Vintage knitting mags

One of my favorite customers came by the shop and dropped of a bag full of musty old knitting and crochet magazines from the sixties. Odor aside, the patterns are amazing! The mags are almost entirely full of minidresses, tunics, and knitted suits. They are on loan to me, so I will be very busy scanning for the next few days.

The Vogue magazine patterns feature some serious sequins and beading.

I played with my fancy new toy yesterday. In the spirit of Vogue fall/winter '67, here's some pretty pictures of my favorite shiny and sparkly shoes.


My Pretty Pink Camera

My birthday present came a few days early this year.

She's more than just a pretty face: she has 7.2 megapixels, super steady shot, an enormous lcd screen, and a long battery life. I'm just starting to get the hang of her. Expect more frequent and higher quality images to come!


My First Fair Isle

I finally got my yarn for the Vogue Fair Isle U-neck sweater. I am a little disappointed with the shade of grey that I chose as the main color. I was expecting it to be a little lighter, and every time I look at the yarn I think of Legos. It is exactly the shade of grey Legos. It's my own fault for not having enough patience to order a color card to choose the yarn from. I am having a lot of fun with the fair isle knitting and am slowly learning how to moderate the tension properly. I started out too tight, then overcompensated by stranding too loosely.


Saffron Cable Update

I have finished the first of three(?) pattern repeats of Saffron Cables. While finishing up the last few rows, I noticed that the blanket pictured in the magazine actually has FOUR REPEATS of the pattern. This is a bit alarming. Is the blanket misrepresented in the photo, or are the instructions wrong?

See those big diamonds filled with seed stitch? I count four!

Evidence A: This first repeat consumed 5 of the 18 balls of Berkshire, including the seed stitch border, which used up about one ball. Based on this, a blanket made with three repeats will require 14 balls, and a blanket made with 4 repeats will require 18 balls! This leads me to believe that the pattern is incorrect, and that the photo is correct.

Evidence B: The seed stitch border measures 3.5". One unblocked pattern repeat is 14". An unblocked blanket with three repeats will measure 49", while a blanket with four will measure 63". My gauge is looser than the pattern gauge, so my width is already wider than specified, so I expect my finished blanket to be slightly longer than the 60" specified in the pattern. Thus, the 63" blanket with FOUR REPEATS seems to be what Kathy Zimmerman intended.

It's still the same amount of yarn, but it sure seems like a lot more work to repeat this thing FOUR TIMES! If I get to the third repeat and I still have a ton of yarn, I'll take that as a further hint that it's time to buck up and do one more. What if I run out of yarn during the fourth repeat? Does WEBS still have another skein of the correct dyelot? Uh oh.

P.S. I ordered yarn for the Vogue Fair Isle U-neck. Yippee!

***Update: I sent my concerns to Interweave Knits, and they responded that the design should have four repeats, not three.


Stalled and Stumped

Rusted Root is going into the frog pond. I decided that I'm just not that into her. I kept trying to make it work, but I've given up. I ripped backed the lace leaf panel and turned it into a diamond lace, but it wasn't right. Then, I ripped back the diamond lace and knit it as embossed diamonds. After dropping those stitches back 3 times to reknit, the panel looks much worse for wear, and I don't think blocking can repair the ravages of my indecision. I was never pleased with the yarn, either.

So I am in project limbo now. I just bought some Berroco Bling Bling yarn on closeout and I really want to use it, but I don't feel like working with cotton right now, and I have no idea what to do with it yet! I have to buy more yarn then, right?

Here is my top contender:

I have never knit with multiple colors before, so this would be an opportunity to learn something new. I'm thinking shades of grey with red accents. Maybe I'll try Knitpick's new Telemark yarn.

A new issue of Vogue is coming out this week. Maybe I should wait for it to come out before I make any purchases. I really like these two designs that I saw on their preview page:

The first looks like a Twinke sweater, and might be a really quick knit on biggie needles. I also love the pockets! The second is really sweet, but the middle portion of stockinette is boring me just by looking at it. Should I wait? Maybe I should try to bust out a sock or two in the meantime just to keep me busy until the new issue comes out.


Finished Objects: Manos Mini and Simplicity 6407

My Manos Mini! It seems like I finished it before I even began.

Most of this dress was knitted on an hour and a half drive down to Santa Cruz last weekend. I ended up using size 11 needles for the dress and switched to 8s for the sleeve ribbing. Also, I only used 3 skeins of Manos! It think it is finally cold enough to start wearing this.

I also did some sewing on Tuesday, which is my day off. I bought a couple of patterns on Ebay a couple of weeks ago, including this stunner:

I was really attracted to the pockets and the dolman sleeves. I LOVE this dress. It is so comfortable and I love the mystery material- some kind of stiff synthetic jersey. I shop at Discount Fabrics, and often their labeling of fabrics is a bit mystifying.

This is the first time I have sewn in a very long time, except for some simple alterations here and there. Naturally, I stained the thing while cooking on the second day I wore it, so I may have to make another.

I have to add a picture of my new shoes! These are from the shop, by Richard Tyler, but they look like the YSL shoes that cost about 7 times more. I love the brown croc against the purple dress.


My Manos Mini-dress and More

About a week ago, I saw an amazing knitted dress on Craftster an I just couldn't stop thinking about it. Then, on Thursday, I walked into my local yarn shop, Noe Knit, and saw this amazing emerald green shade of Manos de Uruguay. I visited the yarn on Friday, and then again on Sunday. On Monday, I bought a skein, and started swatching for a Manos Mini-dress!

This will be my first time knitting without a pattern. I hope it turns out to be something that I will want to wear, especially since the Manos yarn is not cheap. I see myself wearing it in the fall opaque tights and boots. I am knitting it at a loose gauge on size 13 needles, so if all goes well, it should be a quickie. I am doing a top-down raglan, and have already taken the arm hole stitches off the needles.

I am a few more inches into my saffron cables. I have started the fifth of 18 skeins and am still on schedule. Here's my slow progress:

Rusted root is going slowly. It's in my purse and I get a couple rows done here and there, but nothing photo-worthy. I changed the leaf lace into a diamond pattern and am switching to bigger needles when I am on the sleeve stitches, so that they will be extra poofy. The needle switching is tedious and can take some of the blame for my sluggish pace.


Two Down, Sixteen to Go.

I am now a little ahead of schedule. I went through two balls this last week, and am only on row 23. However, my wrist started acting up, so I think I may have to take it more slowly on the blanket for the next few days. It's starting to get a little big and heavy.

Since the blanket is no longer portable, I finally cast on for Rusted Root. I always need to have a project that fits in my purse, and this should be easier on my bum wrist. However, I don't like Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. It's splitty and not as soft as the yarn I used for Green Gable, Rowan Wool Cotton, but the upside is that it costs half the price of the Rowan yarn. I had to go down one needle size to get gauge, but will use the suggested needle size for the sleeves. I have been following the knitalong on craftster, and it seems that the knitters who went down in needle size also lost the puffiness of the sleeves, which is the last thing that I want to happen.

On Thursday, my boss took me to the San Francisco shoe show to help out with buying the Spring '07 shoes. It was a blast, and we picked out so many beautiful shoes for the store. I am sample size, so she brings me along to make sure that the shoes fit properly before we order them. I spent 10 hours trying on shoes, and got paid for it. Not a bad job, right? We saw Giraudon, Castaner, Coclico, Chie Mihara, DKNY, Ted Baker, Camper, Luc Berjin, Repetto, Arche, and many more new lines that are just starting out. The spring lineup doesn't arrive until mid-December, and it is always exciting to see how our customers react to the shoes, and to see which ones sell out and which become lonely wallflowers.


One Down, Seventeen to Go

I started working on the cabled blanket on Sunday, and I am finished with the 3.5" seed stitch border, which consumed the first of 18 balls of yarn. I am planning on working through one ball each week, which means that this big bad blanket should be finished before the New Year. I like that the charts are very long and only repeat three times, so the project should not be too repetitive. The Berkshire from Valley Yarns (WEBS house brand) is light, soft, and subtly thick and thin.

I treated myself to my first pair of Addis Turbo needles for this project, since I figured I would be spending hundreds of hours on these needles. They really are all that! The smooth join makes it all worthwhile. I have the Boye interchangeables, and I find myself tugging the yarn across the join all the time.

I gave Kate away to little Tolya on Saturday. We decided to give her a new name and gender, so now she is known as Baby Freddy K. It was love at first sight for Tolya and Freddy K. He squealed, clapped his hands, and immediately began to fling him about by his extremities. I hope I joined Freddy's arms and legs strong enough for Tolya. Maybe with enough drool and vigorous play, Freddy will be felted, and then we won't have to worry about dismemberment anymore.


Meet Kate Kruger

Kate is done. Here she is with Bobby, wearing their coordinating Friday the 13th sweaters.

She was another stashbuster, and a couple of the yarns I used weren't the best choices. The red yarn is Knit Picks Andean Silk and the golden yarn is Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, both leftovers from last year's holiday knits. The gauge was wrong for these two yarns post-stuffing; you can see the polyfill stuffing through her stitches. However, the brown yarn was excellent! It is a yarn called "Jazz" by Grignasco, which I used to make my first project about a year ago, which was a green and brown ribbed, keyhole scarf for Bobby. If I make another Kate, I would use Lamb's Pride Worsted, which is what Jess uses for all of her knitted toys.

I am late to join the knitted toy craze, and apparently too late to get my hands on Jess Hutchinson's booklet, which isn't available through her site anymore. I put myself on the notification list, but it may not be printed again, ever. I heard it was previously for sale on fredflare, but it's sold out there, too. Any other leads?


The Wait is Over!

My yarn has finally arrived from WEBS, and I can't wait to get started on the neverending blanket. Am I really going to make it through those 18 skeins?

On Wednesday, I got an invite to a friend's baby's first birthday barbecue, so I decided to make a little gift for the occasion. I am planning to finish her off before I cast on for the blanket. Unfortunately, Bobby and I are starting to grow a little attached to her, and I don't want to let her go. I'd like to make another- maybe a bigger, pillow sized version for our couch.

Meet Kate, designed by San Francisco's own Jess Hutchison:

I'm gonna miss her when she's gone.


Finished Fetching

I finished my "in between projects project" before the yarn for my new projects has arrived. Now I have to figure out another stashbusting project to fill the next few days. This is the Fetching pattern from the summer '06 knitty that everyone is knitting right now. I used a leftover ball of Rowan Cotton Glace in Poppy. I used this yarn to make the Cupcake top from Debbie Stoller's Happy Hooker, which I finished last month, but still haven't seamed up.

I wanted my gloves to be a little smaller and daintier than the pattern, so I used size 3 needles instead of 5s. I used a regular bind off instead of the picot, which I think is a little too fussy for these already fussy gloves.

These were very quick and easy to knit. I think they took about 5 days of very short and infrequent knitting sessions.

Gratuitous cable photo. Thanks for looking.


Waiting for UPS

I'm anxiously waiting for my yarn to arrive for my next two projects. The first project is from the new fall 06 issue of Interweave:

I ordered the suggested yarn in tan from WEBS. I'm worried that this one is going to make me crazy (4' x 6'!) so I have a second project lined up that should be much quicker and more mindless to knit up. This is a new one from the girls at Zephyrstyle:

This one's gonna be a beautiful deep purple. You can't see in this picture, but the sleeves are short and poofy. Again, I'm using the suggested yarn, which is Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. I've never used this yarn before, but I know that it is very popular, so I am excited to see what it's all about. I'm also excited that the pattern includes the extra-small size, because my bust is only 31", and I always have to work out modifications to make 34" patterns fit me properly.

Another shopgirl's debut

My name is Anne, and this is where I will be writing mostly about my knitting projects, but also about working in retail in San Francisco.

a view of downtown from my apartment in SOMA