Monday, May 28, 2007

Block like the wind

I am so close to being able to put my Nantucket Jacket together. So close! Of course, it takes two days for a piece to dry on my blocking table, so I still have to wait a bit longer.

In the meantime, I should probably go back to Highland Triangle #2. It has been sadly neglected this past month.

In other news, I visited the Adams National Historic Site this weekend. It consists of three historic homes: the house where John Adams (as in the 2nd president of the United States) was born, the house where John Quincy Adams (as in the 6th president of the United States) was born, and the house John Adams retired to (known as the "Old House"). I have been to the site three previous times, but I still love visiting. It's cheap for what it is ($5 admission to all three homes), and the park ranger tour guides are always interesting and quirky. I have learned something new on each visit. This time I took a closer look at the afghan on top of the guest bed in the Old House (it was made by John Quincy's wife, Louisa Catherine). I realized that it was knit. And knit at an incredibly tiny gauge! Can you imagine knitting a roughly queen-size blanket in plain white yarn at what looked to me like DK or sportweight gauge? I was impressed. Below is a picture of me standing next to the side of the Old House in the garden. It's funny, because I have pictures of me standing in that spot both from when I was in high school and college. Can you tell I like this museum? If you are ever in the Boston area, I highly recommend it.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

7 Things About Me

Thank you for your kind comments on my Nantucket Jacket progress.

So Andrea tagged me to list 7 things about myself (thanks for thinking of me, Andrea!). I already did the 6 things version of this, but I thought I would change things up and list 7 things about my knitting.

1) Although I rarely buy clothes in red, I love red yarn. Witness this sweater, this hat, this capelet, these fingerless gloves.... The other common colors for my knits are purple, blue, and gray. As my local knit-bud Michelle says, these are "Gloria Colors."

2) I'm a big fan of cables. The current Nantucket Jacket I'm working on is right up my alley. My other favorite cable project was my Vogue Cabled Cardigan (which I am thinking of knitting again). I also really love the Basic Cable hat pattern from SNBN.

3) Somehow I ended up being a sweater knitter, as opposed to say, a sock knitter. I open up a knitting magazine or a pattern book, and I am immediately drawn to the sweater patterns. Although, I have recently been looking more at lace wraps and socks.

4) I try to mix it up with the fibers I use. I am perfectly willing to use more "craft store" type yarns, such as Lion Brand, Caron, or Red Heart for some projects (I have a pair of mittens done in some acrylic from Wal-Mart that are the hardest wearing knits I own). I also like the inexpensive natural fiber options, such as Knitpicks, Patons Classic Merino, or Brown Sheep. Lately I have been looking into using Valley Yarns, the discount brand WEBS puts out. But I also love the expensive stuff too. Rowan, Berroco, and Classic Elite are favorites. Although sometimes a heaftier price tag does mean better quality, it doesn't always (I have to say I am less than thrilled with Cashmerino from Debbie Bliss, for example). I try to keep an open mind.

5) I go through cycles with my knitting. Sometimes I knit A LOT, then other times I don't touch the needles for weeks. This is usually because I'm working on a different craft, such as sewing.

6) My favorite online source for yarn is WEBS. They have an absolutely amazing brick-and-mortar store too. You cannot beat their 20% discount on orders over $60, and their sales are always way too tempting.

7) I'm a "sit in front of the TV" knitter. I like hearing stuff in the background while I work. My favorite show for knitting is ER.

It seems that most people have been tagged for one incarnation of this meme or another, but if you haven't, please consider yourself tagged!!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Getting closer...

I finished one of the fronts, and now I am a goodly way into the other side. I can feel this sweater coming together! Except, I'm beginning to think it should have long sleeves, not these elbow-length ones. We'll see how they look.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Knitting Meme

'bold' for stuff you've done, 'italics' for stuff you plan to do one day, and 'normal' forstuff you're not planning on doing. I got this from I Play with Pins and Needles.

Afghan/Blanket (baby)
I-cord
Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Shawl (wrap?)
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Hat
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Sweater
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Cardigan
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Slippers
Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Scarf
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cozies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Knitting with DPNs
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Bobbles
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Steeks
Knitting art
Fulling/felting
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Purses/bags
Knitting with beads
Swatching
Long Tail CO
Entrelac
Knitting and purling backward
Machine knitting
Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere
Darning
Jewelry
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Gloves
Intarsia
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm warmers
Pillows
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Rug Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Shrug/bolero/poncho
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public

Thursday, May 17, 2007

For the weekend

Guess who's going to the WEBS Tent Sale and Fiber Festival (scroll down for the info)?!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Getting there

I am back to the armhole shaping on the back. I'm glad I ripped back because the hip gussets do look better now (though you probably can't really see a difference in the photo--it may just be me). Hopefully I can finish this piece soon, and without incident!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Sleeve Number Two

I finished the second sleeve, and I'm halfway through the back. When I first blocked out the second sleeve, it did stretch out a lot. But I scrunched it up on my ironing board, and it dried back to the right size.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Back on Track!

I finished the first sleeve on the Nantucket Jacket, and it is blocking right now. It didn't get huge when I took it out of the water, so maybe that will work out. I did make two changes, in that I knitted the sleeve for the next size up (because this pattern has very narrow sleeves) and I omitted the seed stitch along the edges. Now, on to the next sleeve!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Nantucket Jacket: 1, Me: 0

Remember how I was doing so well with the Nantucket Jacket? Well, scratch that. I realised I had made a mistake back at the top of the seed-stitch hip gores. And although I could have ignored it, I decided to rip. I should really start with a sleeve anyway, to use as a extra-large gauge swatch (a la Grumperina's recent post), since I have grave concerns about how this knit fabric will react to wet blocking. I'm trying to be zen about losing all of that work. It really serves me right for not counting my stitches earlier. I guess it just fits with my past sweater history, as I don't think I have ever knit something this big without a major redo.