Sunday, January 19, 2014

Ruby Shoulders

Our work holiday party was this month, January.  My friend gifted me a cute maroon velvet skirt and black sequins tank top.  I want to wear this to the holiday party.  I know that the air conditioning will be on or the night air may be cool.  I wanted to knit up the Sidhe Shrug from Vampire Knits pattern book.  I wrote about my challenge in this post as #2:
My challenge is to knit my way through that book.  I love that book!  Anyway, I went to the yarn shop to get yarn for this project, but giving the fact that I was only just starting the week of Christmas, it was unlikely that I would knit a lacy long-sleeved shrug in a few weeks.

Instead, I bought a unique hank of yarn that is a combo of several different novelty yarns tied end-to end to make this one hank.

This is Alp Dazzle (Mixed Content), hand tied yarn by Feza yarns.  This yarn is made in Turkey.  This is not cheap yarn, but since one skein will make one decent sized shawl, I bought it.  I figured, the outfit was free, my shoes were free (had credit at the store, so no money spent), so, to spend money on this yarn, I felt okay with it.

Vince was a good sport and held the yarn while I balled it up.  The shop owner told me that the ball winder does not do a good job winding this yarn.  I will take her word for it and just ball it.  Even though Vince was not convinced that it could not be wound on the winder. 

I am using size 13 circ needles.  The pattern is simply, cast-on 20 stitches (if you want a triangle point, only cast-on 3 sts.  Knit each row (garter).  At the beginning of each row, increase by 1 (Make 1).  The shawl will grow and grow.  Knit until you run out of yarn.  Simple!

I started it as a rounded edge and I did not like it.  I unraveled it and made it a triangle.  It is very eclectic.  I did this much watching movies with Vince one evening.  I needed an easy project that would work up fast.  

This is the completed shawl.  It self-stripes, you just knit and it does all the work!

 A few samples of how different, but alike each yarn type is.  Comes out very elegant.

Here is me at the holiday party, trying to be a model...I really should not quit my day job...

The shawl was a big hit and it came in handy under the chilly weather we have been having.  Thank you, Crystal, for a super-cute outfit.  That was a big hit, too! 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Cabled Cardi KAL - Finished!

Happy New Year!
I am so relieved to be posting this project as a Finished Project!!  This is my Cabled Cardi Knit-Along with my sister.  We started this project back in March of 2013.  Which isn't a terribly long time when you talk unfinished projects, but I am still feeling a sense of accomplishment.
Here are my past posts related to this so that you can catch-up:
I visited my sister in Massachusetts in December for my "Holiday Break" and brought this sweater.  What I still had to do on this was finish the cabling on the body and pick-up and knit along the edge for the ribbing and button holes and knit the sleeves.  Yeah, still a lot!

Here is where I left off.  I really need to knit more than a foot of cables.  The original pattern called for knit stitches every other, so a cable, knit, cable, knit...I did not properly read the pattern and so cabled each one.  Good grief!  I wanted to rip it out, but my sister said that it should be fine.  So, I continued.
I then picked up stitches to do ribbing and buttonholes along the inner body edge.  I had a too-short circ needle, but used it anyway.  This really was a challenge because my knitter's elbow was bothering me because of the cumbersome nature of squeezing it all on and holding it.

I know, like what is that picture??  Exactly, but I was able to pick-up the exact number of stitches required to do a k2, p2 ribbing evenly along the edge.  Whoa, go Me!
The ribbing is about 12 or so rows, so at row 6 you need to do a button hole.  From trying on my sister's completed sweater, we both agreed that more buttons would be better.  I knit in 4 buttonholes.  I also reduced the hole from a 3 st to a 2 st hole.  The holes will stretch, I know this from past experience.

Once the ribbing was completed, I have 4 buttonholes.  They are not exactly evenly spaced, but good enough.  The top and the second are a bit off, I think, but no one will notice. Shhh!

Next was the sleeves.  The sleeves were left as live stitches so that they just simply go back on the needle and you knit.  I did have to pick-up a few stitches in the armpit.  The pattern instructions were confusing to me, so I did my own thing.  I have picked-up stitches before, ahem, I just did it for the ribbing, so no problem.  I looked at how many stitches I was going to need for my cable repeat in the round.  Once I figured that out, that was the number I needed on my needle.

I decided to make this a short-sleeved cardi, so that it is Florida friendly.  We are talking 100% wool this sweater is made out of.  No joke, it will keep you toasty through cold times, but I don't need that kind of warmth, typically, around here.  Layering is popular in Florida, so short-sleeves is just right.

My sister gave me 4 green buttons (no pun intended - the original pattern name was Mr. Greenjeans). 
I don't see us doing many more KALs (Knit-Alongs) because she will knit me in circles, like she did with this one.  But, maybe there will be times where we knit or crochet the same sweater or accessory.  That will be when I showcase our projects together.
I was toying with the idea of dying this cardi.  The natural color is really not in my color pallete and maybe something in blue or pink would be nice.  I heard that you can dye in  Kool-Aid.  Hmmm....