My knitting projects

12.31.2003

Happy New Year!

2003 Year in review...



Messiest material: Typewriter ribbon, typed with hundreds of worries. This sweater, entitled mail, was one of my sculptural works, which I showed at Gallery 114 in Portland in September. The picture above is a detail from the sweater. (more of my art works are at www.larissabrown.net)

Biggest knitting accomplishments: My first design (coming soon, after beta testing), and socks Martin will actually wear!

Biggest knitting disaster: The giant growing ribbon sweater, of course in a very expensive Colinette yarn

Best knit gift I made: The mint candy scarf

Most appreciated gift: Laura’s fun fur scarf

Best knitting gift, given to me: Denise needles from mom

Favorite yarn this year: S. Charles Ritratto or Berocco Zap. Despite both of these being novelty-ish, they knit up easily, didn't tangle, etc. Ritratto wins very first place, because it was also stunningly beautiful and delicate, and one ball lasted me through two entire projects!

Worst yarn: Austermann Barcelona, the periwinkle knitted up like a baby cookie monster!

Best place to get yarn:
elann

Favorite knitting book: I only have a couple, but the one I really like right now is the Twisted Sisters sock book, a gift from my friend Kim.

Favorite magazine: Knitty

Favorite pattern: Chickami

Any knitting resolutions: No. I've got enough trouble eating my fruits and vegetables.

Happy New Year to everyone. I hope it's full of wonderful yarn and projects that come out perfect every time!

12.30.2003

who me, mood swings?

My last 4 posts are hilarious. I'm not appreciated. I'm thankful. I hate my yarn. I love my yarn. Having a blog proves just how ridiculous my ups and downs are.

feeling underappreciated

I can talk about this here, since none of the culprits read my blog. But geez, you'd think that some of the people who received handmade gifts would thank me for them! I mean, some of these were really nice things, like the best I've ever knit and not at all "home made" looking in a bad way. I have 2 friends who have thanked me, one who is brimming with love for her fun fur scarf (thanks Laura, sweetie). But other than that, I've had zero reaction. Not even an email saying, hey I got this thing, it wasn't lost in the mail. Duh. Forget doing all that work again!

12.28.2003

thankfulness



My chickami is moving along, and matches perfectly with my hot pink thank you notes, which I'm getting psyched up to write to all the people who gave me wonderful gifts this year.

Since I scrapped the Barcelona (see below, and see here ), I'm now using Classic Elite Imagine in Blue Note (#9205) for Jeanmarie's tank top. The blues are lush and gorgeous, and I love looking at this yarn despite the fact it's so tangly I have to keep it in a baggie and let it out just a few inches at a time.


12.27.2003

*^blech^%*




I cannot knit with this. It looks incredibly rich and beautiful all wrapped up in a ball. But It's so stretchy and fuzzy, it knits up like a bathmat, and it's so gauzy it actually keeps sticking to the dry skin on my thumbs. I'm returning it to Elann. This project - the tank top for my friend's birthday - may be cursed. I got some Classic Elite Imagine instead, which is gorgeous, but I keep having problems like tangled skeins and such. I think I need to let this one go for a while, and give her a present for Memorial Day instead ...

By the way, if the above sounds like just your sort of thing, you can see my related eBay auction.

12.25.2003

merry christmas

I hope all of you are having a wonderful holiday! I finished my next to last knitted gift, then cleaned up my room and put away all my toys.



And my yarn for kyoto is here!



Now I'm knitting, and writing about knitting, while Martin is writing checks to the charities we picked out this year. The Library Foundation, Portland Opera, Portland Waldorf School, the ACLU, Drug Policy Foundation, Sisters Of The Road Cafe, 1000 Friends of Oregon, Wallace Medical Concern, etc. This is our big day for check writing :-)

Happy Holidays!

12.23.2003

cookie monster + bo derek / 2.3 =

12.21.2003

sparkles & spring

My stole of Kureyon & Sprinkles is really finished, bow and all. It looks so good, I'm even willing to show my tired face in it. The satin bow goes down to my waist, and will look great in something classier than this Target T-shirt.



And ...

Thoughts of spring and cotton and green. I've never made a button for the web site before, and still haven't figured out how to make one into a link. But here is my amateur attempt, for the Kyoto knitalong. There are 3 of us so far: myself, Becky, and Laurin. We're going to start this around January 15th. Comment here if you'd like to join--we could use the company!

12.20.2003

clueless but chic

Since I'm very close to finishing my gifts, I decided to treat myself to making a swatch for my chickami. That I did, and it came out a bit different from the pattern, so I did the math and adapted the pattern. Turned out I could just follow the pattern for 2 sizes bigger than I want -- cool, that's easy right?

Then I was so ready to go, I had to start. So I started, and I knit about 10 rows. Then I realized I'd made my swatch--and checked my gauge--on the trim size needles (#3), not the body size needles (#6). Hmmm, the pattern does not specify the needles to use for the gauge. And it seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

So now I'm lost, but may be making a roomy chickami. It won't be outrageously large, just 2 sizes bigger (I wanted a 38 and I'm knitting the directions for the 42). So I'm going to continue, and have this be an adventure in knitting. I figure: a) I'm probaby bigger than I think anyway, b) a roomy, breezy tank could be useful, and c) I can shrink this cotton a bit. Am I an idiot to think these things? Time will tell.

12.18.2003

alongs

I've corresponded with two more people who want to do a Kyoto knitalong, and it's looking like a January 15th start! Please comment if you want to be added, and also if you have ideas about the pattern, yarn choices, colors, etc.

Also, Alison has suggested--and I agree!--that a one-day or one-week rip-a-long would motivate us to undo well-meaning old projects and give them new life.

I'll post the Kyoto knitalong on my sidebar, and I'll post again when I hear more about the rip-a-long.
stoles

While at the beach, I got my first ever skeins of Noro Kureyon. I mixed them with a thin sparkly yarn called Sprinkles. Recalling all I could of a pattern I liked from knitty, I made a couple stoles. One I decided is finished as is, and the others need to be finished with bows (but less shiny and red than the one in Melissa Lim's eve pattern).

How I adapted the pattern:
I cast on 3 stitches, on size 15 needles, with Kureyon and Sprinkles together. Worked in stockinette stitch, and every knit row I increased at both ends. When I had 25 stitches on the needles, I stopped increasing and worked stockinette (slipping the first stitch of every row) until I had about 18" more. Then I decreased to match the other end. These are wonderful little stoles. I like the way they curl a bit around the edges, and I'm blocking them lightly so the curl will stay in.

Here are (l to r):
Kureyon #90 with Sprinkles in Magenta
Kureyon #51 with Sprinkles in Black
Kureyon #95 with S. Charles Collezione Ritratto (gold) - hard to see, but I can't get my flash to work any better this late.
I kind of got addicted to these over the past few days... I also have Kureyon #115 waiting for the final one, and maybe I'll be sick of them by then.


12.17.2003

sun and sand and yarn

Wow, I got a bunch of yarn in the mail today. From Elann: Elann Sonata in desert rose for my chickami. Crazy big ribbon stuff called Gedifra Clou in Sun Festival for a tank. And a bunch of fur that seemed like a good idea at the time (called Valeria di Roma Cisne) in Almond and Chocolate.



From ebay: 2 beautiful, luscious skeins of hand-dyed and spun yarn in a color called Pearl from this seller. This yarn is so shiny and beautiful, with some whitish, almost undyed spots, and it's sticky and woolly. Perfect for my Vogue Knitting Shrug.



When I was at the beach I wanted so badly to knit something beautiful in the colors of the sun reflected on the sand and the grayish blue, stormy skies. I guess this does it!
emergency getaway

I was going to have a meltdown, so Martin encouraged me to take a short vacation, wedged in between work and holidays. I spent 3 days here:



and it was fabulous. I had my own oceanfront room with a balcony complete with seagulls watching me as I watched them. And a fireplace, coffepot, and all my knitting! What more could I want? I visited the yarn shop in Cannon Beach (okay twice in 2 days). It's called Siren Song. I have a lot to report on that front but will wait until I can take some photos and post them (tonight).

12.13.2003

Kyoto anyone?

Is anyone else planning on knitting this? How about a knit-along after January 1st?

stitch and bitch

There were some beautiful projects here last night! Mostly scarves & hats. My friend Kimberly was making a gorgeous scarf in a "Turkish stitch," which I need to learn. And I got pretty much nothing accomplished, since it was my house :-)


12.12.2003

I have lots of things started and nothing to report on knitting. Getting ready for a Stitch and Bitch party at my house tonight, so I'm focusing on making pumpkin bisque and chocolate chip cookies. :-) I think I'm going to employ some of my non-knitting friends to wind several massive skeins of ebay yarn into balls. Or maybe employ one of them to rip out the incredible growing ribbon sweater that I made of Colinette Giotto last summer that is at least 3 sizes too big for me.

12.10.2003

six feet of seeds

I'm at 5 of 9 gifts down! I have realized that during every scarf there's a moment where you "turn the corner," and it's suddenly long and you realize you will one day finish. I turned the corner on the seed stitch scarf that looks like mint candies and finished it last night, and I'm really happy with it! I think I'm going to type up this pattern as a design exercise, since it came out so "professional" looking, if I do say so myself. Here it is on Ellie:



And here's a detail of the fringe:



12.9.2003

no better, this is it

I am tired of trying to be a better person (Weight Watchers, Pilates, drinking water, working enough in my studio, etc). I am not--NOT--going to go on a yarn diet too. Here's the proof; the latest addition to my sidebar:



stash

I recently realized that I have what qualifies as a "stash." And soon after I realized this, the perfect opportunity came along -- the Slip Stitch Pass. A knitter named Amy at cyborgoddess has started this and the deadline to sign up is tomorrow, December 10.

This comes right on the heels of my first two yarn shipments arriving from ebay purchases -- one a truly gigantic skein that has to be unwound -- and a set of Denise Interchangeable Needles from my mom :-) Yay!

12.7.2003

moving along

The zap scarf is now a two-tone scarf, since the yarn store was out of Sable and I need to get this finished and into the mail. It looks pretty good together, though. I'm liking these half-black, half-something-else scarves.



This one is in stockinette stitch (for no good reason), and so it is curling slightly. This knitty article talks about good ways to block, and what methods are best for what kinds of yarn, including these plastic-y faux furs. It's pretty inspirational. Makes it sound easy, and kinda makes me want to block. Weird, huh?

12.4.2003

green bean

I just whipped up a hat in about an hour and a half -- so I'm 3 down on my Christmas gifts! It's Lamb's Pride bulky, color Oregano, held as a double strand and using this pattern. It took almost exactly one skein and two Star Trek Voyagers (without the ads).



raspberry truffle

I couldn't bear to finish the gift scarf in Zitron Belle Epoch without using some of the cashmerino. So I added a tiny raspberryish ruffle to each end. I ruffled and unraveled three times before I got a scale I liked with the fuzzy scarf. Here it is finally: I picked up 20 stitches in the cashmerino, purled across once, then knit in the front of back of each stitch for two rows. Then cast off. It's very girlie and cute, but understated. I think anyway...




And here's my progress on the scarf that I think looks like mint candies. The Lamb's Pride color is called aran and the tiny candy stripes are S. Charles Ritratto. I have to decide what I can do to the ends of this scarf to make it look less like something grandma made out of Red Heart.



12.2.2003

pillow mints

BTW, it's not ribbon candy this scarf looks like, but "pillow mints." The ones like these, but with the tiny licorice or orange stripe down the center:

If I'm going to continue knitting this much, and then writing about it both online and in a hard-copy journal, then I have to add some other activity to my life. I'm sitting here at work thinking about running. Dreaming about running in the cold (it's hot and sleepy here in the office). I'm sitting here bidding on new running sneakers on ebay... OK, so I'm going to continue my Pilates and also start running again. I feel a new rule coming on. If I knit, I also have to run or do Pilates that same day!

12.1.2003

ribbon candy

It's pretty clear I have food on my mind; all my knitting reminds me of stuff to eat. The newest scarf I'm working on (described herein) reminds me of ribbon candy...

Tonight I met Shetha at Lucky Lab--a pub just around the corner from my art studio. It was really easy and good to meet someone else who knits; I hadn't gone to one of these get-togethers before. So now I will! She told me what seed stitch is, and now I'm using it on my next gift scarf. It's a bulky one, thank goodness, because I'm running out of time. Bulky Lamb's Pride in creme held together with a very thin candy-colored mohair mix (it's S. Charles Ritratto). The seed stitch gives it a beautiful complexity. I'll post a picture soon. Thanks Shetha.

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