Tag Archives: lace jacket

The Next Knitting Challenge: Sparkle!

When last we heard from her, yarnyMarni was eagerly awaiting a weekend of new yarn, new patterns, and new needles, to properly kick off the early Spring that seems to have embraced the tri-state area.  Let’s catch up with her now and see what exciting things she’s created:

Oh dear...

I had such lofty goals of starting The Cider House Rules Vest last weekend, but it was not to be.  You see, there was a yarn issue.  The pattern calls for Classic Elite‘s Mistral (85% pima cotton, 15% superfine alpaca).  Sounds nice, huh?  Well, I’m sure it was… but it’s discontinued now.  So I need to substitute, and this is always challenging for me, because choosing a suitable alternate that’ll have similar hand, drape, and gauge is kind of hard when you’re not familiar with every yarn on the market.  So I called in Dori The Expert, who, after asking me about my preferences, recommended Tahki YarnsCotton Classic Lite (100% mercerized cotton).  However, she didn’t have enough of the stuff on hand in any color to begin the project, and would order whatever color I wanted… after she returned from her vacation.  In Hawaii.  Sometime next week.  But I could, of course, get my gauge swatch going in any color she had that pleased me.  I liked the blue… see above.  I’m certain, though, that my husband will not choose blue for his vest.  Stay tuned as we ponder over shades of gray and green.

Meanwhile, I’ve had time to think about the next project for me.  I still love the Primavera Cardigan and the Satin Ribbons Tee, but recently I’ve been re-introduced to Sparkle:

Wow!

This seriously gorgeous dress, designed by Shirley Paden, was published back in 2007 in Vogue Knitting‘s Silver Anniversary issue.  After reading some amazing success stories about knitting this thing on Ravelry, I started thinking that maybe… if I was really diligent… I could knit this up in time for a big party I’m attending next month.  I mean, I knit not one, but two Lace Jackets in a month, so I could pull this off in about a month also, right?  Wellllllllllllllll… probably not, mainly because my LYSs don’t carry the yarn – Skacel Collection, Inc.‘s Karat (rayon/polyester metallic).  But… this would look really good on me… and Lord knows, no one else would be wearing anything remotely like it to said party…

Anyone know where I can get 14 skeins of Karat super-fast?

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If Your Name Is Jessica, Don’t Read This Until After Christmas.

Sorry, Jessica, but if you continue reading, you’ll ruin the surprise that is your Christmas gift.  The one that my daughter handed you in the cute little holiday gift bag at your Open House.  The one that your daughter took and placed under your tree.  So stop reading now.  I wanna show everyone else what I gave you.  Final warning.

Everyone who isn’t Jessica:  here’s one of the reasons why I haven’t posted in a while:

Fingerless gloves made with Manos del Uruguay's Silk Blend. Awesome doesn't even begin to describe 'em.

I can’t recommend this pattern enough.  This is Churchmouse Yarns and TeasWelted Fingerless Gloves, a very easy and satisfying project, perfect for that last-minute gift (which this wasn’t.  This was planned.  Yes it was, Jessica!) or for any reason, really.  This was my first time using Manos del Uruguay‘s Silk Blend, and it absolutely won’t be my last.  This yarn is just gorgeous, whether you’re referring to the color(s) or the quality or the hand or the stitch definition… and it’s a Fair Trade product to boot.

Ok, but these mitts only took me 2 days to knit.  So what else have I been up to?

I’m knitting another pair of these:

SWTC Tofutsies socks... again.

This 2nd pair of SWTC‘s Tofutsies socks is for my daughter’s best friend… because best friends should have matching socks.  That’s what my daughter told me, and really, I have to agree.  The trick, though, is to somehow convince the Great and Powerful Knitting God(dess) that if s/he allows me to finish these without running out of yarn, I’ll never ask for any other knitting miracles ever again.  Ever.  Again.

And if that weren’t enough, I’m about 85% finished with another one of these:

Really? Another one?

The second one is black, a la:

From Vogue Knitting's Early Fall 2011 issue... remember?

Here’s the story about this whole Lace Jacket thing.  When I first saw this pattern, I immediately thought of my friend Amy.  This woman is kind, generous, extremely intelligent, and gorgeous (and I should mention here that all of that describes Jessica, too.  Sigh… I strive to be in that club.).  I had wanted to knit something special for Amy for a while, and I decided that this would be it.

Then it dawned on me that there was another woman in my life who could be described the same way, who was equally deserving of a piece of knitted art.  Even though my mom’s an excellent knitter who could probably tackle this project, she’s been so busy moving into a new house that she hasn’t had any time to pick up her needles.  And I think she’d look great in this as well.  So when my SIL offered to order me some Tilli Tomas Symphony Lace for this project (she doesn’t stock ArtYarns, which is what the pattern calls for), I ended up ordering 2 skeins.  And then I knitted like a fiend to get both done for the holidays.  Now, I wouldn’t recommend this course of action to anyone, under any circumstance, ever, but… I gotta say, I kinda rock for gettin’ it done.

The last thing that’s been keeping me away from my blog… and often, my knitting, is this:

A present for my daughter, which turned into a present for me as well.

The Hanukkah present that keeps on giving… the XBox 360 250 GB Kinect.  I knew my daughter would love it.  I didn’t know that I would love it just as much.  Serious, serious fun… if you haven’t tried one of these things, go into your local Best Buy and try it out.  Don’t worry about looking like an idiot – no one cares because they all want a turn, too.

So… next on the list, I’m trying to set up an interview with an amazing bunch of students who are competing in the Fleece To Shawl Contest at the 2012 PA Farm Show.  I’m hoping to go visit them the first week of January, so stay tuned – it’ll be a great interview.

Gonna go knit now… stop laughing, Jessica, I totally hear you!

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And Here It Is…

… the Lace Jacket.

Sigh… not the best pictures, I know.  You can’t really get a sense of the light-and-airy texture, and you only get a small taste of the sparkly beads in that last shot.  What I wanted to do was get a certain friend of mine to model it for me, because then I’d be able to shoot it the way I really wanted.  But she and I have been so busy with other things, and I just couldn’t wait any longer to get something out here.

What I really would love is to learn how to take better pictures of my knitting.  This blog and this blog do it so well… what’s their secret?  Anyone have any tips?

 

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Keeping It Straight.

In lieu of a promised picture of a certain finished Lace Jacket (I have a plan for the pic… I hope it works), here’s a list of what’s coming up for me in the next 3 weeks:

  • 4 doctor visits;
  • a holiday concert, starring my daughter on violin, plus a spirited rendition of “The 12 Days Of Christmas” with her classmates;
  • a theatrical performance of “Where The Wild Things Are,” again starring my daughter in 3 roles:  as Max’s sister Alice, a tree, and a Wild Thing.  Her directors swear she wasn’t typecast as far as the Wild Thing role goes…
  • my daughter’s classmate’s birthday party;
  • my daughter’s ballet school‘s annual performance of “The Nutcracker.”  No, my daughter’s not in this one… not yet.  Next year.
  • 4  holiday gifts to knit.  Well… 4’s the goal, not the reality;
  • shop for all the other holiday gifts.  Because no one can knit it all.
  • major housecleaning;
  • planning and preparing for Christmas Day festivities at my house.  The funny thing about this is that all of our guests – my family – are Jewish.  Even funnier:  my husband’s planning on preparing a ham.
  • baking 3 dozen cookies for my daughter’s school’s Cookie Exchange;
  • baking 3 dozen cookies for my friend’s annual Cookie Exchange at her home;
  • sending out holiday cards.  Might be a good idea if I bought some first…
  • install a major project into our production environment, ensuring full browser compatibility while disallowing multiple sessions to be opened at once.  In other words, another day at the office.
  • refill my Xanax prescription;
  • (just kidding.  I’m strictly a Zoloft girl.)
The only thing that I take comfort in is that everyone else’s December lists are similar to mine… right?  Right?  Right???

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Quick Updates On Lace Jacket, Sheep To Shawl Contest.

Just a quick post tonight… much more to come very soon, after I photograph the Lace Jacket.

Yes, my friends, it’s finished.  The Lace Jacket is actually done, much faster than I thought, and much, much more beautiful than I ever expected.  I tried it on before I blocked it, just to get an idea of how much stretch it would afford me.  For the first time in the 8 years I’ve been knitting, I was speechless.  This is the best… FO… ever.  I can’t wait for the recipient to see it… that is, if I can find a way to part with it.

Sheep To Shawl Contest… I really don’t have any news here, except that it’s getting closer and I really can’t wait.  Once again, if you, or someone you know, is on one of the teams that are competing in either the Sheep or Fleece To Shawl contests , and you’d like some FREE PRESS by agreeing to an interview, please leave a comment with some contact info and I’ll be in touch.  One team did leave a message about a month or so ago, but maybe they didn’t get my enthusiastic email because I never heard back from them… ?  Or maybe I scared them away… ?  Try me again, oh Mystery Team!

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