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


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


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!