Sunday, May 25, 2008

Diamonds and Pearls

pattern from The Knitter's Book of Yarn
yarn from a 49 cent thrift store sweater
size 8 Denise needles

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I really like this little shawl. It's the kind of pattern I hoped to find in all of those one-skein books.

Because I was using the sleeves of a thrift store sweater, I doubt my gauge was anywhere near the pattern's. I added a few repeats at the end to make it longer and, because I couldn't get the knitted edging to work out right, dug out a crochet hook and tried to do it that way.

I'm now officially in love with crocheted edgings and won't shy away from them in the future.



This is the first batch of quilted postcards for a swap I'm in. I spent hours and hours dreaming up appliqued cards, then realized that what I really wanted to do was piece them. So I'm making flying geese. And pinwheels, but I don't like the way they're coming out nearly as well.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It's thirty degrees cooler. It's raining. Apparently I'm the only one happy about this.

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Pattern: Citrus Yoke Pullover (Interweave Knits - Winter 2007)
Size: 45"
Yarn: Bernat Softee Chunky Twists, taupe, 7 skeins
Needles: Denise size 10

Four years ago, I knit Alex a sweater out of Softee Chunky. I hated the yarn while I was knitting with it, but after repeated washings it softened and became her absolute favorite sweater. I wish I'd made it a couple of inches longer so she didn't have to give it up now that it's getting a bit too cropped.

I've been wanting to knit myself a sweater out of the same stuff and actually did start the Bed & Breakfast Pullover a while back, but that one is going to take forever, so when I saw the Citrus Yoke Pullover pattern and Michaels had all yarn 25% off, I bought yarn for this one.

It only took about two weeks to knit and even the patterned yoke didn't require a whole lot of concentration.

It fits! And I had enough yarn! This is only the second "real" sweater I've knit for myself, so I was holding my breath a lot of the time.

I only repeated the zigzag lace once before starting the increases and the neck is still higher than I'd like. If I was going to knit this one again, I'd start the repeats immediately. And add some shaping to the sleeves.

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Fancy Fulness is a lot more fun now that I'm not struggling with the cobwebby yarn. I made it through the first two clues on Sunday night and as soon as the house is quiet, I'll be starting clue 3.

The yarn is Pink Posy, one of the new Knit Picks Shadows colors. When they released the newest batch of colors and announced that the prices were going up, I splurged. Now I've got almost more pretty lace weight than I know what to do with.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

It's too hot.

Four or five weeks ago, we missed Sunday School because it was snowing hard enough that the plow came by three times. It's not supposed to snow at all in April, let alone snow hard enough that they break out the snow plows.

And it's not supposed to top ninety degrees in the middle of May! My babies are miserable, and so am I.

We spent Friday morning at a Civil War reenactment. Alex, who's been up to her ears in the Civil War lately, watched the demonstrations while the little guys and I tried to find nearby bits of shade to hide in. We made it through to the battle, but by the time we got home, I was sunburned and completely done in. No one but Mom gets sunburned at our house. It's some kind of rule.



I couldn't skip the war, and I wasn't going to skip my trip up to town on Saturday to quilt with Mom's fun toy. She'd invited me up to do the monkey quilt, but I don't really like the monkey quilt. I absolutely adore the offset diamond quilt I finished piecing last week, so I used the batting I'd bought for the monkey quilt and did mine instead. I thought I was going to use some polyester batting and tie the monkey quilt, but now that I know how much fun the longarm is, I'll probably reconsider that plan.

That was two full days out and about in the heat. I planned to come straight home after church and spend the rest of the day under the ceiling fans. Nope. The car wash to raise money for the aquarium trip was today.

I really want to stay out of the sun and out of the car for the next couple of days before it's back to karate and quilting at the church and whatever else there is that I either have to do or want to do.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

There's a thread over on Ravelry asking whether cheap yarn detracts from the knitting. Why on earth would it?

I'm almost done with the Diamonds and Pearls Shawl, knit with the unravelled arms of a 49 cent cotton thrift store sweater. I love the color, the drape, the wonderful squooshiness of it...

This is yarn I would've bought in actual skeins.

And it's not the only time I've done this. Ester started life as a couple of sweater sleeves from the same thrift store. The felted firefighter hat was ugly blue auction wool that took a swim in some red Kool Aid.

I've had a disaster or two, but I've also had problems with LYS yarn. I've got more patience with the cheap stuff, just because I know that when I'm using it I'm taking my knitting into my own hands.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Still busy here. I've been on the elliptical first thing every morning, worked my way down through the yoke of the Citrus Yoke Pullover and started on the body, cut more two inch squares, and got this put together --



This is those 729 three inch squares that I started playing with a couple of months ago. For way too long, it's been sitting in piles on my sewing machine and ironing board and I've been avoiding it because I was afraid I might have lost some of the pieces. And I'd returned the library book with the layout I was using.

I tried to do it from memory, got nowhere with that, then remembered the picture I'd taken and posted to the blog a while back. That did the trick and after the kids were in bed I laid it out on the living room floor and got the blocks pinned into rows. The next day, I got all of the blocks sewn together.

I'm anxious to get this quilted so I can snuggle up under it, but I'm not sure if I should wait until I can use Mom's long arm machine or try to do it on my regular machine here at home.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

I somehow got really busy really fast.

It started with the wire mesh shelves I bought at Costco a month ago. They made it up to the sewing room and sat, then last week the kids were playing outside and it seemed like a good idea to put them together. I don't care what the instructions say, it wasn't easy and there was no "really fun part." I actually bled. But the thing does hold a ton of yarn and look pretty nice, even if I don't have room to set it up with all eight blocks.

A couple of days later, I talked Bill into finally putting together the eliptical he bought me for Christmas. That thing should have been marketed as a kit -- I've never seen so many little loose pieces. But there were no injuries, unless you want to count the sore muscles I've had since I started using the thing.



I started and finished the Soft Baby Cardigan from Knitter's Book of Yarn for a friend at church who isn't sure yet if she's having a boy or a girl. I had to get one girly thing done before the ultrasound limited my options. I could've used a neutral color, but the raspberry skein has been sitting in my stash forever and I feel good about using it up. I also love the way it looks in the box stitch pattern.

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Last night, I cast on for the Diamonds and Pearls Shawl from the same book, which I really want, but hadn't started before now because there's no chart. People on Ravelry claim to have knit it in two or three evenings -- I can put up with the written instructions for that long. Maybe longer, because I really like the way this yarn is working up and might make mine bigger.

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And I cast on for the Citrus Yoke Pullover this morning. I've got my fingers tightly crossed that it'll fit and that I have enough yarn. Mostly that it'll fit -- I can buy more yarn.
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