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Tres Chic Veronique

 

My 100th Post!

This weekend was all about yarn shopping...
First, we had a Spiders' field trip to Habu.
Jess (in her Razor Cami), Steph and Lisa spent some quality time in the hallway of yarn. Well, we all did, but we had to do so in shifts since this is a narrow hallway.
In the main room, we have Jess in front, Katie and Marie. (Oh, and a little bit of Jess' head on the left and a smidge of Steph's smile on the right. This was an impromptu photo, no time for framing).


And here's my haul: the Kusha Kusha felted scarf kit with Grape-colored merino and black silk stainless steel. Can you see the steel glinting through the silk? I also got a gigantic hank (1,500 yds!!) of white single ply laceweight for $17. *swoon*

(Did you know that in Japan, Habu is called Avril? I thought the cone was stamped with the month in which it was manufactured, which did not make a lot of sense).

But that was not enough! The next day, Jess and I went to check out the new Brooklyn General store. We read the article in Knitter's Review and just *had* to go... The store is absolutely lovely: it's big, it has a very interesting collection of yarns (Morehouse merino, *lots* of Rowan, Manos, Blue Sky Alpaca, some Tess' Designer Yarns but not the sock yarn, which was the whole reason why Jess wanted to go!). And vintage fabrics, and cute bags, and ribbons, and felting kits, and milk paint, and quilting stuff. And... I found all the Elizabeth Zimmermann books I had been searching for! Finally! Now I feel like I can become a bone fida Zimmermaniac. I had been to many bookstores in the city plus a few yarn stores here and there and could not find a single EZ book! Shameful! I also got one little skein of Malabrigo to make the Swirly hat from the Opinionated Knitter... But don't worry, I'm still knitting on the Wedding shawl!
In fact, I should probably stop blogging and get back to the shawl. 23 rows to go!

By Veronique
On Tuesday, September 26, 2006
At 9/26/2006 08:47:00 PM


 
 

The Wedding Shawl Challenge

The bride has spoken: the Swallowtail shawl wins!
As luck would have it, I joined the Swallowtail Shawl KAL, hosted by Bronxie, the minute it was created, in August.
Now, the original Swallowtail shawl is more of a shawlette, a minishawl, if you will. I prefer large shawls myself, and it turns out that the bride wants a big snuggly warm shawl. Perfect!
I bought the yarn for this shawl (Misti Alpaca Lace) before I had even received the Fall issue of IK. And, by some miracle, the color I bought (moss green) is exactly what the bride wants! (Uh oh, I hope that the groom isn't reading this! The bride's outfit is being kept a secret from him...).

So you'd think that all these coincidences would lead to knitting happiness, right? Well it would be if I could follow a freaking chart! I've screwed up twice already... Nothing too serious, I just had to tink back and reknit. Usually I follow charts very carefully (some might say I'm anal), and maybe this time I got too sure of myself. *pout*

Anyway, here is what I had after 2 days of knitting:

In order to make the shawl larger, I needed to find out how big each repeat is *when blocked*. So I blocked my knitting on the needles! Very simply, I pinned a portion of the shawl and sprayed it with water. (You can see that I blocked only the right side of the shawl, then knit a few repeats which are unblocked and crumply). I measured the next day: 1.1" by 1.1" per repeat. This lead me to knit 19 repeats of the Budding Lace chart instead of the recommended 14. That way, exactly 11 repeats of the edging (Lily of the Valley chart) will fit in. And I didn't even have to do any math: a few KALers have travelled that road before me! A big thank you to the blogless Mary Tess, as well as Sia, Jeri, Angeluna and Risa.

12 days left! According to Rose-Kim's shawl percentage calculator, I am 73% done! As long as I follow the damn chart, I think I'll be ok.

By Veronique
On Thursday, September 21, 2006
At 9/21/2006 04:36:00 PM


 
 

Another Hat Fits!

You know how sometimes you're sick of working on a sweater? The idea of those looooong rows.... The constant measuring until you finally make it to the armhole...

That's when you need a short and cute project, just to prove that you can whip something up.
This pattern, from Shibui Knits (purchased from PureKnits) fit the bill perfectly. (Oh, I love ordering from Yahaira! Her site is so pretty, she's quick and the packaging is so nice... And have you seen the cashmere lace from Habu?!).
Edited to Add: thanks to my roommate for taking these pics!
Notes: I used one ball of Cashmerino Baby (red, #700) and one ball of GGH Soft Kid (brown, #67), on US 2 Addis, and magic looped it. Now, the pattern specifies that gauge is not that important, so I just cast on, and went with it. However, the pattern also states that you should get somewhere around 6 stitches per inch. I got 8 spi. So, yeah, my hat is probably smaller than the designer intended it to be. Still fits though. And that's probably why I only needed one ball of each color, and not 2 as recommended.

Next up: a race.
I volunteered to knit a lace wedding shawl for the illustrator who drew my banner. I have 2 weeks. Eep! The bride-to-be is looking at my pattern suggestions as I type (Icarus, Lotus Blossom, Flower Basket and Seraphim) and I better get some yarn this week! Oh, this is so exciting!

By Veronique
On Sunday, September 17, 2006
At 9/17/2006 04:11:00 PM


 
 

"Hat Fits!"

This was the title of an email I received this week!
Behold, the treasure that all knitters strive towards, the knitting holy grail: a picture of a baby wearing a handknit. Ah, I am content.
(Thank you Evelyn!)

Specs:
Pattern: uh, well, actually, there is no pattern. I just winged it. I worked a 3 st i-cord at the top and tied it into a knot, similar to the Umbilical Cord Hat from SnB.
Yarn: leftover Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora (leftover from a Bella Paquita cardie I made, pre-blogging days)
Needles: wood dpns US4, which broke mid-project (grr)

Yes, I know, I already showed you a picture of the finished hat, but on a freaking Lava Lamp. This pic is much better, no?

Next up: another hat. But for me. It just needs a little sewing and then I will reveal. (Ah ha! So there are 2 S words: seaming and sewing).

By Veronique
On Saturday, September 09, 2006
At 9/09/2006 09:25:00 PM


 
 

More FOs...

Finally! It took me long enough, but I'm done seaming (well, for the time being at least). I know I complained about seaming, and yet, I can't bring myself to knit seamless garments... There's something about the construction that makes more sense with seams. Not to mention the fact that if you knit a sweater in pieces your rows are way shorter than knitting in the round!
But, enough babbling, you want to see me modelling my cardies, right?!

Finally, I've sewn in a fancy shmancy double sided zipper for my Phildar green cardie. Ta da! This cardie is from the sold out Phildar Tendances Spring 2004, the same magazine that's also brought you the popular Phildar tank top. I bought this magazine when it came out, and always had an eye on this cardie. About a year later, I bought the yarn, Phildar Rivage in Pomme (50% viscose, 50% polyamide! eek!), from Breiweb. (The package mysteriously got lost and Breiweb sent me another one, free of charge! I was relieved, but now I'm afraid to order from them again...). I was very disappointed when I received the yarn however: this is a bright green. Oh, it's so bright that if it's ever foggy, you won't lose me. Nope, not with this eye-searing shade of green! Anyway, it sat in the stash for another year (until the pain in my retinas subsided), and then I decided that it was ridiculous to have all that yarn sitting in the stash, so I grabbed it, cast on, and voila!

Next up: Phildar's Caban Marine, from Tendance Spring '06.
I used the recommended Phildar Aviso (yummy, super soft cotton) in Marine, 13 skeins. There is one left over. The buttons are from M&J Trimmings. I have to admit though, that I made quite a few mods here and there: I made made the second buttonhole a little higher, I knit the collar from the outside edge in, so that the cast-on edge is the edge that shows, I slipped the first st of every row to get a smooth edge (I hate lumpy garter st edges!), I worked the inc 2 st in... Phildar is not one to give you all these little details. And, not to complain or anything, but does this cardie seem really short on me? The sleeves were bracelet length on the model, and the cardie seemed much longer... Am I that tall? I'm not too worried about it though, because I know cotton can s-t-r-e-t-c-h!

And finally:

Marie gave me some handspun black alpaca, wih some *rainbow glitter* thrown in, about a year ago. She had just received some naturally black alpaca fiber and brought it to the Point, and I couldn't stop touching it... I complained that 100 yds was not enough to make anything, and Marie made another skein for me! Thanks Marie! After petting my beautiful yarn, I decided to make a beret. I simply followed Ann Budd's instructions from The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns. I thought the purled side showed the glitter a little better, so I knit it inside out (you didn't think I'd make an entire beret by purling every row, did you?). The regular decreases (k2tog on the knit side) didn't look so great on the purl side though, so I decided to make purled decreases on the knit side, to make them more defined. Did you follow that convoluted thought? The purled decreases look like knits in the sea of purls! They really pop!
(I have to admit that not a single photograph accurately depicts how the yarn is deeply and softly black, and how the glitter subtly changes from pink to blue to yellow).

By Veronique
On Sunday, September 03, 2006
At 9/03/2006 10:30:00 AM