NaBloPoMo Day 27: better late than never

I was going through my photos from 2011 today to pick which ones I want to use on our holiday card and I found photos of my Aidez(-ish) sweater that I never uploaded. They aren’t great and I think I thought I’d get better ones some day but that day hasn’t happened, so here they are.

aidez-ish
Side view.

aidez-ish
Front view.

If you click over to the pattern page for Aidez you’ll see that the original sweater is knit in bulky yarn and is adorably slouchy on the pixie-like designer. It looks great on her. I’m not pixie-like and don’t need any more slouch, so I knit it in a DK yarn, eliminated the back cables and basically made a raglan using her cables.

I like the way it turned out but I wish it had a closure. I have actually put it into my “almost finished just needs one thing” basket because I really think it needs a zipper. I need to figure out how long of a zipper and procure said item, though. Neither of those things has happened and doesn’t seem to be happening any time soon. It’s a shame because I do like this sweater!

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peaches n creme no more?, project and itching updates

I just read a post on Mason-Dixon Knitting that said that the maker of Peaches n Creme is closing! So sad. I’m trying to resist the urge to go hoard that yarn, since I do love it. Resist the urge! (Okay, so I went back and read that article more closely. They are not closing completely, just their US plant. No need to panic or hoard yarn! Sorry about that.)

Instead of working on Aidez yesterday I started a Liesl.

liesl in progress

I’m knitting it for a dear friend who is moving away. She has been asking me for years when I would knit her something and I kept thinking I should one of these days so now that she’s going away, I’m doing it. I think it will go quickly because it’s aran weight yarn on size 11 needles. I initially swatched on size 7s instead of 7mm needles and I couldn’t figure out why my gauge was so off. Oops. If you look at the pattern pictures, I’m making one with a high neckline like the pink one but longer length and sleeves like the green one. That is my plan anyway, the sleeve length might be determined by the yarn. We’ll see.

I wanted a picture of how Aidez is doing too. Both sleeves are done and the picture below shows about 8 inches knit of the body (all in one piece).

aidez is growing!

If I start working on it again, I think I could actually finish it by Stitches. I’ve pretty much decided that the yarn isn’t causing my itching because I didn’t touch that project yesterday and my itching got worse and spread to my arms. I think it’s just that my skin is irritated and anything that touches it bothers me. My sweatshirt yesterday was driving me nuts and it’s fleecey and soft on the inside. I have a theory about what it is so I’m eliminating that (a vitamin supplement that was recently added into my diet) and we’ll see if the itching subsides. I feel like it’s better today but that might be wishful thinking!

reporting back and itching

The felt heart/valentine project went well. The kids seemed to like it and I realized afterwards that it taught them a useful skill: how to sew on a button! Go figure.

In knitting news, I am starting to think that I am allergic to something in Berroco Remix. I’m not sure what or even how that is possible but I made myself a cowl with it and I’ve been knitting my Aidez fairly faithfully and my neck and chest are super itchy. It seems unlikely to me since there is no animal fiber or any fiber that I haven’t used before but I can’t deny how itchy I am. Last time I ignored being this itchy I ended up needing steroids and regular nebulizer treatments to be able to breathe. Not good.

I’m going to take a little break from Aidez, I guess. Maybe I can finish my slinky ribs in time for Stitches instead.

a realization and a few UFOs

I just realized that it’s only about two and a half weeks until Stitches. If I want my Aidez to be finished by then, I need to get a move on! Right now I have two sleeves knit and about 5″ of body (knitting the back and both fronts as one piece).

aidez body in progress

That’s not at a lot! At least I’m to the point where I can start waist shaping so the stitches will decrease for a bit. I am still debating whether I will add any bust shaping. We’ll see how it’s going at that point.

I’ve been distracted by a couple of other projects (aside from the finished ones I posted the other day). One is a baby doll for Stefan, by request.

baby doll in progress

So close and yet so far. I’m having a problem with the head.

head problem

I think I might have to pull back there and do actual decreases. That is an unacceptable amount of puckering to try to hide with hair.

I also decided that my mom needed a shawlette for her birthday, so I’m using the Summer Tweed leftovers that Juls gave me. (Yes, there is a theme to my yarn these days! Thanks again, Juls.

shawlette in progress

I think it’s turning out beautifully and it’s a very quick knit. I have about six more rows before I am on to the edging chart and then it’s blocking and it’s done! I started it on Friday. I feel like that’s miraculously fast.

Ah, the lure of the shiny new project. I am going to finish it and then buckle down on Aidez, I promise!

an old craft and a new one

I forgot to post this earlier. I also made this ornament for my mother for Christmas.

cross-stitched star

I actually did most of the work about nine years ago, when I was pregnant with Niels. Back then the main craft I did was beadwork. I made off loom woven bead pieces like this. (Pardon the quality of these photos, they’re actually scans of pieces that I made many years ago.)

bear beaded bag

My most ambitious beaded piece was a bag I intended to carry for my wedding (in 1998).

maui beaded bag

I still have this bag somewhere in exactly that state. No lining, no handle. It took many hours of precision work and it weighed a ton from all those beads. It’s beautiful though.

Before Niels was born I had moved on a bit to doing wire and bead pieces and eventually, making chains out of wire.

queens link chain bracelet
flower chain necklace

I still have those. I should wear them sometime. Anyway, the point of all of this is that when I was pregnant I decided that those activities were not exactly baby friendly. Lots of sharp tools and bits of wire or tiny beads flying around. The craft I thought I was going to take up instead was cross stitch. I made a little framed piece for my niece, a pillow for my sister-in-law and then that star for the ornament. I never finished it and it ended up in a box. This Christmas I went searching for embroidery floss in the appropriate colors for the little felt ornaments and I opened the box that I thought just had floss and discovered that star, just waiting to be assembled. I think I originally intended it for my mother so I finished it up and gave it to her. She hung it as the star on her tree, which felt like an honor to me.

As you can tell, cross stitch didn’t really stick with me and I became a knitter instead. Of course, I have no knitting to show you in this post (though both of my Aidez sleeves are done to the armpit and I’ve started the body). What I do have to show is the results of a Rigid Heddle Weaving class I started yesterday at A Verb for Keeping Warm.

threaded loom

Ready to tie on to the front apron bar. (So much new terminology to learn!)

weaving!

Tied on and starting to weave. The pieces is a bit bigger than that now. We are supposed to finish all the weaving before next Sunday (ack). Somehow when I signed up for the class it didn’t occur to me that I’d have homework between the two weeks. I think I can get it all done but I might not get much knitting done this week. The ivory yarn is Panda Cotton and the pink is Maizy. It’s the yarn I had in the right weight with the right amount of stretch for this project. I’m remembering now one of the ideas I had when I first got the loom was to weave napkins out of kitchen cotton so after the class is over I might pull the 8-dent heddle back out and try it. I happen to have a bit of kitchen cotton on hand. Teenuh is taking the class with me, and I know she happens to have a bit of that as well. Maybe we could have a napkin-a-long.

2010 FO Roundup

Happy New Year, everyone! A new year means that it’s time for me to look back and count my projects and yarn used. Yes, I’m weird, but that is what it means to me. Here’s this year’s mosaic of finished object photos.

2010 FO Mosaic

There are only 27 projects in this year’s mosaic. I had 39 in 2009 and 51 in 2008! I am going to attribute my finished object count drop to there being fewer crocheted items, dishcloths and bunnies in each passing year. Also, this year’s count includes three sweaters knit for myself. Three! Then there are two kid sweaters that add up to almost as much yarn as I’d use for a sweater for me.

I went through my projects on Ravelry and added up yarn usage. This year, I used 9,712.5 yards, or about 5.5 miles of yarn. That is only 100 yards less than I used up last year. Somehow, though, my current stash total (from my Ravelry Excel export) is only 23,655.4 yards, or 13.4 miles of yarn. That is 20,000 yards, or just over 11 miles less than last time I posted a number. That was two years ago but when I calculated last year I said that the amount was approximately equal to the amount that came in. I know I bought yarn this year, in sweater quantities, so I don’t now that I’m really down so much. Maybe the Ravelry spreadsheet has changed?

Anyway, enough stash-navel-gazing! Here is my current project instead.

aidez sleeves in progress

It’s Aidez, a new Berroco free pattern. It’s knit in super bulky yarn that I can’t use because of wool content so I’m knitting in Remix instead, because I was given that for my birthday and I’m excited to use it. I think the sweater will look great in it. Since I’m changing the gauge, I’m also changing the construction and am doing a bottom-up, seamless raglan. That’s why I’m knitting the sleeves first: so I can then knit the body and connect them all for the shoulder shaping.

Here’s another shot of the sleeve, with my arm in it, so you can get a better view of the stitch detailing.

close up of stitch pattern

The funny thing is, Juls brought me souvenir yarn from Tahoe because she saw it and thought of me. Guess what it was?

berroco remix

Yes! The same yarn I’m using for my sweater. It really is a nice yarn and the yardage per ball is great. This ball is a chocolatey brown color which didn’t come across in the picture at all. Oops. I’m thinking that it’s destined for a cowl for me.

She also gave me some leftover Summer Tweed.

summer tweed

I’ve been wanting to try this yarn but haven’t ever gotten around to it. I’m thinking this will be a gift scarf because the colors aren’t very me but I’m really looking forward to knitting it! Thanks again, Juls!