Monday, December 29, 2008

All A Knitter Wants For Christmas

Nothing can make a knitter more happy than a Vogue Cable Stitchionary book and "At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much," a humorous book by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. Except for maybe 6 Noro Kureyon yarn skeins from your sister in a colorway you got to pick out yourself (early) for your own present and pretend you never saw it before on Christmas morning. Or maybe the Starbucks mug from oldest daughter and boyfriend that looks like it is "knit" on the outer design. Or maybe Smart Wool socks from REI that you already have a bazillion pairs of, but always ask for more because they are so smart and so wool! Granted, they aren't hand knit socks, but they are still my favorite! We are just so glad the snow has finally melted and we can get out of the house and get around. But of course everyone in the entire city decided it was time to go to Target and the mall today so that was interesting. I came home again where it is safe!
Violette- le -duc is coming along. I am now on the first sleeve and finished with the back and the two small front and back segments. To show you all the pieces would be confusing...believe me, it is getting to be a many-pieced thing which I must label in ziplocs. Shown here is the back and the sleeve and of the little pieces in a ziploc. It will have to be blocked and layed out flat later to be able to seam it together. We are not at that stage yet, however. This one is going to be a mind-bending and amazing feat to put together! Hopefully worth it!

I do love this yarn, though. It's the Berroco Inca Gold-wool/silk blend.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Violette-le-duc Back

In between shoveling the driveway and Christmas prep...the knitfest continues! Needle size 5 for ribbing, then size 7 for the back. Could not fit stitches on the straight 7's I had so using my 7 circs. Several more inches up the back, then there will be some shaping for the armholes to do. The teal is great and we are hoping we like the metallic gold ok when all is said and done. A very nice feel to knit with the Berroco "Inca Gold" teal yarn. It is a merino wool/silk blend. And who is Violette-le-duc anyway? I am going to look her up online and see. Oh wow, she's a colorful character from France.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Let it Snow!

Began the Violette Le Duc by Norah Gaughan. This is the edge of the back. It will require one back piece, two fronts, two sleeves and then adding on collars and seaming. Much more work than a topdown! So far I have learned a new stitch. Slip one with Yarn in Back,(Sl 1 WYIB) purl, repeat with the Contrast Color (CC),...and it makes a nice decorative stitch...
Before and after shots of the snow on our's going to be a white Christmas here. Our city isn't as equipped for big snows like the eastern cities. So schools have been shut down since last Wednesday.

As it appears this morning-maybe a foot and a half? Not sure! Most I've seen in awhile. We are enjoying having heat and food, and hubby is able to get to work OK in his truck.

Since I am not going outside, it's time to KNIT ON!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Knitting Weather

Well what shall we do while we are stuck inside today? Knit, of course! Yesterday and today schools were closed. More snow is falling today and this weekend. Very unusual for Seattle weather. Enjoying the knitting time... Using the Cosmicpluto Knits Topdown Raglan design as a model, I'm making a Cotton Ease taupe sweater for my oldest daughter. Amazing, my kids actually want me to knit them something! This pattern is easy to knit and try on as you go. She wanted shorter sleeves and only five button holes. I bound off the buttonbands shortly after the last button hole, so I could modify to connect and knit in the round after purl ridges. Decreased to shape at the waist and will increase for hips. This yarn is soft and springy. I am usually a "wool girl", so this is my first time knitting with this type of yarn.Shown here at its beginning stage... Using size 8 circulars. Put on waste yarn to try on, and knit sleeves first before beginning the body.

I think topdowns are easy to knit and also great since you can modify and keep increasing if they aren't fitting under the arms or across the front. I am also planning on doing a version of Cosmicpluto Knits Topdown Raglan in Noro wool for myself. In the meantime, the highly sought after and long-awaited yarn has arrived from Webs ( for Norah Gaughan's Violette Le Duc out of Norah Gaughan's Vol.3. My youngest daughter and I are fascinated by it and she actually asked me to knit it for her. It will probably be the greatest challenge to date to my skill level. I will have to make it a size we both can wear! The model is actually wearing hers upside down on the cover to show it can be worn two ways. It is knit in pieces and seamed together...ew, seams...I forgot what those were like!
Yarns used: Inca Gold -wool, silk blend-by Berroco in teal color 6418, and contrast color is Lumina by Berroco in color 1620
If I can pull this one off, it will be a great feat!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Just in Time for Snow!

We are experiencing a real cold snap here and more snow is expected this week. Loppem will make a few appearances at my Christmas parties this year. :) It was 18 degrees here this morning! BRR! This is record breaking for Seattle. And not much end in sight yet for the cold temps.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Blocking Loppem

I would have to say, I now see the difference in a blocked garment first hand. Blocking is where you get it wet and lay flat, shape it and let it dry, or lightly steam it to shape it.
Wow, what a difference blocking makes in smoothing out your stitches! All the increases that showed up so much, now have been diminished. And the sleeve banding finishing pulled things in just right. I did a stitch pick up of only 61 stitches to do the final 4 rows of banding on same size needles, 9. Ta Da! It's really, really done!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Adding sleeve bands on Loppem

Back to Loppem and adding the pattern's sleeve band to bring in the sleeves and underam holes tighter in and finish them off. Before the bands, they are a little big and the armholes dip down.
Adding this extra ridge of 4 rows of stockinette by casting on less stitches than are currently on the sleeve will bring it in closer to the arm and finishes off the underam with a rolled edge.

And since I never got around to blocking Loppem (too excited to wear it!), it is drying now on a towel...taking up my Christmas wrapping table for a few days.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

28Thirty Sweater

With camera flash on, you see more of the green in it (above)
And without flash it really looks darker...

28Thirty Topdown sweater by Zephyr Knits-Cascade 220 Superwash wool-loden green -4 skeins, size 8 circular
I learned alot about topdown construction on this pattern, and for the first time I used a superwash wool. While I wasn't too impressed with the superwash wool I used, as far as the "pilling factor", it was a fun knit and introduced me to the beauty of a topdown garment that you can try on as you go.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

28Thirty Sweater Finished

While indoor lighting isn't the best, here it is. This is the 28Thirty pattern by Zephyr knits. I used 4 skeins of Cascade 220 superwash wool in a loden green on a size 8 circular needle. Knit from the top down, sleeves knit last with magic loop method. Shown with collar flipped down. A little white show-through from my shirt underneath. This looks dark. It is very dark loden. Almost looks dark grey. Depends on the light. I think the superwash 220 is a little lighter weight and stretchier than I expected it to be. I liked that after blocking I could tumble it lightly in the dryer.
These are some views of front and showing waist shaping that I improvised.

8 buttons were required. I added several more inches to the length of the body than original pattern called for, and made the cuffs shorter.
I decreased every 5th row on the arms after knitting 6 inches down in stockinette from armpit. The purled ridges on the sleeves I stopped at the armpits. The collar can be flipped up or down.

Wore it for the first time tonight to "knit night"! Temps are dropping here so just in time for winter! Would consider doing again in the originally called for Peace Fleece wool or another heavier wool than the superwash. I really do like it and it is a versatile color. Learned alot!