fallingbooks: (finished)
High on the list of things I freaking know I own but cannot find is my 40" size 8 circular. I was hoping to take another crack at ye olde Cecchetti of Doooom (because my office is freakin' freezing and the alpaca yarn I'm gonna use is warm, but alas, it's not meant to be. Today, anyway.

mittensKnitpicks, here I come!

(Pictures for like, the last paragraph, ahoy. I tried to get all arty with them. ::rolls eyes::))

Anyway, in lieu of that, I'm going to cast on a Yvonne using some of the Noro Yuzen I bought earlier this year. (I bought WAAAAAAAAAY too much of the stuff. Not sure what I was thinking there.) Anyway, I love this pattern, but I'm a bit conflicted about my love because it's basically a fancy-ass vest, and I am not so much about those. (I find that my boobtacularness is best showcased by tasteful cleavage, not so much a large swath of contrasting color.) But it's cold and I have all the pieces and parts to make something comfy so I'm trying to to worry about it so much. I'll keep you posted on my progress, Internets.

Itty mittensAnyway, real and valuable content! I have finished things! Many and several, in fact. But today we're gonna talk about mittens.

Made with Cascade 220 superwash and Ella Rae superwash. I'm not a huge fan of superwash for mittens because I like it when they felt a bit as part of regular use (makes for a warmer/drier mitten IMHO,) but sometimes, particularly when you're talking kids who are more apt to get them dirty, superwash is the better choice for ease of care. I'm building a recipe pattern for these as I'm getting pretty good at sizing them from kid-sized up to very, very large, and will hopefully have that available for folks before the end of the year.
fallingbooks: piles of books and yarn (fallingbooks)
...finishing a pair of sock that you IMMEDIATELY need to shove them onto your feet for admiring purposes?
fallingbooks: (Default)
Okay, I tried to post about my 2 Week Sweater yesterday and it got eaten and my heart was broken and the world was ending so I went off to mope and spin some SAL fiber for the rest of the evening. Let us all hope that this goes better this time.

(The post, not the sweater. It's still in a completely unnommed state as far as I know. Maybe I should go check...)

ditz inna damariscotta (my god I hate having my picture taken.)SO! I finished my sweater at midnight on Saturday morning, and almost a week later I'm still wandering around in a state of shock. I. Made a sweater. Holy freaking crap, I made a SWEATER. In LESS THAN TWO WEEKS.

(In case it hadn't clicked, I'd never made a sweater before. Sweaters were big and scary and had seams, dear God, SEAMS. Only really good knitters made sweaters.)

I honestly feel like I can take over the entire world right now, clad in my fiefdom conquering sweater and despot crushing socks. My ego is now immense and my self esteem is insanely high. I had a huge mental block and this project helped me vault right over it and now all I want to do is make sweaters. Lots of them. Right now. No, seriously. RightNow. If for no other reason than that, the project was a success, but it turns out that despite my yarn-subbing, modifying shenanigans, the sweater is surprisingly wearable as well. Huzzah!

Deets:

Pattern:
Damariscotta from the Spring 2010 Twist Collective
Yarn: Stitch Nation Full O' Sheep in Mediterranean
Needles: KnitPicks Zephyr Interchangeables, size 6 and random sz 5s (DPN + straights)

Starting at the bottom of the list -- I decided to test drive the Zephyrs on this project. (I needed to get a size 6 circular, anyway.) I have a longstanding love of vintage plastics, (and also a longstanding history of accidentally snapping them, whoops,) so I've always been intrigued by them. Can I say, these needles are seriously awesome? I could get all pretentious and talk about handfeel and flexibility, but the bottom line is they're nicely slick so that your yarn moves over them easily, and they have the warmth and give that I've come to expect from using the vintage needles all while being pretty darn cheap. I'll definitely be adding more of these to the collection.

The yarn, however... this just wasn't the right project for it, for me personally. I had it kicking around in the right quantity and didn't want to go buy the recommended yarn (because I am lazy, and there tends to be a dearth of decent cottons around here,) so I totally take ownership for my decision. That said, the yarn halos like mad, and when I say 'like mad' I'm not indulging in hyperbole to talk about the little bit of fluff that you get on knitted objects after a couple careful wearings. No. I'm talking, 'holy crap, this looks like a carpet after a 3 am catfight between some seriously aggravated persians' before the darn thing was even worn. (Okay, maybe THAT'S a bit of an exaggeration, but not too much!) I was simply shocked by how much it haloed knitting it up, considering how smooth it looks in the skein. Me, I'm not a huge fan of fuzzy sweaters. Scarves, hats, shawls, fine. Sweaters, no. YMMV. The color is lovely and even, however, and it is fabulously warm.

I love the pattern. I'll probably use it as a base for a fistful of other sweaters. The directions are clear and concise, comes in a variety of sizes, and it's easily moddable to adapt to your personal wants. Personal mods: lowered the neckline by 8 rows (still legal, but will layer better over some of my other tops,) subbed in 6 rows of seed stitch, bound off in pattern for the rolled hems on the arms, and 8 rows, split at the side seams for the bottom hem. The main things I'll probably do the next time is tinker with the decreases coming out of the bust, and add an extra one for a slightly snugger fit, and not move to a smaller needle for the hems.

I'm thinking a slightly longer body with long sleeves that switch to a complimentary color at the elbow for the next one.

---

In spinning news, I currently have two SALs on tap. The ITW one needs to be completed, um, soon, (It went on the wheel last night!) but the Fiber Fancy batts arrived yesterday (accompanied by Laffy Taffy and candy buttons!) so I think I'll put them aside and work on them as part of the Tour de Fleece insanity.

(I may have a poll on what I should work on for TdF this weekend, because I seem to have acquired quite a bit of fluff, and my decision making capabilities are a bit overwhelmed by all of it. It does not help that I essentially have no plan for any of it.)

--

Into The Whirled SAL fiber - Inspirations 'Starcrossed' & 'Teal'


itw-starcrossedITW - Teal

--

Fiber Fancy SAL fiber - Wonka 'Fizzy Lifting Drinks'

fiber fancy - fizzy lifting drink

---

I'm thinking about including some book reviews and whatnot on this blog. I used to maintain a yearly list of new books I'd read and some capsule reviews elsewhere, but let it lapse about a year ago, but I'm starting to feel love again. I read mostly urban fantasy, romance, graphic novels, and gobs of YA, as an fyi/fair warning. ;)
fallingbooks: (yarn)
Hi, my name is Sarah, and I'm out of my freakin' mind.

I follow the Twist Collective on Twitter. And Twist Collective Kate who tweets, has issued a challenge: she has to knit up a sweater in two weeks, so why not see who else can do it.

Me, being a complete nutcase with a penchant for starting new projects, leapt on the project like it was made of coffee Timtams. (Which is to say, rabidly.)

I cast on a Damariscotta last night using Stitch Nation sheep in Mediterranean. I was wondering how it knits up. (The answer: Halo-y.) I'll try to check in with this project regularly so you can place bets for when the breakdown happens.

Damariscotta - In Progress

---

In the meantime, I would like to offer proof that I do occasionally finish projects. I present my Emerald Starling stole, in a 2 ply fingering weight Romney I spun up. I really liked this pattern for hand spun, particularly the semi-stripey because it really shows off the yarn while adding some visual interest to the piece with the lacey cross sections.

frank's shawlfrank's shawl

Fiber Fancy - Mustard and Herbs
fallingbooks: (Default)
survival shawl - simple Right after Christmas last year my LYS had a major sale on EVERYTHING and having a fat, new gift certificate burning a hole in my pocket, I indulged. On everything. One of the things I ended up carting home was an obscene amount of silk garden that I had vague, shawl-like aspirations for.

(I have vague, shawl-like aspirations for a lot of things. This is an ongoing trend that I have no doubt will crop up repeatedly here.)

In any event, it sat here spliced into a beach ball of continuous color runs for months while I tried to figure out what to do with it. Finally, faced with a few consecutive days of meeting and no help for my sanity in sight, I said screw it, pulled out ye olde stitch library and cobbled together a quickie pattern that not only would turn my beach ball into something pretty AND useful, but also would enable me to survive the next few days with my marbles intact.

I think it turned out fairly well. I apologize for the lack of action shots, I'll see if I can coerce coax any of my usual models into helping out later in the week. Pattern after the jump. Question, do people find it more useful to have this sort of thing put together as a PDF for download, or just tucked away on a web page?

Survival Stole )

If you try this pattern, please let me know if there are and corrections or clarifications that need to be included. :) Thanks!

---

ETA: Added to Ravelry for um, vanity and increased exposure. (ZOUNDS, I AM A DESIGNER.)
fallingbooks: (yarn)
I've found that spinning, for me anyway, is a lot like playing Rock Band. For the first hour or so there's some attempt at artistry - or at least competency. After that it's a long downhill grind to meet a certain goal, and it might be best to pack it in for a while. That said, I find that I really, REALLY, like spinning yarn. It's fun. I love taking a multicolored braid of roving and seeing how it spins out. So far I seem to do best with a low whorl drop spindle (tried a top whorl, we don't like each other,) and I'm working with merino, which is apparently not a usual beginner fiber choice. Eh. I'm doing fine with it. I like it better than the Falkland I'm messing around with now. Eventually the plan is to get a wheel - I'm pretty sure I want a Schacht Ladybug, because it's supposed to be newbie friendly, but also carry me for a while afterward, but that's still a while out yet. (Also: red wheel OMG.)

My first attempt in progress:
Delusions of Spinning Grandeur

And relatively completed:

FirstYarn!

(The pictures are fail. I am not much a photographer, my apologies.)

I spun that mostly while sitting in Amtrak trains between NYC and DC. I definitely got some odd looks from passengers. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it as there's really not all that much of it. Maybe I'll just hang in a shadowbox on the wall somewhere as a trophy. Ideas?
fallingbooks: (Default)
So what has Sarah been up to lately?

Mostly knitting gloves.

See?

Mass quantity of gloves

Paste-y Sarah shows off her gloves

Gifts for folks. Easy and brainless to make while nifty warm, although I'm starting to burn out a bit.

Once I finish these up, I'm going to make some socks and a sweater. I'm sure you'll hear more about that in a week or so.

In other news, I got new furniture.

New Living Room Set

The cats, as you can see, approve.

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fallingbooks: (Default)
Sarah

January 2011

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