Sunday, January 21, 2007

Finishing Frenzy

Wow, it's been a busy week. I thought I might have more time to post, but that just didn't happen like I thought. After my last post, I stated that I was getting bored with my knitting. As I thought about my last post, before typing, it dawned on me the reason I was getting bored was because I was knitting the same project (the baby hoodie sweater) and it felt like it was going nowhere and I wasn't getting the length I needed no matter how long I seemed to knit on this thing. The funny thing is that when I finally picked up the pattern again, I noticed two things, a)the size I chose to knit is a 4-6 size and the child I'm knitting for is currently 3.5 years old, but still this thing will probably be a bit large for now and 2)the measurement I was looking for was not under the shoulder but from the top of the shoulder. I need to have 15 1/2 inches from the top of the shoulder, but I was using the underarm measurement. When I measured from the right place, I have 20 1/2 inches, so a-rippin' we will go. Fun, not, but oh well. I decided it's time to put it away, although I will rip it back and finish the body with the side slits and perhaps work on the sleeves (in my spare time), so when I do pick it back up for the fall, I will either have just the hood to do, or the sleeves and the hood. Either way, that's not that much left to do on it. But it's gonna be put aside for a minute.

I decided it's time to get back to me, my favorite knitting subject. No, but I needed to put away some of the knitting for others down and work on some stuff for me. New projects have been cast on, but nothing to really show you. In order to start on some new stuff, I decided to also work on finishing some older items.

First off, I worked on finishing Fair Isle Jazz scarf, but no new pictures. It is currently blocking. I closed up the side seams and whipstitched the back so there is no "pocket" to the back of the scarf and wove in any remaining ends. I still have the tassels to do, but figured I should go ahead and do the major finishing on it.

I also finished weaving in the ends to the knitted tam, but I forgot to take pictures, so it will have to be for the next post. Sorry about that. I don't love it, but all of my hair fits into it, so that's something, right? Maybe not, moving on.

The first Monkey sock is done. Yay! And I cast on for two more socks, but neither one of them is the Monkey mate.

I got the urge to cast on for Monkey and while I will finish the second sock, I started a sock last summer or fall for some socks in Regia Stretch in a blue/brown colorway that is slightly similar to the STR Lucy Colorway, although the brown in my sock is much darker. Wendy of Wendy Knits knitted a pair of Lucy socks with a cat's paw lace insertion. I liked the cat's paw lace so much, I knitted one sock out of it, but then put never started the second sock. Partly because I was gearing up for some Christmas knitting and other projects. Before I finish the second Monkey sock, I want to finish the second cat's paw lace sock. The first finished sock looks lonely in my handknit socks drawer and when I finish that second sock, I'll have a new pair I can wear and then when I finish the second Monkey sock, I'll have another pair, whee!

Another project I'm not sure if I ever blogged about were some baby bibs from the Mason-Dixon knitting book. Last summer I binged on Sugar and Cream cotton (maybe 16-20, but eventually took some back so I have maybe 10-12 skeins of yarn). I used three skeins to make three bibs for a co-worker who recently had a baby girl. I thought these might be useful, along with a baby sweater I made last year that I never gave to its original recipient (it was a former co-worker who never kept in contact after I was laid off from my old job, so I didn't feel it necessary to track her down to give her a gift, plus I did give a gift, just not a handknit one). The baby bibs were very easy to do and I knit one each in one setting. I finished them quite awhile ago (maybe 2-3 weeks, but never got around to sewing on the buttons, but that occurred today).

Something that I did finish awhile ago, but the scarf never found its right home. I made this scarf out of Patons SWS yarn (soy and wool) and realized that it shed too much for me to wear the scarf, even though I loved it. I planned on gifting it this Christmas, but it never happened. I also wanted to knit a scarf for the Red Scarf Project and the pattern and the yarn I tried to use just didn't work out. Finally it dawned on me that I had a scarf laying on the back of the couch downstairs for months and it does have some red in it, but it's not really a unisex scarf, the colors are mostly girly. But I'm glad that I can still donate a scarf to the project. It's all packaged up now and ready to go in tomorrow's mail.

Lastly, my sister recently sent me some pictures of Chason modeling his hoodie sweater. He looked so cute, so although I didn't finish him, just the sweater, here are some modeled shots of the baby/toddler wearing his sweater.

Till later . . .

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Current Object of My Knitting Obsession

which has not been keeping me from blogging, but an old project lying around. Shortly after the beginning of the year, I really felt the urge to get this knit off of my plate. Fair Isle Jazz beckoned to me and I've been working on it at home in short bursts and finally last night, I finished the last of the striping sequence. I'm thrilled to be finished with the scarf, although I do wish the cabled section was a bit longer, but I was fearful of running out of the orange, which was the main color. And I would not have had enough if I wanted to do one more repeat. I am hoping that the scarf does block out a bit longer, but I'll be happy nonetheless with it. I do still have to sew up the side ends, work the tassels and block it. But I'm pretty happy to be done knitting with it.

I've been doing a lot of knitting, but hadn't felt too inspired to blog. Part of it is probably because I'm working on the second toddler hoodie sweater (1st one was for Chason) and although it's going, it's not very exciting to me. I decided the third sweater will wait until next fall and it will be a bigger size. I'll probably stop by the LYS this week and pick up an extra skein, so that I'll be sure to have enough yarn for the bigger size and thus ensure that I'll have the proper dyelot and so on.

I also started a new sock, Monkey from the latest Knitty and I have to say, I can see why Cookie A. calls it monkey. Once you start knitting it, you really can't get the monkey off your back. I love this pattern and the yarn I'm using (Austermann Step color: 10) in pinks/green

I started off the new year knitting a sock pattern instead of my standard stockinette socks, I was pretty pleased by this and that it is such an engaging pattern. It's really hard to be bored by this pattern. I hope the same is true for the second sock.

Lately I've been not too excited with my knitting, save for the Monkey sock. I've been wanting to cast on for a new sweater, but feel that I should finish the kid sweater first. But then I'm not really sure what the next sweater will be. Since I've been a bit bored and not finding something that is engaging me to that other level of knitting, I think it might be time for a bit of lace to enter the knitting line-up . . .

More to come later this week . . .

Thursday, January 04, 2007

A Couple of Things for the New Year

First, if you're reading this through Bloglines or another news aggregator, you may not have noticed two of the new buttons on my blog, but there are a couple of new things happening at WWK. I hate to just jump on the bandwagon, although I'd been seriously considering this ever since Wendy mentioned it on her blog. Those of you long time readers know of my stash angst, so it should come as no surprise that I've decided to Knit From My Stash.

My rules are:
1. The Knit From Your Stash (KFYS) will last from January 1, 2007 to September 30, 2007, same as Wendy's.

2. No yarn buying during this period, EXCEPT:

2a) Sock yarn does not count. Although for me, sock yarn purchases will be limited.

2b) If knitting for a gift that I do not have the yarn for, I am allowed to purchase yarn for the gift, i.e. knitting for babies.

2c) If I run out of yarn for a project, I am allowed to purchase only the necessary yarn to complete the project.

2d) I get two passes for buying yarn, one is for Estes (in June) and one fall of the wagon

2e) Souvenir yarn doesn't count (maybe I need to take some trips this year!)

3. Anyone who wants to send me yarn is encouraged (j/k) and allowed.

4. Stash trades are allowed.

5. This reduction in stash does not extend to book-buying, although it will reduced for a period of at least six months, where no more than 1 knitting book may be obtained each month. This restriction also does not affect patterns or needles.

Even though Polly says my sock yarn stash is a baby stash (and what is up with bloggers calling me out about the size of my stash anyways?), it's still a lot to me. Granted I know those who have so much sock yarn it would take them a few lifetimes to knit all those socks, I can take things to an extreme (for me), but if it's too, too much, I just go crazy. The KFYS just came at a good time for me personally.

And on the heels of that, on to movement for the body. . .
I'm definitely not where I want to be weight-wise or size-wise, but that is a work in a progress. What I want to accomplish with Runagogo is to encourage the habit of working ot regularly and incorporating movement of many kinds into my life. There will not be any running, more walking, biking (stationary) or other types of movement. My theory is that I only run when being chased, all other times are optional and I choose not to do so.

The goal here is to move 100 miles between now and April 1st. It seems a very doable goal. I may discuss it here and there on this blog, but probably moreso on Runagogo, although I may set up one of those ticker symbols here just to have a visual of how much further I have to go. I'm very excited to bring some new elements into my life in the New Year. Thanks all for your support!

Monday, January 01, 2007

A Year In Review

I was looking over last year's lists and found it very interesting.

Project-wise, last year I finished 25 items, this year up to 31 items.
2 spiral rib hats
2 pair fingerless mits
3 baby bibs
Marilyn NSS Cardi
Noro cabled skinny scarf
Regia Strato socks
2 baby raglan sweaters
Opal Lollipop socks
Bliss Cardi
Striped shorty socks (yarn from Carola)
Cabaret Raglan Sweater
Green Gable
Seraphim Shawl
Docktorfish socks
Ribby Shell
Arrowhead Lace
Wild Cherry Triangular Scarf
2 Clapotis (1 for me, 1 for my cousin)
2 garter stitch scarves
Hourglass sweater
M's sweater
shorty socks for M2
striped hat for M2
Chason hoodie sweater
Koigu Thuja socks

Some of my goals were:
1. Knit more socks (I have enough yarn to make 24 pairs of socks!) DONE This year I knit 6 pairs of socks, instead of 3, but didn't make goal of 8 pairs

1a) Of those 8 socks, at least 3 pair should be knit using some sort of pattern and not just self-patterning and self-striping sock yarn, but an actual pattern. didn't make this one, only one pair was patterned, the rest were all stockinette. Stockinette socks are my bread and butter, so I tend to go to that more. I will make an effort this year to knit more patterned socks as the lure of various patterns keep calling to me.

1b) I have enough yarn to make two pairs of Lorna's Laces socks as well as 4 hanks of Koigu KPPM to make socks. This year, I want to make socks using one type of each yarn this year. 50% on this goal I did use some of my Koigu for socks and the other 2 hanks were ripped from the i-cord gloves I started in 2006 and I now have one half pair of fingerless mitts from it and need to finish the second half of those mitts. This year I'd like to knit with more of the handpainted sock yarns I have, such as Cherry Tree Hill, Claudia's, etc.

2) Most of my resolutions are really related to socks. I do want to knit more sweaters, but I must start and complete M's sweater this year. I also want to finish another if not 2 sweaters for me by this winter's end. Libby from Rowan Cork Mag and Cavern Cardi from Cosmicpluto. Did finish M's sweater (just in the nick of time), didn't knit Libby, but Bliss Cardi instead and finished the Marilyn NSS cardi as well

3) Knit more for Chason. Whatever that takes, it needs to be done. Once I finish something else, I do plan to make a pair of baby mittens for him. didn't make a pair of mittens, but did finish a baby raglan sweater last year that was sent to him in Jan of '06 as well as a baby hoodie in December that was sent

4) Knit a pair of gloves. This is slightly frightening for me, so I definitely want to do it this winter. nope, not even done and not sure that I even want to

5) Learn more techniques. I would really like to feel more comfortable with short-rowing, so I will probably apply it to socks as I'm thinking I might like the short-row heels better than the heel flap. With the making of the Jazz Fair Isle scarf, I will get to practice fair isle a bit more and I will be happy to do that. Practice cabling more (perhaps cabling without a needle) and learning to knit backwards. Those are the goals thus far, who know what else may be added. Didn't learn some of the techniques I wanted, but definitely got quite a bit of practice with fair isle this year, cabling and lace Decided I like the heel flap best, so over the short-row heel, but I do want to master short rows in my knitting and learn to use it better in garmetns

6)Also knit the Debbie Bliss V-neck Tennis sweater this spring. nope, decided to take it off my knitting list and returned the yarn

7) Make more cardigans, see the Cavern cardi above as well as for Spring/summer as I am always cold. done, finished two

8) Make and finish a Clapotis. Done X2

This year's knitty resolutions:

1)Knit more socks. The sock yarn stash (as well as other stash) has been thinned throughout the year, but more keeps joining in. My main focus is to continue to knit socks and mix it up with more patterned socks this year

2) Knit more lace, which should not be a problem as I love it.

3)Learn more techniques, primarily short-rows

4)Focus on the structure of garments and really learn what looks best on me and not fall for every project which looks bad after. I feel I'm better in this department that I used to be, but sometimes still fall prey to this. Also, just working more on the fit of an item. Each time I knit a garment, I learn a bit more and that's always a good thing.

5)Knit more from stash. More on this one later.

5)Enjoy knitting, it's not a race and just have fun. Shouldn't be a problem there.

WIPS carried over to 2007:
1. Fair Isle Jazz (yes, still working on it, but I did pick it up this long weekend and am halfway through the fair isle, so progress is happening0

2. Austermann Step Socks(haven't even mentioned these yet)

3. Second half of Koigu fingerless mitts

4. Lacy Rib Tank (on hold till this Spring, back finished, only have front to finish)

5. Knitted tam (bane of my existence, stupid hat, but I vow to finish it, may never wear it, but after restarting it 3 times, it will be done.)

The good thing is that 2 of the WIPS can be finished with a little focus, #3 and #5 and #1 is coming along well. #4 will be restarted in the spring, as I saw no need to finish it in the winter.

I'm pretty pleased with my resolutions from last year and the progress that was made. Knitting, like all of life, is constantly a work in progress and I'm amazed at how I can regress, but then move forward with thingss and learn a lot of things. I was really intrigued by lace and finally fell head over heels. Last year I'd never knit from a chart before and really didn't understand but rudimentary cabling, while I'm no master of cables, I can say that it doesn't frighten me now, nor do cables. And I really love lace. Cabling is not my forte, but I can do it. Perhaps if I learn cabling without a cable needle I will enjoy it more, we shall see.

2006 was year full of changes, but a good one. I'm looking forward to this New Year to see what 2007 will bring. Thanks to all of you for stopping by and reading from time to time and being a part of my life. I'm still enjoying this blogging community and the friendships it has brought into my life.

Happy New Year to everyone!