Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Phildar, I think I love you

As promised in my last post, some of the pretty things in my very first Phildar catalogue. I realize this might be old news to some of you, as it's an older issue. But I'm pretty excited about it. And it doesn't hurt that everywhere I look, I hear nothing but good reviews on Phildar patterns as far as their accuracy and detail. For anyone wondering, it's Phildar Tendances No. 425.


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Coming soon - progress photos for She Who Shall Not Be Named, and my search for a Knit Along, which would be my first ever. I don't know what it is with me lately, I just seem to be bent on trying as many new things as possible. I guess I'm feeling an adventuress, expand my horizons streak these days. And to be honest, I'm quite enjoying it. =) So until next time, happy crafting.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I spy with my wandering eye......

......a 25th Anniversary special edition Fall issue of Vogue Knitting, Kim Hargreave's website, and my first Phildar catalogue. How's a girl supposed to stay loyal to a project with so much temptation around?

I saw the new issue of Vogue on an innocent trip to the grocery store to get milk yesterday. I bought it but have not looked at it yet. Partly because I have a mile long to-do list that's keeping me very busy lately. The other reason is because I'm determined to finish the Side Tie Vest I've been working on. I've gotten so annoyed with the errors in the pattern (yes, there are errors) that I'm only using it as a reference point and improvising the rest as I go. I think I understand now why I had so much trouble finding anybody who admitted ever having knit it - there are random houses around the country with a half completed Side Tie Vest stuffed behind their couch. From this point on, that project will be known by the name "She Who Shall Not Be Named". I've finished the left front and started the right front. I'm afraid if I start something shiny, pretty, and new, She Who Shall Not Be Named will gradually get pushed to a dark corner where it'll collect dust. I've been knitting long enough to know that my self control is a very fragile thing. I'd start off by telling myself that I'm just going to flip through the pages, look at the designs, maybe read a few articles. Then I'd spot something that made my heart rate quicken. Of course I'd have to check the gauge of the pattern, you know, just to see if there's something in my stash that would work. The next thing I know, I'm sitting on the floor surrounded on all sides by baskets and bags of yarn. "What's the harm in picking out the yarn now?", I ask myself. When I've singled out what I think might be a perfect candidate, I'm left with that nagging feeling of, "How can I know for sure unless I swatch with it?" And well, I'm sure many of you know from personal experience how the story ends.

There are so many talented knitwear designers out there. But if somebody said to me, "Quick, name your favorite designer!", I would say Kim Hargreaves. Her designs are classic, tasteful, feminine, original and beautifully void of atrocious fun fur.

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I think I found her website about a year ago. I periodically go back to drool. I've yet to purchase a kit though. All the kits have Rowan Yarns, which I love. But it's Rowan Yarns at retail price, which I almost never pay. Why would I when there are places like this or this or this? Warning: you are going to see me knitting a lot of projects with Jaeger Extra Fine Merino. Not too long ago, I visited the first sight listed above and stumbled onto a sale of full bags for $40 (they retail for $90) with..............brace yourself...............free Airmail shipping from the UK!! Let's just say I was intoxicated by all the pretty colors, too many to choose from - so I didn't. I got one (and in some cases, two) of each. When I awoke from my greedy seizure, my bank account had a size able chunk missing. So visit the above sites at your own risk. Any-hoo, my whole point before I got off track was that I wish I could buy just the patterns from Kim Hargreaves sight, because I can find Rowan yarn so much cheaper elsewhere.

I discovered Phildar Tendances through reading other knitter's blogs, and quickly added it to my obscenely long list of coveted knitting things. Then I won a back issue on ebay. Want to see some pretty things? =)
Well I would love to show you. But first I have to figure out which unpacked box has the Phildar magazine in it. Next post.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Um...........Oops!.........Ramen noodles, anyone?

Okay, there was a mistake with the left front - more than one actually. And not all of them were the fault of Vogue Knitting. Remember how I said "the maths weren't adding up?" Well that was because I did the math wrong. All my fault. After knitting a good five inches and things were looking a little strange, I re-checked the math and got a completely different number than I did the first time. So I had to rip back those five inches. I confess, when it hit me than I would have to pull out that much, I seriously contemplated whipping the whole thing behind the couch and acting like it never existed. =) Then I gave myself a little pep talk about "how the people who give up at the first sign of difficulty don't get very far in life (or knitting)", and "think how glad you'll be that you didn't give up, when it's finished and your wearing it", yada, yada, yada. Then to make the whole ripping process a little less painful, I decided to let my five year nephew Toby have the honor. It was fun to watch the enjoyment on his face while he did it - for once he was actually being asked to "destroy" something, instead of getting in trouble for it. And is it just me? Or does the curly pile of yarn you end up with after you've frogged something, remind you of Ramen Noodles?

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Anyway, I did find another mistake that's not corrected on the VK website. The Staggered Rib Pattern has an eight row repeat. On the instructions for the Back piece, they have you work a total of eight rows of Staggered Rib. Okay, great - I did that with no problems. But on the Left Front, they instruct you to work the Staggered Rib for a total of nine rows. That would leave an extra row of Staggered Rib just sitting around at the top, looking out of place. Plus, I took a nice close look at the picture of the one on the model, and it definitely didn't have that extra 9th row on it.

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There's one other part where there might be a problem. But I won't know for sure until I've spent some more time with the pattern, calculator, pencil, and tablet. I've learned my lesson about prematurely pointing fingers - my humble apologies to Vogue Knitting for blaming them for my questionable math skills.

I did a Google search to try to find anyone else who had completed this project and blogged about it. I only found two people, one of which had a blog - yes, i MADE that (scroll down when you get to her page). So far that I've found, she made no mention of having problems with the pattern.

And lastly, look what I signed out of the library today. Being a new blogger, there are about a million and seven questions I have about customizing my page. Hopefully this book can answer a few of them.