Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Only One Project on the Needles?

I can't believe I only have one project cast on right now. I finished the brown and black random striped socks yesterday. Love them. Pictures when my batteries recharge.

I'm planning to cast on Brigit on 12/1 for the Socks Anonymous Sockdown challenge. I'll have two months to finish them which is a pretty quick pair of socks for me.

I'm seriously considering casting on the Everyday Wrap. I like it, I have some yarn in my stash and it seems really simple to knit. Not sure what's stopping me.

Really need to get started on Celeste's clogs. I'm so glad they are a small pair. I could probably get them done before the Sockdown challenge, but I'm procrastinating a bit.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I Needed a Hat

I walked the dogs in the cold last week and realized I needed a hat. Fortunately I had some leftover wool.

I had several colors to choose from. I liked these 4 together. I wanted the hat to go quickly so I opted to hold two strands of worsted together.

Using the basic increase principles of toe up socks, I cast on eight stitches and got started. The result was a hat with a crown that looked like the toe of a sock. Hmmm, no.

I frogged it and started again. I cast on eight (using the magic cast on method), knit a round, then increased in every stitch, knit a round and then increase in every stitch again. This looked much better. From there I increased in six places (evenly spaced) around the hat. When I first switched from magic loop to a single circular, the hat looked a little bit like a fabric frisbee. I was afraid it was too flat.

In the end, the hat is great. I love the shape. I used a size 13 needle for casting off and I kept the tension ridiculously loose. It worked out great.

I found a new project I want to give a try - the Everyday Wrap. I love the little ruffle. I think I also like the simplicity. It would work really well for a varigated lace weight yarn (KP Blue Jean Gossamer), but I have some KP Alpaca Cloud in Moss in my stash and I think they'll make a happy couple. The pattern calls for 229 yards of Kid Silk Haze. I have a full skein of the Alpaca Cloud so I should be in good shape. I may even double the yarn. This coud be my 5 minute a day knitting project. It's really just a giant scarf. It's the finishing that makes it so great.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Surge of New Projects

Just yesterday I added two more projects to my knitting plate. First, Celeste, the boys' grandma (their mom's mom) came by to see them here for Thanksgiving because she isn't allowed at their mother's house. It's really sad and Celeste is basically alone. So I thought a pair of knitted clogs for Christmas would make her feel better. My Mom also needs a new pair, she flat wore her's out - you go Mom - so I have two pairs of clogs on the horizon. This will be pairs 13 and 14, but who's counting.

Not that I'm be a cheapskate or anything, but I was going through my wool stash (see below) and realized I probably have enough yarn on hand to make a small pair clogs so Celeste's clogs will be a pink mix with brown/olive green soles. Sounds kind of yucky, but it's not bad in person. This also allows me to get started on them immediately without waiting for a KP order to come in.

The second project I decided to add yesterday is a dog walking hat. The weather has gotten pretty chilly. The dogs don't seem to mind, but it's not for me. I can't just not walk them, so I decided as we were going around the block, that I needed to go through my wool stash and come up with yarn for a hat. A fairly long hat I can pull down over my ears.

I have two options. For the first one, I have 80gms of black (bits and pieces of various skeins), 30 gms of cranberry red, 15gms of Winter Night blue and 10gms of grass green. I'm going to hold two strands together for a bulky yarn and mix the colors to make a really interesting hat (I hope). My issue with this is I will most likely be walking the dogs in the dark, something light would be much better.

So option two is to use some remaining bulky natural yarn with say a red or blue stripe. Or maybe a red and blue stripe. Not nearly as interesting as the combo mentioned above if you ask me, but functional. Not sure exactly what I'm going to do.

I finished one of the brown and black stripe socks. Record time for me I think. It took about a week. I'm anxious to get started on the second one so I can have a finished pair.

I also worked on the vine lace stole. With that project it feels like two steps forward one step back. Knit four rows, rip back two. I think it's because I pick it up and put it down with several days in between each session. It's just kicking my butt and it's not that hard.

I almost forgot, I joined Sock Knitters Anonymous on Ravelry, not that I want to quit knitting socks. No indeed this is only feeding the addition. Every month they post a new challenge and give you two months to finish.

The December challenge is to either knit a Mimknits pattern or knit a top down pattern. I've decided to kick off Brigit on December 1 as a top down pattern in my Cherry Tree Hill Sockittome Loden yarn that I've had for a while. It will be a challenge to finish the socks in two months with a hat, two pairs of clogs and the brown and black socks also on the needles.

Actually, I'm hoping to wrap up the brown and black socks this week while I'm on vacation and perhaps finish the hat. We'll see.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I Love Gansey

I can officially say my Christmas socks are done. Using the sewn cast-off, I finished them up yesterday. I learned a new trick - how exciting. It was super easy.

Here are my brown and black "random" stripe socks. I did use the random stripe generator to create the base for my socks, but I knew I was going to use the black for the toes and the heels so I had to manually adjust the ratio of black to brown stripes slightly. You've got to love Excel for these types of things. I'm keeping a close eye on the yarn as I go along to make sure it all comes out in the end. I've seen lots of people do a pair of socks with 2 skeins, but the skeins seem so small.

I'm using Elann Esprit. I can't remember exactly why I bought the yarn, but I'm really liking it. If the socks wear well, I can see making more socks with this yarn and the random stripe generator. There are so many colors.

And let me just say, I'm a huge fan of toe-up socks.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Random Stripe Knitting

Actually, I can't believe how I'm blowing through projects this year. I mean, my rate of finishing socks is no where near some people's pair a week, but for me I'm cranking them out. Actually, I laughed at myself because when I finished up my "I Love Gansey" socks, I thought, "Man, I must have cranked those out in about a month." I checked Ravelry and found no, I started them in September not October, but still for me, I knew that was record time for a pair of socks. I do need to finish the bind-off and then get some pictures taken.

Since I finished the Corrugarter scarf and the Beads of Earth Scarf fell through, I need a no brainer knitting project for my 15 minutes a day knitting. The baby booties went so quickly they didn't fulfill this need. I decided to cast on my brown and black random striped socks. The yarn is Elann Esprit. I have one ball of each. I got passed the toe increases last night and knit for a while and decided this morning they were going to be way too big. I normally cast on 72, these were 60 and I'm going back to 52. It's a heavier yarn on size three needles, but that's crazy - 52. It's elastic, so I want them to be a little tight. Worst case I just increase a few stitches down the line.

I'm working them toe up, because I love toe up. And I'm having to work them one at a time because of the way the balls are wound. I usually like to do two socks at a time.

I've decided to frog the Caribbean socks. I like the pattern, but this yarn doesn't need to be mixed up the way the pattern would mix it up. I like the colorway so much, I want it to be the star. So I've decided to go with a stockinette front and back and a cable down each side. There's a pattern on Ravelry called "Aran Braid" and it is perfect, interesting enough for me to knit, while still allowing the colorway to shine.

I'll be casting on the Aran Braid socks soon. For my not so brainless knitting.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Emily's Mary Janes.

I really wasn't in the mood for knitting that took a lot of thought last night so all my sock projects were out as was the vine lace shawl. Since the baby booties need to be done this month, it made since to get started on them. The project called for some counting, but nothing too complicated. It's all knit stitches with a couple of make 1's here and there. Tonight I'll get to the K2T's. It think the booties will be fine Knit Night knitting.

Pictures soon, but basically the booties will look like this

Saturday, November 03, 2007

It's Going to be a Good Doggy Christmas

The Doggy Christmas Stocking is finished. Well, I guess it needs to be blocked, but if it had to hang on the mantel tomorrow it could. I had to get creative near the end because I ran out of one of the yarns. Sometimes those situations can really bring out your creative side and I'm pleased with the result.

This was my first real attempt at colorwork. Even though I tried really hard to strand loose on the long carries behind the work, it wasn't enough. It was much better for me to "knit" the yarn behind the working stitches. I hope I'll remember what that means the next time I do color work.

This is Alpaca Drops yarn I've had in my stash for over a year. The label says it's a sport weight, but it sure seems light. I saw this Beads of Earth scarf pattern on Ravelry and thought for sure it was perfect for this project, but it's not. The yarn is beautiful, the beads are great. I just need to put this back into stash so it can decide what it wants to be. But this scarf isn't it.

I'm making great progress on the "I Love Gansey" socks. I turned the heel and have started the full repeats of the pattern up the leg. Each sock is getting a turn and I'll knit until I'm out of yarn or happy with the length. But last night I couldn't fight it anymore, I had to cast on with my Socks that Fit Caribbean colorway. In the skein, there seems to be so much more white, but when knitted upThe white is only in small dashes like caps on waves, so I'm liking it. I'm playing with some stitch patterns to see if I want to design my own sock. The first pattern didn't work. It was going to be too much trouble to convert from back and forth into the round. That's OK because it was a close call between two different stitches so the second one definitely wins. I'll be giving all three socks (two Gansey, one unnamed) turns tonight. I want to continue forward progress on the Gansey, but can't wait to see how the blue socks come together.