Tuesday, May 27 / 11:23 p.m.

I happened upon this Ebay listing this morning:

Offering a nice lt blue denim color cable knit vest plus yarn to finish. Measures about 20" long, 18" wide on body. Can't find pattern; but any good knitter will be able to figure it out. Ladies size.


Thursday, May 22 / 2:43 a.m.

New Project

I picked up a skein of Fleece Artist silk at my local yarn store yesterday... I couldn't help myself! $15 for a 250g hank of pure silk was too good a deal to pass up. It's a copper brown colour with flecks of red and green and gold in it, and it's quite thin. I'm still swatching, but I think it's going to come out at sport weight, which is excellent, because I want to make a tank with it and there's a lovely racerback one in the Interweave Knits Fall 2002 issue. However, I've never knit with silk before, so there are some questions I must answer before proceeding, especially since the original pattern is written for a mohair/wool blend:
  • I've never knit with silk before. I assume it has similar properties to cotton re: the necessity of tight gauge, growing, etc? Not that I've ever knit with cotton before, except a dishcloth or two....

  • I want to wash my swatch, in case it expands hugely or something. How should one wash a silk swatch?

  • My bust size is aout 38 1/2" in my favourite bra. The pattern comes in 35, 37, 39, 42, and 45" versions. I measured a tank I already have (it's not handknit, it's just stretchy fabric) in the fit I want, and it came out to 37". So it seems I should make that size, but is the silk going to stretch a lot? My thought at the moment is that 37 should be fine because the top I measured was stretchy.

  • The bottom, neck, and armhole edgings are all done in seed stitch. Should I switch to ribbing, because it's silk?

I think that's about it for the checklist; my stitch gauge is spot on so far, gotta knit some more, check the row gauge, and do some washing.


Tuesday, May 20 / 9:21 a.m.

Fair Isle
What's the deal with fair isle? I love some of the colour combinations I've seen, but every single pattern I look at is shaped in the traditional, boxy, ugly way. Where are the patterns with shaping? The fitted cardigans? The sleeveless tops? The trendy bands of colour? Why do people always assume that young or stylish knitters aren't ready for anything except stockinette? Why do I keep finding myself faced with patterns I'd like to knit, and patterns I'd like to wear, but not both?


Saturday, May 17 / 4:01 a.m.

I recently received a comment from a blog reader who admires those who knit with cables. Let me let everybody in on a little secret: Cables are easy! Sooo easy! The second thing I ever knit was cabled! They're much easier than colourwork, or even finishing. So, all of you who've never done cables, if you can knit and you can purl, I double dog-dare you to learn!

Bonne Marie Burns of Chicknits has a fantastic photo tutorial here; it's how I learned to cable.

Hell, you don't even need a cable needle! Use a toothpick, or an eyeliner brush, or a dpn (make it a short, light one, though, or you'll just be making it harder for yourself). I like bamboo skewers, cut short and sharpened at the cut end. Or...

Wendy Johnson has instructions on how to cable without a cable needle, once you get the basics down. It's so easy and fast!

Of course, everybody needs a pattern to practice on. Try these:

Here's a list of cabling abbreviations if you get confused.

Be sure to email me with stories or photos of your progress. This is a dare, after all. I'll post a photo of a cabled sweater I made for inspiration in the next couple of days.


Friday, May 16 / 10:10 a.m.

Here's the Exam Sweater, in all its glory. I'm an average photographer at the best of times, and I have absolutely no experience photographing sweaters (anybody know of a web site with tips? Anybody want to make a web site with tips?), so prepare to be underwhelmed. Also, no pics of it on me, since I was the only one home today. For anyone who wants to know, the pattern is from Sirdar's Relax in Aran booklet; it's aran or heavy worsted-weight.

Click for a larger photo

I love cables! Cables cables cables!


Friday, May 9 / 12:41 p.m.

The Exam Sweater (for so I shall call it, as I knitted it during the two or so weeks when I was supposed to be studying for the exams that will finish tomorrow) is complete! Fits like a glove, too. Glad I made the "small" size (which is hilarious, 'cause I'm not at all). Also glad I made the sleeves a teensy bit longer; they would have been too short. And finally, I'm glad I picked nice wooden buttons, they complete the look perfectly. I shall wear the sweater to my last exam tomorrow, The History of Quebec and French Canada. I don't have a digital camera here but I'll be home next week and will then provide photos galore!


Thursday, May 8 / 1:36 p.m.

Never mind
I figured it out. Although the bands themselves aren't lying quite flat, and this irks me. Esp. since I'm using (gasp!) acrylic so I can't really do much in the way of blocking.


/ 11:13 a.m.

OK, so I just picked up the required 121 stitches along the side of my cardigan, ribbed three rows, and have come to the row where I'm supposed to make buttonholes. The instructions read "rib 2, cast off 2 sts, (rib 20, cast off 2 sts) 5 times, rib 1.

Am I crazy, or does that only add up to 115 sts?

However, that does mean that, yes, I'm on the button bands. My procrastination has paid off and I've almost finished the sweater. Not bad for ~2 weeks!

Speaking of procrastination, I still have one more exam. But I feel much better knowing that I got an A in Baltic History (although v. surprised since I didn't go to class much).


Wednesday, May 7 / 11:07 p.m.

What's with the Kool-Aid?
Why is everybody jumping on this Kool-Aid yarn-dying bandwagon? I could see someone doing it with their kids, but that's pretty much the limit. Have you seen the colours it produces? They're so garish. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy a good bright orange, in the proper context, but REAL yarn dyes can't be that expensive, can they? And then at least you know what you're getting before you pull the yarn out of the pot. If I told someone that painting Cheerios with nail polish made great stitch markers, I'm sure everybody and their dog would get on that immediately.

To my mind, you dye your own yarn if you want to produce creative colour combinations you can't find in stores. Why would you subject nice, pure, wool to powdered fruit drink?

Also, if Kool-Aid does that to my socks, what the hell does it do to my insides?

Also, why isn't it Kool-Ade?


Tuesday, May 6 / 10:46 a.m.

More Progress
Both fronts are done and I'm up to the raglan shapings on sleeve #1. I'm a bit worried that the sleeves are a bit too loose compared to the rest of the sweater, but we'll see.

I've realized that I really like knitting complicated patterns, but I really like wearing simple patterns. H'm. How to get around that, I wonder?

Also, it irks me that the latest issue of Interweave Knits, which subscribers have been discussing for over a week has hit stores in the U.S. but STILL not here yet, so I can't get my grubby little hands on a copy. And they haven't even updated their website so I can at least see some of the designs. *Pout* I should be studying anyway.


Friday, May 2 / 2:16 a.m.

Time flies when you're supposed to be studying
I've finished the back of the cabled cardigan and have started the left front. Tons of progress! I have, however, only read one article for Indian history and haven't even touched my Quebec History textbook. Daah.