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Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category

Pattern: Friendship by Laura Patterson
Source: Fiber Dreams or Ravelry
Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss Lace in Aegean; 2 skeins
Needles: 3.75 mm / US 5 Knit Picks Harmony Options
Finished Size: 76″ x 32″

Raveled Here

I’ve heard from many people that they don’t knit triangle shawls because they don’t want the point of the shawl landing on or pointing to their gluteus maximus. I agree.  This is why when I wear a triangular shawl, I twist it so that the top center of the shawl rests on my shoulder and the center line runs down my arm until the triangle point rests on my wrist.

I will admit I prefer the rectangle shawl shape as more practical for me to wear, but one of the things I truly love about triangle shawls is the interesting design construction that can’t always be accomplished with a rectangle shawl.  This particular shawl design has several different motifs so that just when you get one motif memorized and are starting thinking you may get bored, it switches to a new motif.  I just love a design that is simple but interesting.  In my book, it’s the perfect combination.

I especially love the addition of the seed beads on the lower half of the shawl.  I must advise that you don’t do as I did and use a crochet hook that is one to two sizes too large. It makes beading a pain in the gluteus maximus.  I’ve never added so many beads to one project before, but I love the effect they give.  I think this shawl will be the perfect compliment to my little (medium) black dress.  Thank you so much Laura for allowing me to test knit this shawl.  It’s a definite favorite.

This is the first time I used the Knit Picks Gloss Lace yarn and overall I liked it.  Notice I said “liked”.  For the value, it’s wonderful, but it’s a bit thicker than true laceweight yarn and so it didn’t give the overall delicate feel I was looking for.  It does look beautiful, but when I saw it side by side with Laura’s shawl that was knit with the Jaeger Zephyr Wool-Silk, I realized that although mine was pretty, I wanted to sneak hers out of her bag and slip it into mine.  I obviously didn’t do that, but it was sure tempting.

I loved every moment of knitting this shawl, but as with all triangle shawls, I despise blocking them.  You’d think I wouldn’t mind since I’ve got blocking wires and t-pins and a great foam pad and such, but still I find pinning it out and getting everything even on both sides a huge pain. Maybe there’s a shortcut or a trick I don’t know about. Am I the only one spending an hour or more pinning out a triangle shawl?  Please give me your tips.  I have 2 other triangle shawls completed and waiting to be blocked.

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Ravelympics Gold!

Yes, I know Ravleympics was over quite some time ago, but you know me, I’m a day late a dollar short. However, this still doesn’t mean I didn’t get the gold. When I saw there was a WIP Wrestling event in Ravelympics 2008, I knew this event would be my cure for all my UFO’s. There always seems to be so many of them.

Although I started with DROPS Design 95-25, (Ravelry) a fitted tank top, about halfway through I tried it on and disliked the overall look of it. At each point where the rib-like pattern changes, it looked like small “rolls” going around my body, kind of like the Michelin Man. I knew that if I finished it, I would never wear it and that would be a waste of yarn and my knitting time. Since this was to be Ravelympics project, I was unsure what to do. I decided to start over and used the same yarn for this:

Pattern: Picovili (Ravelry), by Grumperina
Yarn: Valley Yarns Longmeadow in Periwinkle; 500 yards
Needles: US 4 / 3.5 mm; Knit Picks Circular Options
Finished Size: 32″
Raveled Here

This is the first top down sweater I’ve knit and honestly, it was so simple that I’ll definitely knit more in the future. It was wonderful to be able to try it on as I knit it and this was especially true since I was tempting fate by not knitting a gauge swatch and knitting a size smaller than I thought might fit.

I followed the straight neck edge of the instructions, but honestly it should be called rolled edge since that’s exactly what it does on the neckline and armhole openings. When I got to the bottom of the sweater where I was to cast off, I added a purl ridge and then knit a few more rows of stockinette and cast off loosely. I turned the edge under at the purl row and seamed it with one of the yarn plies.

I debated about what to do regarding the rolled edges and they were okay, but I felt like the sweater looked unfinished. With crochet hook in hand I worked a single crochet along the armhole and neckline edges.

The yarn was purchased in February in the WEBS booth at Stitches West. I believe it was $3.49 per skein, but I purchased so much yarn that day, that I also got a 25% discount. With tax and everything, this cost under $12.00 to make. I have socks that cost more. In fact, I have socks that cost double! Overall I’m pleased with the yarn and would probably purchase it again. For the price, it really can’t be beat!

It was a quick simple knit and if you haven’t made it, it’s a pretty great item to add to your wardrobe.

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Laura has has released her latest and greatest sock pattern and get ready to add this one to your queue. It’s named Algernon after Oscar Wilder’s character in The Importance of Being Earnest, and I must confess, I’m in love with Algernon.

Pattern: Algernon by Laura Patterson
Source: Fiber Dreams and Ravelry
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Cranberry (2 skeins)
Needles: Knit Picks Circular 2.5 mm / US 1.5
Raveled Here

When I originally saw the chart for this sock, I kept rechecking to make sure this was a Laura Patterson design and not a Cookie A design. Anyone who has knit a Cookie pattern knows that some of her charts can make your eyes pop out of your head. However, I say that with the greatest of respect for her designs. Then, I started knitting it and realized that although the chart looked daunting, it wasn’t. It’s absolutely brilliant and I think one of the most beautiful cable motifs I’ve knit in a long time. Can’t you just picture this on a beautiful sweater or pair of mitts?

The main cable motif runs down just the front of the leg and top of the foot.

The other cable motif is repeated in three sections around the sides and back of the leg. There’s also a little tiny 1×1 twisted cable that separates each cable motif section. It’s so cute and oh so easy to do without a cable needle.

I personally was able to work all the cables without a cable needle which is a wonderful thing and I really only had to pay semi close attention to the main cable on the top of the leg and foot. The other cable was easily memorized and the socks were a complete joy to knit. I’m going to give Laura a big Bravo on this pattern.

Although the Posh Yarn Laura used on the original is heavenly to the touch, I really liked The Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock yarn because I thought it showed the stitch detail beautifully. In fact, it worked out so well, that I went to The Loopy Ewe and used my birthday gift card from Laura to purchase more, along with some Noro Silk Garden Sock.

I also may have added some fiber to my order. After all, I needed to spend enough to get the free shipping.

From Left to Right:

  • The Sanguine Gryphon Handpainted Merino Silk; 4 ounces; Madame Riviere
  • Gale’s Art Black BFL; 4 ounces; Stormy Sea
  • Scarlett O’Hara Merino Bamboo; 4 ounces; Sweet Sheri

I have so much other FO knitting and spinning to share with you, but this post is already too long, so you’ll just have to wait. 🙂

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Testing is Grand

I know, I know.  Don’t pass out because I’m posting so soon already.  It’s just that I have quite a few FO’s to share with you and the projects are all so great, that I felt I had to share.

I feel so lucky to have such a wonderful friend like Laura who is also a talented designer that lets me test knit her patterns. I’ve recently completed 3 of them but I won’t try to overwhelm anyone with all three in one post. First up:

Pattern: Grandiflora by Laura Patterson (Ravelry)
Yarn: Chameleon Colorworks Bambino in Briar Rose
Needles: Knit Picks Circulars size 2.5 mm / US 1 1/2
Raveled here

If you have beautiful hand painted yarn in your stash that has short color repeats, it can be tricky finding a pattern that will show off the beautiful yarn while not obscuring the pattern. Look no further than this Grandiflora pattern. It reminds me in some ways of Grumperina’s Jaywalker pattern that is so very popular, except this pattern will stretch on your foot whereas the Jaywalker pattern seems to have people commenting on how snug and tight the socks are.

I know Laura spent countless weeks (possibly months) trying to get this pattern perfect, and she really did succeed beautifully. I know I’m a bit prejudiced, but I also have knit quite a few socks in the last 2 years (36 pairs) and so I look at patterns with a bit of a critical eye. Besides, who wants to wear ugly socks? I’ve frogged one too many pairs of socks where the pattern and yarn did not work well together and I realized I need to be more critical of patterns I choose to knit, so that the disappointing half finished socks stop staring at me from the corner of the knitting room with an accusatory eye like I’ve abandoned them. Although usually I have.

Besides having a beautiful pattern, the yarn is quite amazing also. Chameleon Colorworks has some beautiful colorways, but also their base yarn is divine. The Bambino yarn is 30% bamboo and 70% superwash merino. The combination of these two fibers makes a sock that is incredibly soft, but also breathes a bit better than 100% wool yarns. Perfect for my southern California climate.

Also, if you’re an official member of Summer of Socks 2008, you can get a free copy of this pattern until August 15th.

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Blog Much?

I know some of you may have noticed my absence both from my blog and from commenting on your blogs. The truth of the matter is, my health hasn’t been so good and I just haven’t felt much like participating in blog-land. Yes, it’s the fibromyalgia. I’m unsure what has caused this resurgence of pain, and the worst part about it is I’ve had to cancel my trip to Portland this week because of it. I was so excited to meet up with my friends Abby and Judy, but for whatever reason, it was not meant to be.

I have been fairly active on Ravelry, and if you look at my Flickr page, there are quite a few photos I’ve been uploading there in the last few weeks. I’ve even considered stopping blogging all together, but it truly is what links me to some very good friends, so I’ve decided to continue for now.

There has been a great deal of knitting happening here at GuiltyPleasures, but I’m not quite finished with those posts, so I thought I’d pass along some information I read and a photo of recently acquired yarn. According to the Blue Moon Fiber Arts blog, they are not only discontinuing some colors in preparation of fall, but they are also raising their prices on August 18th. Normally this news would send me into a panic mode and I’d be buying more fiber that I don’t have storage room for, except that I found this wonderful thing on Ravelry where people are actually selling their yarn for less than they paid for it.

This is BMFA Silike Socks That Rock in the colorway Walking on the Wild Tide. At the BMFA store it’s $24 plus s&h, but I got it off Ravelry for $19 including s&h. Score! I mainly purchased it because I saw this scarf and instantly fell in love.

After I queued my latest find, I took a look at my Raverly projects page, and realized that I’m great at putting up new projects, but horrible about finishing them. I believe this is because I’m more of a process knitter. Most of the projects have been completed and are either waiting to be blocked, or waiting to be blogged. Thankfully the Ravelympics has come along and I’ve joined Team Ho (Hopelessly Overcommitted) and have entered three projects in the WIP Wrestling event. Thankfully I’ve just cast-off two test knits I was working on and now I can fully commit to my other unfinished knitting. So many projects … so little time.

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I love that knitting for babies is quick, but my last experience knitting a baby sweater was semi-frustrating so I was hesitant to try it again. In fact, it’s been a year since I last knit something for a baby, but my baby brother’s wife is expecting their 2nd child in September, so you’ll see a bit of baby knitting here for the next few months.

I started off with the Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket, but now that I’ve taken a close look at it, I’m going to rip it back and start again. I thought adding a complimentary color stripe of the ArtYarns Supermerino would be great, but for this pattern, not so much. I think it looks a little bit like a poo stain on the back and sleeve ends.

Although I was going to tackle the Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Sweater on Two Needles next, I remembered that I’d purchased the Tulips Baby Cardigan kit while I was at Stitches West.

Pattern: Tulips, A Colorful Cardigan for Baby by Lindsay Pekny
Size: 6-9 months
Yarn: Dream in Color Classy
Needles: Knit Picks Options Circular; size 3.75 mm (US 5) and 4.5 mm (US 7)

Raveled here

The kit I purchased included the pattern (for all sizes) and enough yarn of the eight colors needed for this pattern for a 6-9 month old baby. The entire kit cost me $45, and I think I may even have enough yarn remaining to knit one of these for a newborn or maybe even one of those American Girl Dolls that my nieces are crazy about.

From the moment I cast on, until the moment I cast off, I honestly enjoyed knitting this sweater. The pattern is relatively simple and the detail of the i-cord bind off around the edge is the perfect finishing touch.

The yarn is not only a very soft merino and easy to work with, but the subtle color shading is beautiful. I highly recommend this pattern and yarn to anyone needing a baby gift.

I may be slow responding to emails and blog reading for the next week. Hubby and I are driving from California through Nevada and Utah to Idaho on Tuesday morning for my dads retirement party. He is finally retiring on Friday from serving the public as a police officer for 43 years. I’m worried about him retiring though. Law enforcement has been his life and he seems to be a bit depressed lately. Mom mentioned that it might be nice to get him out of his environment and to drive back with us when we return to California. I guess I better get my knitting and spinning projects out of the guest room.

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Random Fun

This flickr game is circulating a lot in blogland, so I’m sure you’ve seen it before, but it looked so fun, I jumped on the bandwagon.

The concept:
a. type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. using only the first page, pick an image.
c. copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

The Questions:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

I forgot to tell you that June 14th I went to WWKIP Day, although instead of knitting in public, I decided to spin in public. Anne has some great photos of the event on her blog, but this is my favorite photo:

This is a baby alpaca named Seven because he was born 07/07/2007. He was so friendly and cute and made the most adorable sounds. I wanted to take him home, but instead, I took home this:

Why yes, that is an alpaca fleece. I don’t dare tell you how little I paid for it, but now I need to send it off for processing into roving because I’m just not equipped to do that …. yet.

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