I was positively dying over $5 in Paris after Christmas. It’s a dead simple striped, seamless sweater and I totally had to make one. Immediately.
I started it out with some orange and gray KnitPicks Swish Worsted, but quickly figured out that I didn’t have enough of the carrot orange. Lo and behold, KnitPicks had discontinued the color and no one who had it stashed on Ravelry was willing to part with it. After much pouting, I went in a totally different direction. I picked up some Berroco Vintage in gold and teal at Windy Knitty and started over.
Of course, I called it $5 in Chicago. (Even though the yarn cost me considerably more than $5.)
Then I was a terrible knitting blogger and didn’t take any photos of it. Well, in my defense, self-portraits are hard, and having to shoot in the winter is hard since the light is gone, and so not much knitwear photography has been getting done lately.
But then I went to Los Angeles on a short vacation to visit friends and just happened to wear my $5 in Paris to the beach in Santa Monica. First, I made one of my friends take a picture of me with this cannon, just so I could get a good picture of the sweater for the blog.
I’m told this cannon is a famous Santa Monica landmark, though no one could tell me why.
It’s been quiet around this here blog lately. That’s what happens when all of your projects are for people who are known to peek in at this thing from time to time. I’ve been knitting like mad to get things done.
Undina Dress for Brianna
My 3 and a half year old niece Brianna turned up in a photo a few days ago wearing a sweater I made for her when she was about 21 months. “Does that really still fit her??” I asked my sister in disbelief. “Not really,” she replied, “But she loves it and wants to wear it anyway.” Brianna is also going through a phase wherein she insists on wearing only dresses. Apparently, pants have been deemed unacceptable. So I made her a new sweater dress.
The pattern for Brianna’s dress is Undina and Lir. I made the Undina version, adding an extra 3 inches to make it more of a dress for our little fashionista. Yarn is Knit Picks Swish Bare DK dyed with Kool-Aid in my slow cooker.
I’ve been quiet. But see, there’s this thing called “Christmas” coming up, so blogging about what I’m working on is kinda not happening.
But I can give you a sneak peek at the yarn I dyed for two of my secret Christmas projects.
Secret Project #1
Secret Project #2
I started this project back in February when I decided that what I wanted more than anything else in the world was a big smooshy orange scarf. I found the softest cream-colored chunky baby alpaca, gave it the crockpot treatment to make it orange. The scarf became my train project, and then was set aside as I moved from Rogers Park to Edgewater and the weather warmed. I picked it up again a few weeks ago and now, ta da! I have a soft, warm orange scarf.
I’ve recycled yarn from thrift store sweaters. I’ve dyed yarn with Kool-Aid and food coloring in a crockpot. I’ve dyed recycled yarn with Kool-Aid in the crockpot.
But I’d never spun yarn before, and of course I really, really wanted to learn how to do it. Unfortunately, this seemed to be a case where looking it up on YouTube just was not going to suffice. I began looking for opportunities to learn from a real live in-the-flesh human being.
Then several weeks ago I spotted a drop spindle class at Sifu Design Studio and leapt at the chance. Not only did I find the spinning class I was looking for, but it was in my own neighborhood at a yarn shop that I love. Major score!
Lisa photobombed my photo of Frida in the shop window.
About a week ago I spotted a sale at Craftsy that I could not resist. Fyberspates Scrumptious Chunky yarn, which normally retails at somewhere around $23 per skein, was 43% off. I couldn’t pass that up. I bought four in the Cherry color.
Fyberspates Scrumptious Chunky in Cherry
This yarn is a luscious, butter soft silk/merino blend that practically purrs when I pet it. The silk also gives the deep red a gorgeous sheen. This stuff is luxurious to say the least.
So. Freaking. SOFT.
I’ve owed you this post for a couple weeks. I have no excuses, really. Well, okay, I sort of have one, in that it’s really, really hard to take a photo of myself wearing a sweater. A hat? Sure, no problem. But a sweater? Sorry, my arms just aren’t long enough to make a self-portrait work. So, many thanks to my gorgeous sister, Chrissy, for taking these while I was in town for Bug’s birthday party.
But here it is, and I have, not one, but TWO finished objects to brag about!
I finally finished my Pomme de Pin. I also have vowed to never again choose a project that requires seaming. I’ll be honest, when I discovered Finish-Free Knits yesterday, I got a bit excited and immediately put it on my Amazon Wishlist. A bunch of really cute sweaters and no seaming? SIGN ME UP!
Anyway, you don’t want to hear me whine about how much seaming sucks. You want to see The Precious. Okay, here you go.
Yes, I’m still working on the Pomme de Pin cardigan. In fact, it’s all sewn together and I started adding the front and neck trim just this morning, though I had to redo the part about picking up 300+ stitches three times before I got it right.
I blocked the pieces before assembling them, and while it was drying I decided to use some Malabrigo (bought on impulse a few months ago at Sifu Design Studio) to knock out a hat. It took a little longer than I intended and required the purchase of a size 3 circular needle that I didn’t happen to have, but I finished it this morning!
I’m just a little excited that my favorite Doctor is back with new episodes on September 1st. I seriously love me some Doctor Who.
So do a lot of other knitters, apparently. And how to knitters express their love for the Doctor? They knit stuff inspired by the series. Much of it is delightfully silly, right in keeping with the silliness of being in a time traveling vintage police box that’s bigger in the inside with a half mad Time Lord. When I run across one of these fan knits, I typically squeal a bit, make a mental note that I should make whatever it is for my friend Drew, whose Whovian tendencies put me absolutely to shame, then forget all about it.
I have no Doctor Who knitting projects of my own to share, but in honor of the premiere, I’ve pulled together a collection of some of the best out there. Fair warning, there are lots, ranging from common to utterly obscure. LOTS.
Dr. Who Scarf (by VelvetCrawdad)
I’m not dead! It’s just been a very busy summer. Tonight you’re getting a few quick picture-free updates and a promise about a future post.
Pomme de Pin
Still working on it. I’m almost done with the second sleeve. Then everything will get blocked before being sewn together for the final bit of edging. I’m also working on a Vortex Shawl with some black and turquoise Zauberball. That’s mostly my Tuesday night project since the pattern is pretty mindless, but I’m already getting bored with it.
Tuesday Night Knitting Group
Like a stray cat that keeps showing up at your back door, I’ve started hanging out with a cool local knitting group at a cool local boho cafe. This is cool because (A) it gets my nerdy fat ass out of the house and (B) I get to hang out with people who understand when I talk about going to Windy Knitty to pet the yarn as though it were a zoo.
Speaking of My Fat Ass…
Probably the biggest reason I haven’t been around too much is that I’ve spent a good chunk of my summer slogging through Couch to 5K and obsessively tracking my calories and weight. Yes, I’ve been subjecting innocent bystanders on the lake trails to the half gimpy shambling that I try to pass off as jogging. On the days that I’m not running, I’ve been paying some skinny bitches to torture me at the Bar Method studio in Lakeview. This pretty much has replaced most of my knitting for the time being. Not all of it, mind you, but dammit if getting fit isn’t cutting into my knitting time.
Do you want to know what my motivation for all of this is? Of course you do.
I want to knit cute sweaters for myself that use less yarn and take less time to make.
What better motivation is there when you’re a knitter?
I’ve been pretty successful with all of this so far, so hopefully I’ll be making smaller sweaters for myself by Christmas. If you want more, less snarky info about how I’m doing this, go read my other blog. I’ve laid out my whole strategy over there.
Who Done Knit?
Finally, I’ve wanted to do a Dr. Who themed post for awhile, and I expect that’ll happen soon now that the season premiere is on the horizon.
Hey, who turned out the lights?
Oh right, that was me. It must be bedtime.