Knitty Surprises

Finally, the Knitty Surprise link is up, and I’m stoked about the Leaf cropped cardigan from Stefanie Japel:

If I were to knit that, I’d probably change the leaf tie to something shorter and plainer (I know, completely undermining the concept), but what a cute shape.

I also was way amused by the Victoria parasol.

Simply charming.

Indecisive Shrugs

Yesterday I wore a rather uncomfortable and ill-fitting store-bought sweater over a sun dress and it became apparent that I could really use a nice shrug. I’m going to be spending this summer in Venice, and my professor has informed me that women are required to cover their shoulders when going into churches, which is where a lot of the art we’ll be seeing resides, so something really versatile would be great.

That said, I’m having a heck of a time finding just the right shrug. I think part of why I’m struggling is that I already know the yarn I want to use, and I’m trying to avoid buying new needles… but few shrug patterns tend to call for worsted weight or the needles I have.

One contender is this Cropped Raglan Sweater from Lion Brand, though it seems perhaps a bit less fitted than I’d like.

I was also looking at some of the shrugs in the Summer 2005 issue of Interweave Knits, particularly the Fiery Bolero, which is exactly what I want, though I’d have to adapt it for the yarn change.

I’m undecided on the Viennese Shrug, which is for worsted weight, but maybe not my favorite lace pattern ever. I really wish they had a photo of the back.

They also had a set of Staff Shrugs (opens PDF), but they don’t feel quite right for what I want.

I went through every single shrug or bolero pattern in the Knitting Pattern Central database (perhaps I haven’t mentioned – I can get obsessive sometimes), and nothing really called out to me.

This Silk Capelet Shrug is cute, but calls for tiny yarn and needles.

Lastly, I’m rather fond of this Wanda cropped sweater (especially because my grandmother’s name is Wanda), though here the needles are too large, and I wonder if so much detail would feel heavy.

Argh, I feel like I’m being so picky! I wish I knew enough to design my own shrug, but as it is I’m not even comfortable figuring out how to modify an existing one. Ironically, I had started knitting an Esprit Raglan Shrug last summer, but I got so sick of the fiddly tiny elastic yarn that I put it aside and never got back to it.

So I’ll have to think on this a little more…

When Knitting and Nerdistry Collide

I have several obsessive-compulsive tendencies which seem especially prone to arise when there is some other task I should be attending to (i.e. schoolwork).

In this case, the fruits of my insomniac labor come as a spreadsheet to organize knitting projects present and future.

I had started out with a Word document listing some (but not all) of the important details about projects. From there I expanded my system to include the following categories:

  • Link to Pattern (if online)
  • Source of Pattern
  • Pattern Name
  • Garment Type
  • Yarn Weight
  • Yardage
  • Size
  • Yarn Used
  • Needles
  • Notions
  • Date Started
  • Date Finished
  • Notes

The beauty of Excel is that I can then sort by any of those categories at several sub-levels. For example, if I have a few hundred yards of worsted weight yarn, I can sort by yarn weight, then yardage, then garment type and see what my options are for using it.

I can also do other things like sort for a project that doesn’t require any notions, or I can find the pattern for some cardigan by Berroco whose name I don’t remember.

Maybe I’m just a nerd, but I have to say, it’s truly a beautiful thing.

Some Nice Harmony

I really like when my knitting matches my reading.

I’ve finished knitting the pieces of the sweater of the Cabled Baby Set, but have not begun to sew them together, nor have I even thought about how to pick up the neck stitches and knit that part.

I moved onto the hat instead. It’s good to have engaging reading to break up what has become the mind-numbing tedium of garter stitch.