Thread Thoughts

The Nut Graf knits, sews and attempts other crafts

Happy Halloween! October 31, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — chengat @ 11:58 pm

Not really a Halloween costume, but it is a monster. The hat that is, not the boy. This is my 3rd Monster Hat knit from an Insubordiknit kit. I found the matching shirt at Target. I highly recommend the Monster Hats, especially with the gift-giving season coming up. They are fun and quick knits. Each kit includes one-of-a-kind hand-dyed, self-striping yarn, pattern and a felted monster patch.
greenmonster2.jpg This one reminded me of Frankenstein. The colors maybe?


I am falling in love again October 27, 2007

Filed under: Knitting,Uncategorized — chengat @ 8:10 pm

…with the Turkish Cape. Sometimes you do need a little timeout to revitalize a relationship. I got tired of it last year, all that demanding color stranding, the purling Continental style, the nasty knotting as the yarn twisted on each other, the complicated color chart. But recently, I revisted this former flame and remembered what drew me to it in the first place — such beautiful colors, such soft yarn. I’m not sorry I had abandoned it when I did. Perhaps it was for the best, I was impatient and wanted it done quickly. But now (maybe because I am a little wiser and more experienced) I have taken a bit more time and care with it. It is not a project to be rushed through. So, here it is blocking:
I just need to pick up stitches along the bottom edge, work the band pattern and then the lining (the pink and turquoise section). My strategy of working just a few rows every day has worked. As soon as I got tired of this, I would drop it and move on to something else. It got a lot better after I completed the blue pattern section which required stranding up to 5 colors. I’m still not happy about the tension in that area but I’m hoping the blocking will ease it somewhat.
I think I’m also falling in love with the Tangled Yoke Cardigan, especially seeing how many lovely ones there are out there on Ravelry. This arrived on Friday from Elann, their limited edition Lana Cash in the oatmeal color:
I’m swatching to see if it is a cheaper substitute for the Rowan Felted Tweed called for in the Tangled Yoke pattern. Lana Cash is 70% wool and 30% cashmere and knits up to a double-knit gauge on #3 needles. Yardage is an excellent 256 yards for only $3.98 a ball. This yarn sold out quickly, so let’s hope they bring some more back soon. There are still some black left and another color that looks like a tweedy ginger that they’re calling Sienna. The texture prewashing feels a little like raw silk, dry and nubby. Elann says it will bloom with “lofty softness” after washing. In any case, I like the way the swatch is turning out so far. I think this could make a nice rustic shawl as well.


Re-evaluating UFOs and other lovely distractions October 24, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — chengat @ 5:25 am

Many of you probably already know by now that much of San Diego county has been engulfed by fires or is in danger of it. I am thankful my family and friends are not in harm’s way, and hope those of you in the area reading this are also staying safe.

So, to keep myself distracted, I have been organizing my knitting. In particular, I have been addicted to Ravelry. It is the best time waster! I have uploaded nearly all my knitting of the past four years, which I have been taking notes on all this time so I was able to cut and paste some of it. I also uploaded my WIPs and UFOs, which forced to me evaluate why they have been languishing on the needles.

Here’s a list of some of my hibernating projects (progress in parenthesis):

Tuscany shawl (30%): using Sea Silk in periwinkle – I started this as a summer travel project, but I ended up being too busy on my trips to knit.
Orangina (60%): Karabella Vintage Cotton in red – I am almost done with the lace section, so it really shouldn’t take me much longer to complete this. But now I am on to fall/winter projects.
Lady of the Lake cardigan (30%): Fleece Artist kit in midnight colorway (purple and brown) – I thought I’d be able to squeeze a quick project or two last spring before it got too warm. I was wrong.
Cropped Cardigan with Leaf Ties (40%): Cascade Indulgence in light purple – see Lady of the Lake cardigan
Enid cardigan (20%): Reynolds Whiskey in pattern colors – I love the way this looks in Interweave, but the stockinette has bored me. Plus, now I’m interested in knitting Tangled Yoke, which has a similar look without the color stranding or steeking.
Endpaper Mitts (50%): Louet Gems green and white – This was a travel project from last Christmas. I made one, I’ll try to finish the other when I travel this Christmas.
Ash (70%): Rowan Kidsilk Spray in vino (red) — This has been on my needles through 2 winters now, but I’m almost done. I still like it, but the pattern’s getting a little boring.
Seascape shawl (15%): Helen’s Lace in River (light teal green and puple) – The colors make this more of a spring/summer knit. Maybe I’ll pick this one up again next year.
Soul (45%): Rowan Calmer in squirrel (charcoal gray) – This Kim Hargreaves pattern looked great in the Calmer Collection book…until I found out it requires cable needles every 5 stitches on every other row. Ugh. I would rip it but I’m almost done with the front. The question is, do I make the back in the same pattern, or just give up and knit the back in ribbing just to finish it and get it over with?
Child’s Spiral Geek pullover (30%): This one is only hibernating because I misplaced the yarn for it in our move. I have to finish this for my son before he outgrows it though.

And, I’ve decided to take my Turkish Cape out of hibernation:
This is a beautiful cape featured in Vogue Knitting two winters ago (the one with the Twisted Float Shrug on the cover.) I got the yarn pack from Kpixie and started knitting this last year, feeling confident about color stranding after finishing Eunny’s Deep V Argyle Vest. I got pretty far, but it’s an incredibly frustrating knit. It requires stranding up to 5 yarns in some sections, and involves purling with several colors. I picked this up again because I do want to finish it at some point, though there’s no hurry to do it. I figured if I just keep it out and aim to knit a few rows every week or so then I might be able to finish it. I’m only a few rows from the top section and then there’s a color band that I have to pick up and knit around the whole shawl. Here’s a view of the back so you can see all the various color floats, which I later got pretty lazy about catching every few stitches:

Finally, I’ll end my entry here with some finished pieces:
Springtime in Paris socks parissocks.jpg
This was a pattern from the Six Sox knitalong. You can see the Eiffel Tower pattern there on on the right (with the sock’s purl side out) and raindrops pattern on the left (stockinette side). I used Claudia’s Handpainted in the pink clouds colorway because the pink reminded me of the romance of Paris, while the gray represents the dark clouds of spring.
Poppy socks from Sundara: poppysocks.jpg Love the yarn, love the pattern. Easy to memorize and a quick knit.
and Juliet:
This took a little longer than I had hoped. I had to restart the lace section because I was running out of yarn, despite meeting gauge and having the 600 yards suggested for the size medium. I think it’s because I knit more garter rows around the bust which requires more yarn than a lace pattern. I ended up knitting the bottom lace section in a size small by increasing until I had the number of stitches for the small size. I knit until I ran out of yarn, which was at the end of the 6th lace repeat, then knit the garter rows in some handspun yarn from Insubordiknit. Whew! I think I’ll use the handspun to make the loops for the buttons and I need to find some nice big buttons.
Next entry, I’ll review some sewing books I just got through Amazon. Fun stuff, stay tuned!


A Tangled Web October 9, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — chengat @ 5:50 pm

With the new TV season upon us, I’ve been spending a lot of time in front of the set. (see a list of what I’m watching on my other blog) And that means more time for knitting and knitting-related endeavors. Since my last blog posting a week ago, I have joined Ravelry (so addicting!), upgraded and uploaded several years of knitting onto my Flickr account (still have to take some photos of projects from this year and last), completed the Blue Grape Hyacinth sock, nearly completed the Springtime in Paris sock (just 2 inches from the top – it’s a toe-up sock), cast on for Juliet using Rowan Cork in pink and am up to the sleeve portion on the Road to Golden sweater. In fact, I have been on a roll until this:
The middle popped out of my center-pull ball for my Poppy sock, which has slowed me down considerably. Yet, I’m determined not to cut the yarn. I think I can manage to complete the sock by just winding it around the maze of yarn. This has become my TV knitting in the last 2 days.
Anyway, thanks to some great babysitting help over the weekend. I think I can meet my goal of completing the Road to Golden sweater by Thanksgiving. I’m using the two-handed Fair Isle method, learned last year when taking a class on the Deep V Argyle Vest. Here’s where the sweater was last Friday:
Here’s where it was by Monday:
Here’s a closeup of the gussets, which I started on the third repeat rather than fourth, to give my girls some more room to breathe. rg3.jpg
It’s a little tight on me now, but I think the yarn will bloom in the wash. I did knit a swatch and measured my gauge, so it should come out to be about 38″ around. The Classic Al is very soft and it’s not coming out too thick, which I had feared. I think I will work on the sleeves two at a time in the round on circular needles. Unfortunately I’ve missplaced my Knit Picks Options set somewhere in my crafting room mess (another tangled web), so this is on hold until I find my needles.


The blues and other colors October 2, 2007

Filed under: Knitting,Socks — chengat @ 12:15 am

I’ve been drawn to the color blue lately. It’s a good all-season color, and just about anyone can find a shade of blue that works. Here’s my latest finished project, the Blue Sky Alpacas Eyelet Cardigan knit in their Dyed Cotton in what they call “mediterranean blue” (a gorgeous bright hue):
It took 5 skeins to knit the medium size rather than the 4 written on my pattern (which has now been corrected by the company). However, I should have knit this in a small given the heavy weight of the yarn (the small had a finished size of 34″ and the medium was 38.” I usually aim for 36.”). In retrospect, I also should’ve knit the neckline on smaller needles as it keeps slipping over my shoulders. I love the buttons on this cardigan, which give the sweater a more nautical look. You can’t see them in this photo, but they are speckled white and gray. I bought them from Jannette’s Rare Yarns on Ebay. You probably know she has good deals on Rowan yarns, but she also sells some nice ceramic buttons too.
Meanwhile, in my other pile of recently completed (or soon-to-be completed) projects are various socks:
Top row are from Yarn Yard (browns and yellow), Skinny Duet in the Snapdragon colorway (pink, red and green), Yarntini’s Pure Breeze stripe socks, Fleece Artist’s Sea Wool in the Woodland colorway (Garter Rib pattern). On the bottom is Claudia’s Handpainted in the Pink Cloud colorway (Eiffel Tower/Springtime in Paris pattern), and Miss Babs Waterfall color (sock club yarn from Woolgirl). The browns are for the hubby (belated Father’s Day projects) and the brighter colors are for me. Also on needles is this Sundara Petals Collection sock, Blue Grape Hyacinth (note my Harmony DPs on this one – great for cabling):
This is my favorite yarn club. Although costlier than others, the colors are exquisite, the patterns are nice and the packaging is thoughtful. Here is the latest mailing: Poppy, a deep violet color. I’m trying to jam on the Blue Grape Hyacinth just to get to this one.
Sundara is starting a new yarn club worth checking out. It’s called the “Seasons” yarn club. Many people don’t like yarn clubs because they want to be able to choose their own colors. The good thing about this one is you can choose your color palette: Spring (soft colors), Summer (bright colors), Autumn (warm colors) or Winter (darker colors). I had a tough time deciding between Summer or Winter. I ended up with Summer because I’ll likely make accessories with her yarn and I like wearing bright accessories with a darker wardrobe. Another plus with this new club is it will include a variety of yarns, not just sock yarns.
As for larger projects, I’m deciding what to do next. Perhaps a big needle project like Juliet juliet-2.jpg in some stashed Rowan Cork,
or the Peasant Blouse peasantblouse.jpg from Teva Durham’s new yarn collaboration with Tahki Stacy Charles.
For a challenging project, I’ve cast on for the Road to Golden sweater road_to_golden.jpg from the last Knitscene. Mine will be more a Road to Gray, knit in black as the main color with teal/lime/red/purple on a gray background, using Elsebeth Lavold’s Classic Al, on sale at WEBS. So, after a summer of distraction from knitting, I’m finally getting back into the swing of things again!