Thursday, July 26, 2007

Wollmeise is here!

They came on monday--that was fast! From left to right: Rhabarber, Wilder Mohn, Brombeere, Red Hot Chili, Dornroschen

As well as Poison Nr. 5, Veilchen, Gewitterhimmel, Verbmeinnicht, Spice Market.

I think I'll start with red hot chili since it's the peak of summer.

And now, the debut of Morning Glory Wrap, perfectly blocked. Wow! I'm really pleased with how this turned out. I think I used the perfect yarn--Posh DK silk. The sheen is just gorgeous, and the dye was outstanding. Just enough variation to add interest, but not too much to detract from the pattern. I hope mom likes it.

So here is the next Christmas present--Miss Lambert's Shetland Pattern. In my last post, I wrote how I thought this pattern would be easier because of the simple pattern. Well, it's so simple that I find myself jabbing myself with the needle occaisionally to stop from falling asleep. It's pure drudgery--only 45 more pattern repeats left! But the border will probably spiff it up a bit. Can't wait for this one to be over with.

"Vacation" starts in one week. I'll try to post again before then, but who knows. We're back on the 5th.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I'm all over the place

I'd like to think of myself as a fairly organized person, especially when it comes to knitting. I line up my projects, make sure I have all needed supplies before starting, and never work on more than two projects at once. I used to knit only one project at once, but made an exception for my "perfect sock project" which will be ongoing.

I finished the morning glory wrap on saturday, and I'll show it to you after it's been blocked, which will hopefully be next week. I had lined up the "curved shawl" from victorian lace today as the next project. It was to be a christmas gift for my SIL. Well, I cast on and knit 3 rows, by which time I was nearly in tears. It's not a difficult pattern--perhaps a 7 stitch 4 row repeat. But I

Part of the problem, I've realized, is that I'm a very visual knitter. I make a good amount of mistakes. But with this pattern, I could not for the life of me see anything but a big tangle of yarn after 3 rows. Who knew how many mistakes were in there, and where they were? How would I ever fix it? So I frogged it after only 3 rows.

I think I've identified a suitable replacement--Miss Lambert's Shetland Pattern (also from Victorian Lace Today). I can use the same yarn, and I have the right needles. It looks a wee bit boring, but since it won't be draped on my shoulders, I don't much care. Plus, wee bit boring also means less difficulty, and because it's a rectangle, much easier for me to visualize. The only thing that scares me about the pattern, and pretty much every other pattern in the book, is the knit on border. But Ill deal with that when I come to it.

Now let's talk about yarn for a mo. I've got a big wicker basket next to my chair that holds my stash. Last week it became full, and it was no longer possible for me to pile another skein precariously on it's top without creating a landslide. Plus, there is some yarn in there that I really shouldn't have bought. It's not bad yarn really, but there's a good quantity of it. 10 skeins, maybe? Anyway, looking at this "mistake purchase" yarn has been dredging up a good amount of yarn guilt. So I made it go away. I took out about 15 skeins of BMFA mediumweight and stashed it in a drawer in the coffee table. Then I took the mistake yarn and put it in the bottom of the basket where I couldn't see it. Then I put the "good" yarn on top. You know, the yarn the just brings you joy whenever you see it? Well, that's all I'm looking at right now, and I feel much better.

So another reason for making the alternate BMFA stash was that it allowed more room in the basket for the rest of the yarn that I ordered last week. Remember the 10 skeins of Wollmeise? Well, that's not here yet. But when it does arrive, I'll have room for it.

While catching up with bloglines on tuesday afternoon I discover that had just put up a selection of Yarntini. You know, the stuff that vaporizes in seconds? Well I bopped on over there and bought myself some. Just two skeins. And they're really pretty--see?

Then on Wednesday there's some scuttle on the Ravelry boards that the Loopy Ewe sneak-up is going to be that night. So I get up at 1am and check. Nothing. Hmpf. I get up thursday at 5am as usual, check the Loopy Ewe, and looky there! Wollmeise! Chewy Spaghetti! Well, I bought 3 more Wollmeise--

and 2 Chewy Spaghetti fingering weight.

What? That pink one looks familiar? How astute of you! Yes, I actually already have a skein of that but ordered it anyway. So much for Ravelry helping with stash management.

So next week's sneak up is supposed to contain Yarntini, so I can pass on that one. And here's another shocker--I didn't buy anything from Posh the past two weeks. No her yarn still rocks, but I'm trying to control myself. Wish me luck for this week!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I done something bad

It's not bad really. Just something I could have done without. I ordered ten skeins of yarn from Claudia.

Now the Loopy Ewe will be loading a bunch of her yarn in this week's sneak up, but being the impatient control freak that I am, I decided to order direct and get exactly what I want.

Here's the status of my modified Inside-Out sock:

Just about ready to turn the heel. I've decided that the inside-out will not be the perfect sock for me. I did the toe in size 00 and changed to size 0 for the instep. Knitting on that small of a needle is not my idea of perfection. I'll certainly finish the pair, but I'll be making some major changes on the next pair. Don't you just love the striping though?

In morning glory wrap news, I've cast on the second half. I'm not very comfortable having unfished stuff lying around. I hope to finish by the middle of next week.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Halfway Mark

I finished the first half of morning glory yesterday. The instructions say that if you want to add length, then knit an extra four repeats. I added only one, and I think it will be a perfect length with a light blocking.
I'm taking a break before starting the second half. I cast on a sock in BMFA "henpecked". I love the way this yarn is striping. I'm making up my own pattern, with the inside out sock pattern as a base. I want to come up with a basic rib pattern I can use for STR mediumweight--which I've got about 25 skeins of. Because of the heavy color variation, I prefer a straight rib pattern to show off the colors better.
The new Knitpicks catalog came yesterday, and I immediately ordered these. I *love* knitting socks on metal dp's. So slippery.

I'll have photos of the new sock in the next post.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Boy, what a difference a day makes in the morning glory wrap! I'm on the second repeat of the body section, and it's looking SO much better!

I think it's plenty loose, and because it's 100% silk, it will have gorgeous drape, no matter how tight the knit. Phew! I'm really enjoying this pattern. I think I'll be making it longer than the pattern calls for, since the silk won't stretch much during blocking. Lucky I bought those two extra skeins! I think I will take a break in between the two halves, just so I don't get too tired of the pattern. After knitting socks for so long, it's hard to knit the same thing for more than a week.
A pink posh package arrived yesterday. In it were two skeins of Emily sock yarn. Sermon:

and Gloomy:

The colors are actually much deeper than these pictures show.
Thanks to the lovely Dee and Mr. P., I've got (or will be getting) the rest of the yarn required for Christmas gifts. It's nice to have those things nailed down.
Since Wimbledon ended, I've been watching this while knitting. I should have signed up for the knitalong. This will take me to the end of the month, and the dreaded "vacation". Hey, Sermon and Gloomy would be perfect company for me!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Is perfection too much to ask?

So I started the morning glory wrap on saturday. I was trying to pay attention to the pattern instructions, and I wasn't really watching what was being knit. I had a feeling that something was wrong. The pattern called for a size 9 needle, but I used an 8 because I didn't have any size 9's long enough. It was knitting up very, very loose. So loose that the border looked like a tangled mess of yarn, not stitches. But I did what I usually do when things like this happen. I ignored it, hoping that it would fix itself when I wasn't looking.

By the time I did two repeats of the purse stitch, I faced reality and ripped it. I started again on size six needles. It looks significantly better, and significantly narrower. The narrowness I can accept. The "supposed to be a wrap but now it's a scarf" was for my mom, and I think she's more of a scarf person than a wrap person.

So here we have it:

I like the definition on the border. But it's still not what I expected. I'm going to keep going until I get to the main body pattern before I make the final decision.

I bought 5 skeins from Posh yesterday. 2 skeins of Louche, a very rich navy blue, Ormulu, an unusual goldish brown, Savoir-Faire, a lovely heathered green-brown, and Bergamot, because I love Earl Gray. That's 5 skeins of sock yarn--one of the Louche will be a Christmas gift, I think.

And thank goodness someone else bought Zeitgeist.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

All fired up

I finished the blue-grape hyacinth socks. See what I mean about the toe?

If I ever knit them again, I'll make the loops shorter, so they end perfectly. They also came out on the loose side. I used size 2 needle--I could probably drop it down to a 1 1/2, or a size 1 even, at least on the foot.

I cast on the morning glory wrap. Let me tell you, after knitting socks for over a month with size 1 and 2, using a size 8 is like knitting with a crayon. It's very very weird. I'm only 4 rows in, but I haven't made a mistake yet, so I'm pretty pleased. This wrap is knit in two halves, and then grafted together. Perhaps I'll take a break in between halves and fit in a pair of socks. I'd like to have the wrap finished before I leave on our "vacation" on 8/2.

Here's a weird story about bad yarn karma: Yesterday, Dee put up the Posh Yarn Preview. I'm scrolling through all of the lovelies, and I find a sock yarn called "Zeitgeist". That word tops my list of hated words. For the only reason that for many years, I listened to a talk show on my local NPR station called "The Connection". I hated the host. I thought he was an arrogant little sot. He liked to say zeitgeist at least every other day. Now he always used it correctly, but what kind of a person works that word into conversation so frequently? He was dismissed about 2 years ago and immediately picked up by a different NPR station, and frankly, I hadn't thought of him since then.

So I wrote to Dee and told her that I would have to buy that yarn because I hated the name so much. We had a good laugh.

A few hours later, while reading the paper at lunchtime, I find the the obituary of Mr. Zeitgeist's wife.

I don't think I should buy the yarn.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Planning Ahead

We'll be going on "vacation" the first weekend in August. To South Jersey, which is 6 hours each way. Plus three days with the in-laws. I'll need to bring two projects that are simple and mindless. One will be the Chevron Scarf. Yes, I probably am the last one to knit that pattern. And I should bring something else too in case there's a problem with the Chevron. Plus a pair of socks just in case. I'm drawing a blank on what the second project should be.

This morning I sat down with Victorian Lace Today and mapped out two projects. One will be "A curved shawl with diamond edging" knit in Sundara Silk Lace (the midnight that I just bought). That will be a Christmas gift for my Sister-In-Law. The other will be "A handsome triangle" knit in Posh's Eva 2-ply lace in color "Genie". That will be for me. And my mother visited today, and went straight for the Posh DK silk in "regal". I had been eyeing Anne's Morning Glory Wrap pattern for a while, and I had just matched the regal to the pattern. I guess that will be mom's Christmas gift.

It's pretty satisfying to have 2 major projects identified. Now I just have to start knitting them! And finish them by December!

I finished the first blue-grape hyacinth sock this morning. I like it a lot except for the end of the pattern at the toe. It will be clear in the finished photo. I followed the directions, but it just looks odd to me. And now I'm drawing a blank on what to start next. Maybe the Morning Glory, if I dare. Do I need a break from socks? Not necessarily, but I think I'd feel better to get a start on the Christmas presents early.

Here is my big Posh package which arrived yesterday:

On the left is one skein of Lucia sock yarn in "Artful". Dee sent this to me as a thank you for doing a wee favor for her. Dee is very sweet! Lovely color on that one. On the bottom are the 4 skeins of regal previously mentioned. On top of regal are three skeins of Silk DK in "Cherub". Not sure what I'll do with those. And on top are two skeins of Eva two-ply sock in "peacock". I thought this color was darker than it actually was. I was going to make socks for the SIL, but it doesn't quite match the other yarn. Oh dear! Guess I'll have to keep those for myself too! He-he.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Goodbye Solstice Slip

I finished them early yesterday morning, and it was so cool that I wore them all day. I'm fairly ambivalent about them. I feel like I should like them more than I actually do. They certainly fit very well. I don't at all like the short row heel. To me it seems a little unsophisticated for the rest of the pattern. Here's how much yarn I had left:

2 grams. That's the closest I've ever come to running out of yarn. The pattern instructs you to knit the leg to 5 inches, but because I knit them toe up, I could calculate exactly how long to make each leg. Although I'll admit I thought I would have a little more left over.

And so I cast on for the blue-grape hyacinth socks. These may be a problem, as they look pretty tight. And I'm knitting them on US 2's as instructed to loosen them a little. I'll be sweating a bit until I turn the heel and try them on. It's an interesting pattern.

Yesterday I bought only two skeins at the Posh update. I really held myself back. But these two are definitely beauties. I haven't received last week's shipment yet, and I have to keep going back into my email records to remind myself of exactly what I bought. That's probably not a very good sign, is it?

I'll need to do some planning of upcoming projects shortly. More on that in my next posts.
p.s. Da Man (aka the IT Department) has done some fiddling over there to the right. It looks a lot better now.