Elmo is here to help me show my progress on "Ms. Bluebell." I did put it on waste yarn to try it on, but the neckline was so low I figured it would be a better idea to show Elmo's chest* instead of mine. I still have a few inches left of stockinette in-the-round to go and then a few inches of rib. Back up to the top to finish the neckline and the sleeve ruffles, and then we are good to go. This knit has been a pretty quick one overall. There was an error in the original pattern (I thought so!), so if you bought the pattern a while back, you should have received a revised PDF. I don't think this is a particularly hard knit to follow, but I am not sure a beginner would be able to follow the construction. There are a few twists and turns that might not make sense to someone who is used to the traditional construction of a top. Some of the pieces are knit flat (while the others are still on the needles) and then all is joined to make the lower body.
* Speaking of Elmo and chests, here is what my bean bought me for Mother's Day...an Elmo bra! It should be a crime to have that much happiness wound into an undergarment. She was so proud of it, and she asks me everyday when I am going to wear it to work. I just haven't found the perfect white shirt to wear with it yet. Although I will admit that it is one of the most comfy bras I have ever had on. Good job Bean! And to think her father just got me a iPod tuner for the car. Slacker! ;-)
I just saw this pattern the other day on another blog (and I'm sorry that I can't remember where), and loved it instantly. Ms. Marigold is brought to you by Zephyr Style, the same ladies that brought you Green Gable* (which I also have on deck). I think it was the little ruffles on the sleeves that did it for me...plus the fact that it is knit in one piece with no seaming. Definitely a plus in my book. There are nine steps to the pattern, and so far it is a very easy knit. Although I must tell you that it took me a while to wrap my head around how this was constructed. I finally just decided to follow the instructions step-by-step and hope it all works out. So far, so good.
And the big news is that I am using yarn from stash! (cheers all around) I had some RY Cashsoft (color #508 - ballard) sitting in stash for a top I never got around to making last year. I love this yarn! Seriously, it is so soft and springy. It also held up well when I washed my swatches. Yes, I did do some swatching for this since I wasn't sure with the deep "v" in the front what size to do for my shape. I am making the 36" and my gauge is just slightly under the recommened gauge of the pattern. Since I am not quite a 36", it should hopefully balance out nicely.
I did have a question on the pattern, so I am waiting a response before I go much further. Because this is entirely kept on one needle, I want to be cautious about ripping back. I'm crossing my fingerst that won't need to happen!
*Did anyone else read Anne of Green Gables? I LOVED that series of books! I don't think I have them anymore, so I will have to get some copies for when the Bean starts to read.
I have been trying to get a post up all week about one of the books I mentioned I purchased recently, but I keep getting distracted. I sat down last night to start, but got sidetracked when I noticed Gymboree was having a sale (I spent an hour looking and didn't buy a thing). I accidentally left the book home today that I was planning on reviewing. Instead, I am going to review a book I borrowed from the library... Alterknits: Imaginative Projects and Creativity Exercises by Leigh Radford.
Let me just say first that I can NEVER find good knitting books at my library. I think knitters hang around the front of the library on the days they know the new books get shelved and then check them out for weeks on end. My county has a very large library system, and I could easily reserve books online. But, I like going in and finding new stuff waiting for me. I couldn't believe that Alterknits was sitting there staring back at me.
Leigh does have a Web site where you can view most of the projects from the book. Take a look.
My first reaction to the book was that there wasn't much in it I would probably ever knit. A lot of the items were for the home or functional items, and I am not really big yet into knitting cushions and bed covers. I will say that the screen door shown is absolutely amazing...who the hell would KNIT a screen door? My dog would gleefully take the first opportunity to run right through it. And then I would have to kill him.
I did enjoy how the projects took the basic concepts of knitting and move them "outside the box." There are patterns for some really cool jewelry, a paper crown from crepe paper, and some paper lanterns. A lot of the other patterns, to be quite honest, are things I have seen before. Every project did have a twist to it...like taking a basic tank pattern and then adding cute little ruffles to the front using a novelty yarn.
The book does have "creativity exercises" sprinkled throughout to try and get the reader to think of their knitting in a different way. A notebook comes in the back for you to write your responses to the exercises...kind of like an inspiration notebook. The library had removed the notebook from the book so I couldn't take a look at it, but I thought it was a nice touch to include it in a book that wants its readers to extend themselves creatively.
I am glad I didn't initially buy this book without looking at it first (a habit of mine). I think I was more inspired by Loop-d-Loop than this book. Overall, it was nice to sit and look it over and try out the exercises.
Tomorrow...a new project! No, I didn't cast Florence aside. I just needed something smaller for my commuting knitting. Although now that I think of it, this new project won't probably be small for long!
I figured it was about time that I updated you on an actual project. The above is my attempt at completing approximately 70cm of ribbing. 1x1 ribbing on #3's and 2x2 ribbing on #4's. To say Florence is slow going is an understatement. I have been trying not to start other projects so I can at least make some good headway on this one, but it has been VERY tempting to put this one aside. At least I am at the point now where I have switched to larger needles and larger ribbing. 60cm of 1x1 ribbing doesn't really sound like a lot, but let me tell you, it might as well be 60 MILES of ribbing. At least that's what it feels like.
Miles of Ribbing:
I will be away this weekend, but hopefully when I get back I will have some time for book reviews. I have purchased, well let's just say a "few", knitting books in the past month or so. I definitely have an opinion about each one, so I will try to get them up here soon.