And They’re Off!

I call this pose the modified Rachael.

Turns out I like 2-way zipping.

When I was talking to my sister the other day, we both realized that the sweaters we’re working on will be ready in time for Rhinebeck. We did a brief sisterly squeal and began talking of other things, as you do. I guess blogging about our intentions set the cat among pigeons in Yarn Harlot’s head. Stephanie has decided to knit an ARAN sweater in 14 days! I know, it can’t be done. She’s raving, barking mad! My sister has been sending her evil little jabs while I’ve been telling her to buy me chocolate and forget it. Since no chocolate has been forthcoming, I will begin finishing things to needle Miss Yarn Harlot until Rhinebeck. Not very mature, but I do share the same genetic material as my sister, so it’s inevitable.

Today I present Phildar Falaise Black Cardie. I sewed in the zipper last night (NOTE: don’t sew in a black zipper into a black sweater after dark, unless you have night vision goggles–I don’t). I still need to hand sew in the grosgrain ribbon facing over the zipper, but this is enough to show ya’ll. I purchased this fabulous two way custom length zipper from Zippersource. They provided marvelous service and would recommend them highly. The pattern is made up by me, and is a top down raglan cardie with 2/2 rib at the collar, bottom and cuffs. The yarn is from eBay and I bought 10 balls, so I had nothing leftover. I’d suspected it would be close, which is why I chose to make the sweater top down. Next up on the finishing spectrum will be Acid Cardie…stay tuned.

Ah, Football Bias…

Maybe I should make a matching skirt?

For those who think watching football is a time suck, look what you can make during four quarters of a Raider game? No, I didn’t drag the Bernina to the Oakland Coliseum–just to the dining room. This fine little top is a bias cowl using lovely clearance polyester. It was a heavy enough weight so I won’t join the ranks of booby flashers, plus is was a pretty color and literally $2. The pattern is New Look 6145 and it said "Easy" right on the front of the envelope. It sure was. I did make a few changes to the pattern since it had about 4 inches of ease at the bust. Uh hello! I know it’s on the bias and will stretch a bit, but come on. Instead of making "my" size according to the pattern, I made the size that was actually the size of my bust plus an inch on the physical pattern. It fits fine and doesn’t gap all over the place. I also shortened it 2 inches to hit at the point where your hip bone sticks out. I’m tempted to make another one with the tie at the bottom…Monday night football anyone?

State of the Stripes

Fade to acid.

I believe the inconstancy of my own true self is cyrstalized in the various enthusiam and abandonment of knitting projects. The enthusiasm and wonder of discovery at the beginning is difficult to sustain. This would of course explain the lack of finished objects and the increasing number of projects in "put aside mode". Kudos to those able to attend to each project with monogomous attention. Here at Sil’s we like to spread it around a bit. Therefore, if you’re looking for miraculous progress on the beautiful and soft blue-y Phildar project of 1000 ends, you’re SOL.

The preceding 80s slang is quite appropriate as there has been progress on Acid Cardie. The fronts are done and I’m still on first hanks of yarn, so no need to worry about running out of yarn. Yeah! I decided that weaving in ends on two sweaters would be the height of lunacy and have carried the colors up the side. This works very well on this project, only two colors and an easy recurring stripe. I am poised to tubular cast on the back piece. All this must be done post haste in order to have a new sweater to compete with my sister’s Butterfly at Rhinebeck next month.

Random Stripes

Next stop–the big house! (Nordies?)

I’m breaking out in stripes here people! My attempt to work simultaneously on a striped project and a solid color project hit a snag. I had finished this much of the right front of the solid cardigan and had used more than half of the hank of wool, but had yet to reach the armhole. Hey it’s a long cardie, but I figured I had 1.5 lbs of yarn, I’m good. Uh…some quick math here people. It seems like 1/3 of the yarn for the ENTIRE FRONT is a reasonable amount. 1/3 for half the front is a bit much. I’d end up with no sleeves on this cardie, and I DO NOT wear vests EVER! Yup, it’s ripped. Yes kids and kittens, I feel your pain.

Because I’m such a go getter, I went to the garage and got some different yarn. (Sticks out tongue at periwinkle yarn.) Oh yeah, in the bullpen I had some acid green and pink! Totally different from the understated beauty of said previous yarn (tongue–again). Hello 80s! I had to get two different colors as they’d already sold most of their wares (you know how nutty those MD S&W shoppers get). Okay, you see it coming down the pike already kiddos. Two different colors = MORE stripes! Well yes, but there really aren’t that many ends to weave on this Acid Cardie project. I’ve got a cropped, Vneck thingie in mind. I’ve been working the stripe sequence out on one of the front pieces (pink fades to acid green), and I do like it so far! Of course seeing this many striped garments in one place does bring to mind that San Quentin is only about 20 minutes down the highway…best mind my Ps and Qs.

End Over End

Click to see the flip side!

I’ve finished the first sleeve of the Phildar sweater and now it’s time to deal with those dozens of fringey ends. There is an excellent article in the new Knitty by Theresa Vinson Stenersen, on how to invisibly weave in ends using duplicate stitch. I was quite intrigued by this concept and tried it on the first few ends and it worked beautifully.

Sadly with the volume of ends I’m facing, I went back to the tried and true weave through the back loops and hope for the best. I’ll definitely use the duplicate stitch technique on my "NEW" one color, big needle project. It’ll make an excellent counterpoint to the small needle, half-a-dozen color project. I’m a sucker for the thrill of romance at the start of the project–still working on the follow through, though.

For the new project, I’m trying out some stash wool which I seem to remember is heathery periwinkle merino, though I can’t be sure about the merino part. It’s quite soft, silky and tightly spun and swatched up to 19 stitches per 10cm, which is kind of in the ballpark for this gorgeous sweater from the new Phildar Tendances Automne 04/05 (model #33). Quite cute, no?

Falaise Malaise


After stuffing myself on virtual blog birthday cake, I commenced a’ knitting. I finished the knitting on the super exciting black Falaise cardigan. Truth be told I kind of just ran out of yarn and stopped knitting at a reasonable point. I started out with ten skeins of Phildar Falaise and this is how much I have left.

Originally I’d planned on a turned down convertible collar and knitting bands to cover the zipper on the inside. A convertible collar gets successively wider as you get to its edge for it to lay flat when turned. I ran out of yarn well before a convertible collar could be turned down. Check out the lameness of this “semi-convertible” collar. It’s more like a moon roof collar. After ripping that monstrosity out, I knit a normal stand up collar using successively smaller needles (as mentioned by BM at Chicknits last week) to get a nice snug collar fit.

As for knitting up facings for the zippers, yeah right. I’m thinking black grosgrain ribbon will work just fine. I can’t wait to get this little black sweater done; my imagination is already wandering to the next project…

Calm Knitting


Because I know my dear readers can handle only so much of the excitement of pure black cardigan knitting photos, I’m pleased to break the monotony by showing the progress on my Phildar Oxygene sweater. Isn’t that the most peaceful, serene colorway? The reverse stockinette makes the color changes just that little bit more gradual and quiet, compare it to the wrong (stockinette) side here. I adore it…so far…though one does need to ignore the viciously curled edges and thousands of ends to weave.

There’s been a bit of talk in the blog world about the lies told by our dear swatches. My sister, for example, bravely ignored the lies that were being told by her bit of 4×4 and proved herself correct by making a perfect sleeve. Unfortunately, the handspun yarn she’s using was scheduled to by yarnnapped by moi, I mean people, it’s ORANGE and PINK! Plus I talked her into buying it in the first place. Curses! Luckily, my calm knitting project has kept me from flying to the east coast and shoving said yarn into an H&M bag and running like hell. Or has it…

For those needing a bit of kitty hat knit along inspiration, run over to Carolyn’s blog and click on Knitting for her kitty and devil hats. I think the devil hat looks much more at home on that gal’s head. Don’t you?

Kitty Hats!

Check out Jennifer’s Kitty Hat!

Hope everyone had a good Labor Day and packed up those white shoes…(think Serial Mom and P. Hearst)…heh.

And speaking of Labor, the latest update to the Kitty Cat Hat Along is being supplied by Jennifer. Not only did she make the above cute kitty hat out of Red Heart variegated, she also gave birth to a daughter…Wow, I think I need to get more organized. Didn’t she do a great job, and check out those pompoms.

Thank heavens Jennifer made a cute colorful hat, because I’ve been working on my black hole of a cardie, which we all know makes for boring blog photos. (Though my sister’s new cardie pix belie the black project boring thing). I’ve got about an inch of ribbing at the bottom done, then I can measure for the two way custom zipper, knit front zip bands and a collar…eek.

Striped Madness!

Phildar Tendances Hiver 03/04, Design #19.

To compliment the blackness of the Phildar Falaise cardigan that is currently languishing in the knitting bag, I started a sweater with many colors! I’m breaking out the Phildar Oxygene that I got last fall via my special personal shopper, and making the slouchy striped sweater above. Isn’t that the prettiest colorway? The Oxygene is so soft and is 25% wool which is just about right for winter in these parts. I’m altering the pattern just a smidge. The sweater as shown is a bit long, puddling around the hips. It is the policy of this blogger that there will be NO PUDDLING about the hips. I will simply lop off the bottom 12 cms to make a normal, flattering length sweater. I started knitting on the sleeves, this will let me know where to start the armholes on the new, shorter body. Pretty clever no?