Sunday, July 30, 2006

Picotless Picovoli

As you know, I hate to seam, so I really do try to find patterns that are in the round. Yes, it does drive me a little batty (and yes, that's an intended pun to raglan sleeves), but yes, back to patterns in the round. I've had this yarn for a year (gotten from that yard sale) and there were 10 balls of it. I was thinking I'd make myself a cardigan from it, but given that it's summertime, and I'm not carrying around a beach ball aka big belly, I thought I'd make myself a little something smaller.

I loved Ms. Grumperina's Tivoli/Picovoli pattern (later put on Magknits) and I think she presented Tivoli around the same time I started reading her blog. So, I printed it out and actually did circular swatches. Of course I cheated and swatched in like a 4inch circumference swatch. I switched needles a couple of times and actually got gauge. But then I realized the knitted fabric would be way too dense and stiff, so I bit the bullet and got out the ole calculator. I also did my research and checked out her gallery of tivoli/picovolis and found that they all looked different and maybe some folks did some pattern modifications (come to realize that maybe they just have different body types). I decided I wanted a more tanktop look without the neck plunging.

Here's my modifications:

I kept the front and back the same across and increased the shoulder/arm stitches. As I was experimenting, I didn't feel the need for the picot edge--mostly since I'd have to rip it out if the neckline turned out to be too hootchy mamaish. Well, I then followed the raglan increases as specified and when I was doing the bodice part, did 17st under the arms. I followed her basic pattern and then bound off.

Instead of the picot edging, I did a single crochet edging. I'm a lazy knitter (and apparently I enjoy tinking) so I sort of faked it. Now, is it a one-to-one ratio for crochet to knit? or different. I just crochetted into spots I thought were appropriate.

Did I mention that when binding off, I found that I ran out of yarn almost at the end? I was using the remnents of another ball for the crochet edge, but that's not enough for the bottom. I'm thinking that I may go back and tink the bottom back a couple rows and seed stitch it or something.

General comments:
The yarn was nice to knit with-- very sprongy. And the negative ease, devine.

Probably took 1.5 weeks to knit. I forget.
Yarn:Reynolds Cantata 90% cotton, 10% nylon 110yds
4 or 5 balls
#6 Addis

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Follow up on sale at Skein Lane

Went on the first day of the sale. TOO CROWDED! Stood in line for over 2 hrs w/ A in baby bjorn. She was wonderful and slept through the whole thing. The crowds were horrific. Knitters are great people, but too many in one spot?! yikes. It does blow my mind to realize that the line was huge and each shopper spent probably a minimum of $200! I think that your mind goes to this 'sale' place where you think that if you don't buy it now, it'll be gone and you won't ever see it again. And then there's the 'think of all the money I'm saving'...

I specifically was looking for Addis. Well, even though I went early, the pickings were slim. In line, I was talking to one knitter who said that Carolyn had not been restocking when she sold out of stuff. Oh, well. I found all 3 Addis that were over 40 inch and held on to them. I originally thought I'd get enough yarn to make a sweater for myself, but the thought of digging through the yarn to find enough of the same dye lot was too overwhelming, so I didn't. I then decided I wanted to purchase laceweight yarn. Well, all the lace yarn I found didn't have price tags and I couldn't find anyone to tell me the price, so they too went into the bag. I also saw a gorgeous silk laceweight cone of yarn... She also had stuff like the Lantern Moon needle holder and wooden swift, they also went into the bag.

But I snapped to my senses and realized that a swift could be had for less (on sale it was still $47) and the needle case, yeah, that's what I need, another needle case. I think that if the line was not so long, I wouldn't have thought so much and returned everything. Back to the lace yarn, I stood in line to get a price check!? To my chagrin (actually horror), the yarns were $50, $52, $40, $40, and $52. So, the 3 hanks of yarn and 2 cones added up to $234 before tax. Yeah, right. Away went all the yarn except for the silk on the cone and the Loren's Laces Helen (both in natural colors). Which to get? Carolyn and the other sales person suggested the LL but you know what, I didn't say anything at the time, but there were yarn issues! I slid the band a bit and saw that the yarn's a little different in color. I'm sorry, I'm not going to pay that kind of money for yarn that's either dirty or faded. I ended up with the $40 cone. I'd better get 2 shawls out of it (I should, there should be 3200yds on the cone).

How disappointing was that? I also put back 2 of the Addis since I really didn't need them.

What did I walk out with? One set of needles, a cone of yarn, and needle protectors ($.40/each).

How sad was that?

Monday, July 24, 2006


No, I'm not talking about oil prices, the freakish heat wave, or even any volcanoes erupting (and political unrest and nuclear threats, let's not go there). Sheesh, I'm talking about the fact that Janice is selling Yarn! and Carolyn of Skein Lane is retiring and closing the shop. That is TWO of FOUR yarn shops I go to...

What's a girl to do?!

You guessed it...I'll be going shopping. Yes.

Of course, I do wonder if knitting is becoming the next scrapbooking -- you know, fair weathered crafters that embrace an old craft and make it new remember scrapbooking. LSS popping up in every shopping center and such. Such cute stores with such not-so-cute prices...for paper! And I've noticed they've slowly gone away. There's only a few left, the rest, well, you'll have to shop at the big box stores to get what you need. I can say this 'cause I still like to scrapbook, I just enjoy the portability of knitting more.

I do really hope that LYSs aren't closing because of fickle crafters. Altho' if you want to quote me, I think that the next 'craze' will be sewing--haven't you seen the trend? why knit fabric when it's already available and all you have to do is to construct the garment. How many knitters sew, or are learning to sew? They've gone to the dark side...

Or maybe glass fusing will be the next 'in' craft. Or stained glass. I'm just hoping that bleach bottle animals, folded readers digest dolls, and such do not make a comeback. Macrame would be cool 'tho.


Monday, July 17, 2006

I've been knitting! and even a FO

I checked out One Skein from the local library with the idea to make the baby bolero. Very cute. And only one skein! Of course I'd already had the Bernat Cottontots in strawberry (2 skeins). But upon reading the pattern, realized it took a lot of seaming and you all know I hate to sew together when I can raglan...

Anyway, I was faithful to the pattern and got about a third done (okay, don't be too impressed, it's not that big of a sweater) and realized that I really really don't want to sew up the sleeves. Ripped it out (no tinking there) and started over and made a top-down raglan sorta bolero cardigan. I printed out the various 5 hour baby sweater patterns to look at their neckline count, then I just started knitting. Yes, go ahead, you can say it...'and it looks like it too'.

A raglan cardi was born. I liked the islet motif on the back of the sweater and was too lazy to get a stitch pattern book so again I winged it. I knit it sort of to the specifications of the baby bolero sweater and tried it on the live model (baby o'mine) and stopped knitting when I thought it was done. I picked up stitches all the way around for the ribbed edging. The only thing I wished I'd done (again, that pesky laziness thing) was I should have casted onto waste yarn so that the neck edging would have looked better. Oh, well. This took very little time and I recommend it for anyone w/ a baby (or needed to make something for a baby). I figure I can whip out more of these as the mood strikes me so that she could have coordinated sweaters...yeah right.

Here's a picture of the sweater as being worn by the model.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Happy 4th

We did the Independence Day thing:

parade -- check
barbeque -- check
fireworks -- check.

Yep, that was the day.

The parade was fun. It's always fun to attend a parade where you spot folks you know, and in fact, if the feeling took you, you too could have joined the parade. There were clowns (scared Z), there were electric cars, there were horses and riders and horse poop, there were political floats, there were nonpolitical floats, there were a lot of local businesses' floats, and there were floats where to the best of our knowledge, they were just folks that wanted to walk the parade route. You know, our local parade is the longest in the state of California, and it's the 2nd longest in US (according to local info). Anyway, we ate bagel, croissant, and muffin (and milk for the baby) and watched for awhile. Then we went home to ready ourselves for barbeque/birthday party for one year old.

The Q was great, yummy chicken sandwiches w/ veggies, fruit salad, tater salad, and chips (we were requested to bring said chips from Chevy's -- didn't know that you can buy chips, but okay).

Then it was off to San Ramon for the fireworks -- very nice. What was scary was that on the way home, we kept seeing additional fireworks along the freeway, and it wasn't the sanctioned ones...quite scary. I don't know if that's something NoCal, but I've not seen this type of blatant unsanctioned display of fireworks ever. What's w/ that?! Don't folks realize that fires can occur? that your house can burn down?! sheesh! Of course the frightening thing was seeing on the news today about how people were throwing (yes throwing) lit fireworks at cars driving by! Had we gotten off the freeway, we would have been on the road the reporter was talking about. Double sheesh!

Anyway, Happy 4th and I do hope everyone had a great time.

As for knitting, I've swatched and started Picovoli with much neckline alterations. I hope it turns out...