Friday, August 29, 2008

Cafe du Monde gloves

So a long time ago, just as I was starting to learn how to knit, I saw the Breakfast at Cafe du Monde Gloves (Ravelry link). I was scared of them, thinking they were above my skill level, but I loved them. Earlier this year I discovered Punta del Este Mericash at Seaport Yarns during my trip to NYC for the Yarn Harlot's big event. I loved the yarn, loved the yarn store, and loved the gloves and figured making them would be one big love orgy, only this kind I could look at in front of my father and would be rated G. And sure enough it was. Okay, maybe once I decided the entire first glove I knit was too small, a couple of mild expletives made it rated PG-13, but for the most part, pretty clean love.

So I present the Breakfast at Cafe du Monde Gloves.
Specs: Needles: Size 1 and Size 3
Yarn: Punta del Este Mericash Fingering (merino, cashmere)

I had intended to wear them throughout the summer at my office because it can get quite cook with the a/c, but I never did. And I don't know how I feel about that ribbon. The organza was the only thing I had around. If I find something thinner and less slippery (leather strips), I might use that instead.

Did I mention that I love this yarn? The yardage is amazing. It's 50 grams, 263 yards. You might think that it would be really thin given that, but it is so lofty that it still works up like a regular fingering weight. This means that even after completing almost one whole glove (minus 2 fingers and a thumb) and deciding it was too small, I was able to do 2 complete other gloves from the remaining yarn. The pattern specs, on the other hand, call for 2 50 gram balls. With 2 50 gram balls of this yarn, I could make at least 5 complete gloves.

Anyway, they're ready for fall and I'll be anxious for the "where did you get those?!"

Saturday, July 05, 2008

More Fitted (or not) Knits

Well, I've had my first real knitting disappointment. Perhaps you remember the split neckline tee that I also did from the Fitted Knits book in that lovely Cotton Frappe. There was the peek-a-boo bra problem, but I knew that was a necessary part of the design. I still really liked it and thought I'd do another from the book, the Textured Tunic with side buttons. This was the cover design.

Now there was a lot of talk on how this design was not really fitted. That's very true. The body is just a rectangle. There was also a lot of talk on Ravelry on how the sleeves were separated from the body too early in this top-down raglan design. So I figured I could still make it and fix those things. I had bought this wonderful yarn on sale from Webs, RYC Soft Tweed in gray. Well, long story short, I tried and failed. I thought I would increase more slowly so that the diagonal measurement for the sleeve was longer than what was speciified in the pattern. It still ended up a bit too short, especially compared to the body, which I did add some shaping too but which still ended up too baggy. I hate this sweater, which is a shame because the yarn is really really nice. I think it's been discontinued but if you see some around I'd advise getting it. In my opinion it's nicer against the skin than Malabrigo. I think because it's already kinda felted sorta that any little hair that would have caused irritation have been smoothed down into the yarn. It's a totally smooth wool to wear against the skin. Wasted!

Now you might not think it's so bad from this angle:

And you might think "cute button". I had a great time choosing these buttons on a trip to San Francisco at a button store called Britex. They were not that cheap. Wasted!

But when you see it from this angle, you know exactly what I'm talking about:

As you see, this is the most ill-fitting garment I have made. Well, I guess everything can't be perfect.

Despite this disaster, I made yet another item from the book afterwards, the Two Tone Shrug. This time I used Classic Elite Four Seasons, a 70% cotton 30% wool blend that I also got on sale from Webs (screams "I love you, Webs!", *throws panties onto stage*). Despite the fact that I misjudged the color of the spotted yarn, thinking it the spots were black from the picture on my monitor as opposed to navy blue as I discovered once they were delivered, I love this knit. It's a tiny bit too big because it's based on the measurement across the back and I didn't know that and couldn't measure it myself so I did the second smallest size. I think the smallest would have been fine. Still, it fits well and is very functional. And the increases for the ribbing are really well-designed.

You can see from the back that it's a little too big.

I like this yarn, too, and may knit with it again some day.

Oh, one more thing. Since my last post, my birthday passed. I am now officially in the 30's club. I put on my Anthropologie dress,

and my necklace and earrings I got in South Africa

and made my 30th birthday the day of the most compliments and flirtation in my life. But due to my terrible social skills, I still find myself 30 and alone. Which is incredibly sad and disheartening. At this point I feel like to be alone is just a basic part of my life, of what it is to be me. So please forgive me if, these days, I am not as chipper in my posts as I managed to be before. It's getting a little harder.

'til next time, y'all.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Ran out of Excuses?

Well, I'm sure you all know by now that Magknits has vanished. I saw it all happen on Ravelry, what a train wreck. That means Excuses has no home for the moment. You can still get it, I've still decided to offer it for free, but for now it's only on Ravelry. If you aren't on Ravelry, you must be on a deserted island in a heroine-induced haze (and on that good stuff) with whatever licit moments you have occupied by your own troop of the world's most talented belly dancers and entertained by your own love slave. Which is to say, if you aren't on Ravelry, where have you been? And can I visit you and will you share? So run off to Ravelry and find the pattern Excuses and download it for free. I may end up putting it somewhere else, too, but right now you now you can get it there.

A quick remider:

Okay, I'll be back with a real post about current knitting projects, but this needed its own.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Beautiful Things, Part 2

Wow, I can't believe it's been so long since I've updated this blog! What happened? I got real busy with school and work and my other hobby (hair. yes, I said "hair") and time just kept passing. But I'm back as promised to show the other beautiful things.

Friendship is beautiful

Remember those flip-top mittens I made? I sent them off to a friend and she got them and sent me back pictures. I haven't seen her in person for a few years now. :(

Life is Beautiful

My bunny sitters' rabbit died over Christmas break while they still were watching my bunny. They are such sweet people. They watch several people's rabbits and volunteer at the shelter but only had two of their own, a bonded pair, Carl and Ginger. Ginger was an abandoned bunny they found outside. So to remember her by I knit a small likeness of Ginger using this pattern. Well, it was ginger-colored.

And so concludes our short series on beautiful things.

Back at the ranch, I've been working on a knock-off of the sleeveless cowl in the S. Charles Collezione Winter 2007 magazine. I'm almost done with the bottom, which I knit flat in garter. I think the top is knit separately. I'm just not sure about that cowl

What do you guys think? I'm not sure how to do it, and I don't want to pay $16.50 + shipping to find out. I guess I'll figure it out. Must be some other cowl patterns out there that could help me out. But hey, look at my fortuitously gorgeous color combo:

This is the RYC SoftLux you've been seeing on sale everywhere. I guess that means they're discontinuing it. Which is both happy and sad because I get a great deal but that means it won't be around for much longer. I haven't washed it yet, but I really like this yarn. Soft and pretty. Obviously you shouldn't use it for something that you want definition in, but it's great for this project. I originally got the green back last year in April or so when I visited Webs on deep discount. Then I got the camel and white when Ram Wools had their sale for super super cheap. Then I remembered I wanted to make this top and asked a friend for a recommendation for a fourth color and together we decided on purple. I love combo, something I would have never thought up myself but that looks very sophisticated.

Well, that's all for now. Hopefully it won't be so long until the next update. 'til next time, Folks.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Beautiful Things, Part 1

I feel like recently I've been surrounded by beautiful things. So many, in fact, that when I tried to write this post I realized it was going to become too long trying to show them all to you at once, so I am spreading them out in two posts. Next one to come in a few days. But for now,

Yarn is Beautiful

First, I discovered the world's most beautiful yarn.

Did you see that? No, I don't think you saw it. Let me try again.

Yeah, that's it. Gorgeous, right? This is from Tempted Yarns. She sells at The Loopy Ewe and also on Etsy. This is the Thigh Highs colorway. I hardly ever see this type of dying, and it surely is the only thing I have in my stash that looks like this.

Socks are Beautiful

Then I finally, after elevnty billion years, finished my pair of Jaywalkers. I wouldn't say I had Second Sock Syndrome per se, I just took a really long break. I always intended to finish and didn't cast on another pair of socks (except for the ones for my stepfather for xmas) in the meantime because I knew I was coming back. The yarn was gorgeous and the pattern was perfect for it.

Did you see it? Missed that one, too? Okay, let me show y'all how taking a picture of socks while they're on your feet is really done.

Mmmhmm. This I got from The Loopy Ewe many months ago in their signature colorway Loopy Blues, made for them by the indie dyer Yarn Pirate. It's a wool/tencel blend and has great luster. Especially before you wash it. Man, I washed that first sock and it bled soooooo much. I think I used regular laundry detergent like tide. So the second sock I just washed with diluted conditioner and it came out soft and didn't bleed so much. I'm sure you can see the difference in the photos.

Hand Crafting is Beautiful

Last for this post, I received as a Christmas gift a knit tote I had been wanting for a long time. Since early last year. Check this out:

What? You blinked, you say? Okay, just one more time:

Yes, the ribbon is pink in the first shot and blue in the second. I got it from her Etsy shop and it was posted with the blue ribbon. But I really wanted a pink and told the designer so. She knew who I was because I had already contacted her months ago about how beautiful her purses were and from a failed attempt by a friend to get one. So I guess after all that effort she decided to throw in a pink and brown ribbon, which I really appreciated.

Now let me speak to the price of her bags. I posted on Knitting Help when I first found these purses about how gorgeous they were. Everyone agreed, but some thought her prices were a bit too high. That you could buy some wool on sale and knit it yourself. Yeah, okay. Have I ever seen anyone's hand knit bags look this good? NO! Do a search yourself on Etsy and see what else you get for "knit bag/tote/purse" and compare. I don't want to diminish the value of anyone's work, but can we stop BSing and be real for like 5 seconds? Every piece of work is not made with equal skill. I have seen scores of knitters' hand-knit bags and none of them look this good. I gave it a try a couple of times myself. If you can't sew well, you have no hope of doing anything like this anyway. Did you see the inside of that bag? Now, I have to listen to knitters and crocheters complain about how people don't appreciate their hand knit gifts (why people think someone should care as much about our hobby and fall over fainting for some knit thing they never wanted in the first place is a rant of mine for another time). But when someone invests the time to knit and sew something like her knit totes and sells it for under $100 and the same people complain, I start rolling my eyes. If you can't afford it, you can't afford it and I couldn't either for a long while and that's why it ended up being a Christmas present. But don't say they are overpriced. Her bags are a steal at that price. *end rant*

On Beautiful overload? Take a rest, have a cool drink. When you're up for more, I'll be back with the rest.