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Just when you think things will calm down…

November 13, 2006
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Things aren’t slowing down around here even though the angst and activity of the election are over. I got promoted at work, which means I’m going to have to work more and blog (maybe) less…

I hope I won’t be knitting any less, though.

I finished Venus.

I’m really happy with the way it came out. It’s light as a feather – the whole thing doesn’t weigh anywhere near 16 ounces. Knitting with 2 balls of yarn helped mask the variations in grist and give it a slightly nubbly texture. It’s hard to see in the photo but the pattern is argyle worked in knits and purls. Here are a couple of closeups for folks who like this sort of thing.

The whole thing is incredibly elastic as you’d expect from cormo wool and it fits quite well. The pattern was probably intended to have a snugger fit, but this is about as snug as I want it especially in wool.

This took me two months and I was very dedicated. Other things didn’t really get done once this started to roll.

The Jaywalker sock has a heel now, but I neglected it a little to work on socks for Emily. I have one done. It’s just plain blue, so a photo won’t be useful until they’re on her little feet.

I did work on my stealth Christmas project for her, though.

This is the Northern Sun mitten from Knitpicks. The pattern is very difficult to find on their site and even once you find it, it doesn’t tell you which colors of Palette are used in the sample – it assumes you want to color your own I suppose. I went back to an old catalog to find out which colors to order. (In case you are wondering, they are Blue, Pool, Bark, Red, Orange, Apricot, and Peach. The pattern has an error and calls for Fawn instead of Bark which makes a huge difference and not a nice one either.) When I saw the big bag of 50 gram balls of yarn I realized I could do more with it than just make mittens for myself, so I sat down with graph paper and pencils and downsized the pattern by about 30%. It looks like it will be a bit big for her now but fit for 2 years – of course I can’t try it on her. We’ll see. It doesn’t look too small does it?

The yarn is very good for this application. It makes a nice firm fabric on size 1 needles and has a smooth surface. I think it would felt in a heartbeat, so these aren’t mittens for throwing snowballs with. I’m happy with how these are coming out and will make mine after I finish hers. They go pretty quickly even at this gauge.

Now that I’m finally finished with Venus, I started something else. I hate this tendency to start whatever is the most recent item in the door, but I keep doing it anyway and I’m sure everyone else does too. This is the ‘Marseilles’ pullover from the summer issue of Interweave.

The yarn is Lenox by WEBS – 60% baby alpaca and 40% merino (maybe a little cashmere thrown in – it was suppose to be 60/30/10 but when they received it back, the amount of cashmere was inconsistent so they priced it down a little and took the cashmere off the label). It is very yummy – I laid hands on it at Stitches last weekend and had to have some.

I swatched on size 7 needles although the label says 4spi on size 9 – because that just seemed too loose for alpaca. The yarn is puffier in hand than it looks in the ball, but it made a lovely fabric on size 7 needles and I got gauge for the pattern. Don’t tell anybody, but I BLOCKED MY SWATCH. The pattern specifically said to measure the gauge after blocking and in this case (1×4 ribbing) I could understand why. It definitely relaxed horizontally in blocking, right out to the specified gauge, so I was happy I did. Then I decided to live dangerously, a la Stephanie: I switched from rosewood needles to my nice shiny pointy Knitpicks needles. If anything, I will knit looser with the metal needles, so I think it will work out fine in the end.

This will be a cuddly sweater to wear on cold evenings in the winter. I was puzzling over the name of the pattern and the descriptive text in the magazine. The idea of Marseilles appealed to me, it’s a city I would love to visit, but the text said the diamonds within diamonds were based on the idea of formal gardens. That isn’t an idea I associate with Marseilles. Maybe something got lost in the transmission and she meant ‘Versailles’??

I got a nice little package in the mail the other day from Rosemary:

Isn’t it adorable?

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. Jan Clark permalink
    November 13, 2006 11:09 am

    Venus is smashing! The yarn, the pattern and the fit are perfect. Looks like its successor will prove worthy in your hands, too. Cheery mittens, and another of Rosemary’s pins has found a loving home. Ummm…what is that pin gracing it? Kudos on the promotion!

  2. November 13, 2006 12:16 pm

    Congratulations on the promotion! Those mittens will be a nice Christmas surprise for Miss Em and Venus is absolutely inspiring! It was definitely worth reworking the yarn.

  3. November 13, 2006 12:27 pm

    venus looks lovely! great job, and congrats on the promotion.

  4. November 13, 2006 4:44 pm

    That cormo turned into a stunning sweater! Wow! And Em’s present is so sweet looking. You know, Interweave Knits used to have a theme for the designers for each issue–I think that’s where those descriptions come from. They’ve stopped doing it, but the funny part is that my vision of the theme never coordinated with theirs anyway. I think it’s a fuzzy subjective sort of thing.

  5. November 13, 2006 5:58 pm

    Venus is beautiful & looks great on you!

  6. November 13, 2006 7:31 pm

    1) Congrats on the promotion
    2) Venus is really beautiful – all the way from a paper bag of raw fleece, right? Wow!
    3) Mittens turned out great – good math skills
    Hard work DOES pay off!

  7. November 13, 2006 9:55 pm

    Congrats on the finished sweater (beautiful!) and the promotion! And Emmy will love her mittens, they are just great. Marseilles seems like a good choice, I like that it has set-in sleeves. I do just the same thing… every new magazine bumps itself to the top of the list! I’m so fickle…

  8. November 14, 2006 9:42 am

    venus is gorgeous! the mitten is adorable šŸ™‚

  9. Debbie/St. Louis permalink
    November 14, 2006 2:31 pm

    Wow, that is a really flattering sweater! I’d love to make a sweater that fits that well – and the mittens are too cute!

  10. November 14, 2006 2:34 pm

    Venus looks perfect on you – very smart and an excellent fit. The mittens will be beautiful, now I want a pair!

  11. Melanie permalink
    November 14, 2006 11:10 pm

    Congratulations on the promotion and on finishing Venus. It’s lovely and it fits perfectly. The mitten is a thing of beauty.

  12. November 15, 2006 3:30 pm

    Yeah baby! Living dangerously!
    (Next we’ll be skydiving, me and you.)

  13. November 16, 2006 2:23 am

    Wowza! You look amazing in Venus! Gorgeous sweater. Adorable mitts. I’m glad the kitty went to a loving home! *g*

  14. November 16, 2006 2:23 am

    And congrats on the promotion! Woooo!

  15. Laura permalink
    November 17, 2006 11:16 am

    Love, love, love Venus! She looks so cozy and comfy. Emmy should love those mittens – and I always found that felted palms from snowballs and snowmen were a feature for mittens.

  16. November 19, 2006 6:53 pm

    Love Venus! And … I know those mittens, I made them! Annoyingly enough the colors listed in my copy of the pattern included either fawn or nutmeg in addition to bark. It took a while before I realized that it called for one color too many. You did a nice job down sizing them.

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