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Shiva's record of some stuff that goes on
Thursday, 4 January 2007
Simple Knitted Bodice is Done
Topic: Knitting

Sorry for the picture overload, but I had to do it! I'm so happy to finish my first sweater ever. I started it on December 13th and finished the knitting january 2st, then it had to be washed and layed out to dry and blocked, which took a couple days. Granted I don't have a job, this is just about all I did during those 3 weeks.

 Knitter's Notes

Yarn: Knitpicks Andean Silk in Hollyberry. I used 10 balls

Needles: To get gauge I used size 4, then 3 as my knitting loosened up for the large needles, and for the lace size 0. Yes, it took forever to do the lace.

Pattern: Stitch Diva's Simple Knitted Bodice  in size XS (i'm generally a size small, bust 34)

There are little mistakes scattered about the sweater, but the kind of things probably not many, if any, will notice besides me.  I knitted the extra small because people were coming out with sweaters too big, and this yarn was supposed to grow with blocking and washing. Well, I'm pretty happy how that turned out. When I first tried it on, before blocking, the sleeves and waist were about 2 inches shorter than I would have liked. So I prayed that water would take care of that, and it pretty much did.  I really

think the size is perfect for me. As I wear it today the sleeves seem to shrink up a eensy weensy bit, and i think that's because my arms pretty much fill the sleeves width wise, and I've read that most fabrics can only stretch in one direction. So as it stretches width wise to accomodate my arms, it looses a little length, but not much.

<> The main thing I'm unhappy with is that it's ITCHY!!!!!!!!! Bah! I was planning on wearing something underneath, but it definitely has to be a long sleeve something, and so far i've found it hard to find simple long sleeve t-shirts with a neckline that I like to have sticking out from the sweater. The sweater neckline itself actually came out high enough that I could wear it alone and not be showing much, if any, cleavage. But I'd be itchy as hell. I think it's the alpaca content, though I'm not sure. It is a hairy fabric, you can see hairs sticking up everywhere which gives it a nice fuzzy look. I also love the drape, which doesn't really come through until after washing, but it's really nice.

<> I do love this sweater, though. I'm thinking of making a short , cap sleeved one in a machine washable, lighter fabric for summer.

<> Next on my list is a sweater for Ron,  Avast

(ignore the lump on my butt, it is NOT part of the sweater design, it just caught on my pants.  :)  )

Posted by Shiva at 3:09 PM MST
Updated: Thursday, 4 January 2007 3:14 PM MST
Wednesday, 3 January 2007
Famous sweater is in the finishing stages
Topic: Knitting

This is the famous sweater. It is in the process of blocking. Blocking is process whereby, at the end of all knitting and sewing techniques, you thoroughly wet (or sometimes steam) the knitted garment to get it to be in the shape you originally intended.  This works best with animal fibers, which are prone to shaping techniques, but is also encouraged for other fibers as well, such as cotton and sillk. I tried it on before blocking and the sleeves were shorter than I'd like, and so was the waist. This blocking should take care of that *crosses fingers*.  This is the part where my knitting newbie-ness shows and I pray I'm doing the right thing, since I did spend all this damn time on it! I suppose it's slightly preferable to knitting a sweater that is 3 sizes too big. Because even if this is too small, I can still wear it (I wore it today before blocking with no ill effects) but if it was huge, I probably wouldn't wear it.

Posted by Shiva at 12:18 AM MST
Updated: Wednesday, 3 January 2007 12:21 AM MST
Saturday, 30 December 2006
Irish Hiking Scarf
Topic: Knitting
This scarf I knitted for my sister Jennifer for Christmas. You can see her wearing it on her myspace page. I used size US 10 1/2 knitting needles, Marron Wax Bulky Merino (almost 2 skeins) from and the Irish Hiking Scarf Pattern you'll find at that link. I find it to be a really beautiful scarf and plan on making one for myself very soon. The yarn was unbelievably soft.

The sweater is almost done and I'll be posting pictures of that in a few days.

I modified the scarf pattern by making only two repeats of the cable 
pattern instead of three. I did this because I was using a bulky yarn and didn't want the scarf to be 
humungous. I cast on 30 stitches and had no troubles.

Posted by Shiva at 10:04 PM MST
Updated: Saturday, 30 December 2006 10:10 PM MST
Friday, 15 December 2006
Simple Knitted Bodice and Marsupial tote
Topic: Knitting
I'm finally knitting some things that seem nice to me. I'm pretty stoked. This first item is a tote bag, which took me a whole day to knit. Of course, I don't have anything better to do, which is because the New Mexico Massage Board is taking their sweet time processing my application. It's great because I love having the TIME to knit and being able to churn these things out so fast. I also know I need to have a job soon or I will be broke and able to knit nothing. So, the tote:

The above photo is after the bag was felted. It goes like this: you spend all day knitting a bag, then you throw it in the washer with hot sudsy water, which you should never do to your cherished wool items like sweaters and hats. However, when you want a bag that looks like this, you do it. It shrinks 25% or more, and the fabric becomes really thick and stable. I'll probably use it to store my knitting in, or maybe as a purse once in awhile. I used the extra yarn from that hat I made awhile back.

Now comes the truly amazing thing. I am knitting a sweater. a CUTE sweater. Not a "this-is-my-first-sweater-and-its-ill-fitting-and-ugly" sweater. This sweater is going to be cute and sexy and very well fitting.  At least that is what I'm praying for every chance I get. Here is how far I've gotten in two days of solid knitting:

It's going to have long belled sleeves and an empire waist with some lace detail. My only concern is that I'm knitting it in a size smaller than I need because I've researched and discovered that this yarn will "grow" when washed and I don't want to be wearing a bag. So I'm pulling it down over my boobs and HOPING it will expand slightly but not too much when washed. There will definitely be tons more pictures of this coming up because I am so excited about it I can't help it. I stayed up until 2 am last night knitting to that point. By the way, it is meant to be worn with a cami underneath because the neckline scoops down so far.

This is Stitch Diva's Simple Knitted Bodice, I'm knitting with my large needles on size 4. The yarn is Knit Picks Andean Silk, a blend of alpaca, merino, and silk, in Hollyberry. I'm knitting the XS size and so far have not made any modifications. I'm about to join and I'm doing it as the pattern calls for because I'm counting on it growing when blocked. I will probably add a few extra rows before starting the lace and I think I'm going to omit the purl ridges. I may add a few extra decreases before starting the lace...or maybe not. But I don't want the lace to be droopy. I will knit the lace in either 1 or 0 needles.

I also have to add that my previous comment about those socks being "nothing alike" is withdrawn. While I was KNITTING them I thought they were nothing alike, because I knitted them pretty differently. However, looking at the picture, that sounds totally ridiculous. They look like A PAIR OF SOCKS. So much so that I've worn them together out of the house. In the immortal words of Barbara Fryburg: I SHIT YOU NOT. I'll leave it at that.

Posted by Shiva at 7:51 PM MST
Updated: Friday, 15 December 2006 7:58 PM MST
Friday, 8 December 2006
Sock 2
Topic: Knitting

Well, I finished a second sock. Not to be confused with THE second sock, as these don't truely make a pair as I did not knit them alike. If you can tell, the sock on the left is the new one, it is knit with size 3 needles, but the same yarn. The sock on the right knit with size 7 needles. So there are more stitches and rows per inch on the left sock. There's less skin showing through, less holes.

Here you can more clearly see the lack of holes in the toe. I really worked to get no holes and while it's still lumpy and weird, I'd say it's a definite improvement. I was hoping to be making some socks for gifts soon, but I think I'm going to need a lot more practice before these are gift worthy.

For the knitters out there, I used Cascade 220 The Heathers, 100% peruvian highland merino wool yarn. I really like the color but I can't find the name of it anywhere on the label.

In other news, I ride a bike, in the house! Ron got a trainer, that contraption you see attached to the back tire, so that he can ride his bike inside during the snowy winter. I thought I would take advantage of this, as I like to get some cardio workout, but I HATE doing it outside when it's below 70. Well, I don't hate it. But I certainly prefer it in warmer weather. Anyway, that thing basically lets the back wheel spin, so you can ride it like a stationary bike. But it's your real bike, and you can detach it and then go ride on the road.

I haven't quite gotten the hang of it, but I rode today for 20 minutes and go my heart rate up to 189. pretty fancy! heart rate monitors rock.

Posted by Shiva at 12:07 PM MST
Updated: Friday, 8 December 2006 5:34 PM MST
Tuesday, 5 December 2006
Help me pick some colors
Topic: Knitting
Well, since I've started to knit, I now have a "knitting to-do" list that's about 10 items long! Which may not sound that long, but when it can take anywhere from a week to a few months to knit one thing, it starts looking a little longer...I just keep finding patterns I want to knit either for myself or someone else, and ...well, it's never ending. I can see that now.

This morning I messed up on that sock and had to rip it back. Luckily I"ve now learned a better way of ripping back that doesn't risk loosing the whole garment. I only have to re knit about 30 rows.

So this is one thing I'm going to be knitting in the future and I need help choosing colors

I do like the colors used in the picture, but I think I could choose some I like even more. Ihave had some ideas myself, but I think the color/art hemisphere of my brain is inferior to many of yours, so with your suggestions I might see some combos I hadn't thought of. I may or may not actually use anyone's suggestions, but I want to see what other people would use, to break me out of my box. You can suggest any color you want to, but here is the yarn I'm going to use with the actual colors I could use:

Peruvian Highland Wool

Comment here or on myspace. Thanks!

Posted by Shiva at 1:31 PM MST
Updated: Tuesday, 5 December 2006 1:39 PM MST

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