Chuck Norris knits sweaters. And by knits, I mean eats. And by sweaters, I mean children.

Monday, November 06, 2006

FO: hourglass sweater

Pattern: Hourglass Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson
Yarn: Cascade 220 (100% Peruvian Wool) spruce, 5 skeins
Mods: Unintentionally lengthened the sleeves (read wrong size bracket--D'OH)

I'm almost slightly embarassed to be putting this up here, because, after all, I finished it last January, and have never gotten around to taking pictures of it until now, since the weather's gettin' colder 'n that. But it kind of deserves to be posted, as it was the first wearable sweater I ever knitted, and I still love love love it (its soo warm and cozy)...and so, has put up with a lot. (And still hasn't been washed. Eeeeew.)

It would probably be more appropriate to call this sweater "MIDTERM SWEATER" or"FOUR DAYS IN THE BOWELS OF HELL, WHICH LOOKS SUSPICIOUSLY LIKE THE CHS CAFETERIA"because it was this sweater that I puttered away on while waiting 2 hours+ in my high school's cafe (why do they call it a cafe? who are they trying to fool here?) during my first exams last year. Occaisonally I also took it out during the tests themselves, if I happened to finish early (and by finish early, I mean, if I had rigged up a seriesof mirrors to reflect the answers of the kid behind me onto the reflective surface of the iPod I definitely didn't have in my bag *subtle wink*) However, whenever I did take it out in class, my buddy Alexa would arch her eyebrows and give me a "WTF are you doing" look, which, of course, was exactly why I took it out in the first place. And then Dr. A made her move to the other side of the room because she was laughing too much. Crazykidsthesedays.

So, perhaps, this sweater should be called "Alexa's WTF Face."

SIZE NOTES: While I love this sweater (and this pattern) to bits and pieces I have to say the sizing is a little wonky--it goes right from a 33" to a 37", and, while I'm not that great at fuzzy math learnin,' even I can tell that's a big difference. Because I was petrified of making (and spending all of $40 on, God forbid) something that was too small, I automatically sized up, even though I'm only a 34 bust. Too much information, I know, but still. So the sweater is a little roomy. Not roomy enough to fit another person in, but I probably could've gotten away with a smaller size. Just lettin ya know. So if I ever make it again, or if anyone out there wants to make it...size down, definitely.

KNITTY MOMENT: Ethan trying to get me to teach him to knit "for manly fishing purposes!"; giving up after one demonstrated stitch; resorting to job of official "Yarn Holder" for rest of the 2 hours the four of us cool kids were waiting around the cafeteria. He did a crap job, btw.

Bonus pictures (because Blogger hates me, apparently).

Saturday, October 28, 2006

haven't been here in a while

...and sadly, I also haven't been knitting much. Here's my progress picture, as promised, on Ariann from about two weeks ago...but the knitting has pretty much stayed at this point since then. Actually, I've gotten to about 11 inches. The knitting itself goes fairly quickly (the stitch pattern is SO easy to memorize, you can knock off a few repeats while watching the Colbert Report, Bonne Marie is a genius) but I haven't had time to work on for a while. I'm kind of worried I won't have enough yarn left, as I'm on the third ball and I'm not even up the armholes. We'll see.

In other news, the Phildar I coveted is now available in English! Weeee. I'm going to order it as a reward when I finish my Algebra project :-) Oh, bribing myself with knitting supplies. I have such determination.

Friday, October 06, 2006

in which amanda gives up on learning french knitting abbreviations

Phildar knitting magazines and their enticing French untouchable-ness are surely no secret in the knitblogging world; not only are the patterns within so hip, flattering, and up-to-date, but they're also almost universally difficult to come by in the US in any language but French. (Pardon my high-school world history paper voice, I'm currently writing a high school world history paper). The new (fall #2 and winter) Phildar is especially nifty, methinks. I was going to spend some time with a cheap, unreliable internet translating site to try and order some of the French mags from the French phildar site, possibly while eating some salad with French dressing, and then, when receiving the French package, returning to said translator (and my friend Emily, who is French) to try and knit the pattern from the original (French) version. But thankfully my laziness is going to be rewarded once again by the prominence of the English language, because phildar has launched their new English .com! Unfortunately only English versions of the magazines are available there, because the winter one which I love so very much is only published in French, apparently.

These are two of my favorites; the left is found in fall #2 (available from the English phildar site!) and the other is from the winter issue (only available in untouchable inscrutable French). I have to say I love them both dearly and will probably pop an order in for the fall mag soon, but the actual knitting is going to have to wait because I've been making actual progress on another project! I'll take a picture of what I have done so far soon...ish, but the knit in question is Bonne Marie Burns' gorgeous new pattern, Ariann. I love it. And it's knit in one piece. Double love. The only downside so far is that the rows are hella long, 176 stitches each, but the pattern goes by quickly and is quite enjoyable. Right now I'm stalling now because of buttonhole-induced-anxiety, but once that's taken care of everything should be plain sailing.

Friday, September 15, 2006

FO: zephyr style's ms. marigold

Pattern: Ms. Marigold, from the ladies at Zephyr Style
Yarn: Frog Tree Pima Silk (85% Pima Cotton, 15% Silk; 155 yds per 50 gram skein) 4 skeins.
Mods: Any modifications to the pattern were...unintentional. I got gauge with the Pima Silk on size 6s but thought the fabric was just too wimpy for my taste, so I went back down to the original size 5s, knitting the size 38" for a finished size 34." This decision was reached after some, as I've said, cock-eyed attempts at math (I'm a literature kid, okay?!) but surprisingly it fits fairly well.

Notes: This sweater was actually finished three weeks ago, the Tuesday night before school started, which I spent crocheting those little flutteries onto the armholes. Now, sixteen days later, I've worn it to school twice, and sometime even got the "wow, you knit that?" reaction from some friends and acquaintances who overheard me practically yell, "I TOTALLY FRIGGIN' KNIT THIS, BECCA," whenever someone asked me where I got it. So that was a highlight of an otherwise crappy day spent running around like an a-hole trying to sort out my schedule, and subsequently getting my Ms. Marigold all sweaty! Sigh. Actually, I haven't washed it yet, which is kind of disgusting. It also needs a good blocking because the awkward combinations of slouching in Bio, sprinting all the way across the school to my locker between each period, slouching in English, sleeping in Study Hall (not really) and slouching in Math, Social Studies, ET AL, etcetera, etcetera, left these funny creases underneath the bust and above the ribbing. (I may be a hormonal teenager who is self-conscious about her body but I KNOW that I do not yet have saggy boobs or a beer belly.)

Sorry, the pictures are not the greatest. I literally have about 80 versions of the above photo on my camera's memory card, all in varying positions, hues, shades, and levels of bluriness, some of which I tried to brighten (didn't work) and crop out my exhausted "after school" face featuring smudged lip gloss, flat hair, and chin dimple. (It's seasonal, I swear.) These are the cream of a crop that would make nary a cornmaze. SHAME.

Anyways, as for the yarn...I love the color. Love, love, LOVE the color. Which was pretty much the reason I bought it, besides the fact that it was fairly cheap, soft, and the first thing I found that might work for this pattern (I bought it while on family vacation on Cape Cod, and two sisters waiting outside the yarn store = minimal yarn-fondling time.) Working with it was not an unpleasant experience; actually, it would be one of my favorites, if it didn't split so freaking much. I really had to fagiggle the yarn in all directions, during every stitch, to make sure I wasn't leaving fibers behind. And that was just knitting--crocheting was a nightmare, I swear, this yarn is splitty like a mutha. Which is a shame, because the resulting fabric is really soft and silky, passing even Mom's picky "eew I don't care if that's warm I am not wearing that next to my skin" standards.

Holy synthetic English batman, is fagiggle even a word?!?!

Verdict: I like it! I can see this getting a lot of wear in nicer weather; I picked a bad time to finish it because it's just starting to get cold out.

P.S: Like the shirt I'm wearing underneath it? $2.99 at Urban Behavior. Wee! What's the word? Umm, umm, umm....STEAL.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

one of the many things that has been distracting me from, you know, knitting

It is now September and thus I have been neurotically checking for a Knitty update approximately every twelve minutes.

Hopefully this will become my next project, the Marseilles Pullover from Interweave. However, I have already run into gauge problems and am debating feeding this yarn, along with the magazine and my size 6 Denises, to my cat, who had already expressed interest in eating said yarn. Or just, I dunno, sit on it.

...P.S: I wore Ms. Marigold to the the first day of school on Wednesday and I LIKE IT A LOT. Unfortunately, I fell asleep on the couch after watching Project Runway and was too covered in drool and fatigued by the lack of remaining natural light to take a good picture. However, this fatigue was not enough to keep me from ordering yarn for 3 new projects. But, hey, I deserve it, and stuff.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

wrapper's delight, or, why you should never buy cheap needles off the internets

Ms. Marigold is over 90% finished. All of her parts are completed, save the trim around the armholes, the neckbands, and the little fluttery things on the shoulders (or, "wings") so I'm pretty much on track for my August 30th finish date. You know, if my summer reading and biology paper don't get in the way. Ahem.

I had gathered some momentum for the tasks ahead during my second time binding off (1st attempt was too tight--btw, am I the only one who takes like four hours to undo each bound off stitch one by one?! never again) which you can see at right, although the color is pretty inaccurate. So what happened? Right. I know I lamented the picking-up neckband stitches in my last post, but really I was kind of looking forward with them today, and after I took a stab at it (ha ha PUN) with my beloved Denises, I figured I had a pretty good handle of it. Well, shucks, Denises don't come in sizes smaller than 5, and that's what I needed for this project, hence the unwise purchase of 4 no-name brand bamboo circulars from Hong Kong on ebay. When I got them in the mail I didn't open them up right away (why?!) but when I first tried using them--today--I noticed that the stitches were having a real hard time moving over the needles, almost as if the coating was uneven and catching on the yarn. AND the cords are plastic tubes GLUED ON. In other words, no matter how cheap I am, I am never buying shit-ass needles from ebay for $6 ever again. What have we learned today, kids? You get what you pay for!

So instead, I did THIS.
See that? That is my first crocheted thing EVER! I decided I couldn't live without an uneven wobbly square of crappy single crochet any longer, or I would just die. It was pretty exciting, and now I feel like a maverick of needle arts (snort.) Okay, so I can only chain and single crochet, but I'm getting there. Now I know enough to finish the armholes of Ms. Marigold (I guess I can do that while waiting to buy new #3's for the neckband) and, sometime in the future, I can work my way up to two of my favorite projects from The Happy Hooker: Stitch 'N Bitch Crochet...Short 'N Sweet and THE PREPSTER JACKET! (All hail the Prepster Jacket.)

Well, now I'm off to watch Project Runway (is there anyone who doesn't watch this show?)...hopefully the judges won't be as coked up as they were last week. I mean, SERIOUSLY. Vincent? Not even a kooky hat could save the dress you sent down the runway last week (can I even call it a dress? the model looked like she was wrapped in kindergarten art department barf.) Allison? I miss you. Robert? Design all my clothes, please? And Tim? Oh my dog. Tim Gunn...everyone needs Tim Gunn in their life. Period.

Friday, August 18, 2006

a whole neckband...?!

First off, let me offer up humble apologizes for the washed-out photo. I know in most cases an apology for such an offense would sound something like, "look, ya know, I don't mean to brag, but I actually have a pretty kickin' tan, you just can't see it because I'm standing next to a window facing the sun at high noon and I had a really crap photographer for this shot, and when I say really crap I mean really crap," but unfortunately the really crap photographer in this case is me, and actually I think this photo does a good job of making me look a little more tan than I actually am...which just made me so depressed I don't know if I can carry on with this post.

But wait, there is good news, besides the fact I will most likely not have wrinkly skin due to sun damage when I'm 40+, and that is that I really love Ms. Marigold thus far. The fit is perfect. I mean, this thing makes me look like I have a chest. C'mon. That would be considered alchemy for any knitting pattern, let alone one in I screwed up with the yarn substitution, buying a sport weight instead of DK because "the label said 5 stitches per inch, dammit" and so, to compensate, chose to knit the size 38 instead of the 34--almost completely arbitrarily, besides a few cock-eyed attempts at math which most likely do not check out. AND IT FITS. I'm still in disbelief.

Anyway, when I was trying this on and flouncing around the house, my mom saw me and remarked, "Wow, it looks like you're almost done," to which I first. But then, after putting down my hairbrush/microphone and pondering this for a few moments, I came to the disgusting realization that, even though the body was almost completed, I still had to finish the armholes, the ruffle, and THE ENORMOUS NECKBAND, which has put a damper on my enthusiasm. I dunno. I'm still chugging for an August 30th finish date.