Victoria in the Emma Peel Dress

Just got home from a wonderful evening with friends. Brings it home how lucky we are and what is truly important in life. We had a wonderful time and as I suspected Victoria couldn’t wait to try on her new dress. So without further delay, Here is Victoria showing us the Emma Peel dress!

 

Victoria wearing the Emma Peel dress

Victoria wearing the Emma Peel dress

The other day I showed my delight in receiving my package with the yarn for my Alba Jacket. As you may have guessed, I knit up a swatch right away. Stayed up until 1 am because I couldn’t wait to see how the colors look together. And…..I don’t like it ūüė¶ ¬†It is just not right. ¬†Please tell me what you think. I can’t really afford to buy more yarn. I think the problem is the Prussian Blue is too ‘bright’ for all the warm colors I picked. Here is a picture of the swatch.¬†

 

Alba Swatch

Alba Swatch

The Prussian blue is that bright blue in the background of the browns. ¬†All together I just don’t think it transitions nicely. It looks different then it did when I knit it with the Spindrift. Here was the original swatch.

 

Alba Swatch in Spindrift instead of DK

Alba Swatch in Spindrift instead of DK

Here I used a charcole grey instead of Prussian Blue. Sigh….I will try to figure something out using the colors I have. I will have to think on this.

I continue to swatch for Marc’s Duxbury Pullover. I just started the cable swatch. I will post some pictures when it is done. It is dawning on me that it will take a long time to get it done. It is a fingering weight yarn I am knitting it with, but I think I will enjoy the pattern very much and the yarn is beautiful. It is Simply Shetland Silk Lambswool.

My YaRn is Here!!!!

Oh, thank the Yarn Gods! My Jamieson DK has safely arrived from Canada. As I previously posted, Nina from CVF put a tracer on my package and sure enough it was stuck in customs! That was Tuesday. I got the package today and am so relieved. She was so nice too. She refunded me my shipping charges and gave me a call tonight to see if it got here ok.

 

MY YARN IS HERE!!! YAY!!!

MY YARN IS HERE!!! YAY!!!

I will start a swatch this weekend so we can see how my new colors will look. I can’t wait!!!!

Well tonight was our knitting meetup night and there was a nice turnout. I brought the swatch I am working on for Marc’s Duxbury Point sweater. This sweater is going to take a long time to knit. The Simply Shetland Silk and Lambswool is like a fingering weight. I am going to knit this top down too. Should be fun!

This picture doesn’t show the detail well, but this is really going to be beautiful. I can’t wait to do the cable swatch to see how this yarn cables. I think it is going to be well worth the time and money. I will have to be real careful not to make mistakes though! Could be detrimental!

 

Filler Stitch for Gauge - Duxbury Point

Filler Stitch for Gauge - Duxbury Point

 

 

I also have progressed nicely on MIL’s Fair Isle Cardigan. Here is how far up the body I have gotten. Did most of this during Dancing With the Stars! ūüôā

 

CYO Fair Isle for MIL

CYO Fair Isle for MIL

I ask myself now what is my plan going forward.

  • I have Mr Foster on the needles and would like to get him done, but he is not a priority. Sorry Mr Foster ūüė¶
  • I will do the swatch for Alba Jacket, but can’t start it until MIL Cardigan is done.
  • I will start Marc’s Duxbury Point
  • I will start Rachael’s Autumn Rose – this will ease my Fair Isle itch
  • I really would like to get some socks going too. Nothing fancy, just some ribbed socks. We’ll see.

 

I almost forgot! I fixed up the seams for the Baby Kimono. I think it looks 100 times better. I will block it again and iron it a bit and I think this will make it nice and smooth. Now all I need to do is weave in the ends and get some ribbon.

 

Baby Kimono

Baby Kimono

No More Monkey Business

I am putting the Mr Foster Monkey on hold for a bit. Not to say I won’t work on him at all, but not as fervently. I want to focus on getting my MIL’s cardigan done. It is coming along. I am holding a nice pace on the body now. Because I am worried about running out of yarn, I switched the colors around a little from how they are in the sleeves. I don’t think it will be badly¬†noticeable. As a matter of fact they suggest it in the book as a way to change things up and make it more interesting. I think being it is a fair isle design it will come out nice. ¬†Now that the body of the sweater is going strong I am enjoying this project much more.

I have finished the knitting up of the Baby Kimono sweater and started with the seaming yesterday. The sides came out beautifully, but the underarm seam looked awful! I took it all out and started a thread on Ravelry asking for suggestions for a nicer stitch for seaming these arms. Here is a picture of how it came out the first time.

 

Baby Kimono

Baby Kimono

I have gotten a couple of suggestions. One is a crocheted slip stitch which I may try. Or I will just try the grafting stitch again, but looser. You can see that my tension was not consistent and that may have been the problem. Here is another picture of it after. I will add that this Reynolds Rapture is soooo soft after blocking. Wow. Nice stuff.

 

Baby Kimono

Baby Kimono

And now for some depressing news. It has been nearly a month since I ordered my Jamiesons DK for the Alba Jacket I have been planning and it has not arrived. I spoke to Nina at Camilla Valley Farms where I had ordered it and she is putting a tracer on it. Hopefully it is just stuck in customs and it will arrive. I am hoping and praying it is not lost. If it is I will not be able to afford to replace it and the Alba Jacket will have to wait until next year. I am so disappointed. I should have had her insure it but did not think of it.

On a more happier note, I have sold a collectable book I owned for enough money to buy a sweater kit from Virtual Yarns! I ordered the Luskentyre. It was such a hard choice. I really love the Marina and Rona as well. Maybe someday I will be able to order these. The exchange rate has gone down enough that it is much more affordable to get these kits for VY and I did not want to miss my opportunity. This will not be on the project list for this year, but I will start it as soon as I can!

I have one more thing to share. I purchased a ‘pattern’ yesterday from Big Sky Knitting¬†and I am very impressed. It calls itself a pattern, but it is more like a booklette for top down knitting. It comes in 8 parts and in these parts each step of the construction is¬†meticulously¬†spelled out. These instructions can be used for many patterns if you want to knit them top down. I am going to try using it for Marc’s Duxbury Point Sweater that I will be making for him. I plan on starting this very shortly. The ‘pattern’ is by Janet Szabo and is called The Follow the Leader Aran Knit Along or FLAK. Great stuff and only $8! Worth every penny! You will be hearing more from me about how this works out!

New Beginnings

This week has been the week of new starts. Although I did not knit much this week, I did get a little in. For starters, I was able to get my Mr Foster sock monkey started. This is a kit that Knit Picks was selling and the kits sold out in less than 2 weeks! Glad I got mine. I think he is adorable. Here are his 2 arms. I know. Not much to look at yet.

 

Mr. Foster's arms

Mr. Foster's arms

I actually had a rough start with the arms but was able to get help on the KAL forum at the Knit Picks Ning site. I am actually learning new techniques by knitting this little guy. Figure 8 cast on is one of them.  I am really enjoying this!  I have decided I am going to put some wire in Mr Foster to make him posable. 

The other thing I started was the body of my Color Your Own sweater for my MIL. I am forcing myself to trudge along with this project. I will be more exciting once I start with the color work. I am hoping to get this done quick. I know my first one didn’t take long at all.

 

Color Your Own

Color Your Own

I still have not gotten my package from Camilla Valley Farms! I am getting so anxious. It has been 3 weeks since she sent it. If I don’t get it today I am going to give her a call. Hopefully she has some tracking on it and kind find out where the package is.

I have not started Rachael’s Autumn Rose (AR) yet. I may get that on the needles this weekend. I did get all my charts made up though. I have the entire sweater color charted on my computer specific to her size. This will make it a lot easier. The charts in the book are so small it is¬†ridiculous!¬†

Not much to talk about. Hopefully I will be posting my Alba color swatch soon and showing you the beginnings of the AR.

May run out of yarn

I am almost done with the Emma Peel dress for Victoria and I am almost certain I will run out of yarn. I went ahead and ordered more from Webs. I just hope the lots aren’t¬†noticeably¬†different.

 

Just the front shaping left to do

Just the front shaping left to do

I am also very excited about starting some new projects. I have ordered lots of new yarns and have received a lot of it already. All will be used to knit projects in my 2009 plan.

First package was from Knit Picks. I ordered their Palette yarns to make the Autumn Rose Sweater for Rachael.

 

Knit Picks Palette for Autumn Rose

Knit Picks Palette for Autumn Rose

You can see the swatch I knit this weekend using US2 which is what the pattern suggests. I had to go all the way up to 5s and I am still not getting gauge. I wonder if it is the yarn? I really don’t want to go higher than 5. I also think my sweater will have more tension than the swatch and it will be fine. I will get started on this maybe next weekend. I would like to finish the Emma Peel dress and get started on the Baby Kimono first.

I also bought some Simply Shetland¬†Silk &¬†Lambswool in¬†Ardvreck colorway. It is a beautiful coppery brown perfect for Marc! ¬†I was able to get it at a huge discount through the sale at Suzoo’s Wool Works. Great prices and free shipping!

 

To use for the Duxbury Point Pullover for Marc

To use for the Duxbury Point Pullover for Marc

I will not start this till much later. Marc’s birthday is not until December, so I have plenty of time.¬†

I am still waiting for the Jamieson’s DK from Camilla Valley Farms. As soon as that comes in I will knit up a swatch for gauge on the Alba Jacket. Can’t wait to see how that comes out! ¬†I have made a commitment to finish the Fair Isle sweater for my MIL before I start the Alba Jacket. I really need to get that thing done. I think it will be very uplifting for my MIL. She has been in a slump lately.¬†

Lots of new stuff coming on the needles soon!

Motoring Along!

I am quite confident I will have Victoria’s dress done by the end of the week. ¬†If I hadn’t ¬†of won this yarn I would never had made this dress. I don’t knit with cotton and the dress did not originally appeal to me. Now that I am more than half way through, I must say I am glad I did make it. It is not so bad knitting with this cotton yarn. I love the way the fabric feels. The colors are beautiful and I can see Victoria wearing this with a pair of pink leggings and a t-shirt underneath. ¬†Here we are so far. I would say about half way there.

 

Victoria's Dress

Victoria's Dress

Now about the color swatch for my special project this year, the Alba Jacket. I had all but 2 colors to create a swatch and be able to decide if the colors I chose would work when knitted up. I ordered from a US vendor and, well it was a bad choice. I won’t name the vendor, but I will say I won’t be ordering there again. If I need Spindrift in the future I will order from Schoolhouse Press. ¬†They ended up sitting on my order for a week. If I hadn’t of sent them an email it may have been longer. They replied saying they would mail it out the next day. I email and leave a vm asking them to¬†expedite¬†the shipping and that I would pay the difference. ¬†I never heard back from them and my order was not¬†expedited. I hate being ignored.

I ordered the Jamieson’s DK from Camilla Valley Farms. I would prefer to keep it in the US, but don’t want to chance that bad experience again. I have ordered from CVF a few times and always had great service. Another great buying experience was with SheEweKnits, but unfortunately she does not carry Jamieson DK.

While I was still waiting for these 2 colors to arrive I was alerted to a yarn sale from Marina on Ravelry. I went to the link and scapped up many of the colors I would need for a lot less! I saved about 40% off my purchase. It was a great deal and I am so grateful for the kindness and generosity many of the people show on Ravelry to help other knitters. Very inspiring. Eventually my 2 skeins of Spindrift came and I was able to knit up the color swatch. Glad I did because there were some colors that needed to be changed. It just wasn’t flowing. If you look at the band with the blue and browns towards the bottom, you will see my original color picks. It was too choppy and didn’t flow. The Cinnamon in the center was too dark as was the Chestnut. Also the blue I picked (Highland Mist) was too close to the China Blue in the center and was not letting the China Blue stand out.

 I replaced the Cinnamon with Sandlewood and then moved the Cinnamon to take the place of the Chestnut. I took out Highland Mist all together and used Twilight which is a little darker and lets the China Blue catch your eye. You can see the revised colors on the top. I did not have enough to knit a whole new swatch so I had to improvise. 

 

Alba Color Swatch

Alba Color Swatch

Here is a close up of the revised colors

 

Close up

Close up

I have had so much fun playing with the colors and creating this color scheme. I am rather proud of myself. It would not have been possible without the generous donation of samples from Marina though.  That was such a tremendous help.

Oh, by the way, I finally can return the book THe Celtic Collection by  Alice Starmore to the library. I found a copy at B&N up in Poughkeepsie. I was worried I would not be able to get a copy. I had ordered from Amazon, but they quickly changed the ship date to unknown which means one thing. They can no longer get the book. I think I got my copy just in time!

I also ordered Palette yarn from KnitPicks to make Autumn Rose for my DD Rachael. I will post pictures when that package arrives. I am so grateful for Knit Picks. There is no way I would be able to afford all this knitting without their affordable yarns. Just for comparison, the wool for Rachael’s sweater would have cost $110 if I purchased the recommended wool. With Knit Picks Palette it only cost me $40! This is not cheap wool either. It is a very decent wool to work with. The only draw back is the smaller color choices, but I hear they will be expanding the number of colors some time this year to about 80 different colors. This is not as many as Jamieson’s 190 colors, but it sure does open the creative opportunities even more. I just can’t say enough about Knit Picks!

That’s it for now. Hopefully I will be swimming in new yarn next time you hear from me!

Dreaming about colors

You know you have gotten too obsessed about Fair Isle when you start dreaming about colors. I have been really involved with planning a new project. I saw the Alba Jacket by Alice Starmore in her book The Celtic Collection and fell in love.  Since this time, I have made a lot of choices and have changed my mind just as much!

I tried to take my time and plan it well, but I may have jumped the gun a wee bit. Money is tight, so I was going to wait until after the tax return before starting it, but I really needed to see the yarn colors in person. I had also planned on making it with Spindrift. I had checked other people that had made this sweater and many of them used Spindrift.  Another knitter from Ravelry generously went through her stash and mailed me samples of many of the colors I was interested in, plus quite a few other colors. She also sent me 2 hanks of Jamieson DK. I ordered the rest of the colors from SheEweKnits and planned on just making a swatch for Gauge and to see how the colors turned out in the pattern. 

It wasn’t until after I got the yarn from Marina and knit up this hat for Victoria with it that I decided to use DK to make the sweater. Since I already had most of the colors now in Spindrift I went ahead and ordered 2 more that I need to make a color swatch in Spindrift as well. I have spent about $40 already on yarn I won’t use for the sweater. Not so good, but lesson learned.

 

Victoria hat made with Jamieson DK

Victoria hat made with Jamieson DK

So not only have I changed my mind on the yarn to use, but also the colors. Since getting the Spindrift and looking at it (see previous post) I have changed my mind. Here is an idea of what it may look like. Keep in mind I won’t know really until I get the 2 missing colors and knit up a swatch.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/26691858@N06/3239801977/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/26691858@N06/3240637822/in/photostream/

edited to add: I really did dream about colors last night!