Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ah cables

Many, many (no really, I do mean many) months ago I started a cabled aran afghan. Inspired by a Knitty Gritty episode, I wanted to learn to do cables. Why not just jump into a hugh project to do so [snort]?! I never was very practical with such things.

When I think about it, it in fact may have been the first project I started that wasn't a scarf. A walk down memory lane suggests that I started the first square in September, 2006. Two years ago!

The great thing about a big project is that you know it will take a long time. For me that's definitely been these case. Now I just describe this as one of those projects that is leisurely ... non time demanding ... used as a filler.

Don't believe me?! [laugh]

Truely, this is one of the few projects I've worked on that doesn't feel pressured to me. I don't feel like I "have to finish." With sweaters and socks I just want "to be done." With this, it's a multiple year project ... and that's OK.

It's funny, when I first started this project I was definitely a newbie. In fact it was only after I finished either 2 or 3 squares that I realized that, without meaning to, I was knitting through the back loop every time. Yep, having re-taught myself from books, I didn't realize that there was a difference between knitting into the front or the back of the loop. The back of the loop just seemed like the right way. Somewhere along the knitting trip, I had this realization.

The afghan is 16 squares all 12" by 12". It may be interesting when I'm done. Knitting through the back loop everytime pulled my work in a bit. I'll have to see if I can block those early puppies out a bit. Otherwise, I may have to work another panel wrong so I can at least have one row all the same size [grin]!

Five squares done ... 11 to go. Maybe I'll be done by the end of the decade.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Scott's Sweater

Yeah... my first sweater for S is not only finished, but it fits! When we were in South Bend we did the fitting, discovered my strategy for sleeve length worked (yeah!), and all I had to do was weave in sleeve ends!

A few days later in Columbus, time to model the new sweater.

S wanted a basic, plain jane sweater and this one fit the bill quite nicely. I really like the ecological wool I used to knit this sweater. The color is a nice balance of greys (with bits of white). It was soft to knit with and I think will wash up even softer.

And you know what.... I'm so proud of S, he washed and blocked his sweater himself! I was going to do this for him before I left but we just didn't have time. So he sent me these pictures today.

The sweater got a good soak.

The burrito method of drying the sweater was followed (I'm sure including stepping on the burrito but I didn't confirm this... grin).

And then the sweater was laid out to dry. We're hoping he'll get another inch or two in the overall length of the sweater from the process. All things considered.... we have a winner!

Easy Bulky Sweater for the family #30 (ravelry link) by Melinda Goodfellow
(roll neck and sleeve, ribbed bottom; plain -- no cable)
3 skeins Cascade Ecological Wool
US 8 & US 10 circulars and dpns
Cast on April 1, 2008
Finished August 31, 2008

Modifications: none.

Details on Ravelry here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


This past week I flew up to Indiana to visit S at his new diggs in South Bend. We did the tour of Notre Dame (that's the Basillica above) and even carved out some time to relax and take it slow ...

OK... we weren't the ones taking it that slow, but we did spend a time out in Amish country and got to see lots of folks travelling the old fashioned way, by horse and buggy. Beautiful countryside out there in Indiana. Great old barns and houses.

After a few days in South Bend we got in our little Prius and drove to Columbus, Ohio to visit S's mother. Our trip was quite nice, but ended with a bit of a bang.

My parents live in Beaumont, Texas -- that's where Ike just came ashore. They evaculated to avoid the storm and from what the neighbors say, the house didn't sustain any serious damage this time (unlike Rita when it took 6 months to repair tree damage). S and I were watching the storm news there in Columbus to keep an eye on things. Little did we know we were in for our own hurricane-like weater.

Yep, half way across the country in Columbus we experienced hurricane strength winds in a bit of a freak wind storm. Partly related to Ike and partly related to a cold front that was blowing in, the winds were crazy. Trees came down all over town and I saw three trees pulled out of the ground with exposed roots. Nothing like a bit of excitement. Needless to say my flight was cancelled (the whole airport was grounded for hours), so I had an extra day of trip.

That last day of trip was spent doing what else but cutting up trees. Nothing like a little he-man business for the boys hmm?

A great trip, despite the excitement!

Next time, finish photos of S's sweater which, I'm pleased to report, fits!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Well after feeling like I was barely ever finishing a project, I have another finished sweater. Guess there's something to say for knitting big chunks of a project and then putting it aside for awhile. It takes much less time to finish "a sweater" when it's already half done!

Here she is ... Fantine. I really was drawn to this pattern when I found it on ravelry some time ago and had to explore around a bit to find the pattern. I started the project in June and then just put it aside for a while. I think other things came up (including that big men's sweater deadline). This weekend with S's sweater done, I pulled Fantine out of the pile and was off the needles in no time! That chunky yarn ... man does it knit up fast!

I love the cabling details around the edges of this sweater. They help to liven up what could otherwise be a very simple sweater ... and quite similar to the anthropology inspired capelet I've knit before.

I decided this weekend that rather than knitting the 3/4 length sleeve, I'd go for full length. My office is COLD in the summer, and I stay COLD in the winter, so I can wear sweaters almost year round. Extending the sleeves was easy and it let me put the cabling detail at the edges of the sleeves as well.

A simple pattern for a quick cover up. I've been wearing it in the office today and give it an A.
And my photography ... well that gets a grade of "credit" on the credit/no credit scale ... my first attempt with the self timer since my resident photographer now lives half way across the country!

(oh yeah... I cut my hair short too ... it was time for a change).

Fantine by Kristeen Griffin-Grimes of French Girl Knits
(scoop neck option, and generally followed the 3/4 length sleeve directions with modifications)
5 balls Lion Brand Jiffy Solid (held double when knitting to get gauge)
Silver Heather
US 8 circulars and dpns
Cast on June 4, 2008
Finished August 31, 2008

Modifications: Knit sleeves to wrists and put one repeat of cable pattern in before binding off.

Details on Ravelry here.

Now the most amazing this.... I only have one unfinished object left! I started on the sleeves of the cable luxe tunic last night and am going to work to get that one finished. Then there are many choices for the next project ... strangely I'm very drawn to more sweaters!