Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Happiness Is a Warm Girl

Presenting Mariah!

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According to my notes, I started this sweater back in February. I remember casting on when I was doing jury duty. In between then and now, I started other projects, made baby gifties, etc. I had the whole sweater finished, seamed, and one half of the zipper installed in the spring. Then I got sick of wool and feeling sweaty when I handled Mariah, so I foolishly set her down on my dresser for MONTHS. Last night I finally decided that it was time to install the last half of the zipper and wear M-m-m-m-my-my-my-woo!-My Mariah!

Image hosted by Photobucket.comThis is one of the first things I've made for myself that fits and actually looks good. I think that's part of why I take forever to finish things and would rather start new ones... that fear of failure or fear that whatever it is that I'm making is not going to fit. Thank goodness this worked well. I haven't even blocked it yet and it looks great, except for the rolly-inny hood. I'll give it a good steaming before I wear it out.

Mariah, from
designed by the goddess herself, Jodi Green
Elann's Peruvian Highland Wool, Chocolate Truffle
Addi Turbo #6 needles
zipper courtesy of my new best friends at Zipper Stop

What do I like? What did I change? What would I do differently next time?
I like the fit. I'm always looking for something with waist shaping, because you might not be able to see it in this picture, but I am a pretty medium sized girl who has an hourglass shape. I have a waist and I have a big bust. So I need waist shaping or else things look pretty frumpy on me. This sweater doesn't have shaping, but I made a close-fitting size and the deep ribbing helped to bring things in at the waist.

I finished the fronts with Attached I-cord edging, learned from Nancie Wiseman's The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques, instead of the garter-stitch-turned-under edges prescribed by the pattern. I thought it looked much more, well, finished! This was inspired by Streets and YOs' Ribby Cardi, by the way. I did all the cabling without a cable needle, which was a fun technique to learn.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comIf I were to make this sweater again, I would definitely find a way to make the neckline smaller/higher. I'm more experienced now, so I have some ideas on how I would do this differently next time; I can see that I could have simply continued knitting the entire yoke (including cable motif on the sleeves and decreases for the raglan) several more rows. But I'm happy enough with it. In the pictures, I'm wearing a very high-necked tshirt, so it shows more than other tshirts will. Finally, the Peruvian Wool was easy to work with and all (gotta love that spit-splice!), but it's pretty fuzzy and I wonder how long it will take for it to pill like crazy. We'll see.

Now I feel a bit more brave and courageous... will start finishing more of my nearly-done projects!

Image hosted by Photobucket.comP.S. Remind me why I asked my husband to be the photographer? Mr. One Track Mind!! :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Button, Button, Who's Got the Button?

Not a lot of luck to be had this weekend, looking for buttons at the JoAnn Superstore. I know they have more button choices than the Hancock Fabrics near me, but I still didn't find what I had in mind. I ended up compromising and buying buttons that will probably be okay, but aren't exactly exciting me.

Then I read about Button Shoppe at the Knitty board today. Within minutes, I'd found just what I had in mind and then some. If it's anything like Zipper Stop, I'll be a happy camper.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Pastimes is in the Past.

I was going to spend as much of today in my jammies as possible. I was watching NYPD Blue and knitting when the postwoman dropped off my mail at around 2pm. When I saw the postcard announcing that Pastimes in Kent is not only closing, but having a big going-out-of-business sale starting TODAY, I knew that I couldn't wear jammies any longer.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comI haven't shopped at Pastimes much -- there are so many other yarn shops that are closer to me -- but I always thought it was a beautiful space. There are wall to wall windows that let in loads of natural light and the yarn and pattern books are all beautifully displayed in dark wood armoirs. Sadly, Pastimes' business has severely dropped over the past several months and they're closing shop.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comI was able to get 10 skeins of Rowan All Seasons cotton in a periwinkle color called Ravish, and 10 skeins of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in Graphite. The latter is hoping to become Marilyn's Not-So-Shrunken Cardigan from Knit and Tonic.

I was glad to find Erika Knight's Simple Knits for Cherished Babies and Zoe Mellor's 50 Baby Booties to Knit; they've both been on my wish list. I also picked up a few incidentals: a CHIBI, some stitch markers, and a stitch holder. The basket was just meant to be a shopping basket, but since we spent over an hour together in line waiting to check out, we developed a fondness for one another and the basket was mine for $10. I'm a sucker for slightly irregular, rustic baskets.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Miss Popularity Contest

A very dear friend of mine is absolutely bonkers over those damn Blythe dolls. She's been collecting and photographing them for a few years now, and one of her photos has been selected for publication in an official Blythe postcard book, very exciting for her!

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Naturally, there's a popularity contest, and the winning photo gets to be on the cover of the book. Friend's photo is #40. If you're interested in voting, click on the banner and place your vote! Voting goes from Sept. 16 - Sept. 27 and the winner is announced on Oct. 3.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Well, there you have it. I told all of you about my plan to start running after having done it only once. Then a bunch of you said, way to go! and hey, thanks for motivating me to do it, too! and yeah, let's all go running!

So now I have to continue.

Last night, it happened to be raining cats and dogs when I wanted to go running, so I struck a deal with myself: I would stay home and knit if, and only if, I promised to go the next day, no matter what. So I stayed in and finished seaming Raspberry Jacke! I even crocheted the front opening, complete with buttonholes. Now I just need to go out and find some suitable buttons, weave in 1,487 ends, and wear a minimizer bra when I wear the thing. Yep, it might be a tad small. I'll see what it looks like with a better bra and a light steaming.

Now I have to go run!

Image hosted by Photobucket.comOh, one more thing, and I promise I'm not procrastinating. Okay, well, maybe a little. I saw this cool new site called Postcrossing -- like Bookcrossing, only with postcards -- at Lolly's site and signed up today. I'm sending my first postcard to an interesting woman in Dusseldorf! Das finde ich ausgezeichnet!!

Okay, now I have to go run!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Blowin' Off Some Steam

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Cara's talking about starting her running program again.

The middle school a block away from my house is newly remodeled and has a brand new track.

I have back-to-school-stress.

What else is there to do but go to Target [tar-zjay] Boutique and hook myself up with a new watch with a timer so I can start training?

I feel much better. :)

After running, I got a few inches done on my Vogue short-sleeved top. At this rate, I'll be done just in time for winter! hee hee! :)

Friday, September 09, 2005

Are You There, Karma? It's Me, Blog.

Dear Karma,

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Since school started, I've noticed your attention has -- temporarily, I'm sure! -- shifted away from yarn and your blog and toward crayons and spiral notebooks. Just thought I'd check in and see how you're doing. I wonder what it's like to teach 4th grade instead of 1st or 2nd. I'll bet the kids are just the same, only taller.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comI noticed, too, that you've been spending more time in front of the TV than usual, upset by images of New Orleans, and I would be jealous of that ugly box but I know you have fond memories of jumbalaya and beignets and jazz music in the Quarter, so I've quietly been sitting here waiting for you. The politics have been overwhelming, the humanity and lack of dignity for the survivors heartwrenching, and you're always looking for ways to help. Don't forget that blogs can be a good source of news and information, too. In fact, you might be interested in this slide show of NOLA before, during, and after Katrina and the Waves Flood hit the Crescent City.

At least you've been knitting quite a lot while watching all that horrible news. It's always comforting to feel the rhythm of the needles click-clacking in your hands when emotions run high or low. Your Aprikot Raspberry Jacke is so close to being complete, and your Vogue short sleeved top looks like it's coming along well -- aren't you almost done with the back piece? Maybe you'll let me post some pictures soon.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comI noticed you went to an award winning play called Intimate Apparel with your friend Nichole. Sounds like fun; you went out to dinner at a new restaurant called Crow, there was a stitch 'n bitch beforehand where you met lots of other knitters, and you gave the play a great review. The stitch 'n bitch was organized by that new yarn shop downtown called So Much Yarn you've been meaning to go to; now that you've met the owner, Lauren, and seen how friendly she and her employees and friends are, I'll bet you'll go check it out!

While you've been away, you've had some interesting visitors. Naturally, I took messages. One of them came by looking for "obsessed with my boobs;" thought you might get a chuckle out of that one.

Keep knitting and don't forget about me.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Misti Alpaca Sport

Cross posting what I posted at the Union Square Market Pullover Knit-a-Long, for anyone who might be interested...

Hey KAL friends,

Just a quick post to share my yarn news. I just swatched for my USMP with Misti Alpaca Sport and found that I got a pretty close gauge on Addi Turbo size 3 needles. So happy!

I'll be using the lovely grape color for the main color, and pistachio green for the contrast. Sadly, Misti doesn't make the pistachio in sport weight, so I'll be carrying three strands of lace weight together instead. The color combination is really fun, though, and there isn't so much contrasting color, so I think it will work out just fine.

I got my yarn at Little Knits, which is good for two reasons. 1) They are making a serious effort to make a large contribution to Hurricane Katrina victims and 2) they're offering free shipping for Misti orders of $50 or more. Go check it out...

I won't be starting my pulli for a little while, though, as I finish up other projects, but am excited about the progress everyone else has shared!