Monday, October 31, 2005

Just in time for Socktoberfest's end

Happy Halloween everybody!

I did finish the Socktoberfest socks, kitchener the last toe and sew in all the ends. Yay! For your viewing pleasure, I present to you the M2 shorty socks:

I wove in all the ends for the Thandi scarf, but Sunday was a day of rest, so no pics of me modeling the scarf.

And even Donna got in on the action of finishing. All of those stinkin' ends were sewn in, but I need to give it a dunk in a bath and block it, b/c I call it finished. Then I will actually take a picture with me modeling it again.

Since then, I was working maniacally on the Hippy-Chic second sleeve. I'm about halfway up that sleeve and I've been knitting a bit on Spork. I like Spork and hope that I will like the end result, but it's a bit of boring knitting, so I knit on it while watching T.V. and then I keep checking the length, but it's not nearly big enough yet. I wonder if I shouldn't go up a needle size on this one. Might have to check gauge.

I'm really wanting a finished sweater, since I know it will be getting cold soon, although for Nov. 1 we're supposed to have 65-70 degree weather. Once the chill gets in the air, I really like wool garments. Since I have two cardigans on the needles right now and plans for a third, Rogue, I feel that I should attempt a couple of pullovers. One that I really like is Tuja,(look on the right at the sweater in green). I think this will definitely be next on my list. I would like to make this out of some Classic Elite Inca Alpaca I have in a beautiful red, or perhaps using the heathered rose pink Cascade 220 I bought while in Atlanta this summer. I would lean more towards the CE Inca Alpaca, as I only have one red sweater in my wardrobe at all, and that's a sweater I can't wear everywhere, but this one would be a great staple. If this one knits up to gauge, I would need two more balls, but I will check with the LYS to see if they have while I'm out running errands.

Speaking of, I've got to get out of here. Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Hmm, I was debating on whether or not I should even post, b/c I feel like I should have something to show, but really I have a few more rows on Spork and I did finish the sock. Well, I do still have to kitchener the toes, but I expect I'll have a picture to put by either tomorrow or Monday. I'm pretty excited that I joined a KAL and finished the item so quickly.

Sadly, I decided to drop out of the Scarf Exchange before it got started, b/c I didn't feel that I would get that one done and decided that I just would rather knit myself some mittens and call it a day.

With that said, I joined yet another KAL, this time for Fuzzy Feet hosted by Anmiryam of GromitKnits, here. These sound like fun and are a great way, imo, of using up some Noro that I don't have any plans for.

Since my last post, I worked feverishly on the socks so that I could have them done for M2. Now that those are done, I can get back to work on the second sleeve of my Hippy-Chic cardigan and then on to the second front. I did run out yesterday and bought great buttons for both the Hippy-Chic cardigan and the Marilyn NSS cardi. I'm pretty jazzed about these.

Oh and I decided that Eris is not the cardigan for me. I saw a completed Eris cardi and I don't like how the cabled collar is so open on the cardigan neck. The way the collar lies on the body doesn't look right to me. It just isn't how I would like the cardigan to sit on me. If you look here, you'll see what I mean. It's not meant to knock the blogger's completed Eris, I just don't think it's the look for me. What I think I will do is "cardiganize" Rogue instead, a la Claudia.

That's about it for me today. I'll have some FOs in the next post.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Knitalong Tuesday progress

First of all, thanks to everyone for the comments on the Hippy Chic Cardigan and on Donna. I've decided for now to keep Donna as is. I will weave in the ends and wear it and see how I feel. If I don't like it, then I will figure out my next step. And as for the Hippy Chic cardigan, I'm keeping the solid sleeve. It's been truly a joy to knit this yarn. I'm loving it so much. I even finished the first sleeve, see:

It seems I have so many projects on the needles, maybe 5 or 6, but violating my rule of 4, which was something
Joanne mentioned a few years ago and I really like this idea of having no more than 4 projects going at once. It makes the most sense for me, as I must have multiple projects on the needles, something simple like a sock usually, and other projects, which can be simple stockinette and other complicated projects for when I get bored with the simple projects. But when I get bored, it's nice to have a challenge and so on. But lately, I've had my needles in everything. Someone barely mentions a KAL and boom, I'm joining in. Since I wanted to get some things off of my needles before I can start something fun like a Clap, something must come off the needles. And the Thandi scarf is now off of the needles. It is currently blocking, on my lovely blocking board (hee-hee), the same one that Michaele and AmyB both have.

I also finally cast on (almost 2 weeks ago) for Spork and have the beginning of it to show. Stacey, Cyn, and Cathi and I all decided to make our bigger, so we cast on 1.5 times the amount that the original pattern called for. I haven't gotten very far and actually decided for right now, this project is still in the lineup, but I am saving it to knit at knitting get-togethers with my friends as I have other knitting that I am trying to crank out. But here is the start of Spork.

And lastly, here's the second M2 shorty sock, thus far. I finally moved past the ribbing and worked the heel flap, turning the heel and picking up stitches. Now I'm just working on the foot, alternating with decrease rounds. I felt pretty bad when I was whaling away on my HippyChic Cardi sleeve when M2 asked me if his other sock was done yet. How bad am I? So busy working on my cardigan that I'd short-shrifted the sock. I did finish the sleeve b/c I was very close, only 2-3 rows before binding off, so I did bind off, just to get it over with and am now concentrating on the sock. Maybe I'll have it done before the end of October, oops, excuse me,
Socktoberfest. All I do have to knit is the foot!

Next up, more projects in the knitting lineup, or what I want to finish this winter.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Cardi Dilemma Revisited

Ok, so after my last long post about which cardigan I should work on, I didn't get to work on the sleeves until finally last night. I've worked on the lacy scarf when I've had some time to knit, but no pictures of that. Just think another couple of color repeats done. That lace scarf is just addictive. Anyhow, I digress.
After finally working on the sleeve and changing needle sizes a couple of time, whilst working with the variegated and the lovely Cascade 220 in orange. I think I stated before, that I ran out of the handpaint and thus was forced to buy a solid color to coordinate. So I bought some orange Cascade 200 to knit the sleeves in a solid color with the seed stich border on the sleeves in the variegated. Now that I've knit a bit on the sleeve, I'm not sure that I will like it with it. M doesn't care for it at all. What are your thoughts? I'm torn on this one, because I want it to work and I like the Cascade, it's so nice and soft. I almost think I would like this better if it was done in a solid color, with the variegated Cascade 220 as the border, but I don't have enough of that either and frankly, if I have to rip this yarn, I don't know what I will use it for, but I doubt if I would reknit this sweater again. It was error-laden and I don't think I want to deal with it again.

For Socktoberfest, I have been working on M2's shorty socks. The first one has been completed and now I'm working on the heel flap of the second one.

And I did finally get the sleeves sewn in on Donna, as well as the sides seamed together. I also completed the picking up of stitches around the neck and worked the 1x1 ribbing and bound off. However, I have yet to weave in all the ends yet. I tried it on and am not sure I like it that much. I'm kind of bleh. Here's the lying flat version.
donna laying flat Posted by Picasa

And then I had the bright idea since M was back to have him take a picture of it on. It still doesn't show what my problem is, which is on the sides, it's somewhat larger than I wanted it to be. It fits okay and doesn't feel too big, but the ribbing part is a big part that I can bunch up in my hand. I think it maybe that I didn't use an elastic enough yarn to make it hug a little closer. I dunno, that and maybe my gauge changed, but of course I didn't measure it to see. Anyhow, here's a picture of it on.
Donna being tried on Posted by Picasa

That's pretty much what I've been working on as of late. This weekend I went up to the shop and hung out with Jon for a bit, while seaming up Donna. It was a good way to keep me focused. After I got it all the neck done, I bound off, but was too lazy to actually start sewing in the ends. I plan to do it this weekend.

M and I had a talk while I was typing this blog post and I've decided I will go ahead and finish the sleeves and work the second front and finish the Hippy-Chic sweater. While he does have great fashion sense, the variegated colors of the yarn are a bit much for him. He admitted that he doesn't like the variegated no matter what, just too many colors, while I love variegated. I will finish the sweater and see what it looks like. If I rip it out after that, maybe that yarn would make a nice clapotis? I love the colors and the yarn is so soft, merino wool, that I would love to knit something with it, no problem. I just wouldn't reknit the whole sweater again. We'll see how it works out.

I guess I will also work more on M2's sock this week. I would love to have the heel flap finished, turning the heel and then on to picking up stitches. The goal is to be close to finishing this by the end of the month, but of course, I will work on other projects, so at the end of the month, we'll see where we get.

Later all . .

Friday, October 14, 2005

Cardigan Dilemma

I’m back again to post, but today I have a dilemma about cardis ad am appealing to my blog readers for some guidance here. I have two cardigans that are in about the same point of completion and with the change of seasons ushering us into fall, I’m wanting a cardigan or two, preferably knitted. The Marilyn NSS cardigan is on the needles, awaiting me to work the hem on the body. I’d mentioned this in a previous post, but I’d planned to do it last Tuesday, but that was the day M’s mother passed away and thusly all my knitterly plans for that day were put aside.

After doing the hem on the NSS cardi, I will still have to do the sleeves, as well as a button band and learning to crochet a ruffle to attach to the sweater as well. The crochet part could take awhile as I have to figure that part out. Hopefully one of my girls, Cyn or Michelle could help with that part. Also, as this cardigan is top-down, well, not really fewer ends, but no seams to join together, just weaving in ends. Here’s the progress of the Marilyn NSS Cardi thus far.

Marilyn NSS Cardi progress Posted by Picasa

Now, to the Hippy Chic cardigan from the ’02 Knit It! Magazine. This sweater and I have really gone through some changes. I worked on it for quite some time, when I lived in Dallas and was a much less experienced knitter. There were lots of pattern errors and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the pattern, until more experienced knitters advised me the pattern was wrong. After I finished the back, one front, two pockets, and both sleeves, I realized I didn’t have enough yarn to finish the second front and the collar, so that obviously presented a problem. Getting more yarn was not a possibility as it is handpainted yarn and the vendor who I bought it from, no longer uses the same makeup of yarn. The yarn I have is a merino wool, 4-ply yarn and now that vendor is no longer able to get the same yarn. It is now superwash (which takes the dye differently) and it’s a 3 ply yarn or 5 ply, I can’t recall. But the gist is she didn’t have any more of that dyelot that I bought in ’02, when I called about it in ’04. Yeah, not really so surprising and dyeing more in the same colorway with different composition of yarn wouldn’t work either, so I was screwed. Searching online for more of the same dyelot seemed to be nigh on impossible as well. Thusly, I put all the parts in a bag and forgot about it for a year, while I tried to figure out what I would do with it. My only option at that time, was to rip it out, as I didn’t want a solid yarn paired with the variegated. I was just sure that would not work. After a year’s time and I was one of my cleaning kicks, I came across the bag and decided that I loved the yarn too much and didn’t want to rip out the project, as I really loved the yarn in its current state in that project and one night, in a dream, I came up with the idea of using a solid-colored yarn. Not a monumental or even novel idea, but yet, I was ready to approach this idea, as opposed to when it was first presented to me over a year ago when I was completely against it. I went to a few yarns shops, found one that had a great selection of Cascade 220 and a great solid color in a orange color that goes with the variegated yarn, as the orange is a dominant color and I liked it better than some of the other colors. I guess I like bright, although the orange isn’t fluorescent. This sweater still needs both sleeves knitted, one front and a collar. As the cardigan has a seed stitch border all around the body and sleeves of this sweater and the body has already been done in the variegated, I plan to do the sleeves with the variegated yarn in seed stitch, and then use the solid color for the “body” of the sleeves. The sleeves also have seed stitch kind of right in the middle of the sleeve and my thought is to do that part of the seed stitch in the variegated, while the rest of the sleeve is in solid color. I’ll try it out and see how it looks. Since I love seed stitch so much (not!), when I ripped out the yarn, I even stopped right before the seed stitch, so I don’t have to redo it, I will just join in the solid color yarn. I will have to swatch with the yarn to match the gauge on the rest of the already knitted parts and of course I don’t even remember what needle size I used for the variegated, so that part will be fun!(not!), but oh well. Here’s what that sweater looks like thus far:
Hippy Chic cardigan Posted by Picasa

I was originally going to ask you all for your thoughts as to which one I should finish first, but I’m pretty sure I’m going with the Hippy Chic, just because it’s been on the needles this long. I’m hoping that it could be done by the end of the month, we shall see.

Tonight, I'm meeting up with other knit friends,
Cathi, Joanne, Cyn and Stacey for knitting and to celebrate Michelle's birthday today! Happy Birthday Michelle! I expect to cast on for Spork tonight as well! We shall see.

Now, I'm off to seam up Donna, while listening the Gilmore Girls, and picking up stitches and working on the V-neck ribbing. Maybe I can have another FO over the weekend!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Return from Brooklyn

Yep, we're back safe and sound. Thanks everyone for your comforting words, comments, and condolences. It was a very unexpected death and we're told that she died from heart disease, a hardening of the arteries over time, that was never detected. It was very hard for the family to accept this as she was very healthy, walked every day and managed her diabetes by diet, no insulin. I'm sure she left this earth with no regrets and she was well-loved by family and friends. M is holding up and getting through it, but of course that will be over time. Now we're home and getting back to our routines. We just returned yesterday morning.

Since I knew we would more than likely be at his parents' house the majority of the time, I opted to take simple knitting projects with me, like the socks I was already working on for M2 and another one of those Debbie Bliss baby raglan sweaters, b/c it was simple and mindless. I actually was able to finish the sweater in a 3-6 month size for one of M's nephews, who is only a month old. I seamed it up and everything. I'll have pics of the baby, who was born a bit premature and of the sweater tomorrow. I also took yarn to make another baby sweater, but decided I didn't want to get burnt out with baby sweater making. And I had a list of babies I was going to knit for, like 5 or 6 of them, but then decided to thin it down and knit for family and special friends. Others that I was thinking of, hmm, not so much. Although I did make one in a 9-12 month size that I had no idea who to give it to, because one of M's nephews has grown so much since I last saw him 5 months ago, that he's in 2T sizes and is only 11 months old now. So I will be making a different pattern for him, possibly a cardigan instead. I love that the cardigan I made for nephew Kieth was made using Encore Worsted Weight and only used one ball of yarn, in a baby blue color. I used a little from the second ball to sew in the ends, but that was it. I also plan to make him a baby hat as well. I was thinking socks, but I don't think they will stay put on his feet. His parents were also suitably impressed/thankful with the gift, so more knitting for that baby in the future. A couple of pics of the tiny and precious baby, as well as the finished baby raglan sweater.

baby kieth sleeping Posted by Picasa

baby raglan sweater Posted by Picasa

I also worked on the shorty socks for M2 and finished the first one and cast on for the second one, and it's moving a bit slowly as I screwed up the cuff a few times and had to rip it out and start over 2 times thus far, so hopefully the 3rd time is the charm with this one. I've decided to join (yes, yet another KAL, but this is one that can be successfully finished), Socktoberfest, hosted by Lolly at the same place. It's an informal sort of KAL, just knitting socks, with no deadline and since one half of the socks are already completed, this seems like one I can do! Here's the first shorty sock for M2.
one shorty sock completed Posted by Picasa

I also pulled out the lacy scarf last night and worked a couple of pattern repeats with color changes, so this scarf is coming along nicely. I think now I can see that this scarf won't be very long, but I should get 1-2 color changes out of each ball left before the yarn is all gone, but that will suit me just fine. Also once it's finished and I block it, I figure it will gain a little length.

 Posted by Picasa

Last, but certainly not least, I received my Sockapalooza sock package from my sock pal, Tacha, all the way from Germany. Although my sock pal finished them while visiting family in Chile, but didn't want to send them from Chile! I have international socks that have traveled the world over! I received some wonderful socks done in Lang Jawoll in the pattern Unst from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road. I love the lacy pattern and the color is one I don't have in my sock collection. The socks are just how I like 'em, short cuffs, and a perfect fit in the foot and toe. I also received a couple of face masques and a pretty postcard, as well as a chocolate bar, but sadly that is not pictured as I immediately pounced on the chocolate. Such a lovely package, especially to receive after the news of last week. I was so excited to receive it. And I'll stop all the blather and show a couple of pics. One of the package and below that, one of the socks themselves. Thanks again Tacha!

sockapalooza sock package Posted by Picasa

closeup of sockapalooza socks Posted by Picasa

I guess that's it for now. I plan to post tomorrow with a dilemma on cardigan knitting, stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

All the way from Iceland

I received a package in the mail yesterday and I was most surprised to get a box from Iceland filled to the gills with goodies:

Carola sent me this wonderful box of stuff. I was so surprised and had no idea. First off, Carola made a pair of Fortissima Colori Socka color socks with somewhat wild color selection of stripes. I mentioned a couple of times how much I liked this sock yarn, even if some of my friends made fun of me for liking them. It turns out Carola sent me her leftover, so I can make a pair of anklets with it. Additionally she sent a couple of "cakes" of Icelandic wool, which makes for really warm sweaters, but it's knit somewhat airily and it's unspun or lightly spun wool. In such a pretty burgundy wine color, I love it. Along with some accent colors, white and pink. Different types of chocolate candy and candy bar, although two were not pictured because M2 (the boyo) and I dived into the chocolate last night and again tonight! Yum, good chocolate. A lava rock from Iceland, as well as a tourist guide to Iceland. One day, Carola, I will be there to visit! A CD of Agatha Christie mp3 files, a votive candle, a postcard of Iceland, a miniature Icelandic flag and a very nice letter as well. Wow, Carola, that was really sweet of you and I appreciate it so much.

Since my last post, lots of knitting has been done. Over the weekend, I finished the second sleeve of Donna. Yay! I do need to seam the sleeves and the sides together, so I can pickup stitches and do the ribbing around the neck and be done with it. I also finished the sleeves of the baby sweater and those also need to be sewn together. It'll happen soon.

Also, the Marilyn Not-So-Shrunken Cardigan (NSS Cardigan) is fast approaching the hem. I'm going to do that next and then it will be on to the sleeves.

I've also been working on M2's shorty socks, but the first one is the prototype and it's a little too high, but I'm not ripping it out. Thankfully since this sock doesn't require much of a cuff, the heel has been turned and decreases done and I'm moving right along on the foot of this sock.

Sadly, on another note, we will be headed to New York tomorrow evening on the red-eye due to a death in M's family. His mother passed this morning very unexpectedly. She was a very sweet lady that I'm sad I didn't have the chance to know better and longer.