Friday, September 29, 2006

Musings on my Favorite Sweater

I have knitted sweaters out of merino, donegal, silky wool, silky tweed, noro cash iroha, angora, alpaca, bamboo and cotton. Yet my favorite sweater is this one.

This is the first sweater I ever knitted. It is the hourglass pattern from last minute knitted gifts made out of cascade 220. Yep. That cascade 220. The workhorse of wool. I wear this sweater for everything. From going to the pumpkin patch, to hiking in the woods, to a family portrait. It is comfortable and softened after so many washings and even a little bit pilly. But it is my comfort sweater. I love all my sweaters I have made in their own way and for different reasons. Whether luxurious or basic, they all have their purpose. But this sweater makes me feel like me. It's a little bit big and roomy, but it fits me perfectly, or my style anyway. And it is my favorite color. One of those greens that draws me in and brings out my eyes when I wear it. I love this sweater. Sure, some day another may replace it on my favorites list and it may go to the back of the closet eventually, bt it will always have special memories for me. From picking out the yarn, to the knitting, to the accomplishment of my first sweater, to all of the memories I have while wearing this sweater. Even this picture is a memory to be filed away with this sweater. My daughter took this picture of me while I was knitting the Belle Epoque from knitty. The memory of her saying "one, two, smile!" is just another moment in time preserved with the camera and my favorite sweater. It is amazing how much a piece of clothing can hold our hearts.

Now a quick look at current WIP's: I have picked up the Belle Epoque again after many months away and have jsut divided for the front and back. I am making it out of cascade Indulgence and I am hoping I will love wearing it as much as I love the feel of the yarn as I knit it. I also picked up anotehr sweater I am working on in variegated alpaca (I'll post pictures next time) and then realized why I put it down. I have all the pieces completed, but not enough yarn to finish the neck. grrr. Hopefully my LYS will have more. Luckily, I don't have to worry about dye lots with this yarn. Also, I am working on the slippers for my hubby for his bday and one of the scarves for a gift. Next time, I will posdt progress picks, but today was mostly about my sweater.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Wow..Is it Really Finished?!

Well I just finished my Central Park Hoodie from knitscene magazine and I love this sweater. I can't believe how quickly I finished it! I was able to get a lot of the knitting completed on Sunday though. We took the kids to Woodstock to one of the apple orchards there for apple picking and it is about a 2 hour drive from our house so that was all knitting time for me! Unfortunately, even thoughI reminded myself many times to grab the camera, I forgot to bring it with to the orchard. Just take my word for it...the kids had a blast and it was so cute to see them both running around with apples. My son's new favorite word is now apple. Elmo has been pushed aside for apples. We now have about 25 pounds of apples in the kitchen that I have to figure out what to do with!
Anyway...back to the knitting news. I did the CPH in the recommemded donegal tweed color #863. I did it in the 40" size. Now I am not positive, but I am pretty sure that I only bought enough yarn for the 36" size (7 skeins) and had enough to do the bigger size even though the pattern calls for an extra skein for that size.
This first picture is of the back...

And then a close up of the pretty dragon buttons I found at my LYS today....
And a few bad shots of my modeling it. It is really hard to get a good picture of yourself through a mirror isn't it?

Anyway, I love this sweater and even though the weather today was not cool enough to wear this sweater, it will be the time I block it! This is definitely a sweater that will look better after blocking. Now I really am going back to holiday knitting, starting with the slippers I am going to make for my hubby for his birthday. I think I am going to make the felted ones from the tracy ullman pattern book knit 2 together, although I will have to tweak the pattern a bit. I just love my cph and I am happy that I took a little time to finish this up all for me before I go back to knitting for everyone else. Ok back to work!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Holiday Stash, Procrastination Knitting, and Kids and Countertops

What you see here is my holiday stash as of now. This is almost everything for my xmas knitting. The only yarn left to get is whatever I decide to knit for the rest of my nieces and nephews. What is all this yarn going to be? Well, this is enough yarn for 3 pairs of socks, 2 scarves, 1 lace shawl, 1 cabled stole, 1 pair of gloves, 1 pair of mittens, 2 adult sweaters, 1 pair of felted slippers, 1 guitar pillow and 1 baby coat. Hmmmmmm. Typing all of that made me realize how insane I am. There will be a lot of sleepless nights in the week leading up to Xmas! At least I have a few things finished.

This is one pair of socks, 1 finished sock for another pair, and 1 sock almost finished. Then there is 1 mitten and 2 viking hats that just need to be assembled.
The next picture is the back and the right front of the cardigan for my mother-in-law. Damn, do I have my work cut out for me!

Which then leads me to the knitting that I have been doing. You might assume that I am dilligently working on this HUGE list of gifts that have to be completed in a few measly months, but you would be wrong. Oh no. Instead, I have been hard at work on the Central Park Hoodie that I am making for myself. ( Yes, I know, I am a selfish knitter). I have the back and the 2 front pieces completed and am on to the 1st sleeve. I am using the Tahki Donnegal Tweed (Gasp! The recommended yarn! Can it be?!) in red-color 863.

I am absolutely loving it, which helps me to not feel so bad about the huge pile of gift knitting staring at me. In me defense, there is so much to choose from, I really just don't know what to start next. I think I will start the cabled scarf. I love doing cables, and a I can whip out a scarf pretty quick which should give me the motivation to whip out a few more projects after that. After I finish the hoodie anyway..... So I should resume gift knitting some time next week and that should keep me going for a couple weeks before I again get the urge to knit for myself!

So over the weekend we put in a new countertop and sink. My daughter of course had to help her daddy do it all. So she put on her work overalls and got to work. Here she is sweeping up the sawdust.

My son did his own helping out. He had to make sure the sink was big enough. I am assuming he was checking to make sure it would hold all of our dishes, but maybe he though it would make a good bathtub since he absolutely HATES bathtime in the big bath. Besides helping around the house, he also has a new found obsession with Elmo. He walks around with an Elmo doll, wants to watch countless hours of Elmopalooza and when not watching it, he wanders around says "Elmo Elmo Elmo" over and over again. (He is doing it right now in fact as I type). Sooo cute. Let me tell ya, sometimes beinga a mom is just so much fun. My kids may be nuts, but I can't imagine a better way to spend my day than hanging out with the little monsters!

Back to knitting.....the hoodie calls.....

Monday, September 11, 2006

And so it begins

Isn't this adorable?

She loves to help me wind up my yarn. I think it's about time to teach her to knit!

In other news, I finished the sweater for my LYS. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture in my excitement to get it off to her. But it is finished!

With part of my credit, I got this yarn. It is the stuff my daughter is winding in the pic.

It is Berroco Ultra Alpaca. I have already cast on for the Sienna Cardigan in the Fall 06 issue of Interweave. It is for my mother-in-law for xmas. Back to the xmas knitting already! I have a huge list of knitting to do for xmas, it is ridiculous. I am hoping to finish up this cardigan and a few of the smaller projects this month. I have to go through all of the yarn, so next post I may have to flash my holiday stash!

And lastly, here it is. The SKB!

Excuse the bad pic. It was a cloudy day out so I couldn't get it in the right light. Also, in this pic, the purl ridges do seem to add a bit of bulk around the middle so I think if I were to make it again, i would eliminate them like others are doing. Otherwise, I really do love this sweater. It hasn't been blocked yet and even though it is lightweight, it kept me warm all evening yesterday outside (at a bbq for the Bears/Packers game). As I said before, I made it in Silky Tweed color # 17. I used sz 6 and sz 3 needles with perfect gauge. Now, I am in no way close to the small size (this is the medium), yet I could have made the small and it would have fit fine. I am hoping that blocking will lengthen it and pull it in some, otherwise I may toss it into the dryer for a few minutes and see if it will shrink up a bit. It is so comfortable though, and if it doesn't block out right, I will still wear it often, I will just have to adjust as the day goes on! Love it, love it love it.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

WIP Progress

I have been hard at work on a few projects, hence the lack of posting. I did warn you after all!

First, there is the LYS sweater. This sweater was made with 8, yes 8 different colors of Trekking XXL. I will be so happy to finish up the seeming on this, but it will have to wait until after the kids are in bed tonight. My 15-month-old likes to grab at my sweaters as I seem them (which I do sitting on my couch with the coffee table pulled up to it...much more comfortable than the dining room table!).
Now I just have to decide what kind of yarn I should pick as my free stuff. Enough for a sweater? A varying blend of yarn? Some of those luxury skeins that I fondle and admire whistfully but can't afford to buy? Oh, the choices!

Next up is my SKB sweater. I LOVE the way this sweater is working up. I am doing mine in Silky Tweed color #17. I can't seem to get a good picture of the color, but it is a pretty green with yellow and orange slubs in it. The first picture is before I started the second sleeve and the next one is the beginning of the second sleeve. If all goes well, I should finish this up this week! I can't wait to wear it. I have one with me wearing it, but seeing as my 3 year old took the picture, it didn't turn out very well, so that will have to wait until I finish it.

Lastly, my mystery sock! I am doing some Elizabethan stockings. This picture is of the back where the moss stitch "seam runs. These are in Knit Picks Gloss. Love the yarn and the color (dusk). I am just about finished with the calf increases so I still have a LONG way to go on these.

Once I finish the other 2 sweaters, then I will spend more time on these as well as going back to my huge list of Yuletide knitting (A.K.A. Xmas knitting) and the Central Park Hoodie that was pushed aside.

One more pic before I go. My daughter started preschool yesterday and as the dorky mother that I am, I brought my camera with. For those who know my daughter, you know this is a standard goofy face of hers in pictures. Shedoesn't smile in pictures, she makes funny faces. I love it. She is also incredibly independent and was so excited to go to school to stay there "by herself" (i.e. without mom). She also picks out her own outfits and hates to have her hair brushed (it is still wet in the picture). As a feminist I am trying my damndest to raise a smart, independent, free thinking, strong daughter and I am (mostly) happy with my decision to do so!(anyone with a 3 year old knows what I mean by mostly!

Till next time....enjoy....