Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Tedious Tuesday

I just want to let everyone know that if you try to knit a cabled top on size 6's for a 38" bust woman ~ it's going to take a while. Yes, I stopped and knit an entired nother sweater while I was working on it, but boy is cabling time consuming! Good news, though. I finished the back today! (There will not be pictures, bamboo is a pain to photograph!) I'm not sure how familiar you are with the pattern, but it
calls for this X design on the lower front and back. Well, I'm glad I knit the back first. I'm going to remove it from the front side. It just seems too distracting to me. It's like, "HEY, LOOK AT MY BELLY ~ X MARKS THE SPOT!" I hope it looks ok with an X on the back and not the front, cause I sure as heck ain't reknittin the back!

A while back I posted on the Union Sq KAL that I was going to use the baby Ull. For some reason I had it in my head that it was cotton. I looked it up shortly after and found out how wrong I was.. yup.. still not sure what yarn I'm going to use for that stinkin sweater! I want to use linen, but I really don't feel like messing with gauge too much. I probably will though, I'm just being lazy right now because of all the cables I've been knitting.

Here's a little tibit that I want to share just for the heck of it. This is not the definitive guide to becoming a vegan knitter. I didn't feel like doing a ton of research so this is just from the top of my head.

Vegan yarns.

Well, there are lots of yarns that are vegan, but aren't necessarily environmentally friendly (to my knowledge...) like acrylics and pesticide cotton. I'm really trying to take my knitting a step further and go organic, but that's not working out so well. The selection is just seems limited (especially in colors) and I just don't have the motivation to dye right now (winter is when I start getting in the mood to do more tedious things). I'm really starting to get into linen. I've got some cheap
Senso brand linen that I'm going to use to make some lacy washcloths and soap baggies with. I'd like to make a top with linen as soon as I can. It's really soft and seems like it would have a great drape. The bamboo yarn so far is ok. I hear that it gets softer with washing, so I'm eager to get this top finished and find out if it's
something I want to continue to knit with. I haven't tried the soy silk, yet. I do plan to soon. It feels so much softer than the bamboo that I'm working with from SWTC.

Ok, so let me make a quick list of fibers that I know exist and I could make something with:

Natural fibers would be: Cotton, bamboo, soy silk, linen (flax), hemp,

And the manmade ones would be: viscose, nylon, elastic, acrylic, etc.

If you go to knit pixie, she has a lot of different types of fibers that are really unique and cool!

And for the not so vegan inclined {I love you, anyway!}:

tussah silk (if you must use silk, use tussah)

Homespun wool from sheep that you KNOW, with notarized documentation that the sheep will not get sunburn, will not freeze in the winter, and will never, ever, ever get sent to the slaughter house ~ or murdered for any reason what so ever. (The exception to the rule would be euthanasia because of a very painful disease or something.)

Compassionate living is fun and easy!!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Excited about yoga?

"She was lookin' at me like I was a piece of tofu. Tofu. Ya know what I'm sayin?"

Friday, July 15, 2005


Check out this amazing video that my good friend over at vegan chai linked me to by way of the Vegan Represent Forums. (VRF is my new home away from home!)

Here it is! (It's so cute and funny; I can't get enough of this clip.)

Here's a video from The Alex Foundation that shows an African Grey Parrot thinking and responding. How cool would it be if your companion animal could tell you when they're hungry or thristy?!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Responses to sheep comments

I thought I'd make a quick little post to respond to a few comments.

Laura, I'm not sure about finding ethical companies. You even have to really interview local spinners to be sure that the sheep aren't sent to slaughter when they are no longer producing the best quality wool. I also think you're right on about the company on the label. I think that comes down to the dying and processing facility, not the origin of the wool. (I'm not 100%, but I'm pretty sure that's the way it is. Will someone please correct me if I'm wrong?)

Leah, It's great that you're doing your best to prevent suffering when you buy wool. Think about travelling wool fairs and such, though. Would the sheep rather be in a pasture, or travelling 60 - 70 mph on the interstate? What do they do with the sheep if they can't travel? Do they slaughter them? Do they sell them to another company that slaughters?

Question everything!


Monday, July 11, 2005

Book love!

1. Total number of books I own?
I really don’t like this question, because I really have no idea. I know I’ve got 1 or 2 large Tupperware boxes full. I’ve also got a full bookshelf and little stashes all over the house.

2. The last book I bought?
Hmm.. Well the latest book I've received is Les tabliers sont arrives de Paris. I guess that could be the title. It's Japanese other than the beautiful french on the cover. I ordered it about a month ago, but I received it today!
The latest book I've purchased and read was Ella Minnow Pea. (say it outloud) It was a really cute book with a deeper meaning than what lies on the surface. Read it!

3. The last book I read?
Never Let Me Go, The Kite Runner, and Ella Minnow Pea. I'm currently reading Pour Your Heart Into It (thanks to my secret pal!)

4. Five books that mean a lot to me?

The Little Prince or Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery Yes, it's sort of a children's book, but it shows how grown-ups can worry about the most insignificant things. It's just a wonderful and interesting book. It definitely makes me not want to be a grown up.

Little Miss Spider by David Kirk Ok, so another children's book. This book is a very simple view of adoption. It's beautifully illustrated and well written. I'm adopted, so this book means a lot to me.

Tao te Ching by Lao-Tzu, translation by Stephen Mitchell I discovered this book just before I joined the military. I don't claim a religion, but Taoism is definitely a philosophy that makes sense to me and applies to everyday circumstances. I really love this book.

Stitch 'N Bitch by Debbie Stoller ~ Maybe it's a little sad that a knitting book means so much to me, but it really changed my life! I taught myself to knit online, but Debbie's book taught me how to correct my mistakes. SnB serves as a reference book for me. I've never made a pattern from the book, but this book will be with me for a long time to come. (Also SnB nation for the sweater alterations guide)

The Tao of Pooh and The Te of Piglet, both by Benjamin Hoff. These books light-heartedly analyze the characters of the hundred acre wood and show how they demonstrate the philosophies of Taoism. The characters frequently interrupt the text to add their own innocent commentary. These are just really entertaining books that are definitely worth a read.

More about my books:

I've really enjoyed The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. The first book is a little slow, but each book in the series just gets more and more involving. I highly recommend this series. Right now it's only 10 books, but the 11th is due out this year or early next.

I also enjoy lots of books by Kurt Vonnegut: Breakfast of Champions, Welcome to the Monkeyhouse, Slaughterhouse 5, etc.

Douglas Adams was a favorite of mine, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, etc.

I really enjoy reading books about Alexander the Great and philosophers from around his time, Plato, Socrates, etc.

I'm also interested in books on Eastern philosophies, of course. Books about Yoga, knitting, veganism, etc.

5. Tag five people and have them fill this out in their blogs.
If you haven't been tagged, go for it! Of if you have been tagged and want to talk about your favorite authors, do that too!

I'm a member of Knit 1 Read 2. The button is off to the right. If you're a knitter & reader and you're not already in this group, you should definitely check it out. There are some great book suggestions and discussions there.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Love Sheep, Don't buy wool!

First, I want you all to know that I am definitely an ethical vegan. I do my best with the health aspect, but the reason I am a vegan today is because of my ability to empathize with others. I can very easily put myself in the shoes of another being, be it an animal of the human type or of any other species.

One way I am trying to help animals is by making knitters aware of the sheep industry and doing whatever I can to reduce suffering. If you look back through my archives you can actually watch me transition from a non-vegan to the vegan I am today and, hopefully, to a very active vegan in the future. I've done and will continue to do my best with providing you little vegan tidbits and links to help you see my perspective without shoving anything down your throat or being insensitive.

If you must use wool, please use homespun from people you know or farms you trust! (Or use recycled wool from thrift store sweaters, etc.)

Here are sites concerning wool and sheep that I’ve listed in the past:

Save the Sheep!
Love Merino? (video)
What's wrong with wool?
Wool.. The Reality for Sheep
The BIG wool debate on craftster

If you've read this far, I want to thank you so much for at least trying to understand my perspective even if you don't adopt it as your own. I really appreciate all the support I receive in the blogging and knitting communities. I love you guys!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Water bottle sling - remix

Ok, so it's not so cool as an actual remix, but it seemed like a good title at the time.

First, I want to show you the FO from March 17, 2005.

I didn't like the rough edge the garter stitch gave the strap. I also just kept happily knitting away and ended up making it too long. So I ripped the strap and started over.

Here is the new FO:

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
(The card doesn't really poke out, I just pulled it out a bit so you could see my nifty card holder.)

Pattern: Water bottle sling fromKnit-Wit I can't really say I recommend this book. Most of the patterns are available online for free at knitty.
Yarn: Four Seasons Hot Socks
Yarn content: 75% wool, 25% nylon
Amount: 1 skein (230yds or 210m)
Colorway: 220 (jeweltones)
Project Completed: July 3,2005

Helpful hints:

1.Since I used a sock yarn instead of 100% wool, the strap was more springy, which is nice. (The pattern calls for Koigu PPPM 100% merino wool. Just say NO to merino!)

2.If you make the pocket, after doing Row 5 for 3.75", stop on a WS row. This will keep your pocket on the outside instead of it being on the inside. If you want the pocket to be more hidden, on the inside, you can end on a RS row.

3.To make the new strap: K1, slip 1, K to last 3 stitches, slip 1, K1, slip 1 ~ every row. This made a much sturdier and more 'finished' strap. I knit the strap about 2 feet long. The nylon in the yarn gives it a good stretch.

Other notes:

The water bottle sling is an excellent way to become associated with dpns. I used this project to gauge if I could ever really knit socks. I think I will, one day. :)

This, along with the shrug, will be the last projects that contain animal derived fibers. I'm actually thinking of reknitting the shrug in coton-lin, because the alpaca is itchy to me. It'll nice to get rid of the guilt associated with it as well.

On that note, if anyone needs 1 skein of the yarn I used for this project, it's yours. Email me or leave a comment. 1 skein is enough to make the water bottle sling, but not a pair of socks.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

AV shawl-collared pullover ~ FINISHED!

I love blogging. I think you guys are the reason I deal with seaming and actually finishing things.

(This yarn is so hard to photograph!)
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

#23 Winter Vogue '04-'05
Yarn: 10 skeins of Summer Tweed
Colorway: Blueberry (There's nothing blue about this yarn; it's purple)
Fiber content: 70% silk & 30% cotton
Needles: Size 8 Crystal Palace Bamboo, Size 11 bamboo for collar bind off
Size: small ~ 39 bust meas. (since when is 39" bust small?)
Alterations: Using a .84 stitch ratio, I changed the yarn in the pattern from AV's Martina to Rowan's summer tweed.
Started: June 1, 2005
Finished: July 1, 2005

I've really enjoyed working on the AV pullover. I calculated the pattern to fit the gauge of Rowan's Summer Tweed, rather than the AV Martina yarn the pattern called for. My ratio was .84 (Yes, I'm anal and used the 4/100ths). Everyone has fallen in love with this yarn as they've seen me work with it. It's nice, in a way, but really it's bad that I'm promoting it. It's 70% silk and 30% cotton. I bought this yarn as I was transitioning into veganism and was basically looking for anything that was luxurious and not wool.

The pattern:

The pattern was wonderful. The specific increases and decreases are named throughout the pattern, which is really nice. Everything was really well laid out and simple to follow. My only change would have been to provide a schematic for the collar. Somehow I made it nearly 4 inches too long. Mine also doesn't seem as wide as it is in the picture. To solve the problem of it being too long, I've just tucked the extra lengths inside the sweater and let them hang, basically. (My boobs stick out far enough to provide a bit of a overhang that makes the extra bulk of collar unnoticeable.

If I were to knit this again, I would make it an inch or 2 longer. Looking at the model, I thought this was going to be just the right length. My chest seems to pull it up a bit in the front, so next time I'd compensate for that. Actually, looking back at the pattern, it should have been 22-23" for the length. I screwed it up somehow, because mine is only 21". (I was probably eager to finish it subconsciously. At least I was consistent, the back and front matched up perfectly. :)

Overall this sweater was a relaxing, fun knit! I am just elated that it fits me so perfectly. The shaping, the arms, the bust all fit with the right amount of ease. It’s very comfortable! I absolutely love the style, as well. This is a sweater I will definitely wear in public. I hope you like it as much as I do!

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Helpful hints:

1. When binding off your collar, bind off with a needle about 3 sizes larger than the one you've used to knit the sweater. I knit this up with a size 8, but used an 11 for the collar bind off. You need the bound off edge to be loose so that the collar can fold over on your neck easily.

2. When you seam on the collar, be sure to seam the edge along the back of the neck first. The way you are sure that you will be centered and if you have extra length, like I did, you will still be symmetrical.

3. When seaming this edge along the back piece and collar, do it so that the ugly seaming part will show on the back piece and not on the part behind your neck. The collar will hide the seamed edge on the back, but it may look weird if it shows in the front. The collar bunches up in such a way that it probably won't be noticeable either way really.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?