Sunday, August 29, 2010

Everyone Knows . . .

 . . . that I'm the "craft-girl".  It's normal to see me with needles or hook in hand during lunch.  I share with friends and family my FO and in-progress pics on Facebook.  And sometimes I get lucky enough to receive crafty gifts.

Case in point: Not too long ago, my boss cleaned out her office.  She came across a knitting book--and she doesn't knit (although she was an avid quilter at one point).  Naturally she thought of me and offered me the book.  I graciously accepted.

Most of the patterns are rather youthful and on the small side.  Other than hats, bags and scarves, there's not much that would fit me.  But I do have a niece.  Someday, she will be a tween and then a teenager.  Provided she'll still want to wear hand-crafted clothing, these patterns could prove useful.
Cute Tank Top
Besides, I really like the styling of the photographed items.  They're rather cute and I do so love the stylized cartoon girls sporting actual knitted garments (how'd they do that?). 
Funky Hat
And while we're on the topic of books, I'm eagerly awaiting a knitting book in the mail.  If I had more money, I'd purchase more books.  Honestly, can one ever have too many knitting books?  Me thinks not.  ;)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ho-Hum . . .

Re-entering the mundane and ordinary is no fun.  After a lovely week of relaxation, ample sleep and loads of sunshine, getting back to work is very, very difficult   **le sigh**  To make matters worse, the knitting has slowed considerably.   What's a gal to do?

The nights are getting cooler and some leaves have begun to change (not a lot, but a few here and there).  The kids start school next week too.  Maybe getting back into "the routine" will help bring back the knitting mojo.  One can only hope. . . .
Have a good week.

Friday, August 20, 2010

One Sleeve To Go . . .

Finished one sleeve--yay!  And there WILL be enough yarn to finish the other sleeve and to trim out the button bands with a little blue--I'm so pleased!!
One Completed Sleeve
I used the designer's suggested measurements for elbow-length sleeves (approx 8" including the ribbing).  The sleeve should have stopped just before my elbow, but I'm on the short side, so the sleeve falls just past my elbows (which is good since my elbows aren't very pretty--are
elbows ever pretty?).
Sleeve Detail
With a week and a half to go before the end of August, I just may finish this cardigan in time for my self-imposed deadline (of course I've been off this week, so I had extra knitting time.  This pesky thing called work might hinder any quick progress).  When I'm finished, I should definitely consider projects that are small, small and smaller. ;)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Historical Adventures

Main Street at Sherbrooke Village
So we took a trip to a pioneer village and had a blast.  The boys enjoy history--as do I and dear hubby.  Let me tell you that there's nothing so peaceful as a rural setting with lovely artifacts and antiques . . . very, very nice.  And of course, it's neat to watch artisans at work: woodworking, blacksmith, weavers and spinners . . . ah, it all makes the crafter's heart go a quiver.

Sitting Atop an Old Bicycle
We even came home with a book of old-fashioned recipes, a handcrafted wooden tasting spoon and a spinning toy.
Momentoes From Our Excursion
Funny story: my son lost his sunglasses in one of the old buildings.  We retraced our steps, but couldn't find them.  Our little tour ended up at the gift shop.  Wandering about upstairs amongst the quilts and hand-knit sweaters, guess what we found?  The lost sunglasses!  There they were on top of some lovely scarves.  How did they get there?  Talk about a weird mystery . . .

Sunday, August 15, 2010

None, Nada, Zero, Zilch

That's how much I worked on my lovely Blue Sprout.  To be fair, there has been knitting, mostly on my "secret" Bernat project.  You'll have to follow that progress on the Bernat Blog (and I have recently finished a cute little something for my nephew--part of his Christmas package).  Hopefully I'll get to my Sprout this week.  The sleeves shouldn't take too long . . . right? 

Lots of plans for this week: it's my second vacation week--woot, woot!  There shall be day trips to historical places and jaunts to the local beaches.  And yes, there shall be knitting . . .
Comfy Chair and Chilled Wine . . . Ahhhhh
Life is good. :)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Perfect Fit?

I'm thinking yes and YES!  To what am I referring?  My Blue Sprout, of course.

When I finally bound off the last stitch on the body, I tried on my Sprout for the first time (I know I'm supposed to try it on as I'm knitting, but time was of the essence).  One thing that surprised me was the great fit.  What do you think?
Trying on Blue Sprout
I am lovin' it!  I gotta confess that whilst I knit the thing, I thought for certain it was gonna be too big (should have chosen 42", but my gauge was off--smaller than intended at 20st over 4" instead of 18st over 4"--so I gambled with 44" chest.  Suffice to say that my gamble paid off).

Being a bigger gal, I debated about waist shaping, especially since I'm a belly-and-butt girl.  Trust me when I say I need all the "space" I can get in the waist and hips.  To my happy surprise, the waist shaping proved to be useful in carving out an hour-glass shape where very little hour-glass exists.
Casual Blue with a Spot of Red
Onward to the sleeves . . . .Sadly I have only one ball of blue left (and can't find this stuff locally anymore).  So the sleeves are gonna be short.  Estimated length?  Unknown at this point.  I'll have to "wing it". 

My other concern is the button band: red and more red.  I suspect after the sleeves are done, there will be no blue.  Hmmm, will that look okay?  Hope so.  My gambles have paid off thus far.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Sprout Grows (And Other Sweater Tales)

Yes, it grows a little bit at a time.  I'm now working the waist shaping.  Let's hope I can plow through this quickly.

My first-ever sweater took me over 10 years (granted there were years when I didn't even touch the thing as it sat hibernating at the back of a closet).  Have I ever shared this?  It's from the book Big Knits (I remember Dawn French was one of the authors.  I think it is now out of print).  I must confess that I'm none too pleased with the terrible seaming job, but I got her done.
First-Ever Adult Sweater
When I made my Short-Sleeved Ribbed Cardi from Stefanie Japel's Fitted Knits (which is neither ribbed nor short-sleeved), a year became the new benchmark.  I know I shared the trials and tribulations possibly here  and definitely here.
Long-Sleeved Cardi Sans Ribbing
Let 2010 be the year of speed!  A year is no longer the benchmark.  In January I started a project for Bernat (called the Swingy A-Line Cardigan) and finished that in two months.  It's gotten loads of compliments and is one of my favorite sweater coats to wear on a cool morning.
A-Line Swingy Cardigan for Bernat
My second adult sweater for Bernat ( called the Fair Isle Cardigan) also took about two months (sadly that item is awaiting buttons--maybe some nice black toggle buttons would work well). 
Fair Isle Cardigan for Bernat
So if the past year is any indication, I've gotten much, much faster at making sweaters for myself. **does happy dance**  Of course, working on a deadline imposed by someone other than myself is a great motivator. 

The Blue Sprout has until the end of August  to reach completion. . .  ;)
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