23 October 2007

Long Time, No Post

Hey Miss Kate,

How are things in your far-off world? I've been missing you and your ideas and your knitting. Now that I am more settled in California, I think I am ready for slightly more commitment to our blog here. Well, I am lonesome and doing a lot of knitting. Or, at least,a lot of thinking about knitting. I have so many ideas and yarns and fibers swirling in my brain... I want to get it all out! In any case, I have a few ideas.

1. Maybe play with the layout a bit. It's not terribly inviting or user-friendly.

2. Think/talk about what we really want to say with this blog. Why do we have it? What do you enjoy about blogging? (We started to go into this a little with the last post... we should explore it some more, i think.) What is our ultimate message or goal?

3. Post more pictures. When we're on task, we actually post about once a week, which is good. What is not good, however, is our lack of images. Reading a text-only blog about knitting is NOT something most people will want to do.

What are your thoughts? I would love to hear from you on this. I feel like we have the potential to do something very cool here, but we just need to sort it out, you know?

In the interest of helping, I will now share a few things I have finished lately.

Pattern: Eunny Jang's Print O' the Wave Stole
Yarn: Alpaca with a Twist Fino in First Frost. It's an alpaca/silk blend and is WONDERFUL. Extremely soft, delicate, and with a really lovely subtle shimmer. I adore it! It also drapes beautifully.
Needles: US 4 Addi Turbos (I wish I had been able to find the new lace needles at the yarn store!)
Modifications: A few, but not many. First, i knit it all in one direction and skipped the two-sided grafting bit. I think it flows a little better without that seam in the middle, even though I had to sacrifice symmetry to do it. I knit 28 repeats of the pattern and picked up 200 stitches, I believe, on the long edges.
Notes: I really liked this pattern. It was well-written (as usual, with Eunny's patterns), though I was a little frustrated with the eyelet round in the edging set-up. I understood what she wanted, but I didn't understand how she wanted me to do it. So I did it my own way and it worked out. The lace pattern is very easily intuited, if not memorized, but not at all boring. Overall, I am rather happy with it and would definitely recommend it to someone in a similar time crunch who still wants a pretty stole for their wedding day.

And the only picture I have of me actually wearing it. My mother made life-size cutouts of me and my husband as children (we've known each other since the age of 7), and our 4-year old nephew was intrigued by them.

Pattern: Trellis, by Britta Stolfus Rueschhoff, on knitty.com, and Saartje's Booties (opens a .pdf file).
Yarn: Knitpicks Swish DK in Asparagus. Extremely soft and bouncy, and superwash to boot! I had never used this yarn before, but I really like it. I think it's even softer than their Merino Style, though admittedly it has been 2 years or so since I last used that yarn. I would absolutely use it again, especially for baby or kidswear.
Needles: Knitpicks Options US 6 circular needle with 32" cable. For booties, I used Brittany Birch US 2 dpns.
Modifications: Nothing major, just tweaks here or there. I wanted to make it a little smaller than the 6-month size, but I ended up getting gauge with the size 6 needles so I just left it at that. I tacked down the shawl collar so it didn't flop around, on each side in the front and at the center back. No pattern modifications on the booties, but I used only one color instead of two.
Notes: I enjoyed knitting this sweater. I admit that I was slightly out of it while I knit (I did it the week leading up to the wedding), so I can't recall any major issues I had with it. This, however, is the sweater where I feel I have officially mastered seaming. It's funny. I'm a seamstress, and have been knitting for 10 years, but my seams are never quite as perfect as I would like. I've finally gotten it down, with the help of The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques. I really recommend this book to anyone who hates seaming or grafting or any other finishing processes. It is clear, concise, and truly helps you make the perfectly finished garment you want to make. Finishing is SO important to the final look of a piece and I think everyone could benefit from the instruction this book offers.

Well, I can't wait to hear from you on your blog thoughts, or even with a post of your recent knitting work! I know you've been doing it, even if you haven't been posting it!

Take care,