Wednesday, October 31, 2007

FO: Tangled Yoke Cardigan


Ravelry project link here.

Pattern: Eunny Jang's Tangled Yoke Cardigan (Ravelry link here) from the Fall 2007 Interweave Knits.

Yarn: 10 balls of Jo Sharp Alpaca Kid Lustre (Ravelry link here) in colorway 855, Cassis.

  • 26" US 4/3.5mm bamboo circulars
  • 26" US 5/3.75mm bamboo circulars
  • 26" US 0/2 mm Addi Turbo circulars
  • US 4/3.5mm bamboo dpns
Size: Smallest size, 34" bust.

Mods: Only those required for the slightly heavier yarn weight -- one less buttonhole, fewer rows.

Notions: I went with these buttons (which I swear, nearly match the color of the sweater in real life).

For: Me.

Time: Cast on: August 29th. Last button attached: October 19th.

Techniques Learned: buttonholes, three-needle bind off, how to make a yoked sweater.

Thoughts: A gorgeous design by Eunny. I wasn't completely sold on the tweediness of the yarn called for for this sweater, and so I wanted a solid-colored yarn. When I went to my new LYS, I had a great time talking with the owner and sorting through the store's massive selection for alternatives. I was in such a rush to cast on -- I wish that I had slept on my yarn selection a little bit longer. I had picked out a few yarns on my own that felt and looked to be the same weight as Rowan Felted Tweed, but when I discussed yarn substitution with the owner, she directed me to some true dk weight yarns. I chose the Jo Sharp for the color, the softness, the little bit of shine (it is lovely yarn), but I should have known that the mohair content would make the finished product a little fuzzier than I really wanted. The slightly heavier weight, too, required some fairly simple modification to account for the different gauge. I knit the instructions for the smallest size (34" bust) in order to end up with sweater with measurements splitting the 34" and 38" sizes, and allowing for the right amount of negative ease across my chest.

All in all I'm very happy, but not absolutely thrilled with the end result. I think the sweater is lovely, and the cables do show up better than I'd thought they would. The color is gorgeous, and the yarn is soft and warm. But -- it's just a wee bit too heavy and fuzzy. In the end I have to say -- I wish I'd knit it with different yarn.

Most recent podcast: Lime and Violet.
Currently listening to: Wilco's Sky Blue Sky (on my newly fixed iPod!).
What I'm reading: Doris Lessing's The Real Thing.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I miss my ball winder.

Another item packed somewhere in my storage space is my ball winder. It took me two hours to create this:

Cascade Ecological Wool, in the 8010 colorway, that I've begun to turn into Jared's Hemlock Ring Blanket, a Christmas gift for my mom. The heavy worsted weight knits up super-fast on size 10 needles, giving me hope that I'll definitely get it finished in time for the holidays. If it goes quickly enough, I hope to knit up another for a friend as a belated wedding/early baby gift.

My iPod is back in one piece and fully operational -- I'm elated that it took a $30 part and about 20 minutes total to fix a problem Apple told me they'd charge me $150 for, and then suggested I just buy a new one. Apple, I normally love you, but I'm not going to buy a new iPod every year and a half.

Tangled Yoke pictures to come -- I can't wait to show it off!

Most recent podcast: Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
Currently listening to: Law and Order repeat.
What I'm reading: Doris Lessing's The Real Thing.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

FO: Joel's Ribbed Hat

Pattern: Jessica of Fig and Plum's Cashmere Ribbed Hat.
Yarn: Rowan Scottish Tweed DK (Ravelry) in 007 Lewis Gray
Needles: 4mm bamboo DPNs.
Mods: None.
For: My friend Joel.
Time: About a week.
Thoughts: My quickest knit yet. Super-easy, but satisfying -- and you get a great looking hat when you're done. I think this will be my go-to hat pattern from now on, and I may have to make one for myself.

The Tangled Yoke is an FO these days as well, but I have yet to get a good photo shoot in to show it off -- I hope to by the end of the week!

Hey, want to see my iPod?

In an effort to stick it to the man (I'm talking about you, Apple), I'm attempting to fix my iPod. My less than two-year-old iPod. The headphone jack is busted, and I can only get the left channel to work. Apple told me they'd charge $150 for the repair, and I might as well buy a new one for $100 more. I told them where they could put their new $250 iPod, bought the $30 part, and went about fixing it myself.

Of course, when I went to put the new jack in, I discovered they'd sent me the wrong size. So until Thursday, when the correct one arrives, my iPod will continue to be in pieces. Yay!

Most recent podcast: Selected Shorts.
Currently listening to: Mel Brook's Blazing Saddles (heehee!).
What I'm reading: Doris Lessing's The Real Thing.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

State of the Union.

Tangled Yoke is blocking as I type -- in the garage, so I'm sure she's going to smell like gasoline for the next few days. Thanks much to Mary Lynn for the wonderful comment. I really do love the sweater, it's just that frustrating little perfectionist voice in my head that gets in the way -- but I still can't wait until it's done blocking so I can add the buttons and wear it!

With TY nearing completion, I've been scouting new projects, and reconsidering the old. I've got the Baltic Socks on the needles, as well as the Urban Aran that desperately needs a new collar so it can be worn, the poor neglected thing. The Bella Blouse has floundered while I try to figure out the ramifications of substituting Tahki Cotton Classic (Ravelry) for the Berroco Touche (Ravelry) -- the yarn shop recommended it. No real gauge is used for the patterned details, but using the Tahki my bottom band is much longer than the finished measurements of the top. My other two projects, Capecho and Kiri, have been classified as hibernating for now (explaining their removal from the sidebar over there). You see, when I moved west, I sort of assumed that I'd find a job within a month, make a final move and settle in to a new place. So when I landed here in southern Washington, we crammed all of our (mine and TreeHugger's) belongings into storage as best we could. Leaving my yarn in the back corner of a 5'x10' storage space brimming with what you see below. Well, that was two months ago, and no job yet. So Capecho and Kiri are unreachable, as are all of my patterns and the supplies for the Romantic Cables and Lace vest, Spiral Boot Socks, The Inga Hat, and several other unnamed projects. Which frees me up for the Hemlock Ring Blanket (yarn to be ordered later today), of course, but without an income I'd really like to get at that box. Frustratingly, you can see it in the picture below -- that box on the upper right. Grr!

Otherwise, progress continues on Joel's hat. It's been funny to make the leap from big and/or somewhat focus-intensive projects to *k2, p2, repeat from * in the round. It's just flying by:

TY should be done by Friday, and hopefully I'll get a little photo shoot in over the weekend.

Most recent podcast: CraftLit Episode 54.
Currently listening to: Brandi Carlile's The Story.
What I should be doing: Preparing for this weekend's party, returning email.

Friday, October 12, 2007


The button bands (my first) are complete, and all that remains is to weave in ends, block, and attach the buttons. Quite exciting, especially since I learned a few new tricks at the end, including three-needle bind off and buttonhole-making. This sweater has more ends to weave in than anything I've ever knit -- I plan to wear it to a party next weekend, so I hope that will spur me on to the finishing.

A different purple in every picture, none of them correct.

My one frustration with this sweater is my yarn selection. I hope to talk about this more in-depth in my FO post, but the mohair in the Jo Sharp Alpaca Kid Lustre (Ravelry link) has had me worried from the start. My fears have slowly built up on themselves, just like knitting a item you know will be frighteningly enormous, but you just have to keep going. It's just so...fuzzy, and doesn't quite show off the cable as I'd like. I'm attempting to overcome this frustration with the mantra "subtlety." The cable isn't fuzzy, it's just a little subtle.

As I near the end, however, I'm getting itchy for a new project, with plenty to choose from. It's getting on toward the holiday season, and I'm thinking BrooklynTweed's Hemlock Ring Blanket for Mom. I've also got some of that Scottish Tweed to use up. For Joel's Hat, I'm thinking Jessica's Cashmere Ribbed Hat, the pattern having been given man-approval.

In other news, more funny keywords people have followed to my site: "How fast can a wild monkey run?" I imagine they were disappointed.

And -- we ate the sushi too fast for pretty pictures; but one day, I promise, that spicy tuna roll recipe.

Most recent podcast: CraftLit Episode 53 -- I am woefully behind without my daily bus ride.
Currently listening to: Beverly Hills Cop II. Hey, I live with three guys.
What I should be doing: Weaving in ends.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The haul.

First order of business: knitting. Although I haven't been blogging, I have been knitting. To prove it, here's my progress on Tangled Yoke:

I finished the yoke last night, and am about to start the little collar bit. I finally decreased enough stitches to try it on like a normal sweater, and it fits wonderfully (although the shedding -- oh, the shedding. Only dark shirts beneath this baby, I think). I've also made progress on the Baltic Socks, thanks to two plane rides and a very chatty (although nice) row-mate on the flight home). Thank goodness you can knit and nod your head at the same time.

Also, I thought I'd share the rest of my yarn purchases from Edinburgh. Along with the Araucania, I picked up, oh, just a little tweed:

I told you I like it! Four balls of Rowan Scottish Tweed DK (Ravelry link) (far left) and 12 of Rowan Scottish Tweed 4 ply (Ravelry) -- 8 in peat (center) and 4 in herring (right). The peat is destined for two pairs of socks for my traveling companions, the DK for a hat for one of the traveling companions, and the herring for a lacy scarf for me. I bought the haul at McAree Brothers in Edinburgh, where my traveling companions were very patient (even more so once I told them if they picked out yarn I would make them something). We happened into the store twice; on the second visit the clerk was exceptionally helpful and friendly. We went for the Scottish Tweed 4 ply because of the name, and because we were told it was one of the only yarns in the shop from Scotland.

Also -- I use Google Analytics to track the traffic on my site, entirely for entertainment purposes. How fun is it to discover your blog is read by Swedes and Estonians?! Until now, the keywords that lead to my blog have been entirely understandable -- usually some variation on the names of the projects I've worked on. Today, however, I noticed a change: people have found my blog by searching for "beer kilts" and "the duck has landed." I wonder if they found what they were looking for.

Tonight: sushi. I'll try to take pictures and share the recipe soon -- Amanda did ask for it so long ago!

Most recent podcast: Symphony Space and NPR's Selected Shorts.
Currently listening to: NPR's Morning Edition.
What I should be doing: Knitting. Applying for jobs.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Look! Yarn!

Lovely, lovely Araucania Ranco multy, bought at HandKnit UK in Edinburgh -- thanks to Ysolda, for recommending it. I'm hoping it will distract from my lack of blogging lately. I returned from Scotland a bit sick and definitely jet-lagged; spent a few days in Washington before heading to Denver for the Land Trust Alliance Rally to network my little heart out. I'll be back home on Monday, and hope to update for real then.

Until then -- look at the pretty yarn!