Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Harry Potter, sunshine, and new Swish DK in the perfect shade of red. What could possibly be better?

Except, of course, Harry Potter, sunshine, knitting and swedish fish:

So far, I am really enjoying Book 7 and am about halfway through. I am finding it a little weird that Hogwarts has not factored in the story much at all, but I guess I kind of expected as much. But there's been good and surprising character development and certainly a compelling story line. It's bittersweet, of course -- I think that's why I'm knitting and reading, to draw it out and make it last longer.

As for the Swish DK, I love love love the color, and am pretty pleased with the feel -- it certainly is not as smooth and tightly wound as some more expensive superwashes I have tried, like Karabella Aurora 8 or Filatura di Crosa Zara. But for the price, this seems like a great yarn. I am particularly excited about this red, because a lot of the other colors I ordered came out much brighter and louder than they appeared on the computer, which is a fact I often forget about Knitpicks yarn. But this one is true -- a deep, lovely adult cranberry, I'd say about two shades darker and perhaps further into the browns than the Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino I used for the Peach Blossom jacket.

And the design, you ask? I am REALLY excited about this one. I thought long and hard about how to get all of the aspects of this sweater just right and came up with an ingenious scheme, if I do say so myself [laughs sinisterly and rubs hands together]. I'm excited enough that I think I'm going to keep this one under wraps, because it might be good enough to submit for publication.

I had a conversation with my mom last weekend about my knitting and my knitting blog (which she agrees is lovely but sees as somewhat of a waste of time and a possible reason I am not married and reproducing at this very moment). My take on it is that it gives me a goal and a place to show off my work and feel like there is a community I belong to that values what I do as much as I do. As for the designs, I have been really excited to get so much more traffic lately on the blog, and I chalk that up to some of my patterns' popping up on free pattern link sites. I'm proud of the things I design and it excites me that some other people like them too. My mom also suggested I try selling patterns like some other people do on their blogs, and she might be right that I could be making some money to support my yarn habit. But so far I've been pleased to be posting free patterns -- I turn to knitting blogs and free sites for inspiration a lot, and I like being part of this free community. So I've been working on some stuff to submit to Knitty, which is also gloriously free, but I don't think I'll be making up pdf's to sell, at least at the moment.

And as for the marriage and reproducing thing? Who knows. She might be right that the time I spent knitting (and blogging) I could have spent speed-dating or something. But after a month of speed dating I might rack up 3 or 4 awkward first dates, whereas after a month of knitting, I'm left with a sweater...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Until The Deathly Hallows arrives...

... I might as well knit. Here's the latest project -- and the first one for just me in a long time. I know, I know, Arwen is still languishing on the needles with unfinished arms. I just can't take too much straight-up stockinette at one time. So I cast on a complicated project in hopes of getting sick of fiddly fair isle and retreating to the oasis of Arwen sleeves. So far, I haven't felt the need to retreat, and with Saturday's book release nearing, I have a feeling I won't be retreating anywhere but Hogwart's for at least a week...

This is the yoke of a fair-isle yoke cardigan in Brown Sheep Naturespun fingering, design put together by me but based on patterns in Sheila MacGregor's Traditional Fair Isle Knitting. When I started out I was concerned that the blue was too bright to blend with the rest of the colors, but now I am glad I kept at it. And now my only concern is that the yoke is going to look weird with the short-row extra length I put in the back to raise the back part of the collar up. Knitting this has made me remember why I love stranded knitting best of all: though the color changes do take more time than just straight stockinette, they don't seem as time-consuming as cables to me, and the change in the pattern as I knit up row after row is so compelling that it has me saying "just one more row" all evening.

Also blog-worthy are these shots of a finished project modeled by its adorable recipient, Andrew, in the arms of Auntie Jen:

Here he's grabbing his ear and making a face because he's sleepy, and here he is ten minutes later:

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Arwen emerges

The top-down Arwen's body is finished!

The hem, in laceweight merino that's approximately the same color:

The zipper will be the perfect length:

The fake seam:

Gratuitous cable shot:

Modeled shots showing the fit (keeping in mind that it is for my sister, whose torso is longer than mine). It is a little on the short side, but I am planning on its growing a little in blocking:

Saturday, July 7, 2007

What am I going to do about this?


Arwen's body is one pattern repeat from completion, and I am not frogging back three inches. Hopefully nobody will be staring so hard at my sister's upper pelvic region that they notice this little cabling error.

Meanwhile, I have discovered an awesome blog: TECHknitting, which has great clear illustrations of a lot of different techniques. Go check it out!