Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Crochet and alpaca dreams...

My fall issue of Interweave Crochet finally arrived yesterday. There are several gorgeous sweater patterns that I would love to try. The one that caught my eye immediately is the Northern Dreams Pullover. It looks just like a crochet version of a Fair Isle sweater! Sigh. If I was to make the smallest size, it would still require 13 balls of baby alpaca. Looking online, that would bring the total to $91 before shipping! Even looking at cheaper substitutes would still total $70 if I want a sweater that is at least partially alpaca. Sigh. Maybe this is why I don't crochet sweaters and have turned to becoming an obsessive sweater knitter. Talia was amazingly budget-friendly. She only took less than 3 skeins of Cascade 220 that I bought on sale for $4.79, so even after shipping and buttons (that I got in Vancouver), the vest only came out to $20 total!

Northern Dreams Pullover

The other cardigan that stood out to me is the Stepping Stones Cardigan. It would require 12 balls for my size which would total $84 before shipping! Yikes! But so classy and beautiful.

Stepping Stones Cardigan

Besides my lovely magazine, my Custom Knits book arrived yesterday too! I was so happy with both book and magazine arriving on the same day. Custom Knits is the new book by Wendy Bernard whose blog Knit and Tonic I read religiously. She also designed the Opulent Raglan in the Fall 2008 Knitscene which is absolutely gorgeous. In fact, every time I go to B & N, I drool over the latest issue. I am majorly tempted to buy the issue just for that pattern, but I haven't made up my mind yet.

I have stopped work on Shalom Cardigan for a couple weeks. Frankly, she will probably get frogged as I am not completely loving working on it. To me, the pattern doesn't excite me and I really shouldn't work on projects that I don't LOVE. Lately, I've been very undecided on which major project to start next. A pattern from Custom Knits (there are too many beautiful ones to choose from!), Back to School Vest from Fitted Knits, Bluebell Pullover, Central Park Hoodie, Lush and Lacy (am I really advanced enough to make this?), arrghh...too many choices! I have decided to start the Easy Basketweave Vest from the September issue of Creative Knitting for my dad once the yarn arrives. They have the pattern for free on I'm also considering the Notting Hill Vest by Kathy Zimmerman, but it looks harder especially with all the cables. I don't know what my dad's bust size is, so I'm going to wing it and hope he's around a 50". He usually wears size Large in shirts and sweaters.

At the moment, I am currently using up my leftover yarn from a Newsboy Hat I crocheted a couple months ago for my dad. The pattern I'm using will look like this when I'm finished. (Of course, it won't be pink. Hehe.) I had to frog 6.5 inches of ribbing (which was nearly 60% of the hat) when I realized this hat should be worked in the round, but the pattern didn't specify. Technically, it can be knitted flat, but then you'll have to sew up the side seam, and it might show, especially with the turned-up brim. Plus, I love knitting in the round as my seaming/finishing skills are still very rudimentary. It looks like a very simple and generic pattern, even like a hat you could buy at Target or the mall.

Also, I bought a beautiful ball of Patons Classic Merino Wool at Michaels last weekend. I don't know if it's a new color, but I have never seen it in other stores. It's called Cognac Heather and I think it would make a wonderful Gretel for my mom (once I learn tubular cast-on!) My parents and I are probably going to San Francisco over my Christmas break, and I really want to get started on providing warm and stylish accessories. I don't know why, but fall really makes me want to jumpstart all these projects. Sadly, it's still in the 80s here in San Diego. I admit I wore Talia to work last week and turned up the A/C so that I could "enjoy" wearing her. Does this make me a bad person? So many projects to work on, and so little time!


Sway Knits said...

I really love Custom Knits, too! It's funny, I never really noticed her designs before, but when I saw the book, I was like WHO IS THAT? Maybe once the new year happens and I stop thinking about potential Christmas knits, we can have a knitalong! :-)

janet said...

Your so right about the cost of doing projects. The plus side is that you would pay a lot more to buy something of that quality - if you could find it. The plus and minus side is that you have to knit/crochet it. Which means it may never get finished or it might not fit.