Thursday, March 16, 2006

Norwegian Stockings

I finished my Norwegian Stockings on Monday... Here they are!

Pattern: Norwegian Stockings, Folk Socks by Nancy Bush
Yarn: Dale Baby Ull, 2 skeins chocolate brown (3172), 1.5 skeins sage green (9436), just enough for snowflakes off white (0020).
Needles: Size 2, 40" Addis
Dates Knit: February 13, 2006 - March 13, 2006
Modifications: As Eunny and Jess did, I went down a needle size and subbed Baby Ull for Heilo.
Notes: It's been said before, but I'll say it again... what a great pattern. Extremely well written, memorizable (is that a word?), and interesting from cast on to cast off. Usually I get sick of projects about halfway through, but trudge through for the cherished FO. With these, I was entertained the entire process and am itching to cast on for some more fair isle. I'm hooked. It feels weird to only knit with one hand!

I used magic loop, which kept me sane. I like dpns, but I would have a nervous breakdown if any stitches slipped off ... I'm cridging just thinking about it.

The final product: Overall, I'm extremely pleased with the finished socks. For these being my first socks and my first "big" fair isle project, I don't think I did half bad. There are certainly little issues I'll notice everytime I wear these, but they will still get plenty of use. I was never a perfectionist and couldn't imagine ripping out rows and rows like so many knitters, but I'm starting to get the bug. These are staying as is, though!

And thanks to MJ for hosting the super fun Norwegian Knits Along!

Some more shots just for fun...


In the past week, I've received some fun mail. Thanks to Jillian's "Find of the Day," (scroll down for the offer) I bought some Rowan mags for super cheap (4 for about $30!). Two are backordered, but on the way. Chris, I think I'm just like you with the out of control pattern stash, but moderate yarn stash. I don't know why I don't feel as guilty buying pattern books.

I also received the skirt pattern I ordered from Betsy Ross for the Sew? I Knit KAL. Check out the fun packaging! This package was even more exciting because it was delivered to me at work. I'm drastically behind with the KAL, but I'm hoping I can catch up. I still have a few more days.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Kitty in Kitty Pi

I left Zoe's kitty pi on the couch as a suggestion for her to use it. In all reality, I knew it would take some serious coercing (luring her with the promise of treats) to get her in the thing. But, I thought I would let her try on her own terms. After a little blogging, I walked in the living room and saw this:

How cute is that? Didn't take any forcing or anything. She looked a little unsure of the new kitty pi, I think she thought it was just a convenient warm spot, not a bed just for her. An episode of Sopranos later, this was the scene...

Yup, she's claimed it at this point. She used to curl up on my lap whenever I knit, but I've since been ditched for the kitty pi.

Some Kitty Pi Info

Pattern: Kitty Pi by Wendy Knits

Yarn: Lambs Pride Bulky 2 skeins of the turquoise, less than 1 skein brown

Needles: Susan Bates, size 11 circs

Notes: This was a super fun, quick project. I knit it up in just a few days. Getting to the laundromat took longer than the actual knitting. This was my first felted piece and I think it came out pretty well. I don't have access to a home washing machine, and instead ran the "pi" through two hot cycles at the laundromat. There's still a little stitch definition, but it's definitely more felted than knit. The cat likes it, that's what counts, right?

In other non-cat news, the Norwegian Stockings are done. I don't have any pictures, though... I'll post some tomorrow or Friday. I'm hoping to get a little sunlight to do them justice.

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:)