Monday, August 28, 2006

Gatsby Girl progress

I've made it to the lace chart on the back. I am such a slow knitter. I see all of these other bloggers who finish things within a couple of weeks, and I know the same project would take me months! I don't know... I don't have the best concentration skills, and I am very easily distracted, so that is probably part of it. My wrist problems probably don't help, either. But, after about 2 weeks of a lot of knitting, I still really haven't made a lot of progress. And I'll be much slower when I get back to school. Classes start a week from Wed, and I will no longer have much time to knit.

Anyway, so I THINK, thanks to a fellow knitblogger, I've fixed my problem with the Spencer... for now. That doesn't go to say I won't have the same problems elsewhere in the pattern. I learned I needed to wait until I have the full number of stitches needed for the chart before I attempt it, and just knit stockinette until I do have enough stitches. But I've been taking short breaks from the small needles I use on Gatsby Girl, and working a few rows of the Spencer pattern now and again. I've gotten a few inches of the left sleeve done. It is going to look marvelous in my yarn, if I dare say so myself. I just hate that this color, I'm sure, will not appear at its best when I take pics for the blog. I'm already thinking about buttons for it. I believe buttons can make or break a project... it really is all about the details, and those are such an important, obvious one. I always thought the lovely pewter and pearl buttons I used for my corset top and partially for my Candy would look particularly beautiful on this design, but I don't know about using the same button so many times.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention that the Cascade 220 superwash just didn't work out for GG. I got CLOSE to gauge, but not near enough... so I went back to the yarn store, and one of the ladies recommended Rowan's Felted Tweed. I chose a teal color (online, I found it to be named "Watery"), and I was able to get gauge with it. Teal is one of those colors I never knew for sure that I could wear, but at the yarn store, they said "With your complexion, how can you NOT wear it?," which made me decide that maybe it would look nice. I have a very hard time decided which colors are good on me, since I have very fair skin (and I think cool-tone, rosy, but of that I definitely cannot be certain), very dark brown eyes, and a natural hair color that is hard to distinguish between light brown, dark blonde, and strawberry blonde, depending on the lighting. So normally, I've just worn colors I like, but lately I've been trying to wear colors that look good as well. At first I worried that the yarn would be too busy for the pattern, but when knitted up, it is actually quite subtle. I love working with this yarn so much, although the alpaca does shed, the yarn just feels so nice in your hands. It's my first time working with an alpaca blend, and I believe I can say I'll be trying more of them in the future. This sweater is going to be fabulous! Also, thinking of buttons for this one (the shoulder has a few small buttons on it), I don't know if pearls are going to be the best look for this sweater; a shame, because I do dearly love pearls, and that little detail was one of the main points that attracted me to this sweater to begin with. There is enough white that it could possibly work, but I really think pewter or even faux-wood buttons may be a better choice. We'll see when I get far enough into the sweater to really decide.

Oh yes, and how could I forget to mention that the kind ladies at the knit shop also told me I should knit myself another corset top, since it looked so great on me. Glad to hear it, since I have decided I'd love one in another color, and maybe with long sleeves. But what color? Maybe black... although that might mask the beautiful, intricate details that make this top so wonderful. The corset top has, I believe, been the most complimented thing I've knit to date. The fish bag is close, or maybe equal, and RR has received its share as well. I can't believe I forgot to post that awhile back, a local artist saw me wearing my corset top, and loved it so well that she asked me to pose for a drawing in it. I don't know whether she will actually get around to painting it or not, but still, that was pretty neat.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Am I bad?

Is it bad to drop the two projects you're working on, that you've been dying to make for so long, and really want to work on, out of frustration, and instead, start on something completely new?

If so, then I am bad. Instead of working on the Spencer or the Butterfly, I swatched for the Gatsby Girl pullover from the new IK. It is my favorite thing in the issue, and one of the loveliest sweaters I've seen in a long time. It's sooo elegant! It calls for a DK weight, but I thought I could possibly get gauge using a worsted, and tried Cascade 220 superwash in a lovely shade of a deep, peacockish teal... at least, that was the shade it looked in the store. Here, it appears to be more of a hunter green, at least to someone who's been staring at it for an extended amount of time. I'm not sure I like the hunter-greenishness of it. I loved the teal. The Cascade is nice, but I really think the less-expensive Knitpicks' Swish is much softer and more pleasant to knit. I've been bragging so much about this yarn lately, but I really think it is nearly the perfect yarn - soft, pleasant to knit, washable, affordable. In a word, wonderful. Imo, the Cascade has only two advantages over it - a greater range of colors, and probably a greater availability (although not to me normally, since there isn't a yarn store near me unless I'm visiting down South Louisiana).

At least I don't have to feel bad about not picking up an old project when these two started giving me problems - they are all at home! Though I really wish I'd brought the Noro Butterfly, since it's really been going along well, and it's a simple tv, distraction friendly project.

I WANT to knit the Spencer so badly! I didn't want to put it aside for any reason, but I am having a major problem with the chart, and can't figure out what I'm doing incorrectly. I've wanted to make this thing since I saw it, and particularly since I saw a modified version of it, lengthened and given a flared rib. I hope I can figure all that out... assuming I ever figure out what I'm doing wrong on the chart now. I also couldn't love the color I chose for it more. I am really disappointed, because I figured this would be a knit that forced my attention, but was still do-able. My heart is broken. :-(

Ripping out lace sucks. I can't even talk about Butterfly right now. It's too painful.

Ok, so I'm being a drama queen, but I really do wish these projects were going better!

Oh yeah, and I wore Rambling Rose to the yarn store today... what a reaction I received! All the ladies there thought it was just beautiful, and were very impressed with my knitting... I guess they didn't realize how simple it really was! I was very pleased, considering that I was unsure of wearing it and worried that it didn't look right on me, or looked "grandmaish."

Monday, August 14, 2006


I only brought two knitting projects on my trip - the Butterfly dress and the Sideways Spencer. I didn't even think to bring a simple, mindless project. Now both of these have annoyed me, and I have nothing to knit that doesn't make me want to rip my hair out... which would probably be much more enjoyable than trying to frog that darned mohair for the 85th time! Apparently, I suck at charts. I just have such a problem keeping my place. How do all of these other knitters do it?!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

More Fused Glass Jewelry

Hopefully not the last! But here is everything I've made since the last post about the jewelry. Sorry the photos suck... I haven't figured out how to photograph fused glass yet. If you have the flash on, the glass reflects, of course. If you have the light off, you get blurry pictures.

Lots of earrings, a couple of pendants (the purple/white were supposed to be earrings, but I decided they'd be too heavy, so now they are pendants), a fish, and a turtle! YAY! This was really fun, and I would love to continue!

Revisiting My Intro Post

How much have I accomplished from my first post, 8 months later?

Ella Scarf - crochet, using Lily's Sugar and Cream (~ 40% complete) I put this on hold over the summer, but will get it done in time for winter... I still love this scarf!
Americana hat - crochet using Red Heart Worsted, to match the scarf I made my grandma for Christmas (she loves the patriotic things)(~20% complete) FINISHED!!!
A hat for me - crochet, using Lion Brand Homespun, Red Heart Light and Lofty, Red Heart Worsted, and crochet thread (~80% complete)FINISHED!!! But I hated it.
DNA scarf - knit, in Caron's Simply Soft (no dye lot, because I want it to be longer than pictured, and don't know how much extra I will need) (~ 10% complete) I stopped working on this, and decided I didn't want to use this yarn for the scarf after all. I am going to make the scarf, but in a superwash wool.
Small flower - crochet, in crochet thread (~ 70% complete) Whoops, this one is in a drawer... unfinished. I am not sure why, since it would not take long to finish it, I imagine.
Fabric-knit purse - knit (~10% completed) This is in the same state as the flower.
Delphine sweater - knit, in Knitpicks' Wool of the Andes. Currently, I am only working on constructing the pattern for this sweater. Don't expect this to be finished any time soon, it is the most complicated project I've worked on. Yay! I have't forgotten this sweater... but neither have I made much progress on it. Two bottoms of the sleeves are done, and that is about it. Sigh. It's that darned center cable. I'd be finished if I could just let myself use a different cable for it.

To-do list (someday)
Soon - Hat for my nephew Dustin - knit, Red Heart Worsted? Almost done! I should have already finished it.
This silk corset top - knit, in Knitpicks' Shine? I'd love to do it in silk, but it will only cost about $25 to make it in Shine, double-stranded. No one has told me how this would work for this top though. Done, knit in Brilla. Love it!
Something for my boyfriend's mother, she is so sweet! I saw a clapotis knit in beautiful recycled sari silk, and I think that might be a wonderful choice for Mrs. Nancy. Haven't even looked for yarn for it yet. Shame on me.
Something pretty and lacy for my elementary G/T teacher, Mrs. Knight... she was such a great teacher. Same as above, but I don't know how to get in touch with her any way.
A sweater for my mom I keep telling her to find the yarn for it... and she hasn't even decided on a pattern yet.
A knitting bag, - knit, felted or cotton with fabric lining It got pushed back, and right now I'm using a big, cheap tote bag of my mom's from Walmart as a knitting bag.
A knitting needle case - knit, felted I sewed one instead.
A felted cloche like Ann Darrow wears in King Kong, if I can ever find or design the perfect pattern Maybe THIS winter...
A fish bag from Folk Bags FINISHED! I love it!
Kimono Sweater from Knitpicks It's still on the list... the ever growing list.
The Lion Brand Incredible ribbon shrug and camisole in the Spring/Summer '05 issue of Knit.1 The shrug is finished... the cami not so much. I didn't even buy the yarn for it.
This wrap from the same mag. Almost forgotten... but I do still love it.
The ballet wrap from Interweave Knits Spring 2005. I'll get to it some day. I love it so!
The beautiful butterfly jacket from Noro Knits. In progress, thank God!

Geez, so I still have a really long list from when I started knitting, and now there is so much more I want to knit. I never meant to find so much I wanted to make! There are still a ton of sweaters and a couple of hats I want, I've got yarn for a couple of scarves (they will be quick knits, since they are $1 novelty yarns), and more.

Aside from what's on the sidebar, some of which I do still occasionally touch, I've got Rowan's Butterfly dress going on as my first lace project, a Sunrise Circle Jacket in the works, yarn for a Tubey someday, and yarn for a Craftster Circular Shrug, oh, and the Rebecca Apricot Jacket. And Annie Modesitt's Spencer from IK. I can't bring myself to edit my list of WIPs on the sidebar, since I really feel I should be finishing things, instead of starting new ones!

Looking at the list on the sidebar, I'm unsure about the Pomatomus socks... I still definitely want them, but I don't know if I want to knit them in a purple yarn any more. I am thinking about ripping out the tiny bit I have done on them, and making Baudelaire with it, and finding some pretty, watery blue for Pomatomus. Also, the fur collared shrug looked like I was going to run short of yarn, so I don't think it is going to work out. I have to find something to make with that beautiful yarn, though! The Craftster DNA tank and I had a spat, and it won. I thought I shouldn't need more than one row counter to keep up, and it thought I should. So I am going to rip nearly all my progress on it, and start over using more than one row counter. If you think that's unecessary, you should see the mess I've made of it. I could probably finish the Butterfly Jacket pretty quickly if I worked on only it for awhile, but I don't need to finish it any time soon... most of the sweaters I am in no hurry to finish, which is why I let myself work on so many. Louisiana doesn't have enough cold weather for me to rush them. It will be mid to late October before I will even need a jacket, let alone a sweater.

It's really silly of me to be making so many in that case, but I love knitting sweaters! A lot of knitters have socks, I have sweaters. Since I am so small, they don't cost much for me to make, and I love learning the different construction techniques, and having a beautiful FO to wear. That being said, I also love hats. Quick, easy, and the perfect way, imo, to showcase a little bit of great yarn. Not to mention that I love wearing hats! I particularly want to make both of the Kirsten Dunst inspired hats.

Anyway, now I find myself dying to knit Eunny's Argyle Vest (well, I've wanted to for awhile, but now that Telemark has arrived, may actually have found a better yarn to do it with, making it that much worse), and I know in the winter IK I will definitely love her fair-isle sweater. I want to get the new IK for the Gatsby Girl sweater (talk about beautiful!), and I love Glampyre's new sweater design, Guinevere, for Stitch Diva (Ok, so Guinevere is the name I gave it). The Telemark yarn also offered up an affordable choice for Annie Modesitt's Bi-color Cables Cardi, which I love... at least there will be things to knit for years to come. And when Eunny brings out the pattern for her pink Bonnie inspired sweater, well, I'm dropping everything else to knit it. Oh, and how could I forget Forecast from Knitty? I adore it so! And the Drops Designs criss-cross sweater! I know there are lots of other things I'd love to knit... designers, slow down and let me catch up! Not really, yall are doing a great job keeping us "in stitches." There are plenty of other wonderful designs I could mention, but I think I have spent enough time dreaming for one day. ;-)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Knitting Needle Case

I finally got tired of having my knitting notions everywhere, and decided to actually get around to sewing a knitting needle case. I'd intentionally planned on using a craftster tutorial, and it probably would look better if I had, but I didn't. I winged it and I am still happy with it - it's not perfect, but it will hold everything I currently have, and I think there is even room for a few more things. Not all of my knitting needles are in the case right now, since I literally have so many projects "on the needles!" Also, I LOVE this fabric so much, and think it makes up for the many any imperfections in the sewing. Eventually, it will close with pretty red ribbon, but since I didn't have any available right now, I just used red acrylic yarn. Please excuse the gross looking plastic-covered dorm mattress - I promise it's clean(not that I sleep on it, there are sheets on my bed... this is the extra)!

I forgot to take a picture of it unrolled to show the outside fabric, but here are a couple of pictures I took when I first got the fabric:


Rolled Up:

It holds my straights, circulars, dpns (I hardly have any!), cable needles, crochet hooks, scissors, measuring tape, needle felting needles (I have some to try it, but couldn't get the hang of it when I did), stitch holders, a pen and a needle-sizer, and a small ziploc bag holding my stitch markers and row counters. I have to think of a better way to store those! Anyone?

Yes, it's bulky holding that much stuff, but at least everything is easy to keep up with now! I think I am going to make a smaller one later.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Burda Blouse and a Belt Buckle

I never posted anything about working on this blouse from the Burda May '06 issue, mainly because I wasn't sure I'd ever finish it. When Burda says something is "easy to sew," that obviously means easy for experienced sewers to sew! I had a very hard time with it and eventually ended up diverting from the "instructions" and just BSing it. The sleeves are really too tight, and of course, the bust area is too small, so I HAVE to wear a cami underneath. Still, I think it's pretty good for my first try at a blouse, and my second piece of clothing. I hand-sewed snaps on, and I didn't do a great job of it, so I may go back and try to learn how to sew a snap with my machine. I thought about doing buttons, but I didn't have any I liked for this blouse lying around, and I'm a little nervous about trying buttonholes. I'm sure I'll do it eventually, though... just maybe not for this blouse. I will probably make this top again, and I know I want to make the version of it with the long sleeves, too. I really like it! I also made a belt to go along with it, inspired by a review of the blouse from the Sewing Pattern Review website... but I think I like it better without.

Please excuse the mess in the background, since I've been too busy to clean! Actually, I already did clean when I looked at the pictures and realized what a mess that bed looks, but I didn't feel like going back and re-doing the pictures. I'd say it's not normally a mess, but I'd be lying.

Here is the belt buckle I made for mom. It's fused glass, and I thought it turned out so beautifully. So did everyone else! The colors are not due to the light; they are really like that... part blue, purple... part yellow. It looks like the light is reflecting it, but it looks those colors no matter the angle.

Here is a pin for my grandma. It is made of stacks of glass, fused together, and then cut. What a neat technique!

That's all for now. Time to go work on my PCR project!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

FO - Rambling Rose (at last!!)

Yes, that's right... I finally finished Rambling Rose today! I'm not sure yet what I think, but I did take a couple of bad shots in front of the mirror to give an idea of how it looks. I'll try to get some better photos later on.

Pattern: Rambling Rose from Rowan 39
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fine in Victorian Pink
Needles: Susan Bates size 1 circulars, Addi Turbo size 2 circulars, 24 or 29"
Modifications: No intentional ones. I messed up and made the bottom ribbing about 1 cm too short (by the way, this project was great for getting me to know metric better, since everything is in cm), and I may have done the shaping wrong around the shoulders and sleeves, since the pattern was a little confusing to me... but it all worked out in the end, so I don't think I did mess that up.

I'm happy with the knitting, overall... I think my seaming should be better, and the cotton is not very forgiving, so I can tell even minor problems with the stitches, but I think the sweater looks beautiful... on me, however... I'm not so sure. I kinda feel that it may make me look fat, and I'm still not sure about the roses, as much as I love them. I like this yarn as well as I reckon I could like any cotton fingering weight yarn... it is very soft, and I am loving how it feels against my skin, although knitting with it was tiring at times. I didn't really learn any new techniques with this piece, but I am happy with the finished product, although I don't know how frequently I'll wear it... or if I'll ever get the nerve to give it a public appearance!