Thursday, October 30, 2003

Daughter brought home something nasty, and the whole family is down with the flu. As the supermommy, I'm taking care of the family, as well as not feeling well myself. Treat the symptoms.

Did get the graph paper out, and worked out the vest I donated. I'm so glad that I discussed it with myself on the blog, as I confused myself on the bust measurement. Didn't remember whether the number I wrote down included ease. It didn't, and I learned that by reading my archives. Blog to the rescue. I redid the whole thing with another six inches and have cast on and done about twelve rows.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Here's six inches of the vest I started on Monday. It's a nice "conference call" or TV watching project. I'm pleased with how the space dye mohair is working in. To get the gauge I wanted, I'm working on rather small needles for the yarn; #3's, and the fabric is dense and firm. Hairy too. Still, it ought to be ligher than the cotton the design called for. Ought to be nice with jeans. Don't know if I'll keep it or gift it.

Happy weekend and keep on swatchin!

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

A picture of a swatch from the weekend. It's twisted leaf from BW2.

I also updated the picture of the diamond matrix, so scroll down and see how pretty.

I'm about three inches into a simple garter vest from IK, Summer 1997. Of course, instead of using something that resembles the designed yarn, I'm using vintage mohair and wool. I'm not sure who this will be for, but I have admired the pattern for being both clever and simple, and the mohair has been bugging me. I've had it about eleven years now. Pictures later, when maybe the shape, or the changing color effect of the yarn is more visible.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Good morning; I couldn't sleep, so I've been working all night. What's up with that?

Nice weekend. Spent five hours on my bicycle, and completed the 55 mile course on the First Annual Shriners Fall Classic. I made it through by shameless sucking wheels whenever I could, but most of the riders were too fast for me to keep up for very long. Not bad ride organization for the first time of the event, and decent turn out. Some issues, though. Like the map. Well, we didn't get lost, and the weather was beautiful. You have to love the color waves of bright lycra and cleverly decorated aluminium and carbon fiber present at a group bicycle ride. Almost as good as a big sailing fleet going downwind. I'm not much for equipment; I ride what my wonderful husband buys, and he dresses me as well. Saturday, I had a lovely new set of matching Texas shorts and a jersey. The outfit was cool enough to generate a road conversation with a gentleman cruiser. What fun.

Sunday, I did laundry and cleaned my desk. It has a surface that is flat. How about that? I also finished a few more swatches, and started my next "conference call" project. Not really into details right now, but my oldest yarn has been calling. Remember that color changing mohair from the late 80's? Well, I have four pads of it that want to get used up. Kind of a bummer as I have a few sacks of new stuff that I was itching to get into. No pictures; it's dark, and almost time to walk Mr. Shiloh.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Swatchy has been swatchy.
Not a good picture, but here is the diamond mesh from the 50/50 wool cotton. Yum. If I get a better picture, I'll replace this one. I doubt I can capture hou lovely it is, though

Vintage wool/shetland wool in the moss diamond and lozenge pattern from BW 2. Hard to see the stitch work. It actually looks better in the picture than in real life. Go figure. Probably not a go with this yarn. I'm doing the "ribbed leaf" pattern now, and it has more potential.

And some "Ceasar Check" from BW3 in really old mohair/wool/acrylic

Happy Friday to all

Thursday, October 16, 2003

On Design.

Now, I am not a knitwear designer, and I don't play one on TV. However, I've rarely met a pattern that I didn't adjust. I'm just difficult, as I have this stash, and prefer to shop there rather than use the yarn called for. The only exception in the last fifteen years is the Henry8 sweater, now residing under my chair.

So, I've worked most of the swatch in the Klimatika and as expected, the yarn is working to a smaller guage than called for in the Gatsby vest pattern that I lust for. (IK summer 2003 if you need to look and have to magazine) What to do? Here is how I go about "adjustments"......

What do I like about the design and yarn?
*I love the diamond matrix texture pattern
*I like the body skimming shape
*I like the cabled edging on the bottom
*The yarn is yummy, and feels good next to my skin

What do I not like about the design?
*It's written in the flat
*The pattern calls for a 10 to 46 stitch reverse SS at the sides, and all the shaping goes into that gap. The only reason I can think that this is the case is to make the pattern writing easier.
*The arm holes look small on the model
*I'm not keen about the arm hole edge treatment.

Little realities of life -
*I'm short waisted, and shaped like a coke bottle. Not to mention still about 20lbs overweight. I'm not sure the shape would suit me.
*I would like the garment to be attractive now, and 20 pounds from now.
*I'm short on the stitch guage by about 15%

What I could do
Follow the pattern for the 48.5 inch bust, which would produce a 41 inch garment at my stitch gauge. This deals with the yarn, but not the shaping issues.

What I ought to do:
*Rewrite the pattern for my gauge, and in the round
*Extend the lattice pattern to the edges
*Insert a twist cable "seam" at the sides with a reverse ss on either side, where the increases will go.
*Figure it should end about two inches below my natural waist, and be about waist diameter, then increase in width to the bust diameter. This would provide the body skimming silhouette that I like.
*Increase the arm holes
*Substitute 1x1 ribbing on the arm holes; it looks nice on the neck, and would clean up the look of the piece.

Alternative approach:
Forget the whole thing. Keep swatching.

So, a peek inside my brain. Some people may call this design, but I can't go there. I love my knit mags, because they give me great eye candy used for inspiration.

The swatch is not yet finished - about ten more rows, but will be posted soon.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Good by bears! Hope you bring hope and joy to a child in the future.

Now, I'm down to two projects. Henry, and the Girl Scout vest. I reviewed some swatches with the winner of the vest, and she surprised me by choosing a direction that I didn't expect. More stash shopping, and swatching, and I don't want to do that until I have some time and sunlight on the weekend. So, Henry is coming out to be a chair project, and I'm picking a new project.

I am swimming in abundance. Here is a selection of the choices:
Vintage green wool/shetland wool from e-bay to make a sweater for a friend. He wanted "subtle". I'm thinking a knit/purl combo like the King Charles brocade or the tumbling blocks pattern from Barbara Walker 1.

Here is some multicolored wool from the bargan bin of the much loved Spindleshanks in Portland. Perfect colors for my sister, and enough to make a vest when paired with another wool. In this case, some amythest Brown Sheep sport from a sale display in Golden, CO from a few years back. I'm thinking a Turkish pattern from the Zillborg sock book, and I cord edges, but the purple may be too bright. Swatched already.

And some wonderful soft Klimatika from a recent yarn binge. This is a 50/50 wool/cotton in Burgandy, and the "Gatsby Vest" from the summer IK is calling to me.

So, I'll be swatch'n Swatchy for a few weeks.

Monday, October 13, 2003

A lovely weekend in lovely Wimberly. The morning was overcast, keeping us cool while I taught about eighty Girl Scouts how to Virginia Reel. The first session was tough, as I had never taught before, but after a quick consult with my enthusiastic helpers, the rest of the session went well. It was wonderful when the first line took off on it's own. People showed up, sort of hesitant, but seemed to have a very good time.

Daughter and I went shopping in town in the afternoon. Wimberley is a young girls shopping dream, as it is packed with shops selling candles, value priced jewelry, knickknacks and perfumed soap. There were a few nice galleries, but we didn't spend too much time there. It started to rain in the afternoon, and we were tired, so back to camp for a girl nap and some porch knitting. The older girls could be heard whooping it up in the river in the rain. What fun, to listen to their exuberance and the rain, and have some time to work on the last bear sweater.

Here he is, hiding the fact that the sweater is missing an arm. It is quite achievable to finish for tomorrow night's deadline.

On the way home, we stopped to take pictures of the silly oil well decorations in Luling. This was my favorite:

To see them all, check the Luling Oil Well Gallery.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Bear sweater number three done. Remind anyone of anything they recently finished?

And here are the three dressed bears in a family shot.

I have one more naked bear, and I'm planning to do a little ribbed raglan with a roll collar from the left over Wildefoote. Should not have much finishing outside of the ends. Don't know if I'll have much time this weekend, but I've noticed that bears are pretty short waisted, and have short (2 inch) arms, so the sweaters go pretty fast. They also have big heads, and no neck. They don't complain if the armhole is too tight. They also don't squeal with delight, as their little heads are stuffed with fiber.

Happy Friday, and stay dry this weekend. I don't think dry will be part of my weekend, but that's what showers and washer/dryers are for.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Grrrr. I thought I was cooking on the bear sweaters. When I finished the one on Monday, I quickly completed the body and one sleeve of the next. Then life started back up, and not a stitch for a few days. I realized this morning that all sweaters need to be done by next Tuesday's guild meeting. My brain thought I had more time. Well, once I'm done complaining, I'll work on the second sleeve and listen to a conference call. More of the same tomorrow, so there is hope.

In the mean time, I'm itching to start a new project. Almost have hives about it. I want to finish up the fiddly projects, and the committed projects before a new one starts. So, I'll be itching for another month at least.

Camping with the Girl Scouts this weekend in beautiful Wimberly, TX. Our annual Leader/Daughter event, so I only need concern myself with my daughter and myself. Well, I'm on the planning committe, so I will be running a session on the Virginia Reel. Daughter will be helping in one of the craft rooms. May rain, but I don't care.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Ahhhhhh, I cleaned my template, and now feel better about the new fall colors.

Monday, October 06, 2003

A well dressed bear, and his friend.

And in honor of the wonderful fall weather, a fall colors background.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

And now we have a pair of socks. Well, they need about ten minutes with a needle and a pair of scissors.

I'll be dressing bears for the next week or so.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Blogging from Cajun Country

What was I thinking?

I fusted about the house to collect a heap of yarn for car knitting, and by the end of the trip I had turned a heel and gotten a bit up the leg of my sock. At that rate, I may finish my sock on the way home. I always do this. Well, I'm well prepared for for road work or a huge traffic jam at least.

We went to dinner at a reccomended Cajun restaurant, and it was delicious. Most dishes were fried or in cream sauce, and my catfish oscar was both. Yum. They also had a band, featuring a gutair, fiddle, accordian, and, I kid you not, a trangle player. Yes, right from Kindergarden rythem band. He sounded great; just the right sound for the group. And, yes, they sang in Cajun.