Category Archives: ribbi cardi

Other People’s Stuff

Yesterday, I finally gifted my supervisor with her Ribbi Cardi – she loved it and was totally flattered. But hey, I figure a PhD supervisor who signs on for 4+ years deserves something a little more than a wee scarf or hat, right? She did warn me though, that when the rest of my committee sees it, they will start wanting sweaters, too. Hm.

Ribby Cardi


(Finished Ribby Cardi, KnitPicks Swish Superwash in Bordeaux (arms) and Wisteria (body), 4.5mm needles)

As you can see, I made a buttonband instead of using the zipper – given the Swish shrinkage issues, I didn’t want to risk Horrible Bad Shrinkage combined with Zipper Installation Which Could Potentially Go Screwy. And it worked. Buttons matched perfectly. My supervisor kept saying how soft the yarn felt and asked if it was cotton, and I said, “Nope, it’s wool! And you can even put it in the washing machine!” and she said, “NO! Really?” So, metal note. Superwash wool = positive knitted gift experience. I’ll definitely be knitting one of these for myself eventually, since the Fired Brick I originally ordered for the body turned out not so suitable and I still have it sitting around – it didn’t contrast enough with the Bordeaux. I’m thinkin’ red-and-pink Ribbi for me, just to be bright and girly. (My supervisor declined a photo while wearing hers, insisting wrongly that she is not photogenic. I wonder, does anyone actually think themselves photogenic?)

The Swish Superwash does shrink up as predicted – and really, KnitPicks is NOT doing themselves any favours by not advertising this. When I finished knitting and assembling, the length was 23.5″, and after washing and drying, the length was 21″. The sleeves, somehow, did not shrink up as much – I think this might be a property of the ribbed fabric vs. the stockinette fabric. Stockinette seems to dry and shrink up faster, as I noted on the, oh, four times or so I removed it from the dryer to check progress. For this pattern, if I do make it again with Swish, I’ll not only add length to the body, but add more rows in the raglan sleeve cap/armhole shaping to guard against shrinkage there. I think most of the shrinkage did happen in the body, but hey, just to be on the safe side. (I have the feeling that the Swish is also going to pill like a mo’fo’, but hey, so does every other yarn KnitPicks makes, so no real surprises there.)

[Edited to Add]: A pic from knit night last night of Aven and her wee guy. He had no toys and I had sympathy, so I offered my scarf with the waggly tassly ends, and that seemed to suffice for at least two seconds. After last night I started wondering if well-meaning fellow knitters should include a soft baby toy in their knitting bag, for just such emergencies.

(Et voila le cute.)

So yes, I plucked up my courage again and went to Lettuce Knit for knit night for the third time ever – the first chair available that I found was right by the door, so I sat there the whole time as if ready for a clean getaway in case of terminal shyness. But no, it was all fine, and the ladies I chatted with were lovely, and there was one woman next to me who was there for the first time and so that was reassuring to me. And Elizabeth, who I’d met before, started showing me this hand-dyed limited-edition laceweight and sock yarn and almost had me convinced to plunk down $50 on yarn before I left – but I persevered and did not purchase. I’ll see how the perseverance lasts if I go next week!

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Weekend afternoons without knitting

Once upon a time I did used to spend my free time doing things besides knitting. Despite the fact that some people (my mother) ;) now ask me if I do anything else at all besides knitting, I think what’s happened is that knitting has slowly but steadily colonized all of my other hobbies. I used to work with beads, but now my bead box sits idly on the shelf. I used to bake things, but now only do that on special occasions. And of course, I did used to do a lot more reading for pleasure, not so much any more – although that may have more to do with the fact that I do various academic reading during the week and so reading has gradually lost its lustre.

Anyhoo. I went back to all of these things yesterday – dusted off The Woman in White and read 80 pages at bedtime, and in the afternoon I got out the beads…

(Beaded stitch markers, in sets of 6. Okay, so it’s beading that’s also knitting-related.)

I’d promised to make 2 sets of stitch markers for another knitter, and once I finally sat down to do it I just kept on stringing more sets, cranking out 7 sets altogether. I might have done more, except I eventually ran out of jump rings and my fingers were getting stiff from using the pliers. I’ll have to get more jump rings eventually if/when I want to do more – but around these parts the bead stores are located handily near a couple of my favourite yarn stores, so that way lies temptation and madness.

(Pseudo-early-Valentine’s Day cupcakes.)

And, well, there are very few things that will not be improved by cupcakes, don’t you think? Me too.

I did finish off the Ribbi Cardi on Friday, but have no FO pics to share as of yet – I still need buttons, and I also still need to gift it to the recipient (my supervisor), and so I’m holding off on any photos until I’m absolutely sure that it fits the wearer and all is well. I’m a little bit nervous and am crossing my fingers for the best, but I think all will be well. Thanks to the cold weather, I’m also dreaming of casting on for new things like this and this, but am being good and am still keeping myself on track with the things still on the needles.

Happy Sunday!

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Saturday knitting tour

The good news is, I’m feeling better today – so much better that I’ve even had a shower and have already consumed some dry cereal. I might even try some dry white toast with a bit of honey later, it’s all very exciting. The bad news is that I’m better enough that I do actually have to do real work today, so I’m wondering how fast I’ll be able to get through that so I can return to lying around and actually get to enjoy it. It’s been nearly 3 full days since I last picked up my knitting needles, and that’s just too damn long.

But, before all of The Unpleasantness (I think I may have narrowed it down to some ceasar salad consumed on Saturday night, either that or some random bug), I did have a lovely visit from Kelly. She arrived on Friday and we did some knitting and lounging around, and on Saturday we continued that pace until about midday when we ventured out towards the yarn stores. In Ottawa she doesn’t have access to the same variety that we do here in the T-Dot, so she was raring to go. (I of course had to be pushed out the door kicking and screaming. You believe me, don’t you?)

Our first visit was to Lettuce Knit. We ogled and fondled and browsed. I made my purchase of bamboo needles and then actually sat and waited for the others and knitted a few rows of my Ribbi Cardi sleeve #2, fresh with new bamboo 4.5mms just sleeve-sized:

(The second sleeve, in the state I left it in on Saturday afternoon.
Sadly, it has not grown since then.)

Kelly escaped with a copy of a spinning magazine and a pair of Lorna’s Laces skeins. (She has since been contemplating whether to in fact knit them up for a gift as planned or to figure out a way to keep the resulting socks for herself.) My sister fondled many things lovingly but none so much as the Misti Alpaca laceweight. I should mention here that, the night before, my sister was found flipping through my back copies of Interweave Knits magazine and saying things like “ooh, shawls…” But she did not make any purchases. Yet.

(Kelly and Me in front of Lettuce Knit)

We carried on to Romni Wools. I had tried to prepare Kelly for what she was about to walk into. I kept saying things like, “They have a lot of yarn. They have fibre. They have an upstairs and a downstairs. Your eyes might glaze over. Really.” But I don’t think anything can truly prepare you for Romni, particularly when you haven’t had the ability to rely on stores of that size as a matter of habit. We all went in and dispersed, and I went directly to the Noro section. I had anticipated buying a pair of Addis, but before departing had found that I already owned the size I was prepared to buy, so instead I decided to go for the Noro Silk Garden and see if I could find a couple more skeins of the same Silk Garden I received at Christmas, so that I could use put it towards a Poppy sweater. Well, after doing quite a bit of digging, I found what might possibly have been the last remaining skeins of Silk Garden #201, unless they had secret things hidden where I can’t see them.

By the time I emerged and caught up with the others, Kelly had made her way downstairs and had seen the fibre. She was practically giddy, and I’ll let her tell that part of the story, but suffice it to say she was thrilled to be able to touch the fibre she was interested in buying. I hear that’s a big deal for spinners. ;) (I’m still holding out, but will happily watch others discover this and its joys). So, she made out with some purchases as well.

On our way back home, my sister decided she wanted a second look at Lettuce Knit. And so we returned. And there was more fondling of sock yarn, and more fondling of Misti Alpaca laceweight. And lo, my sister became the proud owner of two yummy purple skeins of her first laceweight, destined to be an Icarus Shawl one day. She even got to have it wound on site and couldn’t have been happier:


And that’s pretty much the exciting knitterly tale of the weekend. I wish there was more, but sadly no. I lie in wait for next weekend when I will be ready to pounce on so many projects it’ll be like knitting before it goes out of style. I hope everyone out there in blogland is having a good week!

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Thursday, Thursday, Thursday

Thursday means Grey’s Anatomy day (although for me it might as well be re-named The Alex and Addison show, because they’re the characters I’m most obsessed with at the moment ;) ) which means I will get to have something to watch while I plonk myself down tonight and keep knitting on this:

(la belle Ribbi Cardi)

I’m only 1/3 finished the first sleeve, and quite honestly I had hoped that by now I would already have started the second sleeve, but things have been flagging a bit the last few days. Didn’t get much knitting in on Tuesday night and last night I was enticed away from it by Other Knitting, so there we are. My ultimate goal is to have all the knitting on this (if perhaps not the assembly) finished by the end of this weekend, so we’ll see how that goes. I’m still in love with the colour, still sad to have to see it go at the end, and still anxious curious about how the slight Swish shrinkage will go down. Further bulletins as events occur.

In more exciting news, my friend Kelly is coming to visit me this weekend to hang out and do some quality knit-geeking. I’m so gleeful. We’ll go eat some awesome food and I think a mini-yarn-store-crawl is called for, for Romni Wools and Lettuce Knit. We are both attempting to knit from our stash, though, so we have made promises to keep each other “on the wagon” but for some very specific purchases that we have identified as needs-not-wants. (Needles.) Heh. We’ll see how that goes down, too, I am sure.

And finally, it looks as though my participation in Sock-A-Month-2 has come to an end. January is the last month and I realized I fulfilled my January duty back at New Year’s with my Fortissima self-striping socks, so voila! I am finished. I don’t think I’ll be signing up for Sock-A-Month-3, but damn if there’s a Sweater-A-Month knitalong then put me down for that because my knit list is just overwhelmed with sweaters right now. I’m hoping to finish at least one or two in the forseeable future. But knitting at least one pair of socks each month since August has really given me some good sock training, and pushed me into double digits – I’m at 10 pairs now – so I’m grateful for that participation.

Happy Thursday! May your yarn not be far from you today…

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Sundays with the Knitting

My poor, neglected Ribbi Cardi has finally seen some action again this past week. After virtually ignoring it since the beginning of December I’ve been giving it my almost-full knitting attention since Tuesday or so and it’s paid off, putting me at about the halfway mark. I’ve completed the back and one full front piece and have started the 2nd front:

The contrast colour for the sleeves will be Bordeaux – I had originally planned to make the body with Bordeaux and use Fired Brick (red) for the sleeves, but then they arrived and I found there wasn’t a strong enough contrast between the two. So, the Fired Brick is still sitting there waiting for something else – I’m tempted (once I finish this and a few other things, ahahaha) to order some of the Ballerina shade and make myself a pink-and-red Ribbi Cardi. It could either be really really cutesy and cheezy or bright and sporty. Hm.

I can’t say much about this pattern that hasn’t already been said – it’s a relatively quick knit all things considered, not too difficult, and I’m sure it will be comfortable to wear. This one’s destined to be gifted, and it will be hard to part with. My only concern is that I anticipate there will be shrinkage – the blogosphere tells me that Swish (despite being superwash) shrinks in the row gauge. I’ve added a few inches in the length to accommodate this, but only time will tell if it’s enough! Fingers crossed…

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