March 17, 2005

Done, done, done!

The blue raglan is done!

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And an action shot, just because:

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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:

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Details are in the sidebar.

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

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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:

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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 06, 2005

Endings and beginnings

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

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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:

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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)

March 01, 2005

Planning ahead

First things first: I’ve finished the second sleeve of the grey sweater, sewed a couple of seams, and finished the collar:

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I anticipate having some FO shots to show you by the end of the week! I don’t think Mark will be skiing or skating in them, but we’ll do our best to add visual appeal.

This means it’s almost time to start a new project. In fact, since I don’t want to be seaming at the SnB tomorrow evening, I will probably be starting a sweater for myself this evening or tomorrow! It’ll be a simple pullover in this yarn; details once it’s started.

Next up after that will be the Tintin sweater, at last! Here’s the latest version of the chart, superimposed on a schematic of a basic sweater front. We’ll have to see if I can actually knit it from so small a chart!

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(The yellow represents white — don’t worry, I know Snowy/Milou isn’t yellow!)

And, in the long-term planning department, I just received these two books:

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On top of the great patterns in both books, they both seem like great resources for felting tips and techniques — which may come in handy for a potential design project down the road. More on that later.

Finally, I just have to share with you a great discorvery in the culinary department. At least, it’s a great discovery for me, though I can’t believe I never thought of something so simple and delicious before, and needed the Milk Calendar to give me the recipe. Actually, it was in a “Best of Milk Calendar Recipes” booklet… we like our Milk recipes! Anyway, all I did was saute a few minced cloves of garlic in a couple of tablespoons of butter, and add that and some chopped parsley to ordinary tea biscuits (you could easily use the boxed biscuit mix, if you wanted). Instant garlic bread, but in biscuit form! With some homemade chicken noodle soup, a perfect meal.

As I said, a totally simple idea, but I’d never done it before — and man, are those biscuits tasty. Especially warm, with a little more butter spread on them… mmm. Highly recommended.

Posted by Aven at 02:06 PM | Comments (9)

February 22, 2005

Getting there

First, my dad did get his package — on Friday — and he loves the sweater. He says it fits perfectly and is everything that he wanted (this was a commissioned sweater, and dad had a particular sweater in mind which we tried to reproduce). That makes me feel very good — there really is nothing better than making something for someone you love who really, truly, appreciates it. He promised me that he’d send me a photo of himself wearing it… I’m waiting! Can it be that he thinks there are things in the world more important than the blog?

I’m also getting there with Mark’s grey sweater. I finished the front:

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(Tigger was in that mood where he follows me from room to room, so it was hard to get a picture without him. I certainly didn’t stage the picture. I wouldn’t do that!)

One sleeve to go, and then it’s finishing time!

I’m also in the final stretch of the first blue sock (made with my food-colouring dyed yarn). I’m finding it impossible to get a picture that’s at all accurate colour-wise, but this comes closest:

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The rest of the leg will be that same purpley-blue. I’m very happy with this sock!

I’m not so happy, however, with this:

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I’ve had these less than a week, and one is already broken. I was picking up a wrap on the short-row heels — perhaps a particularly stressful action for the needle, but one that any dpns I use for socks will have to be able to endure, since I’m very fond of short-row heels. Fortunately this set had 5 needles, so I’ve been able to continue using 4, but considering how much I paid for these needles, I’m not pleased. I think I’ll stick to metal needles for fine-gauged socks in the future.

And that’s all for now. Lunchtime for me, I think. Mmm, Chinese food leftovers…

Posted by Aven at 01:02 PM | Comments (9)

February 08, 2005

Sweaters? What Sweaters?

I am still working on the grey and brown sweaters, really I am. I’ve just been a little sidetracked by the socks for the yarn I dyed. I finished the first one on Sunday:

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I didn’t make the leg very long, so as to be sure I had enough yarn to make a second sock out of the ball; this means, of course, that I’ll probably have yards and yards left over. I think it’s quite lovely, personally. For variety’s sake, I started the next sock from the other ball — I wanted to see how it knit up. This one is turning out rather more blue:

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I think that’s both because I started from a different point in the skein (because of how we wound the skeins) and because the two skeins absorbed different amounts of the red dye. I’m not concerned, however — as Mark said, they still have all the same colours in them, just different distributions. I’m going to knit up all four socks, and then either pair up the most similar together, or have 4 interchangeable semi-matching socks.

In the midst of all this distraction I did, as I said, get some work done on the sweaters. I’ve finished the first sleeve of the grey sweater:

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and I’m onto the decreases on the last sleeve of the brown sweater. I’m hoping to be putting that one together by the weekend — and maybe sending it off to dad by next week! Surely Ottawa can manage one more cold snap, so that he can wear it at least once this season!

I won’t be going to the SnB at Lettuce Knit tomorrow night — too much to do. But I’ll see all my fellow SnBers next week, I hope — it’ll be Reading Week, so I’ll feel a little less stressed.

Posted by Aven at 02:04 PM | Comments (6)

January 29, 2005

Front and back

I’ve finished the back of the grey sweater:

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The armholes seem remarkably long, but I’m trying not to worry. I’ve started a sleeve, to try to vary the knitting as much as possible.

I’ve also finished the front of my dad’s sweater, and I’ve attached the left shoulder to the back. I short-rowed the shoulder, instead of casting off, partly in order to be able to use a three-needle bindoff to join the shoulders. I just wanted to make sure it would all work, which is why I went ahead and joined the pieces, even though I still have the last sleeve to complete. The join isn’t as invisible as I would have liked, but at least it matches, stitch for stitch — with 1X1 ribbing that was my biggest concern.

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In case you’re interested, here is a picture of the neckline.

I still haven’t quite finished the shawl, but I’m on the last repeat. By the end of the weekend, probably.

It’s warming up a bit, though now it’s grey, of course; Tigger still doesn’t want to go outside (or rather, he wants to go outside, but he wants it to be nice out first) and spends his days much like this:

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Such a hard life he leads.

Posted by Aven at 05:11 PM | Comments (1)

January 20, 2005

Progress!

I’ve reached the armhole shaping on both sweater pieces! That means pictures! First, the fisherman’s rib sweater — which I’ve shown before, and isn’t very interesting to look at, so I tried to jazz up the picture a little by placing the piece in its natural habitat, snow:

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It’s another cold, bright day here — pretty to look at, though a little challenging to be out in.

Next, here’s the back of the grey sweater for Mark. It’s a raglan, so from now on it’s all decreasing. I love raglans. They make me feel like I’m progressing faster than I am.

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And here’s a close-up of the pattern (Fancy Chevron Stitch):

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Of course, I’ve still got a long way to go on both projects — but they’re moving along. There’s still a slim chance I could get my dad’s sweater done in time for him to wear it once or twice this year… in Ottawa… maybe.

Posted by Aven at 01:28 PM | Comments (2)

January 11, 2005

I hate numbers

So, I had two repeats of the pattern done on the grey sweater, and it was starting to pick up speed as I became familiar with the pattern and no longer had to consult the book; so I showed it to Mark, just to confirm that he liked the stitch. He did — but he also mentioned that the piece seemed remarkably wide…

So I measured it. And it was more than 2.5” too wide. Which would have resulted in a sweater more than 5” too big. Not only had I mismeasured the gauge, apparently (it seems to be working out to 4.5 sts/”, not the 4.75 spi of the swatch), but I’d also allowed the sweater design programme to adjust the number of stitches in order to accomodate the length of the pattern repeat. I hadn’t properly processed the fact that this would, of course, affect the finished size — quite alot, since it added 7 sts to each piece. Plus, of course, the gauge was off. Argh!

I pulled it out, of course. I guess I should be glad we caught it pretty early on, so I don’t have much to reknit. And the re-do on the math resulted in fewer stitches to cast on, so it should go a little quicker this time. Still, it’s always frustrating to have to go back to square one.

Still no colourful knitting to report. If I can just finish those brown socks I might get something started…

Posted by Aven at 05:23 PM | Comments (1)

January 07, 2005

Boring Update

I’m afraid I won’t have anything very interesting to report on here for a while. I’m halfway through the leg of the second (brown) sock, I have 10 more inches to go before I start the armhole shaping for my dad’s (brown) sweater, and I’ve almost finished the first repeat of the pattern for the back of Mark’s (grey) sweater. None of these things merits a photograph, though I have made progress.

I may have to start some socks for myself or something, just so I can have some colourful pictures to put on the blog while I slog through the miles of man-coloured, man-sized knitting. The world outside is a mucky white, so I can’t even give you scenic outdoorsy shots, and Tigger is persistently curled up in dark corners being unphotogenic. Sorry!

Posted by Aven at 04:29 PM | Comments (0)

January 05, 2005

New Project

I’ve finished the first of Mark’s brown Ridged Rib socks:

marksbrownsockdone.jpg

The other may be languishing for a while, though, since I’ve started a new sweater, again for Mark (I do knit for myself, really I do — but I like knitting for Mark since he’s so appreciative). Here’s a really bad, blurry shot of the swatch for the pattern:

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The pattern is called “Fancy Chevron”, but you’ll have to imagine the chevron-iness of it, since my swatch isn’t big enough to show the whole pattern. And the colour, as you can see, is grey — boring, but a useful wardrobe colour. Since Mark now wears only sweaters and vests knit by me in the winter/fall/spring, he does need all the basics covered. But this does make me yearn to start the Tintin sweater, in all its comic-strip coloured glory!

I’ve found myself, in the last two days, in the rather odd position of wishing I’d been planning some luxurious purchase for myself this week so that I could gladly sacrifice it for Stephanie’s challenge for MSF. But what with the usual state of our finances, the excesses of the holidays, and the fact that I’ve already donated (not very much, but what I could) to another organisation, I wasn’t really planning to spend money on anything except groceries this week — apart, of course, from my regular on-going luxuries such as cable, the phone, and DSL. Oh, and my university education. And such. Yeah, poor me…

Still, I don’t know that Stephanie’s challenge needs my help — the total is currently over $18 000! Amazing.

I’m going to the SnB tonight for the first time in a month, almost — it’ll be nice to see everyone again.

Posted by Aven at 04:53 PM | Comments (3)