Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Rummage in the Rubble

My first FO from the Heap of Malfunctioning Rubble! It is the Rainbow Yoke Sweater from Knitscene Spring 2009 using Noro Silk Garden instead of Kureyon for the yoke (same effect, fewer itchies), and an old old Adrienne Vittadini yarn, Maria, (and by old I mean purchased at the Knitting Frenzy going-out-of-business sale years ago!) for the main body. I love the Maria even more than I thought I would. It's 48% merino, 48% acrylic, and the portion that makes it truly amazing is the 4% Lycra. It's made by winding the wool and acrylic threads loosely around a Lycra strand giving an extremely stretchy yarn with a rough boucle sort of look. I had been afraid that the stretch would make for an unflattering second skin fit, but knit in the right gauge it just gives ease and comfort.

Now why would I abandon such a beauty with all done but the stitching up? Here's why:
I got all clever and changed the neck from a plain stocking stitch foldover to K2P2 ribs with a stst rollover top. Consumed with my cleverness, I didn't realize until I was done that the place where the purl stitches take off from the Silk Garden looks absolutely awful. And that's where I lost interest and got seduced by another project, chucking this on the Heap.

The resurrection entailed ripping out all the brown neckband and knitting the first row of the neck (or last row of the yoke) in a final stst row before starting the ribs. Hey presto no more ugly pink bumps showing through!

Ain't she a beauty now?
So now I have a great new sweater with a fancy yoke that was done with a single yarn--no bohus, no fair isle! And what, you ask, has become of the Winter Sunset Cardigan? Why, I'm up to the top of the body, ready to 3-needle bind off the shoulders, sew & cut me some steeks, and start some sleeves!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sunset in the Daylight

There weren't enough people to show off to at knitting group on Sunday, so TA-DAAA:

I'm really cranking along on the Winter Sunset Cardigan and loving the way it's turning out. Only 22 more rows until I start the front neck decreases! And it's about time for something to change, as I've got the pattern down pretty well now and make mistakes only when I'm watching foreign language movies and have to look at the subtitles a lot.

Feel free to post paeans of praise in the comments.....

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Knitty by the Bay

Yes, that's right, I've escaped Anchorage for a week in San Francisco, and a wonderful, wonderful week it was! Besides the wine, the walking, the boutique chocolate, the meetings with old friends, the fabulous meals and bracing breezes from the bay, there were some knit bits:
Doesn't the sculpture in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency look like a giant multistory ball of yarn? I confess the idea never occurred to me when I lived in SF, but that was before I became a knitter.

One of the places we visited was the Museum of Craft and Folk Art. It's more like a little gallery with a single show at a time. When we were there the exhibit was about the intersection of needlework and computers, an import from Sweden. Therefore, if you blow up the photo below of a quilt of embroidered squares, you still may not be able to read it unless you're fluent in Swedish.

But my favorite was the crocheted black and silver computer cosy. Swedish here, too.
And I managed a visit to the most acclaimed knit shop in the city, Imagiknit.
I can see the reason for the acclaim. A double storefront, 4+ giant walls of yarn that look like this:
It is overwhelming. I really needed a half a day to take it all in and all I had was a couple of hours. So I escaped with only a single skein in hand, but had a feel and a gander at a whole bunch of yarns I had only seen on web sites, met some new ones, and had dozens of inspirations which I promised myself I would act upon only after making progress on the Heap. If you're ever in SF it's worth whatever time you can spare to see the place. Let me share one of the inspirations with you, though.

Go back to their web site and scroll down to the thrummed hat. My thrumming ambitions just changed focus. Is that or is it not totally an Alaskan hat? I love it! And can't you just imagine the fleece from some wild multicolor roving? Who says fleece has to be sheep-colored?

And they have a feature that I've never seen in any LYS or web site--every yarn is tagged with not only skein weight, yardage, and price, but the price per yard. What a concept! You can immediately calculate the price difference of alternate yarns for a project! I think it ought to be a requirement. Or at least, one of the cool iPhone apps ought to include it.