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May 29, 2007

Almost there...

Two Demi sleeves, blocked and ready for action! All that's left is to knit up that little shoulder-flap-thingee that has the button holes in it (I'm sure it has a name, but it eludes me at the moment). Then we're on to Finishingland!

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Hello. It's dark in here.

Something about the shapes and colors in this photo remind me of this fossil fuels stamp. Maybe I should try cabled trilobites next time?

May 20, 2007

Finished: Plain Old Socks

I seem to have accidentally finished some socks!

POS_1.jpg
I need some sun. Real bad.

The Specs:
Pattern: A toe-up version of Priscilla's Dream Socks by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, from the Fall 2000 Interweave Knits (also in the subscriber-only portion of their website).
Yarn: Trekking XXL.
Skeins: A little under one ball of color 110.
Needles: Bamboo dpns, sizes 1 and 2.
Start to finish: March 19 - May 18.
For: Me!

Notes:
This has been my brainless take-along knitting for the past two months. Considering that I just did a few rows here and a few rows there, I was pretty surprised when I suddenly found that I was finished.

POS_2.jpg
Thunk says I'm not really this white in real life. Really.

I achieved toe-up-ness on these by starting at the toe "seam" with a non-invisible provisional sort of cast-on (basically the long-tail cast-on onto two needles, alternating stitches between needles until I had my 76 stitches). I held one needles-worth of stitches on some dental floss (makes your knitting nice and minty! Just don't use the whitening variety) until I had completed a short-row toe. Then I just I put the held stitches back on the needles, knitted the foot, executed a PGR shortrow heel, and proceeded up the leg. Easy-peasy!

The Yarn:
As plain old sock yarn goes, I love Trekking most of all because of the colors and the way they never come out the same way twice. It's common for the colors in two of the three plies to match up, creating a dominant color band, but this was the first time I've ever had all three plies synch up. You can see where it happened on the ankle of one of the socks...there's about an inch or so where it looks a little more rainbow-riffic. I thought about cutting this section out of the yarn, but I kind of like it.

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Final Verdict: Nice warm socks, just in time for summer!

May 16, 2007

Bluesleeves

For any of you out there who doubted me when I said I was going to finish up those stubborn lingering FOs, lookie here!

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Oi! Demi sleeves!

It's slow going here in Sleevetown, but I'm plugging away. As usual, I'm working both at the same time so that they come out the same size. I keep reminding myself that if I was only working on one sleeve I'd be twice as far, but somehow this never makes it any easier. I just want to be done!

Though that in itself poses a problem since I have no idea how I'm going to manage a FO photo-session without passing out from sweater-stroke at this time of year. I would totally do it in a cave if it weren't for that pesky lack-of-natural-light problem. Come to think of it, all the cold-in-warm-weather locations I can think of are a bit short on natural light. Your average basement...the ice rink...a meat packing plant...

Good thing I have a bit of knitting to accomplish before I have to decide.

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accidental color-combo inspiration from the violas

May 13, 2007

Mother's Day

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Happy Mother's Day, Mummy! I love you!

May 10, 2007

Finished: Flower Basket Shawl

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The Specs:
-Pattern: Flower Basket Shawl, by Evelyn A. Clark, from Interweave Fall 2004.
-Yarn: Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud.
-Skeins: Two 50g skeins in the color "stream heather" knit doubled. 95g used total.
-Needles: Size 10 Brittanies.
-Start to finish: Spring 2005 - April 29, 2007.

Notes:
Started way back in the spring of 2005, this shawl has been lurking in the bottom of my knitting basket for a remarkably long time. It was the first lace project I ever attempted and I'm not ashamed to admit that it kicked my heinder the first time around. But what a difference a couple of years can make! I pulled this one out and finished up the remaining 3/4ths of the shawl in less than a week (much of this on a single Saturday I spent at home recovering from a stomach bug).


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Put on your party dresses kids, it's a finished flower basket!


The Pattern:
I can't say I loved knitting this one, but the pattern was everything it needed to be: clear and free of mistakes. I found that using a large number of stitch markers and counting my stitches at the end of every row really helped keep things moving along smoothly.

The Yarn:
Nice and soft and insanely affordable. The alpaca makes this one Very Warm shawl.


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Mods:
Way back when I started this one I must have decided that I didn't like how small the shawl looked in this picture, so I went up three needle sizes from a 7 to a 10. Time went by and I forgot that I had done this, so when I picked it back up again I decided to add two lace repeats to ensure that it wouldn't be too small. I used a short set of straight needles (not recommended, I could hardly get all the stitches on there at the end) so I had no way to know how big this shawl was until I bound off and held it up. Turns out that mine is a whole 14 inches wider than the original...larger than I had anticipated, but just fine with me!

Final Verdict: You have no idea how satisfying it is to finish this one up. Happiness all around!


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May 9, 2007

Feeling Shawly

Wow, thanks everybody for all the nice comments on the baby sweater! Imagine me all pink and blushy. I think that I can safely say that I have sufficient motivation to get that pattern written up.

In other news, we got out and took some shots of the Flowerbasket Shawl yesterday. Let me tell you, alpaca shawls are not for 84 degree days. And how is it 84 degrees already anyway? I don't have enough time to do a whole FO post right now, but I thought I'd quick give you some pre- and mid-blocking shots to keep you occupied and marveling about the miracle of lace.


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hello, I am lumpy.


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smooooooth...

May 3, 2007

Finished: Mossy Baby Sweater

Hey look, it’s a finished baby sweater! This one has been waiting for its write-up for over a week, but lately life has been getting in the way of blogging. And returning e-mail. I'm working on it, I promise!

M_F_moss.jpg
Oh fine, it's not the same color as moss.


The Specs:
Pattern: My own.
Size: About 3 months.
Yarn: GGH Samoa (50% cotton, 50% acrylic)
Needles: Size 7 circs for the body, size 7 straights for the sleeves.
Start to finish: March 4 - April 24.
For: Little Nephew E.


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I couldn't find any snakes or snails or puppy-dog tails, so you'll have to settle for pine-needles and rocks.


If you cast your mind back to early March, you may recall that this sweater started out as a slightly modified version of this pattern from Rebecca Baby and Kids No. 8. After about 100 bazillion modifications, I ended up with what you see here.


The Plan:
I wanted a baby sweater with similar construction to the EZ baby sweater: knit in the round but with sleeves knit flat (though they could be done in the round. Whether a short little seam or knitting in the round takes longer is a bit of a toss-up). I knew I wanted zig-zaggy cables (I can't get enough zigzags. I bet you never noticed).


M_B_moss.jpg


What really happened:
That was about where the planning ended. I pretended to crunch some numbers and cast on. After I knitted my way to the bottom of the sweater I decided that the neck was too small (resulting in the great backwards seed-stitch rip-out of '07). And then there was the night I decided I didn't like the spacing of the buttonholes so I dropped back the button-band stitches and picked them back up with new yarn-over buttonholes in the proper spots. And we won't go into how I knitted the first arm three times before I got it to look like it would fit a human baby (as opposed to a t-rex baby).

I feel a little bit like I knitted the middle of the sweater first and then fiddled around on the edges for a long time. Maybe because I did?


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Patternage?
I took a bunch of notes thinking that maybe I'd write out a pattern, but I feel like I need to knit this one again the way normal people knit (you know, from the start to the finish without all that wishy-washy rippyness) before I put it down on paper. Luckily, people just keep having babies so it shouldn't be too much of a problem finding another one to knit for.


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Tree, tree, tree...tree, tree, tree...


Final Verdict: I like it! Even if it was the slowest fast knit ever executed.

p.s. I finished up the Flowerbasket Shawl last Sunday! More finished object goodness coming your way soon! (Though I do realize that "soon" in Elli-land has come to mean "sometime hopefully in the next week.")