Monday, September 29, 2008

I won a prize -- woohoo!

Kim, over at hand eye crafts, holds this yearly Knitters' Hunk contest. The idea is, you nominate one or two candidates for knitters' hunk, and votes are gathered over some period of time, and if your nominee wins, you win a prize. Well, I nominated Hugh Jackman, and he somehow won the votes at every round, and ended up as the 2008 knitters' hunk! I was pleasantly surprised to receive this big box in the mail the other day.

Inside, were all these lovely items, including 4 balls of Knit Picks yarn, a big ball of sock yarn, some sock patterns, some hand cream, and some stitch markers made with tiny photos of the ever-hunky Hugh himself. This was all contained in a lovely tote bag made with cotton imported from Japan. Thanks, Kim, for organizing the contest, and thanks to all who contributed items to the prize package!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

FO: A little bit of glitz

The pattern: Gathered pullover from Interweave Knits Winter 2007
The yarn: Blue Heron cotton/rayon/metallic
The small amount of metallic gives this sweater little bits of glitz, although it's hard to see in the photo. I omitted the gathering tucks at the bust line, and also placed the cables about 1/2" lower than called for in the pattern. Even so, the sweater is still a smidgen too snug at the bust line. I knitted the 32" size which would normally result in the perfect amount of negative ease, but the cables reduce the stretchiness. I started the neckline about 1/2" higher and made each shoulder 2 stitches wider. I wanted to be sure that I could wear this without a layering piece underneath. The sweater is so close-fitting that another layer would make me look like an over-stuffed yet lumpy sausage. With luck, the cotton in the yarn will make it stretch out with wear.
Other customizations: I made 3/4 length sleeves and put in some waist shaping. On the knitting technique front, I used 3-needle bind-off for the shoulder seams, and I actually knit the sleeves flat and sewed up the seam because it's faster for me to do it that way. Oh, and I also knit the neckline finishing in the round, starting at a shoulder, and increased a stitch at the V on each of the last two rows, figuring this would make it roll nicer.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

WIP and reading material

I'm almost done with the gathered pullover from Interweave Knits Winter 2007. I have just one sleeve and the neck finishing to do. I had to re-do a little bit of the sleeve cap on the one completed sleeve because the cap was a bit too small for the armhole. I slowed the decrease rate at the top to add about 6 rows to the cap height and I'm much happier with it. The sleeves are 2/3 length.

I recently bought a new knitting magazine that I'd never seen before. It's a Debbie Bliss magazine, but presented by Vogue Knitting. This is the premiere issue. I bought it because the photos look lovely and the knitwear looks lovely. I sort of like a few of the patterns, and I say "sort of" because each has some feature that I don't like. I probably won't be knitting any of them.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The last LYS of the road trip

The last LYS visited on the great 2008 road trip was Jimmy Beans Wool in Reno, NV. This shop has a fun website because it features many photos of her dogs modeling various pieces of knitwear. It used to have a satellite shop in Truckee, CA, which is where I first discovered it. I'd never seen the Reno store before. Amazingly, I did not buy anything. Perhaps I was just all shopped out from the other LYS visits. The store had many hanks of variegated lightweight yarns in the center displays.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Yet another LYS visit

As part of my quest to visit local yarn shops on the great 2008 road trip to/from Wyoming, I checked out Black Sheep Wool in Salt Lake City. This is a well stocked shop located near Temple Square in the South Temple historical district. It has quite a collection of yarn, including lots of Noro and Debblie Bliss.

I bought some of my personal favorite yarn -- some Elsebeth Lavold silky wool in this intense blue color.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Another LYS on the road trip tour

I've been visiting local yarn shops on the great Wyoming road trip. This last stop was a visit to knit On Pearl in Jackson, Wyoming. This is a cozy shop packed chock full with yarn. I was greeted by Lulu, a lovely German shepherd mix dog, who kept following me around with her nose sniffing my pocket, which held dog treats for my own Large
. I did not find too much I wanted to buy, because the shop stocks mainly wools. This makes sense, since it is in Wyoming. I decided to make a small purchase of 3 balls of Berroco Comfort, a nylon/acrylic blend in a sea foam green color. I've never knitted with a nylon yarn, so it will be interesting.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Yarn shop visit and stash enhancement

While on my road trip to Wyoming, I paid a visit to Yarn Connection in Idaho Falls. This is a nice shop with a good selection of yarns, especially lots of yarn by Brown Sheep. I've never knitted with the Brown Sheep yarns before, so I decided to enhance my stash with a purchase of Serendipity Tweed. I was debating between this and the cotton fleece and decided to try this because it feels softer and the "tweed" colors are nice. I also bought a set of Brittany size 7 birch needles, which I've never used before.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Road Trip Knitting

I'm on a road trip to Wyoming and back. I've been able to work on my gathered pullover from Interweave Knits Winter 2007. and I'm halfway through the cable section. I think I'll be doing 2/3 length sleeves, and eliminating the bust gathering. Also, I added some waist shaping.
I'll be trying to visit some yarn shops along the way. So far, I haven't had much luck -- Deluxe Yarns in Reno, NV, is no longer there, and I did not try to find Sheep-to-Yarn in Winnemucca, NV, because its phone number is disconnected so I'm not sure if it's still in business. There's still Idaho Falls, ID, and Jackson, WY to go, and perhaps Jimmy Beans in Reno on the return leg of the trip.

I'll leave you with a photo of the Snake River Canyon, in Twin Falls Idaho.