Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Plethera of Projects

...and yes, there will be pictures in this post!

I don't even know what I want to start with...maybe the beret for the swap in my Stitch n Kvetch group? Yes, I think so.

I wasn't sure what I wanted to knit for Sara and being my first swap, I was really nervous that she would hate whatever it was that I chose and tell all of Ravelry of my failure. I read her posts within the group as to what she was looking for and then stalked her a bit more by reading the posts she wrote in other groups that she was swapping in. Sara likes hats but said she feels like she can't pull them off because she has "chipmunk cheeks." I kid you not, she said that. Of course I had to knit hat that would work for her big cheeks and what's better than a beret? I've only recently become a fan of berets, after making one for myself, but I truly feel it's a look that anyone can pull off. The one I knit for Sara had very little slouch and a rolled brim. A ribbed brim would be too tight fitting and only accentuate the cheeks and a picture of her shows that she has short might be longer at this point but I used what I could as points of reference. Raspberry Beret pattern was the clear winning in the search for beret patterns and it was knit in some Cascade 220 Heather that Emily had given me before she moved back to NY. It's a really nice purple color--Sara likes purple.

Sara Swap (3)

What a speedy knit, too. I did most of it during a snow storm and since it's a simple pinwheel, it was easy to memorize and be able to read my knitting to know where to yarn over. There's a 4 row section of lace right before the rolled brim. I actually want to make this same hat for myself. :) Sara says she likes it and thinks that she can pull of the look. I have every bit of confidence in her.

Sara Swap (2)

Recently, I've been reading more and more knit blogs and I stumbled upon Glampyre Knits and her Reclamation Scarf. I posted about the scarf previously but here's a better picture:

Reclame This (1)

This next project threatened to give me serious carpal tunnel. Fred mentioned that his brother was having a daughter and something in me decided that I needed to knit for this new baby (Jessica) and start queueing up a whole slew of baby items. Oy. I knit the blanket in about a week (again, only counting days that I actually knit the thing). I had some Ella Rae Madison in orange from two years ago when I first found out that my sister was pregnant and I didn't know if she was having a boy or girl. It's been sitting in my stash since then. I only had two skeins and quickly finished them and needed to find more. I didn't particularly care if the dye lot was different so I got three more skeins a week or so after I started the blanket and knit for a day straight to finish it in time for Fred to fly to California by way of Texas, New Mexico, and who knows where else.

Pinwheel (1)

Finally, soap sweaters. I've attempted this one other time and it didn't go as well as one would hope. I still have the wool top that Emily gave me and I just ordered two pounds of handmade soap off of etsy (yep, 2 lbs..I know I'm crazy but I love soap). The first one I made tonight did not come out that great and I might actually cut the soap out and try again. I realized after I did the first one that I need to pull the wool apart a little and make it wispy like I've seen Heidi (and others) do when spinning. So, after watching some youtube videos and reading some online tutorials, I tried my hand at it again. I burned myself numerous times, as I forgot to buy gloves when I was at the supermarket today, but it worked! I think I need to felt the wool a little more but I'll keep it the way it is for now and let it felt itself with use. YAY! Obviously, the soap on the left is my first go at soap felting...pitiful.

Soap Sweater

And now I've working on the Garter Stitch Swingy Sweater. I did swatch but I did not block my swatch and I've having a bit of anxiety over whether the yarn will stretch a lot. I'm using Classic Elite Lush--anyone use it before? I'm not that far along with the cardigan yet so I could always soak what I have and see how it stretches, right? Or should I just do a separate swatch and soak that? I want to be able to wear the first sweater I make and love it more than anything in the world. Garter stitch doesn't stretch as much as stockinette, right...? Anyone? I'm worried.

ETA: Sorry for the ginormous pictures. I'll use the small ones from flickr for subsequent posts. :D

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