Thursday, July 30

Oscar Cable Update!

aka "Laziness vs. Patience...You Decide"

Three years ago, I saw this Oscar de La Renta Sweater in the runway highlights and thought, "Holy Big-Ass Cables, Batgirl! How can I knit this?" Then, the store version came out for a mere $2200, 100% cashmere. I knew I could make this sucker for way cheaper and I'd use a wool/cotton blend to work in central Texas. I ordered the Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in the 'cottonball' colorway and set to swatching. I looked into all sorts of cables in Barbara Walker...'Giant Braided Plait' comes to mind as well as as fiddling with changing needle sizes, increasing before the cable row then decreasing after, working a few rows on a separate dpn and then cabling those stitches. I got bogged down into pattern details and adjusting for different sizes. Friends would send me links to any really big cables they saw. Phildar has a nice one in their Phildar № 006 Créations, Automne-Hiver/Fall-Winter 2008/2009 issue. (thanks, Ravelry) I even ordered that edition, but it wasn't enough to stir me from my jotted notes and over-researched stupor....
Oscar Cable sweater

and then, while I was perusing the latest issue of Interweave Knits(Fall/09) I saw this....

I just knew if I was patient and/or lazy enough that somebody would 'adapt' this design with a few tweaks and publish it. Here, check it out for yourself at the skacel collection website. So, I hope all the knitters in the Yahoo aran knitters group and the devoted blog souls who have long given up on me will now turn their energies to knitting up this pattern and kvetch about it on Ravelry. I just can't handle that kind of pressure right now. But.....

You know, I'm not so sure I'd run that smaller cable up the arms. I think it makes for a slightly jurassic look and, goodness knows, I'm old enough as it is. And I just bet that neckline is folded over which means supertoasty---not a good thing here in TX. And what about cable splay at the hem and sleeve edges? Now, I just know I could do better.......!????

Saturday, July 18

Stop the presses.....

it's an effing FO!!!!

Klaralund shell, front
Sleeveless Klaralund from the Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton Hand Knitting Collection, Book Number Two. Queensland Collection Pima Fresca, emerald. Size: extra large.

Klaralund shell, back viewKlaralund shell, close-up
I was planning on making three-quarter length sleeves when I started this in July 2008. I put it down, picked it up this spring and thought short sleeves would be better. I put it down, picked it up again this summer and decided that sleeveless would be best if I ever wanted to wear it in this decade. I worked the 14 row garter stitch border, then 6 repeats of the extended garter stitch pattern before knitting a shorter garter stitch border for the neckline. I made an extra large because I was that much bigger last summer, so it fits nicely across my bust and a little loose around the waist. It's in the dryer right now after I chucked it in the washing machine, so the Pima Fresca should shrink just enough.

It's a real confidence booster to finish something after all this time. Especially something that's cute and actually fits. I had someone contact me on Ravelry about the Noro Tibiori that's in my stash. I found the yarn and had completely forgotten that I was going to make a little crochet top from 'Amazing Crochet Lace.' I had made one motif and poof! got distracted by something shiny....I'll send her the yarn as I rather help out a desperate knitter than wait on my powers of concentration to return. But that hasn't stopped me from looking at patterns....recent faves include:
Featherweight Cardigan from
that calls for Malabrigo Lace. I have 2 skeins of Robincat's hand-dyed laceweight wool/silk in the green/blue/wow 'Dinosaur tops' colorway that would be perfect for an arranged marriage with a happy ending.
Paloma from French Girl Knits that calls for Louet MerLin Sportweight. I would shop the stash for a substitute.
Sanpoku from Berroco. More stashbusting.

And, then again, I could pick up another UFO and, you know, FINISH IT!

Friday, July 3

Why, hello stranger.....

Me and HPNY hanging out at Zabar's.

Welcome back to the constantly morphing planet of Mary, Mary! Let's see what all has happened since I last posted. Oh, gosh, I have lost about 25 pounds. This was due in part to the adrenaline, anxiety and stress caused by my recent divorce. Yes, I know, big effing life change doings. It was mutual and we're much happier as friends and co-parents than spouses. It's a huge transition for all of us, but I think we'll get there in the end. Texting your kids nonstop is my idea of an umbilical cord. Anyway, I had a few days free and recently ran off to New York City to see old and new-ish friends. I did pick up 2 skeins of Alchemy Pagoda, Costa Brava colorway on a quick trip to Knitty City w/Hila(HPNY). I started a cluster pattern scarf but have ripped it out because the texture of the fiber totally obscured the stitch pattern. Something simpler and bit more dramatic--double YOs--may do the trick. There is a nice scarf pattern in the summer VK with dropped stitches, but I am a little worried that it is a bit delicate for the wear&tear of a lacrosse/soccer mom. And then.....

I am a finishing geek and I blocked my friend Jane's 360 degree Feather and Fan shawl. I'm not sure what pattern she used, but it spread out beautifully. I used a million t-pins to enhance the crochet edge.

And I think you can see for yourself how happy Jane was with the results...

and let's take a look at the back...

She's getting ready to go to Knitting Camp in Wisconsin and if she doesn't kick some KC butt, then I will be sorely disappointed. I forgot to mention that she knitted a hat out of my old old Gameboy charger cords mixed with Malabrigo and buttons.
Jane. Rocks.

Imagine sitting on that roof deck on the right and listening to Gogol Bordello while drinking an ice cold beer on a lazy summer night. Cheers, New York!