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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Basic Chic Hoodie

While the terrain seems subdued with arctic light these days, inside Chez Chic the color JUMPS.

Nothing better than a project with a little VAVaVOOM to keep the attention span alight. Now I’m all about going the Mamma Bear route and hibernating in the cave, but more than a luxurious Saturday afternoon nap just de-winds the clock.

Bringing a little color into the picture indoors makes it relaxing and productive. I went stash diving and came up with some unexpected fun. This yarn was from a long forgotten field trip to the Fold; it’s named Deluxe Worsted LP (by Universal, color 01). Now this is interesting stuff. It’s alot like a big sister to the painted sock yarns you see around with lovely self-striping action that removes all the fuss of changing skeins and weaving in ends. I wasn’t sure what the effect would be, having seen some garments made from a type Universal makes that is faux fair isle (and a lot of fun), but this knitted up into gracefully progressing color areas instead.

Keeping one simple stockinette project on the needles is my version of the Evening Cocktail: refreshing, relaxing and uncomplicated. So once again, we’ve cast on for a Basic Chic Hoodie and are sailing right along.

Off-road in in the Frog Pond: my deep chocolate Ariann has gone back to the future. After getting 3/4 of the way done with the body, I re-checked my gauge because something seemed to be moving in a direction I couldn’t live with. The yarn I was using is so sproingy (!?!) that after knitting it doesn’t stabizie or relax and get larger, it compresses and gets smaller. Another yarn that behaves like this? Rowan Calmer, which although it is a DK weight yarn, requires one to use much larger needles to acheive the standard 22/30 gauge that type of yarn usually gets.

I liked the Calmer so much I was willing to spend some time climbing its learning curve. The result? Really pretty fabric with actually no fuss or muss on my part than to just take that Leap of Faith and pick up a different size needle. My Chocolate yarn is much the same. It has so much tensile spring it is going to take a much bigger needle to knit with.

Finding something out like this is an AHA! moment for me and makes me focus and even gladly, rip out the work. I had this conversation with my new hairdresser (waa! the old one moved away!). She’s a beginning knitter and terrifed at ripping anything out. But she is at that happy place where you decide that you simply cannot knit that Hundreth Scarf but MUST make a sweater. She’s going to have a baby, so her sweater can be a little more gentle excursion into that terrain. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with — my haircut was pretty darn good ;p

Friday, January 16, 2009

This little number is now big enough to be considered a Lap Blanket! Given the fact that it is now -17 degrees these days, I need all the help I can get! NOTHING keeps you warm like down and wool and by gum, if I have to resort to putting on the down vest inside today, WHY NOT?! ;p

I also have a glider chair in my living room and it works up a little more heat to knit and glide. Its footstool also glides at the same time so I’m just incredibly happy knitting away on my latest Stockinette as Tranq sweater.

The little lace pattern along the front edges is delighting me as well; the color breaks are all over the place but the overall effect is working en masse. I’ve switched up to another varieagated colorway for the body of the piece and it’s going to be a seriously fun look once the bands and finishing is done…

WHY SO SERIOUS!? Well, once again I fiddled with the layout on ye olde blog here. The past one appeared too crowded to me looking with 2009 eyes. I like to see the pictures and they were not surrounded by enough white space to relax and enjoy the show.

So IF this blog looks wonky on your browser, hit the REFRESH button and reload the page completely. On IE, I had to flush my cache as well, being the tenacious little brat that it is. Usually, I work and surf on Firefox on a Mac but also have IE on my laptop and work computer. (BTW, IMHO, the higher resolution available for your screen viewing also enhances the look, but I hate to post that right on the site.)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


While I’m waiting for the Chicago area’s first above- freezing temperature in 5 days, I’m knitting something warm and comfortable and colorful! By the time the crocus are pushing their way through the chill spring air, maybe I’ll be wearing a bright welcome…

The Body of my current Stockinette St project is FINI!

(Except for the pockets, hee.)

chicmuseI don’t know why, but when a major portion of a garment gets to this stage, it just seems like a natural thing to stop and do some happy dance.

The front lace panels were extended all the way to the hem this time. I love the way the lace waves the colorplays in this yarn.

Paula writes: “Your reference to the shoulder being more stable with set-in sleeves – is this why you didn’t begin the lace pattern on the basic chic hoodie till further down on the sleeve? I’ve seen some raglans where the lace pattern starts up at the neck and was wondering if you tried this and found that it spread too much under the stretch over the shoulder?

That’s a great idea! I like it. But in the case of the Basic Chic Hoodie lace detailing, it was actually a design decision instead of a structural one. You can see that the pattern wants to go UP in the middle, so I took advantage of that characteristic by starting the lace further down from the neckline. It makes a medallion, of sorts when done this way, and the position at the top of the arm looks like a crest (actually slightly above where I have a tatoo!)

For this version, I might omit the sleeve lace and leave all the focus on the front band. What do you think?

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