Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A New Year!

I'm a little late to the New Year's party, but I was hung up on finishing a project that was a bit ambitious for me. I finally bit the bullet and did the *gasp* sewing part, so I get to start out with a finished object post! Since it was such a difficult project for me, I took LOTS of pictures, but sadly, I did not get a photo of them upside-down.

From above:

From above, only at an angle:

Both from the front:

A close-up of the one I screwed up:

A close-up of the one I didn't screw up that nevertheless looks wonkier than the other:

Pattern: Bamboozelle from Knitty
Yarn: One skein of Southwest Trading Company Bamboo in Cobalt (if this yarn looks familiar, you may have been reading my blog back during the Knitting Olympics...sorry, any excuse to show that sweater)
Needles: Size 6, 5, 4, and 3 circulars, size 6 dpns
Notes: I love the yarn, but I was a bit put out that there were THREE knots within two rows! I'm sorry, but that's ridiculous. There was a fourth several rows past that, too. I still haven't decided how I feel about this pattern. I loved the cute little basket in the photo. I have NO IDEA what she did to that basket to make it look so sturdy and finished. As you can see, mine are not perfectly four-cornered--by a long shot. I went to Hancock Fabrics and found a nice lady to help me (I found the gorgeous art glass beads there, too!). I used stiff interfacing, taped together, then plain white fabric for the lining. I blocked the basket out with grocery bags, which worked okay, but maybe I needed something stiffer than my stiff interfacing. The basket is tapered by switching to progressively smaller needles from the top. This was a neat idea since no decreasing was needed until shaping the bottom. However, it also made for floppier fabric at the top, where structure is kind of needed. To be fair, I was using a different yarn, and maybe Alchemy Bamboo makes a stiffer fabric, I don't know. Anyway, for the first basket, I accidentally cast on 121 stitches instead of 114, which I didn't discover until it was time to decrease for the bottom. Oops. But it worked out fine, and I like the slightly larger basket. To sum up, I liked the knitting, but I'm not sure the finishing should have been done by a non-crafty person like me. It needed more professional finishing than I can do, but I'm still not sure how the basket in the pattern can look so perfect if she did the finishing she calls for.

Other knitting: I decided on a pattern for the Silky Wool. I hope i don't regret this, but I chose the Gathered Pullover. I did a folded hem instead of the rolled edge, and after lots of ravelrying, I will be relocating the center cables by knitting an extra inch or two before and an extra couple of inches after the cable. I'm still undecided about eliminating the eyelets.

State of the knitting: Okay, I really did NOT do well with my yarn challenge last year. I'm supposed to give away the yarn in my list that I didn't use, but I'm not gonna do that. I think at this point, with a toddler and writing to do, I'm not going to try to challenge myself with knitting. I have enough challenges. So I'll just keep trying to do things from my stash without concrete goals, but I'll pick things that are fun and relaxing without worrying about doing a project a month or using up twelve different yarns.

Writing: Hoping to get going again this week!

Reading: I'm slogging through Eat Pray Love for my book group, and I have an ARC to read. Er, two ARCs to read. I ended 2009 with 217 books read for the year! What can I say? Reading is my TV.

Cooking: Not too much of interest, but I have some plans for good stuff coming up!


mle said...

Well, I can tell you that you did a heck of a lot better on those baskets than I could have! they turned out quite cute actually.
I can't wait to see your progress on the Gathered Pullover...that is a beautiful sweater.

amy said...

I really like your baskets, and I can't see any screw-ups. Fantastic color and details (beautiful beads!). You'll get to enjoy using them, which is really the fun part.

Good for you for cutting yourself some slack with the knitting - it is supposed to be *enjoyable* and not added pressure. You DO have enough challenges, and I should note, you already are nailing the superwoman thing anyway.

Oh how I love to see "ravelry" used as a verb. Your Gathered Pullover is going to be fab.

Have a wonderful weekend!

YarnThrower said...

Your baskets turned out very cute, so maybe just say that's the look you were going for. Regarding the finishing instructions...hmmm..... I am not able to visualize just how *interfacing* by itself is going to make knit fabric as stiff as it looks in the photo. I am wondering if something like plastic canvas might be a better option, and instead of tape, plastic canvas could be tied together along the edges to make a shape.

Anyway....I'll be watching your progress on your gathered pullover. That sweater has tempted me numerous times, though I'd probably make the same modifications you're making, so I'll enjoy learning from how you make.

Happy New Year!

KnitPastis said...

Never too late to wish you a Happy New Year! I am in awe at your baskets. You did a really nice sewing job too!