Monday, October 20, 2008
This stole is knit in two halves, with a provisional cast-on in the first half. Once you finish the first half you unzip the cast on, slip the stitches on to the needle, and begin the second half. It's a great design, but I was kind of miffed as I started the second half. I felt like I had already finished the pattern--and now I have to do it again.
I have no explanation why I had such a negative reaction to the second half of that stole. I knit pairs of socks all the time without resenting the second sock. I often feel that the first sock is a bit of a practice knit, and I can perfect it with the second sock. I'll have to keep this in mind when choosing future patterns.
Another project halfway done is this pair of Mitts:
The pattern is Monica Jines' Fingerless Lace Mitts, and you can buy it here at The Loopy Ewe. The yarn is special--numma-numma's Toastyboo in colorway Elvis. The base yarn has been discontinued, and this skein was a one of a kind, gifted to me by Allen. I was thrilled to receive this yarn, and now I'm more than pleased that I turned it into something so pretty. This is one of my proudest pieces. You can buy Allen's yarn here and here.
Next up is a pair of socks, and a recycled sweater!
Book #41 Mediterranean Summer
Book #42 Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper
Ravelry Stash Count: 88
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
A prize is on it's way to me--I'm so darn excited!
Next post will include finished photos of Calvert--hurrah!
Book #38 Left Bank
Ravelry Stash Count 60
Monday, September 15, 2008
Monday, September 08, 2008
Nothing exciting, just your basic top-down knit in Cascade Eco Wool. Not a very pleasant yarn to knit, but it did soften quite a bit after soaking.
Also finished are my May Woolly Woolgirl Sock Club Kit--Froggin Socks:
That's some crazy yarn!
My next sock project is a pair of self striping socks from Sknitches:
The Colorway is Juicy, and the pattern is Nancy Bush's Oak Ribbed Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks. This is my first pair of self striping socks, and I think these will be one of my most favorite pairs.
Before I start the last Christmas gift, I'm knitting a sweater of my own. Calvert by Nora Gaughan.
Not much to see here, I know. I've got another 8 inches of stockinette to knit in this back panel before it gets interesting.
Hopefully that will be done by my next post.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Firstly, and most importantly, there is no reason you should torture yourself with your knitting. Knitting is a hobby and a love, and there is no reason it should fill you with bad feelings. I realized that when writing the last post, and I made the changes.
So the rest of what I've learned will go towards avoiding that problem in the future. An opportunity has presented itself for a baby blanket this fall. I was thinking that a mitred square blanket would solve all of my previous problems. The pattern is simple, yes, but the squares are small blocks that can be accomplished quickly. I'll be using 4 colors to stripe, which means a number of color changes will keep it interesting. I wonder if this will work?
I did eventually finish the blanket, with plenty of time to spare. It's still waiting to be blocked. I also started a sock for the afternoon project. It's one of my Woolgirl sock club shipments:
Crazy colors huh? I'm trying to complete, or, at the very least, attempt each one of my sock club shipments. Otherwise I will feel they were a complete waste. This one isn't one of my favorites, but it's sport weight, and is going fast.
Also on the needles is a new morning knit:
This is Da Man's Christmas gift. A simple top-down pullover in Cascade Ecowool. This sweater is going fast--I'm just a couple of rows away from dividing for the sleeves. I hope to have this done in another week.
On a completely different note, those of you who follow the sock yarn craze may know that there was a humongous "Wangdoodle" as Sheri calls it, over Wollmeise. I've pulled my Wollmeise stash off Ravelry. Call it preventative medicine, but I'd rather not be flashing my stash right now. If you've been following the Ravelry boards, you know what I mean.
Book #34 A Friend of the Family
Book #35 Dream When You're Feeling Blue
Ravelry Stash Count: 60
Monday, August 18, 2008
I'm beyond bored with this blanket. I've been knitting about 25g per day, and I have 3 50g skeins left. I'm not going to make it.
1. Yarn. Please do not think, dear reader, that I am dissing acrylic. Acrylic has it's place in this world, just not in my hands. This yarn even smells bad.
2. Pattern. I memorized the 24 line repeat on the first day. I've knit 11 pattern repeats so far. I know how this story will end.
3. Color. There is only one, and I don't particularly care for it.
Add these three together, and what do you get? Despair.
I will finish this blanket, I assure you. I'll even finish it before closing ceremonies on Sunday. But I just can't continue at the current rate.
What's my solution?
A. Make it smaller than my original plan. What I was going to do was knit until I ran out of yarn. Uh uh. I will finish the 25g left in my current skein, and knit another skein, that's it. That will give me a blanket approximately 25 inches wide by 30 inches long.
B. Knit it only in the morning. Leaving the afternoon for a more interesting project. At the very least, it will be a different project. I've used this tactic before, and it works. Sure it takes longer, but at least I have something to look forward to at noon.
It's 11:42 right now, and I just can't wait!
Book # 32: The Food Life: Inside the World of Food with the Grocer Extrodanaire of Fairway
Book # 33: Posh
Ravelry Stash Count: 118
Friday, August 08, 2008
These are Gentleman's Half Hose, a pattern by Nancy Bush. The yarn is numma numma's toastytoo, which is a BFL. Love this yarn. Great yardage too at 400 yards per skein. The color is pumpkin butter.
I finished these socks at about 3:30, just 4 hours before I cast on my olympic knit:
This will be Debbie Bliss' Cable Blanket knit in Berroco Comfort DK. I'm making the blanket slightly larger than the directions call for, and with just 8 skeins of yarn, I'm pretty sure this will be an easy knit to finish before the closing ceremonies.
Book #31 The Cost **This is the best book I've read in 2008
Ravelry Stash Count 118
Friday, August 01, 2008
Since returning from vacation, I've been knitting Christmas gifts. I fell behind last year, to the point that I really started to resent the people I was knitting for--and that's not good. I'm not done yet, but here's what I've accomplished so far:
That's a Toasty Hot Waffle set in numma numma's Texas Toasty Blue Corn Masa. This yarn is currently only available on numma numma's etsy shop. Honestly, it's the best dk weight yarn I've knit with. I absolutely love it. The pattern is by Knitspot, another one of my favorites.
And here's the same set in Dulce de Leche:
I think I like this color even better.
After that I did a hat in Shibui sockweight:
I'm not a big fan of this yarn. In fact, I just sold off whatever was left in my stash. But the wonderful thing about yarn is that there is someone out there who will love it more than I will. It's off to its new home.
That's it for the Christmas gifts so far, and admittedly, it doesn't look like much. I do have 2 big gifts left: A sweater (simple top-down stockinette), and a shawl for my mom. Those two will take me at least a month to complete. I'll be starting the shawl right after the Olympics end.
While I was on vacation I finished a pair of Monkeys in another of numma numma's yarns:
The yarn is called Toasty, and the colorway is "Fluffernutter and Jam". Doesn't it look just like the sammich? You can buy Toasty over at The Loopy Ewe or on the etsy shop. I love these socks.
On my needles now is a pair of Spring Forward socks from Knitty.
These socks are all the rage now, just like monkeys once were. Actually monkeys are still raging. The yarn is called Sidhe from Spritely Goods. I bought this at The Loopy Ewe--there's plenty left in stock so go take a peek). I liked the yarn so much that I went and bought more directly from Stephanie. She has some great colorways, and if you like a fatter sock yarn, the base is great. I'll be finishing these socks today or tomorrow, and then I'll have to find a quickie to finish before my Olympic knit project starts in just 5 days.
What else have I been up to? Oh, buying some Wollmeise. Claudia has returned to dying after her knee injury, and her fans couldn't be happier. I think I've bought 15-20 skeins this month.
I've also just listed a lot of yarn on ebay. I have stuck to my resolution of not using cash to buy yarn this year. But this summer my paypal balance has dipped below my comfort level, and it was time to face reality. I had a ton of yarn that didn't delight me, and it was time to let it go.
Book #23 Virgile's Vineyard
Book #24 Sixpence House
Book #25 The Olive Grove: Travels in Greece
Book #26 A Good Yarn
Book #27 The Shop On Blossom Street
Book #28 Jaywalking with the Irish
Book #29 The Beach House
Book #30 Turning the Tables
Ravelry Stash Count: 113
Monday, June 30, 2008
Monday, June 02, 2008
A couple of years ago, I encountered a problem.
Something was eating it. I thought it was a one-time deal. The sprigs would grow back, and then bam, down to stumps again. So last year I tried this:
I thought by raising the plants up in a pot, they would be too tall for whatever was eating it. Well, you can see that that didn't work so well either. And that irritates me to know end, because why pay $5 a week for a bunch of parsley at the farm stand when it's so easy (on paper) to grow it yourself.
After school today I was outside watering the plants, and we saw this:
That's a groundhog. He's just a baby, and we saw Mom and his two brothers/sisters but they ran away. This guy hung around to watch us. And he didn't mind at all when I crept up to take a photo of him.
Do you think if I gave him his own plant, he'd leave mine alone?
Book #20 A Month of Sundays
Book # 21 Tuscan Echoes: A Season in Italy
Ravelry Stash Count: 101
Sunday, May 18, 2008
It was an interesting pattern, but the heel construction was something I had never seen before. By the time I had finished turning the heel, I realized I had made a major mistake. It wasn't critical to the sock design, but I realized I wouldn't be able to finish the sock as is. So I ripped it back to the beginning of the heel, assuming I could just correct my mistake and move on. I couldn't, due to some essential place markers that I had ignored. So I ripped the entire sock out.
On any other day I'd probably ball up the yarn, toss it in a closet, and try my best to forget about it. But I persevered, following the directions exactly as written (and they were written rather well--I just wasn't paying attention) and lo and behold, the first sock was finished, and it fit well. The second one went much faster, having learned from my mistakes. But I really don't care for them much. While the heel is very interesting, I think it detracts too much from the main sock pattern. I'll be gifting these to my SIL for Christmas.
Before the Leaflings I finished Anne Hanson's Pavé Socks. Truth be told, I wasn't in love with these while I knit them. But once I tried on the first finished sock, I was in love! What a perfect fit, and I do love the variation in the yarn--perfect for this pattern.
Book # 18 14 Karat Kids
Book # 19 The Fourth Star: Dispatches from inside Daniel Boluud's Celebrated New York Restaurant
Ravelry Stash Count: 93
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
1. I enjoy baking my own bread. I'm fiddling with whole wheat recipes. It's so much more satisfying when you can bake something simple that tastes so much better (and costs significantly less) than store bought.
2. Pavé socks--my new favorites. Who knew? It took me three tries to get these socks going, but it turns out that they are the best fitting socks I've ever knit. Thanks Anne!
3. The Spring Fling. Wow. Looks like I missed a good time. I'll try to go next year.
4. Sheepshearing Festival at Gore Place. That's right--a fiber festival in my own back yard!
There was a sheephearding demonstration by some phenomenal border collies:
I got uncomfortable when I saw how the guys manhandled the sheep. Here he's showing how he flips one. First he twists its head (Now that's gotta hurt) and has him sit on its rump.
Then we watched a shearing demonstration. I was a little amused that they called it a Sheepshearing Festival. I don't think more than a dozen sheep were shorn in the six hours it was open.
There were other animals such as miniature horses, and these llamas:
And there was yarn!
There was a "fiber tent" but it had only two exhibitors. An LYS which brought a strange assortment of yarn like Noro and Ranco, single magazine issues, books, etc. Nothing too interesting or unusual.
Bartlett Yarns from Maine was the other vendor. They had a huge assortment of their wool on cones, ready to sind it up into any yardage you wanted. There was also a few racks of this:
Then there was the craft fair, which is where I found Ellen Joseph of Ellie's Reclaimed Cashmere. Ellie doesn't have a website, but if you're interested in her stuff just drop me a comment--I have her email address.
Ellie recycles old cashmere sweaters into new fibers, often plying two different fibers together to create a new yarn. See that one at the top right? I bought one of those. It's a gentle sage green heathered with white.
Here's some more.
It was a pleasure to speak with her, and I'm happy to support such a great little business.
5. I could tell you I bought some more yarn, but that wouldn't be such a surprise now, would it?
Book #17 The Handmaid and the Carpenter
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
1. I am left-handed
2. I have a Masters Degree in Library and Information Science
3. I like all nuts save for Pistachios
4. I make my own granola
5. I used to wear Prada shoes. Now I wear Birkenstocks and Crocs
6. I have marched in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
7. I am a third generation Italian-American
8. I don’t know how to pump gas
9. I’m not a pet person
10. I eat red meat
11. I vote
12. I am not allergic to any foods
13. The only foreign country I’ve been to is France
14. I played the clarinet for 12 years
15. I quit smoking on March 22, 2005 after smoking for 18 years
16. I met my husband in the personal ads of a free newspaper (he answered my ad)
17. I am afraid of the dentist
18. I don’t like most fruit, but I will eat most vegetables
19. One of my ears is slightly lower than the other, making it very difficult for me to get glasses to fit properly
20. I started watching the Young and the Restless last year, after taking a 23 year break from the show. Not much has changed.
21. I failed Biology in College
22. I am a compulsive email checker
23. I like Starbucks
24. I was once $13,000 in credit card debt. We now live debt free.
25. I am a conscientious recycler
26. I used to need 10 hours of sleep per night but now I’m fine with only 5.
27. My lips are perpetually chapped
28. I never learned Roman numerals in school
29. I am afraid of bridges and large bodies of water
30. I don’t do boats (see above)
31. I’m afraid to get on an elevator by myself
32. My parents tell me I was reading the newspaper at 4 years old but I don’t remember
33. I used to collect first edition Nancy Drew mysteries
34. I watch too much tv
35. I read every day, for at least one hour
36. I don’t like wearing hats
37. I have not worn machine-made socks in two years
38. I can wiggle my ears
39. Julia Child is one of my heroes
40. I read at least one newspaper every day
41. My favorite color is green
42. I like bad weather
43. I have a perfect driving record. Not even a parking ticket
44. I sometimes fantasize about living off the grid
45. My first computer was an Apple IIe
46. I can’t do math in my head
47. I love dark chocolate
48. I didn’t learn to parallel park until I was in my 30’s
49. I subscribe to too many magazines
50. I edited my high school yearbook
51. I took nine years of Spanish
52. I have never done an all-nighter for any reason
53. When I was 12 I broke my wrist in two places
54. I cannot sleep unless my shoulders are covered
55. I don’t enjoy seeing movies in theaters
56. I usually get out of bed before 5am
57. I am an impatient person
58. I would rather be indoors than out of doors
59. I am not a fan of Tom Cruise
60. I have lived in New England my whole life
61. I once baked 83 dozen Christmas cookies in one month
62. I listen to NPR
63. I don’t wear lipstick
64. I believe most of what people tell me
65. I despise fat free cheese
66. My husband and I placed the same order for Chinese food at the same restaurant nearly every Saturday for nearly 10 years
67. I would like to visit Japan some day
68. I read 59 books last year
69. We bought the fourth house the real estate agent showed us on our first day of looking
70. I have a cell phone but never use it
71. I attended a semifinal World Cup Match (Men’s)
72. I do not like Indian food
73. I drink my coffee with 1% milk, no sugar
74. I don’t like to speak in public
75. I don’t enjoy pedicures
76. I like predictability
77. I didn’t stop trick or treating until I was in high school
78. I can’t remember the last wedding I attended
79. My great-grandmother, Egidia Meraviglia, passed through Ellis Island in 1907. She was 16 years old.
80. I don’t like wearing open-toed shoes
81. I can’t drive a standard
82. I bring my own bags to the grocery store
83. I am terrible at remembering names
84. I love watching Top Chef
85. I am always early for appointments. Sometimes very early
86. I don’t often lose things, but when I do, it drives me mad
87. I think some of my neighbors are a little strange. I’m sure they think the same of me.
88. The smell of bananas makes me ill
89. I prefer wheat bread to white
90. My husband and I maintain separate bank accounts
91. I cannot tolerate an inefficient vacuum cleaner
92. If I had enough room in my house I would buy a loom
93. I can hold a grudge longer than I should
94. Lucille Ball still makes me laugh
95. I am a terrible photographer
96. I am successful in programming our VCR about half the time
97. I have never eaten a Krispy Kreme donut
98. I don’t like scary movies
99. My favorite season is fall
100. I have been summoned to jury duty twice in my life but I have never served.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
On my third attempt I got all the way past the heel turn before I faced reality. It won't fit. I won't try a fourth time.
So there was another Wollmeise update on Friday, but I didn't guy anything.
Really, there were quite a few colors when I stopped in, but they were mainly brights, so I passed. Since I've bought so much over the past 6 months, I've become very selective in the more recent updates.
Here is a family photo of all my wollmeise:
I've started a new project--a scarf for my mom in ToastyBoo. I made the pattern up from one of my Harmony guides. I'm only 3 inches into it so the photo will have to wait, but it's looking gorgeous.
Book # 14 London is the Best City in America
Ravelry Stash Count: 115
Monday, April 07, 2008
This is Socks that Rock Meiumweight in Backstabber. It's supposed to be Trystero. The pattern calls for STR lightweight with size 1 needles, but I used mediumweight because I thought it would be too small. Knitting mediumweight STR with size 1 needles is not fun. It makes a very dense fabric, and oy, the cables! So tight. I worked nearly to the heel flap and decided that it was just too small. Although it fit over my foot, it was quite stretched, and I was worried that it wouldn't be comfortable. Another time, another day, I may have continued. In cases like these, sometimes I just muscle through in denial. One explanation is that I just want to finish off another skein of yarn and cross it off the list so I can get to the next one. But this time I knew that if I went up a needle size I'd get a near perfect fit. So I ripped.
I started over with the larger needle and was feeling groovy. Until I finished the ribbing and was ready to start the first pattern repeat. It was then that I realized I did the ribbing wrong. Again, I considered ignoring the mistake and continuing. At this point it was late Sunday afternoon, and I really had made no knitting progress this weekend. But I stopped and ripped again. And started over. Again.
So it's Monday AM and I'm halfway through the first pattern repeat. It's looking good, and I've made no mistakes. If I have to rip this sucker again, I might just give in and start something else.
It's been 2 weeks since my last post. We've had two birthdays in the house, a number of parties, and far too much cake. Things will quiet down this week, except that My Favorite People are arriving this weekend.
So what have I done in two weeks?
This is the color Velichen. I haven't seen this colorway in any of the recent updates--I wonder if it's been retired. The pattern is Charlene Schurch's Grapevine. It's very subtle, and I like the way it works with the color, even though it doesn't really look like the pattern photo in the book.
And here we have some Monkeys in numma numma ToastyBoo, color Rhubarb. This yarn base has been discontinued, but will soon be replaced by something even better. These socks are a gift for my Mom for Mothers' Day, and are my first knitted gift of 2008.
Monday, March 24, 2008
So when I pulled out my Pigenroof Studios Superwash Sport in Plum Tortie, I found myself in a bit of a predicament. The speckled yarn definitely wanted something simple. A plain rib would be too simple, I thought.
I finally settled on Lace Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks. And this is what they look like finished.
I don't like the pattern. It does nothing for the yarn. But you know what looks great? The soles knit in stockinette. Yep, I learned a lesson here. Ain't nothing wrong with plain old stockinette.
Book #10 What Do You Do All Day?
Book #11 White House Nannies
Ravelry Stash Count: 113
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Stunning, isn't it? From left to right, Versuchskaninchen 2 (light), Paul (dark), Vincent (dark), and Johannisbeer und Brennessel (light and medium). This is all 100% superwash merino. They are all gorgeous, but my favorite is the farthest right.
Also on Wednesday, Sheri loaded the Wollmeise sneakup. There were many people who stayed up all night on tuesday waiting for it. At around 8am, I parked myself at the computer, set the Loopy Ewe's "What's New" page on autorefresh every 30 seconds, and vowed to wait it out. It happened at around 10:30. When I saw the new colors pop up my heart started to pound. I just threw stuff in my cart and checked out as fast as I could. Then I came back and tried for more, but they disappeared from my cart before I could checkout. Which is fine, because this is what I ended up with:
Yeah, that's six skeins. From left to right is Lowenzahn, Farn, Suzanne, am kalten Polar, Paul, and Emil. All are 80/20 and medium.
There were a lot of people who were shut out of this sneakup. I can't claim any advantage, other than being at the computer at the right time. The autorefresh was helpful, but not crucial. It sold out in 5 minutes, so if you faltered at all, you lost. I just got lucky. Twice.
So that brings my Wollmeise stash to ginormous proportions, and I think I'll take a break from it for a while.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
On the left is Briar Rose Grandma's Blessing. I bought this for a pair of Pave socks. That anne is such an enabler--she mentioned on her blog that if you mention codeword "knitspot" while placing an order at Briar Rose, you'll get a 10% discount. It's impossible for me to pass up a discount on yarn, so there I fell. That discount is good until March 22, so hop on over and get some yourself. The colorway I purchased (9005) seems to be very similar to the one anne used.
In the middle is Union Center Knits Whatnot sport sock in colorways Daphne and Myth. I bought those from Woolgirl. At the end is another Whatnot sport in "The cold" that I got from a Ravelry swap.
I've got no explanation as to why I bought the colors I did, but it does make me think a bit about my recent moods.
Still on its way to me is my Wollmeise order from Germany. I'm hoping it will be delivered today. Others on the east coast have been receiving theirs, and I'm trying to be patient. And another box from the Loopy Ewe--I fell down again on monday and bought a couple of skeins, plus a few christmas gift accessories.
And speaking of Wollmeise and the Loopy Ewe, there's a few hundred Ravelers who have been burning the midnight oil, waiting for the Wollmeise sneakup. It's supposed to happen before tomorrow, and just my luck, it will show up as soon as I step out the door to pick up HRH.
More yarn coming!
Saturday, March 08, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
These are my new favorite socks. I love the pattern (Stansfield 196 from More Sensational Knitted Socks).
The Yarn is BMFA Socks that Rock Mediumweight, in Ms Larock.
And here we have the latest sock disaster:
This is the Nutkin pattern, knit in Wollmeise 100% superwash in colorway Velichen. It's a stunning sock, but it DOESN'T FIT! WAH! I even added 8 stitches to the original pattern because I knew it would be on the small size, but nuts to Nutkin. It just didn't work.
I'm going to take a break from socks for a bit. I joined the Dream In Color Classy KAL over at the Loopy Ewe. I had the yarn already, and I'll be making a simple top-down tunic. It doesn't look like much right now, so I'll save photos for the next post.
And I have a baby gift to make by the end of March. I have the books and yarn on order, and I'll have to start those items as soon as the yarn gets here, which hopefully will be next week.Book #7 The Senator's Wife
Book #8 Service Included
Ravelry Stash Count: 95