Sunday, March 30, 2008

WIP it Up

Dear Readers,
I didn't mean to leave you for so long. Even when I think I will post more frequently, such as Spring Break 3 weeks ago, that's when I didn't post at all. Life just feels so busy most days that it's hard to sit down and post, especially with no pictures. I can only post sporadically, so it seems. I guess I can only do my best and post when I can, however infrequently that may be.

Thanks to everyone for the votes and comments regarding my Charlotte post last week. I appreciate all the thoughtful comments. I always like to hear people's reasons and theories behind their choices. Currently, I believe I will go with Set 3 v2. The first set definitely screams my colors, but I also love those two skeins of Trekking (purple & orange) and I think I would like those to be socks instead. And I think I will like the set with blues/turquoises towards my face and the brownish-blue-green and purples/greens towards the bottom. I haven't cast on yet, probably not until a bit later in the summer.

I seem to have quite a few things on the needles lately. Some of which is bugging me, because it feels like too much. The past 10 days or so, I've really not been feeling the knitting love. I felt like everything on my needles was boring and I didn't want to knit anything. I was still knitting, but it was more a labor of love than anything. Especially because I cast on for a few new items without getting close to the finish line on any current projects.

One I cast on for the beginning of the year, but it's barely gotten any love, is a pair of socks for M. I recently told myself I could finish them for a deadline, but as the time is approaching, it doesn't appear that will happen. Although the socks don't look too far along in the picture below, I have turned the heel and knit past the gusset increases and am well into the foot on the first sock. Since they're for M, I have more stitches than my usual 64 and the cuff is at least 8 inches in length. The colorway is variegated shades of grey. M wanted black socks, but I'm too young to go blind, so this is our compromise.

In the vein of lemming-like behavior, I recently cast on for the Trekking is for Necking scarf using some stashed Colinette Jitterbug in the colorway Raphael. I love the colorway, and of course, am enjoying the yarn. I made my scarf a bit wider than the original pattern, by 2 repeats wider. I love using my sock yarn for something other than socks, because I have so much sock yarn. But alternately, I don't love knitting a scarf on size 4 needles. That part gets old quick, especially, where it feels like I'm not making any progress. I have knit more on it, so it's a bit longer, though not much. It's all Kim's fault that I cast on. After seeing her pretty scarf, and then Michelle also cast on for one and it sealed the deal for me. I like the scarf and I'll continue to knit on it, but there's no hurry.

I've also cast on for Hypotenuse, a Knitspot pattern, but there's not enough progress to show right now.

One project that's never seen the light of blog is my Everyday Tweed sweater. I'm using Mirasol Hacho in color 303, Coral Reef.

The body of the sweater is actually finished now. The neckline of the sweater is a deep scoop neck, which requires picking up of many stitches around the neckline. I finished the body this past week, but haven't worked up my nerve to sit still and pick up stitches yet. It will happen this week though.

So perhaps, just in time for spring, I'll have a finished wool pullover? Haha, that's how it goes. Besides it'll be right on time for next winter. If I thought I could deal with knitting wool in the summer, I'd really think about knitting sweaters and other cold-weather accessories. That whole lack of a/c kills that for me though. This year I'm not much into knitting summer tops for myself. I have a couple of things I want to knit this summer, mainly because I have the yarn in my stash and I'd like to rid myself of the rest of my summer garment stash. I do wear a number of my knitted tops during the summer, simply because I work in an office environment and I assume at my new job, it might be chilly in the summer if I wear a sleeveless tank. However, once outdoors or at home, the tops feel too hot with no a/c to cool me off. Anyhow, enough of a ramble for now.

Until next time . . .

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Charlotte Choices

So I've been wanting to knit a Charlotte's Web shawl for quite some time. The more I think about it now, I think it would be perfect to use various sock yarns that I've "collected" over time. I've combed through my sock yarn stash and put some combinations together. I've got a poll on the sidebar to the right. If you're reading this blog post through a feed aggregator, please select the link and visit the site to vote. Please take a look and vote or leave a comment as to why you selected a specific color choice.

Charlotte's Choice 1

L to R: Trekking XXL (orange), Fearless Fibers Merino sock yarn colorway Brick House, Trekking XXL (purple) and Red Rocks Fiber Works in colorway Jeni's choice (yellows, oranges, reddish-orange)

Charlotte's Choice 2 v1

L to R: Mama Llama wool/tencel sock yarn, colorway Jenn, Red Rocks FiberWorks Honeymoon colorway and Mama Llama wool sock yarn in color Vino

Charlotte's Choice set 2 v2

L to R: same as the first, with the addition of Colinette Jitterbug Florentino colorway

Charlotte's Choice set 3 v1

L to R: Spirit Trail Fiber Works Turquoise variegated, Claudia's Handpaint Caribbean Sea, Ball and Skein Sargasso Sea, Dream in Color Smooshy Cocoa Kiss and Colinette Jitterbug Beech colorway.

Charlotte's Choice set 3 v2

L to R: 1st three same as above, with Socks That Rock Nodding Violets colorway

The points to remember are that the original Charlotte's Web consists of 5 separate colorways of Koigu. I don't have a Koigu collection, nor do I want to begin one. I, um, have enough of a sock yarn collection as it. Besides, I'd rather use some of my sock yarn for something, such as a shawl.

I look forward to hearing your suggestions!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Spa Special Swap

I have to tell you that I have been a slacker all week. Many apologies to Deb, as she was my Special Swap partner. I received her package early last week, but didn't get around to posting until today. Although, I did of course, thank her properly in email, I just didn't have the time or energy to sit still, take pictures and write a proper post. Last week's time change really did a number on my energy levels this past week.

This swap's theme was a Spa swap. This was my first time participating in a Special Swap hosted by Lynne. It was quite a bit of fun to come up with ideas for a swap for my pal. I really enjoyed shopping and finding things for someone else. I'm sitting out the next round, but hope to join back in as I found it so fun.

Deb was a most wonderful partner. She emailed me shortly after we were assigned partners and she told me that she'd already come up with ideas, whereas I am always a bit of a procastinator. I did start reading her blog, but the two weeks leading up to the deadline to mail the package, I was dragging my feet. Especially, because for part of the package, I'd decided to knit a face cloth for my pal. I thought since we were doing a spa swap and the purpose of spa days to me is to entirely pamper yourself. As women we tend to do so much for others, I thought something handknit for another knitter is something a knitter would truly appreciate.

Deb really spoiled me. I don't know how she knew that I planned on knitting the Honeybee Stole this summer. She gifted me with a kit from Wooly Wonka Fibers, which contained yarn in Wooly Wonka Fibers merino laceweight (1400 yds) in Buckwheat Honey, along with the pattern. The picture below also shows some samples of Soak, which I've never used before and potpourri from the Body Shop.

Back in the day, I used to be a huge Body Shop groupie. I always loved body and bath items, but I've found that I'm allergic to many ingredients in body gels and things, so I limit the body items I buy to being all natural or using essential oils. The Body Shop bag full of goodies was just perfect! This reminds me to get out and get some more things to pamper myself and that I can use a lot of the Body Shop products, yay! In addition to the bag, there was a headband, perfect for washing your face and keeping facial cleansers out of your hair, an eye mask, Body Butter, one of my personal faves! I've heard of Knitter's Balm, but never used it, but now I get to try it and some Satsuma Lip Balm w/shimmer. Very nice. I've already started using the lip balm.

Last weekend before I received Debby's package, I was lamenting that I wanted some new lace yarn and wanted something hand-dyed. I really wanted to buy something but was having a hard time finding exactly what I wanted. I'm glad I made myself wait till I received Debby's package. The Buckwheat Honey yarn suits the bill. Just beautiful.

Thanks again Deb!

I'll be back again soon, hopefully tomorrow with a question on color choices for a Charlotte's Web shawl.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Looking Back - February Goals

Things have been so busy. I have to apologize for not getting back to many of you on your comments on my last post. It is quite a relief and thrill to be done and have the diploma at hand and resting atop my fireplace mantel.

I finished my first Master's level class this week and of course, there was a paper with it. Uikes, the school work never stops.

On to February's goals. I'm gonna make this post short and sweet, as it's late and I'd like to post today tonite, erm, morning, whatevs.

1. I was to finish the Jaybird hoodie. No such luck. Actually the knitting is all done, but I have yet to weave in the few ends and sew on the button. I should get that done this weekend or next weekend

2. Finish the second Mary Kay sock. That is done, yay! I have a pair of socks, with ends woven in and the whole nine. Whee! This is yarn dyed by Mary Kay with her yarn, colorway Grasshopper. I'm happy these are done.

3. Working on Thujas. Well, I wove in the ends on the first sock. That's about it. Cast on for the second sock, but haven't been too interested in casting on the second one right this moment. Oh well, there's always this month.

4. The goal is to finish both sleeves for the Everyday Tweed sweater. It is done, but I forgot to take any pictures. Hopefully soon.

Well, although those were my goals, I also finished a couple other items. I knit a facecloth for my Special Swap partner. This go round was a spa theme. In addition to the package, I knit her a face cloth out of Mission Falls 1824 Cotton. I don't know if I would want to knit a garment out of it, but definitely nice for something small. Or perhaps a garment for a little one? I dunno, but nice stuff to work with.

And lastly, Maryse spearheaded an effort to knit squares for Elisa's dad, who's currently residing in a VA hospital with no familiar items of his own. I read a lot of various concerns that befell knitters and I always want to make something or do something, but circumstances don't always allow it. Sometimes time is a factor and I just don't get to doing those things, but somehow I made the time for this and I felt better for it and I hope when the afghan is completed, it gives Elisa's dad a lot of comfort and love, while he recovers.

I knit both squares following Lucia's basketweave scarf. I just knit the squares. One with the original pattern and the second with the variation. They were quick and fun and were easy to complete in an afternoon.

And that's it for me now. I'll be back by the week's end with my March goals. I'd like to get them up a little sooner than the middle of the month this time.