October 13, 2006

FO Friday

Filed under:Finished Objects,News! — Aileen @ 15:09

This morning, I got sick of just looking at my three main UFOs – Alien Heads, Gatsby Girl and the green mess that currently is Granny Smith – and decided to do something about it. So, for the next three Fridays (well, including this one), I am going to have a FO. Next week will be Granny Smith and Birthday Hat week. The following week will be Gatsby Girl and Birthday Shawl week. So! Here it is! Finally!

It fits!

Pattern: Lotus Blossom Tank from Intwerweave Knits, Summer 2006.

Needles: Denise 3.75mm (for the whole thing).

Size: 33.5″ size but I am 36″ around. It fits fine.


1. I didn’t use larger needles at the beginning as suggested because I didn’t want it to be too floppy.

2. I forgot to do the decreases at the bust line. At the time, I was afraid it would be too tight, so when I realised I didn’t bother ripping back and putting them in.

3. Because of this, I had different numbers when it came to divide and do the sleeves. I worked it out proportionately for the short rows. Eg. According to the pattern, I should have 80 stitches. I need to knit 66 before I turn and purl back. I actually have 100 stitches (or whatever). So cross-multiply: 80x = (66)(100). x = 6600 / 80 = 82.5, so knit 83 stitches before you turn, or whatever. I wasn’t exact but it turned out fine.

4. The schematic says that the body part should be 10.5″ but I made mine 16″ because I don’t like cropped tops. I added about four extra lace repeats and when it came to just knit plain for the bust, I kept knitting until it was the length I wanted before starting the armholes.

I am still not 100% happy about the neckline. One side has slightly fewer stitches than the other. I may rip it out and just do a simple single crochet around. It still needs to be pressed, there are a lot of lumps and bumps in it 🙂

Phew! I’d better get some practice done! Soooo looking forward to visting This is Knit tomorrow morning!


October 12, 2006

And now for something completely rubber

Filed under:News!,Stash,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 21:45

I meant to stick this into my post yesterday, but now it gets a post unto itself 🙂 What could earn such a priviledge? My see-through boots, of course!

Complete with Pomatomus

What prompted me to finally dig them out and get a photo of them was a comment left by Elisa in Berlin. After reading my post about my dad getting me some see-through boots in Berlin for cheap-o, her shop got in lots of see-through wellies and boots and put them beside the mirror and wool. Knittingneels changes the world!

After saying that I was going to finish the Alien Heads last night, I realised that there was 7″ of solid back to be knitted before any sleeve shaping. I only finished that tonight 🙂 (Btw, Cheryl, I see different patterns in it too but I was hoping nobody would notice. Drat!) Hopefully I will get it finished in time to wear to the Christmas Present Brainstorming over at This is Knit on Saturday morning. I was planning on going there on Saturday to get some wool for Dad’s birthday hat, but when I got Lisa’s newsletter with the reminder, I decided to combine the two and make a morning out of it. Horray!

Things have been a bit up and down this week. I had a very long day on Tuesday (getting all practice covered in the morning and then running out to teach from 3 until 8 ) and I was so wrecked on Wednesday that I got nothing done. I was looking forward to a really good sleep last night and to making up for it this morning, but no, I had to go and look at some knitting magazines. I was awake until after two and was so dead today that after only an hour and a half of work, I had to go lie down. I physically could not stay vertical. I struggled into college for Junior Lieder and then stayed on for Choir. Junior Lieder is a project I have taken on this year after being prompted by the head of vocal faculty to get involved (it was that or learn an entire act of the Marriage of Figaro to be repetiteur for rehearsals). ‘Lieder’ is the german word for a song where the singer and piano are equal. The name is used as a general term for songs in French, German and Italian. I find it really interesting because not only is it accompanying, but the interpretation of the text gives the piano part extra meaning. Anyway, I get to learn the repertoire, partake in the class, and get taught how to accompany. It’s great. Choir is an option that I pick because if I turn up, I pass. I could choose other, more interesting options, like organ or harpsichord, but I’m stretched to cover my own practice as it is, so singing along for an hour and a half every week is definitely easier. This term, we are preparing a selection from Messiah to sing at the beginning of December. There’s a song in it that starts, “All we sheep”, and every time we sing it I think about wool and my knitting 😀 It always comes back to the same thing 😀


October 11, 2006

My deluded concept of time

Filed under:News!,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 19:09

Sure! I can knit five projects all at once… in my dreams. (Worryingly, this is true. Last night I dreamt I came in contact with some Colinette and woke myself up from the thrill of it. I imagine some of you just curled away from the computer in a sad-cringe moment. Sigh!) But I have been doing my best. I finished the front (or back) of Gatsby Girl on Monday and succeeded in casting on for the other front (or back) straight away.

I love every single detail of this sweater and I am enjoying knitting the second piece. Needless to say, I’m hardly exhilerated about knitting ribbed sleeves – my two most despised things in knitting – but I’m going to try and knit them as fast as I can to just get them over with.

And the Alien Heads! I temporarily abandoned them for GG but it is still so warm here, so I have taken this back up with seasonal zeal (Waiter! A bottle of your finest seasonal zeal!) and I’d love to get it finished tonight. I have already completed the shaping on the front section.

When I had the front completed, I figured it would be a good time to try it on. Now, I’m all for the element of surprise (even if that surprise is not being able to fit your head through the neck-hole) but I figured, well, I haven’t gone too far and if it doesn’t fit around the chest, I could rip back and do a few discreet increases. Not only does it fit fine, but the length is great too. I made it about 6 inches longer than the pattern and now it is the length of a “normal” top. Jeez. What is with designers? I would hate to design a cropped top that doesn’t look cropped in the picture and have a whole pile of knitters who just knit the pattern and not question the schematic be really disappointed with the end product! /rant

There has been more going on, but I lack photographic evidence. On the train home at the weekend, I got stuck into the button bands for my Granny Smith. The plain one – the one you sew the buttons on to – came out a little floppy, but I’m hoping that when I block it out again it will stretch out. The other one, the one the buttons go through, was a fiasco. There I was, knitting away happily, looking forward to doing the button holes (this alone should have warned me). Then. The button hole instructions…oO{ ??? } I spent an hour trying to figure it out. All the while, I had this huge pile of bright green FUZZ on my lap and the guy beside me was just dying to know what on earth I was doing (the staring gave it away. sometimes I feel that, on trains, it would help to hang a sign around my neck saying what I am doing. Like, “knitting a jumper”, “knitting a sleeve and hating it”, “making buttonholes”, or “???”) Finally, having muddled my way through six buttonholes, I got to do my picot edging thing. The button hole bands are like the hems; there is a row of yo, k2tog, which forms a picot edge, then you knit the hem that is folded under. This means that I had to do two sets of button holes. Guess what I forgot to do! It was only when I laid it out to admire my handiwork that I realised that I could see a proper hole for my button hole. Sigh. It has since been entirely reknit and I made much better button holes, Aileen-styleey, this time around.

Birthday knits! My father and sister have birthdays very close to each other at the end of the month. I have already started her shawl (sorry! no pictures until she has it!) but I have yet to start my dad’s hat. The hat I have in mind is the cabled hat from One Skein, and I’m planning on using Debbie Bliss’s Cashmerino Chunky. Nobody likes a scratchy hat and he specifically requested a hat from me for working outside in the winter. So this will be warm and snuggly and very soft. Awww 😀

I was in town today and saw that the new batch of knitting and craft magazines have come in. Check out this month’s Sandra. Generally, it is not as good as most other magazines but this issue actually has one or two patterns I’m going to hang on to. This month’s issue of Knitting was disappointing, but upon Bryony’s advice, I picked up the Woman’s Way Knitting and Stitching Special Issue. I don’t like the way it is wrapped in plastic but trust me, it is worth buying. It has a good selection of autumn/winter sweaters, cardies and jackets, as well as some nice scarf patterns and childrens’ knits. Both this issue and the issue of Knitting has a featured pattern from Lucinda Guy’s And So To Bed – the very cute stuffed owl and the hot water bottle with intarsia of a sleeping moon, respectively. I would love to make the owl so I am glad I went for the Woman’s Way Special Issue. I always enjoy a good look through Anna, which is a more general arts and crafts mag. The current issue features a mosaic games board, which would be so much fun to make and really cool to use!


October 4, 2006

Progress & Patterns

Filed under:News!,Plans-Ideas- Designs,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 13:23

Ok, here we go. First up is Gatsby Girl. My patience has been never-ending with the cables. I have actually surprised myself; I might expand and write a Top Ten Guide to Messing Up Cables. I have probably spent more hours dropping back twenty rows of cables and reknitting the with a tiny crochet hook than actually knitting. Oh well, another skill for my CV. Here she is.

From this point on, the cables stop and a lace pattern and armhole shaping takes over. The lace pattern is easy to memorise and the armhole shaping isn’t one of those sneaky, ham-burglar types of shaping that has ‘at the same time as…’ thrown in at the end of a twenty-line sentence.

Green Pomatomus #2 has been grinding along slowly, mostly because I’ve been hacking away at GG and another distraction too (stay tuned! it’s coming up!). But I turned the heel and I am already about halfway through the foot. I know all about the funny looks I get when I try on the really fun glittery childrens’ shoes in Dunnes Stores, but when it comes to knitting socks, having a just-about size 4 foot is all good.

As for that distraction? Here it is – or rather, here they are.

It is a crocheted ruffle scarf from One Skein. Now, the book recommends a super-chunky yarn and something like a 10mm or 11mm hook. I had neither, so I dug out an old scarf I knitted over the summer using two skeins of Noro Silk Garden held together. It was very skinny and kept curling up on itself so I never wore it. I loved the colours too much to give it away. Here was a perfect use! I used a 7mm hook and the two strands held together again. I finished this within one episode of CSI Miami!

Addictive, non?

I have had a lone skein of Noro Kureyon lingering at the back of a drawer for the longest time. I bought it because the colours are great and I had planned on a little felted purse. Now, given my record with felting, I’m glad it didn’t come to a bad end. I crocheted this one with just the one strand and a 6mm hook. It is alot less bulky than the first one, but is perfect as a decorative cravat around a dark polo neck or a draughty blouse. I am in love with this pattern!

In other progress news, I have started knitting on the button band for Granny Smith. I have been putting this off, given my terrible track record with knitting on bands to anything. But – so far so good. We’ll see though.

Does anyone else collect patterns? I have more patterns ear-marked than I’ll ever be able to knit. This is the problem with buying magazines. I have three super sweaters I am dying to make out of last winter’s Tendances from Phildar, but I know they just won’t happen until at least next year, by which time something else like Gatsby Girl II will have taken precedence. *sigh* Well, here is a list of great patterns I have come across that I hope I will get around to making at some point.

First up is an oldish pattern that I think has already ‘done the rounds’, but is definitely worthy of inclusion: Green Gable. This is a really nice fitted little t-shirt. It is small enough for you to be able to splash out on a soft, luxurious yarn without breaking the bank, and I think it’s perfect for under a suit jacket, a cardigan or going out to a place where you’ll have your coat off.

From the same site, there is Rusted Root. Again, a nice little top with lace detail to set it apart. I love this top. These both came from Zephyr Style and I found the site through the Sexy Knitters Club. Even if you don’t join the Club, it is a great place to find sexy knits.

It was through the Club, and a few podcast mentions, that I came across the Simple Knitted Bodice. I like this for a number of reasons. It is well-fitted, the sleeve and bodice detail are really nice, the deep V-neck is cool, and there’s the choice to make it short or long sleeved.

Last but by no means least, there is the very famous One Skein Wonder. Initially I dismissed this pattern when it initially did the rounds, but seeing Lisa’s in the flesh really changed my mind. She had knitted her’s in a really soft black yarn. What a useful little top! And again, a great number if you want to treat yourself to just one skein of really delicious stuff. I think it would look really good, too, knitted in a much finer yarn, like Kid Silk Haze or Kid Silk Night. It would have more drape and if knitted in KSN would make a really glamorous night-out accessory 😀