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October 13, 2008

We all have to start somewhere

Hello there! As you may have guessed, I've been tending other (metaphorical) sheep in other (metaphorical) pastures. Nothing earth-shattering...just a bit more design work. Fun for me, but dull as tombs for you guys since I can't show you anything yet. Sorry 'bout that.

The problem with the whole not-being-able-to-show-you-my-latest-and-most-exciting-knitting thing is that the blog topics are a little thin on the ground. So today I thought I'd crack open the vault and show you some of my early work. Not because it's particularly impressive, but because it's October and everybody likes a good pre-Halloween scare, right?

early_elli_1.jpg
Boo

These projects were unearthed this summer by my sister Rae. The purse on the right is the earlier of the two attempts (early 90's). A dismal failure since the purse was unlined and it stretched vertically if you so much as looked at it with the intention of putting anything inside it.

The backpack/messenger bag (it's convertible! tie straps into any number of hideous configurations!) dates to sometime around 1995. I have distinct memories of sitting in Rae's bedroom after she moved out, listening to REM, feeling maudlin, and knitting her (what originally started as) a rug. Somewhere along the line it became a bag. Probably because I was too lazy to knit a whole rug.

early_elli_2.jpg
look! it's lined!

Important conclusions that can be drawn from the above:
- I have always been drawn to bright, possibly obnoxious colors. I like to think my color sense has improved.
- Garter stitch rules! Acrylic yarn...not so much.
- Burying my family under a pile of knitted crap isn't just a recent phenomenon.
- We all have to start somewhere. Yes indeed.

I know I can't be the only one with a history of hideous early knits. Fess up peeps. What frightening knits lurk in your past?

September 12, 2006

Revisited: Blaze

The one topic that I feel could use more blog-time is how people feel about their knits after they've worn them for a while. Since all I currently have to show you is a few more inches of the Aran Cardi, I thought now would be a good time to mix it up a bit and throw in some reviews of past projects (oh fine, this is just a cheap ploy to keep y'all occupied while I work through a particularly unproductive period).

Blaze.jpg
Pic taken right after the sweater was completed.

I thought I’d start with Blaze since it’s one of my favorites and I don’t feel like I’ve seen very many people make this one. Here are some specs, since this one was finished pre-blog:

Pattern: Blaze, from Knitty, by Jenna Adorno.
Size knitted: 34/36
Yarn: I subbed 9 balls of KnitPicks Andean Treasure in the color ‘Lagoon’ for the Cascade Indulgence the pattern calls for.
Finished: July 2005
Level of pattern followage: Total. I think the only thing I changed was to bind off with a smaller needle and add the crocheted flower.


How often does it get worn? Fairly frequently…about as much as any other cute and well-fitting sweater in my closet.

How has it held up? This sweater has had one winter of use and it still looks really good. I thought about taking another picture of it now, but there really isn’t much point…the yarn hasn’t pilled or gotten funky-looking and it still has the same snug fit (note: I never blocked it and I haven’t needed to wash it yet so I can’t comment on if it’ll grow when wet). The only thing that looks a little wonky are the stitches around the underarm grafts, but I always have that problem with bottom-up sweaters on circs.

How has the yarn worked out? Fine…like I just said, no pilling. The alpaca does have a little itch to it, so I need to wear it with a ¾ sleeved shirt underneath to keep it away from my skin.

What do I like? I love the color and the fit of the sweater is very flattering…it may be a figure hugging design, but the cables break things up a bit and keep it from looking slutly.

What would I change? I would definitely put full-length sleeves on this one. The sweater is thick enough that I can’t wear it until the weather is chilly, but by then my arms need a little something as well.

Should you make this sweater? Yes. If you live somewhere where it gets cold and you like cabling a lot, this sweater is for you.

Final Verdict: I give this one 9 out of 10.

So has anybody else made this one? How did it work out for you?