May 12, 2005

Orange, Orange, Orangina

Next up is the Organina top from Glampyre! I can't get enough of small-gauge cotton, right?? Its just way too cute to resist any longer.

From what I've heard, the construction is pretty simple: front and back worked separately from the top down, then joined for ribbing and seamed at the end. I can handle that!

I've been thinking about this top for awhile, and casually investigating colors of 4-ply cottons, but nothing had jumped out at me yet. Then, Monday night, I noticed Elann had posted Endless Summer Lara. I have a credit with them! It was fate!

Coral colors have been really appealing to me lately, so I went with this, Brick.


It should come in the mail maybe today. Hopefully its the right color in person. What if it is super red?? Hmmm. maybe I will just go with it.

I bought 9 skeins, which is probably way too many, but it had slightly less yardage than the Rowan 4-ply. Any ideas for 4-ply cotton leftovers??

May 14, 2005

Orangina in the park

The Lara yarn came in the mail Thursday, and its wonderful! yea! Its shiny, and reddish, but with orange undertones. In some light, it even looks coral. *perfect*


So today, the weather people said it was going to rain. But it really turned out to be quite nice! Who are these weather people?? The newly-started Orangina and I went to the park.


There is one thing about the Endless Summer Lara yarn. Its really splitty. There are about six strands that make up the yarn, and they're not held together all that well. I have to pay lots of attention to make sure it doesn't split. This is a big difference from the Rowan 4-ply cotton, which didn't split at all. ah well, it is pretty and no major splitting so far (*knock on wood*).


I am using size 3 bamboo circs, the same ones that were used on Lucky. Gauge is pretty much there. It should block out to the necessary 18 inches. My gauge swatch was a bit smaller than it should be, so I am trying to knit loosely. Its about 16 inches across, but easily stretches out to 18. And based on the dramatic pre- and post- lace blocking pictures I've seen around, it should do just fine.

May 16, 2005

Side A

One half of orangina is done!


Although it didn't seem this way at first, the lace pattern was easily memorized. The pattern is made up of the same repeated stitches, just offset by differing numbers of plain stitches at the beginning and end of RS rows.

I am surprised how my hands learned the pattern on their own.. they just go through the row, doing the right stitches, while my mind wanders off. Every so often, I remember to check, "whoa, is that right?", and usually it is fine.


And the splitty yarn? Its still doing its thing. I have to keep an eye on it on the purl rows and with the slipped stitch of the skp in the lace. A couple times on each row, I have to go back and catch little dropped threads.

Side B is about 2 inches started. I am looking forward to the ribbing. This is going to be a quick knit!

May 18, 2005

Side A, meet Side B

Side B, here's your new friend Side A. Hopefully you two will get along just fine.


I am so surprised about how fast this is going. The two parts of Orangina are almost ready for the ribbing. They really need a good blocking, but I think I'll wait until after the ribbing, then block the whole thing.

Okay, so this fast knitting isn't just from casual knitting-while-watching-television. I've been out sick from work a couple days with a cold/sore throat, so I've had whole days to knit Orangina. Knitting is such a bonus to being sick and out of work, that it makes me feel guilty about taking a sick day! Even if I am legitimately ill, you know I could go in if I really *needed* to. Once I decided that I was definitely staying home, the next thought in my head was: "yessss, knitting all day!" Its downright guilt-inducing.

So I am totally in a red phase. I find I am attracted to colors in phases. Before this, I was all about the cool green/blue color range. Case in point: shoes that match orangina, and I didn't even plan it.


May 19, 2005

The shoes from yesterday's post

Hello and welcome to Diana's knitting and shoe shopping blog. mostly about knitting, but sometimes about shoes. I am not really a shoe person (i.e. one who really enjoys buying footwear), but sometimes there are good pairs. so once in awhile (actually, only when inquiring minds request such information in the comments) it will be about shoes.


Here is everything I know about the sparkly shoes from yesterday's post:

1. I bought them at a street vendor in SoHo, NYC for $25. I tried on like 10-15 pairs before deciding that these were the ones. Yes, I tried them on right there on the sidewalk. It was a nice day. Other people were doing it too.

2. There are vendors selling them around NYC on the sidewalks, and at street fairs. They come in many colors.

3. They are also available on ebay; I found some with this search. Also, I think other more mainstream brands are making their own versions.

4. They are uni-foot. Meaning there is neither a right or left one. who knew.

5. Apparently they are handmade and from India.

6. They are not the most comfortable or supportive shoes ever, and the soles are just leather, so probably meant to be worn indoors. But they can definitely be worn outside, though I wouldn't count on them for long walks or anything. They break in and stretch out over time.

7. They are getting to be pretty popular here, I bet you can find them in your town too.

Tomorrow it will be back to the regularly-scheduled knitting content!

May 21, 2005

A Knitting Illusion

So imagine this: You're knitting something, happily moving along. Its going so much faster than expected! Then, almost at the end, there's a little detail to knit. a neckband, some ribbing, it seems like it should take all of ten minutes, max. Its basically done! Plan on wearing the sweater *tomorrow*.

Then, you're knitting and knitting and knitting, but the sweater looks exactly the same. Its definitely taking more than ten minutes. and its dead boring. Will it ever be done?

Thus: the knitting optical illusion. Seems like its quick and easy, but really, its life-suckingly slow. It takes great strength of will to get through this.

Case in point: the ribbing on Orangina.


The lace pieces, each 15 inches long, pretty much knit themselves. But five inches of 3x3 ribbing in the round? taking FOR-ever. I am caught in a rift in the knitting-time continuum, and its unclear if I will ever make it out..

June 19, 2005

Return of the Half-knitted Items

The other day I noticed that half-knitted things were lounging on nearly every available surface in my room. Now, this is especially disturbing because at one point in time, I declared myself a one-project-at-a-time knitter. Ooops. guess I fell off that wagon.

Cases in point:

1. A partially knitted One Skein Wonder, looking lovely in pink on my nighstand.


2. The crocheted sling bag, travel-ready in a ziploc, waiting for a good subway ride on my fiber cabinet. (Yes, I have a piece of furniture whose sole purpose is to store yarn...there's no going back now.)


3. Long neglected, Orangina waits patiently on the top of the bookshelf, hoping someday to get that last 2 inches of ribbing. Someday.


4. Hiding out next to Orangina is a sock and half so unloved it didn't even warrant mention here before now. I made it quite far on this pair of socks before deciding the gauge is too loose and have yet to decide whether this development warrants ripping.


My goal: finish these knit items and send them on their way!

July 6, 2005

Orangina, Orangina

I finally got motivated and did the last 2 inches of ribbing on Orangina. So silly to take so long to do something so easy.

Here she is!


And the verdict? well, part of the reason I procrastinated on finishing this sweater is that I wasn't sure if I'd like it. Now that its done, the jury is still out.

This might be one of those knits that grows on me, and turns into a favorite. Or it might be one that I end up giving away. Linda says it looks stellar. We shall see. I'll try it out.

The Specs:

Pattern: Orangina by Stefanie Japel
Yarn: Elann Endless Summer Lara; about 5 balls.
Needles: Size 3 US, 24 inch Addi Natura circular
Pattern Size: Small, 36"
Actual Finished Size: Chest: 33" unstretched; Length: 20" (15" lace, 5" ribbing)

I followed the pattern pretty much word-for word. One thing though: its necessary to decrease 2 stitches when the front and back are joined for the ribbing, which the pattern does not mention. I did this at the side seams, which worked out.

The neckband is supposed to be joined for 2 inches, but I seamed mine for about 3.5 inches. With only a 2" seam, the neck and back flared out too much for my taste. I ironed the sleeve tops so they wouldn't wave along with the lace pattern.


I also steam-blocked the whole top, using an iron on hot and a t-shirt between the iron and Orangina.

Overall, a successful knit! I don't think I'll ever use the splitty Lara yarn again, but its shiny and soft in a finished garment. And, if I end up giving Orangina away, I'd consider making another one in a smaller size. Maybe in white like the lovely one over at Domesticat...



diana AT streetsandyos DOT com