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December 11, 2006

Finished: Beau

Beau_tracks.jpg


The Specs:
-Pattern: Beau, by Kim Hargreaves from Rowan Vintage Knits.
-Yarn: Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran.
-Skeins: a little over 7 skeins in the color Muffin.
-Needles: size 6 for the ribbing, size 7 for the rest.
-Buttons: vintage, from the stash.
-Start to finish: November 4 – December 8.
-For: my brother-in-law Natey for Christmas.


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Notes: I knitted the second smallest size and, apart from having to go down a needle size to get gauge (something that rarely happens since I tend to knit tightly), I just followed the pattern as written. Man-sweaters are just big squares, so there isn't much to change.

The Yarn: I really like the way the fabric knitted up. It's an aran weight but it's still nice and light. Also, even though it's not a yarn I'd necessarily classify as soft (it's just plain old wool from what I can tell), it's not itchy. You could knit with this stuff with no pants on, if you were so inclined. To bad they've discontinued it.

The Pattern: Easy-peasy people. The design is interesting without being technically challenging and it's not so fussy that your guy'll refuse to wear it (well, I'm sure there are some exceptions out there but we can't please everybody all the time). I might have to make one of these for Thunky sometime. I do have that RYTA I was going to use for Finn.

Knitterly Confession: I set in both of the sleeves wrong-ways out. But you would never have known if I hadn't told you, right?

Final Verdict: We won't know for sure until Christmas, but I think we can safely call this one a winner. If Natey doesn't like it I'll knit him something else and give this one to Thunk.


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We couldn't resist doing our own Rowan hottie shot. Here's the original for comparison. All we're lacking is some ivy, a few days stubble and a French accent.

December 6, 2006

waiting for the light

Beau is all put together! All I need to do is sew on the buttons and steam those sleeve cap seams a bit. I've been putting that off in favor of some spinning since we won't actually be able to get any photos with natural light until this weekend. Beau deserves more than a bed shot. Ick. For now you get a teaser:

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sunlight courtesy of me sleeping in yesterday morning...

The brown lambswool there will (hopefully) become another Christmas gift. Depending on how the yarn turns out, it could be any of a number of things. I'm in as much suspense as you.

And, in case you doubt me about the light thing (which I'm sure you don't, because it's probably just as dark where you live), here's what the sky looked like at 5:30 last night:

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Dark. Pretty, but dark.

December 4, 2006

Warning, slow finisher

Here's where Beau was around 1:30 yesterday afternoon:

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In case you had any illusions that I am a fast finisher, here's how the rest of the day progressed:

2pm - 5pm: attached shoulders, knitted on collar and one button band. (So for those of you keeping score, that's: 2 three needle bind offs, 8 cm of ribbing for the collar, and a few cms of knitting for the first button band).

6pm - 11:30pm: knit other button band on, set in two sleeves using newly found miraculous technique called "backstitching” (am VERY slow backstitcher). Mattress stitched one side seam. In here you can also count the three times I dragged Thunk into the kitchen for fittings so that he could tell me how nice the sweater looked at various stages.

So...that makes my to-do list for tonight:
-mattress stitch other side seam and both sleeve seams.
-sew down button bands.
-weave in ten million ends.
-locate and sew on appropriate buttons (may require venturing out into cold night air. pray for button stash treasures).

Almost there...
Stay on target...

November 29, 2006

Beau on the go

We've got progress peeps! I've just been chugging away on various bits of Beau. I finished the front a week ago, and jumped straight into the sleeves. Here's where they were on Saturday:

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And here's where they are now...along with all the other finished bits for reference. I know it looks like a huge goldish lump, but the sleeves are there over on the right side there (picture taken at 11:30 last night. Sorry about that.)

As usual, I'm knitting both sleeves at the same time so that they'll be identical. It's a bit of a pain to cram all those stitches onto the needles* but it’ll be worth it. I just have another inch or so before the sleeve cap shaping and then there's just the blocking, sewing up, and collar knitting-on. Maybe I'll have this one done by sometime this weekend? Maybe?


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In other news:

-I have done no Christmas shopping. But Rae helped me put the tree up over the weekend so that puts me ahead of last year when the Christmas decorations never even made it out of the box.

-Snow forecasted for Friday!

-Somewhere along the line (like last week) I decided that it would be a fantastic idea to knit an army of of Saartje's Korknisse to make into Christmas ornaments. This would be an extra little knitty gift for, you know, everybody in my life (except Rae, who thought they were weird, so she doesn't get one). So far I've got two done, but am suffering from a cork shortage. A trip to the winery is on the to-do list. Pictures to come.

*I know that circular needles are the most fantastic invention since the wheel, but somehow I always find myself using dpns and straights. I can't explain it. Does this means I'm an enigma? I've always wanted to be an enigma. Though on second thought it probably just means I'm stuck in a rut.

November 12, 2006

Beau and Walnuts

Beau's back is complete. The front has been cast on and I'm planning on knocking out a goodly chunk of it tonight while listening to more audio books.

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A few of you commented that you listen to audio books when you knit too. I love the way that they make themselves part of the knitting experience. Sometimes they make enough of an impression that I can look at a finished project and remember which books I was listening to while knitting it...other times not so much.

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I finished out the back while listening to Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon Summer 1956 which I enjoyed. I'll admit it. I'm a Praire Home Companion junkie, so it logically follows that I’d love a book by Garrison. There's just nothing better than spending Saturday evenings singing along to out of tune old-timey hymns and listening to radio dramas. What was that I just heard? Oh yes, the un-hippometer going off. Oh well.

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I couldn't help myself. I had to pull a Jane.

The Yorkshire Tweed Aran is just the color of walnuts. Ummy nummy.

November 6, 2006

Mail!

This past week was a bit on the unproductive side…it’s amazing how much less I get accomplished when I have a cold. A bit sad really. But I’m all healthy now.

One thing that wasn’t at all dismal was the mail. Early in the week a package arrived from Lois (all the way from Singapore!) with my prize from her birthday drawing. Thanks, Lois!

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See that yummy looking yarn? It’s pretty much a direct sub for Kidsilk Haze. I keep having visions of it knitted up in a simple shawl. Maybe something similar to the bubbly curtain from Mason-Dixon Knitting except, you know, less curtainy. It really wants to be something simple to show off the colors. Still, it’ll be a couple months before I have time to cast on for that. Plenty of time to think, but suggestions are always welcome if you have any!


On Friday another package was waiting for me when I got home, this time from the lovely Angela! Guys, she knitted me socks!

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Do I have the whitest white-person legs or what?

Hooray! We had to have an artsy-fartsy photoshoot to celebrate (Thunk is really a good sport about this whole knitting photography thing). The socks are absolutely perfect…and I’m talking down to the very last stitch. Here’s the proof:

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Beautiful, eh?

I took them on a test run to the doctor’s office this morning. Nothing’s better than a pair of nice hand knitted wooly socks to keep you warm when you go in for your yearly lady-parts appointment. Though a heated examining table is nice too.

If you want the specs and back-story on the socks, check out Angela’s post for today…it’s pretty funny, actually.

Thanks again Angela!


In other news:

Saturday I felt a sudden inspiration to cast on for Beau (gotta get those Christmas gifts in gear!) and cranked out a goodly sized patch of knitting while listening to Sarah Vowell’s Assassination Vacation (which I loved). It’s amazing how quickly things go when you aren’t knitting cables or lace.

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At this rate Beau should be done in no time. Hooray for mindless knitting!

August 8, 2006

Thinking ahead

This last week hasn't seen much knitting...I've only just turned the heel on the first Pomatomi. Mostly I've been staring into the UFO basket and dreaming about the new projects I want to start. I did make some stitch markers though!

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For my friend Janis, whose birthday was in July (better late than never, eh?).

But back to new projects. Right now I've got patterns and yarn for the following:

Beau, from Rowan Vintage Knits (Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran in Muffin):
Beau.jpg YTA_muffin.jpg
Why I should knit this: This is Christmas knitting...I could get it out of the way FIVE months early! Plus, it would be a pretty straightforward knit (good for lazy summer knitting).

Finn, from Rowan 36 (Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran in Tusk):
Finn.jpg YTA_Tusk.jpg
Why I should knit this: This one is also a good simple knit. It's a candidate for Thunk's X-mas sweater.

Saddle-Shoulder Aran Cardigan, from Wool Gathering 63 (Canadian Regal in medium brown):
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Why I should knit this: the oh-so-clever construction is v. tempting and it would require some thought and skill to knit. Plus, I'd have to learn how to steek (eek!). This would obviously be the most challenging of the lot. Also a candidate for Thunk's X-mas sweater.

I like them all…they’d all knock a knit off the Christmas list...the question is, which one would you like to see me knit?