Thursday, September 21, 2006

back on track

Theme of the week: getting back on track with things long left neglected.

For knitting, this takes me to a baby sweater that I started last summer. I'd finished the back and sleeves, but I put it aside because it seemed awkwardly short and fat:
The ten-month old baby this is intended for is already wearing the 18-24 month size I was knitting. No chance of getting more yarn since this was a discontinued color. I'm out of time - must get back to it before baby grows too big!

I pulled out the sweater this weekend and held it up to a shirt that the baby has recently been fitting into. Oh how embarrassing. Short and fat indeed! The sleeves are waaay too short, and the body is both short and hilariously wide.
Solution? Over the weekend I added a couple of inches to the sleeves, and I started reknitting the body in the round. I'm up to the sleeve join now, and I just have to knit the front and back in flat and then seam it up. Hopefully will have a finished sweater to show after this weekend.

I must say, it's lovely how the knitting flies off the needles when you're knitting with purpose.

Friday, September 15, 2006

FO Friday

Had myself a grafting derby last night, and I FINALLY got all the finishing done on two neat little objects.

Rustic Baby Sweater
Pattern: Child's Placket Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Yarn: Knitpicks Swish, color "truffle", 2.5 balls
Needles: size 7, 16" circulars
Modifications: Similar to the mods for the froggie version I made earlier, although I stuck with seed stitch instead of garter stitch. I used the stitch count for the smallest size but the length measurements of the next size up. Cast on fewer sleeve stitches (27 st for the seed stitch border) to avoid belled sleeves. Three buttonholes and coconut shell buttons.

I was on the woodsmen's team in college - splitting wood, throwing axes, chopping down trees, and all that. This sweater is going to a friend who was on the team with me, which is why I was determined to give it a rustic, woodsy feel.

Pattern: Grumperina's Jaywalker Socks
Yarn: Trekking XXL, color ???
Needles: size 1, KA bamboo
Modifications: none.

I am giddy about these socks! I wish I'd 'accidentally' made them too small for my sister (I've been knitting them for her) so that they'd get returned to me. Just kidding - If you're reading this, sister, it's a joke! More accurately I should say that my only previous sock-knitting experiences had been unsatisfying, such that this good experience left a strong impression. I can't say that I immediately took to it, as the tedium of small dps was not lost on me. But it was so gratifying that I'll be casting on for my own socks soon enough.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

knitting weather

Some people think 'Indian Summer' is a last, tantalizing taste of warmth and sun, making the transition to autumn even harder to bear. I think that it makes the first cool, crisp days of fall stand out in greater beauty and relief (and I do wish to evoke both meanings of this word).

Yesterday had all the trappings of summer: sunshine, high temperatures, lively farmer's market in Union Square, heirloom tomatoes, swingy skirts. But it also meant that my apartment was so sticky and stifling that I could hardly think. Thus it was with utter BLISS that I awoke this morning to a refreshingly crisp breeze and clear autumnal sunshine.

This, folks, means excellent knitting weather. And I spent a yummy hour curled up with a cup of tea and my newest knitting project.
The idea is to make a seamless, top-down, tie-front shrug, with either garter or linen-stitched borders. Here's the sketch from my knitting notebook:
You may notice several black paws in the above photo. I swear, I don't (usually) try to put Leila into the photographs. She \ gets excited when she senses a new activity and comes around to investigate, plopping herself into the midst of it. Eventually she got tired of being on the periphery and started voguing for the camera.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

play by play

cast off!! brown sweater is knitted, tossed in corner. 7 circular needle has been liberated!
grab for hat!! hands a blur
cast off again! very simple, very satisfying. the colors - much richer than shows in this photo - line up like little ocean waves.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

blues, in a good way

Back in Cambridge now. Leila (cat) seems a little blue about this turn of events. As for me, I'm a little annoyed with the painter outside my house who keeps whistling songs from Les Mis. But I'm taking solace in my yummy, richly painted Fleece Artist yarn. Since it cheers me up, I thought I might see if it could do the same for Leila.

I'm mostly done with a soft hat in the wool - just need to finish the rustic brown baby sweater to free up my other #7 circ for the top. I also started the mohair scarf in the "dainty chevron" pattern from Barbara Walker's Second Treasury on number 9s. But two inches was enough to see that I need a bigger needle and more open pattern. So much fun to play like this! I love, love every stitch with this Fleece Artist yarn.

Leila, on the other hand, seemed less impressed. I think she would have preferred to eat the yarn and chew on the needles. She consented to posing with the yarn, but always kept a few claws at the ready: