And now, for something completely different…

It’s a finished object! Vine Lace Cardigan went amazingly fast, so fast that while working on the body, I was surprised to find that I had come to the bind-off. Of course, that was while I was at the Seattle Knitters Guild meeting listening to Jared Flood talk about his knitting and photography.

The beauty of Vince Lace is that not only is the pattern written so that it can be knit in one piece and from the top down, but it also calls for chunky yarn and therefore an equally chunky stitch gauge. This, I figured, this is the project for time-crunched me, and it was. After ripping-out the first 10 rows a few times because I kept misreading the instructions, the whole thing went along quite well. Before I knew it, it was done. I finished within in my projected time frame of 3-4 weeks, in fact, I was just one day over 3 weeks.

After all the knitting was done, it was tenderly steamed, buttered—oops, that was dinner—it was tenderly steamed and I tried it on. I couldn’t believe my eyes in seeing that one sleeve was about 1/2″ shorter than the other. I don’t know how that happened, but, oh well, I figured, No problem, since it was knit top-down, I’d just undo the offending sleeve’s bind-off and add a few more rows. Yet when I laid the two sleeves side-by-side one more time to see if my eyes were playing tricks on me, I saw that not only was the same sleeve a bit short, it was also vastly too narrow! No idea how that happened. I’m glad it was the same sleeve so that I wouldn’t have to re-do both. It was easy to do, and to be on the safe side as far as stitch count went, I took it all the way out, down to one row short of where the underarm was stitched to the body. That turned out to be a good move, because it was then in line with Row 41 of the instructions for the sleeves and a perfect re-starting point. Anyhow, the error was easily fixed and soon I was wearing the sweater.

Pattern: #77 Vine Lace Top Down Cardigan by SweaterBabe (Ravelry link here)
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Bulky
Needles: US 11 (8.0 mm)

I think if I were to knit it again I would make a few changes. I would omit the waistline ribbing, because I think only the skinniest of women would look good with something that makes you look thicker in the middle, and I believe that omitting the ribbing will give it a more timeless classic look. I would also use a yarn that sheds less.  I have some old skeins of Lamb’s Pride Bulky from a few years ago, and they shed no where near as much as this stuff does; it’s like wearing a cat all day, and I shed wherever I go and on anyone I come into close contact with. The car now has mohair fuzz in it, and all around the house there are these mohair fuzz balls I keep picking up in addition to the usual cat fur, and my children go about the day sporting mohair on their clothes. Despite this, I still like the cardigan very much and thoroughly enjoy it.  It’s wonderfully comfortable and warm enough to be worn on it’s own when temps are moderately cool.

Before I dash off, here are pictures from our Thanksgiving dinner:

Wine-basted turkey---Yum!

Pecan Pie

Have a great rest of the weekend!

How do I spell relief? Vine Lace Cardigan

It’s about time for me to decide what I’m going to make for dinner tonight, and as is typical, what am I thinking about instead? Knitting. I suppose it’s a delay tactic to think of something fun rather than something mundane. Whatever.

Vine Lace Cardigan (Ravelry) is progressing at a fast clip. How refreshing it is to have something that I can actually see take shape with minimal effort and time. There were some times at the beginning when I thought it was going to be another Cabled Coat experience, because I had to start over a couple of times after I realized I was doing something wrong, but once it got going for real, Vine Lace has become a breeze. Mind you, at 12 pages long, even though the pattern is quite thorough, it’s quite easy once you get your bearings. I don’t think it is for the novice knitter, unless the novice is able to get some help from time to time to get back on course. The pattern is mostly stockinette stitch, with very basic lace panels, so that’s not a problem, but the instructions require close attention because they are quite detailed, and necessarily so. But what a great project, and I have fallen in love all over again with Lamb’s Pride Bulky; it’s just so squishy and warm. Worked from the top down, I’ve finished the sleeves and am now on the waist. I seem to be on schedule, if you could call it that, to finish within my projected window for completion (3-4 weeks), so if it’s not done by the end of this week, it should be done by the end of next.

Knitting Vine Lace has mostly been accomplished while catching-up on all of this season’s episodes of ABC’s Dancing With The Stars. We’ve watched Seasons 5 & 6 previously, and for some reason, we never watched Season 7 and even deleted it off of our Tivo, having never found the time to do catch-up viewing. We’d missed watching all of this seasons episodes, but kept them on the Tivo and we’ve been watching 1-2 episodes at a sitting, time permitting, after the kids are asleep. I have really become quite a fan and when my husband reminds me that it’s past my bedtime, the protest he hears from me is not, “One more row of knitting!”, but “Just one more dance! One more dance!  I’ve got to have one more dance!” I have become a DWTS addict, my friends. Despite all that glitter and spray tan, despite how ABC is using it in excess as a vehicle to promote it’s other TV shows and its recording artists, and despite that I haven’t a clue who many of the celebrity competitors are, it’s a great show. I just love the way the celebrities come on the show and really try their best to accomplish something that has very little to do with their real “day” job. There seems to be little room in the competition for big celebrity egos, because they are worked so hard to learn the dances and compete. It’s unusual for me to watch reality-type shows, but this one is well worth it.

I’ve been busy….

When all else fails, start another project…. Vine Lace Cardigan (from in Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Bulky, Sable colorway.

Originally, I used my $30 Knit Picks gift certificate from Christmas for this project, and ordered Cadena in Thyme colorway for it.  To my dismay, Cadena was all in hanks instead of the skeins Wool of the Andes was in when I made Cabled Coat last year.  Despite that, I made a swatch of one skein and found that Cadena really wasn’t right for the project anyway and returned it.  In technical terms, Cadena didn’t have enough fluff to it, and when knit up to achieve the proper gauge, the resulting fabric was loose, holey and lacking character.

It’s nice yarn though, and is a pleasure to knit with on a project better suited for it.  The color was perfect: not quite deep olive green, not quite light brown, and somewhere in-between, but I’m also quite pleased with my color choice of Lamb’s Pride Bulky.

I’ve also started Shoulder Cozy from Wrap Style.

Actually, I started that sometime in September, swatching and swatching, trying to find the right gauge, but by the time I cast on for it, it was mid-October. I’m using stash yarn for this, which is Reynolds Smile in a green-yellow-teal multi colorway. Smile was supposed to be for crocheted slippers that never made it to the hook.

Meanwhile, I haven’t given up on Shawl Neck Cardigan, but it’s become my on-the-go project to carry in my purse. I’ve passed the halfway point on it, but it will probably be finished in January.

What else?  Here’s my order from Frenchy Bee:  a bottle of almond (orgeat) syrup for my coffee, chestnut paste as a topping for ice cream, 4 tins of Anis de Flavigny violet flavored drops or mints (not minty, but tastes like violets—an old favorite of mine).

Then, I needed to re-stock on my Vegemite, and tired of having to find a local place that carries it because supply is unpredictable, I boldly ordered a 400-gram jar of it from a vendor on  Normally, I get a 150-gram jar but my kids have taken a liking to it, and even though they get just a scant amount on their toast every now and then, we’ve been going through my little jar quickly and since it lasts forever, I went for the big jar.

I shocked my family the other day, and made a full, real meal, the prime focus of which were these delicious split Rock Cornish Game Hens, broiled with a vinegar and broth sauce from How To Cook Everything by Mark Bittman, Smashed Red Potatoes from, and roasted broccolini from The Gastrokid Cookbook by Hugh Garvey and Matthew Yeomans.  The silence at the table was deafening as they feasted.

I’ve been going through stuff to get rid of, and one thing I came across was this helpful book that my dad gave to me a long, long time ago; I guess he was concerned that I wasn’t married yet.

That book always irks me.  Still.  Time to get rid of it.

Then there are the bags and bags of clothes for my daughter that have been passed on to us, and have been waiting for me to sort through.  The best item I found, which I find bewildering in so many ways:  a pink 100% cashmere sweater.  Cashmere.  In a 2-year old size.  Barely worn (I can imagine why).  Cashmere for a 2-year old?  Cashmere sweater given away.  We’ll take it.

We’re back into the rainy season.  I find it rather soothing to hear it on our roof, even though it makes for blurry views from the windows and dim lighting inside.