Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Christmas FO's!

And the FO parade continues...

First up, we have an Ishbel for my Mom. (I don't even know what to make my Dad yet!)

Pattern: Ishbel by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Malabrigo Lace in Colorway Pink Frost
Needles: US 6
Amount: ~ 395 yards
Mods: I decided to go for a medium-sized version with large stockinette and small lace.

* I haz wings

And a thick scarf for my bf's father...

Pattern: Shale Pleated Scarf by Kristen Hipsky
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Colorway Woodland Mix
Needles: US 9
Amount: 2 balls exactly
Mods: None

* Shale close-up

And finally a lace scarf for my bf's mother...

Pattern: Falling Water by Bonnie Sennott
Yarn: Misti Alpaca Lace in Colorway 8127
Needles: US 5
Amount: ~ 280 yards
Mods: None

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

FO: Shalom Cardigan III

No, you're not going blind. There really is another Shalom Cardigan 3.0!

* Pretending to be a Macy's model

* Yoke detail

* Close-up of the buttons

Pattern: Shalom Cardigan by Involving the Senses
Yarn: Cascade Eco+ Wool in Colorway 8450
Needles: US 9 for sleeves, US 10.5 for body
Amount: 1 ball (I had literally less than a yard left after binding off!)
Mods: Shortened yoke ribbing by 2 rows each, added 11 rows for back length, picked up 52 sts around the sleeves on smaller needles and did 10 rows of garter stitch, lengthened the front, omitted waist shaping, added 2 extra buttons

After finishing Shalom Cardigan II, I was a bit disappointed. First, I had always envisioned myself in a bright red, Shalom and also I was sad that Shalom 2.0 was a bit snug. To counter, Shalom 3.0 was knitted on larger needles (same size as Shalom 1.0) and I reverted back to no waist shaping. Ultimately, it came out slightly looser than I wanted, but I still like it. A good thing is that the armholes came out looser than the other two versions, so it fits well around there too. Hehe. Maybe I'm too much of a perfectionist. It seems like none of them will ever compare to Shalom 1.0.

As for the buttons, there is a story behind that. I've been in love with that button (it's called the Hamburg button) since I saw them in Joann's months and months ago. However, they're sold in packs of 2 and they never had more than 2 buttons in stock. Finally, I buckled down and decided to buy them online. Well, yesterday, when my photographer was down in SD (reason why I suddenly have a ton of FO pics), we went to Joann's and I found 6 buttons in stock and bought them all. I'm really thrilled since I was able to use a 40% off one item coupon too. :-D

This sweater sets the record for the fastest sweater I've ever knit. It only took me 4 days from start to finish. Of course, this might be because I was still sick/recovering from sickness. So the first day, I actually spent morning until night knitting versus the couple hours I usually spend per evening knitting. I plan to bring it home and wear it around Christmas when I visit my parents next month. In other knitting news, I decided to frog Henley Perfected. I think I got too lost with all the mods I made, and I knew a project that has been sitting around for 2 months now will probably never be picked up again. So I frogged and I have started Gathered Pullover with the yarn. Hopefully, this one will turn out better. I've also started another small, Ishbel with the Malabrigo Lace I bought a couple weeks ago in the Polar Morn colorway. I'm beginning to think Ishbel will make for great plane/travel knitting next month now that I've mastered the pattern, and it's small and portable. Is it very bad of me that I tend to cast on for projects sometimes as soon as I bind off a previous project? :-D

Sunday, November 22, 2009

FO: Shalom Cardigan II

* Introducing Shalom 2.0

* Buttons that my bf helped me pick out. This was a couple months before I bought the yarn, so it actually worked out well.

* Tight back. :-(

Pattern: Shalom Cardigan by Involving the Senses
Yarn: Cascade Eco Wool in Colorway 8087
Needles: US 10 for body, US 9 for sleeves
Amount: 1 ball
Mods: Shortened yoke ribbing by 2 rows each, added 10 rows for back length, picked up 50 sts around sleeves on smaller needles to do 10 rows of garter stitch, lengthened the front by 14 rows

I loved my first Shalom Cardigan so much that I decided to make a second one. I'm not sure if I love this one as much though. The difference is that I used smaller needles than the first, and I actually included the waist shaping in the pattern. (First one had no waist shaping.) So it came out a bit tighter and smaller, and I feel a bit self-conscious about how the back looks. But I love the natural wool color and am thrilled it's the actual color of a real, live sheep. :-D It only took one ball of Eco Wool, so it was a pretty good deal finance-wise.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Christmas WIPs and stash enhancement

You may have noticed that I don't seem to have as many sweater FOs lately, and that is because I've been crazy busy knitting up Christmas presents. I hate how the season tends to creep up on me every year, even though I tell myself I will start early in order to get all my gift knitting done. I did finish a second Shalom Cardigan lately, but I'll get FO pics for that in 2 weeks when my photographer/bf comes to visit.

This is technically a FO, but I don't have any good, official pictures yet. It is the Falling Water Lace Scarf knitted in Misti Alpaca Lace. I'm a little disappointed in that it looks too "holey". I thought it would come out more solid like the picture in the pattern. I blocked it to be 6 inches wide, but it ended up being more around 5 inches. Should I re-block to make it narrower and perhaps scrunch it together more to reduce the holes? Hopefully, my bf's mother will still like it.

* So hard to capture the detail...:-(

* A quick picture of what it looked like hot off the needles, unblocked. This manages to capture the true color of the yarn.

I started this over last weekend for my bf's father. I always find it really hard to knit something for a man, especially somebody who isn't my dad who loves anything I knit him. Inspiration didn't strike until about a week or two ago when WEBS sent me their usual newsletter with a free pattern called the Shale Pleated Scarf. It looked simple enough to function as a no-nonsense, men's scarf so I quickly cast on and it's already over 50% completed. Thicker yarn and larger needles is making it fly by so much quicker than the Falling Water Lace Scarf. I thought about using Malabrigo, but I couldn't find manly-enough colors at the LYS, and I ended up breaking into my Ultra Alpaca stash. The yarn was supposed to be reserved for a sweater, but I figure if I've had it for over a year and it still hasn't turned into a sweater yet, I might as well break it down into gift knits.

And lastly, I went to The Needlecraft Cottage in Pacific Beach last Sunday. I love the fact that they're the only LYS around here that is open on Sundays. The owner is also much friendlier and more approachable than the owner at Knitting in La Jolla. Plus, they have a heavy-duty ball winder and swift and I was so happy she helped me set up my skeins for winding. I definitely didn't want to run into my first, 5+ hours winding Malabrigo Lace experience again. Knitting in La Jolla doesn't wind yarn for you. Anyway, I haven't been there in a year since it takes me about 50 minutes by bus, and I ended up walking out with 3 balls of Malabrigo Lace (one in Polar Morn, and two in Pink Frost). The owner gave me a great discount on the 2 pink skeins that even beats the prices online because she's had that yarn there for a year. Somehow, lace yarn doesn't sell very well in her store. I plan to make my mom an Ishbel for Christmas from one of the pink skeins, and I definitely am craving an Ishbel for myself with the grey skein. However, it might literally be next year before I'll get a chance to make myself an Ishbel. I also ended up ordering a skein of red, Cascade Eco Wool that I'll pick up hopefully by the weekend. That will go towards my third Shalom Cardigan. I never thought I would make 3 sweaters from one pattern, but I guess I love my Shaloms. :-P