Wednesday, April 29, 2009

At last

Hooray! The front of Golden Poplar is done!!

The back half is also done up to the bottom of the neck hole, so the end is in sight. I am hoping to have this done before it gets too warm to wear it at all. The slow part will be seaming, especially since it may require a zipper on the side so that the narrowest (waist) part can fit past the shoulders. It's a mystery how the lady in the photo in the pattern was able to put hers on without ripping it, because she is quite buxom.

In more good news, the post office found the rest of my Etsy packages. Now I have two handmade bags. The yellow one is made by bayanhippo, and the red corduroy one is by Chickybags, who is local here in St Louis! I purposely got bags that can fit my laptop and were brightly colored for spring, but the more I look at them, I think they'd be great for knitting. The longer things stay in my house, the more likely they are to get roped into knitting, or get covered in cat hair, or both.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Apologies for the lack of posts. It has been a very long and trying week at work, and there hasn't been much visible progress on any knitting at all. I did join the Walker Treasury Project, which is taking submissions of photos of all of the patterns in Barbara Walker's pattern books. The link is over on the right too.

I've signed up to do two patterns, one being Royal Quilting that I'm already doing for Golden Poplar, so it's a freebie, and I just have to do one for real. (I guess I'll have to take a better picture...they're pretty strict.)
These little swatches of patterns seem like the perfect thing to use up little bits of yarn, and whip out in a jiffy just for fun. If you're as crazy about the Walker books as I am, please join!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

PIP (pattern in progress)

The weather has, sort of, turned, and now it's time to knit up the yarn I got to make some tops. It's so hard to find a good sleeveless or short-sleeved top pattern that's appropriate for work--there are lots of tanktops, lacy camis, halters, and so on, but not many normal tops that cover up all that needs to be covered up (skin and straps). And, of the ones that remain, I've already made a couple (St James and Ballet), some are too poofy (what's with the pregnant look these days?), some have lace in areas that require another shirt underneath, and some just have too many annoying parts, like lots of picked-up stitches. So I decided to design my own cap-sleeved top. It's meant to cover the shoulders (and straps), have a shallow and not-too-risque V-neck, and be well-fitted but not tight below that. Here it is so far.

Top-down patterns are so fun, because one can spend half the time holding it up and admiring one's work. The cap-sleeves are knit sideways with little garter ridges for some interest, and are made with short rows to smoothly "cap" the shoulders. Most of the hard part is done, and after bust shaping, it'll be smooth sailing until the end. This is so fast, after knitting the Poplar (which is on break, I just can't stand it anymore right now), and sport weight yarn feels HUGE.

I just need a good name for this top, and if anyone is willing, one or two test-knitters for the pattern. Comment with any name suggestions, or if you want to volunteer to be the next person to knit this top!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mean people suck

For those who don't know (and most reading this will know), Ravelry is a sort of facebook for knitters, with lots of information about yarns and patterns, pictures of other people's projects, forums, and other fun stuff. It's still in beta, and keeps a friendly, community feel. Since when I joined there were still so few users (it was a big day when 1000 people were online at the same time), there was a sense that one should be respectful and kind to the other knitters who participated in this lovely utopia.

So when I had yarn left-over after a project, I listed it as "to trade or sell," and sent as a gift to two different people the yarn that they needed to finish a project or that they couldn't afford. Of course neither of these people seems to have used the yarn, but no matter, sometimes things get put on hold. Still, I decided I wasn't going to send yarn for free to strangers anymore.

A short while ago, someone messaged me about buying the Dream in Color Classy leftover from my Lush and Lacy cardi. There was about 3/4 of the skein left, and having momentarily forgotten how much it had cost ($18/skein), offered it for $5. I also warned her that the different dye lots (and even the same dye lot) don't match for this brand, and that I only had a partial skein. She didn't seem to comment on that, and immediately wrote back with her address and said she'd send a check in the mail. *This should have been a warning.* What knitter doesn't care about matching yarn? She had a bunch of Dream in Color in her stash though, so I figured she was making some sort of multi-colored project. I thought of checking the list of "naughty swappers," which is the list of people on Ravelry who have not held up their end of a yarn swap. And then I thought, who on that list would be so bold and shameless as to initiate a yarn purchase after being blacklisted so publicly? And who would cheat another Raveler?

Since she wanted the cheapest shipping, I sent the yarn without any package tracking or anything like that. Of course you all know what happened. I've waited and waited, and there's no check in the mail. I've messaged her, and there's no response. I went to the "naughty swappers" list, and she (purlsoup) is the first person listed! It sounds like she totally ripped off this other person and has been incommunicado, yet she flagrantly initiates other yarn swaps/buys. What an awful, horrible, mean monster! Please, tell everyone you know. Don't do any business with her, including buying from her Etsy shop.

If I hadn't received two wonderful gifts from Thea and Mooncalf recently, I'd be despondent about my horrible knitting karma. Because of this one incident, now I don't want to participate in any more yarn swaps, or be nice or trusting to anyone anymore. Meanness is contagious, and I need to shake it off!

One bright spot in an otherwise bad day/week/month: I got a custom-made fascinator! I've been wanting one for a long time, and Buffalump is a local fascinator-maker who was able to custom-make one for me. It's so bright and uplifting, I might have to wear it every day.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter FO

What a nice, quiet little bowl of eggs. But, uh oh, what is that crack on the big egg?

Eek! A foot!

More squishy green bits!

Et voila--a chicken!

This too-clever pattern is Which Came First, by Anna Hrachovec (mochimochiland). I used lots of leftover yarns, including the white and pink wool from Fair Enough and February girl sweater, green bamboo from these gauntlets aka hobo gloves, and gray wool from the Very plain vest. The only mods I made to the pattern were making the egg/chicken shorter because I ran out of yarn, knitting the wings flat instead of round (and knitting only half the stitches), and adding a comb to the chicken.

Without the comb, it wasn't clear what type of animal this was. (It probably didn't help in this regard that I used green yarn, but I have no yellow yarn, and I think green is Easter-ish and springy.) Besides, the philosophical conundrum is not about the egg and the chick, but the egg and the chicken.

Happy Easter, all!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

WIP: Denim pleated purse

I got going with the gift yarn that mooncalf sent me. Denim Pleated Purse is so quick and easy! Until one gets to the seaming, which was dreadful. I was really excited about how Rowan Denim shrinks only vertically in the washer and dryer. Here's the before

and the after (I made the scale the same).

It looks exactly the same! All of my felting and other knit-shrinking experiments have all gone completely wrong. Well, it's still cute. Now there's a lot of busywork left, including lining the bag and attaching a handle and charms. The background in the second photo is the gingham-ish fabric I'm planning to use. The other option is a silvery-blue silky fabric. Comment and let me know which fabric I should use, and whether I should use silver, gold, or leather handle/charms.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Royal mail

It's a busy month at work, so posts are going to be rather sparse. I'm chugging away on Golden Poplar:

I'm knitting both sides at once so it's even slower, but at least it's to the point where the picture has to be vertical rather than horizontal. The waist shaping with the smaller needles actually shows, so I'm pleased about that. Since there are 4 balls of yarn going at once, there's quite a bit of untagling time in addition to knitting time. It's going to be a long, slow knit.

So it's time for another treat! I got three Royal Mail packages today! Two are a small part of a recent Etsy binge, and one is from Mooncalf (make do and mend)!

She generously sent me Rowan Denim to make the Pleated Denim Purse from Boutique Knits (Laura Irwin). This yarn is hard to find around here, and I'm psyched to actually use the prescribed yarn for a project!

Here's her version so far, pre-washing, and I'm waiting with baited breath to see how it turns out after it's denim-fied in the drier. She also included orange tic tacs, which are also not available in the US (the orange ones here are not the same). Yay! Thanks Mooncalf!!