Monday, April 26, 2010

Knitting And Crocheting Blog Week - Day 1

How and when did you begin knitting/crocheting? was it a skill passed down through generations of your family, or something you learned from Knitting For Dummies? What or who made you pick up the needles/hook for the first time? Was it the celebrity knitting ‘trend’ or your great aunt Hilda?

My grandma, Grace, taught me to knit when I was about 12.  I started with "footsocks".  She gave me the same Sears Knitting book she'd learned from, and bought the yarn for my first projects.  I still have the sweater she knit for my high school graduation, though it doesn't fit anymore.  I think only one of my aunts (my grandma had 5 daughters and one son) knits -- my mom learned later in life but "it didn't stick".  I have quite a bit of my grandma's knitting tools, and some of her pattern books as well. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Peer Pressure

Kym says all the cool kids are doing it.

I was the kind of kid who wasn't much into peer pressure.  But now, I can jump in when I want -- even though I know it's way too late for cool.  This is a fun collage of the words on my blog.  

You can make yours here.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Grass around the Lake

Also known as Candy Stripe Jacket, from Spud & Chloe.
I really like this sweater --

Knitty Gritty details:
  • Spud & Chloe Candy Stripe Jacket - Pattern no. 9503
  • knit in Spud & Chloe Sweater yarn, 55% superwash wool, 45% organic cotton.  I used 5 skeins "Lake" (though the pattern, even for the next smaller size, called for 6 skeins), and one skein "Grass".
  • size 7 needles (the size called for in the pattern, which, for me, is weird).  I liked bamboo needles with this yarn.
  • Yarn purchased at Dancing Ewe Yarns & Tea in Ellensburg.
  • Buttons from Blackwater Abbey, originally purchased for my red sweater.  Their buttons are under accessories.
  • Ravelry link
  • Size M
 Here are the buttons.  I'm not sure they're the perfect ones, but I like 'em.  Sort of a "Lothlorien" edge to them. 

Here's the back -- you can see that perhaps this isn't either the right size or style for my shoulders, AND as other knitters have said about this pattern, the collar wants to roll.  I think it's to do with the i-cord edging, but also could have to do with the collar shaping.  I think the sizes on the collar for this jacket don't scale quite right, but I could be wrong.  Mine actually went on pretty well.  And, I've decided the whimsical collar and slightly rolling front edge are design features.  But, if I had this to make again, I'd substitute seed stitch for the slipped stitch pattern.  It would make a firmer fabric, which I'd prefer, especially for the front button bands.

I finished this sweater with one of my new labels.  They were featured in the last Vogue Knitting, and I got 'em from Angie at Remember Wynn, via Etsy.   I would heartily recommend these labels and this business - I can't believe how quickly Angie replied to my queries, and then sent my labels.  They're much softer than the woven ribbon ones I had been using, and the four holes are just perfect for sewing into a sweater.

I wore this sweater quite a bit this last weekend and week.  On Monday, my husband made a special point to tell me how much he liked this sweater -- explaining that he could find me so easily in a crowd (we were touring colleges with our daughter).  Not quite the same as telling me how lovely I looked, but he did point out one positive aspect of hand-knits -- they ARE unique.

The Spud & Chloe yarn is a superwash/cotton blend.  My gauge may have been a tad looser than I'd intended, but not by much - I think there was some relaxing of gauge with the first washing.  With all the recent wearing, I did have some pilling, and a bit of shedding of fiber when I washed the sweater.   Also, the ends of this sweater wanted to come unwoven more than most yarns I've used.  Still, all in all, I'd use this yarn again.  It makes a nice fabric, and the colors are really great.  This Lake blue is a great shade with dark indigo jeans, and a blue I like very much.  I'm happy with the green as an accent color.

Friday, April 02, 2010

A Sad Story

It's about my red sweater. This one - Am Kamin.

After wearing it three days in a row, I decided to wash it before adding some ribbon to counteract the stretching it was doing in the neck.

I accidentally felted this sweater.

It was like a death, but it wasn't. I grieved, I was sad. I was ashamed of doing something so stupid.

But unlike a death (losing a pet for instance), I can make another sweater. My goal is to be able to wear it next fall.

So, if it feels like deja vu all over again, that's because it is.

I do intend to do a few things differently (besides obviously avoiding laundry room idiocy). I thought the knit-as-you-go button band could have used a few less rows - so I plan to do a few short rows so that the band will be flatter. And, I intend to knit the raglan part in one piece -- I'll knit the back and two fronts (which I'll knit at the same time) up to the armholes, and then knit all three pieces (plus the sleeves) at once. I think it will make for a nicer raglan line.

Please -- I'm not allowing comments on this post, and I REALLY don't want any comments, suggestions, or sympathy.


Tomorrow: a finished sweater!