Sunday, August 08, 2010

Fall 2010 Knitscene

I recently flipped through the Fall 2010 Knitscene magazine and was pleasantly surprised to see how many of the projects I wanted to knit. I like this issue because there are so many projects that could use my stash yarn.

Here's a list of projects and the stash yarn associated with them.

Oscilloscope Shawl knit my Joseph Galler Alpaca #1 in my queue
Bryophyta Cowl and Mitts knit in 4 colors of Louet Gems (I also have a charcoal grey) plus some leftover Orange Cascade Heritage and maybe some leftover Loden Cherry Tree Hill.
Northumbria Cowl so many possibilities here. Purple Drops Alapaca, leftover BFY Green Acero, lime green yarntini just to name a few.
Thalweg Socks in Rottersporn Wollmeise
I also like the hats and the birthstone cardigan, but don't really have a yarn in mind for them.

That's a pretty decent pattern bang for your buck.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Fish Fabulous

I really didn't want to knit those baby socks as I mentioned so sweetly in my last blog post. I tripped across the Fish Hat (Dead or Alive) from Knitty and knew immediately that I had to make it. It is one of the fastest things I've ever knit. I started on Tuesday and was finished Saturday night and I know I missed a couple of days of knitting in between.

I dug through my stash Tuesday morning before heading to work and found some great remnants of sock yarn and they all worked so perfectly. Cast on at knitting on Tuesday night.

I could not have been happier with how it turned out if I'd spent hours scouring yarn shops for the perfect yarns. I went into the project with low expectations and was pleasantly surprised with how great the yarn combo worked.

The finishing touch though are the eyes. I found sew on eyes at Jo Ann's after much digging. I knew the stick on kind would be a choking hazard. I attached them sitting in the car between church and the shower. But not while I was driving or even sitting in traffic. I was sitting in the CVS parking lot.

My pattern notes. I cast on the pattern recommended 90 stitches, but in sock yarn so it was baby sized. I knit the hat 4" from the longest part of the lips before starting to decrease. I used a beanie decrease for a rounded top. That meant more decreases in each row and more frequent decrease rows.

Decrease as follows:
K4, K2T
K3, K2T
K2, K2T
until I was close to 22. I had to fudge the last decrease row to end up with 22 stitches.

For whatever reason my tail did not turn out. I definitely did something wrong, but I didn't have time to try to figure it out. It was Saturday night and there were three fins still to add. I improvised by sewing the two tail pieces together and moved on. That is the one thing I could have had time to make right.

The fins are ingenious and I love that they are knit on. No sewing!

I plan to make an adult version of this, possible for our work Dirty Santa gift exchange. I'll stick a Starbucks card in for good measure, but I know there are some people who will like it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

About to Throw a Knitter's Fit

Look out, because I'm about to throw a temper tantrum.

I am so tired (stomp) of knitting (stomp) that feels obligated (stomp). I want to knit (stomp) what I want to knit (stomp) when I want to knit it (stomp, stomp).

This past weekend, I bought two lovely skeins of Brooks Farm Yarn Solo Silk at the Knitting Fairy's new store in Grand Prairie, TX. BFY doesn't name their colorways, but this is definitely inspired by the colors of fall in a place like New Hampshire. The colors range from a dab of green, to red, orange and then fades into a blotch of brown. It covers the whole leaf peeping season. I really wanted to start knitting a project with this yarn right away.

But, I have a pair of socks I need to finish for a baby shower this weekend. I'm almost done with one sock. :-\

I thought I might knit a lace shawl for my MOM from the BFY because she and I visited NH twice during leap peeping season. A very special memory. I looked all weekend for a meaningful pattern. I love it when the stitch pattern symbolizes something special between the knitter and the recipient. I finally decided that what I really need to do is finish the project I have going for her now. For whatever reason, that project has kicked and screamed it's way along. The ridiculous thing is the Orchid Emperor has great meaning. My MOM is a quilter. She made DH and I a grandmother's fan quilt as our wedding gift. The stitch patterns in the Orchid Emperor pattern reminded me of the quilt. Quite meaningful. So why am I hating knitting it so much?

I'm using a Sundara yarn for the Orchid Emperor. I'm not really keen on the color, but as we knitters know, Sundara is a highly sought after yarn, so you must love the recipient very much to give them a gift of Sundara. These two skeins were my first Sundara. This is a very special gift. It means a lot to give it to my MOM. I would hate for MOM to know how much I'm NOT enjoying knitting this project.

To make it worse, I recently took a break and knit Travelling Woman in Cascade Heritage sock yarn. A pretty run of the mill yarn as yarn goes. Nice, but not Sundara or Wollmeise. I loved the pattern, the yarn was great and the project was a dream. I finished it and literally thought, "is that it? I'm done already?" That made it just that much more difficult to go back to the drudgery of the socks and the orchid shawl.I will persevere. The recipient of the baby socks is one person I can count on to truly appreciate them. That makes finishing them that much more rewarding.

Of course, MOM will love her shawl. And I've already showed it to her so she knows it's coming. She would probably understand if I decided not to finish it, but the pattern does have great significance. It is perfect and the yarn is Sundara. I'll finish it, kicking and screaming back the whole way.

My reward for finishing these two projects will be to knit any project I want out of any yarn I want. Now to decide what that's going to be.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

So Much Yarn...

so many patterns. So little time.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

What Does It Mean To Look 40-ish?

Last weekend, I spent Saturday night acting in a UNT film student's film project. I was the mother to a time traveler. It was an interesting story. I learned alot about film making and I would love the chance to do it again.

The film student's mother caught me in the hall on Friday at work and said she had a personal question to ask me. Then she asked how old I was. I answered honestly that I'm 42. She told me her son needed a woman who looked 40 to be in his film school project, said I'd have 10 lines and would I do it. I thought and answered, "Sure, why not."

I walked away wondering what I'd gotten myself into and what did it mean to look 40. I pondered that all week. I'm not sure I can answer what it means to look 40 because I look in the mirror everyday and I don't see it. I guess I'm in denial. But here are my observations about 40.

  • Being 40 means a few more grays to cover up during the hair coloring session.
  • It means people born the year you graduated high school have graduated college and are now in the work force with you.
  • It means you've been out of school longer then you were in.
  • Cars made the year you started to drive are considered classics.
  • The fashions you wore in high school are coming back into fashion with a 2010 twist.
  • Or worse, the local high school now has '80's day.
  • If you check your high school friends on Facebook, they wear glasses, possibly with bi-focals and their children are older then when the two of you first met in kindergarten.
  • You realize you don't know it all and you can admit it. And you're actually OK with it.
  • You are amused by teens that think they know it all. Or perhaps you're highly annoyed.
Is this middle age? I guess I'm there. And I'm OK with it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Shetland Progress

I picked the Shetland Tea Shawl up yesterday and knit two rows after a very long hiatus. I updated my notes in Ravelry and although they are dated, there is no year so I'm not sure how long it's been inactive.

I had a mind to change the pattern in the third section. I decided long ago I wasn't fond of the diamond madeira. I planned to follow the trend of many and go with the webs, spiders and diamonds pattern for another shawl in the Gathering of Lace book.

Recently, I was toying with selecting yet another pattern. When I picked up the shawl yesterday I realized I'd actually knit the first row of the third section in the webs, spiders and diamonds pattern. I could have tinked back, but I decided that at one point this pattern was what I wanted so I'm moving forward. I only have 38 more rows to go. 21812 stitches before the edging.

I enjoyed the lace and it went well. I'm looking forward to another session with the STS.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Shirley's Magic Yarn Ball

I found a unique swap on Ravelry that I thought looked like great fun. It was disappointing to see they just started a swap and another isn't in the works.

I mentioned it at knitting two weeks ago and Shirley said she would Magic Yarn Ball swap with me. We set a limit of $15 for the goodies and the yarn is from our stash.
Here's my loot for Shirley. What fun to shop sales, use coupons and shop unique stores to find really great things within budget for a friend.

  • The star of the ball, of course, is the yarn - Brooks Farm Solo Silk
  • Stitch markers both bought and hand-made
  • clear lip-gloss
  • journal
  • pen
  • stickie notes
  • Chibi with needles
  • a re-useable tote for your keyring (so cool)
  • candy
  • a candle
  • a ring
I'm pretty proud of the hand-made stitch markers. Looks like there are seven. Quite a variety with a ring size for sweater size needles.

Can't wait to get the ball wrapped to see how crazy it looks.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Vacation Knitting

I have some vacation time coming up. I love to plan more than I love to do and I love lists, so I've been thinking about what knitting to do over my three day break from reality.

Option 1 - No Crap Yarn Knitting
  1. Continue working on MOM's Orchid Emperor in the hopes I can finish it for Mother's Day.
  2. Knit on Saroyan, by that point it should be about done.
  3. Cast on Brighton bag for a lovely summer purse.

Option 2 - Baby Gift Knitting
  1. Cast on and knit a baby hat or bonnet for Ava and likely finish it.
  2. Continue with Ava's red socks hopefully finish
  3. Cast on and knit a pair of pink socks.
Option 3 - A Mix of Both
  1. Continue working on MOM's Orchid Emperor
  2. Cast on the Brighton Bag - or maybe just string the beads
  3. Cast on a baby hat or bonnet for Ava
  4. Cast on pink socks for Ava
  5. Finish working on the red socks.
One keeps me on track my "No Crap Yarn" knitting goal. Two will produce the most finished objects. Three gets the most projects cast on for ongoing knitting.

The DFW Fiber Fest is the following week. I'd love to somehow challenge myself and have the reward be yarn at the show. Guess I need to think about that.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Ravelympics Training

I did a little training this morning for my Ravelympics event. I balled my skein of Wollmeise Spice Market. What a lovely, lovely skein of yarn. I cannot wait to knit with it.

I'm going to knit Saroyan a lovely slim scarf with leaf edging. But there is plenty of stockinette to show the spice market to it's best advantage.

I'm hoping to continue my training this week and swatch a bit to determine the best needle size. I hope it's a 3 or a 5 because my 4 is tied up at the minute and I think I only have one 4. I own plenty 3's and 5's.

Saroyan is entered in the following events:
  • Short Track Shawls
  • Single Skein Speed Skate
  • Stash Compulsory Dance
  • Lace Luge
The swift is a gift from my Dad. I showed him a picture of a swift like this and he want to town. One of the pegs was lost in transit so I rigged it up with a pen and it worked just fine. I love it. Thanks Dad.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Just Enough Ruffles

January is progressing nicely. I finished the Just Enough Ruffles scarf.

It turned out great. Luckily I finished it while it was still cold so I wore it to work. Lots of people complimented me on it. They liked the ruffle. I didn't realize that would be so popular. Of course, the hot pink color is also a winner.

I finished the scarf pretty quickly, but not without a cost. MOM's Orchid Emperor is no where near finished and the gifting time passed. Now I'm shooting for her birthday in March or worst case Mother's Day in May.

I'm most of the way through the 3rd of 10 repeats for the ends. Then I'll fill in the middle. So far to go. I'm tempted to only do 3 repeats of the end pattern then fill in the middle. There are a number of reasons for that.
  1. I'm not enjoying the first pattern all that much. I'm hoping the second will be better.
  2. I want one pattern take up a majority of the piece and the other to be the border. Right now it feels like the two patterns are half and half. Although pattern 1 is split so that it's on each end, I just feel like it might take up too much of the piece.
I guess I'll check out Ravelry and see what others have done.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Vacation Winding Down

My vacation is winding down. I dropped Justyne with her mom in OKC yesterday. Man it was a long day. Seemed like the trip up there took twice as long as the trip back. Wonder why that is?

I'm back to having majority control of the computer. That could be good or bad. I got lots more knitting done when I couldn't play on the computer. I started the Just Enough Ruffles scarf last night. Cast on the 200 stitches while I talked to MOM. Even in garter its a long way across 200 stitches, but I can't wait to see how the scarf comes out. In reality the whole scarf is less then 50 rows so if I apply myself, I should be able to wear it this winter and maybe even this month.

At the same time, I still need to finish my MOM's Christmas present. We'll do my family Christmas in late January, but I just don't think it's enough time. I may need to start thinking of something else and plan this as a birthday gift for her. That gives me until March.

2009 was the "Year of Gifted Knitting" and I did enjoy for knitting others, I've decided the thing I don't like about gift knitting is the deadline. I'm totally over deadline knitting. I want to knit on what I want to knit on and set it aside if I get tired of knitting on it. If I want to cast on a new project, I want to be able to do it without guilt. The only reason I started the Just Enough Ruffles scarf is because I finished my DS mitts.These "Stulpen Wine" mitts are a frankenstein of two free patterns - Stulpen and Canadian Livings Mulled Wine mitts. I've knit the Stulpens a number of times. It's a great pattern and it works. I was concerned about the fit of the Mulled Wine mitts. The stitch is pretty but it doesn't expand and contract. So I worked it into the Stulpen pattern. I'm pleased with how the mitts worked out. I hope they fit my DS and I hope she likes them.