She's Crafty...

and she's just my type!

Friday, June 30, 2006

Installment No. 2 of "What was I thinking?"

About 2 years ago, Rowan introduced their R2 line of yarns and patterns. The idea was that the pattern line and the corresponding yarns would be edgier than Rowan's other offerings. The yarns would also only be available for that season, after which they would promptly be discontinued, available only on the black market of Elann and eBay. In that first issue, they introduced Paper, a 100% nylon ribbon, and Rag, a 100% cotton that was basically knit fabric cut into strips. I bought 4 balls of Paper and the pattern book, knit the basic pullover in the pattern book, then immediately put it away in my big box of knitting. I drag it out every few months, decide not to seam it and put it back in my big box to sit idle until the next time I decide to do some housecleaning.

The thing is, I actually like this yarn, even if it does fall into the novelty category. It feels and looks like gauze and knits up into a really stretchy fabric with a weird drape. I think the problem I have with this almost-sweater is that the pattern just isn't interesting enough to suit the yarn. If you click on over to Elann, they've got pics of all the patterns in the book (one of which was featured on You Knit What?? recently). The one I knit is the least interesting of the bunch - and as you might know, there's nothing I hate more than uninteresting. I think my choice is clear. I'm probably going to have it ripped before you read this post. Any ideas as to what I should do with it next? Apart from using it to bandage wounds, of course.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Cleaning house

Yahaira's post today (click on over there - she's got pretty spinning!) reminded me of the Diamond Fantasy Scarf that I thought was sitting around in my big box of knitting. I had abandoned it almost a year ago because I made one mistake and didn't feel like unknitting to fix it at the time. So I put it away. And promptly got distracted by the ten other projects I had on the go at the time. When I saw Yahaira's, I decided to go fish mine out. What did I discover?

A completely frogged Diamond Fantasy Scarf!!! It seems that it a fit of housecleaning a while ago, I frogged it because I was convinced that it was too difficult for me to master. Looking at the pattern with new eyes, it's pretty clear that I can handle it - I just need to be patient.

But now instead of second-guessing my ability, I'm second guessing my yarn choice. I normally stay away from warm colours and gravitate towards cools. I had picked this yarn with the intent to get out of my comfort zone (the yarn is MUCH warmer that it appears from the photo), but now I'm wondering whether or not it's worth it. Trying to get out of my comfort zone is one thing, but when my comfort zone is so wide (it's not like I knit EVERYTHING in black or something) I wonder whether it's worth it. Anyone think I should go for it anyway and then gift it if I don't want it for myself? If the answer to that question is no, anyone want a big-ass ball of Fleece Artist Merino?*

Stay tuned for more big box of knitting archeology tomorrow!

*There's a centre-pull ball under there somewhere. It's not really the tangled mess it appears.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Yarn delivery!

My Cascade 220 Tweed for Forecast arrived! The colour is perfect and it's a lot softer than I expected. As much as I want to dig in right away, this one is going to go on the back burner for a while. I CANNOT contemplate knitting another wool sweater right now. Expect me to start this one when the thermometer dips below boiling.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Finished Knit.1 Cropped Cardigan

Done! I reknit and reseamed the sleeves and they fit perfectly. The only thing I'm not happy with is the wonky bottom ribbing and cutout. It looks ok in person, but just does not photograph well. I think it might be possible to fix, but that would involve reknitting the button bands and that's just not happening because...well, because I just don't want to! I can live with a bit of wonky ribbing. It adds character, right? All in all, I'm satisfied. Too bad it's a million degress here - a test drive is not likely to happen anytime soon.

Pattern: Cropped Cardigan from Summer 2006 Knit.1
Yarn: 4 balls of Patons Classic Wool in Black (size small)
Modifications: The back, the fronts and the side panels went unmodified. I cast on only 56 stitches for the sleeves (6 less than called for) and did two fewer sleeve increases. I didn't do the extra three inches of ribbed cuff to turn over (because that much extra fabric near my elbows would drive me crazy) so my sleeves measured 13 inches to the beginning of the sleeve cap. For the button bands, I only bound off 24 stitches instead of 30 for the cutaway and decided to put on 5 buttons instead of 3 due to the extra length.

Two more pics just for fun:

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Finished cropped....vest?

So if I've been knitting along on a cute cropped vest all this time, then I'm done! If what I've really been doing is trying to make this f&$%&# sweater fit, then I'm not quite there. I had one sleeve seamed in, but it just looked so bulky and uncute that I had to take it out. I couldn't face ripping the sleeves before I put everything else together to make sure it was all under control so I sat down, finished seaming, knit the neckband and buttonbands and sewed in all the buttons while watching some World Cup this morning. It seems to be fitting perfectly (apart from the wonky bottom ribbing/cutaway, which I *hope* will be fixed with a bit of blocking) so I'm going to go ahead and rip those sleeves. Wish me luck!

Summer 2006 Crochet me!!!

I don't really crochet (except those steeks - remember them?) but I sure think about it a lot. I bought Debbie Stoller's The Happy Hooker and promptly put Prepster on my to-crochet list. When I'm at Chapters, I pick up Interweave Crochet and flip through leisurely. So I can't help but be excited that the Summer 2006 issue of Crochet Me came out today!!! I love the idea of the Galaxy Top, the Crystal Lace Bolero is cute, and Cranium is probably a perfect beginner project for me. Now let's start taking bets on whether I'll ever actually get around to picking up a hook.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Vintage patterns: my guilty conscience eased?

I'm taking some pretty intensive Intellectual Property classes this summer, so I end up coming across some issues that I can't help but immediately link with the number one thing that takes up space in my brain - knitting. This morning, we discussed the mechanics of the term of copyright - in other words, how long things end up getting copyright protection. A lot of stuff created after 1923 still has copyright in the US - all those classic movies, songs and most relevantly, knitting patterns - as long as the copyright existed as of 1978.

Recently, I came across a link to Vintage Knitting Patterns at Glamarama has posted a number of vintage knitting patterns that she believes have fallen into the public domain. She's probably right, and even if she's not, I think she's covering her bases by telling any potential copyright owners to let her know if they want her to take them down. However, it seems like there might be some sites out there (do some googling) that might not be so concerned with infringing any copyright that might be attached to these vintage patterns.

But here's the thing - I'm not sure how I feel about those sites posting patterns where it's possible that there's still a copyright owner who wants to control the reproduction of the pattern. My first instinct is that it's wrong - the copyright owner gets to say what goes and what doesn't, right? But a lot of the time, these patterns are not commercially available, the companies that originally owned the copyright have often gone out of business and the writer of the pattern might not even be alive. Is there any harm in making these patterns available to the public so that they can be used as they were intended? Personally, I think the issue comes down to the fact that this is a user-enforced system. If the owner hasn't taken any steps to enforce his or her copyright, then the "infringement" can continue unnoticed and all the knitters out there get access to patterns that we wouldn't otherwise be able to find. Anyone else feel any differently? There's got to be someone. If so, please leave it in the comments - I love comments!

In the meantime, I'm going to add the Mohair Shrug from to my "to knit" list. (.pdf pattern here)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The madness continues...

Glampyre's original Forecast

I just bought some fuschia Cascade 220 Tweed on eBay to make Glampyre's "Forecast" from the Winter 2005 Knitty. Will it ever stop? I've actually been eyeing this one for a while, so when I stumbled upon the recommended yarn in a perfect colour, I knew it was a sign. My plan is to do the same modifications as Winnie over at Knitting Escapism - 3 stitch bobbles instead of the 5, starting the ribbing for the sleeves at the elbow, and adding a few inches to the body. Surprisingly enough, I don't want this one to be cropped!

The comments on Winnie's post about the modifications to get forecast got me thinking about the nature of building on the work of others to create. Some commenters seem to miss the point a little, I think, by asserting that Winnie's is so much better than Stephanie's. I tend to look at patterns as a starting point for techniques and construction rather than as a template for a finished garment. I add my own ideas to the pattern, making the garment into something that presents the image I'm seeking to portray. Winnie's Forecast has a different look and feel than the original, because I think it starts from a different place about the idea the knitter intends the finished garment to suggest - Stephanie's is dramatic and playful, Winnie's version is more sophisticated. Some think Winnie's version is better because they're interested in building a more classic garment, some might think Stephanie's is better becauase they're interested in a making a more theatrical peice. Either can be considered "better" than the other for the same reason - each is most successful in achieving the aim of the creator. This is what I like so much about knitting - people share techniques and patterns and garment construction but the end result often becomes a work of your own.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


I just won these babies on eBay to put on the curly stockinette tubes I hope will be a sweater someday (photo credit: eBay seller gj3081). Check out the amazing vintage buttons she's got up for auction if you're ever looking for buttons to make a project just a little mo betta. I bought these and these too - I can't wait till they all arrive!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Big Box of Fair Isle joy!

I was so excited to receive my big box of fair isle joy (otherwise known as the Palette Sampler) in the mail from Knitpicks today, I did a little jig. A full-on clicking my heels in the air jig. Now I just need to start charting out some of my wonderful ideas...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Blobs of black stockinette!

How exciting! You don't really need to see curly blobs of stockinette do you? Needless to say, this project is not about the process of knitting. It's ALL end result. No charts, no colours, no cables - just a cute cropped black cardigan coming out on the other side of the dark stockinette tunnel. The only exciting development is that I'm going to take a break from studying today to go get some buttons. I'm thinking big, bright plastic. Any other ideas?

[Edit: I didn't find a thing at the button store, so the internet is going to have to save me. Does anyone know of any online button resources that will deliver to Canada? Other than eBay, of course.]

Sunday, June 11, 2006


See what I'm holding in my hand? Yup, that's the last of the Merino Style in Storm. Do you know how much more Merino Style in Storm I need to finish the neckline on my Deep V Argyle Vest? Yup, about four times that. I'm so upset about not being able to finish that I forgot to do my hair and put on a little lipgloss today...

Seriously though, I think my best option is to order more yarn. I have a whole 'nother ball of the Merino Style in Asparagus left, so I could do some sort of preppy striped neckline. However, if I'm going to do that, then I think need to redo the bottom ribbing to match and I just don't have the patience for that. Plus, I don't think that will actually look any good - Eunny's solid neckband is totally the way to go. Despite the fact that I ran out of yarn, I think this is just about the coolest thing that I've ever made. I can't wait to get it finished! So I think I'm just going to suck it up and do another Knitpicks order right away. If only I had figured this out before my big box of fair isle joy shipped...

Thursday, June 08, 2006


I cut my steeks today! It was awesome! I finished the knitting a couple of days ago. Then I gave it a quick pre-steek semi-block to make sure that it had the capacity to fit me before I started to hack it up. It blocked out perfectly:

Then yesterday I crocheted that mutha up! I should have used a higher contrast yarn, but I had some Rowan Kid Classic leftovers lying around so I used those instead of buying something new. These are high-class steeks! Really, I wouldn't normally use such fancy yarn for steeking, but as Eunny says in her excellent multi-part steeking tutorial, you should use a really sticky yarn to crochet the steeks so they felt themselves in there nice and tight and the Rowan was the only mohair I had. So fancy-pants yarn it was. Here they are:

Can you see the little dark-grey lines? Not really, eh? They're there. The top gets to be in a bit of a mess, what with all the yarn ends, and the steek ends, and the stitch holders. Not pretty. Here's a closeup:

Then today I cut. I took my teeny tiny little scissors and cut all my hard work to bits.

It worked! They didn't unravel! This steeking business isn't that bad. Anything else lying around here that I can cut up?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Razor Shell Lace Cami from ohmystars!

Here she is, in all her glory:

This pattern was really easy to knit, and a welcome distraction from my Deep V. For all ya'll looking for details, here goes: I used the recommended Sirdar Snuggly 4-ply for the body and the straps. I didn't do the edging because I thought it looked cool without it (nice and scallop-y), and picked up and knit the straps right into my bindoff for the neckline. I also knocked an inch off the body of the cami because as you know if you're a regular reader, I can't seem to make anything that isn't cropped these days. I've decided to toss the overdying idea because I love it so much as it is. I don't really own anything this colour, so this is definitely going into the summer wardrobe rotation.

I love it so much, I even cooked with it on today. And yes, I am cooking in heels and a mini. Who says you can't look good while you cook? Anyway, this one's a keeper!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Finished Razor Shell Lace Cami!

Better pics and details/modifications to follow tomorrow!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

All knitting, no finishing

So I haven't finished anything yet. Not the Deep V, not the Poms socks. I'm *almost* done knitting the body of the Deep V (deja vu, anyone?) but this time I'm serious. Look!

The reason I haven't done much more is that I've started something else. I'm fickle, I know, but this was too cute to pass up. It's a Razor Shell Lace Camisole from (which seems to be down at the moment so I'll update the links when it's back online, and in the meantime check out the craftster thread here). It looks like this so far:

I'm using the recommended yarn (Sirdar Snuggly 4 ply) with an extra repeat thrown in to ensure that it actually fits. It's a really simple pattern, so it's great to work on in class (while taking lots of notes, of course), watching movies and on the bus. I'm thinking about overdying it, but since it's 55% nylon and 45% acrylic, I have some worries about how the dye will stick. That doesn't mean I'm not going to do it, it just means there will have to be some experimentation first.

In other shocking news, I bought some more yarn! This time it's for a cropped cardi from the current issue of Knit.1. The cardi looks like this:

and the yarn I'm going to use (Patons Classic Wool in basic black) looks like this:

Finally, I bought some shoes from Payless and some other sewing supplies with the goal of cutting them up and making them into Mary-Janes of some kind. Here's the craftster thread and here are my supplies:

I plan on doing something else to them apart from the cutting and bias-taping, but I haven't decided whether I'll paint them or add some sort of doo-dad. Ideas?

Last, but definitely not least, I baked some wicked molasses cookies today. The recipe can be found here, and the cookies look like this:

I halved the recipe, nixed the shortening (and used more butter instead) and didn't press them into sugar. They're delicious.

From now on I'm going to update more than once a week. Next update will be a finished item, I promise!