having a life is getting really inconvenient….

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Sorry it has taken so long to post a pic of my Leftovers Vest. The whole car thing has been turned on it’s head by our accountant going on leave right when we need him and his partner giving us completely the opposite advice to what he (and everyone else) has told us. I hate uncertainty. My fertility treatment is becoming outrageously time consuming (after the usual 7:30 am blood draw and ultrasound this morning I have also ended up seeing another Dr at lunch and have another ultrasound appt this afternoon), and again I have to say how I hate uncertainty. To add insult to injury, all this activity combined with a general lack of sunshine means I have been unable to get Jesse to take a photo of me wearing the Leftovers Vest. I also hate bad photos but in an act of desperation I tried again with the bedroom mirror and this was the best I could do. I will try to post a better photo one day soon.

left overs vest in the mirror
Pattern: Leftovers Vest - Knitty Winter ‘04
Yarn: Jo Sharp Silk Road Tweed DK in colourway “Boheme”
Needles: 4mm, 4.5mm and 5mm Addi Turbos

This vest was easy and fun to make and is perfect for the weather we are having right now. I have a 36″ bust and made the recommend size (the second one). My gauge was spot on, post washing finished measurements were exactly what they should have been and I am fairly happy with the fit. I think it is perfect in the bust but would think about more waist shaping if I made another one. I certainly think I will be wearing this a lot.

when real life gets in the way

Monday, May 9, 2005

So we found a car, we still have to get the go ahead from our accountant but it should all be finalised by the end of the day. Yay for the end of pouring over car reviews all day and all night, yay for no more endlessly comparing head and leg room measurements. House hunting has been less productive, but we are less concerned about that, so it doesn’t matter. Now I just have to finish building a website and get our accounts up to date and sew a new velour baby blanket ASAP. One of my dear friends had a very special mothers day this year (well on the Friday, but you get the picture)!

Despite all the unusual real life excitement happening this week I did finally finish my Leftovers Vest last night, it’s blocking now and I cannot wait to wear it because the weather is getting cold!

on separating

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

No, not Jesse and I, the front and back of my Leftovers Vest. I have no idea why, but I was really anxious about dividing the vest into front and back at the under arms. I had never done this before and it seemed very intimidating. Well i need not have worried, it was the easiest thing. I did it in the car while house hunting on Saturday.

Amazing what a little weekend house hunting (Jesse driving, me knitting), a monday morning car break down (Jesse dealt with the car and Isabelle, I got in a taxi with my knitting), waiting around in a fertility clinic (knitting brings the anxiety down a notch don’t you know) and then finally waiting around in a cafe for Jesse and Isabelle to catch up with me after the car had been towed, can do for the time line of a knitting project. My Leftovers Vest is nearly done! What’s more, it fits! All it needs now is some ribbing.

Time for the neck and armhole ribbing!It fits!

got gauge

Friday, April 29, 2005

Got gauge on the vest at last

At least I think I do. I guess I really should double check now that I am so far along…. We took a VERY scenic route to get Jesse to work yesterday, looking at (and mostly ruling out) houses for rent along the way. At least it provided lots of knitting time.

remember this?

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Back to the ribbing

Last week I asked a new friend (hello Alison) if she had any 4mm needles I could borrow and she did! As soon as she handed them to me I realised that I had the exact same pair at home, well I suspected I did anyway. I still borrowed her’s just in case, but as soon as I got home I reorganised my needles and sure enough, I DO own a 4mm circ. All that whining for nothing. It’s not my favourite brand of needle, but it’s fine.

So while I was still working on decorating Isabelle’s scarf at night I have been carting my Leftovers Vest around during the day and sorting out it’s little problems. Tuesday morning, while driving Jesse to work, or rather while going along for the ride as Jesse drove himself to work, I painstakingly threaded a 3mm needle through the stitches a row or two above the ribbing. Wednesday morning in the park with Isabelle I ripped out the 3 inches or so that I had knit at the wrong gauge.

4mm’s in hand I am about to see whether I can reknit this thing right this time.

in need of needles

Sunday, April 17, 2005

I am about 3 inches into the body of the Leftovers Vest and it’s got to go. As it happened the only needles Styk didn’t have for my recent order were the 4mms I needed for the body of the vest. I decided to try knitting it on my 4.5mm Addi Naturas as I always seem to knit tighter on bamboo. I also knit slower, so it has taken longer than it normally would to get far enough along to be absolutely sure that I don’t have gauge. I am getting 19 stitches to 4 inches, which translates to about 2 inches more width than I need. As I see it my options are:

A) Rip out only the body and then:
1) wait 4-6 weeks for Styk to get new stock
2) pay nearly twice the price to get the needle from another Australian source
3) pay nearly 3 times the price to order them from the US (not very likely despite being a far nicer vendor than the more expensive Australian option)
4) Buy a set of Denise needles
5) get some Birch brand circs at my LYS. I know that I hate Birch circs so I would still end up getting the Addis when they come in and then spend just as much as option #2…


B) Rip the whole thing out and reknit the smaller size with my existing needles at my current gauge.

I don’t know what my problem is. Ordering one needle from the more expensive Australia supplier is more expensive than getting them from Styk, but the difference is still only $6. Or I could just rip the lot out and reknit a smaller size but both options bother me. I guess I just don’t want to give my money to any business that routinely charges at least 30% more than their competitors and knitting the ribbing hurt my hands so I don’t want to do it again. I would really like a set of Denise needles in order to avoid just this problem, but Jesse is making noises about knitting budgets every time I raise the topic…

Tonight I am going to get out the sewing machine try to make Isabelle a dress.

a little ribbing

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Vest Ribing

I have one row of ribbing to go. This ribbing has been slow going and quite hard work. I am not sure whether it is purely an artifact of knitting with two strands or whether it is partially due to the resulting bulky yarn on medium needles but despite consciously knitting loosely my hands have been aching. It’s just as well I am LOVING the fabric this yarn is making, I adore the colour in particular, I just can’t wait to be done so that I can wear it!

I have also been struggling with the join between the last knit and first purl stitch of each ribbing repeat. Both stitches are looser than they should be. If you look at the left most knit stitch of each repeat above you can see that is looser than the other two stitches, and below is a shot showing what the wrong side of the purl stitches looks like. Yikes.

Vest Ribing

First I tried consciously tightening the last knit and first purl of each repetition. When that didn’t work I tried changing from combined knitting to continental, then consciously tightening the last knit and first purl of each repetition while knitting continental style. None of it seems to have made any difference. I have thought fairly seriously about ripping it out and trying again, but given that none of my fixes made any difference and that the right side looks far better than the wrong side I think I am just going to ignore it. However if anyone has ANY advice from avoiding this in the future it would be VERY welcome.

on getting distracted

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

I looked in my ribbon stash and found purple and green ribbon. I was so disproportionately pleased with this discovery that I feel the need post another photo of the box containing the quilt, this time with lid and ribbon.

look the ribbon matches the quilt!

This was one of the distractions I used to entertain myself while trying to decide what to make next. Then I looked at Froggy’s last post and suddenly wondered if I should make Strike (from Rowan 27, see a pic here) instead of Alison’s Leftovers Vest. I really like Strike and managed to waste most of last night forcing Jesse to help me choose which pattern to knit. In the end we decided the Jo Sharp DK Tweed may make too firm a fabric for Strike and also I don’t really have the patience to wait for the book to arrive from the UK. In the process of choosing between the two patterns I discovered that all the information I needed to pick a Leftovers Vest size was right there in the pattern. Duh! All that procrastination for nothing. So at about 10pm last night I finally cast on the Leftovers Vest.

First few rows of the Leftovers Vest in Jo Sharp DK Tweed

Along the way I had fun choosing just the right stitch markers for this project. How sad is that? Choosing this pattern meant I could cast on right away but then I found that I don’t actually have the right needles for the body so I placed an order for a bunch of new Addis last night. Of course they had all the needles I asked for except the ones I need right now. In fact no where in Australia seems to have 60cm or 80cm 4mm Addis. Arrghhh.

While I am complaining about everything else, am I the only one who has trouble finding the centre end of the yarn with Jo Sharp yarns? I am forever having to pull out half the ball and mess it up to find the end I want to knit from. ugh.

look at this mess

while we were gone

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

As well as all the walking, while we were away I :

  1. Finished Carla. I know I promised more today, but there are issues. Firstly the weather, it sucks. Secondly the sweater, it’s stretched. Carla needs to be washed and semi blocked into shape again before I take more photos. I am quite pleased with how Carla turned out, this is my first adult sized sweater with sleeves and I have already worn it out in public (well in the bush). However (didn’t you just know there was a “but” coming?) this stitch pattern is super stretchy so, despite the fact that I knit the size for exactly my bust measurements, if I were to do it again I would knit it at least one, if not two sizes smaller. That said, the Raglan armholes fit me perfectly and the sleeves fit pretty well too, so I would actually have to do something tricky with the sizing to get a better fit. Also the sweater seems to get shorter and wider with wear. The wider part I accept as being a fact of life with 100% cotton, but the shorter part I was not expecting. I suspect I will wear this sweater as often as I can allowing for the fact that I may need to wash/wet it between every wearing. Finally, such a loose knit pattern is SNAGGY. Obviously bush walking is not the most sensible place for a hand knit but the worst pull so far came from walking through the doorway to Isabelle’s room this morning, which I do a whole lot more of than bush walking. On the upside the snags heal quite easily.
  2. Swatched and started knitting Isabelle’s Poncho. She is very excited and wants to wear it now RIGHT NOW, needles and all. I am going to need a fourth ball I think. 3 balls did seem a bit hopeful to me when I was buying it, but I knew i would be getting onto this one quickly and don’t expect there will be any trouble matching dye lots so soon after the initial purchase.
  3. Isabelle's Poncho at the end of the first ball

  4. Bought yarn to make a Stonington Shetland Shawl from Knitting Workshop by Elizabeth Zimmerman. There are babies on the way all around me at the moment, which is a fine excuse to knit a shawl or two if you ask me.
  5. Heirloom Easy Care 5 ply for Stonington Shetland Shawl

  6. Was given Incredible Quilts for Kids of All Ages. This book has a number of cute animal quilts and an incredibly sweet set of Big Sister/Little Sister or Big Brother/Little Brother quilts which can obviously be mix and matched to make Big Brother/Little Sister or Big Sister/Little Brother. Should we ever manage to produce a sibling for Isabelle I will be sorely tempted to make a pair of these quilts.
  7. Borrowed Quick Quilts to Make in a Weekend. There are three quilts in here that I really like. One of them that I am absolutely in love with.
Incredible Quilts for Kids of All AgesQuick Quilts to Make in a Weekend

It was really quite a packed weekend.