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split collar pullover from Phildar Automne 2003 in Linie 157 Tessa yarn

february 27, 2005

january's over

It seems like it's been ages since I've finished a project. It's almost March already for goodness sakes! With that fact in mind, I decided I'd better finish up my january sweater while it's still February.

Me likey! This Tessa yarn is really amazing. The color is fabulous of course, but after washing and blocking the yarn changed from being your basic wool (like Cascade 220) to having a wonderful drape. The long body and sleeves are even more elegant with the added drape of the fabric. It's very comfortable to wear and I love the deep split neck, which is kind of a surprise because it looked shockingly low while I was knitting it! With the edging though, it's quite cool and should look great with a turtleneck or just a tank underneath.

1) Wild and Wooly does it again! Every time I've gone to their biannual clearance sale, I've come home with yarn that ends up being one of my favorite knits.
2) Phildar patterns rule. No surprise there. This one from the cover of their Automne 2003 book was on my wish list for a long time.
3) February fixing? Phooey! What a great way to end the month of frogging and fixing. After the last sleeve was in, I slipped her on and immediately thought to myself, "now here's something I won't be ripping!"

(Although we weren't doing a knitalong, Ann and I have both been working on this sweater and are both finishing around the same time. Check out her almost done sweater, in the original Phildar yarn!)

posted by alison at 12:08 am | Comments (34)

february 18, 2005

blue collar knitting

I was up late last night doing all the neck edging on january.

I should be wearing her very soon!

posted by alison at 8:46 am | Comments (16)

february 16, 2005

I'm on fire!

I can't believe it myself, but l'm already done with the knitting on january! Here are the sleeves, just finished blocking and ready for seaming.

(note: finished magknits project on the desk!)

And add to the list of things you don't want to overhear your children saying to each other in the other room: "hey, you want to make the fire?" Whaaaaaaat?! Luckily, the boys were making a pretend fire out of Legos. And now all together in our best Tom Hanks "Cast Away" impersonation:

"I have made Fire!"

posted by alison at 7:47 am | Comments (23)

february 12, 2005


The front of january is all finished! Looooove that neckline.

And I tried the keyhole opening on pop one more time. I managed to come up with a version with a one piece front. It looks much better on than before. But I'm still not convinced that this is not the right neckline for my striped version of this sweater. The opening throws off the pretty lines of the stripes too much. So back to the drawing board again.

And thanks to Jenanne, I was able to rip out the neck on that Banana Republic ribbed sweater afterall. She was absolutely correct that I was unravelling in the wrong direction. It's actually very clear in the link about unravelling sweaters that the neck should be separated from the body first and then ripped from there back to the edge. Doh! So I picked and snipped and finally ripped that neck out. The boys even helped wind the yarn into hanks.*

* (They actually turned their attention away from "Lazy Town" as soon as they saw the swift come out. And if you're a mom of a NickJr.-watching toddler you understand what kind of power "Lazy Town" has over kids and can appreciate my shock when they literally turned their backs on it to play with the swift.)

posted by alison at 9:12 am | Comments (8)

february 10, 2005

what I did on my sudden vacation

I had a great little vaca day.

I did some knitting, spending a few hours visiting my LYS and making some progress on the front of my january sweater. Isn't it weird looking with that placket opening starting at the navel (seriously, at the NAVEL!)? I also finished a sleeve, so january should be done soon!

I did some shopping, picking up a lovely cashmere sweater at my local vintage store. I've been wanting to go into that store for four years, but double-wide stroller and vintage store go together almost as badly as two toddlers and a vintage store do. I was determined to find something fabulous to take home.

And I did some browsing, discovering Beadworks up in Harvard Square. I'd never seen a bead store before, and I'm betting this is one of the best. Wow! It was like the first time I walked into a real yarn store - gorgeous colors everywhere. I wanted to touch everything. I don't even wear jewelry or have a real interest in beads, but everything was so overwhelming that I got a little caught up in it. I may have to sign up for one of their beginner's stringing classes just to get this out of my system!

posted by alison at 8:26 am | Comments (21)

february 2, 2005

bring january back

I'm just starting to make forward progress with my january sweater and here it is February already!

january's back at the blue blog!

Can you believe that I messed this up yet again?! I'd followed the shapings of the first pattern so many times already that I didn't quite catch the subtle difference in shaping of the new pattern - decrease on each edge 4 times every 6 rows vs. decrease on each edge 6 times every 4 rows. Whoops! I wasn't in the mood to rip it back again. So the waist shaping will just be a little more subtle. We'll see when I'm done with the front if I can live with it. And if I can't live with it, then hey, February is for fixing anyway, right?

posted by alison at 8:04 am | Comments (7)

january 28, 2005

it's still january

January is underway again.

love the ribbing in this yarn

I know it's not looking too different from the original january sweater - the two sweater backs weren't really that different, see! - but the significant improvement is that this one is likely to fit. Now that I'm back on track, I can rip out my first attempt. A little warm up for next month's fix-it-a-thon.

posted by alison at 8:38 am | Comments (6)

january 23, 2005

in january, it would be so nice, while slipping on the sliding ice...,

...to do something right, and not have to knit every project twice!

Here's my progress on my january sweater. I'm two balls in and I don't like it. I don't like how the pattern decreases look in this yarn. My swatch seems not so soft enough anymore. And I'm not getting even tension with my left hand - it looks pretty good, but it's growing and is now unacceptably large. I gave myself several inches to solve/get over any or all of these problems and I just can't. So out it goes. I think this yarn is much better suited to this sweater, which also has a slightly smaller gauge that will allow me to knit it with my right hand. And it still has an exciting low neckline, but because it's so low, I'll have to wear something underneath it, thus eliminating any worries about the wool's scratchiness.

The january sweater may be a flop so far, but the january snowstorm is coming along just fine, thank you very much.

uhhh, let's stay inside

note: we actually have steps leading up to our door!

posted by alison at 11:36 am | Comments (22)

january 20, 2005

I'm so blue

January is underway! After the Downy treatment, my swatch was considerably softer, so I jumped right in. I'm enjoying doing some continental knitting again. And the blue just makes me smile.

posted by alison at 8:54 am | Comments (8)

january 16, 2005

downy: saving your winter blues

My new Tessa yarn knits up beautifully. And I'm on gauge - knitting continental, baby!* I'm calling this sweater January, cause I like the name and I'm gonna cheat and start this sweater this month (even though I really should be concentrating on my magknits design). But I just can't wait to start!

One hitch though, the yarn isn't as soft as I'd hoped it would be. I'm not overly sensitive to wool, but with a deep neckline, this sweater should really be worn without other layers underneath and that means the shawl collar will be all over my neck. So it can't be too scratchy. I've washed my swatch and given it a little downy treatment to see if it'll soften up enough. Fingers crossed!

* - Bayyybee, as in Austin Powers, not that annoying baby that half the Amazing Race teams are constantly calling each other - ugh, that makes me want to hurl.

posted by alison at 1:00 pm | Comments (10)

january 14, 2005

wild & wooly: curing your winter blues

I have to admit I've been in a bit of a slump. I've been so overwhelmed with the sockapalooza organization and exhausted from the boys that I haven't had much knitting time recently. Although I cleared out my project basket during the holidays, leaving me only with the final touches on pop, I'm now reknittng it instead of wearing it. And indecision and general lack of energy have kept me from getting too psyched about starting a new project. Wild & Wooly's semi-annual sale to the rescue!

Being there at 7am didn't really help with my fatigue, but it's such a fun adventure going every year that I really do get a charge out of it. Here's what I'm excited about:

Linie 157 Tessa yarn in baby blue for this sweater from the new Vogue Knitting.

Nature Spun from Brown Sheep in many colors. I was thinking maybe Pippi Kneestockings from Stitch n Bitch.

Fellow Knitsmiths, Shannon and Colleen were also there. Go check out the exciting stuff they found!

posted by alison at 10:52 am | Comments (14)

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