Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Here's why I haven't been knitting much this month

Here's my study space
Originally uploaded by Loretta.
I'm once again a full time student, spending much time with the books at this desk and in the PT lab. I'm loving the Physical Therapy curriculum.

I have most of my knitted christmas presents done, so the only thing I'll probably knit between now and December are some baby booties for a friend whose baby is due in December. Of course, you know I'm lying, It's hard to stay away from knitting for that long.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sea turtles shawl

sea turtles blocked
Originally uploaded by Loretta.
It's the swallow tail shawl from the Fall 2006 issue of Interweave Knits, but I think it looks like sea turtles returning to the sea, so that's what I'm calling it. The bud pattern is the turtles and the border is the sea. The yarn is laceweight alpaca that I bought in Denver in 2000. Sometimes the yarn just has to wait for the right project to come along. I also have a cone of it in purple. Mmmm...

I like this pattern a lot so I'm comtemplating adapting it to a faorese style shawl. I'll be able to use the existing turtle part of the chart for the side panels, but I'll have to adapt it for the center panel and then figure out how I will get the border pattern to fit. Sounds like a fun fall challenge! Or perhaps something I should tackle during Christmas break. School is taking up most of my time and attnetion right now.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Wearing Half a sweater

Wearing Half a sweater
Originally uploaded by Loretta.
Here's the left half on. This is going to be a very warm sweater.

Half sweater

Half sweater
Originally uploaded by Loretta.
The left half of the Round the Bend is done. The color is a bit washed out in this picture.

Top half of one side of the Round the bend

Rounding the first bend of the left half. I already like the way it looks.

Two sleeves

Two sleeves
Originally uploaded by Loretta.
I started Meg Swansen's Round The Bend sweater in the thick brick red yarn my mom brought me from Ireland. I knit both the sleeves together because that's the most boring part of this pattern

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Lace shoulder wrap

Lace shoulder wrap
Originally uploaded by Loretta.
This pattern was from the latest issue of Interweave Knits. It called for laceweight Misti Alpaca, but I didn't have any, so I used leftover yarn (Knit Picks Merino Style) from the Sunburst sweater. It's worsted weight instead of lace weight and I used size 9 needles instead of size 3 or 4 called for int he pattern. I also ran out of yarn before I completed the bottom patterning, but oh well! I think it came out great. The pattern looks a bit like swimming sea turtles to me. It was an easy pattern to memorize so it was great for knitting on the bus. I'm sure I'll make more of them.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Alpaca silk scarf

Alpaca silk scarf
Originally uploaded by Loretta.
My hands needed a break from the fair isle, because I stupidly pushed past my limits on Saturday night in a fever to get the sleeve started. You'd think I'd know better. I probably should have taken a whole day off, or maybe two. But my friends Renee & Sophie were visiting and that visit included a trip to the yarn store and knitting while watching videos. Sigh, I had to knit something. I had two skeins for Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk that I had picked up from the clearance shelf of one of my less frequented yarn shops. What to do with 2 small skeins of yarn?

I cast on about 300 (give or take) stitches to size 9 needles, then I knit back and forth in garter stitch until I was about out of yarn, then bound off and used the reat of the yarn for fringe.

The resulting scarf seen here is about 6 feet 5 inches long exclusive of the fringe and is very soft. It wraps nicely around my neck a few times, or I can wear it folded in half with the ends passed through the loop. I'm ready for winter (all but the dark nights, *shiver*)

Crocheted sleeve steek

Crocheted sleeve steek
Originally uploaded by Loretta.

After knitting the sweater body to the top of the shoulders I did a three needle bind off to join the tops of the shoulders. Then I crocheted up and down one of the sleeve steeks and cut the sitiches between the rows of crochet.

Here is a picture of the cut steek

Then I picked up stitches around the cut steek for the sleeve. It will be knit down from the shoulder to the wrist, repeating the color patterns from the body (except upside down).

Sunday, July 09, 2006

After: A Steek is Born

Lynda's finished zip cardigan
Originally uploaded by Loretta.
After cutting the steek, basting and sewing in the zipper. Viola! Lynda's finished zip front cardigan. Now she has a sweater she will wear instead of something relegated to the bottom of a drawer or the back of a closet.

Before: A steek is born

First, we painstakingly counted all the stiches in the front of the sweater. This was made difficult by the fact that it is knit in a very tiny gauge and the chaotic atmosphere in my sisters house. With all of us there talking and laughing and stirring up the dogs, it was pretty difficult to keep on count.

Second, we sewed a basting line down the center front stitch of the sweater. I started it to show her how, then Lynda finished the basting.

Since Lynda is the experienced seamstress, she did the machine sewing. She machine stitched up one side of the center stitch and down the other side.

Contrary to popular fears, cutting steeks will not give you heart failure

I was visitng my family and my sister had a beautiful sweater that someone had brought her from Scotland. Problem: the sweater was a turtleneck. She does not wear turtlenecks. We examined the sweater with the possibility of making it into a v-neck in mind, but then decided that it would make a lovely zip front cardigan.

So I took time off from the Fair Isle

Knitted sweatshirt
Originally uploaded by Loretta.
I was doing a bit of traveling and didn't want to carry a million colors of yarn with me on the plane. This was a good project for the trip. It has a hood now. More pictures to come.

It's a Knitted sweatshirt with front pocket. I made it out of Cascade Sierra (50% cotton/50% wool). Based on the Wonderful Wallaby, but with several of my own modifications. I hadn't finished the hood in this picture. It's done now though and very comfortable. As soon as it gets cool again this sweater will get a lot of wear.


Saturday, May 20, 2006

Knit Picks Palette Fair Isle Sampler Cardigan and it's chart

Having finished the Sunburst Sweater, I played around with it a bit before I started in on this one. It's going pretty fast (about one stripe pattern per day). I started it last Saturday and have mostly been knitting it on the bus on the way to school and outside on the lawn at school between classes. I suppose I should have been in the library studying, but the weather was so nice it just didn't scream "Come inside and do statistics problems!"

This is done in the traditional fair isle fashion with a steek for the front which will eventually be cut to make it a cardigan. As soon as I get to armpit depth, I'll be inserting steeks for the armholes. I'm pretty sure I'm going to crochet the steeks. I experimented with different steek styles when I was teaching a cardigan class in the Spring of 2004. The crochet steeks were nice and neat and easy to do without hauling out the sewing machine. I do already have the machine out as I was making sand bags for my yoga teacher's studio. But that's another project.

I do like the yarn a lot and the sampler pack is quite nice with all the colors they have. The price can't be beat either. I will definitely make some more things form this yarn.

I'll take pictures of the crocheted steeks when i get to them.

Sunburst sweater Finished

Sunburst sweater front
Originally uploaded by Loretta.
Then I figured out that it's darn hard to get a picture of this one. Much of the interesting stuff is on the back. I had my husband take several pictures of me wearing it, but I just couldn't get what I wanted. I finally took a picture of the back of the sweater with him wearing it (proving what a good sport he is). It's still not exactly what I wanted but oh well. I'm hoping to get a some good pictures of my mom in it when I give it to her. It's a mother's day present, but I'm going out to visit at the end of June, so I though I'd wait and give it in person.

I thought I wasn't going to like the drop stitch bottoms of the sleeves, but it turns out that I do. It makes the sleeves bell out and lightens them up quite a bit. I still haven't knit the i-cord ties, but I was thinking about a button/loop for the inside and then the ties for the outside.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Sunburst Sweater done in time for Mother's Day

Sunburst sweater
Originally uploaded by Loretta.
The knitting went really fast. It was a little hard to figure out how to block and I'm still tweaking around with it. Although I'm not a big fan of drop stitch patterns, The dropped stitches at the bottoms of the sleeves (picture forthcoming), add a nice lightness. I hope my mom will like it.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

A sweater is born

What the heck is it?
Originally uploaded by Loretta.
But when you look at it now you think, "What the heck is that thing? Long johns? and octopus cozy?" It's really Knit Picks Starburst Sweater knit in their Merino Style yarn. I started it last Saturday. I didn't have much time to knit last quarter because of my weird schedule. But the new quarter started this week and I can ride the bus to school instead of driving. That gives me lots more time to knit.

I've also bought the Palette Sampler Pack from Knit Picks and I'm going to start the sampler pack fair isle sweater soon. I was thinking about alternating weeks with these two sweaters, but I think I'll finish the right front on the Starburst before I start the fair isle.

This is my first experience with Knit Picks yarn and patterns and I'm very pleased so far. I really love that they have come out with a line of affordable and beautiful yarns. As I've been knitting on the Starburst, I've been thinking of all the other great things I can knit with the Merino Style. The patterns, so far, are well written. The thing I really like about the fair isle pattern is that the charts are printed in color. I much prefer classic yarns to all the new novelty yarns and Knit Picks has a lovely and reasonably priced selection.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Knitted Moebiuses (Moebii?)

More Moebii
Originally uploaded by Loretta.
I got Cat Bordhi's Magical Knitting books this summer and started knitting moebius projects. If you've ever played with paper moebius strips as a kid, you'll know that a moebius is an interesting conpect. Topologically it is one surface with one edge. When you knit I-cord onto the edge of a moebius you will see this demonstrated.

In A Treasury of Magical Knitting and A Second Treasury of Magical Knitting, Cat Bordhi teaches her ingenius method for making a moebius on one long needle. The first book contain mostly garments, like the lotus moebius hats I've made here as well as scarves, shawls and socks. The second book features more containers like baskets, purses and cat beds.

There is something absolutely fascinating about this knitting technique, so if you want an engaging project (or projects, you can't knit just one) start a moebius.