c'mon look me in the eye

Over the summer I had an idea for a neckwarmer (why I think of these things in the 90-degree heat I do not know). It was during the period that Kniterary Club was meeting, so I had time to mull over yarn combinations, buttons, and the like. I came up with a very autumnal color set, but never started the actual knitting. (I guess the weather- and more pressing projects- got some sense through my head.)

Now the cool weather's here to stay, and with all the trees changing and a chilly breeze blowing around, I really want this neckwarmer to be done. Sitting right next to me is the ball of brown yarn, and the moment I'm done typing I will begin knitting! Hopefully my concept will become reality...I want a ruffled button band ornamented with flowers in yellow silk and leaves out of Ultra Alpaca Fine (as above, and below). I feel very Project-Runway-esque, except on a much smaller scale and with lots more time. Besides, I don't think Michael Kors or Nina Garcia will be critiquing my look....

A clearer picture below:

Are those buttons not fabulous?


everybody come down

I think my IQ is dropping steadily lately...it's kind of frightening. In my last post, I described the sudden disappearance of my fish buttons- these aren't the only lost items that are keeping me awake in bed at night, wondering if, just maybe, those buttons might be stuffed in that COAT POCKET! Hmm...OK, I'm distracting myself again. In addition to the buttons, I've lost the power cord to my external hard drive, a skein of yarn, and a jacket. This is quite a feat considering the fact that I'm a neat freak, but we'll move on from here and let's hope my brain cells regenerate.

Another indication of my madness: I forgot to post about these socks way back in March when I made them! In the post titled "Knitting 911" from March, I write about repairing a pair of socks in the same colorway, but I never show pictures of the new, improved version. As mentioned in March, my brother is pretty hard on knitting (heavy use + bike accidents = destruction). I made him a pair of socks (in fact, my very first pair!) out of worsted weight wool. The colorway was called Mexico from Scholler+Stahl, I fell in love with it from the very start. There were two problems, though: one, the socks were nearly destroyed; and two, they were ridiculously thick.

This new pair was the perfect combination: lighter weight yarn but in the same colorway, an adapted heel, and better still, no holes! I knit the whole pair in about 11 days...which leads me to believe that my ideal knitting needle size is a 3...and used an afterthought heel. This allows you to knit a tube, throw in some waste yarn where you want the heel to be placed, finish knitting, and then go back in to insert a very simple heel in the space where the waste yarn was. I'm a big fan of the afterthought heel. If you want a contrast heel, the afterthought gives you a nice square insert for the second color instead of an awkward looking heel flap. (Symmetry suits those of us who suffer from OCD.) This is also a nice thing to keep in mind if you're worried about running out of yarn: knit the tube first, and if you have enough left, great- if not, you can use a contrast color and it won't look like you ran out of yarn by accident. Also, I think knitting the tube and inserting the heel later makes the knitting go by so much faster- you don't have all that tricky manipulation of the heel to navigate, instead you can fly right through, do the tricky bit at the end, and sit back satisfied to admire your socks.

Happy Friday and happy knitting weekend!!!


try this trick and spin it, yeah

It's finished! Not quite as soon as I would have liked, but it's super cute and I can't wait to give it to the mother-to-be. Knitting baby things is so satisfying because the knitting goes so fast...10 inches and you've got a sleeve! This really would have been done in the weekend I had aimed for if the weather had cooperated...we were in Chicago and it was absolutely frigid outside, so no knitting got done or my hands would have frozen!!!

Funny story about this sweater (and me in general): these are not the original buttons I bought for this project. They look the same, yes...but the little plastic bag with the original five buttons is absolutely nowhere to be found. Those of you who know me well will understand how silly this is...I'm a little OCD about organizing and cleaning, so usually I know where everything is all the time. I fear that this time, though, I got a little overzealous in my cleaning and lost something instead of putting somewhere useful (or logical, apparently). I went to the yarn store right down the road and got SO lucky- they had a whole tube of the exact same buttons! I had originally bought the very last of them at a shop in Plymouth, MI. Phew! Bullet dodged.

I had planned the whole sweater around the adorable fish buttons!