Not So Rusted Root

Rustedone Turns out when I abandoned my Rusted Root in progress last fall (yeah you read right) I was only about three days from it’s completion.

Who’s a dork?

In the interests of full disclosure, the ends aren’t completely woven in and it’s not been wetblocked, but I had to show you something!

This is an easy little sweater to knit and I knit it in the very nice Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece (I used about 2.5 skeins) that is a hearty little yarn at a very nice little price.  I wanted to make a top that fits like a tee, not a looser sweater thing because I’m a whore like that, and opted to make the size small.  It’s form fitting, though I suspect the cotton yarn with stretch with wear.

Modifications were also done, of course.  I made the top longer so my beer belly won’t peep out when worn with low rise pants and I added hip shaping, which was curiously not included in this pattern.  I also added a few rounds to the sleeves as the original length hit me in a weird uncomfortable armpit crease area.  Ew.  Also, as you can see from the inset, I got little to no sleeve pouf, so good luck with that if you’re making this.

I changed the neck finish to a rolled edge because the ribbing looked like ass and would never lay flat because of the shape of the neckline and the lack of decreases in the ribbing as written in the pattern.  If you’re making this top and wanting the neck ribbing I would strenuously advise you to plan for decreases to make it lie flat.

All in all, this is an easy summer or travel project.  If I’d change anything about this pattern it would be to change the ribbing to 2×2 and use tubular cast off so the inelastic cotton yarn bind offs wouldn’t look so icky.  But I’m way too lazy to pull all those rows out and redo, so I’m gonna live with it.

Shoes are good food

Shoes Remember the other day I wrote a lamenting post regarding Target’s inability to stock some cute wedge slingback peeptoes in my size?

No, well I did.  As you can see, I got them!  Through no effort on my part, Jen in NH (who totally rocks) spied these elusive numbers in her local Target travels and hooked me up!  Isn’t that the best thing ever?  Here I’d given up hope of owning these in the small window of their fashionability and voila!  Hook up.  It must be some good karma finally making it round the circle.  Finally.  Thanks Jen!

Need further evidence that knitters are the best and brightest and rockinest folks out there?  Check out my sister’s MS Ride Fundraising final totalShe raised $40,190!!  Holy crap.  That’s an amazing amount coming from 1,145 different donors.  I told you so on the knitters rock thing.  Oh, yeah, and my sister rocks too!  Good job.

Natural Light

Orangephildar I’ve described the Endless Summer Luna yarn I’m using for this Phildar sweater as "splitty".  Don’t get me wrong, it is splitty.  You’ve got to keeping making sure you’re knitting all those strands together, but it does have this really pretty sheen from the rayon fibers that make it worth the extra vigilance.  I tried to chase a patch of sunlight to see if I could capture its sheeny essence.  (Who besides me just had a total flashback to Sheena Easton?)

Well despite splittiness and reminiscences Sheena Easton, I managed a bit of progress on the back.  It’s not a hard stitch pattern once you get six lovely French speakers to translate the instructions.  Plus I’m knitting this using sharp metal straight needles.  And I was able to knit while watching Peep Show (season 1) Teal1_2in bits and pieces.  Funny show, rather like The Office, and it’s in English so I didn’t need subtitles (though if you’re easily offended, skip this recommendation).

Also, in an effort to reuse/recycle etc., I unearthed my Rusted Root from the knitting basket which was begun last fall.  Oh yeah, forgot all about it.  Don’t know why, it’s cute and the pattern is super easy.  I could read subtitles and still knit that one at the same time.  I’m knitting this project from Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece and I love that stuff.  It’s good and cheap.  Perfect for a summery project.  The hardest thing about this project is photographing the teal colored yarn.  That patch of sunlight did double duty today…

Orange you glad…


Phildar sweater #4 has commenced.  The pattern is only available in French and last month I borrowed your collective wisdom to help me figure out the stitch pattern.  Boy was that an odd pattern.  It doesn’t help that my knowledge of French only stretches as far as words to describe clothes and food.  Sure I can say "ham" three different ways, but not so much with the knitting patterns.

I’ve since written a pattern for this sweater in English and monkeyed with the needle size every time I swatched.  I first used a size 5 needle and got a good fabric.  When knitting up a larger piece I began thinking it should be a tad tighter and ripped out and did ribbing on 3s and pattern on 4s.  It looks better to me.  Yay!

The yarn itself is completely without give and rather splitty, but produces a nice fabric with a hint of sheen from the rayon content.  The knitting stitch pattern is verrrrryyyy stretchy and compensates nicely for any intractability of the yarn.  In fact that piece of knitting you see above is the back piece, it’s just all squinched up.  I know, looks like a sleeve doesn’t it.  Not!  And no, I’m knitting this for Nicole Richie, it really does stretch out to fit a real size person (moi).  The yarn is Endless Summer Collection Luna (rayon/cotton blend) in coppered sienna from Elann for those interested in such matters.  I bought it ages ago so that colorway is gone.  It’s got a lovely drape, so there is a pay off to enduring the splittiness.  Plus, please note, I’m knitting with stash yarn.  I must be faint from the heat…

Ruffle me this

Ruffled I’ve finished the knitting and crocheting of my Not So Shrunken Cardie.  I like the sweater, it’s a good basic, but I’m not sure about the ruffles.

I’d been attracted to this pattern in the first place because of the cute ruffles, but my yarn is rather firm and the ruffles seem kind of goofy.  I’ve not woven in ends or wet blocked, so it’ll soften up some from this version.  I should really go do that…I’d intially used two rows of ruffles and those looked really, um, firm.  Kind of like, hi Sil, are those ruffles or are you just glad to see me…

So what to do, weave in ends and wet block and then decide or rip those ruffles off and go plain jane?

Matchy matchy

Cutesocks The much feared virulent Second Sock Syndrome (SSS) has infected me something fierce.

At left you see one lonely Loksins and at right one lonely Big Orange.  Both are lovely and both are completely different little animals.

These are my options:

1.  Knit the mates to these fruity fun colored socks;

2.  Knit little red scarves for my socks ala the Red Scarf project benefitting the Orphan Foundation (a truly kick ass cause folks) so they don’t feel like I’ve forgotten about them all alone in the knitting basket;

3.  Donate money to my sister’s MS ride because she’s only about $2000 away from her $30,000 goal (yeah you read that right!!!) and the prizes are so amazing!  And maybe win more sock yarn to make another single sock.

4.  Take a nap and pretend that orange is the new green and green is the new orange.

Shoes and socks

Give me a second here…

Shoes Dear Target Corporation:

I am extremely fond of your black slingback wedge heel espadrilles, but have found myself unable to buy them as you seem to have underestimated the demand for these cute little numbers.

I have been to FOUR of your fine stores looking for them, but a pair in size 6 1/2 seems is akin to finding Nessie.  Given that it is physically impossible to walk into one of your fine establishments and not purchase $50 worth of previously unneeded merchandise, I calculate that approximately $200 worth of items has been procured in my search.  If I indulged in conspiracy theories, I would just begin to be suspicious.

Please make/procure more of these fine little shoes as their window of fashionabiltiy is regrettably short and time’s awastin’.Sock1

Sincerely, Silvia Shoe Shopper

Now onto the sock portion of our program.

My Loksins are going along smoothly, but I did notice that my ball of yarn is rapidly dwindling. (Hey I just got that "loksins" means "finally" in Icelandic.) The yarn is put up in 175 meter skeins, but I’m doing the heel flap thingy heel that Cassie has written, rather than my usual short row heel.  I think the heel flap thingie takes up more yarn than the short row version, and I added a repeat to make them a tad longer.  I think I’ve got enough yarn and will knit through with confidence.  Worse case scenario will have me ripping back to the heel and extra repeat and reknitting with just enough yarn.  I like my knitting on with confidence version best.  Less work for lazy girls.

Harlots and socks

Steph1 Despite taking an adequate number of pictures of Stephanie "Yarn Harlot" P-Mc-P at her recent book signing in Petaluma, this is the only possible shot that I could show in public.  The rest would have you reaching for Dramamine or your spectacles.  This shot does show something I’d missed at the actual event, apparently they placed Steph under a Science Fiction sign.  I’m sure they don’t mean knitting is completely alien, but it’s still Socksfunny on a Monday morning.

On the sock front, I finished my first Big Orange sock.  And I started another.  Well, not the mate to Big Orange, rather I started a Loksins sock out of the Shelridge Farms Fingering Weight yarn in "heath" recent purchased at Maryland Sheep and Wool.

I LOVE Cassie’s pattern and couldn’t wait to start it.  I justified starting a non-mate to Big Orange by buying a new set of sock needles so I could make both at once (stop laughing).  The Loksins charts are straight forward and easy to follow without having to pay too much attention.  A good movie watching project.  What can I say, I’m weak.

Big Orange

Bigorange_2 Some excellent progress was made on Big Orange last night while enjoying a fabulous reading by the one and only Yarn HarlotStephanie was hilarious and thought provoking, as per usual.

The bookstore was pretty darn at capacity when I rolled in fashionably late, but Big Orange and I found a chair upon which to perch and had at it.  When the evening started I’d just finished turning the heel and above is how much I can knit during a Harlot talk.  It’s almost toe time.  Why yes, I do have tiny little footbinding feet.

What’s the 4-1-1 on Big Orange.  The yarn is orange Fortissima Socka from Maryland last year. Constructionwise, I used the usual short row heel and toe (of course), picot hem (of course) and a drop stitch pattern from one of the Barbara Walker Treasuries that I charted with Excel to do in the round.  Turns out it’s a really easy pattern repeat and by the time I managed a workable format for charting, I memorized it.  Crap!