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Fall has finally arrived to the lower half of the US.  With this cooler weather comes a sudden urge to KNIT.  If only I could spend the day on my couch, knitting away under a warm blanket.  OK, so it’s not that cold here yet!  So no blanket then.  The little dude asked me yesterday if I would make him a hat.  A black hat to match his “spider” jacket.  (basic black Spider brand jacket). 

Here’s what I am thinking: 

Thorpe  using Berroco Peruvia Quick.  Eventhough he said black, I am thinking more of a black and charcoal grey stripe with a pom-pom on top.  I love this pattern and have used it several times.  Knits up super quick with the bulky yarn.  I may even try out the fair isle design in lieu of the stipes.  Thoughts?
Photo and pattern:  by Kristen Kapur from Through the Loops
As for me…  Not really sure yet.  I could probably use a Thrope of my own.  In fact, I have a nice little stash of Malabrigo Chunky in Paris Night (YUMMY!!).  4 skeins to be exact.  I also have two skeins of Malabrigo Worsted in Polar Morn just begging to be made into a hat and matching scarf.  Tough choices…  What’s your favorite scarf pattern? 
Random question…  Do you think it’s totally nuts to try and take an online class next semester?  Baby is due March 8th and the class is from Jan. 18th to May 16th.  Since it’s online, it’s somewhat at my own pace.  I’ll have deadlines of course, but they will be spread out. 
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I am happy to introduce the newest member of the Fiber Fervor family.  Please give a warm welcome to, Pumpkin Spice:

IMG_3903100% Organic Merino Wool, DK – 220 yards per skein

I am in the process of ordering more of this particular base and will be updating my shop in the near future with new colorways.

(Check out the progress I made on Honeycomb last night.  Bottom rib band done and now officially workin’ on the body!)

This past weekend was rather successful, knitting wise.  While I don’t have any finished projects to speak of, I did make a lot of progress on my current projects.  Soooo I think I really want to start yet another project.  Here’s the catch:  I want to wear it on Thanksgiving.  I know, I know, Turkey Day is right around the corner!  You see, this is our first BIG Thanksgiving.  We have family coming in from the east coast and well, I just want it to be perfect, including my Thanksgiving Day attire.

The pattern is Honeycomb from Knitty, Spring 2008.  The yarn is Fiber Fervor, Organic  Merino DK in color, Pumpkin Spice.  I dyed the yarn this past weekend and the color is SO yummy.  Here is a sneak peak.  My coworker was super nice and snapped a photo with her swanky new phone.  Thanks Lindsey!

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This is totally doable right?  I mean, it’s a shell/vest.  That shouldn’t take too long to knit right?  The husband told me last night that there was no way I could finish it in time.  He seems to think that the closer the time comes for family to arrive, that I am going to go all nuts and deep clean the house.  Like I have ever done that before!  HA!   I have 10 days to knock this out .  Am I totally crazy for taking this on right before a houseful of guests arrive?

No doubt this is the first of many more posts regarding the oh so beautiful, Autumn Rose Pullover.  As most of you know, prep work is a crucial part to any project.  In fact, it’s just plain stupid to skip this step.

STEP ONE: Scour Ravelry and read as many descriptions of other people’s Autumn Rose as you can.  Next to checking gauge, this step can also save you a lot of tears and heartache.  A lot of my prep work was taken from advice that others gave.  I LOVE Ravelry!!  What an awesome tool.

STEP TWO: Recreate chart!   I would love to meet the person who made this chart and ask them if they seriously thought someone could actually use it.  It’s teeny tiny and uses  a light gray as the contrast color.  Not even my scanner could pick up the pattern clearly.  So, enter Excel and at least one hour of recreating the chart.  While it was a PITA (pain in the ass), it will certainly be very useful.

STEP THREE: Draw schematic and take measurements!  (Advice from a Raveler!)  Here is how I did this…Use a sheet of graph paper and let each box represent 1″ in life size.  I started with how long, from top of shoulder to bottom I wanted the pullover to be and went from there.  Noting, how deep I want the scoop neck to be and so on.  Since this pullover will not be stretchy, it is important to take accurate measurements!

STEP FOUR: Next, I whipped up a swatch in order to check my gauge.  Normally checking gauge is boring (SO necessary though!!!), but not with this pullover.  Getting to see a small little preview of what this beautiful sweater will someday be was very rewarding.  Using size 2 Adi Turbo needles, my gauge was spot on.

STEP FIVE: Break out calculator and have fun with some numbers to determine how many stitches to cast on!  This part always freaks me out a bit.  However, ever since I made Diane’s Dress, I am a lot more confident in this area.  It’s important to re-check multiple times.  You do NOT want to mess this part up.  I also took into consideration how many stitches each “Rose” consisted of.  Since this pullover is worked in the round form the bottom up, I did not want one of the ‘rose’s’ to just stop in the middle and the next begin.

STEP SIX: Cast on and let the real fun begin!!

Its been a couple of days since cast on and I am still making my way through the bottom ribbing (300+ stitches per round takes forever!).  The yarn (Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift) is way different from anything I have ever used.  I normally pick yarn based off  of softness and this yarn is anything but soft.  It’s very wiry and took a bit to used to, especially while doing color work.  On the plus side, because of the wiriness, the fair isle really holds together and looks stunning.   As soon as I have something a little more interesting than ribbing, I will take some photos and share!

IMG_3087Fair Isle Sock pattern from Socks in The City, Kroy Sock Yarn

OK, so I got the yarn for my first Patons project and have been trucking away on these fair isle socks.  I have never, until now, realized how tedious fair isle knitting can be.  Probably because I am making socks.  Thin yarn, loads of stitches and LOTS of concentration.  This is not a project in which I can read and knit at the same time.  In order to help combat the cursing and headaches, I am using my super cool chart keeper thingie from KnitPicks.  Every lace, cable or fair isle knitter NEEDS this thing.  I redid the fair isle pattern on my computer.   Blew it up to a size that is actually, you know, readable.  However, I am STILL getting lost!!!  I need suggestions people.  How do you organize your fair isle projects?

NEW YARN!!!!

OK, so doesn’t this yarn look YUMMY?!?!?!  Seriously, I could fondle it all day long.

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Lilypad Lace is going to be a hard skein to part with one day.  I might even shed a tear at the post office.

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I also added Rainbow Sorbet to my Organic Sock Yarn line.

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Visit FiberFervor.Etsy.com for more details!!

Found a GREAT buttonhole tutorial.  Got it off of the February Lady Sweater patten by Pam over on Flint Knits.  I am currently working on a FLS for my MIL for her birthday coming up (rather quickly in “knit time” I might add) in September.

VOILA, a buttonhole!

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Oooooooo, a buttonhole.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  Not the most exciting thing you have ever seen.  Really I just wanted to share the great buttonhole maker tutorial!

I leave you with a preview of the FLS:

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I am fully dedicated to try and finish up the knitting portion of this project by the weekend.  Think it can be done?  Wanna place a bet?  Still haven’t chosen a fabric for the lining.  Still haven’t decided on a button.  Still haven’t decided as to how I will do the strap.  Anyone know where I can find a canvas/twill (not even sure what this is called) strap?  Like 2 inches wide?  If I knit the strap then it will have to have a fabric lining like I did on the Brea bag.  That was a B*TCH by the way 🙂  Reason being is that I will do anything not to sew.  For the life of me, I cannot sew in a straight line.  Instead, I use that “tape” stuff that you iron in.  The tape make it super thick and really hard to hand sew through.  Guess I could just iron the seam and not use the tape.  If I am sewing it in place it shouldn’t matter right?  Sewing people, I need your help here!

Alright, a big thanks to Andrea over at That Craft Blogge for suggesting Quilthome.com for my great fabric search of 2009. I have come up with 4 choices for the lining of the bag I am knitting for a friend.

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A:  Lotus AB12-Sand by Amy Butler

B: Andalucia DC3904 – Kiwi by Patty Young

C: Ginger Bliss D982-314 by Amy Butler

D:  Lotus AB12-Apricot by Amy Butler

Sooooooo, which one shall I choose?!?!  They are all awesome.

With all of this talk about dyeing yarn I have barely spoken about any knitting.  Currently I am working on 4 different projects.  A little here, a little there and before I know it, I will be all finished.  Every night after I get done dyeing I finally sit down for a little R&R.  Knitting is SO relaxing to me.  It clears my head and sets my ‘worries’ free.  Well at least for the time while I am knitting.  Recently I have discovered that if I am working on something that is straight up knitting (no switching stitches or counting) that I can read WHILE knitting.  How cool is that?!?!  The only problem I run into with that is being able to hold the book without it closing.  I usually prop something up on the pages to keep it open.

Anyways, projects…

I am still working on Rusted Root.  If I am able to commit two four hours of non-stop knitting to this, I should be able to wrap it up.

Still working on this other sweater that I originally thought would be my own design.  After realizing that I did not want to commit the time or effort to doing this I decided on a pattern, Glee.  OMG is this pattern B-O-R-I-N-G.  While I know the finished product will be great, I am still having a hard time working on it.  I am almost to the point where I put the arms on scrap yarn (raglan /top-down style).  Should I continue or figure out a new pattern?

This past weekend I casted on another bag, Aho by Berroco.  I really love their patterns.  Super easy to follow and very satisfying in terms of keeping me busy.  This is a long overdue b-day present for one of my oldest (and bestest) friends.  We have known each other since we were 14!  I need to find a killer fabric for the lining.  I have been to a couple of local stores and haven’t found a darn thing.  Any suggestions?

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I guess technically I only have 3 projects on the needles (well ‘active’ projects – the hibernated ones are a story for another day).  I do however have the yarn all wound up and ready to go for the February Lady Sweater (YAY) for my Mother in law.  I hope to start this very soon.  This is going to be her birthday present from me this year.  I hope she likes it!!

Alright, FABRIC IDEAS.  I need some help people.  I love retro prints!!  Also, I need a super duper cool button for the front flap.

rusted-rootFor the last couple of months I have been working steadily on a summer sweater (Rusted Root) for myself.  In fact, this is the first project that I have ever made for myself and also the first sweater.  Sounds crazy, especially since I have been knitting for a little over 3 years now!  So far it is going great.  Had a little trouble with the lace pattern in the beginning, but then a very good friend of mine whipped up a sweet lace chart for me (thank you!!).  I definitely recommend practicing the lace chart a couple of repeats before starting the sweater.  I think I ripped out the sweater 3 or 4 times before I finally got it right.  Casting on over 100 stitches multiple times gets old.  Row 3 of the lace chart is a little tricky with the YOs, especially if this is your first time knitting lace.  Currently I am about 2 inches past where I put the sleeves on scrap yarn and began working the body.  When looking at the sweater, I feel like I am so much further along than I really am.  I know this because last night I decided to put the entire body on scrap yarn so I could try it on.  Um, yeah, it doesn’t even clear my boobs yet!  HA – I have SO much further to go.  So, so much.  I have at least 2 maybe 3 full inches (picture was taken about a week ago) to go until I can even think about shapping.  Also, I am really glad I went with a size medium.  You want this sweater to be  fitted in order to see the lace pattern.  That is after all the main focus of the sweater.  I am happy I took the time to try this sweater on last night.  Now  I am  feel confident that it will actually fit.