Friday, February 21, 2014

dear heidi k, regarding my shellseeker...

I may owe you an apology. I've messed with your wonderful design. But I adore my Shellseeker.
It took me 3 tries to get it right. 
V1 finished last winter: too tight.   A double whammy of weight gain and gauge swatch fibbing. But you gotta love a top down pattern- I kept the sleeves and upper yoke, which just about fit, and ripped back to mid-bust . I re-knit down on larger needles.
That was V2, done last spring:   bad pooling over my stomach and hips. Like,  if I'd wanted to emphasize my width, I'd have left the kangaroo pocket and knit it in stripes, as the designer intended, right?. Still a little snug on hips. Also, the bottom ribbing kept flipping up.  RRRIIIPP out it came, back up to the bust, again.

One of the charms of the design is the front has side seam decreases with matching increases about 1/3 way across the front from each side, adding a nice line and structure but not actually adding stitches.

 V3 completed in December I skipped every other side decrease,  adding swing to the front. (Thanks to Kirsten Kapur and Mary Lou Egan for talking me down from the ledge of skipping all the decreases, I would have added like 8-9 " of swing instead of half that, and been on to V4.)
More V3 detail: I traded off skeins of the yarn, Malabrigo Rios in Pearl Ten so the pooling is less annoying, changed the hem to seed stitch, and exaggerated the split hem lengths, for added tush coverage. Let's see what else: no pocket in front, and a few rows of reverse stockinette in handspun along the neck and sleeves, which remains my fave detail on this .
Finally , about the loose fit:  by the time I finished the sweater in December, I'd lost weight -so it's got a truly sweateshirty fit (ahem no complaints) . 
As is obvious by my super unmatchy  shirt, pants and scarf,  this is the time of winter when I totally, and I mean totally,  give up on style.  Throwing this sweater on over whatever is Just The Thing.
Ok, leaving you with one more style thought:
My nephew and I have excellent taste in pants. Instagrammed at the zoo in DC, last weekend, in the snow/rain/slush.
PS There's still room in a Photo for Knitters class I'm teaching on March 22nd at WEBS. Join me. It is a fab day trip, and when we're done shooting photos--umm, we're at Webs. Join me in escaping cabin fever!

Sunday, February 09, 2014

and on we go...

I am sparing you a long, gushy, name-droppy* review of VogueKnitting Live in NY.   It was a joy to teach at it -and it was a joy to be an attendee. Amazing teachers, fun marketplace, and my fave: exhibits  in the lobbies of artists who work with yarn & fiber, including my friend Ruth Marshall
Meanwhile, me? I'm here & there, knitting.

exhibit a: the week ahead
phonecam shot of Shepherds Wool, click to see colors, ready to go!
Skeins with names that take me to another season. To make a Monster Cowl. Because new neckwear is so welcome in February.  I'm teaching & attending at Inspire, a photogapher's conference this week. My hope is for  a) lots of knitting time while I listen and b) get inspired.  I will likely be the lone knitter (or maybe the lone knitter-in-public).

exhibit b: this weekend
more phonecam : handspun and some yarn I impulse bought at Madison Wool
A new Kremlin. I misplaced my go-to winter hat. Bad timing, as it is a Hat-Required Month.  I recall putting this  fave hat somewhere about a week ago,  thinking "this isn't where I usually keep my hat but I can remember it here".... Um, no.  Although I whipped out my last Kremlin in 2012 with no problem, I am oddly confused by the pattern this time.

exhibit c1: gift knitting sent in January

 Valdai!  Before I sent it off to my sister, my neighbor Peg posed quickly.  Keep in mind it was less then 10 F (thats for Fahrenheit but it may as well be for Freakin') so no dawdling for Fancy Fotos.  As for the shawl, oh this was a fun one, and oh this Cirrus yarn is delicious to work with, 2 strands together. I used every last inch of the 4 skeins, shortening one of the ends. Sylishly assymetrical that way.  (Do not blame the pattern, blame me for not swatching, I am sure my gauge was looser than called for). My sister Marla loves it, I love being appreciated....

exhibit c2: when handknits are appreciated cont'd

Another gift, the hat for  bro-in-law LaMar. yes, that Lamar). Yes my sister Marla is married to LaMar, we call them LaMarLa. He endeared himself to me forever-even before this text- by reciting & reviewing every hat I've ever knit him, leading up to this gift.  He asked for something lighterweight, soft, with some slouch, and not too loudly colored because he wants to wear it at work.  I have to admit I struggled letting go of this one. It's Hissu, one of the charming  hats by this Finnish designer.   Road to China Light and stripes in handspun (thanks Archiknist) . More Road to China hats, definitely on the to-do list.

*reserving the right to do a long name droppy post soon....