Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I think this ALSO needs to go in the queue:

Found at Knitting Escapism, pattern here.

I just love it. The simplest patterns always seem to produce the most beautiful results. I think that's why I'm always drawn to the boring old stockinette patterns. They're dull to knit, but infinitely wearable.

And I had already mentionned this to miss Crimson Purl, but has everyone seen the new Fairisle Old Navy commercials they've been inundating us with lately? Now, I'm not a fan of fairisle to begin with, but Old Navy's version? blech, and more blech. I just feel like they've watered down the new knit-wear "craze" going on in the fashion world right now to the point of uber-bland.

See you on the sale rack.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

cute! cute! cute!

Some CAH-YUTE new Phildar patterns!

I really like this next one, though it's kind of a bad photo (for some reason they sent the promo out with a much cuter shot of it that is sadly nowhere to be found on their website). That big neck/hood thing detaches altogether (I'd likely not even bother with it...). And I am SUCH a sucker for pom-poms! (Making them not so much, though my mom is good at them and I could likely enlist her to do them for me...muwahahah)

And more!

If they weren't so darn expensive to ship to Canada I'd be buying these catalogues a lot more (fortunately they often have sales on them...) but I've also just discovered that one of my LYS gets them in, so I may need to make a special trip. Mind you I have seriously been RESISTING going in there due to my famous lack of self control.

I may have to splurge out. Though flight tickets to both NYC and California are presently burnng a whole in my credit card. Must. resist.

In far thriftier news, but no less cute...these vintage Mary Maxim knitting needles I picked up over the weekend had packaging that was far to awesome to resist. And at 2 bucks, well who could really pass them up? You can see those here.

Did y'all know it was International talk like a pirate day?
arrrrrrrr. I should have held off posting that Sailor sweater of mine.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Mr. Balthazaar

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pattern: Balthazar vest from Twinkle's big city knits
yarn: Patons Shetland Chunky in "wine"
needles: U.S sized 17 & 19

Is it wrong to love an acrylic/wool blend yarn so much? maybeeeeee.

This was my second attempt at a Twinkle knit (the first being the Aspen Hat.

I don't really know what to say about her patterns that you likely haven't already read somewhere on the internet. They are definitely sized small. I did this one in the large and it actually fits really well. I do think it looks like crap on me though, particularly in the bazoom region. A bulky knit on me, maybe not the best idea, but I do like it. I particularly love the colour of this yarn, I don't think these photos do the richness of it justice. Her pattern instructions were terrible --incredibly vague, and I'm not a confident enough knitter to just be "assuming" things all over the place. Still I am now sufficiently interested to try out other patterns in the book, particularly since this vest only went up in a few days and there was very little finishing involved.

So, next up may be the skating sweater (if for no other reason than all those years of figure skating under my belt-hah!):

Though again, no boobs on that model AT ALL now is there? Much like high fashion there are so many things I love and hate about this book. There's great style here, but it's made for skinny, rich people which is endlessly frustrating and sadly, a fact of life.

Ok, so before the pessimist in me rears it's ugly head again, here's another photo:

I'm on a serious sugar high right now from all the cupcakes I've been baking...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

how adorable are these?!!!

I found the link to this Vegan Yum Yum site via one of my usual blog haunts, Design Sponge, and thought maybe the 5 knitters who actually read my blog would appreciate drooling over them too!

They were also made with what may well be my favourite substance in the world...Marzipan.

These are just too adorable.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love to make cupcakes as well, and am actually slated to make a few for a work "thing" on tuesday. The theme we've come up with is "Country Fair" and I'm in charge of 1) cupcakes that look like soft serve ice cream cones 2) operating the cotton candy machine and 3) old-timey country music (Dickel brothers and Carter family I will be burning you tonight!).

Now I just need to find me some overalls and cowboy boots...


After the success of the drops jacket 103-1 (honestly, can they not name these things?), I am now ALL. ABOUT. the chunky knits. I had enough yarn leftover so I cast on for the Aspen hat from Twinkle's big city knits:

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I had originally abandoned that book altogether due to all the controversy over it about sizing (size large -28 inch bust whaaa?) but then was informed that *some* of those measurements were actually from the garment laid out flat. hmmm, so a 56 inch bust for a size large? That didn't seem right. She's got a bit at the front of the book about sizing that states her large bust as 36. Ok, slightly more reasonable I guess, tho still a stretch for MY girls... Anyway, given those instructions, why is there still such a discrepancy between all the patterns?

Nevertheless I clued in that maybe it wasn't as model-body specific as I'd originally thought. So I went hunting for her yarn. And surprise, surprise, it is incredibly expensive. Not to mention the colours I was looking for for the shopping tunic being completely unavailable. So at that point I really did abandon that book in frustration altogether. And speaking of which I notice she's got a new book slated to drop soon:

I am always so jealous of those girls who get to do the smallest size of ANY pattern. Man, that would cut my knitting time in half! So when this last sweater went up in about four days it was like the heaven's opened up and I pulled out Twinkle once again and cast on for the aspen hat for a bit of a Twinkle "trial run". (Two strands of that Shetland Chunky held together got me perfect gauge for anything requiring "twinkle soft chunky.").

Looks cute in a photo, right? (the Ponch-man is thrilled to be posing with me...)

Right, well, not so much up close:

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I seriously do not know how it came to pass that I was doing my decreases on the right side. And because it's such a chunky knit they are GLARINGLY obvious. Some of her pattern instructions are vague at.best.

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I should have realized this before also casting on for the balthazar vest:

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(howz that for some giant honkin' stitch markers?)

When I started knitting the vest I thought, hmmm, this doesn't look like it will fit over my HEAD let alone my hips, but I pressed on (the vest is done now-- photos to come...).

I think the hat would have come out really cute if I'd actually managed to do the decreases on the correct side. I quickly basted on a button just for the sake of those photos, but I actually plan to frog the whole thing. If there had been more work involved in it I might be more upset about it, but it seriously took less that and hour to knit. Dare I say even half an hour to 45 minutes---so for now I'm just considering it one big swatch. I think I will knit again again and throw it on the "fast-gifts-knit-pile", but this time I might actually be able to figure out the instructions.

The Phildar vest is also on the sticks now too (what is up with all the grey I'm doing?!) and after doing all this chunky stuff now feels agonizingly slow.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

droppin' the drops!

needles: 8mm bamboo
pattern: Garnstudio Drops 103-1
yarn: Patons Shetland Chunky in Oxford Grey

This took FOUR DAYS to knit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and the yarn cost me about $35 dollars! So based on that alone, this one's a winner. I did it on the cheap with an acrylic/wool blend, and I'm actually really happy with how it looks and feels, but if you wanted to pony up with some nicer yarn, who could blame you?

woot woot!

So anyway, I'm not sure what else to say other than "up with chunky knits!" This pattern has actually resulted in me picking up Twinkle's Big City Knits again and starting a couple things in there. I had previously put it aside in anger-- but more on that later.

In retrospect I really should have done a smaller size in this jacket. I did it in what I guess is the large (the third size I think?), but it's actually too big (and yes I got gauge...). The three-quarter sleeves on me are actually more like full length (actually a perfect length on my short arms so I can't totally complain...) and rather than "swingy" (and much like my OTHER swing jacket), more "box" than swing. So I blocked it out in an effort to narrow it and make it a bit longer. Now I think it seriously is almost a foot longer, which kinda makes it more of a coat for me now than anything else. No matter--I love it!

The pattern had a couple of weirdo hiccups as well, likely due to the translations. It drives me crazy when patterns are vague. Like when something says "cast on 52 stitches (incl. 2 edge stitches) do they mean that already includes the edge stitches, or that I should include them? The abbreviation page sited "incl." as both "include" and "including". Annoying. I basically included them in one spot and then not in the other. In the end it didn't matter much.

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(I need to get a tripod)

I did agonize a leeeeetle over the buttons. I seriously have a fear of buttons. Much like bangs it can really change the way EVERYTHING looks, so I have this fear of going too "dramatic" with the buttons (I am a plain jane after all...), so in the end I went with the least obtrusive I could find:

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though these were a serious contender:

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but again, too flash for me. Pathetic isn't it? When did I become such a wallflower? (likely when I started knitting -hah!)

Want another photo?

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AND as of yesterday I am officially on Raverly (and killing much time loadin' in the projects!). Expect to be stalked/friended/harassed by me soon...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

what to do, what to do?

Well now that the sailor sweater is done, I'm finding myself in the happy position of deciding which projects to pick up next.

It's kind of a first in a way...usually there a couple items that I'm desperate to do, so I rush through what I'm working on to get to the next thing. Now, not so much, though there's no shortage of ideas out there.

That photo's from the weekend, and I've actually already begun seaming that sweater ---up with chunky yarn and 8mm needles -woot! I really thought that thing would take me a lot longer, so as it draws to a close, here's what I'm pondering:

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In keeping with the sailor theme: Hat Party Two, electric boogaloo! (did I mention I love hats? Yes, yes I did. Only a thousand times.) As well as the Odessa hat which I've seen all over the internet. Not sure how this whole "beading" thing's gonna work out, but at least it's something new for me to try.

Also next:

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(The vest on the left). I'm hoping to get gauge for it with some yarn from the stash. My new rule is *absolutely NO new yarn. Unless it is for a specific project READY to be started. I get way too sucked into the odd hank or skein because it's beautiful, but too expensive to buy more than one of. As a result I have all these (essentially useless) skeins of yarn. And I'm not a sock knitter, so why do I even bother with that stuff?

On the sticks? Well I still need to finish the angora mittens. I think I should just bite the bullet an DO IT this weekend. Also sort of on the sticks, this heinous lace-weight mess:

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I've got this ball of Lacey Lamb that I've had no idea what to do with. I think I bought it originally beacuse it felt so much like cashmere, but it literally is like trying to knit with a spool of thread. I figured there was no way that I'd ever actually do anything lacy with it, but then I got inspired by this Verona Shawl:

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So I thought maybe I'd try my hand at something similar just to use up all that lace weight. I figure it's just rows and rows of stockinette, so might be a good one to keep at work. Though knitting up that chunky sweater might have actually soured me towards doing anything that delicate right now.

Apart from that I do have a couple of other smaller ideas of the glove variety and MORE cowls. I got a lot of use out of those two I knit this past winter, so I think there will be at least two more of those in my future.

Hope everyone's enjoying the tail end of summer...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Phildar F.O

yarn: Patons Classic in Navy (100% wool)
needles: 4mm bamboo straights
pattern: Phildar Tendences Automne 06/07 (sweater # 456-T6-206)
Vintage bakelite peacoat buttons bought on ebay

The sailor sweater is done, and this one's a winner! I was even pretty proud of my seaming in the end, by the last bit I was starting to get the hang of it. (We'll see how that applies to the Drops sweater mind you...).

It's been done for a little while now and I was waiting on the hubby to snap some photos of me in it, but then as usual I finally just grew totally impatient so you get the usual boobs-up self shots. Sorry.

Well that gives you some idea of it on at any rate. As with most things I knit, it looks better on the hanger anyway!

The two things I'd change if I had to knit it again? The collar. It looks a lot longer on the model, though I'm not sure if that's down to how I've sewn it together or not. It was in two pieces, split at the back neck and I sewed them together cuz I didn't like it floppin' all over the place. It says nothing in the instructions about this, and it's impossible to tell from the photo whether or not they did in fact do this either. The other thing I'd change was my blocking. I think I blocked the sleeves a little wide so they are floppier than I'd like.

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Apart from that I'm quite happy with it. The BF commented that the last three sweaters in a row I've worked on have been 3/4 sleeves. Not sure why that is, I'm not even that much of a fan of shorter sleeves. Maybe I'm just assuming they'll be regular length on me since I'm so short? I dunno. Faster knitting gratification I guess.

In the end it took me exactly five balls of wool. Here's how much I had left:

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Scraps! I can't believe it --I thought for sure I'd have to buy another ball just for seaming.

I think I'm definitely jazzed to try some more Phildar patterns now though (although endless stockinette on 4mm needles maybe not so much...). Once you get past a couple of the wonky translations, they're actually very instructional. Some would say over-instructional, but as far as I'm concerned there can never be too much detail! Particularly as I work on this Drops jacket and have to "guess" at a lot of what they mean, I am beginning to appreciate Phildar even more! The drops jacket is going up FAST...it's nice to do a chunky knit for once.

Anyway, more to come!

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