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Tres Chic Veronique


My Favorite Online Stores

OK, I'll start with the positive: there are lots of online yarn stores that are awesome. They have good pictures on their site, they communicate with you quickly and efficiently, you can track packages, there's plenty of sales, the packaging is beautiful etc...
Here are a few of my fave online yarn stores:
Angelika's Yarn Store
Little Knits
Are there any that I missed? Please share!

And then, there are those stores where you anticipate some kind of hitch. You know what I mean? They only had 8 balls, not 10 like you wanted, so they send you those 8 balls. Or, they blame you for their mistakes... But I have now found one store that tops all this. First of all, your purchase needs to be $40 minimum. Then, shipping & handling is ... $9.95. Yes, $9.95. Oh, and there's no returns. And the kicker? They have a snarky way of asking you to please not contact them with any questions.

So, yeah, maybe the VK retro sweater will get elbow length sleeves... That's what the majority of you voted for and I'm afraid to call this store, so...

By Veronique
On Sunday, August 27, 2006
At 8/27/2006 11:09:00 AM


It looks like and FO....

...but it's not! This is a sweater from the Fall 2006 Vogue Knitting trunk show, currently at The Point.
I heart this retro look. I even like the puffy shoulders! I fully intend to knit this sweater. OK, maybe I'll cardiganize it, but that's it, no other mods.

Here's the problem: The pattern requires 13 balls of Anny Blatt's Merinos. I have 10 balls of Grignasco MerinoGold (same exact gauge and same exact yardage as Merinos!), which I bought at the Yarn Riot last November. Score! For those of you unfamiliar with the Yarn Riot, it is a hotel sale (last year held at a Manhattan Holiday Inn) of yarns from a store in Queens called Smiley's. Way out in Queens. Like, 24 subway stops away from me.

So I ask you: How much do I love this sweater?
A. Enough to sit on the subway for hours on end just to get 3 balls of yarn (and maybe not the same dye lot)?
B. Or should I be creative and make retro-ish 3/4 length sleeves? You know, go full out retro!

PS I'm loving my most recent FO, the Phildar tank, but thought you might enjoy this update. Of all the mods I made, one of them struck me as poor planning on Phildar's part: they called for 22 cm long straps, which is really short. I had to add a 5 full cm to make it the adequate length. Then, I proudly wore the tank to work this week. It fit perfectly! For about an hour that is: I had blocked the entire top except the straps. Which started stretching. By mid-morning, you could see the top of my bra. By lunch, uh, you could see a lot more. Good thing I knew how to fix it: I carefully unpicked my woven in ends, unraveled about 5 cm and wove my ends in again. Oh Phildar, why do I doubt thee?

By Veronique
On Friday, August 25, 2006
At 8/25/2006 01:34:00 PM


Some Seaming and Two FOs

Well, my last post did indeed shame me into seaming. All I did last weekend was seam seam seam!

This Phildar bolero (from the Spring Tendances 2006) took forever. Now, I bought the yarn for this simply because it looked like a quick and easy project. Come on, it only takes 4 balls of yarn! The sleeves are teeny-tiny! I was all hyped up. That was in May... Sure enough, I knitted the back and the 2 sleeves (there's no front!) in record time. Then, these pieces just sat around waiting for me to make the band that goes across the sleeves and around the neck then back down the other sleeve. That's a long band, let me tell you. Originally, I thought I'd be more clever than Phildar and pick up stitches for the band. Phildar always wants you to knit the band separately then sew it on. I say what a drag! However, I just could not pick up a sufficient number of stitches, no matter how clever I was. So I gave up and I knitted the band separately. 228 st in K2P2 ribbing... And that wasn't even the tedious part! Sewing each of those 228 stitches took me most of the weekend.
Pattern Specs:
Pattern: Bolero from Phildar's Spring 2006 Tendances
Yarn: 4 balls of Canasta in Amethyste.
But it's worth it, don't you think? It's perfect for keeping your shoulders warm in overly air-conditionned offices.

Then, I seamed the Caban Marine. I'd love to show it here, but it's not quite ready... I still need to knit the fake pocket flaps and sew the buttons. So, uh, maybe next week?

However, it hasn't been all seaming all the time... After I ripped the entire front of the little Phildar cardie, I got the courage to knit it all up again, this time with more stitches. Check it out!

Here's a detail of the neckline lace:

And, one thing you cannot tell from the Phildar pic: the back is entirely ribbed! Well, that certainly takes care of the non-stretchiness of silk. (Actually, I didn't knit it in Phildar silk, I used GGH Mystik, on sale at the Point). The back ribbing ensures that this tank top fits perfectly. Love it!
Project Specs:
Pattern: Phildar Tank Top from the Spring Tendances 2004 (sorry, there's no link! Phildar only has their most recent mags online).
Yarn: 5 balls of GGH Mystik, color 83.
Modifications: Lots. First, my gauge was 28 st per 4", not the recommended 25. I just followed the instructions for one size larger and it turned out fine. Second, the decreases as recommended by Phildar lean in the wrong way. And finally, I wanted the k3p2 ribbing to flow from the front to the back, so I made sure that the front started and ended with k3, and the back started and ended with k2.

I can't wait to see Lisa and Jess' versions of this tank!

By Veronique
On Sunday, August 20, 2006
At 8/20/2006 08:08:00 PM


Proxima Estacion: Esperanza

I just need one little nudge to push me into action. You see, I have 2 items that are completely knitted. I just need to seam them. (Yup, I said the S word!).
I'm under the impression that we all feel ambivalent about seaming.... (It's not just me, right? Right?!)

Now, don't get me wrong: I get a smug sense of satisfaction when a sleeve seam actually matches up. Come on, it's tricky! Although I *know* there's the same number of rows on each side of the same sleeve, I'm still afraid that while seaming I might miss a row or 2, and then my sleeve would look lopsided.
And of course, the entire time I'm knitting, I'm daydreaming about how wonderful my knitted garment will look like on me.
So you'd think that I'd look forward to seaming. But seaming is hard work: you can't just plop yourself on the couch with the TV on and seam. You have to be seated at a table, you need good lighting, good posture, and you need to *focus*. Seaming is the last step: you take a deep breath, dive in, and you will find out if all that knitting was worth it. It is no surprise that knitters fear seaming so much.

So, perhaps I can shame myself by puttting up pictures of these 2 almost-completed items: my Phildar purple bolero and my Phildar Caban Marine. Maybe the guilt of having the pics up here will push me to actually seam them. I've tried them on already and they fit fine.

In the meantime, I've been working on other projects. Unfortunately, I'm not having good knitting karma right now. My idea for this post was to whine about my lack of seaming, then balance that with an FO. Unfortunately for you, that's not going to happen. I've been knitting furiously since friday, when I scored some GGH Mystik on sale at The Point. See this cute Phildar tank top?
Yeah, well, don't get too attached to it. It's super tiny. Stupid gauge. Rip! (Or should I say RIP?).

**Anybody out there a Manu Chao fan? He rocked Prospect Park monday night! Anyway, I thought that his song title "Proxima Estacion: Esperanza" (ie "Next Stop: Hope") encapsulated my feelings right about now. I can only hope that the next stop will be better.

Edited to add: OK, I have to whine just a little bit more. I called IK to ask where in the world is my Fall issue? Everyone and their mother got theirs, but where's mine? They estimate I will receive it Aug 19th. Next sat. Next sat?! Argh.
I also asked about a book I bought during their Hurt Book sale. They told me it takes 3 weeks for shipping. Double argh.

By Veronique
On Monday, August 07, 2006
At 8/07/2006 02:06:00 PM