Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Too Much to Resist

Maybe it was the idea of using up all those little leftover balls of yarn...

I knew I was saving these for a reason.

Maybe it was the tools...

Ooh! Shiny! Pretty colors!

Definitely, it was partly Nona's doing. I could no longer resist the siren call of the crochet.

Now what do I do with all those ends?

Because, really, who doesn't need another craft to practice?

Today's Link-o-Rama!

- See the Ur-Ripples here at Posie Gets Cozy. Alicia started the craze!
- Miss Periwinkle has made two exceptionally lovely blankets: a Ripple and a Vintage Stripe.
- There's also a Ripple-Along and Bella Dia has a great tutorial for the Vintage Stripes.
- See even more Ripples and Vintage Stripes at their respective Flickr pools!
- And, to end on a knitting note, Margene has a great post today about the endless allure of sock knitting.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

And the Answers Are...

Well, that was fun! Pretty much everyone recognized the Koigu.

I have no idea what the brown tweedy yarn is. I was curious what people would guess. This scarf is from my early days as a knitter, when I didn't fully comprehend the idea that you can always frog something that isn't really working. This scarf is ridiculously too wide and too short, but the yarn is nice. It might be Classic Elite Waterspun. Not sure.

These lovelies are, from left, Colinette Jitterbug and Cider Moon Glacier. The Jitterbug was a very generous prize from Cat (I was the 100th commenter on her blog). The Cider Moon is made by talented hand-dyers here in Ohio. I bought this at the Knitter's Mercantile in Columbus the evening after the first day of the bar exam. The people there were extremely nice, helpful, and sympathetic about my ordeal. They agreed that yarn was definitely in order.

There seemed to be a split among the guessers with respect to the garter stitch project: many thought it was Cotton-Ease and almost as many guessed Knit Picks Shine.

Sorry. Wrong. It's Red Heart Soft Yarn.

Lolly recently posted about a cute, cute shrug she is knitting from Caron Simply Soft Shadows. She opined, and I tended to agree, that not all acrylic yarns are created equal. Some of them are actually nice. Her commenters had many suggestions for good acrylic yarns, which naturally I felt compelled to road test. We'll see how this stands up to the washer and dryer. But right now, I am tempted to dub Red Heart Soft Yarn the "Two-Buck Chuck of Yarns."

Now, I'm not going to argue that this is as good a yarn as, say, Rowan Felted Tweed anymore than I would suggest that Charles Shaw Sauvignon Blanc is as good a wine as my favorite French Sancerre. But, for the price, this yarn is excellent. It is soft as can be, feels silky not plasticky, knits up nicely, and comes in some decent (read secondary and tertiary) colors. And it was $2.99 a ball. For items that will take some abuse, where allergies or woolphobias are concerned, or when you're on a budget, I'd say this is a good choice.

Link-o-Rama, Baby!

I have really been enjoying the links that Faith at No More Sweaters and Vera at freehand sketching have been closing their posts with. So much crafty goodness! So much inspiration! I decided to shamelessly steal their fantastic idea!

- Pamela Wynne at Flint Knits has made two of the Cutest Blouses Ever.
- Soe at sprite writes has a lovely recurring theme of "Three Beautiful Things" on her blog.
- Consistently hilarious Ellen at Knit Sisters blogs about the Healing Power of Jello.
- If you're looking for something good to read, you might check out this post and this one at Fig & Plum.
- Theresa at Knitting Underway is looking for manly sock yarns and patterns. Did I mention she's having a contest?

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Name That Yarn

I am a top secret WIP. When I am ready, my identity will be revealed.

Birthday money burns a hole in my pocket no more.

I am a scarf. I am too wide & am off to the frog pond.

Oh, the lusciousness.

C'mon. Take a guess. And also, here is a picture of my Must-Have-in-Progress.

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Friday, March 23, 2007


I have shamelessly copied this idea from Minty. These are some of the photographs from my Flickr favorites. Just a little eye candy for you!

More details on the photos: 1. Colored markers, 2. Skeppsholmen, Stockholm, 3. End Of History 2, 4. Handspun Sock Yarn, 5. Hourglass Eyelet Socks, 6. Hourglass Eyelet Socks, 7. arch shaped stockings, 8. project spectrum fo 1, 9. woolspectrum01, 10. Hope, 11. Komi Revisited, 12. almost finished..., 13. Sucre Morceaux, 14. Les Deux Magots Watercolor, 15. Rowan Lightweight DK Stash, 16. Rowan Lightweight DK, 17. chevron scarf - closeup, 18. lapland mittens - fini! and BLOG, 19. twirl, 20. 060 - Campinas City.jpg, 21. A Janela (The Window), 22. Welcome to the Jungle, 23. Campinas, 24. vovĂ´, 25. violet and vesper, 26. women's work, 27. Saffron Hedera, 28. Bats, 29. Shaped Heel, 30. Norwegian mittens, 31. Norwegian-inspired hat & mittens, 32. Scarf, 33. Jam, 34. attempted two hand shot, 35. Squirrel and Oak Mittens, 36. Noro Lotus scarf


Monday, March 19, 2007

Now I'm a Believer

Pattern: Cabled Footies by Leigh Radford in One Skein
Yarn: About half a skein of Peace Fleece
Needles: 3.75 mm Knit Picks Options circulars
Modifications: Decreased the toe a little differently to make it less pointy.

So, here they are, the entrelac-break footies. They're pretty cerebral, as socks go. The originals were pictured with Kierkegaard, but these are reading Hannah Arendt.

First of all, another big thank you to Brianne, who gave me this yarn a long time ago, either because I won a contest or she's a sweetie or, most likely, both. I have to say, I had heard many wonderful things about Peace Fleece, but I was a doubter. In the skein, it felt so scratchy. And kind of puny ... the stitches didn't look so pretty. But, then, I gave them a Eucalan bath. It made ALL the difference. Now I know what people mean by "the yarn really bloomed." I love this yarn. I am tempted to hoard.

Thanks everyone for the nice comments about my Lady Eleanor. I am about halfway done with it. This weekend I started the Must Have Cardigan (more on that soon) and it's nice to alternate between the entrelac and cables.

A bit of randomness: my friend Preeti and I have a new blog project! It's called Cleveland in Photos and we post a picture of our city every day. There's a fabulous and interesting community of city daily photo blogs that are well worth visiting. Anyway, drop by if you'd like a closer look at my wonderful hometown.

Also, check out Preeti's blog for a more "mathematically rigorous" version of the Knitting Happiness graph!

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

My Precious

Here she is ... my Lady Eleanor-in-progress. I am ridiculously in love with it. Entrelac is dangerously addictive. I am using two colors of Patons SWS, Natural Earth and Natural Plum, and I am alternating them with each tier. It's fun to see how the colors emerge. If you look closely, you can see a safety pin in one of the squares. That's the point at which I decided it would behove me to figure out knitting backwards. (Not as hard as it sounds.)

I love working on this, but it's getting a little unwieldy to carry around. As a little break from the entrelac, I made another pair of Cabled Footies, from some Peace Fleece that's been in my stash for awhile. But I'll save that for next time.

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Friday, March 09, 2007

The New Not-Ugly Sweater

: Elizabeth Zimmermann's Seamless Raglan Sweater from Knitting Without Tears
Yarn: 5 skeins Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky in Pewter (Gray for Project Spectrum!)
Needles: Knit Picks Options circulars, size 10
Finished chest size: 37 inches

I apologize for the grainy photo. My camera is on its last legs (lens?).

As I mentioned in my last post, my goal here was a comfy, warm sweater that I can wear in public. I was telling PCR that I decided to skip any waist shaping. "After all," said I, "it's really supposed to be like a ..." (I am thinking sweatshirt.)

PCR jumped in. "Blankie?"

Well, yes, actually.

As you can see, I also skipped shaping the back of the neck, because I like boatnecks. And the three-quarter length sleeves? Yeah, I absolutely meant to do that. Ahem. (I swear I measured them against a sweater that fits. ) Fortunately, the shorter sleeve is more functional for me anyhow. The bottom, cuffs and neckline are 1x1 twisted rib. I have decided that I will never again do an untwisted 1x1 rib, as this looks So Much Better. Jennie and I were apparently coming to this same conclusion at about the same time.

I like the Wool of the Andes Bulky. I would call it "chunky" rather than "bulky." It's soft and warm, and it knit up quickly while still making a nice looking garment. I bet it would be fantastic for felting.

And now, I will leave you with a little preview of My Precious.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

The Story of the Ugly Sweater

Let it never be said that Affiknitty is a mere vehicle for knitterly showing off. Today, I uncover my sartorial shame. This, my friends, is the Ugly Sweater. Technically, it is an Elizabeth Zimmermann seamless yoke sweater and it was knit in Wool-Ease Thick and Quick. I finished it the winter before I started blogging. Here is a (rather blurry, sorry) picture of it in better days.

Some things age well. Some things do not. Sadly, sweaters made of Thick and Quick (at least in this color) are in the latter category. It is ridiculously too large, pilling doesn't begin to describe the surface of the fabric, and it generally makes me look as though I am wearing the pelt of dead Muppets. Never is my tongue more firmly in my cheek about "cultivating fabulousness" than when I am donning the Ugly Sweater. And I have been wearing it a lot. It was the perfect study sweater. For some reason, S and J love it -- S has even brought it to me to put on. I even sleep in it.

But I came to the conclusion that this sweater really should not be making appearances outside Chez Affiknitty. I decided to knit another comfy, shapeless sweatshirt-alternative while I was studying. PCR very diplomatically agreed that this was a good idea. So, next on Affiknitty, the New Not-Ugly Sweater.

This brings to mind a question. Kimberly recently finished a beautiful Ribby Cardi. I commented that it seems to be a knitting Perfect Storm -- fun to knit and a pleasure to wear.
See what happens to you when you start hanging out with scientists?

For me, I must admit that the Ugly Sweater is one of those projects. But, even more, I loved knitting Clapotis and I wear it all the time. It was with me at the Decemberists concert AND the bar exam. What more can I say?

So, tell me. Which project do you love to wear as much as you loved to knit it?

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

And, I'm Back!

More Mittens!
Originally uploaded by Affiknitty.
Hi everyone! I'm back! Thanks for all your warm thoughts and well wishes. I think it made a difference! I feel good about how I did and I am hopeful that I won't be back in Columbus in July taking the test again. Yippee!

Here's the first of the FOs I promised. Another pair of Ann Budd mittens, these were knit with far less than one skein of Knit Picks Decadence on 5.0 mm needles. All that alpaca yumminess ... there will be no chillblains on the fingers.

I'm so glad to be back ... more knitterly goodness to come this week.