Thursday, November 24, 2005

Hippy-Chicsgiving to all of you!

Okay, so I know it's a little late and Thanksgiving is almost over, but I finally finished the Hippy-chic sweater on Wednesday and dubbed it my Thanksgiving sweater. There are some things that aren't perfect on this sweater, like I want another buttonhole up top, but since the knitting is done, I don't know if that will happen. The sleeves are too long and I think I will take them back out and reknit them, but when I feel ready to rip out the body of this thing and tackle it again. Right now, I'm just happy that it's done. But all in all, despite those problems, I still LOVE this sweater! I'm very happy with it and love the variegated/solid combo and as Cyn said, if it were all variegated as it was supposed to be originally, it might have been too much.

A view from the front:

and a bit of a closeup of the too-long sleeves:

Project Specs:
Hippy-Chic Sweater from Knit It! 2002 issue
Yarn used: Interlacements Oregon (100% merino wool, variegated) and Cascade 220 in orange
Needles used: sz 8 needles for variegated, sz 7 needles for Cascade
Completion: started sometime in Nov/Dec 2002-completed November 23,2005 (worked on this off and on)

Also, I did felt the fuzzy feet, however, no pics today.

I am off in the morning to Louisiana to get ready for my sister's wedding, which will be next Saturday, December 3rd. I've been beckoned to come early to help with the wedding preparations, seeing as how "I'm not doing anything anyway", (read: unemployed), but that's okay too. And in true knitterly fashion, I've planned about 7 projects for me to work on for 10 days. How unrealistic is that?

I've got my knitting all planned, however I still have to pack! I plan on one hat for Maurice, a pair of mittens in Cascade 220, a pair of mittens with cabled ribs b/c Cyn showed me hers and I'm such a follower! I think they are very cute. As well as a pair of handwarmers from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, fuzzy feet for M and M2, starting a Clap and starting the sleeves for M's Port Orford sweater. Do you think starting a pair of socks is too much? Hah! I think I'm so happy to be finished with this sweater and that means I can start a new project that I'm losing my mind. My main thought is that some of the projects like a hat and the hand warmers should go pretty quickly, as well as the mittens with cabled ribs. Starting the sleeves just gets me started on M's sweater and the Clap I don't expect to finish. I just want to get started on a Clap for me. When I come back from La, I will work on the baby knits. I told one of the mothers to expect a sweater soon, so now I feel obligated and that will use up more stash.

I'll try to post on the road, however it will be without pics. Hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving with friends or family and those that didn't celebrate, then Happy Thursday! I'm Audi . . .

Sunday, November 20, 2005

One sleeve on, One sleeve off

Thanks to everyone for the feel better wishes. They must have worked, I finally started feeling better Friday. I feel very badly as I picked up a package from Mariko on Thursday evening, but didn't blog about it till now. As usual things have been hectic around here.

First, let me post the lovely package that Mariko sent, all for trying out a couch for her!

She sent lots of candies. It would have been good if I took the picture as soon as I opened it, but M2 and I dove in straight for the candy and it didn't stay wrapped for long. M2 loves all sour stuff, so he enjoyed the sour (super sour!) lemon candies and I let him have them. They were too tart for me. Our favorite was a grapefruit, soft chewy candy and some small strawberry chocolate pieces. So tasty. And for me, there are a pair of cute socks, a note pad, a nice note from Mariko, yarn (of course, and in a colorway titled Hot Lips!), b/c a girl can never have enough of hot pink. That was very nice of you Mariko, thanks so much. It brought a smile to my day, especially when I was feeling pretty badly that day.

Although I was sick, I did manage to get some knitting done, but only in spurts. I knit some on Spork, but since I deemed this my "knitting get-together" project, I put it down. I did get to change the color, now I'm into the gray. Although I'm only a couple of inches in, still much more to go.

I did finish the second of the fuzzy feet and just need to felt them. Sadly though the motivation is lacking. Maybe tomorrow.

Marilyn NSS cardi is coming along, although I'd knitted the first sleeve to almost completion and decided I didn't like how it had so much bulk under the arm, so I ripped it out and started it anew. So I've knitted two sleeves now and only have one to show for it. Since I was sick of knitting the sleeve, since that was all I knitted on while I was sick, I started working the button band and the neckline yesterday. I plan to do the buttonhole band today or tomorrow and then I'll begin tackling the second sleeve. I just needed a bit of a break from the sleeve. Or maybe I'll save the sleeve for when I come back from the wedding. I dunno. Anyhow, here's a couple of pics of the progres thus far on it. Pardon the goofy look (besides the normal goofiness), this is the first time I tried the self-timer feature on my camera. I finally, duh, realized that I could use it, rather than waiting on my photographer to come home.


and one from the side:


I'm really itching to begin some new things, but today M is off to the Broncos vs. Jets game, so I have the house alone and I'm going to work on Hippy Chic. Finally got the sleeve caps to fit right, so off to finish I go. Maybe you'll see a pic of me modeling it soon.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Fun thingies

Your Birthdate: August 27

You are a spiritual soul - a person who tries to find meaning in everything.
You spend a good amount of time meditating, trying to figure out life.
Helping others is also important to you. You enjoy social activities with that goal.
You are very generous and giving. Yet you expect very little in return.

Your strength: Getting along with anyone and everyone

Your weakness: Needing a good amount of downtime to recharge

Your power color: Cobalt blue(and really for this more like purple)

Your power symbol: Dove (not too sure about that)

Your power month: September

and this:

My blog is worth $23,710.68.
How much is your blog worth?

and lastly, I'm sure most of you have seen this map thingy all over the blogland as of late. I've joined in the craze. If you can, please hop over to this link to sign up on my map. Go on over, throw up your gang signs and leave me a shoutout with a link to your blog. Post a pic if you can.

Check out our Frappr!

I'm feeling a bit poorly today (blasted sore throat has me sounding like Foghorn Leghorn), so this is why you're getting all the other blog fodder. Hopefully more from me soon.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Ain't Misbehavin'

No sir, not me. Just because I kept coveting Lauren's Lottie and I kept thinking, I've got loads of CottonEase that I could knit that with. That's one of the sweaters from the Cotton Angora book that I really like. And why shouldn't I cast on for yet another sweater, now that I've finished the second fuzzy foot? And the last cardigan front of Hippy-Chic is blocked and drying? Why should I go visit my long and faithful friend Marilyn who's been sitting in a corner patiently for well-nigh over a month waiting for me to come back to her. Like an unfaithful lover, I snuck away and cast on for Lottie last night. But fate has a cruel way of getting back at you. I had to keep getting up and trying a different needle and then I tried a different element to the pattern, that I think is just a mistake, so I will have to rip it out and go slinking back to Marilyn and hope that she will forgive me. I have to make it up to her with lots and lots of faithful knitting of sleeves and such.

Because I plan on making the Port Orford pullover next for M(see side bar for projects next in lineup), that's the project I need to start swatching for, rather than start all new projects. I think because this project isn't for me and I have a(n)agenda list of projects that mostly include large sweaters for me and 2 thus far have been cardigans, I'm really anxious to make a pullover sweater for myself. For now, though I am going to cast on for the Port Orford pullover for M, as I hope to soon get Marilyn NSS Cardi out of the way too. I need to start on the sleeves and then I can worry about the buttonband and the ruffle. I'll need help with the crocheted ruffle, but I don't think it will be too bad.

And as I thought about it in the shower today, what can be better than making a sweater for the man I love? One who asks to be bathed in handknits. With every stitch I knit, I am knitting with love and wonderful thoughts of him and to give hi that pleasure, what could be better? He actually really likes this pattern. It has loads of stockinette, which I love, and then a double moss pattern at the yoke which gives him some texture (that he loves) and an overall sweater without lots of shaping and should be rather easy to knit and the yarn is oh-so-soft. This won't be finished by Christmas, but sometime this winter, so that he can wear it.

In between all of this, I decided I needed to stop being selfish and make a few more baby knits. That Debbie Bliss baby raglan sweater is just the simplest thing ever, so I plan on making another one for my nephew Chason, since I'll be seeing him again in December for his mother's wedding (my sister) as well, as making a cardigan for one of M's nephews that is a year old and maybe a couple more baby knits for former co-workers that I still keep in touch with. One had a baby the end of September that I'd promised to knit for, as well as another co-worker that had a baby shortly before Chason was born. Soo, I guess I need to get crankin' on it!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Giddy-up, Knitalong, Rawhide

Tuesdays are for knitalongs. Today will just be an update of the KALs I've joined and what the status is thus far.

For the Fuzzy Feet KAL, may I present one fuzzy foot knitted. The second one is on the needles. Yes, this is Noro and my fuzzy foot may look a little bigger, as I had to adjust for a bigger foot (mine) than the pattern called for. I hope to have the second one completed by this week's end. We shall see.

Spork finally got some love this weekend, when Cyn, Michelle and I met at Monkey Bean. It's such a cool coffee place and if it's open til 3 a.m., I'm so there. We all hung out for awhile there knitting and admiring Cynthia's yarn indiscretion! Cynthia and I even tried to close the place down, but finally around 1 a.m., we even had to go home. But with that, I made lots of progress on Spork. Since Spork was deemed my knitting for knitting get-togethers, I did need to knit on it and now I'm ready for the next color change, just haven't picked Spork back up as of yet.

Rogue, there has been no progress on that cardigan and I don't know when that will happen at this point. It's a low priority for me. It might be next fall at this rate.

For Stashbusters, at this point, I would say all of my knitting is from stash, but for a major project, obviously Donna has been finished. And my focus is on Hippy-Chic at this point, to get it finished. To that end, I've already blocked the back and sleeves.

The right front of the cardigan is moving along swimmingly. I'm not quite ready to cast off, but for casting on Saturday evening and I've been knitting every day, it's almost done. I can finish it today if I want, as I only need 1/2" or less before I bind off the stitches and then both fronts will be washed and blocked and then I can join the sweater together and do the neck, seam it all together and call this puppy done. I really want it to be done.

And then I can get back to Marilyn NSS. I also picked up the pattern for the Port Orford Pullover. I would like to cast on and get started for this one soon. This sweater is for M, but no holiday knitting. It won't be done in time for Christmas, but it would be nice to get started, since I keep promising I will actually make this sweater for him. And he loves sweaters and keeps asking for a sweater by me, how can I resist a man that wants me to knit for him? I can't. So there you go.

I've gotta run. Gotta figure out something for dinner, pick up a preteen, run to the store and get some things for my sister's wedding, which is less than a month from now and get said preteen started on homework and then try to sneak out for knitting later on tonight with the girls.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Behold the Donna

Ok, I've been talking about Donna for quite a number of months. It's finally time to unveil her. I did show you a pic last week, now it's blocked and I like it, more or less. I still haven't decided if it's for me or not, but at this point, there's less time to wear it at this time of the year, so I'll put it away and forget about it until next year and see how I feel about it. I may love it or hate it.

But here are the pics:
Full on frontal:

a closeup:

and one of the side ribbing:

Pattern Specs:
Pattern: Donna
Yarn used: Katia Beetle in sage green color
Needle size used: size 7 US for main body, size US 6 for ribbing
time to completed: started sometime in April-fully completed Nov 02,2005

So that's that with Donna and for a picture I promised Michaele of the Thandi scarf.

I absolutely love this scarf. But after all of the trouble with lace and mohair and it was a joy to work with, I find I'm allergic to mohair. Sigh. Me and knitting, not getting along quite so well lately. Although I am still plugging away on the Hippy-Chic. I'm more than 50% finished with the second cardigan front, so I expect I will be done in the next day or so. I have the back and sleeves blocking as we speak. After the fronts are done, I will block those too and then assemble said sweater and start picking up stitches for the neck so that I can work the collar.

Friday, November 04, 2005

I Meme, You Meme, We all Meme

I was tagged by Paula for this knitting meme that's been running around blogland. This is one of the few that I like and can see me actually completing. Here it goes:

What is your all time favorite yarn to knit with?
That is a very hard question to answer. I don't have a favorite yarn per se, but yarns I have enjoyed knitting with are Interlacements Peru, Cascade 220, Gedifra Cordilla. I love knitting with really soft yarns. It's such a treat to knit with soft yarns that glide along the needle as you're knitting. Knitting is such a tactile enjoyment for me.

Your favorite needles?
Addi Turbos all the way. They were actually the first needles that I learned to knit on. A shop here in Denver where I took knitting classes only carries Addi Turbos, so I learned to knit using circulars. It wasn't until I met other knitters that I realized there were other types of needles. I then tried some straights, but realize I don't particularly care for those and got rid of the ones I did have in my stash, but I did keep two pairs of pretty bamboo needles, just cos well, they're pretty.
As far as sock needles go, my all-time favorite are Pony Pearls. Many don't like the plastic needles b/c they say the point of the tip isn't that pointing when picking up stitches, but they suit me just perfectly. I couldn't deal with the bamboo needles as I broke one and I knew I would continue to break them or lose them and for $9 bucks or so, that was a habit I didn't want to keep replacing things with. I also truly hate the idea of possibly getting a splinter, thusly bamboo was not the way to go. I tried aluminum dpns too and they were too slippery for me and very pointy. I was scared I would poke my eye out. That and I like longer dpns, (8 inches, baby), the 6-inchers are just too short and my hand engulfs them.

The worst thing you've ever knit?
I would be hard-pressed to say anything that I knitted was the worst thing, b/c usually the thing that I'm knitting is pretty fun or interesting to knit. although they often times give me fits. However the first thing I ever knitted, a scarf, which is cute, in its own way, but definitely not the best first project. I decided to knit a scarf and I picked out some designer novelty yarn (the first LYS I shopped at is in a boutique-y area of Denver and they carry lots of designer yarns, Stacy Charles, Tahki, etc.) and I don't remember the name of the yarn, but it was something like $12-$15 for this one ball of yarn. I cast on something like 20 or so stitches, all garter stitch, but with the string of black nylon with fluffy bits on it, being knitted on Addi Turbos, it was a recipe for disaster. I was so frustrated with this scarf, I was very happy when it was done.

Your most favorite knit pattern? (maybe you don't like wearing it...but it was the most fun to knit)
I know most say that the poncho is dead, but yet, last winter, I knitted myself one and I love it ever so much. The design is from Hyphen Boy Designs and it is the The Three Point Poncho pattern.

and one of the back:

Last fall, I was determined that I would knit a poncho and I pored through pages of poncho designs, badgered my friends for their opinions and got myself all in a dither because of it. Then I saw this pattern and thought it would make the best use of some handpainted yarn I'd purchased previously. I really loved this particular color of Interlacements Peru, but when I placed a special order for it, 2 skeins of the total 3 purchased, were the color I wanted and 1 skein of it was more pastel-colored and I was very disappointed with it. And this stuff wasn't cheap, each skein was $30 apiece and I had some pastel-colored handpainted yarn that I wanted upchuck on. I was very distressed about it, but yet wanted to do something with the 1000 yards of yarn I had that was good. That was when I decided to use the handpaint yarn for the poncho and whatever was leftover, I would figure something else out.
What I loved about this pattern was how well-written it was and the pattern consists of different bands that created different stitch patterns and you could mix and match them to however you wanted to change the design, if you liked, or you could knit it as written. You did have to sit down and really read out the pattern before knitting, but then it made everything so much easier to understand. I was really pleased with the pattern and the end result.

Most valuable knitting technique?
I would say being able to fix my mistakes (dropped stitches, etc.), learning how to do short-rows, learning to knit socks while I was still a beginner knitter (it helped me alot with increases, decreases, picking up stitches, which I used later in actually knitting garments and such)

Best knit book or magazine?
Hands down, my favorite knitting magazine is Interweave Knits. There are so many inspirational patterns there and I usually consistently buy this magazine over all other knitting magazines.
Book-wise, I adore Sally Melville's Knit and Purl Stitch. There's a wealth of information there and some great patterns as well. The Knitter's Handbook by Montse Stanley is a great compendium of how to do everything in my opinion.

Your favorite knitblogs?
There are many favorites and hard to narrow it down, but I will say that of course, I always read my most favorite girls first.

I also enjoy reading Paula, Sahara, Margene, Lolly and Carola. There are many more, so feel free to check the links list on the right for the rest of my favorite reads.

Your favorite knitwear designer?
My ultimate favorite knit designer is Jo Sharp. I usually like most of her designs and I keep collecting more and more of her pattern design books. Her designs are classic, with a timeless beauty, many that I know I could wear years from now and still not be out of style. Others I like are Veronik Avery, Annie Modesitt, Norah Gaughan and Sally Melville.

The knit item you wear the most? (how about a picture of it!)
Hmm, besides the poncho, I guess I wear my scarves the most. No pics of the scarves as I'm too lazy to go upstairs to take yet another picture. I made a yellow sweater out of Sirdar Rio that was is one sweater that I absolutely love. As well now that I think about, the knit item(s) that get worn the most, are probably my socks. and isn't that the point of knitting socks is to wear them?

;Posted by Picasa

socks Posted by Picasa

and one of the sweater:

Sirdar Rio sweater

And to tag, well, let's say
Carola, Joanne and Michelle.

Next up, pictures of the fully completed Donna and me modeling the Thandi scarf, due to popular demand. (hee, hee, by request of Michaele)