Monday, March 30, 2009

Nautical Disaster

actually no, no disaster, I just really wanted to say that. It is somewhat of an inside joke.

I think I finshed knitting this hat about three weeks ago. Just an example of how behind/lazy I am in the blogging realm these days.

Even my hair is much shorter now (finally).

I knit this hot on the heels of finishing off the Raglan Wrap with those anchor buttons --I was in the zooooooone of all things Navy and White and Nautical. And suffice to say, like most of my obsessions: fleeting. (yes, I just made a nautical pun there too.)

I love the teeny little tassle on it. Not sure why really as I'm generally anti- tassle. Yes, bet you didn't know there was an anti-tassle movement, did you?

Sooooo, I don't know what it is about this hat exactly--it seems to sit a little weird on my head. I guess I'm used to more of a beret shape?

free pattern: Rochefort Chapeau from the purl bee
yarn: Mission Falls 136 Merino Superwash DK --less than one ball each in White and Navy
needles: 3.75mm
mods: none. I got my A & B colours mixed up, so I kind of went the reverse of what the pattern called for (though I think I prefer a Navy band to a white one anyway?)

I did not even make an attempt at a seamless jog/join or anything like that. For whatever reason the join is barely off at all and the striping is really consistent. I'm not sure if that's down to me being a loose knitter, or this yarn, or what. It was kind of a happy surprise. For the most part ANYTHING that I knit in the round always winds up with some kind of ladder at the join regardless of how tight I'm cinching it. Possibly this is just my knitting cross to bear... but I have accepted this as my knit-lot in life.

Also, this yarn? Smooth and fabulous. Pointe finale. I plan to make it a definite go-to yarn for my next DK-weight sweater, it is JUST that nice. I liked it way better than any of the other Mission Falls yarns I've tried so far. Putting this hat on feels really nice. There is something comforting about it.

Though, that said...not sure if i'll wear it. It may well wind up on the gift pile. I plan to do the same yarn/striping in more of a floppy beret, but for now i'll leave it as it stands. That particular hat had been in my queue for a really, really long time. It went up fast too so I'm not sure why I'd put it off for so long. Also, why am I ever surprised when hats "go up fast"?

Also, speaking of Navy and White(ish) --ok grey I am pushing it... New Phildar eye candy anyone?

This first one is positively SCREAMING my name.

These are all new to me, so I'm not sure exactly how "new" these patterns actually are. I'm finding the whole neutral colour palette they are using and these long basic/baggy/boxy/eighties-style tunics so soothing, I want to knit them all! (or at least wear them all)


Monday, March 23, 2009

more bandwagonning!

bandwagonning...surely (not) a word?

Regardless, prepare to get SICK of this yarn. Let me preface that by saying I bought about 14 (13?) balls of this for the Nati sweater from "dimanche chez moi" (I was planning to knit with that yarn double-stranded).

Then a dose of sanity leaked into my brain and I denied myself another chunky bat-winged sweater. Honestly what am I thinking? This is why my closet has about TEN BLACK CARDIGANS. I am forever searching for the perfect one. No doubt this also applies to me forever knitting (essentially) the same sweater over and over again.

Return the yarn you say? NEVAHHHHH. Instead I decided to play "which-free-pattern-already-in-my-possession-can-I-use-it-for?"

And here is what I've come up with. The aforementionned "bandwagon" sweater:

Yes, more owls.

And seriously, that one is going up lickety-split, so it's already pretty satisfying.

And a Phildar cowl neck sweater from their Winter 06/07 Tendances catalogue:

Will I have enough yarn for both? hmmmm. Won't it be ironic (and entirely probable) when I have to go and purchase MORE of this yarn that I'm desperate to get rid of?

What if I also try to squeeze out a hat too?

pattern: Julia beret
yarn: my overkill Sirdar Tweedie Chunky in "Cedar" (less than one ball)
needles: 6 and 6.5mm
deets: I knit the small for my pea-sized head and then added one extra row in the repeats section for a 'lil more slouch.

would it have killed me to wipe down the table before taking pictures?

This yarn is actually green with yellow and blue flecks running through it, not sure if that's showin' up in those pics. It's a blend. It's been a while since I've knit with anything that was about 40% synthetic (the rest is wool and alpaca). I hate to be a snob, but I was hating it at first. Now I guess I'm used to it. So.sickeningly.used to.this.yarn.

Though I must say that I am SO feeling the Tweed right now. Dare I say that I wish it was fall again? (Don't kill me). But whatever, 'round these parts I likely have another few weeks wear of some wool hats anyway. Even saying that has likely just queued a 40+ humidex for me. Ah well.

Regardless, another cute hat pattern from my friend and yours Miss Muffy!

I am WAY behind on my blogging of late. I've actually got a couple smaller knits I am long overdue in posting about. Still it'll have to wait. Because much like all that yarn, I have now also grown weary of typing.

Monday, March 16, 2009

knittin' on the bandwagon

Because I don't have enough scarves in my life...

pattern: Lace Ribbon scarf from Knitty Spring 2008
yarn: 4 balls of Patons Silk Bamboo (20% silk, 80% bamboo) in "Stone"
needles: 3.25mm

Though I guess a girl can't own enough scarves right? RIGHT? ugh, time to pare down some of the older ones I think...

I just checked on Ravelry to see how many people on there had actually knit this scarf. Three thousand, one hundred & sixteen! And now that I've knit it I can see why it's so popular. It is HIGHLY wearable and is already in heavy rotation in my wardrobe. In less humid climates I could see this being a regular summertime accessory as well. So many people seem to have knit it in fact that I was about to declare it the new Clapotis (two of which I have already knit for myself and I am STILL now contemplating a third...), so off to Ravelry I went again to check out those particular stats. How many peeps have knit the clapotis you ask? (on ravelry alone that is...) 10,400!!!! Sweet, merciful crap! How is this possible???

Blocking the lace ribbon scarf though I would say, a definite necessity. It completely brought it to life.

The pattern came alive, it came out smooth, beautiful and virtually perfect. Anyone I've shown this scarf too can't believe that it's hand knit (is that a compliment or not? is it a dig that everything else I knit looks too "handmade/craptacular"? haha).

And this yarn? fabulous. Leave it to Patons to create another reliable and bamboo for less than 5 bucks a ball with decent yardage. It didn't split and I think in four balls I encountered maybe one knot. My one complaint here might be the weight of it overall. Though I'm not sure if that's down to the fact that there is 80 inches of scarf here, but it is not heavy by any means...I feel more like it is a thing of substance. Which is great for me, but someone looking for something slightly more airy might want to use just straight bamboo.

I'd like to be able to say that I was done with scarves for a bit (especially now that Spring is rolling in) but I've actually just finished another and two more are on the sticks. huh? Yeah, that's right.

So if you were ever thinking of knitting this one, and judging from the 5000plus people who have it in their queue I could very well be talking to YOU, all I can say is DO IT. You won't be disappointed. And as lace patterns go, this is an easy enough one to commit to memory.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Wranglin' the wrap

Finally, something to post about --and a newsflash for you: Seaming sucks. Especially when you screw it up as often as I did knitting this baby:

pattern: Raglan Wrap from Laura Irwin's Boutique Knits
yarn: 9 balls of Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk DK in "ink" for the size M.
needles: 3.75mm
buttons: bought on ebay --Vintage anchor (peacoat) buttons
mods: buttons sewn through both front pieces with the exception of at the neck and waistband (still used the snaps there), and I blocked it out a little longer than called for to try to get a little more length in the body.

um, ok --I think I might be in love with this sweater. I am DEFINITELY in love with the yarn. Though I bought too much. The pattern specified 8 balls for the small, and then 13 (????????) balls for the medium. Ok, it wasn't worded quite like that but that's what the medium instructions essentially amounted to: you will need 9 to 13 balls. Uhhhh, what do you do in that situation--shoot for a mid-point? I erred on the side of caution and bought all 13. I now have 4 leftover. Or, I WOULD have if I hadn't had to tear it out (twice) to keep re-seaming it. I used 9 balls exactly. Then when I had to seam it up for the final time I had to dip into the tenth ball for that reason alone. So now I suppose I could return the three remaining for something else, but enh? It's beautiful yarn. There may be a cowl (or two) in my (and someone else's)future.

I will spare you the long story about my seaming issues other than to say that originally I seamed the sleeves all the way up to the armpits (seen in my previous post). I had woven everything in before changing my mind. At one point I even mistakenly CUT THROUGH (gasp!) knit stitches thinking that they were the seaming yarn. (Cursed dark yarn), but in the end it all came together beautifully --and I think I may have finally mastered the mattress stitch. It is definitely my best seam-job to date. Why does that sound dirty?

And before anyone asks --it is meant to be reverse stockinette --I haven't inadvertently seamed this sweater together inside out. Though with my track record, would it really be a surprise if I did? I grappled with whether I even liked the reverse ST stitch, but I think the border is "fancy" enough that it actually kind of works here.

In short, this sweater might actually get some wear. Though after some great advice from miss Puffin, I think that I am OFFICIALLY done with anything remotely resembling a batwing. Yes, you now have that in writing, and any previous plans to knit Nati are now dead in the water.

Though now the question remains: "what the hell am I going to do with all that yarn for it???"

I had the world's laziest weekend, spent mostly thrifting and walkin' around in our sudden Spring-like temperatures around these parts (though as I type this it is now snowing again...) so our knitting "photoshoot" on Saturday deteriorated into some serious silliness, and as such subsequent photos of the sweater itself were not the best and look more like this:

Ah well. Consider it the sweater in action.