Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Jeans friday

Finally there s a store in my country where one can buy yarns from natural fibers. OK, the selection is rather limited, but then again, at least one can touch Malabrigo, or see Manos in person. Knowing about me from the knitting club, the owner aporoched me if I would teach some classes there... Can I say no? For the first while we agreed that she will compensate me with yarns... I can always have more yarn right? I think the first time I was in teh shop i fell in love with the light blue of the Sublime Organic Merino yarn. And the jeans blue. And the light green. So much I couldn't decide. Then I started to knit socks from some noro silk garden with similar colors, then it hit me. STRIPES!!! And then I knew at once what I want. I only had to design how the whole thing should come toogetehr. Very simple construction, top down with stripes of equal width, but then throwing it toward the light blue with wide ribbing at the waist, and the buttonband, and extra wide cuff at the sleeves.

I wanted something that is sporty. Something to throw over a jeans or a T shirt. Or a white collared shirt. I also wanted it to be warm and soft and feminine. Warmth and softness comes from the yarn (Oh my god, if you ever touched soft. Wool.). Sportines from the stripes and the top down craglan construction. For feminity I added slight waist shaping.

Making the underarm section I used a trick I made up when got annoyed knitting my tangled yoke and amelia and trying to graft the underarm. As far as I know both upward knitted and top down raglan and yoke sweaters have you cast on a few stitches for the underarms when joining the body and the same number when doing the sleeves. And then graft these stitches. Sure I know how to kitchener. But then again I work in a place when simplification is the new mantra now. Why should I make myself extra work??? As i mention this is a top down construction so here how I've done it. When I was at the point of joining the body putting the sleeves on a piece of scrap yarn, and having to cast on the extra stitches, I used the end of scap yarn and casted on the extra stitches with turkis provisional cast on (basicly wrapping the yarn around the needles, to wich I held the extra piece of yarn. Then I knitted the body.

When it came to knitting the sleeves I simply picked up the stitches from the scrap yarn, including the ones I provisionally casted on before. If you find the hole between the sleeve stitches, and the underarm stitches are too big, you can pick up an extra stitch on both side.

Voila, I have perfect underarms, no grafting, only two ends to thighten and weave in.

The top down seamless construction gives you perfectly matching stripes.

For a slightly modern touch I added extra wide cuffs.

Now I only have to write up the pattern... should I?

(Pictures, again shot by my son).

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Red ruffles

I did say something aout a red period didn't I??? LOL.

Finally got around to make some pictures of the red ruffled jacket:

The pattern is from Vogue from afew years back, but if I would just seen the magazine I would have passed it, however pretty the cables are on the back:

It is only thanks to some FO's I've seen on Ravelry that I looked twice. Especially Veronique's
which was one of the first things I favourited there.

There is so many modification to the original one I don't even know where to beginn. Probably the back cables at the back. I made the left small cables so the patterns is mirrored. Added waist shaping at the sides.

Also the sleeves are just wrong on the original pattern. Maybe they were fashionable that few years back, but these days I think sleeves are narrower. I made up the sleeves and sleeve caps from the top of my head, but let me tell you, I never managed such a well fitting set in sleeves. I bet if I wanted to repeat it on purpouse I wouldn't be able to. good thing I knitted the two sleeves at the same time. Look:

Also I made the sleeves full length (long sleeve- I guess I did told you before I cannot stand three quarter sleeves). Added generous ribbed cuffs too.

And then... The original pattern has you knit the body and the sleeves, sew the thing toogether, then knit the cabled border in a stripe, sew it on the bodice, then knit the ruffles in a stripe and sew it on the border. Now, I am a dressmaker, and have nothing against sewing things toogether, not even seaming sweaters, and no, I am not one of those who can only imagine knitting seamless ragans, but these are just unnecessary pains... Once again thank god for ravelry, and me having the mind to do my homework and reading up. probably I would have come to the same conclusion, but it was Knittingheidi who came up with the idea I followed. I picked up a million stitches around the bodice, then started to knit the cabled stripe with two short DPNs knitting the last stitch of the RS to one of the picked up stitches. This also allowed me to change the direction of the cables exactly at the midle of the back, so it mirrors itself. Yeah, I guess I have a thing about that... I do wonder though that al those wonderful knitters who done this sweater none of them thought of making the cables simmetric... but I digress. So here how it looked in the process:

And the cable border knitted on:

Then I picked up along the outer edge of the border and knitted the reverse of the bell/ruffle pattern. Learning from Veronique's and Heidi's observation, I picked the stitches up from the inside having the selvedge form a slight border. This helps the ruffles fall inward, instead of outward.

The yarn is Lana Grossa LORD. I cannot say how much I am in love with this yarn. It is natural fiber, it is wool and silk (I have a thing about wool and silk mixes. They are my favourites to spin, my favourites to knit). It is soft. And even though I could knit it with the needles I use for aran weight (3.75), it had the yardage of a DK one. the relatively long sweater with long sleeves AND ruffles still came out of ten balls (500 gramms). It was my present to myself for my birthday (since noone else gives me anything- this is a serious drawback of having a birthday a week before Christmas), and brought from a shop in Vienna. My friend Regula brought it to me, and I am ever so grateful. (Thank you dear :-)
I bought three different buttons trying to find the best ones, but I did got the perfect color (and size too).
If I would make it again? (who knows, I love it so much I might...). I would make it slightly shorter, make the neck opening less low, and pick up less stitches for knitting on the cabled border, so the ruffles would fall more inward.
But as I said, I love it as it is.

And yes... I got new, glasses with red frames :-)
Pictures were shot by my son. Shall I forgive him teh teachers note on bad behaviour? Please forgive the sometimes strange angles... I guess he wanted to be artistic.

Friday, March 26, 2010

I feel a red period coming on...

Oh sure I knit other colors too, but these last few weeks I found myself wanting red pieces...
Those who know me, also know that I have this urge to match up colors, and how come I am wearing red pullover and red shawl but no red glove??? The situation needed to be remedied fast. And just at the right moment a small ball of red yarn with tweedy bits came across my hands in the second hand shop... yumm. (I wished there would be enough for a sweater, but this wasn't even a full 50 gramm ball). The amount was so limited that only a fingers down version could be considered, but I wanted to add something on the back of the hands...

In fact I had to do the cast off from the leftover of my red ruffled cardigan... but it is kind of funny, if I wear them toogether it looks like the glove grew out of the sleeves

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I went back to work this week, and doing it not totall healthy kind of exhausted me, so not much knitting this week. Besides nor fair isle nor lace is known as fast projects, and I don't really think shouwing you an other five rows worth of Venezia would be all too exciting...
But look what did I find in the second hand English bookshop:

Earlier I kept asking the guy there if he has any knitting books, and he looked me like I asked for a book on how to grow marihuana... But last week, when I dropped in to get something to read there it was... Full of old fashioned illustration like these:

And patterns for sweaters like this, which could be easily made to wear it today. Like they say, good fashion and good knitting is timeless, right?

Come to think of it my aunt gave these at Xmas. They were my grandma's and I am so happy to have them. These were the ones I kept leafing through when she first thaught me how to knit:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

three years

It was a friday night. It was cold and windy. Like the universe knew. Like the universe was already in mourning.
He left us.
He was the best. I used to say that he was the best of his generation, but looking more and more videos tunring up on you tube I know, no matter wha he touched it turned to gold. Silly operett? He made a great fun of it. Playing in a heart wrenching musical? He sung like noone else, he played like no one else. Shakespeare? Modern drama? It did not matter, he was great in everything.
He looked great, and he had a nice... would it be unrespectful if I tell he had a nice arse?
Sometimes I wonder... why his death hit me so hard? Who am I to mourn him so deeply? Yes I knew him. Superficially, but I did. But this is something more, which I cannot explain.
I waited Christopher to to be grown up enough so I can take him to see the "Padlás" (The attic) or the "Holbéli Csónakos" (Boatman in the moon). I waited too long...I am ever so glad that I did managed to see his last big kick, the musical about '56... I've seen him playing Romeo in his twenties (Ok, it was Tony in West side story, but it is almost the same), and I've seen him in his late forties playing father Laurent...
Listening to his songs and carefully interrogating my father who had a close encounter with a lightning one and had a look over the other side (which is a totally different story) I am convinced he knew where he is going. He new and didn't really wanted to come back. I would not be surprised if I would find out that he had a near death experience before, because boone could write/sing those songs like the "Végtelen kékség" (Endless blue) without knowing what is there. Also I think he believed in reincarnation, just what he sings in the song Még egy (One more). Or the Fényév távolság (A distance of a lightyear) if he didn't believed that there is more to life, than what we can see.
I cannot even start to imagine what it would feel to be the son of such a great man, or the daughter who wasn't even born when he died so suddenly... Who was not only the best actor ever, but also a great man. Who had the gumprion NOT to except a distinction from a party who denied the hungarians nationalities living in the neighbouring countries double citizendship.
I still think of him ever so often. I can still hear his voice in my ears... and remember.
I never cried for someone who died so much as I did when he went... It is three years today, but I still have tears in my eyes, my heart is still heavy.
Life goes on, or so they say. But life is never the same. It is like december for lennon fans. March 23. will alway be black for me. I am going to get a white rose and throw it into the river for him today.
I will miss you forever.

remembering Attila Kaszás, the greates Hungarian actor of all times.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Just an other update

It took me fairly long but at the moment I finally feeling better. On wednesday I went back to the doc, telling her that I am ready to do anything just to be able to breath, and she did prescribed an even stronger antibiotics... But by Thursday I saw the light at the end of the tunnel, and by Saturday things looked rather sunny... Oh, maybe the weather was sunny??? Anyway I was well enough to go to the knitting store and hold my sock knitting class, and pick up the last ball of yarn I needed to finish my "Casual friday" sweater. A top down cardigan from jeans blue yarns (softened with a bit of spring green). The pattern is very simple one, but I will write it up, just in case...It is getting blocked at the moment, I only need to get buttons. Who would have thought that having enough buttons to fill a small haberdashery is still not enough? I can't find matte light blue ones, or silvery metal ones in the right size... getting modelled picture will be the question of time, light and someone to shoot them. Until then...

Since I spent so much time home I could manage to spend considerable time to knit.. and spin, yay). There was a nice advancement on my Venezia:

Oh, my... it is the slowest thing I ever knit... I mean there is 250 and some stitches in a row/round and it is heavy fair isle, but boy, it takes me about 20 minutes to do a row (some even more, only one or two of the repeat that takes less). But it is amazing. Even magical... Even though I am on the fourth repeat I still cannot see the "whole picture" while knitting it. I consult the chart and I knit. I knit "two white, two blue, three white one blue, one white one blue, three white, two blue two wite " and so on... by the time I recognize some repeats I am at the point for starting the next row, which is totally different... After a few rows though, there it is, the intricate drawing emerging

Since the Venezia is not something I can take in my bag to carry around... first it is worked from two cones of yarn, each of them about 800 gramms, and I will NOT carry that weight, and it needs much closer attention than being able to knit it in a doc's office or in a cafe...therefore I needed something for that purpouse. I seem to run into a red period and after the red ruffled jacket and some more red yarn waiting to be knitted the queen of second hand came home with a red jacket for the spring... it is RED. Needs to be toned down a bit... needs a scarf. And I had a ball of Malabrigo lace I got from BlackKitty more than a year ago... It is only 50 gramms not enough for a big thing. I originally wanted to to the traveling rose but the strong contrast makes it to busy for that pattern, needed something simpler...

And guess what... with the warmer weather the urge to knit lace hit me... (or I was just fed up with the fair isle for the moment???)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bloody chapped lips

That is what I have... in other words I am sick. Again. With the same sinus infection...
Since even simple breathing causes major problems for me...I don't have much energie, but to break up the blogsilence here is a kind of status report... with pictures...
Finally gave up fighting the illness alone and went to the doc... I will not repeat what she said about working with this, and being stubborn and try to get rid of it alone... no wonder it came back...so she promptly prescribed...

Looking out my window yesterday (and the day before) I saw this:

SNOW. In March. Wonder I am sick? Maybe it is pscychosomatic?

The good news I have a Finished Object:

I love it and you will get a modelled picture and full report when I am not looking and feeling like a ghost.

Other good news, the mailman brought me these:

I got so excited I promptly threw away the sweater I was working on (already on the second sleeve of a top down raglan cardi) and knit up a swatch:

Which made me even more excited about the project and promtly cast on 308 stitches... knit 25 rows and then frogging it. Swatches do lie. Cast on a much smaller number and proceeded:

I just love how it knits up... and comparing the washed swatch I love how the yarn blooms... can you see?

All this while I have a number of UFOs on the needles, at least two or tree of them nearing completion, and I should knit a pair of clogs for my friend's birthday and I want/should desing a baby cardigan for a class... There is no warning on patterns that fair isle is so addicting...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ok, I give up...I would still not say I am a sock knitter, but I would admit I am a knitter who knits socks too. I call these surprise socks because I knit most of it in the movies, in the dark, so seeing how the self patterning yarn knitted up, was a complete surprise.
The only thing I done on it in the light were the toes, heels and starting the second sock trying to match up the stripes, of which I believe I did a pretty good job.

The yarn is USHY (Unidentified Second Hand Yarn), knitted on 2.5mm DPNs, pattern is my own way of knitting simple ribbed socks from the toe up.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Just a picture

A year ago I've knitted a cardigan for the daughter of my best real life friend... Pictures of it being blocked are here but it too a while to get a modelled picture of the little lady in question wearing it :-).
The note accompanying the picture said they love it very much, and it grows with the girl ;-) (I told them how a little wet blocking can help the process).