Tuesday, September 30, 2008

On Sweaters and Surprises

Well - the greatest plans can often be waylaid...no Steek practice here - I've decided to roll up my sleeves and call things done. Details and more photos over yonder at the finished items blog...call me fickle. I want to get moving on another sweater ;) Either something wonderfully cably and textured...or maybe a simple short sleeved pullover...or perhaps I should just get moving on Venezia again - poor thing is not much further than that lonely post way back in May of 08!

...then again, maybe I should cast on for yet another pair of socks - Anne surprised me today with a preview copy of her Winding Diamonds sock pattern (scroll down past the gorgeous produce to see the socks) - she designed and knit them from Spritely Goods Sylph in the Eaving colorway. I'm looking forward to seeing the pattern finalized, and will be bringing some over to stock in the shop - Thanks, Anne, for such a wonderful surprise :)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sweaters in the making...

So...the Birthday Bog-along (named such because the Start and End Dates were participants' birthdates) is coming along fine - mine is actually in a state of completion, but I'm currently pondering the project....here it is pre seaming/kitchnering:

Doesn't look much like a sweater, does it? And yes, that is a vcr tape up there - I wish I could tell you it's for reference, but I'm old school and I do not have a DVR, so if I'm going to miss something on TV, I actually run the VCR!!

Anyhow - The sweater is actually in a "done" state - but due to the very very stretchy nature of garter stitch, I might be getting some steek practice in - I need to shorten the sleeves...by a lot. I'm not sure how much, I'm reblocking the sweater right now with the sleeves stretched out to make them a little thinner too - once it's dry, I'll put it on and figure it out.

I have to say, the Bog Jacket has a rather unique construction that does have its own quirks, but now that I've made one, it has my mind going on sweater construction....though I have to admit, my brain has already moved to the next sweater...I'm thinking this - out of some Alpaca-Merino-Silk...Course I could just chicken out and see if I can't find some marled natural colored yarn to knit it in....white is gorgeous, but it's also a magnet for stains!

If you're in the mood for a faster knit, there's a new Twinklebook out...

As always, the projects are all knit with fast knitting bulky weight yarn. Photos, as usual, are stunning - and are found all up front in the book with project descriptions and page references to the pattern material further back in the body of the book. The pattern pages feature a smaller image of the projects sans models inside - it's a real eye opener on the use of negative ease, comparing those photos to the ones in the front of the book with people modeling the garments! Also included with many of the patterns are clear schematics of the garment and tables outlining the shaping for the various sizes, row by row.

While I can't picture myself in many of the garments, there are several keepers in the book. I love the fair-isle inspired (Holyoke) sweater on the cover - along with several of the scarves and other cardigans (I really like the nantucket, sirocco and vineyard potter's cardigans) - and I've plenty of bulky weight yarn to knit them up in! I just need to find some other folks to knit for, since bulky weight wool garments would rarely see the light of day here in the desert...then again, that hasn't stopped me from knitting something before ;)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Autumn is here!

Happy first day of fall! While the days are still over a hundred degrees here, the evenings are finally starting to get cooler :) I can't wait! It looks like that Bog Jacket will be done just in time!

If it weren't for all the pinks in this yarn, it would really remind me of fallen leaves - it's a bunch of Spritely Goods batt remnants and other mixed wool, all blended together at the wheel - I'm looking forward to getting it off the bobbin and measured. It'll probably look totally different on the skein - Stay Tuned :)

Friday, September 19, 2008


I've been a long time fan of Kay and Ann's - so I was pretty happy to hear they had another book coming out. I was even happier when I found out that my friend Kiki provided some inspiration for a project in the book!

Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines follows nicely in the footsteps of Ann and Kay's blog and their first book. In addition to some pretty fantastic patterns they continue their dialogue and commentary in similar style as their blog.

The book is broken into several sections, each with a different focus. The first has to do with decorating oneself - from apparel to accessories, this section is sure to inspire your knitting on one way or another - I've already started eyeballing the inventory of Shibui Silk Cloud with thoughts of knitting up the lovely plaid wrap - or perhaps the light-as-air cardigan (Cardi Cozy).

With my current coat/jacket/cardi fascination (yes, I'm making quite the progress on the Bog Jacket - it just doesn't look like a whole lot other than miles of Garter Stitch...so hang tight, if all goes well, I might be seaming by the end of the weekend!), I find myself drawn to Metropole - a great swingy coat with lovely texture (yay linen stitch!)

Moving onward, the book progresses into another recent fascination - Fair Isle - and of course, Ann and Kay have a special take on it - if I don't manage to make faster progress on Venezia, I may well cast on for one of the wonderful Fair Isle projects in this book to get a taste for Steeking!

The next chapter touches on knits for kids - perfect for toddlers to tweens, there are some patterns that are a fresh take on kids knits - I especially like the Blu Jeans. The book is rounded out with chapters on "Occasional Knitting" and knits for the Kitchen (where we see the wonderful dishcloth stitch pattern from the first book remade into something new...and of course, mitered squares make an appearance also!)

If you're a fan of the Mason Dixon ladies, or you're looking for some fresh ideas for your knitting, I definitely recommend adding this book to your library. Stay tuned. Photos of fresh yarn on the bobbin are coming...and that bog jacket is making some serious progress (i finished that huge cake of yarn btw)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Now that's a Cake!

Thank goodness I have a jumbo ball winder ;) I've cast on and started my endless garter stitch - I forget how slowly garter stitch grows, but at least it's going smoothly :)

I'm not sure that that whole cake will be used, after all, I'm still thinking of adding a couple accent colors for the trim - we'll see as the knitting goes along...and I do have more yarn just in case the cake *isn't* enough!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I'm 4!

Today is my 4 yr bloggiversary :) I can't believe it. My blog is a preschooler.

And to make things even sweeter, the fall Knitty is up...and there's a nice review about Spritely Goods Handblended Batts inside! (scroll to the bottom - we were the 3rd fiber featured)

Speaking of Birthdays, I'm embarking on a Birthday Bog-along - along with Kiki and Illanna, and maybe a few others too. We had too much fun with the mitten along, so we're going nonstop garterstitch for an EZ Bog Jacket (check it on Ravelry!) The yarn is wound and we just cast on. I've gotten all of 4 rows in ;) I foresee some long nights knitting....and look! I even swatched :D

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Seriously. Knitting progress - and a fat bobbin to be reported on soon :) just as soon as I get my brain to function properly again after being struck by the first flu of the season!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Turning Right Round...

Look! Knitting Content! I turned the heel on these wonderful socks, designed by Blogless Erika. I love the way the little scales are incorporated right into the gusset. Unfortunately, it looks like I might need to rip back to the heel turn and work out some pattern modifications for myself - I appear to always have this issue (baggy ankle syndrome) with socks with lovely non-ribbed patterning around the ankle. Apparently it has something to do with the shapeliness of my leg - or that's what I'm sticking to ;) I have flat, somewhat wide feet, quite large calves (as was evidenced in with my Kilt Hose) and dainty ankles :P I had hoped that the scale pattern would help draw the sock in more, but it didn't do it enough, and as soon as I got into the lace pattern, I realized that pattern modifications were going to be required.

Ah well. I guess these are in a temporary time out while I try to figure out a solution. Anyone have any suggestions?

Monday, September 01, 2008

Happy Labor Day!

To those in the United States, I hope you all are having a fantastic Labor Day weekend - it actually feels like fall is on the way, even here in the desert :) I'm celebrating by relaxing, cleaning (stay tuned, I'll probably be posting a mess of books to destash at some point - I'm running out of bookshelves!), and swatching for a new sweater...

...and also by following my routine. It's the beginning of the month, you know what that means, don't you?

Spritely Goods is updated :) Not only have a got a bunch of my own yarns updated, I've also become a ShibuiKnits stockist. If you haven't tried it, and you're a lace knitter, I highly recommend the Silk Cloud - it's an absolutely gorgeous yarn. If you're looking for a single skein pattern to give it a try, I recommend the Swirl Scarf.