Wednesday, March 30, 2005


I hope I won't disappoint those of you looking for serious "yarn p0rn." My stash is just not that big. I won't be wearing one of these T-shirts. When I first started knitting I was too poor to keep a stash. But now that have more discretionary cash, I still don't buy yarn without a project in mind. So most of my stash are leftovers. I always have leftovers because I'm always paranoid and buy an extra ball of yarn for my projects.

First up, the group shot:
Image hosted by

Next, various closeups:

Yarn for Moni that arrived too late to be included in the group shot:
Image hosted by

Some Other Rowan Yarn:
Image hosted by
I have lots of "leftover" kidsilk haze because I ordered an entire bag (10 balls) of the stuff thinking that I needed 8 balls for my Reversible Rib Shawl. But I ended up needing only 5.5 balls for the shawl. I think I'm going to make Maggie with the rest of it, but I'm not sure yet.

Acrylic "Naturally" Follows All That Fancy Yarn:
Image hosted by

The white and lavender yarn was used for my niece's baby blanket. The yellow is destined to be a baby blanket for my coworker's baby. I cast on for that blanket this week.

Ba Ba Brown Sheep:
Image hosted by
Notice the "vintage" Brown Sheep labels at the top? Those are the leftovers from the first sweater that I made for Peter. Someone horribly miscalculated the amount of yarn I needed for that sweater. When I purchased the yarn, I didn't know much about gauge, yardage, or buying yarn in general. I relied on my mother and the yarn store owner to figure out how much yarn I needed. Obviously, math skills were lacking on the day of my purchase. I still have 2.5 skeins of brown, 1 full skein of red, and 1 full skein of blue leftover--and I've been using this yarn to play around with for a few years!

Most embarrassing Stash:
Image hosted by
This is an unfinished sweater. It must be at least 10 years old. I started the sweater, lost interest, tossed it in the closet, and forgot about it. By the time I found it again, the sweater was no longer my style. Sorry, I just don't wear gigantic, jewel-toned sweaters any more. I'm thinking I'm going to frog the sweater and use the cotton yarn (the yarn in skeins) for making stuffed animals. I have no idea what to do with the space-dyed lace-weight yarn on the cones.

I hope my little stash wasn't too boring. Click here for links to other Stash Flashers.

Edit for Helen, a close up of the lace-weight yarn:

Image hosted by

You can kinda see on the left that the yarn has little loopies coming off it. I'll be out of town tomorrow through Saturday so if anyone else has questions, please be patient! I will answer them.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

I [heart] my blocking board

How in the world did I ever live without a blocking board before? The lines, the numbers--I'm in heaven!!!

My lovely blocking board is just big enough to block the front and back of Peter's sweater:

Image hosted by

But not quite big enough to block both sleeves at the same time (stupid saddle straps!)

Image hosted by

Once sleeve #1 is dry, I'll block sleeve #2 and start seaming the sweater. This sweater needs a lot of seaming--again Stupid Saddle Straps!

In other news...
I ordered yarn for Moni from a wonderful online retailer called Richesse. But I won't start that sweater until after I have finished the Baby Blanket. The yarn arrived yesterday. Unfortunately, I did my stash photo shoot for Flash Your Stash last week so this yarn won't be in the group shot. I will take an extra close-up photo of it and post it next week along with the rest of the "yarn p0rn."

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Chapter 2 of my trip down memory lane

With this entry, I'm continuing to trace my pre-blog knitting experiences. What happened to Chapter 1? Well, chapter 1 was not labeled as such but it does exist!

After knitting a BF sweater (and before BF dumped me), I embarked on a sweater just for me. I picked an "intermediate" sweater from one of my mother's knitting books. Mom assured me that I would be able to handle the pattern and taught me the techniques that I needed to make the sweater. I started the sweater in December but I don't remember when I finished it. Here it is in all it's glory (with Scout):

Image hosted by

And a detail shot of the lace and color work:

Image hosted by

Not bad for the second thing that I ever knitted, huh?

This sweater has a rather strange story associated with it. Now remember, I was knitting this sweater in the days before online shopping existed. And at the time, I was attending college in the Middle of Nowhere, MA. So, most of the students attending my school purchased clothes through catalogs.

One afternoon, I opened a copy of the then-popular, now-defunct Tweeds catalog and found (much to my horror) that the catalog was selling the very sweater that I was currently knitting. I even looked at the photo with a magnifying lens to confirm that the sweater for sale was made from the exact same pattern that I was using. The only difference between the two sweaters was that I was making mine with wool and the one for sale was made in cotton. I thought that I would soon be seeing people wearing "my sweater" before I even finished my version of it. And when I did finish it, would people think that I just purchased the sweater that I had labored over?

Luckily, the sweater in the catalog was also hand-knit and therefore priced a little beyond what college students could reasonably afford. But still, it was very weird to see "my sweater" in a catalog.

Side note: my 3rd FO was a random-striped, garter stitch scarf made with the left over yarn from this sweater.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Kittyville Noch Einmal

Over the weekend I made a second Kittyville hat. I'm giving it to my SIL Tracy for her birthday. Tracy used to own two black cats, but now she and my brother live in a rented house and their landlord won't let them have pets. I was going to make her a black hat, but I hate working with black yarn, so I chose a dark heathered charcoal instead. I think I did a better job placing the ears on this hat:

Image hosted by

Yarn used: MC Plymouth Galway Highland color 704, CC Plymouth Galway color 114
Needles: Two circular US size 9

This hat was the first object that I have made with Plymouth Galway. Very nice yarn! Soft, good yardage, lots of colors, and wound in a center pull ball. Galway may become my standard worsted weight yarn.

Progress on Peter's sweater is continuing. I'm working both sleeves at the same time. I need to work fast. Peter's birthday is April 17th and I decided that I wanted to give it to him as a present. I love giving myself deadlines.

Image hosted by

Guilty of Conspicuous Consumerism
I finally gave into temptation and ordered a fancy blocking board. The towel-covered bed is no longer good enough for me.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

My First FO--A Retrospective

In a previous post, I described how I learned to knit while knitting a sweater for my then boyfriend. The bottom of the sweater was a plain stockinette stitch (with ribbing, of course), but the top half had a simple, two-color fair-isle pattern. Very attractive, if I do say so myself! I started the sweater in the summer and finished it just before Christmas. During that time, I didn't have to worry about keeping the sweater secret from my boyfriend because we were in a long-distance relationship.

I looked through the journal that I kept during that time to see if I made any comments about the sweater. The only thing written was, "Eliza says that I shouldn't give the sweater that I'm making to Steve because he and I will eventually break up and I will want the sweater back." Eliza was one of my few friends who could knit. She was appalled that I was giving my first sweater away.

Anyway, I gave the sweater to Steve in December. We broke up in March. I never saw Steve or the sweater again. (Remember--it was a long-distance relationship.) But, despite Eliza's predictions, I didn't want the sweater back and I'm still glad that I don't have it. If I had the sweater, I would never wear it and I would never be able to get rid of it either. It would just be a piece of emotional baggage that I would be doomed to carry around (literally and figuratively) for the rest of my life.

However, I wish I had a photo of the sweater. It's difficult to show the picture in my head to others and say, "Hey look, I made this!"

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Finally, the Front...

I finished the front of Peter's sweater last night. The neckline looks a little funny now because it will have a short button placket at the top. This sweater is going to have the most complicated finishing of any sweater that I have ever made. The sleeves have saddle straps--another new thing for me. But I can't become a better knitter unless I try new things, right?

So here's the photo of the front of the sweater. It is not as nice of a photo as the photo of the back was. The weather is rainy and cloudy today so there is no nice sunlight for a good photo shoot.

Image hosted by

Last night at the Clear Lake SnB, Monkee asked me what I was going to knit next. I only gave her a partial answer because I have so many things I want to knit that I couldn't remember them all. First, I need to make another Kittyville hat for my SIL. Her birthday is coming up. I also am planning to make another sweater for my niece Eva. It's called Candace and it's made with sock yarn. The yarn has been ordered and is on it's way. The sweater is shown below.

Image hosted by

After Peter's sweater is finished, I need to start yet another baby gift. This time, the gift is a baby blanket for my coworker's 4th baby. I'm making the blanket shown below because it's almost completely reversible. The design on the wrong side is not identical to the design on the right side, but the wrong side still looks nice. I have this thing about making sure that objects which can normally be viewed from both sides are reversible. That's why I was so excited when I made my reversible rib shawl.

Image hosted by

Once that blanket is finished, I will start making something for me. Probably Debbie Bliss's Grace. Or maybe Moni from Rowan 31. Or maybe even Maggie from Rowan 31. But if I did Maggie, I would have to alter the pattern. It MUST be longer. No one needs to see my belly button.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Shawl Is Finished!

I finally finished my mohair masterpiece. I present to you Lily Chin's Reversible Rib Shawl!


Dimensions: 20.5 x 65 inches
Yarn Used: Rowan's Kidsilk Haze in color 586--Bebe (discontinued color), approximately 5.5 balls
Needles: Plastic Susan Bates in US sizes 8 and 10

Additional photos can be seen in my Finished Object Gallery.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Add a Little Spice to Your Blog

I'm not one of those knitters who can have 5 works in progress. The fact that I have two major WIP right now is pretty unusual for me. To paraphrase Charles Emerson Winchester, I work on one thing, I do it very well, and then I move on.

However, two big projects yields a less than exciting blog. Honestly--how many times can I post photos of a unfinished blue aran and a fuzzy pink shawl? To solve is problem, I thought I could interject some entries/photos of some FO from my pre-blog days.

But before I start bragging about what I have knit, I'd like to show off two sweaters that my dear mother made for me. I've had these sweaters for 10-plus years so they are showing signs of wear, but they are still beautiful. First is the Tyrolean jacket:

This jacket is huge, thick, and very cozy. Most of it was knit with worsted weight yarn doubled! I love it.

Next, is my flower sweater:

I think (but I'm not sure) that this is a Kaffe Fassett design. It is knit with a very light-weight yarn--it must be fingering/sock weight. Can you say intarsia? And can you believe that my mother made TWO of these sweaters? My aunt (her sister) was the recipient of the other sweater. My aunt's sweater has more muted colors, but is still spectacular. Here's a close up of the flower pattern: