Jeni’s going away, old projects and new

Our dear Jeni, aka, The Knitist, is moving away. In true BobaKnitter style we gathered to send her off with champagne and cupcakes. Hannah hosted with Erin the owner of Bobbin's Nest Studio at the shop. It was a lovely time!

We gave Jeni gifts, giant cupcakes, and recursively blogged each other.

Jeni's going awayJeni's going awayJeni's going awayJeni's going away

In other news, I finished a hat. It's the Slouchy Copycat Hat. (Ravelry details.) I need to figure out the right way to wear it.

I've also settled on a yarn for Wedgette. It's a pattern by Norah Gaughan that she is giving out bit by bit in the Norah Gaughan Fans Ravelry forum in celebration of there being 200 (I think?) members of the group. There are more than 3000 now. We love Norah Gaughan.

Anyway, I swatched in Rowan Purelife Organic Cotton thinking it would work because it is DK, but I think it will be too heavy and stretch out so I'm going to try it instead in Soy Silk, which may also be heavy. I'm going to take Janice's advice and make the skirt shorter than I really want in anticipation of it stretching out. We'll see how that goes! In the meanwhile, here's a swatch.

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manon of the fall done, in the fall even

My Manon is done and I really like it. (Ravelry details.)

Here are a few more pictures, including one of how I did the hook and closures. Initially I sewed them directly to the knitting but then they pulled something awful when hooked so I sewed on a strip of bias tape and sewed the closures to that. I think it looks much better.

manon is done!close up of the bias tape holding on the closureslove those cables on the skirt

I enjoyed knitting the skirt of this sweater most of all. I am already looking forward to my next Norah Gaughan pattern.

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it’s all seasons cotton all the time around here

You saw that I got All Seasons Cotton for my birthday and I have been knitting Manon in All Seasons Cotton. Since I finished the knitting portion of Manon I cast on for another sweater for Niels in All Seasons Cotton. It's a cream and green striped cabled sweater with a hood and a kangaroo pocket. That's a lot of knitting. Good thing he's relatively small, and I love him lots. The back is coming along nicely. I think I need three more stripes before I'm ready to shape the underarms.

I've been sort of completely ignoring Manon. I sewed in the first sleeve and it stinks. I need to take it out and redo it. I think I need to practice more on my sewing in of set-in sleeves. Rogue worked nicely but so far I haven't found it that easy or fun to do. Bah.

I also tried to crochet a hat for my friend's daughter this week and it was enormous! I'm having an off week, other than Niels' sweater, which continues to be lovely, I think.

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two steps forward, you know the rest

Manon was progressing very quickly, the peplum was done a few days ago and I picked up the stitches and knit up. I made some changes to try to accommodate the unbalanced aspect of my bust measurement. (There's more in the front than the back.) It wasn't enough.

As you can see I got all the way to the shoulders. The loose bit on my shoulder is the back of the collar which needs a three needle bind off and to be sewn down. I didn't want to do that part, though, until I was certain that I was going to keep it as is. Right now, I am certain I am not. I took it in to Purlescence  so I could get Sandi's advice. She's given me good tips on where to change the shape of a garment before and she came through again. I have a plan now which, unfortunately, involves ripping back to the ribbing above the peplum. Here's the plan:

1. Plain st st after picking up for 0.5 inch (with the decreases I already added in at the back).
2. Then 2 inches worth of short row bust darts in the front.
3. The total heigh of the st st (aside from the bust darts) should be 3 inches.
4. Don't forget to redo the decreases of 4 st total (2 in 2 rows on each front) right before underarm bind off.

That might not make sense if you haven't knit this pattern or don't live in my head, or maybe both? If not, sorry, let me try to explain. I knit the size of the peplum (the triangles) that I thought would fit my bust. I know my bust measurement is skewed to the front so after I picked up the designated number of stitches for the back and both fronts I decreased evenly across the back so that section has the right number of stitches for one size down. Then, after knitting what I thought would be a big enough bust, I decreased four stitches in each front to make them match the backs after I knit the portion after the armhole. If I hadn't done that the armhole would have been too big and I wouldn't have had the right number at the shoulder when I got to the three needle bind off. Knitting the backs and fronts in all one piece and finishing the shoulders with a three needle bind off were things I added in to avoid more seaming and also because I'm not sure what is to be gained by having that short side seam.

So, that's what I've been doing recently. Lots and lots of Manon. In stash busting news I sold two balls of All Seasons Cotton to someone on Ravelry because she needed the dyelot I had, which brought my total used or destashed since starting my deal with Kristi to 1447 yards. I also think I have been totalling the wrong column in the stash spreadsheet Ravelry exports for me. No wonder it seems like I didn't have enough yarn! According to the most recent export I have 59,145.10 yards or 33.6 miles of yarn. That's a big difference, eh? Luckily, as soon as I'm done with Manon that will be one mile less. I'm going to have to stick to this deal for a while. What I'd really like to do is stick to it until all of my yarn fits into the four bins I had stacked in the living room and isn't expanding all over the house anymore.

Wish me luck!

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sokjes, dyeing and manon

I finished the socks for my niece. They turned out as anklets, but I think they are cute. I hope she likes them. They are the Rushing Rivulet socks from New Pathways for Sock knitters. (Ravelry details)

Last week Anabel and I had a mini dyeing party. She wanted to dye some curtains and I had some undyed Panda Cotton and Henry's Attic Soie Naturelle that I wanted to dye and some Henry's Attic Riviera that I wanted to overdye because the hanks were two different shades and I didn't like the color. Here are before pictures, notice my very cool homemade PVC niddy noddy!

PVC niddy noddybefore

And here are after pictures. The very dark purple is the Riviera and the orangey-red is the Soie Naturelle. The two two-tone hanks are Panda Cotton.

hand dyed silk, oxbloodoverdyed cotton, imperial purplehand dyed panda cotton

These aren't real after pictures because the yarn is still. Not. DRY! Right now they are spread out on a drying rack with a fan underneath and they are progressing much more quickly towards being dry. I like the purple of the Riviera (sorry, Cookie) but I'm a bit disappointed in the silk and the Panda Cotton. Both have lightened significantly as they've dried. Ah well, it's my first try. Maybe I'll get better, if I get up the nerve to try it again. The rinsing was endless.

In other news, I started a new sweater project. On Thursday evening I was talking to Anabel about my failed sweater projects. Well, failed as in I don't wear them: Tomato and Ribbi Pulli. She encouraged me to think about the projects that I've made that I do like and wear, in other words: Rogue. She asked me what it was about Rogue that I liked so much. I've decided that two of the biggest selling points about Rogue for me are that it's All Seasons Cotton, which I love knitting with, and it's a cardigan, which I find easier to wear. So after talking to her I went home and started a new cardigan in All Seasons Cotton, Norah Gaughan's Manon. So far, I love it. I hope my love continues. I think it will, I also really love this color and how the yarn looks with the cables and texture.

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a finished sweater and some random stuff

My dishcloth mania seems to have abated. I'm actually picking up other projects. I got the ball of yarn I needed for Ivana's socks, started them and then had to rip them out because my gauge for Panda Cotton has changed (huh??) and they were too huge. Meanwhile, I finally put the buttons onto the Baby Surprise Jacket I was knitting for my cousin's baby. She's three months now so I hope this will fit her through the fall, at least. (Ravelry details)

My friend Jennifer was admiring the sweater at Sunday's Boba Knit and commented that she liked the yarn so I destashed the rest of it to her! I was pondering what to do with it since I has swatched a few things with it for myself and didn't like the way the color pooled in an adult sized sweater but I have boys so I can't knit it for my kids. I'm glad she wanted it, I was looking for someone to give it a loving hand. I think that this destash should count towards my purchase allowance. I'll see what Kristi says. If it does count then I have used up or gotten rid of 1265 yards or 24 oz of yarn and only purchased 182 yards or 1.75 ounces. I still have to figure out if it makes more sense to count by yards or ounces. In any case, I am currently allowed a purchase of 450 yards or 10 ounces of yarn. I don't need yarn right now (do I ever?) but it's nice to have a small buffer anyway.

The random stuff in the title is not knitting at all, it's jewelry. I was digging through my bead stash looking for a charm Tracy needed for her Ravelympics project. I really thought I had it, but i was wrong. Instead I discovered a bunch of beaded bracelets and some bead and wire stuff that I made years ago.

a retrospectivea retrospectivea retrospectivea retrospectivea retrospectivea retrospectivea retrospective

It's gotten me thinking about making stitch markers to sell on Etsy again. Thinking, thinking.

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an outing to de afstap

I decided that since we had a long day yesterday that I would take today to go by myself to Amsterdam. Erik agreed and off I went. I went to the train station in Haarlem, bought myself a ticket and set off. I thought it was a good sign that my yarn expedition began with a sighting of Dutch sheep, even though I wouldn't be buying any yarn made from them. Also, as you can see, I kind of have a thing about wind turbines. They fascinate me for some reason. Some of these ones were really close to the train track too.

sheep!wind turbineswind turbine

I had written down directions to de Asftap, a yarn store that I had heard was fairly Rowan-centric, and then from de Afstap to de Kinderboekwinkel, a children's bookstore to buy books for a friend as well as for Stefan and Niels. I was afraid that I'd need to whip out the map I brought regularly but it was surprisingly straightforward to get there. I felt like less of a tourist than most of the people I saw! Although I did stop to take some rather touristy pictures.

herengrachtde westerkerk

On my way there I saw a sign that said, "homomonument." I felt a bit like Beavis and Butthead thinking, "heh, they said homo." Then, of course, I found it and it's a lovely peaceful monument to the gays and lesbians killed during World War II.  Shame on me for being so childish! The tip of the triangle in the water, which is the point of a larger triangle made of three – I only got pictures of two of them – points at the Anne Frank house.


I had gotten it into my head that de Afstap was this huge Rowan mecca. It did have a lot of Rowan but it wasn't all that big. What I ended up buying will be no surprise to anyone who knows my knitting habits. (Hey, it was about 30% off of the full US price!)

de afstapall seasons cotton

I was walking toward the bookstore when I passed an adorable little shop called The Egg Mercantile. The stuff in their window enticed me, so I went in. They had a lot of lovely stuff, including some melamine dishes on sale that I'm now wishing I had gotten. I did get a gift which they wrapped up in typical Dutch fashion. I love how the Dutch stores wrap gifts. I was surprised to find that the had a small selection of yarn in the back, Manos. Too bad I can't knit with it because that stuff is beautiful. They also have a very cute sheep mobile that I almost bought until I saw that it came from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. It seemed silly to pay European prices for something made in the US. It was cute, though!

manos in the egg mercantilesheep!i love the way dutch stores wrap things for you

My last shopping stop was de Kinderboekwinkel where I got several books that a friend of mine asked me to find for her son as well as a few lovely books for Stefan and Niels. I was feeling guilty about spending to much on all those books but then Erik's other offered to pay for them as a gift for the boys. Yay for Oma! I don't have a picture of the pile of books, just of the store.

The last stop was to get lunch, a spinach, cheese, bacon and tomato pancake from a cafe on Rozengracht. Yum! It was nice to walk around alone and have some downtime. Yarn and new books are always fun too!

Here I am enjoying my time to myself. Please excuse the messy hair.


Oh, and since this post was pretty light on the knitting content, here is a picture of my most recent work in progress: another pair of Woven Ridges socks, this time for my nephew Sven. I decided to use the same pattern he saw me knitting when he was so fascinated by my sock knitting. This time I'm knitting them two at a time so I can hopefully finish them up by Saturday when we are going to see him again, I think for the last time this trip? Wish me luck!

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I’ve been remiss, but busy

Karen noted today at BobaKnit that I haven't posted much recently. It's not because I haven't been knitting, I have! Niels is out of school and Stefan didn't go anywhere, and is napping even less since our schedule has become more loose, so I haven't had much online time. Sorry about that! Here's what I've been up to:

1) In the past week or so I knitted a Baby Surprise Jacket for my cousin Betsy's baby. This yarn started out as a February Lady Sweater (more on that later) but it just wasn't working, which is too bad. The yarn itself (All Seasons Cotton, of course) is so nice and squishy in garter stitch, but that variegated purple just wasn't working for me. Now I know why you can still get the variegated shades even though they have been discontinued for a while! Anyway, it makes a darling baby sweater. I might even knit her another sweater, or maybe one for Vibble, because she certainly knows how to rock the hand knits, since I have six or so balls of this yarn left! Remind me not to buy a bag of yarn just because it's cheap when I'm not sure I like the color, okay?

So the sweater just needs some buttons and I'm not sure I love the crochet button hole I added at the top after I realized that I started too far down with the buttons. We'll see if that changes. (Ravelry project details)

2) The Ribby Pulli is almost done. I need to weave in some ends. Something about this yarn does not lend itself well to ends being woven in, or rather, ends staying woven in so I'm splitting the plies in two, tying a well placed (I hope) knot and then weaving in the split plies in a way that they won't show on the front. It's tedious to say the least. Also, I'm not sure my bod can handle this sweater. It's very va-va-voom, which is good on some parts and not so good on others. I know you all get my drift, right?

I am pleased with how the bust darts turned out. I think they are well placed and do a good job of making the back longer than the front in just the right way. (Ravelry project details)
3) I started the February Lady Sweater, twice. I started it in the above purple All Seasons Cotton and I was so in love with it that I found myself browsing CucumberPatch on eBay for colors I liked on sale. (Ugh, this is why I need to stay away from her store, I just bought her last bag of Military All Seasons Cotton because it's the yarn I used for Erik's sweater and I have six balls of it left and with another bag I can certainly knit something for myself. That yarn is addictive.) Anyway! For the February Lady Sweater I realized that I should stash dive rather than buy something new so I am using the soy silk I bought at my first stitches which has already been knit into two different projects, neither of which panned out. Third time's the charm, right?

I am, of course, changing the pattern a bit. I'm making it a v-neck instead of a crew neck. I'm also adding more stitches to the front with the v-neck and I'll decrease them away under the bust. I'm lengthening the garter stitch section over my bust instead of ending it right above, or in the middle. I think that's it. Is that enough? (Ravelry project details)

This picture also gives me a chance to show off my adorable Ravelry Daily Dose of (plant) Fiber bag. I really like it. I think I'll get more use out of it than I would have out of the shirt, since I wasn't fast enough to get the shirts when they first came out.

In non-knitting news, I'm preparing for our trip to the Netherlands. We leave in just over a week. Well, there is some knitting news there. I was debating which projects to take. I think I'll take the Lady Sweater, a couple of sock projects and then some of my oddballs that I've gotten for swatching and my Barbara Walker treasury. I want to design a sweater for myself from scratch rather than constantly changing other people's designs.

I was going to say that I had truly non-knitting news: I'm trying to get myself to bike again. Lisa, a BobaKnitter, recently upgraded her bike trailer and generously passed on a Burley trailer that someone had given her to me. She thought she had forgotten a piece so I hadn't tried it out. She looked around for it and told me recently that she thought that the piece must be in the trailer itself, so I gave it a shot today, and it was in there. Last week when Niels was at my mom's I had taken Stefan to the library in the bike seat but he didn't like that. I'm not sure if it was my backpack in his face, the fact that I was really low in air for the first half of the ride or the wobbliness of riding on the back of a bike pedaled by someone who hadn't ridden a bike in (oh my god) 13 years. In any case, he wasn't interested in getting back in that seat but he and Niels were both excited to try the trailer. Its tires needed air too, so our first stop was the gas station and then I just rode around our neighborhood a bit, trying to get a feel for the bike again. It was fun. I'm going to try to bike over to Niels' gym camp tomorrow to drop him off. It's right by his school so it will be good practice for the fall! I have been eyeing the Xtracycles (I like the Electra Townie one) and I still think I want to get one eventually. There is not much room in that trailer for both kids, besides, I really like the idea of having them closer to me.

The way all that is knitting related is that I'm hoping to lose a bit of weight and then the above va-va-voom-y sweater might fit me better and I can wear it in public! Wish me luck.

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oblique – done, finished, over!

I am finally ready to declare my Oblique done. Finally. (Ravelry details.)

Sorry I didn't smile. I have a hard time photographing myself. Anyway, since I last thought I was done I took out the ribbing and did it on smaller needles (6s instead of 9s) and I undid the k2togs holding the crossed part together. It was pulling oddly. Instead I tacked the sections together at the ribbing and at the edge, so it stays. I think it looks much better.

My favorite part of this sweater, though, is the side shaping, I think.

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one step foward, three steps back

I've been working on Oblique, trying to get it finished by stitches. I haven't made much progress, well I made progress then I ripped it out. I was all the way to the bottom ribbing and I put it on and realized that it was awful. Boiled ass is how I described to the BobaKnitters. While I was trying it on one of the times I found myself thinking "too bad I can't overlap it like this and make it stay that way." Then I realized, I could do just that, by making it a pullover! So that's what I'm doing. I ripped back to where I needed to be on the front increases and then increased again, this time using the textured lace pattern. When I had enough of that, with some overlap, I knit on the collar and then connected the fronts and did some bust decreases in the texture lace section until it was as wide as the back section of the same stitch pattern. I don't know if that makes any sense.  Here's a picture:

I think it looks good so far! I hope it continues to look good. (The white thread across my bust is a lifeline, in case I needed to rip back to where I connected the fronts.)

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