Friday, May 30, 2008

Conversations about a bag

Some time ago, I did a posting about this great used tote bag I got at the local American Cancer Society shop. I use it as a knitting bag. Just recently, it was sitting on a table between myself and my other half (a.k.a. The Audio Dude). The conversation went more or less like this:

Audio Dude: "I didn't know you have a Kate Spade bag."
Me: "I don't have a Kate Spade bag".
Audio Dude: "Yes you do, this bag is a Kate Spade bag."
Me: "Uh, no it isn't. Why do you think it's a Kate Spade bag?"
Audio Dude: "Er, because it says so right here?" (pointing to a spot on the bag on the side facing him)
Me: (gleefully, after turning the bag around and looking at the embossed lettering) "OMG -- I bought a Kate Spade bag for 10 bucks!"

Sometimes, little things like that make me happy.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Knitting by the sea and new castings on

Last weekend, we took a trip to Carmel-By-the-Sea, one of my favorite places on earth. I did a little knitting, and cast on for the kilt skirt from Knit 2 Together. Here, I'm doing a little knitting on the Carmel beach.

I've knitted about half of the bottom ruffle since then. The yarn is Gerifil spaghetti, which is very springy so the skirt should hold its shape pretty well.

Since I recently finished two garments, I figure I have to cast on for two new ones, so I'm also knitting Alisa, from Pursuit of Fiber. The yarn is Berroco, a cotton blend.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Trumpet Skirt

I finished my trumpet skirt, and it turned out WAY better than I hoped for. I wore it for 10 hours today, and it didn't even bag or sag or nothin'. The yarn is some sort of nubby yarn I got on deep discount from Webs some time ago. It is 100% cotton, and the texture gives the skirt some thickness.

The pattern is very loosely adapted from the Fit-n-Flare trumpet skirt in Knitting Lingerie Style. I kept the 8 panels, but used alternating knit/purl instead of holes. I did increases by adding opposite-stitch triangles, keeping the same increase rate. I stopped at about 25" of length. It was a very simple knit, and didn't take that long.

I must admit that knitting with highly textured yarn isn't that much fun, so I probably won't be doing it again. I used 2 skeins of this yarn (they were BIG skeins) and I still have one skein left, which I'm not sure what to do with.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Puff-Sleeved Cardi done!

I love this little cardigan. It fits well at the bust line and is a little loose in the midriff, but that’s okay since it’s a cardi and not a pullover.

The pattern is the puff-sleeve feminine cardigan from Fitted Knits, and the yarn is Lily Chin Chelsea, in a denim color. This is a cotton/merino blend yarn, and it has a nice firmness and the sweater seems to hold its shape well.

Customizations: My collar height is 11 rows. I used seed stitch for the various bands instead of the purl bump rows. My waistband starts earlier and is wider than the equivalent purl bump rows. I spread out the lace pattern on the peplum because I wanted a taller peplum and did not want the lace holes to cross. I could probably have used even a little more length. I did not use the garter stitch in the peplum.

For the button band, I sewed a grosgrain ribbon to the underside to keep it firm and avoid that stretching gaposis problem.

This was not a difficult knit, but it was time-consuming. The guage is relatively fine, and there are a lot of stitches in the yoke as it widens and at the peplum bottom. I also made dumb mistakes on the peplum that needed correcting because I was in a hurry and could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Monday, May 12, 2008

New books

I check out my local used book store every couple of weeks for used knitting books. They have quite a good selection. My three recent purchases are: Runway Knits, Romantic Hand Knits, and Knit 2 Together. The first two have great pictures, and interesting designs, but I just don't know if I will actually make anything using those designs. However, I just LOVE the Knit 2 Together book. It's got lots of interesting, and some quirky designs, and I even like the Tracey Ullman stories. I will probably knit the kilt skirt, one of the shrugs, one of the hats, and maybe even the table runner.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Amazing, Mr. Science

This household tip is not directly related to knitting. It is, however, related to jewelry, which is categorized as clothing and accessories, which is sort of related to knitting. I own many pairs of earrings, some of which are sterling silver. I use a polishing cloth on them to remove the tarnish, but it's difficult to remove tarnish from within the crevices. I found this tip in Lucky magazine, and it really works. You get a glass baking dish (something with a little height), line it with aluminum foil, place your jewelry on the bottom, sprinkle some baking soda, then pour boiling water to cover the jewelry and soak for 10 minutes. After that, the jewelry is sparkling, and the foil is brown. It sure beats all that hand polishing!