Thursday, December 30, 2010

Easiest ever sweater requires ripping

Greetings, and Dear Cynthia,

I'm a bit behind in lots of things, but thought I'd share some photos of the Halloween costumes I made for the boys about two months ago - at some point I promised photos, and I try to be a woman of my word... Here is a dolphin:
Here is a triceratops:
People had to ask what the triceratops was -- apparently it was not *evident* just by looking at him... I guess that can happen when you are starting with a penguin pattern and making it up as you go...

I bound off my "Asymmetric Cardi" more than a month ago, and I hated it. It was supposed to look sorta like this...
...except in a lovely Red Wine colorway.

Here is what it actually looked like. Please ignore the fact that I am wearing house pants in these photos:
It's difficult to discern from these photos, but the fit through the shoulders was really poor, I didn't like the neckband/collar area AT ALL, I would never be able to wear it unbuttoned because it hung sorta funny all asymmetric and all, and I did not like the way the buttonholes were done because they and the entire front edges were really quite sloppy looking...
I tried a re-design on the fly, and I'll spare you the details, but it was becoming a sweater that I was NOT GOING TO LOVE, and so I ended up completely ripping it out...and now I am much happier... The yarn is still nice even though I am knitting it into a sweater FOR THE THIRD TIME...but I now bring you Twist from Chic Knits:
LOVE IT SO FAR! I was going to knit the pattern verbatim, but apparently I have some sort of defect and can't do that -- OVERALL I'm not changing it. I'm knitting the back and fronts all at the same time (to avoid side seams, to make sure all of the decreases/increases for the waist shaping occur symmetrically, etc.). I love the cables!

I hope you have a Happy New Year! Any knitting goals for the new year? I am resolving to attend Stitches Midwest next August ;-)

Warm regards,
Laura (YarnThrower)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Knitting - The exciting conclusion

Greetings, and Dear Cynthia,

In my previous post, I showed a photo of the Christmas stocking which I made for my advisor. [We all know that knitted gifts are generally either really loved or really hated, so when I give a knitted gift to a person, it is generally with some anxiety about how it will be received.] I saw her at the gym two days after leaving the stocking in a gift bag outside of her office door at school. So, when I spoke with her at the gym, I was relieved to learn that she loved it, matches her great room amazingly well, and would I agree to knitting one for each of the other three members of her family in time for next Christmas if she paid me. Big PHEW! And also, lots O' lead time! Sweet.

In my prior post, I also mentioned trying to knit a Christmas sweater for both of my kids. I finished the second sweater approximately 1.5 hours before we had to dress for church yesterday (Christmas Eve)... Here is the green one:
I generally don't like to come in just under the wire like that, and I'm thankful for a weekend train trip (YAY Amtrak!) to Fargo ND a couple of weekends ago which afforded me *gobs* of knitting time, which helped immensely... and here is the blue one:
I used Beth Brown-Reinsel's book "Knitting Ganseys" to design these. Both of them have underarm gussets and shaped necklines; the green one utilizes garter stitch bands at the bottoms edges, whereas the blue one a mistake rib pattern. My kids love them, and they fit them very well, in fact, that they may be too small for next year. I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it...

I hope that everybody has been having a wonderful Christmas season! I'm really enjoying my time off, especially after all of the pressure I put on myself for my Christmas knitting. I *do* have a cough which has been with me for over three weeks now which is beginning to annoy all people unfortunate enough to be within a 25 foot radius of me, and the general consensus at today's family get-together was that I should take myself to a doctor...which I hate...because he/she is *probably* going to tell me that it is a virus blah blah blah...but since I'm about to cough up a lung tonight, perhaps it is time.

My next post will return to regularly scheduled knitting, and I have to say that it is *not* pretty and involves a large amount of ripping... Stay tuned :-)

Warm regards,
Laura (YarnThrower)

Thursday, December 09, 2010

We interrupt your regularly scheduled knitting... bring you Christmas gift knitting...

Greetings, and Dear Cynthia,

It may not surprise you that I have unrealistic goals for what I shall accomplish in terms of knitting projects to be completed in time to "gift" them.

First, for my clinical instructor, who was joking with one of the other fine gentlemen at the clinic where I am currently working about how I should knit him a sweater, "or at least a hat"... Tomorrow is my last day at this clinic, so I'll give him this tree ornament (pattern/kit can be found at Blackberry Ridge Woolen Mill):
Are you able to guess his name?
And the flip side:
Second, for my advisor, whom I called upon for advice for one of my patients and has been there coaching me since the day I stepped foot back on campus almost three years ago, and because she told me that I "owe" her cookies but that she has stopped eating them in order to shed a few pounds, a full-sized Christmas stocking (pattern/kit can be found at Blackberry Ridge Woolen Mill):
I love the braid detail it uses to separate sections...
And the flip side of that, which includes a snowflake pattern which I improvised, in case my advisor already has a stocking which says "Jill" on it and just wants to hang up an un-named sock:
Finally, a gansey sweater for each one of my kids, which I will post pictures of the next time I write. I am roughly 1/3 done with each of the sweaters and may finish, er, maybe, one of them this coming week?? Stay tuned for progress on those.

In the meantime, I made a batch of cookies to share with all of my current coworkers so that they have sweet thoughts about me as I depart tomorrow:
I want a job there, and have a plan, but there are currently no openings... I don't graduate until next May, but no harm in planting a few seeds right now...

How is everybody else's Christmas knitting going right now.

It's snowing right now -- beautiful!
Warm regards,
Laura (YarnThrower)