Friday, April 25, 2008

100th Post Contest!

It's been almost 2 years since I started this ol' blog, and here I am at my 100th post. I've been doing some spring cleaning, and I have a few books and yarns that I am willing to part with.

Left to right: A Treasury of Rowan Knits, 1000 Sweaters, Knitted Shawls, Stoles and Scarves.

Gedifra Topas. This is a discontinued yarn that I started a sweater with a few summers ago. I frogged what I had used and haven't thought of using it since. I'd rather the yarn be loved by someone who will knit with it! There are about 8 balls here. Ravelry link.

Lion Brand Incredible. I got this two summers ago to make a tank top, but I used 2 balls and then frogged it. There are about 5 balls here. Ravelry link.

Instead of giving all this to one person, I think it will be fun to have 5 winners. So, if you want to enter, just leave a comment and tell me which prizes you want to be considered for. If you don't specify, I'll put your name in all 5 hats. You must comment by Friday, May 2 at 10PM EST.

Now, if you came here to see some knitting . . .
Leafy Lacy Cardi
The Leafy Lacy Cardi is coming along splendidly. I am almost finished the 2nd sleeve and hope to do some seaming this weekend. I can't wait to wear this!!!

Seamless Hybrid
I've also been working on the Seamless Hybrid for Bill. I'm using Rowan 4ply Tweed, so this is probably going to take a very long time to knit, but it's looking very nice. I got a contrasting color for the underside of the folded hem and am almost ready to turn the hem.

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

FO: Cape Collar Jacket

This sweater was quite a saga for me, and may be the reason why I was unmotivated to knit new things in February and March. But, it's done, and here are the details.
Cape Collar Jacket
Pattern: Cape Collar Jacket, Vogue Knitting, Winter 2007/08. Pattern #16.
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Classic AL. Aged Wine, color 05. 14 1/2 skeins.
Cape Collar Jacket
Modifications: Too many for my liking! To spare those who aren't interested in the details, I'm posting my mods at the bottom of this post.
Cape Collar Jacket
Verdict: Considering how much aggravation went into deciphering the pattern and figuring out all the errors, I am actually pleased with how this turned out. I'm not super crazy about the way it buttons. Because of the collar, it needs to stay buttoned for the jacket to maintain its shape, otherwise it just flops open. The collar has trouble staying put, so I might also tack it down with a few stitches. I didn't bother with the collar support, mainly because it didn't make sense to me and at that point, I was done with trying to figure out the pattern instructions.
Cape Collar Jacket
The irony of this sweater is that it was supposed to save Vogue and make me want to renew my subscription. It expires this year, and when I received this winter issue, I realized that I hadn't even queued anything from the stack of magazines I had collected. I decided that if I didn't see anything I wanted to knit, I was going to let go of it. Then I saw this pattern and loved it. Then I started knitting it.
Cape Collar Jacket
I'd like to think that I am relatively experienced knitter, but the way this pattern was written in many areas was just incomprehensible. I sent a note to Vogue back in early February, but haven't heard back. I've decided not to renew my subscription, not only because they have been unresponsive, but many important details the pattern needed were not printed for what looks like (to me) lack of space and/or editorial reasons. I'd rather they sell a few less ads, charge a little more and print better patterns.

Anyway, enough of that. I'm on to other knits!

Cape Collar Jacket
I had to show this last photo. Our dog Toby seems to think that FO-photo-shot time is also play time (which it usually is). He loves his red bone and doesn't hesitate in letting us know it. You'll notice he appears in many of these photos with his beloved toy.

Expanded Modifications

Raveled here.

Waistband chart begins with a RS row, but the last row worked before the waistband chart is also a RS row. I did one extra row of garter st on the WS to get back to a RS row before row 1 of the waistband chart.

Left Front
* The cable increase row as written will leave you with too few sts on the needle. I did the same cable increase row as for the back. This left me with the 75 sts called for on the needle.
* Same issue with row before beginning waistband chart. Worked extra row of garter st.
* Pattern does not say to keep the 3 sts for the button bands as you’re working the waistband chart, but I think you should do this since there is no picking up of stitches later.
* Cape collar section is written horribly. I worked a size small, so I needed to have 16 sts remaining for the shoulder after armhole shaping was done. Do to the armhole shaping, an extra 14 sts are required (these are the stitches you bind off in the armhole shaping). This leaves 30 sts needed in the body section. So, I did the collar section as written, displacing 1 sts from the body to the collar until I had 30 stitches left in the body section. Since there are 61 sts on the needle, this left 31 sts in the collar. At this point, I stopped displacing stitches and started ONLY increasing in the collar section, 1 st every 4 rows until I had 45 sts in the collar. At the same time, I began shaping the armhole when it matched the length of the back.
* To complete the collar, I worked short rows as written (though if I were to do over, I would work more), but where it says to work even for 32 rows, I only worked 2 rows. Otherwise, the collar and back neck sections would not match up in length to seam together.

Right Front
Worked same changes as for left, reversing shaping.

As written, these sleeves would be big enough for me to stuff both arms in them! At the end of the cable section, I did the cable decrease row to bring it back down to 49 sts. I then evenly increased up to 69 sts (I think every 8 or 10 rows). Then I worked the sleeve as written.

I did not do the collar support.
I worked the outer cable as written and had no problems with this.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Spring Fever

Hi! I hope you all are still with me. I know I've been really bad about blogging lately. I do have lots to show and tell, so I should get started.

Good news - knitting mojo has returned! I've been clearing through my stash and starting lots of new projects. The only one worth showing photos of today is the Leafy Lacy Cardi, by Susan:

I'm knitting this with Cotton Glace that I picked up on sale at Black Sheep Knittery in Hollywood during my vacation out west last year. I like the pattern and it's fool-proof for me. I usually screw up lace patterns, but this is really easy to follow and is going really fast.

I also started another Orangina and Seamless Hybrid for Bill, but I won't bore you with photos here. They're on Ravelry if you're interested, but I've really just started them.

Yesterday we enjoyed the great weather with a much needed day off from work and traveled to Washington DC to see the cherry blossoms in bloom. I've lived in Baltimore my whole life (almost) and had never seen these trees in the springtime. They're beautiful!

This is near the FDR memorial.

Walking along the Tidal Basin.

We also visited the National Botanic Gardens which had a stunning orchid exhibit. I love orchids and really want to try having one of my own.

I know back in November I showed you all of the before pictures of our two upstairs bathrooms before we had them redone. Believe it or not, they have been finished since mid-January! I finally found a shower curtain and some cool prints from Ikea that I loved, so it's now really all put together.

My bathroom. Mostly neutral with splashes of green and dark browns.

Bill's bathroom - not a peach nightmare anymore!

Ah, that felt good. The fact that I have not been blogging or catching up on my blog reading is really stressing me out! The Cape Collar Jacket is finished, so I hope to get pictures and an FO post soon. Hope you're all enjoying the first days of spring!