Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Little Diversion

Whilst chugging along with the Celtic Stole (halfway there!) and my endless supply of "Say a Little Prayer" fiber to be spun, plied, finished, etc. I was assailed by a small attack of startitis. Only a little one. Here's what caught my eye.

The pattern calls for Cascade Fixation, but I decided to try it in Shachenmayer Nomotta Stretch Only, which stretches just like Fixation, but is somewhat softer. The only color I could find was red. No problem. I love red; it goes great with denim. So a few weeks later, here we are --

Aside from the yarn choice, there is another key difference between my tank and the original top. Mine is modified for the more mature figure, i.e. wider straps to conceal the necessary lingerie beneath. It was an easy change; I just omitted the last few decreases at the arm edge, bound off fewer stitches at the neck, and then did fewer decreases at that edge too. Not so much knitting at that point but a LOT of trying on.

This project, more than any other, made me thankful for my Knitpicks Harmony interchangeable circs. So simple to unscrew the tips from one cable and pop them onto another so the back and front could be worked at the same time.

I'm eager to make another of these tops, this time with muli-colored Cascade Fixation. Got my eye on a nice combo of navy, beige, and brown. Should go well with denim.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ah, The Scent of Wet Wool!

At last! I have blocked the Pastiche Shawl that I finished knitting in March. And it came out rather larger than expected, 76" wingspan and 36" down the back. It's going to be nice and cozy when the cold winds blow. Behold the classic wingspan pose.

And the blocking was a breeze. For two reasons: 1) a dandy bar-height countertop between the living room and the kitchen, and 2)a Pattern Cutting Board acquired from Joann's (for a mere $10). Actually I bought two of the boards, 'cuz they're only medium-thick cardboard, and put a beach towel in between. Here's the set-up.

And after a carefree session of pinning while standing -- let me just repeat here -- STANDING at the counter, here is Madame Pastiche all blocked out. Despite being folded in half she dried quickly and was ready for her glamour shots the next day.

It's always fun trying to take pictures of yourself. I did the mirror maneuver . . .

and the "perch the camera on a barstool, point it at the wall, and set the timer" maneuver

As you can see, the shawl coordinates nicely with denim, my favorite fashion fabric.