Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Front Porch Blogging

So, instead of the one front and one back photo Matt usually takes, I talked him into taking a few of Camisa I could choose between. And I suggested the front yard instead of the back of the house, with siding as a backdrop. I started out standing in front of a tree, but you'll see he ended up getting cars in the background. I'm a terrible model, and he's no great shakes as a photographer, but I think we did better this time. After I said, "That's probably good," he even took a couple of angled shots.

The front:

More of the front:

The back:

Lilah frequently interrupted the photo shoot with demands that her own picture be taken. No shrinking violet is that one.

Here's the one detail I'm not crazy about in the pattern, the side vents instead of proper hip shaping:

And a close up of the reverse stockinette top, basketweave center, and stockinette bottom.

And a couple of angled bonus pictures:

Pattern: Camisa, by Kat Coyle (Knitscene, Fall 2006, available for purchase here. Size 36.5"

Yarn: Rowan Calmer in Garnet, 6 skeins (I had at least half a skein left)

Needles: Size 7

Modifications: I have finally accepted that I have a long torso. So, as a matter of course, I simply add two inches in length to every sweater I make for myself. In this case, I added an inch below and above the basketweave pattern (concerned about having the basketweave cutting across the bust - I suggest the extra inch for anyone above a C cup).

Notes: I really enjoyed knitting this. It's a clever design, easy but not boring. The edges do curl, and blocking din't really fix it entirely. Neither did ironing, though at least the bottom edge is sitting relatively flat. I'm not sure that side vents are my favorite hip shaping technique, but I don't think they're awful. The crochet edge isn't the neatest. Probably my fault, as I'm crap at crochet. I'm never sure I'm doing it right. I think applied i-cord would look neater as an edging. Overall, I like this. I think I'll wear it.

Other knitting: Waiting for yarn for a Ballet Camisole, so I cast on for Sizzle in Rowan Calmer in Coffee Bean. I didn't bother to take a picture, as it's just an inch of seed stitch so far.

Reading: Not anything terribly exciting.

Writing: Some progress, not a lot.

Cooking: I have tackled sourdough! If you've been reading this blog for a while, you may recall that I had some success with sourdough while living in Wisconsin, but have had one disaster after another since moving here. Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice had the answers I needed. I have another batch rising now.

I made pesto to go with pasta and roasted red peppers and asparagus. No recipe, though. And my Triple Almond Brownies. I made them for friends and fancied them up by baking them off in tartlet pans and serving with a side of cream whipped with amaretto and a bit of powdered sugar. Very nice.

The garden is coming along. The zucchini and squash are in bloom, small green tomatoes and baby tomatillos have appeared. Strawberries are producing. My cilantro is growing so fast, I need to chop it down!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Day 7: What a Yarn

Today's topic is: What a Yarn
There’s one love that we all share: yarn. Blog about a particular yarn you have used in the past or own in your stash, or perhaps one that you covet from afar. If it is a yarn you have used you could show the project that you used it for, perhaps writing a mini ‘review’. Perhaps, instead, you pine for the feel of the almost mythical qiviut? You could explore and research the raw material and manufacturing process if you were feeling investigative.

My go-to yarns are Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool for sweaters, Malabrigo sock for scarves, and Rowan Calmer for summer tops. I love the drape of the Silky Wool, and it's soft, yet durable. The first project I made with Silky Wool was Somewhat Cowl. I made an unfortunate choice to do a short-sleeved version, so I never wear it. I suppose I could try layering a long-sleeved t-shirt underneath. I also weighed at least 25 pounds more than I do now. When I tried it on recently, it was ridiculously big. When I run out of yarn with which to knit, I will frog it! I also made Gathered Pullover out of Silky Wool. That one is more forgiving on the fit. It's just more slouchy now, and less fitted, but doesn't look ridiculous. Matt's Hjalte is my latest Silky Wool project. Someday, it will have sleeves. SIlky Wool is lovely to knit with, and it's reasonably affordable because the skeins have decent yardage.

I made the Tesla Scarf and Love Bites Scarf out of Malabrigo Sock. I was SO happy when Malabrigo started a sock weight line. I like the worsted for sweaters okay, but a scarf out of Sock is absolutely divine. I have three more skeins in various colors for future scarves.

Calmer is not a go-to yarn for me, usually. It's more one I covet from afar because it's on the expensive side. If you've been following my blog, you know how ridiculously excited I was to find discontinued colors for about half off. I snapped up as many as I could. I first worked with Calmer for my Tempting II from many moons ago. I wore that top once or twice this summer, but it's sort of big now, and I was never crazy about it. When I run out of my Calmer stash, I'll rip it out because the yarn is too nice to just sit in a drawer with the other unworn sweaters. This year, I've already made Tomato and Audrey out of Calmer, and I'm nearing the finish line on my Camisa. Love, love, love this yarn.

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Saturday, May 01, 2010

Day 6: Blast From The Past

Today's topic is: Revisit a past F/O
Bring the fortune and life of a past finished project up to the present. Document the current state and use of an object you have knitted or crocheted, whether it is the hat your sister wears to school almost every day, or a pair of socks you wore until they were full of hole. Or maybe that jumper that your did just didn’t like that much…

Darn it, I was going to do a photo shoot, trying on all my sad, unloved past projects, but the weekend was busy and Sunday, when I had the time, was too humid for me to want to parade around in one wool sweater after another. I talked about all my sad, unloved past projects in this post but I would like to add photos. I think I still will, sometime this week when Matt's around during daylight hours.

Besides the sweaters I made for myself, there have been other disasters. Like the Einstein Coat I made out of Pakucho Organic Cotton as a newbie knitter (yes, a coat made out of worsted cotton weighs about 42 pounds and stretches like made), the fair isle cardigan I made out of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride for my mother who lives in California (where 50 is considered cold), or the red and white striped sweater I knit for my father-in-law, which promptly acquired pink stripes with the first wash. When I was pregnant, I also made weird yarn choices for baby knits, so I made three sweaters and a dress that she NEVER wore. Argh.

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