Monday, December 31, 2007

One last FO for the '07 record book

I managed to finish the second mitt of the pair of
Snow on Cedar Mitts. Now, if left to my own devices, I might not ever knit such a lacy design for fingerless mitts. However, I do love anne's patterns. It was truly worth the extra effort.

Although I've purchased several of anne's patterns, this was the first pattern I've knitted and completed and I'm very pleased. Her thoroughness in pattern writing is a boon to me. I also love that she uses charts and written directions for lace. While I can get through a chart, chart-reading is not intuitive to me, so if there are written directions, I tend to go for my crutch.

I love my mitts and can't wait to wear them often. The longer length will be perfect at the office. Maybe now I will knit another pair or two of the other fingeless mitts patterns I've purchased from anne. :-)

Project Specs: Snow on Cedar Mitts
Yarn used: Blackberry Ridge Silk Blend Lace Weight 75% wool/25% silk in color: Willow
Needle used: US 1 (2.25 mm) wood dpns
Proect length: mid-October to mid-December.
Mods: none, knit as written
This is a fairly quick knit. However, I test-knit the first mitt for anne. After I finished it, I just never went back to finish the second one. Once the weather got cooler and the office temperature dipped, I decided it would be easier to just finish the second one and I'd have new mitts. I love the longer length too.

I am working on my second January One Monkey sock, but I don't know if I will have a pair before the year's end though. If you don't hear from me before then, Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Finale: FO Ariann, Finally

Ok, I finally sucked it up and got some pictures of me modeling Ariann. My photographer was a bit unwilling, but I cajoled, wheedled, talked him into it.

After wearing Ariann a second time, I've decided the sweater is a "qualified" success. Yay! I adore the color. Everytime I see it, I fall in love a little more.

Ariann by the fabulous Bonne Marie
Yarn: Cascade 220 The Heathers, color #2450 5 1/4 skeins
Project length: end of August thru mid-December '07
Needle size: US 7 (4.5 mm) and US 6 (4 mm) needles
Mods: First, not really a mod, but a mistake. I knit the wrong size to wear as a cardigan. I knit my usual 40" for a pullover, but whoopsie, Ariann is supposed to be a cardigan.

Second, when knitting the sleeves, I neglected to read the instructions that advise you to incorporate the increases into the lace pattern. Hmm, so it became a "design element" in my sleeves. I have the lace pattern, with a stockinette panel in the back. It works for me. And actually in the pictures, it's not visible, but I'm happy with it. I embraced the mistake (heh-heh!)

Other than that, my buttonholes were all jacked up, but since they're not really functional, since the cardigan is not large enough to actually be useful, it doesn't really matter. I am not a fan of the open cardigan. I tend to like them buttoned up or tied shut, so it's different, but I am getting used to it. I like the sweater too much to not wear it.

The sleeves are a bit too long, but once again, the fault of myself as I realized I knit it a bit long, but honestly, ripping back in the lace pattern just was not appealing to me. I knew I'd somehow lose my place and it would just be ugly.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Drive-By Blogging

I'm writing the post I hate to write, which is one without pictures. Sorry about that, but time has gotten away from me so much this past week, I wanted to go ahead and post while there's still time.

Regarding Ariann, it's a mixed bag, but I will get some pics up this week. I wore it on Friday and well, it's not a qualified success, but it got done and that's something?

Not much knitting has happened this past week. Mostly because I'm still trying to get my Christmas cards out. I haven't been much in the mood for Christmas this year, but after shopping on Saturday, which wasn't too terrible, I started to get into the spirit. Also a certain knitter's holiday party hosted by Stacey this weekend, really helped to imbue the Christmas spirit this year.

I'm still working on the mate to Snow on Cedars and it is coming along. I"m on the gusset part, so it's finally beginning to look like something.

Other than that, work on Ribby Pulli has been stalling, no real reason, but I've been kind of meh. Maybe because I wasn't as thrilled as Ariann, I dunno. Ribby Pulli is to the armholes and now I have to cast on for the first sleeve, so that's where it's at.

I have yet to start my sister scarf, but I have thought about it, does that count? :-) Yeah, not so much. But that will probably start in earnest in the New Year.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

December Goals

Now that we've entered the month of December, I want to get back to setting some goals for myself. I'm still trying to be gentle on myself. Even though it's December, I have no Christmas knitting goals this year, which is a relief.

I think I can get a few finished objects this month. That's because there's been a lot of casting on for projects, which means something must come off the needles, right?

1. First goal is to finish the second Snow on Cedars Mitt. I finished the first one and the second has languished while I'd been focusing on Ariann. I think this project is definitely doable for the remainder of December.

2. I really would like to finish the second of my January One Monkeys too. I love this colorway and the yarn is so soft and squishy, it's just wonderful to work on. Again, it was dropped during November and now it's time to pick it back up again. Just the second sock to go and I think it's doable too. I made the first sock with the Monkey pattern on the cuff and made the foot plain. Part of it was that I didn't want to knit the pattern anymore, I was sorta unsure how well the patterned foot fits in with shoes. Secondly, since I have this love/want more/can't control myself feeling with STR, I decided that I need to see how it looks knit up before buying more than my current two pair's worth of socks. I was pretty pleased with how it pooled, so I would probably be ok with trying this yarn again.

3. Another venture in the sock world is a pair of socks for Mary Kay. This is part of the "I knit her a pair of socks, and then I get some of her beauteous yarn to knit myself another pair." One might think that I still have to knit myself a pair of socks, but I look at it as another opportunity to knit with her fabulously dyed yarn. I love it and I'd be knitting socks anyway. In all honesty, I'd knit her a pair of socks, regardless of free yarn, so there you go. I'm starting to feel that I don't mind knitting socks for a friend who would love and appreciate them, b/c I'm not overloaded with socks, but I really have lots. I counted in my sock drawer the other day and there are at least 16 pairs of handknit socks and I have enough yarn in my stash for 30 more pairs.

4. The last goal for this month, isn't to finish a project, but to cast on and find a suitable pattern for this yarn. My sister called me last Friday to ask me if I would knit her another scarf. Of course, I have no qualms knitting her a new scarf. She lost the scarf I knit her about 5-6 years ago and I'm happy that she loved the last one so much that she wanted another one. The first scarf I knit for her was out of Avanti, a fingering or sport merino yarn that had a bit of grey mixed in with it and I combined it with another thin black yarn knit in double moss stitch. Well, my sister has requested another black scarf. Other than the fact that she wants another scarf, why does she hate me? Black yarn, so hard on the eyes, but oh well.

I've chosen some black Cascade 220. Thrilling huh? I'm going to search through Ravelry for some scarf patterns. If anyone has some suggestions for texture or stitch patterns in black yarn, I'm open. Because I'm using black yarn, I think some patterns would not show up as well, such as cables and I'm not sure if lace would show up well either. One thing I won't be doing is more moss stitch. I'm not a fan of it and won't do another whole scarf in it again.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Ariann Preview

For the month of November, I let the goals slide. I knew I was starting a new job and wasn't sure what to expect in my first few weeks. It turned out the first couple of weeks were sitting with others for on-the-job training. However week 3 started out with all day training, so I've been pretty pooped.

In an email conversation, Margene suggested that my goal for November should be to focus on finishing Ariann. While I did work on other projects too, I did make that a priority. While I did not finish in the month of November, I am almost to the finish line.

I'm actually pretty relieved to be almost done. Anything that could go wrong, did.

The sewing on of buttons and blocking will commence tomorrow and hopefully a FO picture by the week's end.