Thursday, October 19, 2006

Why does it always rain on me?

I need to recommend...

It's a rainy day in Ottawa, and DH is off to Toronto for a conference on education gifted children. One night away, I'll miss him tonnes, but I have the bed to myself, and sometimes, honestly, that feels pretty luxurious. Just me and Wembles, and possibly some sort of girly movie watching. Can you say Gene Kelly musical?

I have to say, I'm much happier with my blog now; after doing some alterations, it's nearly a perfect fit. I suspect that this will lead to better and more frequent blogging, because now I actually want to look at the darn thing, instead of just feeling disappointed by it. Yay!

On to the knitting!! Let's start with the newly completed addition to the wardrobe (currently worn by moi!). This sweater was a great first sweater largely, I think, because it wasn't a great first sweater. I've looked at patterns for beginner sweaters (and beginner sewing patterns, crochet patterns, classical vocal get the idea) and, quite frankly, I'm usually bored by them. If I had the money - and I don't - I would be wearing designer clothes. Why? Labels? No, detailing, cut, attention to the little aspects of what make some garments beautiful and interesting to the eye, and an understanding that without said little aspects, simple, classic garments can quickly look common. So when I'm faced with a simple, knit-in-the-round turtleneck, I am often not impressed. This cardi was different. I used over one ball of Paton's Classic on just the band of ribbing around the body. It's nearly 15 cm deep, with matching ribbing at the cuffs. It has contrasting colour yarn on the outside edge of the ribbing, and the ribbing is slightly flaired. The body piece required a great deal of shaping, as the sweater is quite round. I am totally in love with it.

Before I started the sweater, I knit a purse from this pattern. Biggest fun? Casting 129 sts of double-stranded Paton's Classic onto 14" long bamboo.

Here we have all the stitches:

The bag is knit as a half-moon, so the stitches begin decreasing immediately. After working the cables for this bag, I must say, I appreciate a proper cable needle. I've used dpns, I've used hair pins! but I quite liked how well the little zigzag in the cable needle kept the stitches from falling off. I have issues with sts falling off needles. Can you comprehend the fear I had when I was knitting that last GIANT band of ribbing on the cardi, I had over 500 sts on the circ, and I pulled a couple of stitches OFF the needle?!! I very nearly had a cow.

Anyway, the purse. Adorable cable pattern. Comes out looking like this:

Knit another one to match, and a band in moss stitch to attach the two around the bottom of the bag. The problem? It really should be lined. With wicked awesome fabric (I'm damned proud of this thing, I want the inside looking as cool as the outside. Also, I need a pocket for my mobile, and another for lipstick. I am, you know, a big girl) of which I have none. And a strap, since I am NOT sending away to M&J in NYC for a $20 usd (plus S&H and duty) purse strap. That strikes me as the not wise. So I'm going to Franken-purse.

I have an old suede messenger bag that I wore to it's absolute end when I was an undergrad. I think I got it between 2nd and 3rd year at Old Navy, for about $20. It's plain, it's brown, it's perfect. With careful arrangement, I could get my clipboard for lectures, at least one or two of my smaller texts (novel-sized paperbacks) my wallet, my half-litre Nalgene, my discman, and a handful of pens and some lipgloss into this thing. I LOVED IT.

But it's old now. The suede has gotten all pressed down and shiny in spots, the stitches are starting to go, and I am not in undergrad anymore. Boho philo-student chic isn't really my look, now, and I haven't carried this bag in years.

It has a plain suede strap.

I'm going to go hack it off, and use it for my new cabled bag.

I feel guilty, like I'm hacking a part of an old comrade. I anthropomorphise to the extreme.

I'll let you know how it goes, if there are any tears....

Other WIP's: a small felted purse in dark grey with peacock embellishments (more Paton's Classic...I have a new fave!) for DS for Christmas, and a black hat in Bernat Boucle with kitten ears and bright pink pompoms on the chin strap for my friend Heather. It started off looking like this:

Because I'm doing the ears as a series of increases, I needed to knit the hat top down, or the ears would look rather...upside down. Kind of a pain, but it's a manageable size now, and the ears have just started. I hope they work: this stuff is a b*!ch to rip out!

May join my puppy in a snooze...rainy days are good for snoozing!

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