Stacy Knits

Ramblings about knitting and whatever else crosses my mind

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Found at Karma's Blog. You can get your own here.

Showing off...

My friend's baby modeling the Anouk I made. An irresistable combo, right? This really is an adorable pattern. I made the booties too! It's really neat to wear your own knits. But it's even cooler to see someone else using something you've made for them!

Oh, no, not another project!

Smart, real smart!!! The Olympics are coming fast, I want to get Salina done before then, and what do I do? Cast on for something else, of course!!! It's really not that big of a project. I mentioned recently that it appears my baby nephew will make his grand debut earlier than anticipated. The Alphabet Baby Blanket is gorgeous but there's no way it will be done before he's born, unless I drop all other projects to finish it. The shower is at the end of February, and I'd like to send a handknit something. So I picked up a skein of very inexpensive (but soft!) Bernat baby yarn and cast on. I'm kind of combining patterns and making a couple of my own changes to get what I want. And what I want is very simple, a little hooded cardi, in a teeny tiny newborn size, and I'll do a lil hat to match. My thinking on this is that it will work if the baby is preemie or born closer to its due date. I'll save the fancier stuff for once the kid is born, we know his size, and he'll get some use out of it!

This shouldn't tax me too much even with the Olympics starting next week! Salina before then, however is a pretty lofty goal. Since I didn't get much done this weekend. But of course, the less knitting I do on weekends, the better weekend I've probably had!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Rebecca Ruffly Jacket

As soon as I got the yarn in my hot little hands, I said I wouldn't be able to resist beginning this project. I know myself too well. I really want to get Salina done before the Knitting Olympics begin so I probably won't do too much more on it for now but I had to start, just to try out the pattern.

Here's the completed left front:

So far, so good but it's hard to believe from the funny looking thing in the picture that it's going to be a well-fitting sweater! My gauge is slightly off (22 st/4 in versus 21 as the pattern calls for) but when I measured it according to the pattern schematics, it's pretty close. One nice thing is that I'm not having to make pattern adjustments at all! The pattern sizing looks to be perfect. I have to do that with almost all my sweaters. Even if they are designed for my chest size, I often have to size down because they allow too much ease. It's not an "I'm so skinny" thing because I'm definitely not. I've got curves! But I'm really short and with a small frame, don't like more than a couple of inches of ease even in sweaters that are supposed to be more oversized.

This yarn is gorgeous! It's so soft and light. Knitting with it is great, not like the mohairs I've used in the past. I haven't had to do any frogging yet, knock on wood. The color is different than I thought it would be. From the picture, I thought it was going to be a brighter, medium pink shade but it's more of a deep red. The color is called Raspberry, and it's the color of a raspberry, go figure! Even though it's not what I expected, it's very pretty. I always get compliments when I wear red so I think it will look good on me as well. I'm having trouble getting a picture that shows the color well (my digital stinks) but imagine the deep pinkish-red of a nice ripe strawberry.

I quickly figured out the numbers on the ruffly edging that, except for the back bottom and sleeves, is done by picking up stitches along the front, around the neck, and down the other front. I should be binding off about 600 stitches when it's complete. Eek! But I thought it was going to be worse. That's why I figured the numbers, to find out what was ahead of me. At least it doesn't have to be seamed on!

You Go Girls!

Props to UK Hoops (the team formally known as the Kentucky Lady Cats) for beating #1 ranked Tennessee!!! In spite of being a huge college basketball fan, I just don't enjoy watching woman's basketball. It tends to be a more fundamentally sound game than the men's but I find it a lil' dull. Anyone who is a college basketball fan would have enjoyed this game. It was well played and came down to the last seconds. When we grabbed the final rebound to seal the deal, I found myself flying off the couch, screaming, just like I would for a men's game! When I logged onto the UK website/message board I frequent, I expected to see some "who cares, it's just women" posts but I saw none of that. Everyone else was as excited as I was! I can't wait to follow the women's team through the rest of the season. Go Cats!!!

And I leave you with a picture of Elly Cairn and the guest bed that serves as my fancy-schmancy blocking board. My dogs are such productive little citizens. She loves to be helpful as I am hard at work. See?

Sunday, January 22, 2006


AFC Champs! Super Bowl bound, baby!

And I got the first sleeve of Salina almost done during the game.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Pretty, Pretty Salina

Finally, I am gonna talk about my lovely Salina. In all this yarn stashing and Knitting Olympics excitement, she's kind of been put on the back burner (on my blog, not in my heart, of course). I got the back done pretty quickly and decided to move onto a sleeve next. For some reason, sleeves kill me. Maybe it's because I FEEL like they should take no time compared to backs and fronts. Soooo not true but mentally, I get so tired of them. I thought I'd try to get at least one of them done before moving onto the front. The front's always my favorite part of a sweater. All the shaping that goes into it entertains me or something. But the sleeves...I hate them!

I've stalled a little bit on Salina, trying to finish up a couple of smaller projects and because I HAD to start my new ruffled Soft Kid Cardi. I told you I wouldn't be able to resist at least casting on or doing an entire front in that wonderful yarn! And because of some medical issues, it appears that my lil nephew may arrive sooner than his expected May debut so I dragged the baby blanket out and worked on it some too.

But here we go, the back:

I went ahead and blocked it. For some reason, I can't resist getting that out of the way as I get done with each piece. Plus, it lets me mess with measurements and making sure that the yarn doesn't do any funny things (I did actually wash the swatch, just in case it decided to!). I had a momentary terror when it was hugely wide when I first laid it out (I like to soak the pieces, blot the water out as much as possible, and spread them on a bed to dry). But it dried back down to the intended measurements.

After laying it out, I started to fear that I'd made it a little too long. I'm short and used the same length of the pattern. So I pulled out a sweater whose length I think is good for this pattern and measured it. Perfect!

Had tickets to the Cats game versus South Carolina today. We've been slumping but had a solid win Tuesday and the offense looked good today, even though our usually great defense looked suspect at points. 9 seconds left, down by 1, we have the ball. Now, what you want is my imaginary boyfriend, Rajon Rondo, taking the ball and driving into the lane for an easy layup or foul. What you don't want is Rondo fumbling the ball around with no other options as time expires except to shoot the three. He's one of the best point guards in the country but not a good shooter. He'd already airballed a couple of wide open threes early in the game.

Well, we got the latter, the nightmarish off balance three. And it went in! The Arena went CRAZY! It was awesome! I love my Cats! And I really love Rajon Rondo.

I just got a hard slap on the leg from an Elly dog. It's 30 minutes past dinnertime, and she does not like her dinner to be late. She's also not shy about letting you know it. Funny girl!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Knitting Olympics!!!

Knitters all over the place are jumping all over this. I think almost every blogger is plotting their entry. It's the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics. You pick a project and cast on during the opening ceremonies (February 10th). You have to complete it by the end (February 26th) to get a Gold Medal. We all know that I may be the worst knit-alonger in blogland but I can't resist a challenge and before I knew it, there was my "I'm in!!!" in the comments section before I'd even finished reading her post!

I have (or have ordered) yarn for 3 separate sweater projects so it will be one of them. They are the Rebecca ruffled wrap sweater, Blue Sky Alpacas Snap Cardigan, and Rebecca Cabled sweater.

I got the GGH Soft Kid yarn for the wrap sweater today and promptly marked it off my list for the Olympics. I know I won't be able to resist that long! This yarn is fabulous! I couldn't even resist knitting a little swatch. Plus, when I looked over the directions, they seemed a little odd in spots (like Rebecca patterns tend to be) so I figure there will be some frogging.

The Rebecca Cabled sweater pattern looks a little more straight forward than the wrap sweater. It's made in GGH cashmere and at a cost of $340 at KnitHappens, it was slightly out of budget. Just a lil bit. I went with a very unromantic, unexciting, very non-yarn snob choice: Plymouth Encore. I picked this for its washability and cost. It's soft, holds up pretty well, and I mostly want this sweater to be a weekend, trip to the mall, wear around town kind of sweater Thus I really want to be able to wash it. The fact that I've spent quite on yarn lately led me toward this option instead of a superwash wool.

And then there's the other choice, the Snap Cardi. I got the pattern with my Knit Happens order. I am leaning toward it over the Rebecca cabled pattern. Any sweater pattern will be a challenge to complete in that time frame but I think this one is a little more achieveable. Doing it for the challenge will benefit the project in another way. I've decided that I'll likely put a zipper in it instead of the snap tape. I'm scared of zippers. But if I have a goal to finish it, there's no way it will linger at the bottom of my knitting basket, unworn, until I get the nerve to install a zipper!

I do need to work out some shaping and sizing issues for the Snap Cardi. The smallest size is a 39.5 so I'll need to size it down. I should be okay simply subtracting the multiple of stitches between that and the next largest size, maybe adding on one or two on each edge. That would give me a couple inches of ease. It also doesn't have any shaping, and I really like cardisthat have a little shaping. That's no big deal to add, usually, but I need to figure out how to work that with the 5X2 ribbing that makes up the bottom 5" of the sweater.

From last night's basketball game. Patrick Sparks (#22) has a big game to end his horrid season long shooting slump and leaves the game with a big smile on his face, getting a giant bear hug from the Coach and butt pats from his teammates. I got tears in my eyes. I'm a sap. That's why I love the Olympics. I love all the patriotism and sappiness.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Comments, comments!

To respond to a couple of comments:

I have pretty much decided to go with Aloe in the Blue Sky Alpacas Cotton. It was a tough choice because all the colors are so pretty and none of them really stood out as being the must have. Well, except Honeydew that looks soooo pretty but the color probably wouldn't look that good on me. I haven't ordered the yarn yet but did order the pattern! This should be a great knit for me since my recent sweaters and tanks have all been at smaller gauges. I can't wait to use this yarn. I felt it up a couple of months ago, and it feels so amazing, coming from someone who isn't crazy about cotton!

Check out Melissa's finished cashmere Lucky. *drools* I loved knitting Lucky, up until the 1x1 ribbed band and the seaming so I admire anyone who can manage another one!

Who is this random person coming to my blog asking about her Christmas gift? You think of all people, I would put off one of my bestest, longest term friends ever on her Christmas gift, just because I wasn't going to see her for awhile and put off finishing her gift to work on other things? Me? Nah, not me!!! Pssst, Steph, it's almost finished, it's taken me longer than I thought it would. I'm thinking I should get it to the post office Tuesday so start checking your mail on Wednesday.

You know you are having a rough basketball season when someone puts your Coach up for auction on eBay. We're used to rough football seasons but a 10-6 basketball record is not something we're used to, and we don't take too kindly to it. It's truly depressing, as silly as that may sound. Kentucky basketball has been such an important part of my life for most of it. I was raised on it, and my Dad and I rarely have a conversation that doesn't start with the latest basketball info (even in the off season). My brother and I don't talk a whole lot since he's across country but nothing draws us together like the Cats losing. Some of my favorite childhood memories involve trips to Lexington, just me and my Dad, to watch the Cats play. It's ugly right now. I've been a big supporter of our coach for his entire tenure, when he's come under some criticism, but he's losing me now. He's one of the best human beings in the game but I'm not so sure he's right for the job.

BTW, if you see the movie Glory Road, here's a great article that places the game that is the subject of the movie in a non-Disneyfied historical context. Because Kentucky was the opponent in that infamous game, we've all been a little nervous about how we would be portrayed. According to reports from those that have seen it, it doesn't sound like we have been portrayed too poorly, just as the powerful villian you should be cheering against in the movie (but I'll be cheering for them, even though the outcome won't be in doubt. :). It also wasn't even close to the biggest upset in NCAA championship history like the movie claims. I do want to see the movie. My Dad, on the other hand, has no desire to. He saw it the game when it was played and doesn't care to see it again. As a local radio guy said, "I can turn on the TV and watch the Cats lose for free." :(

Saturday, January 14, 2006

It all comes together...

Weirdest thing happened to me this week. The planets all aligned over a knitting pattern, and I knew that it was meant to be. Let's start back earlier this fall. I bought a mohair blend wrap sweater at Ann Taylor Loft. Much to my mohair-hating surprise, I have worn this thing like crazy. It's so cuddly and soft. In fact, if not for sympathy for my co-workers and the fact that I really hate dirty looks, I'd wear it everyday.

Pondering my love for this sweater, a lightbulb went off. I will knit a mohair cardigan! But not just any mohair, it has to be soft and cuddly like the cardi. Of course, the first thought was Rowan Kidsilk Haze. I searched for patterns and really didn't find one that I liked. The idea kind of slipped my mind until I was browsing Elizabeth's blog the other day and noticed she had bought GGH Soft Kid and a Rebecca Soft Kid magazine for a cardigan. And there went another light bulb! The cardigan she chose was lovely but I didn't think it would be flattering on my shape. That didn't stop me from some more searches for Soft Kid. I was even thinking about doing the infamous Rebecca Wrap cardigan, just lengthening the sleeves.

I finally came up with this pattern:

It's from Rebecca #30. Adding to the coincidence factor, I haven't seen a single picture of it online, other than one on an eBay auction (that isn't even posted anymore. I had to scan this photo!). I've been thinking about this cardi almost all week long, seriously. I finally dashed out of work and made it to my LYS just minutes before closing to buy the issue of Rebecca. I'm not sure how much of a ruffly girl I am but it's so cute that I have to have it.

While searching for the Blue Sky Alpacas Snap Cardigan pattern, I saw that KnitHappens was having a 20% off sale this weekend. They sell GGH Soft Kid. I happen to have a few extra dollars of Christmas money remaining. And conveniently, I need to order the Snap Cardi pattern (Webs that I have the GC for has the yarn, not the pattern). See how all these pieces fell together?

I imagined it in the pale pink shade but since they only had one ball left and because the medium pink looks to be about the same color as the inspiration sweater in my closet, I went for the darker raspberry color. I placed the order and hope to have my yarn soon (I will not start until I finish Salina, I will, why bother? I know I will, even if just to cast on and work on after Salina).

I was showing it to the owner, a sweet older German lady who showed it to a friend that was helping her out that day. She said that it would be perfect for me because I'm so cute. Hehehe. Again, it kills me to pay $17 for a magazine that I may make only one pattern from but glancing through the many oddball patterns Rebecca seems to have, I saw another pattern that is EXACTLY what I've been wanting, a cabled turtleneck, and it's my favorite one I've seen yet. Add this to the to do list...

There are several other things from the magazine I like as well but for now, this will be it. The to do list keeps growing and growing. It's outrageously long right now. But this Rebecca cardigan and cabled turtleneck are the next two things on the list, along with the Snap Cardigan. Yeah, yeah, along with finishing Apricot (half of one front and a sleeve left) and a blue Silky Wool Pullover I started LAST year but have been a little indifferent on whether to finish the last sleeve or rip it out and make something else.

On a side note, I wonder if the Rebecca German to English translations just don't work right sometimes. Case in point:

My own little island in the ocean. We're two pirate brides, and this is our hideout. It is from this island that we set out on our ransacking travels.

At least I got a great laugh out of that!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Day is Here!

Ahhh, in a couple of minutes, Randolph Morris will be back! My basketball loving heart has been breaking this season with the Cats' poor season so far (except for a big win over wayyy overrated Louisville) so our potential All-American returning from the half season NCAA suspension has me pretty excited. And if this Wisconsin-Minnesota game on ESPN now goes into overtime, I'm going to flip!

I need help. I want to order Blue Sky Alpacas Cotton and can't decide on the color. I've only seen it in person once and didn't pay much attention to which colors I liked most (I was too busy feeling it up!). I want to make the Snap Cardi (probably with a zipper or buttons or hidden snaps. I'm not crazy about the snap tape). So please, help me pick! Here's another view of the colors. My choices are Aloe, Honeydew, Lotus, or Thistle. Blonde hair, blue eyes, I look really good in light blues and pinks and bright colors. I'm leaning toward Honeydew. It's so pretty and very different than anything I've ever worn before. I'm wondering how pale it really is because if it's too pale and too yellowy, I would look really bad in it. I like Aloe a lot too. It looks a little brighter and more blue (a fo from another blog). I have another pink cardi I made so Lotus is probably out but I'm a sucker for pink. And Thistle is nice too. Decisions, decisions!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Gift Giving Props

I made a SNB Velez Loopy Cowl for my co-worker, Donna. She was out when I went by her office the other day so I left it on her desk. I headed across the street for Starbucks and by the time I got back, there was a message to call her. Before I had a chance, my phone rang, and it was her. She went crazy over it! I was almost embarassed about how many times she thanked me. Doesn't that make you feel good? Some people really appreciate nice hand knit gifts. She wanted to pay me for it but I won't let her. I told her that I already had the yarn, and as you guys all know, we couldn't ask a reasonable amount of money to reimburse us for the time we put in on the things we make!!! So knowing that people enjoy them and the process of making things is payment enough.

I didn't get a picture of the one I gave her but here's a pic of one I made for myself last year.

Pattern: Velez Loopy Cowl from Stitch N Bitch
Yarn: Lion Wool-Ease in a sparkly white (much less than 2 skeins, probably around 250 yards)
Needles: Size 6, 16" circulars
Changes to pattern: I used the smaller needles to try to make it fit a little more snug. In the end, if I did another, I'd cast on fewer stitches. My gauge was spot on. On my first one, I made it according to the pattern. You do a row of loop stitches and 4 rows of stockinette then repeat. The loops looked kind of sickly. For this, I only did 2 rows of stockinette in between loops, and it looks better.

The recipient loves it, and that's what matters most!

Up next, an update on Salina. I love this sweater and love this yarn!

Monday, January 02, 2006

2005 in Review

Stealing this from Lesley's blog...

Favorites of 2005

Favorite New Technique: I really hadn't done anything outside of knitting and purling until this year so I think I've made a lot of progress. I'll have to say cables though. I love making cables!

Favorite Finished Object: Simply Marilyn. I love this sweater and get so many compliments on it.

Favorite Knit Along: Lucky KAL. Lace on size 2 needles, and it was one case when I needed it!

Favorite Shop: I've only ordered yarn online once outside of eBay, and that was from so I'll go with that. I am very pleased with the quality and price of Shine and the sock yarn. Otherwise, it's my LYS.

Favorite Tool: My little makeup bag full of little supplies that is still missing. Before it going missing, my favorite would be my Addi Turbos. Working with Silky Wool on bamboo needles make me love Addis even more. I'm going to buy size 4's to make finishing Salina more comfy.

Projects Finished in 2005

Sweaters: 5
Tanks/Camis: 4
Scarves: 6
Hats: 3
Capelets: 2 (Why? I never wear them!)
Felted bags: 3
Slippers: 2
Baby/Kiddie stuff: 6
Other: 1 (yoga mat bag)

Goals for 2006

Really, very few. Knitting's nothing more than a stress relieving hobby for me. So my goal is to knit what I want to knit when I want to knit it! I really want to get better at finishing my sweaters. My seaming leaves a little to be desired at times. I do need to have the Alphabet Baby Blanket finished for my nephew's anticipated arrival in May! I don't have a lot of it done but the first blocks have taken shape. I'll post pictures sometime soon.