Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Finished Project: Great Green Owls

Look what I finally finished!

This sweater is the reason I learned to knit last summer.  I stumbled across it on Ravlery and was instantly in love!  How proud am I that I was able to knit it within a year?!  VERY.

Pattern: Owls, by Kate Davies
Size: 5 (40" bust)
Yarn: 1.6 skeins of Cascade Eco+
Needles: 5.5 mm (for the ribbing) and 6.0 mm for the body and sleeves

I'd originally started a size up, with a 42" bust, but the designer was right when she said this sweater looks best at 1-2 inches negative ease.  I'm glad I frogged* the first few attempts so that I could get this great fit.  I do understand why people go larger though, because this is snug.  Please see my Ravelry project page for more details.

I adore the owls, but I knew I would.  The only thing that I don't like about this sweater is the section above the owls, where the pattern had be do a lot of decreases.  There's a few holes spread out next to decreases; you can see one front and centre in the pic above.  :(  I tried fixing this, but to no avail.  I may come back with a needle and do some duplicate stitches to patch up these holes, as they're really bothering me.

I opted to only add pearly eyes for one owl.  These are the only buttons I had on hand small enough; decent buttons are hard to find here in Yukon.  I actually love these buttons and have enough for all 20 owls, but I'm not a fan of how bright they are against the green.  I'd rather have something more subtler, or at least a deeper colour.  Dark brown wood buttons, or possibly a dark "tarnished" metal?  Or possibly a dark green glass?  But these will do for now.

I made a bit of a booboo that I didn't even notice until I went to join the sleeves and body together to knit the yoke.  Somehow, I'd managed to shift one of my side seam marker 3 stitches toward the back.  This made the two back shaping darts off-centre.  I nearly cried when I realized I'd have to frog it back about 12 inches.  I put it aside for two days, and decided I could live with it when I picked it up again.  When I tried it on, I realized that I would have to "move" the side seams (where I'd be connecting the sleeves) toward the back anyways, since there was too much bulk in the back and not enough in the front.  You know, where I carry my weight.  After some trial and error, I got the amount of stitches worked out so that I had enough fabric to fit across my bust without straining the fabric, and no poof in the back, as other's have noted.

Well, not much poof, anyways.  I probably would've had less if I'd moved the shaping to the sides, but I'm fine with this.  The back shaping emphasizes the shape of my back and prevents any bunching at the small of my back.  Great design!

I'm so proud of this sweater!  I can't seem to choose which log pictures to post, so I'm posting them all!  Of course, it's now way too warm to be wearing this, dammit, since it's summer solstice this weekend and the hottest time of the year here in Yukon.  19 hours and 9 minutes of daylight tends to make things a bit warm for some reason.  But that's fine, in a couple months I'll probably never take this off.


*frogging is a fun term used by knitters (and crocheters?) that means pulling back a project.  Because you rip it, rip it, rip it.  Heh.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Hummingbird Sewalong - Sabrewing House

My Hummingbird pattern just arrived, and it look like I'm in Sabrewing House for the sewalong!  I'm ridiculously pleased that not only am I home for the Hummingbird sewalong this coming week, but my pattern actually made it in time for it.

Now I just need to decide which of these knits I'll use first.

Oh who am I kidding, it's definitely going to be this fugly one:

Friday, June 14, 2013

Well crap

That's not a good sign on your first use of new knitting needles.  Luckily I caught it before too many stitches were dropped, and some crazy glue fixed those right up.  Not very impressed though.  :\

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Shopping Down East: Yarn (and Stuff)

During my visit in Winnipeg last month, Fuss and I - along with my buddy K - went on a yarn shopping ADVENTURE.  Because reasons.  (It's sadly a lot like fabric - you're never happy with what you have in your stash.)  Also, I'm a filthy enabler and am determined to get K* hooked on knitting.

I was actually pretty good (as in, my bank account didn't cry too much), and I was conscous that I still had fabric shopping to do.  But I did manage to get some lovely yarn.

Not quite as lovely as Fuss's haul though.  This is why she had the willpower to avoid being seduced by fabric at Mitchell's; she dropped a bank-cryingly large amount on some absolutely gorgeous yarns!

First we went to Ram Wools Yarn Coop, which my Grandma recommended.  Coming from the woman who introduced me to Mitchell's Fabrics, I knew we had to go.  This is a bright and cheerful, relatively large store - definitely bigger than the little yarn shop we had in Whitehorse - and it sent me into micro-fits of joy.  I was overwhelmed and entirely forgot everything that I'd planned to locate while there!  I touched everything, and was an extra pair of hands for the wool-allergic K (a great excuse to touch more yarn), but nearly walked out without buying any yarn.

I say yarn, because I came across Knit Picks Options Interchangeable Harmoney Needle Set, and I knew they were coming home with me.
So pretty!

And I say "nearly" because K managed to find this gorgeous little gem and (barely) twisted my arm into buying it.

Who's the filthy enabler now?!

Hilariously, this yarn matches my new needles perfectly.

We then walked over to Wolseley Wool, just down the road. This place was smack-dab in the middle of a residential area and is quite the gem.  I'm glad I don't live near it because I'd probably no longer have a home to call my own and would just push my stolen shopping cart full of all the yarn I bought instead of paying rent.  Hey, at least I'd be entertained!

Despite all of the luxurous yarn she had in the front, I'm a practical creature and found the 'workhorse' yarns in the back, including the Berroco Vintage.  I've heard so much about this yarn, and as soon as I touched it, I knew it too was coming home with me (I have zero willpower for soft pretty things).  I fussed around a bit, but fell instantly in love with this yellow sprinkled liberally with pink in a shade called Apricot, and knew it'd be a cardigan.  I'm still deciding on the pattern, but I think I'm going to make a Marion.  Right after I finish my Owls sweater

Which, sadly, is a post for another day.  I'm waiting for the tears of sweater-knitting pain to stop flowing before I write that one.

I now have more yarn than I know what to do with, and a great deal of it in quantities to make sweaters.  I'm officially declairing a moratorium on yarn buying until I finish at least one more sweater!

* K is the one I sent a care package to with some yarn and patterns, as well as the yarn experiment to test her wool allergy.  Before our shopping trip, she'd only determined that yes, she is allergic to 100% Peruvian wool, and that mohair is a Bad Idea.  That trip also prooved that 100% merino wool is also a bad idea, but blends aren't as bad (but not great, either).  Alpaca is looking promising though!  Also, we learned that too much time in a small yarn shop filled with wool will cause her to start having breathing problems.  Yikes.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Shopping Down East: Fabric

Remember when I mentioned that I was heading down east for a geoscience conference my last time out?  Well, it was awesome.  It was fantastic to see family after a year away and two of my best friends after almost 2 years(!!), so nice to discuss Real Science® with people whose eyes don't glaze over in boredom. 

And so nice to go fabric and yarn shopping in good shops!

Look what I found!  From left to right:
  • Raspberry coloured...thin...cotton knit...something??  Oh goodness, I can't remember what this is.  Good start, Heather.
  • Uh...poly-lycra?  no wait, uh, poly-rayon...something, BUT IT'S POLKA DOT SO WHO CARES.
  • Purple ponte de roma, which I'm excited to work with because I hear good things about it (plus the colour is gorgeous).
  • French terry in plain old black, because it may be boring to work with but it's an important staple in my wardrobe.  Plus I kept coming back to it and fondling it disturbingly.
I had a great time shopping for these.  My buddy, Heather (Fuss), was in the city for the same conference, and I needed to take her to Mitchell's Fabrics!  Sadly, she had will power and didn't fall for any fabrics (saved her cash for yarn, but that's a story for tomorrow), but she made a great assistant and carried my chosen fabric bolts as I crawled all over both floors of this store.  THANKS HEATHER!!

I think she was amused by the basement of Mitchell's, which is full of vintage fabrics, butt-ugly fabrics, and fun fur.  And you know what?  I finally broke down and bought some of the ugliest fabric in that basement:

Over corrected the colours and hit save instead of undo. DOH!
ISN'T IT GREAT!!  (And by 'great' I mean 'god awful', but in a great way!)  It's literally from the 70's, and I've been pawing it every time I walked into that store.  In fact, you can see it in this post from 2011.  I don't actually think it's ever moved off of that one shelf, come to think.  I'm going to make a Hummingbird top out of it. 


What do you think of my fabrics?  I totally bought them all thinking of all the pretty Cake Patterns winging their way to me!  Would you buy butt-ugly fabric if it called out to you?  And if so, would you use it?!
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