I am a lazy cow

Despite having masses of time off before Thanksgiving, I did not finish my Raspberry coat.  Honestly, I certainly could have, but chose to do other things.  Or sometimes I chose to do f-all.  Oh well.  This coat pic shows a bit of my progress.  I sewed in the collar, it still needs pressing but it looks remarkably fine to my eye.  The center front isn’t pressed either so don’t look at that.  You looked.  The coat is going together rather well but I haven’t decided how highbrow to take the construction.  I really hate hand sewing so the quick and easy RTW methods are looking attractive.  We shall see.

For Thanksgiving I went to my sister’s house and no visit to her house is complete without me taking some of her unused yarn, so I took some.  This lovely purple stuff has no labels but is soft and has a bit of a sheen.  It looks like a light fingering weight and should knit up to be a pretty thing.  I’m thinking lacy scarf and I think it’s mine.  It may even sort of match the raspberry coat.  I’ll have to look into that.

When in doubt, choose cheese…

I’ve been working away trying to find a way to make this Swiss Cheese scarf work.  Alas, it isn’t.  The yarn is the lovely stuff that I started Herbivore with, but that wasn’t working for me either.  I thought Swiss Cheese would be fun and mindless but it isn’t.  I’ve worked the holes in different sizes and am still trying to find a way to not have those loose stitches at the sides of the holes.  I’ve even busted out the Montse Stanley and that only works for one side of the hole.  I can’t live with those lose stitches, it’s all I see.  Others have had this problem too, but they’ve found a way.  Me, not so much.

Oh green sock yarn, what do you want to be?

I also started my Raspberry coat after much procrastination.  It’s coming along fine, but I just hit my first booboo.  I cut one of the collar pieces with the nap of the fabric running the wrong way.  It feels like you’re rubbing your kitty’s fur the wrong way, and I just can’t live with the knowledge of that mistake.  I’ve recut the offending collar piece but am really not hurrying to unpick the stitching of the collar.  Not hurrying at all…

Something I “can” fix

I’ve finally finished the Phildar gray cardigan!  I’ve had to tinker a bit with it because fixing is the name of the game here at the house this week (appliances fail en masse!).

I think my gauge was pretty good with this project, though how on earth does one accurately figure out gauge in chunky 3×3 rib?  My length measurements were good and the width was too, depending on how much you yanked on the knitted fabric.  My tinkering came with the finishing.  My collar ended up looking like a neck funnel.  Pretty!  Really, it stood up straight even though I used a needle two sizes smaller than the body.  Where’s my elastic thread?  I used the thread you use for shirring fabric to draw the collar in and lie flat.  I ran a length of elastic through the top of the collar, weaving in and out and through the stitches.  That worked fine.

The second item on my agenda appeared after taking the photo on the left.  I thought the sleeves needed the same elastic treatment as the collar and now I’ve got the photo on the right.  Unfortunately, I must have yanked the elastic tighter than a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon does a facelift, because now I’ve got mildly puffed sleeves.  Puts me in the mind of Snow White.  Not a good look for a GROWNUP.  I shall snip the elastic and yank it out.  30 second re-fix.

Otherwise this was a pretty straightforward project, even though it was entirely a French pattern.  The yarn is chunky and a wool/acrylic blend.  It looks like a single but is very strong and didn’t break.  The acrylic makes the cardie so much more practical for my mild California climate and the keeps it from weighing a ton.  I think I’ll get lots of wear out of this project (which is really unusual for me), just toss it on over jeans and tops and pretend you made more of an effort than you really did.  Project details are on my Rav page.

Curry addict

I’ve been on a curry and lentil kick this week.  The snap above is my lunch, Curried Squash and Red Lentil soup and it’s delish.  I love soup on a football watching Sunday!  (FYI I made the recipe pretty much as written using Penzey’s Maharaja Curry, adding a veg bouillon cube and less water – just so it fit into my soup pot.  Skip the cilantro oil and just add a handful of chopped cilantro to the soup.)

My other curry this week has been from Jorth’s wonderful, entertaining blog – that is super yum too. Good thing I’m not craving something bad for me!

My Gray Cardigan is almost done so I should have something to show for all my sitting around and football watching.  So far so cute, buttonbands and seaming to go.  The Raspberry coat is sitting untouched (but not unloved) – you guessed it.  It’s still not cold, 66F (19C) today and not cooling down.  What this is, is CARDIGAN weather.  Not COAT weather.  Maybe that’s my hurdle – too much nice weather saps my motivation.  I’ll get there, winter will come here sometime.

How do you say “huh” en francais?

The back (dos) of my cardigan (gilet) is done and next up is the collar (bande d’encolure).  I believe one knits up the collar separately and sews it on.  The directions go on a bit about knitting the last two rows in a different color.  I guess they have you knit the collar and then end with two rows on waste yarn that one unravels and grafts onto the sweater – though to be fair I didn’t translate the directions, so who knows what it really says.  Why not just sew up the sweater body then pick up and knit?    No reason I can see, and the knitting police won’t knock on the door if I just do it my way, will they?

The raspberry coat is laying about patiently while I get around to cutting out the lining.  I should have more time since I’m on vacation and it is indeed gettting cooler as more motivation.  Do you know it won’t even get to 70 degrees today?!  Tomorrow yes, today no.  And this morning I snapped a car piccie of the pretty fall foliage we’ve got around here.  Yup, it’s the grape vines.  They’re looking very autumnal!