Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
Some yarny goodness was awaiting its escape from the mail box last Friday. I love the arrival of new yarn.
There's some Dream In Color Classy, Malibringo Lace, and some Yarn Love, which I've never tried before. The Classy will be a sweater for my daughter, Amanda. The rest of the new arrivals will have to wait in line for some inspiration.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Pink Strawberries! How positively perfect. I found this tiny fat quarter (a contradiction in terms, huh?) at a craft shop. I'm on the lookout for more of this eye candy, for sure.
I'd love to make something out of this wee bit of cloth, and if I had a yard or two, perhaps I could make a tablecloth? I've put on my thinking cap for this future project. It's just too sweet to sit in my stash for long.
Monday, January 17, 2011
My long suffering sweater is complete.
Stats: Madelinetosh DK 100% merino wool, 225 yards, size 5 circulars and straight needles
I'm not happy with the final result, sad to say. The pattern was easy enough, and I believe I did a very good job knitting it up, without any real problems. I can even say, it was a very enjoyable knit.
This color representation is a bit more accurate, and I do like the color.
What's the problem, you ask?
First of all, I didn't realize that Madelinetosh's DK is decidedly more like worsted, and not even a very soft worsted. It's more like ... well, knitting with twine. If I were knitting a hammock, this would have been the perfect choice.
The pattern was fairly straightforward, with the added 'delicate' knit edging around the sleeves and front.
The pattern also described the bolero type sweater as waist length, with three-quarter length sleeves.
Let me just tell you, there's nothing 'delicate' about this edging. It's heavy and not at all flattering. The yarn was obviously the wrong choice for this project. I don't entirely blame the yarn, because the pattern's sizing is a bit off. I swatched and got perfect gauge with number 5 needles, I thought it would be smooth sailing.
I had no trouble seaming, but the size of the sweater was all wrong. It's at least 2 sizes too big, sigh. It's the right size up and down, but it's about 3 inches too big around. This doesn't compute, since the sleeves knitted up perfectly around, but are about 3 inches too long.
After doing the math, I ordered 7 hanks of Madelinetosh. I only used 5. I re-checked my math, according to the pattern requirements, and I was spot on....so?
I blocked the pieces before seaming. I did try using steam after seaming...hoping the sweater would shrink a bit. No luck there.
Lessons learned: Don't always believe the hype about a certain brand of yarn
Check the sizing as you go, and make adjustments in the pattern ( I was afraid to stray from the instructions)
If the yarn doesn't feel right from the start, it probably won't feel any better later on
Don't be afraid to frog, if you believe you made a poor pattern/yarn choice
Maybe, I should stick to socks
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Friday afternoon, while immersed in finishing my mossy green bolero, my attention was outside the window. I kept noticing some sort of movement within the niche below my awning. Dismissing this interruption, I continued binding off stitches, and sewing in ends, but I couldn't ignore the little fluttery action going on outside, up high, out of reach.
After about an hour, I couldn't stand it another minute, since I was positive there was nest building, or little birdies peeping, and all I could think of was getting a picture of 'nature' happening right now, right outside!
I wrestled with the ladder, and cautiously climbed step by step. Damn, I wasn't close enough, and the above picture was all I could see. Fluttering, and tweety noises were emanating from the little bunch of twigs close by. I'd have to climb higher still.
PS: I don't like ladders, or climbing, or heights, but nature called, so to speak.
There, under that giant leaf, something was happening, something moving...I could hear it. Quiet as a mouse, I inched a little closer...
I moved the larger leaf, and there was nothing!. Nothing, but a bunch of twigs, leaves, and grass, flitting and fluttering with the breeze.
I cursed myself for allowing my imagination to play tricks on me, but while climbing down the ladder, camera in hand, I was smiling, happy to realize my sense of curiosity is well intact, and that felt very good, indeed.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Being a little under the weather over the last four days or so hasn't completely slowed me down.
I had some frozen puff pastry and a few Granny Smith's in the crisper, and Apple Strudel was on my mind. I never seem to be sick enough not to eat. In fact, being sick and staying home in my jammies is the perfect opportunity for non-stop munching.
There was no searching recipe books or the Internet, I just rolled out the sheet of pastry, after it had thawed out in the fridge...
and grabbed a couple of apples. Aren't these huge? I only needed two!
Some sugar, cinnamon, a squeeze of lemon and a couple of tablespoons of flour; the aroma of cinnamon is heavenly, don't you think?
PLOP! Right onto the pastry sheet, and dotted with butter, of course.
Why do I always forget to show a step? I forgot the part where I covered the apples, and brushed the pastry with an egg wash, then sprinkled some granulated sugar all over the top. Then, a couple of slits with a knife for the steam to escape.
It looks good enough to eat. In fact, I'm having some right now. Whether it's served warm, as in the first picture, or cold, the day after, it is a scrumptious treat.
Apple Strudel is right up there with Chicken Soup, for making me feel so much better. Try it.
Monday, January 3, 2011
Happy New Year!
New Year, and new socks. Life is good.
You might remember this early December yarn from a previous project http://janchavez.blogspot.com/2010/12/socks-du-jour.html. Always excited to begin new socks with new yarn, I was positively giddy as I envisioned my lovely pink socks which would eventually grace my daughter's lovely pink toes. The first sock began innocently enough, however the fit was horrid. They were slouchy, loose around the heel, and the diameter of the ankle was larger than the foot.
I don't know what I did wrong, but I'm certain there were mistakes made. Duly noted, and I hope I can find what I did wrong. Needless to say, the first sock was scrapped, and I was left with less than 100 grams of beautiful Dream In Color Smooshy. What to do?
I opted for a sparkling new pair of little socks, short and sweet and simple. I'm crossing my fingers that they fit!