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31 December 2007 @ 08:01 am
Didn't get the memo? You can now find me here!

http://www.yaiann.com

Happy New Year!
 
 
 
20 November 2007 @ 12:00 pm
Happy four years of knitting! What better way to celebrate than with a present.

Here's something from me to you. Now I finally feel like I have a proper blog. Please update your bookmarks and I'll see you there!
 
 
 
14 November 2007 @ 12:59 am
While I'd love to say that my BFF and I exchanged a sweater for lifetime FO modeling, that was certainly not the case (especially since I already divulged that she was voluntold into the duty).

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I originally intended to knit the Turbulence U-neck Pullover for myself. I decided to knit it with negative ease and also lengthen the body as I thought the fit was too baggy on the model as well as a bit cropped. Despite the 2 inches I added to the length, the sweater was still to short for my liking. Additionally, the negative ease was a bit too much on the negative side. The stitches across the bust looked stretched out and overall the sweater just felt a bit on the snug side. As it turns out, I had my BFF try it on and it fit her perfectly!

Turbulence U-neck Pullover


Pattern: Turbulence U-neck Pullover, Norah Gaughn, Knitting Nature
Size: 36"
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Merino DK, color 225003, 10 skeins
Needles: Addi Turbos, 4.0mm, 3.5mm
Started: May 2007
Finished: November 2007

Notes:
Easy, simple and straightforward pattern (unlike the Ram's Horn Jacket). This is definitely suitable for beginners and a great pattern for learning cables.

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I added a few fun details such as tubular cast-on. Did I ever tell you that the Italian tubular cast-on is the best thing since sliced bread?


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I also decided to do slipped stitch edges which is one of the reasons why I didn't even bother trying to fix the sweater.


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But all's well that ends well. The sweater has gone to a good home and has already been worn in public! Couldn't ask for anything more, except for some inspiration for my maid of honor speech.. any tips?

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And thanks so much for all your wonderful comments on my Ram's Horn Jacket! I got so many compliments on it at work and from friends. It was really flattering!
 
 
 
12 November 2007 @ 08:58 am
Is not being able to find an appropriate closure a good enough excuse NOT to post an FO? I'm definitely going to say yes. My little old Ram's Horn Jacket has been sitting around since April for exactly that reason (yes, it's been waiting around for 6 months to be debuted). I've worn it a few times around town without a closure and needless to say, it felt naked without one and was also a bit annoying to have the big old collar just loose and flapping about whichever old way it pleased. So are you ready to see the jacket in all it's ram's horn-ee-ness glory? Of course you are, lots of you have been waiting 6 months!

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Pattern: Ram's Horn Jacket, Norah Gaughn, Knitting Nature
Yarn: Cascade 220, color 4011
Needles: Addi turbos, 4.0mm and 3.75mm
Started: October 2006
Finished: April 2007

Notes:
I fell in love with the pattern as soon as I saw it in the book. But honestly, it's so easy to fall in love with anything in Knitting Nature. The patterns have been styled and photographed so beautifully it's hard not to like anything in there. But what I loved most about this pattern was the insanely huge collar (despite the minor construction issue I had with it). This pattern jumped out of the class of being one of a run of the mill swing jacket patterns to something you could consider a piece of modern art.

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And of course the upturned hems on the sleeves and the body are also a nice touch.

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I did have a few issues with the pattern. First off, the pattern was severely lacking construction and finishing instructions. It gives instructions on how to knit the hemmed sleeves and body pieces, but no where does it indicate how to finish them. Since I've knit hemmed edges before, I merely knit them up as I knit the piece. However, if I were a beginner who had never knit upturned hems before, I'd be left scratching my head.

Another thing lacking from the instructions was how to attach the front bands. Are you supposed to put them on before or after you finish the upturned hems? Oh wait, they never tell you when or how to finish the upturned hems, so maybe you don't attach them at all? And if you attach them, do you try to seam it to both sides of the hem or just the one? What I did since the hems were knit up as I knit the body piece, I attached the front band to the outer layer of the hem, then went back, and seamed the inside layer of the hem to the band so the "tunnel" created by the hem wouldn't be exposed.

The most major issue I had with the jacket was the collar. The collar is basically knit from the skinny side to the large side and is constructed using short rows. The short row technique used in the pattern left pretty visible stitches, but trusted the pattern and I hoped that they would block out. Unfortunately they didn't but I decided to leave them as is instead of reknitting the entire collar. If you decide to knit this jacket, use the traditional short row method instead of the one the pattern sugguests.

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The visible short rows were actually the least of my concerns regarding the collar. If I knitted according to the pattern and ended the collar at 94 stitches, the collar would have stopped at my shoulder, no where near where the collar is supposed to end according to the pattern picture. I was pretty positive the collar wouldn't block out an extra 8 or so inches so I kept knitting. I knew the collar would end up ginormous, but that is what makes this jacket. I ended with about 124 stitches or so and it turned out to be just the right size. There would have been no way that a wimpy collar of only 94 stitches would even do the jacket justice, not to mention even resemble the pattern picture.

And my final construction rant about this jacket, the pattern doesn't even suggest how to attach the collar. Once the collar is knit up, you fold it in half and then seam it. Again there's this issue of two sides of fabric (the folded collar) being attached to one piece of fabric (the neckline of the jacket). I finally decided to bust out the handy dandy crochet hook, and sc'd the free edges of the collar together. Then I seamed that to the neckline. The pattern also does not tell you which end of the collar goes to which side of the neckline. Each front is a different height. The skinny end of the collar is attached to the taller front and the large end is attached to the shorter front.

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Are you thoroughly discouraged from knitting this jacket now? I hope not! I've gone through all the knitting pains for you, so now you don't have to. I just apologize that it took me so darned long to post about it. Oh, and for the closure. I was searching high and low for an appropriate shawl pin or something to use. They use a wooden shawl pin in the book which has a HUGE wooden stick. I'm not sure how they were able to manage to get that stick through the fabric, but I do hope they didn't wreck the yarn. With the gauge I knit my jacket, I couldn't imagine taking something of that diameter and forcing it through four pieces of knit fabric (two layers of the collar, the left front and the right front). I was debating alternative closures, such as sewing on a snap or even hook and eyes. But the perfect closure was the most obvious one, a kilt pin. Whodathought?

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And one last note, not pattern related, but the cure for my OCD on photo shoots is to find a suitable model and take the photos yourself. There was a marathon putting-together-wedding-stuff-day yesterday and I voluntold my BFF that she would be my model. It worked out well and is even better than taking photos on a dress form! Why? Because you can tell her to do whatever you want, including, I'm a little tea pot!
 
 
 
08 November 2007 @ 08:05 pm
Sew? I Knit! is back! The next project starts November 15 and it's all about The Holiday Party. If you're planning on sewing something to wear over the holidays, come join us! Want a little sewing inspiration? I have four words for you, Burda World of Fashion.

BWOF 11/07 - 105a

BWOF 11/07 - 107a

BWOF 11/07 - 104


The November issue, if you haven't seen it yet, is full of gems! Don't trust me, see here. And you must click through the photo to see the entire red dress. I think I'm leaning towards that one. What will you sew? Come on over and join the fun!
 
 
 
07 November 2007 @ 11:32 pm
No seriously. Listen to me here! Adrienne interviewed little old me last week for her podcast. We chatted a bit about knitting, sewing and cooking. Fun times!

As I'm coming down from 3 super busy work weeks, not to mention my BFF's wedding next week, I'm finally going to have time to do some serious updates. The fate of the houndstooth sock will soon be revealed as well as some FO's and some more exciting news!

Until the next post, here's another musical interlude.



Like the remix better? Click here.
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17 October 2007 @ 09:30 am
a Motorola SLVR (cameraphone action at its best)..

Need opinions ASAP. I've committed to knitting a friend a FABULOUS sock. After trying three different patterns I decided to go it on my own. I originally wanted to knit something textured, but decided to do colorwork instead. I decided on a houndstooth motif and went from there. And now I'm not sure if I should go on. The pattern seems to disappear to me and you can't discern the "houndsteeth" from blobs of color. What do you think? Should I dunk, soak, and block this before I make a decision to go back to the drawing board or just scrap this pattern altogether?

Go or no go?
Flat

Go or no go?
"modeled"
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15 October 2007 @ 10:28 pm
After spending all weekend tracing patterns and anxiously awaiting for Monday so that I could pick up my wool fabric from the cleaners, I discovered that I won't be able to sew up Simplicity 3631. Why? Because I am SUCH the math genius. Sometime in between tracing patterns and waiting for Monday, I had added the following up in my head: 2 3/4 yd + 1 yd = 2 3/8 yd ... WTF? yes, WTF.. I got so excited to have something new to wear to a work event on Friday that I had imagined that I had extra fabric to make the skirt in addition to the jacket I was originally intending on sewing. I would have made a suit! I was so excited about that possibility that it made the wait to pick up my dry cleaning unbearable. So this evening I picked up the wool and proceeded to work on cutting. I started out by cutting off 1 yard for the skirt. I looked at the remaining fabric and thought to myself, wait a sec, this can't possibly be 2 3/4 yards. I ran back upstairs, checked the card and realized, rather reminded myself, that I only had 2 3/8 yards. The SADNESS! I must have had a huge brain lapse! Even if I didn't decide to make the skirt, I still wouldn't have had enough to make the jacket!

3631, not ready to be cut


So as I'm simultaneously feeling sad and pissed at my wonderful math skills, I remembered that I had a gem waiting for me in the dryer..

CJs Quilt


Beach Stripe Quilt
Pattern: my own, based on 10" and 5" squares and 5"x10" rectangles
Fabric: Alexander Henry's Beach Stripe, symphony broadcloth and country classic solids
Size: 40 x 40"
Recipient: CJ

Why yes, it is another baby quilt. I tell you, they're popping out all over the place!* This quilt was made for my good college friend's little boy who made his appearance this weekend. I swear this would have been done before he was born! His shower is happening this weekend, but HE wasn't supposed to happen until next month! So welcome to the world little CJ!

CJs quilt - front


This quilt was supposed to be based purely on 10, 5, and 2.5" squares. I played and played around with all the pieces and finally decided on something. As you can see, there are rectangles and no 2.5" squares. The design changed and I'm pretty happy with it. There is one little boo-boo in the layout, can you spot it? I caught it early on that I could have fixed it, but decided to keep it that way, partially out laziness and partially as a "design element" (which do you really believe?).

CJs quilt - back


Some of those 2.5" squares show up on the back. And to be honest with you, I like the back a lot better than the front. But that's the good thing about this quilt, instead of having a plain back, you've got a design on both sides so you can flip back and forth depending on your mood.

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I learned two things while making this quilt. Painter's tape is your best friend when quilting a geometric motif. I basically quilted 5 square spirals, one in the center, and one in each quadrant of the quilt. Then I quilted diagonal lines on the corners of the quilt. Detail here.

Don't use dark thread


I also learned that you shouldn't use dark colored thread to sew your pieces together. I used green thread to piece the quilt together. Bad move. While you can't see the green show through the yellow from afar, it's definitely noticeable when you look right it. Quilting tip of the day: When piecing fabrics of different colors, use thread that matches the fabric with the lightest color.

And because I'm always amazed at the pre and post wash transformation, here are some before and afters. Click through for links to see each individual photo.

CJs Quilt


* I've got three more friends expecting little ones (three little girls, one in November, December, and January). More cutting and piecing to come. At this rate, I'll never get my own quilt done!
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14 October 2007 @ 11:55 pm
Five to go, (that is, if I don't finish anything before I've blogged all my backlogged FO's)

Heels


Did you have any doubt in your mind that socks would make up the majority of the 10 items I haven't blogged about? C'mon now! Count 'em up, five pairs knit between April and August.

mamaFasu socks


mamaFasu's Birthday socks
Pattern: 3x1 ribbed socks
Yarn: Regia Jubilee, 1 skein
Needles: Inox 2.25mm

Your basic 3x1 rib, my go to ribbing pattern. Nothing fancy here.

Charade Socks


Pattern: Charade, Sandra of I May Be Knitting a Ranch House fame
Yarn: Yarn Pirate in Pure Knits, 1 skein
Needles: Addi Turbo 2.0mm

These were problem socks, not the pattern, but the yarn! It kept pooling something awful no matter what pattern. So I decided to start another pattern but from the other end of the ball and guess what, it worked!

Incredible Hulk Ribbed Socks


Pattern: 3x1 ribbed socks
Yarn: Yarn Pirate in Shamrock, 1 skein
Needles: Addi Turbo 2.0mm

These socks are also known as the Incredible Hulk Socks, named, of course, by B himself. They're his socks so he can call them what he wants. I had the same pooling problem with this yarn as well, but hey, it pooled into stripes which is helluva lot better than pooling in to blobs any day!

Conwy


Pattern: Conwy, Nancy Bush from Knitting on the Road
Yarn: Koigu KPM, 2 skeins, color 242040
Needles: Addi Turbo 2.5mm

Love these socks and now I finally have a pair of my own! I knit my first pair for Lori two years ago for a holiday sock swap. This time I knit them exactly as written and only used two skeins, but just barely as only a few yards were left from each skein.

Giotto cuff socks


Pattern: basic stockinette sock with cuff from Giotto sock pattern
Yarn: Cookie A. yarn, 1 skein
Needles: Inox circulars and Crystal Palace dpns 2.25mm

This pair of socks were blatantly copied from Kris. That woman and her socks never fail to impress, I tell ya. I want to make every pair she makes.

And to appease the shoes with socks god(s)..

Yarn Pirate *hearts* Royal Elastic


No worries, B's wearing shorts. It's not quite cool enough to bust out the hand knit socks, but it's getting there. Fall weather, hurry up and get here already!
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12 October 2007 @ 12:31 am
Coming back from an awesome trip last weekend was not the best way to start the work week. I've been looking forward to the weekend since I stepped off the plan on Sunday night! I know you've all had this kind of week. What am I looking forward to this weekend? More of the same, aka too many things to do and not enough time to do it. Things I hope to accomplish this weekend: tracing and cutting Simplicity 3631, tracing at least ONE BWOF pattern, and finishing up another baby quilt.

I'll leave you with a little musical interlude inspired by Adrienne's Throwback Friday video for this week.



Have a great weekend y'all!
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