Friday, January 24, 2014

What's off my needles Friday

Remember this?

It's now this.

Here she is: My Eriskay gansey inspired lace sweater.

Good news:  It fits perfectly.  The sleeves are the cuff's worth too long, but I never frog at this point, so I tucked the ribbing under the lace part, and it will keep the cold out.  It's a tunic length, but since it's sized for me, it doesn't overwhelm my small body.  I don't feel like I'm wearing someone else's sweater.

I love the yarn.  Easy to work with, blocks beautifully.  Bought more, 'cause this is my sport yarn!

The cons:  I used a size 5 needle, and really should have gone with a 4.  I'm a loose knitter, and like sweaters to be a tad more compact.  Even though it fits very well, given that it's all lace, I should have used those 4 needles.  I'm still very pleased with it, but as a winter sweater, even with all that lace,  it would be warmer had I gone down a needle size.

There are 5 lace patterns used.  The bottom one, the little divider one between the bottom and the bodice, 2 different laces on the bodice, and a different lace on the sleeves.  I love, love, love knitting sweaters like this.  By the time I'm bored with the pattern, I switch to something else. 

Size?  I'm a size 6 top and bottom, except in chubby days, when I'm a size 8 bottom.  I used a circumference of 36" for the body, and I shaped the sides.  I'm not sure whether I'll do that again.  I don't know if it made any difference.  Still, maybe in the future. 

I made the armholes 8.5", but prefer them at 8",  Yes, that half inch makes a difference; the armhole would be 1 inch shorter had I done 8".  So, they are a bit loose compared to the fit of the body.  On the other hand, I can easily wear long sleeves under it, but there would have been enough ease with 8".  Next time.

I'd give it a B+ - A- rating.  Love the color and the yarn,  The fit is great, even in those too wide sleeves, but it's a bit too sloppy in gauge. 

Would I do another lace sweater like this?  You betcha!  The easiest knitting, the most fun, not hard on my wrists, comfy feel.  Yep. 

What's the real color?  Gah!  My camera doesn't want to see this as a lavender, so I get too many blue tones or pink tones.  The real color is somewhere between the 5th pic and the bottom pic.  You go figure it out.  I have to cast on for another one.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wednesday's Book and Tea

Wednesday is somewhat of an odd day for me.  All the energy I've expended on Mon and Tues has dissipated, and all I want to do is snuggle down, read a book, drink tea, and knit a bit.

Here's what I'm reading at the moment:  The winter sea by Susanna Kearsley.  I've not read anything by her before, and she has a large body of work.

Here's a summary from Baker & Taylor: 

Carrie settles into the shadow of Slains Castle in Scotland, creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors, and starts to write about the Jacobite invasion of 1708. When she can no longer tell the difference between today and centuries ago, is she dealing with an ancestral memory-- a memory that might destroy her?

I'm only on page 110, and it's holding my interest. I love finding a new author, one with a nice oeuvre of work.

Today's book-reading tea is Elyse's Blend from Harney's, a glorious honey-flavored black tea.  It is one of my favorites.

On the needles is that lace sweater that I showed last week. Please understand that this is lace, and it looks pretty much like an old rag.  After a good washing and blocking, it will all straighten out and look lovely, especially that goofy-looking bottom of the sweater.

The top pic is closest to the actual color.  Don't you just love the mess at the bottom?  There are a total of 5 different lace patterns.  I'll put ribbing around the neck and at the end of the sleeves.  If the bottom doesn't lay flat, I'll pick up and knit a narrow lace edging.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Snow song

Oh, the weather outside is frightful.
And the snow is not delightful.
It would be nice to be able to go
But I can't 'cause of the snow, 'cause of the snow.

Good day to knit, and drink hot cocoa, and knit some more.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Sock Madness Forever

Are you on Ravelry?  Are you a sock knitter?  Are you participating in this year's Sock Madness Forever craziness?

It's beginning!  All that crazy, hilarious fun the takes place during March Madness.  This is one of THE best forums on Ravelry.  The nicest people, the funniest comments.  No drama!  Just wild and wonderful sock patterns and people knitting their little fingers off to see who can win this madness.  The Norwegians and the Dutch seem to be the fastest, but we Americans and Canadians can hold our own.

I cannot do it.  My very cranky wrists won't allow that kind of speed knitting.  I did try, but was afraid I would injure myself, and that crazy I'm not.  Close, but not there.  So, I hang out in the treehouse and wave my pompoms and cheer.  That's as much fun as the zippy knitting.

AND, I dye yarn.  For the last few years, I've been dyeing 3 colorways for the group.  I offer a terrific price for the yarn, and keep shipping as low as possible.  First Class Shipping is very affordable, so if you take my price and add in the shipping, you will still get a price comparable or often less than a retail store.

BUT, you have to be a member of SM Forever to get that price. 

Here are this year's colorways.  The mods have picked two flowers, Columbine and Scilla, and I've done a combo for variegated yarn lovers.  The yarn is, of course, Penny yarn.  450+ yards, 75/25 superwash merino/nylon, glorious yarn to knit with.  Machine wash if you will; I hang my socks to dry.

In order:  Columbine, Scilla, and Bouquet.

Interested?  Go join Ravelry, if you are not already a member.  Join the Sock Madness Forever Forum.  Decide on what you want, and you can order more than one skein of course.  Visit my Etsy shop, and buy whatever you wish.

There are a lot of other sock and lace yarns on sale, so have a good time.

SM8 yarns are dyed to order, so that I don't end up with too many of one colorway and too few of another.  Please relax and know that you won't be getting your yarn immediately since I have to dye up.  I've been doing this for a few years and have my routine established, and it works out very well.

Friday, January 10, 2014

What's on my needles Friday

I started a new sweater.  This one is going to be a lacy jobbie.  I have about 3" done on the body.

I know; it doesn't look like much of anything. But it will get better, I promise you.

See how I've stretched it out?  That's going to be the lace for the body up until a couple of inches before the armholes.  Then I'll switch to a band pattern, take off my armhole sts, and then do a different lace on the bodice.

Knit shoulders off together, pick up and knit sleeve sts with yet another lace pattern or maybe using the bodice pattern.  I'm so far away from that that I don't know what I'll do, but it'll all work out.

Then, to finish that edge that wants to turn up, I'll pick up and knit a small lacy border on the bottom of the sweater.  There, I'm done.

The yarn is Filatura di Crosa Sportwool which I bought from The Stitching Bee in Chatham, NJ.  It comes in tons of colors, each one prettier than the next.  100% wool.  50 g.  approx 136 yards.  It's so soft and woolly.  I'm going to use it again and again.

I'm using a #5 needle.  Ordinarily I'd use a 4 because I knit loosely, but I want drape on this; so that's why the 5 needle.

And speaking of wool, here's what's newly listed in my Etsy shop:

New Lili Lace yarn.  I cannot tell you just how gorgeous this yarn is.  It's a superwash lace yarn, which means that it just soaks up the dye.  No, I'd never wash in the machin when I'm making lace shawls, so the superwash is what I want for the dyeing.

In order:  Abigail,  Bella, and Elegant!  875 yards of a slightly heavier lace weight yarn.  Very easy to work with, soft and with gorgeous drape. 

Plus, there are lots of sale sock yarns, and more Lili Lace Yarn.  I have a festival of yarn going on!


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