Sunday, April 02, 2006

Early In the Month

As a new blogger, I would try to "keep myself honest" by posting my WIPs (Works In Progress) at the beginning of each month. This blog, was, after all, a public journal of my knitting. Mostly for me, but open to you Gentle Readers.

In some ways, this kept me on target. Like the purple ribbed lace socks that languished for a good long time before I finally finished them.

In others, it was a source of embarassment--like the cotton Aran vest from Two Sticks and a String that was on the needles long enough to qualify for a driver's license, then was finally frogged back to neat little balls of yarn. Like the Colori yarn I finally frogged from socks, then started as a side-to-side baby sweater, then frogged again.

Yesterday, I bared my soul and "flashed my stash." Today, I wallow in my WIPs.

I give you, the current projects in the works.

Clockwise from the multi-colored monstrosity on the left, the Center-Out Blankie using odd balls of ack and Pound o' Ack-crap, (top) the salmon Baby Silk Branching Out scarf, temporarily untouched, the Diamond Patch sweater, restarted (2.5 diamonds--of 30 or so--completed), the ever there "car hat" for Ship Support (odd balls of RH Shetland Chunky in navy and "oxford" gray), the Reunion Mittens, also temporarily untouched, but now that I have blown up the charts so that I can actually make outthe tiny sqaures, soon to be active again, and front and center (bottom) the bare beginnings of a pair of Jaywalker socks in my overdyed Wildfoote.

I'm pretty sure that's everything, but you never know what might be lurking somewhere.

And what is missing from this array? Why, the Surplice Sweater, of course.

It's all finished, buttons sewn on, washed, blocked.

Here's what I learned: Cotton (as we all know) is pretty unforgiving. I used Reynolds Saucy Sport (sage) as the main color and Patons Cotton DK (blue cloud) as the trim. Both are mercerized, both are DK weight. But that's where the similarities end. The Saucy is stiff, though washing helped soften it. The Cotton DK started out softer and fuzzes quite a bit.

I used just a bit under 3 - 50 gram balls of the Saucy, and just a few yards of the DK Cotton. I think 3 balls of the Saucy would have been sufficient if I hadn't added the contrast. Making ribbed cuffs would have added to the yardage. Your personal mileage may vary.

I bought both of these yarns at Smiley's . The Patons is long gone. The Saucy is still available, though the sage color is no longer available. (They have a great red, a purple, and a couple of nice blues left.) Yarn for this sweater in Saucy cost $7.50. Baby colors are available in Patons "Bumblebee," the yardage is the same; Bumblebee's hand is softer. Cost for 3 balls-$4.50.

Smiley's has a $35 order minimum and a flat shipping fee of $9.95 (Continental U.S. only). Believe me when I tell you that it is very easy to get to the minimum! (How do you think I grew this stash?) Service is great, too.

Disclaimer: I have no financial interest in Smiley's, but I gave serious thought to declaring them a dependant on my 2005 tax return!

Here's the Surplice on a model. (I need a better model! This one may be "6 month" size, but s/he has short stubby arms and legs and the torso isn't long enough either. Still, it beats having Walter model.)

Originally, I planned to add ribbing to the sleeves, but decided (memories of babies past) that EZ's 3/4 sleeves really are a lot more practical on little babies (less to chew on!). Since this is a summer sweater, shorter sleeves are okay. I used an i-cord bind off in the contrast color and finished off the front and neck edge with the same treatment. A pair of light blue 1/2" buttons (with duckies) finishes it off.

Ta dah!

Movie Review: Walk the Line is a "nice little film bio" about Johnny Cash and June Carter. Reese Witherspoon won the Best Actress Oscar. The music's good, the acting's excellent. The story's sort of "great talent, finds drugs, uses drugs, nearly destroys his life, but with the love of a good woman. . ." same old story replayed with different characters. I'd give it 4 out of 5 stars, because of the music and acting.
the little surplice is darling Ann, such a nice color combo and what beautiful knitting. When you started the Blog today, it almost sounded like you were bidding us farewell, but I am glad that is not so. I would surely miss it. You helped me last night Ann, I started late at night with the BSJ and had some time today to knit 22 rows. I was so amazed that the yarn that was frogged, did not look like that when I used it to start over. I thought I would have to wash it to get the kinks out, but it looks just like the first time around. Thanks for all your help.Rita size US 8 needles looks perfect now.
I still have to see Walk the Line but I'm a big fan of Johnny Cash from way back.

WIPs. If it wasn't for them, I'd have nothing.

The surplice sweater came out really cute!
Love the surplice sweater. I plan to make at least one for CIC, in a larger size. If I used ww yarn and make it a bit longer it ought to be okay. Having not yet started one I don't know how difficult or easy that might be, but now that I've seen how cute yours is I'll make a baby sweater (or 2) first. I plan to add your blog to my list of blogs to read :o).
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