Posts categorized "Cactus Flower"


Look what I finished:


It was a tough slog, but I love it.  I made the collar much shorter and less diaphanous than the original, and I'm happy with it this way.  It is cowl-like without all that extra-what-the-hell-do-you-do-with-all-this fabric.  I get a hit of Kidsilk Haze around my neck which is what I wanted.

The only good photo is one where I chopped my head off, the haze and the early light don't go well together.


I think the body grew a bit (Summer Tweed does stretch) and if I was a good patient knitter I would wash and reblock this sweater, but that's not going to happen.  I have it on right now and I'm giddy in the hot pink mohair haze.  Yum.


The cowl that ate my head

Cactus Flower and I, we're not getting along.  I finally worked out the yarn shortage problem only to find out that there's a major design issue necessitating more ripping.

Here's what it looked like when I finished the pattern as written:


I discovered two things.  First, I don't like cowls.  The collar just flops around and never looks right.  Second, two strands of Kidsilk Haze is not enough to hold up the weight of a sweater made of Summer Tweed.  A six stitch plus five row shoulder isn't enough to hold this sweater on me (it fits me perfectly so I made the right size).  The shoulder area needs to be bigger and the collar shorter.

It took me a while but I figured out what to do. 

  • First I ripped back the collar, keeping the double strand of ksh together since it was utter hell to separate them the last time. 
  • Then I went back and picked up the neck sts again trying my best to do a few decreases. 
  • After that I knit with a strand of Summer Tweed and one of KSH and did paired decreases at each shoulder seam (to keep the visual appearance of the seam) and then in 6 places along the neck to create a yoke for the neckline. 
  • I did this every second row for about 10 rows. 
  • Now instead of having 124 sts at the neckline I have about 75 which is much better.

However, I'm at another impasse.  I know I don't really like the cowl neck, but I love the KSH collar (it does make the sweater).  I could make it a roll neck of sorts, but I'm thinking I'll do the neck almost as written (which involves making it wider at the end and eventually dropping a strand of KSH to make it more willowy), but maybe I won't make it the full head-swallowing nine inches.  My plan is to knit it on two circulars and try it on periodically to see how it looks.  I have enough left to rip if needed, but I so don't want to go there.

At least I have a plan and I'm in the home stretch.  I've already started swatching for Poppy, and I don't even have my colour of Cash Iroha picked yet.  But I'll save that for later.

That extra hour

We've been on fire this weekend.  Snowboots and winter clothes were purchased, beds were changed, food bought and prepared, laundry completed (folded even), two homework projects were finished with no tears, pumpkins were carved and everyone got enough sleep. 

This morning I've already emptied the dishwasher, put the chili in the crock pot, started working on Wednesday's lecture and it's only 9am.  That extra hour is really helpful.  I could use it every week.

Maybe it was my witchie persona that led to all this magic.  We even went to a Halloween party.


I even almost finished packing the room with the most stuff in it.  I'm going to miss this attic room.  Mostly because I'm not sure where all this stuff will fit in the new house.  I am happy about all the stuff I've been throwing away.  Moving is good for culling junk. 

However this:


Does not lead to this:


I'm *almost* done.  I didn't share the story of the sweater last week.  The required ball of KSH arrived Thursday night and I picked up the neck that night.  The sweater came to Rhinebeck and I worked on it for a few hours only to discover that four ball would not be enough.  I stopped the neck and went back to the sleeve to confirm it--I needed another freakin' ball.  With some help from Denny I decided having a sweater done right is better than a sweater done fast so I put it away for the weekend. 

Monday morning at home in bed, I started ripping.  Ripping mohair is evil.  But ripping double-stranded mohair is evil with added maleficence.  When I was done there were about a dozen little balls of KSH.  We took some time apart after that.  Oh, and I didn't have any time to knit.

I used the little balls (that sat there like high-end tribbles) and finished the sleeve.  Then I used one strand of the first dyelot with the one ball of the other dyelot to do the neck.  Hopefully tonight I'll finish it--I don't want this momentum to stop yet.  Just remember, if you're making the size medium sweater, be warned you need 5 balls, not four.

Starting to panic

My yarn isn't here.  There are only four more sleeps until Rhinebeck.  I'm getting worried.  Right now I have a one-armed, no neck sweater. 


Do I start calling the local shops to see if they have my yarn (which will ensure that I'm driving to hell's half acre for what I need tomorrow, only to return home to find my yarn in the mailbox) or do I just go through the cedar chest looking for another good sweater to bring?

I have been consoling myself with Lizard Ridge squares, I'm working on number 15, though I'm planning to reknit the one on the bottom left. 


I'm learning to embrace the randomness of kureyon, but it doesn't always work.

Cutting it close

Will I be wearing Cactus Flower to Rhinebeck?  I'm not sure.  My well thought out but somewhat denial based plans have come undone.  And it's not a lack of time that's standing in my way, but a lack of yarn. 

Cactus Flower was a project from the stash.  I had enough summer tweed and almost enough Kid Silk Haze.  The pattern calls for 4 balls, and I had 3 in one dyelot and another in a different one.  I figured I would have enough out of the three for the body and sleeves and would use the fourth on the neck where it wouldn't matter (the cowl is just KSH yumminess). 

The third ball of KSH ran out on the second sleeve.


I have secured another ball in the same dyelot and it was sent from England on Monday.  *Hopefully* it will arrive tomorrow and I can get back to the knitting denial based plan. 

Can all you knitters summon the postage karma for me please?   I'll be doing the seaming and whatever else I can until the yarn arrives. 

Blob in the Sun

I'm making good progress on Cactus Flower and I can actually see myself having it finished for Rhinebeck.  I love this point of the sweater making process--where you can see enough of the final product to really *want* to get it done and start wearing it.


I have about an inch left on the body and I've already done a part of the sleeve.  This is a great sweater to knit.  It's easy to do and luscious to touch.  Yum.


The big trick this weekend is finding some quality, sit on the porch, bask in the Fall sun, and knit time.  I'm still feeling mighty tired--the doctor says I may have a virus and strep which is why I'm feeling bad.  I was in bed by 9:30 last night so at least I'm listening to my body and sleeping.  Though the fact that I've only been up 5 hours and want to sleep again is a complete drag.

Maybe the smell of Craig's pies (apple and pumpkin) will keep me awake.


Ya, I know, it was up last week.  But I was in the dark all last week so I'm just getting to the big gushy, praisy post now.  This issue of Knitty rocks!  Sure, I'm a tad biased (I'm the advertising manager), but since I'm on the sales end, not the creative side, I think I'm rather impartial.  I love this issue of Knitty so much that I've already started two projects (my stash apparently also rocks because so far I did not have to buy any yarn to feed my startitis).

Both projects are so lovely they each deserve their own entry.  Tonight it's Cactus Flower.  What a gorgeous pairing of yarns--two of my favourites.  I had Summer Tweed stashed away (that was previously this sweater) and last year I went on a tiny Kid Silk Haze tear so I had a choice of pairings.  I actually did a mini swatch of each--Marmalade and Reed and Candy Girl and Reed. 


And unexpectedly, Candy Girl won.  Usually, I would go with the subtle pairing, but I found that the orange just disappeared against the browny/green and that would be a waste of this orangey-goodness.  So I'm went bold and bright and I love it.  I've only done a few inches (since I've been wildly flitting from project to project) and it's a nice, not too taxing knit.


Any guesses what the other new Knitty-lust-project might be?  I'll tell you when I get a chance to blog again.  Life has been...busy.  I still owe you some movie-reviews too (here's a quick one--D.O.A.P. sucked, it's was about the trial of the alleged assassin, not about what would happen to the world if a president was killed and it was pretty boring).