Thursday, October 26, 2006

Intarsia? I hardly know ya!

The details:
Pattern - Argyle Cardigan from Debbie Bliss Special Knits for Babies
Yarn - Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in peach with red apple and fresh cream (who comes up with these names?)
Needles - Size 3, with size 2 for sleeve cuffs and knitted-on details
Notes - I really liked this pattern. My only gripe is that the photos in the book are pretty worthless. The only image of the sweater is out of focus, and you can only really see the intarsia portion. I would have liked a clear picture of the whole thing, or at least a second out of focus picture where you could see the collar. Come on, people, this is a knitting pattern book, not a fashion magazine. We want to see the garment construction, not your artsy photography. But that's my gripe with most knitting books. I think I did okay on the intarsia part. I haven't done much of it before, and I'm not positive I'm twisting the yarn in the back quite right. Weaving in the ends was no picnic, but at least it's a small project. I like this yarn a lot as well. Overall, a cute pattern that's a fun, fairly quick knit. Those familiar with Debbie Bliss patterns will know that you have lots of ends to weave in, and after you're done knitting, you always have sleeves to seam up and set in, a knitted-on collar, and with a cardigan, the knitted-on button bands, but her patterns always turn out looking very cute, even if they're not as low-maintenance as a raglan knit in the round. I even managed to find six matching buttons in my newly organized button stash.

A note on color selection - this was tricky. It's always helpful to hear what you lot think, especially when it's not unanimous (makes me think I wasn't completely insane to consider the options I did) and I ended up going with the majority on this one. The red is a nice warm red, and not too bright, or I think I would have gone with the rose. But in the end, I felt the rose would have too muted an effect with the peach in this particular pattern. I'm saving the rose for another sweater, maybe a placket-neck pullover.

Other knitting: The last of the gift scarves is on the needles:

Knitty folk will recognize this as a Branching Out. I chose Rowan Cashcotton 4-Ply from the ol' stash, and I like the way it hangs. It'll also be nice and soft. This is my second Branching Out. The first one was a very early lace project for me, and I'm finding it much easier this time around. I can read the lace much better, and I've done a foot or so without having to tink back at all (knock on wood).

StringBean, I'm not going to turn down that offer! Knit away! You get pictures of Butterbean in anything you knit :) I think it's perfectly understandable that your wip diminishing plan is not working out. I sometimes make those plans and they last a while before fizzling. There are just so many yarns and so many patterns. And just so much attention span. My de-stashing is complete (thank you, eBay), and I now have only yarns that are useful 'staples' (good for emergency gift scarves, or good for baby patterns) or that I have a pattern in mind for. I feel so much better now. Once I finish the last gift scarf, I can get going clearing my wips off the needles.

Reading: I finished Owl's Well That Ends Well. It was cute, although I agree with Stefaneener that there are tedious bits, but I mostly skim right those :) The mystery is almost secondary to the crazy family antics, which is fine because those are fun. I tried to start The Alchemist around 5:00 am during pregnancy-related insomnia, but could not focus on it at all. Instead, I'm starting the first Stephanie Barron Jane Austen mystery, which concerns the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor.

Writing: Not a thing to report. My dad was in town from California, so we've been pretty busy. The temperature was about double there what it is here (84 versus 42), which I'm sure wasn't a fun change for my dad, but we had a nice time. And how classically 'Dad' is this? He was here about an hour before he whipped out some pliers and fixed our sink that's been wonky for over a year :)

Cooking: Not much (see above). I did make the fantastic French toast for us on Saturday morning. I roasted some beets, but I like them so much plain with a little salt and pepper and sometimes blue cheese dressing that I didn't do anything interesting with them. My dad brought me some gorgeous artichokes, which are probably my favorite food, so I've been steaming those. Yum. I could eat an artichoke every day, like Catherine di Medici, who supposedly at them until she burst (not sure how much credit to give that story, but she did bring them with her to France when she was married off to Louis). I do want to bake something today, as our stash of baked goods has finally diminished to a manageable amount. Possibly cinnamon buns, cookies, and/or Grand Marnier Cranberry Muffins (best muffins ever). Knitpastis, just for you, I'm going to try some food photography this time when I bake :)


mle said...

My goodness you knit that fast!! I mean, one minute you're trying to choose colors and the next you're done. Very nice job and so adorable! That kid is going to have the cutest wardrobe ever!

Stefaneener said...

Did I miss you warping time or something? That was fast -- and I know it's little, but still. Nice color choices, I think.

Good for you on your stash management.

Areli said...

Wow! You really knit that little sweater up fast, you were just choosing the colors! It really turned out cute, can't wait to see baby modelling :-)

Rain said...

Blimey! That was fast. It looks so pretty and the colour choices worked really well together, it can be hard to tell in the ball, but it looks just right.

I know what you mean about the pictures - warts and all ought to be the way to go.

KnitPastis said...

Look at that Argyl sweater! That is the cutest baby sweater! Excellent job knitting it too. I bet it was so nice to have your dad down for a visit. Yummm, roasted beets! Sadly, I have only had beets out of a can with a salt, pepper, oil and vinagar. Girl, I can eat the whole can by myself. I agree with you on the artichokes.

Annie said...

The sweater is adorable! I hope to start a branching out scarf soon. Yours looks quit elovely! What a nice gift.

Charity said...

I really like the finished cardi! I've been procrastinating on a intarsia sweater for my little guy - your cardi is great motivation. :0)

Rachel said...

Ouch, another direct hit to the uterus! That is just so darn cute! Not at all low maintenance, as you say, but totally worth it with that result, wouldn't you say?

Marie said...

That is the cutest sweater ever! I love the little diamonds at the bottom. I can't wait to see a picture some months soon of Butterbean in it. :)