Thursday, January 31, 2008

Basic Blue

Here's my lastest FO. The pattern is Basic Black by Glenna C. I used Jo Sharp Classic DK Merino and size 4 & 6 US needles. The pattern calls for 3/4 length sleeves, but I preferred full length, so I started with a 46 stitch cast on and increased every 6 rows until I reached 76 stitches then followed the pattern. I made a couple of other modifications as well. I lengthened the torso slightly by adding 6 rows of stockinette after the 4 inches of 2x2 ribbing and I knitted 7 rows of 2x2 for the button band rather than the 5 called for in the pattern.

I blocked each piece before sewing together. It's just easier for me that way:

Here's how it looks on:

I wanted to show you the buttons, too, because I think they're so cute:

I have to say I truly enjoyed everything about this pattern. It is extremely well written and clear. The shaping in the waist is subtle but makes this sweater so much nicer than a baggy granny cardi. The yarn is slightly itchy next to bare skin, but I'm hoping it will soften up with one more blocking.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Snowy Day and New Fair Isle

Something highly unusual happened this morning in south Mississippi: it snowed! Rarely do we get such a treat. The last time I can remember it snowing here was when #1 was a year and a half, so that was around 6 and a half years ago. The boys were so excited this morning. I warned them it wouldn't last long, so they suited up and ran around in the slush for a while.

I decided it was the perfect photo op to show #1's new fair isle:

Here he is wearing my boots. His are worn out. I wanted you to see how the sweater fits overall. The sleeves aren't uneven. #1 could only find 1 glove, so he's tucking his hand up inside the sweater. All in all it turned out pretty well.

We had very little accumulation, but here's what my street looked like at the height of the "snowstorm".

My camelia japonicas weren't too bothered by the weather, but they're just now starting to bloom, so time will tell:

I've been working on my Basic Blue and sorting through all that felt I made last fall. I'll post about both of those next time.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Happy New Year

I hope everyone made it through the holidays well and happy. I certainly did. This was the first time in a long time that I didn't exhaust myself, feel grinchy or have some sort of anxiety fit. I owe it all to my lack of a thyroid, really. Those things screw with you when they don't work properly.

I baked, bought, wrapped, decorated, ate, drank and generally had a good time, with no real ill effects. We had our annual New Year's Day Lucky Lunch with black eyed peas, rice, cornbread, greens and of course dessert

Orange Almond Cake with Chocolate Glaze:

The kids had to go back to school on the 2nd, so I've had a little vacation here for a week or so, without them. I've been knitting and planning projects and thinking about going back to work. That starts up next Monday, and I'm prepared so, not much to worry about there.

As for knitting, I've made 3 hats out of some red and blue Lorna's Laces worsted or heavier. I lost the band, so I'm not sure of the weight. It's heavier than worsted, but not seriously bulky or chunky. It's my first time using this weight of LL and I love the yarn. Hate the color, but love the yarn. The boys picked out the color, and the hats are for them, so who am I to complain? (Sandra, #2 is not yet betrothed, so I say we get to planning a wedding).

I finished another fair isle using the Cascade Ecological. This time for #1. This is terrific yarn. I've got enough to make one more kiddie sweater and maybe a couple of hats. Here's a pic of the yoke. It's still blocking and I won't make #1 wear it till it's dry.

I picked up my Basic Blue again. I finished the back and the left front well before Christmas, and got sidetracked with the fair isle sweaters, so it's been sitting around waiting. It's weird to knit with finer yarn when you've been working with bulky for a while. I'm in no hurry with this sweater, so it's kind of relaxing to be able to pick it up whenever I feel like it.

I'm still in stash busting mode. I've got some ideas for using single skeins and scraps. I bought enough laceweight from Knit PIcks last fall to get me through the summer at least, but I doubt I'll resist buying more yarn, here and there.