Posted in Knitting, Work in progress

Progress on Mom’s sweater

The Delsea Pullover is knit side to side, and will be grafted together in the center.  I finished the left half, and cast on for the right half.  Although it’s not pictured, I’m currently working on the increase section of the sleeve.

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I think it’s going to turn out well.  So much stockinette…I’m actually bored with it and itching to cast on something new. But I promised my mother I would have this done for her birthday.  That’s in November.  Since rehearsal for my next play starts in two days, my knitting time will soon be severely limited, so I must exercise (gasp!) self-discipline.

Posted in Finished object, Knitting

Freshly finished: Cabled Yoke Cardigan

A few months back I committed to a mini-knit-along with another Ravelry member.  We both decided to knit the #19 Cabled Yoke Cardigan from Vogue Holiday 2016 as part of the Vogue Knitting forum’s “Knit #19 in 2019” challenge.

Here’s my completed cardigan:

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Pattern: As mentioned above, #19 Cabled Yoke Cardigan by Kristen Ten Dyke, from Vogue Knitting Holiday 2016. Click here for my Ravelry project page.  This is knit from the top down, with no seaming at all.

Size: 38″

Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, colorway 79 Thundercloud (a deep deep gray) (discontinued), 1175 yards

Needles: Addi Turbo Circulars, US size 4 and 5; Knitter’s Pride Nova Platina DPNs, US size 4

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Mods: Not many. The sleeves are an inch shorter than the pattern called for. I also used beads in the yoke instead of bobbles.  I wasn’t happy with how loose the seed stitch cuff turned out on the first sleeve, so when I knit the second sleeve, I went down a needle size when I got to the cuff. That was better, so I re-knit the first cuff.  Otherwise, knit as written.

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Beads: 32 Toho 6/0 glass seed beads, color Metallic.

Buttons: 7 vintage buttons from stash. Glass/metal/bakelite. Non-matching but similar. Purchased at a Stitches event some years ago.

Hair:  Courtesy of brutal Georgia humidity

We’re always our own worst critics, so when I look at it, I see all the flaws.  For example, the 38 turned out a trifle big, but it’s not so big that it’s unwearable. It’s too long for me because I didn’t shorten the waist shaping to accommodate my height — well, lack of height, to be precise.  And the button band and cuffs are still a little loose and gappy for my taste, despite using a smaller needle. I don’t care, not really. Still, if I ever knit this again, I’ll make it one size smaller, shorten the torso by about two inches, and knit all the seed stitch edgings with a size 2 or 3 needle instead of a 4.

Despite its imperfections, I’m happy with it overall. It’s comfortable, it’s cozy, and it looks pretty good.  The color will coordinate with multiple items in my wardrobe for work and casual wear.

Come on, autumn weather!

Posted in Finished object, Knitting

It’s A Blue, Blue Summer

I finished my beach tunic in plenty of time for the scheduled trip to California. Take a look!
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Pattern: Summer on You by Svetlana Volkova. Click here for my Ravelry project page.
Yarn: Isager Strik Japansk Bomuld, colorway 10. No actual color name, so I’m calling it Sea Glass. Used just under 2 skeins (630 meters/689 yards, total).  This is a 100% cotton laceweight tape that feels almost like paper.  It’s really cool and crisp and a little hard on the hands, but it has amazing texture.
Needles: US 6 and US 7, Addi nickel-plated circulars
Size: 41.3″ bust
Satisfaction with end product:  Mostly good.  It turned out larger than I expected, but I knit it three sizes larger than I usually wear, because I was using laceweight yarn rather than the sportweight the pattern calls for.  I also didn’t do a gauge swatch.  Oops.  So I’ll consider this my bi-annual reminder to NEVER SKIP THE GAUGE SWATCH, ANGELA!

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So, yes, it’s big, but big isn’t necessarily a bad thing for a beach cover-up, which should be loose and light and breezy. Achievement unlocked. Now, it may shrink some once I’ve run it through the washer and dryer, but if it doesn’t, I’m still okay with it.

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I added a few extra rows of stockinette and eyelets for length, since I was going for coverage to about mid-thigh.  Other than that, knit as written.  If I make it again, I’ll definitely do a gauge swatch and I’ll take a good hard look at that neckline, since it turned out so wide and deep (again, that may be due to the size I chose, but some mods may be in order).

I have two skeins of the yarn left, and the yarn store where I bought it is closing, so they’re not taking returns.  Thus, a summer tee or tank may be forthcoming to use up the rest of the yarn.

Okay, ready for my trip to California now!

Posted in Book stash, Books, Knitting, Project planning, Reading, Technique, Yarn stash

Been a long time, been a long time, been a long lonely lonely lonely lonely lonely time

This Led Zeppelin moment brought to you by… YouTube

Of course, it’s my blog that was lonely, not you all. You went about your days in ordinary fashion, never even noticing the eight-month absence here. Which is perfectly fine. I don’t really expect anyone to actually pay attention to my ramblings. It’s one of the reasons I feel only marginally guilty when I don’t post for weeks and months at a time.

But I finally found some time to catch you up, the three of you who still read this thing. 🙂

Since we last met, I made two shawls:

The Reyna

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and Arroyo;100_5067 (2)

And one hooded cardigan, the Lochlan.
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I performed in two plays:

The Vagina Monologues
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and A Round-Heeled Woman.
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I read all of 34 books and portions of eight others. Three of those are “did not finish” and five are still being worked on.

And I just got home from Stitches United in Atlanta, with lots of new goodies.
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At Stitches, I took some great classes, learned how to customize a pattern’s fit to suit me, tackled brioche stitch and Irish crochet, won a door prize, made two new friends, and (as you can see above) went a little crazy in the Marketplace. I had an absolutely fabulous time, and came home inspired and ready to tackle some new challenges.

This summer will include taking a dance class, learning an Irish accent, surgery (nothing major), and traveling to California for my 40-year high school reunion. My intention is to be a little more present around here, post a little more frequently. You know what they say about intentions.

Drop me a note in the comments and let me know you’re still here too!

Posted in Finished object, Knitting

Freshly Finished: Silver Marigold

Silver Marigold 1

Pattern: Marigold by Marie Wallin (from Rowan 45)

Yarn: Naturally Caron Spa, colorway 0008 Misty Taupe, approximately 836 yards

Needles:  Addi Turbo circs, US 5 for the body; Hiya Hiya steel circs, US 3 for the ribbing of the neck and button band; Karbonz DPNs, US 3 for the ribbing on the sleeves

Size: 36″

Satisfaction with end product:  I love this.  It’s light and drapy. It fits and feels great.  Click here for my Ravelry project page.

The pattern calls for US 2 (for ribbing) and US 3 (for body) needles, but I couldn’t get gauge with the US 3, so I went up to a US 5 for the body and saved the US 3 for the ribbing.

Silver Marigold 3The raglan shaping gave me fits.  I had to rip out the shaping on the back three times before finally figuring out the pattern instructions. The pattern reads like there’s an extra decrease on each knit side. Nor does it make clear not to decrease on the purl side as previously established for several of the sizes. Reading through the pattern, this language is repeated for all raglan shaping. To be clear, the raglan shaping is as follows: Dec 1 at each end of each right (knit) side row as established (that is, k6, ssk, k to last 8, k2tog, k6; follow instructions for eyelet row as established); do not dec on back (purl) side.

Silver Marigold 4And it wasn’t just the shaping on the back.  The sleeve gave me fits too. After tearing my hair out and then letting sleeve #1 sit overnight, I re-read the shaping instructions for the top bit. I guess the designer condensed the instructions for publication due to Rowan space restrictions. I wrote it out line by line for clarity.

This isn’t the first Rowan pattern I’ve made, but it’s the first pattern that wasn’t an accessory, like a hat or a scarf.  The, um, brevity of the instructions gives me some pause about tackling other cardigans and pullovers.  I mean, I muddled through, and the sweater turned out fine, but it was a headache for a while.  I don’t knit to give myself headaches.  Knitting is my soothing activity.

Regardless, the knitting was finished sometime in May, and then the sweater sat in pieces for months.  Well, it did get some use as a prop in Evelyn In Purgatory, but mostly it sat.  Finally, in early September, I finished the seaming, added the front and neck bands, sewed on the button and called it good. I opted out of the embroidery after realizing how easily this yarn snags.  I’ve already worn it a couple of times.  It’s suitable for casual weekend wear and for the office.  So, I love it, despite the PITA it was to make.

 

Posted in Finished object, Knitting, Yarn stash

Freshly finished: Piney Woods Tunic

Glacier 6Pattern: Glacier by Joji Locatelli
Size:  Medium (38″ bust)
Yarn: Newton’s Yarn Country Merino Nylon Superwash, in colorway LB Print, 1422 yards
Needles: Addi Turbo circs, US size 6 for the body; Hiya Hiya steel circs, US size 2 for the ribbing
Mods: Only 6 decreases on the sleeves, because going the full 10 as called for by the pattern would have made the sleeves way too long; ended mitered knitting approximately 1 inch sooner than called for by the pattern
Satisfaction with end product:  Quite happy indeed.  Now if it will just get cold enough in Atlanta to wear it.

By the way, here’s the link to my Ravelry project page.

Glacier 7I was working from the paper book (Interpretations 5) rather than the e-book, and I was a little flummoxed when the pictures of the tunic showed ribbing at the bottom edge, but no instructions for the ribbing were included in the book.  Because of the way the garment is constructed, stitches for said ribbing had to be picked up after the rest of the garment was finished.  A post in the Ravelry Interpretations forum quickly resulted in a private message from Interpretations pattern support with the missing instructions.  Kudos for the prompt response!

The yarn is some deeeeeep stash that I bought at Stitches South in 2010.  It’s actually a wool/nylon sock yarn, and I had something like 1600 yards of it.  It was a bulk purchase in an absolutely HUGE skein.  Over the years, I’d occasionally pull it out and look at it, then put it back because I just couldn’t imagine what I was going to make with 1600 yards of fingering weight sock yarn.  Finally, this tunic pattern came along: a perfect match.  So, the moral of the story is don’t despair!  Even the oldest yarn in your stash will find its project.  Eventually.

Posted in Life in general, theatre

On stage: Evelyn In Purgatory

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Me as Lila, Cat Roche as Evelyn

One of the cool things about Atlanta is all the local playwrights, and the opportunity to perform their work with the playwright in the audience. That was the case with Evelyn In Purgatory by Topher Payne. Mr. Payne is a good friend of Becca Parker, the artistic director of the theatre, and he showed up for a matinee.

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L-R: Allison Brady as Candace; Sean Turner as Toby; and Melissa Maute as Roberta

But I get ahead of myself.

Evelyn In Purgatory is the story of Evelyn Reid, a New York City school teacher who finds herself awaiting a disciplinary hearing with a bunch of other castoffs from the public school system. The play was staged by Live Arts Theatre, directed by Becca Parker and D Norris, and featuring (among others) me as Lila Wadkins, an erstwhile hippie-turned-art-teacher awaiting her own hearing for, ahem, insubordination.

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Rodney Johnson as Fred; Sean Turner as Toby

I was a little apprehensive about doing another show at Live Arts after the hell that was Virginia Woolf, but this production suffered none of the setbacks and roadblocks that plagued that show.  Thank the theatre gods for small mercies.  (Incidentally, that production of Woolf has now entered local theatre lore.  I can’t even count how many actors/techies I’ve met since the show closed who, once they find out I was in it, come back with “Oooooooh!  I heard about that…”  But I digress.)

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Candace tells a story; Lila tries not to judge

Evelyn‘s rehearsals ran smoothly and efficiently, direction and notes were clear and straightforward, and the directors were able to accommodate my conflicts because I was rehearsing and performing the Tapas festival at the same time.  The best thing, though, is my character was a knitter.  I spent the majority of my on-stage time with knitting needles in my hand.  It was fabulous.

Once we opened, we had great audiences, and even sold out a couple of performances.  We got this glowing review from a local director, and we were nominated for several awards.

Last Saturday was the Live Arts Theatre awards ceremony, also known as “The Livelys.”  Much to our surprise, we won!  A lot!  Five awards went to our production:

Best Supporting Actor: Rodney L. Johnson
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Cat Roche
Best Director: Becca Parker and D Norris
Best Ensemble: Evelyn in Purgatory
Favorite Production: Evelyn in Purgatory

All in all, a much better experience than my last at Live Arts.  I’ll go back there again. Assuming they’ll have me.

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Roberta pantsed the little bastard.
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Coach Fred tries to whip us into shape.
Posted in Finished object, FO Fridays, Knitting

Freshly Finished: Out of My Head Shawlette

100_4988 (2)Once upon a time I was not a shawl person. That changed. Behold the latest finished shoulder warmer:

Pattern:  Out of My Head Shawlette by Mona Mono

Yarn:  Cherry Tree Hill Broad Band Supersock Silk in African Grey, 354 yds; Cascade Heritage Sock in Real Black, 132 yds

Needles:  Addi Turbo Lace, US Size 6

Satisfaction with end product:  LOVE!  It’s colorful and lightweight and so versatile.

I’d been holding onto that Cherry Tree Hill yarn for a while, waiting for just the right inspiration.  The Out of My Head pattern was exactly suited to my internal vision for this yarn.  Because I wanted to use every single yard, I kept knitting in 100_4989 (2)stockinette with the established increases long after the pattern called for beginning the lace.  Once I reached the last color change, then I started the lace edging.  The Cherry Tree ran out about halfway through the lace; I was expecting that and pulled out some leftover Heritage Sock to finish up the edging and bind off.  I think it worked out just fabulously.  The extra knitting  made the finished shawl an extremely long crescent shape, one that can be wrapped around me completely and tied in the back for an effortlessly wearable colorful accessory that also keeps my shoulders warm in an overly air-conditioned office.

You can find my Ravelry project page here, with lots of other pictures.

Posted in Crochet, Knitting, Yarn stash

Stash Enhancement Saturday: Overboard edition

Because I’ve been so busy with rehearsals and performances in recent months, I haven’t made it out to any local yarn stores.  That did not stop me.  Because I have the internet.

Normally I ignore the emails I get from yarn dyers and other internet yarn vendors, like Webs or KnitPicks.  I especially ignore the emails I get from Expression Fiber Arts, simply because Chandi’s yarn is so amazing.  Except for email with the weekly free pattern .  That one I always open.  Well, a few weeks ago, that free pattern email also featured some new yarn colorways that smacked me between the eyes.  So I went to the website and looked around.  Out came the credit card.  Results pictured below.  I offer you my photos and her photos, because the lighting in my craft room simply does not do her yarn justice.

 

Pearlescent Fingering, colorway “Hygge”

 

Pearlescent Fingering, colorway Beluga

 

Oasis Camel Silk Fingering, colorway Arches National Park

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Resilient Sock, colorway Butterbeer

For this one, you just get my pic.  By the time I took photos and checked the website, this colorway was sold out and Chandi’s photo was no longer available.  Believe me, this creamy yellow, pale gray, and even paler ecru colorway is even more gorgeous in person.

And finally, this:

 

Dewy DK, colorway Maple Fog

I’ve actually lusted after this colorway for a while, but every time I checked the website, she was either out of stock or she didn’t have a sweater quantity in stock.  So I emailed and asked when she would have it available again.  “How many skeins do you want?” she replied.  I told her.  “Okay, it will be ready in about 10 days. I’ll email you then.”  And she did.  I bought enough for a cardigan.  It’s going to be amazing.

And now I’m going back to ignoring her emails, possibly even the free pattern Friday emails.  Because my credit card bill is going to be amazing too.

Posted in Knitting, Work in progress

WIP Wednesday–A couple of items

A couple of WIPs are nearing completion.  I haven’t blogged either of them before so here’s your first look.  These are exciting times.

First up is Marigold from Rowan 45.  I’m at the sewing-together phase, as you can see.

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Once I finish sewing it together, I have to add the button and neck bands, embroider the flowers, and find the right button.

Unlike a lot of people, I actually enjoy seaming.  Well, maybe “enjoy” isn’t the right word, but I don’t hate it.  I view it as a necessary step in the process.  Sometimes I procrastinate on the seaming, but that’s usually because I’ve distracted myself by getting started on another project.

Like this one:

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This is the top-down Glacier Tunic from Interpretations Volume 5.  I love Joji Locatelli’s patterns.  I’m shaping the bottom now.  Then will come the sleeves and the neck band.

Both of these projects are so close to done that I’m struggling with cast-on-itis right now.  Must. Resist. The Call.