April In Review

April in Review

This was the first month that I have made knitting my "day job".  It's been really fun to be able to concentrate on knit blogging and I hope you've all enjoyed following along! 

Looking forward to one knitty filled May! (Project Spectrum begins! Woop!)

Knit On.

BSJ

Whether you're a new knitter or an experienced one and whether you realize it or not, Elizabeth Zimmermann is your knitting godmother. Those times when you're knitting out in public thinking maybe you look a little weird or different she's the one who makes you sit a little bit taller and knit a little prouder.

She makes knitting rock and garter stitch a rockstar.

She was a witty, smart, no-nonsense kind of woman. One who would probably intimidate the heck out of me and yet would be so generous and gracious with herself. After all she's opened my eyes to so many techniques like a knitted cast off and after thought pockets. And boy, was she a engineer of knitting.

BSJ

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket from The Opinionated Knitter (Elizabeth Zimmermann)
Yarn: Koigu KPPPM, 2 balls
Needles: US 4 
Raveled 

I started this Baby Surprise Jacket a few days ago in response to my sheer glee at finding out my best friend was having a girl. (Oh J, when you get here just act surprised when you see it!) I don't know exactly what made me want to give the BSJ a shot but I knew I wouldn't be let down as there were close to 14,458 made on Ravelry. 

I loved reading EZ's notes as I followed along. She knew you had to have a little blind faith when following this pattern. "Just stay with me," is what she said as we were rounding out the last half of the pattern. Sure enough as most godparents do – she didn't lead me astray.

BSJ

I can't wait to see that little girl wearing this! I could help but think of her, her soon to be mom and my other dear mommy friends as I was making this. So many of us are nearing that time of hoping to become a mother. With the craziness of the world today - US budget deficit, deadly earthquakes, unemployment, Lindsey Lohan – it's a scary place out there – it makes it all the more clear to heed Elizabeth's advice and to simply Knit On.

Zimmermanncrisisquote

I decided to print this quote and frame it in my favorite knit spot. It's good to have a reminder near by. 

knit on.

Knit on with confidence and hope.

xo
Auntie M 

A Yarn Confessional

Dear Diary,

Road to China

I seem to have a little bit of a problem. I like buying yarn. No, scratch that. I LOVE buying yarn. It happens every time I go into a LYS. I look around, I touch a few and then BAM I'm hit with an idea that I can't shake and thus must get yarn to fufill the mania. It's an addiction, I admit it. That's the first step right? Can you blame me, Diary, the above was bought at a Fibre Co. Trunk show at a VFKW.

Diary, I don't even discriminate! I'll buy cotton, wool, silk, cormo! Alright, maybe not acrylic but if it's natural it's a done deal. I have visions of knitting these gorgeous yarns into beautiful sweaters, scarves, hats and even socks. 

Koigu

Remember, when I lived a block away from Patricia's Yarns, I went there everyday for yarn. Oh how she'd tease me with Madeline Tosh, Spud & Chloe or a new shipment from Koigu. She knew how to woo me and let's be honest, still does.

Malabrigo Lace

Even in California I am not safe. I bought these skeins of Malabrigo Lace at Article Pract in Oakland. My new knitty friend Erin and I went on a little "adventure" to the Tulip Festival in the Piedmont district of Oakland. Yet, where we were expecting fields of tulips we found only some potted examples in the shops we went to. And when they said "festival" they really meant a small gathering of tables and people. Well, two tables and about 6 people. However, we did get to see a group doing the capoeira! Which will always remind me of the cheesy early 90s B movie Only the Strong. (who's lead actor BTW just had a cameo on tonight's Hawaii 5-O, I digress.)

Diary, all I'm saying is that I'm not sorry for getting all this yarn. I'm only sorry that my hands are just gonna have have to knit it all.  They're gonna hate me and I promise to get them many manicures to keep them happy.

Thanks for listening Diary, I knew you wouldn't judge me.

xoxo,

Leah’s Lovely Cardigan

Leah's Lovely Cardigan

Leah's Lovely Cardigan

Leah's Lovely Cardigan

Pattern: Leah's Lovely Cardigan from More Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Yarn: Koigu KPM, 8 balls
Needles: Addi Turbos – US1 & US2 circulars
Raveled 

I don't know about you but I was a huge fan of Full House growing up. I wanted to be just like DJ and when I got older just like Rebecca who was "so hip for an adult."  The TGIF lineup was the perfect ending to a week filled with homework and basketball practice. There was nothing better than to unwind with the Tanners and see what trouble that Kimmy Gibbler was going to get DJ into! 

Before the series was over there was a Recording Studio in the basement, Uncle Jesse & Rebecca's apartment in the attic, Uncle Joey's bachelor pad, Danny's bedroom, Stephanie and Michelle's shared bedroom and of course DJ's room when she got "a bit too old to share with her two younger sisters" which really was Uncle Jesse's old room. Yea, it had a lot of rooms. Naturally, I felt the only place acceptable for shooting this fabulous sweater was in front of the "Full House" house, aka the Painted Ladies.

Leah's Lovely Cardigan

Remember the time when DJ learned to wear makeup only to look like Christina Aguilera on a bad day? Rebecca (again SO cool) swooped in and taught her that the key was to "look natural!" Juuust like I do in these pictures.  

Leah's Lovely Cardigan

As for the hand knit which is the real reason why you're probably here – I Love it. I made no modifications to the pattern. It was simple and well written. I even found buttons that were a spot on color match at Britex Fabrics

Thanks to husband for the great shots! You did well, dude! (More shots on Flickr!)

Leah's Lovely Cardigan

A tale of two sleeves.

Sleeves for Leah's Cardigan

Any knitter whose done their fair share of knitting in the round has probably had a chance to learn more about the technique called Magic Loop. It's something every knitter should have in their arsenal whether or not they use it all the time. (Cabling without a cable needle is another!) What makes it "magic" is that with one long cable needle you can manipulate many small circumferences. Brilliant if you ask me.

Why I love it:

It's convienient. You don't have to worry about losing one of your DPNs. Plus, after you get over the first few rows – which is always fiddly regardless of what you're using – you don't have to juggle through all these different needles and worry about four different "jogs" on your sleeve, hat, or whatever you're knitting.

Why I don't like it:

Let's talk about those "jogs" shall we? Take a close look at the two sleeves for my Leah's Cardigan. Do you notice anything funny with the left sleeve?  A distince channel perhaps?

Do you see what I see?

While knitting the first sleeve, noticed that the last stitch before the join was always coming out a little bit looser than the rest. It wasn't your normal ladder because it wasn't that the two stitches weren't flush next to each other it's was that the last stitch on the needle was stretched out and big.

What was this crazy knitter to do? I could not have been the only one with this ML problem. Off to the Ravelry Forums!

Enter the I heart Magic Loop Group.  A-ha!  It was the way I was holding my needle and cable at the beginning of the join that affected that last stitch.  

The way I was holding it:

Wrong ML technique

The way I am now holding it:

Correct ML technique

By holding the cord flush with my working needle it takes the stress off that last stitch on the cord and therefore it doesn't stretch!  Creating a beautiful jogless 2nd sleeve! Huzzah!

Hopefully if you were having troubles with your magic loop this helped you out a bit or if you're just about to learn it give this a try!