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April 23, 2006

Finished: Apricot Jacket

The pro-finishing camp won out...I sewed her up!

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The Specs:
-Pattern: Apricot Jacket, from Rebecca No. 27
-Yarn: Handwork Cora substituted for GGH Java (not an exact substitution).
-Skeins: 8 balls in Caribbean Sand
-Needles: size 8 bamboo
-Start to finish: September 2005 - April 23, 2006
-For: Me!

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Sizing: The substitute yarn knit up a bit under gauge so I decided to follow the directions for the larger size and hope for the best. The finished cardi has the same measurements as the smaller size, so it worked out pretty well considering that I did no math. I also lengthened the arms by about an inch to make it tall-person compatible.

Seaming: My sleeve setting-in skills have always been sketchy at best so, just for fun, I tried crocheted seams* for the sleeve caps. Folks, we have found a winner! It could be argued that the seams are slightly bulkier but they look pretty dang fantastic (if I do say so myself). I stuck to good old mattress stitch for the sleeve and side seams.

Buttons: The buttons are vintage mother of pearl (three different patterns but all the same size) that I got in a jar of old buttons from the thrift store.

Final Verdict: It's a winner! I recommend this one highly...the pattern is interesting, it knits up quickly, and it’s v. flattering. I can see myself wearing this one a lot this summer!

p.s. Don't forget to copy out the errata if you're making this one.

*I couldn't find a good link...it's basically just a slip stitch crochet through both layers of knitting.

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April 20, 2006

Back at it

I'm back at work after a nice long weekend with the family. I didn't take a single picture the whole time I was in Michigan so you'll just have to conjure up your own images of familial easterly bliss. We shopped, we crafted, we watched movies, we ate lots of yummy food...all the important stuff.

Over the weekend I located the last few things I need to make the Weekender Bag for the sewalong. I finally decided on some coral fabric to coordinate with the bird fabric I want to use. It isn't what I'd originally envisioned (I thought I'd go green), but I think it'll look pretty cool for the piping and the lining.

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Once I got home and looked at the pattern a little closer, I realized that I need to go out and buy yet more stuff (heavy duty sewing machine needle, fabric marker, different pins, a yardstick...). I've never seen a pattern that called for so many materials! Who knew these bag things were so complicated? I see in the instructions that there is even a "false bottom." Geesh. I may have gotten myself in over my head here.

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but it's so cute...

In knitting news: I finished the sleeves for the Apricot Jacket. They are blocking contentedly on the living room floor and should be dry by the time I get home tonight. And yes, I am fully aware that I messed up one of the eyelets on the right sleeve there. You can chalk it up to Mr. Darcy...I was knitting that bit while we watched Pride and Prejudice.

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The next question is...should I seam the sweater or start working on the bag?

April 12, 2006

Jacking up the Apricot

The Apricot Jacket is back, folks. Look, I finished the fronts!

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I finished the knitting on these Sunday night. Things went pretty smoothly after I managed to get the ribbing at the bottom correct (you are looking at attempt #3 there). The sleeves are on the needles as I type and, if I don’t get all distracted, I might be able to finish them before I head up to Michigan for Easter weekend. I'd like to say I'll have everything finished and sewn up by the time I get back, but I tend not to knit much when I'm around my family. They bring out my slothful side.

FYI: the finished cardi will be about the same color as the lightest bits shown in the pic. This yarn looks all orangey and blotchy when it's wet.

In other news, The Rib and Cable socks have been gifted. After much rigorous brother-in-law testing, Natey declares the Mountain Colors Bearfoot to be Not Itchy. There you have it folks. His sensitive footsies have spoken. Selah.

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April 4, 2006

Ships and Shoes and Sealing Wax

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There are exciting things afoot at Chez Elliphantom including, but not limited to:

-The Indiana Fleece Fair is on Saturday! Plans are to meet up with Wendie and (try) not to spend too much money. It's not Rhinebeck, but it's ours. Anybody else going to be there?

-I joined the Sew? I Knit! bag-along. Yes, making the needle case woke the sleeping seamstress within. Don't worry. I'll be making a knitting bag. Well, technically, you could argue all my bags are knitting bags. I'm sewing the Weekender Travel Bag by Amy Butler. Hugely ambitious, possibly disastrous, but oh so cute!

-I bought some vintage grosgrain ribbon at the thrift store this weekend (see pic above) and want to make something cool with it. Anybody have any ideas? I may possibly make a belt, but (horizontal stripes about the midsection not always being the wisest fashion choice) I'm open to other possibilities.

-Progress continues on the Apricot Jacket. Unfortunately I don't have anything to show since I had to rip out two evenings worth of knitting today. It should be noted that, when one copies down errata, one should copy out ALL of it. Not just some of it. Bah.

But I am very upbeat about it. Yes indeed. Over and out.

March 27, 2006

Back before Yak

[warning: this entry has a high colon count]

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Update on Spring/Summer 2006 Gift Knitting Ban:

You may recall that as recently as my last entry I was promising that this would be the summer of knitting for me? Er, this is terrible...but I’m already adding to the list. This week:

a) Baby sister Kricket got engaged. She wants River from Rowan 38 for the wedding (normally elli + lace shawl = disaster, but I love her. Stay tuned to find out if love does indeed conquer all).
b) Friend S. (one of my baby buffers*) is preggie. Boy due on July 4. I may have panicked and accidentally uttered the words “I’ll have to knit a sweater” in the presence of the baby bump. No going back now.
c) Thunk asked for a new hat. If you saw the old one you would knit one too.

Just don’t let me add anything else, ok? This is it. I promise.

This weekend was spent doing adult things, like catching up on the budget. The bad news: not much knitting was accomplished. The good news: I have more yarn money than I originally thought. Coming soon: a picture of my second expensive sock yarn purchase. Tee-hee.

Update on minimal weekend knitting progress:

a) I finished the first cable and rib sock, which was a bit of a disaster (still might be). More on that later.
b) The whole time I knitted on the sock I was lustily eyeing my unfinished Apricot Jacket. As I have completely forgotten where I was in the pattern, I blocked the already finished back so I could feel like I was working on it. Next up: figuring out where on earth I left off in the pattern.

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remember me?

p.s. Thanks for all the really sweet comments about the pattern! I’m still a tiny bit afraid that the first person who tries it will declare it completely unknittable, but I guess I’ll just have to wait to find out.

*baby buffers: those people who you point to when someone asks if you are planning a family and you say “I’m waiting for X to go first.” Being a cautious person, my buffers number as many as the sands on the seashore.

January 16, 2006

I have a little secret...

I've been hiding WIPs from you. Shameful, I know. To be perfectly fair, I haven't worked on any of these in the time that I've been blogging--they've all been loitering at the bottom of the knitting basket. Since I've been in a cleaning mood lately, it seems like an appropriate time to introduce you to the Projects Which Languish:

Apricot Jacket from Rebecca 27
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I started her in September. I got 500 kinds of insecure about knitting a cotton blend. I put her down.


Heirloom Bag from Rowan 37
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This was started over Labor Day when my sister Rae came to visit. She wanted to crochet something (being good at that sort of thing) so I gave her the leftover KnitPicks Shine from the bolero I'd just made her. I had some other colors sitting around (originally for Anouk) and she whipped up all of the crochet motifs in about a half hour. I started the bag part, but once Rae went home I lost steam. Mostly because the colors are, well, a bit vile. But I'm going to finish it. And besides, Rae just asked me about it on the phone last night.


Flower Basket Shawl from Interweave, Fall 2004
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The oldest WIP going, I started it last spring when I thought I'd get a jump on the Christmas knitting. It turns out that I hate knitting lace. A lot. I picked it up again this fall and didn't get much more accomplished. It is slow. It is tedious. It makes me want to eat glass. I'd be crazy to rip out all my hard work now, right? The really sad part is that people keep citing this as an easy beginner lace project. Oh the shame.


Regia Socks

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Also started last spring…a pair of toe-up magic loop socks. Much to my surprise, I loath the magic loop. I'm going to be a total wimp and finish these on dpns.

So there they are. Hopefully putting them up in the sidebar will motivate me to finish them.