Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I think orange buttons worked out really well!

Thanks all for weighing in. I know some of you preferred the silver ones, but I like the cheerful ribbon of contrast.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The random number generator has spoken...

...and it has selected The Transmogrifier! Magazine will be on its way shortly.

Thanks all for offering your opinions! I couldn't show you more buttons of each type, as I'd only ordered a couple each for the decision (ordering 34 each of all these buttons would have cost a fortune :-) ). I could have zoomed out, true. But by the time I was done with the process I was pretty sure I was going with the orange buttons. They have now been ordered from Europe and are on their way to me.

The pullover is trimmed in blue, and I think the orange ring is going to make a nice contrast to it. If I really hate it, I'll go for the silver ones many of you picked as a second choice — they don't have to be ordered from as far away so I can get them quickly if needed.

Here's what the owls look like right now, buttonless:

It grew a little in the wash, and I think this'll be a little long on my friend K., but hopefully too long is better than too short. It'll get one more bath/reshaping before it travels, too. I love how yarn softens up when washed (carefully, obviously). I'll also attempt a little duplicate stitching at the back of the place where the blue trim meets the grey on the cuffs, so that if the arms are too long, K. can fold back the cuffs and have it still look all right. I'm a little worried about the underarms being tight — will just have to cross fingers on that. It's my first yoke sweater and I suppose everyone worries on their first one.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Final three buttons, and a contest!

The other sample buttons arrived. Here are the final three!

What do you all think? Take a look at the buttons in both the last entry and this, and let me know what your favorite and second favorite are -- and I'll enter you in a drawing for a recent copy of Yarn Forward magazine. Not a knitter? Don't worry, I have a non-knitter's prize too. I just want your opinion!

I need the opinion fast, too -- so please respond by Tuesday the 22nd, earlier preferred.

Thanks guys!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

All eyes on owls!

I'm working on selecting buttons suitable to be eyes on the owls pullover I've made. This is challenging, because there isn't a huge selection of buttons in the 11mm size (+- .5 mm) that best fits these owls. Here are a few I tried this morning:

I know owl eyes are yellow, but I'm not sure I like the look of yellow or gold on this grey pullover, and at the moment I'm leaning towards the blue ones as being less "starey" than the other options. There will be a total of * 34 * eyes on this pullover! The owls aren't that big. A few more options should arrive in the mail soon, but I think they are going to be too big. Thoughts?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Welcome back, Internet! I missed you.

I disappeared to Australia for a month or so, as some of you guessed (didn't announce impending absence online so as not to invite burglars, though I did have a live-in housesitter).

While there, I could check text-only email a couple times a week, and twice during the month I had 'real' access for one hour. It's not usually that bad, but the phone line at my mother-in-law's house (she lives out in a rural area) has deteriorated to the point where our old AirPort couldn't keep a connection anymore. Next time I get one of those newfangled 3G modems or some such!

(I know, for an IT professional I am a really Luddite.)

I did a lot of knitting while in the land of Oz, though. We were driving back and forth from Perth most days, a two- to three-hour round trip. I actually ran out of knitting projects and had to go shopping!

As you probably suspect, I don't hate yarn shopping. But there's an interesting problem in Australia, though — a dearth of what they call 10ply (5spi) yarn. I can find plenty of 5.5spi and plenty of 4spi, but nothing in between — yarn store folks told me that they are being phased out in Australia. There also aren't too many good yarn stores in Perth, probably because of the climate and remoteness. After an hour of burrowing, I finally found some genuine Aussie yarn with which to make a simple vest from a pattern I'd brought. I'm nearly done with the back:

It's a greeny-brown, but a little warmer tone than I normally prefer. But there was very little choice, and I'll actually get some wear out of this. So that is okay.

I struggled all month with a hat I'm working on for my friend Paola. Several failures were dismissed. When I got home, I found the Cossack Hat pattern in Folk Hats and thought it might work well for Paola. I wanted to use the same great purple yarn that I used for Ronise's hat, but it had nowhere near the gauge (this is a superbulky pattern). I tried stranding it with some silver yarn I had; no dice. I tried adding a second strand of purple; still too small. Finally, in a stroke of inspiration I added a strand of Alyson's handspun blue that I used to trim my friend K's owl pullover. Success!

I'm using non-boucle yarn, so the effect I'm getting is more of a "tall pillbox" than a fur hat — which is exactly what I'd hoped. This is blurry, but shows the colors more accurately.

I knit a few other things this month — I'll show you more as the week goes on.