Sunday, January 24, 2010

January giveaway

Over the years, I've realized that I sort of like the month of January. A lot of other people probably don't because they are immersed in the depths of winter. I like it for several reasons.
- All the angst of the holiday season is behind me.
- The days are getting longer, so I look forward to spring. Living in the S.F. bay area means spring does come pretty early in March.
- I look forward to Stitches West in February.
- There are lots of really good bargains to be had as stores clear out merchandise and make room for spring goods.

So, I thought I'd add some cheer to your January by having a small giveaway of some knit lit. I'm giving away my copy of Knitting Little Luxuries by Louisa Harding. This book has some lovely photographs and nice patterns. I look through it once in a while and think about knitting something, but I just can't get interested enough, mainly because I like to focus on knitting garments. It deserves a good home with someone who wants to knit accessories. I'm also including a couple of issues of Yarn Forward, a really fun magazine from the U.K. I kept them for a while, but have realized that I'll never get to knitting any of the patterns.

So, to enter, just leave me a comment on this post. I'll take entries until midnight, February 1st. Be sure to leave some trace of how to contact you. A blog name or a ravelry id will work, and use email as a last resort. Oh, if you wish to comment, but not enter the giveaway, please let me know.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I'm going for it

I've been obsessing over this pattern (ravelry link) from Reversible Knitting by Lynne Barr ever since I bought the book. I waited until others have knitted it, and they did, and they look great, so I figured it's time to go for it. I'm using Berroco Lustra in a slightly higher gauge and knitting the smallest size. It still feels like the skirt section will take forever, especially since I have to knit it longer than the pattern's mini length. This is one of those time that I'm grateful for being relatively short. I figure I just have to get the skirt to look great. If the top half turns out wrong, I can just frog it and finish the garment as a very interesting skirt.

Friday, January 15, 2010

It's just as cute up close and personal

I ordered up one of these recently for the family room because it is just so cute. It arrived a couple of days ago, and it's still cute, and its color goes with my throw pillows. It's also quite comfy as both a footrest and as a stool. It feels like a very firm bean bag chair.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

FO: Why have one collar when I can have two?

This is an adaptation of Nimbus, a free Berroco pattern. I used 11 skeins of di'Ve Autunno. I did my own sizing since my gauge is finer. The body is longer, the sleeves are longer, and the sides have shaping. I wanted a higher neckline with a wide asymmetrical collar. When I was knitting the sleeves, I kept trying on the sweater body trying to figure out what I didn't like about my collar. There was nothing horribly wrong with it -- it just seemed too Peter Pan-ish, a little too flared because the circumference was a little big, and way too boring. Then somehow I got the idea to just add on a second collar, and now it's much more interesting! I knitted the second collar separately and sewed it on instead of picking up stitches, figuring that would provide more flexibility for placement.

The bigger collar had the same increase rate as for a raglan sweater, averaging 8 stitches every other row, and that's too much. The smaller collar was knit with six increases every other row and about 3/4" with no increases at the neck.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Gotta have it

I boosted the economy today by ordering one of these. It's just so darn cute. I believe Design Within Reach had a larger and much much more expensive version of this ottoman a year or two ago. This is one much more affordable.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


I recently cast on for a variation on Nimbus, a free Berroco pattern. My yarn is di.Ve' Autunno, a really soft single-ply merino yarn. My gauge at 4 stitches/inch is much finer than the pattern's gauge, so I did my own sizing. I also wanted a longer cardigan with side shaping, and I wanted a higher neckline and a wide asymmetric collar. My sleeves will also be longer at about 2/3 length. This is really quite a quick knit, even at worsted gauge. I started it just before Christmas and I'm now doing the sleeves. I had a couple of false starts with the collar in an attempt to get the circumference and the asymmetry exactly to my liking. I think its circumference ended up a smidgen too big so the collar might flare up a tiny bit, but I got tired of fussing with it, so it will stay as it is.