Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Gift Knits

Happy Holidays to you all!

My Christmas knitting for 2007. I made dishrags/washcloths from the Sugar N' Cream cotton yarn on size 7 (4.5mm) needles. Lots of fun to make, especially with all of the color combinations. Some of the colors are so loud that they might induce headaches, but from afar, they're very cheery.

With the same cotton yarn, I made mitered square coasters. The idea came from a Ravelry search which lead me to Drip. Differing from the original pattern, I used much thicker yarn (not sock yarn) and didn't add any fringe. Ok, this is why my attention span became so short over the past few weeks. It only took me about an hour or two to cast-on and then bind-off for one 4 inch by 4 inch coaster. Practically instant gratification. For a while, just the thought of tackling my frogged sweater was daunting.

The total count: 10 dishrags/washcloths (my aunt has turned them into trivets, so that's another use for them) and two sets of coasters

I've gotten positive responses so far from the recipients. I hope they do enjoy them! Time for me to sit back, relax, and enjoy a cuppa!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Although I haven't posted any knitting pictures lately, I've been churning out some neat things. Well, my little project started off fun, but it's getting old. Knitting is supposed to nurture patience and put you into a zen-like mode. Throw Christmas knitting into the mix and all that just goes out the door! Right now, I have the attention span of a gnat. The deadline (Christmas day) is looming and the pressure is on to finish! I'm not making anything difficult, it's just becoming repetitive and tough to stay focused on one thing.

I'd like to work on my Boatneck sweater from Fitted Knits. A few weeks ago, I cast on for the smallest size and worked a few inches from the top. Tried it on and it's too boatnecky for me. It's practically off the shoulder. So, I've frogged it and need to rejigger the math the take a few inches off at the neckline. I'm wondering if I should use smaller sized needles to work the neckline, like size 5s or 6s. I'm using 8s to get gauge, but I'm thinking it might help to use 5s for the garter stitch border to "shrink" it inwards and make it lay flat, then switch to 8s for the rest of the sweater. Any opinions? Deduct a few inches from the neckline and use smaller needles? Or just use smaller needles with the original printed number of stitches for the border?

Anyway, I don't have much time to work on the sweater now. Actually, I should say I don't have time to re-think the pattern now. If I could just follow the pattern without custom fitting it, I could probably work on it and my gift knitting simultaneously.

It's a busy time of year, but I am having a good time with friends and family. I don't mean to sound like I'm totally stressed out about prezzie knitting. Although I've integrated knitting into my lifestyle, my time isn't solely for knitting (and work). Especially now, Simon and I are making time for holiday parties, seeing A Christmas Carol and The Hard Nut, having dinner with friends, etc. Koobideh kabobs! Yum!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Candy Colors

I stopped by the big craft store to buy one ball of Sugar and Cream cotton yarn. Just wanted to try out a simple pattern for the kitchen. Well, my eyes were dazzled by all of the candy colors and the $2 price tag. See, I haven't come across cheap yarn like this in a while, so...

I bought one of each solid color in the bins. $12 for days of fun. My sock yarn costs more than that. When the time is right, I will post pictures of what I'm madly churning out with this cotton. Slipped stitch patterns, mitered square things...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Back to Work U-neck Vest

It's the Back to School vest pattern but really it's back to work tomorrow. My four day weekend has flown by so quickly, and yet, I've probably eaten enough to last me a week.

Finished it over a week ago but didn't have time to take a picture in daylight. I wore it to Thanksgiving dinner and look forward to wearing it many more times to come. It's a very wearable vest and easy (fast) to knit too. I don't have any complaints about it, other than I should've made the body a little bit longer. It tends to ride up a little bit at the bottom, but I haven't blocked it yet either. That might take care of it, but it's not a big deal.

Pattern: BTS U-neck vest from Fitted Knits by Stefanie Japel
Size: 34
Yarn: Cascade 220 heathers (purple)
2 skeins with just a little bit leftover
Needles: US 8 (5mm) and US5 (3.75mm)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Back to School U-neck Vest WIP

With my shawl FO behind me, I quickly cast-on for a new project, the Back to School U-neck vest from Fitted Knits. Besides my red scarf, for the past two months I've mainly been working with sock yarn and lace weight yarn. Thin stuff that seemed to take forever to progress. Now I'm back to worsted weight yarn (not thick, but way thicker than the other two), and I'm motoring through the vest pattern. It's only been a week, but I'm more than half way done and this is what it looks like.

And I got my Ravelry t-shirt in the mail this week too :)

New things. I came across a new video podcast, Knitterati, by Nina Casey. It's more like a film short or documentary, rather than a talk show. Although this is her first episode, I thought she did a great job in terms of interviewing her knitters and editing the whole video into one flowing piece. I'm not sure how far she plans to go with this format, but it would be intriguing to see if she probes deeper into why her knitters knit, how knitting has changed or incorporated into their lives, etc. Maybe that's not going to be the focus of her video podcasting, but I already can see glimmers of this kind of documentary in her work. Pretty cool! I look forward to Episode 2. Check it out.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Kiri Shawl

Although I finished knitting this a week ago, here are pictures of my new shawl. This yarn is deceptively warm. It looks wisp thin, but all that mohair really retains the heat.

Pattern: Kiri
Yarn: 2 balls of Rowan Kidsilk Haze
Needles: US7 (4.5mm) and US8 (5mm) for bind-off
~60inches wide and ~30 inches from neck to triangle point at bottom

With two balls of Kidsilk Haze, I managed to fit 10 repeats of chart 2 before completing chart 3 and binding off. Thanks to Polly for the advice about my leaf "burn rate" per ball of yarn. To be safe, I counted 70 leaves for the first ball. Great pattern! I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to knit their first lace shawl.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

On the Blocking Board

This is Kiri blocked on my new mats! Pretty cool how all the lumpy leaves straightened out after soaking the shawl in water and pinning everything into place.

My pictures are kind of dark, aren't they? I'm still learning how to take good pictures of my knits.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Unblocked Kiri

I bound off the last stitch tonight! My two ball Kiri shawl is done. Wow, the last few rows took me days to finish. Mostly because I didn't devote enough time to sit and knit. Each row took me maybe 30 to 60 minutes to finish? Depended upon how distracted I was.

Speaking of distractions, I paused while knitting a leaf during last night's earthquake, but I kept on going after the shaking stopped. Seriously, I ought to have ducked under a table during the earthquake, but I just couldn't put down my lace! I was counting the stitch pattern and was not about to break my concentration, unless the quake worsened. After all of those elementary school earthquake drills and the 1989 quake, I knew better than to sit there by a glass window and watch the walls shake. I guess I was waiting for the quake to intensify before I took cover, but it never did. Everyone's fine, nothing even fell off the shelves. Anyway, I really hope I'm not so addicted to knitting that I can't even put down the needles/yarn during a natural disaster. If it's true, I'm in trouble!

Back to less scary things (happy halloween). Let's zoom in on the fern leaves!

I was afraid I'd run out of yarn and have to buy another ball just to finish the last bits. Although I knew I should've put in lifelines towards the end, just in case I needed to rip back and end the shawl a little earlier than planned, I didn't do it. Just kept pushing to see how far I could get. This is what was leftover. Yay!

Time to give the shawl a dunk in water and block it out. More details next time.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Cable and Lace Scarf

An FO (Finished Object translated for my non-knitting friends), finally! I'm already wearing my new scarf, as I blog. Just bound off the last stitch today and am so glad it's done. It took longer than I thought to finish this project, but it has been a secondary project for the past two months or so. This yarn is really nice to knit with. Very soft, thick, and squishy. I think I started working on this in September, with the notion that it would be my relief yarn while I made socks for Simon. Going from thin (and hard bamboo/wool) sock yarn to this thicker alpaca blend and back again. However, once I finished the socks, I started up the Kiri shawl with threadlike yarn. So once again, my red scarf was the relief project. One that I could zone out, knit, and relax with.

Pattern: my own combination of three 4-stitch cable panels with lace yarnovers in between and selvedge edges

Size: 3.5 inches wide and ~60 inches long

Yarn: Andean Silk (alpaca/merino wool/silk) from Knitpicks, 3 whole balls

Color: Barn red

Needle: size 6 (4mm)

At least that's an accomplishment for the week! I'm happy with my new scarf, but now I need to focus on what else is on my needles. I'm still slogging through my Kiri shawl. I knit and knit and don't see any progress. Yes, it's the knitting black hole. It's around ~300 stitches per row, so that's probably why. That's not a lot for some people, but it's enough for me. I have to concentrate and sit near good lighting to see these skinny stitches. Wah wah wah :) Here's the deal: I won't allow myself to cast on for a new project until I finish my shawl. I'm almost there (I think). Well, maybe I'll wind the yarn for my next project... just to get a head start.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Fern Cobweb

Lace knitting! My first real entry into lace knitting. I'm making the Kiri shawl, pattern designed by Polly. I've got two balls of Kid Silk Haze, so that will limit the size. Almost done with ball 1, so I guess I can say I'm 50% done! (picture is not exactly up to date) I'm on the 8th repeat of chart 2. A few more fern leaf repeats and then the edging. I really hope I don't run out of yarn before I reach the end. I also hope I don't underestimate and have too much leftover either. Then, the leftovers will go into the scrap pile, which I can't seem to throw away.

Anyway, I wonder when I'll finish this project. I started off with a bang but as I increase the stitch number in each row, I am slowing down. The pattern is easy enough that I can memorize the pattern for the particular row I'm working on, but I'm not good enough that I can zone out and keep knitting. I really do have to concentrate and watch my needles and the thread-like yarn. Since I can't watch tv (trying to catch up on The War) that requires my attention, I've gotten back into P&P (6hr version), Jane Eyre (4hr), and Jane Eyre (6hr). Mind you, I'm not watching ALL of them back to back. I can listen and occasionally look up, since I've watched these movies hundreds of times already. I like the long versions because I don't have to stop knitting and hit the remote control too often.

All in all, I'm enjoying knitting this pattern. In the beginning, I screwed up a lot, although I don't think you can see it very well (thank you mohair). I had trouble "reading" my knitting on the needles. The stitches were so big and airy that I couldn't really make out what was what. Looked like a big messy cobweb. Now, I'm used to it and it's a coming along.

Also, this week, my orange legwarmers got mentioned by Jenny & Nicole! I'm glad you liked them. There were so many fantastic entries for the one skein contest. Everyone made something inspiring.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

I am mohair

What kind of yarn are you?

You are Mohair.You are a warm and fuzzy type who works well with others, doing your share without being too weighty. You can be stubborn and absolutely refuse to change your position once it is set, but that's okay since you are good at covering up your mistakes.
Take this quiz!

Is this true?! I think it is! No one knows how I cover up my mistakes ;) Ha ha! And I'm currently working with Kid Silk Haze (mohair silk!). I can see why it'a aka Crack Silk Haze. Kiri shawl, in progress. Take the quiz and tell me what kind of yarn you are.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Simon's Socks

Done! On Monday night, I finished knitting the socks. Tuesday, Simon wore the socks to work. Initially, he thought they felt a little rough (probably the bamboo?) but were fine after a while.

Basic stockinette socks
Trekking Pro Natura (75% superwash wool, 25% bamboo)
A little less than 1 skein
Color: brown multi

As I've mentioned before, knitting with this yarn was ok, not great. Not nearly as soft and smooth as my other 100% wool sock yarns. After working with this for about a month, I adapted to the feel, but I'm not sure if I'd choose this wool/bamboo blend again. We hope it'll soften after washing.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Green and Purple Monster

Late last week, my yarn order came in. More green and purple madness.

Knitpicks Swish DK (superwash merino wool), 5 skeins, moss green

Project: Puffed sleeve cardigan from Fitted Knits

Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Bulky (100% wool), 6 skeins, grape

Project: V-neck sweater from Fitted Knits

I've got all of my supplies and I'm ready to cast-on for something new! Just gotta finish up my two other projects which should be soon. Simon's socks are almost done. I'm decreasing at the toe and he'll probably get to wear the pair by tomorrow night. I haven't picked up my cable and lace scarf in a week but that'll be a quick knit. Especially since those needles will feel like a pair of clubs compared to the size 1s I'm currently using on the socks.

Slowly, I've been populating "my notebook" on Ravelry with projects. Up to 14, I think. I'm also trying to add a Ravelry button to my blog on the upper left hand corner. But as you can see, it's not working yet. Any advice? I copied and pasted the html code and tried to link in the location of the button picture (in my picasa album) but obviously I'm missing something.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Socks, 1 of 2

I'm halfway done with Simon's socks! One down, another to go. I'm already at the heel for the second one; almost there.

Ravelry is quite fun. I can see how it can eat up all of my free time in the evenings, as I punch in my project info and marvel at how much info is already in their database. The quickest part, for me, has been setting up my queue for future projects. I've got so many things I want to make and the database already can link my list with the pattern/pictures that other people have completed. Cool!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I'm in

Woo hoo! I received my invitation to Ravelry and I'm in. Will start populating my profile with projects and pictures. I am maceknits over there, so come over and say hi.

I bought yarn this week. Online, I ordered enough yarn from Knitpicks to make two sweaters. Yesterday, I picked up another two sweaters worth of yarn at my LYS, Nine Rubies. Plus sock yarn, the only impulse buy. Even though I had projects in mind for each of these purchases, I went a little brainless when it came to picking colors. From Knitpicks, I had already chosen moss green for a cardigan and grapey purple for a v-neck sweater. Then, I went to the LYS and what did I choose? Green for a long sleeve sweater and purple for a vest. DUH. I didn't realize it until I got home. Plus, I got red sock yarn. And I've been trying to get away from red/orange/magenta colors for the past year! Go figure.

The haul from the local yarn store (my online order hasn't arrived yet):

Cascade 220 sage-green heather (5 skeins)

Project: Bluebell Boatneck Sweater from Fitted Knits

Cascade 220 purple heather (3 skeins)

Project: U-neck waffle weave vest from Fitted Knits

Mountain Colors Bearfoot (superwash merino wool/mohair/nylon)
color: firestorm
Project: socks for me, no pattern yet

Sunday, September 16, 2007


No new news since last time. I'm still slogging through the brown socks for my husband. If these were for me, I'd already be done with the first sock and onto the second one. I know because I tried it on already. Sock knitting is pretty easy to do. It's just that I have to go slow so I don't cramp my hands on the thin needles. If I go too fast, then I'll put my hands out of commission for a few days, which means no knitting. Can't let that happen, so I have to be patient. In the meantime, I'm alternating between carrying the yarn on the left hand (continental) and the right hand throw, all an attempt to keep my hands loose as I go along. I'm using double pointed needles but I should learn how to knit the Cat Bordhi way, with two circulars. Maybe that would be more ergonomic and quicker?

Also making progress with my red cable and lace scarf. Need to order more yarn for it.

Speaking of more yarn, I really want to knit a lot of new projects. From the Fitted Knits book, there are five patterns I'd like to start with- the Elizabeth Bennett cardigan with cabled waist and sleeves, the Boatneck sweater with ribbing at the waist and mid-sleeve, the U-neck waffle weave vest, the plain v-neck pullover with waist ribbing, and the Carrie cropped flared sleeved cardigan. You can see images of these here. Would I even wear a cropped cardigan/shrug?? Looks cool but not really my style. A vest? I haven't worn a vest in 20 years. Another long sleeve cardigan? Didn't I just spend half of this year with the Layoff cardigan? Imagine all of those buttons to sew on... Ick. Still, these all look so nice to knit! And I know of a yarn sale coming up next Saturday...

Plus, thanks to Alice's suggestion, I'm going to knit Kiri with my Kid Silk Haze. It's a fern motif lace shawl pattern. I'll make the medium sized shawl, so it could also work as a big scarf. I'm not really a shawl person, but then again, I've never worn one before either.

Monday, September 10, 2007

In The Works

Thank you to everyone who has been reading my blog and leaving comments! How I love comments! In my last two posts, I was surprised and delighted to receive three comments from the UK and also from Vickie Howell! I just started blogging recently, so it amazes me how quickly I can connect with people from all over and not just hope that my friends/husband will maybe take a peek if they remember :) Most of my friends are non-knitters, so this is probably not the most intriguing blog for them to read. Unless I post pictures of presents I'm making for them (which really I wouldn't do until after I've given it to you). Or post-reception like this:

I've been meaning to post this picture of Georgie and his blankie. According to the people he lives with, he likes playing with the blanket and seems to know it belongs to him. Hope he likes the second one too. Double the fun? Thanks, Georgie, for being a contented recipient!

Before, I've talked about knitting for the husband and how he doesn't have much knitwear from me. Since then, I've completed his new hat. Check. Now, he gets socks.

Basic stockinette sock pattern
Trekking Natura yarn (wool-bamboo blend)
brown multi color
size 1 (2.25mm) sharp, pointy metal dpns from Knitpicks

So far, I'm not loving this yarn. It's just ok. The bamboo seems to make the yarn a little hard but maybe after a wash, it'll soften? Also, this yarn seems a bit thinner than the other sock yarns I've worked with (Fleece Artist and Cherry Tree Hill), which makes the whole process seem to take longer. Anyway, I've made a little progress since I took the picture. I've turned the heel and am currently knitting round and round for the foot. Then I have to repeat it all for the second sock.

In the meantime, to give myself a break from the socks, I'm making a cable and lace scarf for myself.

The lacy bit is between the cable panels but you can't really see it unless you stretch it out. The pattern is my own but nothing fancy. I'm using Knitpicks' Andean Silk in Barn Red. Alpaca, silk, and wool blend. Very nice to touch! Anyway, this is my birthday yarn, sort of. I set up an online order and had my husband do the purchase as my birthday present. For some reason, he got confused about this part of the order and changed it without asking me. Originally, I chose three balls of olive green. He altered it to two balls of barn red. Why??!! I don't have enough to finish this scarf and will have to order more. I'll probably add more yarn to the order, since I ought to make the shipping cost worth my while :) I'm not too annoyed about it. It's a lovely yarn to work with and is such a welcome contrast to the thin sock yarn, as I alternate between the projects.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

One Skein

Ideas for one skein projects!

Here is the husband's camping hat, modeled at Big Basin State Park, Labor Day weekend.

Actually, it was unusually warm at the campsite this year, so our wool hats weren't necessary. I knit this one with less than one ball of Cascade 220, with some leftover orange yarn (from my cable stitch hat) to edge the ribbed brim. Size 7 dpns.

Next up, legwarmers!

This pattern is from Last Minute Knitted Gifts book. Alterations? I made them exactly to fit the length from my knee to ankle. No 1980s slouchy look! These are meant to be worn under my jeans in Winter, to keep me warm while I sit and knit. What's cool is that I used up an entire skein of Plymouth Encore worsted weight yarn for the pair. No waste! Size 7 dpns, 2x2 rib, easy.

Lana & Clark Lacy Ascot

Used an entire ball (100yds) of Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora yarn for this pattern from Vickie Howell. Didn't realize I cut off the bottom in the picture, but it pretty much ends right there.

Fingerless Mitts

Also made with Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora, but less than one ball for size small. Spiral rib pattern also from Last Minute Gifts.

Yes, the Debbie Bliss cotton angora was on sale and I bought a few odd balls. Although the yarn feels nice and soft, turns out I don't like angora that much- sheds all over my clothes. And yes, I've made a lot of things from the LMKG book- great ideas for small projects.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Kid Silk Haze, 2 balls

Normally, I don't buy on impulse, but somehow two balls of Kid Silk Haze appeared in my basket at the yarn shop. What should I make? Obviously I didn't have a plan when I bought this.

I'm thinking about Wisp, Branching Out, or a wider and longer version of the Airy Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. Any suggestions for more easy lace patterns are welcome. I've never knit with this yarn before but have heard that it's tough to rip back mistakes. So I want an easy pattern that's relatively goof-proof. Or if I goof, the whole thing would be so holey anyway that you couldn't tell.

Leave a comment and suggest/vote for the pattern you think I should go for. Since I have two balls of yarn, I can either make one big scarf/wrap or two smaller ones.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Layoff Cardigan

070607 garter rib cardigan
Originally uploaded by maceknits

Ok, I didn't get laid off this year, but other people at my company did. Just before New Year's, my company tanked and I knew what was coming, even though no one officially said anything. As my co-workers and I speculated about which date would spell the end of our employment there, I started knitting this Cotton Cardigan from the Sarah Dallas Knitting book. Obviously, knitting eases any anxieties I might have anyday, but this project took on new meaning (which I didn't really recognize til I finished). I knit and knit through the layoff (early February) and finished. Finished the pieces, that is.

First off, I don't like to sew seams. It isn't any fun for me and I can drag it out. Anyway, I guess I likened this unfinished object (ufo) to my situation in life. With an unstable job, I was on the hunt for a new position, new company. And I subconsciously didn't want to finish this cardigan until I ended the unfinished business at my company. Why not finish the cardigan earlier and then hope that would translate into getting a new job faster? If only it were that easy.

To make a long story short, I'm happy at my new job and had a new cardigan to wear just days before my first day of work in June. But in my mind, this cardigan will forever be the Layoff Cardigan and will remind me of the changes I went through for half of 2007. Back in December, I had already planned to make this cardigan, but it definitely became something else.

8 balls of Rowan Yarn Classics Cashsoft DK
Size 5 and 7 needles
Garter rib pattern
what I changed: not much other than not using cotton for the Cotton Cardigan

Comments about the pattern: The pattern wasn't too difficult, other than piecing it together. Mainly stockinette stitch with a garter rib panel to keep the knitting interesting. In the end, I didn't think the fit was quite what I wanted. It's a little too boxy and the shoulders are wide. In this pattern book, I don't think any of the pictures really show off the patterns/projects, so it was a little harder to tell how this would truly turn out in the end. Still, I'm ok with my end product and have worn it a few times already.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Husband Knitwear

I'm currently knitting a plain gray wool hat for my husband. A 2x2 rib brim and stockinette to the top. The only interesting bit is the two rows of orange edging at the beginning and the rest is all charcoal gray. I offered to try out some colorwork on it (like a zig zag), but he declined. Oh well, almost done. Although I'm having fun using my new Knitpicks very pointy double-pointed needles for this! He will get to wear this new hat at our upcoming camping trip over Labor Day weekend.

Next up: husband socks! I've just started knitting socks this year and he really would like a pair. Again, it will be basic stockinette. No patterned texture, just plain. I did buy a brown multi-colored yarn (Trekking Natura wool-bamboo), so I guess that will give the socks some character.

After all these years of knitting, I've hardly knit anything for my husband. He says he doesn't really want anything. Sweaters are too hot. Not too interested in accessories. Early on, I knit him a hat (which I'm finally replacing). I also knit him a scarf that I forgot to add a selvedge edge. So it ended up rolling inwards on both sides and looked like a skinny tube, which we both agreed he shouldn't wear. I replaced that in June, two or three years later...

I did knit a sweater for him but it turned out so bad that he's not allowed to be seen in public in it. First off, it's a bad idea to knit sweaters with super chunky bulky woolease yarn. It's so thick, it's like armor. And it weighs a ton. Acrylic yarn doesn't breathe either. At the time, I thought I was clever to use chunky yarn on fat needles to make it fast. I found a few patterns that had parts of the sweater I liked, so I combined bits of each pattern and made my own frankenstein plan. When I got to the collar, it was a lot wider than I had planned but I just thought, "Hey, I can wing it." I kept re-knitting the collar but it was not to be. Way too thick and wide. In the end, this project just wasn't meant to work. When he put it on, the back rode up. Needless to say, no pictures will be posted of this, although we get a laugh out of it every now and then.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Georgie's Blankets

In my early knitting years, I accumulated a bit of worsted weight acrylic yarn. Like, the pound of yarn skeins? I had two of those in my stash. The receipt was still in the bag with these, dated 1994. And lots of other acrylic one skein wonders. Historical stash to be sure, but not what I'd want to knit or wear these days. What to do with all of this?

Pet blankets! As suggested by Nicole from Stash and Burn. Although I don't have any pets, I do know Georgie, my friend's corgi. My friend said she'd be happy to have a blanket for him. So I got to work.

Chevrons! The basic chevron stitch pattern is from Vogue knitting's stitch dictionary. I thought this would be a great idea to knit, but once the novelty of the pattern wore off, I got bored. I knew then and there that this would be a long haul to the end and that I should've crocheted this instead. I began this project with enthusiasm in March or April of this year but the enthusiasm waned by May and could've been destined a UFO (except I promised this is a gift, so it had to become an FO, somehow). During this time, I had a few other knitting projects going, so it was easy to let this one slip down the priority list. Anyway, by August, I felt guilty just looking at it unfinished, so I decided to plow ahead and focus. And I finished! Yay! I do like how it turned out in the end. And Georgie has received it already.

BUT, I didn't use up all that yarn! Georgie is getting another blankie.

I took the biggest crochet hook I owned ( size K, 6.5mm) and single crocheted away. Took about two weeks from start to finish. Could've finished in one week, but I sort of took a week off... Very quick (for me, that is; slow for others) to make, unlike the chevron blanket which took ~5 months.

It's been a good week. Two FOs! I finished Bad Penny and the crocheted Georgie Blankie.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Good Bad Penny

I finished a short sleeve cotton sweater, Bad Penny, a Stefanie Japel pattern. I love how it turned out! I used GGH Linova, a cotton-linen yarn - dark green for the main color and lime green for contrast. The colors will look better in the natural light- gotta remember to take a new picture outdoors this weekend. Anyway, I'm pretty sure anyone who's wanted to knit this pattern, did so years ago. I'm behind the times in my knitting but I'll catch up eventually.

The pattern is fairly easy; plain knitting in the round, not too challenging. I tend to wear simpler styles anyway, so this top fits right in with my wardrobe. I do feel that I knit this sweater twice, though. Halfway through (the first time), I tried it on only to find out it was too big and frogged it. Had to rejigger the math to size it down, below the smallest written size in the pattern. I'm not teeny but it was just a little too baggy. Annoying but I'm glad I did it. I'm happy with the fit.

Funny enough, the topic of proper fit has been discussed lately on Interweave's Knitting Daily and the podcast, Stash and Burn. We invest so much time and effort into knitting these garments for ourselves that we really ought to learn how to customize patterns to our own bodies. Make the sweaters (and ourselves!) look their best! Isn't it disappointing when a sweater turns out frumpy dumpy? Didn't look that way in the pattern/magazine/book photo, did it? Oh well.

Lesson learned. Take realistic measurements of myself and (maybe) save myself the trouble of knitting the wrong size.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

First Post

maceknits, originally uploaded by maceknits.

I've finally created a knitting blog. We'll see how this goes!