El Sol Pullover

>> Friday, August 29, 2008

A case of when bad gauge happens to good knitting....

When I set out to knit this sweater I was full of energy and confidence in my knitting abilities. I did a "pretty close" gauge swatch and then started knitting right away. I couldn't be bothered with a lot of math and figuring I wanted my sweater. I envisioned myself at football games and bar-b-ques this fall telling people (modestly of course) that, "Yes I had knit my sweater".

Alas the truth is a lot more painful. Before the final unveil I would like to try and bolster my self-esteem with a few notes on what I did right.
The seed stitch turned out beautifully....

The single crochet, contrast color edging I think was good....

But alas my gauge......not so good. My daughter and I both fit comfortably in my sweater.

Both of our arms fit the sleeves...

Lots of room here...

Now I don't want anyone else to suffer as I have suffered with gauge issues. Learn from my example and don't do a "pretty close" gauge swatch :). Here is a link to a free download with a page of instruction on how to knit a proper gauge swatch.
Okay, okay, not the best turnout for my first sweater but the pattern was actually really fast and easy to complete and despite it's size the sweater is really cozy and comfy and I think if I had knit it correctly to size it would be really cute. So I am going to attempt another pullover for myself and this time don't worry but I will be gauging until satisfied that it is exactly what's called for and if I can't do that then I will sit down and do the math.
My next project for myself is a relaxed pullover from Vogue. I have some blue cotton yarn for this next knit and please keep your fingers crossed that I can correctly knit my gauge and measure and count.


A little WIP and things to do

>> Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Haven't blogged in awhile and so I thought I should check in and update everyone on what I have been doing. I am going to participate in my first swap and it's international. I am so beyond excited about this. I saw this post awhile back and had to post on comment on the blog of the woman who made the little leather booties. She thanked me for my comments and suggested we do a swap. I realized after I had agreed that a swap is a lot of pressure. What to make? What yarn to use? Am I skilled enough? After much Internet perusing and some emails sent out to ask various people "what do you think?" I finally settled on this yarn from Debbie Bliss.

I have never used any Debbie Bliss (love her patterns though) and I have to say.....yummy. It is so soft and I am assuming since it is alpaca it will be very warm. I want to make all of my future sweaters out of this yarn because it is that scrumptious.

I hope you like green Viv because I am using this for you. Since we haven't swapped yet I won't be revealing exactly what I'm knitting but here is a sneak peak at the yarn :).

I am also working on a blanket. Truth be told I don't enjoy making blankets that much. It is a lot of knitting back and forth and to me kind of boring. But when your four-year-old daughter looks up at you and asks, "Mommy, could you knit me a blanket that will keep me warm at night so I won't get cold?" you immediately load up the car and rush to the store so she can pick out the yarn she wants.

This is the catch the wave afghan, pattern found here, using Lion Brand homespun yarn. The girl wanted a light purple and a dark purple. It is really hard to show the blanket while still on the needles so I will post a hopefully much better picture when I finish it.

On a non-knitting note my little girl is going to her first day of preschool today. I have been fortunate enough to be at home with my children since they were born and so this is a big step for all of us. I know she'll have fun, and I know she needs to spread her little wings, and it's only a couple of hours a day three days a week. There is just the sadness that it's the end of an era as well. The end of us always being together and her going off and taking small steps towards independence. I am very excited for her but just between you and me I'm also the teeniest bit sad.


Scarf for a friend...

>> Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I recently picked up this book,

Handknit Holidays by Melanie Falick, I have her book Weekend Entertaining book and love it so I thought with the holidays fast approaching maybe I should pick it up now and get a leg up. It is full of great patterns that I really want to make. I decided the first cast-on should be the ribbon scarf.

I used my leftover yarn from my clutch just to see how it knit up and I think it knit up really well.


I have a friend with a birthday in September and I think she will really like this. I will probably head out and get some red sparkly yarn for her. She is super girly and loves sparkles and ruffles so I think it is the perfect gift for her.

If you think you want to make some things for the holidays, either as presents or just for yourself than I really recommend this book. The projects I have queued up are knitted ornaments: I love the stocking patterns: the wire votive candle holders: nutcracker slippers: log cabin socks (for him and her): santa hat: sparkly kiss cap: the ski kerchief

Well you get the picture the list goes on and on. Over 50 patterns (yes I counted) for Christmas.....lots of fun.


A Perfect Day

>> Saturday, August 9, 2008

The other day I took my kids to the beach....it was the perfect day.

The kind of day that opens like a beautiful present you weren't expecting. I packed my kids and went to Lake Tahoe for the day to play and it couldn't have gone better. We missed a morning nap (my kids for some strange reason don't sleep in the car so a missed nap is just missed). The weather was fantastic, just enough cloud cover to keep the beach from getting too hot.

A bucket of water and some rocks were enough to keep this one happy until we went home.

Some sand castle construction went on. Good friends and good food all on the beach. On the way home we stopped and got slurpees, they kept us all cool for the drive.

Ahhhhh, summer......

And in knitting news,

I knit this little giraffe for my daughters birthday. When asked she informed me that giraffes are her favorite animal so I decided to make her one as a surprise for her birthday.

You can find the pattern here in case anyone else knows someone with an affinity for giraffes. It has been really quick knitting so far, I used Lion's Brand wool-ease yarn and size 6 knitting needles.

Here is an apple with him to give you an idea of how small he is....not a great looking apple but I'm in a rush :). We are headed off to the lake for a night of camping so I need to sign off. Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!


Here comes fall...

>> Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Over the weekend look what I found in my mailbox!! It has been sitting and patiently waiting for me to have the time and undivided attention to peruse it.

A quick scan told me that I liked quite a few of the patterns and despite my frustration with my El Sol pullover I am planning to cast on for a few of the projects. I am already excited for autumn. I am anxiously waiting for my Interweave fall issue and am craving cool crisp afternoons to knit in. I love all the seasons and as each one comes along I convince myself this is my favorite but as the next one comes around I quickly change to that one. The holidays will be here before I know it and so I have been quietly working on a few things for Christmas. An advent calendar that I will share with you when it is further along, and some presents for loved ones. I know it's only August but if I don't get going on some of these things then I won't get them done. I found a couple things for the kids, a pullover for my husband and multiple other presents. My list of to-do's in the knitting category is getting quite long. But since it still is summer I am going to pack my magazine in a bag, my kids in car seats, a little sunscreen, and a lunch and head to the beach.
By the way....
My El Sol pullover is not coming along as hoped. I need to finish the contrast edging and sew in the little stragglers but I don't think this sweater is going to be hitting the fashion runways anytime soon. I don't know if I just used fuzzy math or if it is a combination of fuzzy math and too thick yarn....all I know is that this would be a great maternity sweater for me (and I'm not pregnant) and still probably have room. I'll finish it up and post my pictures for all to see. If I had the heart I would rip it out and do something else with it but I am sick of playing with it and want it off my needles.
Maybe it will be a good camping sweater?? Warm, and roomy. We'll see.


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