Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My first Test Knit: Momo

I recently dipped my hand into the world of test knitting. I got an unreleased pattern then knit the pattern for the designer to make sure there were no errors and the end product turned out correct. Some people are compensated for doing this, but when testing for a small designer you usually use yarn from your own stash and get the pattern for free. Its pretty cool to see the process. Most designers have already knit the piece up in one size and just need to make sure the grading was correct for all the other sizes. So for the most part you're checking for math errors and typos.

Enter Momo...

Pattern: Momo (Ravelry link)
Yarn: Malabrigo Silky Merino in Pink Panther
Yardage: 738 yards
Timeline: February 19th to March 11th

The testing process was fairly smooth. Terri Kruse has already written a few patterns so the formatting was great. Really just a couple typos were found between all the testers.

Its a totally cute sweater. Elbow length sleeves, square neckline, and cable pattern down the front. The yarn is yummy. 50% wool 50% silk this thing is SOFT! But...its just not for me. I like my pullover sweaters to be fitted and have some structure. One thing I didn't get from the designer's pictures, was the way the underarm fits. Kind of low for my preference. This is partly my fault, since I haven't used this type of yarn before, I had no idea it would stretch as much as it does. Really I think the sweater is just better suited to wear with jeans and maybe over a t-shirt or long sleeved shirt rather than with a skirt and heels.

So...if anyone wants this beauty...its yours. Its sized for a 35' bust, but I think it could fit up to a 38' bust and maybe larger. Its about 14 inches long from the underarm and I found it plenty long enough to go over the top of pants. It has slight waist shaping, but nothing dramatic (also an issue for me...I need more waist shaping). So if your interested leave me your contact information and we'll sort out the details. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

And the winner is...

Like there could be any doubt...I picked Mata Hari... and I'm in love.

Isn't it pretty?

I know there were some concerns over that deep v in the back, but this pattern is awesome because you can also wear it like this...

The designer also included instructions for adding bra fasteners so you can wear this without worrying about exposing your undergarments. Isn't that nifty?

In other news...this was the weekend of wrapping up projects.

I finally picked up some wool wash and spent hours hand washing my knits one by one. So I got around to shaping this...

It will get its own post later this week.

And I shaped this...

Notice that little paw creeping in?

Dottie decided to help. She's a good helper (not!) I will say she is good about not walking on my drying garments, though she will gnaw on them from time to time. Naughty little girl!

So it was a busy weekend of knitting, but successful in that I have a whole bunch of freshly laundered items to choose from. Yay!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

This or That?

I'm wrapping up a project I've been knitting on my lunch break at work and I'm gearing up for my next project. So which project should I make next?

Option 1:
Mata Hari
(Photo From Twist Collective)

Its got a scoop neck in the front and a deep v in the back. Bow is optional/removable. 

I'd use this yarn...

Its called truly, madly, deeply and its from Madelinetosh. 100% merino wool.

Pros: I want it...its pretty...seems fairly simple to make. 
Cons: Summer is coming and this is less practical. Would be able to wear it on days like today (rainy and slightly chilly).

Next option...

Emelie (Ravelry link)

(Photo from Ravelry)

Light weight cardigan with lace panels along the front. 

Using this yarn...

Lavender Lil from Colinette. 

Pros: Also very pretty. Lighter weight. 
Cons: More bulky to work on when riding the train. 

What do you think? What should I make next? 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Missing: Yarn Shipment


5 skeins Madelinetosh Yarn, Color - Tannenbaum

Last seen by USPS on Friday, March 4th at 11:02am

If you have any information regarding their whereabouts, please comment

Fortunately the company is sending me a replacement shipment, but I wish I had this yarn today. Doesn't it scream St. Patrick's Day?

Ah St. Patrick's Day. Everyone in my office is a little loopy. I caught my boss trying to juggle stress balls. Its just one of those days...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Keeping Sane in the Workplace

My office...its in the basement. I work in a windowless room with two other ladies. I like my coworkers very much, but that gets to me sometimes.

So, how do I beat the blues.

Always take a lunch break and if possible go outside. Here's a little sun-dappled knitting project on a bench near work. Today it was in the 80s and really nice to feel sunshine. Even if its too cold to go outside I find a place to eat near windows. Windows!

Find a quiet place to recharge. Recognize this park? It was featured heavily in the movie '500 days of Summer'. It also happens to be about a block from my job. Sunshine, a light breeze, and a chance to appreciate the local architecture. Add a sandwich and I'm all set.

When all else fails...pretend you're in elementary school and its snack time.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Damn knitting for others!

So after a long fall of knitting Christmas gifts for others, I went through a spell of selfish knitting. I looked around and realized I'd only finished one sweater for myself, and even that one was missing buttons. So as you've seen I've finished a couple more for myself in the New Year. Success!

I even pulled out some old things I knit before and hadn't finished. 

Pattern: Audrey in Unst
Yarn: Louisa Harding Kashmir DK Color 2
Yardage: 986 yards
Timeline: February 17-April 27, 2010

Ah...this was intended to be worn on my honeymoon, but I took this picture a few days ago and the sweater still doesn't have buttons, only a white paper clip closure. 

What was I saying?

But gosh darn it...that wanting to knit for others bug has bit me hard. I now really want to knit for someone else...namely a good friend of mine whose birthday is only a month away. 

I'm also obsessed with knitting another sweater for John. He already has two, but I feel like neither came out perfectly, and I must fix that. But how? All the patterns I've found are horrible. I've made him the couple of one he liked, but we've reached the end of the road. But then I found vintage mens knitting patterns on Etsy and now I'm sudden inspired again. 

Okay, maybe not this one. But there were a few other super awesome patterns. This one was pretty awesome too. 

Sexy! on the look out for a couple more things coming soon. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Good Husband...Bad Metro

So...I tweaked my calf muscle a couple weeks ago during ballet class. It was feeling 100% again at class on Monday, but during the second jump exercise I started to feel the twinge.

Nothing that a little rest and stretching won't cure, so don't worry. However the one thing that makes it hurt is climbing stairs.

So Metro...I am unhappy with you!

The station I use to get to/from work is 5 stories under the ground. It has two exit/entrances. Each is about 1 block apart. The entrance closer to me job only has stairs and escalators, no elevator. So imagine my dismay when I found this sight this morning.


That's right, 4 stories of stairs to climb with my bum calf. (There is a smaller escalator right next to the tracks, knocking 1 story off my climb.)

Wouldn't be too bad except I then have to climb two steepish hills and a few more staircases to reach my office.

My calf is not happy with you Metro, and neither am I. 

I am happy with my husband though. Look what he found for me...

Pliny is for him, but that Scotch Ale...Yum!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Dottie likes Chicken

Shocking I know, but our little girl loves Chicken. Poor thing was tortured yesterday when John made roasted chicken and brussel sprouts for dinner. Soooo yummy!

Anyways, since John was doing to cooking, we didn't just oil up the bird and throw it in the oven. Oh no...he had plans for that bird. Big plans.

He brined that sucker overnight with a head of roasted garlic and spices. Then he roasted it. It came out beyond delicious.

So, Dottie had been subjected to nearly 24 hours of Chicken prep and cooking time by the time we ate dinner last night.

I think I'll forgive her for the spit bubble.

Oh, and she totally got a bit of chicken. Its only fair.