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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Off to a great start

Photo copyright: Cascade Yarns
The Quilt and Cable blanket is off to a great start on Ravelry!  After 24 hours, it's been faved 250 times, it's in 76 ques, and it was downloaded 87 times today.  That's saying something, lol.  I felt pretty good about this project and it looks like some other people do too.  I can't wait to start seeing the projects popping up on Ravelry, and seeing how other people interpret the pattern (different colors, different yarns, smaller sizes, etc). 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I've been happily knitting along on my Owls pullover.  I just finished the body and set it aside to start on the sleeves.  Right now it looks like it'll fit Alex, but the Eco wool grows a good amount after blocking so I know it will fit perfectly once it hits the bath and gets a good stretching.  I've wanted to knit this sweater for a long, long time and I've wanted an Eco Wool sweater for my own ever since I knit The Request for a friend's husband.  This is killing two birds with one stone, as they say.  Oh, and in case that wasn't enough, I've started knitting other designs again.

I've got the yarn from Cascade all wound and sitting in it's own special plastic zipper bag, ready to become what ever it is that I end up making with it.  I think I know what I want it to be, but once I start knitting...sometimes things don't end up like I thought they would at the start.  Take the chemo cap I knit for my mom's friend.  I thought about some simple fair isle inspired by a favorite pullover vest, but once I started the diamond section, I really liked how that looked so I just kept repeating it, striping the colors like a rainbow as I went.  When I was finished, I wasn't sure about the final result and I was ready to write it off as a dud, but everyone who saw it today loved it and insisted that I write up the pattern.  So, I'll be making a few adjustments so it can be worn as a beanie or a slouchy hat, and the pattern will be available shortly.  I also got some sample balls from the shop to work on a helmet liner style baby bonnet in four different gauges.  I think that I was able to figure out the porportions, which will allow me to easily scale the pattern up to a larger size.  I tried this pattern once before, based on an actual helmet liner that a customer brought into the shop, but the yarns were so different that even though we knit exactly the same number of stitches and rows...the fit was way off.  That was a year ago and things seem to have clicked because now I know what was wrong and how to fix it.  I'll be working on one in the smallest size, and when the new fall yarns come in, we'll knit up some of the others. 

Well, I guess my small period of not knowing what to knit next is over :)  Looks like I'm going to be busy for a little while.

Friday, June 24, 2011

I'm published!

This right here?...this little screen shot you see here on the left?...this is my blanket, on a model, on a pattern, on Cascade Yarn's official website!  I'm officially published and this baby is live, and available for free download.  You can get it right there on Cascades free patterns page under "Eco Wool", and I've created a pattern page on Ravelry as well. 

Let me just say, I've gotten some fantastic news today.  First, I came home from class to find a bag of sample yarns from Cascade sitting at my door, and I opened it to find a skein of Covington, Jewel, and Lana Bambu.  I know exactly what I'm going to do with these too.  Then, I checked my email and saw that they loved the pattern that I sent to them (the one that was rejected by another publisher) and they're sending me the yarn to knit that one up...so I'll have two patterns with Cascade in a matter of weeks.  Lastly, I checked their website to look at the colors for this upcoming pattern, and that's when I found that my blanket was published.  The photos are stunning!  And it's totally surreal to see a model wearing a blanket that lived in my apartment for months.  The blanket in the photos was knit by me.  Ever single last stitch.  And I blocked it out on my very own bed.  So, if you were interested in this pattern, it's now available and you should go download it.  After all...it's free!

Oh, and one more thing.  Assuming I pass the background check, I'll be teaching some knitting classes at Jo-Ann's fabrics in North Attleboro, in addition to those that I already teach at Bella Yarns.  These are all good things, because I'll have two kids starting school in the fall instead of one...which means twice the back-to-school shopping. 

Now, I'm off to knit a chemo-cap for my mom's friend.  There might be a pattern from it, if I like how it comes out.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Almost done!

This certainly isn't my best photo ever, but it will have to do for now.  We haven't found our camera's battery charger since we moved and the battery is dead...so I took advantage of the webcam and photo booth setting on the iMac. 

This is my completed Noro Silk Garden Sock pullover.  I went back and removed the original collar, and reknit it with natural instead of the color because I didn't care as much if the natural matched exactly, and I knew that I wasn't going to be able to match up the cuffs exactly with the other colorway.  This step actually opened up the neckline a little bit for me and it's a more flattering fit.  I used just under two skeins of the natural (although I think I'll need to go into the third when I steek this and knit button bands), and 1.5 skeins of the rainbow.  I went for 3/4 sleeves, and 3 inch ribbing on the bottom.  From the armholes to the ribbing measures about 18 inches, and I knit the sleeves for 9 inches from the point where I picked them back up to knit. 

I found the most perfect red buttons for this sweater.  They bring out the red stripe perfectly.  After I finish my papers, I'll start working on the crocheted steek (courtesy of Eunny Jang's tutorial) and I'll make button bands.  I like the sweater (and I'm wearing it right now) but I know I'll get more use out of it if I can wear it as a cardigan.  I love this sweater so far, and I'm looking forward to finishing it and wearing it all through the summer and fall.  And, as an added bonus, I have an idea for what to do with the two extra skeins from this project, which is inspired by my outfit disaster from yesterday.  I have a really cute skirt that can be worn as a summer dress with a tube top, but I can't wear it without some type of little cardigan or shrug to cover the bra straps.  The only one I have looks like its too small and the whole outfit looks bad.  I thought a cute little stripped Noro shrug might just be the answer I've been looking for.  So, once I finish the projects and get this steeked, I'll cast on for that shrug and see how it comes out.