It’s the peasiest

The good thing about top down knitting is that you can try things on as you go.  Which is all well and good if you’ve got needles long enough to go around your boobies.  I don’t so you only get a photo of one boob, I’m too lazy to get another needle out for the full monty (so to speak).
This is the start of Peasy and she’s living up to the easy her name suggests.  The lace bit is done at the start, so it’s stockinette from here on out.  Good for sitting about knitting. So far no mods, or intentional mods I should say, other than I was a few stitches short when it was time to get the sleeves out of the mix.  Clearly my row gauge is a bit off.  I’m planning on adding stitches say every 1″ to the bottom to give it an easy shape.  We’ll see how that works out in a few more inches, eh?
The yarn is Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool (you know I love the stuff) in some obscure discontinued light blue colorway (38) that I’m loving more as the sweater emerges.  Now back to the denim skirt I’m making to wear with this sweater.  Duty calls.

Cormo Villane

Villane is finally finished!  I managed to find the last few buttons at the fourth Joann store I tried and finished sewing them before I misplaced them.  I still need to block the sweater, but we’re expecting rain soon so this was my last bit of nonrainy daylight photo time.  The cormo really looks best photographed without flash.  So please forgive the crappy headless pic, it really was the best I could do.
The sweater itself is a very easy bottom up, one piece raglan construction.  I didn’t change anything with the pattern, it’s fine as written in my opinion.  My stitch counts at the neck transition were a bit off but as long as you can make the raglan lines blend into the ribbed collar you did it right in my book.  The sleeve cables are very easy, no complicated criss-crossing and it’s easy to see where you are on the cable chart in case your post it note row minder falls off.  I used one row buttonholes and a regular old bind off for the double rib because I was too lazy to do a tubular bind off – and I thought tubular might pull in too much.  I also spit spliced my cormo, which is oddly the first time I used that technique.  Turns out it works great if you’re using nice sticky wool.
All in all a good easy project, very suitable for a cable shy novice or anyone wanting a peaceful undemanding project.  The wool is my favorite Foxhill Farm Cormo Cross purchased at last year’s New York Sheep and Wool, so tradition has it that this Villane will make the trek across the U.S. and be worn at this year’s festival.  I shall probably wear it to purchase more cormo to feed my yearly obsession.  The addiciton cycle, you know.

Buttons. Who’s got them?

Today I’ve been fiddling with the buttonbands of Villane.  At present, only one buttonband survived the frogging carnage.  Luckily that one remaining buttonband is the one with the buttonholes in it.  I don’t want to do that that math again!  Can you say “fractions” and “calculator”?
Well back to the button chat.  I found two acceptable buttons for Villane at the Joann’s today.  The one on the right is my favorite (it’s suffering from the camera flash) because the marled button reflects so many of the colors in the hand dyed yarn.  The one on the left is fine, not inspired but a good workable button.
Why buy two different buttons if I liked the one on the right best?  Because the shop only had FOUR buttons of the greens!  I made EIGHT buttonholes (plus planning one more BH in the collar).  The brown one that looks like candy (because I’m hungry) had ten available, so I bought the ten of the acceptable but must now find six more greens.  The Marin store purports of have them via the Joann inventory system, but I think we all know that it’s a crapshoot.  Yes, I tried the internet.  It didn’t work in this instance.
SO, fingers crossed I can find six more Belle Buttons, style #BB357, SKU 1831825 in size 7/8″ at any of the Joann’s I happen upon in the bayarea.  I have a good feeling…


Cormo Villane is tantalizingly close to completion.  My next step here is the short rows at the neck, button and neckbands.  Finis!  The finishing should even be minimal as I used the spit splice in the body.  I love that!  Kinda gross, but so freaking effective.
Because I can’t possibly be true to just this one sweater so close to the end, I already started a new project.  My next favorite yarn after cormo is Silky Wool from Elsebeth Lavold.  It’s just a great weight for my climate and I adore it’s nubbliness.  After Margene mentioned Peasy in a blog post, I had to have one.  (I am a Margene devotee afterall.) Cute spring sweater, perfect layering for the alternating hot and cold we experience here in California during the course of a day.  I chose this light blue colorway and thought it would look smashing with an A-line denim skirt.  I don’t have an A-line denim skirt, but as you can see under the beginnings of Peasy, I do have the material for such a skirt.
So really, I now have three projects planned and just a few more days off.  I must get cracking.  Hope everyone’s Monday is going well!

What do I do with it now?

The other day I got to wondering if I could actually make something from one of the Japanese craft books I’d collected.  I’ve only got a few, but I love going to Kinokuniya and browsing.  I pulled Cozy Handbags and Pouches (ISBN 4-8347-2235-X) from the shelf and came across this cute little triangle pouch.  I was intrigued.  This is a very simple shape and thought it would be good one to try.
I looked over the instructions, which of course, are all in Japanese.  But the illustrations and measurements are well done and can be easily understood, even by me.  I speak no Japanese other than “thank you” and “you’re welcome” and certainly could not read these words in kanji characters, so I haven’t a clue as to whether those written directions are wonderful or rather Burda-style pithy.
I gathered from the instructions one cuts a rectangle twice as long as wide to make the pouch.  The measurements given were 30 cm by 15 cm.  I added 1/4″ for seam allowance, not knowing if this was included in the measurements.  I used home dec cotton for the outer layer, interfaced it with some yucky pellon and grabbed a scrap of cotton for the lining.  I shortened a spare zipper to be slightly shorter than the 15 cm width and got sewing.
The pattern (as do those in the whole book) have a batting layer and lots of hand stitches and beads which would be fine, but I just wanted to see if I could make the pouch.  I HATE handsewing, so if I was to make more of these pouches, and there are no plans to do so, I would also find a way around hand sewing the lining to the zipper tape.  That really took most of the very short time needed to make this triangle.
So there it is, a simple pouch with no apparent use, deciphered from my Japanese craft book.  I call that a WIN!

La manche droit

 The right sleeve is done.  Well, up the armpit anyway.  I am knitting on Villane (rav link), which had taken a back seat to lacy scarves and such.  Villane (non rav link) waited patiently, as she knew she was not a portable project.  She waited for off time to get hers and her patience has been rewarded. One more sleeve and the joining and yoke and buttonbands to go.  Well that sounds like a lot!  I thought I was getting close.
Our California weather has been cooperating with knitting as it’s been alternating between blazing sunshine and rain very 20 minutes or so.  This is so odd that the local news outlets are reporting this as “news”.  That is precisely why I love California.  Anything other than sun is news.  While rainy, it’s not cold so I continue to work my beautiful warm sproingy cormo project.  I’ll pretend I’ll be able to wear this heavy sweater soon (not so much).  That is close enough for my comfort.  Isn’t self delusion fun?

Proof of lace

My Ishbel has been blocked, and I must tell you I’d dreaded that blocking task.  I did it this a.m. and it really was sinchy.
What you see is Ishbel by Ysolda Teague; one skein of Malabrigo Lace (470 yd) in apple green; knit on size 5 (3.75mm) Addi Lace Turbos.  I knit an extra large stockinette section (269 stitches) and a small lace section (A B A C D E).  You must add 16 stitch groups to the stockinette portion to account for the 8 stitch lace repeat PER side and have it come out correctly.  The scarf is 59″ wide and 18″ long at center.  I ended up with a small ball of yarn leftover, so this was a good guesstimate of how far one skein of Malabrigo will stretch.
I think I’ll end up wearing this scarf tied up like the pic on the left, but couldn’t pass off an opportunity to throw in that Betsy Ross pose on the right.  I mean, who knows how many shawls I’ve got in me?

Is that lace I see before me?

What is that?  Lace on my blog?  Yup, this is true.  I don’t know what’s come over me lately, but lace has become interesting to me.  Well, small bits of lace.  I don’t see a big old lace shawl happening anytime soon.  These laceweight projects are great for travel, but the socks of old will reemerge eventually.
What this snap is showing is the bottom bit of Ishbel that is in dire need of blocking.  Unfortunately, I’m traveling for four more days so blocking will have to wait.  I thought you might enjoy a glimpse of my pretty green scarf though, and please forgive her unblocked edges.

Get me outta here

Something about Vegas makes me want to take a long, hot shower to wash the ICK off of me.  That said, it’s a beautiful day here today and the strip is packed.  If this Vegas clusterf*ck is any indication, the economy is coming back.  Apparently the purveyors of hoochie wear and big beers are doing well too, so kudos tourists!  Enjoy the view of the faux Eiffel Tower looked over by Donny and Marie.  Only in Vegas.