Monday, January 14, 2008

Tilted Duster, Calmer Koolhaas, kooky cats, and more!

Hey everyone! I hope the new year is treating you well.

I am, as usual, a bit behind on my blog reading, but at least I got some knitting done : )


I did a bit of swatching a while ago:


And I got gauge for one of my projects right away... so I cast on and, like magic, it appeared (or rather, that's how it seems - due to my lack of in-progress blogging - doh!).

Tilted Duster (Interweave Knits, Fall 2007)
Berroco Peruvia, 100% Peruvian Highland Wool (174 yards / 100 g per skein), color 7180 "Alcaparrones," ~5.5 skeins
US 8 Knitpicks Options circular needle (32")

I made the 32" size, pretty much as written. I used the suggested yarn in a colorway (7180) that until recently didn't seem to exist except at Webs (where I bought it several months ago). Now Berroco's website has the color listed and it's called "Alcaparrones," the Spanish name for caperberries. (Cool! Now my Tilted Duster reminds me of capers - I can totally see that!) By the way, the yarn was really nice to work with... very soft, and I do love the (caper!) color. The gauge it's knit at produces a sturdy yet fluid fabric which looks great now, and hopefully won't pill too badly in the future.

Norah Gaughan's design is an interesting one - the two fronts are knit on the bias, then joined to the upper back piece before the "skirt" is picked up and knit downward. There are four buttons (two of which are visible) that close the deep, ribbed collar.


It's always a little challenging to pick up the correct number of stitches and seam the sleeves in neatly, however, the only real "excitement" (by which I mean, moment of terror) I had with this knit, was when I was pinning it out to block after washing. That's when I noticed that something had gone amiss during my bind-off, and one of the edge stitches had dropped a few rows. It didn't end up being a big deal - I let the sweater dry completely, rescued the dropped stitch with a crochet hook, and used a length of yarn to correct the situation - but it sure did give me a start when I first noticed it! Eeek! I guess I need to be more careful with my bind-off in the future : )

I don't usually go for super long (butt-covering) sweaters. They make me feel weird, as if they're emphasizing something they shouldn't be... however, I really like this design. It's definitely got a jacket/coat feel to it, and is very warm and comfortable to boot!

IMG_1569.jpg (inside out)
Koolhaas Hat (Interweave Knits, Holiday Gifts 2007)
Rowan Calmer, 75% cotton, 25% acrylic/microfibre (175 yards / 50 g per ball), color "Garnet," ~1 ball
US 5 Denise circular needle (~16")
US 7 Denise circular needle (~16") and dpns

I knit the womens size pretty much as written, but when I'd finished, I thought the hat wasn't deep enough. I debated frogging back the top decreases and adding another repeat, but I decided upon picking up stitches along the brim and knitting downward to make a fold up brim. I think it worked out pretty well.


I used a ball of Calmer that was leftover from my Fifi sweater, as the friend I made the Koolhaas Hat for has a wool allergy. It was a good substitution, I think : )


Two of the swatches shown in the first photo above (the light blue and "mulled wine" swatches) were attempts to get gauge for the Seeded Cables Cardigan by Sarah Heiniger from Sensual Knits, the lovely new book put together by Yahaira Ferreira. I just love this design! All the beautiful cables have me drooling...

I'm using Patons Classic Merino Wool in "Worn Denim" (that I got on sale at a craft store a while ago) and so far I'm liking the yarn quite a bit.


I was able to get stitch gauge with the Classic Merino, but not row gauge, so I decided to start with a sleeve in an effort to make a big gauge swatch (gauge is given in stockinette in the book, but I want to see how my gauge responds to all the cables before I start changing things up):


I've run into some issues with the instructions, some of which have now been added to the errata page, and some of which I'm waiting to hear back about - so this project is on hold for a bit.

Prize Yarn!

Cattywampus had a great challenge going in December to encourage people to donate to Heifer International. Her summary post about it is here - $4185 was raised!

By the luck of the draw, I won this gorgeous yarn donated by the very generous Ronni:


She even included a candy cane! Thanks Cattywampus & Ronni!

Knitting Accomplishments & Resolutions

Anphoe tagged me for a knitting accomplishments/resolutions meme, so here we go (Anphoe, you will notice I have a few things in common with you!):

In 2007 I accomplished the following (not necessarily in order):

1. I started my blog! (and subjected my cats to public knitwear humiliation)
2. I met some fellow knit bloggers in person.
3. I had great time at the New York Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck (related to #2) : )
4. I learned how to knit a sweater from the top down.
5. I learned to knit socks.
6. I joined my first mystery group (Mystery Stole 3).
7. I knitted my first lace weight project.
8. I made my first toys, one of which I designed myself (Octopus).
9. I did my first "model knitting."
10. I joined Ravelry.
11. I learned (well, started learning) to spin with a drop spindle.

On to 2008, and some KNITTING RESOLUTIONS for the new year:

1. I will try to knit from stash as much as possible.
2. I will learn to knit continental style.
3. I will try the magic loop method.
4. I will try out entrelac.
5. I will make more socks.
6. I will knit a bunch of colorwork projects and try steeking.
7. I will design and knit my husband a really cool (I hope!) cabled sweater.
8. I will try to design more of what I knit (which is hard, because there are already so many lovely patterns out there that I really want to knit!).
9. I will learn to spin on a spinning wheel (and maybe get one for myself) : )

Feel free to take this meme and run with it, if you'd like.

Gratuitous Kitty Photos : )

In my last post, I mentioned that Wendy of Catknits had included a cat toy in the wonderful package she sent me.


As you can see, the feathers are detachable, but the cats love the feathers on, hee, hee!

Here are a few shots of Moana giving it a little workout (every time she batted it onto the floor, I tossed it back in her cat bed - otherwise she would have been scooting around the house willy nilly, flinging the toy into the air and batting it crazily, far away from this well-lit corner of the couch).



P.S. Bug wouldn't participate in the photoshoot, but he was watching : ) He likes to pretend he's too dignified to play with it, but he'll occasionally stage a walk-by (you know, "I'm just walking along, minding my own business... and I absolutely do not see that fluffy, feathered toy laying there in my peripheral vision. And even if I do see it, which I don't, I really couldn't give a hoot. Do de do de do... do de do de do...) that is interrupted by a sudden, mad flailing attack on the unsuspecting toy. Yes, he's very dignified, indeed ; )


Anonymous said...

Lovely FOs, as always! Tilted Duster looks great on you!

Christie said...

very pretty sweater! great job!

SJ said...

Fabulous FOs! The Tilted Duster looks marvelous on you -- maybe even better than on the cover model. If I could get a guarantee that mine would look that good, I'd knit it in a second. (Of course, I don't have a 32" frame, so it wouldn't. And the butt skirt would stick out a lot farther.)

The_Add_Knitter said...

Nice save on the Koolhaas, I love the folded brim. What a great idea.

And those action shots of Moana are killing me!

Annie said...

Your Tilted Duster looks fantastic! Great yarn choice and looks like it fits you perfectly.

YarnSnob said...

your knits are ALWAYS so damn good!!Your'e such a fine knitter, tilted duster look great on you (Better than mag) Lovely FO :)

mel said...

I love your posts - they are always so meaty and entertaining! And never complete without fun kitty pictures ;)

Your Tilted Duster is lovely; and I love, love that sweater from sensual knits - I'm eager to see how yours turns out!!

sulafaye said...

Wow! So glad to see that the new year is treating you so well! The tilted duster is a beautiful knit, and fits you so well. That's a great color! I thoroughly enjoyed the kitty pics at the end--my 2 cats love those feathery things too. They've even been through enough to have figured out velcro (at least, the feather parts keep disappearing)!

So nice to see you around. ;)

jennsquared said...

I absolutely LOVE your FOs. Every single one of them! The sweater looks absolutely stunning on you. It didn't look that good on the model so I didn't even pay attention to it, but now I want to make one for myself! The Koolhass!

I have no words left.

ccr in MA said...

The duster looks great, and I *love* the cat-toy montage, as well as the walk-by playing description! Very entertaining, and such great photos (as usual).

Virtuous said...

Oh my goodness you can't stay away this long you had everything built up! LOL

Your duster came out very nice!! And I need to try out that Koolhas.

So glad I am one of your blogger friends! Hope we can meet up one day! :o)

soknitpicky said...

I am convinced you knit in your sleep. Otherwise how can you be this productive? :-) Your duster came out fantastic!

Kirsten said...

The Tilted Duster is fantastic! It looks great on you too!

The kitty photos are so much fun. I love the description of Bug trying to oh so casually walk by that toy.

S t a c i said...

Tilted Duster looks great! And it's totally flattering on you!

S t a c i

Anna said...

Your Tilted Duster is gorgeous and looks amazing on you. I want to start mine when I see it.
I can`t wait to see how the cabled cardigan goes. I have recently bought Sensual Knits and I love so many designs in there.

catknits said...

Your photography of your knits and "children" is just beautiful. The Tilted Duster,hat and WIP look like great projects. Also thank you for the lovely card.

Jana said...

I like the Koolhaas with the brim. And the Tilted Duster looks great!

And the cats are so cute, such personalities!

LizKnits said...

That sleeve looks great... I think the color with that cable pattern will be fab. I'm looking forward to seeing more of it.

Disentangled said...

I love the tilter duster! you did a great job...very inspiring!!

Erin said...

Oh my goodness...this is one of the best Tilted Dusters I have seen! Amazing work. It looks awesome on you.

Steph said...

I have to admit I didn't care for the Tilted Duster at all when I saw it in the magazine, but your version makes me reconsider. I love the dark color and the fit is great, it looks very elegant! Perfect buttons too!

Kara said...

That is one fab Tilted Duster. One of the best I have seen. Awesome job!

And the Koolhaas is great too!

Anonymous said...

Wow, your duster came out superb! And so did Koolhaas. Knitting has been very good to you this year, I see. Great jobs!

Schrodinger said...

Tilted duster looks great on you! What a successful knit :) Love how you extended koolhass too, nice job. And cute kitty pics :)

Anonymous said...

This fits you so if it was custom made for you. Beautiful fit!!! And yes...the color is fabulous!

Anonymous said...

The last comment was from me...

Yarn It said...

Your Tilted Duster looks great! I just started mine and it is knitting up very quickly. I love your Koolhaas too. I like the idea of adding the ribbing on the bottom. And you are knitting another one of my favorites - the seeded cables cardi! Can't wait to see more pics of it.

Tammy said...

Beautiful work!!!!

Your Tilted Duster came out great and I lOVE the color on Koolhaas.

Mrs MJW said...

Your tilted duster is lovely. Beatiful job!!!

Amy said...

Tilted duster looks fabulous, as does Koolhaas! But I'm most excited to see the sensual knits cardi. I've been drooling over that whole book since getting it from amazon a few weeks ago... nice to see you back!

Queen of the froggers said...

Tilted Duster is absolutly gorgeous, I wish I was as slim as you to carry clothes off so well ! What a great long post, kitty is cute!

sulafaye said...

PS Has anyone told you lately that you make my day? Check out my blog if you get a minute to play along. ;)

Oiyi said...

The duster is gorgeous! And the other fo's. Can't type too much with one arm holding the baby, :-)

Susan said...

That duster came out so good! And I like your kitty.

Susan said...


Your Tilted Duster looks so good!
Love IT!

(love ALL your knits!) ;)

Amy said...

(Also? You *totally* make my day.)

sue said...

The Tilted Duster looks fabulous on you, it makes me want to knit one too. I love the koolhaas hat and red is always a great choice. Your cat is so cute and reminds me of our Meg who is now 8 yrs old. Obviously the cat toy is a big hit!

Kasia said...

Love your FOs! I had to laugh like crazy becasue Tilted Duster is on my needles right now and it was funny to see that we're working on the same project. Sorry for the long silence, but we had a terrible internet issue and it just got repaired... so last 4 weeks I've been mostly offline :( But now the witch is back ;)

soknitpicky said...

I gave you a You Made My Day award :-)

Beth said...

Wow, I've looked at these pictures before and am still amazed by the duster. Heck, I'm amazed by the hat. I can say, thanks to you, I've started learning more difficult stitches, so wanted to stop by and give you a big thanks!