is that he wears his handknits and loves them. Here’s the first blog mention I can find about this sweater. The sleeves I say I’m done knitting were part of the frogged version. That was almost 2 years ago! Apparently I started on this final version back in May. Pattern #2, the winning pattern, is Avast from Knitty, but when I started knitting the cabled band that goes around the bottom, we both decided that it was a little wimpy. I found some better cables and pretended to let Mike pick, but I vetoed his choice and went with this one because it’s what I wanted to knit. Hey, the knitter should get some say in the matter. In fact, I don’t even think Mike would remember that this wasn’t his fist choice except that now I’m reminding him.
Have you knit a sweater for a grown man before? It’s a lot of stockinette. There were many times this got pushed to the back of the line, like when little sesame was born, or when summer came around (for the 2nd time) and I realized he wouldn’t wear it right now anyway so why hurry finish now?
The weather got cold again and the guilt grew, as did the demands from Mike that it be finished. I started working on it again then realized that any simplicity caused by knitting it in the round (no seams!) was completely offset by all the turned under edgings (so many seams!). It was worth it because the edges look awesome.
Then there was the blocking, the measuring and the ordering of the zipper (all easy) followed by the waiting for the custom zipper to arrive (hard because we’re both fairly impatient at times).
Finally, every last edge is sewn under, ends woven in, pesky armpit holes sewn shut, zipper sewn, more edging seamed and he’s worn it twice in a week! Ahhh. The relief of being done, and of it being a success, is fabulous.
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