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December 2005 Archives

December 19, 2005

Holiday Sweater

sweater sweater

I took these photos a week ago (or more), but I didn't get a chance to get them up before we left California for the holidays. M's sweater turned out great (I think). I hope she likes it - and I hope it fits. Because it sat around the house in pieces for so long awaiting zipper insertion, I didn't get a real good look at the big picture for a long time. And, honestly, in the rush of getting things finished and together for our trip, even after I put the zipper in, I didn't really take time to appreciate what I'd finished. The day before we left, however, when I was still trying to decide if it was worth lugging it all the way to KY for her to open when she already knows about it, I tried it on. And I fell in love. It turned out great, and it was a really easy knit. I did feel like there was a lot of finishing and seaming, especially with the high-neck doubled collar, but the end effect is wonderful.

The zipper... I know you're wondering about that. I was terrified, I admit. But, it turned out great. I basted the fronts together with a contrasting yarn, as suggested by a ChicKnits tutorial. Unfortunately, my first pass at sewing in the first side of the zipper on machine ended up catching that waste yarn over and over again, plus, I didn't get the sweater as neatly over the edge of the zipper as I should have. All of that was revealed after I sewed the second size and turned the sweater inside out to take a look. After some ranting, I carefully and painstakingly seam ripped the one side of the zipper back out, repinned it making SURE that the front edges of the sweater matched neatly and covered the zipper, and resewed. Turned out great. I did go with a traditional zipper - not a 2-way. That was the recipient's request.

Of course, before ordering my zippers from ZipperStop, I checked JoAnne's. I was ecstatic to find zippers to match both this sweater and my Ribby Cardi. I brought them home and then got everything out a few days later only to realize they weren't separating zippers. Sigh. What a pain. So, I logged on and ordered. Painless. Great service. Confirmation by email when they shipped. Zippers were exactly as ordered, and the colors matched perfectly.

I'll have to fill in details on the pattern once I'm back home. It's from a British pub. The yarn is Rowan Chunky - something from our stash that we picked up back when we first started knitting. It was perfect for this project!

Another test

Another test. Trying to clear up a problem with MT that just started happening last week...

Okay... think I might have gotten it. Just in case any of you are MovableType users and have suddenly started seeing permissions errors every time you create a file or rebuilt your site, you might find helpful answers here. I did.

Happy holidays!

December 21, 2005

Flower Basket Bag

flower bag

Some of you may have recognized the stack of unfelted flowers I showed a few weeks ago as part of the Flower Basket Bag (Vogue Knitting Winter 2005, I think) that made the rounds on the knitting blogs earlier this year. To fit with Mom's being a busy "Red Hatter," I wanted to do the bag in coordinating colors of purple and red. Because the pattern is shown worked in black with a green trellis, I spent a lot of time deciding what combination to use. I had enough purple in my stash for the base of the bag (and it was the perfect bright purple shade), but I needed to order leaf and flower colors. I considered shades of green for the trellis, but it just seemed like it would have the wrong "feel" to it (lime and purple). I also toyed with the idea of a red trellis, but that, too, didn't thrill me. The light purple for the trellis was sort of a last-minute decision, but I think it was the perfect choice. I love the combination, and it sets off the red and fucshia flowers really well.

This was a fun knit, but I do have to say the trellis pattern gave me some fits to start. When you hit the first decrease, there is no information about how each line of the trellis pattern has to be altered. Determining where I was as I began each row took me some time, and I quickly realized I needed to write down the "new" beginning of each row so that I had a record of how I had to start each (since the bag decreases steadily down). Boy was I glad I'd taken time to make those notes. When I began the second side, later, the knitting was a relative breeze because I'd already figured out what I needed to do. I just had to refer to my notes as I began each row, and things were smooth sailing.

It does take a while to make all those leaves, and all those flowers. If you decide to make this bag, be forewarned! And, when I felted mine, my flowers ALL FELL APART. It was really disconcerting. I was able to flip them around and neaten them up, but I was really upset when I first pulled them out and saw that they had not held their shape at all even though I'd carefully seamed them up before felting. I ended up using a few less flowers and many less leaves than the pattern calls for. (I made them all, they just didn't really fit.) The final assembly of the bag is also tedious. It's tough to sew those flowers and leaves in place, but the end result was totally worth it.

I think the bag turned out beautifully. Matthew deemed it "Adorable." And Mom opened it last night and was really tickled, I think.


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