Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Fall Term Recap

So, updating has been shamefully neglected while I was at school fall term. I, as usual, overestimated the free time I'd have at school, and barely had time to knit, let alone update. And mom stayed busy as well. So here is an update on what we've been up to since September.

Pictured above is a knitting store I visited on my recent trip to Denmark. Though I (sadly) didn't purchase any yarn, I visited every knitting store I could find. I even ran into Brooklyn Tweed's Koolhaas from Interweave's Holiday magazine displayed in a window which I thought was pretty neat to find all the way over there.

As I said, I got very little knitting done while at school. I finished a brown blob of a seed cardigan sweater, finally realizing it was a lost cause as I tried to seam the sleeves. It was confirmation of something I've suspected for quite some time. I just don't like big knits. The instant gratification of the projects is great, but the end result never pleases me. The gauge was three stitches to the inch, and the wool fabric ended up reminding me more of chain mail than a sweater. I might at some point redo the sleeves which might make the thing wearable, but I wouldn't count on it. I did whip up a cute hat over my midterm break weekend, though.

Yarn: Peace Fleece Worsted in Bakail Superior Green
Gauge: 4 stitches to the inch
Needles: Size 8 (?) Addi Turbos
Started and Finished: A long weekend in October

The hat was quick and fun, and I liked the wave stitch pattern. The hat is slightly slouchy which also loved. The Peace Fleece yarn was nice to work with and will keep my head warm during the chilly Minnesota winter. Other than that, my big accomplishment of the term was teaching three of my friends to knit. By the end of the term, they were all making substantial progress on their first scarves.

Mom had some much more noteworthy project completions while I was gone. The first was Art Yarns Little Hooded Top Down Sweater:

Pattern: Art Yarns Little Hooded Top Down Sweater
Yarn: Art Yarns Super Merino in SM104
Gauge: 4.5 stitches to the inch
Needles: size 7 Addi Turbo circulars
Started: July 2007
Finished: September 2007

Mom made the largest size in the sweater, but she still needed to add to the length of the sweater, as well as the hood (which she finished with a three-needle bind off which made a very clean seam). She changed the sleeves completely, ignoring the severe decreases that the pattern called for, and bound off in stockinette to give the sleeve a rolled cuff. Overall, she was very pleased with the project and the yarn. Best of all, there was almost no finishing!

Even more exciting? Mom designed her first sweater using Elizabeth Zimmerman's Percentage System!

EPS Yoke Sweater
Yarn: Canadian Regal in Grape, Noro Kureyon in 188
Gauge: 5 stitches to the inch
Needle: size 5 circular Addi Turbo
Start: September 23, 2007
Finish: November 17, 2007

Once again, Mom loved that the in-the-round yoke sweater required almost no finishing. And she designed it all to her own specifications using Elizabeth Zimmerman's directions for a yoke sweater, deciding on a garter stitch yoke. Overall, she was happy with the result. When she makes her next sweater using EPS, she plans on lengthening the sweater a bit and adding even more short rows to the back.

Stay tuned for updates on our current projects, and good luck on the last minute Christmas knitting!

Friday, September 7, 2007

We know how to handle our balls!

So we just ordered our first ever swift and ball winder...and decided to take a crack at winding our first ever balls today. Some turned out better than others, but I think we've got the hang of it now. At least we are no longer dependent on our LYS (where we have to pay) or begging an internet yarn store to wind before they ship. It was really quite easy and we would now recommend this for everyone...if we can do it anyone can and now we have lots of balls to play with! We got a great deal on the swift and ball winder pictured here from Webs.

Here's the yarn pre-winding....

On the left is Worsted Peace Fleece from Kpixie and on the right is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted from Jimmy Beans. I hope to make the Kilo hat from Berroco with the green Peace Fleece and an upcoming future project for the rainbow-colored Lorna's Laces is the baby kimono from Mason Dixon Knitting.

And voila here's the yarn post-winding...

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Beach Baby Surprise (and breezy shrugs, too!)

It's inevitable that once you start getting "serious" about knitting, you're going to discover Elizabeth Zimmerman. And once you find her, you realize that her Baby Surprise Jacket is like a password ... just utter it's initials, and you instantly have some measure of street cred in the knitting world. This summer, Mom and I decided that we'd waited long enough, that it was finally time to reach the knitting milestone. We went into our LYS, bought some rather ridiculously priced Claudia's Handpainted, and headed off to the beach (toting Meg Swansen's DVD) to start the famed project.

Elizabeth Zimmerman's BSJ (and hat)
Yarn: Claudia Handpainted Yarns Sport Weight Merino in Cotton Candy
Gauge: 5.5 st/in
Needles: size 5 bamboo
Started: July 29, 2007
Finished: August 4, 2007

Mom finished that week .. I maintain because she had motivation to finish quickly since it's for an actual baby. She also made the hat that Meg Swansen gives instructions for in the DVD. She used a cute shell button inspired by the beach ..

We used a slightly larger yarn than the pattern calls for to make it a size appropriate for a 3-6 month baby. Hopefully, we'll have pictures of the baby in the sweater from the new parents soon.

I too have been working on and off on my BSJ in between other projects. It has been put on hold in my mad rush to finish some sweaters before I return to Minnesota.

While on vacation, we bought Interweave's Lace Style. A few weekends ago , we started the Retro Redux Shrug. I've been knitting on it like mad while Mom put finishing touches on the BSJ, bonnet and Sartjee's booties (pictures will be up soon) and have finished!

Retro Redux Shrug from Lace Style
Yarn: Tahki Stacy Charles New Tweed in Color 54
Gauge: 3 st/in in pattern
Needles: 8, 9, 10 and 10 1/2 Addi Turbos
Started: August 25, 1007
Finished: September 4, 2007

Mom is working on hers in Karabella Aurora 8 which is oh so soft. She should be finished in the next few days.

That's it for our first post. Expect more lovely projects to be up soon. For knittwotog, this is Katherine, signing off.