Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tea Leaves: Not Just for Teapots!

Happy weekend everyone! I'm pretty tired - I spent last night baking 60 blue and yellow iced cupcakes for a fundraiser at work. However, bearing in mind the promise that I made last post regarding more knitting and less food, I did not take pictures. Perhaps I'll take a few shots of the second batch. And following up on the other half of that promise, I give you the (finally completed) Tea Leaves Cardigan!

What, this old thing? This is: The Tea Leaves Cardigan, by Melissa LaBarre, in Dream in Color Classy (November Muse), knitted on 4.5mm needles.

Anna says: Wow, this felt like it took forever, especially since I normally burn through patterns with this much stocking stitch! But I'm rather happy with how it came out. I had a few reservations about the pattern and yarn choice: I don't wear a lot of brown, I'm not convinced about these buttoned-at-the-top, loose-at-the-bottom cardigans that are so in at the moment, and so on. But all that aside, I quite like the finished product, and I've already worn it out and about!

The pattern was very well put together. I made a few modifications, but not many: I shortened the body a little bit (hip length things don't tend to be particularly flattering on me), and made the garter stitch band at the bottom a little narrower. I had heard people saying that the upper arms were a little snug, so I picked up two extra stitches at the arm hole, and did not do any decreases while working the sleeves. I made them 3/4 length, and once again, I made the garter stitch bands a little narrower.

The yarn is just lovely - but we we all know I have a bit of a thing for Dream in Color (jeez, I'm never sure whether to write 'colour' with the 'u' as we normally would down here, or without because it's a brand name... *gripe*). There wasn't that much variation between the skeins, thankfully. One was a little darker, so when I was working the sleeves I alternated it with one of the lighter balls, and there's no pooling to speak of in the end product. For some reason, one of the other skeins decided to break a lot, which was a little disappointing (and made for a lot of ends to weave in), but I've never had this problem with DiC before, so hopefully it was a one off.

See that? That's the yoke that felt like it took forever! Worth it though - I really like how the gathered pattern looks in the semi solid yarn. I even managed to work a semi decent button band - I'm gradually conquering my phobia of picking up stitches!

Okay, now that I've discharged my knitting-update duties, I can talk about other things! This morning I staggered out of cupcake servitude and made my way to the Handknitters' Guild Wool Show in Brunswick. I saw lots of lovely Ravelry people, and had a good chat with many of them. I went home earlier than I was expecting to in the end, as I wasn't feeling very well, but not before picking up a few lovely, lovely bits and pieces from lovely local spinners/dyers like Ixchel (angora! Whee!), Ms Gusset, and a couple of others.

It was a crafty week in general actually. On Tuesday it was a good friend's birthday, so she came around and we tried our hand at making candles! We started small - just little beeswax tea lights - and they came out beautifully. They have a lovely subtle honey smell when you burn them. I've also been sewing lots of rice packs (as in the kind that you heat and then apply to aches and pains). They're quick and easy, but rather satisfying. I made one for a friend with lavender in it, and another for myself with chamomile flowers.

So, the above depicts my week in craft! Rice pack and candles in the middle, some lovely acquisitions from today at the sides. Okay, fine, there were a couple more acquisitions at the wool show, but they're a secret for the next few weeks *is mysterious*.

And now I'd probably better try and be a good student and get some of my essay done before I renew my assault on Mt Cupcake. Wish me luck!


2paw said...

It's lovely. I like the style but it doesn't suit me At All, Yours looks very smart and I like the variegation.

choperena said...

The sweater looks nice! I can't jump on that "button on top" bandwagon, though, which all the Cool New Patterns are all about. I have BOOBS, and if I don't reduce under them, I end up with a maternity moomoo.

That green yarn at the end is divine!

Cadence said...

The sweater came out beautifully! I have actually had some trouble with DiC breaking before, so I'm glad that it wasn't that huge of a problem with this sweater for you! Your newly acquired yarn looks delicious--especially that green loveliness on the left. Congratulations on a thoroughly crafty week!

Abby said...

Well, what a fun crafty week you had! I love the sweater - particularly the colo(u)r.