Monday, August 31, 2009

New Cotton Project

When I knit for babies, I just love to make sweaters. I have used both washable wool and cotton many times. I have found that mom's don't mind laying a sweater out to dry instead of throwing it in the dryer, so I don't worry about it much. My SIL, with the 18 month old, is not usually very careful with laundry. However, she loves the things that I knit so they are well taken care of. I made a little hoodie for her son E last spring and she puts it on him all the time. I used Tuulia Salmela's Tailored Sweater Pattern, which is lovely. A person does need to know exactly which measurements to use, but I have found that with a little research, I can make a pretty good guess.
Over the weekend I was in my favorite LYS, Village Yarn and Tea. They were having a 40% off sale on many of their summer yarns and Tahki's Cotton Classic was on the list. Available for sale, they had a deep chocolate brown, a bright orange and a cornflower blue. I purchased two skeins of blue and one of each of the other colors and figure that it should be easy to get a sweater out of it for him for less than $15. I plan on using the orange and brown for accent stripes.

FYI I finished the stealth project, so I should have more stuff that I can actually blog about, now! :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

New Stash II

Not long ago, I received an email from Eat Sleep Knit announcing that they were discounting some soon to be discontinued colors of Malabrigo. I have been wanting to make another lace shawl, so I purchased enough lace weight in Citrus to make a good sized shawl. I will probably make Pearled Romance by Birgit Freyer. I love her patterns and have this one in my posession already. I am thinking about which color beads to use. My favorites so far are orange white and pearl. It may just depend on cost. I need almost 650 beads, so that will be a concern.

Don't forget the contest from my last post! (Make sure to enter the comment on that day's entry.)

Monday, August 24, 2009

New Stash I

Welcome the latest kit from Eat Sleep Knit's Malabrigo Club! It came with a great pattern for a lap blanket. The pattern looks simple enough, but I detest knitting mitered squares. I love the project, but would probably never finish, so I am looking for a new pattern to knit the yarn. Any suggestions? Leave a comment with a pattern that is on Ravelry and make sure to enter your email address when you do...I'll do a drawing of all those that leave a suggestion and send a skein of yarn. Open to residents of the USA. Drawing closes on 9/15/09. Bring on the IDEAS! :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sock Wars Valkyrie Socks

I received these very, very well knitted socks in the mail last Wednesday. Sock Wars didn't go so well for me this year, and I ended up with a pair of socks that I couldn't wear. So, I was assigned to a wonderful person who knit me a pair as a consolation and they fit GREAT! The knitting is also very professional and I am really going to love these once the weather is cool enough to wear them! :) She also sent some chocolate, which was wonderful, too.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Dress Sewing

While putting away sewing patterns, last Sunday, I found a dress pattern that is very simple. I also found some fabric that would be perfect for this pattern. However, I don't have enough for this dress! I have wanted to use the pattern for some time, so I may go to the fabric store tomorrow for the perfect fabric. As they are getting in their fall fabrics, I may just find a good price on something that I could wear now and then continue to wear through September. We usually continue to have nice, warm weather until the beginning of October. With the amount of enjoyment I have been finding in wearing skirts, lately, a dress sounds like the perfect choice.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Sweater On The Needles

Last week, I opened my email to find the latest version of Tuulia Salmela's Tailored Sweater Pattern. My friend K & I took a class from her on this method of knitting sweaters from the shoulder to the hem early last spring. Since then, I found an error and she wanted to make some improvements. I was so happy to see the new file come out. I own the book "Custom Knits" by Wendy Bernard. Preferring Tuulia's method and yet loving the "Slinky Ribs" pattern in the book, I merged the two patterns together, but am using the recommended yarn, Silky Wool. I took my own measurements and a some from the finished garment diagram and created a new pattern with Tuulia's spreadsheet. So far, it is working quite well. The biggest problem I am having is that I want to keep knitting on this one, instead of finishing a stealth project that I am working on that has a deadline! I started this one last Thursday evening and only managed to get the back about halfway to the point where I needed to start the front shoulders. However, I worked on it all day Saturday, too. By the end of that day, I had the underarm increases about one third finished. I am looking forward to finishing to the point where I can knit in the round instead of knitting rows. There are also no increases or decreases to worry about at that point, but rather when and how to go from the 2x2 ribs to stockinette.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Making Alterations

Last Tuesday, I spent several hours fixing some of the skirts that I have made in the past 6 months. Several of them were too full and so I didn't really wear them very often. A couple of them were too loose around the waist, too, so I fixed that while I was at it. I dislike making alterations very much, so I just put on a movie and spent as little time possible using a seam ripper. Mostly, I was able to just cut the seam allowances off and then re-stitch the seam. Now, I have 5 skirts (4 of them that I fixed) that fit perfectly! Since I have so many, I have been wearing them more often. The past two Sundays, I dressed up for church and I've worn skirt to work a couple of days, too. Now I just need to buy or make some knit tops that will go with them as I do prefer knits with my skirts. Somehow, wearing a woven shirt with them just feels too bulky. However, the problem is probably more with the fit of the shirt rather than the type fabric.
On the shirt front, I did increase the width of the darts in one of my shirts, hoping to make it a little more fitted so that it would look better with my skirt. It only partially worked. To make that shirt better, I think that I need to widen the darts a little more and then hem it so that it is shorter. It has always been too long, so I am not surprised by this. Most ready-to-wear and pattern companies make things too long for me. When I make my own tops, I shorten the pattern before beginning, but for any that are store-bought, they all need hemming. (This group includes most of the tops that I own, right now.)

Friday, August 07, 2009

New Fabric Stash

Last Saturday, my friend K picked me up and we went to our favorite store, Village Yarn and Tea for some iced tea and knitting. We spent about 4 hours there, and then went to get some lunch. Afterward, we went to Joann's. She was looking to buy some letter beads so that she could make some stitch markers for knitting socks from Cat Bordhi's book. Everything she needed was 40% off! While there, I found this piece of medium weight fabric with a beautiful jacquard pattern on it and purchased enough to make myself another skirt. I have been wanting another skirt and expect to wear this one many, many times due to the neutral color of the fabric. That night, I really wished that I hadn't any plans so that I could begin to sew. I did, however, start it washing so that it would be ready for when I do have time.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Two FO Disappointments

I have recently finished 2 sleeveless sweaters that have not worked out quite like I had imagined. Both are knit top down and have issues that will make me rip them back to near the beginning of the project.
The first is the yarn from June's Malabrigo Club shipment, 100% Organic Cotton. I love this yarn. I knit a swatch, washed and dried it. Having done this, I decided that I liked it better knit on the larger of the 2 needles that I used, rather than the smaller. Before the blocking process, the larger needle made a fabric that was too open, but the yarn shrinks, some. So, using a pattern from Interweave and my swatch information, I redesigned the pattern to be exactly what I wanted. Much to my surprise, the sweater is too short and far too wide after washing! I am trying to decide exactly what to do. I will probably pull it out, back to before joining at the underarms, and reknit the armhole shaping and then the body. I have been hesitating to do this as I don't particularly like knitting stockinette stitch in the round and all of the interesting stitches are in the part that does not need to be reknitted. I am also unsure of which needle size I should use to reknit it. However, I do have to keep working on a project with a deadline, so I don't expect to get to it anytime soon.
Then, I began another top as I wanted something rather mindless for when I was at the Women of Faith conference. (I like to have my hands busy when I am listening to a speaker, but it needs to be something that I don't have to look down at.) I designed a simple top using Tuulia Salmela's Tailored Sweater pattern. It is mostly stockinette stitch with a simple eyelet pattern at the front neck edge. I left off the sleeves, and made the top part a crossover design instead of a basic v-neck. I wore it last Sunday and really love it. However, after a day of wear, the top has stretch to where it is not fitting well. This top is knitted with Tahki's Sierra, so it may be the fault of the yarn, as I am not familiar with this one. However, I am surprised as I slipped all of the stitches that I was supposed to have slipped. I am now debating whether to do the same to this top as to the first one listed here. Again, though, am not entirely sure whether to use the same needles or smaller ones.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Thanks SP!

I received a package on Saturday from Loopy Ewe. "That's funny," I thought when I saw the box. However, I did suddenly remember an email from my Secret Pal that included an USPS tracking code, that said to expect a package from one of my favorite stores! There is a beautiful skein of Colinette Jitterbug, a tape measure and some Tootsie Rolls. Its a wonderful package, SP, thanks! :)