Sunday, December 30, 2007

Cropped Sweater Jacket - FINALLY!

Oh my gosh, I am so so happy to be done with this. I have actually lost sleep over getting this thing done. It would have been finished a couple of weeks ago, but some last minute Christmas knitting slowed me down. Anyway, it's done and I am so happy with the results. This is the first time I have ever carried an idea through to completion and been so happy with what I came up with.

I won't lie, I used some help from Norah Gaughn's Tilted Duster. As a matter of fact, I used enough of her pattern that I feel like I would be violating copyright laws if I called it my own. The obvious mods are listed in a post below. The sleeves are the same.

I believe I have already posted the stats, but here they are again:

  • Yarn: Lion Brand Homespun, in Antique, approximately 4 balls.

  • Needles: US 8 (5 mm)
Please do excuse the crappy shots. I couldn't wait for a better opportunity to take some pics, so I settled for this morning in my bedroom.

Yay for being done. Yay for being empowered to dig out some more UFOs and get 'em done!

Friday, December 14, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like....

Christmas! I finally got off my ass and started my shopping. I came to a realization after pondering last year's "handmade holiday" frenzy that I wouldn't be trying to make gifts for everyone on my list this time. Sometimes it's just easier to spend money. Not to mention that knitting and painting and beadsmithing are all really hard to do with three kiddies to take care of.

Nevertheless, Christmas is already wearing me out. I keep telling myself, "just keep swimming, just keep swimming...."

However, I do have just a couple of projects to knock out and wrap before Christmas officially arrives.

I made Ysolda's Gretel, a fantastic knitted beret. I absolutely love the way it turned out. I don't really wear hats, but for this one, I'd make an exception. Here's a shot of her in progress:

I'm making a scarf to match and hopefully I'll have time to knock out another hat like this. It was so much fun to knit. In the essence of time and money, I just used some cheap acrylic I had in the stash. Lion Brand Vanna's Choice to be exact. I used just under one ball. Not bad - a $2.99 hat! It knit up pretty darn quick too. Really it was only about three nights of knitting until it was done.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thankful for beautiful fall weather!

Here in Mobile AL, we never really get to experience fall. We don't get the beautiful changing of the leaves and most of the season, we still get highs in the mid to upper seventies and even the eighties.

But today was quite an exception. Me and Ben went for a bike ride around our neighborhood and stopped to enjoy the "swamp".

Thank God for days like today. It was actually good to get out of the house and not get any knitting done!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Back to work....and still knitting

Ugh. After 5 weeks of maternity leave (the 1st of which I was still pregnant), I went back to work on Monday. I definitely wasn't ready for it, but then again I probably would never be really ready to go back. But, I'm not a stay at home mom, so therefore, I work. It's just the way it is. At least I get to bring Oliver with me. I can't complain about that! Not to mention it was sweet to go back on a short week - we got off for the week at noon Wednesday.

In knitting news, I have embarked on a bit of a sweater-ama. I have so much going on right now in the way of projects.

I'm really excited about this cropped sweater jacket:

It still needs sleeves (duh). It's my first "saw it, loved it, didn't want to pay 88 bucks for it" design (see pic in a post below). They say necessity is the mother of invention. True, true. Hopefully this invention will be the first of many successful attempts at such.

A few notes about this sweater:

  • I based my pattern very loosely on the Tilted Duster from IK Fall 2007. You can see that the shaping of the front is different and it's longer. I also picked up stitches along the bottom edge to pull it in toward the body.
  • I am using Lion Brand Homespun. Except for the color, I can't stand this yarn. I bought it super cheap and it's a pain to knit (typical 100% acrylic shit). Maybe I had such a hard time because I used small needles, but I wanted a thick fabric for the jacket. Anyway, I paid for it and I couldn't take it back so I used it. But I won't buy it again. It's a shame too because it comes in so many sweet colors, but never again.
  • When I finish the sleeves, they will be long, hitting below the wrist. I'm calling them extended sleeves.

I'm looking forward to this sweater fitting a little better when I lose my pregnancy fat and boobs. Who knew that I'd hate them when I finally got them!?

I'm also b r e e z i n g right through the Cherie Amour from Knitty.

Here she was as a tiny baby:

She has grown a lot since then! I'm working on the midsection now. I'm using Moda Dea Tweedle Dee. Ironic, because I used to hate it. I actually decided it wasn't too bad after finding another version of this sweater on Ravelry that had been knit with it.
Anyway, it's knitting up very nicely and I think it is a perfect yarn for this sweater. I will probably finish it tomorrow. yay! Talk about instant gratification. I love that.

I have also casted on for the Gallery Jacket:

Pattern by Cirilia Rose, whose blog is here:
I am knitting it in Lion Brand Wool Ease, cranberry. I know, more cheap acrylic shit. But I loved the color, especially for this jacket. I'll post a pic when it takes some shape.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Brea: Done!

After literally months of this UFO looming over my head.....Brea is finally finished! I am so excited to finally hand this baby over to her new mommy. I made this for my best friend, Jennifer, and I can't wait to give it to her.

I really hope she likes it! It will be hard to give it away, but I have already knit this one for myself and she really deserves it anyway. Check out that button - isn't it awesome?! I got it from my LYS, before they closed up :(

Yesterday was a huge day for finishing for me. I sewed the lining for the bag and assembled it, which actually took all day. Yay for being done!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fall Projects

I have knitting A.D.D.! No doubt. I have been on maternity leave and I have had the opportunity to stay at home and chill out with my beautiful angel, Oliver, and if he could use his hands, he'd be a knitter by now too.

I'm so close to finishing up the Brea bag for my BFF. It will be hard to hand that one over, its so sweet!

I am planning to place the second sleeve on my Drops 103-1 Jacket. It will be completely done once the last sleeve is put in. I have had so much fun knitting that one. Its my first seamed sweater and I am so proud that it is turning out so well. I'll probably end up making another one. Here's the pic from the pattern:

Mine is a darker charcoal gray tweed yarn. I used Paton's Shetland Chunky Tweeds. It was a decent yarn to knit with, especially considering I got it on sale - eight balls for around 30 bucks. I made only a few changes to the pattern. I'll put up some pics this afternoon!

Next, I'm going to try to knit this: We'll see how this one goes. I'll be heavily modifying a pattern I have for a different sweater, the Tilted Duster from the Fall 07 issue of Interweave Knits -

And, just in case anyone thinks I should add another project to the ever-growing to-do list, here is Cherie Amour, from the Fall 07 Knitty -

Monday, October 29, 2007

I've been pretty busy!

I've had a busy past couple of weeks! Baby Oliver was born last Tuesday, October 23! He is quite an angel and I am loving every minute of having him home. Here he is:

I am also happy to report that Oliver's blankie is finally finished. I didn't get it done in time for his arrival - he did come a little early - but it is done now! Overall, I am very pleased with the way it turned out and it is another example of how changing the recommended yarns can work just fine!

I used Berroco's Endora pattern and the only modifications I made were, of course, using different yarns. The cabled part was done in a brushed acrylic yarn bought at JoAnn's. The edging was done in Riot Eyelash, a Yarn Bee brand from Hobby Lobby. I was a tiny bit displeased with the slight ruffling effect on the ends, due to picking up a few too many stitches. I'm happy enough with it though.

I have three WIPs rolling along at the moment, but I must admit that Oliver steals my attention, so the projects are sitting on the back burner right now. I am really excited about a purse I am working on for my best friend right now, and that should be done really soon.

Friday, October 5, 2007

At least its Friday....

Good Lord! What a morning it has been so far. The day actually started out okay, and I was a few minutes ahead of schedule. I was excited about stopping for coffee, and looking forward to enjoying it as I checked emails after arriving at work. I got my coffee, got to work, and walked up to my desk. I was waiting to drink the coffee until I sat down. As I placed the cup on the desk, it tipped over and the entire cup spilled all over the place! The $4.46 coffee, which I didn't even get one taste of, is currently mocking me as it's scent wafts up from the carpet of my office. Bastard.

I wont even go into my (pregnancy) hormone-filled rage that followed the above incident, other than to say that I almost threw my chair off of the mezzanine and on to the warehouse floor below. Now, I am moving on and trying to approach the remainder of my morning with calmness. hummmmmm.....

I went to the doc yesterday and, shockingly, I am still pregnant. I have been so ready to have my little Oliver and get back to being me again! I finally realized last night, with a sense of urgency, that I've let my anticipation cloud the reality that I still have to make preparations for our new little one. I have assigned myself the task of having a complete nursery set up to come home from the hospital and I haven't even started it yet. Four weeks and counting.......hummmmmm....

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Oliver's blankie

I am so happy that I finally casted on for Oliver's blankie. He will be here in about four weeks, so I have just enough time to finish it. After toying with the idea of combining a few different cable techniques and not being satisfied with anything, I opted to just use a pattern. I found this on Berroco's website:

Isn't it cute??? I am using different yarns than the pattern calls for. The cabled part is a very light green brushed acrylic yarn, so it is slightly fuzzy. The yarn I bought for the edges is this:

I've knit with this yarn before and was most pleased with it, so I'm hoping it works out for this blanket!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A few things that actually got finished!

Raise your hand if you have ever started a project and not finished! Me! Well, this summer, as I have said, I actually did finish a few things. Let me first say that there's not a whole lot of options for wearable items for the pregnant chick out there. (Book idea, anyone??!)

Speaking of books, I must sing the praises of Fitted Knits, by Stefanie Japel. This book is right up my alley. As the weather gets cooler and I get my body back, I definitely plan on knitting more from this book. I immediately fell in love with the simplicity of the two-toned shrug. Here's my version:

I used Berroco's Bonsai. It feels brilliant next to your skin, even in the heat and humidity of the summer. The yarn actually feels cool to the touch. Therefore, I wouldn't recommend knitting fall or winter sweaters with it, but I would definitely knit with this again. In this close-up, you can see the sheen of the yarn. I love how the collar stands up too.

Where I work, my office is about the level of atmospheric comfort of a refrigerator! So, knitting a cute little cardigan was not only fun, but necessary. Cropped cardigans of different shapes and designs can be found in abundance on the net. I really just wanted to knit something easy, with a little bit of shape, in a washable, affordable yarn.
Let me introduce Terra:

She is much cuter on, but it's pretty difficult to get your five-year-old son to take a good picture! The hubby is on the night shift, which is about the only time I think to pull out the digital camera. Anyway, I'm going to call this my own design, because I pulled ideas from a few different patterns and threw my own spin on it. I know it's pretty rudimentary, but it serves it's purpose well. Terra was knit from Lion Brand's Cotton Ease, in Terra Cotta. Hence, the name. I used between 2-3 balls. The ribbed edging was done on 4.5mm circs and the rest on 5.0mm circs. If I knitted this again, I'd add more buttons, but I think it's fine the way it is.

Here's a detail shot:

I've got two more sweaters in the works right now. I also still need to start Oliver's blankie. He's still in the factory if you know what I mean. I only have about a month before he comes so I need to get rolling with it. I made him a pair of Saartje's Booties. Pattern here: I still need to attatch buttons before I post a FO pic, but here's what they look like now:

I've been having an affair with the color orange lately. I've seen way cuter versions of these out there, but I really wanted to use this wool/microfibre blend I've had for a while. I'll make him a couple more pairs I'm sure.
Anyway, that's enough for now. I shall be updating soon on my sweaters. I'll keep them a surprise!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Summer of Knitting!

Here's my Lelah!

I have been quite busy this summer knitting this and that. I was so happy to find an ample amount of knitters on the net who apparently are as obsessed with knitting as I am. (Thank you,!

This top, which is an adaptation of a pattern called Lelah, actually fits over my pregnant belly! My version uses a different lace pattern, old fern, instead of the fishtail lace. I added i-cord for straps and drawstring and several rows of stockingette stitch at the bottom to create a fitted blousing effect around my waist. I decided against using elastic around the top of the bust, because I wasn't sure how my sizing in that department would change after the pregnancy. I'm really hoping my plan of creating something I can wear after the baby comes will work out. We'll have to see about that. I don't have any "action" shots of this top yet, but hopefully we'll get around to taking some in the future.

Pattern for the original Lelah can be found on this blog:!

Here's a detail shot. I used Lion Brand Cotton Ease in Lake, approx 2.5 balls.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

First Blog....

Okay, so I'm totally new at this blog thing. I've been meaning to start one for a few months now, and I finally decided to organize some photos and ideas and get ready. Lately I've been a little obsessed with knitting and I'm planning to use this blog as a way to chronicle thoughts and ideas pertaining to that.