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Friday, March 31, 2006

Thank You! Plus a Sock

Thanks so much for all the wonderful comments on grannie smith. Also a big thank you to all who have purchased the pattern so far. This has been such an exciting and uplifting experience, as I've been having a tough time with my job for the past few months or so. As a few of you already know, I am a sweater designer for a junior line at a mass market company. I've been so fed up with the whole system of copy, copy, copy some more! It's an ugly sad truth about the business and almost everyone does it. I'm rarely able to be creative (the customers always want knock-offs and the customer is always right?!) and when I am able to design my own sweaters, I'm rarely appreciated. Being able to publish my own designs is a way for me to keep the creative juices flowing and keep me sane! So thanks again for the support and I hope to continue to publish more patterns in the very near future.

And now socks!

I started a simple pair of socks last Saturday night and made pretty good progress this week considering how busy I was.

cameleon socks

I'm knitting them on size 1's with Opal in the chameleon colorway. I've heard this is a special limited edition colorway and apparently some proceeds goes to some type of wildlife foundation (as loosely translated by my fiance). I like how the yarn is knitting up, but I wish the stripes were a little smaller. I can't help it that my feet are so darn small! I'm using the basic guidelines from Simple Socks and doing a short row heel and toe. I'm hoping these fit me a little better than my last two pairs! Custom socks are the way to go!

Update on the Fiance Sweater:

I've decided to rip back and start over. I only had knit about 10", so it's not too bad. Since it's measuring 23 1/2" across and it should be 21", I'm afraid that if I continue in this manner, I'll run out of yarn. In fact, I know I will. Better to rip now than cry later.

And one final note - in my comments seal wondered if anyone was up for a KAL for grannie smith? If so, let me know and I'll set everything up. Thanks!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

It's Ready!

Finally! My green mohair sweater is ready for action! And it has a new, more creative name! Ladies and Gentlemen, introducing the Grannie Smith Cardigan.

grannie smith

Grannie Smith Cardigan by Melissa Wehrle



Finished Measurements:
Chest: 32 [34, 36, 38, 40, 44, 48]"
Length: 19 [19, 19.5, 19.5, 20, 20.5, 21]"

Rowan Kidsilk Haze [70% super kid mohair/30% silk; 229 yds/210, per 25g ball]; color: Jelly 597; 4 [4, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6] balls
1 pair US size 4 (3.50mm) straight needles, or size needed to obtain gauge
1 pair US size 3 (3.25mm) straight needles
1 US size 3 (3.25mm) double-pointed needle
Waist yarn
Stitch holder
Five 5/8" buttons

25 sts and 32 rows = 4" (10cm) in lace diamond pattern stitch using larger needles

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Busy Bee

I've been pretty busy lately and when I'm not busy, I'm too tired to keep my eyes open. Hasn't been too much knitting going on, but I did manage to finish the turtleneck shrug on Sunday.


Turtleneck Shrug by Teva Durham (from Scarfstyle)
5 balls Queensland Collection: Kathmandu DK - 85 Merino Wool/10 Silk/5 Cashmere (Color: 422)
Size 7 needles

Surprisingly, I finished this much quicker than expected. I started this a little before the Knitting Olympics, so I guess it took about a month to do. The 3x3 ribbing got a bit boring after awhile, but overall it was pretty painless. It fits very nicely and I love it!

I love this yarn too! I wanted something a little different, something that I wouldn't use on a whole sweater. It's very soft and warm (and moderately priced at $6.95 a ball). I bought this yarn in upstate NY and I had never seen it sold around NYC, but I'm sure it would be easy enough to find on the internet. Or I could take a 4 hour field trip north!


And this boring wad of stockinette could only mean one thing, I have started my fiance's sweater. (Notice the tape measure very close at hand to measure progress) So far, so good - 10 inches in - well, except for the fact that my gauge changed from my swatch. So what should be a 21" back panel is now a 23" back panel. Before I rip it out, or proceed knitting more, I'm going to measure a few of his sweaters and see if the extra 4" is going to be a problem. It's only supposed to have 4" of ease, but as of now it has 8". Good news is if I rip it out and change to a smaller needle size, the size 7 needles will be free to use for Rogue! Oh the temptation is just way too much!

I've also been busy trying to wrap up the pattern for the green mohair sweater. I took some pictures this weekend, so it's just down to tying up some loose ends. Hopefully I'll have it up in another week or so.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Sew? I Knit!

Since the deadline for making the skirt for Sew? I knit! sew-along is on Monday, I figured I had better get cracking!


So I saved the sewing machine from its exile in the closet, laid out my fabric, and cut away (and made a mess). I used a free wrap skirt pattern from fitzpatterns.com (Dana). I'm not going to complain too much about it cause it was free and all, but if I would have submitted this for one of my patternmaking classes, I would have not gotten a good grade. Luckily, I had some previous experience behind me and I was able to make out OK in the end. If I had been a beginner, it would have been almost down right impossible to get something that looked well enough to wear out of the house.

And here is the finished product (I apologize for the dark picture):


(I ended up using a nice olive twill with a slight grey pinstripe)

It took me about 4 hours and a lot of cursing, but it's done! I love deadlines, that is the only way I get up off my butt and do stuff. I don't even know if I should tell you the silly mistakes I made. I'm a bit embarrassed by them actually! I haven't sewn in about 6 years, but I still think it is no excuse! First, I had forgotten to cut out both front panels, after all it's a wrap skirt, it needs two fronts. This would not have been a problem if I didn't sew both side seams together with one front panel! Doh!

So I ripped that out, cut out the second panel after looking at directions (which could have helped before I had sewn both side seams together) and fixed it up. Next came the waist band. Hmm, it was about 36" too short!

Now that wasn't my fault, and luckily nothing had to be ripped out this time. So I cut another 2 lengths of waistband out - problem solved.

Then came the hem, final step - I'm seeing the finish line - and I'm tired and cranky. I'm almost done, done, done..............noooooooooooooooooooo! The bobbin thread runs out 10" before the finish line. The hem looked like crap anyway, so I ripped it out and checked the bobbin. There was still a little bit of thread left, so I left it in and continued on the hem again. And guess what, it wasn't enough! I ran out again - damn my laziness! So I re-wound the bobbin and started where I left off, since it was an underpanel anyway, no one would ever notice.

And it was done. It was done and I like it, but it could use some good washing. The twill is a bit stiffer than I would like.

Now I remember why I stopped sewing. Nothing every goes smoothly, something that should take you 2 hours takes 4, and I get very cranky and start sewing things on wrong. I do like using the machine, but it's really only 1/4 of the project. Most of your time is spent cutting, pinning and ironing (did I mention I burnt myself with steam 3 times?)

I'm not sure what the next project will be, but whatever it is, I'm not waiting til the last minute to do it!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Quick Update

Just a quick little update on two projects:

#1: The turtle neck shrug is almost finished! I joined both sleeves together last night (finally!) and have about 2" of the 8" for the neck done. I can't wait to finish this project. The 3x3 rib is killing me! The funniest thing is, I am rushing to get this done because I need the needles for the "boyfriend sweater" which is going to be even more boring (plain stockinette). Or maybe I'm just rushing so I can cast on for Rogue, which also uses the same size needles. Stay tuned to see if I do the right thing or if I'm just a selfish brat! Or maybe I won't have to do the right thing because his sweater will magically need to use a different size needle............

#2: The pattern for the green sweater is almost done! It's taken me a bit longer than I thought! I had to recalculate some figures the other night, but it's looking pretty good now. Just a few more finishing touches, a photoshoot, and some more proof reading and she'll be up for your knitting pleasure.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Project Spectrum - March

So March is the start of Project Spectrum and I have had a tough time getting started. Tonight I ended up on Zeneedle, and she tagged all P.S. participants with a meme. The deal is to go around your home and find things that are red and pink - the colors for March. I didn't think I would come up with much, but I was surprised when I found more than 2 things:

I didn't know I had that many red shoes!

I'm not really much of a red/pink girl, and this could be the reason I'm having a hard time getting going. I better get used to it though, according to the Paris runways, red is going to be THE COLOR next fall!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Yarn Goodies

Last Tuesday I got the call - my yarn was in. Not just any yarn, but the yarn for my fiance's sweater. I'm a little apprehensive about doing a "boyfriend sweater", but he's not a boyfriend, so it's OK right? right? His take on the matter is to not finish it until we are married in November - which is fine. With all that stockinette, I don't think it will be finished by then anyway!

The color is a beautiful Loden green, but my camera wasn't taking the best pictures tonight. I needed 16 of these little suckers!

And of course I couldn't walk out of the store without buying something for myself:


This lovely light heather grey wool is going to be turned into the Rogue Hoodie. I have been dying to knit this sweater ever since I saw it about 1 1/2 years ago. I had actually picked up some yarn for this from Kpixie about 3 weeks ago, but when it came in, it was a bit too scratchy and the color was too yellow (it was supposed to be ivory). I was going to just return it and get the heather grey color instead, but I figure if I spend so much time knitting something, I want to be able to wear the sweater without scratching my skin off my body!

Oh! And what is this! How did that get in there!?


The color is very very very off! It's a very pretty dark blue, dark teal, purple combo. This is my very first purchase of Koigu PPPM and I'm very excited. These are slated to become Pomatomus from Knitty.

And I couldn't stop there. On the way home, I hit Barnes and Nobel and picked up Knitting Tips and Trade Secrets. It has some pretty good tips on just about everything under the knitting sun. I had seen a few of them before, but even if I get one new thing out of it, buying the book was worth it (but there are many!). I just saw on Amazon that they are putting out a new expanded version in October too.

And here's another crappy picture:


The Turtle neck shrug is coming along and is a lot less boring than I thought it would be. The first sleeve is about 2" away from completion - yay!

Last but not least, progress on the green sweater pattern is coming along well. I haven't done this much math since high school! I still think it is so amazing to use equations from Trig and Calculus to figure out a knitting pattern! I keep having flashbacks of students saying, "what are we ever going to use this for!" Well, writing knitting patterns of course! Someday I want to write an email to my math teachers and tell them what I have been applying my knowledge to in the real world. I think they'd get a kick out of it.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

What's Going On?

There seems to be a decline in blog posts lately all around the blog-o-sphere. Could it be a little bit of Knitting Olympic overload?

I haven't been doing too much since the Olympics. I've made a bit more progress on the turtleneck shrug. I've also been slowly weaving in all the ends on my fairisle sweater. I hope to have that done in a week or two.

Fairisle bits

So it's now March and that means project spectrum and the Sew I knit along are both in full swing. Actually the sew along started on Feb 15th or 25th and the finished skirt is supposed to be done by March 15th. I think I better get sewing!

I picked a pretty simple wrap skirt pattern from fitz. Fitz has some really cool patterns and some of them are free. You just need to download them and print them out. Luckily, I have a really great printer at work that prints up to 13" x 19" so it made it a bit easier. I still haven't decided if I want to use some corduroy, which I'll have to buy, or use some fabric I printed up during college. It was a project for my screen printing class and I've been waiting for the right design to come along so I can sew it up. I think I just see it as a cute sundress instead of a wrap skirt. I'm not real big on colorful bottoms. I usually stick with denim or black - so creative!



I'm sure a lot of you out there in blog land have heard about knitting podcasts, but in case you haven't, you should really take a listen. So far I've listened to some episodes of Cast On, KnitCast, Craft Sanity, and Knitting News. I listen to most of them at work when I'm plugging away at boring specs. They are also great to listen to while knitting of course. You don't even need an ipod to listen, you can listen right on your computer, usually without even downloading a file.

And finally, I have began to write a pattern for the green mohair sweater from a couple of posts back. A few of you had shown some interest, so I figured I might as well write it up and get it out there. I actually have a few secret projects I will be writing up soon, so I need as much pattern math practice I can get! I hope to have it posted in the next week or two.

P.S. Thanks to everyone who left nice comments about First Aid and who cheered me on through the whole 16 days. You guys rock!