Julie knits and writes and knits.

Archive for October, 2007

Cherry Leaf Shawl to Auction

Ah! It’s done, it’s beautiful, if I may say so, and it’s headed off to auction.

Could not have finished this without the generous support of Ravelry friends in GB and CT who sourced the last two skeins of yarn. This took four skeins of Jitterbug. It’s mostly the Cherry Leaf Shawl from Victorian Lace Today, knit up with maybe 6 more repeats of leaves, with a completely different border, which I edited down from another of her borders in the book.

So, it’s going to raise funds for a friend’s bone marrow transplant. What should I ask for an opening bid… Want to come to the super cool party? It’ll be great poetry and fiction readings and wonderful music and a good auction… This coming Sunday. Details here….


Momma loves her new software

I knew I wouldn’t get much further on the little fair isle sampler vest until I got out and loaded and learned the Cochenille knitting software I’ve been sitting on for a couple of months. Tonight was my night. Amazingly easy to use, with much learning still to do, I plunged ahead to grid out the little vest so I could get back to work on it. So glad I did. It will still require some fudging about, since the vest is worked in the round, but I’ll fix the chart as I go and then upload the finals. Just having the palette and grid in front of me helped me plan out the finish of this little guy, avoiding all sorts of problems I would have had if I’d kept winging it…

Hooked on fair isle

Hooked on fair isleOriginally uploaded by juju&jackPardon the terrible phone photo, but wanted to share what I’ve been doing on vacation. Frogged my start at this to eliminate a pinky beige that did not play well with other colors. Using Nancy’s knit knacks Digit yarns I’ve had stashed for more latvian mitts to try out some Starmore charts just to see if I would enjoy the process. On boy I’m hooked. Will be stocking up on the J&S now. So much to learn….

Noro Cardigan FO

Here was the idea….

And here it is all finished and keeping me warm:

And here I am pretending I don’t know my photo is being taken..

Things I learned in designing this sweater:

*My shoulders are not as wide as I imagine them to be. I’ll use my actual shoulder measurements next time, not measurements from sweaters that already fit around my hips.

* Fitted sleeves matter to me.

* Think through the wearing of the sweater, and not just the aesthetics. I will have pockets in my next jacket. And maybe in this one too, except I don’t think the Noro can handle pockets.

*Noro Kureyon is soft, and gets a lot softer and more drapey after blocking. Also it lengthens with blocking. And maybe also with wear.  It is, perhaps, not an appropriate yarn all by itself for a jacket. Or any heavy structural thing. Think light and squishy stuff for this yarn. But nevertheless, this jacket is lots of fun to wear.

*I languished in the making of this sweater in part because the palette is so strong. During certain seasons of the year, I could not imagine myself wearing it, and so lost interest in it. Of course, as soon as the leaves started to turn, I NEEDED the sweater. I’m not sure what the lesson is here… trust my instincts? Stretch a little? Or stick to safe colors for projects with a heavy investment. Or maybe I haven’t learned a thing. That is always possible.

*I ALWAYS overestimate the amount of yarn I need for a project. In this case, I have more than enough yarn left to make another of these sweaters, along with hats and scarves to match. Anybody feel like a trade?

*Sweaterwizard is okay software for getting a pattern started and estimating yarn (which I did after purchasing the yarn), but has too many limitations for me. I’m trying out the Cochenille suite one of these days, and will let you know what I think. I think I’ll love it, since it came recommended from hot knit designers…

*Learning little tricks from great knitters is a worthy lifelong pursuit. Especially finishing tricks. Thanks so much to my teachers for this sweater, Dixie, and Maureen.

And I’m back to the fair isle vest I frogged enroute to Stonington, where it is raining and grey and foggy,  just the way I like my Maine seashore…

Tomten show on Flickr

Fun watching while I knit twin tomtens:

Noro Cardigan Blocking

Noro Cardigan Blocking

And it is done! Actually, it’s been all done but for the buttonhole finishing and end-weaving, and just sitting there in its bag for, oh, a couple of weeks now… It should be dry in the morning. And tomorrow? Temps should reach the upper 80s….

But I’m headed to Maine for a few days, where it ought to be cool enough to climb into this for a photo. Will post again then…

Chihee Kim’s knits

Chihee Kim’s knits

I’m trying to decide whether I should quit knitting altogether, or quit my job to knit a great deal more. I’m inspired and intimidated by Chihee Kim’s knitting over the past 6 weeks or so…

She knit everything in this pic in that time.

Chihee is my friend Yang’s mom. She hasn’t really knit much at all for the past 30 years, but Yang took up knitting, and Chihee, who now has three beautiful grandchildren, has been hankering to try it again. Yang gave her some odd bits of yarn she had in the house, and a couple of needles. Her mom came back a few weeks later with all of these garments.

Garments. Not scarves. Not washcloths. Garments.

But wait.

Chihee doesn’t read English, so the English patterns she can find in this country are of no use to her. She doesn’t have any Korean patterns. She just kind of thought of these things, and then knit them. Or she looks at clothes and sees how to knit them. Or photographs. Like people who can play music by ear, she can look at a garment, and just make it.

Okay, so her profession has been upholstery. And yes, she’s actually a master upholsterer, able to cut a pattern piece at a glance with zero waste. A brilliant sculptor and seamstress, with perfect taste. Okay, she’s got all of that. But look. LOOK. Scalloped edges, lace edging, cinched shaping, overhalping bodices, a cap with a brim. No patterns. No references at all. She just kind of used up all the yarn Yang gave her. She needs some more now.

Is it really necessary for her to be so intimidating? Yes, she’s powered by grandma mojo. It’s true. But LOOK at this stuff. Every thing more adorable than the last thing.

My advice to Yang: buy a LOT of yarn, and EVERY needle, and hand her mom the 25-year anniversary issue of Vogue Knitting. And my measurements.

Jealousy is an ugly emotion. Think I’ll go finish something now… Or pack up my stash and needles to send to her… sheesh.