Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Blessed Project

My favorite work-in-progress is my Celestarium. There are many reasons, not least of which is the fact that it is going so smoothly! There are a ton of charts and since they are star charts, they aren't exactly predictable,  but they require far less attention than you might expect. I scan each row before I knit it to see if it's a yarn-over row, a bead row (or both) or just a plain knit row. I only have to count if it's a row containing a yarn-over.

The beads are really great. I think I'll save their secret until I reveal the FO, but if you can't wait, I'm sure I put it in my notes on the Ravelry page. :) I can't believe how pretty they look in the yarn. Very starry! The more I knit on the shawl, the more I realize I have no idea how I'd wear it as a shawl. I think it will become a blanket instead. It's nice and warm, though it only barely covers my lap right now.

I have a long way to go. What would you (or do you) do with a large circular shawl? What would you wear it with? My last one lives on the back of my desk chair, wondering what it will do for the rest of it's life. I wonder the same thing.... :)

For more WIP Wednesday posts, visit Tami's Amis!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Travelling Bunnies

I would have shown these FOs to you last week, but a certain someone didn't know they existed and I didn't want him to find out by accident! Now he knows, so you can too!

Spike & Sweetpea

Pattern: Adorable Seamless Bunny by Sarah Chandler
Yarn: Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK in a neutral color?
Needles: US 4
Project Pages: Spike and Sweetpea

John's been gone all week. He went to London for a conference. I really wanted to go and considered going, but we had no idea how much time he would have to explore and there's no way I was going to do it alone. So I stayed home to care for the buns. I knew he would miss them something fierce, so I sent him a fun
surprise to find while he was away.

I knit both of them in a few hours at the shop on a super slow Saturday. They are a tiny bit fiddly, but not terrible. I need a different solution for the ears than as written. I made Sweetpea's ears a little bigger because...well, her ears are a little bit bigger! I like her ears better than his. They look like bunny ears. I made their markings with a Sharpie. These are too tiny to mess with intarsia. Yuck. They are probably about the size of my thumb, since I don't have any scale photos.

I think they came out great. All bunnies are cute, of course. Knitted bunnies more so? Maybe. :) I'll let you be the judge.

Have a great weekend! We'll be celebrating John's return after a long, lonely week. Got any big plans yourself?

For more FO Friday posts, check out Tami's Amis!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Travelling Knit

Everyone needs a project to carry around. You never know when the line at the bank will be slow because there is only one teller working or an oil change will turn into an engine tune-up or maybe the bus is running a little late. Most people carry around socks or a hat or another small project, but I carry a sweater.

I haven't gone many places or had many waits when I have left the house, so it has stalled a little bit, but knitting with friends at a restaurant last night reignited my fire for this little guy all over again. It's so soft and silky that I can't wait to wear it, no matter how warm it may be the day I finish. :)

I'm still a bit unsure of the color combinations, but time will tell. The stripes are really addictive and wonderful, at the very least! The silk slubs in the yarn are really fun. I love the effect they have on the colors of the yarn. They turn a solid colored yarn heathered (and I love heathers!). You should check out the color cards of all of The Fibre Company's yarns. Those girls are color geniuses!

I hope the cool summer nights and mild thunderstorms predicted for the rest of the week will give me plenty of time to progress on this perfect summer sweater....

What project are you travelling with? What do you dream of making and wearing this summer?

Monday, June 17, 2013

An Adventure


I moved here five years ago after the worst flood Iowa City had ever seen. When I got here, the waters had receded, but the damage was evident and is still visible today. The flood taught the university a few lessons and they put their knowledge to work a couple weeks ago when the river rose again. These are a few pictures (all thanks to John) of the water at its peak when we went on an adventure to see it all. The first is the sandbag wall that protected the eastern campus. The wall on the west bank was twice as long and twice as tall. The second is the underside of a pedestrian bridge connecting east campus with the arts campus. The last two are Lower City Park, which was almost entirely under water. We saw some huge fish swimming through a parking lot. It was pretty neat!

We had fun surveying the damage because we know that this flood did not do even a fraction of the damage we witnessed five years ago. I drove by Lower City Park today on Dubuque St., which had been closed for three weeks because of water on the road. The water is safely confined to the river beds once again and the park is a big brown wasteland, but the rides, the train, the runners, and the kids will all be back soon, even if the grass won't. :)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Lovin' My Blogs

I guess Google Reader's days are numbered. I don't use it myself because Blogger has a reader, but I know some of you do. I decided to get a bit more proactive in my blogging and see what options are out there for you. I have signed up for an account with Bloglovin since it's been getting a lot of attention in the blogs I follow. It seems pretty straightforward and easy to use. AND it'll automatically import your Google Reader feeds! It did it super fast.

If you have switched to or used a different reader, let us all know! Options are good. :) And I think I've said this before, but if I need to do anything to make it easier for you to read me on your chosen reader, let me know! I'm happy to be at your service. :)

I'll be back to regular blogging this week. We got a little busy last week!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Mellow Summer Day

The clouds are so pretty today! You'd never know it was miserably hot out and potentially fixin' to storm a lot. :) We finally caved and turned on the air yesterday. The bunnies were miserable. Makes for good knitting weather in-doors!

Here's everything I showed you last week in a pile by the couch.

The striped one is a pullover. I had to rip it all out after I showed it to you last week because my raglan modifications weren't right. :P They are now! Or close enough anyway. The white is my wedding dress. It has probably only grown a row, but we're on better terms now, so it will grow more quickly now. :)

I've also been working on my Celestarium. It's moving along much faster than I expected. It's much more mindless than I expected, too. Not all rows have yarn-overs, so I can happily knit from marker to marker without a thought. When there are yarn-overs, I count ever so carefully to that point, then knit mindlessly onward. I don't have to think about the beads, either, which is really nice. I just knit to the yarn-over from the previous row and place a bead. Easy-peasy. I keep waiting for some disaster to happen. Fingers crossed it doesn't come!

It's Knit In Public Week! Have you knit in public yet? Plans to? Where are you knitting? I usually knit at a coffee shop once or twice a week with my friends. This week is no different. I hope you are more adventurous in your public knitting!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Crazy, Indeed!

Thank you so much for all of your input on my striped sweater. I think it's going to work out great. I had to rip all of my progress out, though, because I didn't figure my raglan modification quite right. :P I'm back on track now!

And! I have an  FO to show you finally! A day late again, of course. I've been picking up hours at the yarn shop. :)

Crazy Faith

Pattern: Lace Blouse by Jennie Atkinson from A Handknit Romance
Yarn: Steinbach Wolle Sissy 20 in pink
Needles: US 1
Project Page

This pattern was in one of the first Interweave magazines I received after I subscribed last year. I was meh about the front, it was the back that I really, really loved. The drape was dreamy. I intended again and again to go to Hobby Lobby to find the crochet thread, but never did. We started carrying some in the shop, but I still wasn't ready to commit to this project. I wasn't sure I liked it enough to make it. Then the crochet thread at the shop went on sale and I thought, "Why not?" I was going to do white like the sample, but went with crazy faith and did pink instead.

I named the sweater for an Alison Krauss & Union Station song I love because the music made me feel how I thought I'd feel wearing this sweater (I may have explained this better once before), but it became fitting in other ways too. I cast on the project without knowing whether I'd like it or even wear it, but I kept at it with determination. I figured I could do it in a month (and very nearly did!). I even eventually just decided that I would wear it, no matter what, and even bought a dress just to wear with it. I think all that crazy faith paid off!

I should have knit the back a bit longer in anticipation of the fronts growing even after I blocked them. The fit isn't terrible, though. The crocheted edging was the only part I modified. The buttonholes and scallops were a little too big, so I made them a tad smaller.  It took forever and a day, but it's really tidy and pretty. I
should have gotten a close-up shot! Watch Ravelry and I will.

Yes, I knit an entire sweater in crochet thread. No, it wasn't that terrible. Initially it was torture, but it's not so different from lace. Yes, it looks complicated or very intricate, but it's really not. Only 6 rows to remember and three are knit rows. :) It was kinda fun, all in all.

Haven't you ever knit something you though looked impossible or not quite "you" and ended up finding it easy or your new favorite? Tell me about it! Alternately, Alison Krauss & Union Station has been my go-to, driving around in the cool summer evening music. What have you been listening to?

P.S. I still owe you the 15th outfit, which is the dress with this little cardi. Next week. Pinkie swears.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

New Starts

I knew yesterday was Wednesday, but for some reason it didn't register with me as a blogging day! Weird. At least the extra day give me the opportunity to show you what I started last night and to get your opinion on it.

Firstly, I started my wedding dress! I'm angry with it and it's in time-out for a little while, but it has been started.

Secondly, I started a new sweater! It's Driftwood, but I'm doing raglan sleeves and using dk weight yarn, with some other modifications. As soon as I did the first pair of stripes, I was reminded of my April Showers hat. I'm afraid the green and grey are not distinct enough to be complimentary. John says it looks fine. It isn't as subtle as April showers, so I'm leaning towards continuing, but what do you think? Should I swap the green for a different color or keep going?

I have some buttons to sew on so I can bring you an FO tomorrow (and outfit 15 of 15 also)! I better get to it!

How's the weather in your neck of the woods? The rain and clouds here have made it easier to justify knitting inside all day. :)

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Magic of Summer

The indent on the couch got deeper and deeper as last week went on. I finished the pink, lacy sweater Saturday afternoon except for the buttons, which have still not been attached, but will be by this Friday! I've been engrossed in a couple other big knits, which I'll share Wednesday. But today: Remix. Outfits 10-14.

top: Banana Republic; jeans: Gap; shoes: Merona; shawl: handknit!

top: Banana Republic; cardi: Banana Republic; jeans: Gap; shoes: Merona

top: Gap; shorts: Banana Republic; shoes: Blowfish; scarf: found; bag: Walmart

top: ?; cardi: Banana Republic; jeans: Gap; shoes: Blowfish

Still nothing terribly exciting. It got very cold after I complained about the heat, so there's that lesson learned. :) No, neither one of us is mathematically challenged. I didn't get a picture of outfit 13. It was cute though! There's still one item I haven't mixed in yet. I guess I'll have to do it for tomorrow! 15 snuck up on me a little bit!

I'll write a post about the flood picture. John and I went on a documentary adventure on Saturday and took a lot of photos. I hope you all had a great weekend and will have a great week! I'll be back. :)