Sunday, December 30, 2007

Red Sweater of Doom

Hello friends!

I haven't posted in a while, but I sure have been reading! There are so many Zimmerman designs that in my stubbornness I wouldn't ever have the balls1 to try. I must admit to a slight aversion to knitting things that aren't in the round (rows? are you kidding me? Never!), which leaves out so many great garter stitch garments. I think that jared's tomten might have lit a fire under my rear, so there might be a tomten in my future. Maybe.

The sweater I'm going to share today you, I've been calling my "red sweater of doom" for some time (mostly during the 2 months it took me to finally knit the sleeves), but I named it "Turkish Delight" on ravelry. (I'm tychoish there as well.)

This is mostly my design, I took the chart from the Anatolian Stocking Designs book that Meg has referenced at a couple of points. There might have been a little bit of manipulation of one of the designs (the diamond) to make it more... square, it's weird in the book, and the little "angel fish" are my own creation, and the medallion is from Sheila McGregor's Traditional Fair Isle Book. So pretty eclectic.

I wanted to have a Fair Isle project for working on when I was at camp, and I was expecting this to be yet another drop shouldered sweater (which wasn't a problem, I like dropped shoulders), and then Meg said at camp, "so you can set in sleeves using an EPS yoke."

I spent the entire trip home figuring out how to do it, and then I did. I think it worked out pretty well in the end. The main error, isn't immediately noticeable: I neglected to set in the sleeves far enough. Better luck next time. Here are pictures, starting with the stitch pattern:

the stitch pattern

A view from the front:

front view

A view from the rear:

rear view

I should point out much to my own amusement and joy, that I knit the sleeves from the top down, despite the color work and the half stitch discrepancy, and it worked. Nifty, eh?

I wanted to add another note, on a related topic. I'm going to host a knit along for my "sport sweater" in the new year (here's another). I'm not quite ready to start, the pattern is still in draft but this is a great sweater that I hope is very much in the tradition of Elizabeth. It's simple, there's little moments of where you can show off your knitting brilliance, and it's a good design for boys. I'll post a brief note when I have the pattern ready for distribution, but I just wanted to give you all a little heads up now.

At the moment I'm pretty focused on getting this sweater done.

Thanks, and best wishes!

  1. a technical term, I assure you

Saturday, December 29, 2007

My Last BSJ

for a little while anyway, I've run out of kids to make them for.
This is the third Surprise Jacket which was made for my 5 year old son, now I need to find someone who's having a baby so I can knit more.

I used Noro Silver Thaw color 09 for this, took less than 2 skeins. I started with a provisional cast on again, and knit the sleeves down for extra length. I cast off with i-cord (my new favorite cast off) and used a three needle bindoff for the shoulders. Found some mother of pearl buttons in the button stash and I was done.

There are a few more pictures on my blog.

My Last BSJ

for a little while anyway, I've run out of kids to make them for.
This is the third Surprise Jacket which was made for my 5 year old son, now I need to find someone who's having a baby so I can knit more.

I used Noro Silver Thaw color 09 for this, took less than 2 skeins. I started with a provisional cast on again, and knit the sleeves down for extra length. I cast off with i-cord (my new favorite cast off) and used a three needle bindoff for the shoulders. Found some mother of pearl buttons in the button stash and I was done.

There are a few more pictures on my blog.

Friday, December 28, 2007

In the pink...

I've been knitting for more years than I care to admit, and I don't know how it could have taken me until this past year to discover Elizabeth Zimmerman. Thanks to the internet, to knitting friends, to EZ's delightful books and not least to all of the wonderful knitters who have contributed to this blog, I have become a dedicated Zimmermaniac.

Here's a recent project, knitted for the new little daughter of some dear young friends. As I have five sons and one grandson of my own, it was a real pleasure to work on something pink for a change!

This is, of course, the legendary February sweater; the matching hat was unvented by me, and the booties are Saartje's. (For more technical information, visit me - Woolsery - over at Ravelry.)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Fiddle Faddle

This is the fiddle faddle I knitted up recently. What a stashbuster! And so fun to just crank them out one after the other. I preferred the star in the end since it requires no yucky grafting. Added some vintage buttons from my collection.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Just in time!

Hubby requested his own Very Warm Hat, so I rushed out, got the chosen colors, and got to work. In just over 2 days, I got myself a happy(ier) hubby!

Hubby's Very Warm Hat

Feel free to stop by the ole' blog for a few more pics and details!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Rib Warmer

At the last minute, I decided to quickly spin some cormo blend and knit the rib warmer up for my Mom. It looks so flattering on. I love the collar up. I need to make one of these for myself next.

The one thing I may do differently would be to slip the first stitch the row to give it a sleeker look or maybe to do an i-cord to make it look more finished, but overall I love how it turned out.

~ Madame Purl

Another BSJ

Here is my second BSJ, this time for my daughter. This one is knit with Cascade 220 and Noro Kureyon. I was stashbusting and am pleased with how it worked out.

There are a few more pictures and details on my blog.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Last minute February sweater

It started when I found out that the baby my dear friends were expecting was a girl. I've long had a dream of designing a funny little tweed suit for an infant. I spent some time searching for the perfect superwash tweed that could be used for the tiny, 1930's style garment I had in mind.

You're no doubt noticing that the above is neither tweed, nor a suit. No. To be honest, the tweed part of the equation was abandoned shamefully early, when I found that most of the superwash tweeds I could find were not in colors I found appealing for my project. I picked up a very slightly varied skein of minty sock yarn. You're probably thinking that the above is also not mint green, and you are right. The minty yarn might have successfully been transformed into my imaginary baby suit jacket, had it not been for one really foolish step on my part: I chose the wrong stitch pattern.

Don't get me wrong - I love the way this woven pattern looks, and I'm sure I'll use it again. However, for the garment I had in mind, it was a disaster. It's very tight, somewhat difficult to knit, and it eats yarn like nobody's business. Even though I decreased substantially (by almost 50%!) at the yoke, this stitch was so tight that it ended up being the same width at the yoke as it was the rest of the way down - not my intention. It also took a very long time to knit, so that, even with a fair start, the baby I was knitting for was born before I was even a quarter of the way through my tiny jacket. It was sometime around then that I officially tossed in the towel and decided to take up the baby suit issue another time.

EZ to the rescue! I pulled out the skein of Sundara Sport Merino I'd purchased on a whim and decided it was perfect for the February baby sweater. I only had the one skein in the Lemon-Lime colorway, but I figured that if I cut the sleeves short I'd be OK. I left the sleeves for last and knit them simultaneously until I ran out of yarn. The project was super fast, the yarn was a delight to use, and I absolutely love the end result. My camera is a temperamental point and shoot, and does not do justice to the brilliance of this yarn, but in real life, the color is less citrus than ripe, juicy Bartlett pear.

Je t'adore.

More on the blog.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

more Christmas fiddle faddle

I need some Christmas decorations and looked to EZ for some inspiration. After sorting my bits of yarn into piles by gauge, I set to work on a star. It was a very quick knit and a fun way to use up extra yarn. I used a #6 needle and some bits of Classic Elite Skye Tweed, Elsebeth Lavold Silky Tweed and a wee bit of Frog Tree Alpaca.
I'll probably make some more. This was so fast and simple, a perfect introduction to Elizabeth Zimmerman.

Mistake - please ignore


Sorry posted to the wrong blog and can't seem to delete.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Very Warm Hat

This is the first color work I've ever done, and it turned out pretty darned good, if I do say so myself. :-) I used Cascade 220 Superwash in black and hyacinth, ~.8 of each skein/color to make a larger man's size hat. I added stitches and repeats of the color work, too. Feel free to check out my blog for a few more pics and details, if you'd like!
Very Warm Hat for Pete

Baby Surprise Jacket

A Baby Surprise Jacket for my son. I used Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Chocolate and Juniper.

I really enjoyed knitting this, so much so, that I ended up making two more, which are just about finished. And usually I really dislike reknitting a pattern.

There are some more pictures and ramblings on my blog.

Baby Surprise Jacket

A Baby Surprise Jacket for my son. I used Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Chocolate and Juniper.

I really enjoyed knitting this, so much so, that I ended up making two more, which are just about finished. And usually I really dislike reknitting a pattern.

There are some more pictures and ramblings on my blog.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Mitered Gauntlets

A Christmas knit for my Gram:
Just imagine the second one finished! They are lovely and warm, and very long. I really think she'll like them.
It was my first time with this pattern, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I plan on making myself a pair of these babies after the Christmas rush is through.
The colour isn't quite true in the photo. I used Paton's Decor (an acrylic/wool blend) in Periwinkle and Rich Periwinkle. Very pretty together. It was also my first time (intentionally) cutting up my knitting. . . the thumbs, you see! It wasn't near as scary as I would have imagined and not a thing went wrong. Huzzah!
I cannot wait to give her these Christmas morning. They are probably my favourite thing I've made this year.

A tree and a star

If I were marooned on a desert island I would be happy with one book: Knitter's Almanac. I took my new copy with me on our camping trip last August, read "Christmas Fiddle Faddle in the Wilds," and then knit a tree and a star in November. The entries are evocative of so many things - outdoors; hanging out with the husband; travelling by foot, boat, car, and motorcycle (that one only in my imagination) - that I could read each chapter with the new month and bring forth different memories every time.

Here is my fiddle faddle knit in crochet thread on maybe a size 3 needle:

The tree is about 3" tall and the star is about 1.5" from point to point. I might attach the star to the top of the tree.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

February Baby Sweater and beenie

My second, but definitely not last, February Baby Sweater is complete at long last. I love the outcome and will be knitting these en masse for years to come.

I always try to accompany my baby jackets with a wee hat, and on this occasion i made a beenie using the same pattern as on the February Baby Sweater. I have tried to describe how I handled the decreases on my blog. I hope the instructions make sense, otherwise you are most welcome to ask for further details, and I'll be happy to try to explain.

Thank you all for sharing your February Baby Sweaters in this forum, it's helped me a lot.
Details of yarn, pattern etc. is on my Ravelry profile: teeweewonders. If you're not a Ravelry member, drop me a line, and I'll send you a copy.

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Maltese Christmas Hat

EZ's hats are the best thing in the world for limited Christmas knitting. The Maltese fisherman's hat from the Knitter's Almanac (June) is a fantastic pattern and I have to say that the whole thing knit up quickly, clearly, and the shaping is simply brilliant.

I knit the hat in Knitpicks Telemark in Charcoal, Heather, and Drift, held doubled on US6 needles. The hat came out a bit small, and if I were to do it again, I would use 7s or 8s. Fortunately, my brother (for whom I knit this) has a small head and wool stretches and I was able to block the hat into a larger size that should fit him pretty snuggly.

I just love EZ!

Labels: , , ,

Friday, December 14, 2007

1st BJS

I finished a BSJ in lion brand wool, which I then felted. I liked making it but the had some trouble with sizing, this is for an 18 month old. When it was finished it fit a 4 year old, which is why I felted it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

like a much loved old sweater....

here is my latest knitting that pays hommage to elizabeth zimmermann but also to knitting tech geek montse stanley. and then of course it is an hommage to peter, a thank you for being friends for 25 years + and a present for his 51st birthday. he came to collect it this morning and later i got a text that said: it is like a much loved old sweater. and it made me think that this is what elizabeth's directions gives us, no matter which of her designs we are knitting. new old much loved garments. i do think it has to do with the yarn too. it is beaverslide dry goods : glacier heather worsted weight. and this yarn has something really retro and honest about it too. i have it sent to denmark (unfortunately i purchased the colourcards) and it usually arrives in one week and is not similar to anything i can get here.

i love elizabeth's directions and the reminder to swatch everytime. it saves you so much agony and then i love to play around with wool and patterns and in this case different stitch patterns. the sweater's stitch pattern is moss-stitch panels combined with an aran braid from barbara walker. i made the tubular cast on and cast off as explained by montse stanley in knitter's handbook. she also solved my problems with slanting purl stitches on the left side of the cables. it all comes down to how you wrap. and then, i am afraid to say, i finally realized what the ssk is. i just k2tog through back loop and thought it was something continental knitters couldn't do........ yay for life long learning.

i have to recommend montse stanley. it complements elizabeth beautifully and teaches you everything technical you would ever like to know. right down to not placing your ball of yarn on a dirty floor (oops).

Norwegian Cardigan

Originally uploaded by lolee - knits

This project took much less time to complete than my Norwegian pullover. Probably because I wasn't afraid to steek and knew what to expect when sewing in the sleeves.

I used the garter stitch border with mitred corners in Knitting Around and also the sewn cast off which works wonderfully well with garter stitch.

The cardigan is shorter than I thought it would be but it's not too short and overall I'm very pleased with this project.

As usual when a project goes well I'm planning my next one. Hopefully a multi-coloured cardigan with my Peace Fleece single skeins.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bulky Baby Tomten

I haven't received the buttons I ordered yet, so I've tied a scarf around his neck to hold the hood on. He's in a baby carrier strapped to my chest so the front is staying closed that way. I love the shape of this hood.

I'm thinking about adding a blanket stitch edging in royal blue or purple. I have to see what the buttons look like when they arrive. I love the Rowan Big Wool in garter stitch, and I love the shape of this Tomten. I just halved the numbers EZ specified and skipped the short rows and the jacket is perfect. The sleeve length is great to just unroll and use as mittens.

more photos of the front and back of the hood at my blog.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

pi shawl

This is actually something I made awhile ago and never blogged about: a pi shawl from three skeins of Misti Alpaca lace weight.
Pi shawls are so brilliant. I can't get over them. This was so easy and fun to make and I probably wear it more than anything else I've ever knit.
I picked out the border from Barbara Walker's Second Treasury. Mostly I would just YO, K2tog every 10 rows or so, but in the middle there's another Barbara Walker pattern because I got bored.
I love this picture because it looks like it has a heavenly glow.
alpacaEtc. 068


Friday, December 07, 2007

My apologies for the pirate

That was totally a MISTAKE. Oops. So embarrassing.

I offer a baby sweater in penance. Here modeled by a little bear as I am baby-less (and it just wouldn't look right on Captain Jack...) This is a really fun sweater to knit; this one is in KnitPicks washable wool, coral.

-- Lydia

Thursday, December 06, 2007

EZ Raglan Pullover

This never appeared, so I'm trying again:

This sweater is based on the raglan pullover from The Opionated Knitter. I'm especially proud of myself since I successfully used the EPS, and knit the sweater from the top down instead of the bottom up.

Since I prefer to knit sleeves flat (I don't care for working on double points--I always end up with ladders) that's exactly what I did, then just sewed the sleeve seams at the end. The yarn is Malabrigo in the chocolate colorway. It was my first time working with this yarn and I'm completely hooked--it's so wonderful to work with! Soft, cushy, and with tons of memory.

Miss Olive loves her new sweater.

To see yet more pics of Olive in her sweater, check my blog.



A new Bog Jacket

I had some Debbie Bliss Aran Tweed in my stash and it needed a destination. My big daughter wanted a jacket, so a bog jacket it was going to be.

It became a full version: long arms, shoulder shapings, I-cord finishing and once it was finished a very clear case for afterthought pockets. It was pretty scary to cut in the middle of the fabric (this was my first time I made this kind of pocket) but once there was no return I actually thought that this is THE way to make pockets. Happy to have learnt that.

This is halfway in, as so often with EZ, a strangely shaped object and one has to simply belief that it will be all right in the end:-). The red lines is were the waste piece is that is removed when the jacket is grafted together. The grafting was a bit wobbly but not too bad luckily. The shoulder shaping makes that it has a nice fit around the shoulders even though it is a kind of kimono.

This was also a first for complete dark-blue I-cord finishing which I think really lifts it up.

Just a final photo of it being worn...

Labels: ,

Monday, December 03, 2007

Norwegian Cardigan - In Progress

After the Norwegian sweater I made earlier this year I wanted to try a cardigan. I cast on in November and it's been going well. Instead of the chart used in Knitting Around I decided to use some charts from The Opinionated Knitter.

I put in a kangaroo pouch to lower the neck in front and knitting the final chart I finished the body. I was feeling good about finishing so much knitting so I steeked the collar and it worked! The wonderful thing about doing EZ's patterns is the chance to see her genius for yourself.

Check it out!

Labels: , ,

Sunday, December 02, 2007

A question about lighting

I can't wait to start my first tomten jacket for my little guy (17 months.) I will start it over Christmas, with worsted-weight wool my mom dyed specially for it. (Any advice? This will be my first EZ project, except for the Moebius Strip. I have the original KWT book.)

But first- - - The lighting in my living room is terrible! Has anyone ever used one of those "natural spectrum" compact flourescent lamps from Gaiam catalogue? Or an Ott light? What would you recommend, especially for a family with aging, tired eyes but not a ton of money to spend?

You are all so inspirational! Thanks!


In February Baby Sweater mode

Yikes - Blogger is playing up and this is my second attempt at showing me the result of my first attempt at creating the fabulous February Baby Sweater. I absolutely love the pattern and the result!

This is knitted for a wee surprise baby that suddenly made an entry into the world without its father's colleagues knowing it was expected!

The minute I finished my first attempt I swiftly moved onto my second. I can't wait to see this one finished, as I think it will look really cute and Christmassy and maybe it'll go to my new niece, who is due at Christmas, unless off course she turns out a nephew. :)

More pictures and details can be found on my blog and on Ravelry, where I'm known as teeweewonders.

Labels: , , , ,