Stacy Knits

Ramblings about knitting and whatever else crosses my mind

Monday, November 28, 2005

When the knitting gets bad...

Do you ever have those times when it feels like none of your knitting is going right? If not for the humongo hit, Ruffles, I'd be in that mode. Of course, I even ripped out 12 inches of Ruffles because I thought it felt too loose! Then there was my Cashmerino hat to match Ruffles. I wore it out today on a cold day and realized my head was still cold! It's too big and not quite long enough. Rip, rip time. Thank goodness it was a quick knit and I have some extra yarn left from Ruffles if I need more.

I decided that my next new project was also to be from Scarf Style, the Backyard Leaves scarf. Didn't I say once I wasn't going to do anymore scarves? We drew names for a Secret Santa at work this year, and of course I would have to pick the person that lists charitable contributions on her wishlist! But she's super sweet and I am sure she'd enjoy a handknit item. She makes jewelry herself. Plus I'm going to drop a few dollars to one of the charities. I decided Backyard Leaves would be perfect for her. I picked up Plymouth Suri Merino in the light gray color. She usually wears black so thought gray would work.

I got it home and started to knit. About 8 inches in, I wasn't going anymore. The color is dull and drab. The yarn is nice and soft but a little fuzzy. The pattern barely showed at all! I decided to block the bit I had done, and it looked okay but still not great. I went back to my LYS, exchanged the yarn for the same yarn in a burgundy color that is prettier and seems a little less fuzzy than the original. So far, so good!

I'm such a dork with this pattern! I enlarged the repeat section of the chart and made copies of it for each repeat I'd be doing (about 22 in all). That way I can highlight the rows as I finish them. It's not a mindless knit but it's not too bad. I can still do it in front of the TV, although not to anything I want to pay close attention to.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Ruffles is done!

She's done, and I love her! I am so crazy about this scarf. It's different and was fun to knit, even for someone that usually hates knitting scarves. I have a feeling there are going to be a couple of these given as Christmas gifts. So if you are on my Christmas gift list and hate this scarf, you had better comment now!

I used Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, on size 6 needles. I'm such a loose knitter (um, hush). I started with size 8 but it was so floppy that I went down. My 7 needles were being used for something else so 6 it was. I used about 3 1/2 balls and ended up with a really long scarf, about 92 inches. That's fine for this pattern because with the scarf being relatively thin, it's nice to double it up, like I have here. Three balls of Cashmerino would have been plenty for a nice long scarf too.

I snapped a couple of pictures of myself wearing Ruffles to post on the blog, after today's football game (just taking a break here, we're headed back out, unfortunately to drown our sorrows after another football loss but we did score lower level basketball tickets for Tuesday night from the darling elderly couple that sits in front of us at the football games). I didn't want to show off the scarf with this pic because it blends in with my Kentucky shirt but I thought it was such a cute picture that I had to post it!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Fuzzy Feet

Crazy Aunt Purl has been talking up Fuzzy Feet for some time now, and it reminded me that I wore the pair I knit last year so much I wore a hole in them. I bought the yarn last weekend and made them this week. I didn't join the FuzzyFeetAlong because I'm the worst knit alonger in the history of knit alongs. I'll make one post to the Along, never to appear again, sometimes not even finishing (see: Socktoberfest). Anywho, I love this pattern, and my always cold feet love the finished slippers. I got my pair done in about 3 evenings of TV knitting.

Before felting

After felting (yes, my feet really are that small. You'd think I'd be able to finish a sock).

I like how Cascade 220 Quattro looks felted. I like how all the colors blend. It's a little more interesting than a single color but not stripey like Noro would be.

My Ruffles Scarf is also coming along really well. It's about 1/3 of the way done. I need to get busy since I want to wear it next weekend to the final football game of the season. It's going to be so cold. We're looking at temps in the 30's at gametime (which is the afternoon) and even colder during pre-game tailgating. The color of blue isn't really UK blue but it's close enough. It will clash with my Kentucky t-shirt but with a coat on, who will notice?

It's not as slow of a knit as I thought it would be but while I'm knitting, it seems like progress should go quicker. I guess that's scarf knitting for you. It's good, mindless knitting, and with the Bengals playing Indianapolis late this afternoon and Kentucky playing basketball on ESPN Monday and Tuesday nights, I should have plenty of sports watching time to work on it, not to mention our usual lazy Thanksgiving Day.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Project Overload

My goal was 10 rows per week on the beautiful Alphabet Baby Blanket. I figure that's a leisurely pace, and it would be done well in advance of baby niece/nephew's anticipated May arrival.

It was a nice goal while it lasted. I should have about 60 rows done by this point. Instead, I'm somewhere around row 20. Really though, it's no big deal. I have plenty of time.

You can see the letters beginning to form. That's a diamond on the far right with the Z beside it. KnitPicks Shine is perfect for a baby blanket!

I have been a busy little knitter though! It's been a long time since I've taken on a fun, instant gratification project for myself. Skylar's tale of woe of her Cashmerino sweater piling in my comments section pushed me over the edge on what to do with my blue Cashmerino. It would be perfect for a scarf and hat combo. And I figure that with the color and how cold it's probably gonna be, it will be perfect to wear to the last football game of the season, Thanksgiving weekend. Ah ha, we have a plan!

I picked up the book Scarf Style. I borrowed this from the library late last winter. I didn't think it would be a book I'd ever buy because I'm not a big scarf knitter but there are so many designs in here that I really loved. So I finally got it. I had planned to use my Cashmerino for Backyard Leaves but glancing through the book, realized I'd completely forgotten about the scarf I loved most in it, Ruffles!

So I present the beginnings of my Ruffles Scarf...

So far, it's going really quickly. I thought it would be a lot slower but since most rows, you aren't knitting a lot of stitches, it flies. I could see doing several of these as gifts. I still want to do Backyard Leaves but that can wait.

I had to have a little hat to go along with it and pumped that out really quickly. It's just a simple roll brim hat. I really didn't even use a pattern, just cast on 88 and began decreasing when it got as long as I wanted it. Since it's Sunday at noon, and I still haven't changed from my pajamas yet, the lovely hat is being modelled by a glass bowl.
I could post 15 pictures of any project, and the color would look different in everyone of them. The scarf pic looks too bright, the hat one is closer but maybe a little dark.

Yay, basketball season officially begins tonight! I've got tickets to tonight and tomorrow's games. Getting Kentucky basketball tickets is no small feat, even for games against lesser opponents so we'll definitely have fun. I may even hear my new hat. We went to the exhibition game Wednesday, and everyone here is so excited for the season, especially after the emergence of Relakin Sims. And we won another football game yesterday! Woo, we're 3-6! Ah, the joys of being a Kentucky football fan. We do have the same conference record as Tennessee, hehehe.

Monday, November 07, 2005

More proof!

Gift #2 has been received to rave reviews. It's yet another baby sweater, for my friend Juls. When picking out something to do for a knitter, it's tough because I feel like it needs to be a bit more complex than what you'd do for the average Joe. I knew I'd hit on it as soon as I laid eyes on a cute little seed stitch cabled baby sweater pattern at my local yarn shop. With it being for a boy and Juls' tastes (and my own, I confess!), I didn't want any pastel baby colors. I picked navy and gold for Cal because she's a fan. I think it was a success.

Because it's hard to see the adorable details no matter how much I lighten the navy, here is the picture from the pattern designer's website

The hat hasn't been finished yet but it's coming, Juls, I promise!

In other knitting news, I pulled out Apricot yesterday and worked on it a little. I didn't get more than an inch or so done but at least it's moving along.

The weekend was gorgeous. It's just not supposed to be upper 70's and sunny in November in Kentucky! Compared to last week's football game when it was in the 30's, there are no complaints. We did the Kentucky-Auburn football game and dinner at one of our usual places afterward. We skipped tailgating because 1:00 football games are not conducive to tailgating for lazy people like us. The Cats lost but that was expected. Overall, it was a good day.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


I can be such a sucker sometimes. The other day, I was in Louisville, and after an appointment went well, decided to stop in a yarn shop there to take a little peak. With the baby gifts on small needles and the weather getting colder, I've been wanting to knit a soft and cozy scarf and hat. Ya know, something easy and quick. I picked out 4 skeins of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, paid, and walked out of the store. I'm thinking Backyard Leaves from Scarf Style. I fell in love with a denimy blue shade. Yes, everyone has knitted this in green, and it makes no sense in blue but I'm just not a green person. And the blue kind of looks like a muted, faded Kentucky blue, and I can always use more Kentucky blue to wear on gamedays.

As I was wandering to my car, I glanced in my bag and realized that I really liked the color. Wouldn't I love to have a sweater in that color? It's probably going to be cold for the last football game of the season against Tennessee, so it would be nice to have that cute little cardi I've been thinking of, right? I hopped right back into the store and picked out 3 more skeins. This will be enough to do another Cardi from the Yarn Girls' Guide (this time, adding some shaping). Perfect, huh?

Not so fast! Cashmerino is so lovely and soft but didn't I vow to never, ever use it for a sweater after reading some bad reviews at Wiseneedle? People are saying that it looked bad within a couple of wearings and some even said it looked bad before they were done knitting it. It apparently pills like crazy, right? I'm a sucker. I can lose all sense of self control when holding super soft yarn.

Now I'm a little torn. I can return some of the skeins and carry on with my scarf plan. Or take my sweater chances. So I set out to try to destroy a swatch I made. I handwashed it, rubbing it and thrashing it around. Later on , I threw it in the washer with a load of darks (not in the gentle cycle) then tossed it in the dryer. Again, no gentle cycle here. I handwashed it again. If anyone ever abuses their handknits like this, I feel for their poor little knits. I then stuck it in the waistband of my yoga pants while lounging around the house, figuring it would get a lot of rubbing when sitting and moving around. I think this poor swatch has gone through enough.

My little experiment has shown that the stockinette side looks pretty good. It's a bit fuzzy but no piling so far. The reverse side looks much more worn but who is going to see that side?

I love how it feels, I love the color, I just don't want to spend all the time knitting a cardi and all the money on this yarn for it to look like crap in a month! Ahh, what to do?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Gifties #1...

Posting at halftime of our first basketball game. Woohoo, the season has started!!!

Finally, I can post proof that I'm actually capable of finishing an item! These were gifts to my friend Kimm whose baby girl, Hannah, is scheduled to arrive Friday. I think the fact that I knitted something for her was a surprise!

All of these were done in Plymouth Dreambaby yarn...
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This is the Anouk pattern from Knitty. I made a few changes. One of the biggest was that my gauge was different. I had planned to use the yarn called for in the pattern but after I put off ordering it, I decided to just get it from my LYS so I could shop immediately. Thus the supersoft Dreambaby yarn and smaller gauge. Another thing was after seeing a couple of these actually on babies in other blogs, I wasn't crazy about how in the pattern, the sides aren't seamed. There are 2 little tabs that hold it shut. I just thought it looked funny. So I seamed the sides and left out the tabs. That takes away the idea of it being a jumper now and a tunic in the future like she says in the pattern but I think this looks cuter.

I don't know why but this knit bored me to tears as I got closer to the end! It took me forever to finally finish it. And I don't like intarsia!

I had to do a matching hat and booties. BTW, the colors are most realistic in the jumper photo above than the other shots.

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Like my UK football mug as a body double for a baby head? The hat is this pattern which is basically the same pattern as the SNB Umbilical Cord Baby Hat. This is really such a great pattern. You can do it plain or add the fair isle designs. It's so quick. It couldn't have taken more than a couple of hours. The booties are from the book Simple Knits for Cherished Babies. I borrowed this book from the library, and this is a nice bootie pattern. I prefer it to the chunky booties in SNB-Nation, and the time it takes to do them isn't too different (about 2 hours versus about 1). I'm not a huge fan of the book itself but mostly because I am turned off by baby books whose designs are cashmere and other unwashable yarns. The designs are otherwise classic but unexciting.

In spite of not liking intarsia, I liked doing fair isle! Add the Fairly Easy Fair Isle sweater from SNB-Nation to my ever growing list!

Back to the basketball game. Is this the face of the best point guard in the country or what? Go Cats!