Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Almost done!

Over the long weekend, I finished all the knitting for the Swan Lake Cardigan. Then I started seaming. Fun.

I started by sewing the sleeves into the armholes, even though the pattern says to seam the sides first. I think this makes it harder to the set the sleeves in properly, so I ignored the instructions. After seaming the first sleeve, I realized I had done it completely wrong. The sleeve is supposed to be puffy (DUH) and only be about 1 1/2 long. I set it in so the sleeve was about 5" long and not puffy. I freaked out, thinking the sleeve pattern was incorrect, but then I realized that I needed to make much bigger pleats.


So far, so good. Then I started seaming the sides. Reverse stockinette. Ugh. I did the first side on Monday and it came out really crappy - all bumpy and uneven. Yesterday, I found this helpful website with a simple technique for seaming reverse stockinette. It also works for garter stitch.

I started the second side seam using this technique and I think it looks OK so far. It even stretched flatter when I tried it on.

Then, on to the crochet. I am not a very good crocheter. I only do it when I have to, and not only does this pattern call for regular crochet, it calls for something crazy called reverse single crochet (rev sc). What? I looked at the instructions and Googled and realized it's kind of the equivalent to knitting through the back loop. It's also called crab stitch. So, I started rev sc on the sleeve border.

I couldn't get it to stop curling in, so I started with a round of single crochet and then worked the reverse sc. I think it turned out close enough to what the pattern looks like in the magazine.

Tonight: Finish seaming side, re-do first crappy side seam. Work crochet border on second sleeve. If time permits, move on to the body crochet, which involves making button holes . . . . yikes. Maybe an FO post by the weekend?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Swan Lake Progress

A little knitting monogamy this week has given Swan Lake a boost in the WIP pile. I finished up the back at the end of last week, knit the right front over the weekend and am about 1/2 way through the left front, with hopes of finishing it tonight.

It looks all twisty and long, but that's the stockinette sides pulling in. I'm really excited to see how it turns out. The chart has actually been extremely helpful and I'm glad the whole garment is mapped out on it.

Loving the Cotton Fleece.

With the long weekend approaching, this baby might be finished next week!

One other little tidbit: Last spring, before I started blogging, I knit two little hats for a co-worker who was expecting twins, one boy and one girl. He showed me these pics of the now one-year olds modeling the little bunny ear-ed hats!

Boy bunny.

Girl bunny.

Too cute! Here's the pattern I used.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I've been tagged! Trip pictures!

This is the first time I've been tagged, so I am probably excessively excited about this. Thank you Monica (aka Rubys & Purls) for picking me! Here are the rules:

Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those who are tagged need to write on their own blog those 7 facts as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and to read your blog.

Seven random things about me (that you probably don't know):

1) My dad was National Bridge Champion in 1975 and 1989.
2) I sing in my church choir.
3) I've played piano since I was in 3rd grade.
4) My great uncle, Joe Ostrowski, pitched for the Yankees in the 1951 World Series. I must clarify that I am most definitely NOT a Yankees fan.
5) I first saw the musical Les Miserables when I was 12 and have seen it at least 7-8 times since (I've lost count) in New York, Washington DC and London.
6) I will order any dessert that has peanut butter, no matter what it is (pie, cake, torte, ice cream . . .)
7) I became a member of Pi Mu Epsilon in college for achievement in mathematics.

Now, I'm tagging:


Here's a few pictures from out trip out west. The Grand Canyon was definitely the highlight of the trip - truly breathtaking.

Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, AZ. It's built into the side of a rock - cool!

Bill & I at the Grand Canyon

Diet-busting strawberry donut from Donut Man, on Route 66 in Glendora, CA. This place is about 35 minutes east of LA. If you live out there, you MUST find this place and have one!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Friends TJ and Anna, who live in Encinitas, helped celebrate.

Sunset on our last night, in La Jolla.

PS. I've switched over to Haloscan to moderate my comments. I got emails from 3 different people who had different problems with the Blogger comments. Hope this is easier!

Monday, May 14, 2007


I've been spending a lot of my knitting time in the past 2 or so months on this:

It's a top down v-neck with lotsa cables. Well, it's headed for the frog pond.

I had an idea in my head of what I wanted, and this is basically it, except the fit is way too small past the underarms. I must say, I got it to fit perfectly through the yoke - I just used Fitted Knits as a guide to how many stitches to cast on and how many increases to do.

But, I did a stupid thing. I put in these shaping darts along the bustline (you can see them in the photo), and I didn't know, from my lack of cabling experience, that these things together made for a very small body. And, it made this weird "boob cup" so that the sweater looks silly if it's unbuttoned.

I even hoped that putting on the buttonband would help, which I made extra big.

Then I thought maybe sewing on the buttons would help. The fit is OK, but I am just not loving it. And I want to love it.

I had been doubting the color all along, too. It's Debbie Bliss Cathay in color 09 and it's too fleshy of a pink. I have pretty fair skin, so I do better in brighter colors.

See how it pulls up in the back from being too tight? Yuck.

I am going to try again, this time doing something more along the lines of Something Red, but still with some cables. I am going to use this:

Valley Yarns Southwick - a 50/50 cotton/bamboo. This stuff is lusciously soft and shiny, and I LOVE this pink. I know it doesn't look different from the Cathay, but trust me, it is!

I have no idea what I'm going to do with the Cathay; I've got 9 balls of it (1 not used at all). I will probably wind it into neat balls and put it on Destash. If you're interested or want it, shoot me a line.

This is not all bad, though. I learned a lot about cables and fit and negative ease and all that, so it's all mostly good.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Hello from the west coast

Hi everyone! Sorry I've been MIA lately . . . Bill and I left for our vacation out west over a week ago, and we are coming up on our last day. In the past 9 days, we've seen Sedona, AZ, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Death Valley, Los Angeles, and now we are in San Diego. I will share some pictures and details in another post, but the knitting-related highlight of this trip was my visit (well, two visits) to Black Sheep Knittery in Hollywood. I had read in blogland that they were having a crazy sale, so I stopped by hoping it would still be going on. Well, here's what I have to figure out how to get into my suitcase:

Yarn all over the bed in our San Diego B&B.

I bought full bags (10 balls) of Rowan Cotton Glace in light blue, Rowan Handknit Cotton in shell pink, Rowan yorkshire 4 ply tweed (+5 extra balls) in hunter green and DB Baby Cashmerino in a dark lilac. I also got 7 balls of RYC Cashsoft DK in pink, 14 balls of DB Wool Cotton (9 in a dark blue, 5 in lavendar). So that's a total of 66 balls of yarn!! Perhaps that's symbolic of our couple of stops along historic Route 66 . . .

The full bags were a STEAL - 10 balls of Cotton Glace, 4 ply tweed, handknit cotton for $30?! Baby Cashmerino for $40??!

Anyway, just wanted to share that with you. For me, it was the best part of LA. See you back on the east coast with a non-knitting trip report!