Monday, April 30, 2007

A yarn snob is impressed

This is going to be a super quick post because I can't wait to go back to this short sleeves Sahara and finish off the neckline.

I am enjoying this pattern and learning loads of new tricks from it and so, definitely a good buy. It begins with a provisional cast on at the back, no shoulder seams, then sleeves are picked up and knitted. A clever and really neat design.
Oh yes! and its knitted in Japanese acrylic that I reluctantly bought. The yarn snob that I am can't get over the fact that I'm actually very impressed with how the yarn knitted up, much softer than the past arylics I had worked with and good stitch definition. Yarn technology has progressed but my perceptions haven't, yet I am in the IT industry. (very embarrassing look..)

The cashmere laceweight arrived for Forest Path Stole and I am still having mixed feelings whether I really want to get into a 'killer project'? I'm so tempted to give this a miss and start on Sivia Harding's easier Gothic Leave Stole in a friendlier fingering yarn. (oops! Mona Regg will keep you girls posted)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Stash bursting and FOs

I had a great time at our school reunion, we chatted late into the night (more screaming than chatting :)), ate non-stop, exchanged mobile numbers and figured out our combined ages came to a grand total of 600!!!!
Ogee was greatly admired but, by the end of the hot and humid evening I swore I'd never wear it with a camisole again!
Here it is, hanging in the hotel closet.
Pattern : Ogee from Jaeger Handknits (JM04)
Yarn : Japanese Cotton Novia
Amount : 7 x 40 gms x 105 m
Needles : 2.25mm and 3mm

View from my hotel room at Gurney Drive, Penang, Malaysia
This pair of winter hiking socks was born en-route. It's the first of 3 pairs I intend to knit from my stash of Cleckheaton DK Superwash remnants. There's at least 4 balls of each colour, just perfect for socks to keep JS warm on his Aussie Bush Walk trip this winter.

Finally, the Bolero....with its temperory but now permanent brooch made of an old Versace punk pin and a heart charm. Again, the yarn came from my ever growing stash, remnants from a Jumper knitted last year.

Pattern : Boleros from Pildar No 443-T5-450
Yarn : Lion Brand Wool-Ease, worsted weight, 80% acrylic 20% wool
Amount : 2.2 x 85 gms x 197 yds
Needles : 5.5 mm

The pattern called for the neck and front bands to be knitted separately, I picked up the stitches and got away with just seaming the sides and sleeves that I forgot to knit in the round!!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Tempted again

There's no better term to describe what happened when I was shown this cute little number, I had 'bad eyes' , a literal translation from a Chinese dialect which means I coveted what I saw!
Not for myself, but for YL my college going daughter who is constantly complaining how cold her lecture halls are.
Now, not having any suitable 'youngish' chunky non-wool yarn wasn't enough to deter me, I dug into my stash and (why am I not surprised?) found 3 balls of Lion Wool Ease, a 20% acrylic mix. Just perfect, and I almost got gauge with the recommended 5.5mm.

Promising YL she'll have it ready to wear on Monday morning (started knitting Friday..ambitious ya?) we made a trip to the mall in search of a large colourful button or fancy brooch. We came back empty handed and that aside, there was a gross underestimation of the effort required.

How could such a simple bolero have so much seaming? Okay, so I finally realised there's miles of ribbing to sew onto both fronts and neck in addition to the sides and sleeves.

So Sunday, realising there's not going to be an FO by Monday, I went back to knitting Ogee's sleeve bands and collar. Again, seaming is a chore I have to tackle after work tomorrow since I intend to travel with it this weekend to our XX Carats, school reunion cum combined Birthday bash for us girls of the same graduating year. Please note the committe prefers to use 'carats' , not 'years'. Gosh! how time flies, it doesn't seem so long ago we met for the XX minus 10 yrs bash!!

My flight and hotel room's booked, now there's just those pesky seams....

Hubby and I are right in the middle of season four of 24. The upside is I have an excuse to knit all day but then stitch counts tend to get messed up when Jack Bauer gets involved in some interesting 'Q&A' sessions with captured terrorists !!!. My fellow 24 junkies, you know how often that can be too!

A Blessed Easter to all celebrating Christian friends and a productive week ahead!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Productive week

Despite the frogging and change of yarn, I've enjoyed knitting Kimono. I'm glad I decided to give up on the variegated laceweight and settled on the fingering cashmere. I love the soft luxurious feel so perhaps it's worth the effort of washing, blooming and detangling the yarn afterall.

For those of you who're constantly surfing for affordable cashmere and silk yarns do pay a visit to Colourmart . There's no need to go to all the trouble of washing etc., it's me, I enjoy touching the yarn while knitting, otherwise the same effect can be achieved after washing the FO in the recommended way .

Pattern : Kimono Shawl (from Folk Shawls)

Size : 24" by 70" (blocked)

Yarn : 1000 yds, 100% cashmere, fingering weight, pale blue (from Colourmart )

Needles : 3.75 mm

The pattern, a tad boring, is easy enough not to need any row count recording. Yes, I would knit it again and I'm already planning another one.

I must confess I'm not too fond of variegated laceweights after several swatchings to find the perfect pattern for the yarn. Maybe I'm impatient, I expect to see almost instant stitch definition and pattern form a few inches into the knitting. For now, it's probably going to be plain colours till I go a little 'mad' and can't resist buying yummy looking skeins of variegated yarns on the Internet. Believe me, that's very very likely and often!

Determined to make use of the skein and after various consultations with Mona and Doreen I casted on Evelyn Clark's Flower Basket shawl (IK Fall 2004) with double strands of the laceweight Merino Mohair. Like Doreen said, the colours are indeed "all jumbled up" but I kind of prefer the deeper and better defined tones.

The shawl took 5 days and I binded off till 1.30 am last night just so that I can show it off today!

Dottie is guarding over it while it's blocking and she's never made a mess or stepped on my work yet! What a difference blocking makes as you can see from the other pic.