Thursday, August 31, 2006

Still obsessing about my Glampyre Simple Bodice yarn sub choices


Top left- Artfibers Kurasawa 50% wool/50% silk - meets gauge, but a little thinner and drapier after I washed it. Friend says it's fine, but I'm not feeling it.

Top right Artfibers Sherlock - Gah, chainette tube type yarns will be the bane of my existence. Went up to size 8 needles, still 0.5 stitches too "small" before washing/blocking, then 1 whole stitch after. Arrgghh! I love the denser feel of it over the Kurasawa, but if I do get this for a different project, I'd go w/a lighter colorway. This one I swatched w/is a tad dark.

Bottom left - Brooks Farm Four Play - meets larger gauge on size 7 needles, smaller gauge on size 2! Love this one, but I am debating colors. Brooks Farm online only offers solid colors in Black and Brick. (Well, unless you count the denim too.) I could do black, but the design elements I like may get lost in such this dark color. Maybe I need to call Brooks Farm to try and get a better color description on the Brick as I'm not sure how much of an orange tone this will have in RL.

Bottom right - KP Andean Silk in Sangria - also meets both gauges on the same 2 needles. BUT, I'm allergic to this darn yarn! Darn, darn, darn! I knitted the chevron portion last night on the swatch and it still triggered my asthma. Crap.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Other vacation knitting

Somehow I forgot to put my NSSC pattern in my vacation bag, so I only got to the part where you cast on a few more stitches at the armhole before splitting off the sleeves from the body. I sorta remembered the number of stitches, but I didn't want to take a chance and have to rip back.

And I finally finished the back of my Kyoto! I know I've said I like seaming, but I've thought better of it and modified the back to put in short row shaping instead of binding off stair step fashion so I could do a three needle bind off on the shoulders. I decided to go this route after reading a thread on the knitty board that the 3 needle bind off is stronger for the shoulders. And with the 100% mercerized cotton only going to get heavier, I figured it would be a good idea.

And no vacation trip to the cabin is complete without a visit to Wally World. I finally bought myself 4 balls of Peaches & Cream, 2 in Fiesta Ombre and 2 in the Potpourri Ombre (as those were the only 2 color selections I liked from what they had) to knit something from Mason-Dixon Knitting. I had bought the book from Costco awhile ago, but hadn't gotten around to knitting anything from the book. I had been wanting to knit either the ball band washcloth or the fun baby bib as my first MDK project, but the baby bib won out, mainly 'cause I remembered how to start the bib pattern as I didn't have the book w/me on our trip. One of my cousin's will be having a boy in November so I figured the Fiesta ombre would be a good gender neutral yarn to knit the bib in. All I need now is to find some fun beach ball or gecko/lizard type button and I'm good to go.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Vacation. All that I ever wanted. Vacation...

My first felted projects!
Booga Bag in Mango Moon Wooly Grapes
size US#8's
unfelted dimensions: approx 4.25" x 10.5" bottom, 12" height
felted dimensions: 4" x 8.5" bottom, 9" height

My first FMB:
unfelted dimensions: 44" circumference approx & 15" in height
felted dimensions: 40" circumference approx & 11" in height

A second One Skein Petal Bib in KP Shine Sport Butter. Still in need of blocking.

Barefoot Knits Tube Top in Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece Prairie Lupine:
size 8
modifications - knitted in the round instead of 2 pieces

Friday, August 18, 2006


I forgot to bring my FMB bag in to take a pic of it all in its unfelted glory. Hopefully I remember to bring the digi cam when we go on vacation so I can take a pic of it before I felt it.

In the meantime I decided to do mess around with some swatching to figure out what yarn I want to use for Glampyre's Simply Knitted Bodice to give me a break from my NSSC and Kyoto.

On the right of the top pic is KP Andean Silk in Sangria. I had bought a single skein to test not just for the Glampyre sweater but possibly for other projects as well. I got gauge w/the size 7 needles for the body, but I had to go down to a size 2 needle to get gauge for the waist portion. Good thing I didn't have to go smaller as size 2 is the smallest size in my Boyes interchangeable set. Unfortunately, there's something in this yarn that's inducing my asthma. I hesitate to say it's the alpaca 'cause I knitted a BO scarf in Plymouth DK baby alpaca with no problems. Can one be sensitive to different forms of alpaca? The KP Andean Silk has superfine alpaca, but I don't know if that means it gives off smaller size particulates that irritate my lungs more. I also have a remainder of a cold so I'm not sure if it's simply getting worse. I need to wait 'til this cold is completely gone and maybe knit the chevron lace portion on the swatch to see if I get a reaction again.

On the top left of the first pic (no flash) & top of the second pic (flash) is Artfibers Kurasawa color #3. I got pattern gauge for the larger needles. Bottom left & bottom of both pics is Artfibers Sherlock color #13. I got 5.5 sts/in on the size 7 needles, so I'll need to go up to size 8 to get pattern gauge. While not as economical as KP, both the Kurasawa ($14 for 131 yd/50 g ball) and Sherlock ($12 for 156 yd/50 g ball) prices aren't too bad. Artfibers also gives you a sliding discount, so I would probably get the 10% off over $100 if I go this route. I still need to re-knit the Sherlock and wash both swatches to see how I like them and if I want to stick to the colors I chose to knit swatches out off.

I also want to swatch up my Brooks Farm Four Play since it's also a silk/wool blend. I only have 2 orphan hanks, so my swatch would be to determine if I want to order more in Black or maybe Brick.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Plugging along

I managed to finish the striping sequence and bag body on my FMB this weekend. So far the bag measures roughly 40" circumference on the bottom and 15" in height. I'm sure I'll finish the straps this week in time for our vacation where I'll be felting this bag and the Booga Bag I made previously in Mango Moon Wooly in the Grape multi.

And I'm slowly working on my Kyoto (7" out of 13" for the back so far) and my NSSC (2" more for the raglan increases before I check to see if I can stop and do the armhole increases before continuing the body). Once I finish the FMB however, I'll need to find something in a wool or more giving yarn to alternate between these two. Either that or do some small projects in between, like one more Petal bib in my leftover KP Shine Sport in Butter and a couple more Ugg booties just to finish off my Berroco suede stash.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Knitting finger

Am I knitting too much or is the Cascade 220 Dark Periwinkle and Periwinkle dyes just too happy to see me? Obviously a side effect of my yarn holding habit left over from my crocheting days. Still, wth? I would think I would've gotten these marks knitting up my LBT w/the SWTC Bamboo or even with the Butterfly Super 10 since they're yarns that have little if no give. But maybe 'cause I'm knitting continental in the round all the yarn tensioning and holding has been mostly on the left. Apparently doing a couple rows here and there on my NSSC back and forth, purling English style (yeah, yeah, but I get even St st this way), isn't enough to keep this from happening.

As for the FMB, I did decide to do a monochromatic version of allelejean's striped FMB 'cept I'll stick to the darker colored handle per the pattern. I'm almost at the halfway point in the striping pattern so it looks like the bag will be ready for felting when we go on vacation in a couple weeks. The nice thing about the striping pattern is that it does keep one from getting too bored and prevent that endless St st feeling.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Decision point

I've finished the bottom of the FMB and am moving on to the body. I'm at the point now where I can start the striping pattern like the cool bag I saw posted on the knitty board, or I can go the plain route. If I do the striping, which I think I will do, I'll just carry the yarn in the back so I don't have to deal w/all the weaving in of ends since I'll be felting the bag anyway. It's the jogless jog part that'll be a little messy for me.

And I swatched up the little bitty sample I had of Artfibers Hana silk in color #9 doubled to see what kind of gauge I would get to see if I can sub it for the Simple Bodice sweater. It does meet the pattern gauge, but at $14.25 per 81 yds/50 g spool, it's not exactly a more economical sub. Well, cone prices are more economical than the spool, but I'll have to call and ask how much. I think that at some point I'll visit Artfibers and see what they would recommend. One option I think would be to carry the Hana silk w/something else, but the something else is what I need to think about a lot. Another is to pick a different Artfibers silk yarn like Kurasawa instead of picking a KP Andean Silk shade.

And our KP Main Line order came in and here's half. My friend and I split our order so we could get free shipping. I just need to finish my NSSC or my Kyoto so I can start Something Red. :P

Thursday, August 03, 2006

3 W.I.P's, 3 W.I.P's, see how the run...

Well, okay, so I only have 2 today to take a boring progress shot, but I've at least gotten over my startitis and got 3(!) big projects going, my Kyoto again 'cept I'm only at a measley 2" on the back, my Knit & Tonic NSSC, and my FMB which I'm debating on striping or not. Saw this really cool striped FMB but am debating if I'm in the mood to do all that weaving in of ends.

I'm happy w/my NSSC, but I definitely do need to take breaks in between w/the FMB or other non-knitting activities to save my wrist as the silk/cotton blend of the Silky Tweed doesn't have much give despite its softness.

In the meantime I'm still buying more yarn (what? KP Main Line on sale @ $1.97, so it couldn't be beat) and drooling over certain patterns. Bought yet another Knit & Tonic pattern, Something Red for the Red Velvet Cake Main Line I bought and am so, so lemming and in love w/(along w/a lot of other knitters out there) Glampyre's Simple Bodice sweater on Stitch Diva. 'Cept it's in $164 (without tax!) worth of Tilli Tomas silk yarn with a bit of crystals/beading. The beading I could do w/o from a practical wearing perspective, but it's oh-so-pretty.

I took a look at the Tilli Tomas Pure & Simple (Jade is beautiful, but $28 a skein/hank!) and beaded Rock Star also in Jade ($40 for roughly have the yardage) at my lys and it's beautiful gorgeous stuff. But, gah! My lys owner had a black Tilli Tomas cardigan w/one of the beaded yarns as the accented edge that looked so lovely as it has a matte-r sheen and beautiful to feel. She also had a mad long coat w/every Tilli Tomas color and beaded yarn in a honecomb pattern that was beautiful in it's wickety wackiness.

I'm obviously going to have to find a yarn sub, but it'll be interesting to figure out. While the Tilli Tomas yarn is worsted weight (4.5 st/in), Glampyre (aka Stephanie Japel) knitted the yarn tighter at 5 st/in due to the nature of silk yarn. I think KP Andean Silk will work (and hey, it's got silk!) and since it has a gauge of 4.5-5 st/in, should sub fine. The only question would be what shade I would want. I may also visit Artfibers w/the specs on this pattern to see what yarns combined can give me gauge. They have a beautiful Hana silk but it's too too thin so I'd have to double it up w/another yarn. Sigh.

So while I'm working away at my current WIP's I'll be dreaming of Simple Bodice yarn subs and awaiting my KP Main Line yarn.