Recently in Butterfly Category

Butterfly Set Free

Finished Butterfly

Butterfly hit the "completely finished" point at about 3 pm this afternoon -- including hook and eye clasp. I'm rather pleased with the result. Especially the back of the collar, which laid perfectly after another round of blocking (this time I laid the collar flat on the board without any sweater underneath it and pinned it down gently so that I could get the blue edge to sit properly) that I did following getting the sleeves sewn in.

Butterfly from the Back

I think that it is really the collar that makes this sweater -- gives Butterfly her serious wings. I also like the effect of all the different stripe widths in the different pieces. The back, fronts, sleeves and collar are all different widths, thus, the striping varies. And I made no real attempt to match the sleeves or the fronts, I just let the pieces start where they started.

Butterfly from the Side

Even with an inch less length than called for in the pattern, the sleeves are still pretty long. Probably I should have shortened it by two inches before the cap shaping. Not a problem, really, though, since I took another page out of Julie's book and decided to cuff the bottom of the sleeves.

Overall, I like this project a great deal. I took the sweater out for a test wearing this evening and it did well. I do wish it had a little shaping in the waist area, but I am not sure it could be done without disrupting the other lines of the sweater. The jury is still out on the hook and eye. It does seem to be the right size fastener for the job, but it remains to be seen as to how well it will stay put.

What did I learn?

  • Binding off all the stitches at the neckline of the back provided a lot of nice structural sweater stability.
  • Noro Kureyon grows a little bit after you soak it.
  • It's not always necessary to match all my stripes.
  • I really like the look of seed stitch borders

If you're considering Butterfly, it's not a hard project. There's very little shaping to speak of, the assembly is not terribly complex and aside from picking up stitches for the collar, there's almost no finishing beyond seaming. It looks equally lovely in stripes or solid (see Claudia's lovely Butterfly for an example.)

Now it's time to start knocking off a few more projects on my unfinished list (my sweetie definitely deserves a new pair of socks and a sweater for winter) and to get started on a couple of holiday presents. And my 4th skein of Lion and Lamb for Clapotis arrived from Lansing on Friday (thanks, Rob!) so Clapotis is going to be back in rotation as well. The only real question looming right now is whether or not I will give into my desire to order yarn for a Ribby Cardi. Stay tuned...


Pinning Down Butterfly's Collar

I finally finished the collar. What a slog! It wouldn't have been so bad except for having to move all the fabric back and forth. But now I feel nearer to victory. I decided to block the collar out before attaching the sleeves, thinking it might be easier to do while there is less structure in the garment (and that it might take less time to dry, since I like to wet/cold block) -- and because there just isn't enough time for me to attach the sleeves tonight before I head off to bed.

Hopefully this weekend will prove to be a fruitful one. I love Chicago's version of The Daily Candy. Very handy when you're lazy and looking for interesting things to do or buy in Chicagoland. This weekend there's a big sample sale at the Merchandise Mart. I've never actually been in the Mart before -- it's supposed to be the largest commercial building in the world. Even if we don't buy anything, the trip itself will be an interesting adventure.

And last but not least, I have finally recovered the email from my unhappy desktop computer -- so I can announce a winner for my Where in the World contest. I got around 25 entries and 5 of them had the right answers -- a big round of applause for Holly (1) , Ursula (2), Anna (3) , Danielle (4) and Jorun (5). Since I don't have yarn to give to everyone (I wish I did). I have to pick someone at random. So I numbered the correct guessers (see the numbers in parentheses next to their names above) and I asked my husband (without telling him why) to pick a random number between one and five. John's selection was 4, so I'll be sending Danielle the sock yarn.

Thanks again to everyone who played along. This was definitely a lot of fun, and I will have to come up with another contest some time in the future!

Butterfly Emerges


It's been such a long couple of days. It's only Wednesday, but it feels like it should be Friday. I just gotta say that keeping my hands busy with a knitting project did help keep my blood pressure somewhat under control (it didn't stop the bruising from banging my head against the wall, however). It was probably a good thing that I picked up all the stitches before CBS confirmed Florida to be in the wrong camp (at least by my definition). Otherwise, who knows what counting problems could have ensued....

The Collar that Ate A Whole Skein of Yarn

I got a suggestion from Julie that instead of leaving the center stitches on the back free to knit accross, that I should actually bind them off and pick up stitches on the bound off edge. This might seem strange, but Julie felt that much of her extra arm length might have come from extra stretching across the back of the sweater. By binding off those stitches, some structure is enforced. So I bound those stitches off before picking up the 150 or so stitches needed for the collar. We'll see how it works out when I get a little farther.

In case it isn't obvious, this is a big, honkin' collar (being bunched up on a circular needle like that hides it's super-sized quality). I've gone through a whole skein of Kureyon and there's still and inch or more to go. This will mean that Butterfly will weigh in right about the 12 skein mark -- exactly as predicted by the pattern for my size. I really do like it when yardage is properly estimated.

If you are working on this pattern, be sure that you check out Jane Ellison's errata page for Noro Knits. There's a correction to the knitting of the collar that is critical for making it work out correctly.

Butterfly didn't turn out to be my lucky election sweater, but she's close to being finished now. So she still has a chance at being my new wardrobe addition for the weekend sweater.

Butterfly Home Stretch


I'd like to say thank you to everyone who left me comments or sent me email about yesterday's post. I am very touched by your kind words about my writing and my sentiments. It has also encouraged me to think about branching out beyond knitting more often.

But, as promised, today I return to knitting. Over the weekend, while the husband was getting our new toy (an X-box*) installed and playing nicely with our home theatre, I worked on Clapotis and Butterfly's second sleeve.

Victory on Sleeve Island

I'm now perilously close to a sweater. I'll be letting these block overnight and getting started on the assembly process while watching the election returns come in. Here's to hoping that Butterfly is my lucky sweater.

*you may wonder why two people with 6 computers between them need another gaming system. I can't completely explain why -- maybe because there are more console games that actually allow two people to play at the same time. But I surprised myself by actually sort of liking the fighting game that we rented. Although I must say, that I am sill not sure that my mind can fully wrap around Aerosmith's "Dream On" as the music behind the introductory anime video that set's the scene for Dead or Alive Ultimate

Pinning Down a Butterfly

And Then There Were Two

Funny how putting something in front of the camera can change my whole perspective on a project. Looking at these two fronts, you might almost think that I knit them from different Kureyon colorways. I wish now that I had started the first front piece (the one on the left) with just a little bit of a dark color leading into a lighter color. I really like how it creates a striking edge to the bottom of the garment.

The last time I posted about Butterfly, Amy (be sure to scroll down and see her lovely Karalund) asked if I was having problems with the tips of the chevrons curving upwards after I blocked the pieces. In case anyone else is interested in the answer, blocking does seem to cure most of my curling problems. Another thing that helped was casting on the second front piece very loosely. This resulted in a lot less curling before I pinned the piece down on my board. If you cast on tightly, cast on over two needles held together. That will help create a nice loose edge.

You can't really tell from looking at this picture, but I did make a small modification to the fronts -- what would be the button bands if this sweater had buttons is supposed to be done in garter stitch. I followed a suggestion provided by Claudia (scroll down to her October 13th entry) while she was making her incredible Butterfly (out of her own handspun, no less!) and used a seed stitch edging.

Now I have to set sail again for Sleeve Island. Hopefully I can find an open chair next to an umbrella when I get to the beach.

Escape from Sleeve Island

Which Way to Shore?

Well, not really. It's more like a swim out in the lagoon in search of the nearest land, while the cabana boy isn't looking since I'm only finished with Butterfly's first sleeve. But I've been playing a lot of Myst IV Revelation the past couple of days, and that's got my brain fixated on adventure games new and old. I've been playing adventure games since the first text-based Zork games were available for the Apple II+ (want to play them again? Just click here). Another set of adventure games that I really had fun with were the Lucas Arts Monkey Island series. Anyone remember "Escape from Monkey Island"? Consider this post a little tribute to Guybrush and Elaine.

Not too much to say about this sleeve. After heeding all the warnings of too much sleeve length (and noting that my swatch did relax just a tiny bit after I soaked it) I decided to shorten the sleeve by an inch. I like longer sleeves on my sweaters, but I don't like too much fabric getting in the way of my hands when I type, so it seemed like a reasonable compromise.

And now back to indulging in some electronic escapism...

Butterfly Gets Her First Wing

Butterfly, Left Front

The longer I knit with this colorway, the more I like it. Unfortunately, it isn't terribly amenable to being photographed well. Here's my second piece of Butterfly all knit up. I really like the wider bands of color.

I'll probably tackle one of the sleeves next. I can't head off to sleeve island* and stay there for very long. I plan to break up my visit with an excursion to the right front continent. The real question for me with regards to the sleeves: to match or not to match? I'm thinking of throwing care to the wind and just letting the stripes fall where they may. There's something wonderful, I think, about just letting the Noro do it's own thing.

*Exclusive trademark of Ms. Fluffa

Butterfly Basking in the Morning Sun

The Back of Butterfly in the Morning Sun

I had a wonderful weekend in Michigan where the color season is really just beginning to move into full swing. I spent most of my time in Ann Arbor, but also got in the car for a little road trip to Lansing (pictures tomorrow). I didn't put a post together last night because we got into Chicago very late and because I was/am feeling a little bit under the weather. I think the back of Butterfly looks better in the sunlight anyway, so the wait was probably a net positive, even though my sore throat is still lingering.

I did get a good deal of knitting done. I finished the back of Butterfly, got past the armhole decreases on Fitzgerald, worked a bit on the second of John's stripey socks (until I discovered a mistake I couldn't easily fix in the car. Of course, some stash enhancing also occurred on Friday (of course pictures will ensue tomorrow), which meant that I had the fibery resources to get yet another project started.

While I was gone, there were a number of busy Audrey-a-longers -- I've got some new states to mark in on the map and some labels to get in the mail.

And for my little contest -- you have until the end of the week to send me your answers. Let me know where you think I've been!




Images from My 4th Stop

Yes, I know, I'm very late getting a post up today. John and I finally got a PVR for our cable connection and we have taken to hiding in the basement to watch every episode of What Not to Wear and Clean Sweep that the machine can find on our cable network. I still get a lot of knitting done, but last night it was well past my bedtime when I realized I still hadn't gotten some blogging done. Expect a late post tomorrow, too, since we will be travelling to visit my parents tonight and I don't know when exactly I will get back in front of a computer.

Once again I have had to resort to misappropriating photos from a city tourist site. My next stop was in a city 280 miles north of my last stop (yes, I spent a great deal of time in a car) and involved crossing back over the border. This city is on the Rhine (or perhaps Rhein) River and has a very industrial reputation. It's also home to a an enormous multi-national company whose slogan is simply "The Chemical Company".

Butterfly did get to see some knitting action again yesterday (actually, Fitzgerald did too, because knitting in the dark while watching Clean Sweep and What Not to Wear requires low brain-involvement knitting like straight stockinette). I'm still moving up the back of this sweater. One thing I can say about knitting with the Shinano, it makes the Kureyon seem baby-soft by comparison.

The Back of Butterfly Proceeds

While knitting with this Kureyon, I can't help but feel that I have reached into Emma's closet and stolen some of her favorite colored yarn -- rich, saturated purples and fuscias speckled with green and turquoise.

Time Out for Audrey


I was hoping to post something about attaching the lace band to the body of Audrey. However, Audrey and I are not on speaking terms right at the moment. After spending several hours trying to figure out how to join the lace to the top and do this in a way that looked acceptable to me I decided to give up for a while. I spent a lot of time looking at the pictures in the Rowan magazine, looking and the successful sweaters on the Audrey blog, trying to understand the right balance of lace repeats and just how much the lace should be stretched and combining that with attaching the lace to the body in a tidy fashion.

And nothing worked the way I wanted it to.

I am actually considering re-knitting the lace and attaching it to the body of Audrey as I go. But I am not yet ready to tackle that yet, so Audrey has been put aside while I consider the best course.

In the meantime, I decided to move up a couple of needle sizes and get started on Butterfly. Even though I have a pretty good feel for how Kureyon knits up, I decided to be a good little knitter and swatch, just to make sure. Soaking the swatch in water and letting it dry did have the effect of loosening it up just a bit and softening up the Kureyon quite a lot.

The Swatch and the Start

So far, the chevron pattern is a nice balance of interesting and mindless. I can actually work on it and watch John's jungle mercenary progress.

Butterfly Chevron Detail

I'm enjoying the color progression of the Kureyon a lot. Amazing how a simple texture pattern can change the whole character of the yarn. I've been wondering how this pattern might work in socks with a striping sock yarn. Could be kind of interesting, I think!



Hooray! The Postman Cometh! And look what he left on my doorstep...

Noro Kureyon #90 and Jane Ellison's Noro Knits

Now I am all ready to get started on Butterfly. Whenever I'm looking at colors on-line, especially with Noro yarn, I'm always suspicious. But these are exactly the colors I hoped they would be:

Noro Kureyon 90 in Profile

Lovely winter jewel tones always call out to me. And I think the little bits of apple green and aqua blue will provide the perfect accent punches. Now I am all ready for the incredible Butterfly Knit-Along that Jessica is hosting.


If you're thinking about knitting this sweater, drop Jessica a line. You don't have to knit with Kureyon to do the project. Claudia is using her own gorgeous handspun to create a Butterfly.

I think there will be at least one other pattern out of the Jane Ellison book that I take on:

Can You Guess Why The Boy Likes This Sweater?

When I showed "Fitzgerald" to John, he tilted his head to the side, considered it, I might wear that... if you make it, you should pick something that's washable, because if I liked it, I would probably want to wear it a lot

Not only an endorsement, but a yarn request. Amazing. Kureyon is definitely not washable, though. And I think it might be a little scratchy for him. Silk Garden is also not washable and I think it would overheat him. I am thinking maybe Diakeito Diadomina could be a substitute. Does anyone know whether this yarn is up to the challenge of being washed a reaonable amount? I know it's soft and that it stripes...

P.S. Those of you who guessed that John is playing Far Cry are absolutely correct!