Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Finished: City Cape with Bonus WIP Photo!

Since I've been working on so many things at once it's been a little harder than usual to see progress, but I finally have something that looks like a cape and a cardigan!

I am pretty much done with the Not-a-Poncho City Cape, from the book Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard. I used Cascade Ecological Wool in color #8087, Coffee. It's a top-down, raglan shaped cape. It took me a little under two skeins, and I added several inches before beginning the arm holes, otherwise the armholes would have started half-way up my biceps. My only other modification was changing the trim to 3 x 2 rib instead of 2 x 2. This is one of the things I really wanted for my Fall/Winter wardrobe, so I'm happy it's done before the weather changes.

I don't know if the news has traveled out of Southern California, but we've been having record heat around here (113 degrees in downtown Los Angeles and at least that hot where I live!) so I just couldn't face stepping outside to model my wooly cape. It's pretty much done, but it's supposed to have ribbon facing on the front bands and around the armholes. I bought some brown and cream with blue accents paisley ribbon at Joann, but it's not exactly what I had in mind--so I might just leave it off until I find the right one. I wanted something a little more earthy, and less of a contrast with the knitted part.

I do like the Cascade Ecological Wool, if only because it's so cheap. I bought five skeins of this stuff on sale at WEBS for $11 a huge skein of heavy worsted/bulky weight yarn (depending on who you ask), and so for $55 I have knit my husband a sweater, this cape, and still have enough left for a short sleeved cardigan for me. This color is a little hairy, but I have a lighter color that isn't quite as bad. From now on I think I will stick to the lighter colors.

Just for fun, here is one of my WIP's, the Delancey Cardigan designed by Alexis Winslow. Delancey is a one-armed lady at the moment...but I love knitting with Knit Picks Swish DK, so I don't even dread the sleeves. The other one will be coming right up! I'm using Beach Glass as the main color, and Pampas Heather as the contrast color. It's a little less punchy than the pattern model, but I was good and used stash yarn.

This is such a well-written pattern, and for once it's designed for taller-than-average girls with long arms! I actually knitted my sleeves SHORTER than the model. Never happened before! I really like the way it's written, with row numbers given in all instructions. It would be difficult to modify the length without completely re-writing the pattern, though, so keep that in mind if you're considering this one. This will hit me around the bottom of my rear, and I am 5'7" tall. Once I get the bottom trim knitted on, it will not have that "V" shape anymore.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Few Updates

Since I haven't taken knitting pictures in a while (still getting used to the new homeschooling schedule!) I thought this would be the perfect time to make a little list of things I've been wanting to blog about but haven't had the time for. Not the same as a real post, I know, but it will have to do. :)

1. The stash challenge has, quite honestly, been a complete bust. I really am an addict. I don't intend to stop trying to knit only yarn I already own, but among other purchases, last month's mad money was spent on a lot of Knit Picks Main Line (discontinued yarn) that was just too good a deal to pass up--a Raveler had it for sale for 19 skeins for $25--and a whole shipment of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes has come to live at my house. The latter was purchased for...

2. My first go at intarsia. More on this later, but I'm making a huge felted satchel for my mom. I've got the back, sides, bottom, and straps done (the solid-colored pieces) and will be starting on the colorwork soon.

3. I have been a little bit on the scattered side when it comes to my knitting lately. In the past week, I've worked on the Not-A-Poncho City Cape from Custom Knits, the Delancey Cardigan designed by Alexis Winslow, the aforementioned Weekend Getaway Satchel, and yes, I started yet another new project tonight: Sheer Poncho, an absolutely gorgeous laceweight free pattern by Amy Arifin.

I don't know why I keep starting new things--I suppose I would finish pieces more quickly if I stuck to one or two at a time, but I've decided to stop feeling bad about it and just go with it. It's fun! I'll be writing more about each of those projects as soon as I can...with pictures, I promise.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hooray for the Public Library!

A couple of weeks ago I took my kids to a library we hadn't visited before (who knew there were two different library systems in my county?!) and not only did we find lots of books for my girl, I found a great selection of up-to-date knitting books! I finally got to check out in person the book Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard. Wow! It is so much more than a pattern book...lots of tips about fit and customizing your own sweaters. Even instructions for doing one of those duct tape dressmaker's forms. If you haven't looked at this book before, I'd really recommend it highly. The cape I am working on is from this book, the Not-a-Poncho City Cape.

Even though I'd like to buy the book eventually, isn't it just...COOL? That I can go to a big building full of books and they will just let me...BORROW...any book I want? And I can walk out with a bag full of 27 books without paying a single cent? It's like a throwback to a simpler time. No matter how the world has changed, the public library is still free. Amazing. This is going to be a lifesaver for my daughter's reading appetite, I can already tell. She is going through a little chapter book every two days or so. Today, it's The BFG.

Anyway, I am busy with the cape, and my daughter's first day of Kindergarten at home was last Monday--so while we're having a blast with school, my crafting time and blog reading time has been severely curtailed. I miss it, but it's for a good cause.