Sunday, December 31, 2006
Saturday, December 30, 2006
After reading all the ribbing tales, here is finally a pic of the sweater in it's current incarnation. I am on my third ball of yarn, so you can assume I like it. The photo does not quite do the yarn justice, but you can see why a busy pattern was out. I have a cold so I sit around and knit.
Friday, December 29, 2006
I received a package from Jacqui all the way from Australia with my Red Letter Day prize. I am stoked - this stuff (2 skeins of rare essentials "cocoon cherry" alpaca/silk/mohair and superfine merino and 1 skein of Jo Sharp's aran cotton in "Mareschino") is incredible. You guys have the best reds Down Under. It is NICE STUFF! Thank you so much! I think I've finally settled on Cinxia from Knitty.com for my red sweater project. I've mooned over the Elsebeth Lavold vest but now that I've looked at the pattern I think I will work my way up towards it. I've ordered some of her wool/silk yarn in a lovely red (rosehip - what a great colorway name) that I think will be perfect. It didn't hurt to notice that The Yarn and Fiber company that I bought it from on-line is selling it for a dollar less per skein than a local yarn store and with free shipping.
I have yet to post my button (feel free to steal minus bandwidth of course, if you like). I could only get it really, really tiny or HUGE. With the holidays I have had no time for poking at it hoping things will work "this time". Soon, soon. I also have to figure out the blogger upgrade. Sigh.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
Monday, December 18, 2006
Saturday, December 16, 2006
...my red sweater is slowly taking shape. (I should be like Anne and name all my projects. But, my mind draws blanks at clever, fitting names.)
Sorry about the terrible coloring/lighting. Somedays our eight year old digital camera doesn't want to cooperate. (I'm will not admit to incompetence.)With everything going on these days I manageto knit a couple rounds each day on the body and the sleeve.
The pattern is a basic neck down raglan sleeve to which I've added the vines going down the arms, and the seed stitch at the top. I love the weight and feel of this Briar Rose yarn and am eager to begin wearing it. Which is why I keep working on it when other things are impatiently waiting. With just nine days until Christmas I decided not to stress out anymore about unfinished hopes of knitting some presents. The ideas came too late in the season and I'm too slow of a knitter. Shoot, one pair of socks takes me two weeks.
Hooray to Chris and Peg for capturing the prize drawings today!
today erica has offered two lovely prizes to the KAL. the first batch of sock yarn, key chain, stitch markers, and a mini-sock pattern goes to
congratulations to chris of briar rose fibers!
and the second prize of sock yarn and stitch markers goes to
congratulations peg! i think it's great that both of today's winner's happen to be members who also gave prizes for the KAL in the last couple of months—it's nice to be able to celebrate them this way.
these giveaways have been really fun and a nice touch to the KAL. we are always happy to accept prize offerings from any member; simply contact anne or laura that you have something to offer. our next giveaway is scheduled for february 14th!
Friday, December 15, 2006
i am so sorry . . .
happy happy birthday to jacqui, who has some delicious-sounding yarn to send out.
and our winner is . . .
congratulations earin—and thank you again jacqui! the next RED LETTER DAY will be tomorrow, so stay tuned.
Holiday knitting has snowed me under! No pun intended. It's kept me from doing some serious blogging. But I'm here now, with a pic of my finished Red Ribbed Cardi.
I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. Cutting the steek and sewing in the zipper was not nearly as painful as I had expected. In fact, the steek was the easiest part of the whole thing! There are a few things I wish I'd done differently, such as working more raglan decreases before starting the collar (the neck is a little "boatier" than I had planned), and I also wish I'd worked some of Elizabeth Zimmermann's famous applied I-cord to the fronts to cover the zipper a little better. But hey, it was a prototype and I'm happy it fit at all!
If you'd like to see more details, and see pictures of how I cut the steek *gasp* you can check out my blog here
Happy knitting all!
Thursday, December 14, 2006
I used the V-Necked Top Down Pullover pattern by Knitting Pure and Simple with Elann Sierra Aran in Sangria colorway. Modifications include adding my own waist shaping and using a garter stitch cuff instead of a k1p1 cuff. I also changed the neck ribbing from K1p1 to K2p2.
I am wearing it to work today and it is wonderful. My garter stitch ridge at the bottom is not flipping up and I didn't do anything special to it while blocking. Maybe I just got lucky.
This thing is sooo warm!
My next sweater is brown, but the one after that will be red with stranded colorwork. See ya'll later on down the line. I will keep dropping in to see updates, though.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
I have managed to finish, block, and assemble the back and two fronts of my red cardigan and knit the button bands and collar- All that's left to knit is the sleeves. It's looking a little too big for me, but I'll re-evaluate once it has sleeves so that I can try it on properly. I would be okay with making this one a birthday gift for someone special if it does turn out too big, and chalking it up to a learning experience in the design department. Next time I'll get some help with measuring myself more accurately and try for less ease. Oh well, I'll have a red pullover in the works for myself soon.
I have promised hubby a birthday sweater in February, but there is no way on earth that he would ever wear red, or anything particularly textured or interesting for that matter. So I have resigned myself to miles of brown or grey stockinette. I may have to find another knit along for moral support on that one!
My prize of designer Red Branch (K)Nights yarn arrived from Jo yesterday, and it is simply lovely. I think I will make a length-wise scarf out of it, but it may be some time before I get to it. Thank you Jo for this unique skein.
The blocking picture is too dark to bother with. It looks like a dark sweater shaped outline on pale towels. Trust me, not worth bothering with. I'll take a picture during daylight tonight.
Going to go get the fan and point it at the sweater to help drying. I want to wear it tomorrow!
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
My sleeves are complete! I actually was so in the zone of knitting that I knit the right sleeve an inch longer than the left, so I had to rip back. Oops.
Tonight I pick up stitches for the neckline and block it. I hope to be wearing it by Thursday, which is my Sit'n'Stitch night.
My next red sweater will be a yoked sweater with stranded colorwork from Knitting Without Tears. However, first I have to knit a sweater for my husband. He's been waiting for a sweater since last year. That sweater will be a nice maple brown.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Look, look, I've created my very first Lavold motif, and it's a double one to boot! Can you see it? Do you want a closer look?
It was really not difficult at all, despite my initial fears. You do have to keep the sharpest of eyes on the chart, though, so as not to miss those deceptively tiny little increases and decreases which allow you the additional stitches to make the motif. But I've managed to join up the two pieces of the back above the central slit (which I love) and now it's hey and away with a helluva lot of reversed stocking stitch, with only the two central cable twists to vary the monotony, until I get to the armholes and another couple of motifs. Still, it's a pleasant pattern to work, that's the best way to describe it, whereas with the Eriskay, the stress levels were way above acceptable level the entire time - whatever Starmore was up to when she designed it, the feelings that come through on the pattern are wholly negative.
Very happy with this vest. Thank you Elsebeth, keep on championing the Viking motifs and let's have lots and lots more. I've ordered another of her books but it isn't here yet. And I'm so thrilled that the 'rescue cone' of dusty, weary old yarn turned out to be such a stunning poppy-red lambswool. Now I just need to find enough time to get ahead with this project, even if it does mean others have to wait.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
unlikely isn't even the word for it. it's still at the same stage as the last posting, working away on the cabled band for the empire waist (at least the band is longer, about 18" or so, although it needs to be about 36"). it's getting quite frustrating because i have the whole sweater planned out in my head - i can see it, and it's fabulous! a wide horizontal cabled empire waistband & smaller horizontal cabled bands along the neckline & the bottom of the sleeves & body; vertical cables to emphasize the side seams of the body, up the undersides of the sleeves, and up the raglan decreases; a longer tunic-type length & long bell sleeves.....
sigh. if only i could knit as fast as i can plan! it would perhaps help if i wasn't knitting 4 ply yarn on 2.5mm needles...
& everyone else seems to be whizzing along - i'm getting a bit discouraged seeing everyone finished work, & really reall want mine to progress more quickly! so the goal for the week is to finish the cabled waistband & start the lower body of the sweater... i'll keep you posted.
Now. Off to finish my coffee...
Friday, December 08, 2006
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
IN THE MEANTIME, life has taken a better turn. I found that lovely cone of rescue Scottish lambswool (yes, Scottish again, but surely not from Stornoway?), skeined it up to triple strength and cast on for the lovely Elsebeth Lavold Celtic Vest.
That's the ideal, and here's the story so far, on the back. This, as you may be able to see, is rather charmingly split to start with, having cables up either side of the split, until they join as one of Lavold's iconic stand-alone motifs takes shape.
You probably can't see any detail at all from this and I'm sorry. I'll get the expert to photograph it at the next stage. But what I'm so excited about is that it's working smoothly and beautifully (although you do have to keep the sharpest of magnifying glasses on Lavold's pattern, not to miss the subtle lifted increases here and there - did miss one set, and had to do some nifty work on the following row to adjust - couldn't bear to frog). Overall, though, it's moving along happily and cooperatively. Couldn't be more different to the Starmore Eriskay in the cashmere. One of those personality clashes, I guess. Ah well, experience is what you gain when you're looking for something else, as Oscar Wilde said.
How's everyone else coming along?
Monday, December 04, 2006
congratulations tandemknitter—i'll forward your email to laura so she can get your prize in the mail. thank you laura and have a wonderful, fun birthday!
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Saturday, December 02, 2006
The arm is a bit big, and next time I will ajust decreases to go in sooner, but it matches the style of the sweater, so I'll keep it as is. This pattern has been adjusted as I go, and I love doing that, I have discovered. I think I'm more happy with a knitting guideline rather than a pattern. My next sweater will be done in the Elisabeth Zimmerman percentage style. Not red, though, so you'll have to come to my blog to see it. I'll start swatching it soon.
I'm surprised that the miles of stockinet are not boring to me. If I get too bored, I can always pick up my uncompleted FLAK and work on it, but I'm happy with the stockinet at the moment.
The way things are going I might get this done by next weekend.
I'm finally on the move with my Red Sweater!!!! I'm really excited about Samus! I'm started out really slowly with the cables, but after four repeats so far, I'm getting the hang of it and going along a bit faster. I haven't had much time to devote to it lately between other obligations, (gift knitting, coursework, getting used to a new job, plus all the regular stuff), but I've tried to do at least a couple of rows everyday. I think once I get to the body of it I should motor along alot faster. My goal... here it is (bear in mind I am self proclaimed Queen of Procrastination) is to have the bottom cable band done and the body started by next weekend. I've only got four more repeats to go before the band is done so that's, let's see 4 x 32 = 128 + 1 (end row) = 129 rows more to go. Oh. Now that very number seems daunting. However, rows are short - what was it 26 stitches? That's nothing. Really. I can get it done. No problem!
Well, I'm off to get the coffee started and do my mad Saturday running about. Hopefully I get a few minutes for knitting today somewhere along the line!
Friday, December 01, 2006
This is now officially logged in my records as Red Branch (K)Nights, but it's a one-off. I created it especially for this KAL and don't intend to make any more (well, not unless you beg...) It's high time I got on with creating the next in the Celtic Festivals range, Midwinter. After all, today is December 1 and if I don't hurry, we'll be past the shortest day and moving into spring!
All very well, but how am I myself getting along with the red sweater that I am supposed to be making, to justify my presence here? Well may you ask. (Well, no, you probably don't, given the saga so far.)
Yesterday I suddenly remembered a sad and grimy cone of 'rescue yarn' which had come out of that stash shed in the woods a while back. It had looked a nice bright fireman's red, but was so covered with dust and fluff and general grime that it was hard to tell.
I went burrowing. I went hunting. I ran it to earth at the bottom of a large see-through container (the see-through capability of course only applies to those yarns ranged round the edge, doesn't it? It doesn't help much when the cone is smack bang in the middle of the box as this one was.) And had you noticed that the yarn you really really want is always in the bottom box of a large and heavy stack?
Maybe you don't understand what I'm on about. Maybe your collection of yarn sits neatly in a small and attractive basket on a little shelf in your living room. Alongside your two pairs of knitting needles.
Maybe. But knowing you lot, I doubt it. Garages? Attics? Basements? Specially-built extensions? Come on, come on, you can tell me. I would really like to know that there is someone out there with a bigger yarn storage problem than mine!
Anyway, back to the poor little rescue red. It was there all right, and a good big fat cone too, which gladdened my heart. I immediately skeined some off and washed it gently. It came up beautifully and dried quickly, which was good because I was already impatient to try a swatch.
Here is the cone, and the just-dried skein in front of it. You can't really see, but the top of the cone is still quite dusty and grimy, while the sides, where the yarn has been wound off, is the true clear bright flame red that I like.
It's a very fine lambswool, so I used it triple to work a swatch for the beautiful Celtic Vest from Elsebeth Lavold (I really do not like the name Cul de Sac given to it by Knitter's). What do you know, it worked perfectly - just the right gauge on a 4mm circular. And so, once again, I have cast on for my own Red Sweater KAL project - the Celtic Vest. The cashmere has been retired to a quiet location for some time. The Starmore book (Fishermen's Sweaters) has gone back downstairs to the knitting section of my library. There is nothing between me and success but time. Time. Not too much of that around chez Celtic Memory at the moment, but we will persevere.
And for those who asked about the Celtic Vest pattern - it was in the Fall 2003 issue of Knitter's and you can order back issues from them here . It's worth buying that issue actually - there are several wonderful things in it.
Anyway, I'm off to spend the rest of the evening working up the back of the Celtic Vest and reading The Devil Wears Prada (no I do not feel like an intellectual evening with Nietzsche and Kant). I might even eat a bar of chocolate.
Starmore? Never heard of her.
And Kelly, your yarn is on the way bright and early tomorrow morning. Let me know what you make with it!
The sweater is tunic length but I could stop just where I needed to for my short torso. I really like making sweaters from the top down. I just ordered Barbara Walker's Knitting from the Top this morning in order to learn more about the technique.
OK off so work on sleeves!
today is a RED LETTER day, and we have a gorgeous skein of jo's beautiful yarn, made especially for red sweater winners only, to give away. hopefully her gift will change her red sweater mojo. and now, the winner of her one-of-a-kind creation is
congratulations kbattenbender! i will forward your email to jo and she will contact you about shipping it!
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Samus is getting close! The body & 1 sleeve are done, and at the bottom of the pic is the cable cuff for the other sleeve. I hear the applied I-cord is a bit tedious & time consuming, but I want to wear this soon. It looks so orange in the pic - it's really a darker red in person.
Is it wrong to be so focused on a sweater for ME, when I should really be working exclusively on Christmas gifts?
Anyone else already behind on those, even though it's not December yet?
More pictures of Cherie here
Pattern: "Cherie" from Rowan Vintage Knits
Designer: Kim Hargreaves
Yarn: Dale of Norway Sisik in Red
Needles: Size US 5 and 6
Details and notes on my blog
Thank you for the knitalong - I think it helped me stay focused throughout the process ;)
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Waiting for more yarn - luckily I found some on eBay and it should be here soon - hopefully by the end of the week.
so while waiting - what to do , what to do - well, i guess i could do some finishing on some other sweaters (for nephews ) but they are all done except for sleeves - so i guess i will visit the Sleeve Island until my yarn comes in!
I finally took a picture of myself in my red Bob (from Knitty) before putting that shortsleeved lovely in storage until spring. Unfortunatelly the pic is taken in a darkish bath room with a three part mirror while standing on my toes in the bathtub. But at least it will give you a (vague) idea of what is going on. I am really looking forward to wearing this in spring.
Chris wanted to see the cardigan (sans buttons) that matches the red Green Gables sweater that I just finished. Well, here it is, in all its wrinkled, never yet blocked, button-less glory. Yes, I wear it anyway. And clearly, I need to be more careful about folding it when I put it away. Wrinkles! Ick. Sigh. LOL
The pattern is Elsebeth Lavold's from her Viking Patterns for Knitting book. It's the Freya sweater. I have pewter buttons for it with little Viking ships on them. :-)
I think this'll make a nice sweater set with the Gables sweater... The open work at the top of the shell will show above the collar of the cardigan. Purty.
My husband keeps telling me that I need to set aside a "button" day, so I can sew buttons on my sweaters that have never had them, and re-attach buttons to sweaters (and some of his shirts) that have fallen off. I really should do that one of these days...
The garter stitch edging is flipping up a bit. I hope that it blocks flat and stays flat. I like the way the edging looks and will use this again in other projects. I can't wait to get the back flap done and try it on again. I really like the ability to try it on in a top-down design. Very cool. I'm now eyeing patterns and trying to figure out how to make them top-down in the round. Seaming? We don't need no stinkin' seaming!
Monday, November 27, 2006
Now I am trying to decide what red sweater to knit next. Since red is my favorite color I have no problem finding red yarn in my stash. I have some Lopi for a red sweater, and some hand-dyed red yarn I bought at the Maryland Sheep and Wool, but what is really calling to me is this. Its something a little bit different. Decisions, decisions.
I loved knitting with this yarn (Beregere de France's Magic... sorry, long discontinued). It's actually a 5-ply wool. I found that interesting. I've seen a lot of 2- and 4-ply yarns, but this is the only 5-ply that I have seen, in my somewhat limited experience with yarns.
I have another photo and the sweater stats for this project in my blog.
Lest you think that I'm done knitting red, I am not. I still have this yummy cashmere-wool blend yarn that I got ages and ages ago. But it'll have to wait until the new year. I have too much obligation knitting to do between now and Christmas to even begin to think of possibilities for this yarn. And I want to see how Jo does with her red cashmere. I do have to admit to a certain reluctance to peruse any of my Starmore books when looking for a pattern for this yarn, thinking that her misfortune with her project may be a Starmore/cashmere thing. I so don't want to get involved in that.
I create these special yarns every month or so, reflecting in different ways the Irish countryside, Celtic festivals, legends and stories. The next one will be Midwinter, celebrating the great ancient festival when the sun finally turns back towards the dark and chilly North and brings promise of springtime to come. I'll have that one on eBay around the beginning of next week. But first comes the prize for the Red Sweater KAL and in honour of all you who have spent your spare time, your evenings, working late into the wee small hours, on your bright projects, I am creating Red Branch (K)Nights. This not only praises your efforts but also remembers those doughty warriors of ancient Ireland, who feasted in a mead hall with a branched tree outside the heavy oaken door. This tree was hung with bells, and whenever the bells rang, the warriors knew that a challenge was at hand and rushed out to defend their king, their land, their honour, and anything else they felt like defending.
Just the kind of lads you'd like to have around for a hen night really. And this composed yarn will be as lively and bright and dramatic as anything that the ladies of those ancient times would have trailed provocatively behind them as they made an entrance down the stone staircase.
And so, in the way I usually begin to plan a new composed yarn, I spread a clean bath sheet on the floor of my stash room and started to pull out all the cones and balls and bundles that seemed to reflect what I wanted for a special creation like this. The stash is a pretty enormous one by this time, built up over many years and many wanderings in different countries, but it's still not enough. Is it ever?
It will take until Friday and many swearings, going back and forth, lifting down mighty boxes and containers, pulling cones out, putting them back, searching hither, thither and yon for one elusive one that I knew I had somewhere, before I'm half satisfied. But in the end it will be a skein like you've never seen before.
Red Branch (K)Nights. Hope you win it!
Celtic Memory Yarns
Sunday, November 26, 2006
If anyone else hasn't spent lots of time looking at Anne's patterns do because they are gorgeous and I had a hard time choosing.
My red sweater is making very slow progress courtesy of holiday knitting and a challenge to make small knitted penguins over the weekend and my new NaNoSweMo challenge is to finish the back during November! More piccies will follow as soon as I have anything worth showing.
I've been whaling through the body, and am almost done! I did the right front (on the left of the pic) as the pattern is written, then did the left front with a V-neck, to compare. I also added a bit of shaping on the back neck, so it wouldn't ride up too high. I think I like the V-neck, but despite constant measuring, both armholes are too deep. So, off to fix that, then start on a sleeve!
Anyone else knitted this pattern?
Finally!! I was able to make it through call of the charts of the right neck side. I just finished picking up stitches for the left neck side. I hope the left side goes easier than the right side. I am still not sure if I am going to like this color. The sweater will work though for every day wear. We live in an old drafty house so the sweaters are coming in handy.
The Rogue sweater also from The Girl From Auntie was easier to do I think. The cabling was not as complicated. I just don't like have the edges finished on that sweater though. I think I will rib the cuffs and waist on the next one I make.
Fool, fool that I was! You really don't want to know the awful details (well if you enjoy other people's pain and distress, you can check the whole sorry story out on my weblog), but suffice it to say that the Red Sweater and I are occupying different parts of the house at the moment. It's better like that. Otherwise there might be violence. Heaven forgive me, but I have even thought of leaving the door sneakily ajar so that Muffy the Destroyer, Muffy the Yarnslayer, could get in and show it who's boss...
Is there ever going to be an end to this? I know what I should do. I should find an entirely different pattern, one that has no link WHATSOEVER to the Hebrides and an island knitwear designer, a COMPLETELY different yarn, and start on something ELSE. But I'm getting bloody-minded now.
And seeing all your happy postings about completing this stage or that, getting to the finishing line, sewing up even - well, I HOPE YOU KNOW HOW UPSET YOU'RE MAKING ME!