July 24, 2004

Done, done, done!

Finally! The King Charles Brocade sweater for Mark is finished:

brocadedone.jpg

After all the pain and re-doing involved, I think it came out well. I don’t know why it took so long to finish, but I hope the next one I do for Mark is quicker!

I’ve also finished the second sock I was working on (or, almost — I just need to cast off with a larger needle). I think I’m done with socks for a little while — I don’t want to get too bored with them, so I’ll wait a week or two before starting the next pair.

As I was finishing Mark’s sweater, I actually started the next thing — I couldn’t sew seams while chatting or reading blogs, after all! Here is the beginning of my next sweater, in that silk from Elann I bought a while back:

silkstarted.jpg

Doesn’t look much like a front yet, does it? It’s a modular sweater from Just One More Row, so it’s constructed out of mitred squares and triangles, mainly. It’s fun to knit — after casting on/picking up for the square, it just keeps decreasing away to nothing. It’s very satisfying! It’s also just a joy to be working on something new, finally. I think it will go pretty quickly. Here is a closer look at some of the squares.

Tigger was interested in the photo shoot too:

silktigger.jpg

Now that I’m on to a new project, of course, I’m already thinking about the next… but this time I think I’ll try to finish one before starting another!

Posted by Aven at 05:22 PM | Comments (8)

July 21, 2004

Still not finished!

I’m ashamed to admit that I’m still not finished putting Mark’s sweater together. I have finally finished the collar, though — I had to redo it because the neck was far too wide (went down too far in the front) and thus there were too many stitches to pick up around the collar. After pulling out the collar, unpicking the shoulder seam, and ripping out the shoulders, I knit the neck to be an inch or so more shallow, finished the front again, and picked up the right number of stitches for the collar (oh, look, there might have been a reason for the number of stitches given in the original pattern… who’d have thunk it?). Anyway, it’s fine now, and I’ve seamed the sleeves and sides. I just need to set in the sleeves and weave in the ends, but that takes some concentration, and I just haven’t had a chance these last few days, what with all the fun we were having with my dad. However, he’s left now, so I might soon get some seaming done — but not tonight, we’re going out for a friend’s birthday.

I did get some sock knitting done while at Shakespeare in the Park in High Park last night, though — we saw a very good performance of As You Like It, a play I didn’t know well but enjoyed thoroughly. The acting and directing were very impressive, and it only rained on us a little, even though there had been Severe Thunderstorm warnings for Toronto all day, and torrential rains earlier in the afternoon. That did thin out the audience, though — no trouble finding seats.

I’ll try very hard to have Mark’s sweater finished by my next entry — but I make no promises, since I seem to have said I was near the end of this about 15 times already!

Posted by Aven at 06:41 PM | Comments (2)

July 08, 2004

Nearly there!

I’ve finished all the pieces for the King Charles Brocade sweater! I finished the second sleeve last night while playing a computer game (Civilisation III) with Mark… I think I’ve found the black hole of distraction — knitting and gaming. There’s no way to stop!

Anyway, now I just need to do the collar and sew it up. I have a bit of a dilemma, however. The original pattern I’m adapting, and indeed most of the patterns I’ve made for Mark, call for a simple ribbing for the collar, folded in half and tacked down around the neck. This looks good and works well. But with the yarn and stitch pattern I’m currently using I’m a little concerned. I used seed stitch at the waist and cuffs, not ribbing, so I’d like to use that at the collar as well. But the acrylic is stiffer than the wool I’m usually knitting with, and the seed stitch seems bulkier than ribbing, so I’m worried that if I do fold the collar over it will be too thick and look odd. On the other hand, I’m not happy with the idea of a cast-off edge at the top of the collar; I don’t think it would look very clean, and it might roll. Any suggestions? I realise I might just have to try various versions until I like the result, but if I can save myself the trial and error I’d like to!

And then, when that’s all done, it will finally be time to get started with the silk!

Posted by Aven at 03:12 PM | Comments (6)

June 26, 2004

Moving along

I’m done with the front of the maroon sweater!

brocadefront.jpg

It may be an odd shot (propped up against the mint!) but it shows the stitch pattern much more clearly than any picture I’ve previously managed to take of this sweater.

To celebrate I’ve started another pair of socks in Esprit, but I will definitely start the second sleeve by the end of the weekend — I really don’t want to stall on this project now! Not when I’ve got the silk waiting, tempting me…

In answer to a couple of comments on the last entry, lovage has a strong taste quite similar to celery. We usually use it in things like soups, stews, meatloaf and spaghetti sauce. I’ve never tried the seeds, but now I’m tempted — maybe I’ll leave a few of the flower stalks up and see what they produce.

And finally, since he hasn’t appeared on this blog in a shockingly long time, I’ll leave you with a picture of Tigger, sleeping happily on Mark’s lap while Mark grades papers… which life would you rather have?

tiggerlap.jpg

Posted by Aven at 10:36 PM | Comments (4)

June 17, 2004

Half Done?

I’m never sure exactly what the halfway point of a sweater is — not, I think, when you’ve done 2 out of 4 pieces, since there’s still the collar and the sewing to do. But I may have reached that point (finally!) on the King Charle’s Brocade sweater. I’ve finished one sleeve

brocadesleevedone.jpg

and I’ve done about 5” on the front. I know the pattern isn’t very easy to see in the dark yarn, and that picture was taken on a grey and rainy day, so if you’re curious, here is a close-up of the stitch pattern — but I warn you, the colour is completely wrong. Apparently the camera doesn’t like close-ups…

I’ve finished the baby socks and am now working on socks for myself from the Elann Esprit yarn I got a while ago. It’s cotton/elastic, so it’s a little different to work with, but I think I’m going to like the socks very much; they’ll be very snug and comfy. I should be done the first sock tomorrow or the next day, so I’ll post an FO shot then.

I’m sorry I’ve been posting so irregularly recently (because I know you’re all just wracked with disappointment if I don’t update every day!) but the knitting’s been going slowly and there hasn’t seemed to be much else in my life of interest. I spend large parts of my days at the library, I go to the gym, we make fairly ordinary dinners because we have no time or energy, and we haven’t been socialising much, so there’s not alot to write about. Oh, though we did go to a very lovely (possibly newish?) restaurant down on College St. on Monday — Gamelle, just east of Markham on the north side. It’s mainly French, with other Mediterranean influences, and while it’s not cheap (we were being treated by my very kind thesis supervisor) it has absolutely fabulous food, exquisitely combined and presented. I would recommend it to anyone who likes food. Of any sort.

I think that’s it for now — I’ll try to hurry up and finish the sock, so I have something to post about!

Posted by Aven at 11:55 AM | Comments (6)

June 06, 2004

Slow...

It seems like the current sweater for Mark is taking forever. Looking back, I see that it usually takes me about a month to complete one of Mark’s sweaters — but I’ve been working on this one since the beginning of May and I only have one completed segment (the back). Here, for the record, is a picture of that piece:

brocadeback.jpg

I’ve started a sleeve, for variety’s sake; I had made it this far, but then I realised that because my row gauge is off (I need to work more rows for the same length) the increases were too close together and the sleeve would be ridiculously wide around the forearm. So I had to rip back to the cuff and start again, increasing every 6th row instead of every 4th, and I still haven’t caught up to where I was before I ripped. At this rate it will take me all summer to finish this sweater! And I have yarn for two more sweaters for Mark, plus many socks for him and me, plus I want to do some knitting for Christmas gifts (which I can’t discuss much here, since potential recipients might read this blog). Oh, and a chapter or two of my thesis to write…

Oh well, it will be as it will be. As long as I have something to work on I’m happy. Thanks, by the way, to those who left helpful suggestions about the sizes of children’s feet. I think, judging from the comments and the websites I checked, I made the sock a little too long, but it may still work for someone; I think I’ll start emailing the mothers of potential recipients and asking for foot measurements!

This afternoon I’m off to volunteer for the NDP for a couple of hours, down at the Festival on Bloor; I hope it doesn’t rain on me! It’s been a beautiful sunny weekend thus far, but it’s clouding over now, so rain gear may be in order.

Posted by Aven at 12:26 PM | Comments (1)

May 13, 2004

Knitting!

Well, I’m a day late, but I am finally going to talk about knitting. A while ago I started another sweater for Mark. The yarn is Patons Canadiana, a 100% acrylic yarn — he needs some lighter sweaters, and wool is just too warm for the spring and fall. We couldn’t find a pattern that he liked, other than ones I’ve already made for him; he has very specific and fairly traditional tastes, and there just aren’t a huge number of men’s patterns out there, or at least we couldn’t find them. So I’m adapting a pattern he does like, and likes the fit of — it’s a Patons pattern called Simple Stripes, written for their Classic Wool. There’s a picture of it here, and the details and a couple more pictures are on my FO’s page. I’m ignoring the colour changes and substituting an all-over knit/purl pattern called the King Charles Brocade; I’ve also replaced the ribbing with a band of seed stitch because I think it goes better with the pattern. This is my progress so far:

brocade.jpg

And here’s the stitch close-up:

brocadestitch.jpg

My assumption, naive though it may be, is that the addition of the stitch pattern should make no difference to the rest of the pattern; the gauge is the same, so surely it’s just a matter of maintaining continuity while I do the shaping. That’s my theory, anyway — we’ll see how it all turns out!

Finally, since there appears to be some interest, I present to you the bunny-ears pictures — me and my good friend Mike. In case you’re wondering, these lovely items of apparel were sent to us by my mother for Easter. There really is no good story associated with why we’re wearing them, unless you consider the consumption of six batches of frozen margaritas by five people in one evening a good story…

Posted by Aven at 03:28 PM | Comments (2)