American Wool Series

Monday, January 31, 2011

Thump a thump

Over the weekend I took a look at the Spring Haute Couture lines. Most were beautiful and interesting but the Christian Dior line had my heart racing and skipping beats. Take a look for yourself - it's very New Look and I just love the color palette and draping and petticoats. Oh, lordy, those tiny little waists with all that fabric. I can just imagine the swooshy swooshy as they walk.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I did a big load of hand wash today and felt very proud of myself. That is, until I pulled out my Castlegar Cardigan. Those awesome vintage glass buttons are completely ruined. I nearly cried (there have been other frustrations today and this tipped the scale) while patting out my sweater on the towels. There was no agitation, no twisting, nothing that would cause damage except for maybe the nice long soak? All I know is that the white background of the button which allowed the crows to stand out in relief is almost completely rubbed off on some buttons and totally gone on others. I still love the sweater itself but now have to hunt down other buttons to sew on since the glass is too shiny on it's own. If there wasn't a crazy toddler and a sick husband in the house I'd be off the bar to eat some really bad-for-me food and cry into a gin & tonic. Blar.

I was pleased to read that you all share my love of cuff-down socks since I'm really struggling with gathering motivation to finish the first Cleopatra Stocking. Short rows are awkward, the wraps never look very good, and I don't like having to page through the 10+ page pattern. I guess they look nice, though.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I've been working my sock yarn stash pretty hard lately. You know, digging down into deep stash and pulling old, forgotten skeins out to use in shiny new projects. It feels good to finally use yarn that has been languishing - like my yarn shipments from the 2008 Rockin' Sock Club. Flipping through my pattern binder I randomly grabbed Cleopatra's Stockings and the matching yarn and cast on. Cuff-down socks are my go-to for sock knitting since the heel flap and gusset construction fits my foot really well but this pattern is written toe-up with a provisional cast on and short rows which eliminate a seam at the front of the toe. It was interesting to knit but I'm not sure I actually liked it. It's new and different and that's about all I can say about it. We'll see how the rest of the sock goes.

How about you? Cuff-down or toe-up?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I've been keeping silent due to a major cold that sapped my strength, impaired my hearing, and made me an all around grouch. Fun. I woke up this morning able to hear out of both ears and breath through my nose - victory!

Yesterday I sewed the buttons on my Acer Cardigan and wore it all day long. It's lovely and I can't believe how little yarn it took.

Pattern: Acer Cardigan by Amy Christoffers
Yarn: Araucania Nature Wool Solids in color 16
Needles: US #6 Addi Turbo, US #6 Clover Bamboo
Mods/Notes: This took just over 4 skeins of yarn including a little extra length added to the body. The numbers for the sleeve cap were a little wonky and I ended up with a larger number of stitches than the pattern listed which is fine since the sleeves are really fitted. I blocked my pieces before setting in the sleeve to see how much width I would gain which turned out to be quite a bit. The pattern doesn't explicitly say when to use the smaller needle so I ended up using it only for the buttonbands and collar. I didn't pick up as many stitches around the neck edge but picked up more for the button bands but that's how I roll. The sweater works fine over a t-shirt but if you wanted to wear it over a long sleeve shirt or anything thicker than a t-shirt I would knit the next size up or do the math to add some extra ease.