Monday, September 28, 2009

Home improvement goddess and WIPs

Thanks for the nice comments about my green leafy cardigan. As for trying to write up and publish a pattern, that's just too much work to think about. Actually, writing a pattern just for my size wouldn't be so bad, but trying to figure it out for all the sizes, now that's way too much work!

I have to brag about being such a home improvement goddess this last weekend because I got so much done around the home front. First off, I sewed three throw pillow covers -- the two celadon leafy ones for the living room and the embroidered fabric one for the family room.

I also took down most of an overgrown aging potato vine that was collapsing the arch that used to support it.

It used to look like this:

For my biggest feat, I removed the old rotting mailbox post and installed a new post along with a brand spanking new mailbox.

To top off all this domestic goddess-ness, I baked cookies this evening.

I had to reward myself with some knitting after all that hard work. I'm close to finishing the body of Slinky Ribs from Custom Knits. I'm showing it on the reverse stockinette side because I intend to finish it and wear it that way. (I like the way it looks inside out). I changed the bottom rib section a little bit.

Finally, I cast on for the Flourish Vest from Knitscene Fall 2009. My yarn is Cascade Greenland. I'm going to shorten it a little bit by removing one of the smallest cable patterns. My gauge is a little looser, so it will be a little wider than the smallest size, which is what I want.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Green Leafy FO

This is a self-designed cardigan. The yarn is Plymouth Royal Silk Merino. The gauge is 19 stitches/4". I used about 900 yards.
I guess I'm calling it "green leafy" after reading your nice comments from the last entry. It's a standard construction cardi, knit in the round and split at the armholes. The sleeves are knit flat and sewn. I would have preferred to knit the body in flat pieces also, but I was afraid my seam would not look that great at the folded hem and the tuck stripe. I wasn't that picky about the sleeve underside seam, as it's not very visible. Those seams turned out fine after all, so I could have knit the body as pieces.

Here's a summary of the sweater's main features:
- The sleeve and bottom hems are narrow 6-row folded hem, begun with a provisional cast-on.
- A 5-stitch attached I-cord is used to finish the front and neck.
- A tuck strip done by picking purl bumps from five rows below separates the top and bottom sections and also delineates the "cuff".
- The leaf pattern is called a pea pod eyelet pattern in my Super Stitches Knitting book.
- I included some short rows in the front bust section so that the tuck stripe stays level from front to back.
- I found a cute duck button for it.
- It is sized at about zero ease for the body and a little positive ease for the sleeves.

The technical tip that I learned from knitting this is that narrow folded hems and tuck stripes require a smaller needle size to prevent flaring because those stitches tend to stretch and widen the gauge a bit.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Contest Winner and WIPs

Thank you all for entering my giveaway contest! I was surprised at how many people dropped by to my little nook in the blogosphere to say hi. I eliminated the non-entry comments, then used to pick a number. Without further ado, the winner is ... (drum roll please)...|chee-uh| from |muhng-keez| |luhv| |yahrn|! Thanks for visiting my blog, and enjoy the yarn and the knitting book!

Now, onto my latest knitting projects. I've been working on Slinky Ribs from Custom Knits. (ravelry link) Mine will be a variation of slinky ribs. First off, I've made the front neckline a little higher so that I will be able to wear it without a layering piece underneath. Then, I decided that I will finish this as a reverse-stockinette sweater. This yarn looks good on the purl side, and the knit stitches on the lower pattern section would stand out. Finally, I'll be changing the bottom rib pattern a little bit.

Secondly, I'm almost finished with my self-designed one-button cardigan. The bottom is a narrow rolled hem done with a provisional cast-on. The accent below the bust line is a tuck stripe. The front and neckline edges are finished with an attached I-cord. Sleeves are 3/4 (or more like 5/6) length. This is going to be one of my favorite cardigans, I think.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

It's a giveaway contest!

Hi there bloggy friends! I've decided it's time to have a giveaway. I've never done one before because I figured that the number of entrants would be in the single-digit range, and that would be just too embarrassing. I might be able to hit the two digit range by now.
I've purchased quite a bit of new yarn lately, and the leftover skeins from prior projects are taking up space in the yarn bureau. These are all yarns that I've used for garments that I still wear. I think there's enough of each for a simple accessory.
Here's the prize haul:
-- 2 balls plus a little extra of magenta Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran, which I used to make the Lush and Lacy cardigan.
-- 3 balls of butter yellow Debbie Bliss cashmerino dk, which I used to make my self-designed pullover.
-- 2 skeins of powder blue Tahki Yarns Sierra, used to make Nadine.
-- 2 balls of Gerifil Spaghetti, used to make this skirt. I think this yarn has long been discontinued, but it would be great for making a market bag.
-- 1 skein plus some extra of elsebeth lavold silky tweed, used to knit this top. The remainder would make a nice airy scarf. I would knit one myself except that I don't wear scarves.
-- The Simple Style book by Ann Budd. This book has a lot of nice patterns, but I will admit that they don't quite appeal to me. They may appeal to many of you other knitters out there.

I guess this is a de-stashing and de-lurking contest. All you have to do to enter is just leave a comment and say hi, or anything else, as long as it's nice! Please note that I cannot respond via email to most comments, so make sure that you leave some trace of how I can find you. A ravelry id will do. If I can navigate to your blog via your comment, that will work also. If all else fails, you can leave an email address.

If you want to say hi, but not enter the contest, just let me know.

I'll close the contest at midnight Pacific Daylight Time, Friday September 11.