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Mo' Cotton

I love cotton, really, I do. Smooth sheets, comfy Ts, a crisp shift ~ but I don't love knitting cotton. Or, maybe it's just that I prefer knitting wool. Here in the soggy South, no knitted tank is going to be cool enough for me. And yet, here I sit, wearing Smooch. This I knit last summer, and this I do love. Maybe the sproinginess of Rowan ASC (and its American sister, Lion Brand Cotton-Ease) make for an exception. I love the new Sitcom Chic, too. But if you look at my Stitches to Go gallery, I've posted yet more cotton to move out into the world. I dunno. I bought those yarns wanting to knit with them, but it hasn't happened. I've yet to make a ChicKami. I think maybe I find the winter designs more compelling, and imagine myself wearing them more. I certainly have a whole pile of them lined up in my imaginary to-be-knit queue!

pennyAnd yet, yet again. Didja notice what's joined the WIP list? Stephanie's Bad Penny, which I am knitting in, you guessed it, cotton. I ordered this Rainbow stuff back in the late spring, before I came to terms with my native fiber. And it's a fun knit, actually, slipping right along the Addi. Guess this raglan idea grabbed me after the Sitcom. While I want to make Agatha with the Linen Drape, while I am working on my Charlotte, I decided I'd like a simple knit to alternate with. Go figure. A woman's prerogative . . .

Hey, we're heading for the hills, for a recon with my 10-year-old goddaughter, Kathryn, and her family. So if you want to help me destash, and you don't get a reply, it's because I'm computerless. Will return (and reply) on Sunday ~ have a great weekend!


Take My Yarn!

jumpsuitThe de-stashing has begun. Wouldn't you like to make this adorable jumpsuit for some small sweetheart? How about a yummy fleece scarf, or some subtle socks, or a shiny happy pink tank? Visit my new sale gallery, Stitches to Go, and see what speaks to you. I'll add more as I dig through the bins and make pictures. These yarns have been lovingly stored in my smoke-free home, which has also been mostly cat-free since January (and the briefly visiting Orlando did not visit the basement).

Why move any of these good fibers out, you ask? Well, I've more than four big plastic bins full (binfulls?), containers which will have to store elsewhere while some work is done to convert the basement into playroom and craft central. While I'm still grateful for all the storage ideas Wendy generated, I'm determined to toss the suitcase with the broken zipper. I'll allow myself to keep the four bins filled to capacity -- there's really no turning back from the excesses I've accumulated -- but first I must winnow until they don't runneth over!


Steekin'?

sqaresRainy weekend here in the summer South, so rather than stakin' tomatoes, I've been steekin' cotton squares. Remember Oscar's blanket? When I decided to make it six squares instead of nine, I'd already cranked out a few square feet of white cotton stockinette. With a width bigger than what Ann & Kay need for the Afghanalong, they'd have to be trimmed to contend with the stacks of lovelies filling Kay's new apartment. So I took a shot at this steeking thing I've been reading about. Not being a Fair Isle gal, I'd never given it a try, but I just machine sewed across a line of stitches horizontally, and in the ladder ditch vertically, and trimmed out some squares. Then I picked up stitches across those secured edges and knit on, one in Log Cabin and one in Courthouse Steps so far. They join the Cotton-Ease Log Cabin Steps square that evolved from the jumper pocket. Whole lotta recycling going on here. I have two more steeked squares that are potential contributions, but I'm out of Lily cotton, so I'll try some acrylic melange and see if they make the cut.

I also finally sewed the grosgrain on the edges of the Sitcom Chic and it made all the difference. I really may have to make that sweater again, I like it so much. . .

And Charlotte, sweet Charlotte ~ I just added another set of markers and started more pattern parts. At row 76 I kid myself that I'm halfway done. Half the length is all. Probably amounts to about a fourth of the whole shebang. But I'm loving this knit. I can't believe I'm making lace; the only prior experience is the mohair scarf I made last summer. I remember seeing Far from the Madding Crowd Kathy knit a web last summer, and writing Rob that I wasn't a shawl type, but the lace intrigued me. He suggested a Koigu scarf for starters, and I ordered pattern & yarn that I never got to. Fast forward around the calendar and here I am Charlotting. I love that the blogworld has given me the confidence to do so. Thanks!

P.S. Ponchos & shawls all the rage in the NYTimes Styles photo feature On the Street today, but I'm having trouble accessing the site online to give you a link. Makes me want to go forward with my plan for the Charlotte poncho after this shawl is done (alternate yarn awaits in my perpetual Elann shopping cart) . . . Check it out on your own if you're so inclined~


Veni, Vidi, Vici

smsanYou bet she did, that little Fluffball! Be it the Wee One, the neighboring boy bichon, or the overgrown back garden, Sandy conquered all, adorable doggie. (Picture not big enough? Click it!) We were honored to be the first stop on Greta's July adventure. After pizza a' table and watermelon al fresco (yes, I'm trying to see how many languages ~ and italicized parentheticals ~ I can work into this post) the moms settled in to knit while the babes settled down to sleep. (That's rather a weird word, settle. I'll be checking its etymology, but later when I'm not at work!)

What did we stitch, besides meaningful conversation? Greta was designing-as-she-goes another raglan, this with lovely white Linen Drape, which inspired me to swatch mine for Elsebeth Lavold's Agatha tank, pictured in a prior post. With my sizing falling between the 34.75" and 38.5" offered, Greta helped me plan appropriate adjustments to make the top fit. And speaking of fitting, she also let me try on the Kersti sweater, which is so light and delicious I swore it wasn't wool. My resistance is fading, Rob ~ (Must destash first . . . must destash first . . .)

We took the opportunity to compare Charlottes, too, but I neglected to capture that on film, alas. We are about the same distance into the shawls, although I can't recall if she's started her third color (OK, yes, I'm rubbing it in that I'm slightly ahead of my friend, at the moment.) Here's mine, with the blended sections appearing way more stripey than they do in person. More rows to come, tonight, at the first Knitting Meet-Up I'll attend ~ unless I cast on Agatha instead.

sanchar0002

Makeover

dressYou haven't seen this little dress on the WIP list because I made it the first time last summer, as a toddler jumpsuit, as per the pattern. But its wearer's a little girl now, and the revised version fits her current lifestyle. If you click on the link for the before look, you'll see that I removed the pocket (coming to y'all as a log-cabined afghan square, Ann & Kay) and the shoulder straps, where the buttons are no longer needed. Then I cut the white section off where the legs split, and knit down, adding an additional section for length and finishing it off in seed stitch. I also finished the neckline, and may do the armholes as well, although I actually like the way the edges are rolling in a bit. First, I need for the Wee One to try it on; maybe a special guest can help me do that tomorrow~


Chic Chica

sitcomdone0001~if I may say so myself. Here's the requested model shot of my latest FO, which I wore yesterday to work and out to dinner. I must say I was a tad disappointed that none of the Anthropologie staff complimented it when I swooped in for 20 minutes of sale shopping before meeting the gals, but my coworkers and pals were effusive. I'm so pleased with yet another great ChicKnits design. Thanks again, Bonne Marie! I posted some comments in a previous post; I'll add that I probably could've used another inch on the sleeves, and that I do intend to (but have not yet) add the grosgrain support to the rolling fronts. And here's a close-up. Sundress from Old Navy ~ I don't usually wear prints, but this sweater has prompted some printed purchases!

The Sitcom Chic details:
Bonne Marie Burns pattern from Spring 2003 Knitty
Lion Brand Cotton-Ease yarn in Popsical [sic] Blue
US8 needles
Button from M & J Trimming


C'mon, Y'all

Lookee here, Rachel's made a knitbloggers web ring for us Southern gals & guys, and she's pourin' some sweaty glasses o'tea and mint juleps on the porch:

soknit

So, Greta, Mason-Dixon Ann, Catherine, Annie, Brooks, Christina, Jenanne, Kristine ~ y'all sign up for this, too, OK? (Wendy did!)

[Update: Rachel's made several buttons to choose from; I just switched to this version on 7/16.]

Oh, and not that France is in the South, but Happy Bastille Day! Go see Em if you've got a hankerin' to sing La Marseillaise . . .


Baseball + Fiber = Poem

First, the knitting news: I just added the third color to my Charlotte! Photo to come when it's a bit more visible. As to Sitcom, I won't forget a modeling shot of that, once a shooter or the tripod shows up. You'll notice I added a small WIP to the list, a seed-stitch bag from Crystal Palace Deco-Ribbon. I'd stocked up on that fiber in the fall with holiday scarves in mind; as other items were knit in their stead, I thought I'd give this little purse a go. I haven't acually cast on yet, but I did print out the (free) pattern. One more project is in the works, or the re-works. Remember this? I'm changing it from the toddler jumpsuit into the little-girl jumper ~

Got my fall Interweave Knits yesterday, and I've earmarked more pages in this than any prior issue. We'll see if any of the appealing designs achieves WIP status ~ I purchased yarn specifically for at least two designs from last fall or winter's issues that should happen first. But I'm pretty sure I could make Sideways Spencer, Keyhole Top or Flower Basket Shawl from stash yarns. Again, I'll note I'm due a major shash evaluation.

And now, in honor of the All-Star Game, here's a baseball-oriented poem. Having done my small share of dating, one measure of my relationship's worth is whether I get a poem out of it. (But I wrote my favorite love poem for someone whom I never even kissed.) I don't go into something in search of that potential poem, of course, and one should not read a poem as a play-by-play of actual events.*

THE WEAVE

Weft of yellow, warp of red,
I say as you finger the silk
pillow. It glows its orange
gold, and changes as you angle
one way, weft of yellow,
and another, warp of red.

I know that fabrics differ,
some threads a jacquard weave,
others twisted in knit. I
had cut the pocket from your shirt
that ripped on the baseball field.
A spectrum of threads made its plaid.
A pattern formed by weft and warp
complements the lines. My head

upon the shimmering square, I curl
against your lap and trace the stripe
along your chest, the color bright
which once was pocket-hidden. You
speak of the diamond where you know
ball and strike, hit and run.

You can throw a curve; or the ball
drops at the plate
when the signal demands.
Stroke my hair and I will catch --
weft of innings, warp of outs --
each lesson you pitch.


*That pocket, though, now patches a pair of my jeans (opposite the Ultrasuede Italian flag, Rach!)


Two for One

sitcombutWe have Sitcom Chic, and, yes, that's two sweaters completed in the same week. Barely, it's true, but I'm still amazed. I have the steaming to try before I decide whether to add grosgrain support on the inside of the front edges, and I didn't crochet the button loop yet ~ I could have, but I became engrossed in The 4400 (I'll catch Six Feet Under tomorrow night) and didn't have the pattern, the crochet hook and the sweater all on the same floor. Still, I'm calling her finished.

Thoughts? A good knit, from a well-written and interesting pattern (Bonne Marie, natch), with the decreases and raglan shaping enough to keep me from going stockinette silly, and the eyelet bit rather a thrill. Plus, this is my first raglan ever. My SSK decreases don't look as good as the k2togs, but they improved as I progressed. I shortened the body by one inch, so had fewer stitches to pick up for the fronts; kept the arms as they were since they're cropped (I have a short body but long arms ~ call me Monkey; no, don't!). I'm quite fond of Cotton-Ease, and just wish Lion Brand would expand the color palette for this perfect All Seasons Cotton substitute. It's all I can do to hold back from casting on more from the stash, for a Miss Bea sweater for Miss C or something from the ASC booklet. But I think my hands and my knitter's mind will be better served if I work with another weight for a while, so I've turned back to Charlotte, the sweet.


S&B&P&A&R

sbjul0001Eight of us gathered last night, and some weren't stitching: Kim came by to promote the 2004 creative fundraiser for ART180, Art Karma, which will feature a sale of handmade jewelry; Lisa brought her laptop and completed an application for a library job; and Sarah conducted research of kid's lit, aided by the Wee One, for some vacation Bible school talks she's planning. Oh, and I reckon Michelle and Frances weren't exactly stitching, since the former was crocheting while the latter wound new yarn and perused her pattern.

sbjul0004Meanwhile, Heather completed triplet blanket #2 (yellow, at her feet) and began the pink #3, while Janene stitched hems and repairs for a vintage shop she's serving on the side. In the Knitty corner, so to speak, I added a few rows to my Sitcom Chic, while MaryB worked on a BPT in lovely green Araucania nature wool.

I certainly enjoyed much praise of my fluted jacket, which I'd left on the My Double since the photo shoot Monday. And the gals got to meet our feline houseguest, Orlando, whose humans are Down Under. Surprisingly, this is a cat who would rather be with people, any people, than in his regular surroundings. Needless to say, we've been enjoying his company ~ especially the one of us closest to his size (note the top of her head in the photo).