Sunday, November 25, 2007

Back in business

I guess I really do need the weather to inspire projects. After a long summer hiatus, here's my first project of the season: a hat for my daughter made with Blue Sky alpaca-silk in a natural white. The pattern is my own. I definitely felt a new confidence coming back to knitting after a break. I'm less worried about making mistakes, more free and inventive. More intuitive about gauge.

I've also started a new raglan sweater for my daughter based on a pattern that I used last year. The sizing only goes up to 12 months, so I've had to improvise. Pictures coming soon.

Friday, June 22, 2007


Still no knitting....but plenty of flowers.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Greetings from an alpaca shearing

Yeah, so not a whole lot of knitting going on around here since the weather has improved. My daughter loves to spend all day outside, so I've been focusing my aesthetic impulses on gardens rather than socks.

But rest assured, I am almost done with L's sweater and will post about it as soon as it's finished.

In the meantime, I have some pictures from an alpaca shearing we visited this weekend. They are exquisitely delicate and intelligent looking animals. Unfortunately, they had to be strapped down during the shearings, so I guess they don't enjoy it too much. But after it was over, they seemed happy with their new haircuts.

Monday, February 12, 2007

It might happen...

...I might really finish the Zipped Raglan (from LMKG) for L's birthday, which is a little more than a month away.

It's slow going, but this morning when I threw the pieces on the floor to figure out how it was all going to fit together, I could imagine an actual sweater emerging from the chaos. The major obstacle I foresee right now is overcoming my resistance to making another sleeve. My husband has very long arms.

That, and the zipper of course. I'm taking a huge leap of faith here that I'll be able to somehow attach a zipper to this thing.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

One is better than none

So I was going to wait to post the Baudelaire socks until I finished the second, but then I got realistic. My daughter has decided that she no longer likes to nap during the day, so there hasn't been much time for anything, let alone knitting another lacy sock. I have gone so far as to start the toe on the second, so it's not like there won't be a pair at some point in the future. But for now, I figure I'll show you one. One is better than none, right? Plus I'm pretty happy with the way this turned out, considering it's my first sock.

Please don't ask me why the red is completely different in every picture I take of these socks. I've just had to accept that my camera does not do red. In reality they are probably a bit darker than these pictures suggest.

Oh, and here's a little treat for the eyes: Lorna's Laces in Old Rose.

I'll be using it to make the Traveler's Stockings that Grumperina has up on her site, same color and everything. What can I say... when I see something I love, I just have to copy it : ).

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Baudelaire in progress

I've decided on the Baudelaire pattern as my first attempt at socks. I'm not sure what I can't resist more, the decadent lace pattern in deep red, or the literary association (the designer has photographed the socks with the title page from the Flowers of Evil!). It appeals to many sides of me, to say the least.

Here's what I've done so far:

There all is order and beauty,
Luxury, peace, and pleasure.

~Baudelaire, Invitation to the Voyage

Update: I've been sick and haven't been able to knit much, but I did manage to finish the foot and am now working on the leg. Finally have some decent light for a picture too, though the red is still not exactly accurate (*glares at expensive camera in frustration*).

A finished sock coming soon...I hope.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Dreaming about lace

So ever since I finished the EZ sweater, I've been dreaming about the next lace project. Seriously, I've been doing yarn overs in my dreams, that's how fixated I am. I have a couple of lace books that I've been studying, and now I'm just trying to decide which project to choose. My favorite pattern from Cheryl Oberle's Folk Shawls is the Kimono Shawl, so I made a swatch of the pattern yesterday just to see how it works. I used some sport weight alpaca that I have left over from a previous project, and size 4 needles.

I think it turned out OK, although there's some uneveness in the size of the yarn over holes and I'm not sure why. Maybe I need to use bigger needles, or thinner yarn. I have some lace weight alpaca coming in the mail, so I will do another swatch with that and see which works better.

I also would love to try Eunny Jang's Print o' the Wave stole. That may be my favorite lace pattern of all, but it looks intimidating.

That's it for now. Still working on L's sweater.

Friday, January 5, 2007

From refined to rugged...

I got back to working on Lorenz's sweater (another project from Last Minute Knitted Gifts) last night. The final product will still be a surprise, but I did decide to show him the piece so far just to make sure I was heading in the right direction. No point in knitting on and on if he wasn't going to like it. He took a peak and gave me the green light, so I made some progress last night and now I'm starting to love it. Because of this wool's irregular dye lots, I'm switching between two skeins every couple of rows, which is producing a subtle variegated effect:


Manos del Uruguay in color M with size 9 needles

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Pretty little thing

I finished the EZ baby sweater last night, and wove in the ends this morning. I keep staring at the garter and gull pattern in wonder as I can't believe that I was able to do that with some needles and wool. While the construction is simple, the pattern did take a lot of concentration--not an easy thing when you have an 11 month old who is teething no less (you can probably guess that most of the sweater was created at night after she went to bed!). Here are the results as of 9 AM today (I still have to block it and sew on the buttons):

I found it challenging to knit a lacy pattern. If I spaced out even for a second, which I tend to do when I'm knitting, it was easy to forget a yarn over. But now that the sweater is finished, I'm in awe of this magical process and eager to take up my next long-term project: a lace shawl.

Update: The sweater was blocked last night and is still drying.

It looks like the washing has clarified the pattern, and also created some extra wiggle room for my quickly growing child. I'm happy to say that she might be able to wear this past her first birthday, after all.

Second update: The sweater is blocked and dry, buttons are sewn, and the best part: it fits the little recipient perfectly!

I now see why everyone loves Elizabeth Zimmermann. The other sweaters I've made for Elsa do not hang well especially in the yoke, but this one drapes on her neck and shoulders perfectly. I am also happy because blocking brought the sleeves to seven inches, so they no longer look short.