Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Ode to Norway

The stockings are coming along at a steady pace and I'm still enjoying the pattern. I've memorized the charts, so things are going much quicker now. It's funny, the more I knit with two hands, the more I've gotten used to it. I'm starting to favor using my left hand (continental) more than my normal English method. It just feels so much faster! I don't have the same control and I'm only using one stictch, but I understand why so many prefer this method.

So, here's a shot of the stockings.... A weird shot, but I was using the camera myself.


and here's another... the picture's not flipped. I was just trying to find a good angle. Ignore scaly, pale winter legs. Get me to a beach!

One last shot for good measure.

I'm kind of worried they're going to be too tight, but I've decided to just stick with it. Unlike most knitters, I'm not a perfectionist in the slightest and if I think I can pull something off, I'll do it. As the stockings are doubleknit, they are super warm and cozy. My leg actually got cold after taking it off apres photo shoot. I'm starting to wonder how I'll be able to fit them in any of my cute shoes though. It might just warrant a little shoe shopping, second best only to yarn shopping.

So, I guess I never really started my Olympics project. I have been watching tons of Olympics if that counts for anything. In my head, I was thinking the stockings could replace Backyard Leaves as my project, but I'm obviously not going to finish them by the closing ceremonies (possibly not even start the second). Oh well, good for all the people that actually kept up with their knitting goals.

In other knitting news, I've got some summer projects on the mind. I haven't knit anything summery before, so I'm looking forward to trying out some cotton yarns and to knitting some sleeveless tanktops. I love a few from Interweave and I've been eyeing some other projects online at Rowan. I say online because I have yet to receive my magazine. I called on Friday and they're just going to send me a fresh copy. Yay, Rowan! I'm also digging much of the Rebecca. I only wish the mags were more accessible. I know I can order them online direct from Germany or from some of the American companies, but I'm usually one of those instant gratification shoppers. Plus with books, I like a flip-through before buying. Who am I kidding, though. I'm totally gonna buy them.

My family came up this weekend and I gave my dad his Sharfik. He really liked it and apparently my mom already has her eye on it. I made him a matching hat, but it literally only came down to his hairline. I even lengthened it! I think it's just we Swedes and our big foreheads. I suffer from the same affliction. Rather than extending the length, I'm going to start from scratch. This time wider and (obviously) longer.

Gosh, I feel like I've been drooling over the computer screen eyeing the lovely stash enhancements courtesy of Stitches. If only I knit when I lived in the Bay Area. Probably better, I think I would probably go a bit overboard... All the yarn is pretty to look at though:)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Dad's Sharfik: Done!

Here's Sharfik, blocking. This is the first time I blocked a scarf and didn't even think about it not fitting along the blocking board. I folded it at the corner like below. Not sure what the normal protocol is, but this worked just fine.

Here's the final product. I'll have to get some shots of my dad modeling after I give it to him this weekend.
Pattern: Dad's Sharfik by Kathy at Grumperina

Yarn: Karabella Aurora 8 in grey, 4 1/2 balls, purchased at Wild & Wooly in Lexington

Needles: Size 7 Addis

Modifications: None

Dates Knitted: January ?, 2006 - February 12, 2006

Comments: This was a fun knit and yields (if I do say so myself) a beautiful project. The scarf is nice, thick, and warm, but still nice enough for evening use. I hope my dad likes it!

Next up: Norwegian Stockings

So, I've been a total slacker with my Olympic project. I wonder if I can just switch to these... Anyway, Fair Isle is my new best friend. Electra had a little, but didn't have the contrast of the stockings and didn't have the same punch as the stockings. I'm addicted.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Electra: Done!

Finally I have some shots of a finished Electra. Here she is:

Pattern: Electra from Rowan 38

Needles: Size 6&7 Susan Bates Aluminum Circs, Size 3 Clover Bamboo Circs

Yarn: Rowan Yorkshire Tweed DK in Revel, Felted Tweed in Midnight and Melody, and Kidsilk Haze in Splendour

Modifications: added a few inches in length

Notes: Overall, I'm pretty happy with the end results, although I think I will block it differently after I wash it next. I was really worried it would be too tight, so I focused on attaining a proper width. I think it's a little too big and looks bulky, plus I wouldn't mind it being slightly longer. I knit a few inches more than the pattern suggested before armhole shaping to keep it a little longer, but I could go for another inch or so. Also, the stripes are a little wonky around the bust from picking up stiches for the collar with smaller needles. I'll try to play around with that, too.

This sweater knits up quickly with a large gauge for the yarn. The resultant fabric is thin and airy and very soft. This was my first fair isle and it was fun to see all the patterns come to life. Purling in fair isle wasn't my favorite part, though.

New Projects:

So, what's the first thing one does after finishing a project? Buy more yarn! This is what I bought...


Definitely some Norwegian Stockings in my future. I have all these sweaters floating around my brain, but I think I'm going to knit a few smaller projects and then see what the weather's like. Also, when I eventually get my Rowan magazine (no, I still haven't received it!) I'm sure I'll want to knit some stuff from that.

I have yet to start my Backyard Leaves for the Knitting Olympics, but plan on casting on tomorrow night. I'm sooo close to finishing Sharfik, I want that off the needles before I start anything else. Pictures of that soon.


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Hoppin' on that Bandwagon

I've been hopping on all sorts of bandwagons lately...

First we'll start with the Knitting Olympics. What better way to get some motivation going to finish a project and get a cute button for your blog, right? I signed up and am knitting Backyard Leaves (we welcome bandwagon #2). I've been eyeing the design since I saw it on
Elizabeth's website. So, I bought this....

Doesn't Zoe look excited to be posing next to the cashmerino? She certainly loves her fibers. I read about all these knitters overstashing and swooning over roving. It's just a good thing this kitty can't order online. I should probably make her something, but she's the kind of ungrateful kitty that wouldn't use it because I spent time making it. She's rather scratch up my sweaters and balls of yarn.


Anywho, onto the third and final bandwagon. you guessed it! Jaywalkers!

Still in the early stages, they are my very first socks. I want to graduate to the Norwegian Stockings you've been seeing all over. I love me some funky knee highs and I thought these would be a good stepping stone. Also, I'm on a Grumperina kick (currently knitting Sharfik and I've got a hankering for an Odessa). They're super fun to knit and I love seeing the colors and chevrons come alive. The pattern is really well written. I'm starting to understand the rampant sock obsession in bloggerland. You can get hooked from the yummy yarn alone.

Last, but certainly not least... I finished Electra! I finished it Monday night, but want to get a nice picture of it, preferably outside in the sun. Not gonna happen until the weekend, unfortunately. Stupid work interfering with my knitting.

So all week I've been skipping home in hopes of a big fat Rowan magazine on my doorstep, but have come up empty every time. Today, I even went back outside to make sure I didn't miss it. Am I the only subscriber not to receive theirs? Are they personally walking me my copy from England? What gives, Rowan? Cross your fingers I get it tomorrow!

Oh, and in non-knitting news, check it out - I made a turkey. (Kind of creepy how animal-like and vulnerable it looks in this pose).

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Sharfik Update

While Electra has been my knit at home project, I always like to have a portable project going simulateneously. That's been Dad's Sharfik. Perfect for the T, perfect size for my purse. Sharfik's been my traveling companion for quite some time now. It's good, too, because it's a really nice knit and it's been lasting. I think I'll eventually break down and just finish it in a few nights (I want my dad to get some use from it while it's still cold). Here's some photos of it's current state:


I only dry blocked part of it (mostly because all my pins are in use wet blocking Electra). But, you get the picture of how the cables will look. Here's an upclose shot...



Yesterday, as I like all Saturdays to be, was a day of baking. Since Pants (the husband) has a bit of a chocolate problem (it really is a problem not something I can make cute by calling him a "choco-holic" or saying he has a sweet tooth), he'll take anything chocolate over something not regardless of the food group. I thought I liked chocolate, but it's become trite for me now. In any case, here are the goods. And, yeah, despite my ramblings I ate some and they were yummy.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Electra - Halfway Done (Sort Of)

Yay! Electra is at her halfway point (minus those ends, how scary are they?) Nothing insightful to report since my last post, just more of the same. I'm picking up speed, though. I feel like I knit about half this in one night. I stopped paying attention and when I stood up to go to bed, I looked down and saw I had doubled my progress. Woo hoo! I swear I do enjoy the process, but everyone loves a FO, right? Here, have a look at her:
Want a closer look at those ends to weave in?
Didn't think so. I'm going to sew them all in before giving it a bath and blocking.
In other news, my yarn for Highgate arrived today from across the ocean. Ebay and Cucumberpatch Rock! Great deals and free shipping, what beats that? You can't tell very well from the picture, but the color is a dark purple. As I've complained about before, I'm never around during daylight so you'll have to trust me about the color.


In other knitting news, I've been chipping away at Dad's Sharfik. It's my portable knitting project, so I get in a few rows on the train and during lunch.

Speaking of the train, I had a rather startling experience today on my way home. As a little background, the T packs up fast and dense during rush hour. People pack into the train rather than wait a few minutes for the next to arrive. With all the winter coats and body heat, it's not the most serene thirty minutes of my day. Because knitting makes my ride feel so much shorter, I'm usually pretty psyched to actually get a seat. Unfortunately certain types have no etiquette when it comes to deciding whether to squeeze into the tiny seats or just suck it up and stand. I was lucky enough to secure a seat today and was blissfully knitting some cables when I noticed the seats on either side of me freed up. Curious to see my new neighbors, I looked up and saw a man three times the size of the seat (I'm not trying to offend anyone, but come on, I feel bad squeezing into a seat when I have a big coat on and I can fit both cheeks without overlap). He swung around and literally sat on my lap. Yes, he was in his seat, but also in half of mine. I took a deep breath to manage my anger when things took a turn for the worst. Not only was this guy in total invastion of my personal space (not to mention crushing my leg), but he stank worse than I could imagine possible. I could think of some adjectives, but I can't bear to remind myself of the stench. It was so bad, I couldn't breathe. I had to turn to my other side to get any air. I got lightheaded, kept messing up my knitting, it was miserable. The worst thing was that I stayed, and do you want to know why? I felt bad. I felt bad this guy would know I got up because I didn't want to sit next to him. The train was packed, I wouldn't be able to make it even to the other side of the car. How sad am I? When I finally decided I was going to pass out from lack of air, his stop came up and I was able to get some fresh air in my lungs (well, as fresh as underground Boston air gets).

Not really knitting talk and probably not all that interesting to most, but I had to vent in an attempt to rid my memory of my stinky subway ride. (shudder)