March 17, 2005

Done, done, done!

The blue raglan is done!

blueraglanpose1.jpg

And an action shot, just because:

blueraglanpose2.jpg

It took just under 2 weeks — I can definitely see myself doing more sweaters on this basic pattern, I really enjoyed the simplicity and speed of the knitting, and I think the result is flattering and very useful for my wardrobe. I’ll probably play around with the neckline, though — I’m happy enough with this, but it’s not what I had in mind. Here’s the sweater laid out flat — you can see the waist shaping better:

blueraglandone.jpg

Details are in the sidebar.

But wait! That’s not the only FO — I also finished the second blue striped sock last night:

bluestripedsocksdone.jpg

The colours are deeper than this picture shows, but I’ve already mentioned how impossible it is to photograph this colour properly. The socks are a little shorter than I usually like, but I don’t care — I love these socks! Sadly, they don’t really go with the new sweater very well, but I may just wear them with it anyway. Hah!

And finally, here’s Mark wearing his new grey sweater for the first time:

chevrondoneonmark.jpg

He’s found the length to be ok, so I’m not going to worry about it. I’ll just be careful with future patterns.

I wish it had been a nicer day, since we were taking all these pictures — but although it’s warmer, and the snow is melting, it’s grey and icky. Very hard to find an attractive backdrop, or a well-lit spot to pose. But I’ll just hope that the sweaters speak for themselves.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Posted by Aven at 12:07 PM | Comments (10)

March 15, 2005

Tea-licious!

A while back, I received an email from Adagio Teas, asking me if I would put a link to their website on my blog. They specifically cited the overlap between tea-drinkers and knitters, and pointed me to several other knitting blog entries extolling their virtues. Finally, they offered to send me a “starter kit” to introduce me to the teas, so that I could decide whether I wanted to link to them or not. Well, that seemed like a pretty good deal to me, since I am definitely a die-hard tea drinker (we already have about 50 different types of tea in the house, but I’m always happy to get more!). I’d seen Adagio tea mentioned on other blogs, and had been vaguely curious, but I try not to find out too much about potentially attractive places to spend more money. Still, this involved me getting free stuff for no commitment, so why not?

I’d rather forgotten about it all until yesterday, when a box landed on our front porch. In it was this embarrassment of riches:

adagioteas.jpg

Three separate sample packs of tea: black teas, green teas, and herbal teas, all packed in lovely little tins, and each with enough tea for at least 5 or 6 cups, probably more:

adagioteascloser.jpg

On top of that, there was a fancy “teapot” for brewing looseleaf teas. You put the leaves in the pot (more like a large plastic mug with a lid) and pour in the boiling water. When it’s done steeping, you just place the pot over your cup, which releases a valve and lets the tea drain into your cup through a mesh infuser, leaving the tealeaves in the pot. It really is quite a clever device, and perfect for making one or two cups of really classy tea. Here it is, having admirably performed its duty with some English Breakfast tea:

igenuitea.jpg

I enjoyed my tea with a piece of this Apple Spice Snacking Cake:

applecake.jpg

It’s living up to its name — I can’t stop eating it, as you can tell from the cake on the right!

I’ve tried the afore-mentioned English Breakfast, and last night I had a really nummy cup of Fruit Medley, which really is just a bunch of dried fruit pieces, with some herbs and flowers thrown in. So, while my sampling range is limited so far, I can say that I’ve been quite impressed with Adagio so far. They have an impressive range of teas, and clearly they’re very interested in increasing their customer base. It also looks like, from both the literature they included in my package and the information on their website, they’re interersted in organic and fair-trade teas, which makes me happy.

Having fully declared my bias, therefore, (I got free stuff, after all!) I would definitely recommend this company to anyone looking for gourmet tea. I’m going to put a link to them on my sidebar — who knew my blog was so high-powered that a link here would be so desirable?! — and I may well report back from time to time as I work my way through the other samples.

I do have knitting news, too. The second sleeve of the blue raglan is blocking right now:

blueraglansleeve.jpg

Seaming tonight! I’m going out to dinner on Thursday, and I’m hoping to be able to wear this sweater by then. Next up, Tintin!

Posted by Aven at 01:05 PM | Comments (4)

March 10, 2005

Effrontery

The front of the sweater is done:

blueraglanfront.jpg

I’m having problems blocking these sweater pieces straight. The fabric has a tendency to bias, and I find it very hard to adjust it by eye alone. I really need gridlines! I wish I could get me a blocking board like this one, but there don’t seem to be any Canadian suppliers, and once the exchange and the shipping are figured in, it’s far too much money. And yes, I know that it’s possible to make a blocking board, and probably not even that difficult to make one that has gridlines on it — but that takes time, money, energy, and possibly a car for transporting large flat things. None of which I really feel I have enough of right now to spare any for this task. So for now I guess I’ll just have to live with wonky knitting. My, isn’t my life hard…

Posted by Aven at 03:14 PM | Comments (3)

March 08, 2005

Blue

Still merrily working away on the blue sweater for ME! It’s going to be a simple raglan with a scoop neck and 3/4-length sleeves, with a bit of waist-shaping. I just want a plain, useful garment. And it’s going very quickly, as I said, so I’m happy with it.

It turns out that I’m only working on blue projects, at this moment — the blue sweater and the second striped blue sock. I’ve just turned the heel, so I hope to have a matching pair in four or five days (I only work on the sock while blog-reading). Hey, I wonder if the socks will go with the sweater? Hmmm…

Posted by Aven at 03:39 PM | Comments (1)

March 06, 2005

Endings and beginnings

I don’t have a modelled shot yet, but here’s the finished Fancy Chevron Raglan:

chevrondone.jpg

I don’t feel as triumphant as I might, because I don’t think it’s a complete success. It came out to the specified dimensions, but I think my dimensions might have been wrong — the body is rather shorter than Mark would like, especially for an acrylic sweater with a rather inflexible fabric. It’s wearable, but not ideal. I’ll have to measure his other sweaters and compare the schematics, to make sure I get the next one right. But still, it’s nice to be done with the project, and I think Mark will get some use out of it, so that’s ok. I’ll try to get a picture of him in it tomorrow.

I actually finished the grey sweater on Thursday, so I started the blue raglan for myself — and it’s going very quickly. So quickly, indeed, that here’s the back:

blueraglanback.jpg

Simple stocking stitch, fun raglan shaping, and yummy blue wool. I may well finish this in time to be able to wear it this season! The Elann Peruvian Highland Wool is lovely to work with, and I love the price — if this all goes to plan, it’s going to be very tempting to get myself a couple more sweaters’ worth, in various colours. Of course, I’ve got a fair amount of yarn already that I need to get through… we’ll see.

Posted by Aven at 02:25 PM | Comments (3)