Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Some small FOs

CABLEKNIT PURSE
I've been working on some small projects along with my Jaywalkers and Bobble Blue. Here is the cableknit purse I first mentioned in my last post:



Specs:

Pattern: none

Yarn: Lamb's Pride Bulky in Oatmeal

Needles: 11 Clover Bamboo Straights

Comments: It's dangerous for me to post this here as I have yet to sew in a lining and I'm not exactly diligent when it comes to finishing. I have a five hour car ride to Jersey this weekend, though, where mundane crafts will be key. (It's hard to concentrate or read a chart with a ornery tabby cat yowling in your ear and climbing all over the dashboard). I like the bag, but don't think it's the most useful thing I've ever knit. You really can't fit much. I'll still probably knit it again with the following mods... use worsted weigh yarn, splurge on real wood handles instead of acrylic (Ijust snagged these at Michael's and didn't search for higher quality handles), make the bag portion larger. I would also think about going for a rectangular shape with dowel handles and use it as a clutch.

YELLOW & PURPLE NECKLACE On a night of knitting burnout and after a little inspiration, I went for some beads hibernating in the stash since Christmastime. My mom, sister and I paced the wholesale bead store (while my Dad and brother patiently waited) to find something to match (yet still provide some "pop") the purple and rose colored beads when my mom found these yellow beauties. After finishing the neclace, I wasn't sure how much I loved the it---it's definitely loud---but that's not something I always mind. I wore it today and by noon, I loved it. I think you picked a winner, Mom!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

A Finished Backyard Leaves and Some Updates

BACKYARD LEAVES
Despite my lack of posts, I swear I have been knitting. I finished Backyard Leaves just in time for some balmy weather. Like any knitter with a new FO, I wore it anyway (it matches perfectly with my Norwegian Stockings!). Unfortunately (or fortunately for the scarf), temperatures dropped as quick as they warmed. Here's a few shots of it basking in blocking glory....

Look! Leaves!
And here's a shot of it's current state after exposure to about 10 drops of rain. So much for blocking. I'm going to try a second time and steam block rather than just spritz and dry. I still like it, I just wish you could see the leaves more.

The specs:
Pattern: Backyard Leaves from Scarf Style
Yarn: 4 Balls Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in Pea Green
Needles: Size 7 Addi Circs
Knitting Duration: January to March 31st.
Mods: Subbed yarn.
Comments: This pattern was a blast to knit; consistently entertaining. The yarn was a great match for the pattern and so soft! It feels brilliant against my neck. I can understand the complaints I read about Cashmerino Aran, I can already see some pilling and have to be so careful when I wear it with my jacket with velcro. As I mentioned earlier, I'm having some issues with the blocking and think another blocking is necessary for BY to reach its full potential. All that said, I would definitely knit this scarf again.

BOBBLE BLUE

(the looming shadow is Zoe)

As soon as Backyard Leaves was off the needles, I cast on for Bobble Blue. I've been eyeing this sweater since IK released the preview. I ordered the yarn from
Discount Yarn Sale where I found it ridiculously cheap. Something like $42 a bag. The downside is waiting 2-3 weeks, but I think was worth it. When I first dove into the bag, I wasn't 100% psyched about the yarn, it wasn't as soft as I expected and the color was a bit different than I thought. Once knitted, the yarn has a completed different personality. The fabric is *so* soft and seems more durable than the last alpaca sweater I made. Obviously the color didn't change, but I've come to terms with it and like it now. I've barely made any progress, but I'm already loving the pattern and think I'll get a lot of use out of this during the spring and cool summer nights. My original grand plan was for this to be ready to wear on Easter. Definitely not going to happen.

An upclose shot:

CABLE PURSE

I also knit the panel for my cable purse. I'm going to try and finish this up today.


JAYWALKERS

A daily user of the T system, knitting keeps me sane during my commute. My current portable project is a pair of Jaywalkers in Sundara Yarn. Take a look... (ignore my winter feet)

an upclose shot of the yarn and striping:

and another just so you can see Zoe.


The yarn is delicious and I'm finally getting the pattern. I started these before with different yarn and kept messing up (how embarrassing considering everyone's knit these and I've yet to hear of anyone who had trouble). I think it all finally clicked this time.

Sorry for the super long, picture-heavy post. I'm just lazy and wait for the projects to build up before I whip out the camera.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Upcoming Projects & Stash Enhancements

Thanks for all your super nice comments on the Norwegian Stockings! I've never received that many comments... I feel so loved! Expect to see more sage & brown projects, too. It's my favorite color combo (they were even my wedding colors!)

I'm trying to get my knitting queue together for the next couple months. These are all the projects rolling around in my head...
Scary, huh? Makes you wonder how I can think about anything else. This project cluster probably isn't even exhaustive, but the list changes daily (maybe even hourly). Hopefully, having a record of these projects will organize my mind a bit. We'll start from the top.

Aimee from Rowan Vintage Knits. This little number has been the apple of my eye for quite some time. I have no idea why I haven't made it yet. I wonder if it's already too warm to try to squeeze it this season. This is one of the few projects always on the list.

Wobbly Tote from Interweave Knits Spring. How can you not love this bag? It's cuteness and durability coupled with an intarsia tutorial on the page before are what landed this on the knitting queue. I think this will be a good first intarsia project because the felting will help hide any mistakes (which there are sure to be). This would be a good gift, too.

Baby Bobby Bear by Blue Sky Alpaca. I would love to make one of these for myself, but think it will probably be a gift for my nephew or another kid. Although, I'm sure it will ne nice and snuggly for adults, too.

Cyd by Jaeger. What can I say, I'm on a sweatervest kick. This combined with my love of argyle drew me to this piece. I'll probably knit it in the late summer / early fall. Definitely not to be for this season (even though it doesn't get warm in Boston until the end of May).

Hike from Rowan 37. I love this sweater and know it would be one I'd wear for days in a row during the transition between seasons and for summer nights. I'm especially drawn in by the pockets and their construction. Down side of this sweater, the tons of stockinette look boring.

Chicago from Rowan 37. This sweater catches my eye everytime I see it. I even love the color, although it would never work with my skin tone. This piece could fit into all sectors of my wardrobe from work clothes, to play clothes, to night clothes. ***I'm fighting the urge to go to LYS for yarn right now.

Prairie Tunic from Interweave Spring. Love it, so cute for summer.

....now going right to left.....

Jewel from Rowan 39. This is the first project to catch my eye in this mag. I even went to the LYS for yarn for this baby. The colors they stocked were mostly pastel and didn't jump out at me. Also, tfhe longer I thought about it, I couldn't justify spending $110+ on this sweater. Calmer is $$$$! The jury is out on this one.

Trek from Rowan 37. I'm torn between this one and Hike. This one looks like more fun to knit, but it doesn't have those kick-ass pockets like Hike.

Butterfly from Rowan 37. I've been drooling over this since I started knitting (so what if that was only 6 months ago!). I just bought some yarn for the camisole (see below). I was torn for awhile between the cami and dress, but think I'll get more use out of the cami.

Bangle Bag. Have yarn, will make.


Apricot Jacket by Rebecca. Love, but have no materials for.

Rambling Rose from Rowan 39. I think this might be one of the next project. I'm still intimidated by the toothpick needles, but will deal for this beautiful sweater. Also dealing with fear of ss boredom.


Orangina by Glampyre. Love love love. Will def. make this summer.

Rythmic from Rowan 38. Will make, have yarn.

Minisweater by Glampyre. will make with some leftover yarn.

Somewhat Cowl by knitandtonic. Cute, classic sweater.

Bobbie Blue from Interweave Spring. I love this sweater. I bought the specified yarn (super cheap at discountyarnsale.com) and it's arriving on Thursday. Woo hoo. Bobbles here I come. I think I'm the only knitter who loves bobbles.

Joy from Rowan Vintage Knits. A fall knit. Teeny tiny needles, but for this sweater it's worth it.

Toledo from Rowan 37. Another summer knit.

I just realized a project I forgot. Hot Lava! I drool at the Manos Wildflower colorway everytime I go to the LYS. I think this would be perfect. I might wait for the new similar pattern, though.

Phew. This list might not be exhaustive, but I'm exhausted now.

Now for a few stash enhancements....


Socks that Rock in the Carbon Dating colorway. My first STR!


Sundara Yarn in "Trompe l'oeil"

One of these yarns is for Jaywalkers. Any opinions on which would look better?

3 balls Kidsilk Haze in Blushes for Butterfly!

I've actually been knitting, too. Here's the first finished half of Backyard Leaves. I'm 4 repeats through the second half.

Sorry for the ridiculously long post. I'm trying to get better about posting more often with less content, but I think I just get worse!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Norwegian Stockings

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

NOTES:
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...



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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.