Monday, December 29, 2008

Bad knitter, no cookie.

Please, no more cookies. I can't stop eating cookies.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, we sure did.

I've had so much to say for so long, that I no longer know what to say. So, I'll start with a picture of my pretty new mittens.

I'm completely smitten, not enough to give up on my Anemoi, but I'm trying to give them equal time. I've wanted to knit these mitts since I first saw them on Jared's blog. I bought my first Vogue Knitting magazine, and found the right yarn in the right colour at the Knitter's Fair in September. It was the yarn called for in the pattern actually. It was so thin, so fine, I was having doubts that these mittens would be warm. But they are, they have been freezing cold hockey arena tested and I had warm hands.

The charts looked intimidating at first glance but it really wasn't all that bad. Not to say that I didn't have to concentrate on them, because I did. But the cables are just so pretty and I love the little one on the thumbs (even if I did mess one of them up at the start).

I had to start and restart a few times to get the correct tension and ended up with needles much smaller than recommended. All in all, I give the Green (Brown) Autumn Mittens/Druid Mittens two thumbs up!

The cuffs are pretty cool too!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Five for five

After 5 RSC packages, I have maintained my goal and I have knit all five kits thus far. The final package was shipped on Monday and I hope to have it by the end of the week.

But, again I am negligent in the blogging of the completed item. The September RSC package was lightweight STR in the Tide Pooling colourway. I love this colour, love it. It's totally me.
Both in the skein

And in the cake.

I cast-on for these as soon as I finished Vintage, they were waiting for me, my reward. Yes, every fourth row was fiddley, but I cabled each and every stich without a cable needles and soon got a pretty good rhythm going. I don't think I'll cable more than one stitch cables without a cable needle but I think it was definitly a time saver on this project. The first sock worked up pretty quickly.

I really love the almost randomness of the colour on the legs, not the typical striping I get with STR. Loved it so much in fact, that I didn't want to rip it out and go down from a 2.5mm to a 2.25 mm needle on the leg for a little bit more negative ease.

I did switch to the smaller needle for the foot though and got the same wonderful little stripes and, the correct gauge.

And there we go. I would have to say the 5th RSC kit is a hit, I like the socks a lot. I'm going to wear them tomorrow in fact. Look at the colours, they're just so pretty!

Cloning Anemome Rib, and that's my shoe, not my third foot

I almost forgot about these. I think she liked the socks.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pass the wine please

I did it. It took months and months (including some loooooong breaks), but the Vintage Socks are FINISHED. They were gifted to my MIL along with a bottle of wine that SIL bought, since I never really gave her a chance to knit any of the socks. Sorry Jen.

I learned a new toe-up cast on (Turkish) and how to inlay a tiny little leaf into the toe of a sock.

There was a short row heel, with inverted wine glass detail that I knit 5 times. Once because the whole foot was too short, twice because it was just plain wrong, and the two correct times.

I also learned the valuable skill of embossed grape knitting. The inc4 was a major pain, but the grapes are pretty cool. I also made a lot of leaves, plus one. They were fun, I kept having little contests with myself to see if I could knit them faster. I couldn't. But they were fun.

Overall, I can't really say I enjoyed knitting these socks. From the splitty yarn to the errors in the pattern (written vs chart) to the integrated I-cord bind off that took FOR.EVER. But, they look great and she loves them.

I took some pictures of the socks on her feet with my SIL's little camera, but have forgotten to remind her to email to me. And now that I think about it, I don't think I took a picture of that damn heel from the back. So, here are Halloween pumpkins instead.

Now, I'm working on Green (brown) autumn mittens, Cloning Anenome Rib socks, and a Moderne Baby blanket. I hope to have the socks done by the end of the week, the first went pretty quickly. But this weekend, is for the blanket.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bandwagon jumping

I not much of a bandwagon jumper. I don't necessarily HAVE to knit what everybody else is knitting, in fact, I would rather not knit what everyone else is knitting. Even though the chances of meeting up with someone wearing the same hand-knit as me in my regular life is pretty slim. But, if I see a pattern that I like, the fact that 2398 other people are knitting it is not a deal breaker.

This was the case with the February Lady Sweater. I was feeling the need to knit a sweater, still am actually, and this fit the bill. It wasn't going to be too heavy and was going to be relatively quick. Especially if you are trying to avoid a certain pair of socks with grape leaves on them.

The pattern was very well written, I had downloaded my copy after the discovery of the giant error, and seems to be error free. I followed the link in the pattern to do the buttonholes, which I worked over 3 stiches.

I seem to have more rows after the eyelet increases that most, I probably *should* have frogged back to the raglan increases at that point and done more, sort of a s/med hybrid, but I didn't want to have too much ease in the sweater and left it as is. The lace pattern is a simple 4 row repeat over 7 stitches and goes very quickly.

I really like this sweater. I used Dream in Colour Classy in the Happy Forest colourway (I am well situated on this band wagon) and I love it. It's green, it's happy, and Classy is amazing. I have read about growing issues with this yarn so I swatched (yay me) and washed (yay me again!) the swatch the way I will wash my sweater, which is not in the machine. The swatch grew a tiny bit, enough that my tension was now correct on the 4.5 mm needles (it was off before washing). I did make the sweater I little bit shorter to account for the weight pulling it down when I wear it, and it did grow a little after a soak and a spin. Just enough actually.

I'd show you a picture of me wearing it, but they are out of focus and I have issues with showing projects using out of focus pictures. I tried to use the tripod and the timer and got lovely sharp photos of the fence behind me. The 4 year old isn't allowed to use my Nikon, so, all you get are on the deck pictures. Sorry. Now, I need to be done with green for awhile in the recent past, 2 green socks, 2 green sweaters, one green vest, one green shawl. I think that's enough green for one year, time to climb out of that box.

February Lady Sweater, by Pamela Wynne. Based on February Baby Sweater by Elisabeth Zimmermann
Dream in Color Classy, Happy Forest. About 3.75 skeins
4.5 mm Addi Turbos, with a 5mm for the cast-offs

Dinner at the IL's in 8 days, will Vintage be finished?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Hats for Boys

Late last winter the big boy (8), asked me for "a hat with flappy things hanging down". I promised him I would find a pattern and knit him one.

Well, I found such a pattern, by one of my favourite bloggers tiennie knits. It's the Norwegian Star earflap hat, and he absolutely loves it.

It's knit with Cascade 220 in two shades of blue, on 4.5mm needles. The pattern is great, well written with both a childs size and adult size. It knits up very quickly too. I used just under 1/2 of the skein of Navy for this hat and because big brother had such a cool hat, Small Boy (almost 5) wanted one too. I used a 4.0mm needle for his hat, just to make it bit smaller. Worked perfectly. He is equally enamoured with his new lid. Now trying to decide if The Girl needs one too.

Mommy, I'm tired of standing here!

These hats conclude my sad participation in Project Spectrum, and I'm not quite sure how Socktoberfest is going to go since there is still a sleeve left on the September (now also October) Lady sweater. Then, I HAVE TO finished the Vintage socks. Have. to.

And RSC package arrived last week too...stop now if you don't want to see it. Love love love.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

That Little Scarf

Back in April I purchased 2 skeins of Blue Sky Alpaca Alpaca Silk in a lovely charcoaly-blue colour. I don't know the name exactly (or number if that is the way it's done) because somehow, from me taking from the shelf to the counter and home, the tag was lost. This has caused me some grief because I have an oddly difficult time ridding myself of ball bands. Usually I can part with all but one when a project is finished, but we'll get into that pathology another time.

The intent for this yarn was the first Little Nothing from the oh so talented Anne Hanson of Knitspot called That Little Scarf

A few days before I finished Icarus, I cast on for My Little Scarf. I was pleasantly surprised how quickly it knit up, with it having patterning on both RS and WS rows. I never memorized the 12 row pattern, every row is different, and I never tired of knitting it.

It was even pretty before being blocked.

I did block it though, why work that hard on a pretty lace scarf just to leave it all scrunched up? It blocked out to about 39 in, by 8.5 in.

The pattern calls for 10 repeats of the 24 row chart, I had enough yarn to do 11.

This was my first Anne Hanson project, but it won't be my last! It was very well written, with a wonderful chart.

Pattern: That Little Scarf, by Anne Hanson
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpaca, Alpaca Silk
Needles: 4mm Addi Turbo

Friday, September 19, 2008

Is it stash?

"They" say sock yarn doesn't count as stash, so maybe I haven't enhance my stash. I'm not much of a stasher, I can't look at a pattern and think 'Ooooo I have the perfect yarn for that!' because I don't. I have in the last year and a half developed a good little pile of sock yarn. Sock yarn is fun and can be used for more than socks. Speaking of socks, I'm still working on the Vintage sock with the goal of October 25, that's the next family gathering with the IL's and a good time to present MIL with the socks. Hopefully I can figure out the leaf attachment instructions well before then.

I had my BMFA coupon burning a hole in my pocket, and I placed an order just before the new seasonal colours went up (otherwise I would have probably bought A LOT more) and purchased three colours from my I Want! list.

Faulty Dyer


and Mochaberry (Love.)

Those are going in the box, someday, I will knit them. I promise.

This past Saturday was the KW Knitters fair, bigger and better with over 70 vendors. It was really nice, they had 2 rooms so the aisles were nice and big with lots of room to move around. Much squishing, squeezing and petting of yarn was done and a little bit of purchasing. My main objective was finding the perfect red in the right fibre for a scarf for my (non-knitting) SIL for her 40th birthday in January. I was hoping for something really luxurious, like a cashmere/silk or something, but the right red was very important too. We found the perfect colour in a baby alpaca laceweight, so I bought it.

Alpaca laceweight

I'm pretty sure I'm going to knit Fiddlehead by Anne Hanson with it.

There was also a purchase of some Jamieson Shetland Spindrift to make Brooklyn Tweed's Druid Mittens from the Fall issue of Vogue Knitting.

Jamieson Shetland Spindrift

At the Purple Purl booth they had some Malabrigo Sock. The colours were amazing, Jen and I kept pulling out different skeins of the same colourway to show each other at the same time. It was very funny. We ended up buying the same colour too.


And, a few weeks ago (yikes, I need to stop) I bought some Cascade 220 to make Norwegian Star Earflap hats for my boys. Thanks Tiennie!

What am I actually knitting instead of just planning to knit? I'm working on a February Lady sweater in Dream and Colour Classy, Happy Forest and I have a That little scarf blocking downstairs that I finished last night. My RSC shipment should potentially come next week, so I'm not starting any socks right now.

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The sun came out today

With the sun shining again today, Icarus came out for a little photo shoot. I'm so happy with it.

I think I did pretty well for my first lace with skinny, slippery silk. The feathers are so pretty. And, it's so beautifully light and sheer.

And look at the colour (Gooseberries), and the sheen of the silk. Sundara, I thank you.

I think it just might look good on too.

Pattern: Icaraus by Miriam Felton, knit as written and had 16g of silk left
Yarn: Sundara Silk Lace, Gooseberries. Received in a Seasons I mix up, but I loved it and kept it instead of trading it for my Autumn.
Needles: 3.25 Knit Picks circular

I really enjoyed knitting this and it wasn't a difficult as I had made it out in my mind. I never used a life line, and fortunatley, didn't need one as there was no frogging, just the occasional tink here and there. I used one split ring as the shawl got bigger so I new when I was getting to the centre line and just kept moving it up periodically.

Next: Between my Blue Moon coupon burning a hole in my pocket and the KW Knitters Fair, there has been a little bit of yarn added to the house. Just a little.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A finishing flurry

I've been finishing things. Aren't you proud?

Last week it was the Aleita Shell from Interweave Knits Spring 2008. This was a spur of the momment knit, Jer says "Let's go to the yarn store for your birthday!" so I quickly find a project that isn't going to require too much yarn, nor too little yarn. Plus, we were going on vacation and it was going to be good vacation knitting. And it was, then we got home and I stopped working on it.

I decided Aleita needed to be finished, so I did. It's very quick and simple, with minimal finishing. Fits well, and should look good over a collared blouse.

KW Knitters Fair this weekend! YAY! And I'll have company/enablers this year, Mom and SIL are coming too! I might just deserve something special, since I've also finished this.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Just do it

I've been meaning to do the post for, oh, more than a week now. Sometimes you just have to do it. I'm a terrible procrastinator you see.

I watched a lot of Olympics, I know, I know, everybody does. I just love it, I laugh, I cry, I yell at the TV. I remember the two Olympics that I had tiny new babies and it gave me something to watch on TV at 3am when I was up with them (one of those tiny babies will be 8 on Saturday). I decided that my Olympics project would be my Gumdrop socks from the July RSC package. So I started with this.

Goody Goody, lightweight

Wound it up, and had it ready and waiting. I cast-on while watching the opening ceremonies and it was the only thing I knit for 10 whole days (well technically there was something else but we'll get to that later). Before too long I had this

Sock One

At this point, I was very worried about running out of yarn even though my scale said I would be fine. I'm normally worried about running out of yarn, but I was REALLY worried this time. You see, I added length to the leg AND I did a flap heel instead of the short row garter heel. Short row heels just don't fit me right, as much as I would like it if they would.

Heel flap

And because I didn't do the garter heel, I didn't do the garter toe either. Not that that had anything to do with my yarn shortage paranoia. So I dove into sock 2 with what seemed like a too small ball of yarn (pretty yarn too), and you know what? The scale was right and I had plenty. I knit the small size and it fits fine, I might like a few more stitches on the foot to lessen the negative ease a little but they are by no means to tight.

Lessons learned?
1. Trust the scale
2. When you are only knitting one project at time, you can finish it pretty quickly
3. I have no discipline when it comes to Olympic watching and my bedtime.

Finished Socks

Pattern: Gumdrops by JC Briar for Blue Moon Fiber Arts
Yarn: Socks that Rock Lightweight, Goody Goody, the July 2008 Club colourway
Needles: 2.25mm knitpicks circluar, magic loop
Based on the colour, I like these socks a whole lot more than I though I would. The pattern was great but even though I said I would knit all the club socks as written, I just couldn't do it this time.

Oh, and that other project, ballband dishcloths while I watch kids swim in the pool.