Category Archives: summer knitting

Almost After Dark

AfterDark-blocking

The nightie is blocking. Once it’s dry I’ll be able to weave in a few ends and go on the hunt for some bra straps, and still be able to wear this baby while the summer’s still on. it’s close enough for me to call it done. I would very much like to knit the robe as well, although I don’t think i will do it exactly as it appears in the book – seed stitch is not my first choice for trim. I’ll ponder that for a wee bit.

Pattern: After Dark Nightie by Allison Will Green, in Mason-Dixon Knitting.
Size: 37″ (third size)
Yarn: Elann Camila, 6 skeins
Cast on: July 2, 2007
Cast off: July 26, 2007
Note: I strongly recommend reading Julia’s pattern notes from her experience over at Mind of Winter. They are comprehensive and very helpful.

First, let me talk about the yarn – Elann Camila. I was very pleased with it, and would not hesitate to knit with it again. Obviously I haven’t worn the whole finished garment yet, so I can’t say for certain how it will hold up over time, but based on my experience knitting with it I was quite happy. In fact, I think it would make a great yarn substitute for the Cables and Os cardigan from No Sheep For You, and it is only through sheer force of willpower that I haven’t rushed over and bought more for exactly that purpose. The Queensland Cotolino that the pattern calls for is very, very close to the Elann Camila, and in fact at knit night a few weeks ago Elizabeth was knitting the Cables and Os with the Queensland, and I had my nightie, and we compared the yarns and they were so close it was nearly perfect. The only thing I wish is that the Elann Camila came in more colours – the ones on offer are a pretty pale palette.

Camila feels exactly how you would expect a 50-50 cotton/linen yarn to feel. A little bit soft, and a little bit crisp, and smooth to the touch. There was a faint “grassy” smell to it as i worked with it, and the occasional bit of flotsam, but not to the same extent as, say, Noro Silk Garden. I wasn’t bothered by that.

Next, the pattern. It is a beautiful pattern. I love me some stockinette panels, and the lace trip at bottom and top is enough to take the level of challenge up a notch and give me practice at lace patterns. It is meant to be worked flat in two pieces, however I modified this for in-the-round knitting because I didn’t want to be sleeping on long side seams, and stockinette on circulars is My Favourite Kind Of Knitting.

There is, however, some room for improvement, most notably for the fact that there is no pattern schematic accompanying the pattern. This is not a small detail to miss, particularly since I think the pattern is sized for a fairly petite woman. I’m 5’9″, so I’m used to adding an inch or two in length. However, the added challenge with this pattern is that there is no guideline for where the, ahm, ::ahem:: nipple line is supposed to fall. Is the lace trim at the top supposed to keep you fully covered or sit directly across the bust line? These are details I would have appreciated, because it would have helped me to know how much length to add in the stockinette section of the torso, to accommodate my own size and preferences.

Adding length in the skirt section is easily enough done – but sadly I didn’t add length there and now I wish I had done, because it would cover me just a little bit more. I think I may go back and seam up the edges of the lace panels on the skirt, it would give the whole thing a bit more sturdy feel.

So there you have it, folks, an almost-finished-object. I will be happy to move on to other things and look forward to wearing this to bed. Will you get a shot of me wearing it? Ahm, no. ;) That will remain between me and my duvet cover. (Literally! Yuk yuk yuk. I kill me.)

On with the day…

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Filed under finished object, mason-dixon, summer knitting, yarn review

We interrupt your Sunday broadcast…

…for just a little bit of gratuitous food picspam.

Saturday was all about the kitchen, for me, and indulging in some new recipes. First, I assembled some S’mores Cupcakes:

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They are delicious – but very sweet. Tooth-brushing and flossing is very much required. The only thing I missed in the recipe was the sprinkling of graham crumbs, and I wish I’d had them (or crushed graham crackers), it would have completed the s’mores flavour. I suspect this recipe could be made vegan with a different chocolate cake recipe and an icing alternative – but sadly for the s’mores flavour it is hard to avoid the marshmallow.

(A propos of cupcakes, I suspect that this site may be my undoing.)

Then there was dinner. Salad Nicoise and Dave Liebermann’s Foccacias with caramelized onions. MMM.

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Oh yeah, and I finally sewed up the straps on that Honeymoon Cami as well… ;)

HoneymoonCami

It’s simple but comfy and perfect for this time of year. As with the first Honeymoon Cami I did a year ago, I added about 2 inches of length before starting the waist shaping decreases and it sits much more suitably on me than the original pattern length would. it took just over 4 balls of Luna overall for the 36″ size.

And now, to get back to that nightie and conquer the lace edging…And find people to help me eat up 2 dozen cupcakes… ;) Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

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Filed under baking, chocolate, cooking, finished object, summer knitting

Summer Distractions

In the heat this past week, my knitting progress has been slooooow. I think I’m also experiencing a bit of knitting ennui, but I think that might be starting to pass. I’m beginning to perk up at the idea of having new projects, which means that I have got to put the pedal to the metal on this honeymoon cami and my 2nd Jaywalker sock. Mama’s got more knittin’ to do.

On the other hand, I’ve been reading.

Summer reads

I’ve been reading Waverley as an alternative to the current Knit the Classics pick, (it’s Mansfield Park, which is neither my favourite Jane Austen novel nor a book I wish to read a second time, although I have indeed been considering a re-read of Pride and Prejudice.). It was starting to slow me down, though, so instead I went looking for some contemporary literature not of the pop crap variety. (Phillipa Gregory, I’m looking at you. I think I may have actually lost brain cells reading The Other Boleyn Girl.)

And lo, in the last few days I’ve torn through Atonement by Ian McEwan (which was GREAT, i think i will look for more by him), and Evening by Susan Minot (which was lovely but makes me very curious how they are going to turn the book into a film, it is far from linear storytelling), and am now contemplating something longer. I’ve had A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry on my shelf for ages and ages, and some fellow grads recommended it to me this week. Also, back towards the classic pics, I’m curious about The Red and The Black by Stendhal, in addition to being a little smug at the idea of using it as a ‘Project Spectrum’ tie-in. (June/July belong to Red, Black, and Metallics ;) )

In other news…my laptop is still not with me. It’s going to be another week at least. F@&%-ing Toshiba. So…I am trying ever more coping mechanisms, and am landing on summer treats, particularly since it is cooler again and I don’t feel the need to hide from the warm kitchen.

Several times a year the Ontario liquor board publishes a ‘Food and Drink’ magazine which is absolutely chock full of recipes, entertaining guides, and short articles. In my volunteer days there were women who would come to meetings in Toronto from other provinces and they would specifically make sure to collect copies of this magazine (it’s free in stores) to take home with them. Handily, all of the recipes are also catalogued online. In the current issue, there is a feature on homemade ice cream sandwiches, at least half a dozen kinds. At the moment, I am coveting the ‘Black Forest’ recipe which uses brownies instead of cookies, and black cherry ice cream mixed with bits of chocolate and cherry liqueur. Oh yeah, baby.

I wonder how fast I can get a few hundred words written so I can justify spending the rest of my day in the kitchen. Then reclining with a book and/or knitting in hand, nibbling on a homemade ice cream sandwich. It’s important to have little fantasies to cling to, right?

Happy long weekend to fellow Canucks!

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Filed under knit the classics, summer knitting

There will be no dishrag jag

My current state of mind is, shall we say, constantly subject to change. In addition to all the usual dissertation anxieties which all decided to gleefully jump on my head earlier this week, tomorrow I will officially enter the third week of being without my own laptop. I am losing the ability to be patient with other machines, and my sister’s laptop unfortunately does not seem to want to recognize my external hard drive, which is very disconcerting. I miss my laptop desperately, it’s fast, it has all my files and programs on it, and I want it back. ::sob::

June washrags

My knitting, on the other hand, does not give a flying fig what is going on with my laptop. It is just happy that I am knitting. This past weekend I decided to do something purposeless and mindless to match the state of my brain, and fell upon the 4 balls of Peaches and Creme dishcloth cotton that I added to Martha‘s order a few months ago. I promptly churned out 6 dishcloths in 5 days – I almost made it with just the 4 colours, but had to dip into some of M’s leftovers for a bit of green. I see now that the 4 colours I chose did not actually contrast very much with each other. Should I do this again, I’ll look for a broader palette in the mixture of cotton colours. (Not that I don’t like these, though – one is already in use and they have a nice happy look about them.) My original 4 shades:

June washrags

I finished Jaywalker #1 last night and have to cast on #2, to fend off SSS, but was left with another option to cast on for a second WIP. For me at this point, choosing a new knitting project is sort of like being a first-time tourist in Paris and dropped off with a map and guidebook and an entire day to fill with no discernable schedule. There are things I know objectively that I should do (the Eiffel Tower), things everyone else is doing (the Louvre), things I would really like to do but don’t know if now is exactly the right time (that obscure Monet museum off on the outskirts of town), and a whole lot of bustle and noise in between. I went with a combination of objectivity and ease, and cast on for my second Honeymoon Cami.

Honeymoon cami beginnings

I knitted one of these in Luna about a year ago in dark pink, and have had the purple and black sitting there waiting idly ever since. If I play my cards right, I’ll be able to finish this by the weekend. I’m planning on going to Pirates of the Caribbean 3 tomorrow night and will be glad for the stockinette acreage to keep my hands busy for 3 hours + previews. (Stockinette and I are buds. I love stockinette.) And tonight, there is Lettuce Knit. I’m looking forward to it :)

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Filed under mason-dixon, summer knitting