Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Shaded Entrelac

I can't believe I started this way back in April. Those of you following along will remember that I spoke of its hibernation throughout the summer, and picked it up again in the last couple of weeks, to make a concerted effort to finish.

And it's finally done. Measuring out at 42 x 54 inches, it isn't huge, but it's enough to cover me comfortably as I sit on the sofa and watch tv (and I know, because I've been quite warm as I sat under it, as I finished it over the last week or two.) Bear in mind that those are unblocked dimensions -- I chose not to block it for two reasons: One, that I have no space to block a blanket anywhere in my teeny weeny apartment, and Two, that I love the dimension of it. The squares all curl a bit to the purl side, as knitting is wont to do, so it gives a really puffy quilty look to the blanket. The edging came out a bit ruffly, as you can see in the above photo, which I'm sure would be fixed by blocking it, but as I said, that ain't gonna happen.

Looks like it goes on forever, doesn't it.
That's how it felt when I was knitting it.

Each of those squares took around 5 minutes to knit. Do the math, and then shake your head at my insanity.

In other insanity news, I've actually been contemplating knitting another afghan.

I wish I was joking.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

So Close...

I am truly in the home stretch with the Entrelac lap throw -- and very eager to be able to have it off the needles. To entertain yourself while I finish it off, go to Michael Moore's Slacker Uprising website, where he is offering his latest feature-length documentary free to download (or watch streaming online.) How progressive of him! I haven't watched the entirety of it yet myself, so I can't give you a full review, but I trust he's made another doozy.

While I'm on the topic of smart and engaging documentaries, if you're into that sort of thing, you really should check out Ironweed Films, which is a fantastic (and inexpensive) film club that sends you a really cool feature-length documentary every month (with a few short films included on the same theme.) I have been a member for about a year and a half, and I would really highly recommend it. Start a film club, expand your library of documentary films, and expand your horizons!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Handmade Revolution

Because of my own enjoyment of making things by hand, I've been thinking more and more about where things around me come from, and how they are made. I want to support other artisans out there (let's face it: as much as I'd like to, I can't make everything myself.) So when I spent some time last week shopping on etsy for a gift for my boss, I also ended up buying a couple of mugs for myself.
I can honestly tell you (as a earthy sensual Taurus) that the experience of drinking a coffee from a mug thrown and glazed by hand is so much better than something factory-made. I think one special and precious and beloved mug is well worth the price of many boring cookie-cutter ones. Two must be even better, hm? The two I bought were made by the very talented Jen of Papapots, whom I highly recommend. Just look at the glorious robin's egg blue on the inside of the mug on the left, and the cascading brown speckles on the mug on the right. Is it decadent to buy two? I hope so.

Though it might seem I've been coasting along without crafting for a couple of weeks, I haven't -- you may have noticed the progress bars changing on the sidebar, if you've been paying attention. The Entrelac lap throw is slowly growing bigger; I want to get it off my list of WIPs so it isn't hovering over me any more. Also, I don't like having more than one large project on the needles at the same time, and the next one I have going is pretty big. Finishing the two of them will get a huge part of my yarn stash emptied out (and therefore make room for more huge purchases... *evil laugh*) Want a sneak peek of what's up next?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Fabel-ous Cardigan

So here we are, at the finish line for the stripey little yoke cardigan from Drops Fabel and Alpaca yarns. I am totally enamored of it, and miss working on it, now that it's been completed. In fact, I've been toying with the idea of doing another one in the future, but with more colour. For now, let's just look at this one and enjoy it, in all its black & grey & white glory.

As I mentioned before, the construction of this cardigan was a bit consternating, at times, though ultimately it was actually quite simple, once you got on with it. When choosing the size to knit, I was planning for several inches of negative ease (i.e. for the finished garment to be several inches smaller around than I am) because I know how much garter stitch can stretch, and I wanted it to be somewhat fitted. I think the photos make it apparent that it is certainly fitted, in all the right places. The way it is knit also allows for a lot of trying-on-for-size, which is always great. I started out knitting the Large, but ended up adding a few repeats here and there, as I tried it on and thought it needed a bit more room.

In recognition that this sweater is described as an A-line sweater, I can see that it would have been more swingy if I had made perhaps the XL. Also, because the sweater is knitted side-to-side, the one thing I couldn't adjust for, along the way, was the length. I have considered adding a dark grey border with the Alpaca along the bottom hem, to lengthen it a bit, but in the end I decided that I like it as is. Nothing wrong with a short little sweater, sometimes.

The button band gapes a bit when I wear it buttoned up, although it gapes less after blocking the sweater with a steam iron. It does look great worn open, though, so I don't really have to worry about it. (Is it conceited of me to say that?)

Overall, the sweater is comfy and lightweight -- knitted from wool/nylon sock yarn and a fingering weight alpaca, it isn't very thick, so it will be perfect for cool mornings and evenings, as the weather begins to turn.

One last photo of a happy lady in a pretty sweater, and thanks to my HLM for the photography. (Please know that he is a much better photographer than a sweater shoot will allow him to display.)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Seven rounds from being finished, people.

So I decided to make a little hat, for an Instant Gratification Project. This is an adorable little confection, again from Drops, which promised to be interesting enough to keep my attention, and quick enough that I will be able to wear it in no time. Okay, well I subbed the yarn to some alpaca/tencel from, and had to calculate yardage to make sure I ordered enough, and then I looked at some on Ravelry and decided to move up a needle size, since theirs looked like they fit snugly, like a watchcap, and I wanted mine to be looser, like the original design photo. Also, I have a big head. Somewhere in there, I should have realized that perhaps I might need more yarn.

So I'm seven little rounds from being finished my hat and I had to order another ball of yarn. A ball of yarn from which I won't need more than perhaps three yards... (And don't think for a moment that the thought didn't cross my mind that I could use a length of an entirely different yarn to finish the last seven rounds, and just call it a "design element.")

I tried it on and looked at it and wondered if maybe I should just frog the whole thing and do it again on a smaller needle because then maybe I could squeeze it out of the two balls I have. Ultimately I decided that, while I probably could, I'd rather finish it on the needles I've been doing it on and see how it looks in the end. Maybe after that I'll still frog it and redo it smaller and have an extra ball of yarn lying around.

I'm crazy that way.