Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Do you want to see the cutest thing ever?

I'm well aware my past few posts have divulged my status a scary cat lady, but I can't help it! I walked into the bedroom and saw Zoe curled up on (peculiarly, not in) her Kitty Pi. It's not even felted and she already loves it! That's her "I pity you for waking me up" face. I actually did try to felt it tonight, even making it to the laundromat. Unfortunatley, I forgot the zippy pillowcase at home and that was the end of my motivation. Looks like it's going to have to wait till the weekend. Luckily, it doesn't look like Zoe doesn't minds one bit:)

Monday, March 06, 2006

A little something for kitty

First, I want to thank everyone for all their nice comments about my Norwegian Stocking. Keep your fingers crossed that I stay motivated to finish its pair:)

I know I've got like three projects going on, but I really needed to rest my brain and just knit some plain ol' stockinette. I keep trying to add a new technique in all my projects, but sometimes it's exhausting. (UPDATE: This is my first time felting, so I guess I am trying something new!) When thinking what to knit next, I couldn't help but feel obligated to knit something for my little fiber fan, Zoe. Everytime I take off a sweater, she grabs for it and kneads it with her paws and chews on it.

Like this....

(The Kitty Pi is about halfway done at this point. The striped blue & white blanket was a wedding gift hand crocheted by my awesome Aunt Bev).

At first I thought Zoe's little fetish was cute (she purrs so loud, you know she's enjoying it), but when I started putting on my sweaters and finding little wet spots from where she chews on them, I got a little grossed out. Not only that, but she drags them (by her mouth, of course) all over the house. I find my sweaters on the bathroom floor, on the couch, everywhere.

What else to make a cute cat, but a Kitty Pi? It was a fast knit, on size 11 needles and with bulky yarn. All thats left to be done if a few runs through the washer. That's easy enough. It's hauling my ass to the laundromat that takes the real motivation. Me and my sweaters just hope she sleeps on / plays with it.

A photo of its current state (random hand for size comparison):

As for the mutliple other projects I'm working on, I'm into the main pattern motif of my second Norwegian Stocking, I cast on for Backyard Leaves (thought I'd slip that one in), and I'm super close to finishing my first Jaywalker (T projects always take me forever).

I finally got my Rowan 39 today. Yeah, I know, like 6 weeks after the rest of America. I think I'm going to make that super cute fair isle cardigan first, but I've fallen in love with the KSH dress and cami. Decisions, Decisions!

Monday, February 27, 2006

One Down, One to Go

Yay! I just finished my first Norwegian stocking just minutes ago. Here it is...

It's so warm and comfortable, I can't wait for the other one to be done. With any luck, it won't take as long as the first. I think I might just be the slowest knitter ever. It's taken me two weeks to get through one stocking. If I remember correctly, I think it took Eunny two evenings per stocking. At least I'm having fun knitting them, that's the point, right? Anyway, here's an upclose shot of the heel. I love all the details of these stockings.

Overall, I'm pleased with stocking one and think I can improve on the second. Some of the stitches are a little loose particularly around the join, but I don't think it looks too bad for one of my first attempts at Fair Isle. I also think I might have the longest legs ever. Compared to some of the other stockings I've seen both in the pattern book and online, my stockings required at least a third more of the main pattern motifs. I even had to buy more of the green yarn. At 5'6, I didn't think I was that tall!

Onwards and upwards...

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).