New Eastside yarn store!

A few weeks ago while driving through Kirkland with my sister, she blurted out, “Yarn store.”

“Very funny, ” I muttered, figuring she was making a joke about my obsession with all things knitting.

“No, really!” she insisted.

“Oh, come on.” I grumbled.

“Really, there’s a yarn store back there—”

I pulled over and did a map search on my iPhone, and sure enough: a yarn store in Kirkland. Not wasting a moment, turned the car around and went back to investigate.

I have since visited Serial Knitters and it offers a good range of yarn and notions for all your fiber-crafting needs, and it’s great to know that all of us lost Eastside fiber enthusiasts have a place to hang-out again. Please visit Serial Knitters at 8427 122nd Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98033 and give them a warm welcome.

As for knitting projects, I’ve been working on Kokopelli by Margaret Hubert from Simple Style, using Mission Falls 1824 Cotton in light blue (stash yarn), which I started in July and put aside while I finished Oriel Lace Cardigan. I’ve finished the back and am halfway up the two fronts.

Pink Oriel

I’ve finished Oriel cardigan and I love it, I love the yarn and I love the pattern!  It’s knitted from the top-down, so there’s no sewing-up at the end, and what’s not to love about that?

Instead of cap-sleeves as called for in the pattern, I made 3/4-length sleeves. I accomplished this by using the larger needles to pick-up, cast-on (at the underarm) and knit the same number of stitches called for in the pattern.  I then decreased the circumference of the sleeves at the underarm, 4 sts per every two rounds, 3 times, and continued on in stockinette from there until the last 1.5″ of the desired length.  I decreased the circumference of the sleeves because it appears that the cap sleeves were designed to be more open-fitting and thought that that would make for very loose longer sleeves. The cardigan is designed to be slightly fitted and in keeping with that, I wanted sleeves that wouldn’t be fitted, but too loose either.  At the point within the last 1.5″ of the desired sleeve length, I switched to the smaller needles, and knitted the first 8 rounds of the lace pattern, and finished with 3 rounds in garter.  For the garter stitch finish of the cap sleeves, I knitted it in the opposite of what’s called for in in the pattern, so instead of purl one round, knit the second, and purl the third, I knit the first round, purled the next, and knit the third.  Otherwise, there would have been a whole lot more purl stitches going on than there should be, and it wouldn’t be in keeping with the theme of the pattern.

One thing I would change:  I wish that I hadn’t put 7 buttonholes in as written in the pattern for the larger sizes, because you as you can see in the photo below, it buttons so high up that it pulls at the top button; I may still remove that button and stitch over the buttonhole to mask it.

But then, leaving the top button unbuttoned isn’t so bad, either.

My grandmother’s button collection, small though it is, has once again proved to be the perfect source, for in it I discovered these pretty, hand-crafted mother-of-pearl buttons.

Pattern: Oriel Lace Cardigan by Kirsten Hipsky
Yarn: Nature (70% Cotton, 30% Wool – discontinued) by Cleckheaton
Needles: 3.75 mm/US 5 and 3.25 mm/US 3

What makes the whole project even sweeter is that I used yarn that I’ve had sitting around for 10 years in the form of a sweater that I rarely, if ever, wore.

New – Not So New

I have a confession:  I’ve been working on a new cardigan since early July and haven’t posted about it until now. In fact, I’m close to finishing with just the buttonband left. The project?  Oriel Lace Cardigan by Kirsten Hipsky.  There I was, paging through the Summer 2010 issue of Interweave Knits and spotted a Webs ad (page 39) featuring this cardigan; within the span of a few hours I’d purchased the pattern, downloaded it, and cast on.  I’ve decided to make my version with 3/4-length sleeves, versus the cap sleeves of the pattern.  I love the cap-sleeved version, but I have to be honest, I just don’t see myself wearing a cardigan with cap sleeves these days.  And why make something that would be destined not to be worn and enjoyed?

The source of the yarn for the project is my 10-year old On the Border pullover, just another example of a sweater I made and never wore.  I loved On the Border, but it turned out to be a sweater that didn’t look good on me. The yarn I used for it, Cleckheaton Nature (70% cotton, 30% wool), I love even more.  I love the yarn so much that I couldn’t part with the sweater, no many how many times I held it tentatively over a pile of clothes destined for charity over the years. I can’t wait to wear this yarn knitted-up into Oriel Lace.

On a sadder note, my poor 20-year old kitty died last week.  It was a rough decision to make to have her put to sleep, but in the last photos I took that day, her eyes said quite clearly, to the point it shocked me, “I feel awful and I’m nearing the end.”  All the weeks we’d spent deliberating, but when she’d come to a point where she was dropping weight quickly, among other health issues, our options were obvious:  have her go quickly and with some dignity left, or have her go slowly and more painfully.  I feel a bit guilty that we’d let her prolong her suffering so long due to my husband’s and my indecision.  I adopted her as a 6-week old kitten through my vet, after someone had rescued her whole family, including her mother, from a vacant lot, which was mowed the next day; they were all slightly feral and she hissed the instant I picked her up. She used to stand on her hind legs and beg for attention and her fur was as soft as a rabbit. She saw me through so much over the past 20 years and she was a good little furry friend and member of my family. She’s left quite a hole in my days, but I know that she is in a better place now.