Monday, February 26, 2007

fo: purl beret

this weekend i somehow injured my lower back (while i was sleeping no less!) so i spent much of the weekend on the couch, leaning on either a heating pad or a frozen bag of edamame, knitting away. nothing really makes you feel like you're starting to get old (i'm 27!) like not being able to fully stand upright, or having trouble putting on pants. but besides all that, i did get a lot done on my brother's socks, and i finished my beret!

it was really touch and go with this project - if you'll recall, i had a few false starts, and then once i really got into it, i realized that i might not have enough yarn. in one of the earlier incarnations of this hat, i was knitting with the recommended size 3 needles, and it seemed too small. so i frogged and moved up to size 4s, and in doing so, i think (well, i know) i used more yarn than the pattern really called for. and since this was koigu, and it was of course the last of the color when i bought it from my lys a few months back, i felt i had very little chance of getting the exact same yarn. so i just hoped for the best!

the pattern calls for knitting the hat 4" from the start before decreasing, with the option to make a floppier hat by knitting 4.5-5" instead. i was hoping for a floppier hat, both because i prefer the look and also because my head and hair are both big, so i thought a little extra room would be nice! but since i was afraid of running out of yarn, i stuck to just over 4". now i wish i'd been a little more daring, as i did end up having probably five yards of yarn left - enough for that extra inch. oh well. the hat is a little small but i think it looks pretty cute anyway.

the specs:

pattern: purl beret - i've yet to try one of their patterns that i haven't loved.
yarn: koigu kpm, and i've lost the little tag so i can't tell you what the color number is, but we'll just call it blue. or maybe...sapphire blue, just to be a little more exciting. as the pattern pointed out, the decreases really stand out and look great with the variations in this handpainted yarn.
needles: clover size 4 16"-circulars and dpns.

ooh! i also made blueberry bran muffins this weekend. they are yummy in a very healthy tasting kind of way...and with peanut butter and honey, they are just plain yummy.

Monday, February 19, 2007

project spectrum around the house

i feel like i haven't blogged in ages! my dad was in town since thursday for a long weekend, and even though i took friday and today off work (no holiday off for me...), i feel completely exhausted. it's hard work being a hostess! but my dad, my brother, our spouses and i had a pretty good weekend: we went here, and here, and here, and managed to occupy ourselves in various ways for the rest of the weekend.

so with all that going on, my knitting projects haven't gotten a lot of attention. i re-started my beret, and started nancy bush's gentleman's winter socks for my brother, for his birthday. i'm using yarn pirate's new semi-solid yarn, in fog. it's beautiful, and just right for this month's project spectrum. but like i said...for my brother, and his size 13 feet! these are going to take a while. here's a really, really dark picture of my progress so far:

since i don't have much else to show you, i thought i'd look for the blue, gray, and white around my house, and i found quite a lot! sorry...most of these pictures are 'artfully' blurry. it's such a dark, dreary day today that i have no chance of getting anything better unfortunately.

some fabric from superbuzzy that i'm going to use for some coasters and other fun stuff:

our telephone (which we almost never use, in this age of cell phones, but still it looks nice):

i made this string of origami lights last year. the little balls are called water bombs. some of them are blue:

a blue melmac tray that i found at an antique store in tucson last summer:

a little owl crumb sweeper!

one half of my hello kitty/dear daniel book ends:

and some blue, white and gray buttons from my button collection:

that's all for now...hopefully i'll have some real knitting to show and some better quality pictures later in the week!

also...i just installed halo scan for my comments, because i'm tired of not being able to reply to comments with blogger! which is exciting, but i just realized that in doing so, i deleted all my old blogger comments, which makes me kind of sad.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

i quilted!

remember, oh, about a month ago when i mentioned that i had started a log cabin quilted throw pillow? well, it sort of languished on a living room chair for several weeks after that, until this weekend when i decided to finish it. i was pretty much done sewing the pieces of the top together, but i still had to do the actual quilting part. i've never quilted anything before, and though this piece is about as easy as it comes, i was still so scared to take the sewing machine to my beautiful, carefully sewn together piece! the quilting is one big concentric circle of lines, and i had to stop after each line and kind of take a deep breath and convince myself that everything was going to be okay. and it really was okay!



the pattern is lisa congdon's, from the crafter's companion, a book that i am really enjoying. the fabric was just lots of little things i've picked up, both vintage bits as well as goodies from purl and superbuzzy. i like how this pattern allows you to really use up scraps of fabric, and it was fun (though sort of stressful!) putting the colors together. i deviated from the pattern slightly in a few places - i didn't use pre-quilted fabric pieces for the back, but opted instead to just sew some batting to a large square of fabric i had lying around. i also omitted the ribbon ties on the back - i added them, but they weren't really laying right, so i took them off.

i love how the end result looks, and i think i will make a mismatched pair for it. and now i'm setting my sights a little higher for my next quilting project...maybe even an actual quilt!

oh yes...and a second finished object as well: i finished the pair of fetching(s?) that i made for a friend - i gave them to her yesterday, and i think they were well received. nevermind that a few of the cables are cabled the wrong direction, but it's pretty hard to tell. oops!

these are made with rowan classic yarns cashsoft dk, in poppy. i made the last pair of fetching with this yarn too - it's so smooth and soft and squishy!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

blue, gray,'s project spectrum!

so this first set of colors for project spectrum hasn't gotten of to a great i mentioned the other day, i started a navy blue beret as my first project...well, i'm on my second attempt at knitting the beret after some drunken, post-book club knitting last week, and let's just say it's not going to be the last attempt either. i was in denial at first, but i think before i get any further with the hat i need to face the fact that it's knitting up a lot smaller than the pattern (like maybe baby beret size). i think i'm going to try going up to size 4 needles instead of the 3s. i feel like this should have been a project that i whipped up in like a day, but hey...i've got a month and a half left to finish it!

in the meantime, i've deviated from the color scheme in favor of another pair of fetching for a birthday gift, this time in a gorgeous poppy red. so like i said...project spectrum isn't off to a real rip-roaring start here around my house, but if all goes to plan (and i'm sure it won't), by the end of the two months we'll have a white trellis baby sweater, a white clementine shawlette, and some gray nancy bush 'gentleman's plain winter socks,' in addition to the beret. i think i'll also be making some little quilted coasters in shades of navy and turquoise, with a little brown thrown in.

i'm excited for this first round of colors - i love the combination, though they don't seem to be shades that i knit with often. and blue, gray and white just seem so february, don't they?

since i don't really have any knitting to show, here's some project spectrum photography of a more general nature: gray and white geese in the pond outside my office.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

saturday knitting

yesterday i had the best knitting day! i started out by hitting the yarn store nearest my apartment, one i don't particularly care for, but it is the only local place that sells str. so i picked up some watermelon tourmaline, with the intent of making a scarf similar to maritza's. i am obsessed with that scarf! i still need to get the farmhouse half of the yarn combo, but the scarf will be mine! then i stopped at my favorite yarn shop and got a few random items (including some addi turbos...guess who's going to give magic loop a go for her next pair of socks?!), then i rounded out my yarn store tour by going to hilltop for their spinning demo. i got to meet georgia finally, and also sarah, and lots of other nice gals! and i think i might sign up for their spinning class in march - seeing the demo inspired me and got me excited to try spinning!

after coming home and relaxing a bit after all that yarn store excitement, i went to a knitting night that my friend shannon invited me to, which was lots of fun. giant pieces of cheesecake, hoegaarden, people talking about knitting as excitedly as i do, getting to work on my first project spectrum item (a navy koigu beret)...these are the makings of a good time in my book.

i need more saturdays like this one!