14 January 2010

Some sweaters

I mentioned earlier that I've been on a sweater knitting kick, and I wasn't kidding. I seem to have a penchant for sweaters knit from the top down, either with raglan shaping or a circular/round yoke. Here's my progress so far this fall, since my first handspun, handdyed, handknit sweater.

First up: I bought some blended fiber super cheap from a seller on etsy. It ended up as a 2-ply worsted weight yarn with lots of heathery bits in different colors and sparkles (!). I knit it up into this February Lady Sweater, a classic raglan design that's really popular on Ravelry, with a garter stitch yoke, lace pattern on the body, and 3/4 length sleeves. I was desperate to use these metal buttons imprinted with flowers, but I only had two buttons but three buttonholes. So I grabbed a neutral button to round out the set to place at the top. Lesson learned: choose buttons before making buttonholes. Then you can ensure the correct size AND number of buttons. How novel.

Second: I had a ton of that same yarn left over, and fell in love with the pattern for this Shalom sweater, so I cast on and knit it over Thanksgiving break at my mom's place in Indiana. Top down, too, but with a circular yoke and no sleeves. There was a bit more color variation in this bit of yarn, so there's some subtle striping. The button is this fabulous triangular pearlescent thing that I love.

Third: a chunky weight sweater made from both commercial spun (the beige, Cascade Eco Wool) and handdyed, handspun 2 ply wool that matched just great. Again, top down, circular yoke, 3/4 length sleeves, and there were these rose colored buttons in my stash that complimented my dye job beautifully. This was a great exercise in using up all of the handspun I could; I continued the bottom hem until I ran out.

Finally: a stashbuster. Top down garter stitch with two yarns. I bought the bright purple in a "Bag of Knit" from Dizzy Sheep, and the lavender jumped into my suitcase while on vacation in Maine last summer. The buttons are plastic inset with little purple and green flowers. Not the most flattering, but interesting. I like the asymmetrical front. Woot!

So there you have it. Other details are available on my Ravelry page (I'm k8lh over there), and if you don't know what Rav is, you probably don't care about other details anyway! There are other WIPs (works in progress) that will hopefully be bloggable soon, but that completes the glut of sweaters I've completed over the past few months.

It's amazing to me how I've managed to actually start thinking about how garments suit me, and how construction of sweaters varies. This is a huge step forward since I started completely disregarding clothing when I entered my hippy phase a few years ago.

Soon to come on Princess Tradescantia: a tutorial for pompoms! (never thought I'd say that), thoughts on art vs. craft, and more fun things!

08 January 2010

Big bad blog break

The end of this last semester kicked my ass. There are a veritable cornucopia of reasons for said ass-kicking, relating to all aspects of my life: professional, academic, personal, and artistic. Thus, an unplanned blogless few months of my life continued, despite many thoughts of blogging. As I'd like to continue being Princess Tradescantia here to post my commentary and pictures, and because of reminders from some folks (hi, daddoo) that I hadn't posted in awhile, I'm taking the opportunity to update while I'm working from home and feeling up to it.

Again with a list, in no particular order:
  1. I am on a sweater knitting kick, which will certainly be dwelled upon in the near future. I have completed an additional four sweaters for myself since my last reference to a handspun, handknit FO (knit-speak for "finished object"), three of which included some of my handspun.
  2. I'm thinking a lot about other fiber arts, even those not related to yarn (gasp!). Particularly, fabric and wool related activities, like locker hooking and felting. More about this later, after I have some experiments completed (see how I call them "experiments," so I can feel like it's somehow work related?).
  3. I am slogging along doing data analysis for a project that I adopted about a year ago, but which will not seem to die. I am learning new meaning for the words patience, tedious, meticulous, re-do, collaboration, and time suck, and feeling more despondent about another vocabulary word I'm supposed to be pondering: dissertation.
  4. I maintain my sanity while working on #2 (the item listed above, not the bathroom activity...well, maybe that too) by trolling the Netflix watch instantly list and compulsively viewing almost every BBC miniseries and television series available. I'm working my way through mini-series adaptations of Jane Austen novels right now.
  5. The cats are adorable. There was a three-way kitty grooming and snuggling orgy on the sofa the other night. Our house is kept cold to encourage snuggling of furry creatures (although it might also be because we are cheap and don't want to pay to heat this huge house above 62 degrees) Here is some further proof of said cuteness.
Fatticat loves xmas, especially the tree.