Thursday, September 29, 2011

I Love Fall

This is how I feel when all the new fall patterns come out:
Unfortunately, I don't have that kind of time and would probably knit my fingers clean off, but come on, just look at all the new Knitty has to offer:




                                                                     So pretty...
Unfortunately, it's not feasible to knit ALL the things.  I'm still plugging away at Lowry...and Inlay...and you know, other productive things, so back to being productive I go.  Sigh.

Oh, and that decor post I promised you this week?  We've got a couple of exciting new developments on the way, so it's going to get pushed back.  This week, I'll have a pretty new beret to show you.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.


PS: For those of you don't get ALL the things, or just want a good chuckle: Hyperbole and a Half

Monday, September 26, 2011

First Test Knit

I did it.  I finished my first assignment, the Vertical Waves Tank by Knit One Crochet Too:
Once I got the pattern figured out, the whole thing only took me about a week.  Of course, that could have something to do with how ridiculous I've allowed my queue to become and how eager I was to move on to the next project.  But now it's done and I've sent it back to Knit One Crochet Too along with my swatch and the leftovers.  I got an email from them the other day--they were very pleased with my work and asked if I want to do more in the future!  How cool is that??  I've already been paid for this piece, but I don't know what/when the next project will be.  I'll keep you posted.

This one was a pretty fun knit, which could have something to do with how fast it was!  The yarn was not my first choice, I mean, microfiber orange?  I will grant that it is soft and I'm sure that color looks good one someone, but that someone is not me. 

However, I do like the wave pattern--no cables, just increases and decreases:

(Color is truer in the first photo)  What a cool motif!

If I were to knit this pattern again, I would have to make some changes, like waist shaping, bring the neckline down, and finish the armhole edges.  It's a good basic pattern and would be good for someone who wants to learn a simple cable without worrying about shaping the sweater.

I can't wait to see what they have next!

For next time: as you recall, Hubby and I decided to put off house hunting in favor of paying for his tuition while he studies to get his CPA, which means we've renewed our lease in our current apartment for another year.  Next time I'll take you for a tour around the place and show you some before and after decor shots.  Get excited--I'm really proud of some of my improvements!



Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New York Cardigan

As promised, here is my latest selfish knit, the New York Cardigan:
What a nice, drapy cardigan for fall!  The weather in Maine is finally starting to cool off and I get to pull out all my beautiful creations again, hurray!  I had originally intended to make this sweater 3/4 sleeved, but lacked the foresight to order enough yarn.  Oops.  Guess I have to wear it with long-sleeved tees underneath.  Oh well.

The yarn is delicious, too.  Gloss (merino/silk) with the softness, and the drape, and the sheen...drool... Good color for fall, too!

(Doesn't my hair look nice in that photo?  All shiny...)

Anyway!  In terms of difficulty, I would rate this one a "tangy" on the Knitty scale.  (Speaking of, have you noticed that Deep Fall is up?  I actually see some things I like in there.  To bad they have to wait until I get through some of my monstrous queue!). 

The body was super easy--just a basic raglan with yarnover increases and then transitioning into the lace.  However, the lace "scarf" part was really, really tedious.  I got so tired of the pattern after maybe the 3rd repeat.  I guess this is why I don't knit scarves very often!  It makes for good tv knitting, but be warned about the tedious factor! 

The only reason I got it done as quickly as I did was because I wanted to move on to my first test knit and finish that sucker under deadline...and then I just wanted to be done with that as quickly as possible.  Someone needs to work on their attention span, don't you think?

The good news is that I finished the test knit tank top this weekend and Joyce at Knit One Crochet Too tells me that they received (and liked!) it today.  She asked me if I wanted to do more projects in the future--so of course I said yes!  I'm just hoping that next time they'll send me something that isn't neon orange.  I've asked if they're okay with my posting pictures of my test knits online so perhaps next time I'll have some test knit pictures to show you--or maybe we can just do a collective drool over some of the patterns in Knitty?  What do you think?



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Birthday Yarn

I know, my birthday was ages ago, you don't have to tell me.  But it was a weird time of transition between jobs, so cut me a little slack--I have a little yarn porn for you!

Due to a very generous gift card from my MIL and a moderate lack of restraint on my part, happy birthday to me:
Just look at all that beautiful Knit Picks yarn!  There's some Wool of the Andes, some Gloss DK (merino/silk), some Swish DK (superwash merino), some Stroll Sport(superwash merino), andm one of my favorites, some City Tweed! (alpaca/wool/donegal) 

This order alone more than tripled the size of my dwindling stash.  I probably have enough yarn here to keep me occupied well through the winter and into spring (especially if I'm doing test knitting on the side and with Christmas knitting coming up--yipe!).  Projects I have in mind are Lowry Pullover (red Stroll), Barcelona Jacket (forest heather WoTA), Kiyomi (WoTA pink and red), and Twinings (blue swish).  Lots of beautiful fall/winter sweaters on the docket!!

I haven't quite decided what to do with the City Tweed yet, but it'll probably end up as a cabled beret for me.  You can see my in-progress New York Cardigan in Gloss, doe colored, in the back.  Don't want to give anything away too soon!  It's finished now, but I'm waiting to debut it until Knit Night tomorrow.  You'll have to come back next time to see that one in all it's glory.

Some pretty cardigan pictures for next time!



Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Goodbye Etsy

And now for another transition: I'm closing my Etsy shop.  I still have a bunch of merchandise sitting around, though, so for the month of September, everything is 50% off for Facebook fans and friends.  Blog readers are clearly worthy individuals, as well, so the coupon code is GOODBYE2011.  Anything left over at the end of the month will either be donated or given away, so stock up for baby showers, fall weather, and early Christmas shopping while you can!

Now don't worry, if you still really want a knit item, I am completely open to commissions.  The reason for the closure is that I'm now going to be a test knitter for Knit One, Crochet Too, a yarn company based in Windham, Maine!  They just emailed me out of the blue on Friday and asked if I wanted to test knit their patterns.  Apparently they like to work with local people and admired the work I'd been posting on Ravelry.  How crazy is it that I found a side job off Ravelry?? 

The instructions explicitly say that I can post pictures of my test knits on Ravelry, so I don't see any reason why I won't be able to share them here.  The pattern they sent is pretty cute, too--a basic shell with a lovely cabled pattern on the front, one I would even knit for myself in the future.  I am so, SO excited to be working with them.  I can't wait to see what other patterns/yarns they send me in the future!

Now, here is something I've already finished, Summer Plum Cardigan:

This particular pattern is by Veera Valimaki and really was a pleasure to knit.  It looks sharp and sophisticated, but it's really just a basic raglan with big garter borders and no seams. If you can work basic increases and decreases, you can knit this pattern.  Honest.  Unlike some of the other patterns I frequently blog about, this one would make an excellent first sweater (or second, since it's in sock yarn).

What made it such a joy to knit, however, was the yarn.  I used Quince & Co. Tern, a gorgeous wool/silk blend.  Quince & Co. is another Maine based company with very limited distribution, but absolutely gorgeous colorways.  The quality of this yarn is superb.  It was such a pleasure to feel it slide through my fingers and it wears beautifully!  As you might imagine from a small, but quality operation, the yarn wasn't exactly cheap (better than some other national chains, let me tell you), but totally worth it.  I am going to treasure this cardigan! 

Quince & Co also publishes a number of lovely patterns that are available for purchase on Ravelry.  This isn't one of theirs, but they do have some really pretty ones.

Currently, I'm working on the New York Cardigan with yarn by our old friend, Knit Picks.  In the event that I don't finish it by my next post, I'm going to take some pictures of my last yarn purchase tonight.  Yarn porn is way better than nothing at all, right?

And now, a kitty photo from hubby's birthday on Sunday:

"Yarrr!  Happy frickin' birthday."