Saturday, December 30, 2006

"um, what's a cowl?"

that's the reaction i seem to be getting from most people when i mention that i'm making a cowl. all the same, i am loving this project, even if no one knows what it is i'm making! this is mindless k1p1 knitting, which is just what i need at the moment. still, it's not going that fast. i'm about five inches into it, with about eight inches left to go. this is cashmere, and i'm knitting it up on my denise needles, so the cashmere mixed with the plastic makes for very slippery knitting, which has slowed me down somewhat. the fabric that is created is really stretchy and slinky. i know i'm am going to looooove wearing this when it's done! even if i didn't know how to make one of these, it's exactly the kind of thing i would choose to wear or buy. and it will be my first finished object of 2007!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

scarf swap success

a month or so ago, kristie of brown pants and i decided to do a scarf swap. this was to be my first blog swap, so i was kind of nervous: would she like what i made her? would i like what she made me? i had a few moments of panic, then dug right in and chose yarn and pattern for kristie's scarf. unfortunately, i am a big slow poke, and december got in the way, so i got a little behind schedule on mine. kristie, however, was right on time, and i received her package of goodies last thursday. she so outdid herself! i am so lucky! she sent me the scarf of course, and lots of extra little goodies as well. this was such a nice thing to come home to after a long rainy day. and what's more, i feel like my first swap experience was such a positive one that i can't wait to do another!



(it's pouring rain today, which is why my shirt is all wet in the picture.)

the scarf is a noro mistake rib, and it's gorgeous. i have been wearing it non-stop since i received it, and it's the perfect length for me to wear indoors as well as out, which is something i love in a scarf. i've already received compliments on it too, another thing i love! what's funny is that i almost made her a scarf very similar to this - a simple noro stripe scarf in k1p1 rib. in the end i opted for something else instead, but apparently, great minds really do think alike.



in addition to the lovely scarf, kristie sent me a cute little handmade card, a little pouch that she made herself (and which i'm already using to tote a small knitting project around in my purse), pretty stitch markers, a handmade flower brooch (i didn't even tell her that i have a total brooch obsession and wear one nearly every day!), and even some cool australian yarn. score! thank you so much kristie!

i can say with much relief that her own scarf and other treats are making their way across the ocean as we speak, and should get to her this week. i will reveal the scarf i made at that time! however, i am an idiot, and i forgot to take a picture of it before i packed it up, so i will either have to just post a picture of the little swatch i made, or maybe kristie will post a picture on her own blog.

anyway...christmas was very good. we spent the day at my mom's, received way too many gifts, and she sent me home with all of the leftover mashed potatoes and a homemade pumpkin pie. my knitting library was greatly enhanced:



and i also finally am the proud owner of one of these:



hope everyone had a happy and safe christmas!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

a knitter's yearbook

it's that time of year where a girl gets reflective about the months past, and since this is a knitting blog, and since i knit, i've been thinking of my year in knitting. so i thought i'd come up with a little snapshot of sorts of 2006, and maybe start to look to the year ahead. i'm already excited for all of the plans i have for 2007!

new skills?
many! the biggies though were sock knitting and fair isle. who knew that turning a heel wasn't so hard afterall?

improved skills?
i've gotten much better at being able to fix my mistakes, and more of a willingness to actually go back and fix them, even if it means ripping back all my hard work. i've also learned a new way to cast on (i only knew the knitted cast on before...now i can do the long tail cast on too! i would like to learn even more ways though), and i think i'm finally not knitting as tight as i used to. go me!

areas of self-discovery?
i think this year i finally admitted to myself that i don't really like cables. well, i like how they look, i just don't like making them. there, i said it!

biggest success?
i was absolutely thrilled with my squirrel and oak mittens, as well as my clapotis, which i made pre-blog.

biggest failure?
hmm...i made one of a pair of maryjane slippers earlier this year. it ended up GIGANTIC, so i thought maybe i'd try to felt it, and now it's too small. i've yet to make the second slipper - who knows if i ever will!?

favorite yarns i tried:
definitely the whole world of sock yarn. i went a little crazy here in the latter part of 2006 buying sock yarn. i think i like buying the yarn more than actually knitting the socks! that's not really true, but something about how fine the yarn is, and how much more colorful sock yarn can be than yarn you would use for bigger projects, appeals to me. i've especially loved collecting yarn pirate's beautiful yarn, and trying out yarntini as well.

and looking forward...

yarns i would like to try in 2007:
i have my eye on some vesper yarn (but i can never find any!) and i've still yet to try any koigu, but that should be remedied pretty soon. i would also like to try more of the many small yarn-dying outfits that are out there...etsy is full of them, and i hear about others everyday. some of them are doing such beautiful work, and i would like to support them.

projects for 2007:
more socks! i'm dying to work my way through many of the patterns in nancy bush's knitting vintage socks and knitting on the road (i also happen to know that i'm getting her folk socks book for christmas so i'm sure i'll have more to add to the long list). i would also like to finish the half-finished orangina that is languishing in my knitting bag, make my cashmere cowl and do some more color work, probably in the form of mittens once again.

goals for 2007:
i really, really think it's time i finished a garment of some kind, ideally a cute sweater or cardigan. i know i have the skills, i just don't ever seem to have the patience! i have a few uncompleted sweaters lying around. i think it's time to start fresh (except, of course, with orangina. that i'll finish!). any ideas for a good, fairly quick sweater that i won't get tired of knitting after a week?

i would also like to expand my lace skills, so i have a goal of completing a shawl of some kind. i don't have a pattern in mind yet but i think i will enjoy getting into a good lace project!

two other goals: try my hand at designing something (probably something very simple) and also to knit more for other people - i tend to get caught up in things i want to make for myself, and never manage to find time to knit for my friends and family, or do any charity knitting, which i would like to do. my poor husband has never received anything hand knit by me!

and not quite knitting related, but i also want to pretty up my blog a little and give it two side columns instead of one. this might be the most challenging goal of all for me!

this is probably my last post before christmas, so i'll see you all post-holidays!



Monday, December 18, 2006

cookies make everything better

first off, i think my husband was a little sad that i didn't post a picture of his cd cover as well, so here's a picture of his, and the second one i did, in felt. they were a hit with our friends (at least i think they were!) and they gave us some great mixes too.



it's finally starting to feel like christmas around here. i need to buy one more present but otherwise i'm all done, and i've done gift exchanges with a few of my friends already. last night we had a couple of people over, made some homemade pizzas, and baked and decorated sugar cookies. they're not the most artfully decorated, but they taste good!



and i've also taken the opportunity to spend a little christmas money from my dad on some wonderful, beautiful, gorgeous yarn, which has arrived today and saturday (i also got an ice cream maker, but that's a little off topic). first off, some malabrigo from pure knits in red mahogany. i was planning to make the beret from the winter interweave knits with this, but it turned out to be a little more variegated than i expected, so i might do something different - possibly some ribbed fingerless gloves. still, gorgeous!



i also got...drumroll...some PURE cashmere from purl soho, in tourmaline. i was afraid this would be a little too bright blue for my tastes (it's so hard to tell on a computer screen) but it ended up being the most perfect seafoam green. it's heartbreakingly soft and lovely - definitely the most beautiful thing in my yarn collection to date. i am going to make the cashmere cowl that they have up over on the purl soho website. this is such a treat! it was expensive, and i'd probably never buy it with my own money (at least not before...i see myself being tempted by this yarn again in the future), but i'm so excited to use it.



speaking of purl soho, can i just say how obsessed i am with all of the patterns they keep posting? since i'm re-thinking the malabrigo beret, i'm now thinking of doing the koigu beret they posted the other day. sounds like the perfect excuse to buy a single skein of koigu, no?


Friday, December 15, 2006

oh windy!

last night, seattle had some serious weather. we went to bed around midnight and the wind was shaking our windows so violently that i said i hoped it didn't rattle them hard enough that they broke. well....it did. an hour later we woke up to the sound of breaking glass in our living room. a branch of a pine tree had broken off in the storm and hit our window. glass was EVERYWHERE. we had to put my spooked cat into our bedroom and clean up the glass as best we could, with the wind and rain still blowing in. we finally got the window taped and carboarded up so that at least the wind was temporarily kept out.



work was cancelled for me today because power was out completely in the area where i work. i went for a little walk around my neighborhood this morning to survey the damage and was shocked when i saw this scene:





that big tree crushed five or six of the surrounding cars. lucky for me, mine wasn't one of them.

i came home and talked to the apartment manager and they said they won't be able to replace the window until monday. so although we are very lucky that no one was hurt, we have a drafty hole in our house for the weekend. all of my family and the friends i've gotten in touch with so far are okay - if you live in the area, i hope the same is true for you.

the bright side of this whole mess is that, as i mentioned, i got the day off! i grew up in phoenix - we never got days off work or school for bad weather! so i spent the day taking a nap and watching dvds (fargo and american graffiti) and finishing my cd cover that i mentioned last time. a little explanation on that: my hubby and i, along with three other couples, have a "dinner club." we meet once a month and try a restaurant of one of the couple's choosing. tomorrow night we'll be going to a tapas restaurant that we tried with a few others about a year ago. it will be good! we're also having a mix cd exchange with our friends in the group. so we've spent this week carefully choosing songs (ie, fighting about whether lee hazlewood makes it or if the parenthetical girls gets axed. there were some heated moments) and making some cover art. my husband made a cute little collage of a little girl walking through a pile of leaves, and i embroidered this:




i'm not the most skillful embroiderer, but i was going for kind of a rustic look anyway, and i like how it turned out (obviously it wouldn't hurt with a little ironing). i used this for the first time - what a weird little tool! i decided in the end that it was actually easier and more durable to use a good old fashioned needle and thread, but it was an interesting experiment. we have one more cover to do tomorrow - it will be a felt piece. i'll post pictures later!


Monday, December 11, 2006

acorns and ice cream

not much knitting going on around here - i'm wrapping up a scarf for a swap, which i should finish this week, but other than that, i haven't touched the second lichen ribbed sock, or started any of the other projects that i was supposedly making for christmas presents. i just don't feel like it!

that doesn't mean i haven't been busy making other things though. i spent the past two evenings with my gocco, making some cute little notecard sets to give as gifts. the acorn and leaf screen printed a little weird - when i burned the image onto the screen, the screen really lifted the carbon from the original. like, completely. i've never had that happen before, but it meant that when i printed the cards with that screen, there was a weird textural thing going on - two different shades of brown. i decided i like it anyway. these will dry overnight then i'll wrap them up with the envelopes with some light green ribbon and there you have it! easy presents.





i also made my first project from the crafter's companion last night - a cute little ice cream pin cushion. for such a simple project, i had a few more issues than i expected. mostly, i bought what i thought was the right size pot for the cone, but it was actually a little bigger than that called for in the pattern. so the template for the scoops were a little too small. i had to just make up my own pattern, and i still think i could have made the scoops a bit bigger. they look a little small and flat, and don't entirely fill the cone. but i love the fabric i used (from superbuzzy), and once i glue the scoops into the cone and find a bead for the cherry, i think this will be a perfectly cute little object to have sitting by my sewing machine.


that's it for now...i'm working on another little craft project that i should have done tomorrow probably - it's some pretty fancy mix cd art! pictures of that later on this week.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

..and we're back!

yay, i'm home! we got home last night around 11 p.m. considering we started our travels (it's a long drive to gatwick from my hubby's parent's house) at the equivalent of midnight seattle time, that was 23 hours of long, grueling travel. and did i mention i don't like flying?! we almost missed our connecting flight in houston but made it with just minutes to spare. *relief*

we had a good time, but i am SO glad to be home. england is so expensive, and to this west coast girl, lacks the the wide open spaces and greenery that i've realized i need. still, i got to experience my first cream tea at a little seaside town near norwich, and we got to see lots of our friends there as well. sharon took me to a tiny little yarn store in london, too, which was fun. i was good - i only bought a single ball of rooster almerino aran in the perfect coral red. i think i will make a pair of fetching for me with this. i also picked up the cutest pair of childrens knitting needles at a department store for only a pound! that is one thing i love about the uk - their department stores have craft and yarn departments!















i also received for christmas from my mother-in-law the crafters companion. i am so excited to have this book! it's not out here in the states yet i don't think, and i've had my eye on it for ages. i want to make practically everything in it, but just this morning i ordered some fabric from superbuzzy with the intention of making the ice cream cone pin cushion and the log cabin pillow first. i also really want to make the market bag though...my sewing machine needs to get more use!



knitting was done on the trip, though maybe not as much as i'd hoped. i could knit on my flight over to the uk, but not on the way back. so on the flight, and a little bit during the week, i completed one of the lichen ribbed socks in cherry cordial yarntini. i really love it! the stripeyness is so perfect. and not using a knitted cast on made a world of difference. i don't think i love the welsh heel - it fits my own heel in kind of a weird way. but other than that, it's perfect, and i'll start on the second one this week for sure.



and finally, i'll just leave with some pictures of all the treats we brought back! mmm...percy pigs and elderflower cordial, i love you! look at that table of candy - we went totally nuts! but we can't get any of those things here, at least not as cheaply (we've found some things at british import stores). and, um, it's not all for us.



anyway, it's really good to be back! i'm off work today so i'm going to do laundry and buy groceries and go get a burrito and catch up on my netflix!



Thursday, November 23, 2006

fo: fetching

happy thanksgiving everyone! hope you had a good day, thanksgiving or not. i had an unusual thanksgiving this year...i went to my stepdad's deceased wife's family's thanksgiving dinner (got that?). at a bowling alley. it ended up being super fun though, and it turns out that bowling is the perfect way to get rid of that awful too-full feeling after eating dinner. :)

so, you might remember about a month ago when i mentioned that i had started the day flowers scarf for my mother in law. well, i never really got much further with it than the six or so inches i showed in a picture way back then. this scarf, while i'm sure it would have turned out lovely, just never grabbed my attention, and it kept getting put aside in favor of other projects. so last weekend, it finally occurred to me that i had exactly a week to make something, anything, for my mother in law, as we are flying to see her in england tomorrow morning. eek! i didn't feel up to tackling that scarf, especially since it requires following a lace chart, and i just didn't have the patience. i wanted fast, and i wanted something cute. something fetching even! so i dug out the ball of yarn i had bought to make fetching for myself after christmas, and decided to make it for her instead. and the end result is fetching indeed! or at least pretty darn cute. i'm not entirely sure that these are her style, but it's hard to tell really. i'm just happy to have a hand knit gift to give her in addition to the other store bought stuff we're bringing over. just in time!

so let's see here...this is a weird picture (you can see out my living room window!) but i was trying to get some natural light. not easy in this rainy, rainy november we're having. you'll just have to trust me that there are indeed two and not just this one!














pattern: knitty's fetching
yarn: rowan classic yarns cashsoft dk, color: 525
needles: size 6 brittany birch dpns plus brittany birch cable needle

loved the pattern, and LOVED the yarn. it's sooooooo soft and squishy, and though you can't really tell in the picture, it's a lovely peacocky blue. i really, truly adored it and will use this yarn again for sure, probably to make my own pair. however, i think next time i'll go down a needle size - these felt like they could be a littler denser than they are.

the only modifications i did were to add another cabled row plus four more rows at the top, just to give a little more coverage around the fingers. i also just did a regular bind off instead of the picot bind off.

so i'm off to england for 1o days tomorrow! wish me luck - i really don't love flying. i did, however, call the airline and confirmed that it should be no problem at all to bring my knitting aboard, even for an international flight. i just hope this is true...i'm going to be seriously annoyed if i have to take my lichen ribbed sock, which is coming along so fast and looks great in the yarntini i'm using, off the needles.

see you in 10 days!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

hey chuck!
















a charlie brown thanksgiving was on tv last night. have i mentioned how much i LOVE charlie brown? unfortunately i'm going to miss the christmas episode, showing on 11/27 i think, while i'm in england. why are they showing it in november?!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

real knitting content!

so. i feel like i'm in a weird knitting place right now. i'm feeling a little stressed with all of the holiday knitting i've commited myself to, at least i've commited to it in my head. so i'm working on lots of projects now, and i don't feel like i'm making a lot of progress on any of them, nor do i feel really excited about any of them. it almost feels like work! that being said, i'm working on some things that i think will turn out to be lovely. hedera is coming along, slowly but surely. it's taking me FOREVER to finish decreasing from the gusset down to the instep, but i'm almost there (on the first sock anyway. i'm definitely starting to see the appeal of knitting both socks at the same time). look! here's a blurry and bland picture of it so you can be kind of meh about it too! when i sit down and actually work on these, i do enjoy it, so i'm just kind of letting these take their sweet time. they aren't a priority, but they will get done eventually.


















there's a scarf i'm nearly half done with it, and i would love to post a picture, because it's turning out to be beautiful, but alas, the recipient would see it if i did that, and that's no fun. but ooh! i can't wait til i can. i'll probably make this scarf (a very popular pattern in blogland, that's all i'll say) for myself - the yarn i'm using is too gorgeous to not use on myself. i'm just selfish that way!


and then...there's the matter of my 14 hour flight that i'm taking next week. we're flying to england the day after thanksgiving to visit friends and my husband's family. that's a whole lotta potential knitting time, but i don't want to have to follow a complicated pattern or have a big scarf to carry around, so i'm actually going to start another pair of socks, i think the lichen ribbed pair from knitting vintage socks. i've cast on using some yarntini cherry cordial i have, but i think i need to start over. here's my dilemma: i knit pretty tightly, even when i'm trying to knit loosely. this seems to be a problem when casting on for socks. the socks i've made so far (all three!) have been a little too tight in the cuff. i don't really need to move up a needle size for the whole sock, but would it help to just cast on with a bigger size? i'm thinking size 2 then moving down to 1's for the rest of the sock? or would it be better to knit the whole ribbed cuff with the 2s before moving down a size? or would that look noticeably weird? or should i use a different cast on? to be honest, i've only ever done a knitted cast on - i don't really know the merits of other methods, but i am open to suggestions. can you tell i don't know what i'm doing entirely with this whole sock thing?! anyway, advice would be appreciated. i want to get these started before i go so i can just have some blissfully simple knitting on the plane.

alright...my cat is in the living room having an absolute fit over a spider on the ceiling. i'd better go intervene before he flings himself against the wall too violently!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

like, totally!

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The West

Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you're a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.

The Midland

Boston

North Central

The Inland North

Philadelphia

The South

The Northeast

What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes


so, i grew up in phoenix (l.a.'s little sister) and now i live in seattle...this isn't really a surprise.

picture of a nearly-done hedera tonight or tomorrow!

Friday, November 10, 2006

how i spent my thursday night

since you asked...i spent my thursday night untangling a ball of yarn! for four hours! i tell you, it doesn't get any better than that.

it's still not untangled, either. i see scissors in my near future.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

the soundtrack of our lives

i found this on yaiAnn's blog...and since i have a deadline for work in half an hour, and i'm not done with the project, of course it's the perfect time for me to do my own little soundtrack!

if your life were a soundtrack, what would the music be?

here's how it works:
1. open your library (iTunes, winamp, media player, iPod)
2. put it on shuffle
3. press play
4. for every question, type the song that's playing
5. new question-- press the next button
6. don't lie and try to pretend you're cool


opening credits:
Go - Daniel Johnston

waking up:
Instrumental - Figurine

first day at school:
Don't Go Away - Margo Guryan

falling in love:
As Tears Go By - Naomi & The Boys

breaking up:
Fatty and Skinny - Vincent Gallo

prom:
Here's to Nostalgia - The Parenthetical Girls

life's okay:
Settlement Boy - Free Design

mental breakdown:
Le Temps de L'Amour - April March

driving:
Ghost Song - Love Letter Band

flashback:
EAves Dropping - Grizzy Bear

getting back together:
Fill Your Heart - David Bowie

wedding:
Pale Tracks - Movietone

birth of child:
In Our Tiime - Lee Hazlewood

final battle:
Here, There And Everywhere - The Beatles

death scene:
2 h.b. - Roxy Music

funeral song:
Love, l'amour und Liebe - France Gall

end credits:
Will You Still Love Me - The Shapiros

it was really hard to not edit this list by skipping a song! and i don't think most of these songs really fit, but oh well. it killed some time.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

fo: squirrel and oak mittens

sheesh...this is five posts in as many days! i must be feeling talkative these days.

anyway...mittens! these were so fun to knit! this was my first colorwork project, and it wasn't nearly as scary as i anticipated, and i think the end result is pretty good considering it's my first try. i still need to block these, so hopefully some of the bumps will even themselves out a little. i will definitely make these, or some form of these, again. i already plan to make my sister-in-law a pair; she was over here last weekend when i was finishing up the oak mitten and she loved them. she made sure to mention that squirrels are here favorite animal. so i'm thinking of doing just two squirrels, facing each other maybe. i don't know. i'm going to stick to the basics of this pattern but i might play around with the cuff design and maybe even the palm design. we'll see what i come up with. i'm also thinking of using a blank norwegian mitten template and coming up with an owl and acorn set - how cute would that be?

i feel like the squirrel didn't turn out as well as the oak - it was the second one, and for some reason, the tension is all over the place on this one. i also struggled more with the thumb on this one, whereas it worked perfectly on the first. nothing too noticeable though...just don't look too closely at where the thumb joins the mitten!

by the way, i really liked the knit picks telemark for these. it's not very soft by any standards, but it somehow feels right for these mittens - sturdy, utilitarian, i don't know. just right. and at $1.99 a ball, a total bargain. these mittens cost $4, with yarn to spare!

pattern: hello yarn's squirrel and oak mittens
yarn: knit pick telemark in cream and black, one ball of each color
needles: clover dpns, size 3
started: i think i started these on 10.26.06
finished: 11.05.06
modifications: i omitted the 2006 across the top of these. i also haven't done the pompoms and cord for these yet...i may or may not make them.



Saturday, November 04, 2006

just a rainy afternoon

it rained BUCKETS here in seattle today...sometimes this city really does live up to its reputation! despite the weather, we decided to do a little tour of some of the thrift stores along aurora, a long strip in seattle famous for its cheap motels, prostitutes, drug dealers, crime...and excellent thrift stores! i did well from the start - in the very first shop we stopped in, i found this cute little set of dishes with autumn leaves all over. i grabbed one of the bowls and a sugar and creamer set. as i worked my way to the back, i picked up a few other things: a cute blue and red polka dot silk scarf, some sewing items, and then the mother lode...a whole bunch of knitting magazines from the 1960s! there are some amazing patterns in them. little vests, skirts, cardigans...i don't know if i'll ever make any of these patterns, but they're lots of fun to look at and be inspired by. and who knows, maybe one day i'll get brave and knit myself a sweater dress or something. :)


























i got home to find a package waiting for me - some hello yarn that i ordered earlier this week! this is beautiful yarn. i've done two of adrian's patterns so far (her totoro hat and squirrel and oak mittens that i'm almost done with), and i just had to try her hand-dyed yarn as well. so now i have 'nymph,' a pretty blend of browns and blues, and 'baby soft,' in swirls of red and pink. i'm excited to see how these knit up.

i should have a finished pair of mittens to show off tomorrow!




Friday, November 03, 2006

knitting's my bag

i've been seeing a lot of people posting pictures of their knitting bags lately, so i thought it would be fun to do the same. i actually don't use just one, but this is my primary bag - it's where i keep patterns i plan on making, most of my needles, and when i go out to knit with friends, i'll carry my project in this. i found it at a thrift store in a small town just south of seattle, and when i saw it, i immediately fell in love. it's fake patchwork! and it cost $2! what could be better? plus, it has a label inside that says Specially Handmade by Marie, which i think is sweet. :)

so what does your knitting bag look like?


Thursday, November 02, 2006

fair trade

i want to do a swap. i keep hearing about people signed up for all these different swaps, and of course by the time i hear about them the swap is well underway. how do y'all find out about them beforehand? are there any coming up that sound good? i want mail! i want to send mail! i make good care packages, dammit! :)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

hedera

i started hedera today while at lunch at starbucks. twisted rib is a pain! at least it is when you're sitting in a straight-back chair, at a table, dropping sandwich crumbs on your knitting, with adult contemporary music blaring in the background and people staring at you, wondering what you're doing with all those scary, pointy needles. still, i'm almost done with the cuff and about to start the lace part. i can't wait! the rowan 4-ply soft i'm using, in a pretty color called bluebird, is so, so soft and lovely. i'll post a picture when there is actually something interesting to show off.

i should also have a squirrel mitten to add to the oak by this weekend! these mittens sure are quick and fun to knit.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

two socks, one mitten

well...i've been avoiding posting all week because i wasn't done with that damn pair of socks...but now i can because they are done! yay! and just in the nick of time to say i finished them for socktober. despite all my moaning about these socks, and despite the fact that i totally blew it at the very end by breaking the yarn while grafting the stitches, it felt so good to put these on my feet as a complete pair. my first pair!

here is me modeling them...note my hubby's massive record collection in the background. :)





so here are the details...

yarn: knitpicks memories in geranium
needles: inox size 1s
pattern: grumperina's jaywalkers
started: 9.5.06
finished: 10.29.06

woah. that's a long time. hopefully i'll get a bit faster with my next pair!

i also started on wednesday night my first mitten of this pattern. it was my first experience with using multiple colors/strands and it actually went incredibly well. and i was so enchanted with the whole process that i whipped that first mitten out in only a couple of days! thanks to adrian and jennie for their advice on working the thumb bit - it was a success. i will start the squirrel this week, and also... a new pair of socks! i'm thinking hedera, as i like the idea of using a solid yarn with a pretty lace pattern after all the sordid drama of using a variegated last time.




Sunday, October 22, 2006

progress

we've had a guest in town all this past week and weekend, so i've gotten nothing done - no laundry, no dishes, no reading my book club book - let alone any knitting, and i feel like i'm just desperate to get some things done and new things started. i am still laboring away on those jaywalkers. i don't even like them really - the yarn is annoying me, and i've done the gusset all wrong. i've somehow managed to end up with a row of garter stitch where there should be none. but i've read about a million tutorials and i've finally figured out what i did wrong. still, i couldn't be bothered to rip back to the gusset and fix the mistake (anyway, the mistake is there for the other sock too, so at least they will match!). but now i'm just so eager to start hedera or maybe even just a plain ribbed sock so that i can be sure that i am, indeed, on the right track now. but i've decided just to finish the jaywalkers - they will be my first socks, mistakes and all, so i do want to finish them for that reason alone. here's my progress on the second sock so far - only a couple of inches left til the toe!



i'm feeling a little more positive about the day flowers scarf. this will be for my mother-in-law, who i'll be seeing in just over a month, so i'll have to have it finished by then. it's an easy lace pattern, and i did about five repeats of the pattern last weekend. i haven't worked on it since then, but i think a few more intensive bursts of activity on it should do the trick. my only problem with this scarf? the knit picks yarn i'm using (elegance i think?) is sooooo splitty...this is a problem i keep having with the 'luxury' knit picks yarns. still it's soft, and i like the color. i can't really see the flower pattern in this scarf yet, but i think it will be clearer once i block it. hopefully...i won't have time to knit her anything else! sorry that the picture is blurry but you get the idea!



my goal this week is to once and for all finish that damn sock, start a new pair, and also start my squirrel and oak mittens, which i'm so excited about!

i'll leave you with one final picture. i realized today that i've yet to introduce my darling kitty spike to my blog. so here he is, in all his adorableness.

Monday, October 16, 2006

day flowers and other knitting

i started the day flowers lace scarf this weekend. i know...that's not socks! october is half over and my grand socktober plans aren't quite panning out so far. i haven't even finished my jaywalkers, though i worked on those this weekend too, and am just past the heel at this point, so i should get those done soon-ish. so that leaves me with three (well, technically five) unfinished projects at this point - jaywalkers, day flowers, orangina, plus one plain-jane slipper to finish, and a cardigan i started aaages ago and have no real intention of picking up again.

so i wanted to ask...what do you think is an 'appropriate' amount of works in progress? do you have a policy of finishing one project before starting another? or do you just go where your knitting urges take you? i think i've given myself a rough guideline of being allowed to have one garment, one sock and one accessory in the works at any given time. so since i finished the totoro hat, i was able to start the scarf. i'm itching to start new socks - but i'll have to wait til those jaywalkers get done! and i'm dying to start the squirrel and oak mittens, but alas, those too will have to wait til the scarf gets done. who knew i could be so strict with myself about a hobby?!

anyway, i guess i'm just trying to weigh the pros and cons of having lots of projects in the works. i guess you'd never get bored with a project, since you could always just pick something else up, but then you might not get many items finished at that rate either. i'm curious to know how other knitters feel about this!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

fo: totoro hat

i finished my totoro hat tonight! it turned out to be quite the ordeal. i used knit picks ambrosia (80% baby alpaca, 20% cashmere), in 'fog,' and while it was very soft, it was also very splitty. the pattern also called for a figure-8 cast on, which i didn't know how to do, and struggled with. i ended up using an alternative cast on that i found online, and i don't even think i did that right, as i ended up with loose holes at the top where it should have been a seamless cast on. oh well. the ears were fussy to make, and when i tried to embroider the eyes on with some thin white yarn i had lying around, the eyes ended up so bulky and bug-like that i ended removing them and just using felt instead.

still, i think it turned out pretty cute! i hope my friend and her baby (due in february, but her shower is in a few weeks) like it!




Tuesday, October 10, 2006

the hat that almost is

i was really hoping to have a finished totoro hat to show you, but it's just not quite there yet. the hat itself was easy and quick (it's a baby hat afterall!), but all the finishing touches are taking longer than i expected. i have one i-cord done...i need to do a second one. every time i have to do i-cord i remember how much it annoys me! i'm nearly done with the first ear and obviously have to do a second one. and then i have to embroider the face onto the hat. in theory, that's not that much to do, but i fear it will be the end of the week before i finish. a picture to be posted when it's finally done!

i keep dreaming about knitting. like, every single night for the past two or three weeks. is that weird? they're not exactly stress dreams, but they aren't happy dreams about knitting either - mostly just really intense dreams about starting new projects and them not going well, or even just images of patterns kind of on repeat, like a slide show. i keep dreaming of hedera, the project i'll take up next. strange!

Friday, October 06, 2006

yarn pirate!

am i some kind of addict or something? i'm blaming it on friday afternoon boredom...but i just bought some more yarn pirate yarn, in 'koi.' i love this even more than clementine, which is probably waiting for me at home right now. oh the excitement!

i can see this yarn being perfect for a pair of socks for my brother...i saw it and immediately thought of him. but what sock? there are a few in 'knitting on the road' that might work. any suggestions for a good boy sock?

i PROMISE this weekend to post something about actual knitting progress instead of just about the things i keep buying. this is getting ridiculous!

rain, rain, come and stay

it's a beautiful, pearly gray rainy day here in seattle. i love it! that's all i have to say today.

have a good weekend everyone! i'm going to start my totoro hat and try to finish my jaywalkers.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

my darling clementine

ooh...i just bought more sock yarn! this time, yarn pirate's clementine:



how pretty is that?! and...i see that the lovely lady who makes this stuff is right here in the seattle area!

ten things you probably don't know about me...

well, considering i've only been doing this blog thing for a couple of weeks, most anyone who happens to read it probably won't know anything about me! but just for fun, and following in the footsteps of grumperina and others, here is my list of ten knitterly things you probably don't know about me.

1. i've been knitting for nearly three years now - my now-husband, then boyfriend, bought me a learn-to-knit kit from urban outfitters for christmas in 2003, at my request. it came with hot pink metal needles and some awful hot pink and yellow acrylic yarn. i spent that christmas morning being taught the basics by his mom.

2. my first completed project was a book mark, which i still keep in my first knitting book.

3. my longest-running unfinished project was a scarf commissioned by my mom. i was living in london in early 2004 and she came to visit, and knowing i had just started to knit, she brought three balls of this really fluffy, stringy yarn. it was like string with fluff sticking off of it. she asked for a 'wide scarf,' and i got to work. talk about tedious! not only did i cast on for a VERY wide scarf, making each row painfully long, but this yarn was impossible to knit with, and ugly as well. did i mention it was very expensive? so i couldn't scrap it...i had to persevere. i finally, finally finished it last fall. i don't think my mom even likes it, but wears it because i spent so long on it.

4. the first time i felt like i was actually becoming a pretty good knitter was two winters ago, when i made my first pair of mittens. in my mind, mittens were a hard project, an advanced project, and the fact that i could actually make them pleased me to no end. i even made cute little felted appliqu├ęs to sew on the fronts, of little birds. :) i still wear them, though they are getting a little worse for wear. i will replace them this year for sure.

5. so far i have taught three other people how to knit, though i don't think any of them still do it.

6. my knitting goal for winter 2006 is to learn to do color work - i am intimidated by the idea of keeping track of all those strands of yarn! but i think i'm up to the challenge.

7. the only think i am scared to attempt at this point is a sweater...i don't doubt my skills, i just know i have a short attention span and a low boredom threshold, as well as, shall we say, an ample bosom, that is usually not flattered by sweaters. that being said, i am more than halfway done with orangina and am confident that i will complete it. anything more advanced or tedious in construction though seems unlikely at this point.

8. i am a creative person by nature, and have several other hobbies and crafts that i am interested in (embroidery, sewing, print making), but knitting is the one thing that i always have going, and always come back to it. i know i will knit for the rest of my life.

9. i think the clapotis i knitted this spring is my favorite item that i've made for myself so far. it's so big and cozy and versatile, and to a non-knitter it looks very difficult, so i get tons of compliments on it, which i love. :)

10. i am loving that i finally started a knitting blog, though it will reveal to the whole world what a slow-poke knitter i am. i never thought anyone besides the few knitters i already know would read it, but i've already had comments and emails from other people, and it makes me feel good! even though i live in a pretty big city, i don't know many knitters here, so it's nice to have a place to get excited about the yarn i just bought, or to find inspiration from others by reading their blogs.

the end!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

fakeagamo

so...ignoring my carefully planned list of projects (see below), i've become obsessed with this purse, and i MUST knit it, and soon! i even have the perfect fabric to line it with (it's this, only in brown). i can see myself actually using this, unlike many knitted bag patterns i've seen, which are cute, but just not me. a moral dilemma if ever there was one! i have christmas presents to make, socks to knit for socktoberfest, unfinished projects to finish, and a pregnant friend that has been promised hats, blankets, booties...but all i want to knit right now is this bag. i think in this case, a little will power will have to be necessary. perhaps it will be the perfect project for early spring, when i'm done making scarves and mittens. yes - that's what i'll tell myself for now anyway!

in other news, my lisa souza yarn arrived last night....mmmm, ginger peach, i love you! i'm not exactly sure what i'll use this yarn for, but possibly, maybe the diamante pattern from the new knitty? it would give me a chance to try toe-ups!

Friday, September 29, 2006

i'm a jaywalker

woo! a finished sock! and one that fits even. i will start the second one this evening so as to avoid my little jaywalker becoming a one-sock wonder.

i have to confess...i don't feel like the jaywalker captured my
attention as it seems to have done for so many others. i am happy with the end result (just happy to learn i can actually knit a sock!), but i often found the work tedious, and i'm not overeager to start the second one. i'm finding myself dreaming about lace socks though - maybe that's where i'll find my love for sock knitting. and i'm not writing off the jaywalker pattern completely - it is a lovely sock!

i think part of my problem is the yarn i chose. this was made with knitpicks memories sock yarn in geranium. a lovely yarn to be sure, but if i learned one thing knitting this sock, it's that i get frustrated by the, well, variations in variegated yarn. i kept willing it to stripe, and of course it did not always comply. i think i would have fe
lt more satisfied with the crisp, well-defined quality of a self-striping yarn, or even a pretty, tweedy monochrome perhaps.

but i don't want to detract from the fact that i DID finish a sock! so here it is...


since socktober is kicking off this weekend, i thought i'd honor the occasion by ordering some yummy new sock yarn. i went for lisa souza's sock! yarn, in gingerpeach.

behold:




i may not be done yet...do i need some of this?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

down...up...down...up

i just joined a gym! how very unlike me. i have to admit that one of the biggest draws was my friend telling me how all of the exercise bikes have tvs on them...tvs with cable! i'm hoping i can catch some project runway action in real time instead of having to wait for the previous season to come out on dvd. it's exercise made for lazy people like me! couch potato self...meet fit self. :)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

socktoberfest!

i just joined socktoberfest! hopefully it will force me to finish my first pair of socks that are taking me way longer than they should. i seem to be the only person who thinks socks take a long time - i finished half of orangina in about the same amount of time it's taken me to do 3/4 of a sock. so that is my soctoberfest goal: pick up the pace, do more than one row a night, and have at least one completed pair of socks at the end of the month to show for it!

Monday, September 25, 2006

my week nights planned out for the next six months or so...

just to keep me honest, here's my six-month project plan:

jaywalkers (finish)
plain jane slippers (finish)
orangina (finish)
totoro hat
squirrel and oak mittens
day flower scarf x 2
hedera socks
hoover baby blanket

and if/when i ever finish those...i'm thinking fad classic.

the sad/depressing/practical part of this list is that i already have yarn for all of these projects. no yarn shopping for me for a while.

what's this?!

i started a blog! i never really thought i wanted one...it feels so self-absorbed, and plus i know it's just one more thing for me to remember to do. but i've become so into reading other peoples' blogs, especially knitters' blogs, so i felt like maybe i wanted to be part of the fun. we'll see how long the good feelings remain - this was a random idea born from having nothing to do at work today, so like many of my projects, it may fall by the wayside as newer, more exciting things catch my attention. or it will become one more thing to feel guilty about not working on when i get busy. but for now i'll be optimistic and do what i always do when i have new, open space - decorate!