Monday, April 25, 2011

Spring Top Sewalong!

One of my favorite bloggers, Rae over here is doing her Spring Top-athon again this year. It's grown from one week to a whole month-long event. This year, I'm helping moderate all the entries that come in. I'm also hoping to get some sewing done myself. I've had a HUGE itch to sew lately, but I seem to have a loss of a major ingredient required. I can't find anything with which to copy my patterns to in order to cut out the fabric and get sewing! When we lived in GA, I would either use freezer paper (which I didn't bring because the roll was huge and heavy), or I would tape together sheets of tracing paper, which I'm certain I brought with us, but cannot find anywhere. So now I'm hunting online for arts and crafts stores in the UK. I can't believe how hard a task that is. It seems like I'm going to have to travel nearly an hour to find one! I might have to talk to some of my local friends to see if there isn't something closer. I've only got until May 9th, and with the little bits of time I get these days, I'll need every minute I can get between now and then. In the meantime, be sure to check out Rae's great blog. Maybe she'll inspire you to start sewing too!

update on 'thick'

We had to go to London two weeks ago, so I used the time in the car when I wasn't holding a screaming baby who should be in his carseat to knit this. (In Monkey's defense, we did get caught in some standstill traffic for more than an hour.) So I got through three balls of the mystery thick yarn and decided I just didn't have enough to finish the sweater. Big bummer since I really had fallen in love with the design (Moshup by Berocco) while working on it. Guess that means another yarn purchase is in my future... Right, like I mind.

So that meant that once again, I was searching for a pattern for this awesome yarn. Before I found Moshup, I had found a really cute bolero; but it was in French. I scoured their English website, but to my great dismay, they had not translated it. That's when I found Moshup and decided to give it a go. Now that that wasn't going to work out, I was again drawn back to that French bolero. I took 4 years of French in High School, but that doesn't mean that I remember any of it (and I don't, honestly). I thought on it for a few hours and then decided, what the hell. I was looking for a new challenge anyway, so translating a French knitting pattern would apparently be it!

A week or so later, my Phildar book arrived and I got right to it. Luckily I found this blog with a French knitting dictionary! She also, thankfully, explains the French math that had me stumped for a bit. Between that, and this and some help from the Ravelry forum, my translation is coming along nicely and I hope to have it completed soon to begin working on my bolero. If I, by some freak chance, don't have enough yarn for this project either, I might just have to let that gorgeous yarn mingle with some other yarn in my stash for a while. *fingers crossed* that that won't be the case.

Friday, April 1, 2011

through thick and thin

When selecting my next knitting project, I wanted something that was portable, and mindless. I've had trouble with complex patterns lately as my attention is usually pulled in other directions than my hands. I have yarn from a friend that's been calling me from my stash since I got it, and I have some laceweight that had begun life as this, but it just wasn't working out for me, and had to be frogged. And since I always have at least two projects going on at one time, I decided to look for patterns for both. Strangely enough, they're the same color.

The laceweight is Malabrigo Lace. It's soft and warm and I love the way the subtle color changes throughout. The problem with the sweater I originally started in this yarn was that it was a bottom-up design. That's a LOT of stitches to start out with in such thin yarn. I got about an inch into it and yanked it all out just as I was about to yank out my hair. I didn't think I'd ever have the patience to knit a full sweater in laceweight. Looks like I was wrong (happily); because now I'm about to separate for the sleeves of this sweater. I love LOVE this design. It's so simple and sleek, and perfect for finicky Spring afternoons in central England. Best of all, it's a top-down design. By the time I got to the larger number of stitches, where one row takes about five minutes to work, I've already completed too much to turn back. Clever.

The unknown heavyweight, I'm hoping, will become this. I weighed what I have and if my wpi estimate is correct, I'll have JUST enough. I should know by the time I've worked up two balls of it. That's enough to know whether I'll have enough to complete it, but not so much that I'll be pissed if I have to frog it all.

It's fun knitting two different projects at opposite ends of the weight spectrum, in the same color. Selfishly, they're both for me! On that note, I've been trying to pick out some projects for my babes lately, but Monkey has all his brother's hand-me-downs and really doesn't need anything right now. Scooch doesn't really have anything mama-made right now, but he is So. Rough. on clothes that I'm afraid anything I make won't last long enough for him to grow out of it. Plus, we're having to change clothes after every meal almost these days, and I don't think I much like the idea of hand-washing his woolens that often. Ahem.