I just placed the order with kpixie on 12/26 afternoon, and it's here today! Yeah!! Very happy, no complaints, no complaints at all. This is for Stitch Diva's Sahara. Love in first sight! My sister and I are planning to knit this one together, a mini two-person knit-along. Actually we both tried to sign up for the supposedly "official" KAL for this sweater, but it doesn't seem to be in operation, for whatever reason... Anyway. I guess we can always start whenever we want.
Tracy, wanna start on the first day of the new year?
Thought I should report the progress on my Illusions Cable Scarf. I am about half way done. I bought 4 balls of Rowan Cashsoft DK, I just started the 3rd ball last night. So far so good. I still couldn't memorize the pattern, and had to put it in front of me as I knit (I guess I am getting old, memory power is not as good...) But a quick glance is all I need to start the next row.
A bit too much flash in this picture, shows too much blue.
This picture is closer to the true color - a very soft lavender.
這張比較接近原色 - 很柔的淡紫色.
Oh, and thank you for your suggestions on possibly using double strands of Ultramerino 4 to knit this scarf. I pondered over it for a while, but decided that it may break the bank (you see, I already bought 4 skeins to make the scarf. If I am to get another 4 skeins (at $11 per skein), this will be a very expensive scarf! So I decided to switch. Plus, this gives me the perfect opportunity to use the lovely Ultramerino 4 for my very first pair of socks!
Hello! After being gone for more than one week, I am back. We just got in last night from Maui, a pre-Christmas vacation. Although I had a good night sleep, I still feel a bit tired from the trip. I'll share some pictures after I get a chance to go through them.
Before I went on the trip, I sent out my beloved Tiger Eye Scarf and Cable Clutch Bag to my friends so that they would receive the packages before Christmas. I also added Soak Wool Wash, body cream, and candies/chocolates.
I also dug out my rubber stamping supplies and made two cards.
I miss rubber stamping! It used to be all I do during my free time before the baby came. And now, it is just not as convenient as knitting. To actually be able to make anything, I need to bring out all these supplies (and these are just "some" of the things I have...) As you can see, it takes both space and time (to make cards and to clean up too.) Knitting can be done anywhere, and any time, be it 10 minutes in the car or 2 hours watching TV - more doable with a baby around. I am happy though to find out that my ink pads did not dry out - yeah! I haven't touched them for at least a year and half now...
This bag is for a dear friend of mine, I am naming the bag after her. I wanted to knit her something for this Christmas, but couldn't decide on what to make for a long time. Scarf being the obvious choice, is the first option being ruled out. Ashley doesn't like to wrap things around her neck, so much so that she doesn't even wear turtlenecks. So, scarves are out. Gloves - well, one rarely needs to use gloves in the comparatively mild winters of San Francisco (and I don't know how either... haha...) I thought about socks, but didn't want her to be my first guinea pig as I have never made socks before. Maybe it's time to start my sock adventure.... Anyway. So I decided on a cable clutch bag/purse, seeing that cables are on everything this winter. The cable patterns I picked are rather basic. They are from Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns. The bag itself is very simple, two identical rectangles sewed together. Add a lining, a zipper, some beads, done! Add more beads or sequins and you can use it as an evening bag.
I have never bought yarn that are enclosed in individual cases, looks quite precious...
從沒買過這種每一球毛線還用一個小盒子裝, 看起來好珍貴的樣子 (其實價錢還真是有點貴...)
Gauge: 28 sts & 36 rows = 4" in stockinette stitch using 3.25 mm needles
cn: cable needle RC: Right Cable LC: Left Cable CC: Center Cable RS: Right Side (public side) WS: Wrong Side
Right Cable (twist to the right) - 4 row repeat Rows 1, 3 (WS) - p1, k2, p4, k2, p1. Row 2 (RS) - k1, p2, k4, p2, k1. Row 4 (RS) - k1, p2, sl 2 sts to cn, hold in back, k2, k2 from cn, p2, k1.
Left Cable (twist to the left) - 4 row repeat Basically the same as Right Cable, except the cable needle is held in front in row 4. Rows 1, 3 (WS) - p1, k2, p4, k2, p1. Row 2 (RS) - k1, p2, k4, p2, k1. Row 4 (RS) - k1, p2, sl 2 sts to cn, hold in front, k2, k2 from cn, p2, k1.
Center Cable (Horseshoe Cable) - 10 row repeat Rows 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 (WS) - k3, p12, k3. Row 2 (RS) - p3, sl next 3 sts to cn and hold in back, k3, then k3 from cn; sl next 3 sts to cn and hold in front, k3, then k3 from cn. Rows 4, 6, 8, and 10 (RS) - p3, k12, p3.
CO 52 sts.
Set-up rows: Row 1 (WS) - P4, k3, p1, k2, p4, k2, p1, k3, p12, k3, p1, k2, p4, k2, p1, k3, p4. Row 2 (RS) - Knit the knit st, purl the purl st - k4, p3, k1, p2, k4, p2, k1, p3, k12, p3, k1, p2, k4, p2, k1, p3, k4. These two rows are the set-up rows. The greens are for RC and LC, the blues are CC.
Continue until desired length or in this case, total of 42 rows. Work 3 set-up rows ending with WS. BO all sts. Work two identical pieces. Block and sew up. I used crochet to add edging along the top rim - 1 row sc and 1 row rev sc. Sew beads in during assembling if desired.
Yarn: Rowan Calmer (75% cotton and 25% acrylic/microfibre), #485 kiwi, 5 balls Pattern: www.knitty.com Needles: Addi Turbo US size 8 (5 mm) / 24" (60 cm) circular US size 8 double pointed needles Size: Chest circumference 32" Start: August 9, 2006 Finish: December 2, 2006
線材: Rowan Calmer (75% 棉 and 25% 壓克力纖維), #485 奇異果綠, 5 球 圖樣: 網路免費圖樣 from www.knitty.com 針號: 5 mm / 60 cm 輪針和棒針 尺寸: 胸圍 32 吋 開始: 2006/08/09 完成: 2006/12/02
After I finished the Tiger Eye Scarf, I was in such a good mood, I dug out Tempting II from the corner of my closet and decided to give it another chance. It was not quite as painful as the first time around. I followed my sister's modification:
* k2tog all around the yoke, instead of (k2tog, k1) per pattern - although I felt the decrease was probably a bit too much, after I finished the sweater. I would try this next time (if there's a next time, haha!) - (k2tog, k2tog, k1) repeat. * Join the neckband to the yoke on every row (ssk on RS, p2tog tbl on WS) instead of every other row
This cut down the number of stitches to be joined to the neckband and also the number of rows for the neckband. I like it!
I also did the neckband as a 9-st k1-p1 ribbing. It's a bit too narrow for my taste, but the only buckle I could find was not wide enough for a 11-st width. Oh well... I have spent enough time looking for the buckle (time I'd rather spent knitting), this will just have to do. Since the stitch and row counts were much smaller this time, the neckband did not take long. I was thinking - if it still doesn't work out this time, I will just frog the whole thing and make it into something else since I have reworked this neckband "3 TIMES"!!!
Anyhoo. I wouldn't call it a satisfying knit. The sleeves are a bit too long to my liking - should have knit only 2.5" instead of 3" per pattern. The k1-p1 ribbing was just DULL. I don't really like the way the neckband join looks - not very neat. I also regret that I didn't pick a darker color, as the unevenness of the stitches are so obvious in this light green. Is it this yarn? The stitches on my other FOs did not have so many unevenness... Well. It's done. And I do like the shape of the garment. But I can probably only wear it if I can manage to somehow keep pounds off me... haha!
I finished about 7" of Illusions Cable Scarf (one of the TKA projects, designed by Black Dog), kind of thinking about aborting it... The stitch pattern is beautiful, the yarn is a pleasure to knit with, but... it is too fine! I wanted three cables when I first saw the pattern, but I didn't want a wide scarf, thus I picked a light-weight yarn. So light weight, that it is "sock" weight - Artyarns Ultramerino 4. The color is beautiful. But the knitted fabric is a bit too light for a scarf, I came to realize. It doesn't have the "warmth" that a scarf is supposed to have, although it is 100% merino... Anyways. I am debating if I should switch... Maybe it was a bad idea to use sock yarns for a scarf...
I got my package today. I was quite happy, as it was supposed to arrive tomorrow and now it arrived one day early. Then I opened it. They sent me the wrong yarn! I ordered Debbie Bliss Pure Silk, they sent me Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk! Not happy. Not happy at all... Where did I order it from? It's the one that offers 20% off with $60 yarn purchase and 25% off with $120 purchase. I have only ordered from them twice, and had problems both times. Feeling very grumpy right now...
Yarn: Karabella Margrite (80% extrafine merino wool and 20% cashmere), #13 deep red, a little more than 2 balls Pattern: From Stitchin Girl / TKA Project Needles: Addi Turbo US size 6 (4 mm) / 24" (60 cm) circular Measurement: Pre-Block 5.5" x 58" Post-Block 6.5" x 70" Start: November 17, 2006 Finish: November 28, 2006
線材: Karabella Margrite (80% 美麗諾 and 20% 開絲米爾), #13 深紅, 2 球多一點 圖樣: 網路免費圖樣 from Stitchin Girl / TKA Project 針號: 4 mm / 60 cm 輪針 尺寸: 定型前 14 cm x 148 cm 定型後 16.5 cm x 178 cm 開始: 2006/11/17 完成: 2006/11/28
I LOVE this scarf! I have always thought a 7" wide scarf would be too wide. But this, this lace is just beautiful. I knitted two pieces separately from each end and grafted them together at the center. There are 15 pattern repeats for each half. Strange thing is, I had just enough yarn left for grafting when I finished the first half with one ball of yarn. And I ran out of yarn on the second half, and had to use a 3rd ball for the last 9 rows. I was saving two balls to make another one. I guess I will just have to settle for a shorter scarf.
If you looked closely, you would probably see that it looks a bit different from the pattern. Yup! I changed it a little - decided not to do garter stitch edging. Just feels like every scarf is garter-stitch edged. Happened to see the slip-stitch double-knit border on Backyard Leaves Scarf in Scarf Style, thought it looked lovely, decided to give it a try. And I just love how it came out. There are 3 stitches on left and right edges and here is what you do:
I also changed the 3 garter stitch rows on the two ends of the scarf, to k1-p1 ribbing. Not really wanting the elastic feature of the ribbing, I stretched it out during blocking. And I was pretty relieved that it did not shrink back after I took it off the blocking board. Just the way I wanted it. COOL!
Another thing I learned is from the book A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara G. Walker (where this lace pattern was documented.) To knit "k3tog" so that it is the exact opposite of "sl1 - k2tog - psso" (works well when you have a pair in the same row, although the difference is very subtle):
k3tog = ssk, slip the stitch back to left needle, pass the next stitch over and off the left needle, then slip the stitch back to right needle (also known as right slanting double decrease)
This is much easier than trying to twist the three stitches and knit them together, I think.
No, I did not cook this feast. I was never a good cook. And with a toddler to care for (not much time left to do anything else), we decided to let Whole Foods do the cooking. This was one of the Thanksgiving meals available for ordering. We ordered it once a couple years ago and was pretty impressed by the quality, thus this year we decided to order from them again. The food was actually quite tasty. Usually the turkey breasts would come out dry, but this one was pretty good. I only needed to reheat and put the food on the plates. Couldn't be easier than that. Although I didn't have to cook, cleaning up the house and preparing the meal still took me a few hours. This year only my in-laws came over for dinner. The meal package was for 4 people. We had 4 adults, but still left with tons of leftovers. Connor had a great time riding on daddy's shoulders...
We then spent Friday and Saturday in the wine country. I brought my knitting bag along, but still couldn't get much done. I only had time to knit in the car, and Tiger Eye Scarf isn't exactly the right project for knitting in cars. We haven't visited Napa and Sonoma for a while. This time we were hoping that Connor would let mommy and daddy do some tasting. It turned out wine tasting is still too boring for a toddler (ummm... no kidding!) We basically had to take turns - one person tasting per winery only. The other person had to take Connor, walked around, and tried to keep him entertained. Still, we bought quite a few bottles of wine. The weather wasn't too bad - cold but sunny. Here is a picture taken in the garden of the hotel we stayed at.
But next time, we probably shouldn't visit the wine country during a holiday weekend. The traffic was so bad on our way back, it took us two and a half hours (it should have only taken 1.5 hours.) One of the winery staffs said that January and February is usually the slow time, maybe we will plan another trip then?!
This lace pattern is not difficult, but I do have to stay focused on where I am at. Made a few mistakes along the way, but luckily I realized early enough and was able to unravel and fix them within 1-2 rows. The truth is, the number of stitches changes from row to row. If I made a mistake in row 8, most likely I'd realize it by row 10 cause the number of stitches wouldn't match with the pattern. It is looking good so far. I've got 17 inches right now. The plan is to make it 60". Hoping to finish it by end of this week.
Yarn: South West Trading Company Karaoke (50%wool and 50% soy silk), #277 durango, 3 balls Pattern: Vogue Knitting Fall 2006 Design #28 Needles: Addi Turbo US size 6 (4 mm) / 24" (60 cm) circular Addi Turbo US size 7 (4.5 mm) / 24" (60 cm) circular US size 8 (5 mm) for binding-off Size: Small (14" across the back) Start: November 1, 2006 Finish: November 14, 2006
線材: South West Trading Company Karaoke (50%羊毛 and 50% soy silk), #277 durango, 3 球 圖樣: Vogue Knitting 2006 秋季號 作品#28 針號: 4 mm/60 cm 輪針織身體, 4.5 mm/60 cm 輪針織邊, 5 mm 收針用 尺寸: Small (36 cm 背寬) 開始: 2006/11/1 完成: 2006/11/14
Knitting this ribwarmer feels like knitting a scarf - long and lean. It's kind of fun, though. Seeing how it has taken shape. This is my first time knitting with variegated yarn. And I didn't think of the obvious fact that knitting together different sections of yarn will create color lines. Duh! Anyway. I talked about it in my previous post, so not gonna repeat here. After my last post about this ribwarmer, I put it aside for two days and tried not to think about it too much. But every time I looked at it, my eyes were drawn to that ugly line at the right shoulder, staring back at me... Fine! I'll re-do it! How bad can it be?!
Knitting the right shoulder is actually quite fast, 16 stitches for 24 rows. It's the grafting part I felt dreaded about. I picked a section of yarn with closer color variation. re-knit the right shoulder, and then grafted it onto the main piece. I have no idea where I did wrong, I ended up with a small hole in the middle. I think I might have missed threading one of the legs on one of the stitches. Too lazy to go back - more like I don't think I can re-do it again without dropping any stitches - I just patched it up from the back side. The color is so dark anyway, no one will see it.
The before (left photo) and after (right photo) of the right shoulder. 右肩重織的前後照片 The front and back of this garment laid flat: 放平的前後照 This ribwarmer is actually a bit too tight. When I first saw the measurement in the pattern, I thought, 14" across the back is more like a XS (the pattern has it as a size small). But my last few projects have all ended up a little too big on me, so I thought, maybe I should just follow the pattern. But this, this is really tight. Erh? A ribwarmer? Umm... it doesn't exactly cover my ribs... ^o^
I have been wanting to try posting in Chinese. I even thought about having a Chinese blog and an English blog. But having postings in two different places and maintaining both will be a challenge. Then I saw Wakana's blog. She is writing in both English and Japanese. And I thought her blog looks fabulous. Thus this is my attempt to do the same...
With Chinese being my mother tongue, sometimes I feel only using Chinese can accurately describe my thoughts. But sometimes using English has its advantages (such as knitting patterns...), it's quicker and shorter.
I finished the ribwarmer yesterday but haven’t had a chance to organize the photos, thus I don’t have new pictures to post today. Thought I’ll share a little bit of fall with you. This is a picture of a small Japanese maple tree in front of my old house.
Well, I started sewing up the Ribwarmer. And the one thing that I worried about the most, happened. There is a distinct color difference at the connection of the right shoulder and the right back/front part - you can see it in the second picture below near the top right corner. When I was knitting that part, I had thought about cutting a section of yarn with closer color variations and re-do the right shoulder. Then the lazy part of me said - well, maybe it is "on" the shoulder, you know, as a rectangle that may just look like a shoulder pad. And I would be okay with that.
But as I tried it on (with lots of pins holding it together, I almost poked myself...), that line created by the color changes is right next to my neck - very visible. Sorry about the photo qualities, I tried to take pictures of myself in a mirror, and it is hard! I know that if I don't re-do it, I would be so conscious everytime I wear it. But fixing it is not exactly a piece of cake. I will probably need to graft the new piece onto the main body. I hate grafting, but it's only 16 stitches... Should I re-do it or not?
I am just in love with my recent yarn purchases. Last week I went to Knitting Arts in Saratoga to shop for yarn choices for Phildar Swing Jacket. I ended up buying two skeins of Malabrigo Merino Worsted in color "Velvet Grapes". I have been eyeing it ever since I saw it here. But both Pureknits and WEBS are out of stock on this color. Thus as soon as I saw it on the shelves, I put them right into my basket. What am I going to make with it? Not sure yet. Maybe another Tiger Eye Scarf for myself, although I doubt the gauge will work out. No matter, I am sure I'll find a good project for it.
This is Kaalund Expressions (100% Kid Mohair) in colorway "Pawpaw". I found it at Imagiknit this week, when I went to look for yarn for Philar Swing Jacket (again...) You see how much this jacket is already costing me and I haven't even picked out the yarn for it yet?! Well, I am planning to make my first Swallow Tail Shawl in this yarn. Misti Alpaca Lace in lavender just got bumped into second place.
Although the colors are not as clear in this picture, I love how it turned out.
Last week, I finished one pattern repeat of the Dayflower Scarf. And I realized, you know, I don't really like the way it looks. I mean, it's a pretty lace pattern, but I am bothered by the wavy edges it creates. I know it is one of the characteristics of this pattern. But, people who are not familiar with knitting are going to think that I either did a poor job knitting it or I skimped on blocking. I think it will look beautiful with more repeats in a larger panel, as a shawl or a stole. Since this is going to be a gift, I decided to switch patterns.
I will probably switch to Tiger Eye Scarf. I really love this lace pattern, but I thought the scarf may be too wide with this yarn gauge (20sts=4"). It may knit up to be 7-8" wide. I'll try and see how it goes. BTW, I learned of both scarves from TKA. Hmmm... maybe I should join them...
I finished the main body of the ribwarmer last night, and put it on the blocking board - well, it was too long for my self-made blocking board so I had to borrow my son's playmats. I used all of my T-pins, plus some small ball-point pins. This is the first time I tried to block a real cable pattern (the last time was a one-stitch cable which was easy), and I had to really stretch out the fabric to get the measurement. As of now (15 hours later), it is still a bit damp. Hopefully I can take it off the blocking board tonight, and start sewing it up. And then just the outer band and the armhole bands, it'll be done!
This ribwarmer (really a cropped vest) has very unique construction. I didn't quite understand how to put it all together when I first started reading the pattern. Now that it is taking shape, I think it will be interesting to sew it up and see what it will look like.
This is the right back (the bottom rectangle) and the right shoulder (the small rectangle on the top.) This is the left back and the left shoulder. This is just me playing with different camera angle...
You know, I am liking this project. The surface area is small. Heavier yarn. Larger needles. I have only spent a few hours, and now it's already about 35% done. If I get to put in another 2 hours before bed tonight, it may be 60% done. After taking on several (comparatively) larger projects - which took forever, this feels pretty cool.
As I knit more with SWTC Karaoke, I am a bit annoyed by this yarn. It is "twisty". It kept getting tangled between my fingers. The color variation does knit up beautifully though, I think.
I finished the gauge swatch for the ribwarmer this past Sunday in the car to/back-from San Francisco Zoo. It was cold, but we all had a great time. Connor loved the ducks so much, he almost decided to join them.
I casted on the ribwarmer late last night. I am liking the feel of SWTC Karaoke in my hands. It feels warm and not as coarse (as I first thought that it would be.) Maybe it's because the weather is cold, handling a wool-blend yarn just warms my hands.
In case you are wondering, I am benching Tempting II right now. I am making it sit in the corner of my closet, thinking about what it has done...
Yarn: Rowan 4-ply Cotton #140 Honey Dew, 4 balls Pattern: At Glampyre Knits by Stefanie Japel Needles: Addi Turbo US size 4 (3.5mm) / 24" (60cm) circular Gauge: 31 sts = 4.5" and 32 rows = 4" over lace pattern Start: October 8, 2006 Finish: October 28, 2006
Orangina is done. I stayed up Friday night till 4 AM to finish it and actually wore it all day yesterday. It's a little big, to my surprise. I tried it on before blocking, it was perfect. After I blocked it, now it's a little big. Too long, actually. Before blocking, it measured 16" wide and 19.5" long. After blocking, it measured 16.5" across the chest and 21" long.
These are the details and modifications I made to the pattern (for size XS - 34"):
First of all, I could not get the 24 sts and 24 rows per 4" square gauge as suggested by the pattern. I made 3 gauge swatches - with US sizes 3, 4, and 5 needles, none matched the suggested gauge. I eventually decided on size 4, it would produce a 32" bust circumference which I felt is closer to my size. I also blocked my gauge swatches, really pull the lace apart and made sure I stretched it out. All the swatches shrank back to their pre-block size after I took them off the blocking board. So I thought, okay, this yarn has no give (it's 100% cotton after all). I shouldn't have to worry about any stretching. I guess I was wrong...
Lace pattern - 15.5" long (120 rows) and ribbing - 4" long (32 rows). Armhole was 6 3/4" before blocking. And now it is 7 1/2" long.
At the join of front and back panels, I did k2tog. The total number of stitches for the 3x3 ribbing is 204.
Shoulder seams - I sewed up two scallops for each shoulder. It seems to look better.
Although it is a little big, I like it nonetheless. The lace pattern is very pretty. It is very comfortable to wear. Rowan 4-ply cotton is a pleasure to knit with. I would definitely make this top again, with the following modifications:
Make the lace pattern 14" long and the ribbing 4" long per pattern.
Use US size 3 needles for the lace and size 2 needles for the ribbing.
I wonder, if I throw it in the dryer, will it shrink? Do I dare to try?...
Not wanting to work on Tempting II any more, I re-focus my energy on Orangina. It has made good progress. I have only got about another 1 1/4 inches of ribbing to do before bind-off. And then seaming and blocking. I am hoping to finish it by tomorrow. This is probably the last warm weekend of the year. The forecast is a comfy 78 degrees for tomorrow, and then goes downhill from there. I want to be able to wear my Orangina this weekend, before the cold weather comes.
I also joined my first KAL yesterday - Phildar Swing Jacket. It is such a cute jacket, and the shape of the season. I am really looking forward to this. I was going to order the pattern and yarn yesterday, but got busy with Orangina. I will definitely place an order this weekend, right after I get to wear my Orangina!