Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Sahara #2 Finished

I never thought I would ever use the same pattern twice, but I just loved how my first Sahara came out, and I think the pattern is genious. So here is Sahara, Jr., a short sleeve, smaller version of the first one.

Pattern: Sahara, by Wendy Bernard
Yarn: Jaeger Roma in color 010, exactly 5 balls. Tilli Tomas Exotica in Stony Mist, 1 skein.
Size: In between the small and medium. I wasn't going to get negative ease with this yarn, so I had to knit it according to the schematic exactly, assuming no stretch.

I shorted the overall length of this one. Since it's for summer, I wanted something that wasn't too warm. I joined the center fronts together sooner, so the plunging neckline isn't that plunging. I ran out of yarn, though. The medium size called for 530 yards, but even though I knit it shorter, I still needed 137 x 5 yards of Roma. Still haven't figured that out. I kept the shirt-tail hem, which I think makes the garment lie much nicer on the hips. I will probably incorporate this technique into other knits.

Verdict: LOVE IT. I wore it to work yesterday and only 1 person asked if I knit it. The Roma is just a little itchy (there's 15% angora in it), so I might need to soften it up. Any one know of a way to do this?

Now that I've used the Tilli Tomas "luxury" yarns twice, I have to say that they're not as fabulous as they may seem. The silk is nice, but I think it's way over-priced. The sequins and beads are simply pre-strung on thread and just held together with the silk. I think it would be easy to buy beads or stone chips separately at a craft store, feed onto sewing thread, and just hold together with your favorite yarn, pulling up a bead or chip when needed. I have this in mind for one of my upcoming knits, so I'll keep you posted on how it works.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Interweave Summer Preview

I am usually the last person to find these things, but the Interweave Summer Preview is finally out!

I like the cover's Wheat Ear Cable Yoke, but not too much else is exciting me. But with my growing knit-wish-list, that may not be a bad thing!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Stash Additions

First, thank you for all the nice comments about my WIPS. They are coming along nicely, and I've been adding to the stash in preparation for my summer knits. In trying to stay away from my usual obsession with pink:

Cotton Fleece in Rue for a Rusted Root

Classic Elite Summer Set (a new cotton blend) in color 2146, Awning. For Cable Down Raglan from Spring IK.

Valley Yarns Longmeadow (cotton/microfiber) in Yellow for a Somewhat Cowl.

Kona Bay Cotton in Cream. For the Two-tone Shrug out of Fitted Knits. I want a basic neutral shrug, but obviously mine won't be two-tone.

Classic Silk in Paris Green. Not sure what this is for yet . . . maybe a Green Gable? Or maybe the summer Knitty or Interweave will have something for this yarn. I originally bought it hoping it would match the Tilli Tomas Exotica I'm using for Sahara, but they didn't match.

Speaking of Sahara:

Crappy photo, but hopefully a fabulous FO!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

This state of the knitting

Here's a look at the state of my current WIPs.

This is a top-down v-neck cardigan with cables starting about 3" past the underarm and planned to go all the way down to the bottom. I used Stefanie Japel's Fitted Knits to get an idea of how many stitches to cast on and how many increases to do given the gauge I got, knowing that I wanted it to be about 33.5" around before the button band. It's knit with Debbie Bliss Cathay in color 09. It's a nice shade of pink - not too bright. I plan on doing the sleeves similarly, maybe with a flared sleeve where the cables start.

Next up is Sahara. Ahh, Sahara. So freakin' close!! I'm not sure how I screwed this up, but I ran out of yarn. Luckily, I discovered that WEBS carries the Jaegar Roma on sale, so I've already ordered more. I can't figure out what went wrong here. I am making this version much shorter than the pattern calls for. The pattern says I needed 523 yards for the short sleeve version, and I had more than that. Oh well.

And, I cast on for the Swan Lake Cardigan from the Spring Interweave. This doesn't seem to be one of the popular patterns from this issue (like Cable Down Raglan), but I like it because it's different and the construction is a challenge. The chart on this looks super intimidating, but once I got the leaves started, I realized I just need to keep track of them - the rest is just filling is some reverse stockinette. I'm using Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Banana, my first project with this yarn. I've joined the Interweave KAL. I also want to join the Sexy Knitters, but they've moved over to typepad, so I hope I can join. They're doing Sahara now!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Luxury Knits

I've been knitting away at my mom's birthday sweater. Her birthday was in January and after a few tries with patterns and yarn, I am working on this:

It's knit in Elann's Baby Silk in Cornflower, which is just delightful. It's super soft and fuzzy but not too warm. I love it.

The pattern is from a book called
Luxury Knits. I had bought this book for a v-neck raglan pattern in it that I thought my mom would like, but she ended up picking this lacey one. I'm done the back, hurray!

Here are some other patterns from this book that I kinda like:

Oops, nipple!

Reminds me a little of Green Gable, but lace on the sleeves.

I plan to use this stitch pattern on some Rowan Kidsilk Haze...

Most of these patterns are a bit oversized and not very fitted, but that can always be changed. The stitch patterns and basic shapes are really lovely, and I usually end up tweaking patterns anyway. I would recommend this book for some nice lacey patterns in a variety of styles - cardigans, pullovers, short/long and sleeveless versions. But you might need to change up the sizing a bit and add some shaping.