Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cherie Amour at 3:00 a.m.

Or Finally an FO!

Saturday night I stayed up until o'dark thirty, madly seaming Sassy's Cherie Amour. There could be no more procrastination - the sweater was scheduled to get on a plane at 4:30 Sunday morning. I finished, bribed my Mom to take some quick pics, and said goodbye to the never-ending sleeves.

Don't you love my jammies?

This sweater is gorgeous, and if I didn't suffer from sleevitis, it would be a very fast knit. Except for the yarn sub, I did no modifications to the pattern. I originally planned to do two of these, one for my sister and one for me. The pattern is so flattering that I will definately knit the second! When I do it again, I will make some slight mods by lengthening the "skirt" and starting the ribbing just above my hipbones.

The details:

Cherie Amour, Knitty Fall 2007, size M (38)

US #13 and # 9 circular needles, 24-inch lengths (Addi Turbos)

Classic Elite Renaissance, 100% wool, 7114 Denim, 8 hanks. I kettle dyed the yarn with blues, aquas, and purples for a very sublte varigation. The yarn is not as soft as some wool blends (merino comes to mind), but it is perfect for a sweater like this. It shows off the stitch definition perfectly and holds its shape nicely.

Even kitteh loves this sweater!
I haven't heard from Sassy yet - she won't be able to wear it for many months yet. She is fat and happy, pregnant with my very first niece! Squee! If anyone deserves a sweater...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Not a traditional WIP Wednesday

My list of WIPs has not changed significantly since my last post, so instead I give you soap!

Fishermen's Soap is the latest from Turtle Cove Soaps. It is made with Anise Seed Essential Oil, which, besides smelling fabulously like black licorice, has the curious property of removing all traces of human scent. I designed this soap for fishermen, hunters, and anyone who enjoys nature. My husband and his fishing buddies have given it their seal of approval!

Speaking of The Hairy One, did you notice the cute turtle print on each soap? That is from one of the soap stamps he gave me for Christmas. It is perfect!

And, since this is a knitting blog, check out this shot from the Bass Pro Shop in Macon, Georgia:

Obviously if your husband fishes or hunts, you pine at home with random balls of yarn.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Unexpected Guests, the Plague, and Sleevitis

Last weekend my aunt and uncle stopped by while on their cross country trip. It was great to visit with them, but I think they brought the plague. Whether they carried some mutant virus from the Great Plains or I ran myself down with the holidays, road trips, and visitors, I have had the cold from hell all week.

It's been so bad that I haven't been able to lurk at my favorite blogs or even hang out on Ravelry. The plus side is I got a lot of knitting done while watching bad day-time TV. I planned to work diligently on Sassy's Cherie Amour, but I had crippling sleevitis. Instead, I knit a very simple twisted wrap with the Trendsetter Venus yarn I picked up at Hanks. I used a provisional cast on with a garter stitch seam to create seamless shoulder wrap. It shows the variations in yarns and textures beautifully! I have a bit left; I think I will do a very narrow, very long scarf.

I also cast on Mrs. Darcy, finished the back, and started the sleeves. I'm using Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport and size 10 needles to match the gauge called for in the pattern. It has made a light and lacy fabric, perfect for Florida! The Lorna's Laces is soo soft. I love it!

Did you notice that I knit the back, skipped the fronts, and went straight to the sleeves? I thought that might circumvent my sleevitis. Maybe it's not sleevitis; maybe I just get bored with a project near the end and... Nope, it's sleevitis.

I have put a lot of thought into this disorder over the last week. First, I must qualify that I have freakishly long arms. According to da Vinci, a person's height is supposed to be equal to her wingspan measured fingertip to fingertip, across the shoulders. Well, I am 66 inches tall, and my wingspan is 70 inches. Four full inches difference! I should be in a side show.

So, when I knit sleeves, it takes an extra long time. However, my sleevitis cannot be simply blamed on my freakishness. Think about knitting the front of a sweater. You knit four inches, hold it up to your body, and look! you've knit from your hipbone to your belly button! Now think about knitting two sleeves. It's often the same number of stitches, so it should be just as exciting. However, you knit four inches, hold it up to your arm, and you've knit to your wrist. Hardly exciting.

I think we need support groups for sleevitis. Special stitch and bitches devoted strictly to sleeves. "Hi, my name is Eryn, and I have sleevitis. I have knit two half sleeves since our last meeting."

Even without the support group, I forced myself to knit Sassy's sleeves. They are officially done and blocking. I will be embarking on the grand adventure that is seaming as soon as all the pieces are dry.

Until then, I have much blogstalking to catch up on. First, my worst habit. I think it's obvious that my worst habit is procrastination. I will do nothing today that can be put off 'til tomorrow! The next assignment is a snap-shot of our knitting needles.

Here you see my needle drawer, including my brand new Options Harmony set (Whee!). So far I love them; they are beautiful: smooth with just enough grip that I don't lose my stitches. Maybe they can help me fight sleevitis!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Road Trip, Part Two

If Hanks was like coming home, Knitch was like going to temple. A. maze. ing.

I was a little worried that we would have trouble finding Knitch, because they are tucked away in an alley in midtown Atlanta, Georgia. However, their website provides exquisite directions and we had no problems.

When I saw the oddball knitting wrought iron statue guarding the door, I knew that everything was fabulous. The store is an older building that has been stripped down to the original hardwood and brick. Discreet spotlights highlight the fabulous colors and upstairs in the dye loft, huge windows let in natural light. The walls are literally floor to ceiling yarn. If I had one complaint, it would be that some yarns are on shelves seven feet up. It's a good thing I dragged the Hairy One with me!

I had a chance to fondle yarns I've only read about: Rowan, Blue Sky Alpaca, Manos del Uruguay.... It was a complete drool-fest. At one point my very patient husband even joined the fun: "That is soo cool! That would make an awesome sweater." Any yarn store that entices my husband gets a thumbs up from me!

Next: all the fibery goodness I came home with.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Road Trip, Part One

We just spent the extended weekend on a road trip, driving from Central Florida to Atlanta, Georgia. And of course, because I hang out with the cool kids, we had to schedule many (yarn) breaks on the way.

First on the list was Hanks in Gainesville, Florida. A more fabulous place I cannot imagine.
The yarn selection is drool worthy and even includes their own hand-spun and hand-dyed yarns. I rolled in the Malabrigo, admired the Cherry Tree Hill, and succumbed to Lorna's Laces. I even thought (briefly) of taking up sock knitting because of the fabulous sock yarns on display.

We stopped at Hanks again on our way back home, only to find we had just missed SnB (heartbreaking!). Next time, I will definitely plan my road trip around Hanks' SnB.

If you find yourself in Gainesville, swing by Hanks and have a cup of organic coffee with Sharon, Ginger, Lorena, and Hank. Tell 'em Eryn sent you.

Tomorrow: The religious experience that is Knitch.

Go back and click on Hank - don't hurt his feelings!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Going on a Roadtrip

Happy New Year to one and all! I've been avoiding the year-end reflection and resolution post. It sounds trite, but every day is the beginning of a new year. Every day is worthy of reflection and resolution. So instead of a list of what I've done in the last year or what I'm going to do this year, I give you my pre-roadtrip post!

We are about to get in the car to drive to Atlanta. Because of the monsters' limited patience and The Hairy One's bad back, what is normally an eight hour drive will be at least twelve hours. The plus side? I have mapped out new yarn stores to visit!

I am really a one LYS kind of girl. I love All Strung Out and the fabulous Gigi. But I cannot pass up the opportunity to visit new and wonderful places! On the agenda this weekend is Hanks in Gainesville, Florida, and Knitch in Atlanta, Georgia. When I get back, I will give a full report on both.

And since I can't post without pictures, I give you the Helicopter of Evil and the Avenging Dog.