Huh, it actually looks better than life in the photo. Knit in Araucania Nature Wool on size 8 needles. It was very wide, almost 7". And the purled bonds were blending into one large sea of reverse stockinette. The fabric was also stiffer than I wanted. I could have gone up to size 9 needles, but it was already wider than I wanted. At that point, I bailed and went for the Twisted Sister's Jazz. Thought I should document it for my growing DNA yarn substitution infopost.
My sister made this lovely newborn set for a baby shower at work. I hope it was properly appreciated, and this does not discourage her from gifting hand knit items.
She knit the hat flat, and then needed to seam it together. DPNs, I can help with. Seaming, not so much. She needed to go in for help on that.
She's also finished the cabled scarf, and just needs to weave in ends. Also need to get photos of the Windy City scarf. And she's just started on Toddle, a kid's scarf from Knitty. The advantage of two knitters in the house: more stuff to feed the blog.
Wow. Just wow. I had hoped that I wasn't being too skeevy, asking to share my Knitty SP gifts with my sister. She has had a rough road this year, and it just got tougher after the SP round started. I was lucky enough to be matched up with an extremely generous SP that did not mind sending some things to my sister, too.
She sent my sister a whole package to herself, and says there is another on the way for me - really, too much, I'm thinking.
I am really just overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness of the gifts for a new knitter. Two projects, a felted bag and hats, to try knitting in the round and fulling. Lots and lots of the yummiest yarn, Elsebeth Lavold's AL Chunky, in night sky - poised at that moment of blue-violet before the sky tips to black. And bi-colored Cascade 220, in black and plum. Not to mention, top-of-the-line knitting needles to make the projects - Crystal Palace DPNs and Addi Turbos. And the notions, perfect for a beginning knitter and fills in the gaps in my collection. Now that two of us are ransacking the needles, we really needed a needle sizer, which I don't have. Not to mention, we are both about to be embarking on project where gauge actually matters! And the measuring tape - that is the one item that we have been stealing back and forth. (Also, my nephew has been getting a kick out of measuring his body parts - silly boy.) Rounded out with a bottle of Eucalan.
I already have designs on begging my sister to knit me one of the cabled hats. Plus, I'm sure that she will enjoy the turnabout of being the magnanimous one lending out her needles - the Addis would be perfect for a small fair isle knitted bag that has been percolating in the back of my head (okay, really stagnating at swatching in the sidebar). One thing I've discovered, fair isle is a bear on DPNs.
We are working on an extra package downstream, since there is a budding knitter in the family there, too. Somehow that feels the best way to repay our SP (until her identity is revealed, that is!).
And in other news, I am keeping my fingers crossed that our crises are exponentially decreasing. This weekend, we only had a cat throwing up blood, and a trip to the emergency pet hospital, and I escaped with 2/3 of my paycheck intact. And I counted it a good week, relatively speaking. Pics to follow of the shawl that was started at the vet's.
Additional spotlight on the AL Chunky, 50% wool, 50% llama, 100% buttery softness:
The actual color shades a bit more towards violet than seen in the photos.
Missing a connection and 12 hours travel time = one almost completed fair isle hat. Hat #2 has a larger proportion of light green, matched with yellow as the foreground color. The diamonds are mixed up a bit, and I went up a needle size to #5 to see how that changed gauge. Oh, and I did one fewer diamond, to make more of a cap than a deep hat, since the first hat pulled down too low for me. I will be overstitching two rows, but the colors are basically okay. (Of course I would do a slightly different iteration if i did it again, but I don't think I'm going to.)
Finished first fair isle hat, which my sister has claimed (she has the long hair to pull off an over-the-ears look):
...since the second package is on its way. Here in all its glory is the first package from my mysterious upstream SP for Knitty SP5. A weatherpixie mug - oversized for extra coffee in the morning! Knit by numbers and Designing cables (cables! yum!), and SnB Nation (cabled newsboy hat! yum!). Two skeins of silky wool in a lovely denim-y blue, and a gorgeous dark pink Fiesta La Luz in champagne (complete with lizard oversight):
Plus a Flying Spaghetti Monster sticker, which was inside the card. Now I have been enlightened, that when I was watching the results roll off the accelerator mass spectrometer, it was not the thrill of acquiring data after months of work that I was feeling. No! Verily I was touched by his noodly appendage, which must have been changing the count rate as I was watching.
And part of my failure to blog these was worry that by praising one SP, the other would feel slighted. Silly, I know, but it really created a bit of cognative dissonance to have SP5 follow so closely on the heels of SP4. It helps that both packages are wonderful, yet so different - interesting on how my SPs pick up on different parts of my personality.
A very belated appreciation post for the wonderful jpknits, my upstream SP for Knitty SP4. The kitchen table is clean, and the thank-you gift has been mailed, so I can start playing with the yarn with a clear conscience. The only thing not pictured is the Tom Stoppard book The Real Inspector Hound and Other Plays, which was instantly devoured, and currently resides on that large flat storage area beside the bed that some people quaintly refer to as a 'floor.'
A closeup of the incredible socks: I feel so special when wearing these. I want to wear them literally all the time, but I am afraid of wearing them out. We take our shoes off when visiting here in the cold northlands, so I always make sure to wear them on visits. And for presentations or other slightly stressful situations where I need a bit of a pick-me-up.
A special highlight of the hanks: a triad of green. Such an appreciation of greens - I was so lucky to have a viridisophile for my SP. I am thinking a DNA hat - the band in Miracle and the top (with cabled chromosomes) in Wings. Somehow, the thick wool/llama Monteza keeps telling me "gloves." And o, the silk Artfibers Golden Chai; I am thinking a modular or slipstitch scarf, with black, like stained glass windows.
Oh, and the best part? Each gift came with a note! View closeups with the notes, along with all my other packages (and a few to my downstream SP4, becmclaughlin), on my Knitty SP4 photoset.
I get about 20-30 hits a day from searches (the background level when life takes over from blogging). I am always curious to see what people are searching for, and whether they have a hope of actually finding it here. Sometimes I know the answer, but it is not in the blog, and there is no way to communicate the knowledge. I could write a new entry with the information, but there is very little chance of the person finding it. That's just not how things work.
There was a person searching for yarn substitutions for the DNA scarf today. It is too bad that they didn't wait a day, since I've found my favorite yarn yet. My first scarf, the Plymouth Baby Alpaca, didn't have enough stitch definition - it was warm with beautiful drape, but the cables were mushy. The second one in Silky Wool had incredible stitch definition, but was too light to make a good scarf. Jamieson's DKdidn't work at all - the cables didn't pop. My swatch in Araucania Nature Wool was also abandoned - I think it would have worked if I had gone up in needle size (from an 8 to a 9) to give the cable elements enough room, but then the scarf would have been too wide.
But the Twisted Sisters Jazz 100% merino in Argent! Heaven! And knitting on 7s gave the perfect size. Soft, drape, warm, beautiful cables. I did four repeats on both sides and extended the ribbing section a bit to display the panels better. I've finally figured out that the pattern, which calls for five repeats, is too long unless you are 6'4" and wear greatcoats. The scarf took two skeins (167 yds each) and had a couple yards left over.
Further news on the DNA knitting front? I think the Classic Elite Yarns Miracle (50% Alpaca, 50% Tencel, #6 needles) comes very close to the original yarn used in the pattern, from Haneke Exotics (25% alpaca, 25% merino, 50% Tencel). So soft and shiny, I could pet it all night long. I'm thinking a DNA cabled hat.
Okay, this would be much better with an actual baby, but I don't have one of those. And the cats wouldn't sit still long enough to model. Instead we present the self-designed fish hat (or perhaps trojan warrior), with the basic hat based on the Lil' devil baby hat from Kittyville. Modeled on balls of yarn.
Hospitals - good for knitting, not so good for blogging. Here's hoping for more of the latter (knitting and blogging), and less of the former.
I have a lot to catch up on - first on the list should be thanking my Knitty SP4 (jpknits) for my last gift, and my Knitty SP5 (???) for her first gift. But I couldn't resist sneaking in a photo of what I've been working on most recently. I am taking a fair isle class at (where else?) Borealis Yarns. The hat pattern is modified from the Harrisville blackberry and camel pullover. The hat is a gauge and color swatch for the full pullover. (Also, less of a commitment than starting on a sweater).
I didn't want a safe, predictable color set, so I chose some strong, primary colors. I figured out as I went along which colors worked best together, in what proportions - that's why the top of the hat works better than the bottom. I was pretty much sure on the first three rows that my original plans wouldn't work, but I decided to stick with them for awhile to see what would happen.