Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bad Blogger

I am a bad blogger, I know that I  should write more often.

Excuses, excuses:

    1. Some days I think what could I possibly have to say that would be interesting and hasn't already been written about.
    2. Other days I have so many ideas on what to write about that rather than choose one I choose none.
    3. Most days I'd rather knit than blog.
    4. Also I'm lazy.

I hereby resolve to be a better blogger.

What have I finished recently?
As a rule I prefer to have no more than three objects in process, usually a pair of socks, a larger project such as a sweater or a shawl, and a third project which could be who knows what.  If I have more UFO's then that it feels like I will never get anything finished and they only thing I love more than starting a new project is finishing a project (I get bored in the middle obviously). 

Right now I have no socks in progress. 

The most recent (probably in the last six months) socks that I finished are these:

                   Ariel (pair #2)                                                                     Ariel (pair #3)
    Plymouth Yarn's Happy Feet, color no. 4.                          J.Knits SuperwashMe Light
    This yarn was actually too heavy for this pattern             
    and this pair is a little too big.
    Unnamed                                                                      Unnamed, Stranded
    German Herringbone stitch pattern                   Regia Silk (dark Brown)
    Fortissima Socka Disco3 yarn                                    J.Knits SuperwashMe Light (cinnamon)
                                                                                              Variegated that I think is Schoeller Stahl
    Plain Old Plain Old
    Berroco Sox
I already blogged about the Nordstrom's knock-off sweater which I finished in June 2008.
This tank top was finished in August 2008. I love the flat cables (they are not actual cables but instead are made with increases/decreases).  The stitch pattern is in 'The Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns'.  However, when I swatched the pattern as given in the book it was severely biased:
The reason is that it is only shown as increasing in one direction.
I rewrote the chart so that the 'cables' alternated one left/one right which eliminated the bias:
The yarn is Classic Elite Premier (cotton/tencel) that I've been wanting to use for a project for quite a while and although I loved knitting with it,  when worn for the first time the yarn left fuzzies all over me and I could feel it getting longer/stretching all evening.
Last Spring (not sure exactly when but I am sure it was too warm to wear by the time I finished it) I finished this sweater  (The solid color is an alpaca yarn and the variegated is a handpainted sock yarn):
It took a couple weekends to make a quilt for my daughter.  She wanted the numerous sorority t-shirts that she had amassed made into a blanket.  This photo was taken before the actual quilting took place, it took several days just to baste it.  I tried to avoid basting but I should know better and had to rip out my first quilting attempt.  I now remember why I only ever made one quilt before, and I don't plan on making any others any time soon.  I know it looks upside down - I should have shot the photo from the other end of the table.
What am I working on now?
This shetland shawl design in Jojoland Fingering Weight wool.  Still need to decide on the edging:

Top down garter stitch cardigan inspired by one from Victoria's Secret (see earlier post).  The yarn is Reynolds Mandalay, 100% silk, no fun to knit with at all.  This yarn had a previous life as another sweater that I never finished as noted in an earlier post.

A crochet cardigan in Brown Sheep Cotton Fine.  I thought this would be a nice change of pace and would go more quickly than a knit cardigan, but the stitch pattern I chose (marguerite) is slow to work and I'm struggling to keep an even gauge.

I've been admiring these sweaters where the cable goes around the yoke:
Tahki Stacy Charles Zara Cabled Tunic as seen in Interweave Knits
Lion Brand's  Cable Luxe Tunic

Armed with knowledge from an article in The Best of Vogue Knitting Magazine by Meg Swenson titled 'EPS Revisited' and inspired by this charted cable pattern from the girl from auntie as well as Viking Patterns for Knitting by Elizabeth Lavold, I have been swatching for a  cabled yoke cardigan design in Brown Sheep Sport.

This cable will be worked sideways around the yoke with  a narrower version at the cuff.  After reading Meg's article I came to understand that in a circular yoke only about 1/2 of the yoke involves increasing (if working top down) or decreasing (if working bottom up), the remainder is knit even to the armhole - now I see (lightbulb moment) how the sweaters with the sideways cable work.

Well that was quite a long post - took hours to do, my own fault - I vow to try and be a more frequent blogger!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Inspiring Retail Designs

I can spend hours on the internet looking for inspiration and noting current knitwear trends on the websites of retailers (Dillards, Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom's, Bloomingdales, Ralph Lauren, Spiegel, Victoria's Secret, etc. etc.)

I had so much fun creating (knitting a knock off) of this sweater:

Here is my version:

Recently I noticed this sweater on the Victoria's Secret website:

The last few days I have been working on knitting something similar for myself not necessarily as a pattern to publish.  I'm using a yarn that I am "re-purposing" (that's a new term I keep hearing on HGTV - it seems to have replaced their catch phrase from last year "makes it pop") from an unfinished sweater that I frogged last week. Not my favorite yarn (Reynolds Mandalay, 100% silk) - if it doesn't work out I'll send it back to the bottom of the frog pond permanently.

Then coincidentally, yesterday I came across this blog of someone else admiring this type of design: Olgajazzy.

On the Duplicate Designing Phenomenon

There is a phenomenon that has been discussed on other knitting blogs across the net, and even noted by Lily Chin at a last month's Greater St. Louis Knitters' Guild event: it is quite common for designers to come up with very similar designs at nearly the same time.
I talked about this on my July 13 post below relating to the stitch pattern used in the ever popular Monkey Socks.

This morning I woke to find this thread on Ravelry:

If you're not on Ravelry, Krystofer came up with a sock design that he also didn't realize was essentially the same as Monkey socks:

So 'unventing' applies not only to technique, but also to design.

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