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Tres Chic Veronique


Last FO of the year!

I finished my Anemoi mittens just in time to be the last FO of 2006! And wouldn't you know, it's finally cold here. Well, it's 40 degrees F, but that's cold enough to wear mittens, right?
Can you figure out what my trick was to keep from getting second mitten syndrome?

That's right, I switched the main and contrasting colors on the second mitten!

It seems everyone's tackling fair isle these days. After reading this post by Carrieoke, I checked out Nona's advice on dominant yarn. One of Nona's commenters left a link that made the whole issue crystal clear for me. Now, normally I hold both of the yarns in my right hand: the main (or background or most-used or dominant-?-) color over my index, and the contrast color (or less-used color) over my middle finger. I do this for convenience's sake only: since it is easier to knit with the yarn over my index, I'll put the yarn that is most used over my index. But Nona's post clearly explains that the yarn that is being held under is the dominant yarn. For me, that's the middle finger yarn! Oops, I was doing it backwards! So I switched over, mid-mitten.

Perhaps you can tell: this is subtle for the pink mitten, but obvious for the brown mitten. For this pattern, which creates diagonal lines, if the "diagonal" yarn is dominant, those stitches are a little bit larger, and the stitches touch, which creates a nice solid diagonal line. If the diagonal yarn is not dominant, the stitches do not touch, so it looks more like a dotted line, and the diamond pattern disappears... In the brown mitten, the brown diamonds completely disappear when brown is the dominant color (lower part of mitten, below thumb), and they really pop when pink is the dominant color (upper part of the mitten)!
So now I'm totting mittens that I can use as a lesson for anyone who wants to learn about yarn dominance. (By the way, yarn dominance was not an issue for the assymetrical design on the front of the mitten, phew).

Moral of the story? I learned the hard way that the yarn that is used most often is *not* the dominant yarn. Let's say that again: the color which dominates the pattern because it is used most often is NOT THE DOMINANT YARN. It's the contrast, lesser-used color that is dominant. Now why is that never spelled out anywhere? Mmm?

PS: the Habu cashmere, once washed, feels divine.

By Veronique
On Sunday, December 31, 2006
At 12/31/2006 11:04:00 AM


Holiday Crafting

As you know, I did not have any holiday knitting deadlines. Yay! But I did craft through the holidays (and I'm still at it). Here's what I have to show for it:
Project #1:
One Anemoi mitten. Ever since Lisa discovered this pattern (by Eunny), I've been as smitten as she is. Smitten by a mitten! I scrounged around in the stash, and found this Habu cashmere that I got on sale a few months ago. These colors (bright-ass pink and eggplant) are discontinued, so I snapped them up. I had no idea what to make with them when I bought them! See, I just had to wait for the perfect pattern to pop up. By the way, I was surprised at how rough this cashmere was, but that was until I washed it... Oh, it is so soft! Also, in order to prevent second mitten syndrome, I've come up with a slight variation for the left mitt. You'll see.

Project #2: The Weekender Bag!
Marie inspired me, and since Brooklyn General now sells *all* of the many parts needed (thanks to Kaitlyn!), I finally tackled this project. And it gave me an excuse to buy that adorable green apple corduroy fabric... Not done yet (and, man, I am so not a good seamstress!), so this is just a little peek. Now, let's hope that all the parts actually line up. Oh, and I used up one entire spool of thread, so I have to go back to Brooklyn General.

By Veronique
On Tuesday, December 26, 2006
At 12/26/2006 06:20:00 PM


The Professorly Argyle Scarf and Gift Theft

(That little label that's whited out by the flash? It says "Tres Chic Veronique"!)

Pattern specs:

Pattern: My own! I found the chart for the knit/purl argyles in one of Jess' many knitting books (seriously, this girl could open a knitting library!). Since I lost the chart the very next day, I recharted it from "memory" on graph paper. I'm sure I unintentionally added some personal touches... I worked 3 pattern repeats, plus 3 edge st worked in garter st. Also, to avoid those annoying garter bumps at the edges, I slipped the first st of every row *with yarn in front*: this creates a nice braid-like edging. Oh, and I started and ended by working 6 rows of garter st, to prevent curling.
Yarn: Chocolate alpaca from A Touch of Twist, purchased for the ridiculous sum of $20 for over 600 yds at Rhinebeck. No wonder there was such a long line!
Needles: US 4 addis. Man, knitting a scarf on size 4 needles takes forever.
Width: ~10" depending on how much you stretch it.
Length: For some reason, I'm under the impression that scarves should be as long as the wearer is tall. So I made a 6 foot long scarf. I had *just* enough yarn. See how much I had left after binding off?

Happy Holidays, Prof M!

Have you heard about the Spiders' annual holiday party? We had a White Elephant gift exchange, where you can either open a gift or steal one of the already-opened gifts. Now, although I get a thrill out of ripping through wrapping paper, when you're the 10th person to open gifts out of 16, it makes sense to steal, right? Sorry Cathy! Here she is (streaked lights and all), opening the gift that I eventually stole from her:
It's a Misocrafty pouch!! I have been trying to get one of these from PureKnits, but they are perpetually sold out. (Yes, I'm on the mailing list, but I'm just not quick enough. Amanda, who gifted this, somehow managed to buy 3. THREE?!).

By Veronique
On Wednesday, December 20, 2006
At 12/20/2006 12:44:00 PM


One Year in Chic Knitting

Instructions -- Copy the first sentence that you posted in each month of 2006. (Swiped from Sandra).

Let's see, what have I accomplished in 2005?

(Warning: I think I've blown my monthly quota of exclamation points in one post). Note: I had just received a package from my awesome Secret Pal 7, Alice.

More great stuff from my Secret Pal, Special Mittens!

I had a great time taking pictures of my stash and rediscovering yarn that I had completely forgotten about.

I went back to my home town, and here is what I saw:

Sadly, I do not have any knitting pictures to show. (Note: Oh man, that is so sad. In my defense, I was looking for a new apartment and I had just started a new job).

I have a new place! Wheeee!

I just need one little nudge to push me into action. (Note: seaming woes....)

Finally! It took me long enough, but I'm done seaming (well, for the time being at least).

After Jenna changed the aesthetics of her blog, it hit me all of a sudden that my own blog was looking pretty bland.

It's fall, and all I want to do is stay home by the fireplace.

(Title: I left NYC) Don't worry, though, I'm back!

There you have it. One whole year. It just flew by.

By Veronique
On Monday, December 11, 2006
At 12/11/2006 11:31:00 PM


I left NYC!

Don't worry, though, I'm back. It was just a business trip to CA. No knitting to speak of, but I did take a few pictures from the plane.
The Grand Canyon was on the other side, but this side is still impressive, don't you think?

I don't know what this is, but I liked it! Pieces of the earth have been gouged out.

Desert meets civilization!

OK, fine, I *did* knit a little. I started Panache, but I'm still chugging along on the stockinette part, waiting impatiently to get to the smocking part! And, because I'm knitting in one piece, each row is 170 stitches. Ugh.

And, unfortunately for you, dear readers, I have tackled on 2 super secret projects. They are due in Jan/Feb, so I will have no pics of WIPS for a while. You notice that I said "unfortunately for *you*". I'm on cloud 9!! Let me just say this: I am getting free yarn. That's right, FREE YARN. Wheeee!

By Veronique
On Thursday, December 07, 2006
At 12/07/2006 02:58:00 PM