Archive for the ‘Lace’ Category

FO – Apres Surf Hoodie

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

I finally finished my Apres Surf Hoodie!


Apres Surf Hoodie

I’ve had plenty of starts and stops with this project. I originally wanted to make it out of Dream in Color Smooshy but I wasn’t feeling the deep blue I got for it. (I’m now using the DIC for my Featherweight cardi and it’s a great match!) I bought Webs’ Charlemont about a little more than a year ago for Apres and I was still making slow  progress. Then about a month ago, I heard it whimpering in my works-in-progress pile and then I simply could. Not. Put. It. Down. …It happens, what can I say. :-D


Pattern: Apres Surf Hoodie by Connie Chang Chinchio From Interweave Knits, Summer, 2008
My Ravelry Project Page
Yarn(s): Valley Yarns, Charlemont 4 Skeins, 1756 yards
Colorway(s): Whipple Blue
Needle(s): US 3 – 3.25 mm
Casted On: February 2, 2011
Casted Off: May 10, 2012
Modifications: I did provisional cast-ons to then do an applied I-cord bind off. I used this bind-off at the pullover’s bottom, sleeves and hood area. (I don’t believe the instructions said to use that bind-off at the beginning…not entirely sure though. I also made the torso and sleeves longer and, to do that, I had to spread the increases and decreases out a little more.

I made the size 39.5 and of course I did some research on how many yards other people have used with this size. I thought four skeins of Charlemont, (439 yards a skein) would be enough. Well, I used more yarn than I thought! To the point where I was getting very nervous.  I bought the original skeins more than a year ago so who knows what kinds of dye lot issues I’d have!

My mods to make its components longer ate up some yarn but so did the provisional cast offs! Must keep that in mind. If I didn’t rip out some of the bottom stockinette rows, I would have run out.

I find myself drawn to lacy tops. They can provide feminine, more professional warmth, when ACs are jacked up during the summer months. I plan on making more. Since this was my first, however, I was slightly nervous about sleeve placement:

Apres Surf Hoodie

Can’t say I did a bad job.

Apres Surf Hoodie

I’m very pleased with how this turned out! I can’t wait to make some more lacy tops as the summer progresses.

What I’m reading and knitting…

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

No I did not die. Work picks up in the spring time for me…taxes…and hello surprise root canal…bad Laura is bad!

I recently saw a blog post where the knitter, Carole of Carole Knits, who also does a fair amount of reading, posted an entry about what progress she was doing on both. I thought–What a great idea!

Lately there has been a lot of balance between these to great loves of mine so why not share them? Goodreads is doing a contest on Book Bloggers and I’ve been checking out some blogs to add to my “reading” bloglist. I was quite drawn to the format of Reading with Tequila’s reviews. I think it might take some pressure away from me writing reviews and over thinking if the paragraphs flow well. (Yes. I still get that “I’m-writing-for-an-English-class vibe when I know that I want to write these )

What I’ve recently finished:

**The Birth House by Ami McKay**

What is it about?:
Dora Rare is the only female born into her family in five generations of the Rare family living in Scots Bay near Nova Scotia in the early part of the twentieth century. Eyebrows start to raise at her mere existance because she’s the only female born to her family but also because at the age of seventeen she befriends Miss Babineau, a very experienced midwife who has had something to do with almost every birth in town (and some outside of it as well) When most of her family and friends are searching for husbands, she is given a very eye opening apprenticeship working with Miss Babineau. Working with her, she encounters abusive marriages, an overall lack of sensitivity to women in childbirth, unfullfilling marriages and sex lives, all during a time when no one discussed such things.

But wait–the plot thickens! Dr. Gilbert Thomas comes in and builds a maternity ward nearby and insists that he can assure a way for the town’s women to experience a “painless childbirth.” Granted I’ve never given birth but even I can see how that would make a woman say “You have my attention”

Why did I read this?
You know…thinking about it, I don’t remember…I think I went searching on Goodreads lists. It appealed to me because of its “in with the new/out with the old” quality it had.

What impressed me about this book?
As corny as this might sound, the bonds between the town’s women. At a time when the point of view of women was hardly listened to, you saw characters stand up for delivering their kids according to their own terms. And with some you didn’t. It was interesting to think about these women’s motivations for their actions.

What disappointed me about this book?
Her loveless marriage. It was pretty surprising for me to see a character who has experienced so much of bad experiences of marriage through assisting a midwife that she turns around and tolerates it from her own husband. I won’t say much but there was a satisfying resolution with this aspect of the book

Overall Grade? (out of five)


Now Knitting!

I picked up my Apres Surf Hoodie and not I simply can not put it down. It’s pretty funny because I started it over a year ago. Perhaps I might be able to wear it to MDSW?? Maybe?? That said I secretly mock people that wear ridiculous handknits for an outdoor May fesitval. Should you be proud as hell at yourself for steeking that fair isle sweater? Ab-so-lutely but come on…It’s been known to hit 90 degrees…not very bright.

Anyway, I’m quite proud of the progress:

Apres Surf Hoodie

This was taken over the weekend too…I’m more than halfway done with one sleeve too

Are you going to MDSW this year? I’d love to meet up!! :-)


Sleeves are gonna be the end of me!

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

Sleeves always seem to get me. Don’t know why but they always seem to be the most challenging part of a sweater or cardigan.

Of course…it makes sense doesn’t it. Everyone’s arms are different, people like different fits. And they can be challenging–having the seams line up just correctly with minimal bulkiness.

Theeeeeeeeeeen throw in that yours truly must have Gumbi like arms. I like sleeves ridiculously long.

So I thouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuught I was being clever in lengthening the sleeves to my Autumn Rose Pullover. But Nope. I wasn’t

Autumn Rose Pullover

The fair isle motive that goes in between the circular pattern? In the body, it’s nine rows and in the sleeves, I made it twelve because, after all, these things add length.

It wasn’t till after I uploaded this picture onto Flickr that I noticed how blatant this was and how the motives just are not going to line up.

So what’s that sound you’ll be hearing this evening? Rip rip? Yup. That’s Laura ripping that sleeve back quite a bit….with the occasional whimper as well.

I need to be reminded that this is for the sweater’s well being. If motifs don’t line up, I’ll be wearing it in the office and it will be just like that Tide Commercial.…and I couldn’t blame anyone for feeling that way. I’d be distracted as hell at it.

So yeah. That project is probably going to spend the week on the bench. Sigh

Until then, I’ve casted on a new skirt and a shawl:

Lace Tiered Skirt

and this is the finished shawl, from Purl Bump’s Pattern Page

Dover Castle Shawl

Life Amplified

Monday, May 16th, 2011

My friend Lindsey blogged about how it’s been a long time since she’s written a blog. That got me thinkin- How long has it been for me?

April 16!

The reasons are plenty.

  1. While interest rates are low, Jermaine and I are looking to buy a home. That’s taken up a lot of weekend time.
  2. Work’s been insane. Very busy learning new things and facilitating intramural competitions.  I work with fantastic people so no complaints there but I can’t really say I’ve been popping out a ton of finished objects
  3. Another reason, I seem to be on a sweater theme right now anyway and those aren’t completed as fast as, say, a pair of socks or a hat.

I’ve picked up my Autumn Rose Pullover from hibernation:

Autumn Rose I’m no longer using Knitpicks Palette. With this pattern’s gauge, I was knitting this sweater on 5s (when it really calls for 2s) and I was just not liking th fabric that was resulting. I used Brown Sheep Naturespun Sport for Abby’s Cardigan and it’s just great for steeks. :-) So while it took a while to find equivalents from Palette to Nature Spun Sport, I think I have a great start.

The Connie Chang Chinchio trend I seem to be on:

Like many offices in the summer, mine happens to be very cold so I want to knit Sabbatical to wear around the office. Here it is so far:

Sabbatical This is a very fun knit. I’m making it out of Madeline Tosh Pashmina, a little gift to myself for my birthday :-) This is a challenging knit because there is lace on both sides of the knitting but that’s what makes it fun.

The progress made on these two projects has been minimal but still something I’m proud of:

Apres Surf Hoodie Here’s Apres Surf Hoodie. I want to pick up the pace on this project. I was looking at finished versions of them on Ravelry and was like “WANT!”

The following was an impulse knit-my friend Sidney started faving projects of Connie’s Tie Back Shell top and I instantly wanted one for the office. (I’m the queen of solid color cotton tops. I need to change things up! ) This pattern started with knitting a 17-stitch twisted rib…rope for 68 some odd inches for the band around my ribs and tie in the back. OY! But that’s complete now and I started knitting the bottom part of the top.

Tie Back Shell

I hope to get some of these done soon to show off some finished objects because God knows I’m workin’ hard on them!

And, I’d like to end this entry with an adorable picture of Layla. She found her own personal spot in our closet on top of blankets. I swear she even closes the door. Virginia Woolf was right. A woman really does need a room of one’s own

Layla's New Hiding Place

I’m Getting Pretty Good at Starting Stuff

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Last year, I had intentions to participate in the IntSweaMoDo, which is a knit-along where you make 12 sweaters a year. It didn’t work. I only knit one cardigan.

Instead of committing myself to something like that this year, I simply told myself that I wanted to knit more sweaters. Going from one cardigan last year to knitting twelve this year seemed like a bit steep.

That said, in mid-January, I thought I was doing pretty well with getting at least one sweater done in one month. I was making fabulous progress on my Cerisara cardigan:


Look at that! I just had one more sleeve to work on! GO LAURA!!

But then I got distracted…

I got the urge to make some fair-isle:

Icelandic Star And I started the Icelandic Star Cardigan from Interweave Knits, Winter 2009 magazine. That’s been moving quite along lately. I am about halfway done with the body knitting before I start on the sleeves. The pattern says to knit it flat but there’s no way I’d do purl fair isle. That’s a headache I can avoid by adding some steaking in the middle, which is what I did (in case you noticed the random alternating of colors above)

Aaaaaaaaaaaand in an effort to think ahead, I started Apres Surf Hoodie again, this time with Valley Yarns Charlemont, a new line of yarn from Webs that is a wool/silk fingering weight yarn.I had originally started this hoodie with Dream in Color, Smooshy, but I decided to frog that because I was worried about DIC’s tendency to expand a lot after blocking, especially given that the hoodie is entirely lace.

Apres Surf Hoodie

And sure, I’m not finishing things as fast as I would like but I’m still having a lot of fun with all my projects, and that’s the whole point, right?

First Finished Object of 2011

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

….was a shawl. Oh la la

Does it really count if I had started it in December? I think it does. Pardon the pun but I’m not too knitpicky about what I consider an FO. I finished it in 2011 so it’s a Finished Object for 2011.

Leaves Dancing Modell

Pattern: Leaves Dancing Modell 118/9 by Junghans-Wolle
My Ravelry Project Page
Yarn(s): The Sanguine Gryphon Skinny Bugga! 1.25 grams of it, in fact, that added up to 558 yards
Colorway(s): Caerulea
Needle(s): US 6 – 4.0 mm
Casted On: November 8, 2010
Casted Off: January 1, 2011
Modifications: I did an two extra repeats of the main chart as opposed to the recommended two.

This pattern is written in German, which can easily lead an English speaking reader to go and/or I can’t quite blame anyone for having that reaction. The recipient, my buddy Jess, said the same thing. But rest assured, dear knitters, there is a translation here. Albeit brief, but I still found it quite helpful when I started knitting this puppy. All I really needed was a translation of the symbols used in the charts and after that, I was fine.

Leaves Dancing ModellIt was one very fun knit after language barriers were passed. The pattern kept my attention for long enough but it neither bored me nor overwhelmed me. Hooray. I do wonder if I could have gotten another repeat out of the yarn I had. I probably could have. I had 3/4 of a skein left over but I certainly didn’t want to find myself 35 yards short and having to rip it out.

This shawl was for my buddy Jess. She’s a coworker who has since moved on to another department on campus. We’ve kept in touch, of course, and she even came over to my apartment to learn to knit:

Note Luna’s coaching as she learns….

Jess was always there to hear me vent about wedding drama as I was planning it and has been a great friend this past year so I was pleased to make this for her. But I don’t think Luna was too thrilled to see the shawl go. She sleeps on my knitting like any kitteh but with this shawl in particular, she had an unusual connection to

Jess' Shawl

Anywho…YAY I’m finally up to date with all my finished objects. I hope to have Cerisara done soon.

Final Two FOs of 2010

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

OK OK I’ll finally post my last two finished objects of 2010–a cowl and a pair of socks for Rose.

(Pardon my defensiveness..God knows I’ve been meaning to post this just finally got to it now.)

FO #1 – A Cowl for me

Candle Flame Cowl

Pattern: Candle Flame Cowl by Julia Allen
My Ravelry Project Page
Yarn(s): Cascade 220
Colorway(s): A Purple? I know that’s really not helpful seeing as how Cascade has about 30 or so purples but….
Needle(s): US 8 – 5.0 mm
Casted On: December 18, 2010
Casted Off: December 18, 2010
Modifications: none

I originally made this for a Jermaine’s Secret Santa he had going on at his job. It was either that or he was going to give his Secret Santa some “smelly lotion.” I know –to each their own but I know that I’m pretty sensitive to smells. “Smelly lotions” have a tendency to give me some of the worst headaches ever. So I was like “oh no hon…you’re not doing that to this poor girl.” Turns out, she doesn’t work at his store any more so yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay I haz a cowl now!

Candle Flame Cowl It’s a pretty easy pattern. I learned it after maybe one repeat?? Very stretchy fabric results too. So if you’re scrambling for a quick present for someone like I was, this is a good bet. It’s a pretty pattern too.

And, finally, Rose’s socks.

This girl looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooves socks I make for her. She gets them dry cleaned bless her heart, which is more than I can say about hand knit socks I’ve made.

Dionysus Socks

Pattern: Dionysus Socks by Abby Frelich
My Ravelry Project Page
Yarn(s): Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Lightweight
Colorway(s): Happy Go Lucky, The Socks That Rock Rockin’ Sock Club Installment for January, 2010
Needle(s): US 1 – 2.25 mm
Casted On: September 25, 2010
Casted Off: December 22, 2010
Modifications: Originally, this pattern called for a 72-stitch cast on. Upon looking at the pattern, I noticed that some of it was going to be ribbing on each side of the sock, so I got rid of 8 stitches of that ribbing to make a 64-stitch sock. I also did a short row heel. The cables used were 3×3 so I thought it would be too thick to have that much fabric on the heel.

This was one fun pattern to make. I thoroughly enjoyed making these, even if 3×3 cables on size ones sometimes proved difficult.

Dionysus Socks

And plus, these socks are a little sentimental for me. I knit them on our wedding day.

Knitting at my wedding I look like I’m about to cut a bitch, no?

Well….there’s a funny story behind this.

(Fist off, this was taken the morning of the wedding. I had to wear a button down shirt, of course, because I couldn’t pull a shirt over my hair without messing it up. Kai fine. The only button down shirt I owned used to belong to Jermaine so yeah….I was dressed like a dude for a majority of the wedding morning and early afternoon)

The caterer was running late. I was freaking out. Turns out she was freaking out too waiting for a delivery (we laugh about it now but during that time, panic.)

Jermaine’s best man, who has known me since I was 12 was trying his best to calm me down as I was panicing about the caterer not there yet. He goes “Laura, you’re getting married in the boonies. There are plenty of squirrels, worst comes to worse. All I’d need, then, is a grill.”

Bless his heart and all but NO!

I call that my “If-you-say-‘squirrel’-one-more-time” look.

And I just so happen to be knitting Rose’s socks too One of Jermaine’s aunts, after seeing me get panic-y was like “um…laura….you should knit a little to calm down.” and that was the project I pulled out. I think the fact that someone had to remind me that knitting has healing qualities proves just how panic-y I was.

Anyway, these socks pull at my heart strings Not only are they for a wonderful friend of mine who loves her handknit socks more than anyone I know but I also knit them on a very important day in my life.

Here’s a pic of Rose and Debbi in their shawls I made them and gave to them on our wedding day too.

Rose and Debbi

I saw Deb's necklaces and it was like she KNEW she was getting a blue shawl that matched it perfectly. haha

Ok I think I’ll wrap this up. Coming up next – All the finished objects of 2010. I might be late in doing it but I still want to get reflective. Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd my first FO of 2011, Jess’ shawl.

FO – In the Peaceful Forest

Saturday, December 11th, 2010

Yes I know I’ve been a little MIA.

Work has been insane!! I slept literally all day today to make up for the lost sleep this week. I find myself in a wonderful position at work. I’m doing things I enjoy and that I’m good at with a great team of people. I consider myself very fortunate. That said, all of us have had about 90 balls in the air so I spent a better part of my week locked in my office with earplugs in so that I can concentrate on my tasks.:-S

Jermaine and I had a wonderful Thanksgiving up at my mom’s and Ray’s house. They were in the middle of moving so it was a little more laid back than usual. I rather like that :-)

I had a Thanksgiving gripe that I am very proud to say that I resolved. For the past few years, apple pie has been on the menu. I’d make it and just been a little underwhelmed by it. It just seemed like every recipe involved shaving and slicing of about six apples, putting two cups o’ sugar in there and shooving it in the oven. Makes for a pretty “eh” pie, doesn’t it? Well I found a wonderful recipe this year and I want to proclaim it from the rooftops – Glazed Apple Cream Pie. It tasted AMAZING!!! When we were done with it it, Jermaine came up to me and acted like a little four year old and stared at his feet when he asked “Hey Laura…….can you make this again? pweaaaaaaase” to which I said OF COURSE!! :-P

OK Life recap is over. I have about four finished objects. Hoooray The first one, might I present:

In the Peaceful Forest

Pattern: In the Peaceful Forest by Sandy Moore from Think Outside the Sox
My Ravelry Project Page
Yarn(s):Mountain Colors Bearfoot
Colorway(s): Spruce
Needle(s): US 1 – 2.25 mm
Casted On: October 16, 2010
Casted Off: November 28, 2010
Modifications: none

This pattern was fun and I never found myself bored. I absolutely love leaf pattern motifs!

In the Peaceful Forest This pair of socks will be for mom for Christmas. I know she’ll love them. Not only will she appreciate that they’re very warm but, they’re green of course :-P

I’ll be showing off some more finished objects for the holidays. I seem to be popping them out quickly. Let’s hope I can keep this momentum up!

Debbi’s and Rose’s Shawls

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

My buddies, Debbi and Rose, are around my age and used to work for my dad. There were a few years where I thought I was in their cell phones listed as “Laura – Frank’s Daughter” because I thought that was all they knew me as.

But I was wrong.

What great friends they’ve been to me as Jermaine and I were planning our wedding!

They say that you find out who your true friends are as you experience a big life changing event like having a kid or getting married. Unfortunately and fortunately I know just how true that statement is. I won’t go into the ins and outs of my personal relationships with folks on my blog of all places but I will say this – This year I’ve had what I thought were really dear friends just….ditch me or cut me out of their lives when I was just trying to get a better understanding on things. It’s been hurtful as hell. I know just how true that statement is for negative reasons but I also know how amazingly true that statement is as well. Rose said it best, when I called her….a little drunk after a horrible text message conversation with one of these friends I’d walk through fire for. She said “you’ll find out who truly cares for you. Might not be the group you initially thought it’d be but we’ll all be there supporting you two!”

How true she was!

Debbi and Rose have heard their fair share of bitching from me and just when you’d think they’d want a “Laura break” and have nothing to do with me, they planned a wedding shower for Jermaine and me this summer. There was a slight heart attack I was feeling about getting a cake for the wedding too. See….I was all. about. the. cake planning this. I love cake more than any diabetic ought to. Kinda reminded me of Allie. Debbi called and calmed me down so I could wait for bakers to open the next day.

Anyway, this had to be recognized! So I thought I’d make them some shawls. This is how I show my love to folks too. Knit ’em something! This particular thing for them had to be something special though–Something fancy and detailed and intricate because God knows they deserved it!

Sunflower Shawl - Complete and Blocked!

Debbi's Shawl

Sunflower Shawl

Rose's Shawl

Pattern: Sunflower Shawl by Emily Wessel from her Ravelry Store
My Ravelry Project Page for Debbi’s Shawl & for Rose’s Shawl
Yarn(s):Wollmeise Sockenwolle 80/20 Twin and Miss Babs Bamboo Baby, respectively
Colorway(s): Neptun and Plum, respectively
Needle(s): US 4 – 3.5 mm and US 5 – 3.75 mm, respectively
Casted On: September 7, 2010 and September 21, 2010, respectively
Casted Off: September 19, 2010 and October 11, 2010, respectively
Modifications: none

I wanted to be sure to give this to the two of them on our wedding day. Take time out of a crazy busy day to thank them. It was very important for me to do this and fortunately I was able to.

Anyway, I hope they know how helpful and wonderful they’ve been as we planned our little forty-person wedding. Sometimes I feel that a little shawl doesn’t even begin to express my gratitude. Hmmm.

Well winter and Christmas is coming. I’m pretty sure they might need socks? hmmmmmm

New Lace Pullover

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

Ever have a project that you quit about an hour into starting it?

Well I do.

I have a weakness for lacy tops.  Now that my Botanical Lace Cardi is complete, I felt a little at loss for what lace top I should start.

In March of 2009, I swatched for the Lattice Lace Pullover:


Don't you love how organized I was?

Which will, of course, grow up to be this lovely pullover from Knit So Fine:

From Laarag's Photostream

Then after that?? Nothing. Nada. All I knew that size 1.5 needles was the size that gave me gauge. I moved on to other projects.

But the last Sunday, I just randomly picked it back up and started the project properly this time, starting with the sleeves.

Lattice Lace Pullover I’m knitting this with size 2s even if I don’t get gauge with it. I did the math and knitting this with size 2s, making the 36′ size will fit me accurately. (How did I get to this conclusion? This here calculation that has helped me every time. ;) My wise buddy Steph told me about it and I feel every knitter should commit it to memory)

Sure, I got gauge with size 1.5s but it was a little too tight, for my liking and, of course, 3s were too loose for me. Size 2s make for a nice happy medium.

And speaking of Steph, the two of us went to welcome a new yarn shop to town, Looped Yarn Works in Dupont Circle. What a lovely store! It opened just the week the two of us got paid so, the proper thing to do was go and spend some hard earned bread there, right? I always appreciate it when yarn shops have sweaters-worth of a given yarn in a variety of colors and Looped certainly did that. It was very tempting  But I already started a project with some Koigu KPPPM I bought there:

Waving Lace Socks I seem to be starting a lot of socks too. Pretty typical now that the December holidays are approaching

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