Category Archives: new project

a pair of star-cross’d lovers

okay, guys. before I go into this, I just want to preface by saying: everything right now is really GOOD. my school year is DONE. it is WARM out. i get to wear DRESSES. i am totally embarrassingly in LOVE with someone fantastic. i just got hooked up with a SUPER internship. so, really, i don’t have a lot to complain about.

i’m going to do it anyways, though.

here’s where, in the midst of all that wonderful stuff, we get to the “misadventured piteous overthrow.” (do you see where i’m going with this?) you know how i’ve been trying to figure out what to make with all this brown Encore for forever? okay, fine, maybe you don’t. i have all this encore, and i’ve been trying to figure out what to do with it. i was pretty sure it would be a cardigan; definitely a sweater, at the very least. i thought about a Mrs. Darcy, I thought about a Wicked, and I even cast on for one of those garnstudio things from my last post. But nothing really seemed right. I really like encore, but the flat stockinette of the cardigan was making it look very “plain jane.” and that’s not really what we’re about, here.

And then suddenly last week it was so totally clear to me; I don’t know how I had missed it before. I was reading about StitchyWitch’s gauge troubles, and was suddenly struck with the thunderbolt of insight that I should be knitting a Manon. Emboldened by the spring air, I was completely confident that I would not experience said gauge troubles, despite never having knit a Norah Gaughan pattern before, and furthermore, that is a beautiful sweater. It would showcase the subtle but sprightly character of my encore perfectly, and go with everything I own without being too weird to wear but not too boring either, and so fun to knit. Also, really beautiful. Can I show some pictures here? Is that okay?

See what I mean? God, I want one. But here’s the thing – I can’t get the pattern. I don’t own the book, and I can’t find it on loan anywhere. And when I say anywhere, I mean it – I have been shopping library catalogs literally worldwide. Guys, I really don’t want to break down and buy this. But I really want that cardigan. I don’t know what to do. It’s enough to, from ancient grudge, break to new mutiny…

Oh, also, as far as actual knitting: I finished the shopping tunic like forever ago. It’s cute; sometime I’ll take pictures. Endpaper Mitts are still at a standstill. It’s so NICE out, you know?

love,

rachel

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way back in the day.

okay. nothing exciting is going to happen in this post; i’ve barely even been knitting. i’m just going to talk about yarn, and stuff, for a while. sorry.

I am still in possession of about two pounds, or the same volume as my torso and head, in white acrylic baby-yarn. i have no babies to knit ridiculous things for, (ex. the hooded baby blanket pattern that came on the ball band) nor do i plan on acquiring any. so i’m casting about the internet for some other stuff to do with it. here’s the current plan:

1. Anne Elliot Spencer. Cute, and lacy, and kind of meant for girls with a bust but whatever, knitting is a flexible medium. Planned mods: US 3s or maybe even 5s, and make the whole thing longer. I cannot really pull off shrugs. Possibly longer sleeves also.

 

2. Branching Out. (saccharine, I know. what else can you do with baby yarn?) I tried this once a long time ago when I had only a really fuzzy idea of what lace knitting even was. I think that if I double up the pattern, i.e. two lace repeats across the scarf, it could be thick enough to be functional. Also, fringe. Duh. I am all about fringe.

3. Crazy Vintage Cardigan(s). Okay, bear with me on this one. These are largely untenable as clothing options, unless you are Mary-Kate/Ashley. They seem even more untenable if you know what I normally dress like: somewhere in between “twelve-year-old boy” and “supercilious barista.” There is no room for a lacy wasp-waisted bolero in there. But regardless of my actual fashion choices, I have this intense, animalistic attraction to ridiculous, hyper-femme clothes. Little lacy gloves? Little lacy stockings? I am at their mercy. I can’t tell you how many cute little Goodwill dresses I have that will never get worn, because I never actually pin my hair in waves and go on picnics or whatever. Anyways, there you have it. I’m being totally honest about this.

Other thoughts: dying some of it? Maybe? because i don’t really wear white things that often? that’s a little labor-intensive for me, but we’ll see how it goes. wish me luck, dudes and dudettes.

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and… take two.

so, i frogged that huge mass of stockinette that was the scoop-neck sweater. life is too short to knit stuff you’re not totally obsessed with, you know? in a moment of reckless abandon, i cast on for a roughly worsted-weight version of twinkle’s shopping tunic.

now, a few things about this one.

1. I say “roughly worsted weight” because while the yarn is Paton’s Canadiana, worsted weight, I’m using US 9s. This solves several problems at once; the fact that knitting a stockinette tunic-length sweater is really boring and takes fucking forever and I’d stab myself in the eye with the US 7s if I used them, and the tendency of the Canadiana to knit up really densely on the US 7s I was using before, giving it a stiffness that I wasn’t fond of. As you can see, the gauge looks pretty normal, actually. Which is nice.

2. I do not, in fact, have what you would call a “pattern” for this. I saw the schematics in Twinkle’s book once, and I remember thinking it looked easy. I mean, it’s definitely the kind of thing you can figure out by looking at, right? Right. I think I can do it.

3. Planned mods: I’m adding 3/4 sleeves, because I’m against short-sleeved sweaters on principle. I’m thinking about the pockets; namely, about whether or not I want them. This is where having the actual pattern would be helpful, as I’ve never done set-in pockets before. Hopefully this is the kind of thing Ravelry can be a resource for.

I’ve kind of set the Mitts aside for now, and am mostly working on this like an automaton. Why, you ask, after having been so lethargic previously? Because it’s midterms week, of course, and I have Lots Of Other Things I Should Be Doing. yessss.

One more thing before I go – usually I’m not so into cutesy kitschy amigurumimimioiojfaijkfha whatsit, but seriously, check this out:

Found while browsing Ravelry. Incredible, amirite?

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turkey threat: eliminated.

hey, internet. thanksgiving happened! that was cool, right? good. that’s all i’m going to say on the subject.

in the meantime: it is almost december. this means several things. first, in The Real World, the malls are playing christmas carols and my neighbors are inflating snowmen in their yards and i am about to max out my debit card on amazon. in College, this means that i have three final papers, two take-home finals, and a presentation in three different languages. and i want SO BAD not to do any of it. luckily, i am a knitter! so here we are.

1. I finished The Roommate’s scarf. 3 skeins of Paton’s Shetland Chunky in white. it turned out pretty nice! I think she will like it. this is me modeling it; I can testify that it is in fact pretty warm.

2. That’s pretty much it on the Christmas knitting front, though. Look, it’s been kind of a hard couple of weeks. Finals are killing me, my best friend’s mother is dying of cancer, I just spent twenty cumulative hours in a car with my family, and it has been raining non fucking stop. I am not really up to marathon sweater-vest knitting. So I’ve been doing some therapeutic, self-indulgent, me-time knitting. First, I whipped up a Calorimetry in about three hours. I’m wearing it right now.

3. And last, but definitely not least: the hat-in-progress. I’ve done all of this in the last 48 hours. My (loaded) aunt took me yarn shopping, and I have material for at least 2 more sweaters now. I also picked up one singular skein of Jo Sharp Tweed in Pine, and I am totally in love with it. (God, I love tweed.) I am enamored of these slouchy hats that everyone and their mother is knitting; I think “mad cute” is what the kids are calling them. But I think they really look best on short-haired people, and alas, I have been blessed/cursed with rapunzel-esque tresses. Therefore, I am making up a newsboy cap on the fly. I’m not at all sure yet how this will turn out, but I’ll keep you updated. Here’s what it looks like right now:

 

 

that’s more or less all for now, folks. i need to do some reading, write a paper on dante, go to work, watch Hairspray, and go to bed. stay safe, make good choices.

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the season of giving begins

to start off: it’s done. finally. it’s in the mail, it’s off my mind and my needles, and some fine young Gryffindor student in Arizona is going to have it soon. hopefully, a snazzy new needle roll will be winging my way in return? (perhaps by owl post? or is that going too far?)

in all honesty, this wasn’t such a bad project. i’m just whiny. i liked the finished project pretty well, and i think (from what i know of Mystery Swap Partner) that it will fit her. it gave me a chance to use Rowan Scottish Tweed for the first time in a tentative, non-committed sort of relationship. (the yellow accent color. the red is leftover Gloss from my Thermal.) my thoughts: not soft enough to wear against skin, but a nice kind of structured-ness that would work well with cables or other pretty stitchwork. for the MC, i recycled an old, ugly sweater from the Gap. (take that, heartless sweatshop-labor-propagating CEOs!) through some sort of yarn alchemy, i only needed to use the front, sleeves, and cowl of it, which means I have the whole back panel left to use however I wish. I’m thinking maybe newsboy cap? This project also reminded me that while I love top-down seamless like no one else, I still have some issues I need to address.

1. Figure out a way to do the armhole join so that there are nogaping holes at the armpit that will need to be sewn up later.

2. My necklines are square. Can you see it in this photo? New mission: pull off a nice smooth v-neck, or a nice round crew neck.

of course, I started a new project literally the same day. (I have a problem.) Behold the Ugly Scarf, a present for my aunt. I don’t actually hate her; she asked for this yarn, and I felt like there wasn’t much I could do. She also asked for no fringe, but I feel like I can’t have the scarf just end; so I tried crocheting some little square thingies for the end. My crocheting skills are marginal at best, but I still think this will look better once blocked. I took this picture a few days ago; the scarf is actually pretty much done by now, but i’m too lazy to take another picture. I’ll show it to you once it’s blocked, okay? It’s curling like nobody’s business.

Lastly, and my favorite current WIP: a double-knit bookmark, to use up the leftover Gryffindor yarn. I think I’ll give it to my friend Sabrina, who is a knitter herself and appreciates useless, handmade things. I’m unsure as to whether that will happen over Christmas (do we give Christmas presents to our Jewish friends? what do we think about that, guys?), or when I see her in a few weeks. It’s a quick, fun knit. Her books will be the warmest this side of Siberia.

 

A few more things: I went home this weekend, and picked up some more yarn. Of course. 3 skeins of Patons Shetland Chunky, 8 of Wool-Ease. The Patons will become an Irish Hiking Scarf for The Roommate, or so I hope. (Um, is doing that by Dec. 20 really feasible?) The Wool-Ease will be a Christmas sweater vest for my dad. I feel justified in using Wool-Ease when it’s not going to touch your skin directly, when the person it’s meant for dresses mainly in Pats sweatshirts anyways, and when they are so massive that the item of clothing is could double as a circus tent. I will, of course, be updating you all regularly on that. In the meantime, have fun, be good, make safe choices.

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fee fie FO fum

i’m going to run out of witty titles soon. until then: some FOs, and stuff.

my brother’s birthday hat. this is not my brother wearing it; this is me. it is made out of buffalo wool, and shockingly soft. i was unable to photograph the birthday yarmulke i also made for him; it kind of needed work anyways.

 

this is the Ill-Advised and Self-Indulgent Shrug. I may have mentioned it earlier. this is, obviously, pre-blocking. made of paton’s shetland chunky in a nice green color, with an imperfectly executed sort of snowdrop lace thing going on. it’s waiting for buttons. (if you look carefully, you can also play Find That Object with my dorm room. Can you see the copy of Homer’s Odyssey, my favorite tea mug, and the Boy Scout cookie tin?)

 

This is tragicheroine’s Ribbed Lace Bolero. Duh. (please look at the bolero, and not my face, here.) As you can see, it is sort of… I don’t know, too big? How do you even make a rectangle too big? I modified the pattern for worsted weight yarn, which may have been part of my problem. I don’t know, boleros aren’t really my calling. (But shrugs are? What’s the difference?) Whatever, I wear it sometimes.

 


Last but not least, the WIP. This is going to be, eventually, a Gryffindor sweater, made for a personal swap. As you can see, I have a ways to go. I’m doing my best to finish it by Halloween; i can do that, right? A Thermal in 2.5 months makes a straight stockinette seamless raglan in one month seem like nothing. we’ll see how it goes.

After this is completed, the List of Things to Knit for Other People is, in order of urgency/length of knitting:

Sweater Vest, for the 6’2″ father
Pop-over gloves/Frankenmitts, for aunt
Scarf, for same aunt
Armwarmers, for Sibling.

What do you think? Can it all get done by December 25th? Tune in to find out!

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free at last, free at last

thank God almighty, I am free at last. the knit wasn’t actually bad enough to warrant that kind of talk; mostly i have just always wanted to say that. it does feel really, really good to have it done, though. i think you can probably recognize in my face the expression of a half-crazed, sleep-deprived knitter who has just achieved what is for that moment her only goal in life: finishing the goddamn sweater. it’s beautiful, i love it, i want to marry it. call it the early infatuation with an FO that took a lot of work, but i’m pretty sure this is the sexiest piece of clothing i own. obvo, it is missing some buttons. that will be remedied this weekend.

dry stuff:

pattern: knitty’s thermal, size A.
yarn: 6.5 skeins of knitpicks gloss.
gauge: slightly less than what was specified in the pattern. i.e. this should have been too small.
time to complete: 2.5 months. (score one for continental knitting.)

magically, this fits me perfectly. i had been planning to block it out to the length i prefer (“too long,” according to my mother.) but somehow, through a combination of my anxious habit of over-knitting and Sweater Magic, it fits exactly the way I like. sleeves and all. i cannot recommend this pattern highly enough; every detail, down the the bindoff of the neckband, is wonderfully exact and well-explained. it’s easy to do, with a marvelously professional result. i really just can’t find anything to complain about.

i actually finished this on monday; my goal was to finish it before august, and i succeeded. in the time since, i’ve gotten started on Twinkle’s Evening Shell, which I picked up the yarn for at my LYS on Saturday. can we talk about the gauge difference for a minute?

plymouth encore mega. now that is a yarn. (apparently i have a thing for burgundy right now? don’t judge me.) i’ll put up some pictures later, when there is more to show. it may be much later, because this weekend i am headed Out West for a while, and may be incommunicado. until then!

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