Monday, June 28, 2010

The Dresses Have Begun

Last week my Handsome Husband finally got sick of our living room carpenting. We got some beautiful hardwood flooring from Ikea, and on Saturday he and Small Son put it all down. I helped, but only as much as I could injure myself. We still have the baseboard to put in, but we'll probably do that on Wednesday.

No, we did not sew the boards to the flooring. Nothing was knit or crocheted. So what does this bit of history have to do with sewing? Let me 'splain.

I have two dresses to make for Cat's wedding: a bridesmaid dress for Bethe and a Mother-of-the-Bride dress for me. I have been sick of that carpet for quite some time. I did not want to lay that beautiful fabric down on that horrible carpenting, and the floor was the only place big enough. It would have ended up irreparably hairy, and Cat would not have forgiven me. Ever.

Do you see where we are going here?

Today I had two hours and a 13 by 15 stretch of hardwood. I cut out my dress.

It's a step forward.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Handsome Husband Sweater

Even though I'm going to be sewing for the next big while, I still need a knitting project to use up all those waiting times: doctors' offices, traffic jams, kid lessons, etc. The yarn that HH wanted was suddenly on sale at $1.49 per skein. It's Knitpick's Telemark in a lovely Rosemary green.(You might say Army green if you were vindictive. It's the same color.) This is 100% Peruvian Highland Wool sport weight. Hand wash, dry flat. I was strongly recommending the same yarn that I used for the previous sweater, of which I will say nothing at the present time as it is a present. I recommended it because it is Superwash Merino wool: soft and machine washable. Lovely to work with. But not on sale.
So I got the Telemark.
You have to order when it's on sale or the price will go up.

So I had 30 skeins of Rosemary colorway wool sitting there looking accusingly at me in its wirey way and nothing on the needles. Thirty skeins can do a lot of accusing. I knit my swatches in the pattern (5 sts per the inch), worked out the design, and cast on.

I now have almost 3 inches knitted of the back. The back is going to be 5" longer than the front, so I couldn't really put ribbing on the bottom, so I left it un-ribbed. The diamond pattern makes a lovely scalloped edge that HH may or may not object to. If he does, I'll add an I-cord border.

I've also collected the bamboo yarn into a bag, ready for skeining, washing, drying and straightening. The pattern I want to make is called Lace Saddle Tee by Lisa S. Rowe in the Interweave Knits Summer 2010 Issue, page 95 (instructions) and page 91 (picture).

But that's for later. I've got a pair of pink socks to get done before October.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Bamboo Sweater Is No More

A couple of years ago I found this delightful bamboo yarn. It was pretty pricey, so I bought one skein each time I happened to be in that particular store, until I had . . . quite a few skeins stored up. I picked a short-sleeved lace shirt to make, but when I actually started it, I couldn't get the stitch count to come out right. I must have been doing the yarn-overs wrong or something. Anyway, I changed to a long-sleeved v-neck sweater from my Knitters Handy Book of Patterns by Ann Budd.

I knit on that thing for a year. The ends of yarn were joined inside the skeins with tiny little joins. The v-neck wasn't centered. The body was too short. The sleeves were too long. After one wearing, some of the ends came untied and started to unravel big holes in the sweater. In frustration, I let it sit for a year. Then I decided I didn't want to waste all that yarn and money, so I unraveled the whole thing.

I finished today.

I have another short-sleeved sweater pattern that I want to make with it. Bamboo is a good yarn for a summer item, so it will be perfect. I just have to remember where I saw that pattern. I think it was an Interweave Knits magazine. This year. And I have to put the yarn into hanks and soak them and hang them up to dry with light weights to get the kinks out.

First I'll make the bridesmaid dresses.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cold Feet Socks Finished!

I knit on those during spare moments of the Salt Lake Highland Games, and to and from, and through a movie, blocked them overnight and during church, and they were ready to go by Sunday afternoon. At which time I turned them over to their new owner and my future son-in-law.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Caught Up

Cold Feet Socks
I knitted to my goal of 6" on the second sock yesterday. In fact, I got to 6.25"! True to my goal, I now have to knit to 7.75" today. Ugh!

Also at 6", I reached the end of the first skein of yarn, and started the second. This will not leave me enough yarn to knit a whole pair of socks for Cat. With that in mind, I asked her if she would rather have a matching pair like Jeff's (the yarn is discontinued), or a pink pair for the Walk for Breast Cancer in October. Of course she said pink. So now I can look for a pink woolblend sock yarn for that project, and it won't be my mistake. The pink socks will be my mobile project while I am knitting Todd's sweater.

Todd's Sweater
And speaking of which.
The yarn he wanted was on sale yesterday, $1.49 per skein at KnitPicks, so I ordered it. Thirty skeins of Rosemary-colored yarn. The Theme is definitely green this year! Last year, too. RoseE's hat and gloves, the trim on the Celtic Bag (which Aunt Bethe will be opening today!), The Coronet Hat for Linda, and the Cold Feet socks, now Todd's sweater. Oh! Plus! Also in the order were some more of those cute purple things to keep my stitches from falling off the needles (which happens a lot when I throw the sock in my bag and run) and a little machine for shaving off pills from sweaters. I've heard it's very good. Since my order was over $50.00, I got free shipping! Hooray!

It always scares me when I spend that much money on yarn. It scares me again when the yarn arrives and is sitting around my house waiting for me to make it into something. The fair isle mittens, for example. The yarn--and the mittens--are still in the box the yarn came in, waiting, looking accusingly at me for abandoning it.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

It Fits! . . . sort of . . .

We finally got Jeff over here to try on his sock, and it fits! Sort of. The leg length and width is fine (skinny legs), but the toe was too long. No problem! I'll just pull out the holding yarn, unravel it back to 1" before the toe started, and knit the toe again. The second sock doesn't need to be so long, either. I volunteered Cat a matching pair for her . . . AFTER the wedding. She was pleased.

Jeff apparently is also pleased with the socks, which is another good thing.

My goal yesterday was to get to 4.5" and I only got to 4.25". Today my goal is 6". I'm almost done with Skein #1. I hope I remember where Skein #2 is.

Now I will stop blogging and start knitting.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Knitting to a Deadline

The Cold Feet socks are half done. I did have to give away the secret, and I asked Jeff if he would come by and try on the one I have completed, before I close the toe. That was 5 days ago, and it is still sitting here. I have 14 days to finish the second sock. If it's overall length is 20", that means I have to knit about 1.5" per day to finish in time. Yesterday I decided to cast on as if the first sock fit and get going. I got about an inch done at the ball game last night. So, by the end of today I need to have 3" done. That's my goal.

This weekend I also finished the Coronet hat for my friend at work. I sent her an email and she is looking forward to receiving it on Wednesday. This hat is one of the examples of why you should read the WHOLE PATTERn before you start. The directions said to knit the band, then with the wrong side facing, pick up and knit around the band. This puts the purl side out (apparently). After I had knit about 3" like this, I realized that the purl side would be out, and ripped it out and started again, so that the knit side was the same side as the knit side of the band. I knit along for about 5 more inches and then I realized that the pattern wanted me to knit another FOUR INCHES! This would make the hat waaaay too long for anybody but a conehead. I read the rest of the instructions. The last line said, "flip the band to the outside". So it had been right to begin with! I should really read all the directions. Instead I knitted 2" less on the hat and then finished the top and DIDN'T flip the band. It still looks the same, but it's not as warm around the ears as it was meant to be. Linda won't know. Unless she reads this.

After this sock I'm going to switch to sewing and get those dresses for the wedding done. They usually don't take as long as knitting.