Wednesday, April 26, 2006

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

(If you now have that song stuck in your head, I'm sorry)

I may have mentioned once or twice how much I enjoy watching hockey. If not, let me say it now: I enjoy watching hockey. The NHL playoffs started April 21 and the Flames are (at the moment) leading their series with the Ducks (I can't stand the name "Mighty Ducks". I can't really stand the fact that they are named after a movie at all, actually) 2 games to 1. Go Flames Go. So, I have been knitting while watching hockey (there is almost no end to the games in the first round. I think I watched about 6 hours of hockey last night) but blogging has been sadly neglected. I'm sorry!

Maybe if when the Flames beat the Ducks (I'm thinking 5 games. They're at home for game 5) I'll knit the duck sweater from my aunt but I'll rework the charts for the ducks so they have singe marks around the wings. (Flames. Ducks. Singe marks.)

But, this is not a hockey blog, this is a crafting blog that seems to be focussed solely on knitting of late. So...


Pattern: Knitty's Mesilla
Yarn: Recycled Value Village gigantic men's cotton sweater. "Yarn" is perhaps a bit of a misnomer, as it was a machine knit sweater that seemed to have been knit from about six strands of very very fine cotton held together.
When I say "gigantic" I am, for once, not exaggerating. I used the yarn from one sleeve to knit this top. I could knit an entire outfit with the yarn from that one sweater.
Modifications: Obviously knit in one color (the original is multi-colored); my gauge was smaller than that of the yarn called for; I added length to the body to accomodate my freakishly long torso; I only did 3 decrease rounds in finishing the neck*; I did 5 rounds of seed stitch instead of the picot bind off the pattern calls for**

*I finished the neckline of this top no less than 4 times on Sunday. I first followed the pattern, which gave me a neck opening too small to get my head through. Then I frogged that and re-knit it with only about 5 rounds before the seed stitch at the neck. Too low. Then I frogged the seed stitch and re-knit the edging with no decreases (not smart. I forgot about them.) which I realized before I bound off. This is attempt 4: Decrease every 4th round for 12 rounds then 5 rounds seed stitch. It's pretty much exactly what I wanted.
**I did the picot trim on the bottom when I "finished" the body (i realized at that point that I hadn't accounted for my freakishly long torso and had to frog back and re-knit anyway). The bottom flipped out like it was a trumpet flare. Not what I was going for.

Overall: I love this top! I hope to wear it a lot this summer. I may (will probably) make another one (or 3) in a different yarn. I love the way the shaping is written: front darts and shaping at the center back.

Next on the needles (as if there is only one project on the needles. shh):

I added a panel of lace ("Cascading Leaves" from my Reader's Digest stich book) to the sleeve of another Ribby Cardi. At this point, I could probably knit a Ribby Cardi in my sleep (wouldn't that be cool?). This is my 5th one. I haven't decided yet how or if I will insert the leaf pattern on the body of the sweater.

Actually, as I wrote this I had an idea: I could split the leaf pattern and do one half of it on the edge of the fronts. Or would that look cheesy? I was originally going to insert the whole pattern like on the sleeves on each front. Then I thought I would leave the fronts plain or in ribbing. Thoughts?

I'm knitting this in TLC Cotton Plus. The color is sort of cornflower-ish but on my camera seems to insist that it is a brighter blue than that.

Last night, watching the Edmonton game go to 2nd overtime (my 3rd game of the night) I got to here:

on the first sleeve. I need about 15 more rounds for this sleeve before it will be at the point where I will eventually join it to the body. See that end there? ARGH. I hate starting a new ball of yarn at that point!!!

So, see, I have been knitting.

(I'm posting tonight because the Flames don't play tonight and the Montreal game is in intermission before the start of overtime)

OH!! I almost forgot!! Thanks for all the comments on my good fortune/crafty family history. Notable mention goes to my aunt Pat, my mom's cousin (Hi Pat!!!) who has been reading (I would say lurking, but that sounds really harsh) for some time now. Did you read what she wrote? Did you?
Hi Lori
When you get the spinning wheel to work I know someone who has two alpacas that wil probably get shorn every year and she doesn't want the wool, at least not yet. Just to whet your enthusiasim for learning to clean, card, and spin wool into knittable yarn!!!
Your Aunt Pat

My family are enablers. Now I need to:
1. Learn to spin.
2. Learn to clean/card alpaca
3. Find someone to support me so I can spend all my time evenly split between spinning and knitting.
I should get going on that...

After the playoffs...

5 comments:

  1. OH my, alpaca!!! That is my favorite of all yarns. I was at the zoo today and asked about when they shear the llamas-just for fun. They do it every two years and this year was the odd one.
    I love your Mesilla. I would never have recognized it in one color.
    I love the lace pattern on the ribby. Definitely cut it in half up the front.

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  2. I wonder if your LYS could help you with some spinning lesson contacts.
    It could be a place to start asking,
    Fabulous knitting, as usual.
    Good Luck, Gillian

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  3. I've been clicking links all afternoon, so I have no idea how I found you. However, I'm thrilled to find another knitter who loves hockey as much as I do. And I do! I have the tattoo to prove it. Alas, I get so caught up in the game that I can't knit. Or eat. Or drink. Or, well, just about anything. Tee! Love the playoffs. Love.

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  4. Wow, thanks for stopping by. It is so awesome to see someone else using the same stitch, and from the same book. And in blue! It looks great on a sleeve. Is that ribbing on the back part, and which cast on did you do?

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  5. ducks with singe marks! too great.
    Neil has maintained from the start that calgary'll get it in game 6. We've been watching a lot of hockey these days too. We're vancouver fans though, so no doubt we're watching less obsessively than we would be...
    And nice top! I think I prefer it without all the curliques and colours.

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Hi! I'm so glad you stopped by. I'd love to hear from you.