Tuesday, August 30, 2011

From Garment to Yarn...

Claire here, checking in after the lovely weather that NYC has had lately! At least the unexpected long weekend gave me plenty of knitting time! I was able to finish the Veyla mitts completely, finding some embroidery floss in my stash that was an almost exact match for sewing the buttons on. I must say, they look quite elegant. I'll have to take them out someplace classy!

Like Kendra, I blocked my cuffs before picking up stitches and was afraid they were going to be too long, but once they are buttoned and on I think it's a nice length to wear with a coat.

I also got the body of Lansplitter done and set that to block, making it a proper rectangle rather than the trapezoidal shape that came off my needles. Now I just have to seam it (ugh!) before picking up for the waistband. I think I will do the ribbing on much smaller needles, like a size 5, and see if that will hold it up without any elastic.

I love the color change and the fact that you only have to do one purl row for every three knit rows! The garter ridges do give it a nice texture though. It's been such a fun and fast knit that I may have to make another when Rhinebeck is over.

I also got some progress made on Rivel, though it doesn't seem like much. Going from a size 9 (the skirt) to a size 5 (sweater) makes a difference! The waist shaping on the back is done and I'm almost ready to start the armhole bind off and shaping. I think I will do the fronts separately, but do the sleeves together so they are exactly the same. I'm a little nervous about seaming the set-in sleeves, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it!

And last, but not least, I have my yarn ready to go for the Snapdragon hat and mitts! It's all wound and ready to go, just waiting for me to finish Lanesplitter so I can cast on without feeling too guilty.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Veyla (mostly) Done!

Kendra here and suddenly it feels like it's been AGES since I last posted! My apologies. I have been furiously knitting away though I've been very silent, I promise you that! First and foremost, I finished my Veyla Mitts (aside from buttons - need to find some still) and they are lovely...

One thing I can't recommend enough is to take the time to block the cuffs before picking up for the main portion of the hand - You just won't be able to fully open up the lace patterning once the cuffs are connected for working in the round. Having knit these before, I really wanted to be sure the lace patterning was visible, so I was pretty aggressive with my blocking. The result is pretty gauntlet-like gloves in the end, but at least they'll be nice and warm come late fall!
A few of my many distractions recently was the Summer Flies shawl by Donna Griffin which I knit up in the Lion Brand Collection Cotton Bamboo in Cherry Blossom. It worked up super fast and I love the end product.
Now I think we're all in agreement that Rhinebeck sweaters are taking center stage for a while, and after much vacillation I have FINALLY decided to knit the Estelle Cardigan (yes that's right, I changed one last time Claire!) out of my gorgeous madeleinetosh Tosh DK in Tart. I bought the pattern tonight just to commit and can't wait to start on my trip to Maine this week!

Speaking of which, you have probably heard that NYC is expecting a hurricane named Irene to past through on Sunday-ish, the exact day I was supposed to leave for a lovely getaway to Maine, somewhere I've wanted to visit since I was little. Expecting the worst, we've decided to leave a couple of days early so at least we'll get there, so off to Portland, ME I go tomorrow and I can't wait! In planning for the trip I started researching yarn stores in the area (of course!) and there are so many!!!! I have it narrowed down to at least KnitWit (flagstone shop for Quince and Co yarns, a line I've been dying to try out!) and Purl Diva (because apparently designer Cecily Glowik MacDonald stops by who I love, hah) So good luck to you all in this crazy weather and hopefully I'll have sweater updates from Maine!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Color Inspiration

Let's talk about color. Since I'm skipping Veyla, I've been able to focus on some autumn (read: Rhinebeck!) knitting. As a New Yorker, I wear a lot of black clothes, so I look at my knitting as a way to add much-needed color to my wardrobe. My favorite shades are rich jewel tones: ruby reds, emerald greens, amethyst purples, and so on. This year, I'm trying out a new color: gold. It turns out that Claire is also making a gold sweater, so we'll match! For the pattern, I've selected Acorns by Carol Sunday in the gorgeous Candlewick Madelinetosh Tosh DK. Who could resist this color?
While gold is exciting, my must-have color for fall is red. This powerful color gives me a surge of confidence whenever I wear it. I've decided to combine this fabulous color with a project I've never knit: a skirt. Claire and I chose to make the Lanesplitter Skirt from Knitty in Amazing yarn. While she's making a more neutral Cobblestone skirt, mine is the vivid red/pink/burgundy colorway Roses.
With all of these bright garments, I'm going to need some neutral accessories. The matching Snapdragon tam and flip-tops will be perfect for Rhinebeck, so I'm going to make them from French Grey Madelinetosh Tosh DK. Some skeins of this colorway have more of a brown or rosy hue, but mine is a serene neutral gray.
French Grey
So those are the colors I'm going to be using for my next 4 projects (2 of which are already started). What colors are you using, ladies?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fashionably Late

Well, based on our radio silence around here lately, you would be forgiven for thinking we had been kidnapped by wild dogs, or turned our backs on yarn all together (never!!!). I am here to confess to something far, far worse - knitting adultery. Yes, even while committed to a long-term project, our eyes have wandered over the "Hot Right Now" pages on Ravelry, browsed new issues of Interweave and Vogue, and fondled yarn not appropriate for our next project. But wait, we have excuses! You see, Rhinebeck is coming up and we need new sweaters.

The New York Sheep and Wool Festival is held the third weekend in October in Rhinebeck, NY - most fiber types will simply refer to it as "Rhinebeck" with awe in their voice and a glimmer in their eye. Apart from fondling lots and lots of yarn and fiber, there are sheep, llama, goats and alpaca galore, and tasty tasty food. And of course knitters love the excuse to wear their handicrafts proudly - sweater spotting is a fun way to pass the time between demos. Which of course means that you need just the right one; a combination of warmth and style.

This is the conundrum we have all been agonizing over for the past week or so. I had a yarn in mind already, so that gave my search some limits. I'm using some Silky Wool by Elsebeth Lavold, taken from a sweater that was never going to be finished, in a pretty yellow-orange color. I'll match the fall leaves! After searching high and low, I've decided on the Rivel Cardigan by Miriam Felton. I think it will be nice over a long sleeve tee, and I can leave it open or closed depending on the weather. And since we're going for two days, I'm also working on the Lanesplitter skirt!

But back to our main program. The next project on tap is the Veyla mitts. Even in a smaller yarn than Smith the Hedgehog, these seem to be going much faster! I think the lace helps, since you are watching it form, rather than just going round and round. I made the cuffs one after another, in an attempt to cut down on the Second-Mitt Syndrome. If you choose to do this, make sure to take at least a little break, and read the charts carefully, since they are mirror-images of each other!

I finished each in an evening, but have yet to pick up stitches for the main body due to the aforementioned sweater dilemma. I think a transition it to my travel project, since both sweater and skirt are too big for the subway. So keep your fingers crossed for a post tagged "finished" sometime soon!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Skipping Ahead

I know I know: You forgot I even existed. This is just a quick post to say I'm alive and well. Oh, and I finished Sonic (the Hedgehog, duh) and Veyla (minus the finishing touches) and even moved on to the Snapdragon Tam. I have to say, my internet-less days and long bus rides have been well spent. Who would've ever thought I'd be leading the pack? (For my dad and sister: A race! A race! Did I vin?)

I'll hopefully have plenty of time to go into a little more detail next week, but for right now let me just say that Veyla might be my favorite pattern ever! I can't remember a time I've actually enjoyed every part of a pattern so much (reminder: I haven't woven in ends or added buttons, so that part doesn't count). The fact that I knit it out of gorgeous Madelinetosh Eyre Light in Gossamer doesn't hurt either. I got the Eyre Light from Tangobka's stash on Rav (and used her picture below).

Signing off for now, but hopefully to return much sooner next time,

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Excuses, Excuses

My name is Jess, and I must confess to a certain...infidelity. It started out fairly casually: I would only work on Smith at home, so I had to knit something on the go. After all, I started my Featherweight before I started Smith. Then, the temperature hit record highs, and I didn't have an air conditioner. After that, I dealt with a little health scare, so I didn't knit at all for several days. Finally, I've been fantasizing about knitting the perfect sweater for Rhinebeck, and I can't stop thinking about Madelinetosh yarns.

I guess what I'm saying is that Smith fell by the wayside, and I only feel a little bad about it. Ladies, start on Veyla. I'll be over in the corner, desperately attempting to finish Featherweight before we begin the Snapdragon projects.