Contest and survey results

Thanks for all the great comments!

Got your "Zero Waste Design" right here!

 The other day I read an article in the New York Times entitled "Fashion Tries on Zero Waste Design,&

My awkward phase

La mia fase inelegante

Cowl with pasties?

I've been trying to decide whether this-- this-- cowl-necked dickie (??) came with the jeweled pasties, or whether some wi

Sherwood, transformed

8 Oct 010 web I finally finished my grown-up version of Sherwood-- and it did turn out to be a sleeveless jumper/tunic.

"Seduction has a soft soul."

10_jan_002_web Or, in the original Italian, "La seduzione ha un' anime soft."

Fall is coming

Seen in the Ralph Lauren window on Nantucket:  this cute little sweater-mini-dress with a turtleneck and short sleeves (can you say "split personality"?), worn with lace-up suede boots and a hip-slung belt. And then, there was the lean ribbed cardi over the lean knitted leggings, all in safari tan, accessorized with knee-high chocolate boots and a punchy, chunky turquoise choker. Last but not and least:  a knit vest with suede trimmed pockets and hem.  An ordinary style, a close but classic fit...but the suede trim caught my eye. When the knits are in the window and the fall IK is in my mailbox, fall (my favorite season) is coming!  Even if the looks are mostly still short and sleeveless, it's only a matter of time....

Sherwood for grownups

Now, I couldn't tell from the photo at left (both are from Harper's Bazaar, September 2006) if the jumper shown is a knit, but it could be; the one below is definitely not, but it has a sort of heraldic, medieval feel to it that makes me think of...Sherwood.  The rib and braid pattern I used in Sherwood makes me think of tunics and halberds, chain mail, that sort of thing, and now I'm picturing Sherwood sleeveless, mid-thigh length, worked in a gorgeous gray wool-silk combo, something that has a sheen to it, not metallic so much, or at least no more than that metallic glint you might catch from some bird's feathers, around a pigeon's neck, say.  Those ribs and the "V" effect of the braid arrangement are very figure-flattering; much as I like the idea of a white blouse, I would probably end up wearing it over a turtleneck.  You could put tights under it, or those %$#! leggings that are seemingly back in style.  Size 14 has a 36 inch chest circumference, and size 16, 39 inches.  Just keep working until it's long enough, a little armhole shaping, a little ribbing around the armholes to match the neck...yum.  Wish I had time to do it myself. P.S.  I remember you, Paige Farley-Hackel--you, and your little dogs, too.


I found this photo on, accompanying an article on spring 2006 fashion: Now that Oliver is done, I need a new project; I've noticed the 2006 spring collections seem to be using a lot of lace, and while I'm certainly NOT inclined to knit a filmy nightgown for myself, a silk or cotton top with lace sleeves or maybe just cuffs, or hem or panels or frills around the neckline or LACE ALL OVER [slap]....  Okay, I'm okay now.   Guess I've been bitten by that lace bug or come down with lace madness, or something.  Anyway, when I saw "Chinese Lace," in Barbara Walker's 2nd Treasury of Knitting Patterns, it was love at first sight...although now that I am examining it more closely, I'm wondering if I couldn't get rid of those thick cords and just repeat the panels of undulating...petals?  (Isn't that always how it goes?  At first, everything about the object of your love is perfect, but eventually, you can see that there are certain areas which could be changed improved, um, perfected even more.  Than they already were.)   

Cropped sweaters and funky cables

Just stopped in at Barneys to check out their sale, and I noticed that (like everywhere else this year) they have SO many cropped sweaters, from barely-boob-covering to navel-grazing.  It's a more flattering look than one might think, layered over a longer shirt, and--as a knitter--every time I see one, I can't help thinking how much faster it would knit up than something hip-length. Anyway, that reminds me of the Norah Gaughan pattern I spotted last spring in Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2005.  The page is looking beat-up because I carried it around with me for weeks; yes, knitting this "Open Rib/Cable Pullover" did take me awhile, although not just because of its length.  First of all, the pattern called for Dale of Norway "Svale" with a gauge of 22 sts per inch, but the yarn I wanted to use, Filatura di Crosa "Mirto," a cotton/rayon/linen blend, worked up to 26 sts per inch--the finest yarn I had used for a project so far.  The gauge difference translated to a difference in size of about 1 1/2 inches for every 10 inches of circumference, so I chose a size with that in mind, and got started on one of the sleeves. This was also my first try at using a chart (other than for multiple-color patterns), and once I got into it, I loved it.  I found it much easier to see where the pattern was going than when following written directions.  Here's a close-up of the cable panel, which is gorgeous.  It uses a cool 12 st crossover (6/6) which--believe me--is about as many stitches as you can cross without making yourself cross-eyed.  I did drop one stitch during the cross, early on, and even when I realized on the next row that I was one stitch short, I couldn't find the missing stitch within the crossover!  I thought maybe I just k2tog by accident, so I just inc 1 and kept going, but several inches later, I saw the dropped stitch starting to show.  Rather than frog, I just used a short piece of yarn to anchor the stitch to the wrong side of the crossover, so it couldn't unravel further.  Another cool thing about this cable is that the yos used to create the eyelets fall between a purl and a knit stitch, so you just act as if you forgot to move the yarn under the needle from the front to the back of the work, and there you are--super-quick yo.  Even so, this sweater took me a couple of months to finish, and if you compare the photo below to the magazine photo above, you may see another reason why:  I changed the sleeves from raglan to set-in.  The more I looked at the top photo, the more I realized that I didn't want a slipping-off-the- shoulders sort of sweater, where I would always be pulling it up, or having to wear the loathsome strapless bra, or ruin the line with a camisole.  At first I thought I would just continue the raglan shaping and raise the entire neckline.  With one minor setback (after several rows, I caught an error in the directions which had me making the raglan decreases slanted in the wrong direction) I completed the sweater this way, neck ribbing and all, but this just didn't look very good; the raglan seams are more vertical than most, and the angle where the sleeves joined the body wasn't attractive with the raglan seam extended; plus, the ribbing didn't match up.  So I frogged back to the armhole shaping and worked set-in sleeves instead, Sweater Wizard ( being a big help with the sleeve cap shaping.  This worked much better with the rib motif. On a satisfaction scale of 1 to 10, I would have to rate this a 6 or 7 (worn it a few times), compared to my AV sweater, which gets about a 3 (hop into the frog pond).  Why only a 6 or 7? Problem #1 is visible:  slight bra show-through, which isn't so terrible; I just have to wear the right bra (which I am not in this photo).  Problem #2 (also visible!):  the color is brighter on me than I expected from seeing the yarn in ball form or on the needles.  Problem #3 (also visible): the ribbing expands horizontally along the shoulders, so even though I backstitched the shoulder seams in an attempt to make them nonstretchy, they still tend to sag off my shoulders.  If I had wanted a drop shoulder, I would have knit one.  Problem #4 (not visible from these photos):  the back hikes up slightly, which makes me think I should just suck it up, unravel a few seams, and make the back a little longer.  And the shoulders narrower.  Why don't I?  I just don't feel like it.  Know what I mean?