Thursday, April 3, 2008

Some Yarn thoughts


Recently I have been thinking over my yarn snob tendencies... I've realized something. One of my all time favorite sweaters that I made a couple of years ago was acrylic. Not only does it hold it's shape well but it has been through the washing machine and hasn't changed size. While I still am batty over the more expensive natural yarns (wool, angora, silk, bamboo, cashmere)... I am starting to see that acrylic may have a new spot in my rotation. As I design I have noticed I have an extra bit of pressure on me to create something fantastic with the expensive stuff. I absolutely cannot mess it up. So I went to Michael's craft store and picked up some cheap wool/nylon, cotton/ acrylic blends and some other acrylic goodness. The yarn is soft and has a great elastic quality that wool has. 

I've also decided to follow from one sweater to the next using the techniques in Sweater Design in Plain English to learn as much as possible. 

Hand Care

I don't know if any of you suffer from dry hands or cuticles but I have found that  the burts bees hand repair kit (with awesome cotton sleeping gloves) really helps make your hands look nice and fresh. I use my hands a lot and they tend to look worn. So with this at my side I look like I get manicures regularly and my hands stay soft and nice.

Tip- Summer Knitting

We all know it's coming. And it's going to get rough keeping your hands dry. My suggestion from poking around the internet and trying different things... use needles that are not metal the wetter your hands the less likely the yarn will slide. I have a set of Denise knitting needles that are plastic and are nice on the hands. Plus I do not run into the problem of the yarn either slipping off the needles or getting stuck. Another trick I've learned is washing your hands frequently then using baby powder after drying to keep your hands dry. It works for a babies bum why not your hands! The only draw back to this is constantly having to get up and wash your hands. I've tried just putting on the powder when my hands get sweaty. It doesn't work. You need fresh clean hands. 


I'll have some pix of finished projects soon. Boyfriend is coming over this weekend so he'll be a big help there. I'll try to be more consistent in my updating.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

If you don't like it... frog it!

update on Strife. It is completely finished. It's amazing and beautiful and I love it. This is the first completely Mel designed sweater... no formula just me and my body measurements :D
I have a bad pic that'll have to do for now. 
Kermit is currently back on my to be finished project list. I didn't like how the armpits fit... I kept having to readjust everything so it looked right. I'm so over high maintenance clothing. So here's a vague photo of the surgery... 
I'm super proud of myself. I always wondered how everyone got the perfect fit out of sweaters. I always felt like if I worked this hard I don't want to undo anything and end up working harder. I never understood how they got it to look so perfect. Now I get it... if you are unhappy with it... and you're probably not going to wear it anyway might as well experiment until you get it right. News flash to ME ----> I'm the one wearing it. DUH! anyway enough berating myself. This is what this blog is for. Taking risks... making things that I enjoy wearing. 

Pinking pinkerton may be next on the list of things that will be frogged and redone. In the mean time I'll keep you guys posted and perhaps if my boyfriend is feeling generous he'll take some pix for me to post for you guys of strife. :D

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

New Sweater

Hello. I drew... I did math... and now I am nearly done with my new V neck sweater with short sleeves. I am naming it Strife because I was knitting it when I was completing finals and it is striped ! Anyway I am leaving for Vegas tomorrow and will not be able to update there. I'll be back on the 20th with more picture goodness!

If I finish Strife by tomorrow I'll try to take a picture... 

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Measure, draw, knit!

I now have my measurements. Turns out I am not a square shape as I thought before I'm an hourglass. I am so hot! 

Anyway now that I know my body I'll be able to get everything a bit more fitted. I'm thinking of doing a drawing of myself like large to scale and then going to kinkos and shrinking it down so I have a little Melissa Doll... that way I can see if a design would look good on me and yadda yadda... 

Up next: Happy hands and tools of the trade. :)

Name me!

I am currently stretching my creative muscles and doing a lot of trial and error for my next sweater. I'm doing some slight mods to it so far. 1x1 Ribbing to have it be less pronounced and I'm thinking lower V neck. I've also started re-reading "Sweater Design in Plain English" by Maggie Righetti. I really want to start doing more designs then "The Sweater Workshop" allows. 

I have started drawing some stuff out and maybe after I talk my wonderful roommate into measuring me I can start actually making those drawings into sweaters! I'm tired of making things according to someone's pattern. F that. I want it to fit my body and make me look good, otherwise honestly what's the point?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Kermit Complete!

Hubba Hubba! Yay for blocking with steam! It fits and it looks awesome! I think I am going to do something cabled next.

Kermit the count down

And you guys thought I was slacking off. Here is Kermit nearly done. All that is left is the ribbing around the neckline and sewing up the armpits. I can't wait to wear this!!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Got Green on my mind

Today I looked outside my window and I thought "OMG it's a winter wonderland!" It was so beautiful it took my breath away. I love the contrast between the dark bark on the trees and the white snow on top. 

I then yearned even more for spring. We had a thaw. I saw puddles that were not completely made of ice! So I wore green because I am ready for spring!

What does all this have to do with Kermit? It made me want to work on it even more. It's such a beautiful green. :) The good news is I am 1" away from being done with the sleeves. I was thinking about posting a picture of the two sleeves together before they are joined to the body but it just seems redundant. I can't wait to start working on the V neck. I've never made a V-neck sweater!!! 

Monday, February 25, 2008

Promised Pictures

This is as far as I have gotten in the sleeves. The finished one is 16". The small one is 2". The cuff is a total of 3". So a little bit longer and I'll have sleeves!!! I've also done a major re-organization of my room!! I'm back on my game. I needed today to just get some stuff done and re-center. I feel awesome! Here's hoping for more sleeve progress soon. I was really hoping to get this done a lot sooner but like I've said before. Life keeps happening and I am trying not to just play catchup but actually be in the moment. :)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Where is Kermit?

I know it's been a bit since I updated. I have a portion of the sleeve done. I have been kinda trying to balance my life. School, dating, friends, reading, knitting, tv time, ferret time... It doesn't look like much but shesh does it take up a lot of time. Not to mention my new secret obsession WoW. Sometimes I wish I stopped collecting hobbies like they were going out of style. 

Anyway updates as soon as I can give them. I'm itching to knit so hopefully there will be sleeves done tomorrow. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Girl In Pink

Lookie at me! Anyway when I took my pink sweater out of the storage bin I decided to try it on again. And it fit! I mean it's a loose fitting sweater but at least it doesn't double as a night gown anymore.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Progress = Pictures

Just a quick glimpse at my progress on Kermit. I've been so busy with class and my new workout regiment.. knit time has been regulated to an evening activity. I will hopefully be able to start the sleeves some time between tonight and thursday. Big paper due tomorrow so lots more work for me to do before I can officially be done with homework worry for a little bit. 

Monday, February 18, 2008

Life is more then green

Kermit is 11" and I'm still going strong. I think this sweater is going to be a lot better looking then the other one. It's a lot smaller so yay!

I've gotten myself on the road to organization. I got a planner and I've been crossing stuff off! Plus doing my homework before the due date. Always a good thing. I even bought smiley faced stickers so I can reward myself. :)

Sorry no picture update. The lighting in my room is only good during the day and today... I got a ton done! Yay clean apartment!!! 

Sunday, February 17, 2008

It's not easy being greeen

Here's the good news! I have a picture of progress. I know you've been loving the gauge swatch gift to myself but a girl's gotta move forward. So without further ado or guilding the lilly. Here it is 
Kermit is back! I have been working on the sweater on and off this weekend. I have been slammed with a lot of homework and socializing. There was very little knit time. Even the boys have suffered the effects of too much homework and little rest for me = zero to no play time for them. 

Special thanks to friends and family that have kept me sane during my week of Murphy's Law.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


My new sweater will be a V-Neck and a lot smaller :). Aggressive blocking makes knit sweaters into dresses. 
Here is my process to start knitting a sweater...
Step one. Knit gauge swatch. Use several different size needles 
 and as Maggie Righetti recommends in her book "Sweater Design in Plain English" I let the yarn talk to me. It told me pretty quickly that it wanted to be knit up as Stockinette. I took the measurements to find out what the stitches per inch were. I then took the label and wrote down the stitch/ inch size, the needle used and the yarn I used to make it.

Step two. I gather all my materials. Notice the white satchel in the picture, my swatch, and the original label from the yarn used.

Step three. I put it all together in the satchel and I have a lovely little present for myself next time I want to knit a sweater using this yarn with this specific specs. I don't have to swatch and the satchel makes it just a bit more elegant and fun.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

New project?

My next project will be a green sweater with possibly moss or seed stitch. I don't know. I think I have to let the yarn talk to me. But I'm taking a little break from posting/ knitting so I no posts for a bit. Look forward to a new post on thursday!

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Contraption AKA Woolly Board

Here is a few pictures I took today of my Woolly board and my sweater. It dried in under 12 hours. If you are thinking of a blocking board for sweaters I'd recommend it. The only thing I found annoying about it was that because all of the pieces are mobile sometimes it's hard to get everything just right.

A close up of the sleeves and the Reglan Decreases.

Sorry this one is so blurry but it was the best picture I could get of the whole thing. Apparently I was waay to excited to hold my hand steady.

A better picture of the neckline and shoulder decreases. I love this sweater it is so pretty. I think it's the first sweater I'll actually wear and enjoy wearing. I want to brag about it to everyone!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Pink The Final Frontier

 I finished my sweater!!!
 The last step will be blocking on this contraption!

Pink The New Black!

I worked pretty hard last night on the sweater. The picture I have for you guys is where I was in the afternoon yesterday but you can already see the sweater emerge. It's looking awesome and I am super proud! 

Here's me being proud

Saturday, February 9, 2008


Hello. I promised myself I would update everyday but it's like 12:30AM and I am exhausted. So picture goodness to come tomorrow. I'm almost done with the sweater!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Pinking Pinkington

I have one whole sleeve and half of the other! I spent 6 hours in contacts and I learned how to put eye drops in! Blessed eye drops. 

Sorry no pictures today. Been a hectic day. 

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Pink Fun!

I'm now on the sleeve and it's about  long. Yay!

I also got contacts today. I have been trying to put them into my eyes since I was like 15 and I finally just was able to do it! I am so pretty :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Pink Progress

All I can say is  BAM! Look how far I got!! I'm now working on the sleeves. Oh and the boys say Hi 

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Pink Sweater check in

After a few sweater related mishaps (gauge was 4.5 not 4.) I reworked the math and am now this far into the sweater.  It seems a little bit big to me but I hope it turns out to be just a comfortable loose fitting sweater. We'll just have to wait and see :).
I also created a knitting journal for myself. I found the picture on a google search and got all of my supplies from walmart. 
  The inside is filled with the gauge page from the sweater workshop and wonderful pages created by Kathryn Ivy. She generously offers her creation for free on her website. Http:// I also am putting my swatches into cute little satchels and I bought some tiny labels. All very exciting stuff. Well back to knitting! 

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Pink Sweater Phase 2

After drying the yarn I had a huge mess of tangled yarn. I had to turn this... into this . I really wanted to learn how to make center pull balls and I was so tired of my little yarn balls rolling all over the place and getting dirty. So I did a google search and an hour later I had this
 and nothing is understood better without a close up..  So exciting! If you'd like to learn how to make your own center pull balls I used I applied the hand wrap principle to a cardboard paper towel leftover. I have a picture but it will be added later. The site is having issues uploading my pictures so more adventures to come! I worked the math on my sweater and am now about 5" in. Yay!

WIP-Pink Sweater

I am designing my first sweater right now. I have always been terrified to do this but I think I am at the point in my life to take some risks. The first thing I had to do was rip back an old sweater that I had made with Lion Brand Fishermens Wool. It was a beautiful Cabled Aran sweater that no matter how much I blocked never seemed to fit me right.  So I frogged it :) and then re-dyed it using Pink Lemonade to even out the color.
I then used a can weighing 1lb to make sure that there were no kinks in the yarn. I'm a pretty patient person but for some reason I just couldn't wait very much longer to play with my new yarn and to see the dried color. Then in a crazed frenzy I can only describe as a moment of insanity I decided to try blow-drying the yarn. Of course I feared the worse and my brain kept saying "no you'll felt it!" I am so glad I ignored that little voice. The yarn not only dried faster but it bloomed! Look at the difference.

 Can you see it? I know the color kinda sucks but the yarn actually went from a 4.5" gauge to a 4" gauge after blow drying and it's super soft. I feel like I am using $10 yarn! I also washed it several times with Dial hand soap which I was worried about not being low enough in PH balance but as it turns out is perfect for washing wool. :)