Monday, January 30, 2006

Home Stretch

Thank you for all the wonderful comments about the sweater. I am so close to being done with it. I've finished the button band and collar for the left side and am now up to the collar for the right side. Then I have to sew the pockets in and weave in all the loose ends and it will be done. The collar is taking a lot longer than I thought it would. The button band and collar are on size 3 whereas the rest of the sweater is on size 7. I hope to have it completely done tomorrow, with pictures either tomorrow or Wednesday, depending on natural lighting. Well, maybe all will be done but for the buttons and the belt. I'll probably make some polymer clay buttons sometime this week.

In other knitting related news, I ordered a couple of patterns from White Lies Designs over the weekend - Bella and Heather. Id like to point out that I did not include patterns in my diet. Although once I finish this sweater, I might break down and order some yarn for the Shapely Tank Top. I'm getting in spring mode because the weather is much too springlike for the end of January. It's 60 degrees for crying out loud. Where's my snow? I know, I should be careful what I wish for, but I just want a little. Just a little cold weather so that I can actually wear my new, really warm sweater.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Sweater is Almost Done

The sweater is just about done.

From top to bottom in the picture, the sleeves, the two fronts and the back. I only pressed the piece edges with an iron and damp cloth so they would be easier to sew. Here's a picture of just the back.

I'm going to work on the belt while the pieces dry completely, then sew it together and do the button-band (something I've never done before). That's assuming the pieces all fit together like they should. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Have I ever mentioned how much I don't like sewing my knitting together? And that's not even taking into account all those loose ends besides the sewing. *SIGH*

More pictures and specs on the project when it is completely done.

Monday, January 23, 2006

No Pictures Today

It's a dreary, rainy day. So no pictures. Just a little update on some things.

No spinning this weekend. Lots of knitting. I'm trying to finish the sweater before my monthly guild meeting which takes place February 6th. I'm up to the armhole of the back and the fronts, but the sleeves are done. When I finish, I need to sew it up and do the button-band. The baby blanket has been started. I'm doing a plain old seed stitch in three shades of blue. I have about two weeks to finish (that's assuming the baby isn't early - am I horrible to hope the baby is just a little late?).

I've also started "training" for the Knitting Olympics. I'm pretty sure I'm doing the Sampler Shawl from Folk Shawls using a laceweight instead of the heavier yarn used in the book. I'm swatching to make sure I'm going to like it before I cast on 401 stitches in February. I'm using Knit Picks Paint Your Own which brings me to my new toy. I broke down and bought a ball winder. There was no way I was balling up two 880-yard skeins of laceweight without it. Now I seriously wish I had broken down and bought one before rolling up 10 or so skeins of the Color Your Own Wool of the Andes. Live and learn.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Officially on a Yarn & Roving Diet

Would you like to know why?

My new merino rovings, four ounces of each. When I told Delia of The Fiber Denn the color rovings that I wanted, her reply was that those colors were so "Alison". Now, where on earth would she ever get the idea that I liked pinks, purples and blues? I ask you, have I ever knit anything in those particular colors? :)

I couldn't quite capture the richness of the colors; they look a bit washed out in the picture to me.
Here is a close-up of the one on the far left:

And the one on the far right:

Aren't they gorgeous! She does beautiful work, doesn't she?

I really wish I had more bobbins for my Ashford, because Kim's Black Cherry merino/angora is currently on the wheel. Sorry for the bad picture, it was the best one out of many.

Since I usually spin laceweight, it is going to take quite a while. My "diet" is on until I finish a few things or until the Maryland Sheep and Wool, whichever comes first.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Knitting Olympics

Having just posted that I plan to finish a few things before starting anything new, I just signed up for the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics. You pick a challenging project, cast on during the opening ceremonies, knit like mad for 16 days and cast off before the end of the closing ceremonies.

Well, I do hope to finish the sweater and a baby blanket before then. (Yes, I haven't yet started on the baby blanket, but that's beside the point.)

I haven't quite decided on the project but I'm considering the sampler shawl from Folk Shawls or another shawl. I know crazy because I already have three shawls going, but I could finish. It's two whole weeks. Right?

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Unfinished Projects of 2005

On my last post, Snow commented, "You're such a productive girl with the sweater and the socks and the pretty dolls." In the spirit of honesty, I feel I must disclose the knitting projects that were started in 2005, but were not finished. (In other words, many of these projects were put aside for other projects. The doll was one; she had been finished for months except for her hair.) I plan to finish a few of these objects before starting anything else new. (For the record, baby blankets that need to be made VERY soon are not included in the "I will not start anything new" category.) Here are the UFOs in the order which I plan to finish them:

The Lizzie Sweater
The second Mosaic Sock
Landscape Shawl
Faux Russian Stole
The mate to the Child's First Shell Sock (Right now it is visiting with the unfinished shawls in their basket.)
Madli's Shawl

I think that's it, but I may very well be forgetting something. There is a bit more to the Faux Russian and Madli shawls than in the pictures. Although there are so many projects in my queue, I'll be good. I'm going to finish a few of my UFOs, then I'm going to find projects for some of my handspun.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Actual Knitting Content Ahead

Three posts in three days; that must be some sort of record for me. But I promised that I would show my current knitting so you wouldn't think it had been totally abandoned for other ventures.

Here are the sleeves for the sweater, nearly finished.

The back is nearly done and now the sleeves. I'm still anticipating having to rework the shoulder shaping and sleeve tops. Because remember I am not using the yarn for which the pattern is written. I am using wool instead of Rowan Denim. Rowan Denim is supposed to shrink lengthwise. In the body of the sweater, that's not a problem. Simply knit to a shorter length, but it may be a problem in shoulder shaping. We'll see soon.

And see, I have been working on my socks for the Sensational Knitted Socks KAL.

The pink is actually a bit brighter in person, but you get the idea. I love these socks. Maybe I'll actually even finish one day.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

More on Miniatures

I had several curiosity questions about my miniature doll, so I thought I'd tell just a little more about her. I'm always happy to enable.

There are several books on making miniature dolls with polymer clay. The two I have are Making Miniature Dolls with Polymer Clay: How to Create and Dress Period Dolls in 1/12 Scale by Sue Heaser (who also has several polymer clay books on making miniature food and other accessories for the doll house) and 1/12 Scale Character Figures for the Dolls' House by James Carrington. Mr. Carrington makes very lifelike dolls and Ms. Heaser's are more pretty. I've been using techniques from both books. I want my dolls to have a realistically shaped face, but retain the pretty porcelain doll-like quality.

I used Fimo for Anna. (Thank you to Liz for her name.) I've also tried Premo which I usually like, but the Fimo was much easier to smooth out for the tiny details. Her head, body, upper arm, lower arm, upper leg and lower leg/foot were all made separately with holes in the pieces and "fired". (In case you've never worked with polymer clay before, it is actually hardened at around 250 degrees F. You can't even bake cookies at that temperature.) When she came out of the oven and cooled, I used acrylic paints (of a higher quality) to paint her eyes, eyebrows, and lips. I used pipe cleaners to assemble the doll (using the holes), then dressed her using Making & Dressing Dolls' House Dolls in 1/12 Scale by Sue Atkinson. This book has tons of patterns, most are Victorian era, but there are also a few Georgian, Regency and Edwardian patterns. The clothes actually have few hems, most raw edges are hidden with trim.

EDIT: I forgot to tell you about the hair. It's viscose from Doll Artist's Workshop. The owner has many beautiful colors. You basically just glue it on to the doll's head. To make ringlets, you twist the viscose around a DPN (gee, do you think I have a few of those laying around?) and wet it and let it dry before glueing to the head.

I think I've mentioned before I have way too many hobbies to take me away from my knitting. But knitting does remain my favorite; it's portable and I have something nice to wear. Tomorrow I'll post some picts of the works in progress just so you don't think I've been completely neglecting the knitting.

Monday, January 09, 2006


Or just way too much time on my hands? This is my first miniature doll.

She's been finished for a while, but I just hadn't found time to put her hair on. I need to work a little more on my heads, the face just isn't quite right, but it's pretty good for a first attempt. (When I say first attempt, I mean that this was the first one that I thought was good enough to actually make into a doll. I have many more heads.) I'm pretty happy with the dressing; the fabric is a synthetic, so it doesn't drape quite as well as if it was silk or even cotton.

This one's a little blurry, but you can see the bustle and hair. She's dressed circa 1860's/1870's walking dress. She's a 1/12 scale doll which means 1 inch=1 foot. I have to come up with a name for her.

My knitting is pretty much the same - same socks, same sweater. I swear I'll post actual knitting photos when I accomplish something. Until then, I might be getting the Fimo out and make a few more dolls.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


I promised in my last post that I had something special coming. Guess what came yesterday!


First of all, the pictures don't do this stuff justice. Plus, you can't feel how wonderfully soft it is. Both are angora/merino blends from Kim over at The Woolen Rabbit. The pink/purplish one is Opalessence and the black/red one is Black Cherry. And a little something extra:

My hands are very soft after using it. And that's saying something with my continually dry hands. And it smells divine!

Thank you Kim!

Sunday, January 01, 2006


Even with no computer for a week, I haven't made much progress on my current knitting projects. The sweater is going slowly and the socks are at a standstill. I'm on the heel flap on the second one, but it is going slowly. So since there are no knitting pictures to show off, I thought I'd show some pretty fabric remnants I got yesterday for my miniatures.

The green one is a tad lighter than the picture, but the colors on the others are pretty accurate. All silk. I also got some lovely silk/rayon velvet, but I couldn't get pictures anywhere near accurate. The colors are a deep purple and Santa suit red. It's so soft.

And yes, some of you may remember me promising a Christmas knitting scene. Never quite got to it this year. Maybe next year. I think I might be making some dolls next week so I can dress them. I have one already dressed; I need to give her some hair and she'll be ready to model for pictures. Okay, one more thing to take me away from my knitting. And I've got something special coming sometime next week, but that is sort of knitting related. At least it will be once it's all spun up.

And I have to publicly thank my husband for getting my computer back up and running.

Happy New Year everyone!

2005 Finished Objects