Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Not made of stone

Still no FO photos of Rosedale United. They've been taken but I don't foresee a spare minute to upload them in the next few days. There's also no significant progress to report on the Duster since I have some finishing (cue ominous music) to do before I can work on it again.

So instead....I thought I'd distract you with the fact that I started Autumn Rose. Before you judge, look at this.

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How could anyone resist such a beautiful pairing of colours. Alright, I have another confession. I also have the yarn for this.


It's been in the stash for the last 8 months or so. I tentatively considered swatching for Venezia one day. After casting on 3 stitches, I became paralysed with fear. Fear of the fine gauge. Fear of the pattern. And fear of fair-isle. Who was I kidding, I knew nothing about fair-isle. I've only made one measly pair of stranded mittens where the floats were, shall we say, a little snug. Snug enough that a sweater knit with that sort of float would have zero stretch and may even stand up unassisted.

Originally, the plan was that I would knit Eunny's Deep-V Argyle Vest first. The two colours, the larger needles, the lack of sleeves all made it seem like a good warm up project. After being hit by some serious yarn fumes, I ended up here.

Start of Autumn Rose

I've rationalized ignoring Venezia starting with Autumn Rose by convincing myself that it will be easier than Venezia. It has a huge scoop neck that minimizes the need for fabric that has any sort of give, and it only has 1 steek to cut, instead of the 4 on Venezia. Hopefully you won't tell me otherwise.

Alright, I'm terrified all over again where's that Duster?

Friday, August 24, 2007

More almost sweaters

I managed to finish Rosedale last weekend but haven't yet managed to get some decent pictures. I'll post a full FO report on that later this weekend. In the meantime, I decided that I wasn't ready to be finished with the (almost) instant gratification that comes from worsted weight yarn. That realization combined with Liz's comment that Autumn Rose would be one of those commitment type projects led to this.

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That blob of stockinette is Norah Gaughan's Tilted Duster from the newest Interweave Knits.

I started this puppy last Saturday night, got perfect row and stitch gauge on my first shot and lunged forward from there. Look at it now.

Tilted Duster Pieces

I've managed to make my way through the body and most of both sleeves. Only a collar and skirt to go!

I *heart* 6.00 mm needles.

Friday, August 17, 2007


My oh my, where has the time gone?!? And how is it August 17? Am I missing something here...

This week was Stitch n' Pitch. It was a blast! A surprising conclusion given my general avoidance of anything that involves sitting for more than three hours. The other half came along and brought (get this) HIS knitting. I have a couple of photos but they'll have to come off the camera later.

There's also a new sweater. Although this may look like just another Rosedale United, it has undergone significant modifications. I've sized it down from a 38" to a 36", changed the ribbing, went a little free form with the striping and sort of made up my own sleeves. This is basically the only project I've been knitting on the past two weeks. I thought I would have it done by now but as you can see the yoke is not quite up to snuff.

The colourway was a daring choice for me (the above photo is pretty disappointing when it comes to colour accuracy - my camera seems to have a conniption every time it sees red). I'm not generally known as a yellow, orange, green kind of gal and although I'm wavering a little now, I think I'll like the finished sweater.

And Nicole nominated me for a Rockin' Girl Blogger award (started by Roberta Ferguson). So the deal is that you; 1) give her credit, 2) put up the badge and 3) add 5 other rockin' girl bloggers to the list. Thanks Nicole!

Here is my list of nominees.

1) Liz, who always has amazing projects to show off.
2) Linz, who discusses interesting things.
3) Susan, who has a way with words.
4) Sian, who always has a new post to read.
5) Elaine, who just finished a gorgeous Icarus.

In a moment of weakness I bought this kit (scroll down). So what do you think, should I go for it after this current sweater is off the needles or should I cop out and start Norah Gaughan's Tilted Duster from the cover of the new Interweave (also exciting)?

Oh, and I FINALLY fixed the broken link from my last post, now you can go inspect that seam if you wish. Thanks for all your wonderful comments on my sweater.

Let's just say it's been a busy week.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Trust Norah

Remember this? Well after three months of finishing avoidance and a weekend of actual finishing it now looks like this:
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Taadaa...she's done, finished, finito. It's almost like magic, all 8 pieces, 11 seams and 37 woven ends have come together to push my Sand Dollar Pullover firmly into the FO pile.
Looking at the pretty now, it's hard to believe that I ever had doubts about how everything would come together. Suffice to say that I'd just finished reading Knitting in Plain English and in the heavily stylized photo in Knitting Nature the model was slouched on a tree branch. The sleeves were waaay too short for her and her stomach was still showing despite the fact that her skirt was hiked-up high above her waist.
This initial concern wasn't helped by my shoddy gauge swatch. Yeah I swatched, but since I didn't want a mega-low-cut, high-riding sweater with 5" of ease I wasn't too concerned about completely missing gauge (plus gauge swatches lie, right?). I was ready to accept horrible failure and call it a process knit if need be.
Then there were the pieces, so many pieces, none of which were even close to the measurements in the schematics. There was no way that they were all going to fit together and still make a sweater.
I was wrong, Norah Gaughan was right. She's a genius, I will never second guess her ever again! Her pattern makes a gorgeous sweater despite the million ways that it could have all ended with tears.
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See how pretty it is? Look at this center medallion! I am smitten with the construction of this sweater, Norah's use of bias makes the whole thing so darn flattering.

I used exactly 4 skeins of Posh Yarn's Victoria in the lagoon colourway. It's a gorgeous cashmere, cotton, silk blend. So soft and it has excellent stitch definition, and a fabulous drape. I knit the smallest size (40" bust), but thanks to the artistic license I took with my gauge it ended up being more like a 34" bust. I started it in September 2006 and finished it today!!

And here's my very first set-in sleeve. I'm pretty proud of my seaming skills on this. I had no idea what I was doing but thanks to Norah and her amazing design it looks flawless.

And lastly what you all really care about, what it looks like when you wear it... ;-) (click to big-ify).

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Sunday, August 05, 2007


It has been awhile now hasn't it? I've been constantly torn between knitting and blogging lately. I hate not blogging but have little to say without the knitting. Needless to say I've had to be selective with use of my limited free time. Although there's some "bad blogger" guilt, there's also been lots of knitting and that makes up for everything, right?
First up there's MS3:
I've managed to get through the first half of Clue 4. I love the stole. The design is beautiful, challenging, and interesting. As I pour endless hours of precious knitting time into this project I become less able to sit back and enjoy it as I once did. While considering the rationale behind this sentiment, I realized that boredom and distraction weren't at issue but that I missed engaging with the creative process instrumental to my knitting.
How is MS3 different from following any other pattern? Well, the mystery factor meant that I put all of my faith in Melanie and followed her suggestions. I used the suggested yarn, in one of the two suggested shades, and have refused to even consider any changes to the pattern since they would be decisions based on what I view as inadequate information. That is not to say I'll never finish, but that it is firmly seated on the back burner for the next little while.
I don't regret deciding to sign up since it's taught me that what I love most about knitting is making decisions and seeing how those decisions affect the finished product and make it into something of my very own. I am firmly of the belief that Melanie is a genius disguised as a wonderful, and generous person for both having developed and administered this massive undertaking in such an effective and gracious manner.
To counteract the blasé I am knitting this, completely resizing it and changing parts of the silhouette. It excites me to no end (pictures to come).
If you are looking for some more reading I found this post to be very interesting. It is an excellent reflection on some common perceptions of knitters. The whole issue of when it is socially acceptable to knit in public is something that I've often grappled with. I agree with Linz when she says that often times people look at knitters who are knitting while engaging with their external environment as either rude or inconsiderate. I don't have an answer but really enjoyed tossing it around in my head for a day or two. Hopefully you might as well.
More knitting updates soon!