30 June 2010

A morning in Brooklyn

There are pictures to upload from today, but we're in the process of packing up to head to Maine tomorrow. However, I just wanted to say that I had a super-inspiring morning visiting American High Style at the Brooklyn Museum (Worth, Schiaparelli, Mme. Gres, Charles James - swoon to Mr. James! - amazing architectural, engineered gowns). They've recently gifted their massive clothing collection to the Met and have some sort of reciprocal arrangement. Anyway, I had to get over there before leaving town, since the show ends 1 August 2010, and I'm so glad I did. Hopefully I'll be able to hit the "sister" show at the Met before we head to Wisconsin in August, since that one doesn't close until 15 August. If you have a chance and are in New York, don't miss! [link]
P.S. Thanks, sweetie, for watching the girls!

Interweave to publish eMags

Interweave is getting into "eMag" publishing. First, they're coming out with a quilting publication. But for the knitters the more interesting news is that they are going to publish a sock magazine online, Sockupied. [link]

20 June 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day, Dad (and Nick, of course)!

Doesn't he look great in his Dennis tie? It's not too late to buy a copy of the pattern, though it is too late to knit one for him today. It's quick, but it's not that quick a pattern.

I hope you're having a great Father's Day.

2wksweater Challenge: Wench

So, I decided to follow Kate Gilbert on her two-week sweater challenge (she had to knit up a sample sweater in two weeks for a Twist Collective photo shoot deadline). And between that and work and the kids' school years coming to an end, I haven't had time to blog.

I've had three hanks of Louet Euroflax in my stash since ... 2007? 2006? Quite some time, anyway, and those skeins had fully matured. Originally I had planned to knit the Lacy Skirt with Bows by Kat Coyle out of that yarn, but when I'd swatched on US4s, I actually broke one of my Bryspun needles (they are plastic, so it happens, especially when working with such an inflexible yarn).

But I'd come around to the idea of a sweater (and Kat's skirt is still in my queue awaiting the appropriate yarn - love the combination of lace and ribbon) with this linen yarn, at a larger gauge. With US8 aluminum HiyaHiya needles, I cast on my idea for a drawstring-neck sweater (the sleeve to be precise), and away we went.

Because the linen produces such a drapey fabric, I decided not to include any shaping in this one, so it's really just three straight tubes (in two different circumferences) with eyelets thrown in here and there for drawstrings and raglan lines.

I fell for the picot point cast-off recently while swatching for another project and decided they would add the perfect feminine touch to the edges of this sweater, as well as add a little extra weight to the hem. Right now I have i-cords for the drawstrings but may need to find some pretty ribbon instead.

Here's a quick shot on me. I had just finished the i-cords, so this is pre-blocking, and I hadn't woven in the ends yet. Though the body and one sleeve are washed, the other sleeve, body hem, and yoke were unwashed and still very ... crinkly.

What interested me most was the change in the fabric after washing and drying in the machine (love the low-maintenance sweater!), which you can see in the pictures: one sleeve and the yoke are straight off the skein and the body and other sleeve have been through the machine once. I got a little nervous at one point and decided to wash what I'd knit to make sure my calculations were correct. Now, it wasn't so much that the gauge changed (it did, but only slightly), it's that the fabric completely changed, plumped up, in fact, and smoothed out.

Next time I work with this yarn, I think I'll wash the skeins before I begin to make it more pleasant to work with (lots of dust and dirt that aggravated my allergies). And check out how much lint just half of the sweater generated:
The other interesting thing I learned about linen yarn in my obsessive Ravelry research, knitting, and shopping (J.Crew has a pretty, "dip-dyed" linen sweater) is that this yarn in a stockinette fabric biases a lot. That J.Crew sweater? It was knit up in pieces and seamed; when I tried it on, one of the seams ended up swinging itself across half my torso. Not flattering to this mummy tummy. So, beware the bias, or just embrace it. The little picots at the bottom of the sweater give a little weight to the hem, helping the drape of the fabric.

Pattern and final pictures to come...

28 May 2010

Interview with Robin Hunter

Robin was gracious enough to interview me (via email) for her blog today. I really enjoyed thinking about her questions, as well as reading her interviews with many other knitwear designers along with all her other informative posts. I'm pleasurably embarrassed to be in such virtual company. Thanks, Robin! [link]

Gore Place Festival (long overdue)

Fiber Tent (Bartlett on the left, Lucy's great selection of yarns from her shop Mind's Eye Yarns on the right of this photo; lots more further inside the tent)

Sheep waiting to be shorn

Fleece from sheep shorn with electric clippers (hand-shearing was in the other tent)

Some shorn sheep

And some goodies that came home with me...

Holiday Yarns Bubblegum Pink sock yarn (so pretty and cheery), 3 skeins of sock yarn from The Fiber Denn in Celestite (is that my color or what?), and this beautiful sweater toggle from Leslie Wind (I'll photograph my C-pin soon, promise!)

The Gore Place Sheep Shearing Festival was great! Lots to see: hand and electric shearing tents, sheep dog display, Gore Place's livestock, reenactors in period dress, the marketplace tents, as well as the Fiber Tent. Yummy food: Christina's ice cream, kettle corn, the awesome Polish truck, Persian food, and Scottish shortbread at the kilt vendor tent. And, of course, great company in my former roomies and their adorable little girls, plus meeting Leslie (finally!) who I first met online back when I was living in Gloucester.

This was my second year attending the Festival, and it was even more fun this time. It seemed like there were more people there - lots of families with children getting to see first-hand where wool comes from. I hope to make this an annual visit.

Free Pattern Friday: Annis

Did you get the Knitty Surprise email yesterday? Both patterns are lovely, but I went a little crazy for Annis, the crescent-shaped shawlette with nupps. Perhaps it's because Nancy Bush's Knitted Lace of Estonia is one of the newer books in my collection or because The Haapsalu Shawl is on my mental wish list.  I've already queued it up, despite a long list of pattern ideas I want to work on (never mind all the actual work on my plate), and plan to use some Malabrigo Lace for mine. [Pattern | Ravelry]