Monday, December 14, 2009

10 in 2010

I joined a group on Ravelry called 10 in 2010. To be honest, I knit 26 projects this past year and at least 20 each year for the three years prior to that so 10 projects in a year is a cinch. But, I thought this tied nicely with my "No Crap Yarn Knitting in 2010" theme.

I'm going to knit 10 nice yarn projects in 2010.

I love lists, so here goes.

My 10 Nice Yarns:
Joseph Galler Prime Alpaca
Malabrigo Worsted
Indie Knits Cashmere
Noro Silk Garden
Sundara Sock Yarn
Wollmeise Sock Yarn - Spice Market
Wollmeise Sock Yarn - Rittersporn
Brooks Farm Solo Silk
Louet Euroflax - willow or natural
Brooks Farm Acero - 300yds only

My 10 Projects for these yarns:
Joseph Galler Prime Alpaca - Cinnamon Grace
Malabrigo Worsted - Just Enough Ruffles
Indie Knits Cashmere - Abstract Leaves Cowl
Noro Silk Garden - End Paper Mitts
Sundara Sock Yarn - TBD
Wollmeise Sock Yarn - Spice Market - Saroyan
Wollmeise Sock Yarn - Rittersporn - TBD
Brooks Farm Solo Silk - TBD
Louet Euroflax - willow or natural - Brighton Purse
Brooks Farm Acero - 300yds only - neckwarmer or fingerless mitts

My New Year's Resolution is to not mess around and put off starting great projects. I'm going to start awesome yarn knitting on or before Jan 1. If I don't have a fabulous yarn project on the needles by Jan 1, I will cast it on that day.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

We Made a Blown Glass Ornament

As if the yarn wasn't enough, a while back my husband agreed to go to Scott Young's workshop to make a hand blown glass ornament for our anniversary. I had intended for this to be our gift to one another. It seemed appropriate since we were married around Christmas.

This is a terrible picture of the ornament, but I had to hurry because it needed to get to the kiln. I was thinking the colors should be red, green and gold because those were the colors of our wedding. I thought Marshall had agreed but when Scott asked about the colors, Marshall said, "Blue." I agreed because I was just happy he was there, but then he added, "cause you're my blue eyes." Ahhh. Of course, blue.

We had also decided we wanted to frame it in a shadow box rather than put it on the tree. It's a piece of art and we want to show it off all the time. So Scott agreed to flatten it for us. I am just in love with the blue.
Marshall took the lead on heating up the glass and putting on the color. His arm was red after he was done from being so close to the fire.
Here is Scott blowing the ornament. It was fun to watch, but it happened very quickly. Then the ornament went into the kiln and we won't see it again until Tuesday. It's like waiting for Christmas.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Looking Forward to 2010

2009 was the "Year of Gifted Knitting" To date I have finished 26 projects. 25 of those are gifts. Some gifted, some in the gift closet. I enjoyed knitting with other people in mind.

2008 was the "Year of Lace"

2007 was the "Year of the Destash"

In recent months, I've concentrated on my Christmas knitting, I haven't planned knitting projects beyond December.

On December 5, our 11th wedding anniversary, my husband gave me a stash of fantastic yarn. I'd been looking toward 2010 and pondering the knitting theme for the new year. When I saw the bag of wonderful yarns, I knew immediately that 2010 would be the "Year of Knitting with Wonderful Yarn."That's the positive way of saying, "No Crap Yarn Knitting in 2010." I have so much great stash, why do I insist on trying to clear out the crap so I can "reward" myself with good yarn knitting later. No more. Only good yarn knitting until the good yarn is gone!

What's a girl going to knit in 2010:

Just Enough Ruffles scarf in Malabrigo - hubby bought me the pattern.

Saroyan scarf in Joseph Galler - OMG that's the softest yarn ever (hubby stash in a color he specifically selected for me and a "Bones" themed pattern = win-win)

Abstract Leaves Cowl in Cashmere - neither pattern nor yarn from hubby, but it's cashmere
Endpaper Mitts in Noro and Louet Gems - hubby bought the Noro and liked it because it's "bright"

I don't want to negate all of the knitting good I did in 2009, but all of the projects listed above are for me, me, me. And I'm going to wear them. I'm pretty sure the Just Enough Ruffles will get cast on as soon (if not sooner) as the Christmas knitting is done.Maybe I'll make a deal with myself, finish two of the three Christmas projects and I can cast on the malabrigo scarf. Our family Christmas is in January and I don't want to wait that long.

These are the other two yarns M bought me. I don't know what I'm going to do with them yet. I'm waiting for them to speak to me.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Finished Objects and a Rav Trade

First, a Rav trade gone so good. I finished Madonna's Flutter from Claudia Hand-painted silk and had no further plans for the yarn. I didn't particularly want to sell it, but I like trades so I noted that on my Rav trade page. Alicia suggested my red silk for her black cashmere. Oh my goodness, I definitely think I came out on top of the trade. I hope she feels the same way.
I really like that the yarn is thicker then most lace weights. I cannot wait to finish my Christmas knitting so I can cast on something for me. I am seriously considering the Abstract Leaves Cowl. Now, to bead or not to bead, that is the question.

I have been on a real baby bonnet kick. This Super Quick Baby Bonnet is indeed super quick. I can finish one in about 3 hours - and how cute it is. The project takes less then 50yds so it's great for destashing. This white bonnet is knit from Patons Cot'n Corn yarn. Very splitty, but a very soft matte surface. I plan to embroider flowers on the bonnet.
The original bonnet I knit Destiny is way too big. I decided to follow the pattern again, but this time use a fingering weight yarn. The result is a much smaller bonnet, but I do think it's newborn size. Now I just need to get it to her before it's too small.
Lastly, while on vacation, I finished this scarf. Because the original recipient annouced she hates scarves, I have no idea who will get this, but it sure is soft. I will find someone.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Knitted Gift Rejected Already

I've been talking for the last two months about the scarves I'm knitting for 4 women at work. I knit three of the four from stash. I'm pretty pleased with where I stand.

One particular person was giving me trouble. I baited her to find out a color. She thought I was talking about someone else so she said, "Scarves should be a fun color like fuschia." No fuschia in my stash so I made the sacrifice and bought malabrigo. It's tough I know. One day she was making her mii for the wii (odd I know, but I work at an ad agency) and I said, "What about a fuschia shirt (subtle huh) and she said, "Oh no, not fuschia." What? I re-arranged the scarves so she was getting the Brooks Farm Solo Silk in green/purple/gold. Jen is getting the hot pink. I knit on.

Today, Julie is carrying around a pair of fingerless gloves. I smell a hand knit item. She says she bought them at a silent auction. She said the same friend also donated a couple of scarves, but "I hate scarves so I didn't even bid on them." WHAT? Really?

Now she has a pair of fingerless gloves and she hates scarves (who hates scarves?) I guess I'll find someone else for the fabulous solo silk purple/green/gold scarf.

Trying to find the silver lining, at least I found out now and I'm not left wondering why she never wears the scarf.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Two More Projects Off the Needles

I have two more projects off the needles.

First is a baby bonnet for my friend Charlotte who is now a grandmother. The pattern is the Super Quick Baby Bonnet and that is so true. It is super quick. I finished the bonnet in about 3 hours. I didn't have a suitable worsted weight yarn for a baby bonnet so I went to JoAnn's to purchase something inexpensive and machine washable. I came home with Paton's Silky Bamboo and it is wonderful. The stockinette of the bonnet is a bit plain, but this beautiful yarn dressed it right up. Charlotte says Destiny looks pretty in purple, so I have a purple ribbon. I'm also going to include the green ribbon shown, red for Christmas and pink cause she's a girl. I can't wait to see the baby wearing this little number.

I finished Adrienne's clogs except for the felting. I'll do that over Thanksgiving vacation. So glad to be done. I need a new pair myself, but I don't think I can stomach knitting another pair right now. This is not a slam on the pattern at all. It's a great pattern, but I have knit it so many times (because it is a great pattern and the clogs are great gifts) that I am just over it. I'm not even sure why. Knitting is knitting right? You would think it wouldn't matter. But for some reason it does.

I hate to end on a negative note like that. Hmmm, other scarves are going well. If the bonnet fits Destiny I have enough to make another one and it is so dreamy, I think it makes a fantastic gift.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Christmas Knitting List Update

I guess some people have revelations when they knit. That makes their blogs so much more interesting and witty then mine. I just make progress. And then I rehash the knitting and the progress. Maybe one day I will ascend to a higher level of knitting.

Til then, here's a rehash of my current projects. I have three active projects on the needles, and that is a miracle for me. I have many projects on the needles, but these three get regular knitting. The clogs, Tudor Grace and Sunray.

Ugh, the clogs. Every once in a while I force myself to knit another portion of a clog in an effort to get the pair done. Adrienne suggested lunch while we are both on vacation for Christmas, so I now have an official due date - 12/23.

I talk about a lot of these projects being Christmas gifts, but they are for work folks so they really have to be done by 12/18 because that's when I leave for my Christmas vacation. Yikes that's about a month away. Well, really all I have to finish are the two scarves on the needles now.

I made a deal with myself, if I get at least one of the aforementioned scarves finished by Thanksgiving, I will buy the Joseph Galler Alpaca to knit Brett a scarf for Christmas. If I don't, no scarf for him.

This year I knit 8 Christmas gifts (so far) of those 6 are from stash. I bought wool for Adrienne's clogs. A must to get the color combo I wanted, but I did use up one stash black. I bought 3 skeins of Malabrigo, but I'm only using 1 for Christmas knitting. So in my warped math $11 for the wool and $10.50 for Malabrigo. I'm spending $21.50 on Christmas gifts and freeing up space in my stash for more yarn. It's a win-win.

"Red Emperor" stole. I cast on and finished the first of 10 repeats for the borders. I've made no further progress. I'm concentrating on projects that have to be done by Christmas (12/18 for work folks).
Jag is for Jen. June is For Jag. is finished and fabulous.
Helmet Line.
is finished.
Stulpens for Robyn are finished. These are a true stash project. I made them from yarn leftover from her scarf.
Claudia Earwarmer. is finished and I wear it to walk the dogs. It's stretching out a bit. I don't know if it's the yarn or the pattern. But I still like it.
The Inga Cowl. This hasn't gotten any knitting time in a while. I do want a cowl, but the sundara is so pretty, I really just want to use it for a scarf. I'm not frogging it yet though.
Celtic Cable Neckwarmer. Is still on the to-do list. I think it will be mine and I definitely have a skein of Malabrigo Geranio with this project's name on it.
Cast on. It may Julie's it may be Jen's I have to wait and see.
Vogue Drop Stitch Scarf. - hmmm, maybe. Depends if I find another project for the Bonnie Bamboo.
Stulpens for Jeannie - Casting on soon. No later than Thanksgiving.
OSU Clogs for Adrienne - These are coming right along. I have one completed and the 1 sole done for the second clog.
Madonna's Tudor Grace - Madonna asked me to make her a scarf. She offered to pay, but I don't want to do that. So I made her Flutter out of Claudia Hand-painted silk. I really hate it. Nothing against the pattern or the yarn, but it was a drag to knit and when she wears it, it just hangs there. So I shopped my stash, found the nicest yarn in the bucket (Malabrigo sock) and I'm making her a second scarf for Christmas. It's an entertaining knit and she is going to love it.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Three More Gifts on the Needles

I have 3 more gifts on the needles. Sunray in Malabrigo, Adrienne's OSU Clogs and Madonna's Tudor Grace. I'm enjoying both the scarves.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Two Finished Christmas Scarves

This is Lauren's Checkerboard Scarf knit from Mountain Colors Bearfoot. This a free pattern that is super fun to knit. The scarf finished at 9 x 65 with only 350yds of yarn. I selected the open pattern hoping it would stretch the yardage. I think it worked. I also selected an open pattern because of the mohair content and the fact we live in TX.

The yarn is very nice and it blocked like a dream. I'm very proud to give this as a gift. Lauren is going to look fabulous in it.

I love the June is for Jag pattern for variegated yarns. A stockinette section to show of the yarn, a YO, K2T section to create lacey interest. It was fun to knit and the yarn was awesome. It's Brooks Farm Yarns Solo Silk. 50% silk and 50% wool blend. BFY is generous in their skein yardage, so you have plenty to make a good sized scarf. This one finished at 7.5" x 78. Good thing Jen is tall.
This scarf also blocked nicely. I didn't have to pin it out as strongly as I did the 100% wool and it still looks great.

The only thing I might do differently for the Jag scarf is knit every two rows from a different skein or the other end of the skein to futher mix up the variegation. That is a personal preference though and has nothing to do with the yarn or the pattern.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Christmas Knitting Update - 3 Gifts Complete

I just finished Lauren's checkerboard scarf in Rich Red Mountain Colors. What a joy to knit. Great pattern and great yarn. I would work with both again. I'll block it tonight and take pictures tomorrow.

I bought three skeins of Malabrigo in pink for a scarf for Julie. I may not use all three skeins, but I wanted to be sure I had plenty. Maybe I'll get a little something for myself out of the deal:-)

I'm still debating what to do for Madonna. Madonna mentioned she likes red, blue and green. I've toying with the idea of the blue Wollmeise. She is worthy of that yarn, but she is also worthy of Malabrigo and I have a beautiful skein of sock yarn. Not necessarily the colors she says she likes, but pretty just the same. I think the Malabrigo might be softer. Still trying to figure it out.

I figure Brett's red herring scarf will be last. If I can get the other knitting done by Thanksgiving, then I will buy the yarn to make his scarf.

After Brett's scarf, comes DS stulpens in the purple Louet Gems.

I also have Adrienne's clogs cast on and one sole finished. Probably I can finish them this weekend if I don't start somthing else, but I would love to cast on a scarf for Madonna and keep my momentum going.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Christmas Knitting Update - 2 Gifts Done

I'll post pictures when it's light enough to take them. I finished Jag is for Jen last night. Wove in the ends and all. Just need to block. I'll do a group blocking when I have another scarf or two done. Next up on the needles, Lauren's Checkerboard scarf in red Mountain Colors Bearfoot.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Christmas Knitting Update

I have officially finished my first Christmas gift. These are for my SIL. They'll match the mini clapotis we gave her last year. I think cables are impressive. I hope she agrees.

This is Jag is for Jen. I'm using a sport weight yarn. The pattern calls for worsted, so I had to adapt the pattern a bit to get the larger sections of stockinette and lace. I really like how it's turning out.

I've decided on the checkerboard scarf in Rich Red Mountain Colors for Lauren. It will be fun for me to knit, but not too difficult. At the same time, the pattern is very effective. Decision made. I'll cast on as soon as I get a current project off the needles.

Brett is definitely getting the red herring scarf. Well, I say definitely, if I don't hate knitting it, that's what he will get. I won't be able to knit from stash for this, but the Shabby Sheep has a great Joseph Galler Alpaca yarn that to me is cashmere soft. I'll have to dye it red, but it will be perfect. But I have the dyes and the desire.

Julie and Madonna are puzzling me. However, I hit Julie up for advice on Brett's scarf and she mentioned she thinks scarves should be a pop of color like fuschia. So at least I know what color to make it. But that won't be knit from stash. I don't have any fuschia yarn. Madonna likes red, blue or green. I've already done red for her, so that leaves blue or green. I could do blue if I use the Wollmeise. She is worthy of that yarn. Just need to find a pattern for both.

I wasn't sure what to do for my DS until I mentioned SIL's fingerless mitts and she said she'd like to have a pair too. I thought about trying a different pattern, but 1. I know this pattern works and 2. I enjoy knitting it. It's fun for me. She's going to get a purple pair out the Louet Gems. I'm so excited. Purple is her color and I have it in my stash. Wahoo.

Mom and Jeannie's projects will fall to the bottom of the list since we won't do Christmas until January, but I did get some of Mom's gift knit. It's pretty big so I will try to do a bit every once in a while so I don't end up totally behind the 8-ball in January.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Post Vacation Update

My vacation was great. Sad to see it go, but revived and ready to get back to work.

My plan to cast on 5 new projects was a moderate success. I didn't cast on 5 projects, but 6 projects currently linger on the needles. Only the Shetland Tea Shawl hibernates in the knitting basket. All the others I consider active.

I finished Madonna's Scarf and Robyn's Christmas Stulpens. Wahoo.

"Red Emperor" stole. I cast on and finished the first of 10 repeats for the borders. I figure I'm about 5% done with this enjoyable pattern. Very interesting to watch develop.
Jag is for Jen. June is For Jag. I love this pattern and this yarn. At first, I followed the pattern, but the sections were too small. I frogged the project and doubled the repeats within each pattern to accommdate the sport weight yarn. Now it's perfect.
Helmet Line. The helmet liner is coming right along. A great knit night project because it's pretty simple.
Claudia Earwarmer. With a smidge of the BS Alpaca Silk left from the Clapotis, this project appeared just the right size for the leftover yarn. We'll see. I'm about halfway through the pattern and the yarn. It will be close. I hope to line the earwarmer with the same yarn, but I don't think it's going to happen.
The Inga Cowl. This hasn't gotten any knitting time in a while. I probably need to give it a turn. One to see if I'm going to like doing Fair Isle and two because the weather's cooling off a bit. Winter is just around the corner.

I didn't get any of these projects cast on.
And I keep changing my mind about what I want to do. It doesn't really matter right now. I have enough knitting to keep me busy for a while.
3. Celtic Cable Neckwarmer.
4. Sunray.
5. Vogue Drop Stitch Scarf.

I plan to take the Jag is for Jen scarf on my business trip. Six hours on a plane (3 hours each way) and an evening in my hotel room should equate to serious progress. Do I dare think I can finish?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Jag is for Jen

I cast on the June is for Jag scarf for Jen for Christmas.

What drew me to this pattern are the large sections of stockinette that show off the variegated yarn. Along with the lacy portion that looks trickier then it actually is. It's the perfect pattern for my Brooks Farm Solo Silk.

I started the pattern and got through a couple of repeats when I realized I had a problem. Well, I actually should have known I had a problem after the first repeat.
The problem is my stockinette and lacy sections are way too small. The pattern consists of 23 rows to create the two sections. The pattern says to repeat 14 times total for a scarf. After the first repeat I measured and realized I would need to do 28 repeats to finish the scarf. No problem - just keep knitting, but the stockinette and lacy sections are too small. The cause, my choice of a sport weight yarn instead of the called for worsted.

My new plan is to knit rows 1-12 twice then 13-23 twice. I'll do that 14 times and it should be good. This picture is a more accurate color representation.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Next 5 Projects to Cast-On

Originally when I hatched this plan, I thought 5 days vacation = 5 new projects. However, I'm taking my vacation in conjunction with Labor Day so I don't really have 5 days to myself. The house will be full on Labor Day. I'm still going to try for 5 new projects though. They will all be Christmas projects.

SIL gets a pair of Stulpens made from the green Acero to match the Clapotis she got last year. Cast on and 65% complete.
1. MOM "Red Emperor" stole. Something she could leave on the back of the pew at church. The pattern reminds me of the Grandmother's Fan quilt she made for DH and me. I'm using the Orchid Sundara. Oh, I just can't wait, this is going to be so good.
2. June is For Jag. I plan to use one skein of the BFY Solo Silk. I hope I don't regret splitting up the skeins, but I think this yarn and pattern are a match made in heaven. This is for Jen.
3. Celtic Cable Neckwarmer. I keep going back and forth on Julie. I don't really know what color. I hate to spend time on something she won't like. This is very pretty and cables are impressive (I think). The yarn should be solid and light or medium. Nothing that would cover up the detail of the cables. In the end, even if Julie doesn't like this, I'm sure someone will.
4. Sunray. Is a pretty fabulous scarf that feels pretty unisex. I could see this in the Berroco Alpaca even though it's a dark brown. It would also work for a varigated yarn. And I have plenty of that. We'll just have to see. It's #4. Maybe I'll get to it, maybe I won't.
5. Vogue Drop Stitch Scarf. Bonnie Bamboo yarn. They are a good match. Don't know who will get the scarf, but someone should.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

What's Wrong with This Picture

Yup, those are knitting needles under a class description for crochet. Not the same thing. There is no mention on this page of a knitting class. Oops.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Too Late to Knit, Not Sleepy Yet

So, I'll rehash my lists - again

Here is the 2009 gift list I created in December 2008. Let's check progress.

The only thing left on the gift list from December 2008 that has a chance of getting finished is Madonna's scarf and it is getting plenty of knitting time right now. It should be done soon.

Madonna's scarf - It's cast on and 45% done.
A Hulk Hat for Jack - done
A Calorimetry or Lace Headband for Jack's Sister - done
Liza's neckwarmer - done
A hat, bib and booties for Pedro and Margret's baby - The hat is done. Bibs and Booties - boring
A hat, bib and booties for Baby Rogg - booties done - bib and hat - boring
A hat, bib and booties for Ricky and Crystal's baby - hat done - Bibs and Booties - boring
April 2009 New to the list - Mom's Shonagon pillow - done and gifted and loved.
A lace head band for Brianna Ricky and Crystal's baby's older sister - changing to a floppy hat. She's only 4 - a headband, what was I thinking - I'm over hats. It's going to the bottom of the list Scratch it, I'm not doing it.

Summer List:
My goals for summer include finishing a few projects in between gift knitting.
Finish the Clapotis - DONE
Finish Flutter - I plan to finish Madonna's scarf before summer's end. Well on my way.
Re-Engage with the Shetland Tea Shawl - I'm itching to get back into this project. I even knit a row last week. Just to see if I could. Hmmm, I think I'd rather be Christmas knitting.

Those are my main three summer goals.

Bonus Summer goals
Cast on my fair isle neckwarmer - did get it cast-on. It's getting no knitting time. The Sundara is beautiful. Exactly what I expected.
Cast on the Spanish Peacock - but I need to get much further on the STS first. I've moved through my lace mood. I'd rather knit for others right now.
Cast on my mittens for winter walking the dogs. I should settle on a pattern first. ???
Figure out Christmas knitting. Make a list and assign projects and yarn. DONE And I've already started on one of the projects. SIL's mitts are more than half done.

So what's next in my knitting goals? Well, I have vacation time coming up. How about having 5 Christmas items on the needles by the end of the week? That doesn't mean I can't cast on a couple now, but by the end of that week, I should have 5 new projects on the needles. I'll have to think that through further and come up with the list of 5 projects in another blog list.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Knitting Progress

I had an interesting knitting weekend. I made lots of progress on the second green Stulpen. At the same time, I worked on the red scarf too. Sometimes I would lay one down and the pick up the other, then eventually switch back. Usually, I'm so monogamous with my knitting, I can barely work on two projects in a weekend let alone two in one sitting.

These projects are so different, when I needed a break from cables, I worked on lace and when I needed a break from lace, I worked on cables. I never seemed to get tired of knitting. It was great.

This is the first Stulpen of the pair. It's knit in Brooks Farm Acero. The first 15 rows of ribbing were knit on size 2's, the rest of the mitt was knit on 1's. I messed up after the thumb opening and rather than casting on two for the ribbing I decreased two. But it still fits fine and I have big hands so I think it's going to be OK. I'll do the same thing on the second for the sake of symmetry.

I'm down to 10 repeats on the red scarf then it's the ruffle and blocking. Since I don't normally make the kind of knitting progress I made this weekend, I'm still several weeks out on the scarf, but the end is in sight.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Color Me Happy

I've finished the Clappy.

Ok, I still have to drop the stitches and decide if I want to block it or not. But I do not need to knit another stitch, so I'm considering it done.

I love the clapotis, it's a great scarf for so many types of yarn. But oh the getting there. In this case I think I could have used a bigger needle and sped things along. I knit a ridiculous number of straight sections to get enough length. I blame it all on the needle size. I'll know for the future.As the piece is blocked here it's 19" wide x 59" long. I'm not really "blocking" it. I was hoping pulling it taut would encourage the dropped stitches to run. Didn't work.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

I'm About to Cast On

I have a feeling this weekend there could be two more projects on the needles. Robyn's Stulpens feel a little like they could bring quick satisfaction. A small, simple, but impressive project. Cables are so cool, much simpler than they look.

I am holding myself back from casting on MOM's Red Emperor. Don't ask me why because this yarn/pattern combination is a match made in heaven. I think it's because I already have four large projects on the needles. But here's the thing. I really don't like to cast-on projects so if I'm in the mood, I should really go for it. It's makes no difference whether you store a project on the needles or store the yarn and a pattern :-)

Right now I have to go clean. Yuck!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Project Versus Process Knitting

I read Grace's Blog the other day and she was talking about being a project knitter versus a process knitter. I started to wonder which category I fell into.

In many aspects of my life, I like the planning as much as the doing. Whether it's painting a room or taking a vacation, there are hours of research logged before any action takes place. In many cases, during the action, I'm really enjoying the process. I like to watch a room come together when I'm painting. I love the end product, but I also love getting there.

I'm not so sure I feel the same way about knitting. I love to plan. Ravelry lets me play and plan to my heart's content. I put items in my queue, re-arrange and reprioritize anytime I want. I love to plan projects and I'm most happy when the yarn and the pattern are the perfect fit.

Once the project is cast-on, the mule is headed to the barn. It's all about getting the project off the needles. That's why I'm generally a monogamous knitter. I currently have 4 active projects on the needles. One is close to being finished, another is a gift and needs to be finished. I can't help but favor these projects over the others because I keep thinking, just a little more and I'll be done, just a little more and I'll be done. This is not a process knitter, this is a project knitter, a project knitter who wants a finished project.

I'm not sure if knowing this will change anything, but thanks Grace for a thought provoking blog entry.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Loving the Fair Isle

I don't have a ton to show, but I've spent a limited amount of time working on the Inga Cowl. It's actually going pretty fast. During my limited weeknight knitting, I have a hard time getting halfway through a round on the Shetland Tea Shawl, so imagine my delight when I finished two+ rows last night on the fair isle neckwarmer. I was thinking, I might be able to finish this project. I don't really get that feeling when I work on the STS.

While I would really love to bring the clapotis into regular rotation for evening knitting, it's the best project of the four for knit night. It takes the least amount of concentration. I think I could finish it during a movie, but then what would I work on at knit night? Robyn's Christmas Stulpens maybe. Oh well. Everything will finish in it's own time.

I need to move the Flutter scarf back into the weeknight rotation. It's been resting since last weekend. It is a gift and the recipient is looking forward to it. That should motivate me. I think it will get today's movie knitting time. Not too complicated for a movie.

Back to the fair isle cowl, I love the twist the colorwork brings to stockinette. Not difficult knitting, but just enough of a challenge that I don't love interest. Similar to cross-stitch, but it moves so much faster.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Christmas In July - Making a List and Checking it Twice

I love to start planning for Christmas in July. And in these financially trying times, I'd rather spend my money on yarn then gifts so that means knitted gifts for folks for Christmas. To be ready by Christmas, I need to start knitting now or at least planning. So here goes.

Robyn SIL gets a pair of Stulpens made from the green Acero to match the Clapotis she got last year.
John DB might get a neckwarmer. He's a deer hunter so if my fair isle neckwarmer goes well I'll do one for him with deer. I'm thinking brown variegated with black or a camo-ish green and black or the green and brown together. There's a Madeline Tosh brown I didn't get at DFW Fiber Fest that I'm hoping will be available at the Whirled Fibers Grand Opening. I have the black and if I want green, I may use some of the green Acero I have in my stash.
Juana MIL a fabulous lace stole. I'm thinking the Estonian Shawl. I will use beads for nupps though. I have some KP lace called cappucino and I have brown beads. I'm ready to go.
Josey GIL something in lace. I have the swallowtail shawl and have considered giving it to her a number of times. I may actually follow through this year.
MOM She has the peacock shawl, but now I want something with some heft. Something that doesn't feel fragile. Something she could leave on the back of the pew at church. I found the perfect pattern tonight. The designer calls the pattern "Red Emperor" it reminds me of the Grandmother's Fan quilt she made for me. I'll use the Orchid Sundara. Oh, I just can't wait, this is going to be so good. The way the pattern works, I can knit the two ends and then fill in the middle until the yarn is gone.
DH he may get a deer neckwarmer too. We'll have to see.

I really need to wrap up the Clapotis and the Flutter scarf. I think the Stulpens will be my Knit Night knitting after the clap.

So many great projects and so many from stash. I love it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Four Active Projects on the Needles

And by active, I mean I want to knit on them. And of course, that's driving me nuts. I don't have enough time in my day to knit on four different projects so I have to pick just one and how do I do that?Apparently time wasn't an issue over the weekend because I cast on the Inga Cowl. I couldn't help myself. I've been dying to see how the Sundara "Cerulean Seas" knits ups.

I also wanted to give the braided stitch a try. It was a bit of a pain, but it sure is pretty. At this stage it's a bit hard to photograph, but I gave it a shot.

The Inga Cowl isn't really a pattern, but I'm using the pattern for the Inga Hat and not closing the top. Although I'm not going to double knit it, I do think I will knit a lining. The lining could be the reverse of what I'm knitting for the outside or it could be a single color in stocknette. It depends on how the fair isle goes.

I want to give double knitting a try, but mixing DK with fair isle in a project this large could be more than I can handle. For my double knitting start I think I will knit earwarmers. They will make good Christmas presents and they aren't the time commitment of 17" to 20" cowl.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Flutter Progress

Whew! I've made it through the first half of the Flutter scarf, I hope Madonna never reads this. I'd hate for her to know how I'm feeling about knitting this gift. I picked the pattern, but ohhh it's kind of boring. 50 repeats of the same 4 rows over and over again. And that's just one half. Now I get to do the same thing on the other side. Ugh!

I am loving the yarn though. The semi-solidness of the Claudia's Hand-painted creates just the right amount of interest without fighting with the lace pattern.

I've knit 5 rows on the Shetland Tea Shawl. That's quite a feat at 588 stitches in a row. That's the equivalent of 13 repeats on the Flutter Scarf.

I can't wait a minute longer. I'm about to cast-on my version of the Tapestry Cowl. Actually the only thing it has in common with the Tapestry Cowl is it's a fair isle cowl. I'm not going to double knit it. And I'm using the Inga Hat chart.

I'm using the fair isle glasses case I started at guild as a swatch. On 3's I'm getting 8 stitches to the inch. That's way too small a gauge. I'm switching to 4's. I'll do a working swatch. Apparently the Tapestry Cowl calls for you to start with smaller needles. If the 4s are too small, I'll consider them to be my smaller needles for cast-on. I can't use size 3's to cast-on because the piece would only be 15" around and that's not going to fit over my head. No way, no how.

I caked the Cerulean Seas Sundara Sock yarn this afternoon. It is so dreamy. I cannot wait to get into the pattern.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Skeins Her Way is Having a Contest

Skeins Her Way Contest

Linking to her contest isn't even one of the requirements, but I like concept of the contest so much I want to share.

In a nutshell, she's a list maker and she wants to know what's on our list for summer knitting. So, it must be time to re-hash my 2009 knitting goals.

Here is the 2009 gift list I created in December 2008. Let's check progress.

Madonna's scarf - It's cast on and 45% done.
A Hulk Hat for Jack - done
A Calorimetry or Lace Headband for Jack's Sister - done
Liza's neckwarmer - done
A hat, bib and booties for Pedro and Margret's baby - The hat is done. Bibs and Booties - boring
A hat, bib and booties for Baby Rogg - booties done - bib and hat - boring
A hat, bib and booties for Ricky and Crystal's baby - hat done - Bibs and Booties - boring
April 2009 New to the list - Mom's Shonagon pillow - done and gifted and loved.
A lace head band for Brianna Ricky and Crystal's baby's older sister - changing to a floppy hat. She's only 4 - a headband, what was I thinking - I'm over hats. It's going to the bottom of the list

Summer List:
My goals for summer include finishing a few projects in between gift knitting.
Finish the Clapotis - I'm half a straight repeat and the decrease section from finishing.
Finish Flutter - I plan to finish Madonna's scarf before summer's end.
Re-Engage with the Shetland Tea Shawl - I'm itching to get back into this project. I even knit a row last week. Just to see if I could.

Those are my main three summer goals.

Bonus Summer goals
Cast on my fair isle neckwarmer
Cast on the Spanish Peacock - but I need to get much further on the STS first.
Cast on my mittens for winter walking the dogs. I should settle on a pattern first.
Figure out Christmas knitting. Make a list and assign projects and yarn.

I just love this contest!

Monday, June 08, 2009


We went to see Marshall's dad in the hospital yesterday. I'd forgotten my knitting and I knew it was going to take a while. I remembered I had the clapotis in my backseat I grabbed it and knit about 5 rows. I'd forgotten how far along that project is.

I'd already planned to put it into rotation, but now I'm truly motivated to get working on it. I think I might actually be able to finish it.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Baby Bonnet

I tend to think of myself as a monogamous knitter, but I do like the benefit of having a couple of projects going at one time - one benefit is finishing two projects in a weekend. I finished the blue baby hat early on Sunday and then Sunday evening or maybe it was Monday evening, I picked up the pink bonnet and put the finishing touches on it. I'm pleased with how it turned out. It's probably too big for a newborn.Here's a picture of the back of the bonnet. I really wanted to see what it looked like before I knit it and I couldn't find a picture anywhere.

I knit this in a fingering weight bamboo yarn from Fiber Lady on size 3 needles. It took about 80 yds. To block it, I wet it and then hung it with cloth pins from the back so that it stretched forward. I didn't stretch it lengthwise at all, but it's still long. I'm curious to see how that going to look on the baby.

I like the pattern. I would knit it again although I might choose a different lace pattern for variety. Wonder what would happen if I knit a bonnet in lace yarn?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Baby Hat is Done!

This is Neal, my Cabbage Patch doll from the '80s modeling the Blue Baby hat. The hat started out as piece of a sock blank.I cut off a piece and dyed it blue. I still have about half of this piece left. I'm going to add some green and knit another baby hat. I hope I like it as much as I like this one.

Sock Blank Hat Update

This picture is lighter than the actual blank, but it shows how the yarn is knitting up. I really like it. No distinguishable patterning at all. Perfect.

The bad news is, I misread my gauge and increased to too many stitches. The hat fit a 4-year-old. Isn't that the story of my life. So I frogged back to the increases when I was half an inch from finishing and started over.

The good news is, we were at the bowling alley last night for a family gathering and I made serious progress. I wasn't interested in bowling so I knit and knit. I'm about an inch short of finishing now.

I cut back at least 10 stitches probably 20. The hat is tiny, but about the right size.

I still have a nice piece of the blue blank left. Any yarn I unraveled but didn't knit will get knit back on the blank. Then I'm going to add green spots and make another teeny baby hat. Greg and his wife are having a boy sometime this year and I will gift it to them.

I really like how this turned. Thank again Sis for the sock blanks. This is definitely the way to dye yarn.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's a Contest - Sandra Singh's 4 Years in Business

I had no idea Sandra Singh's website offered such a great variety of yarns. Even the much coveted Malabrigo sock yarn.

Darcy's Knotty Knitter is hosting a contest to celebrate Sandra Singh's 4 years in business. The winnter gets a fantastic skein of Malabrigo sock yarn in Lettuce - yummy.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wiley Sighting

I've about decided to stop blogging about seeing Wiley, and just note the dates in the margin of the blog. However, I do want to note for future reference that today we saw her while were crossing the bridge. She was sitting in what I call the marshy area watching us pass.

Monday, May 25, 2009

I Dyed Part of My Sock Blank

Marshall noted Sunday that he would like me to knit a hat for one of his co-workers who just had a baby boy. Well, I figured if he's interested enough to ask, I would love to knit a hat for his worker's baby boy. Sunday night I was laying in bed wondering what yarn I could use from my stash.

Then I thought, why not dye my own. I have two sock blanks that my sister got me for my birthday. She sent me 6 dyes and 2 of those were blue - Sky Blue and Sapphire.

I cut off 1/4 of the blank to give me 100yds. The blank is doubled so I have two lengths of 50 yds. dyed together.

I prefer tone on tone semi-solid coloring. While I didn't quite master that with my blank, I like what I got. I knew I wanted a light blue base so I soaked the whole blank in a weak mixture of the sky blue. I dropped dye in while the blank was in the jar and got some mottling in that process. Then I mixed another jar of the sky blue, slightly darker and a jar of the sapphire blue. I applied it with a straw. It worked OK. I darkened both mixtures and grabbed a paint brush, but that didn't really work. So it was back to the straw. Then I added black to the sapphire and got almost navy.

In the end, there was too strong a variation from the background to the markings so I dipped the blank into the sky blue. I finally just dunked it into the sky blue for a minute or so. I also dipped a corner in the sapphire - oops. That came out strong, hoping it will knit up in an attractive way.

I think for the more subtle look I'm going for I might need more water on the blank. I twisted all the water out of it so where the dye hit, it stayed. If I had the blank in a flat pan with water, I might be able to layer the color on more gradually. I'll have to give it a try.

If I don't like the way this looks once it's knit, I'll mix up another batch of dye and keep adding color until I'm happy.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Mom's Pillow and Wiley Might Be a Girl

This is Mom's Mother's Day gift. A Pillow Sei Shonagon. I wrote a list of Thank you's for my Mom. They ranged from thanks for tucking me in every night to thanks for letting me go. Some Thank You's sentimental, some funny, some private jokes. She told me she read it through twice and cried. Then she went to Wednesday night church with her eyes all red and puffy. Mission accomplished. I just want her to remember every night when she goes to bed that I love her and I appreciate her. I had a lot of fun making the pillow.

Now, about Wiley the Coyote. We saw him again today, but now we are uncertain as to whether Wiley is a he or a she. She was in her usual territory and we spotted each other. She stood off the side waiting for us to pass. Similar to the last encounter. At one point she squatted and marked her territory. That's when we figured she might be a she because she squatted instead of hiked.

Monday, May 04, 2009

We've Now Named the Coyote

Yup, we saw the him again this morning. This time he crossed the sidewalk in front of us as we were headed back toward the cars, by the equestrian area. No interest in us other than getting away. He moved until he was safely away from where we were headed then he sat down and watched us go by. Once we were a safe distance from him, he backtracked the way he came made no move to follow us.

Once again the dogs gave no indication the coyote was in the area. Well, when we came back by the spot where he'd crossed they could smell him, but when we went by the firt time they were clueless.

On the scary scale, this encounter, if we should even call it that, was not scary. Just interesting.

I suggested we give the coyote a name and Adrianne suggested Wiley. It's obvious, but that's where I was going. So Wiley Coyote he is.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Knitting Content

Mom's Thank You Mother's Day pillow is almost done. The knitting is complete. I'm working on the journaling strips. I have 10 done and woven in and 10 to go. Hope to finish that tonight. I also have the fabric and the pillow form. I'll get it sown this weekend and mailed on Monday with a note that says "Don't Open 'Til Mother's Day!"

I started the flutter scarf. Dropped two edge stitches and didn't realize it. I can't fix that so I'll be frogging back to my lifeline. It's a couple of evenings of knitting lost. At the same time, I may want to add beads so it's not a complete loss. Just have to go get beads. Maybe this weekend.

Attended the Arlington Knitting Guild meeting Tuesday and started a Fair Isle eye glasses case. I guess it's my years of cross-stitching, but I really like fair isle. Makes stockinette not so boring. Can't wait to work on this some more.

I'll post pictures this weekend.

Friday, April 24, 2009

We Saw Another Coyote - Or Maybe It's the Same One

The sightings get less and less scary - sort of. This time we were walking down the sidewalk which is not in the open park, but is flanked by trees on either side. We were on our way back into the park proper, when I turned around and there was the coyote standing in the path we'd just come down.

This was less spooky then the two times before because he seemed more curious than hungry or menacing. At the same time, we had no idea he was in the area. The dogs didn't bark and he didn't make any noise. We were far enough away we couldn't have hit him with a rock, but still he didn't run when I blew the whistle - our first line of defense. Oh, he moved about 6 feet, but then he turned right back around and looked at us.

We turned and walked on, and the coyote meandered along the path behind us, but it was evident he was not interested in bothering us.

This was Tuesday m0rning and I figure he was still full from eating the weekend's trash.

Now it's Friday and there were no more sightings this week.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

FO From the Camping Weekend

Rather than work on any of the new projects I took on the camping trip, I worked on Anita's hat. And I finished it! Saturday evening I wove the ends in and Sunday I snapped this pic. We actually cut the trip short because we knew rain was coming in Saturday night.

Over the weekend I also cast on Mom's The Pillow of Sei Shonagon. I didn't realize how short on time I am. It's getting the bulk of my attention right now.

I checked the calendar and realized Madonna's birthday is May 13, not May 23, so that's 10 days I've lost for that project. Dang.

The pillow and the scarf are two projects I really, really want to do and I don't want to rush them. So when I was approached by a fellow raveler to sell or trade my three remaining skeins of Elann Den-m-nit, I thought to myself, "that's not a bad idea." No more pressure to knit baby hats. So the den-m-nit shipped yesterday and there's a skein of blue Koigu in my stash. Not a bad trade if you ask me.

Liza brought me the buttons she picked for her flower scarf. I will definitely get that done this weekend. Maybe even tonight.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Camping Knitting

I'm gathering my projects to take to the lake. There are three projects I would like to have finished by May 1. That's not that far away. Fortunately they aren't large projects.

First is Mom's Mother's Day pillow. I've about decided to give this one priority since I'll need to mail it so it will arrive in time. Mother's Day is May 10
Then Jude's hat - The Lilly Ruffled Hat - Baby Shower May 9
Then Briana's hat - Sun Hat by Debbie Bliss - Baby Shower May 9

On Briana's hat I'm planning to make a few adjustments to the pattern. I'm going to knit top down using the Karlchen formula to get the size I want. The pattern is written so you knit the main hat first then pick up stitches to add the brim and its written to knit flat then seam. No way and I'm doing that. I'm going top down in the round all the way. Jeri did mention the pattern might have been created that way for structure. I've checked out Ravelry and several people have made this adjustment and they make no mention of problems. I'm crossing my fingers.

I have all the yarn. I just need to get it together. Then I just have to find the needles and pack things like scissors, a ruler, and the patterns - can't forget the patterns. I'm such a tree killer, I'll probably just print them all out again.

Of course, I haven't finished Anita's hat yet. I'm so close, it may get a turn. I haven't decided.

I'm really looking forward to a relaxing weekend and lots of FOs.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Finally Some Knitting Content

Well, there may not actually be content, but at least I'm going to talk about knitting.
I am so close to finishing Liza'a neckscarf. I knit that dagone flower three times and it was a pain all three times. Then I put off attaching the flower for a week because I thought it was going to be hard, it wasn't. She tried it on and it's about an 1" too long, but I knew that was a possibility so it's not cast off. In fact, you don't cast it off. You run the yarn through the live stitches and then affix a button. She's anxious for the scarf (that makes me feel good) so I imagine she will get a button this weekend. Then, it's done. I really should finish that up next week.Anita's hat. It's too big. She tried the hat and now I don't know if I like the way the design looks on her. Maybe it looked goofy because it was too big. I guess I'll keep trudging along on that one. I have to rip back to the increases at the top of the hat and increase to 80 stitches instead of 88. It's only a hat. You would think I could finish that this weekend if I tried. Unfortunately I just haven't been in the mood to knit or do anything. I'm really hoping that will pass.

I deemed this the year of gifted knitting. Which seemed like a good idea when I came up with it. The plan was to have a closet of knitted items to choose gifts from. Knit what I want to knit and give it away when there was an opportunity. As it turns out, the gifting opportunities are coming along quicker than I can finish projects. Then I feel the pressure to finish a project and I'm not enjoying the knitting experience. I'm actually not finding the deadlines to be that motivating. Here's the wacky thing, I'm putting this pressure on myself. Isn't that crazy.

Here is the 2009 gift list I created in December. Let's check progress.

A Hulk Hat for Jack - done
A Calorimetry or Lace Headband for Jack's Sister - done
Liza's neckwarmer - 99% done
A hat, bib and booties for Pedro and Margret's baby - The hat is done. Bibs and Booties - boring
A hat, bib and booties for Baby Rogg - booties done - bib and hat - boring
A hat, bib and booties for Ricky and Crystal's baby - gotta cast on
A lace head band for Brianna Ricky and Crystal's baby's older sister - changing to a floppy hat. She's only 4 or 5 - a headband, what was I thinking
Madonna's scarf - cannot wait to cast this on and knit with silk. This is the gift that is the farthest out and the one I want to knit the most.

New to the list - Mom's Shonagon pillow - another one I can't wait to start. I want to give her the pillow for Mother's Day (May 1oth) so I better get moving.

I need a new plan
Liza's neckwarmer - 99% done - finish next week and gift it already
A hat for Jude - Ricky and Crystal's baby - cast on at the lake next week.
A floppy hat for Brianna Jude's older sister - cast on at the lake next week.
Mom's Shonagon pillow - I'd really like to cast that on this week. A gift for myself for finishing Anita's hat and Liza's scarf. The plan is to knit it in linen so I should give myself enough time to take breaks from the yarn. I'll knit hats in between.
Madonna's scarf - I really cannot wait to cast this on. Her birthday is May 23 so come May 1, no matter what, I'm casting on (if I haven't already). I do not want to have to rush this I want to enjoy the experience.

After that I may take a break from gift knitting to finish a couple WIPs. I've been itching to knit on the shetland tea shawl, but it will take some concentration and I want to knit on it uninterrupted. I'm afraid if I stop in a random spot, I won't know where to pick up when I come back to it.

And then there's the clapotis. I have a whole skein of yarn left. How much longer is that thing going to take?

I have a hair appointment today. I may cast on Jude's hat and take it with me to knit while I'm waiting. Or I could rip back Anita's hat and take it. Yeah, that's what I'll do.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Camping at Joe Pool Lake

DH and I camped at Joe Pool Lake this weekend. Even though we didn't go until Saturday morning, the 30 or so hours we were there were fantastic. DH fished, I knit and the dogs played.
DH fished at other places around the lake most of the day, but after dinner he fished at sunset by the camper. We had a great camping spot very close to the lake. When camp settled down we could hear the waves. It was almost like being at the ocean.

This bluebonnet was on the dry lake bed. I thought it was really pretty in the sunset.
If you're in Texas, you take pictures of your kids in the Bluebonnets, since these dogs are my kids, they got their picture taken in the bluebonnets. We snapped these on one of our walks. We took several walks throughout our stay.
The dogs were a handful at first, but they soon settled in and by Saturday night, they were exhausted. When we went to bed, they were horizontal and snoring before I could even lay my head down. They were so good.

On another note, these pictures were taken with my camera phone. I emailed them home because I have little to no memory. I thought the little camera did pretty good. I wished I'd had my regular camera, but this worked in a pinch.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

I keep adding stash to my stash. I don't mean to, it just happens. I got yarn for my birthday. I don't think that really counts as stash. I picked up a couple of skeins through Ravelry. Guess I better get knitting.
This my sister's birthday present to me. I'm so excited. These socks blanks are the perfect way for me to dye yarn on demand. I don't have to worry about skeining off the amount I need. Or dyeing an entire skein one color. I can just figure how many yards I need, measure the blank and dye only what I want. It's so easy. I can get a couple of projects out of each blank. Can't wait to get started.These skeins of Sundara and Koigu are my Ravelry finds. I got such a deal I couldn't pass it up even if I did have to pay shipping from the UK.

The top pic is Brushstroke Cotton. It's a bulky weight and will make great market bags. But I also think I have enough to make a tank top which I think might be fun. We'll see.Not sure what I'll do with the orange. Something will come up I'm sure.