Monday, February 27, 2006

My Gentleman has new socks

I devoted every minute of my knitting time during the weekend to the grey socks ... and see what I got yesterday afternoon:

Mismatched socks! How exciting! Of course, I wouldn't blame Cookie and Lynette for getting the idea of mismatched socks ringing in my mind! hahaha ... The truth is, when I was knitting the foot of the first sock, I suddenly had the whim of trying out new toes. Round toe was what I chose. Well, let's say this is not for people whose feet are not really thin and lean, or you risk bad blood circulation in your feet. So, I returned to the safest flat toe in the second sock ... and ripped the first one and re-knitted. And now Husband has another pair of hand-knitted socks:



Details:
Pattern and Modifications: Gentleman's Plain Winter Socks by Nancy Bush from Knitting Vintage Socks
If you or the recipient of the socks love wearing those 3-in-a-pack white sports socks found in store, you should try this pattern. The socks feel exactly the same as those bought in store but with the added good feeling of hand-knitted socks. Only modifications are the usual short row heels and flat toe. I am very happy with the pattern except one thing - the one single purl stitch at the end of the round. I think except serving as the center stitch (which can be done by using a stitch marker, BTW), it would only form a ridge on the inside of the socks:
You bet I'm going to make this again ... but I would just knit the rounds, leaving out the purl stitch.

Yarn: Patons Kroy 4-Ply Col:54046 Flagstone
Just having finished one sock using Lorna's Lace Shepherd Sock, it required a bit of adjusting to the splitty Kroy. But I am not yet spoiled by the good yarns ... still love this economical and practical Kroy ... especially after the socks have taken a bath ... so soft.

Gauge and Needles: 8.75 sts per 1" using DPNs 1.5

Start Date: 02-19-2006
Finish Date: 02-26-2006

Now, to compensate for the fact that I very much neglected the 8.5-stitch-per-inch sweater last week, I am going to add a few inches to it now. My goal is to add at least 2 inches per week. So, wish you all a good week ahead ... ah, with good weather as it is raining cats and dogs here.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Cozy sock

Heel turning again, yay! I chose this pattern because the sock pictured in the book looks so cozy and comfortable. US1.5 made the ribbing plus plain stocking stitch go surprisingly fast.

With this sock finished (hopefully this evening), I will have 2 lone done socks ... not a pair! Perhaps I should make use of the remaining few days in February to make up the other one for this ... and have a record of a pair a month. Yes, this is the plan.

So, what's your plan? Whatever it is, wish you lots of quality knitting time this weekend.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Tribal Rowan (Edited)

This issue of Rowan magazine has been the target of ridicule and negative criticism among the knitting circle for quite some time. I haven't said too much about it since I didn't have the magazine with me, so I thought it was a bit early for me to pass any judgment. But I think much of the discussion was focussed on the Tribal section.

So, now I finally have the book and had indeed gone through it, what do I think? Before I go on to that, I'd like to show you some photos.



What goes into your mind? Yeah, the Tribal section of Rowan 39. When I first saw the photos on the Rowan International website, I didn't have the vigourous reactions of many knitters to this section. I just thought, "Last time it was Scottish Highland (that was what the Eco Romantic section appeared to me) and now it's ethnic minorities in China." Gradually, reading more of those negative criticisms, I felt a little bad. I am quite sure if it were a Mexican or Spanish theme, people would be able to recognize the roots and not think these are ridiculous clothes created for aliens. These ethnic minorities are significant components of the Chinese population and their cultures are as valuable as those of those tribes in South America or Africa. But it seems that the world at large is just so ignorant of their existence, not to mention understanding them. I am not pretending to be an expert here ... actually I only know enough to recognize where the inspirations for the Rowan shots came from.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Tribal section. For knitting pattern magazines, you always need a safe section like the Provence and Aqua Marine to provide knitters with patterns that they can feel an urge to make. But I appreciate Rowan's courage in exploring the more unusual arena in Tribal or Eco Romantic. There are always risks involved ... but it is in taking such risks that new directions / trends can be created. I like the explosiveness and liveliness of the mixture of styles - Asian ethnic minorities, Spanish, Indian, Tibetan, Andean folk ... and many more. What's better is that some of the patterns in this section are actually do-able and wearable.

I think this waistcoat would go very well with white plain long sleeves tee and jeans. If I were a jewelry person, I would also wear those big silver or wooden bracelets ... super cool!

This one would just be lovely using lightweight alpaca blend. I would consider changing it into a pullover instead of a cardigan.

Among the men's sweaters, I like Ash (interesting combination of textures and colours) and St Mawes ... but don't really get it why they keep putting stuff like Warrior and Chieftain in each and every issue.

And of course, being an unashamed fan of KSH, I think all the three patterns in Fashion Revival are heavenly. There is no photo of this section on their website, but here you can see Regency (dress) and Victoria (stole):

I always like the Jane Austen period dresses. If I always have the chances of going to balls, I would definitely make (or pay someone to make) Regency ... it would be a stunner. I have the yarns in my stash to make the stole. But I am having second thought ... because it is a 4-row pattern ... and you can see how long it is (4 balls of KSH using US3 needle)!

There are patterns I like in the other two sections too. But my feeling is that if Rowan 39 only contains Provence and Aqua Marine, it would just be another knitting magazine ... and there is really nothing too outstandingly spectacular to distinguish it from, say, the Rowan Classic collection or Debbie Bliss collection.

I know I am an oddball in my opinion concerning Rowan 39. But really, if I had any hesitation whether to continue my membership, this issue succeeded in driving it all away ... okay, the 2 balls of KSH help too. ;)

Note: If you are interested in reading and learning more about the costumes of these tribes, here is a list of websites which may be useful:

Costumes of Minority Peoples of China
Tribal Textile.info
TribalMax.com
China's Ethnic Minorities
Travel China Guide: Chinese Ethnic Groups


Edited to Add: Thank you very much for responding to my opinions. There are a few points that I'd like to respond to. li has made a good point that "the magazine is a consumer knitting magazine and as consumers, knitters have what they want in mind" ... and thus they make choices whether to buy the magazine or not. This is exactly why I applaud Rowan for their guts in challenging themselves and their readers. As I said, there are risks involved, and I am sure the Rowan people are well aware of this too. Very often you just don't know what you get yourself into when treading outside your own comfort zone ... that's the challenge. Obviously, Rowan got themselves into troubles with a lot of knitters this time! hahaha ... But just ask me what I would buy - Rowan 39 or Cast On (or substitute any knitting magazines you've given up on) - I'll tell you in a heartbeat no way I'm going to buy Cast On again. Consumers make the choices.

About the busy attires taking attention away from the Rowan knitwear, those tribes people may have a hard and simple life, but they certainly make their costumes and attires extremely colourful and heavily decorative. If Rowan has to capture this tribal spirit, there is no way they can do it well by being minimalistic. And I went through that section again ... what really are being "buried" among the tribal attires are belt, bags and armbands. To me, all the garments are clearly presented in the photos ... sometimes not to their advantage, if you ask me!

Finally, all these are personal opinions, yours and mine the same ... no right or wrong. I just want the Rowan people to know that their spirit is appreciated here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

You know you need to go back to bed when ...

you start asking people stupid questions in the morning! Usually Monday mornings are my favourite time to do stupid things and ask stupid questions - late nights during the weekend and wake up early on Mondays. But this week it was Tuesday morning, that is, this morning when I asked Becky the skinnyrabbit if she was going to graft the wrist warmer to THE SLEEVES of THE HALTER she was knitting. Hello? I think I deserved a smack on the back of my head to wake me up. But of course Becky gracefully told me that a halter didn't have sleeve. And of course I was fully awake then and so didn't go back to bed ... hehehe ...

So I finished one Sockapaloooza sock. What can I say? I can only tell you that the pattern is really a pleasure to work with. It is easy to memorize (or to click with it, as Paula put it) and the sock turns out beautiful. And I think the pattern goes really well with the bright red yarn, maybe even better than the purple in the book. So, the knitting went like a breeze and before I knew it, one sock was done. Did I cast on immediately for the second one? Nah. Not to do with second sock syndrom ... just that I don't want to finish it so quickly!

Mmm ... what next? I decided to return to Husband's socks. This time, I chose another pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks, Gentleman's Plain Winter Socks. I don't have picture to show you though. Just imagine 4" of 3k2p ribbing following by plain stocking stitches all the way down to the toes! I am now at the midway of the ribbing.

Besides the sock, I have actually been working on 2 sweaters. One is the green sweater for Husband ... the 8.5 sts per 1" sweater. I managed to add another 3" of stocking stitch, not too bad, huh?

The knitting is not as painful as expected. I just squeezed in a row or two here and there. The only thing I need for this is patience.

Then, some time ago, I started the Must Have Cardigan from Street Smart. Actually, the cardigan is the one that I have wanted to work on first before I set my eyes on Urban Aran. The pattern is another super easy one to remember:

and it's beautiful too! Oh, I am using Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool. It's rough to work with but would make a much sturdier cardigan than Patons Classic Merino, I think. The pattern is a cropped style but I would make it a few inches longer.

Knitting-wise, that's about it. I received Rowan 39 over the weekend ... yeah, THAT Rowan 39. There are a few things I'd like to talk about but I think I'll leave that for the next post. For the meantime, Happy Knitting everybody!

Fat cat!

I know it's nothing to do with knitting but I just couldn't help it. How big is the fattest cat you've ever seen? For me, this is the one. I am still suspecting if that's visual effect instead of a real cat!

Knitting contents will return soon.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Camera Shy

So, I had half my Sockapaloooza socks done today. I'd like to showcase her to you, but she was really camera shy ... especially now that she is all alone by herself. She insisted not facing the blogging world until when she can do it with her sister ... who is at present non-existent.

However, she was mesmerized by Paula's wonderful photo of her socks today. I couldn't help but agree with her ... you should go and have a look too. So, my sock, she said, if I could get a photo of her like that one, that maybe would help her overcome her shyness.

I was 100% sure I wouldn't do a quarter as well as Paula, but at least I had to try, for my sock:


And then I discovered the stitches were ... ARGH!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Weekend knitting

The birth of a heel (with The Drifters singing This Magic Moment at the background*):





Enough fooling around with the camera ... back to my weekend knitting. :)

* Yeah, my taste for music hasn't grown beyond the 80s.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A piece of knitting history

When I first got Nancy Bush's latest sock book, I already told you I love that little knitting needle gauge. Don't remember? Read here ... (giving you 1 minute to refresh your memory) ... now, lookee:

I am literally holding a piece of knitting history in my hand! Can't really tell you in words how excited and happy I am!

Some time ago, I read on someone's blog (can't remember who that was!) that she got one from eBay. EBay! Why didn't I think of that earlier? I did some searches and was really able to locate some auctions ... the sellers were mostly from UK. You can see from the photo that the chrome has come off a bit here and there. But I noticed that those that are shiny almost like new would got more and higher bids ... sometimes so high that I thought was beyond reason. I am not really using the gauge ... and the scratches seem to give the gauge a greater sense of being a historical item, so I went for this one.

Since it is still Valentine's Day, I'll send you all a Valentine that almost all knitters would love ... for those of you who are allergic to it, well, you won't get hurt looking at this cute face.

How deep is your love?

Husband hates Valentine's Day (actually, Christmas is the only festival he really likes), and I don't care about it enough to do something really special. So, we seldom celebrate Valentine's Day. But in case Husband feels the need to ask me this question today, I do have a knitter's way of answering that.


So, what's this? This is a swatch for a sweater I am going to knit for him. After blocking, the gauge for the 3mm stocking stitch is 8 sts per inch and the 2.5mm 8.5 sts. Since I like the texture of the 2.5mm piece better ... and there is no gauge higher than 7 sts in Ann Budd's book anyway, I chose to use 2.5mm needle and again do some math. Husband likes the 2x2 rib, so that would be for the cuffs.

Yes, I am going to knit a sweater of 48" chest circumference with a yarn which yields 8.5 sts per inch ... in the colour deep green and plain stocking stitch. In fact, I have already cast on for one body piece ... 204 sts! I can actually knit it in the round ... but I think that would push the level of boredom to an unreachable height for me, so I chose to knit in pieces. I've got quite some length done already:

2" of ribbing is done! ::Whew:: I think I love him deep enough ... hahaha ...

Do you notice the yarn label? This is a Russian manufactured yarn which I discovered from Lucia's blog (The Knitting Fiend). I am always kind of adventurous and not shy from trying out new stuff. As you can see from their site, the prices are not really too expensive. So, I ordered three different balls of yarns to try. This Deluxe Wool was the first one I swatched since this is a colour Husband likes. I really like it. The yarn is soft to touch in the ball and the knitted fabric gets very soft after wet blocking. Though I only swatched in stocking stitch, I feel that it would give good stitch definitions to cable patterns too. And it gives you a no-nonsense feeling about it ... nothing fancy, but practical and of good value. The most important thing is that the prospective wearer also thinks it is good and soft. If you are interested in their yarns, you should keep an eye on Lucia's blog since they sent her all the shop's samples and she would be swatching and writing about them. Hopefully, she would be able to help them with more gauge info.

Besides the yarns, I also ordered this Russian knitting magazine. It is just too bad that I can't read Russian as there are quite a few patterns that I like (being a sucker for cables and such!):


I even find the kid's patterns cute! You can click on the image to have a larger view. Russian magazines use lots of charts too. So, I think it may not be that difficult to figure out how to knit with the help of the photos. And of course, here is a little help with Russian knitting terms.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Do I look gorgeous?

First of all, thank you all very much for the compliments on Lace Leaf. You've all made me a very proud wearer of the sweater. :)

Then, please take a look at this:

I mean, seriously, do I look gorgeous in this shawlette? In case you wonder, no this is not my FO. This is the first knitted gift I've ever received in my life! Yesterday morning, an unsuspecting me went to the post office, thinking I was going to pick up some yarns I ordered. So, it was just natural reaction to have my jaws dropped for 30 seconds when I opened the package that contained this beautifully made shawlette by Debi, aka Pumpkin's mom. :) It is no ordinary shawl ... but a beaded one (2000 pieces, I tell ya!)! She has a close up shot of the stitches and beads here. I absolutely love ths shawl and I feel so elegant wearing it ... thank you thank you thank you, Debi!

You know, the feeling of receiving a knitted gift is just wonderful. Being aware of this, I started my preparation for Sockapaloooza - yarns, checked; needles, checked; pattern, checked:


I had every intention of finishing the grey socks for Husband first. However, I've been having quite some frustration in trying to get them done right. So, I thought it a good idea to take a break from them and started working on the socks for my sock pal. And for the welfare of my sock pal, I also thought it a good idea for me to follow a pattern instead of trying to work out one of my own ... hahaha ... As I browsed through Nancy Bush's latest sock book, I just felt that this is the perfect pattern for the red yarn. Before dinner, I finished knitting the cuff:

Mmm ... well, it's lace, so you have to wait until it is finished and blocked for the beauty to show.

I think I should express my gratitude to Alison and all the sock sisters for their thoughfulness in the organization of Sockapaloooza. At least in my case, they paired me up with a sock pal who has similar foot measurements as my own ... and this is going to make the knitting a lot easier. Thanks for the wonderful work!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Love it ... love it ... love it!

Absolutely love the Lace Leaf Pullover! It turns out exactly the way I want it to:


Please excuse the blurry picture ... I forgot to change the setting for picture under bright sunlight. :) Can you feel that I was sweating there? The temperature was around 70F when the picture was taken! Can you see the grafting line? I bet and I hope you can't ... to divert your attention from it in case you see it, here is a closer up of the shoulder with the button:


Ever since I saw the pattern in IK, I had wanted to make one. But when I found that a very bulky yarn was used, I thought maybe it was not for me then. Then when I got the book Loop-D-Loop, my love for the sweater was renewed. Yet, the 10sts-for-4" gauge is a big problem for me. After going back and forth several times, I finally decided I wanted the sweater ... even though it meant I need to do some serious math work. By the time I made the decision, I have already seen several pullovers made on blogs. I was indeed lucky to catch Yarn Harlot's post on her pullover as I could avoid similar frustration like that of Alison's.

Details:
Pattern: Lace Leaf Pullover by Teva Durham from Loop-D-Loop

Modifications:
(1) Since my gauge is way smaller than what the pattern specified, all the numbers of stitches have to recalculated. While this may be some routine preparation work for some of you, to me it was not the case. I took out my copy of Stitch and Bitch Nation and read the relevant chapter all over again before I started. It is a milestone for me since everything worked out fine. I gained a lot of confidence by working on this sweater, knowing that my knitting would not be limited by my wonky gauge.

(2) With the smaller gauge, I thought the lace leaf pattern would appear to be too small if I kept to the original pattern. There are altogether 3 lace leaf patterns in the sweater - the one just above the ribbing, the one under the neckline and the one on the left sleeve. For my pullover, all three are of difference sizes. The one above the ribbing is the biggest one - 21 stitches wide; the one under the neckline 17 stitches and the one on the sleeve 15 stitches.

(3) In Stephenie's post, she said that the arms were too tight and the sweater didn't have shoulders. If you look at the sweater being laid flat, you would find that the shape of the shoulders is indeed a bit strange. So, while knitting the upper body, I paid particular attention to the shoulders. Besides, before I started, what worried me most was the raglan armholes. For this, Ann Budd's sweater pattern book pointed the direction to me:

"For the raglan seams to lie flat (and the sweater to fit well), the sleeve caps must have the same number of rows as the armholes."

I am not sure I knew about this basic principle of raglan seams before. But it certainly gave me an idea how to make my recalculation work. When knitting the shoulder increase rounds, I disregarded the instructions on how many rounds to knit, but kept trying the piece on to make sure I have the desired width for my shoulders. Then I measured the desired length for the armhole to figure out how many rows I need for the raglan increase in the case of the upper body, and decrease in the case of the sleeve caps. Next, I made use of tools (Taper Sleeve: decreasing and increasing) I found on Lucia's blog to calculate how to make the decrease and increase. If Ann Budd is right, my sleeve caps should have no problem fitting into the upper body. Guess what, she IS right! I also bore in mind the tip from Stephenie about leaving extra stitches at the grafted shoulder to avoid the wonky seam which caused Alison to rip out her Lace Leaf.

Yarn: Lion Brand Kool Wool Col: 147 (Eggplant) (50% Merino Wool, 50% Acrylic)
I bought the yarns from a closeout blowout sale at Smiley's. I like this yarn because it is soft and I paid very little for them. After blocking, the sweater becomes very soft and comfortable to wear. But since it is only 50% merino wool, I think it is perfect for the weather here. Yesterday the temperatures around here were record high (75F) and I was like a mad woman wearing a bulky sweater. It felt warm ... but not unbearably so ... at least I didn't suffer from a heat stroke. Now I am looking forward to a little bit of cool weather so that I can wear my new sweater comfortably.

Gauge and Needle: 14 stitches to 4" using US10.5 in stocking stitch

Start Date: 01-24-2006
Finish Date: 02-04-2006

There are more patterns from Teva Durham's book that I'd love to make. The next possibility is Dreamcatcher Medallion Cardigan ... here and here are two beautifully finished ones.

Oops!

It's Friday already? Sorry for not having new post for so long ... I spent this week very much waiting Lace Leaf Pullover to dry. It is now ... and the button is sewn ... as a matter of fact, I've been wearing it the whole day yesterday and I am wearing it now. But since I want to get photos under the natural sunlight, FO post will have to wait until later today (when Husband has time to take pictures for me!).

I don't know about you, but the Winter Olympics hasn't been very important in my life. I haven't even seen real natural snow until I came to the States. But this year it is just too big to miss ... how can you miss it when everyday you can read about knitters swatching and getting ready for their Olympics Challenge? Have I joined, you may ask? Hell no! Just reading Yarn Harlot's proposal post already stressed me out! Now at my age, I am all for leisure and enjoyment at my own pace. So, all you Knitter Olympians, I wish you luck and would cheer for you while I'm busy winding the yarns and choosing a pattern for my sock pal. :)

Monday, February 06, 2006

Monday ranting

Are you citizens of the Super Bowl Nation? We are not ... so yesterday, we took the chance to have a drive in the mountains since the weather was incredibly gorgeous ... so much that I had a moment's illusion of it being spring already! What? Spring? I've just finished a big bulky sweater ... and it's spring already? No kidding ... trees were blooming with colourful flowers and pollens were all over the windshields of the cars. But I would not be fooled! Experience told me that before the real spring comes, I'll still have quite some chances to wear this sweater ... I'm sure.

Talking about this big bulky sweater, yes it's done. If you know how much I am fond of grafting, you'll know how much I really want this sweater ... grafting of 134 stitches! It went faster than I expected and was done as badly as expected! LOL! However the blocking bath helped to ease out the trace of ugly grafting. The bath! When I tried to lift the sweater from the bath tube to dry, I felt like having a Sunday night Bodypump class ... it was certainly much heavier than all the weights I used for the class! I felt it before typing this post and it is still pretty wet ... not dripping wet, but sure would need a lot of time to get dry. To finish the sweater, I need a button. Last night, I planned to use a button that I had in my stash ... the source is unknown and it is not particularly special, just kind of handy. However, I went to Jo-Ann's today and found this:

The colour of the sweater appears to be blue instead of purple in the picture but that of the button is true ... so in real life the two go very well together. Well, at least that was how I thought when I bought it. :)

Now the sweater is finished, I would focus all my attention on socks - Husband's grey socks and then the socks for my Sockapalooza pal. Yes, after much inner debate, I did joined the exchange. From the info given to me by my sock pal, she seems to be quite an adventurous person ... I like that! Do you think she would like this?

The colour is Bold Red ... beautiful! I may even try to whip up a pattern of my own ... since I saw a stitch pattern I like a lot in Barbara Walker's first treasury book. I'll see if I can work it out.

Talking about socks, I stole a lovely button from Bonne Marie over the weekend. I am wondering what sock yarns were used in the socks there!

Now, the ranting! I have the habit of checking out some knitting books from the public library just to get inspired or to admire the beautiful knitwears. One of these books is Tudor Rose. I have checked this book out once and really like it ... but I am not ready to pay big bucks to own one myself. This morning, I tried to reserve the copy ... and ... the status of the book was "LOST"! Lost? I had a feeling that it was not lost ... if you understand what I mean! I was quite angry over this ... because there is no way I would be able to get my hand on that book anymore. I also have the fear that other library copies by the same designer would sooner or later meet the same fate. Next time I go to the library I would certainly try to find out what penalty is given for losing a library book. And I would certainly make suggestion to the library administration that the patron losing a book should pay the current market price to replace the copy.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Knitwear Review No.2

The 13th ball of Kool Wool arrived yesterday, so work on Lace Leaf Pullover would resume during the weekend. Before the arrival of new sweater, perhaps I should take a look at the old ones. I've done this with my summer tank tops, now it's the turn for the winter wear.

Urban Aran
Though this is the newest sweater I made, it has received quite heavy wear already. Husband once commented that I seemed to like wearing it very much. He was right actually. The style is cool and casual ... very good for matching with jeans. The whole sweater is very light in weight but reasonably warm. I made the right decision of not making the turtleneck. I can wear it almost any time of the winter season ... just add a turtleneck cotton Tee and it becomes super warm.

However, nothing is perfect. With Urban Aran, it is the pilling! Are you the type who are extremely bothered by pilling? Honestly, I am not. I find that even acrylic yarns would pill, so what can you say? Yet, this Jaeger Como does really pill like there is no tomorrow!

In addition to the pilling, there is the problem of those very tiny fibres ... which I believe to be the Polymaide (not really sure, though). To illustrate, focus on the area inside the circle:



If you have long sharp nails, you'll get into trouble easily. But even without long nails, my carryall's zipper teeth and the pull, keychain, engagement ring, etc, have all contributed to pulling them out!

So, if you still have this yarn in your stash (positive in my case, hahaha ...), this is a warning.






Barnyard Guernsey Sweater
This was originally knitted for Husband, therefore it is a very roomy sweater for me. That means it is a very comfortable wear. I like guernsey sweater and am always wanting to make one of those from Fisherman's Sweaters. Though the sweater is big, it doesn't feel heavy. The yarn is warm too. I love this yarn but I'd also like to try the Wool of Andes from Knit Picks just to compare. Yet, same problem ... pilling:

You see that little ball of loveliness? Before taking this picture, I did the first shaving for the sweater. It did help to make the sweater look better again ... though I am not sure how long that would last. Maybe I should buy a sweater shaver.
Oh yes, maybe I should share a little secret with you. Last time when I washed the sweater before putting it away, I had the idea of letting it shrink a bit so that it would fit me better. How? I put it into the drying machine and taking it out every 30 seconds to check the result! It didn't shrink at all ... but felted (or fulled? I can never tell which is which!) a little bit ... though it doesn't really show.

My First Sweater
::SIGH:: This is what I always do when I look at my first sweater. The pattern is fun to knit and the sweater is cute to look at ... but tacky to wear. Honestly, I think I've worn it less than 10 times. I think there are several things contributing to my lack of love for it:

1) First and foremost, the edgings of the sweater;
2) the boxy cropped style;
3) the yarn is very itchy.

Because of (3), wearing something underneath is a must. However, (1) and (2) together make it almost impossible for me to look good when I have to wear something underneath.

Therefore, I am considering recycling this sweater into something else. Since I won't get too much yarns from it (considering I can't get anything usable from the edgings) plus the itchy yarn, I think Boogie Vest from Knitty may be a good possibility.

Conclusion: What is fun to knit or cute to look at doesn't necessarily become a sweater I'd love. And yes, wool pills ... whether cheap or expensive ones. So, better get a shaver. :)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Groundhog Day

Here I interrupt the normal knitting content to respond to Reya's call at Grace's Poppies. I like quite a few of D.H. Lawrence's poems. I think I have posted some before. Here is another one.

Piano (D. H. Lawrence)

Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.

In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song
Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
to the old Sunday evenings at home, with the winter outside
And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide.

So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour
With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour
Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.

Normal knitting will return. Wish you all a good week.