Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Frogging Soleil

Well, I frogged back to the neckline split on Soleil and re-knitted, with 4 stitches fewer on each strap, removed from the shoulder side. I am very pleased with how it turned out. I did the armhole edgings in single crochet, and am working on a row of slipstitch, followed by a row of double-crochet, on Alexandra's recommendation. Will post pics when I'm done.

Notes: I did see a little bit of wear on the yarn after frogging. However, it only shows on the strand, not in the finished garment. Whew!

Tivoli is at the "crop top" stage, and is looking and fitting fabulously. The armholes are too big (showing the edge of the bra, if I move around too much), but I'm probably going to edge it anyway, so there's a lot I can do about that. I'm thinking of picking up stitches and making the sleeves just plain longer. Whee!

Friday, August 19, 2005


My office is cold. Really, really cold. And my cube is right under a vent, so I am always FREEZING at work. This has some pretty funny results. Last week, it was in the 90s with very high humidity, when the filmiest cotton t-shirt was uncomfortable outside, I was dreaming of alpaca.
Worsted-weight alpaca.
Lofty, worsted-weight alpaca.
Spongy, lofty, worsted-weight alpaca.
Spongy, lofty, cabled worsted-weight alpaca.
A spongy, lofty, cabled worsted-weight alpaca turtleneck.
A spongy, lofty, cabled worsted-weight alpaca turtleneck with sleeves long enough to tuck my hands into.

Mmmm... feeling better already.

And now, for something completely off-topic:

Your Linguistic Profile:

65% General American English

15% Yankee

10% Dixie

5% Midwestern

5% Upper Midwestern

This makes a whole lot of sense. I grew up in Buffalo, NY (where the in-city, well-educated accent is as close to american standard english as you get), live in Boston now (Yankee central), and have also spent a summer in Houston (hence, the Dixie contribution).

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Tivoli Progress, Soleil Finishing Annoying

First, the good news: I worked another couple of inches on Tivoli, and not only is the fit good so far, the neckline does seem to be deep enough. It's hard to tell, though, since I had it on my Denise cables, which were a little tight. Being under the bust line, they might have been pulling down on the garment a bit. We'll find out! In the meantime, here's a pic:

The finishing for Soleil is bugging me. I tried the recommended single-crochet edging, which I didn't love. I pulled it off and tried double-crochet, which gave it a lacier look. It looked fabulous at first, but if you don't do every stitch or every-other stitch, it looks really obviously uneven. The problem is, every stitch is too many (so it gets all stretched-out and ruffley), and every other was to few, so it was gathered and pinchey. I did the whole neckline, putting double-crochets where they needed to be to lie flat, but the spacing was just too irregular. It looked really ameteurish. I couldn't get a good detail shot of the double-crochet, but here's what I could come up with:

I ripped out the doubles, and put back the single-crochet edge. It looks better to me now; maybe I just didn't do a good job the first time. I may try it with a picot edge, instead...

Here's a shot of it on. As you can see, the fit is pretty good. Unfortunately, it's at a bit of an angle, so you can't see the shoulders very clearly. They are too wide for my taste; they'd be much more flattering if they were thinner.

I may frog to the neckline split and do some decreasing on the outer edge. Alternatively, I might try hemming the armholes instead of edging them. That'd probably be too bulky.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


As promised, here are some pictures of my Tivoli-in-progress:

photographed without a flash

photographed with a flash

I'm using KnitPicks shine in Turquoise (which I'd consider more of a teal; the actual color is halfway between those in the photos) and size 5 needles. I'm two skeins into it, just under the armpit. I tried it on, but it's hard to tell at this point. The neck may be sitting higher than I'd like. I'm going to do another skein's worth (hopefullly to under the bust line), and see how I like it.

I have a plan if I need to frog and redesign. A few things I can do:
- make the shoulder shaping closer-set. If I used the same number of stitches, but redistributed them so fewer were in the front and back, and more were in the sleeves, then the neckline would sit lower on the chest, and the sleeves would be deeper.
- I may make longer sleeves (true cap sleeve may not be flattering on me). I could do this using shortrows (so the part of the sleeve under the arm has fewer stitches that the part on top of the shoulder). Alternatively, I could put the sleeve edge stitches on a holder (instead of binding them off) and then pick up the underarm stitches and keep going.

Of course, it could turn out to be fabulous as it is, and need no adjustment whatsoever. :)

Stash, Knitting Insomnia

I now officially have a stash. Previously, I had a ministash: I'd buy one ball of yarn at a time to play with, and then throw it in a storage bin. If I bought more than one ball of yarn, it was for a particular project, which I'd begin right away (although not necessarily finish...)

Now, however, I have not only bought multiple balls of yarn, and for which I haven't started the projects, I have bought yarn for which I DON'T HAVE A SPECIFIC PROJECT!!!

Here it is:

That's a few dozen balls of KnitPicks Shine
(My couple dozen random single balls and WIPs aren't shown. I'll try to get a group photo up in the future.)

The turquoise (which I'd call teal) is for Tivoli (pictures later), but the orchid (fuscia), cherry (red) and sky (blue) are not yet committed!

Some preliminary ideas:

- Orchid: I have six balls, which is what Tivoli calls for. I may do another Tivoli with some interesting patterns at the neck and/or lower edge. Maybe some eyelet work, or maybe thread in a wide ribbon, tied with a bow?

- Cherry: I bought 17 balls of this, and have used 4 1/2 so far for Soleil, so I have just over 12 left. I'm thinking I'll make a cardigan to form a twinset. However, I probably won't edge it with Soleil's lace pattern. Too matchy-matchy.

- Sky: I have 13 balls. My original thought was some kind of 3/4 sleeved, v-neck. For a few years, any time I went clothes shopping, (and no matter what I was looking for) I'd come home with a blue v-necked sweater. I have been without one for going on two years. It would be really nice to have one again. Then again, I might also prefer a more fall/winter weight v-neck.

I had a bout of Knitting Insomnia last week. (That's when you can't sleep because you're thinking about your projects.) I had an idea. One thing that I really like about Soul is how corset-like it looks, with diagonal ribs on the side, and vertical ones in the center:

(Soul is in the Needs Adjustment bin for the time being...)

That got me thinking. What if I were to do a 3/4 sleeved square- or sweetheart-necked sweater with a bodice like that? That could make a very feminine, dressy top. Instead of vertical ribbing in the center, however, I'm thinking of a vertical pattern of eyelets. This needs some thought/prototyping.



I finished the knitting for Soleil last week, but have only just gotten around to taking pictures. Here's my baby:

Still to do:
- unseam the shoulders
- block
- reseam the shoulders
- buy a size D crochet hook...
- do the crochet edging

Considering the half-assed job I did of the resizing, it fits beautifully. the shoulders seem to get wider at the very top, which doesn't look great. Hopefully a combination of tighter bind-off, careful blocking, and better reseaming will do it.

Friday, August 05, 2005


I am so smart! I am so smart! S-M-R-T, I am so smart! - Homer Simpson

So, I noticed during the increase sections of Soleil that I was getting some holes under my M1s. (The sort where you pick up the bar between two stitches.) I noticed the same thing in Sitcom Chic, but there the holes made a pretty eyelet pattern, so they came out as more of a "design element".

In Soleil, they don't look so good. But then I realized: although I had been twisting the picked-up stitches, I was untwisting them when I knitted them on the next round! Twisting them properly would tighten up the hole. I tried this on the next increase round, and it looked great. But I already had several inches with the holey M1s.

Time to frog? Nope!

Being the clever, clever (and so modest) girl I am, I dropped down to the picked-up stitch, then re-picked it up with a twist, and then reknitted it with a twist. Then I reknitted back up the column, and gave the fabric a bit of a tug to even out the stitches.

Voila! It looked as good as if I had done it right from the beginning.

Now, I know I'm not the first person to use this method, but I did come up with it all on my own, and I must brag. S-M-R-T!

The pics I took of this process didn't come out, but I'll update the post once I've had the chance to take some new ones.

Update: August 15th. A picture of the holes (but, alas, not the dropping and re-picking-up process):

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Your Knucles Say "Cobra"

So, I really like to knit. To the point that I rarely watch TV anymore: there's very little on that I find more interesting than my knitting. That said, audiobooks and knitting go really well together. Mens et Manus.

I am truly addicted to audiobooks. I have a two-books-per-month subscription to Audible, and it's gotten to the point that I sometimes can't sleep unless I am listening to a book.
(BTW, if you happen to subscribe to Audible, tell 'em jmdruadh sent you.)

I listen on my iPod mini, Cobra Bubbles (named for the character from Lilo & Stitch). Considering how much time my audiobooks and knitting spend together, I'm starting a new sidebar, called On Cobra Bubbles. There, I'll keep a list of titles I've got on the 'Pod, and those I've recently finished.


I decided to let Soul ripen a bit before I decided what to do with it. In the meantime, I've begin work on Soleil, using KnitPicks Shine in Cherry. This is gorgeous and cheap yarn, I must say. My only complaint is that the splices in the ball are sometimes a little rough. Still, they aren't prominent in the finished garment, so it's no biggie.

Here's my baby:

I'm about 8" into it (bottom-up). I'm not 100% sure about the lace section. The parts where I s1, k2tog, psso don't look quite right. Still, I followed the directions exactly, and the other decreases I played with look worse. Let's hope it falls out in the blocking.

I had some trouble choosing a size for this one. The second-smallest size gave me zero ease, and this clearly wanted to be negative, so I opted to make the smallest. However, I don't want it too-too tight, so I'm doing more increases than recommended, to try to get it to the optimal amount of ease in the bust.

I'm doing the resizing in kind of a half-assed way, but it could be worse. I'm planning on starting Tivoli next, and for that one, I'm doing a complete redesign for my (unrepresented) size and in Shine. Tivoli looks smashingly flattering and very delicately modest, so I'm excited about wearing it. However, the real fun is going to be in the redesign. I got some nice advice from Grumperina on the recommended ease, and I am a big nerd, so it should be fairly straightforward.

I'd like to try my hand at some design of my own soon. One of the first things I made since rediscovering knitting two years ago was a fitted v-neck sweater in Red Heart Light & Lofty (the only acrylic yarn I truly love). It fit smashingly, but (being a tight, somewhat revealing sweater in bulky bouclee) looked terrible on. Still, designing that sweater was one of the most fun things I've ever done.

For design, I'm thinking about a fairly fine-gauge cardigan in not-too-fru-fru lace. I tried one on at New York & Co yesterday, but the fit was awkward, the materials poor, and it was (IMHO) overpriced for what it was. I couldn't stop thinking that I could make it better myself. So maybe I will. I'm looking over some lace patterns, and thinking about doing it in cream-colored pearl cotton, which has the benefits of being soft, drapey, fine, and CHEAP!


Knitting AND accelerometers:

I love it.