Monthly Archives: January 2009

Simple pleasures

Jill P.:

I have been finding myself relishing the little things in life.  My knitting is going pretty well.  Here are my pictures of my Leafy Cabled Vest:

Pattern: Green Day (link to the pattern not Ravelry) by Mari Muinonen (tikru)

Yarn: The Fibre Co. Terra in Acorn.  I used all but a couple yards of 4 skeins. 

It took about a week to knit.  I only did four rounds of ribbing for the neckline and three rounds on the armholes.  Mostly out of necessity.  I probably would have worked them longer if I could have.  At the neckline, the pattern vaguely says to complete the front cabling as shown in the picture.  It was hard to tell what was going on.  I broke with the cable pattern and extended the cables out toward the armholes.  So for example on the left front instead of continuing the braid, and having the right side cross over, I did a right leaning cable with the left side of the braid.  Wow, this is hard to put into words. 

It was a quick project and I love love love this yarn.  It is a little slubby, but I think the color is so amazing.  The base color is kind of a greenish brown, and there are fuzzy silk noil bits that are pinkish purple.  One skein was a lot more pink and I worried about it, but it ended up not being too noticeable.  Here are a few more, but the color is more accurate in the first one.

The back:

Here’s a bad picture of the project I mentioned last time. 

That is one of the fronts from the Eyelet Front Vest.  The triangle portion is going to wrap around and become the sleeve cap.  The lace sections go at the front edgings.  There are some interesting lace elements in this.  It’s all written out, and not charted, but I guess I don’t know if it would be easily chartable.  You have to slip yos and then create another yo on top of it.  Then drop them both on the next row.  I guess it is another way of creating ladders, but it’s one I hadn’t seen before.  I just need to knit the back and I’m done.  Should be quick work.  I’m knitting on size 10 1/2s! 

I went to the Compatto Sip ‘n’ Stitch last night, and felt like I should be working on something with their yarn.  So I cast on for the Dovetail Pullover by Kathy Zimmerman.  I’m using the recommended Mission Falls 1824 Cotton yarn.  It is a little rough on my hands, especially knit at a tight gauge.  I think I’ll have to take lots of breaks!

I went to the GLASG meeting this morning.  I got to use my new plying head and ply up my Black Bunny Fibers BFL fiber.  I received this fiber months ago and just finally got to it.  It was fun to spin and worked up really quickly.  I just broke it in half and decided not to worry about matching up the color.  This is 7.75 oz of BFL in the Meadow I colorway.  The batches for the fiber club are all dyed individually for the club members.  I forgot to take pictures of the fiber, but here’s my finished yarn!  It barely all fit on my giant plying bobbin.

I know the spinning is not that even, noticeable by eye, but also because I had tons left on one bobbin that I had to andean ply. 

The color wasn’t totally set.  I had to do a few soaks with vinegar.  But it is so bright and fun! 

I think it’s about worsted weight.  I haven’t done a WPI measurement yet.  I ended up with about 360 yds.  I’m not sure what I am going to do with it.  But something.  Here’s one last one:

Back to what I was saying at the beginning.  I am enjoying these simple pleasures.  The pleasure of working with fiber and creating something tangible.  Baking cookies and cooking elaborate meals.  Watching crappy movies at home and chilling with my cat.  But you know what, screw simple pleasures.  I am so tired of having only little enjoyments.  DVDs may get you through the weekend, but they don’t get you through the year.  I have been going months without larger pleasures.  Baking doesn’t make up for not having a partner or a best friend.  I know I’m just going through a sad bastard phase.  I have a lot to be thankful for in big picture.  But it’s getting rough.  And Internet dating is not cutting it.  I have been going through extra reflection because I just applied for a job in rural Virginia.  I have to decide if I am willing to move and you know, generally figure out my future.  I guess that’s the end of my complaining.  My knitting and knitting friends (besides my family) are really the brightest spot in my life.  I definitely appreciate all of you and the inspiration you bring me. 

But still, simple pleasures can bite me.  I have to take off and go to a birthday party and see my ex-boyfriend/new boss and meet his current girlfriend.

I’ll probably be in a better mood in a few days and maybe I’ll have something else to show you.

Jill B.



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Jill P.:

Yesterday there were historic and important things going on, but all I could think about was silly TV clips.  I couldn’t get them out of my head, so decided to do some youtube clips here today.

This last weekend I finally got around to rewatching The Dave Chapelle Show on DVD.  My new favorite thing is his rapper gimmick, the real Black Sheep.   I had seen it before and forgot about it.

That clip goes on a little long for my tastes though.  And for another too-long clip, Werewolf Bar Mitzvah from 30 Rock.    I should have should linked to the clip from the show and not the whole music video. But I couldn’t resist.

30 Rock is so great.

Clearly I spent the entire weekend watching TV on DVD or on my computer.  I am totally in love with watching Netflix instantly on my computer.  Last night I even dragged my spinning wheel into my room so I could watch a crappy movie on the monitor.  Now I can have Mickey Rourke marathons without wasting a Netflix or paying for it.

I have been knitting, but not getting good pictures.  I am kind of having bad knitting karma right now.  I was working on those knee socks, but after doing about 5 inches of one, have finally faced the fact that it will not fit on my calf.  I will have to do a different pattern, but have no idea when.

I finished a cabled vest, which I’ll post soon.  I am currently working on the #11 Eyelet Front Vest from Vogue Holiday 2008.  I am using Dream in Color Classy.  The pattern calls for worsted weight yarn, but the fabric is a little loose for my tastes.  But I bought the yarn specifically for this purpose, so am going forward with worsted on 10 1/2s, 14 st/inch.  If I wasn’t worried about running out of yarn I would knit it at a tighter gauge and work a larger size.  As it is, I’m even making one much smaller than my measurements so I don’t run out.

I’ve been doing some spinning too.  I joined the Black Bunny Fiber Club a few months back.  Carol sends each member a different fiber every month but dyes everybody’s according to their personal color tastes.  I wasn’t very specific about favorite colors, so I have gotten a nice variety of colors.  I just spun up a little under 4 oz. of some  green BFL.  I still need to spin the other half and ply.  It’s been very enjoyable to spin.  This is a little pointless to talk about without visuals.  Maybe later this week.

Boring post!  Pics to come!

Jill B.

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FO: Silky Tweed Blouse

Jill P:

I keep meaning to write posts that aren’t just finished item posts, but keep forgetting.  Here’s my latest finished sweater.  I started it before I left for the holidays.  I kind of hoped that I would be able to finish the whole sweater while I was at home.  I might have been able to if I didn’t have little random stuff to knit at the same time.


Pattern: Elaine’s Blouse (Rav link) by Cecily Glowik MacDonald from Interweave Knits, Winter 2008

Yarn: GGH Silky Tweed, just a smidgen over 7 balls of yarn.  I only needed the 8th ball to do the neck edging.

I knit the 36 1/2″ size, on size 5 needles.  I maybe would have knit it with an inch or so of negative ease, but I went with the sizing available.  As is, that’s pretty much zero ease.

Start time: December 19th

Finish time: January 11th

I was able to finish the body of it while I was at home.  I did the sleeves back in Los Angeles.  The knitting went really quickly.  The nice thing about such a tweedy yarn is that I didn’t have to worry about “rowing” out.  I made no modifications.  I didn’t plan on using the same yarn as in the pattern, but I saw it for 50% off at Wildfiber and had to go for it.  The sweater was a bit itchy while I was wearing it, but not too bad.  I got too lazy to block it, so that might help it.  Or it can grow all crazy, hard to tell!  (Of course I didn’t wash my swatch.)

This back looks a little linebacker-y here, but I like to think it looks better in real life.  I bought the buttons from Mood Fabrics, right next to my apartment.  I think a good blocking will help them not to look so gappy.  There’s definitely plenty of room in the sweater.  And since it’s a pretty wide neck I don’t need to undo any buttons to get the sweater on.  Which of course makes me wish I had done a faux buttonband instead.  One thing that does bother me is that it tends to ride up around my neck.  I have to keep pulling the sleeves down so that the shoulders aren’t bunched up weird.

Overall I’m pretty pleased with it.  Not my favorite sweater but definitely wearable.

And here are the scarves I knit for the Special Olympics:

Pattern: Meandering Stripes (on top) and Parallelograms both from Lynne Barr’s Knitting New Scarves book.

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver in White and Delft Blue.

Each scarf took maybe 25% of each skein.  I was hoping to use it all and get it out of the house, but nope.  They are pretty short, about 50″ each.  I was happy with how they turned out, but again, it was not my call on the yarn or the colors.  An annoying thing about any kind of striping is all the ends to weave in!  Lauren was kind enough to send these in for us.  I hope the recipients like them!  I am usually pretty bad about doing charity knitting, but I’ve always been a fan of the Special Olympics and was glad to participate.  I have other pictures of these things on Ravelry, but these pretty much say it all.

Currently on the needles: Green Day vest by Tikru using Terra by Fibre Co.  which is the most beautiful yarn I have ever seen.  I am also working on some knee socks, but am not sure if they will fit on my “curvy” calves.

Jill B.

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Christmas wrap-up

Jill P:

I was home in Camas for about 11 days.  That is the small paper mill town I’m from, which is really so close to Portland it could be considered a suburb.  But we’re on the other side of the river in Washington state.  Last year we had a white Christmas and it had been the first one in something like 90 years.  And what do you know, we had a crazy white Christmas this year too.  The weather has been crazy everywhere.  I was able to fly in in between major storms so the weather wasn’t an issue for travelling.  But unfortunately there were some mechanical problems and I had to sit on the tarmac for a while and then deplane and wait for another one.  My flight ended up arriving in Portland at 2:30am!

All the snow made it difficult to go anywhere except the grocery store.  It stayed like that for maybe five days.  Once I went in to Portland to see some friends from high school and college.  My Dad had to drive me there, and when I was done at the pub he had to drive back and pick me up.  It was like high school all over again.  Usually there’s enough cars around for me and my sister to be on our own, but the snow affected what cars were operable.  Here are some pictures of the snow.

My parents on our walk:

Me on the boat dock of Lacamas Lake:

And our backyard!:

It started raining about a week after I got there, and the snow was almost all gone in a matter of days.  I had a nice time at home.  My sister flew in the day after me, and my uncle was staying with us for the holidays as well.  My Mom got me a few spinning related items.  A padded carrying case for my Lendrum, and also a plying head.  I am excited about using it.  I came home with a lot of stuff as usual, much of it bought for myself in the days after the holiday.  I went to three yarn stores, but I only came back with two skeins of Dream in Color Classy.  Which is really good for me.

I was able to give my Mom her Christmas present!  I used my handspun lace yarn and knit up the Muir shawl.  I used the bead chart on Ravelry and added clear beads throughout.  I added them as I went, using the crochet hook method. 

I had about 800 yds of it, and used all of it.  I was only able to do 12 pattern repeats.  I had to reknit the borders multiple times because I kept coming up short on yarn, and underestimating how much I needed to do all those picots.  There are less garter rows than called for in the pattern.  I didn’t add bead to the ends.

Blocking shot:

I wanted to get some pictures of my Mom modelling it, but I ran out of time before I left. 

I did a lot of knitting while I was at home.  I wanted to make my friend Jere a gift because he’s been very generous with rides to the airport, and he watched Paquito while I was gone.  I used my recently finished handspun Rambouillet/Ingeo yarn to make him a hat and fingerless gloves.  I used the Utopia Cabled Hat pattern by Smariek and the Men’s Fingerless Gloves pattern from the KnitList.  That pattern is listed as using Aran weight yarn, but it really uses sport weight.  I did some gauge calculations, which gave me some trouble.  One of the gloves is a little bigger than the other one and I can’t quite figure out what caused the difference.  Me not taking proper notes on my modifications couldn’t have helped.  My handspun yarn was a 3-ply and pretty dense. 

I hope he likes them.  I kind of want to keep the hat, but I guess I should set it free.  I don’t know if he’s much of a hat person though.

I am also on my second Special Olympics Scarf.  I am looking forward to sending these off.  I want to take a long break from knitting with Red Heart.  I don’t have pictures yet, but they are both scarves from the Knitting New Scarves book.  Of course, no matter what you make with these two colors, it is always going to look kind of crappy. 

I started a sweater too!  Elaine’s Blouse from Interweave Knits Winter 2008.  I finished the body pretty quickly while I was at home, but I’m still working on the sleeves.  I’m just a little into the second one.  I should finish up in the next week, and then need to do the button bands and buy all those buttons!  I have a suspicion that this will not be a flattering cut on me, but we’ll just have to see.

Okay, enough for now!  Happy New Year!

Jill B.


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