Sunday, April 22, 2007

WIP It Real Good

Hey knitfriends,
Life has not been too busy, but haven't really felt much like blogging. Not that life hasn't been busy, but no busier than normal, really.

I thought I'd mention all the projects that are on my needles, some of which haven't even made it to the blog yet. It felt nice to get rid of a couple of projects off the needles, but I still have more I'd like to see off. I feel like Jeni. She has a "Free The Needles" project, where she must finish projects on the needles before getting started with new projects.

First off, the Monkey socks, using Austermann Step. I love knitting with this yarn b/c it is so moisturizing, but I just finished the heel flap and am now on the decreases for the sock. I just feel like I'm knitting and knitting and getting nowhere, but that's not really the fault of the sock, b/c I've also been knitting here and there on the Opal "to go" socks in my car and those suckers will never end. I hope to finish these socks in the next 2 weeks, so I can be done with them.

Next up is a project that the blog hasn't even seen, it is my start to the Diamond Fantasy Shawl. I'm using some of the Hello Yarn I purchased earlier in the year in the color Staggering. I love how the pattern is working with this pattern. I haven't had much of a chance to work on it, although I cast on during my Spring Break mid-March. But as school is winding down, the classwork is not all done, so I haven't been able to sit down and concentrate on this one like I've wanted to for a few weeks. Hopefully soon it will get some love.

The Classic Elite Top-down Raglan Cardi is getting some attention again. I finally picked up the stitches to start working on sleeve #1. I wish it was done, but I've been working a lot on it. The sleeve is now at the elbow, so we're in the homestretch. I did think alot about the length of the cardi and if I needed to knit it longer. It's actually at a good length now, but I was thinking of a sweater I have at work and it's much longer. I compared the two sweaters and the "work" sweater is at least 5 1/2 inches longer. I don't think I want the top-down cardi to be that long. The work sweater is all about comfort and warmth as I freeze alot at work. The orange cardi won't be for work and I generally don't like them this long. After I finish the sleeves, I'll see if I want to make it longer. If I do, it would be maybe 2 inches longer. I think I have enough yarn to do this and that may happen. I'll keep you posted.

The last two projects are some baby raglan sweaters. Actually at this point, all pieces have been knitted and I'm in the process of sewing them up. Please remind me the next time I think about doing this pattern again how much I hate all the seaming. It's just way too much work for one little sweater. Top-down or bottom-up in the round from now on for baby knitting.

The last project that's being worked on is the Chevron Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I decided to spare you another picture. It's just getting longer, although I am getting bored with knitting it. I will definitely be stopping at the end of the skeins I'm using. I'm at about 50 inches now. I think once I reach my height in inches (64"), if I'm not out of yarn, I'll be stopping then. I really don't like terribly long scarves either.

Well, that's it for me today. Hopefully you'll see another post this week. Things may be scarce on the blogging front between now and May 5th, which is the end of my semester.

Monday, April 16, 2007

FO Monday

Okay, two posts in one night. Pretty unbelievable for me, I know. As new projects seemed to have jumped on the needles with willy-nilly startitis, I started feeling the need to finish some things. One of them was the languishing Fair Isle Jazz Scarf. Truthfully the knitting was finished a couple or even a few months ago, and I fringed one end of the scarf, but never felt like doing the second side. Since I had issues with making tassels, I took the easy way out and fringed it.

So, a crappy bathroom mirror pic, but seeing as how I don't know when my photographer would be available, this is what you get. Besides, I just wanted to "get er done." And that has happened. As much as I enjoyed knitting the scarf, well, at least the fair isle portion of it, the scarf is really too wide for any true usage, at least imo. When I finished it, I really realized how wide it is. I'm a little less than thrilled at its utility, but quite pleased at how it turned out. It truly is a great (for me) piece of knitting and I learned a lot from knitting this. I feel that I've conquered my fear of cables, at least more advanced cables than what I normally did. Although I've conquered it, I still don't enjoy cables, but I can do them and that's what counts. I really enjoyed fair isle, I can see more of it in my future.

On my head is my completed Rasta Hat. Yay, I finally finished it. I sat it down for at least a month or more, hmm just checked the archives, ok, about 2 months and finally realized that picking up the stitches for the brim wouldn't be so bad. Which was totally easy, but in my head I'd made it so much more difficult, that I left it for awhile. I worked on it on Sunday evening for maybe 1.5 hours and the hat was done. I really like it, but it is very warm.

Project Specs:
Fair Isle Jazz Scarf from Scarf Style
Project length: Too long, started January of '06-end date April '07
Size needles: US 7 (4.5 mm needles)
Yarn used: Cascade 220 in various colors
Modifications: not really, but I subbed Cascade 220 versus Mission Falls 1824 Wool. Don't be scared off by the time it took to complete this project. I put it down for the summer and the cabling took me awhile to work through, but once I did, I could hardly put down the fair isle, which was apparently the part I enjoyed the most.

Project Specs:
Rasta Hat pattern by Shannita Alleyne-Williams (featured on Knitty Gritty)
Yarn used: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran (3.25 skeins and boy was I was a little ticked that I needed that 4th skeins but oh well)
Needle size used: US 8 for the "body" of the hat and sz 6 US for ribbing, as well as elastic knit in for the ribbing
Project mods: none, worked as the pattern was written. Because I wanted to use yarn that wouldn't leave deposits or fuzz in my locs, I chose to go with the DB Cash Aran, which is the some of the yummiest stuff I've ever knitted. It's a bit pricey to use 4 skeins with about 90 yds each, but I did get some of it on sale, so it wasn't so bad. I wouldn't mind making a sweater out of this stuff, but it would be so expensive, so that would probably never actually happen. I'm very pleased with the hat and it's so warm. Not the best time to use it now, but it will be great for next winter. I love how the decreases on the top of the hat have this perfect star formation. I didn't notice until I took pictures, isn't that funny?

Back to the books people!

Blogiversary Contest Winners

Hello all,
Just a quick note to let you know I've picked the winners for my first blogiversary contest. Yay, fun!

I've sent an email to all of the winners. If for some reason, you did not receive an email, send me an email at awanda at gmail dot com.

And the winners are:
Sock yarn
Opal Caterpillar - Kat
Socks That Rock Peaseblossom lightweight - Amy
Trekking - Taexlixev
Claudia Handpaint - Del(formerly of Cozy's Place)
Regia Provence - Emiko

Lace yarn category
Superlamb Laceweight, color tourmaline - Jeanine
Merino Oro, color taupe - Ginny

Assorted yarns category
lilac Cotton-Ease - AmyP
Cascade 220 - Lucette
Lane Borgosesia - Jenifer
Rowan DK set (additional yarn not pictured0 - Lyndsey Jane
Rowan DK set (additional yarn not pictured) - Nicole

Oh, and in non-blogiversary contest winner information, for the Denver-area knitters, if you are interested in Edward Scissorhands, there is now a stage adaptation that is on tour.


Buy one ticket, and get one FREE for all performances of "Edward
Scissorhands" at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (excluding
Saturday, April 21 at 8 PM).

Order online at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Online Ticket
with the promotional code EDTOPIA to receive your FREE ticket.

Show opens Wednesday, April 18th and runs to Sunday, April 22nd!

Visit the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Website
for show details or go to the Official Tour Website
[] for more info.

Based on the motion picture classic by Tim Burton. Devised/directed and
choreographed by Matthew Bourne ("Swan Lake", "Mary Poppins")

Offer applicable to top two price levels only. Not valid on previously
purchased tickets.

Next up, a couple of FOs.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Reminder of the Blogiversary Contest

Hi all, I'm working on finishing up a major part of my research assignment for my class that's due in about, oh, say 3 hours. Am I freaking out a bit? Hmm, a little bit. Anyhow, just a quick reminder about the blogiversary contest which ends today at 12 midnight MDT. Be sure to stop by and read the rules and enter if you haven't already done so. I'll be back a little later in the week with some knitting and contest winners! I've even added another prize to the loot, but you'll find out later.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Here Harlot, There Harlot, Everywhere a Harlot

I didn't think about it until yesterday, but I never mentioned the Harlot's visit. She finally came to town to launch her latest book. Thankfully the Harlot arrived to Denver with no problems. Her talk was to begin at 7:30 p.m., but one lady arrived at the Tattered Cover at 7 a.m. That was one obsessed knitter!

Here's the view of the room from the speaker's stand:

It was a great night and I got to see some knitting friends that I don't see very often, such as Kristi, and Imbrium which it was very nice to visit with them while waiting in line.

Once we got inside, we had some time to kill before the Harlot actually came in to speak. One person noticed another knitter knitting Eunny's Entrelac socks from the last Interweave and told another person there she was knitting her pattern. The her was none other than Eunny Jang! Peoples, this made my day on so many levels! I adore her work and I'm thrilled that she is going to be the new editor of Interweave Knits. I went over and introduced myself (gee, when I say that I am shy in social situations, I'm not really sure when that is? Around knitters, I seem to not have this problem) and she asked me my name. About 15-20 minutes later, she asked me my blog name and she remembered seeing my picture or blog name, I thought that was pretty neat. While I gushed to Eunny for a little bit, I had to bring myself back under control. Eunny seemed very sweet and a bit overwhelmed by the amount of popularity and excitement that she engenders. Joanne told her she needs to get used to being a celebrity. Of course Joanne gets to take a cruise with Eunny in 3 weeks and will be taking a number of classes with Eunny! I'm so jealous.

I also managed to get a pic of myself with Eunny (How cool is that!):

And one of our "local" knitting designers came for the Harlot talk,Tara Jon Manning. Below she is pictured (on the left) and on the right, is Amy Clark Moore, editor of Spin-Off magazine.

The Harlot is even funnier in person, if you can imagine. When she walked in, there was a round of thunderous applause and cheers and hollers. The Harlot is a rockstar, y'all! And there were over 200 knitters that made it out to see the Harlot. It was such a pleasure to be out to hear her and also be amongst my "people", those who understand this crazy knitting obsession. It was such a treat to hear Stephanie speak. Finally I had my chance to meet the Harlot and have a couple of books signed, one for a friend who couldn't make it. While speaking with her, she remembered my blog. I was quite happy to meet the Harlot in person and have a few words with her. Of course, I had to take a picture with her sock and mine:

A picture of the Harlot's Bohus. It is quite gorgeous in person and she wore it for part of the time and then had on the best T-shirt underneath it.

And Joanne, the Canuck in Colorado, brought Stephanie some custom-made M&Ms in blue and pink that read, Knit, Purl. Stephanie thought that was the coolest thing ever and had to have a picture with Joanne, the sock and the M&Ms! Joanne came up with the best gift!

It was great fun and I'm so happy I was able to see the Harlot in person. If she ever comes to your town, don't miss it!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Feel the (sock) love

Hi, my name is Wanda and I'm a sock-knitting addict.

Lately there's a lot of talk of sock-knitting in the blogosphere. All of you know how much I love knitting socks. Then there was the Represent event with the Harlot. I love seeing the pic of everyone's sock at the meetup in Central Park. I was all verklempt at the sight of those socks. Today, reading Carole's post, it really gave me a giggle.

I also got to thinking how some people left comments that I have yet to reply back to (sorry about that people, I have good intentions, but so little time these days) and one that I wanted to comment on was from Norma, who wrote (ed. by me)
"Portable, schmortable" about the
fact that people always say that is the reason they love knitting
socks. "What is more portable about socks than, say,
mittens, a hat, a scarf, or a sweater sleeve?"

What I wanted to answer to that is, other projects may have the same amount of portability as socks, although it depends on your project. In my case, this winter, I've done some top-down raglan sweaters that a sweater sleeve did not lend itself to portability. Hats are always portable to me, mittens and scarves are of course, portable as well. However, some of those items (hats, mittens and usually scarves) are seasonal, whereas I can always knit socks year-round. Even if I won't wear wool socks in the summer, I can always knit them and they don't get too heavy and I'm not turned off by knitting them. I never want to pick up a scarf in the summer (especially since I live w/o a/c in the summer). Also, socks are a like a sweet, small gift. As Kim said in a comment, I never tire of the simple act of turning a heel and I never get bored with socks like I do with scarves. I agree. While I do like scarves, the knitting of them does get tedious.

The sock you see above is the second of the Regia Banner socks. The pair is complete, but at the time of the picture, the second sock was waiting for the toe to be kitchnered for almost two weeks. I finally did it this weekend and M2 is already wearing them and has done so for 2 days. Which does my heart good, especially since I was trying to figure out a way to keep them for myself! I am so evil and perhaps not so generous of heart, but oh well. M2 is growing so much (he is 13 yo after all) and his feet have been growing hugely, in my mind. I was almost hoping they were too small and then I could keep them, but no such luck.

Another thing I've been doing is listening to podcasts. One that I am fully caught up on (which is scary since I've only started listening in the past 2 months) is the Lime & Violet podcast. Holy crap, are they funny! And they have a section where they talk about yarn porn. These two ladies primarily knit socks,so they are always talking about a new purveyor of sock yarn.

Besides the sock knitting love that I've already professed to, back in August, I talked of crossing a line. Now, I'm much less likely to buy a skein of the self-striping yarns, although sock yarns like Austermann Step, Trekking and Opal still feel the yarn love, but for the variegated colors. Now I'm all about the handpainted yarn that are sold by so many independents, it's insane. But what is really pushing me over the edge is Cookie's sock patterns. Holy cow, those socks are gorgeous.

After all of my handpainted sock love, this girl has picked up a few (gasp!) solid-colored sock yarns, which is so unusual for me. But seriously, I need to knit a few of these sock patterns.

The last sock pictured, is my "to-go" sock knitting that I keep in the car for those moments of waiting. I've done the heel and am now working on the foot. It's some old school Opal purchased at least 4 years ago. It has lots of colors, but the predominant ones are purple, mustard, brown and cream. At first I wasn't sure if I liked it, but now I'm really diggin' it.

Do you think you might be a sock-knitting addict when you want to wind up all of the handpainted skeins of sock yarn just to see how they look all mixed up in the center pull skein?

Sorry for the long tome, please also remember the blog contest! You can leave a comment to enter for any of the projects, except sock yarn. For sock yarn, please send me an email or leave a comment stating why you think you should win sock yarn. All other entries will be entered into the giveaway with use of a random number generator. I've also decided to close the contest a little earlier. I want to get the prizes out ASAP, but wanted to let the Easter holiday pass. The contest will now end Tuesday, April 10 at 12 midnight MST. Sorry for that, but I want to get them out and on Tuesday I have a big assignment due, after that I will want to clear out the prize yarn and send it on its way.