31 March 2009

Taxing Times

Hi there,

This is a salt-and-pepper-shaker set I bought a few years ago, because it's just so adorably cute. I was reminded of it when Fleegle mentioned in her blog that she is planning to knit a frog prince.

So, after many hints from my DH, which during the last weeks became more and more pushy, and since I have a few days off work this week (mandatory time reduction at my company) I finally ran out of excuses for not doing our tax return. Today is paper gathering, and bank statement printing and sorting day. Ugh.

The only consolation is that the days are becoming really nice. Right now our little lilac bush is blooming:

And the jasmine as well:

Last weekend I did quite a bit of knitting and I must have hunched up my right shoulder worse than usual, because it is quite painful right now. But I did get the center back panel and one side of the back of my Funnelneck Sweater done:

I’m considering re-working the front, because I just don’t like the large holes resulting from the picked-up stitches:

Funnelneck Sweater - front - big the holes from

picking up the stitches for the side panels.

If I re-work it, I’ll use a better edge stitch. (Usually, I follow the pattern at first, then I end up changing it - after a lengthy internal debate about whether it's "worth" it). I really like the construction of this sweater, and since the front and back are knit in three pieces each, it seems to progress very fast (of course it would be a lot faster if I didn't change my mind). It doesn’t even bother me to re-do pieces I don't like, because it seems less work.

Some more swatches of the Rosebud Neckwarmer:

Alpaca with silk – I thought this would look better, so I’m not going to use this.

Plain alpaca again, but with 3 rosebuds across to give it more width.

This stretches the stitches at the bottom of the two rosebuds, so I might add a few extra stitches there to relieve some of the tension. It will have to wait a bit though, since I really want to finish the Funnelneck sweater first.

And finally a picture of just how scared the feral chickens in this neighborhood are of our cat(s):

They kept walking and clucking in the back of the cat, until he finally looked at them disgustedly and strolled off - in a very dignified manner, of course! Most likely, the rooster will not be around much longer, he is rather noisy. And since they hang around our yard a lot (no dogs!) we have the best chance of catching him. We'll see.

Till next time!

17 March 2009

Thrift Store find!

On a whim I decided to visit the thrift store that's more or less on my way home from work. I was looking at the bags of acrylic left-over yarns, when I spotted a bag full of what looked like a whole lot of finished crocheted stars, together with two balls of crochet cotton. Feeling sorry for whoever put in all this work, and thinking that maybe there might be a larger piece already sewn up, suitable for a doily or so, I bought the bag for $4.99. My total purchase of about $14 was discounted another $3.99, so I can argue that I got the bag full of crochet pieces for $1!

When I opened it at home, this was in it:

Thrift Store find - a hand-made crochet table cloth!

A large, fully sewn up crochet table cloth, definitely fit for a dinner table. About a third of the stars have tails hanging from them, but I'll gladly do the weaving in. No holes other than the ones that are supposed to be there. There are two or three areas with small yellowish stains, which are hard to see. Here is a close-up (the darker area is my shadow):


It will have to air out a bit, and then I'll wash it.


14 March 2009

Hanami stole finished!


The Hanami stole is done! After almost 3 months, here it is:

I was a bit disappointed when I was done knitting, because it looked so insubstantial ...

... , but the blocking really brought out the beauty of the patterns:

Blocked measurements: If I count the ruffle, it’s 5 feet by 16 inches. A bit shorter and narrower than I like (despite my added rows), but alright. I modified it as follows:
  • added one Basketweave pattern repeat
  • fewer repeats of pattern G
  • added a few rows to almost all of patterns A to F to balance a) the added Basketweave, and b) the fewer repeats of pattern G
  • changed pattern G from straight rows of cherry-blossom petals to diagonal ones, because the straight rows don’t look as organic and because the diagonal rows better “close the circle” with the diagonal Basketweave pattern
  • instead of the recommended Alpaca Cloud yarn I used Grignasco MerinoSilk
If I had to do it over, I would use either the recommended yarn, or smaller needles with the MerinoSilk, in order to get better stitch definition. Also, despite the instructions to bind off purl-wise on the right side, the ruffle curls a lot, so I would bind it off on the wrong side instead.

Here it is one more time on one of our cherry trees, and with the supervising cat in the background:

And the Funnelneck sweater is progressing nicely, too. I'm almost done with the first side panel.

After working so long with fine yarn, it's amazing how much faster it knits up than the stole!

Till next time.