30 May 2007

what is it?

Is it a bird?

Is it a plane?

...ahem... none of the above... it's


Or, hopefully it will be super!

Picture this, but longer and swingier:

Both are modified from a pattern in Knitter's Universe mag from 2005.

Both are made with Berroco Suede on 5 mm addis (which are, in themselves, superthings!)

Stay tuned...

28 May 2007

rainbow dress - done!

The rainbow dress (based on the Rectangular Fitted Tunic from Stephanie Japel's Fitted Knits) is done! For specs, see below:


Front of dress

Back of Dress


How it went: I'm more or less happy with the outcome. Not as fitted as I wanted it - this was a side effect of working with so many different yarns. The tunic part of the dress is knitted from side to side (which I loved) and then I added short row shaping at the sides and bottom for the skirt. This was partly a stashbuster and partly a way to try out some new yarns. The experiment in this regard worked quite well, I think. I wasn't sure how it would turn out considering that I used quite wildly differing weights and types of yarn.


Berger Du Nord Belle Print (100% silk)- worsted weight
Fleece Artist merino sock yarn - sock weight
Fleece Artist sea wool (100% merino)- sock weight
Handmaiden Sea Silk - fingering weight
Claudia Handpaints (100% merino) - sock weight
Handmaiden Silken - DK/worsted weight
Alchemy (100% silk)- fingering weight
Needful Elba (100% nylon - ribbon)
S.R. Kerzner "Sari" ribbon (polyamide)
Rowan Calmer (cotton/acrylic) - worsted weight
Romni linen (100% linen)

Needle sizes:

3.25 mm, 3.75 mm, 4.0 mm, 4.25 mm

Other notions: 6 buttons

Finished size: 35" bust, 32 inches long at longest point.


For the "bodice" and most of the dress, I adapted the Rectangular Fitted tunic pattern by Stephanie Japel with the following changes:

* instead of the "morse code" pattern, I put in black stripes with linen to separate the colours. [I love the morse code pattern but didn't think it would show well with so many colours)

* I made the "small" size but increased the length to 26", excluding the hem.

* instead of seaming the sides, I used a provisional cast on and then 3 needle bindoff.

To make the "skirt":

(a) I added some short row shaping to the bottom of each side of the tunic (starting from the hip shaping down)... the short rows were worked in 4 stitch increments)

(b) I then added short rows to the bottom by dividing each piece in half (both front and back) and working short rows in 4 stitch increments - deepest point of the triangles to the outside.

(c) I then added more short row shaping to the bottom, reversing so that the deepest part of the triangles faced to the middle.

As a result of this dress, I now have 3 new favourite yarns:

(a) the Berger du Nord Belle Print (which was sent to me as part of an online swap. Thanks, Ruth! )

(b) Handmaiden Silken

(c) Handmaiden Sea Silk (I know, I know... I've jumped onto the Handmaiden bandwagon).

22 May 2007

Victoria's Secret...

...or, What I Did Over the May two-four weekend! a work in progress:

This is a dress I'm trying to make based on the Rectangular fitted tunic from Fitted Knits by Stefanie Japel. I know, I know - it's looking a bit rough! Rather overzealously, I thought I might actually finish the dress. I did, however, have a few other things to do! (sigh).

It is fun for me to see how it is coming together although I'm not quite sure how the finished product will look. Colourful, at any rate. ;-) The working title is either "Muppet Explosion" or "Pride Dress". At this point the length is 26" approx so I will have to add some more short rows along the bottom (and another sleeve, I guess).

Oh... and due to the work on this, I did not manage to drink a twofer on the long weekend - only a 6. I did however watch the Bob and Doug reunion which was worth a laugh ("take off, eh?")

20 May 2007

Julie McC tagged me!! Seven random things...

Julie McC tagged me in what I gather is a virtual chain letter (am I showing my age here? Do chain letters still exist in paper form?). So, in order to avoid bad knitting karma, I'm passing along the message -TAG - you're it! (see below).

Please see the end of the post for the Rules.

And, if anyone else is interested (?!) please feel free to post a comment to this post with your 7 things.

Now, to see if I can come up with seven things about myself! Hmm...

1. I have a black thumb, meaning that I kill everything green and living that I touch and am banned from going anywhere near the flower boxes on the balcony!

2. I worked as an exotic dancer for 3 years to save enough money to put myself through graduate education (a cliche, I know, I know...)

3. I taught myself to knit when I was 12 because my grandmother (rest her soul) refused to teach me.

4. Being greek-canadian, I actually do break plates on occasion - to make mosaic covered furniture (see 2006 page on this blog if interested).

5. I used to smoke 3 25-packs of cigarettes a day (see #2, above). I am now down to 1 pack of 25 (Dunhills, if there is anyone else out there foolish enough to keep smoking).

6. My favourite humourist is David Sedaris, followed very closely by Rick Mercer.

7. My favourite breakfast is a toasted all-dressed bagel with peanut butter and crisp bacon. In a pinch, pretty much any other type of bagel will do unless it is fruit flavoured (I do not believe in fruit flavoured bagels).


The rules (as posted on Julie's blog) are here:

List 7 random things about yourself on your blog.
Tag 7 others.
Leave a comment on their blog to direct them to your site to get the rules.

Probably, just like the real life tag game, there are no "tag-backs". (Or is it "punch buggy, no punch backs..." - ah, all of these fond memories lost in the mists of time...

And... the lucky winners are... (drum roll, please...):


I suspect now I will go down from 8 readers to 1 (there is one reader with no blog). SIGH. And - my apologies if I've tagged someone who has already been tagged. Apparently this tag game has gone rampant and many of those I tried had already been hit.


colour my world...

I seem to have gone colour-mad! First I started this:

(the wonderful - and decivingly simple - Bacardi pattern by Barbara Gregory in No Sheep for You... and thanks to Barbara for preparing me a chart with my personal colours!)...

...but then starting hitting the stash and got some wonderful small samples in a swap from an online acquaintance from Knitty. Also, bought another book called "Fitted Knits" by Stephanie Japel:

So, now I have started turning this:

...into this:

The finished product, goddess willing, will be a dress. And then it will be back to the Bacardi...

14 May 2007

new dress!

I'm sad to say that I have not been able to photograph this in a way that does it justice. However, I'm quite happy with the result (although I would tweak it a bit)...

(headless wonder shot)

(fuzzy attempts at self-portrait in a bedroom which was really supposed to be cleaned this past week during our week off - oh well...)

(on the hanger - doesn't look as good there as on, I don't think)...

Yarns: Trendsetter "Segue" (polyamide ribbon) and Fleece Articst Curlilocks
Needle size: 9 mm plus 7 mm crochet hook
Time spent: 10 hours approx
Design by: ME!

I am motivated to keep working on the design and can already see where I went "wrong" and what I would like to change. I think I'll try it next in some Berroco Suede (which I bought to do a very funky handbag, before making about 50 other funky handbags... would rather make a dress. Plus, another excuse for a trip to the LYS as I will not have enough to finish the dress).

12 May 2007

a week in the (so-called) life...!

Well, actually, I must confess that it has been a great life this week and accordingly I've been able to allot a disprortionate amount of time to knitting! Ribbing section of a sweater, two tank tops and other WIPs later, here is the progress report:

I kicked off the week in uncharateristically selfish fashion by starting on the He Gansey from the No Sheep book for DH:

... but then I got bored with the colour, which was DH's choice (sorry, DH, I should never have asked your preference...) so I turned my thoughts to the other items posted below... and to colour choices for the Bacardi cardigan from the same book for ME...

... which I will probably start on Monday or Tuesday after I have finished this little dress...

... and also this (which involves no little frogging of the way-too-large boxer shorts)...

Colour me (apart from the grey gansey yarn) obsessed!!! It has been a thoroughly enjoyable and relaxing week (and I did even manage to fit in a few social events and a trip or two) - and I will have great difficulty going back to the office on Monday. But - I've got to pay for all this yarn somehow... ;-)

11 May 2007

more sale yarn...

...led to this new summer knit (I don't think I've knit as many summer things in all my life as I have this week!).

And it is my own design, so I'm feeling quite chuffed as they say in the UK (I think, anyway!)

Yarn: South West Trading Co Phoenix Soy Silk and Kerzner Sari ribbon (2 skeins of soy silk, one skein approx of ribbon)
Needles: 6 mm circular + 4.5 mm crochet hook

The tank was knitted in the round - no sewing!! (did I mention I hate sewing?) It was my attempt to avert the twin disasters of not liking the ribbing I had picked and realising about a thrid of the way through that I would have only enough of the soy silk to finish halfway up the armpits. After panicking and running around my apartment like a jackass for about 20 minutes I raided the stash and found the sari ribbon which I had bought (just because it was so pretty and it cost only $1 per skein). So, all was good again.

I'll call it "Silken Sunset", I think. ;-)

Neckline and hem are crocheted in 2 rounds hdc. The armhole edging was knit in with a slip stitch pattern.

08 May 2007

the one-day tank

Well, thanks to kind people on the Knitty Board responding yesrterday morning to a plea on what to do with some sale yarn": here is the result!!!

Pattern is the Ribbon X-Back (found on the Knitty webiste at Knitty.com)

Yarn: Rowan Cotton Tape - most of 4 skeins for the x-small - I combined deep pink and purple which is what I had bought on sale

Needle size: 8mm

Time spent - total 5 hours!!

A GREAT summer pattern!

07 May 2007

Samus, redux

Here it is: based on the Samus pattern at the Knitty website: http://knitty.com/ISSUEfall05/PATTsamus.html

Yarn: (body) Super 3 (Kerzner - discontinued - mercerised cotton, aran weight) - 650 g approx; (edging) Newport Pima Cotton by Classic Elite Yarns (mercerised cotton)
Notions: 5mm circular needles; 3.5mm crochet hook

I had committed some kind of sin some months back by knitting a cardigan for DH where I knew I would want to use the same pattern again for myself (see my post on 25 October 2006). So - the challenge was to make sure that the two, seen together, did not look some some cutesy "his n hers" deal. I think I've managed, more or less. How?

Some notes:

- when I first saw the pattern (which was knitting in roughly the same orange colour as you see above), my first thought (with no offence to the designer at all) was "Who would knit a gorgeous sweater like this in the colour of a pumpkin"? Answer (with the cold light of 20/20 hindsight): *I* would... at least if I came across a Super 10 like yarn on sale!

- I changed the cable pattern on the bottom from the original, partly in aid of avoiding the "his 'n hers" syndrome. The pattern I used is located in the fabulous book "Cables Unlimited" by Melissa Leapman.

- the edging choice was torturous and expensive (considering that I spent only $45.00 or so on the yarn for the body). My initial thought was fuschia Super 10, then lime green. I ended up buying two skeins each of fuschia and KELLY green (the latter "by mistake"). I couldn't find the lime green (one of my favourites) and ended up buying another scarlet coloured skein yesterday. After all that, the Super 10 did not work out well for me because the gauge (DK) was too different. AND I now have spent more on the Super 10 than I did for the original yarn! (probably just my subconscious telling me "Buy and hoard Super 10... buy and hoard Super 10...)

- re. edging: I'm also a bit sad because my ultimate choice, the Classic Elite, did not work well for the i-cord eging specified as there was not enough give and the slip stitches seemed to pop out. I was particularly peeved at this as I had wanted to do a cable I-cord edging. Oh well. I resorted to the handy old crochet needle - at which point I could not find a way to make the edging 100% even. This, I will term a "design feature".

- there are no fasteners. I will be using this as a spring/summer light jacket and find I don't do up my other jackets in the spring and summer anyway.

- the sweater has not been properly blocked. This is because I am lazy and impatient and hate blocking. (I must reserve any energies I have for seaming, which I also hate). I did throw the knitted pieces into the wash after finishing and steam-ironed the crocheted edging and trim. I'm sure it would look much better if blocked, but I can't be bothered.

- the sweater was very fun to knit (as was DHs) and I would highly recommend this pattern for people relatively new to knitting who want to try out a cable pattern for the first time. The one in the actual Samus pattern is quite a bit more intricate than the one I chose, and ultimately looks better with the cardigan... but I'm happy with this one as well and it was quite a bit simpler.

Now, on to the He gansey from No Sheep and to figuring out how to convert some sale yarn (polyamide wide ribbon, Rowan Cotton Tape and Pheonix "soy silk" into cute little tank tops... I don't know that I have enough in quantity of the latter two nor that I have the mathematical brain required to compute the stitch count for wildly different gauged yarn in the tank top patterns I have... SIGH).

05 May 2007

pics of older stuff

Here is a dress I designed - have not worn often because not 100% happy with it, but good for a first effort at knitting a skirt, I think:

Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece

And here is a photo of a "phony seam" on a sweater knitted in the round...
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece

what to do?

I wish I had never bought the No Sheep For You book by Amy Singer. Not because I don't like it - but because I'm having a difficulty getting to work with all the great patterns. And - the stash which I had successfully started to bust is now burgeoning again.

Plus: also I am loving working on a Samus-style cardigan (Knitty website) I'm now facing the dreaded SSS (second sleeve syndrome and just want to start something else.

So - I'm posting my WIP photo of the Samus to re-invigorate myself:

Yarn: Super 3 by Kerzner (discontinued) - purple is for the i-order border and is Newport Pima Cotton (mercerised)

And with all greatest intentions, my plan was first to knit the Bacardi pattern, calling for Super 10, in order to engage in some stash busting - it's getting to the point otherwise where I could probably open a Super10 store:

....but then I went on-line and bought Rowan cotton for the following two projects:

What's a girl to do? Good thing I've got this week off work... but the danger is that I will never go back! However, no work, no money for more yarn... such a dilemma.

And, on the upside, I just rescued a 3 drawer plastic "file cabinet" from my apartment disposal which will help to contain the stash...

... but on the downside, I still have two bags to sew together and line... (I HATE this part)...