18 May 2009

a finished object!

Greetings from the unseasonably chilly wilds of Florida! Look what I just finished today...

Yes! It is a lace shawl. It is HUGE. Many more details are on Ravelry for those who are interested.

I feel SUCH a sense of accomplishment about this - it only took about 3 months, instead of the THREE YEARS it took for my previous Lacey Lamb extravaganza (it was a full circle, though). It comes at just the right time, too - after a week or two of near-crisis at my new job, I'm settling down, ramping back to 4 days per week, and feeling rejuvenated overall. This shawl is somehow a metaphor for the last three months of newness and adjustment. Hooray!

What's everyone else been up to?

01 April 2009

Midi Sweater!

Originally uploaded by alaynefreidel
Here ya go, Max Darling! Many many thanks to Elizabeth Zimmermann for inspiration and to Sean for the picture.

GAUGE: 5 to 1"

You can start straight into garter stitch with the contrasting color (CC), in which case do two ridges of garter stitch and then two rows stockinette CC. OR -

- Using provisional CO, CO 210 stitches in CC, join (at the end of the sweater you can pick up and knit down from this to the desired length)
- K 2 rows total (including CO row) in CC
- Switch to main color (MC) and k 3 rows
- K 2 rows CC, place markers one stitch after join point and at 106 stitches
- Switch to MC and K for 20 stitches, PM and start lace pattern:
1. K1, YO, K1, sl1, K1, PSSO, K5, K2tog, K1, YO, K1
2. All even rows knit
3. K2, YO, K1, sl1, K1, PSSO, K3, K2tog, K1, YO, K2
5. K3, YO, K1, sl1, K1, PSSO, K1, K2tog, K1, YO, K3
7. K4, YO, K1, sl1, K2tog, PSSO, K1, YO, K4
- Maintain lace pattern throughout body of the sweater
- K to desired length for waist shaping (for me, ~ 9")
- On either side of side markers, decrease (4 stitches decreased)
- K for 1" rows
- Repeat decrease round
- K for 2"
- On either side of side markers, increase one stitch (4 stitches increased)
- K for 1"
- Repeat increase round (garment is ~ 13" long now)
- Continue to desired length ( Mine is 16" long, and I did some short row bust shaping)
- Place body on holders or yarn
- CO 50 stitches in CC for sleeve (MAKE 2), join
- K 2 ridges of garter stitch in CC
- K 2 rows plain stockinette in CC
- Switch to MC and K 3 rows
- Switch to CC and K 2 rows
- Switch to MC and K 3 rows
- Switch to CC and K 2rows
- Continue in MC, increasing approx every 4 rows till 66 stitches (I increased on the top of the sleeve, instead of underarm, for a bit of interest)
- Continue plain till desired length (mine are ~11")

- Join sleeves to body on long needle, leaving 10 stitches for underarm on each sleeve and at appropriate points on body on holders
- K, maintaining lace pattern, for approx half and inch, marking the 4 points where the front and back of sleeves join the body
- Kitchener underarms ( I do it now instead of at the end because it puts less stress on the underarm and it doesn't get all stretched out)
- Decreasing on either side of each point (8 stitches decreased each decrease round) every 3 rows, K until 33 stitches remain at sleeve (half of the number you started with)
- Knit across one sleeve's 33 stitches, joining up to front and back with ssk and p2tog, as appropriate, until saddle is ~ 5 inches.
- K around to the other sleeve and repeat
- Join all stitches on one needle and K 3 rows garter stitch, then bind off!
- Sew in ends.

25 December 2008

Happy Holidays!

Happy holidays! I love love love the Melanie Falick book Handknit Holidays. I look through it kind of a lot--I just love the photography, the patterns, the styling. Oddly, though, I don't know if I'd knit a single thing from the book until this year. As you know I've been trying to do a lot of stash busting this year, so this pom pom garland was a great stash buster to knit up during one of the many snow storms last week. It's hard to photograph, but hopefully you can see it. It's basically just several i-cords braided with a few pom poms. It's really sweet, though. Anyway, I hope everyone has a lovely holiday and may 2009 bring us all much health, love, happiness and knitting!

Stripey Stripe

After a fit of frustration over my colossal gauge issues with the Sideways Grande Cloche from Boutique Knits I picked up this super easy Noro stripey scarf. Nothing special, nothing challenging--but, that's sort of what I needed during the crazy hectic December anyway. I think it'll end up being a Christmas gift for my brother.

I've since re-started that cloche and had to go down 4 needle sizes! It's bananas, but I've noticed that on Ravelry lots of people have had the same issue. It's strange because I've actually gotten a lot closer to knitting normally, and to gauge in the last few years, but with not that pattern. I'm hoping to be able to finish it before we leave for Switzerland. I always like to travel with super simple, interruptable projects. Though, the big Woolcott sale is coming up--I might have to treat myself to some wooly treats.

22 December 2008

Noro Sweater

Well, I knit at least one big, adult project this year. My mom was at a party in October and commented on her friend's sweater. The friend informed her that it was a handknit sweater and my mom promptly emailed me the pattern with a note that said something like, "Maybe for my birthday or Christmas?" Since I'm always wanting to knit for everyone (but trying to be mindful that not everyone loves a handknit garment or item), I was thrilled to get the request.

The yarn (Noro Silk Garden 217A) looks really lovely. Unlike my disastrous shawl, this Noro is really beautiful--dark, moody with pops of color.

The sweater really doesn't look like much on the hanger, but the yarn is lovely and hopefully my mom will enjoy it. The constant snow storms have made for poor lighting for photos, so these aren't great. I'll take a better photo of her in it--let's hope it doesn't look quite so boxy!

14 December 2008

Cowl Crazy

Who would've thought that my cowl mania would've rubbed off on Scott, but it did! Upon request I knit up a cycling cowl for him to wear on his daily commute. It was a simple, improvised pattern.
Cast on 100, did 1" of 2X2 ribbing on either side and knit about 15" or so. Scott wore it yesterday during a sunny, but cold cold day and said that it worked well. Now there are two cowl maniacs in our house!

08 December 2008

Not knitting, but tasty nonetheless

This is totally unrelated to knitting, but I thought I'd post since well, it's the holidays after all. I took a buche de noel class at the Cambridge Culinary Institute.

When I was growing up, holidays were a truly international affair. My mom's Spanish, Dad's German, had Swedish au pairs, French friends. . . so we adopted many different holiday traditions including the buche de noel (aka yule log). Of course, I can't recall that anyone in my household actually undertook the elaborate cake (and trust me, it is elaborate), but we almost always had one.

It's a multi-part undertaking:
-genoise cake
-chocolate butter cream filling and icing
-meringue mushrooms
-marzipan moss, leaves, berries
-chocolate plants and fences

Whew! Anyway, this was partly the reason I decided to take the class. This way I'd have someone to walk through all the components. The class was SO much fun, taught by a very charistmatic Frenchman. He kept saying, "Now zeez ees a sexy butter cream!"

It was a 4 hour plus class and we went so fast. I suspect that if I ever made it by myself it would take about 8 hours to complete. A long time and lots of effort for a fleeting cake. . . but I sort of love projects like that. Ephemeral and lovely.