Saturday, February 28, 2009

Official Photos

Taa Daa!
It would be a lie if I told you that this pattern was difficult. Any knitter who can knit in the round, do some basic decreasing/increasing and is brave enough to pick up stitches (for the cowl) can knit this sweater. And the best part? It's totally *my* style. As pretty as Fair Isle and highly detailed/cabled sweaters can be, I'm really a basic knitwear sort of girl.

The details:
Pattern: Francis Revisited
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca, in Potting Soil. I used all but about 3 yards of 3 skeins (~640 yards)
Needles: Size 10 for the most part, Size 7 for the start of the cowl.
Mods etc:
  • I tend to knit tight enough to be off about one needle size when looking for gauge. Instead of changing my needle size for this one, I knit a medium instead of an extra small (I'm a pretty little girl). I liked the fabric I was getting on the 10's and didn't want an overly airy material that I had to be concerned about wearing something underneath.
  • I knit the sleeves about 10 rounds longer then the pattern called for.
  • I knit the cowl about an inch shorter

I've already bought the yarn to make another one. (Aside: I got this yarn for another one from The Dizzy Sheep, it's a fun website with great prices. One deal a day.) Next time, I may not do the increases on the sleeves, may make them a tad longer and I may mess with the neckline a bit. I've come to the conclusion that the Francis, Revisited may be my go-to pattern or springboard to start playing with customizing.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A sweater in three weeks...

DSCN0507, originally uploaded by sparklypia.

Actually. This sweater took far less then three weeks to knit. I was just up to other things, like knitting a sock, going to NYC/Brooklyn and other various activities that kept me from knitting the Francis, Revisted in far less time.
This is a terrible photo. In fact, I almost didn't show you this picture, because hopefully, by the weekend it will be dry enough for me to model and you'll see how stinkin' cute it is.
Seriously. This was one of the most straightforward knits I've had in awhile. I loved it enough that I've already bought yarn to make it again.
When I post the "official" pics I'll give all the details.
In the meantime, I'm feeling a bit like a cast away with my knitting. I have a pair of socks nearing finish, the gathered pullover needs a sleeve done and that's about it... so, my mind is all over as I try to map out my knitting plans for the next period of time. We'll see how this works out!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

You put pine nuts where?

One of my favorite spots for a decent, reasonably priced bite to eat is Mark's Kitchen in Takoma Park. It has a bit of everything and they know how to cook tofu (always a bonus).
This winter, when we've been leaving, I have picked up a ginger tea to go. It is SO good.
Tonight, in a bout of "Oh no, we have nothing to make for dinner and I can't possible go to the store before eating", the Tall Guy and I stopped at Mark's on the way home. Mixing things up, I ordered my tea to stay, instead of "to go" like normal.
And look at that.There are PINE NUTS floating in my tea. Amongst those close to me, I've been known to go weeks on end including pine nuts in nearly all my meals (pasta, salad, chicken, asparagus etc. etc. etc). I'm pretty sure, however... that floating in my tea is not where I want pine nuts.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wicked Construction Zone!

So, I think it worked.
The "Flashdance" issue is hopefully on a permanent vacation. Thanks to my crocheting friend, I started a chain around the neckline over lunch today.I just finished and the Tall Guy was kind enough to take a few photos. (Please excuse the "I did my make up over 12 hours ago" look.)

This is the first time I've ever crocheted anything of any use!!!

I'll keep you updated on how the neckline works over time. I'm cautiously optimistic and am happy to lend advice etc, but the Yarn Harlot's post I referred to yesterday is really all you need.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Wicked- Reconstruction Ahead

So, if you've been reading along since last year or so, you've seen this picture. It was my first sweater. (If you click on the label that says "First Sweater, you can read all the trials and tribulations of this sweater)....Not too shabby, but, has it's share of issues. The biggest issue is the neckline. It was freshly washed and blocked in this photo, so it looks okay. An hour or three later, I appear as though I'm on the set of Flashdance sporting an off the shoulder look. Due to this problem, I've hardly worn the sweater.

And then I started thinking. And researching and I think I've figured it out. I'm employing the help of a friend of who crochets and I'm going to use the Yarn Harlot's Chain stitch method around the neckline of the sweater (found here.) Wish me luck and I'll let you know how it turns out.
In the meantime, I'm finishing the body of the Francis Revisited, which I still have yet to show you and a just-about-done sock. I'll give you visual updates soon, I promise!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday morning wrap up

Just a few things...
  1. First, does anyone really care about Michael Phelps misbehavior? Yawwwn.
  2. Springsteen's slide into the cameraman last night was probably the best part of the halftime show...
  3. I started knitting a new sweater this weekend, but have no photos of it yet. This is the pattern. It's super easy and going really fast... I'm already into the body. Yay!
  4. Another exciting part of said sweater is that I'm knitting with an Alpaca Blend and last year around this time, I had a fear I may be allergic to Alpaca (that would be very sad) as every time I knit with it, I would get a headache that was like a little lightening storm in my brain. I felt a twinge on Friday, but knitting the entire weekend after that, I was a-okay. Whew!