Saturday, March 15, 2008

So Unfair, an Update on My Fair Isle Vest

Greetings from the lily pad! I'm frogging today. I had grand hopes of finishing my KCAL project by today, which was the first deadline. Thankfully, the end date was extended to April 15.

The good news is I completed the ribbing for front and back, for a total of 27" inches of straight k2p2. Yikes. I won't even tell you how I misread the directions and actual knit 17 inches and had to rip out 3.5. Yes it did hurt. Today is my second round of frogging with this vest. I'm ripping out 4 inches of the fair isle. It's uneven. I did check my blocked swatch to see how forgiving the yarn will be and frankly, I'd be asking for a miracle if I kept building on the current stitches. In addition to the uneven stitches, my floats in the back are also a little crazy. On the purl side, I'm having challenges catching the yarn from the left hand to float with the right stitches. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I'm knitting with both hands, Continental and English. Therefore, I expected my tension to be even. Now I see the importance of picking a fair isle that is knit in the round. You need a whole 'nother gift to be able to keep the purl side even. But, I guess if I had knit in the round, I'd be faced with steeking.

Another option could be knitting backwards, which I learned from an old Vogue magazine, but I don't know how to do so with both hands. I can only do it English. Oh well, so..........Let 'em rip! RIP my totally unfair fair isle. I'll do better next time.



Sunday, March 9, 2008

Thank You Jinann!

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had participated in a Valentine Swap on Ravelry. Along with the Malabrigo swap, it was my first time having a swap pal. Jinann, my Valentine pal, has been so sweet and lovely. I really appreciate her. My package was so enjoyable! I'm still romping around with my cute knit bag in tow and honey I drank lattes to my heart's content...I swear she sent me the best coffee beans ever! This week, Jinann sent me some stitch markers. I love them! Don't you? The beads are very pretty. It may be hard to see but there are swirls on the beads, they look like blown glass. She also sent me another lovely pair. Thanks to Jinann, I officially have some stitch marker bling! Oh yeah, I'm a serious knitter now! Thank you so much Jinann. You are great!


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Project Runway 4, Knit On!

Oh wow, I just finished watching the finale of Project Runway. Fierce, baby fierce! It was FANTASTIC! I cried! Christian, Jillian and Rami truly truly out did themselves. Wow! I'm so inspired now to press on in my own career. Isn't it terrific how art and creativity inspires us? Jillian gave a big shot out to knitwear with several knit pieces. The striped scoop neck with the i-cord looped sleeves/wings...I'm all over that. That sweater is hot. Totally me. I also liked the ruffled black knit in gold trim, aw man, I liked everything. But the scoop neck, yep, yep. Jillian's stuff is quirky like she is. For that matter, so am I. That girl wears some tripped out stuff on the show. She's cute and actually perfect for Ralph Lauren, now to think of it, knitwear is in her career pedigree.

Rami's collection I really liked too. The judges didn't care for the color but I appreciated the jewel tones. My favorite was that fuschia tuxedo-like skirt and the black top. Michael Kors said Rami is cerebral, I couldn't agree more. He's very smart and precise with his designs. Interesting.

Christian? BAYbeeeeeeee, you are fierce. Coined the right word for yourself. This 'chile is hilarious. Me and my son loved all of his work throughout the season and today did not disappoint - everything was together. He even picked the right models. I heard him say he was looking for tall and dark models and when I saw the pieces, the black skin just stood out in those ivory pieces. Perfection. My favorite was that feather dress in the end and the first outfit. No wait, that three toned ruffle dress! Bam! Oh and let's not forget the toppers, how I love big brim hats. Reminds me of when I was little, shopping with my grandmother for her hat, suit and gloves for church. I can't wait 'til I'm "grown" so I can stroll into church with a hat like Christian made and a fur coat (yeah I said it, LOL). - Amen y'all! Praise Him!

OK I can't blog anymore I need to be somewhere focusing so I can blow up like these three. So impressed. They put last year to shame. Bravo!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

What Do Ribbing and UFOs Have in Common?

Nothing! But while I'm knitting a grand total of 33 inches of k2p2 for my fair isle vest, my mind wanders in and out of knitting consciousness. Last night, I remembered the baudelaire socks I started knitting in January. I need to finish them. They would be my very first pair of socks for myself. I made my husband a pair last summer for his birthday. Previously, I've also knit about 3 single baby socks and 3/4 of an adult sock. Discovering toe-up knitting was critical for me. In my opinion, it makes a difference to start at the bottom and see the sock being formed more quickly. Once the heel is turned, the final length of the cuff is up to the knitter. With toe-up, you can also try the sock on as you go for a better fit. Something about knitting a bottomless tube when starting top down, just drives me batty. Another reason I need these socks is because I love socks! Male dress socks to be exact. I'm in my husband's sock drawer way too much. I like the intricate color work, the comfort of the cuff, the warmth, the material of male dress socks. Women knee-high socks just aren't as nice. Why is that? Anyway, this summer, I'm going to be a sock fiend so I'll have my own stash in the Fall, made with love. Yipee! Want to see my progress on the sock?

The yarn, oh, it is delicious. These socks are cashmere baby! Oh yeah! I combined Habu cashmere nep A-96 with a skein of finger weight cashmere from School Products. The Habu is beige color with flecks of orange and pink, which glow against the turquoise cashmere. Both were purchased in New York on a trip. I've been to the city twice in the last 8 months and each time, I've come back with cashmere because you can't beat the cost! The Habu cashmere, 107 yards, I scored for a little under $10.00 and at School Products, I bought 380 yards of the finger weight for I think about $15. The Habu showroom is a very cool visit, but totally dizzying. Baskets on the floor and a small closet to select from the inventory. Definitely check out the website first and go with a shopping list or you will get lost in the shuffle like I did. School Products is right around the corner. I love that store! Yarn on cones too! In addition to the cashmere, I bought camel hair yarn and over 1,000 yards of Italian wool very inexpensively. Hot damn! I'd love to go again toward the end of the summer, if I successfully stash myself out over the next few months. Wouldn't that be a great reward? Actually, I also want to check out the Webs tent sale one year.

How did I digress? Anyway I like the baudelaire pattern, the stitch repeat you can almost remember after two rounds or so. I think I'll leave the project in the car and work on it when waiting for my son after school or while "passengering."

Progress on my KAL, yes! I'm finished with the ribbing for the front. Instead of heading right into the fair isle, I'm going to do the ribbing for the back so I can work on all of the fair isle together. Also, I'm concerned that I might not have enough of the Jaeger extra fine merino in garlic. Boo hoo! I'm so scared because it is discontinued! Yikes! But I did make contact with someone on ravelry and with an online store, both of which have the dye lot I need! Hooray!