Monday, September 04, 2006

Yes, I still live here

Good God where does the time go?! I thought there had to be a mistake when I was that the last time I've updated was DECEMBER of LAST YEAR??!! Eek!! Suffice it to say it's been a bit of a whirlwind, and the knitting may have slowed, but it did not stop.

Fall is in the air and it's a 3 day weekend. I have been severely rebitten by the knitting bug. This means I have caught up on all the bazillion knitting blog entries from my bloglines. I have also been sniffing around various knitting message boards, including joining 4 sock yahoo groups. Uh huh. AND it's the month of my 2nd anniversary of knitting - whahoo!! Thank you Korin and Adina for inspiring me to join the knitting craze - it's the best therapy a girl could have!

So, first of all proof that I've been knitting - it's been a baby summer and I've discovered how fun it is to knit for babies, especially cute and delicious ones like Della, Ruby and Brigit.

Ms. Della's booties. I'd be pleaseantly surprised if they fit her for more than a nanosecond!

Made from Socketta using the pattern Newborn Crawling Booties from somebody's blog I forgot to make a note of. For some reason I had a tendency to knit tight on this. Combine this with itty, bitty DPNs and it wasn't my favorite knitting experience - led to sore fingertips. This was also my first experience with the infamous Kitchener stitch. I'm expecting it will look better in future endeavors.

Ruby's Baby Surprise Jacket

Button close-up, everybody go "awwwww......"

Back of Ruby's Surprise Jacket - I love how the colors pooled here

The entire ensemble - first soaker I've ever made, sniff :-)

Ok, now for the details.

Sweater Pattern: The Baby Surprise Jacket is from the Grande Dame of knitting Elizabeth Zimmerman. The pattern's in her book Knitting Workshop (I'm seriously lusting after that DVD).

Comments: The pattern was a bit tricky form me to translate out of the book. EZ is an intelligent knitter and she expects others to be as well. I'm striving to become that intelligent, however in the meantime I thankfully found a yahoo group specifically for EZ patterns and all my questions were answered.

Sweater Yarn: Interlacements Toasty Toes superwash merino

Comments: I love Interlacements yarn. Love, love, love it! I used a different blend of theirs for my mom's felted bag.

Soaker Pattern: Wooly Wonder Shorts from Wooly Wonder - very nice pattern.

Comments: Had a bit of a short row hole issue but it was solved when I made these again for Brigit thanks to Interweave Knits online shortrow help - I switched to YO short rows and was much happier with the results.

Soaker Yarn: Cascade Pastaza, 50% Llama/50% Wool

Comments: This is another fabulous yarn. Similar to Lambs Pride, but without the mohair, and yet still a bit hairy from the Llama. I'm hoping its soft enough for babies.

And now for Queen Brigit's wardrobe.

Katja Halter

Close up of Feather and Fan edge

Complete Ensemble

Halter Pattern: Katja from Knitty's Spring edition

Comments: I wasn't able to get guage with the yarn, so I tweaked the pattern accordingly. After finishing the pattern, I took awhile to complete the soaker and Brigit did was babies do so well - she grew! I needed to add more length and was bored with the pattern so did a yarn over round, and then did some increases to accomodate feather and fan. I have to say I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.

Halter Yarn: New Cotton Print, Lana Grossa, 60% cotton/40% microfiber

Comments: I liked this yarn. I'm not a big cotton fan because it's hard on my hands, but this had enough microfiber in it and was really easy to knit with. Nice and cushy too.

Soaker Pattern: Wooly Wonder Shorts from Wooly Wonder - same as Ruby's.

Soaker Yarn: Cascade Pastaza, 50% Llama/50% Wool - same as Ruby's

Then there was the saga of my foray into Fair Isle for my sister Laura. For Christmas. 2005. Finished in May. 2006. Oh well, sometimes that's just how the knitting needles crumble.

Hat Pattern: based on Fair-Isle Chullo from Knitty Winter 2004

Comments: Laura wasn't fond of the whole cross-country ski theme in the original hat pattern, so it was tweaked. By moi :-). I did get pretty darn good at knitting with both hands. However when it came time to do the ear flaps they were knit flat and purling with my left hand was a bitch and a half. But I perservered and conquered and have decided if I never purl again with my left hand I'll be quite happy.

Hat Yarn: Red: Baby Ull by Dale of Norway, 100% superwash wool White: Jawoll by Lang Yarns , 75% superwash wool, 18% polyamid, 7% acrylic

Comments: You might be wondering why 2 different brands of yarn? Well it turns out that red and white are pretty popular colors come winter holiday time. So I turned to 2 different sources, my LYS for the white, and WEBS for the red. I'm more fond of the Baby Ull than the Jawoll. Knowing both were fingering weight I didn't bother to look at actual stitches per inch until after knitting enough to convince myself that I couldn't convince myself they were the same weight. 32 stitches per inch compared to 30. Yes it did make a difference and ruin a completely even appearance, not that my yarn tension had anything to do with that as well. Live and learn. The blocking done after the picture was taken helped a little bit.

So, what's next you ask? Well hot on the needles is a Mini WonderSoaker for my very own stash. Lest you get too excited and think I have "news" to share, it's all about keeping the hope at this point. Should be quick to finish as soon as I figure out the damn Kitchener for ribbing. I'm having a hard time translating Pam's instructions on Wooly Wonder. I shall perservere.

Also going on is Mariah revamping. Yes, I took scissors to my sleeves. I cut, I cut some more, I cut even more, and then realized I needed to seek help. Which makes me appreciate the talents of my LYS, the Knitter's Mercantile. They rock. Jan was a patient and willing problem solver - she spent an HOUR picking up stitches so I could start again. No charge. I offered, thinking it's not fair to get free service on yarn I didn't even buy there. She graciously refused. I'm a loyal customer. As for the sleeves, they're too long and I didn't like my seaming so I figured what the hell. Last night I spent a few hours figuring out where in the hell I was in the charting pattern. After a few false starts and a few tinking of rows, I've got it! Knitting in pattern down a sleeve that was originally knitted up is not recommended, but I think I can pull it off :-). Stay tuned.

Waiting in the wings are socks, for ME - well, yes I did promise Dan a pair of his own too. If I'm feeling particularly ambitious I might get some Christmas pairs in as well. Also there is lace waiting, and sweaters waiting. I frogged Ribby Cardi after realizing I'd screwed up the ribbing when trying to knit the body in one piece. It was a blessing in disguise, the pumpking color was seriously getting on my nerves. I do like that pattern though, so will look for a better color.

If you're still reading by now - bravo! I shall do my very best to post more often resulting in (hopefully!) shorter entries.


Blogger K said...

OMG! are you actually posting onyour BLOG????? LISA!!!! you're alive! :)
I love love love the sweater you knit for Ruby. :) the sleeves have become too short, but the body fits her well still :) It's so beautiful.
The soaker is still a bit on the large size, but should fit her all winter long. and it's oh so soft and the color is just.... delish!
I'm glad you're knitting to keep up the hope. I look forward to knitting for YOU someday soon. :)

I know I've said this before, but it's so worth it. It really is.

Monday, September 04, 2006  

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