Saturday, December 27, 2008

Planning for 2009 - The Year of Gift Knitting

2007 was the Year of Destash - to get rid of bad yarn.
2008 was the Year of Lace - hmmm, not really. But it was a good thought.
2009 is the Year of Gift Knitting - I plan to knit for others.

Knitting chemo caps this year was great. They were so well received, I'm inspired to continue gifting hats. Madonna asked for a lace scarf after seeing my vine lace scarf. Liza asked for a neck warmer. You can't keep it all and I'm still not in the mood for socks, so I'm carrying forward with projects I can give away.

Here is the gift list so far.

A Hulk Hat for Jack
A Calorimetry or Lace Headband for Jack's Sister
Liza's neckwarmer
A hat, bib and booties for Pedro and Margret's baby
A hat, bib and booties for Baby Rogg
A hat, bib and booties for Ricky and Crystal's baby
A lace head band for Brianna Ricky and Crystal's baby's older sister
Madonna's scarf

Because I'm crazed with the felted clogs, I already have a pair in the gift container. Luciano already had a pair. I obviously forgot I made them so the red pair are ready to be gifted to another lucky recipient.

I also plan to turn the linen yarn that's languishing in my stash into a beaded scarf. I have a potential recipient. Julie gave me an unexpected Christmas present. I got her nothing. I need to figure out when her birthday is and see how much time I have. She's very "green" so a linen scarf would be well received, plus we're in TX so a linen scarf is decorative without being too warm.

For me, I'd like to have a walk the dog cowl, but that may have to wait for next winter. I'm also interested in some fair isle. Maybe mittens or the Tapestry Cowl it's colorwork, double knitting and a cowl. Kind of exciting. I really want to give it a try, but for now I have several projects to finish before summer and would probably not be able to give it the time it so deserves. So it will wait.

The stake is in the ground. Let's see how the year falls out. For now I have to finish this year's kntting and that includes the Acero Clapotis scarf for my SIL. Off to knit.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Hit The Sale at the Shabby Sheep Today

I had a blast at the Shabby Sheep sale today. So many times I go in with no plan. I'm unclear what I need, so I don't know what I want and I'm left unfulfilled with my purchases. The yarn stales in my stash for an undetermined amount of time. Not this year.

Thanks to Ravelry I went in with a plan and a shopping list. When news of the sale hit I went to my queue and started to make a list of what I needed for upcoming projects.

First up, a scarf for Madonna. Lace yarn in red, around 400 yds - check. Claudia's Handpainted silk in Rubies Playing. Fun for me to knit and fabulous for Madonna to wear. And at 1,100 yds, this is good for a couple of projects. It was pricey for me even on sale, but oh so yummy.
175yds of sport weight for Liza's neck thing - check. I got a skein of Berroco Ultra Alpaca in brown. It's actually worsted weight, but it is going to be great.Yarn for baby socks in Texas - check. Panda Soy Sock in Poppy Red to match the onesies I got at the mall. I was going to use this Mountain Colors I got at the SOW Sock Yarn gift exchange, but mohair in TX is overkill. In fact, most of these babies will be born in the summer so it is really out of the question.But it is pretty. Now I'm not sure what I'll do with it but it will come to me. Perhaps mittens.

Speaking of mittens, I've cued a ton of fair isle, I took advantage of today's sale to pick up some funky colors in the Louet Gems sock yarn. This will go with the charcoal I already have and make a nice pair of mittens or a scarf or a cowl. Or maybe more than one of the above.
Now the Malabrigo Sock was pure indulgence. It came from the Knitting Nook a couple of weeks ago. I don't know what it want's to be, but it is so soft, how can I not have a skein aging beautifully in my stash.I'm still on a sock hiatus so this may end of being a scarf or a cowl. I'm on a cowl kick. Not that I've knit a bunch, but they are queued.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Knitting and More

Once again I can't believe it's been so long since I blogged. Good news is I've gotten plenty of knitting done.

I finished a hat for Pat's MIL. It's a chemo cap in the ovarian cancer color.

I'm just almost done with Adrianne's dog walking cowl. I just have the edging to finish. Need to get that done this week.

I finally cast on Robyn's clapotis. I've gone back and forth on whether or not to make it a wrap or a scarf. Right now I'm in the scarf stage. Since it's do or die time on the stitch count, it will most likely be a scarf. The truth is, she probably would never wear a wrap. She'd think she never had the right time and she wouldn't use it everyday. This way, she can use it as an every day scarf. I'm happy with that.

After Christmas knitting includes a Shrek hat for Jack. I can't wait to do that and Jeri gifted me the yarn. How cool is that?

There are also three babies due this spring. I bought red and white onsies. I have 5 skeins of denim yarn that will make really cute hats to round out the outfits. If there's enough yarn, I'll also do a bib or two.

Then my friend Madonna (not THE Madonna) asked for a scarf. She offered to pay me, but...if I work it up as a gift, I can knit what I want to knit with the yarn I want to knit with. I have an idea of what she wants, now to pick out the yarn. I'm thinking something with silk in a jewel tone.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Knitting Workshop

I was on vacation the week of the November 10th. Purely by accident I was off the same week the Arlington guild hosted a knitting workshop with Maureen Mason-Jamieson. I was lucky enough to score a spot in the workshop.

We learned about taming collars, the Joy of Steeking and on the second day we knit a purse using mitered squares and slip-stitches.

I was unsure of what to expect because this was my first workshop, but I did my homework as instructed. As a result, I leared a ton, a TON, in the class. And I met some really nice people.

The collar class was really good. We learned how to make the collar roll the way we want it too. And the purse is cute and I love the slip-stitch pattern Maureen shared, but my favorite was the steeking class.

Steeking is a very scary thing and Maureen took out all the fear. The steek is to be respected if you don't want to demolish a year's knitting, but it can also be magical. Actually, I can't wait to give it a try.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

12:01 Felted Pumpkin

This is my great pumpkin destash. I decided I wanted to make the 12:01 pumpkin after I saw Grace's three pumpkins. But I didn't want to buy any yarn. I felt a personal challenge to see if I could make these from stash. With my WotA natural, WotA Bulky natural, fingering natural and some brownish scraps of Cascade, I had more than enough grams to do the job. I did end up going into the second skein of fingering weight wool, but I've had it in my stash for so long and I will not make any socks from it so it's OK. I used over a dozed packets of orange kool-aid. I had previous dyed one skein with tamarindo flavored kool-aid and it was hideous brown, then I over-dyed it with red and yellow mixed (trying to make orange) it came out persimmon. Then I added orange, but by then it was tired and it wouldn't take any more dye.

I had a lot of fun mixing the colors back and forth.
Here's the finished product. It's brighter in real life, but not as bright at the yarn picture above. I did lose some dye while I was felting. I didn't heat set the kool-aid. It's never been an issue before, but I really pushed the dye on a couple these skeins. It might be that I pushed too much.
I used the pumpkin to hand out candy Halloween night. Now it sits on the table as a Thanksgiving decoration.

Lots of Chemo Cap Knitting

Wow, has it really been that long since I posted? I've gotten lots of knitting done.

I've been working on chemo caps. Not the funnest subject, but both Anita and Jack enjoy their hats. I see Anita wearing her's all the time. I've even gotten emails from coworkers commenting on the hats.

Anita is one of the nicest people in the building and we are all pulling for her. She's about to take her 5th chemo and the tumor is shrinking. The doctors think this could be the last treatment and then surgery. This is such a good sign. The red hat below is her graduation from chemo hat. I'm working to finish it before Nov 6 in case they do make that her last treatment. If not, her last treatment is the week of Thanksgiving.

The pink hat was the first hat. It's pink for breast cancer of course, but it looks so good on her. I knit this one first because I knew she needed a hat and I knew it would go much faster than Shedir.

In reality, I knit Shedir for me. The pattern seemed intriguing and I thought it would look so cool. The pattern is intriguing, but I don't like the way it fits her and don't get me started on the yarn. The Calmer is fantastic until you wash it. I admit the instructions say hand-wash and I did machine-wash it. When I washed it, it faded, it pilled and it lost stitch definition. Honestly for the money, I would not buy it again. It was nice to knit with, but it goes down hill from there.
Anita liked the pink hat so much, I knit a green one. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture before I gave it to her. Instead of a button, this time I sewed down the flap and she accents with a pin. Usually a pretty bee pin, but she can use whatever she's in the mood for.

Then there's the red hat. As I said it's her graduation hat. We're going to attach a tassel (temporarily) to signify the graduation, and some other co-workers are going to buy Christmas pins to use as the accent. This should see her through the holidays.

I'm using the Pi Topper Chemo Cap pattern from Elann and it is amazing. When I finish Anita's red hat, I'm going to start on yet another one in peacock green/blue for Pat's MIL. Pat is one of the guys that works with Anita and he sees how much Anita enjoys her hats and asked me to make one for his MIL who is battling ovarian cancer. Not knowing her at all, so I don't know what color would look good on her, I found the color for ovarian cancer ribbon and matched the Elann Esprit color closest to it. It's a beautiful color and I think anyone would look good in it. I will finish it by next week. Hopefully no later than Friday.

Then there's Jack. He is two years old and going through chemo for Leaukemia. His mom, Kim, is a client of my company. I'm on that team, but I don't really know her, but who can resist knitting a hat for a 2-year-old. Jeri gifted the denim yarn. Thanks Jeri. I used the Karlchen formula to knit the hat. On a conference call yesterday, Kim said Jack loves his hat and wears it all the time. He calls it his lid. I think that is soooo cute. She sent the nicest thank you note and knowing that Jack uses the hat makes me want to knit a couple more.
Jack and his family have a long haul ahead of them. They could have to endure 3 years of treatment, but the fantastic news is there is a 95% cure rate and Jack is expected to make a full recovery.
I'm thinking he might like a bear lid in Knitpicks Swish. It's so soft.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Feels a Little Like Fall

The weather is amazing. We slept with the windows in the bedroom open last night. I haven't slept that good in a long time.

I just wanted to stay home today. Throw open all the windows and clean.

DH started his new job today. Same company, new department. Now he has set hours. He starts at 6:30am and he's off at 3:30pm. That means I have the house to myself in the morning. That combined with the weather made it hard to go to work.

I have a week of vacation left. I'm not sure when I'm going to take it, but I want to do it when the weather is like it was this morning.

It's going to get hot again, this was just a tease, but fall will be here soon.

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Small Project

Sometimes you have to stop your regular knitting and interject a small project for a friend.

Tuesday I commented on Anita's new cute haircut. She looked at me like I had three heads (in a very sweet way) and whispered, "This is a wig. I have breast cancer and I'm going through chemotherapy. Didn't Connie tell you?"

No Connie did not tell me. And the wig looked great because I really did think it was her hair. I repeated that the wig looked great and offered to knit her a hat.

This is where Ravelry comes in. I searched for a hat pattern. Found it - Shedir. Checked out other people's yarn choices - Rowan Calmer spec'd by the pattern was the clear winner. I read people's notes and learned from their experiences. I also tapped the SOWs. We have several people with varying degrees of chemo experience. All agreed Calmer was a good choice. I'm headed to Yarns Ewenique in Ft. Worth tomorrow to pick up a skein of blue.

In the meantime, I discovered Pi Topper Chemo Cap that calls for Elann Esprit. It will go much faster than Shedir, so I'll cast it on first. I have three skeins of dark green Esprit. I'm thinking I can finish the green hat this weekend.

My sister made an interesting point, she said some people use chemo caps as pajamas for their heads. I thought that was cute.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

So What Are You Working On?

For all that Fair Isle swatching, I still have not cast on the Endpaper Mitts. I think I'm just not in the mood to cast on a big project right now.

I did finish two smaller projects in August. Another pair of clogs. This pair for Robyn, my SIL. I entered them in the Ravelympics Felted Freestyle and medaled. I am so happy to have these done.

I also knit this face cloth from Euroflax Original Sport Weight Linen. I'm a tad disappointed in the final product. I don't think it's gift worthy so I'm keeping it for myself. There was a honking knot in the yarn that ended up in the middle of the cloth. It's not square, blocking would probably fix that when I do get to the gift facecloths. And finally, I am just not a fan of garter stitch. This does not say to me that it is a fantastic and special handmade gift.

Since this only took 54yds of yarn, I have more. I'm going to do the same basic pattern next time, putting stockinette in the center. One smooth side and one purl side for exfoliating. I hope that looks nicer and more luxurious. I'll be more careful when I cast off to make sure that corner isnt' too pointy. I'm going to pair these "fantastic" facecloths with bars of handmade soap for Christmas gifts for work friends.

I also cast on the Moss Grid Towel in worsted kitchen cotton. So far I don't like it. Tough on my hands and it's clunky. I figure I will finish it and use it in my kitchen. I probably won't do another one.

So what am I really working...still knitting on the Blue Sky Alpaca Silk Clapotis. Have mercy that thing is taking forever. I'm currently knitting from balls 4 and 5. When I finish 4 and start on 6, I'll start the decrease section. Balls 5 and 6 should be enough to decrease. The Alpaca Silk is a joy to knit with and it's even better after knitting a few rows in kitchen cotton.

I really want to finish this clap before starting Robyn's Christmas Clapotis, but I may be running out of time. I've been knitting on my current clap for 5 months now. However, it is going to be worth it. It's beautiful

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Fair Isle Swatching

Six months ago I would never had dreamed that I'd have the Fair Isle bug, but I've been bitten. Fingerless mitts seem like a good knitted Christmas gift. Not a huge investment of time, practical for the recipient and I can make them from my stash. I enjoyed the Stulpens so I searched Ravelry for other fingerless mitt patterns and there they were Eunny Jang's End Paper Mitts.

Step one: Go to Ravelry find the pattern and queue it. Own the project.

Step two: While on Ravelry, check your stash and study your options.

Step three: Annouce your intent at knit night. I was so happy to hear Jeri wanted to knit the End Paper mitts too. With little persuasion, Rebecca jumped on board and we decided to have a fall KAL. All the Sisters are invited to join in the fun.

Step four: Get back on Ravelry and study other people's FO, WIP and UGHs. Figure out what you like and what you don't.

Step five: Swatch. Yup, I'm gonna do it. Not for gauge, although that will be a side benefit, but to see which color goes where and to be 100% sure this is a project I want to tackle.

The pink swatch is finished and I do want to do this project. First, I did grey with pink (bottom.) This is the way it's been coming together in my head and when I saw the results, I thought for sure I had a winner. I went ahead with the pink with grey swatch anyway (top.) Wait a minute, I kind of like this too. I'm not any closer to making a decision that before I swatched. In fact, I may be more confused.

The swatch went pretty fast. I did two of the three repeats of the pattern needed for the cuff of the mitt and finished in one night of unrushed knitting.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Lisa Models the Stulpens

The Stulpens look even better on. I'm excited that they are such a nice fit.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Lovin' The Shabby Sheep

My sister was in town last weekend and we did a small 2 store yarn shop crawl.

My usual stop is the Shabby Sheep. Ronda is so nice and she knows me, calls me by name and makes me feel welcome. More than that, I like the yarns she carries. At any given point in time, I can walk in the store and love 95% of the inventory. The other 5% is baby yarn. It's just not where I'm at.

Jeannie liked the selection too, but it merely whetted her appetite and she hadn't spent all her money. There are several more shops in the area so we headed toward one I've only been in once. Up to this point, I stayed away because it's "geographically undesirable." But this was a special occasion.

When we got to the other store* we were overwhelmed with the selection. It's probably double what's at the Sheep, stacked floor to ceiling - literally to the ceiling. They had a nice selection of popular yarns. I found several things I liked. At the same time, I waded through a bunch of yarn which was not my taste. I'd say 33% of the inventory fit my taste the other 66% just got in my way and overwhelmed me. See the * below, this is not a negative critic of this store.

It's kind of like dating around before settling down. I was sowing my wild knitting oats. What I realized is, the Shabby Sheep has what I need.

It is so good to know the store closest to me, with the greatest staff is also the store that's the best fit for me.

*I'm specifically not naming the other store because it is not my intent to give it a bad review. It's a great store, I just have more in common with Ronda's taste.

DS and I had a great time.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Christmas Knitting

I've been comtemplating Christmas knitting. I so enjoyed our Handmade Christmas last year and would love to keep the tradition going. I've been mulling over what to make for the folks on my list.

I recently came into some KP Alpaca Cloud Cappucino Heather, a lovely brown lace weight yarn. At first I was thinking of a scarf (perhaps something lacey from Victorian Lace Today) for a friend at work. Then I saw this smoke ring Lynn knit. I love the fan pattern. It reminds me of the quilt my MOM made me.

My sister came to visit last weekend and we visited the Shabby Sheep. I found the silk smoke ring while looking for the flared smoke ring pattern. The patterns are from the same designers and fairly similar. The store had a model, in red, of the silk smoke ring and it was heaven. So that's the pattern I bought. I looked and looked for a yarn that might work with the pattern, but I keep coming back to the cappucino heather. It's a subtle brown that will go with so many things.

I love the idea of the smoke ring for MOM. She doesn't really wear a coat. She never has, but this will keep her neck warm, like a scarf, but can also work as protection on her head. I don't expect her to wear it into a store or church pulled over her head, but if she gets into a cold car and needs the warmth, it's so simple to pull it into place. And it has just a bit of glam.

I'm considering one of these for Aunt Peggy, but painting canvases might be even better. Maybe I'll do both.

For Robyn, my SIL, I have planned to knit a clapotis from two skeins of yummy forest green Brooks Farm Acero. It's machine washable, but still luxurious with it's silk content. The color is perfect for her. I'm holding off starting it until I can get my Blue Sky Alpaca version finished. I figure if there are lessons to learn I should learn them and then apply them to Robyn's clap.

My sister will get yarn probably. I actually have something in mind, but won't be sharing because she might see it.

I'm thinking the men in my life might get smoke rings of their own. I'll man it up a bit. They all spend time outside working with their hands or hunting. They can't really deal with a scarf getting in the way and moving around on them, but a wimple would keep their neck warm without getting in the way. I won't put any pretty patterning in it, but lots of warm wool or alpaca. It needs to not be itchy and probably it needs to be machine-washable. Definitely it needs to be machine-washable. I'm a fan of Brooks Farm Yarns. Mas Acero may be just the thing.

Two Finished Objects

With Camp Juwie in full swing last week, I didn't get a ton of knitting done on my vacation, but I did work on a couple of the simpler projects. The result is two finished objects. First, the Stulpens knitted for Lisa's friend Yolanda. She has arthritis in her hands and they are cold most of the time. The alpaca should keep them warm. The project sort of came out of the blue, but it was so fun to do and such a good use for this yarn. The Garnstudio Alpaca languished in my stash for so long. I'm glad I didn't force it into something it didn't want to be because it makes perfect fingerless mitts. Love, love, loved the cables. Stulpens were a quick knit even though on the calendar it looks like it took me a long time. Hour-wise they went quickly.
Notice the slight flare at the bottom of the mitt, I cast-on the project on size 3 needles. Five rows in I realized the gauge was all wrong. Who knew sport weight yarn on 3's could be airy. Figuring this could be my swatch, I decided to switch to 1's and see if that was better. It was. At that point I decided I liked the subtle flare and contined on. I mimiced it on the second one and I really do like it. When it's on you don't even see it and it keeps it from being tight around the arm.
I also finally cast-off my Caribbean colorway socks at knit night last Tuesday. This is an old picture. I have to be honest. I'm so over socks right now. 2008 was deemed the Year of Lace and I'm so glad. It's just the break I needed. I'm not done with socks forever, but for now, I'm happy to be doing something else.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I Love Cables

I love to knit cables and this weekend I figured out why. It's magic to watch the stitches criss-cross each other row after row. There's a feeling of satifaction with every round. I could hardly put this down Sunday afternoon. I just kept crissing and crossing. There will be no second mitt syndrome. I can't wait to get started on the next one.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Stulpen Fingerless Mitts

I've had this Alpaca Drops yarn in my stash for what seems like FOREVER. I bought it to make the scarf in the picture. It didn't work.

So then I tried this beaded scarf. It didn't work.
Then I tried the fabulous Lace Ribbon Scarf from Knitty. I really wanted it to, but it didn't work.

Then Liza at work mentioned wanting some fingerless mitts for a friend with arthritis. I checked out patterns on Ravelry. Found Stulpen. Someone had made a pair from Drops Alpaca. I thought, "I have some of that." And here we are a happy project in the works. Stash busted.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

We Interupt Your Regularly Scheduled Knitting...

I have never had this many projects actively on the needles. I'm running with scissors over here.
I'm taking a little break from my regular knitting projects to work on a block for a baby afghan for Grace's niece. It's a complicated story I won't go into, but suffice it to say the Sisters are coming together for a good cause. We each purchased a skein of this pretty green yarn and promised to knit a block. It is so interesting to see the patterns each person chose to knit. I searched websites for pretty dishcloth patterns and found this one. Our blocks should be 10" that's the size of this pattern. No small holes for small fingers to tangle in - perfect.

I haven't blogged in over a month. I've been busy knitting. This is the Hannover Socken in Rittersporn Wollmeise. I'm loving it. I used the toe originally cast on for Pomatomus and carried on with this sock. The two patterns are similar, but Pomatomus had way too much *P1, K1TBL* This pattern gives me section of stockinette. A nice break. Love the yarn, love the pattern.

I've had the yarn for the Shetland Tea Shawl for over a year. For whatever reason the urge to cast on struck me about two weeks ago. This is where I've been spending most of my knitting time. The first 30-ish rounds were very tricky. And I do have a big hole I'm hoping I can close up by shifting stitches around. The first pattern repeat went quickly. Then I doubled the number of stitches to start the next pattern and all of sudden it felt like I was slugging along in water up to my knees. The rounds just aren't going as quickly. I knew this was going to happen, but for whatever reason, I was still a little surprised.

I finally jumped on the Clapotis train. I'm making mine with Blue Sky Alpaca Silk in Spring (I16). It is fabulous. It's not getting a ton of knitting time, but that's OK. It's a fairly mindless project (compared to the STS) so I keep it close for days when I'm not in the mood for lace.

I started out just knitting through the back loop as written in the pattern. Then I remembered reading about purling through the back loop on the purl back row. It makes a huge difference and I love the look.

This is the re-knit everlasting bag stopper from knitty. I just need to get some handles and then I can gift it. It was a fun, easy diversion - mindless knitting.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

DFW Fiber Fest and Wollmeise

Joy and I hit the DFW Fiber Fest today. What a kick. You meet lots of new people traveling with Joy, she knows everyone.

We didn't buy them out, but I got a couple of really fun things.

Check out this great pink sock yarn for Fiber Lady. Each skein is 200yds and it's a wool/bamboo/nylon mix. I'm not sure what I'll do with it, but I love the semi-solid coloring.

Next I visited Brooks Farm Yarns. My fabulous vine lace shawl is made from two skeins of the brown and black acero. I knew I wanted at least one more skein. I was thinking red, but then this green started talking to me. I'm not sure if it's going to be socks or a skinny clapotis, but I had to bring it home.

We saw lots of other great yarns, but I set a limit and tried to stick with it. Lonestar Arts has some nice offerings and I will visit her on Etsy. And Jojoland has some amazing stuff. And of course, Madeline Tosh has fantastic color combinations.

It's not as if I don't already have enough yarn. A couple of weeks ago our Wollmeise order arrived and I am now the proud owner of 2 skeins of Wollmeise 80/20 twin, one in the coveted Spice Market and the other in Birkenrinde.

Because of presschecks on Friday I made a lot of progress (finally) on the Caribbean colorway simple rib socks. These things are dragging on. I did the afterthought heel which was fun to learn. Picking up the stitches is a bit of a pain, but I love just decreasing like a toe.

I need to go knit. I have to play with some of this new yarn.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Four - Count Them Four - Projects on the Needles

I have an unprecedented 4 projects on the needles.
The Wollmeise Pomatomus - which are on the needles but currently hibernating.

The Brighton bag from Knitty that isn't far enough along to photograph.

My Caribbean colorway socks. These are my February SKA offering. I'm trying out a new heel, the afterthought heel. I have to be honest, this scares the crap out of me. Right now I have a gaping hole in one of my socks where the heel will go. I released the stitches and got them picked up at knit night. I think next time I'll do it at home. It's a tad nerve-racking and I wasn't very good company, but I was thankful to have Jeri there to save me a couple of times.

Finally, I have a "green" shopping bag I've decided to give Adrianne. I'm gifting it to Adrianne for a couple of reasons, she'll appreciate it, she gave me the yarn, and she knit the bottom of it. She started a Mason-Dixon kimono for her niece, but got sidetracked and the niece grew. Adrianne got frustrated and gifted me several skeins of brightly colored cotton. I frogged the sweater back until I picked up the required 116 stitches and started knitting. It's a great 5-minute-a-day knitting project. Can't wait to give it to her.
Gratuitous pictures of the dogs.

Baby Girl loves - loves - her ball. If you'll throw it, she chase it for hours.
Niña is a challenge to photograph. She is so black, most of the time you can't even see her eyes. This picture allows you to see her sweet, sweet face. She weighs whopping 6lbs, but she thinks she can run with the big dogs.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wait. I Think I Changed My Mind

I've had the Linen Lace Beaded Shawl in the queue since I bought the yarn in Minneapolis in February 2006. I tried on the store model and decided then and there that I must have it. Since the pattern was free with a yarn purchase, I went for it. Except that I'm a little cheap and back then I would short the amount of yarn I purchased thinking I would make "it" (whatever it is) just a little smaller then the pattern calls for. So I bought two skeins of yarn rather than the specified three. I also bought 5,000 (or maybe it's 8,000, I lost count) beads for the project.

I have since seen the error of my cheapskate ways and don't waste my money buying inadequate amounts of yarn. I've toyed with the idea of buying another skein of the yarn at a local store even though the dye lot wouldn't be the same. I've also discussed the project with a few people on Ravelry who have actually knit it and they agree the project is beautiful, but they found the yarn difficult to work with.

I've also recently learned that I prefer knitting shawls, wraps, stoles, whatever you want to call them, to wearing them. So when the Brighton bag presented itself in the Spring '08 Knitty, I changed my mind about what the Euroflax Linen wanted to be. I'm not sure what I'll do with all those beads. Not panic for now. I got a good deal on them and will find something to do with them eventually.

I've been knitting more than blogging and I finished my umpteenth pair of clogs - Robyn's second pair. No pictures yet. I've also been working on my February SKA socks - a new heel. I'm using my caribbean colorway and trying the afterthought heel. I'm at the heel on both socks and have until the end of March to finish to qualify for the SKA challenge. I figure it's a good goal.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Vine Lace Shawl is Done

Done. Complete. Blocked. Ends woven in and everything.

I could wear it tomorrow if I wanted and I just might. I'm very happy with it and the Acero yarn is wonderful to work with. It blocked beautifully. I would definitely use it again.

The finished dimensions are 17" x 85." I was actually hoping it would be a tad wider, but it will be OK. The length is good. I didn't want it to get too long so I was on the cautious side about when to stop. I did the lace pattern all one direction, no provisional cast on kitchner for me. Both the cast on and cast off edges have a similar scallop.

I used ~580 yards of yarn. I have 2 partials skeins totalling 260 yards. I don't think that's enough for a pair of socks. Not sure what I will do with it, but I know I would love to knit it. Maybe I can find something that will work for toes and heels.

Friday, February 15, 2008

I Just Couldn't Do It - Plain Ribbing

The vine lace shawl is still getting much knitting and I think it will be done this weekend. Rumor has it the weather is going to be bad, so it will be a good time to snuggle up, watch a movie and knit.

The Pomatomus is hibernating. I'm undecided if the "knit thru the back loop, purl" repetition is something I really want to get into. They are lovely socks, but I'm just not in the mood. I'm much more in the mood for these slippery socks. I'm not really sure where the name comes from, but I love the pattern. I also think it's fabulous that they were created by a young designer. I think the wollmeise will provide outstanding stitch definition. So I'm seriously considering these socks.

In the meantime, I needed something to knit on for the SKA February challenge. So I cast on, toe-up of course, socks using my caribbean colorway Some Assembly Required sock yarn. I planned to do a 6 x 2 rib with an afterthought heel (I've never done that type of heel before.) But I just couldn't do it. A plain old rib, no way. So I searched my stitch pattern books for a cable, just a simple cable I can run up the sides of the sock. I'm not coming up with some brand new, off the wall design, just building off existing ideas.

I found several 4 stitch cables that might work. Six stitch cables would also be an option. I haven't actually gotten both socks to the point yet where I want to start the cables. So I still have time to plan and scheme. But when I get the socks going, and if my plan works. I'll share the recipe.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Vine Lace Shawl is Getting a Turn

I'm not sure what happened. Maybe I got just a bit burned out on socks or maybe I am just really ready to knit some lace. Whatever the case, the Vine Lace shawl has been a lot of knitting lately.

I am really enjoying it. My hands don't cramp from trying to hold the yarn tight to maintain some kind of gauge. I just knit and yarn over and purl and don't worry about it being a bit airy. I'm currently at 34" without stretch. I figure I need to be at 52"-55" in order to finisd at 88" or 90".

To determine my finished unblocked length, I measured out a 6" long unstretched section and then blocked that section out. It blocked to 10" long. This told me my unstretched measurement was 60% of the final size. If I want a stole 88" long, I need to get to 55" unstretched. Another example of how to apply math in real life.

I make no mention of the width. I figure that's pretty much set. I was happy enough with the width stretch when I blocked it. I'm good.

Guess I'll get back to knitting. I have about 20" more to go. But I'm really enjoying.

Monday, January 21, 2008

It Was a Handmade Christmas!

We had Christmas with my family in OK this weekend. As is turns out, it was a predominantly handmade Christmas. I started to say homemade, but that doesn't do justice to the wonderful works of art I received.

I put in a request with my Aunt Peggy for a painting. We have a bathroom near the pool that I want to decorate with a beach theme. I have these pictures I took on our cruise to Mexico, but alone they were not all that outstanding. I had a vision of them being combined.
Aunt Peggy did a great job of putting them together into a wonderful painting. It will definitely be the focal point of the pool bathroom. I love it.

My sister-in-law surprised me with this fantastic filet crochetted piece. B is my married family initial. Those that know me know me by my maiden name, but my married name starts with a "B." She would have done the whole name, but it's 9 letters long and she was afraid she wouldn't find a frame to fit it. I just love it.

My Mom paints these fantanstic rock animals. I asked her for a rabbit for Christmas. The rabbit will have a special place in my flower garden in the back yard. I'm going to nestle her into the mulch once the bed wakes up from winter.
My sister got me one of those LCD picture frames. So cool. I can put family pictures in it as well as pictures I've taken on trips.

It was a good Christmas. I love everything I got. Several things I could not have made for myself and one thing I would never have bought for myself.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Brigit - My First FO for 2008

These are my Gigi Silva - Brigit socks. They are my December Sockdown offering and they are finished - ends woven in and everything.

I cast on 72 followed the pattern. I wish I had made the leg longer. I had yarn leftover, kind of alot. I did the Jeri toe and stopped when I had 10 stitches on each needle to kitchner together.

Yesterday I cast on my January Sockdown socks - Cookie A's Pomatomus. I'm doing them toe up and I started with 10 stitches on each needle. I finished increasing the first toe and I thought I might cast on the second toe during the Cowboy's game today, but instead I'm going to get into the pattern and make sure it's going to work. Then if it does, I'll cast on the second sock. I'm using the Wollmeise Sockenwolle and I'm in love.

Monday, January 07, 2008

One Step Forward and Two Steps Back

I knit a lot this weekend. I finished #1 Brigit sock to the toe. I would be much further along on Brigit sock #2 if I hadn't done so much re-knitting. Twice - twice I just yanked the needles out and started frogging. This is not something you do lightly on cabled socks. But the error was so bad and so far back that was all I could do. In the end it worked out fine. Hopefully I won't make the same mistakes on sock #2.

I knit a couple of rows on the vine lace shawl. Just so it would have a turn.

I did not cast on the Clapotis even though I seriously considered it. I gave the vine lace shawl a turn instead.

I'm nothing if not faithful. I keep thinking, I don't want to give the shawl a turn right now, if I'll just knit on the socks, I can get them done. Then I'll cast on the January SKA sock. I did decide to do Pomatomus in the Wollmeise. Wollmeise is not the kind of yarn you want smoldering in your stash. It is meant to be knit.

I have a KP order coming soon. I ordered 4 new circular needles. If I can just get over this need to be faithful to one project, I might cast on two pairs (that's 4 total) of socks.

On the walking front, I've done 8.75 miles. 9% done. The challenge is about 9% of the way done so I'm on target. Wahoo. The dogs are loving this. I think Baby Girl actually smiles when we are on our walks. Niña too for that matter. They love their walks. I can't even say the word "walk" or they go crazy. I have to spell it out or risk the wrath.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Having a Hissyknit: Is Having a Contest

Having a Hissyknit: Love Knit, Love Knit, Love Knit Contest

Check our Hissyknit's contest. My favorite yarn is Blue Sky Alpaca Silk, I'm knitting the Clapotis and I got it at the Shabby Sheep.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Got the Heel Turned

Just a quick update as I try to get back into work mode after 11 days vacation. I did finish turning the heel on the second Brigit sock before I went to bed last night. Wahoo.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

100 Miles in 3 Months

I signed up for the 100 Miles in 3 months Ravelry group. Figured it sounded like a good idea. I like to walk the dogs everyday (except Tuesday cause that's knit night). This way I have a group to share it with.

They mention running 3 miles 3 times a week, but I'll knock it out a day at a time, a mile at a time. I'm sure as the weather gets nicer, I'll put in some longer walks on the weekends. It's not unheard of for the dogs and I to walk for 40-60 minutes on a pretty weekend day.

Brigit update - I finished the heel on one sock and will get started on the second tonight. I think 1 more full pattern repeat for the foot and I'll be ready for the toe. It shouldn't be too long now.

I need to cast on for the January SKA challenge. I'm definitely going with a Cookie A pattern. The question is do I cast on Pomatomus with my Wollmeise Rittersporn

Or take a slightly easier route and knit Hedera with my latest acquisition Charcoal Louet Gems

I'm really leaning toward the Louet Charcoal Hedera. I've read that Hedera is a quick, easy knit. The SOWs also have a Bayerishe KAL coming up in February. So I'll need to free up some needles for that. We'll just have to see what happens.

For now I have to wait for the needles I ordered to come in before I can cast on anything. I guess I have a little time to think and knit.