Yarn Along:: Mysterious Cables

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Chambord by Thea Coleman in Plymouth Tweed

Chambord by Thea Colman in Plymouth Tweed

I picked up this book on an impromptu trip to the bookshop recently.  I had been in a full on grumpy-mama mood and was essentially banished from the house to clear my head.  It was for the best, and after just a few minutes browsing the aisles of one of our local book stores I felt much better.

While at the store my mind was completely blank, however.  The titles of all the books I’d been meaning to read fled my brain, and the handy list of notes I keep for such moments was uninspiring.  Having seen a recent post on Katie’s blog about what she had recently read, I turned to her for a recommendation.  Her praise for Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore made the decision easy, and a few minutes later I left with the book.  It has proven to be a fun thrill ride through the mysterious stacks of Mr. Penumbra’s book store, filled with codes, adventures, quirky characters, and intrigue.  I’m down to the last two chapters and can’t wait to see how it ends!

On the needles this week is a new project: the Chambord Pullover.  Excited after my recent sweater win, I decided to excavate some deep stash yarn and cast on another.  This tweedy yarn and cozy sweater are such a good combination that I couldn’t resist.  The knitting has been fairly straightforward, which is always nice. I only just noticed a mis-crossed cable that must have happened while I was knitting with friends during the Oscars on Sunday.  I’ve decided to leave it.

What’s on your nightstand and in your project basket this week?

p.s. Yarn Along is inspired, as ever, by the delightful Ginny.

p.p.s. The cover of this book glows in the dark.

Hooray:: A Finished Sweater!

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Hooray Cardigan by Veera Valimaki in Madelinetosh Vintage “Tart”

This post has been a long time in the making.  I excitedly started this sweater back in January of 2012, and promptly put it into long-term time out after a mis-crossed cable episode.  The sweater got some brief attention back in September when I had ambitions to finish it in time for Sweater Weather in Oregon. It got set aside again, in favor of other knits.

It wasn’t until January of this year that an inexplicable spark ignited my desire to knit on it all the time.  I had the body finished in a week.  After that it was simply a matter of persevering through the epic ribbing and knitting against the sinking feeling that I would run out of yarn.  Hence the 3/4 length sleeves with mere yards to spare!

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I also went a little beyond my usually hasty button attachment and followed The Knitmore Girls Couture Button and Grosgrain Ribbon tutorials.  This adds a nice finish and stability to the button band, plus it’s nice to have a little flash of something unexpected peeking out from inside the sweater.

This was a very fun, addictive knit once I got into the rhythm of the pattern.  I love the details of the cables and attached i-cord edging.  It feels really good to get this sweater off the needles and into my wardrobe.    I’ve worn it twice since finishing it last weekend and get lots of compliments each time.  High off the success of this sweater, I’ve already cast on another…hopefully it will join the ranks of Finished Objects a little sooner that this cardigan.

You can read all the details on the project on my Ravelry page here.

Purple Delicious

I finished my purple cabled hat with just a few inches of yarn to spare.  It’s always a mad dash to the finish when you think you’ll run out of yarn, isn’t it?  I knit faster to ensure I would have enough yarn, just as I drive faster when the gas tank is low so as not to run out of fuel.

I was so excited to show you this finished object that I ran out into the early morning sunlight with wet hair to snap these pics.  I’m learning that one must take advantage of the sunshine in Oregon, dropping everything unessential to soak up the light.  I sort of have the same attitude around PB’s nap time…

This was a fast and easy pattern, a magic combination that results in a complicated-looking piece to stun and amaze your non-knitting friends.  The only tricky bit is knitting the wide 16-stitch cable row, and that’s not even hard, just a bit tight and fiddly.

  • Pattern: 16 Cable Hat by Circe Belles Boucle (Ravelled here)
  • Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, 2 balls/200 yards in color 300031
  • Needles: US 6/4mm and US 8/5mm
  • Mods: None.

As far as I’m concerned, this is a near perfect pattern.  I knit size 2 with the “less slouchy” option (re: concerned about running out of yarn).  The photos here are of the hat unblocked.  I’m sort of lazy about blocking hats, but looking at the photos I see that it could probably use a little bath.  This would help the hat relax into its slouchiness a bit and even out some of the stretched stitches around the cables.

Hey, what’s that?  It’s a quince!

The yarn, Cashmerino Aran, was very nice to knit with.  After buying it, I remembered having knit with it before when I made Fetching. It’s a soft yarn that comes in many beautiful colors, but it does tend to get a halo at best, and really pilly at its worst.  This is what happened to my gloves, so I would not recommend the yarn for a garment.  I think it worked really well for this hat, however, and bet it will look even nicer after I block it.

We have inherited a great yard and garden at our rental house, one of many treasures being this quince tree.  I keep checking these hard, fuzzy fruits for any sign that they may be ripe.  Today I thought I felt the flesh yield slightly, so I excitedly rubbed some of the fuzz off and took a bite.  Tart and grainy!  I guess that’s why it’s best used cooked with another fruit as a thickener, or heavily treated with sugar and turned into jelly.  My brief internet research also revealed that the fruit’s white flesh turns pink when cooked.  Anyone holding on to an interesting quince recipe?  I’ll have a heap of ripe fruit any day now, I’m sure of it!

Crossed

I’ve been steadily knitting along on Pembroke, fully enjoying the springy yarn and twisty cable work.  The back sped by without any problems.  Then there came the front.  Not that there have been problems, really, just moments of pause in which I had to consider how peaceful a knitter I really am.

I had been happily knitting away on the front while enjoying some Starbucks with a fellow knitter when I noticed it.  A mixed up cable, crossed the wrong direction.  I kept knitting, but my mind niggled.

Will anyone notice that?

Will it bother me if I don’t go back and fix it?

My knitting time has been fairly sparse lately, and I am knitting this on a timeline…

Can you see it?

After more knitting and thinking, I decided to call it an improvisational design feature and just keep going.  This one confused cable cross doesn’t affect the performance of the finished object.  I’m not so much of a knitting perfectionist that I can’t just let some things be, and this is one of those things I am letting go.

I have just one shoulder and the seaming to do before I can cross this knit of my To-Do list.  Now let’s just hope I don’t run out of yarn…

Baby Steps

I love my cat.  I love my cat.

I am reminding myself of this because we just had an Incident.  An incident in which I had an entire finely crafted blog post highlighted to change the font  size when one well placed cat paw touched the keyboard.  Gone, kitty, gone.

In lieu of trying to reconstruct it, I will give you the highlights:

Instead of knitting my second sock this week, I decided to tend to some other projects that were already on the needles.  Poof was one of them.  Once that was finished, I turned my attention to the oft neglected cabled sweater.  I started this beautiful knit back in December, but progress has been slow.  I got distracted by socks and scarves, while still feeling a strong urge to finish the sweater.  It’s going to be Spring soon, and I have to wear this at least once while it’s still Winter!

With a renewed sense of dedication, I knit almost exclusively on it all week.

Baby Cables & Big Ones Too

Baby Cables & Big Ones Too

After all that knitting, I only just put the sleeve stitches on waste yarn.  This has been a black hole project: I knit and knit and feel like I’ve made very little progress.  Hopefully it will feel faster now that I’m onto the plain stockinette body.  Purling across every other row really slows me down!

Cabled Sleeve

Cabled Sleeve

I am loving how the cables are turning out.  This yarn, a 50/50 blend of wool and alpaca, is ever so slightly variegated within the strand that there is a lovely depth to the yarn.  A slightly fuzziness also adds interest, and it all makes the cables really pop.

I’m off to enjoy my weekend activities which include a double feature, a knitting class, and a doggy play date with Martha and her friend Hugo.  I hope you have a great weekend!

Sweetness and Light

I am in love with Malabrigo. It is everything good and pure about yarn: soft, pliable, beautiful in color and texture, it smells good (yes, I’m a yarn sniffer), it feels good to knit, and it blocks well. I’ve gone from their lace weight to a fluffy worsted weight this week, and am fully satisfied yet sad that my project has been completed.

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Using size 8 needles, I cast on 70 stitches and worked a K4 P3 cable rib about 7 inches before beginning the decreases. Easy and beautiful.

I was concerned about the size; I had to give it a good stretch just to fit around my head, and even then it wasn’t comfortable. But then my friend Eden (who also loves the Malabrigo) gave me the simplest of suggestions: block it. It had honestly never occurred to me to block a hat! She said to just stretch it over a bowl (making sure the bowl fit over your head first). So last night, while most people were probably watching the Superbowl, I could be seen trying on all the mixing bowls in my cupboard! I got the hat wet, and stretched it over a bowl, then inverted it into a larger bowl to keep the hat in place. It was too dark to get a good pic, but trust me: it works well. This morning the hat was nice and dry, just in time to ship to my sister for her birthday.
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Wait a second, that mirror is dirty and the flash is on!

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Much better! Only now I can see that perhaps I should have started with a ribbed edge to provide a little more structure and finish. Good thing I have enough yarn leftover to make another…