Sunday, February 25, 2007

Still In There And Struggling

It really has taken far longer than anticipated (isn't that always the case when we excitedly match yarn with pattern and cast on with high hopes?) I've frogged and sworn and worked and calculated. I got the back of the Celtic Vest done finally, and thought the fronts would be a piece of cake, but NOT SO.

I admit it was probably a mistake to work on the complicated motif sections during the historic Ireland/England rugby match yesterday. But the use of peanuts to count rows (wanted to use chocolate beans but thought peanuts safer) did help a bit. Here it is so far.

On the left is the final front, about a quarter done. It's driving me mad, mad I tell you! And so many other projects I want to do (it doesn't help of course that all of your pictures make me immediately want to try those...)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Red "White Gansey"

Made good progress this week. About 2" into the second pattern. I am really liking this sweater!

Probably will start underarm gussets this week. Pretty cool!

Friday, February 23, 2007


After dragging my feet for a while, I finally have a finished sweater. It only took three months for me to actually decide what it was I was going to knit and another two to even get started.

I hope you enjoy. For more details about the sweater, you can check out my blog Michelle Can Knit.

Happy Red Knitting!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Making progess on Celtic Icon

I am making the raglan decreases on the back of Celtic Icon. It seems to be knitting up quickly and the cabling is easy to remember. I am enjoying this sweater more than the original one I started. Here is a picture of the sweater it is from Knitpicks. The color I am doing it in is pretty close to the dark one in this picture.

I am also celebrating the births of 2 baby goats this past week. Dot a mini Nubian last Saturday and Zane a mini Toggenburg today.

Red Letter Socks!

Hi, I haven't posted here since I finished my Travelling Cables Cardigan but I thought I would post a picture of the socks I made out of the Socka yarn I won way back in December on Laura's birthday. They are the Child's French Sock from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks. Very comfy and pretty. (More info on my blog). I thought about gifting a friend with these socks but I think I am going to be selfish and keep them for myself. I love seeing all the sweaters getting worked on. Makes me want to start another red one :-)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Back is done!

The Jean Frost jacket is coming along. I have finished the back and started the left front. Here's the progress although the color isn't particularly good. I think the knitted fabric will be just what I wanted.

I'm planning to short row bust darts into the fronts of the jacket, since I am larger busted than I wish I was. I'm using Maggie Righetti's book, Sweater Design in Plain English, to help design the darts. Let's just hope I can pull it off.

I'm enjoying being a part of this knitalong and viewing everyone's projects. Red is a favorite color (my kitchen is painted red) so I'm all for the world having more red sweaters!

Moving along

Almost done with the first pattern section of the Red Gansey. Using Lisa Souza's garnet sport weight and am really enjoying this yarn. It does bleed a bit and the red fingers were slightly shocking before I figured out what was going on!
It's a little hard to show the texture in the photo, but it's turning out very lovely!
I need to get on the stick and get this finished before the weather gets too warm to wear it!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I Know I'm a Loser, But Hey ... I'm a Winner!

Those of you who have been with this KAL from the start may recall my lofty plans for a sweater, which then dwindled down to a simple felted vest when I found myself not loving the yarn I selected. Well, I got about 85% through the vest and simply hated it. It's been draped over the back of a chair for ages now. I keep thinking that one day I'll be inspired to finish it, but that's looking less and less likely each day.

I have to admit that I even stopped visiting this KAL site very often of late, because every time I stopped by and saw all of your fabulous red sweaters ... well, I just felt like a big loser, not only because I have succeeded only in knitting something that promises to be truly hideous but also because I abandoned it and then snuck quietly away hoping nobody would notice!

So yes, I'm a loser.

But then yesterday I learned that I'm actually a winner! I am soooooo thrilled to have been chosen to receive Anne's handspun yarn prize. Wow! If the prize had been any other, I think I would have meekly and apologetically declined, but with this prize -- Hell No! No way, no how will I turn down one of Anne's gems!

Now I just need to think of an act of attrition to assuage my guilt for accepting this prize. I'll get back to you all soon on what that will be.

THANK YOU so much to Anne for the prize, to Anne and Laura for the KAL, and to all of you for not hunting me down and attempting to seize the undeserved prize from my vice-like grip!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Gingerbread Baby Sweater

This is my first posting to the Red Sweater KAL, and I'm so glad to have been invited to join. This is a great KAL!

Last night, in a flurry of knitting, I finished the Gingerbread Baby Sweater. I originally got the idea for this sweater from Jan Brett's wonderfully illustrated book, The Gingerbread Baby. I emailed her through her website, and I got a nice email back giving me permission to title my sweater after her book. She even asked for a copy of the pattern!

If you have little children, I'd highly recommend this book. It's a wonderful story and the illustrations are simply beautiful. I just love the accurate details of Jan Brett's drawings . . . . but enough of that.

Here is a close-up picture of Matti (a character in the book). Isn't he wearing an adorable sweater?

So, without further ado . . . . (trumpets and drum roll, please) . . . .

I introduce to you, The Gingerbread Baby Sweater! It is an original design, and I hope to have the pattern up on my sidebar soon. I am so pleased how well this turned out! (That's saying a lot, since I usually have something to complain about with all of my knitting.) My only regret is that I cannot seem to get a good picture.

You might notice that the sweater looks a bit snug on my daughter. The sweater size is 6-12 mos. I actually knitted the sweater for my newest nephew, Jacob, who is still an infant, but I had to get someone to model the thing, so my tiny Breanna had to do. She's 14 mos. old, but this 6 mo. sweater almost fits her!

The pattern was a bit tricky for me to figure out, because the one of the cabled braids is on the side of the sweater and travels up the underarm. Since I've never knitted a sweater in the round before, this was a new learning experience. I'm still not entirely sure I did it "according to the book", but I think it turned out alright in the end.

Basically, this sweater is knit on circular needles to the arms, and has set-in sleeves.

Now I can't wait to knit another one that will actually fit my little Breanna!

If you'd like to stop by my blog, it's

I'd love to hear from you!

It's a RED LETTER day!

wow, it's been ages since we had one of these, but hey, it's valentine's day—what better occasion?
today the prize is a hank of crimsom handspun yarn, a knitspot pattern, and a little something sweet.

and today's winner is . . . deb of fearless fibers!
congratulations deb! your gift will go out in today's mail and you should have it shortly.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

I'm Still Here And Still In The Running!

Gosh, it's so long since I posted that I must nearly have been posted missing, so to speak. Blame Christmas, blame holidays, blame my over-tendency to fall in love with new projects every couple of days. Oh and blame all those other webloggers who keep bringing exciting ideas to my attention.

OK, blame apportionment over. Oh no it isn't! I wanted to post here a couple of nights ago and what did I find but that in my absence you'd all hightailed it over to New Blogger and hadn't left me a front door key! I'd been trying to avoid the changeover but now it's been forced on me. So here I am.

And here's the Celtic Vest (Cul de Sac to give it its proper if uninspiring name). Or rather just the back of the vest. Almost finished, all the Lavold motifs done, just getting to the neck and shoulder shaping.

Now that I look at the picture, I realise you can't actually see the motifs very well, due to the glare of the flash. I'll have to get DH to take pictures with a bounced flash for the next posting, which should show them up better. In the meantime, here's a reminder of the pattern:

Oh. That's the front, isn't it? Well I can't find the image for the back, so you can just feast your eyes on these motifs. Aren't they fun? I think Lavold has a great brain.
Now I have determined to get this vest done before I start ANYTHING else new. I might waver sideways to attack one of the many and various other WIPs, but I will try to give the Celtic Vest priority. I mean I'm even going to wear it, for heaven's sake. What more encouragement do I need?
I want to say how pleased I am to find so many others still working happily away on red sweaters. It just shows how much we all love the idea. Well done Anne and Laura for thinking it up and getting us all involved.
Back to the Celtic Vest...

Friday, February 09, 2007

New Start

Well I started to make the Eris Cardigan but it wasn't doing anything for me so I put the knitting down. I then saw the zip up cable hoodie in Kintpicks catalog and decided to do that one. That meant I had to order the Inspired Cable Knits book. It came this week and I just love the book. I guess I am in love with cables. I started on the hoodie and it is going much better than the first one.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Just joining

Hi, I'm just joining the RSKAL as of today! Actually consider myself a member for the last week, since I chose the yarn and pattern. I wanted it to be more like a jacket so I chose a pattern from my Jean Frost Jackets book. Here is a scanned photo from the book.

I chose to work with Elegance from Knit Picks in the color Barn Red. This yarn is 70%Baby Alpaca and 30% Silk, soft with a bit of shine. I think it is turning out well. I cast on this afernoon and knit straight through the Super Bowl, so I've made some progress with the back.

I have a couple of other projects on the needles and one that needs to be finished - weaving in the ends and buttons, so I don't know how fast I will finish this one. Neverthelss, hope others join the KAL. Everyone's projects are so interesting, diverse and beautiful!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Finally Finished

My red sweater was last seen partially complete and blocking while I fretted about it not living up to my expectations. When it finshed blocking it was a little wonky but totally fixable. I went ahead and made one strap. Then I got severly distracted with knitting holiday gifts. After the holidays I was badly distracted by yarn I recieved as a holiday gift. Finally I got around to making the other strap. But due to my evidentally short attention span, I kept "forgetting" to attach it. Well, I finally did. Here's the finished product:

Overall, I am pleased with it. It didn't come out exactly like I had envisioned, but it is a garment I will wear. I feel encouraged to continue designing. But I am humbled by how much I have yet to learn. Especially about shaping. I knit this in the round. I did the waist shaping as paired increases and decreases at the sides. I think it might have been better to put more stitches between the increases and decreases thereby making the shaping more like darts. I also have lots to learn about drape and how to predict its impact on fit. Note to self: remember knitting is inherently stretchy!

The yarn I used, Lana Gatto Feeling, is wonderful! I definitely recommend it. My only quibble is that I can see the difference between the frogged yarn and the knit-only-once yarn. It's very mild, though. I'm probably the only one who can see because I know where to look.

This KAL has been lots of fun. I'm already developing plans for my next red sweater. I'm thinking simple V-neck in a brick red. Ya know, I think I've got just the yarn. Must go check the stash...

Until next time, happy knitting everyone!

Sweater Front...

Here is the front of the sweater. Not sure if you can see the detail in the pattern...but the photo should be clickable...I still have to figure out how to block it...but, I'll worry about all that when I get the sleeves done.


Hello everyone :-)
I've finally got around to carding some of the wool for my red ski sweater. So far I have done 400g of Oatmeal Bluefaced Leicester 75% with Tussah silk 25%, there is some more to follow, but this is enough to get me started.
Here it is.

Over the next few weeks I will spin this into yarn and dye it deep garnet (burgundy), after that I will card the wool for the scarlet yarn. It is going slowly as I have tendonitis at the moment, but I hope you will find it interesting. :-)