Monday, October 23, 2006

Mrs. McSpazzitron!

Okay, okay, I did it! I'm officially Mrs. DH! We had a great time at the wedding, and for the most part everything came off without a hitch. All I can say is that when they opened the doors to the church and I started walking down the aisle, I couldn't stop myself from smiling from ear to ear and had to restrain myself from giddy laughter. It was such a high. And marrying my DF, now DH, is everything I could have hoped for. But he still smells. Anyway, I posted a link to the photographer's webpage on my wedding blog, so if you're really all that interested, feel free to flip through the 1400 pictures...

But nothing's changed on the knitting front... I'm still madly knitting away.

Icarus Shawl by Miriam Felton
Pattern in Interweave Knits Summer 2006
Materials: Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud (100% alpaca. 440 yards per 50g ball) 80g in Horizon. Size US3 32" Addi Turbo circular needle.
Gauge: Does it matter on a lace shawl?
Finished size: 32" from neck to center point and 75" along neck edge.
Total yarn cost: $8 from Knitpicks

Started: August 1, 2006
Finished: October 9, 2006

Modifications: eliminated one of the stockinette repeats... so how did it end up this BIG?

One of my friends said that triangular shawls are like puppies, they start out all cute and small... and then they grow. I'd have to agree with this project. I just about wanted to pull all my hair out so that I'd match DH by the time I got to the second to last chart. Then he went away and left me to my own devices. Which meant that I ate too much junk food, drank a lot of soda and watched the entire first season of Grey's Anatomy as I finished the last two charts of this project.

I had intended to finish this shawl in time for the wedding. I did... and it was blocked 4 whole days before the wedding, but alas, it stayed in the car in the mad rush to get dressed. So while I was freezing in my reception for the first hour, it sat idly by and watched me freeze from the garage.

But, it's not too awful. I didn't have a shawl pin, and I have absolutely no idea how to wear a shawl. See picture at right. We'll see if this one's a keeper. Hard to say because it's just so yummy soft, but again, I'm pretty petite and this shawl certainly isn't.

Previous posts about this project:
Last post as Miss McSpazzitron on October 6, 2006
MIA again on June 9, 2006

Sienna Cardigan by Anne E. Smith
Pattern in Interweave Knits Fall 2006
Materials: Plymouth Suri Merino (50% alpaca, 50% wool. 109 yd per 50g ball) 340g in color 799. Size 8 24" Addi Turbo circular needles.
Gauge: 18 sts and 24 rows per 4"
Finished size: 32" bust, 20.5" long, 22" from shoulder seam to cuff.
Total yarn cost: $25 from Bo Peeps Wool Shop

Started: October 4, 2006
Finished: October 22, 2006

I changed the gauge because I didn't think that the published finished size was a good size for me and also because I didn't think I could get gauge with this yarn. I went ahead and just used the same stitch count and row count for everything and went with the principle that all proportions would shrink down appropriately with the smaller gauge. Also, picked up button bands and collar stitches all at once instead of separately and seaming the collar to the button bands.

Okay, so the style is a tad on the old librarian side, but hey, everyone needs a cardigan, right? At least it's not black. But more importantly, this is my first seamed set-in sleeve sweater, and I didn't have any major seaming issues this time! It took me the better part of 4 hours to just set in the sleeves, sew sleeve and side seams, but I honestly think I did a pretty good job. I even took a picture of it. Okay, most normal people don't take pictures of the inside of their sweaters, but I thought the seams and the places where I picked up stitches around the button band and collar look very nice. I'm taking a step away from the super Chinese mentality and actually allowing myself to say that something is good without wishing it would be better.

The shape is pretty classic, so what makes this sweater different is the details. First of all, I don't think that the picture in IK did a very good job at actually showing what the faggoting cables along the front edges looks like, so I took a close up here. I didn't realize that the inside of the cables was open until I started knitting the front... and that was a pleasant surprise.

I even had a good time picking out buttons for this piece. I chose these buttons because they're a classic shape and color, but the swirls of green in them picked up the color of the sweater so perfectly it just made it that much better. And by the way, when sewing buttons to your sweaters, how do you do it? I took one ply of the yarn I used on the sweater and used that, but the individual plies are so easy to break that I'm a bit worried about it.

And the cuffs. There wasn't a good picture of what the cuffs looked like in the photo spread either. So here's mine. The directions tell you to go back to the cast on edge at the cuff and pick up stitches and then immediately cast off. I tried this, but my usual cast-off is so tight and when I went up a couple of needle sizes, it still didn't look like anything much. So I decided to try out the lace cast off that was used on the Icarus Shawl. I like the way it looks... kind of like it was crocheted on, and it's stretchy!

So now what? I have absolutely NOTHING on the needles right now. How crazy is that? I guess I could start on my Christmas knitting, but I'm feeling really selfish right now. I think this is a holdover from last year's crazy holidy knitting blowout. How much fun will this be when I start to panic come November? Stay tuned...