Posted in Current Projects

Camber Cardigan, Skew Socks, and Spring Fling

Wow, I could have sworn I blogged last week, but apparently I didn’t! I’ve been spending more time offline recently, but I’m starting to get back into the swing of things. I think I just needed a bit of a break from computers outside of work for a while.

Over the weekend, I was able to finish the Camber Cardigan and wash/block it. I haven’t sewn the buttons on yet because I’m contemplating the length of the sweater still. Gauge swatches? I think they lie. According to my gauge swatch, this sweater should have shrunk in length after washing, but it didn’t. Not even a little. Since I was trusting my gauge swatch, I added more length to it then I would have if I wasn’t trusting it. The sleeves are longer then planned, however I’m okay with that. The length of the body, though? Not so keen on it. It’s a bit too long for me because I have a rather short torso and it completely covers my butt. I did try to shrink it in the dryer, but the sweater wasn’t wet or damp at all, so it didn’t do anything. I figured the heat of the dryer would be enough to shrink it. Apparently not. I may retry it after spritzing the sweater with water first. Since that failed attempt, the length doesn’t seem so awful. Still longer then I’d really like, but not so bad I wouldn’t wear it. The fit is great around me and I don’t want to ruin the whole thing just because I’d like the sweater to be about an inch shorter. I’ll give it until the end of the week to decide what to do.

Camber - Front
Camber Cardigan – Front

Camber - Side 2
Camber Cardigan – Side

Camber - Yoke, Front
Camber Cardigan – Front Yoke

Camber - Yoke, Back
Camber Cardigan – Back Yoke

What’s your experience with gauge swatches? How often are they spot on vs. not being correct in the end? Do you trust your gauge swatches all the time? Are there other factors in gauge that I’m just not considering (weight of the finished garment or something)? I’d love to get other people’s thoughts on this – so leave a comment! ๐Ÿ™‚

Since Camber is now done (I’m going to call it done even though it doesn’t have buttons!), I’ve started the second Skew sock. I think I mentioned finishing the first sock, but never got around to posting photos of it, so here’s the first sock and the start of the second one.

Skew
Skew Socks

Skew - Inside
Skew Socks – Inside

Skew - Outside
Skew Socks – Outside

Skew - Heel
Skew Socks – Back

It’s been the only thing I’ve been working on this week and I’m already about an inch from starting the heel. Hoping that by the time the weekend is over they’ll be done!

The Spring Fling is about a week away now. I had an email from Sheri this morning about it and got really excited! I can’t believe it’s almost time! I’ll be taking the Seamless Sweater class with Jared Flood while there and I’m sure there will be plenty of other fun to be had as well. I’ve been getting to know people through the Ravelry board, which is how I found a roommate and found a ride partner. Eee! I’m so excited! Since I can post to my blog from my iPhone (and I’ll have the netbook), I may do a few quick updates while away.

I feel like there’s more I’m meaning to post, but forgetting. More for another day if I remember! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

Camber Cardigan, Spinning, and Matt’s Socks

I feel like I haven’t been working on much lately, though I’m sure that’s not entirely true. I think it’s more that I’ve just been focused a small number of projects. I did finish the first Skew sock and the first plain vanilla sock (in Vesper’s “Summer Breeze” club yarn). No pictures of either, yet. Both were put aside when I started the Glorious Cabled Mitts and now I’m working on another test knit – Camber Cardigan. Well, I was actually working on both for a while, but now that the mitts are done, I’m focusing on the Camber Cardigan.

The Camber Cardigan was designed by Jesh and I was lucky enough to be a test knitter for this sweater thanks to Twitter! ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s a link to a photo (for non-Ravelry folks) and the pattern is already up for pre-order on Ravelry here. I’m up to the waist decreases and now that I’ve split off the sleeves, it seems to be going quite a bit faster! I suppose taking those sleeve stitches out of the row helps with that as it does with every top down sweater. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Camber (pre sleeve split)
Pre-sleeve Sparation

Camber (post sleeve split)
Post-sleeve Sparation

I still haven’t decided on buttons, though I’m not really a “decide on buttons before knitting” kind of person. I do have an idea in mind of what I’d like the buttons to be, but that depends on what I can find! I’ve been looking. I just haven’t found the right buttons for it yet. So far I’m totally loving this pattern and cardigan. The light weight will make it perfect for spring and even when the seasons change from summer into fall. I think it’ll also be great for my office when it gets cold once they crank up the AC come summer. I wouldn’t be surprised if I knit up a few more of these to match my entire wardrobe! I’m using Knit Picks Palette in Huckleberry Heather, which makes this a super affordable knit, and I really like how it’s knitting up for a sweater (this is my first time using Palette for a sweater). The recommended yarn is also quite affordable. I love seeing patterns that have recommended yarn doesn’t scare me off of by the price! I know I can always substitute, but I think it’s nice to not always have to.

I finally have some finished spinning to show! I finished spinning the fiber for the SAL/KAL going on in the Zarzuela’s Fiber Junkies group. I ended up with about 627 yards of fingering weight yarn. I decided not to ply because I really liked how the singles turned out and it left me with more yardage to work with for a shawl.

Merino/Silk/Mohair Yarn
Zarzuelaโ€™s Fibers Luxury Sock Batt all spun up!

I decided on the Brandywine Shawl (Ravelry link). I think the yarn will work nicely with the pattern and the construction will allow me to use up as much of this as I possibly can. Great combination, I think!

A while back I mentioned finishing Matt’s socks, but I never got around to posting a picture of them finished. I think my cell phone picture will have to do. At the rate I’m going, I’ll forget about posting the finished details and he’ll have worn holes in them! If I ever do get around to doing a photo shoot with him, I’ll be sure to post pictures, though.

Matt's Finished Socks
Matt’s Socks

Pattern: My own toe-up ribbed sock (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: January 20, 2010
Completed: February 27, 2010
Yarn: Wollmeise 80/20 Twin in Lowenzahn
Needles: US 1 (2.25mm), Knit Picks Nickel DPNs
Notes: These started out as the Mock Cable socks, but all those little cables were taking me a really long time and I thought the yarn was pooling a little too much for the pattern, so I decided to make these ribbed instead. He has worn them a TON since I finished them, so it’s fair to say they’ve been a success and he’ll likely get another pair sometime.

Off to get some errands done and dinner taken care of before knit night tonight!

Posted in Completed Projects

Glorious Cabled Mitts

I’ve been all about test knitting recently. Today, I’m sharing one test knit that I recently finished and I’ll share another that I’m working on very soon (gotta get those pictures edited and uploaded first).

My friend Karen asked me to test knit her Glorious Cabled Mitts. A number of us in the knitting group had been after her for quite a while to write up the pattern. I pointed her in the direction of Intwined Pattern Studio after seeing an ad for it on Ravelry and it wasn’t long before she had the first draft of the pattern ready to test knit. I have to say, test knitting isn’t for everyone. Sometimes it means a lot of bumps in the road, while other times you don’t run into any issues. I admit, I’m the kind of person that wants consistency and clear directions in a pattern. I’m also the kind of person that will likely give a lot of detail in something written down so that there’s no confusion or questions about what the next step is. I blame it on writing a lot of Standard Operating Procedures while I was in the military! I think this helps in test knitting. While I totally understood the directions, I could see where there might be confusion for someone else. A few drafts and revisions of the pattern, two weeks, a pair of fingerless mitts and a photo shoot later (*squee* the photos in the pattern are ones I took!), the pattern is now up for everyone to have and knit! It’s available on Ravelry here.

Glorious Cabled Mitts
Glorious Cabled Mitts, modeled by Karen

Pattern: Glorious Cabled Mitts (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: March 4, 2010
Completed: March 16, 2010
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock, colorway Violeta Africana, a little less then half of a skein
Needles: US 0, Knit Picks 32″ circular
Notes: No real notes on this. I followed the pattern exactly as written. The yarn is squishy and lovely to work with and the semi-solidness of it works really well with the cables. I would definitely would knit these again and I think a few knit-worthy recipients in my life might be in need of a pair!

Glorious Cabled Mitts
Thumb Gussets

Glorious Cabled Mitts
Mmmm… cupcake!
Oh! And look at those mitts!

Posted in Completed Projects

Alpine Fuschia

I can hardly believe how quickly this month has gone by! Or this YEAR for that matter!

Earlier this month, I completed a beautiful pair of socks for Julia. I absolutely love the way they came out! Matt took some fantastic pictures for me and I’m finally getting around to showing them to you (been a long, tiring month, sorry I didn’t get these here sooner).

The pattern is Alpine Fuchia by Julia Riede and it is now available for purchase as a Ravelry download here.

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Pattern: Alpine Fuchia by Julia Riede (Ravelry link, web page link here.)
Started: November 9, 2008
Completed: December 7, 2008
Yarn: Lana Grossa Meilenweit 50 Seta/Cashmere
Needles: US 1 bamboo DPNs
Notes: The pattern is very well written and the socks are gorgeous! It’s been a pleasure to knit these and to work with Julia. I’m looking forward to the next project!

Posted in Current Projects

Organizing and Sock Progress

Happy (one day late) Thanksgiving to all those in the US! I had a good time visiting with family and eating delicious food yesterday. It was a long tiring day, but a good one. Matt and I first went to his family’s get together. We brought pecan pie and mac & cheese that I made. There was a ton of great food and I had a really good time! After that, he went to his dad’s and I headed to my family’s house. We had a really nice dinner and I got there just in time, bringing pumpkin pie (which I made) and cool whip with me. Everyone was nice and I was glad I decided to go. I should have taken pictures of the pies and the mac & cheese, but I didn’t think about it until it was too late. Ah well, I’ll share pictures of pie the next time I make some. The pecan pie came out pretty good. I think it might have needed another 5 to 10 minutes in the oven because it was just a tad runny in the center. Still was delicious, but now I know for next time!

About two weeks ago now, I went to Outdoor World (aka Bass Pro Shop) to pick up two items that I’ve been wanting and needing. Now, none of these items were to be used for any type of outdoors thing, which I thought was amusing as I was going through the store, finding my things and checking out.

The first thing I picked up was a Extreme Finesse Binder:

Front:
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Back:
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I’m sure you’re wondering what I could be doing with this, right? Well last year when I went to Knitter’s Connection (2007), I saw a lady who had one of these. She said her husband had found it for her and said it would be great for her knitting needles! So she showed me everything she stored inside. I thought this was a GREAT idea, so I needed to get one myself! I found one at Outdoor World not long after Knitter’s Connection, but I didn’t have the money for it at the time. I thought the bigger one was what I wanted, but when I went back, I found that the medium sized one would be perfect. So two weeks ago, I finally got my butt over there and purchased the binder along with some extra refill sheets so that I could fit all my circulars and all my DPN’s.

Here’s the inside:
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I accidentally got the wrong size fillers, so I need to go back and get the right size ones. The DPN’s are the only thing that I don’t have in the plastic things.

The other thing I purchased was two ammo boxes (.44 if you’re curious). Mostly I just went through and looked at them until I found one that worked well for what I needed then purchased two.

HPIM0341

Since I don’t own a gun, I’m sure you’re wondering what’s in them if bullets aren’t.

SNIFFIES!

Perfume Oil Storage

Miss Violet (from the Lime & Violet podcast) gave the idea to me on the Ravelry forum for her sniffies/soap site – Happy Housewife Soaps and Sundries. I’m part of the Cupcake Club and I recently bought some of the sniffies Miss Violet no longer wanted, so my collection of little sniffy bottles has grown and will keep growing for at least a few more months. I really needed a better way to store them and this is perfect!

While I was at the mall (that’s where Outdoor World is), I went by Kohl’s to get Matt a new belt (I did, but had to return them as they were the wrong size). While I was there I found these cute see-through shoes on clearance. I thought these would be perfect to wear my hand knit socks with to show them off. I’m not 100% sure I like them, but I haven’t worn them anywhere besides the house yet. They are tinted a very light pink.

HPIM0390

~~~~~

Yesterday I was able to finish up the first sock of the test knit I’m working on. It looks really good, if I don’t say so myself! I’ve received a number of compliments on it already. I think the second one should go much faster now that the kinks have been worked out. I love, love, love this sock! I’ll be sure to let you know when the pattern is available so you can make a pair yourself :o)

Front:
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Back:
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Posted in Current Projects

Test Knitting Socks

I’ve been working on a test knit pattern for Julia Riede – a pair of socks that are coming out quite lovely! I’ve been meaning to blog about them, but I’ve been busy knitting and each time I wanted to talk about them, I didn’t have an up-to-date photo to share. I’m nearing the finish of the first sock and I’ve received a lot of compliments from people – knitters and non-knitters alike! I haven’t had Matt take photos of the sock in progress yet, so these are the best I could do with my little HP that likes to hate me (seriously, I need a new point and shoot camera) and the lack of natural light since it’s been overcast lately and I get home after it’s pitch black out. Ahem… anyhow… photos!

Front:
HPIM0384

Back:
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I am really loving these socks! The yarn is fantastic to work with (silk, cashmere, wool blend) and I really like the lace pattern. The calf shaping is really nice and I’m loving watching the pattern develop. I’ve only done a little knitting where I didn’t know what the finished item would look like, so it’s really interesting to see the sock taking shape. So far it’s been great working with Julia and the socks are turning out to be gorgeous. I’m anxious to get them finished so Matt can take some nice photos!