Saturday, December 30, 2006

Post-Christmas knitting

Hi all,

It's been a little bit since I last posted, but for longtime readers, not necessarily a surprise, I think. I thought about posting last week, leading up to Christmas, but in Denver, we had a major snowstorm(read: blizzard) and of course I still had my crappy camera and wasn't wanting to deal with that. Now after that holiday, got a new camera (thanks M!), but of course had to figure out how to use it and then I decided to switch over to the new Blogger during the second blizzard in a 7-day period (insane!). After fiddling with Blogger for the past few hours, I'm still missing some things on my sidebar, but hopefully the HTML/XML knowledgeable among us may be able to offer me some help or it just won't make it on the page, definitely not the end of the world. I'm very excited by the new blogger and the functionality of using labels and such.

I meant to answer Sheila's question from my last post, whether or not I finished the sweater for M in time for Xmas and the answer is yes. And Sheila, I did not stick to my schedule of finishing it at all. I started seaming one side last Monday. Put it down, hardly knit for the next few days b/c I felt guilty for not finishing his sweater. Ooops, I guess I did finish another spiral rib hat out of some Malabrigo that Nachaele gave me. But I made myself sit down Christmas Eve and weave in all the ends on one side and then after Christmas Eve dinner with friends, around 11:30 p.m., I seamed up the other side and wove in all the ends there and finished at 2 a.m. Christmas morning. I blocked it with my portable mini-steamer and boxed it up for M to open. I have other news to report, but for today, I must show you M's finished sweater. He's a bit blog-shy, so his face will not appear on the blog.

from the front:



Project Specs:
Yarn used: Steinbach Wolle Merino Soft in olive green (#18 color)
Needle size used: sz 3 US(3.25 mm) for ribbing and sz 5 US(3.75 mm) for body
Pattern: Port Orford Pullover Sweater from Oat Couture
Modifications: one, which was on the front of the sweater, where you do the pattern stitch to delineate from all the stockinette, M decided that he wanted it all in stockinette, so I obliged.

I really like how the sweater turned out. I still don't like the dropped shoulders at all, but he does and it's for him, so that's all that counts. Now he wants to know everything that I'm knitting if it's for him. And the second part of that is now M2 has asked that I knit him a sweater (with argyles). Why is it the kid that always asks for the hard stuff?

Since finishing Hourglass and M's sweater, I've still been working on accessory items. Although it was nice to not have almost the pressure of working on sweaters, save for baby knits, I'm getting the urge to cast on for a new sweater. Some of the accessory items will continue to be worked on, but on the side. I really need to get cracking on the other two baby sweaters. I plan to cast on for one of these by tomorrow.

I expect to post at least once more over the long weekend, as I don't return to work until Tuesday, January 2nd.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

'Tis the Season

To be merry and bright, fa-la-la and all that jazz. While I do love the holidays, it just means more busy time leading up to the actual holiday. Last week, I hardly got any knitting done. I had to send out my Christmas cards and that was at last count, about 95+. This is actually lighter than my usual Christmas card list in years past, but it's still a lot of cards. It took me 4 evenings working on those cards to get them out, so I was very glad to get that done. This past weekend, M's company had their holiday party and most of my knitting girls got together this weekend for a holiday exchange as well. Lots of holiday cheer and festivities which really helped to get me in the mood. A day off yesterday spent shopping for friends and loved ones really sealed the deal.

I've been knitting a lot, but mostly on a hoodie sweater for Chason that I did get finished in time for Christmas. I plan on making 2 more for two of M's younger nephews as well. Between knitting for babes, my other knitting has been on accessories. I declared December as the month of accessories, which started out well as I made a pair of handwarmers out of some Lorna's Laces Lion and Lambknitted tam, as with having locs, most hats don't fit over the humongous head of hair that I have! I haven't yet felt the desire to cross over to the dark side (of crochet) to learn to make myself a tam to hold all of my hair, so I found out about a tam pattern and thought I would use my LL's L&L (50/50 silk and wool) to make a tam, handwarmers and scarf.

As luck wouldn't have it, the LL pooled so badly and the pattern is for an aran weight yarn, so the LL wasn't quite thick enough for aran weight and I did not add stitches. The hat was too tight to fit over my head and the pooling was so awful that I wouldn't wear that had on my head, alone in a dark room, cause I would still know how bad it looked. I ripped it out. As I thought more and more about reknitting it, but alternating every two rows or so with 2 skeins, which is a practice I abhor, I decided to abandon that yarn for the hat and I picked up some new yarn yesterday, which I know I will love better. The Lion and Lamb is destined to be another Clapotis. I have just over 3 full skeins and some left from a fourth. Jeni finished one in the Black Purl colorway and it's so beautiful. I think I may live to Clap again. Although it may be a little while. The Lorna's Lion and Lamb is too special to not be used in something fabulous!

So below, I have a basic pair of handwarmers in Lion and Lamb in the colorway Vera, as well as a 1/2 pair of handwarmers using some recycled Koigu into handwarmers as I have 1 full ball and one half ball. Although I will still have probably half a ball when I'm done with the second handwarmer. Lastly, in the middle you will find a Spiral Rib Hat made from Araucaunia Nature Wool. Michelle made one for her hubby and a friend and it looked so nice as she was knitting it, that I had to make one too. I loved using the Nature Wool, especially as it has the subtle variegation of one color. It sure beat knitting a hat in solid navy. I went a little overboard in the Araucania love this weekend as I purchase 4 more skeins to make hats for other family members and friends. I obviously need help. And Stacey, don't be mad because I already finished mine! ;-)

And below is the finished hoodie sweater for Chason. I plan on making one for M's nephew in New York, who was featured on the blog last year, as he's obviously in need of more handknits. But I also need to make something for the slightly older nephew. I was going to make a cardigan for him, but thankfully I found another pattern through Knitting Pure & Simple, which is another hoodie pattern as a tunic and I think I would prefer that better.

Pattern: Child's Hooded Tunic sized 24 months
Project Length: 11/24-12/18 (really easy and I put this down a few times while working on other things too. I finally weaved in all the ends last night.)
Needle size: US 7
Yarn used: Good ol' Cotton-Ease in Blueberry, used a whopping 2 skeins!

I'm very pleased with this sweater and the cute factor rates highly! I think my sister will like this one very much for him as well!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Ooh,la, la . . .Hourglass FO

For all of you asking about the Hourglass, your wish has been granted. Sorry for the delay and all. But as it is difficult to get good pictures, I had to get M out of the house for 7 a.m. and take some pics outdoors and then rush back indoors to get them uploaded. Yesterday I ended up taking M2 to school, attending a meeting at that school, rushing off to work and then attending another meeting at a potential high school for M2 after work, so there was no time to get the pictures up and a proper post.

Anyhow, here are some pictures for your perusal. M didn't realize the first round of pics he took were in b&w, somehow he changed the setting on the camera. Then we got to retake the pictures. That's always fun when someone is rushing you. But they are done.

The pictures are self-explanatory, so no details there.

Project Specs:
Sweater pattern: Hourglass from Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Yarn used: Jaeger Luxury Tweed in China Pink
Size needle: US 7 (4.5 mm) Addi Turbos
Project Length-October 1-ish-November 30th
Modifications:Not really. Because the yarn I was using was giving me a different gauge, I made a larger size to compensate for my gauge. The sweater is a bit bigger than I preferred. Although after blocking, the sweater did grow as well too. Perhaps on the next large scale project, I'll actually block the swatch! (grr!) Anyhow, I really like this sweater and see myself making another one. It is quite comfortable and the boatneck neckline was more flattering that I thought for a girl with a chest, so I was pleased with that result. Whenever I do make this sweater again, I wouldn't use this yarn. Before blocking the sweater was quite itchy, but a couple of rinses with hair conditioner and then a wool wash really softened up the sweater. Because the yarn is a blend of merino wool and alpaca, it does shed quite a bit. That's the only downside to this sweater is the constant shedding and it's not really loc-friendly yarn for my locs to hang over, but it's done and I love it and the color. Every project is a lesson and while I'd had a thing recently for alpaca as some sort of luxury fiber, those days are far behind me. Alpaca just doesn't work for me and my hair and I really dislike the shedding as well.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Stranded: The Colorwork Challenge KAL

Tthere is another knitalong that I joined. I've been really interested in colorwork as of late, but realistically I'm not sure how much I will get done. Last year, MJ hosted a stranded knitting kal and this year, it has its own blog, here. I especially joined to finish Fair Isle Jazz.

Here's a short questionnaire from the blog:

What are your projects for this knitalong? Fair Isle Jazz scarf, as soon as I get past the cabling, so I can do the other side of Fair Isle on this scarf, as well as a pair of Endpaper Mitts from Eunny Jang. I think these are so cute.

Is this your first colorwork project? If it isn't, what was your first, and has it survived the test of time?
This isn't my first project, but it hasn't been finished yet either. I suppose the correct answer here would be yes, it's my first project, but it has been ongoing since January of this year. This project is a combination of fair isle on both sides of the scarf, with a 24 row cable pattern, to be repeated 7 times. I am now in the final stages of completing the cable pattern, on row 18 of 24, so definitely in the home stretch now. I'm encourage to finish the cabling (which is really not my favorite part) to get back to the fun fair isle.

Hourglass is done blocking. Hopefully I'll get my photographer to take pictures in the a.m.? We'll see how it goes.

Friday, December 01, 2006

A little bit of this, a little bit of that . . .

So I thought I would post a few things. Lots of things have been going on. Some of these pics might be older FOs that never made it to the blog.
Below are a finished pair of M2's shorty socks, the second pair, although the picture is a bit dark of his socks and another garter stitch scarf out of Patons SWS yarn (soy/wool blend) with fringe! I really liked the colors of the yarn, but it sheds entirely too much and is not "loc friendly", so I will give it away as a gift.

Next up, I finished the Thuja socks in Koigu. I love these socks and I am so happy that they are done. This week I've been on a finishing kick and finally decided these lingered long enough. If you can tell, the socks are different sizes. One is larger than the other by about 4 stitches. My gauge changed on the second Koigu sock and I'm happier that I made them smaller. I think if I made socks using Koigu again, I could easily knit socks with 52-56 sts. And the socks got even softer with washing (which I washed in the washer on the delicate cycle, but let them air dry).

And even though I didn't quite get Hourglass done for NaKniSweMo, it was pretty close. I finished the knitting last week and started working on the all of the godforsaken hems. I love the look of them, but they are a beast. I will use it again, but I will start sewing down the hems a lot sooner than at the very end. Last night I finished the last sleeve hem and reworked a kitchener at the underarm. (It became a 3 needle bindoff! ;-)) Now, it still needs a bath and some pinning down, especially around the neck hem, but I think I'm going to like it. I like the fit of it, but if I were to make this again (and there's a strong possibility that I would, I would make it a bit more fitted and a little less long). Expect a post next week with a modeled Hourglass!

And just because my dear sweet nephew hasn't had much face time on the blog in awhile, a pic of Chason being so mischievous. He's grown up so much now and is no longer a baby, but a toddler, getting into everything.
mischevious Chason

Have a good weekend all! I'll soon have another FO to show that was using some lovely Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb (silk and wool), a purchase I never blogged about! ;-)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Clapotis Fin!

I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Mine was great. I love going over to friend's house and being responsible for just one or two things, rather than a whole meal.

I finally got some new batteries for my camera, but I think I might have to tell Santa that I need a new camera for Christmas. This one is seriously wonky all of a sudden.

Because the Clap deserved its own post, you're getting a FO finally. My, my, this thing was really a beast. I really went through fits and starts to finish this one. Running out of yarn, which thankfully,Mim came to my rescue, with extra yarn. Mine is the Clapotis that ate everyone else's! It is so large and not what I wanted, but I can use it. I decided to go ahead and keep it. It is a nice wrap to throw on when one is cold, which I am frequently. I blocked it last weekend and have been using it since, so I guess it is a keeper.

Sorry for the crappy pics, but now my digital camera is not working so well. M tried and tried to take a decent picture, but this is what I ended up with. It is a bit blurry, but you can see how I wear it, which is how I'm wearing it at work right now!

This pic above shows the width of this Monster Clapotis.

Project Specs:
Project: Clapotis from Knitty
Yarn used: Brooks Farm Limited Edition sock yarn-not listed on website, it is 60% wool, 20% silk, 20% viscose. It has a nice light weight warm to it.
Date Completed: started October '06 and finished November 16th, '06.
Modifications: not really any, except for that big glaring mistake of not following the instructions in Section 2 for the increase rows. Instead of doing 6 repeats in that section, I got confused with Section 3 and did 12 repeats, which is why I ran out of yarn.

I'm overall pleased with the project, even though it wasn't what I initially envisioned. One day, I may try again with the Clapotis to get it to the right size, but right now, I'm a bit burnt out on this pattern.

Friday, November 17, 2006

What's Happening Pussycat?

I'd planned to blog way before today, but time just got in my way. And now, I have a post with no pictures. But I felt compelled to blog, so here ya go. I took out my camera to take some pics last night and my batteries died AGAIN. I really have to search for a charger for this camera, b/c what I have with the batteries is getting really old. The camera took the pictures, but then it shut down and now my pics are trapped on my dead camera, so there.

Lots of knitting progress has been happening. I finally finished the second garter stitch scarf out of Patons SWS (Soy & Wool) and I added fringe. The scarf is really a bit too long, but after finishing it, I was ready to wear it and I wrapped it around my neck the next day. Then I realized I didn't know what I was thinking when I thought I would keep this scarf, b/c the stuff sheds like crazy. It did already when I knitted it and then it just got worse while attempting to wear it. The issue isn't so much that it sheds, but I can't wear it around my neck, because it would shed on my hair and leave lots of lint to be collected by the ends of my locked hair. So it's outta here. M kept commenting as I fringed it, how that would be a nice gift for someone other than myself and I was so cocky, that this scarf was to be mine. Yeah, well, apparently not. I told him that he is a jinx on my knitting.

Secondly, I finished my monster Clapotis. I received some additional yarn from Mim. She was such a lifesaver. I saw that she'd been knitting socks out of the same yarn, as she was at Estes this summer. She ripped hers out as she didn't like the pooling on it. I inquired about a possible swap and it was arranged. That saved my hide as this Clapotis is eating yarn. So I finished it Thursday morning after staying up to 3 a.m., because I thought I was running out of yarn AGAIN and I could not deal with that. I didn't run out, but I used a goodly portion of yarn and only have a small amt. leftover. This thing is huge.

While beautiful, it's not what I wanted. I'm a bit disappointed with that. It's more like a stole than a scarf at this point. It's really, really huge. I don't love it, but I love the yarn. I'm not sure what I will do with it. One of my friends commented that most of my shawl-type things I've made, I've given away, which is true, except for Seraphim. My mom really liked the alpaca shawl, but it wasn't very large. This thing is massive, but she might like it. Who knows? Right now, I think I could do 3 things with it, 1) rip it out and remake it to the right proportions, but then I'd have lots of leftover yarn. Of course I have no desire to restart it anytime soon. 2) make another Clapotis out of different yarn, but once again, no real desire to reknit this right away or 3)gift this Clapotis and start another one, much, much later. I'm leaning towards option 3.

I'm still making progress on the socks, although since I received the additional yarn for Clapotis, I was knitting almost exclusively on it. I picked up the socks last night, turned the heel and picked up stitches while watching Gray's and Shark. It was nice to not knit something fast and furiously, but just to knit and enjoy it leisurely. While one part of my brain says, geez, these socks have been around forever (although not really), the other part says, there's no hurry for the socks. It's not like I don't have any socks and these Koigu socks really match nothing, but I will love wearing them regardless.

I did finish the second sleeve on Hourglass and have joined both sleeves to the body and now I'm knitting hundreds of stitches while decreasing. I worked a few rounds earlier this week, but then decided that I must finish the Clapotis. I am looking forward to working on Hourglass. While this is my sweater to be completed this month, I decided I'm no longer rushing, but enjoying the knitting of it.

I guess that's it from the salt mines. A new post will be coming over the weekend, but with pictures.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

About NaKniSweMo

Yeah, so it's the first week of November and I've found yet another KAL to join. This one has the purpose of imitating NaNoWriMo to knit 50,000 stitches in one month. There are no real hard and fast rules which suits my purposes just fine. I've decided to focus on finishing my Hourglass sweater. I'd put it down for a week or two while I tried to determine if my sleeves would be too big or not.

Well finally after casting on for the first sleeve this weekend, it appears the sleeve is just fine. I finsihed the first sleeve and attached it to the body and then cast on for the secnod sleeve today. Then I went to vote. While Im' glad to have the right to vote and that I did get the opportunity to vote last night, I was one of those caught up in the long voting lines. I stood in line to vote for almost 3 hours. That was quite the feat for me. Next time, it will be absentee ballot all the way for me. Nonetheless, I was able to knit while standing in line and I kept trucking along on my sleeve.

I even got to meet the Mayor of Denver, which was pretty cool. He went around to various polling sites thanking the voters for staying and voting and the volunteers passed out water, crackers, cookies and chips, which was great since I didn't get home until after 9:30 p.m.!
I even took a picture with the mayor while holding up my knitting. I'm such a nerd, what can I say?

And sorry for the cellphone-quality pic, but that was the closest to digital I could get at the time.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Passing of Socktoberfest

Whew, so it's been a little bit. I could apologize, but I won't. I just didn't feel like blogging, so I didn't. I've definitely been doing a lot of knitting. Albeit, somehwhat crazily. Of course, I joined Socktober this year and didn't finish my socks, although I did finish a pair for M2. They just haven't managed to make their way onto the blog. M2 is too busy wearing them, which is a good thing. They were Ped socks.

Although my Socktober socks are not finished, I haven't stopped working on them. I cast on for the second sock and am a few rows away from starting the heel flap. Everytime I work on these socks, I love them more and more.

What I have been working on incessantly, like a crazed woman is my Clapotis. I love the yarn and the color. I was really wanting to finish it so that I could wear it and use it. One of my knitting girls kept saying how large it was considering I hadn't even starting dropping stitches yet at that point. She was really concerned that I might run out of yarn. I was convinced I was fine, but yet, a shadow of doubt crept in and then I started knitting like crazy to see how much further my yarn took me.

As I knit, I started thinking of the first Clap I knit for my cousin that this one was so much wider and I thought that perhaps I might check my stitch count. Where I should have 107 sts on my needles, I had 171 sts. How could this be?, I thought. But of course, since a lot of my knitting is done at work, I realized that in Section 2, it has you do repeats of rows 1-12 6 times and I must have looked down at section 3 and done the repeats 12 times instead. I even kept a sticky where I marked my 12 repeats, so that's how I screwed it up. But by this time, I was into the second ball of the Brooks Farm Limited Edition "sock" yarn and as Brooks Farm only sells this at shows, you can't get it. And since it's Limited Edition, there's no dyelots. I didn't want to rip, that just wasn't in me. I was already dropping stitches, I just couldn't do it. There is a swap in the works,so hopefully I'll have some more yarn soon to complete it.

I also bought some fun yarn (what yarn isn't fun) that I saw Nachaele knitting with. It's by Patons and it's the Patons SWS, a soy and wool yarn that is feltable. It's really nice stuff to work with and Michaels had it on sale for $5, which was only a dollar off, so no real savings, but I went crazy and bought like 8 skeins, planning to make a hat and scarf set. Well, later reason got the best of me and I realized that I would realistically only make 2 scarves before I would get bored with it. I finished the first scarf, from the colorway Natural Navy and M decided he liked it and kept bugging me for it, till I just let him have it. Sorry for the sideways picture, but I uploaded them in a hurry this morning, so this is what you got. Nothing special, just garter stitch.

Ever since the sweater is almost finished, M is getting a little demanding about the handknits, if you can imagine. First he was happy with whatever I gave him. Then I agreed to knit him a sweater and I had a year to finish it. More on the sweater later. Then as I finished knitting it and just have the finishing to do on it, he remarked that I was going to knit him a scarf, too, right? But when I offered to make him a scarf last year, he wasn't interested in it. Now all of sudden, he sees the yarn I'm working with, which was an acceptable length for him, about 48 inches, he decides he wants it and won't it look so good with his jacket? Next thing you know, I just cave and let him have it, because hey, I won't have to knit him another scarf, right? I'm done. So I'm making myself one now out of the Natural Plum color. Actually it's finished, just need to weave in some ends and I plan to add fringe, because I used some of the 3rd ball, but not much. Might as well add some fringe to make it longer and do something different with it.

Since it's NaKniSweMo, I'll have some more news to add about it this weekend.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Socktoberfest Sock

Socktoberfest has been for me, an exploration of different sock yarns that I've wanted to knit with, but haven't gotten around to. One of those infamous sock yarns is Koigu. As much as I love the colors, I bought some sock yarn earlier this year in a colorway P303 that I just adore.

I'm using the Thuja pattern from Knitty, but adapting for the yarn I'm using. I originally tried a different pattern with the Koigu and used 70 sts, which was just ridiculous. I'm knitting Koigu down on sz 1s to create a nice, dense fabric, but it works well for the yarn using only 60 sts. I love this Thuja pattern and am now thinking it can be my default pattern for socks, or at least a good way to knit up some of these other hand-painted sock yarns. I just love it and the ribbing it is really nice. The yarn is so nice to knit with, it's so enjoyable. The tighter, dense fabric feels nice and cushy and soft. While I love knitting with it, I don't know if I will go out of my way to buy it again for socks. I probably will use it again at some point in the future, the only worrisome part is that you don't get much yardage for each skein. Only 175 or 185 yds, which is a bit skimpy imo. I kept worrying about running out of yarn, but I don't usually make the leg of my socks very tall. With this one, I knit the leg to only 4.75", which turned out to be perfect and is just the right height. I can't help the length of my foot as I wear a size US 10 in a ladies shoes, so I wanted to have enough and I did with some yarn to spare, but it was a bit nerve-wracking. And no, I'm also not interested in knitting socks toe-up. Cuff-down has been quite favorable to me.

All of that to say, I now have 1 completed sock and have cast on for the second one. I may not get it done for Socktoberfest, but I will try. I can't wait to have this pair of socks done and ready to wear.

Monday, October 23, 2006

10 Knitterly Things About Me

A meme started by Grumperina to list 10 knitting-related things about yourself that many may not know about you sounded fun, so here goes.

10. Until this year, I'd never tried my hand at any type of charted work for cables or lace.

9. I always thought I was the type of knitter who would never knit cables, lace or fair isle work. While I'd done some cables before, just very simple ones, I didn't much care for them.

8. I'm not a perfectionist when it comes to knitting. Often times I find a mistake, but I don't want to go back and unless there's a glaring error, I will keep knitting.

7. Now that I've done some fair isle work, while it's fun, I don't think I will ever want to do a whole sweater.

6. Although my favorite color is purple, I have no yarn in that color. Red is my second favorite and I have enough yarn in my stash for one sweater in red.
The reason I don't have my "favorite" colors in the stash is because I feel that if I have too much of it, it becomes common and less of a favorite. I'm very odd that way.

5. While I love knitting, I don't get the need to spin or dye. It's too much work and would take away from my knitting

4. I'm absolutely anal about my stash. I like to go and play with it all the time, take out a skein and think of what the possibilities are. I have a spreadsheet with all of my yarn listed and yardage. I'm currently at 35.94 miles of yarn. Mind-blowing to me.

3. I enjoy knitting most for me, as I appreciate my handknit items more than anyone else.

2. I don't have a favorite yarn. With every project, I tend to have picked out the yarn for some reason, so I enjoy the differences. I don't care for mohair any longer since I found out I was allergic and angora sheds. Everything else is fair game.

1. Still thinking about this one . . .

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

FO Report x 2

Hmm, a couple of things I've been meaning to blog about. I did finish Tivoli quite a bit ago, but sent it to a friend to do some extra crochet around the neck, sleeves and bottom to help keep the top from rolling. I really do hate rolled edges, it's so unfinished to me and I like a straight edge and non-rolling. I've *got* issues, I know :-). Onward to Tivoli. No pics with me modeling it as it's now too cold (it snowed today, we got almost 3 inches of snow!) for me to attempt to model it. Perhaps next spring?

Project Specs:
Pattern: Tivoli/Picovoli by Kathy aka Grumperina
Yarn used: Elann Luna, 57% viscose/43% cotton
Needle size: Either US 5s or US 6s, but unfortunately I no longer recall
Size Knit: 40, but my gauge was a bit different from pattern
Modifications made: umm, not many, but because I fell in between 2 different sizes, 36 or 40 and the pattern does call for negative ease and the gauge was different, I cast on for the larger size, but maybe did an additional decrease round or two and added a couple more rounds of increases through the bust. I can't say for sure what I did, but when I first tried it on prior to blocking, I was not too thrilled, it was t-i-g-h-t and I figured I needed to lose weight to wear it. I was pretty bummed, but after the crab stitch and single crochet edging was put on and blocked, I tried it on and it fit great! It really does look good on and I've worn it a couple of times before the weather turned. I love the top and the color, I have to say is a great one for me. It's sort of a burnished orange and with the viscose a shiny yarn and the cotton matte, it has a great sheen to it, but sort of muted. I love it!

Secondly for the ISE, I knit my pal a Triangular Scarf. In looking for a pattern that would suit my pal, Suzanne (not to worry, she's already received the package), I wasn't sure what to select. I searched high and low on the internets, through pattern books, but couldn't settle on a pattern. I already knew what yarn to use since my pal liked autumnal colors, I had Plain and Fancy Sheep & Wool (one of the best yarns known to wo-man) in the colors my pal was requesting. But as it is a variegated, I kept debating between patterned stitches, cables or lace and nothing just really struck me.

After much debate and I was just going to use a semi-lacy pattern, I found a pattern on Interweave for a Wild Cherry Triangular Scarf Pattern (careful, this link is a .pdf!)that sounded just up my alley. As the yarn used in the original pattern was a boucle yarn that the pattern shows off in the yarn to best advantage in stockinette, so too did I think that the triangular scarf would look nice in stockinette. Also my pal stated that she didn't think it got very cold in DC to her, as she's originally from Maine. My thought was that perhaps a triangular scarf would be nice to wrap around her neck inside or outside of her coat as an extra layer of warmth.

Once again, sorry for the goofy pic of me, but that's not really a surprise. I tied it around my neck just to show how I imagined it would be worn.

and below is just a pic of the scarf/shawl right off the needles:

Project specs:
Pattern: Wild Cherry Triangular Scarf
Yarn used: 1 skein of Plain & Fancy Sheep & Wool (the pattern uses 1 hank of yarn that 1,440 yds, but only used 1/5 of that amount, roughly 288 yds. P&F comes in 400 yd. hanks, so I knew I'd have plenty)
Needle size: US 7 (4.5mm)
Time to knit: 1 week (incl. wash & block)
Mods: just made the scarf longer than called for in the pattern by about 20 or so rows, but stopped before it got too long

My pal received it and says that she liked it. I sure hope so.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Blogger seems to not be updating my feed today, so just a test. The new post should follow below.


Sweaters, sweaters, sweaters

I started to post about some FOs that were finished recently, but decided to leave it. I recently completed a scarf for my scarf pal. And I was pretty excited to get that out. I also mailed out a package to my mom with the shawl I completed for her. I can't wait for her to receive it.

But last night, I was so pleased. I finished the second sleeve to M's sweater. Below, you will see a crappy picture and I apologize for it. I'm ever so happy that the sweater pieces are mostly finished now. I just need to do a 3-needle bind off on one shoulder and then pick up stitches to do more of the twisted ribbing around the neck and then sew up all the pieces. I've decided since other people I know are designating Sundays for finishing, that will be the time to work on his sweater, as doing all the finishing parts will be less thrilling to me. I'm all about the knit, baby! But I'm so happy that I've got time to get this baby all finished up and done, way before Xmas, which is M's designated time to receive it.

I started a new sweater last week or the week before, the ubiquitous Hourglass sweater, using some Jaeger Luxury Tweed in color china pink. I love using this yarn, but the alpaca sheds like crazy. I got tired of trying to make the hem work and just knitted it and will have to deal with sewing down the hem later, oh well. I love how it's working up. The color is really drawing me to it.

I had great plans for Socktoberfest. I planned to make at least 2 socks, w/o mates using Koigu and Lorna's Laces. Yarn for socks that I'd not yet used for socks in the past. But then I had problems finding the right pattern for the Koigu. I tried one, but it didn't work out and then I kept searching, scanning for the right one, but then I ran across one from Knitty and it seems to be going okay thus far. But based on it being almost the middle of the month, I will probably only get one sock done out of Koigu, perhaps two, but definitely not the Lorna's Laces.

Besides, I don't know what I was thinking, there's no way I would really allow myself to start that many pairs of socks without matches. I was thinking I would truly be a Sock Harlot, but as usual, in the end, I reined myself in. I must have been a Puritan in another life. I've been wanting to start a new sweater for myself, that would be knitted in pieces vs. in the round, such as Hourglass. But I wouldn't let me start that sweater until I at least finished the knitting on M's sweater first. It did help me to really finish that last sleeve. I've been itching to cast on for new items lately. Scratching the itch a bit with a sock is nice, but what I'm really waiting for is to start on the Zip Cardi in Berroco Uxbridge Tweed, as well as another Clapotis using some of the Brooks Farm Limited Edition yarn I picked up at Estes and I'm thinking new lace, the Swallowtail Shawl using some of the KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud I received from Amanda. Rather than using just one skein of lace weight, I've decided to use 2 skeins of laceweight doubled to knit it, just to make it a tad bit heavier. I can't wait to knit those nupps!

So as you can see, I have dreams of lots of new projects. The reality is that lately I've only been knitting 1-2 projects at a time, which means that I get a lot more done quicker, but I think a girl needs a little more variety. Oh and I forgot, it seems that all my knitting for others is done for a little bit. I have some babies I'd like to knit for, but thankfully those don't take too long. Yay for selfish knitting!

See ya later . . .

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Sharing Stories

Well friends, with the advent of Socktoberfest upon us, I wanted to post my sock knitting history.

When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class? I wanted to learn how to make socks shortly after I learned how to knit. I joined a knitting group and had friends that knit socks and I desperately wanted to learn how. I took one mini knitting lesson on socks, but never went back to the class as it was canceled. I then took a sock knitting class through one of LYS in town on bigger needles, but what I learned is that I did not like knitting socks on dk-weight yarn. I definitely wanted to knit socks using sock weight yarn. After the class, I cast on for socks with sock weight yarn and have been using it ever since. Thankfully my friends took pity on me and helped me through that first pair of socks!

What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time? My first pair of socks were made with a self-striping, fair-isle pattern out of Regia. They are holding up fine I'm sure. Since my mother "stole" them from me a couple of years ago. She hasn't complained that they've worn out, so I trust they're still intact.

What would you have done differently? Probably gone down a needle size, but at the time, I was a much looser knitter, so the size 2 needles I used seemed fine. But on my second pair of socks, I had to go down a needle size. Other than that, I had no real problems with the socks, but I had friends holding my hands the whole way through.

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed? I've mostly knit socks using Regia, Opal, Lang Jawoll and Trekking. I've liked knitting with Regia, no problems there. I really like Opal sock yarns. I've made one pair of socks using Trekking and loved it, but this was some time ago and now they have all these new crazy colors of which I've seemed to amass about 4 more skeins of sock yarn this past year. I plan on knitting with Lorna's Laces and Koigu this month to test out some different to me sock yarn!

Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method? I honestly can't imagine crocheting socks, although I hear it exists. But I don't crochet, so that's not an option for me anyhow. I knit socks exclusively on dpns. While many don't enjoy knitting with dpns, I've never had a problem with it and if it ain't broke, I'm not fixin' it. My favorite needles to knit socks with are Pony Pearls. Although when I recently worked some socks with a lace pattern, I did have to switch to aluminum needles just for a pointy end to work the lace. I really don't care for bamboo needles for dpns as they break too easily for me and they're not cheap. I refuse to keep replacing needles that can break if I look at them the wrong way. The Ponys work well that way for me.

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?) Hell flap all the way baby! I tried short-row heels once and I couldn't figure out what I was doing and just ripped it and went back to my heel flap.

How many pairs have you made? When I went back and counted, a total of 16. I made one pair especially for my mother and later made a pair for me that when I was done, I really didn't care for them much so my mom took them off my hands. While I was visiting during the Xmas holidays one year, my mom took one of aunts around to show her the socks I made for her and made the mistake of pulling out a pair that I had not "made for her", but brought with me to wear. She kept insisting that I made them for her and I had to tell her that I knew I hadn't, as those were the first pair of socks I made for myself! But I let her have them and figured I was off the hook for making her a pair of socks for awhile, as she managed to get 2 pair in about 2 weeks time. I've made one pair of socks for M and 2 pair for M2 and I have 10 pairs of socks in my sock drawer for me. Very nice! I love my handknit socks and I can't wait to get started on new socks for me during Socktoberfest! My personal goal is just to knit with some of the handpainted yarns that I've succumbed to buying, but have yet to knit with. Koigu and Lorna's Laces will be mine!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Today(Monday) was a good day

Sadly enough, I've been meaning to post this since last Monday. I went all the way in to work and was told that I actually had the day off. I politely turned around and went home! Who was I to argue with the vacation day that I forgot I took? Obviously I needed that. It turned out M was off too, although I knew that when I left to go to work, so we got to hang out. It was a great day. And the mailman made me very happy. First off, Esther of Pink Purls sent me this lovely KnitPicks Andean Silk that she had leftover from her beautiful Irish Hiking Scarf. Now, I can make one of my very own! Thanks Esther! This stuff is so soft, I love petting it.

Then, I purchased some yarn (yes, I know, bad, bad!) from Amanda of Clothes Knit. She was having a stash sale and giving away the KP Alpaca Cloud (6 skeins there)for the price of shipping, so I decided to pick up the KP Wool of the Andes in Fern, pictured below the Alpaca Cloud for a Backyard Leaves scarf.

I've been hemming and hawing about my purchases of yarn as of late. I've been really overboard and seem to have problems stopping. I did go through my yarn again this weekend and got rid of more yarn that I know I want use and donated some of the baby stuff that I just didn't like any longer or never want to knit with to charity and purged some of my old clothing and took it to Goodwill this past weekend. But the buying of yarn really needs to stop. I know that I will always buy yarn, but in the quantities I have been buying, it's been adding up. I still have room in my bins where I store it, but I'm not trying to fill it completely up either.

I've been thinking that I would but myself on a yarn (aacck!) diet, but I'm not sure how well that restriction would work for me. I don't do well with any out and out restrictions, so I think a no yarn-buying but for one day, pretty much like Stashalong, right, one yarn buying day per month. I'm also limiting my intake of knitting-related books and patterns. I will allow myself to purchase yarn for gifts for babies. I have some yarn that I can use, but I won't stash yarn, but if there's yarn in my stash appropriate I will use it. If not, I will allow for yarn purchases for babies because a) it doesn't take up much yarn and b) for a gift, I use the yarn pretty quickly and it doesn't linger.

I love the yarn in my stash, but I'd love to be able to buy yarn for a project and not always feel that I should try to use up the stash first. I'd love to have enough stash for a few sweaters, being 4-6 sweaters and then just being able to buy yarn when a project hits me and begin knitting on pretty quickly. I would love to do that, but don't know if I could realistically whittle my stash down to that number. That seems incredibly hard to me. Hmm, must think more about that this weekend. I feel like the stash is weighing me down lately.

Okay, enough with the stash angst! Another post soon with actual knitting content and another FO.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

FO2: Bliss Cardi Revisited

Hey all, this is just a quickie post to show that I did get a zipper for the Bliss cardi. Yay, it's all finished. Sorry for the sucky photos. I was sick and didn't want my face on it.

FO: Arrowhead Lace Shawl

Yay, a FO! Friends, I finished Arrowhead Lace Shawl this weekend and got it blocked and even have a modeled photo shot! I do love how it turned out and I think my mom will love it too.

Fresh off the needles:

and after being blocked:

Project Specs: Arrowhead Lace Shawl from Interweave Knits Summer 06, as a staff project, found here
Yarn used: Plymouth Yarns Sportweight 3-ply Alpaca in a taupe/camel brown color, 2 full skeins, not much of the 3rd skein, 186 yds each
Needle used: US 7, 4.5 mm
Mods: added 3 additional repeats of chart 1 to make it larger. This is not a big shawl. I originally planned to make 4 repeats, but I got tired of knitting it. The chart got a bit repetitive, so I stopped. I love how it turned out. It's very lacy and drapes nicely. I think my mom will be happy with it. I really do need to get some blocking wires though. I'm ready for more lace. Perhaps the Swallowtail Shawl is my next lace project. Lace has definitely become addictive. I'm very surprised by it, but loving to knit it!

Monday, September 25, 2006


Recently, a couple of my girls and a new blog friend, Gina, have been listing all of their UFOs. I thought,"I've got all my UFOs under control, no worries." Except as I thought about them more and more, it began niggling my brain that I needed to do something with them.

I've been sick the past few days and on Sunday, I felt a bit better. It became cleaning day. As I cleaned house, I began thinking of yarn. I started pulling out my UFOs. Some of you may recall this UFO post in July. The picture below depicts the UFOs I last blogged about: Fair Isle Jazz scarf, Lorna's Laces sock yarn in Desert Flower colorway and the i-cord gloves, with a cursory nod to Spork.

The new pic shows Fair Isle Jazz, the i-cord gloves and Spork. The thing is most of these are getting ripped. I'm not lovin' 'em anymore.

Today or yesterday rather, I decided that of these projects, only 1 remains.
1st: The Lorna's Laces sock may be done, but it's been ripped out right now, so I'll determine later if I will make socks out of it. I have a feeling once I get started on my hourglass sweater which is using yarn in a cotton candy pink, I will probably start those socks. For now, they've been ripped out and resting.

2nd: the i-cord gloves, ripped. True I did waste yarn by not finishing this project, but I don't care. I couldn't seem to motivate myself to pick it up again and look at it. So I ripped it. I still have at least half a ball and a full one that I may make some fingerless gloves out of.

3rd: Fair Isle Jazz will get finished. I'm past the halfway mark. Once I get done with the ISE scarf, I will get started on this one again.

4th: Spork. Poor Spork. Sadly, I am no longer in love with the idea of making this bag. As much as I like the idea of felted bags, unless I can just knit it and felt it and be done, I don't like to do it. I don't sew and don't want to do excess construction, sewing things, putting in liners, buying extra things to make it like a messenger bag. Blech, just things to turn me off. That's what happened with my Rather Huge Felted Bag that you saw once and never saw it again. After I felted it, it became so big and unwieldy and you're supposed to line it. Dude, that's never gonnna happen. I gave it to Stacey. So the fate of Spork is that it's already knitted, but it will no longer be a felted messenger bag. I'm going to felt it once to see how much it shrinks and it will become a lapghan. It's got a nice amount of warmth, so I figure if I felt it a bit, it'll be nice and toasty. The reinforcing strips to go around the bag have been ripped and the yarn reclaimed.

Later on this year, I will probably rip out a couple of old projects and also reclaim the yarn. More on that later.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Knitting Blahs

Not the doldrums by any means, but a bit blah about what I'm knitting. I think I should take Becky's advice and cast on for something new! Currently I've still been working on the arrowhead lace shawl and it's just getting bigger. This is the time that I'm less than thrilled with knitting it and ready to move on to other things. I've done 3 additional repeats and am ready to begin Chart 2. Rather than hastily stop knitting it, I suppose I should call my mother and verify how large she wants a shawl to be. That would be the good daughter thing to do, right?

Moving on, I was working on one sock that I'm using Regia Stretch and Wendy's cat's paw lace pattern inserted into the sock. The colors of the sock are very similar to her "Lucy" sock, but my browns are different. I put the sock down for the moment as I was working the lace shawl and a lace pattern in the sock. There was a bit too much lace going on, so I started a "footie" sock for M2. It has a very short cuff, 4 rounds k2p2 ribbing and 2 rows of stockinette before working the heel flap. I tried it on him and he loves. Down the foot we go. I also got a couple of new bags to carry yarn and projects around, one of which is displayed in the picture with the sock. M2's sock is out of some old Socka (before it became Fortissima) and it is just variegated shades of green.

I also started a sleeve to M's sweater. I tried doing both sleeves at once, but that was just madness. The skeins of yarn going everywhere. I got tired of it after one or two rows and just decided to do one sleeve at a time. I'm already bored with knitting on it, but I hope to get some knitting on it at work, so maybe that will make the knitting time go by a little faster. It's just stockinette, but many, many series of increases every 3rd row until infinity!

I just realized that the possible reason for my blahs is that all the knitting I'm doing right now is for others. While I don't mind it, I have nothing on my needles for me and that's probably why. Everything is assigned to someone else at this point and my next project is to be for my ISE scarf pal. I will obviously have to cast on for 2 projects once I finish my mom's shawl. Something for me and a scarf for my pal. We can't keep things at the status quo now can we? Otherwise I'll go crazy and just cast on lots of new things for me and never finishing any of the others and that would be very bad.

Oh well, it's time to get ready for work. Have a good week everyone. I'll try to post later in the week.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Lace Swap Pal revealed

Sadly, I've been a bad, bad blogger as of late. Not so much with posting, although that too, but I neglected to mention a certain lace swap that I signed up for earlier in the summer. I meant to post earlier and even took a bevy of photos with my cell phone as M was gone for 5 days last week with the digital camera, so I could not take any pictures. Then my cell phone decided not to play nice and wouldn't send the photos to email, so even though I had some nice pictures of the initial picture, they were inadvertently deleted.

I had the best pal, Christina, who kept me updated about my swap. About being burned in SP5 quite awhile ago, I'm always a bit leery when I sign up for another swap. Christina was a most excellent pal. The Lace Swap was to include a lace pattern, a minimum of 1200 yards of laceweight yarn and any additional items you wanted to send, but any more than that was not a necessity.
I received a box full of stuff. First of all, each individual piece was wrapped in a pretty purple paper that I had fun gleefully tearing off. Here's the case/box that everything was inside of.

Inside there was a box full of goodies. Yarn, stitchmarkers, etc.

The full package revealed a lovely postcard where Christina gives me her blog address and told me that the beach was near her home and she often sits and knits there. I'm so jealous! She sent me some pretty stitch markers in red, a bar of cool-looking soap with a lilac fragrance, a soft-smelling candle, a lace pattern by Two Old Bags called Concert in the Park, which while lovely, I don't think I'm ready for all of that yet! And some beautiful Zephyr yarn (which I've never knit with before, nor own any)wool/silk 50/50 blend in a pretty burnt sienna/cinnamon color. I'm so happy with everything! Thanks again Christina!! The lace swap was really quite fun and Christina put the icing on the cake.

Again I apologize for the horrid quality of the photos, but they were with a cell phone camera.

The pal I spoiled for the Lace Swap was Joan. This was truly a lot of fun!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

She does knit!

I'm glad that I'm always able to keep my promises about posting, yea, right!;-) However I did spend most of the past Labor Day weekend, knitting, knitting and more knitting (and a bit of beading!, more later). I'm really ready to finish up some things that I'm working on. As the weather gets cooler lately, I'm ready to dig into some fall/winter knitting. One piece of a garment that was finished is the Lacy Tank(scroll down the page till you see patterns for Takhi Yarns). This is a sleeveless lacy tank and I've finished one piece and I'm using a yarn, Schachenmeyer Nomotta Rainbow, that's a blend of cotton, viscose and some other stuff.

It's red with a wraparound of some other stuff that gives it some slubby bits. It's a nice yarn that works very well in the pattern and imo looks better than just a complete solid Cotton Classic that the pattern calls for. Now I have to cast on for the second piece, but I'm really not that enthused to do so. I don't want it to become a piece that has to be finished next summer, but it could happen, we'll see.

For a lace project, I cast on a few weeks ago for the Little Arrowhead Shawl (caution: this opens up a pdf) from the Summer issue of Interweave, one of those staff projects, although my plan is to make it larger than the original using Plymouth Alpaca 3-ply sport yarn. It's working up pretty well and I love the color, which is a beige/taupe color, but I'm not enjoying the shedding of alpaca, which is something that I forget about. I may give this shawl away to my mother, we'll see. I'm past where I last photographed this shawl, as I'm now into the last repeat that the pattern calls for, but I'm doing 4 additional repeats. The pattern is a small shawl that is 40" in width and for each additional repeat, it adds 5 1/4" in width, so I figure I should attempt to get 60", but my mom is shorter than me, so I may only add 3 repeats for about 55" total. It depends on how quickly I'm ready to finish this shawl and right now, I'm pretty ready. I think I may be ready to cast on for the Diamond Fantasy Scarf with some Cherry Tree Hill yarn I have, so the Arrowhead Shawl may not be on the needles for much longer either.

Lastly, I've been working a lot of the Picovoli/Tivoli as of late. Mine is without the picot edges and I'm doing the waist increases now. I'm using
Elann Luna, which is a cotton/viscose blend. It's basically 2 yarns plied together, one matte, the other shiny, when knitted up, looks great. I bought some orange color, but it's not up on the site right now, but I absolutely adore it. It's a bit splitty, so you have to pay attention, but otherwise, pretty nice to knit with.

I hope to finish this by the week's end, however I will need to do a row or two of single crochet around the neck and sleeve edges to keep them from rolling, so I'll probably see if my friend's daughter will crochet it for me. Hopefully a FO will soon show up on this blog again.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

*Birthday* Fun

That's right, you read right, it's that time of year again. I was going to let the birthday announcement slide on the blog, but then some of my knitting girls decided to spoil me and I couldn't not mention that. I promised my next post would be about my knitting projects, but between projects for work, surprising Michelle, seeing Cynthia off, and oh yeah, celebrating my birthday!
Yep, that's right. My knitty girls took me out to dinner last Friday, then spoiled me with yarn and a gift certificate to one of my favorite LYS', Colorful Yarns.

So I've been a bit busy, eh? My actual birthday was this Sunday, August 27th, but we celebrated early, M and I on Saturday evening as M2 was at his mother's, which meant a kid-free night out. I had to take advantage of that. I was a bit pooped from a presentation I did for work, which freaked me out just the tiniest bit, but it was okay and I lived through it, so it was a low-key weekend for me. I thought about posting, but then I just wanted to enjoy the weekend, so the posting happened today instead.

I had a most enjoyable weekend, which was kicked off by the girls: Jeni, Stacey, Kim, Michaele and Tiffany, all taking me to dinner at an Italian restaurant, where we had such a good time eating and hanging out with each other. Then I was gifted with some lovely things. Stacey's mom, Marsha, gave me some Lorna's Laces sockweight yarn in the beautiful colorway Irving Hill, one that I've coveted! Thank you so much Marsha! And then the rest of the girls, including Nachaele who was working on closing on their new home!, Cynthia (who is sadly now relocated to Boston for school, all you Boston knitters that read my blog, go meet up with her now, one of the coolest girls you can know), and Michelle, who was gone to get married!, all chipped in to give me a skein of Lorna's Laces laceweight, Helen's Lace in the Lakeview colorway and a gift certificate to Colorful! Thank you so much girls! I was so overwhelmed. Any gift of yarn is always appreciated, but Helen's Lace and a gift certificate. And no, Stacey, I haven't spent it already either. I'm going to let the gift certificate simmer for awhile and think of what I'd like to do with it. No hurry as I have plenty of yarn.

The second picture below is a beautiful bouquet my sweetie surprised me with on Saturday.

It was a great weekend and wonderful way to spend my birthday. Really, more on knitting in the post to follow, possibly as early as tomorrow! ;-)

Monday, August 21, 2006

FO Report: Ribby Shell

It's been so pleasing to me to finish this project. This is a project that I've absolutely loved and I adore wearing it. It is a Ribby Shell from the inimitable Bonne Marie. This is really one of my favorite patterns and I can see me making more of them. I can see 2 or 3 yarns I have that this would be perfect in. Especially some of the Elann yarns they're always having on sale for the summer, hmm.

This pattern does give you options as far as a flat front version with ribbing on the sides, or allover ribbed. I opted to make the flat front version and I just adore it.
Also, I played around with some features of my photo editing tool, so today you get sepia tone as I liked the result. Plus, the lighting when the pictures were taken pretty much sucked, so I think makes a nice difference. And the yarn was a crisp, cream color that pretty much shows through. When I get home, I'll upload a pic in color just to show the true color, if anyone cares.
Ribby Shell from the front:

And the back view:

Project specs:
Start date: June 9th-July 29th
Yarn used: Classic Elite Believe (cream color)6 skeins
Version: flat front, ribbed sides, 39" size
Needles: Size 7 (4.5 mm) needles
Notes: I loved, loved, loved this pattern. It was very clear and easy to understand. It is also well fitted and I'm very excited about that as well. I'm usually not a fan of bottom-up patterns, but this was simple and easy to do.

I put it down for a few weeks to do the V-neck shaping, mainly because I was knitting it at work and it's hard to pay attention to any details in between taking phone calls and I did have that period of insanity while knitting Seraphim that I couldn't knit anything else because I was so engrossed with it.

The only change I would make to the pattern, is that once I got to the back and the v-neck straps on the front, in future versions, I would leave those stitches on holders for the shoulder straps so that I could do a 3-needle bindoff. I'm not a fan of backstitching at all, so it's purely a personal preference, that and the fact that I completely suck at doing it. I've already worn it once and look forward to doing so again. This is something that is wearable for work as well as play and definitely doesn't look "hand" or "homemade". The yarn was interesting to work with, as it is a cotton/viscose blend and the yarn has funny slubby bits. I like how it worked up, but the slubs were a pain to knit with. I'm very pleased with how the pattern worked up and the yarn paired with it. I believe this yarn has been discontinued. I'm glad I chose this pattern to knit with it, as I believe seaming with this yarn would not have been pleasant. The slubs lend a bumpy quality that would have been difficult to seam with. Sewing in ends was already challenging.

Next up will be the knits I'm currently engaged in knitting. And there is more lace too . . .

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I've crossed the line

in my sock knitting. First of all, thanks to everyone who purchased yarn during my little yarn sale on the blog at the beginning of the month. Honestly, I didn't even think anyone would buy it and that it would end up on eBay, this was so much nicer. I appreciate it and hope that those who did buy yarn enjoy their purchases. I'm back from Atlanta and the family reunion in Louisiana, but I'll talk about that in a subsequent post.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about my knitting and the different things that I've knit and different types of items to knit in the future. It's always interesting to me to see how things like taste and personal preferences change over time. When I first learned to knit, I bought any and all yarn, just because. After I began really knitting, I shed the habits of Red Heart and acrylic in favor of more natural fibers. Now, I still prefer natural fibers, but I'm not against using acrylic or more likely, an acrylic blend, especially for babies.

Also figuring out what garments are attractive/suitable for me and different elements that I was scared to try or not interested in knitting and now finding that I'm enjoying some texture to my knitting, as well as my pure "stockinette love". Enjoying a bit of lace, trying to incorporate more texture and patterns as well as balancing the stockinette. My tastes have been changing.

Especially so in the case of my sock knitting. Shortly after I learned to knit, I fell in with a group of knitters that met 2x a month at the local Borders on Saturdays to knit. Some of those ladies were really into knitting socks and at first, I shunned it. But over time, I became fascinated by it and wanted to learn how to knit socks. I took a couple of mini-classes and a real class knitting a sock on dk-weight yarn. I soon learned that I didn't like dk or heavier weight socks for any reason. After that class, I cast on for a sock in sock-weight yarn. I was hooked. It took me 2 months to make that first set of socks, but I loved every moment of it. After that, I've always knit socks. Something about it fascinates me and at that time, sock yarns in self-striping yarns were all the rage, it was the NKOTB. Everyone raved about them and so wanting to be a cool kid too, I bought the self-striping yarn in spades, in lots of different patterns.

Now that I've been knitting for about 5 years and knitting socks for at least 4 1/2 years, the novelty that was self-striping sock yarns has long since worn off. I still have a few laying about, but I wonder if I will ever finish those. The other thing was that I chose very muted colors to knit my socks in. Socks that would match pants and outfits. I didn't want any of the "crazy" color combos and really for a time, my sock yarn collection was quite boring. Then after about a year, I started buying more colors, less browns and blues, but still not too wild and crazy. Purples were ok b/c I could still wear them with jeans. Don't you just hate that saying? Everything goes with jeans, but anyway, I digress.

As you knit socks and then later actually wear those socks, you begin to cross a line as well. You can be elegant and stylish with your dress and then handknit socks have no place in your wardrobe. Or you can go the hippy-crunchy-granola type and wear Birks with your socks, but that wasn't me either. However, I elected to always knit socks that would fit in my shoes, meaning sockweight socks and I wear my handknit socks with nice shoes, but not heels, obviously. And then a bit of the crazier colors always go well with boots.

Now, with my sock yarn shopping, I've completely crossed the line. I used to tell myself, there's no reason to buy 100% merino wool sock yarns, there's no nylon, nothing to keep those from wearing out. I've not yet had a pair of socks wear out and I do wear them constantly in rotation in the winter, but not necessarily every day. But now, I buy sock yarn all willy-nilly, wild with abandon and not necessarily to match an outfit, but because the color calls to me. Now more handpainted sock yarn that I dither with if I will ever make socks from them, or use it for some sort of shawl at some time in the future, who knows? But it's pretty and I know I will use them. Now I'm even getting over than and thinking this is gorgeous sock yarn and whose feet better deserve the pampering of 100% merino wool than mine? Why save this yarn for something special? What's more special than me? It's official, I've gone over the line.

FO alert:
Opal Docktorfish socks from the Rainforest collection:

Using Stitch-N-Snitch's Nancy Drew sock pattern These are shorter socks and I love them. The next pair of socks I make will probably be a smidge taller, perhaps 1/2-3/4" taller, but not by much. I *heart* these socks and once again, I'm copying Carola. I first saw these on her blog and they were so cute, I had to have the yarn.
Very basic stockinette socks, but the color is so pretty and cute to me.
Sz 1.5 Pony Pearl needles

I've finished these socks probably 3-4 weeks ago, but never got around to sewing in the last end and then washing them. So there you are.

The Ribby Shell was finished and returned to me this weekend, so expect another FO soon. I can't wait to wear this. One of my more favorite knits to date.

Below, are some of the sock yarns that helped me "cross-over"

Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn, one-of-a-kind colorway
Cherry Tree Hill

Lorna's Laces in Desert Flower colorway
Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn

Ooh, I got some STR in lightweight, colorway, Peaseblossom
Socks That Rock

Austermann Step sock yarn (with aloe) in green (I also have some in orange/brown)
austermann step sock yarn green

And here's a pic of asstd. Opal and other crazy sock yarn stash
100g ball sock yarn stash

Now you see why I've crossed over and I'm very happy to be here, crazy sock knitting colors and all.