Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wrap Redux

I've decided to frog and start the wrap cardi over in the smaller size. The fabric seems to be very stretchy in this yarn and I think it will also grow, due to the alpaca content. I consulted with my friend, Natalie, over the phone this evening, and she comes to the same concensus. She has made a hat using the Ultra Alpaca, so I bow to her experience, as well. So, if it doesn't come out well, I don't have only myself to blame. Makes me feel better. Heh.

I would show you a picture of my meager progress, but my camera batteries died. It is just as well. I only have a bit more than an inch done from the neck, down. This yarn is so soft and pretty!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Say It With Yarn

Today was the day that I started a new project and entered it from "day one" on Ravelry. I even put today's date down and started a notes-diary section, like I wanted. You see, today I got to pick out Valentine's Day yarn! Yay! Today was our day off, so DH took me over to my LYS and let me pick out whatever I wanted. He's so great!

Well, look what I chose!
It's Berocco Ultra Alpaca in a heathery lavender shade. It's a very soft, worsted weight, 50/50, wool/alpaca blend. There is a generous 215 yards in each skein. I don't usually go for purple shades, but this one just jumped out at me. The next photo shows it more true to color on my monitor.
I have decided to make the Knitting Pure and Simple, Neck Down Wrap Around Cardigan. It's #263 on the linked page. I started it this afternoon, before I had to run off for a rehearsal, but now I'm wondering if I should make a different size. The size I started would give me about two inches of ease. The pattern says that it is designed to be close fitting. A size down would give me two inches of negative ease, (in my fattened state), although it is a wrap style cardigan, so does that matter as much? I am going to lengthen it a little and also add some waist shaping, as others have done on Ravelry.

Thanks, Laura and Jules, for the nice comments about Airy Wrap cardigan. I think it turned out better than I thought it would. Jules, it's funny that you mentioned the Central Park Hoodie, I have the yarn and pattern to make it, in red! I was really thinking that I might start that next, until the V-day shopping spree today. I also decided that I needed something simple to knit next week while sitting in some dull, lecture-type training classes. Heh heh. I will probably start the hoodie next.

It's been a busy week, here, and it's going to get busier. I missed S-n-B, last Thursday, which I was bummed about. I needed to get some things done for a friends bridal shower. It was held on Saturday and was such a good time. I haven't laughed so much in a long time. It was a lingerie party and my gift turned out to be a hit. The bride-to-be couldn't stop laughing. It was pretty funny and involved do-it-yourself iron-on transfers, an old map and white, lacey panties. Hmmm...I'll stop there. The wedding is this coming Saturday, with the rehearsal the night before. Should be loads of fun!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

It's a Wrap!

PH and I share a love for storms. He is the only cat I know that loves to sit outside, on the porch or under the car to listen to the thunder, and to watch the lightning and rain coming down. Tonight there is an incredible wind. After DH went upstairs to bed, PH and I took the laptop and went outside in the dark, on the back deck, where the windchimes were in constant motion and song.

It's been so warm the past couple of days that it feels like springtime. We've had the sliding patio door open so now the air in the house smells fresh as the outdoors.

Anyway, I stretched out on one of the benches that line the railing, with PH, sphinx-style, next to me. We could hear and feel the wind roaring through the trees. Leaves swirled by and caught the light as they danced past us. Through the wind and the music of the chimes, we could hear, every now and then, a bird saying something to comfort himself up in one of the trees, and we heard other noises that sounded like birds until I realized that it was the trees, themselves, creaking.

Then, I looked up.

It was surreal. The trees around our house are so tall and slim that they looked like palm trees swaying back and forth. Then I remembered how sandy the soil is around here and how some of the trees have very shallow root systems, how in the first summer we lived here a tree came down and stretched the whole length of the backyard, and how the house next door was flattened by six trees during a hurricane.

PH and I are listening to the windchimes from inside, now. The wind, itself, sounds like the ocean from where we are. We had been stretched out in front of the patio doors, but have since retired to the comfort of the couch--me on the couch, proper, and PH on the back of said couch, where he is pleasantly resting on top of my Airy Wrap-Around Sweater, after long since giving up kneading it to death.

Speaking of the finished Airy Wrap-Around Sweater from Fitted Knits, here it is!

It's really not that bad, in fact, it's kind of cute. Even DH humored me with some appreciative comments. I do think that I will like it much better after getting rid of the extra blubber that's been plaguing me lately. I swear it just snuck up on me! One day I looked in the mirror and went, "Auuggh! Where did that come from?!" It's got to go. Hey, this blog has helped me to finish three sweaters that were languishing, maybe it can help me slim down a bit, too? It's worth a shot.

Remember that I gave myself permission to start a new sweater after I finished these three? Now I have to decide which one will be next. Any suggestions for worsted weight? At the moment I'm all into cardis. Of course, I could still wait until I finish that Rabbit Ears Cardigan....

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Airy Update

This is how much help PH was while I was agonizing over whether or not to finish the Airy Wrap-Around. Actually, I should be glad that he is as disinterested in my knitting and in my yarn as he is. He hardly ever bothers me while I'm knitting, unless he just wants to climb into my lap. He doesn't chew on needles or yarn, or carry my things around the house. He's much more interested in birds and feathers.

I began by pinning Airy Wrap-Around out to block it, but it was hard to do it that way because of the length of the wrappy parts. So, eventually, I unpinned it and let it hang. It really didn't change all that much, maybe because of the acrylic content. I tried to stretch the back out a bit. I'll try to get a picture of it wrapped around me tomorrow. Oh, and I did get rid of all those leaves after I saw them in this picture!

Here's the Rabbit Ears Raglan. It's my own design. I wasn't sure how much yarn I had for the sleeves, so I made them short. However, I think I may have enough to make them three quarter length. I may put a band of the cable pattern where the sleeves end, now, and then extend the sleeves from there. I knitted the neck up into a scoopneck style and then frogged it back. I want it wider, more ballet-like. I think I'll put just a few buttons at the top. The yarn is a linen/wool blend. It has a nice, almost rustic, texture.

I spent some time tonight knitting a design swatch. It looks pretty cool so far, but I'm not tellin' what it is, until it's done. So there. Heh.

Another finished UFO!

Ha! Bit the bullet and went ahead and finished the Airy Wrap-Around sweater. It's blocking now. We shall see....

Monday, February 4, 2008

Warts and All That

Today was a shopping day for DH and I. We had to go to a specialty shop and get some of our favorite Irish teas, (Bewley's and Barry's), before we ran out. We drink a lot of tea. Next, we shopped for our friends' wedding in which we are both participating. I got some funny stuff for the bridal shower, as well. DH even suffered through a stop at an oriental grocery store with me. Well, actually, he waited in the jeep and played bluegrass music while I bought miso and other Japanese goodies. Then, we stopped and ate barbeque. Of course, I brought some mindless "car knitting"! I worked on a Kidsilk Haze scarf. Plain stockinette. I'm going to felt it with beads or hazelnuts so it will look all warty. Perhaps I'll go for "bubbles" or "berries", but most of these usually just turn out looking plain 'ol, warty. The color is gorgeous, though. It's a very saturated raspberry/cherry red. Delicious...and, yet...probably...still warty.


Sunday, February 3, 2008

St. Brigid! Check!

Introducing, St. Brigid!!!

It's done! It's done, and what's more? It's finished!!! It feels so good! I took it over to Natalie's Super Bowl party and wove in all the ends, then, Jennifer took the pictures. (Well, I thought I wove in all the ends. We celebrated, and then I found one end that escaped my notice, so I wove it in and we had to celebrate all over again. Yay! Gotta love friends who will cheer for you twice like that.) Love the blue background. I look pretty happy, though I am unmakeupy and shiny. Don't really wear makeup much these days, anyway.

I think it turned out pretty well. The sleeves could be just a bit longer, but the overall length came out fine. I'm glad that I added the braid edging, it really helped the length. It finishes the somewhat unfinished looking edges, too.

Speaking of unfinished edges, I took a bagful of projects over to Natalie's tonight. See.

That pink, Cervinia Softer, is an almost completed Airy Wrap Around sweater from Fitted Knits. When I checked on Ravelry, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of people who have made this sweater that are thrilled with the results. I am vascillating between finishing and frogging. I tried it on at Natalie's and we found a way to tie it that seemed to look okay. It would mean that I could actually finish the last wrap-around tie right now and it would be done. However, only one side would actually wrap around my waist all the way. This eliminates the extra bulk, but I don't know.... The back of the sweater seems short, too. It's also strange that the back has all these lovely cables at the bottom, but they are completely covered up by the wrap-around part. I don't know how this yarn blocks out, either. It's fifty percent mohair and the other half is acrylic. Natalie suggested I take it to S-n-B on Thursday, and get some opinions. Maybe that's what I'll do. Perhaps, until then, I'll work on finishing a sweater that I designed that I'm calling the Rabbit Ears Raglan. I still feel like I need to finish some more things before I start on a new sweater.

Anyway, all in all, a great evening. DH and I had a wonderful time eating tons of delicious food and watching big screen TV. We were charmed and entertained by Natalie's beautiful little Abyssinian, Pixel. As Karl Childers would say, "No bigger than a squirrel. Mmm hmm." Plus, there was a special appearance by, Trooper, the usually, scaredy-cat, but also, ruggedly handsome, tabby boy. He was brave and sociable tonight. I snuck him some treats.

So, until tomorrow, when I shall post some progress on the next lucky UFO's hoping to become FO's!