Friday, January 27, 2006

Need some pattern suggestions

Okay, I have this lovely yarn, which is a bright red, with yellows, and pinks in it:

But I will never make socks out of this colorway, while beautiful, it's a bit bright for socks for my tastes. It is sockweight merino yarn, approximately 400 yards. I was thinking I would like to do a small scarf, shawl type thing with it, but as I've not done much lace, I don't know if that's possible with this or not. So I'm looking for something to do with it. Not as if I don't have enough projects on my plate, but this one is special. One of my cousins was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last week and that's been weighing on my mind. There was a Family Prayer Day this week for her and I did of course pray for her well-being and health. At this point, she is 37 yo, she and her husband have been trying to get pregnant for the past 2 years, she had a surgery to remove fibroids and hoped that would help and she's always suffered from endometriosis. Now she's told she will have to have a full hysterectomy and possibly more surgery, if the cancer is operable. This has really affected me and I want to do something, but I'm not near where she lives, so of course my thoughts turn to knitting.

A couple of years ago at a family reunion she asked me to knit her something, it didn't matter what it was, something she could have at her house and that she could take to school (she's a 1st grade teacher) and show them. I never made anything and now I feel I should make something. I think this yarn would be perfect, something vibrant and alive, as how I want her to feel as she struggles with this life and death issue.

So, whatcha' got?

My only thought at this point was the Lace Leaf Shawl, but I don't know if that lace would show up in the bright colors. My other thought (guess there's more than one) was while I was browsing the LMKG book was the Chevron scarf. That's looking like a strong possibility in my mind. All other suggestions are welcome.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

And the cardi wins it

Thanks everyone for your votes. The Bless cardi won, not by a landslide, but won nevertheless. I was still debating about Libby, but in the end decided against it. It is a nice design, but I am no longer excited by the pattern and feel that while the pattern is cute, I'm no longer feeling love. Bless it will be, but it will have to wait a little while.

Because I joined the Knitting Olympics hosted by the Harlot. Yes, I'm a joiner:

And I'll be competing for Team USA in the sweater event:

In my event, the sweater, I will not be knitting Bless, but rather the Hourglass sweater, instead. The point of the Olympics is to knit something that would be a challenge to you (personally, whatever that is for you) and complete it in 16 days. Knitting Bless wouldn't be that much of a challenge as it's on large needles in bulky yarn, we're talking sz 10.5 and sz 11 needles. It won't take long for that sucker to get done anyway, except for the zipper! Anyhow, I will make the Hourglass sweater, and it's done in a dk-weight-ish yarn and that might be more challenge appropriate and it's all the round for me, which is fine and I'm not using the Felted Tweed that I mentioned might become an Hourglass sweater. Instead, it's yarn from the stash that's been waiting in the wings for its moment. I present to you,

Jaeger Luxury Tweed in the colorway 827, china pink.

And in other yarn disclosure news (no, don't get excited, I didn't buy yarn!), but this was one of my exceptions when I signed up for the Stashalong, that I had 2 yarn purchases to pay for that had been on hold for quite a long time. One was the Felted Tweed yarn a few weeks ago and the other was some Jo Sharp Silkroad (worsted weight) from
Zenifer. We met up at Cathi's a few weeks ago and I received the yarn, but Jenifer refused any sort of payment! So it wasn't an actual yarn purchase, but a gift! Thanks so much Jenifer. I love the color, Ricepaper and can't wait to make a sweater out of this yarn.

EDITED TO ADD: I somehow added buttons that dropped by KAL buttons down to the bottom of my screen and at this point, I can't figure it out, but I will eventually.
Thanks. Unless of course any of you have suggestions, always open to suggestions. Oh and the poll has been closed to any new votes for the cardi vs. sweater.

P.P.S.: I removed the two buttons I added just for aesthetic purposes, but still can't figure out why the template dropped down like that.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Sweater vs. Cardigan

I've been thinking how many of my sweater projects as of late have been cardigans, although I really prefer to have more pullover sweaters. I've been going back and forth in my head about my next knitting project and whether or not I should do another cardigan or do a pullover sweater. As I'm working on a sweater for M right now, to start another sweater, I am thinking it should be something quick.

My thoughts on cardigans have been, I love being able to take one on and off, especially being in variable climates, such as over-air-conditioned offices, in the basement of my house where I'm always freezing. Those type of areas make me enjoy being able to take a sweater off or quickly put it back on. The dilemma I face is that while I love wearing sweaters, I am fearful that with handknit sweaters I will get too hot wearing them, unless perhaps knitting a dk-weight sweater will give me moderate warmth, but I can't really say at this point. Fingering weight would probably be closest to what a machine-knitted sweater feels like in warmth to me, but I don't have a great desire to knit sweaters on 2s and 3s. So-o-o-o, all of this to say, hmm, not sure which sweater to knit next.

And there are certain sweaters that I will definitely knit, no matter what (provided they aren't bulky) and I have purchased more yarns (not lately, Stash-along of course) that are dk-weight, rather than worsted. Definitely a dilemma, but only in my mind and it's obviously not that critical.

I purchased some yarn in '03, Rowan Cork, which is now discontinued. The color I purchased is called Heather, a pretty magenta color.

Originally when I saw this sweater, Libby, I felt like I had to make it. Now I'm not so sure.

The other choice is Bliss:

Now this yarn knits up on big needles, size 10.5 and 11 needles are those that are called for to get gauge.
Stephanie of A Cunning Plan blog knit the Bless cardi and mentions that the yarn, while chunky, is lightweight. So if I were to make a pullover, it shouldn't be overly warm, despite a (kind-of) bulky knit, which I am usually opposed to. So whaddya think?

EDITED TO ADD, I'm not able to put the blog poll on my blog, as I wanted to, so here is a link to the poll itself. Sorry.
Take My Poll

Thursday, January 19, 2006

My current obsession

has been the fair isle jazz scarf from Scarf Style. Michelle hosted a few of us at her house last weekend so we could all work on Fair Isle Jazz together and especially to get a couple of us, myself included, up to speed on the fair isle section. There was a group shot of the scarves all together.

And this one is mine of course:

It was fun working on it as a group, at home, I find I have to not be doing anything else to work on this scarf, so that part isn't so fun, but I do love the scarf and being able to see the next motif emerge. Don't mind my puckering, I'm hoping some of that will block out when it's done.

Last weekend I had a long weekend and wanted to start something quick (famous last words, right?!) and started on this cabled scarf pattern, which is easy to memorize, although the scarf is cute, it is a tad bit skinny, but I love the changes of color in Noro.

Sorry about the photo quality, it is pretty crappy, you can't see the cable pattern, although you can in real life. I will try to take another picture in daylight later.

I've put a few more rounds in on the sock, although not too much time has been spent on it. I cast on for M's sweater and have been working the interminable twisted ribbing on this sweater on size 3 needles and am close to the 2.5 inch mark. This is the boring part to me, not the miles of stockinette with no shaping, that part is great to me. I'm soon hoping to get to the stockinette part.

And I finally cast on for my i-cord gloves, pattern courtesy of Nona. These gloves are addictive. You start out knitting the fingers as i-cord tubes and then connect them to the body (hand) of your glove. It sounds liked fun to me and a more top-down method, if you will. So I finally cast on yesterday. The picture below shows one finger, but after the picture was taken, I was on the second pinky finger and am now on to the next finger and it's finished too! Whee! Just 7 more to go!

I got some new books in and I'll post over the weekend about them.

Gotta run to work, so that's all you get now.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Why I haven't Blogged recently

Besides not having much time to post as of late, from my last post at last week's end, my major goal was to get the baby sweaters all seamed up. However, I was having too much fun to really sit down and concentrate. When I finally did b/c both the boys were gone Monday and Tuesday nights to various sporting events, I thought I will have all this time to do it and no one will be at home. Hah! Fat chance! Instead, I did laundry, cooked, watched a bit of tv and then became frustrated when they came home and I wasn't done yet and couldn't concentrate on the task at hand. However I did manage to pull it together and get one of them finished for Chason. This cute little sweater will be winging its way to my nephew today, with a belated Xmas gift toy and something for the parents too! I just love this sweater for him. I believe I'm going to make him a pair of baby mittens with matching stripes for him too. But that will happen later.

Without further ado, here's the finished sweater:

Project Specs:
Pattern: Raglan Sweater from Debbie Bliss' The Baby Knits Book
Yarn used: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease
Needles used: Size 8
Completion time: September '05-01/3/06
And yes the pattern is really that simple, but I simply had no desire to sew up the sweater. After these two baby sweaters, I'm taking a break from this pattern. I bought a Knitting Pure & Simple pattern the other day for a baby sweater in the round that I think I will like working with much better. I just don't want to sew in seams for a baby sweater. Just too much work for little people!

And yes only one of those buggers is done, but the green one just needs the side seams sewn up as well as the sleeves and some ends sewn in, but that one should be done by this weekend. I no longer work with the parent, so no guilt on that end except that which is created by me.

Just to prove that I am still working on Spork, a progress photo:

I cast on the third and final color last weekend at knitting at Border's and kept working on it intermittently throughout the week. All of a sudden I was at the end of the ball and the funny part is, this ball got me a lot more yardage than the previous other colors, so I assume my gauge changed, not that I bothered to check you see, it's going to be felted anyway. I do need to join one more ball for half an inch, but I'm not sure if I should bother for half and inch or not? I may just not.

I did finally sit down like a good girl last weekend and worked on the buttonhole band for NSS and it's done now. I was concerned that I didn't have enough buttons (9), but I just wasn't spacing them apart well enough. With guidance from my friends at the helpful LYS, I got them done and then I gathered up all my stuff and dropped it back off for them to sew in the ends (Gosh, I'm so lazy as of late!), sew on the buttons (b/c the last sweater, the buttons feel loose to me) and sew up the hem (b/c I'm a little concerned about this one). So hopefully in a few weeks time I'll get it back and debut it.

I also finally cast on for M's sweater. I'm sure he's happy b/c he's been bugging me about that one for awhile. It's twisted ribbing for 2.5 inches, so right now, not much progress has been made on it, so no pics today. Maybe in a couple of weeks.

The sock is also getting some love (due to the work environment, I got lots of time to knit in the slow evenings). I'm on the second sock and have picked up stitches and am working on the decreases through the foot section after picking up stitches. I've got a lot of the foot to go, but it's all a stockinette roller coaster ride from here.

This weekend I'm going to cast on for the Fair Isle Jazz and knit on it with a bunch of friends and I'm excited to get my hands on those beautiful jewel tones. It should be a lot of fun.

Lastly I heard about this from another blog, that this week is DeLurking Week.

I know there are a lot of people that come through and visit the blog, but don't always leave comments. Today is the day to expose yourself. Please drop me a quick comment and let me know where you're from. It's always nice to meet new people.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Full Yarn Disclosure

In interests of the Stashalong, I must present yarn that I purchased yesterday evening, however, this was part of my agreement of joining the Stashalong was that I had two projects worth of yarn on hold, one at my LYS (since November of last year) and some yarn from Zenifer. Since last night, one project has been purchased and the other soon, but I did feel guilty picking it up yesterday, but I was very matter-of-fact and circumspect while buying it. I looked around the yarn store and thought, how sad that I cannot buy any for awhile. I think I will stay out of yarn shops for awhile, unless it is to buy needles or patterns. No yarn! The yarn that I did buy was Rowan Felted Tweed in color 150, Rage. 10 balls in a dk-weight. I think it's bound to become a Hourglass Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, provided the gauge works out and all. I really would like at least one pullover, since I've been knitting all cardis this winter.

In knitty progress, I did finish the M2 earflap hat and have a model to boot.

And a second one to show the pom-pon. Why is it that I just suck at doing pom-pons? I had to have M do it. Even with the handy pom-pon maker, I still screwed the pooch on that one and just wasted a lot of yarn. I'm having M make one for my hat next, he just doesn't know it yet. I don't think he expected this much crafty fun with my yarn to be had by him! (heehee!)

Project Specs: M2 earflap hat
Pattern: Kittyville hat, without the ears
Yarn: Gedifra Cordilla 50% alpaca/50% wool(discontinued, I believe) in blue, green and one stripe of orange (from stash)
Needle size: US 7

The recipient, M2, seems very happy with the hat and it matches his new coat. I went with the Gedifra Cordilla a) because it was from stash and b)the alpaca/wool mix is pretty warm for the head. This is my second time knitting this hat and I like it. I was thinking of making it for myself but realized I would look ridiculous.

Since it is full knitty disclosure here, I also started a project, the sideways garter stitch scarf in Aracaunia Nature Wool and Lamb's Pride Worsted in fuchsia.

While I love the fuchsia color and the Aracaunia, these two together are not working for me. And when I questioned M about the color choices, he said, "Those are two colors I would put together." Not that he would wear fuchsia and all, but still, it wasn't doing it for me, not feeling the love, so last night I ripped it out. Which is great, b/c I found a pattern via ScoutJ that I think I will use some Noro I have in stash for it instead and I think I will be a lot happier with it.

And to show you the productivity of all that hard work at my new job during the holiday lull, one finished sock. I am also sitting with people instead of formal training and listening to phone calls and other folks do crafty stuff there or just read in the slow time, so it was cool for me to knit. The second sock is already past the ribbing, but it will probably not go as fast as the first one.

Tonight the plan is to do the buttonhole band for the NSS cardi and then have the ladies at the LYS tack down the hem, sew on the buttons and weave in the ends. I have a lot of stuff I want to get done knitting-wise and just don't want to deal with the finishing stuff right now. I'm also casting on for the front of the 2nd baby raglan sweater so that I can hopefully sew those up this weekend and send out to the parents.

And that's all the knitty news fit to print here!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Looking toward a new year, looking back on the past

Happy New Year to everyone! NYE (during the day) was spent with knitting friends on a yarn crawl and there was yarn bought by me. I had a bit of buyer's remorse, but it's all gone(the remorse) now. Colorful Yarns was having a sale on Cascade 220 (which I heart). I really only wanted 3 skeins of a red color to make the Midwest Moonlight scarf from Scarf Style, but they did not have the right red for me and somehow I was coaxed (not really) into buying yarn for the Jazz Fairisle Scarf out of the same book. Can you tell I like jewel tones? That added to the fact that all my knitty friends tell me to buy jewel tones whenever I want to venture to other non-jewel tone colors.

The magenta is to for the Midwest Moonlight scarf out of the same book since I couldn't find the red that I wanted.

When we made it over to String, I picked up some brown Blue Sky Alpaca & Silk to make the gloves in Handknit Holidays. Margene advised me that the Koigu used in Nona's Icord gloves were not KPPM but Kersti instead, so I will use the KPPM I have at home to make socks instead. Now I have to get Handknit Holidays too, but the brown alpaca and silk is so yummy, I just enjoy petting it. I also scored with some Opal Uni, which I'd not seen at any of the LYS' here, so this pretty shade of teal/turquoise? followed me home too.

All of this shopping was done just under the wire so that I could join
Kim's Stashalong. I'd actually been doing pretty good with using stash yarn for the past 6 months, when I was unemployed. Although there was some Cotton-Ease purchasing in the early part of summer (as I still had some of my severance pay and the Cotton-Ease was cheap!), but then as summer turned into fall, not much yarn was bought, save a ball needed for a project in progress and then in late November when I bought yarn for projects to take to Louisiana. But I did feel I needed some small projects to knit on (mittens, hats, gloves) and the amount spent was minimal. But since I got a job, I already went to String the first day last week and then more shopping this week. I do still have some yarn on hold at my LYS and some yarn to purchase from Zenifer, but those will not count against my yarn diet, as I've already declared that I will purchase those, but only that yarn for the next 3 months. I do plan on going longer than 3 months, but perhaps like Michelle, it will be 3 months at a time. There will be lots of projects being knit all from stash, but this is really to knit from stash and not purchase more yarn.

Some of thelocal girls will be knitting this around the same time, although Michelle has already started it and then got Cynthia hooked on the madness, which drove me to buy yarn for it yesterday and then Stacey too and then one of the String owners yesterday! What madness!

All in all yesterday was a great day and I'm happy to be employed and able to buy a little yarn, to start some new and exciting projects for 2006.