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November 27, 2006

a long trip to fair isle

DSCN0771.JPGmotifs are big and small, i'm not at one with fair isleDSCN0783.JPGmotifs are stretched out when wearingDSCN0780.JPGclose up reveals it all


fair isle knitting is still a slow process for me. these pictures where taken couple weeks ago, i just started decreasing for calf yesterday.

norwegian stocking is definitely a great learning pattern but not so sure if it is a good beginner's pattern for fair isle. i first had struggle with knitting with two hands. it was so awkward. i think i am getting better using left hand to knit the contrast color but getting the tension consistent is still pretty sad. one of the reasons i knit so slow was i had to manually adjust stitches by pulling yarns stitch by stitch. it was very tiring and non-productive. i had tried to knit with just right hand, but my stranding looks better when knitting with two hands. plus, it would look so cool when and if i master two hand knitting.

anyway, i can't wait to knit the heels and gusset. that's like the coolest part of this pattern.

still in the thanksgiving mood. i cooked a huge turkey this year and we had so much leftovers. i had to cook a new batch of stuffings to go with the turkey last night. a friend was having a birthday bash saturday night, he made some gl├╝hwein (he's german), and we even went this bar for some authentic german beer. i love this place, it is like walking into a bar in europe, so small but cozy.

waiting for christmas and our january trip to china. i am on a quest to hunt down some cashmere yarn and silk fabric. but let's save it for another post.

November 21, 2006

railway socks

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then, he takes off his shoes to show the handknit railway socks...

wait for it...

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oh my god why is there a hole in the sock?

ok, let's try to contain. just focus on the socks (after all, the hole is definitely repairable (come to think of it, the hole was probably due to my lousy weaving job. and i forgot to tighten the stitches after the kitchener bind-off, sigh.)

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knit project: railway socks by nancy bush's vintage socks
difficulty (1-5): 1.8
size: men's (follow the pattern)
yarn: sandnes garn's sisu in color 1088 &1032
knitting specs: US 0 cir.

despite the hole, this is a very nice pair of socks. so he tells me. this is probably one of those projects that the progress was not as exciting as the end product. i did not enjoy knitting with size zero needles, for many obvious reasons, speed for one, safety for another. it's easy to stab yourself with sharp, pointy needles. plus a dark color yarn... i was really glad when it was over. though now i had to do the repair. which kind of puts me back two steps.

the yarn. a couple thoughts. sisu is soft, but not as soft as sundara's or koigu or those high-end 100% pure merino wool sock yarns alike. but price wise, sisu beats all of them. plus i have yet to expose my husband to high end luxury sock yarns yet. i want to do this one step at a time. sisu holds up really well in the wash (we're talking about toss it in washing machine and dryer). it kind of softens up a little, too. an unexpected bonus. i still have a couple balls in lavendar, which will be a pair of socks for me.

but it's very comfortable, husband loves this pair the most, and hopes that i'll continue to knit socks for him. he gave me a thumbs up for encouragement and appreciation. i guess it's safe to say that there will be more knitting for men's accessories and possibly sweaters in the future at whispering pine.

November 20, 2006

striped scarf

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he puts on a pair of jeans, a suede jacket and the scarf i made for him. he models for my blog.

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knit project: striped scarf for husband
difficulty (1-5): 1.2
size: approx 6 inches wide, 72 inches long
yarn: cascades's cloud 9 in color 116 and 119
knitting specs: US 7 dpn

cloud 9, soft and luxurious just like its name suggests. i think it is a great yarn for a simple scarf like this. it is a blend of merino and angora fiber, i expect to see some shedding, so far it has been quite forgivable, as far as angora yarn goes. my husband said that it itches a little after wearing it for a while (!?). but he still loves it very much.

i was searching for a very long time for luxury yarns with strong, saturated colors. to my surprise, there hasn't been many. i almost went with malabrigo's buttery merino yarn. i am not sure still if that would have been a better choice. let that be the next scarf, perhaps.

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to make a scarf personal, i embroidered husband's initials with duplicate stitches. and trust me, they were not as easy as it appears. but i love the end result. very sweet.

tubular scarf, like this one, knitted entirely in stockinette, jogless stripes technique was employed and it really made a world of difference! finally, tubular cast off sealed the ends.

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tomorrow, the railway socks.

November 15, 2006

with wings...

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you must not doubt my progress of butterfly, as it has definitely been growing at a steady speed. i knit it in round so photographing the delicate lace becomes difficult. without proper the light, it looks like a grey cat with beads.

here, you see subtle hints of the diamond motif. i so adore this shade of grey, it has a little bit of lavendar in it. knitting lace in round, especially with shaping, alters the motifs a little. i'm not sure if what i am doing is correct, but i have maintained symmetry. it looks okay. i have not seen this being dicussed anywhere in butterfly related knitting posts.

my aforementioned outfit for this cami is still non-existing. maybe i should come up with another. but then again, i haven't been out shopping. things could be different now.

my husband has been busy, hence the socks and the striped scarf are still waiting to be presented here. he loves the scarf, i even put embroidered initials on it. the yarn is wonderful, and i promise to say more later with pictures.

November 13, 2006

color wheel

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red, orange and peach carnations from last weekend's dinner party

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beautifully dyed sock yarns from a pattern swap (thank you, sundara!)

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striped scarf for husband

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i really have not been inspired to write much lately. there has been so much going on, i feel perpetually tired after work, my mind has been planning the thanksgiving menu, the house is a mess... and cats want attention! and my knitting projects are growing like mad.

just some pictures for now.

November 07, 2006

0.25mm of difference

while we were taking the halloween pictures last weekend, we also took pictures of the finished railway socks (my socktoberfest socks)- they look even more beautiful on feet. the sun was so lovely that afternoon, i also had some progress of my butterfly documented. but why they are not posted, you ask? well, my camera/computer interface screwed up, and one of them ate the pictures.

since then the sun was gone, the rain had started... the winter is approaching.

i started the norwegian stockings last week and was making great progress. until of course when i tried the sock on, it was way to tight. my stitches were so tight and ugly that it was shameful to even show you the pictures (hence no pictures). then i realized that i had been knitting this thing on a size 1 needle all along.

stocking was ripped! the second (or third, if you count the first one) attempt seemed to be better, or much looser. fairisle is a tricky business.

it would be unbearable to write off fair isle for it is the art of knitting. i can't not be good at fair isle, especially after seeing hege's recently finished sweater, and those gorgeous solveig hisdal sweaters she was showing on her blog. and eunny's gorgeous design. gosh, that was a true work of art!

let's hope the weather gets better soon in atlanta.