I'm back! Now that I have a working computer (and a nice shiny laptop at that), a camera, an easy way to upload things and time to knit those things, I actually get to post here again! It feels great.
WARNING: Long post ahead! I've been gone a while, and I have a lot to say!
I just finished Hew, but I haven't taken any good pictures of it yet, so I won't post those yet. I've also done some other stuff in my absence from blogging, but nothing major and nothing I have pictures of. I didn't get a lot of knitting time when I was working two jobs. Everything's coming together now though. (It feels better than you can even imagine.) I'll have to remember to get pictures of Hew. And my version of the Baroness Beret (PDF link), which turned out more like a slightly loose beanie than a beret, but I'm really happy with it. I've also been working on-and-off on Bayerische during lulls between projects, and I actually have good pictures of my progress on that, but I'm not sure where they're hiding at the moment so they'll have to wait a while.
Oh, I also knit a black hat for a Wal-Mart coworker, but it was kind of a nightmare to get the sizing right on that one and we just won't talk about it.
I think that's pretty much all I've done, except for a basic baby beanie and booties. And part of a baby sweater that got lost and wasn't found until after the birth, so it's now been set aside to wait for the next boy baby. Except not really the next, because the next one gets something extra-special. The sweater's made of baby blue acrylic, anyway...I can do better than that for special little boys that are born to special knitter friends. ;)
Anyway, in the meantime, here's stats on the Hew and the beret.
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Classic AL, color 05: Aged Wine
Needles: Size 4 bamboo unknown brand (whatever it was I purchased at Knit during my honeymoon in Charleston!)
Started/Finished: completely unsure; this was my go-to project for several weeks whenever I had a few spare minutes to knit between phone calls and meetings and proofing pages at work
Comments: I love this sweater/shrug/bolero/mini-sweater/boobholder. I hated knitting the thing. First of all, my gauge was off. I don't remember exactly how much, but it was off. Also, the pattern was too large and had to be sized down, just like most things I knit for myself. So I figured out the necessary math and got started. I knit and knit and knit and never seemed to get anywhere. It was the never-ending sweater. Then I finally got to where nothing was left but the ties and the neckband...and promptly ran out of yarn. I found a girl (lifesaver) on Ravelry with one skein in the same colorway/dyelot that she didn't plan to use and was willing to sell me for the original purchase price. So I got it and got back to work, only to get barely more than halfway through the neckband and run out of yarn again. No way was I buying more yarn; this was supposed to be a stash-busting project. So I ripped the entire neckband and reknit a smaller one. I didn't have enough yarn to go all the way around the back, so I just knit the neckband to the top of the sleeves and sewed it to the back of the sweater. It poofs up a little on the shoulders, but it doesn't look bad. Kinda like a design feature, actually. Plus, I'm pretty sure it'll settle down once I finally get around to blocking the sweater. Incidentally, I think there would've been too much fabric bunched up around my shoulders if I had knit the neckband all the way around, so...well, let's just say the entire sweater was a learning experience. And a real pain in the butt.
Yarn: Misti Alpaca sport/fingering in cream; I don't remember the yarn's exact weight or colorway because it was originally purchased for use as a Christmas gift. (I didn't skimp on the gift. I just decided to use rose-colored yarn instead.)
Needles: I think size 3 metal dpns...they've kinda been the needles of choice lately for anything that will work at all on them
Start/Finish: No idea; it's been a while. It didn't take long to knit, I know that. And I guess it had to be some time in January, because I know I didn't start until after Christmas, and I wore the hat during the infamous ice storm of late January/early February 2009.
Comments: Unlike Hew, the hat was a completely enjoyable knit and I love the finished product. I had doubts when I first started knitting. I didn't think I'd like the beret shape on me. And, to be honest, this hat turned out more like a beanie. But I love it. The slight fuzziness, the color, the lace pattern, the size, it's all perfect. I would like to say that I'll definitely knit the pattern again, but I can't think of any other color that would work as well with it and with my clothes and complexion, so maybe I won't. But I'd definitely recommend the pattern to others. And I may end up knitting it for other people, as well, just for the sheer pleasure of knitting it again.
So, enough FOs...now time for a WIP. I've been seriously knitting-deprived lately, so I picked a new project pretty much as soon as I finished weaving in ends on Hew. Now I'm working on Hey, Teach from Knitty from stashed Pakucho organic cotton yarn. I've loved that sweater ever since the pattern was released, but I wasn't sure where my stashed Pakucho was, and I didn't have a shirt I wanted to wear under it anyway. Long story short, I got a shirt and found the yarn, and voila. I swatched this afternoon, cast on tonight and am about 6" into the back piece. So far I'm pretty happy with how it's working out. I'm knitting the smallest size, as written for once, with size 7 Clover bamboo circs. The smallest size, even though it's an XS, is a little bit too big for me, and the modeled sweater looks like it has just a wee bit too much ease for my taste, so I'm knitting at a slightly smaller gauge than called-for (4.69 sts per inch instead of the called-for 4.25 stitches per inch). I did some preliminary math, and it seems like that should fit me pretty much perfectly, so here's hoping. If all else fails...blocking works wonders, especially on lace.
Oh, one modification. I'm thinking about knitting eyelets in the center ribbing and running an i-cord drawstring through, as suggested in the pattern. I haven't decided for sure yet, though. Opinions?
And, just because I can ... a picture! I didn't feel like running out to the car for the real camera, so it's just a webcam shot. But still, my first picture in months!
It's really tan, not a barely-brownish white, like it looks in the picture. Lighting is bad in here, especially without a quality camera.
I have 12 more rows of stockinette before the center ribbing.
It feels great to be back in the land of the living!