Wednesday, November 28, 2007

3 new projects .... not being so good now!!

Tonight I put the finishing touches on the first outfit I've sewn in almost four years. The last thing I sewed was my wedding dress. Boy was there a lot of cleaning to be done on the sewing machine and serger! I only have a photo of the jacket right now, but maybe I can get someone to take a photo of the whole outfit when I wear it tomorrow. Next up on the sewing front is a wrap dress. That one shouldn't take as long. Might even have it done this weekend.

There has been quite a bit of knitting going on, even with the sewing distracting me a bit. One of my nieces wanted to learn to knit when Paul and I visited over Thanksgiving, so I looked up a yarn store in their area and bought her some ribbon yarn to make a capelet with. She's doing so good! When I left, she had 7" of her 44" rectangle done. By the time we got home and called to let the family know we'd made it ok, she was at 25"!! And thus, another knitter is born.

Since I had purchased her the yarn to make her capelet, I decided to pick up something to make my other niece and nephew something. Brian will be getting a "Basic Cable" hat from Stitch n Bitch Nation. I love the way the yarn I chose is working up. This won't take long at all ... will probably have it finished up this weekend.

Megan is getting a pair of "Marvelous Mitts". I had to cast these on 3 times before I got the color combination right! I purchased 2 skeins of Jitterbug to make them. One variegated purples/blues, and the other looked almost solid greens. When knit together, the project looked like a jumble of colors and you couldn't distinguish the pattern at all. What seemed in the hank like fairly solid green tones, knit up with some purple, orange, etc. So I frogged the mitt, grabbed the leftover purple I had from the Mermaid jacket and cast on again. This time it seemed like the green skein had even more purple in it. The pattern was showing up a bit better, but that bit of purple in the background was obscuring it just enough that I wasn't happy. Back to the frog pond it went. Next, I grabbed a skein of bright green Palette and cast on again using the variegated purples. Bingo! This time you can definitely see the pattern and the background. I'm quite happy with the mitts now, and hope Megan likes them.

I did manage to get quite a bit done on the Russian Coat during the trip. I've finished with the bodice pieces. Since the pattern resulted in a coat with a 44" bust measurement, and I'm a 32", I decided to try to make it a bit smaller by changing gauge. That route worked out ok until I took a good look at the sleeve length. Making each hex smaller resulted in sleeves that will be too short. I think I've figured out a way to add some hexes and triangles in the right sequence to lengthen them, and hope that they won't wind up too long now. We shall know soon.

I grew tired of the hexes, so decided to cast on for the skirt for the ride home. The circular I took with me is a 29" I think, so right now this looks more like one of those ruffle scarves than a coat.

Instead of taking one of the smaller projects I already have on the needles with me along with the coat, I decided to cast on a new project. I know! You don't even have to say it. At this rate, my WIP count will never get below 10. I chose to cast on Zarah from one of the many Elsebeth Lavold books in my library, and am using her Angora yarn to knit it in. I only did 1 repeat of the peplum so far, but I'm really loving this yarn and the pattern is pretty easy to follow.

Wish me luck finishing a couple of these projects before I succomb to the cast on bug again :o)

Monday, November 19, 2007

I've been a good girl

I finished 2 projects this week and actually managed to NOT cast on yet another one! Woohoo my WIP count is now down to 10.

First up on the FO list for this week are the Stansfield 27 socks for Paul. This pattern was really easy to memorize and knit up. I'm not really sure why it took me so dang long to finish these. Only 2 more pair of socks on the needles now.

Also finished this week is the blue version of the December Lights Tam. It's hard to believe this is the same pattern as the red one from last week isn't it? I haven't quite gotten the tam bug out of my system yet, so I'm sure there will be a couple more in other patterns on the needles in the near future.

I've also done some work on the Russian Coat this week. Pictured here is the beginning of the right side of the coat. I've started on the left side now and hope to have them connected by the time Paul and I get back from Atlanta this weekend. Along with this project, I think I'll take the Fyne vest and a pair of socks to work on during the ride.

Although not knitting related, I've renewed my fascination with sewing this week. I picked up a copy of Threads Magazine when I spied an article on copying the fit of favorite pants and that's all it took. Off I went to the store. Before I was done, I had purchased 6 patterns, a dress form, and fabric to sew 5 outfits. This weekend I finished a pair of navy blue pants with a side zipper, and started on an oriental style jacket of gold and teal metallic brocade. Next week Paul is going out of town again on business so I will have lots of time for knitting and sewing in the evenings. I'm sure you will all forgive non knitting related crafty photos on the blog won't you?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor a stuffed up nose ....

...can keep me from my knitting!!

I buckled down and finished up the Double Eyelet Socks. I really like the way the pattern worked up, and I've fallen in love with the yarn (Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino).

Next, I pulled out the Stansfield 27 socks and finished up the first one. I had to use some Knit Picks Palette in brown from my stash to do the ribbing. You'd think by know I'd know that I need just a bit more than a skein to do monstrous mutant mansocks with Trekking XXL, but obviously I didn't learn my lesson with the first 2 pair I made. I've got the second sock started and am hoping to have it finished up this weekend.

Saturday I finished up the Christmas colored December Lights Tam. Now I can't wait for it to get cold so I can wear it.

Last night I pulled out the discarded original December Lights Tam and put it back on the needles. As you can see, the colors chosen for this tam, although they all looked great side by side in my LYS, obscure the pattern in some spots. I'm not going to worry about that since I really like the colors. Besides, this way it won't look so much like I made 2 tams the same. I'll start working on this after I finish this post and hope to complete it tonight during the football game.

Even with all this other knitting, I am still doing pretty good keeping to a daily quota of completing one background color per day on the Mary Tudor cardigan. I should hit the armhole steeks by next week. At this rate I should finish this up well before my original estimation on February.

I've also continued working, although slowly, on the Fyne vest. I love the yarn I chose, Grignasco Tango, and will probably use it again in the future. Once the Stansfield socks are complete, this project will take on a higher priority.

And, since you all know I'm hopeless and simply cannot help myself, I will confess that yesterday I cast on yet another project! This is the Russian Coat from Vogue Knitting Holiday 2007. I'm really impressed with the softness of the yarn for this pattern, Berroco's Peruvia and Jasper, and am enchanted with the striping of the Jasper. I'm hoping to work on this quite a bit next week over the Thanksgiving holiday. Paul and I are driving to Atlanta next Wednesday, so I'll have a lot of car knitting time. We'll be spending Thanksgiving with Paul's brother and his family. And, best of all, Paul got us tickets to the Colts-Falcons game on Thanksgiving night!!

Hopefully I'll get a couple more posts in before we leave next week with lots of progress and finished projects!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I've got the creepy crud!

Mostly a photo post today because I'm sick and my brain isn't working well. Paul brought the creepy crud back from Texas a few weeks ago and until last weekend I managed to evade it. Now I have it full force and the doctor has me on four meds to try to kick it's butt. Hopefully I'll feel better in a couple days and can get back to knitting.

Last Saturday I finally took the Mermaid jacket to my Mom. It fits her really well and she says she got a lot of oohs and ahhs when she wore it to church on Sunday and work on Monday.

Put the finishing touches on the Everlasting Bagstopper this week. That brought my WIP count down to 12. I also finished up the Clementine Shawlette, which brought me down to 11. I don't have photos of the Clementine yet, but will get some this week before shipping it off to my MIL. I'm hoping my SIL will get a photo of MIL wearing it too.

Progress continues on the Mary Tudor Cardigan. This photo was taken over the weekend so I'm a bit further along now. I've started the second repeat and am just about to the purple band.

Since I finished 2 WIPs, I rewarded myself by buying some yarn to make the December Lights Tam in IKs Holiday Knits. I cast on this past weekend and finished up the ribbing section and had started on the body section when I decided I wasn't sure I was getting enough contrast with the colors I chose. I went down to the craft room and dug around in the stash and came up with some bright Christmasy colors and cast on again. I'm just about to the same point as I was when I gave up on the first. Of course, as always seems to be the case with me, after taking a photo of the original I'm kinda liking the more subtle coloring. I think I may put it back on the needles and knit both versions. Since this would count as casting on 2 projects, my WIP count is now back to 13. Uggggggggggggggg!!!!!

I've done some work on the Fyne vest too this week. It is a very quick knit, so I think my count may be back down to 12 soon.

Also being worked on, but are not pictured, are the Double Eyelet Rib socks (on track to be finished this weekend ... WIP count 11), Stansfield 27 socks (should be finished next weekend ... WIP count 10), and Leg Cozies (hopefully casting off next weekend ... WIP count 9).