New Year in Crazytown

Rodeo2 I’ll be ringing in the New Year this evening in So Cal, Beverly Hills in fact.  One of my dear friends coordinates "parties" in this neighborhood and tonight a bunch of us are "helping" (please read "not at all") coordinate one such gig.  Actual professionals do all the work and we camp at one of the six open bars.  Oh yes you read that right.  The disgusting amounts of money spent on producing this spectacle does not bear thinking about.  We’ve all seen those shows on E! Network.  It’s like that.

So tonight when you’re raising your Rodeo1champagne flute at midnight, think of me in a spangly tube top with six open bars, three wonderful friends and 800 denizens of Crazytown.  What, you don’t believe it’s Crazytown.  Please note those chandeliers pictured are Rodeo Drive’s holiday decorations and are ACTUAL Baccarat crystal chandeliers.  Dozens of them.  Uh, right.  Makes those tinsel candycanes on Main Street of your town look like they weren’t trying too hard, doesn’t it?

No, I will not bring my knitting.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year!

Red redux

Cassidydone A quick jag back to the red because my Cassidy’s Cap is completed!  Yeah!  Honestly, this hat should have taken about three days, but it gets a bit busy around the holidays, doesn’t it?

It’s a good little pattern if you’re in the market for a new hat.  It’s easy to memorize the cable sequences and the shaping doesn’t happen until the end.  Perfect portable little project.  I added 1.5" to the length to make it extra slouchy, but other than that I knit as writ.  I used the yarn from the Tilted Duster and just frogged and knit up as I went.  That worked fine.

I’d like to make another Cassidy’s Cap in black, maybe a nice soft cashmerey blend?  I’d make that one the length stated in the pattern as I’m going for a more formal, tailored, worky look.  Now to find some soft yummy black yarn…shopping anyone?

Let’s be green

Xxsweater You’ve all been very polite and not complained that you were sick of seeing me use that freaking red yarn for every project in the past few weeks.  Very polite indeed.  To reward such wonderful home training, I’m changing it up!

In my stash I’ve got six skeins of Rowanspun DK in the greeniest tweed evah!  I love Rowanspun DK.  I believe it’s discontinued, but how it differs from the equally yummy Rowan Felted Tweed in anything other than yarn composition is beyond these little gray cells of mine.  So to relieve the red ennui, I thought I’d go to the direct complement of red and snatch up the green.

I wanted a hint of cabling as an homage to the tweediness of the yarn.  Somehow to me, tweed says cables.  I swatched and reswatched and cussed my swatches and called them liars.  We’ll gloss over that part.  Imagine a great deal of swatching, measuring and ripping.  Luckily my calculator could take the abuse.  I think I’ve cracked the gauge conundrum and the piece you see in the picture is the right front.  It measures out just fine and I quite like the way the cable stands out in this yarn.  I chose the "Double X Cable" from Barbara Walker’s Charted Knitting Designs.  The fronts will have the cable and the rest of the sweater will be simple stockinette.  It’ll be good and green.  And so not red…

Happy Christmas

Cassandtree Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate!

I’ve been working on Cassidy’s Cap when I’ve had a few spare minutes.  I think it’s taking me an age to make this and that’s due to my schedule, not the pattern.  It’s a good little knit, so in this case the "it’s not you – it’s me" speech is actually true.  I’m decreasing at the crown and have switched to DPs!  Yay!  Progress.  One quarter of football (the American kind) should be enough to do the finishing honors.

Please note in the photo, you can see the Tilted Duster carcass that I’m unravelling and from which I’m directly knitting the cap.  Lazy but it works.

Wishing everyone a beautiful day.

Hat parade

Casscap1 The hat parade contines at Chez Sil.  After initial luck making the top down beanie hat, I came upon Bonne Marie’s lovely Cassidy’s Cap pattern and knew that would be next on my internal to do list.

I’m STILL using the Lamb’s Pride worsted and at this point I’m ripping it straight from the dead Tilted Duster and knitting it up into the Cassidy Cap.  I know, rather low brow, but it works and I’m not interested enough in this yarn to do it right.  It look fine.  Really.

The Cassidy Cap is a fine pattern.  The hat contains two different cable patterns that are easily memorized.  I have a terrible memory and I was able to memorize them after one repeat.  So there.  I will make this one a bit slouchy since that’s what all the kids are doing right now and I’ve got scads and scads of yarn.

Capped off

Cap1 Colder weather around these parts has rekindled my interest in hats.  I see that there are a great many permutations of this garment.  I’ve found patterns for beanies, caps, berets, headbands…etc…The head seems to be fertile territory for knitwear.

I began my hat journey with a nice, easy top down cap using the instructions from Barbara Walker’s invaluable Knitting From the Top.  You cast on 8 stitches and increase 8 stitches every other round until your head would be covered by the circle you create.  Take note pinheads and big, head knitters, this is a great approach for any size head.

I added the folded up double rib at the hat bottom.  I’m no fool, I know two layers over the ears are better than one.  I’ve also decided that Lamb’s Pride Worsted is indeed soft enough after washing to wear on my head.  I was a bit worried since it has the dreaded mohair content, but I worried for naught.  I’ve still got tons of this stuff, so up next is the Cassidy’s Cap from the lovely Bonne Marie of Chic Knits acclaim.  So cute.

Blue no more

Dropsdone1 Bust open the French hard cider!  I’ve finished my Drops 103-1 cardie!  Yippee!

This is the same cardie that you’ve probably seen all over the web.  I can tell you from my own experience, it’s popular because it’s easy, cute and very wearable.

I used yarn from the stash, but it was a different gauge than the pattern.  I did a little math and it worked out.  I had to rip the sleeve caps a couple of times, but they did eventually work.   

Mods:  I decided to make the hem about 2" deep and used only double moss stitch.  The pattern calls for a small bit of double moss, but when I knit it that way it flipped outward and was untameable.  My thought was carrying the double moss from CF and sleeve down to the hem in a more signifcant way would work.  Please note: I didn’t make the sweater longer, I just made the hem deeper.

I also made the sleeves long rather than 3/4.  No real reason why, so I must have been cold when making that decision.  I like the way they turned out so, it was a happy chill.

The buttons are from Joann.  I was hoping to use some buttons from the extensive button stash, but that plan never seems to work out.  I thought these looked a bit vintage, but in a perfect world they would be a smidge lighter and blend in more.  Oh well.

Dropsdetail1All in all, a successful project and a good use of stash yarn.  I do still have a surprising amount of yarn left over, I guess I’d planned to make a much longer sweater when I bought this yarn.

Specs:  pattern – Drops 103-1; yarn Schoeller + Stahl Wonderwool Tweed in color 1627; mods – made the hem 2" long but kept the body length as written, made the sleeves long not 3/4.

Happy hat time

NewhatDespite being in the process of sewing up the Drops 103-1 sweater, I thought I’d start a new little project.  Just ’cause.  Well, maybe because I have a cold head in the a.m.  I know cold is relative, but 40 degrees is cold and my wee head takes a chill.  I also need gloves, but I don’t know how to make those.

I do have a very nice hat I made from a skein of Manos and Chicknits Shaker Rib hat pattern (free and fabulous – fyi), but I’ve got scads of Lamb’s Pride Worsted sitting around from the now permanently stalled Tilted Duster, and thought I needed a jauntly little red chapeau.  Immediately.

I wanted to try the top down hat recipe in Knitting From the Top.  It’s easy, cast on 8 sts on DPs and increase 8 sts every other row until you have enough to cover your cabeza.  That’s the photo you see above.  A head sized circle.  I think.  I’ve not made too many hats in my day, so we shall see.

I hope to have Drops 103-1 finished when next you see me!  Fingers crossed for a smooth collar addition.

Is it a sleeve yet?

Sleevetest_2 I am at present knitting Drops 103-1 cardigan.  I know.  Me and a jillion others, but I like it and it’s cute and I’m using stash yarn.  Oh yeah, the pattern’s free.  I love the Drops.  Check out their cute little Knitting Pattern Advent Calendar!  Cute right?  Between the Scandinavian knitting pattern, Ikea and my present read by Kerstin Ekman, I’m all California Nordic, dude.  Hey it’s Mavericks time here, so there’s lots of surfing on the local news.

Because I substituted stash yarn for the yarns called for in the pattern, I’ve had to rejigger the math to get it to work for me.  The hardest part of rejiggering is the row gauge instructions (ex: knit 30 rows and bind off).  The sleeve cap I knit up the first time was much too shallow to work.  I had to rip and refigure quite a bit and have come up with the sleeve in the picture.  I walked the sleeve in the armhole and it seemed to be the right size, but I wanted to make sure.  I sewed up one shoulder seam and pinned the sleeve in place.  It fits – for sure!  Yippee.

I’ve started the second sleeve but can’t sew in the first one because I didn’t take notes and have to follow the first sleeve.  I see the error of my "I’m sure I’ll remember" ways now that I have no recall of the knitting of the sleeve.  I’m in the home stretch here people!  VERY exciting.

Baby got some back

Back I semi-regularly browbeat my friend Carolyn to send me mix CDs since she knows what’s good and has good taste.  Without her, my iPod would have about 12 cds on it.  One day she introduced me to a remake of "Baby Got Back" by Jonathan CoultonRemember the originalYeah, kind of different – yet exactly the same!  I play this song over and over when I want to pluck myself out of a funk.  I laugh so damn hard every time.

What’s that got to do with my knitting?  Nothing.  It’s just that showing you a picture of a partially completed back piece of Drops 103-1 is boring, so I thought I’d spice it up.  Plus I sing the "Baby got Back" chorus to myself when knitting away and giggling, so I thought I’d share.