Saturday, September 23, 2006

New Project Bag

I had a busy day that I spent being crafty instead of doing schoolwork.

Here is what I have been wanting to make for a long time:

A bag to carry around all my sock projects in! It is just the right size, and built to last.

It is fully lined (and heavily interfaced):


It was relatively easy to make, although it took some planning (and me fixing a major screw-up wherein I thought I was being clever but actually made the bag totally unusable). It's about 7" tall, 6" wide, and 3 1/2" deep. The fabric practically jumped into my arms at the quilt store. I had been thinking of going with a reproduction '30s print, but I couldn't find one that struck me. So this wonderfully bright floral came with me (anemones and tulips and gerberas, yum!)

And it fits a sock project perfectly:


Ooh, what's that? More Pomatomus?

Here's a closer shot:


One of these days I'm going to remember to try to take photos while it's light out, so these photos of the lovely colors don't come out so crappy.

Now that I've done a full repeat on the Pomatomus, I find I really like them, although all the ribbing might get a little tedious. I'm also kind of afraid that doing everything twisted is going to leak over to the rest of my knitting, but I think I'll be able to manage.

In other news, I spent the afternoon with the lovely Natalie. We knitted, I wound a bunch of yarn (no photo -- you know what wound yarn looks like!), and we blocked out her shawl for her wedding in 2 weeks!

I'll leave you this photo as a teaser, but you should really go visit her blog for the rest of the story.



Now isn't that beautiful!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Join me!



I'll bet you know what these are going to be! Pomatomus socks!

I know some of you out there were thinking of making them. Want to join me? It will be fun! The pattern so far has been pretty easy to memorize, but it's a little slow because it's in 1x1 twisted rib.

I'm using some Brown Sheep Co. handpainted Wildfoote, and I just love the colors. This picture didn't turn out great, but I didn't want to go back again and fuss with the camera some more, so that's what you get. You'll see more as time goes on, anyhow.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Finito!

It was a few years ago that this magazine, sitting in my mom's pile of knitting stuff, caught my attention:

You read that right: up in the corner it says 1964.

In it were these delightful images and pretty decent sweaters; this one seemed so cute and classic, I just had to have it.


And this was what the magazine had to say about it:



Of course, it was so old I couldn't find the mohair they called for, even in my LYS' yarn books. So I had to guess at the yardage (I bought 7 balls and only used 4 1/2... but better safe than sorry). And I wasn't about to do mohair, as it drives me crazy, and while I love pink, I didn't think it was going to be the best choice for this sweater. I didn't think of it when I picked it out, but this color is really the color of real lavender to me. Yum!

(I know, you're saying, alright already, show me the sweater! All in good time, I swear.)

A sneak peek:


And here's me, trying desperately to look decent for my self timer:



And the sweater itself:


This was a great little knit, although it revealed to me the advances we've had in patternwriting in the past 40 years or so. For example: I'm wearing, believe it or not, the largest size, which is about 38". There aren't any diagrams of what shape the pieces should be in, or even what the finished measurements of the sweaters will be. The pattern assumes you do long-tail cast on, which I do, but many patterns now give the first row as the right side. The pattern also isn't as specific -- my neck ribbing is goofy because I thought it meant "repeat these 2 rows 3 times" when in fact it meant "repeat these 2 rows 3 more times", which is something entirely different. But it came out alright in the end.

The Stats:
Pattern: Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 1964 #36 Cabled Pullover
Needles: #2 (bottom ribbing), #3 (neck ribbing), #8 (body)
Yarn: Brown Sheep Naturespun Worsted (100% wool) in Platte River Blue
Modifications: I lengthened the sleeves a little, and added stitches to the front to make the seams match the rest of the body. Oh, and didn't use mohair!
Screw-ups: I didn't make the body quite long enough, but didn't discover this fact until I had bound off at the shoulders on the back. Whoops! Blocking fixed some of the shortness, and I'm short-waisted anyhow, so it's okay. I also probably could have made the smaller size, but I don't need really tight sweaters.
Other notes: Blocking did wonders for this thing. It was a smooshy, lumpy mess before blocking all the individual pieces. And of course it made seaming that much easier.

In conclusion: knitting from vintage patterns is great, but requires a little foresight. Sizing might be odd, directions might need a little more puzzling out than you're used to, and something knit on "big quick needles" might really be on a #6 or #7.

Now it just has to cool off enough for me to wear!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Almost....



I went to knitting tonight, and this was how far I got in the finishing process. I'm happy with it so far, so I guess it doesn't really matter how far I am, because if I do the seaming when I'm tired it won't come out well. So I will be able to finish it maybe tomorrow, grad school willing and the creek don't rise.

What's next? I'm thinking about Chris Bylsma's Backroads Jacket, in navy blue, these lavender leftovers, and brown. Or a hooded sweatshirt style in a brown marl. Or more lace and socks.

I don't really need to buy yarn, but I want to make 2 little lacy cardigans, and for those I need more yarn. Hmm... somebody's birthday is coming up, and you know what that means! More yarn for me.

In the meantime, I'm working to finish my second sock for the Kazakh orphanage (I know, I feel terrible that it's taken me so long). Also I got more hot pink fun fur so I can finish my hedgehog, and I still have lace and other things on needles as we speak. I need to get some needles empty before I can start something new.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Face Front

Last night, in a blur of excitement, I finished knitting the front of the cabled sweater. This morning, there are still sets of needles and balls of yarn scattered around the living room, but in my little pile is a rumply sweater front.

Here's what it looked like before the neck ribbing:


And after:


Today's goal is to clean the bathroom and vacuum, so that I have someplace clean to wash the front in, and someplace clean to block it on, so it can join its friends in happy sweaterdom!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Free Sweater Stone

Well, since I'm taking advantage of the free offer, I feel as if I should provide some free advertising....

The people over at Sweater Stone will send you one for "free" for the cost of shipping and handling -- they claim this is cheaper than advertising. I'll try it. Why not you? Pass the word on!

In other news, I got a bunch done on my sweater front at knitting tonight. However, you've seen enough lavender cabled sweater to imagine what it looks like (just like the back, in case you couldn't guess). Also, I'm too lazy to try and take a photo and correct the colors at this hour.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Back is Finished



Crappy photo, you say? Too bad. I'm excited to be finished with the back of my cabled sweater. It's been really chilly this week -- I had figured it would be 85 and miserable, and didn't worry about having a sweater done for the new school year. But no. It's been chilly. And I really need a sweater, so this one has to get done (and then I can start a new one!).

I blocked the sleeves yesterday to get some of the fight out of the ribbing, so they are nice and flat and ready to go. I think I'm going to try and get some more things done before I start the front, to try and get the mess in my knitting basket under control. Of course, none of this is helping me get my schoolwork done, but too bad.

And just for fun, here are all the socks I've made this summer. Hooray for socks!