Mr. Jackson, white courtesy phone…

Mitten Yes, I’m still on vacation.  Yes, I’ve been sitting on my ever expanding ass for quite some time, but there has been knitting amongst the chocolate eating.

I have made one whole fingerless mitten.  Yes, you gasp.  Without work or home distractions, I made ONE mitt in a WEEK.  So I bow down to Mr. Michael Jackson and rock the one glove for the blog.

This mitt was supposed to be fashioned after Beadlizard Sylvia’s pattern.  Hers look adorable, but mine were really really squat as a result of my mutant row gauges.  DAMN YOU ROW GAUGE!  I’d only brought one size of needle with me and couldn’t get my 0’s to work my Socks that Rock for those mitts.  I shall attempt another pair when I get home and back to my smorgasbord of needles, as Sylvia’s are more in keeping with what I’d had in mind when thinking of fingerless gloves.

But needs must, so a quick search of the internets came up with this free pattern in a similar weight of yarn that is completely independent of my wonky row gauge.  It’s more of a cast than a fingerless mitt, but warm it is.  Another glove is on the way, so stay tuned…

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Fronting

Fronts Curly fronts are done on Vex.  On the left front I started alternating balls of yarn because I’d been getting some difference in color distribution between the hand dyed balls of Malabrigo.

I ended up getting more pooling doing that switcheroo, curious no?  I don’t mind, it’s the nature of hand dyed variegated yarn.  Can’t complain if the tiger has stripes can I?  In person, they look more similar than in the photo.

Sleeve island, next stop!  (You can tell I’m still on vacation with this half arsed entry…).

Keeping Count

Eye This is what your eyeball may look like after a fun evening on the red eye…

I actually don’t mind taking the redeye, it’s very convenient and I can sleep like a baby on that airplane.  You do get a massive case of the ugly the next day.  Oh well, I don’t live here – who’ll know.Kittytime

So after 14 hours in Boston, I’ve only stolen one Christmas chocolate ornament from the tree, and didn’t even try and hide the foily evidence.  I proclaimed my eatin’.  I’m proud to eat the pink maulsi (chocolate filled Swiss mouse shaped Christmas ornament)!

My other reward for hauling my cookies across the lower 48?  Quality Iggy time!  Merry Christmas!

Side Vex

Sidevex I’ve completed the right side of my Vex cardie and am pleased with the cardification.

Other than making this pullover pattern into a cardigan, I’ve not fudged with the pattern.  As I was knitting the front it occurred to me that the the shoulders are decreased straight across rather than the gradual slope toward the high point shoulder that I’m used to.  I think I may go back and change the shoulder decreases in say three stages to get a gentle upward slope.

Another thought I’d had making the front was that the front neck drop may be a tad too low.  Vex was written for a cowl-y type collar where you’d need to drop the neck a bit more than the zip front cardie ribbing collar I’m thinking about.  I may rip back and raise the neck an inch or so once I get these steamed out a bit and pinned at shoulder and side.

So despite some planned tweaking, I’m quite pleased with this quick, relaxing knit.  Go Vex!

Who doesn’t like a cardie?

Vexback My Vex cardie is moving right along, despite having to be slotted into available crafting time between pairs flannel PJs meant for presents.

The pattern is pretty darn straight forward, and the pointy cable bit keeps me wanting to "do one more row" just so I can see it move along.  (That sounds like I’m a touch simple minded doesn’t it?  Oh well – guilty as charged.)  I’ve even cast on for the right front side and cardifying this pattern still seems like a good idea, as the math seems to be working out fine.  BTW, the "math" of which I speak involved dividing the back stitch count in half and adding a CF edge stitch.  Simple minded again…hmm.

I’d predict this sweater will be done around Christmas, but that kind of talk immediately puts the kibosh on my "predictions".

I also picked up a little bit of craft bead wire to MAYBE make these Venezia napkin rings from Knitty.  I’ve got a few beads lying around and thought it would be nice to find a use for them, since I’ve never actually made any of the jewelry I’d planned.  I don’t know when I’ll find the time, but I love that knitted wire look.  I guess that wouldn’t be a good travel project on an airplane, what with all the sharp bits.

Sweater hijinks

Vex1 The Malabrigo is in the building.

After finishing (for now) my Ariann I thought I’d get back to figuring out what to do with the beautiful Malabrigo I’d bought at the opening of Nathania’s (and friends’) knit shop Purlescence.  I’d tried a few things like a Zimmerman-esque seamless hybrid saddle shoulder sweater (catchy little name) but kept getting pooling.  I tried alternating skeins but that was a huge pain in the arse.

I swatched a few more things before I came across this Vex pattern by SaunShine.  I’d been thinking of doing something with ribbing and have a graduated line of ribbing, and this lovely pattern took that idea a step further by adding the travelling band on top of the ribbing.  Very cute and easy to do.  Perfect relaxation knitting.  As you can see the back is going very quickly.  If it wasn’t so curly and in need of some steam blocking, you’d see I’ve just cast off for the armholes.

I do plan on making a few changes to the pattern.  First off I’ll make it a cardigan.  Of course.  I like the cardies don’t I?  I’m also not big on having stuff around my neck so the neckline will change.  No plan for that yet.  I’m thinking of making it a zippy sweater with some simple edging at center front (i-cord?).

So that’s the "plan", we’ll see how it shakes out.

Redheads and red scarves

Scarfonchair2 My knitting doesn’t usually extend to worthy causes.  Rightly or wrongly, my crafty endeavors are all about me.  Other than an over-the-top Halloween costume for the cutest kid in So. Cal, that is.

BUT, I couldn’t resist the winning combination of the Red Scarf project and Norma.  Singly both are wonderful and together they overcame my innate self-craft-absorption.  Having decided to knit a red scarf, I decided to go yummy (kind of like "go big" but on a fiber level).  As far as I’m concerned, yummy fiber equals Art Fibers.  A trip to this den of iniquity yielded two lovely skeins of Satori in a red and black colorway.  Satori has the luminosity of silk and the softness of "super" kid mohair.  Nothing but the best for my "college kid".

The pattern I chose was one I’d made before and thoroughly enjoyed.  It’s the Multi-directional Scarf Pattern found on the internets.  It’s alot of knitting bang for your buck.  I can heartily recommend it, especially for striping and variegated yarns.

I’m pleased with the result and hope my college student will be too.  I plan on adding a gift card or two so the kid can get a treat and mail it off in January when they’re set up to receive scarves.  If this sounds like something you’d like to do, get to it!  You’ve got ’til January and let’s face it, if I can do it, so can you.  It’s the little things that can mean so much…Don’t worry, I’m not getting sappy – it’s the Shiraz or the PMS – take your pick.  Cheers!

Decidedly Undecided

Ariann1_2 I’ve decided to finish Ariann and am now undecided about my result.

To recap the saga of the knittin’, I noticed during the knit-up that my sweater was looking small-ish.  I was unsure whether to rip at that point to continue on and block it out and see what’s shaking.  I wet blocked (no strenuous pinning and pulling) and sewed on buttons from the stash and this is the result.

It’s super soft (it is cormo yarn afterall) and I like the design, I just think it’s kinda tight.  The buttons must also think it’s kinda tight, since they’re doing all the work across the boobages (aka titones).  I’ll wear it a bit and see how it stretches.  If I can’t get into the fit, I’ll rip it out and make it a size larger.

TTFN.

Jammers!

Jammers I’ve finished my first pair of jammies for the season.  I made this pattern several years ago to replace my favorite jammers that were scandalous looking by the time I’d retired them.  These are a good approximation of the original – flannel and super comfy.

The material is a groovy floral and paisley 100% cotton flannel.  Joann’s is having a sale on flannel at present, so if you’re so inclined and have a store in the neighborhood, get over there.  I use a bit under 2.5 yards of 45" flannel and preshrink it.  There are no pockets and no drawstring.  Just comfy, plain and simple.

Okay, bed time!  Sweet dreams.