Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy Christmas and New Year!

Too long since my last post, so this one's going to be long. Let's start with Kisa, this time, exploring the Christmas tree:

Kisa found Christmas to be lots of fun, and just a little stressful (sounds familiar). Ribbons, tissue paper, bows and boxes were great. Visitors, trees being dragged inside, and long absences were not so good. But she survived.

As usual, my family bought me everything I asked for (I tried to keep the list under control). I just emailed Tom my Knit Picks shopping cart and they went to town!:

It Itches, a magnetic chart keeper, some Chibi yarn needles and these really cool DPN WIP holders, so you can safely carry unfinished socks around without fear of breakage, purse holes, or impalement.

Tom order this swift from a guy on eBay. It's much more durable than the umbrella-style, and lots cheaper. I love it, wind away!

Of course then came the Boxing Day yarn sales. From Romni I bought Lana Grossa sock yarn, Cascade 220 Heather, and Lavold silky wool. From Lettuce Knit I picked up some Misti Alpaca hand painted lace, and some Socks that Rock. I was very disappointed they had no Dream in Color Smooshy for sale; that was the main reason I went there. Unfortunately, I didn't take a group photo before putting the yarn away, so I think I'll just link to my Ravelry stash page.

Finally, for my birthday, Tom got me one of the Knit Picks lace samplers:

I have so much lace-weight! And lace takes so long! And I want to knit sweaters! Oh well, it is beautiful.

Speaking of knitting sweaters, after completing about 8 inches on my EZ percentage sweater, I had to frog it and start over. It was huge! I cast on 32 less stitches this time. Didn't you knit a gauge swatch? you say. Yes, I did. I knit it in the round. I washed, dried and measured carefully. Gauge swatches lie.

Before that I finished a hat to match my mittens:

a Noro One Skein One Stole scarf:

a Baby Surprise Jacket for a pregnant co-worker:

and one Monkey Sock:

I also cast on the Icarus shawl in lovely Malabrigo lace weight:

But because of the the rippage, I feel so behind on my knitting. I have one more week off from work and I need to get lots done.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

On holiday!

Because of an error in calculating my vacation days, I got sent home today, three days early to start my Christmas holiday. No more work until January 5! What am I going to do with myself? Knit, of course!

Secret Santa mitts are here:

9 teachers have been laid off from my work, so the Christmas party won't be so joyful. It's seems like most people are still planning to show up. My gift recipient is not one of the lay-offs.

I'm really proud of my first fair isle project: Ice Wine Mitts.

Checking out the blog of the designer, I suddenly realized I knew her! She goes to the Purl's knit night. So I was able to show the mitts and thank her for the pattern (and coo over her new baby). Yeah!

All my Christmas knitting is now done, so I've moved on to my first Baby Surprise Jacket, for Andrea and her soon to be born baby. It's lots of fun to knit, although it lands in that annoying place between mindless and requiring attention, so I tend to forget where I am in the pattern and have done a lot of annoying tinking. The yarn is Joy by Needful yarns, and it's really cushy. I like it a lot.

Eventually I'll get back to my Noro scarf, though I've made some progress:

Sunday, November 23, 2008

more mitts

I keep knitting mittens that aren't in my cue, and not getting other stuff started. Oh well, it's winter!

I was thinking of just whipping up a simple pair of mittens to go with my scarf and calorimetry, but then I saw this Icewine pattern which I had already saved on my computer (in my days before Ravelry). I've never done 2-stranded knitting, so I thought I would give it a try. Also, my daughter Grace encouraged me, so I started them and boy! was it hard at first. But eventually I got the hang of it. Then I noticed that further up some of the floats would go over 15 stitches! Eeek! is that legal? By wonderful coincidence, I read Michelle's Always Casting On post about these very mittens. So I contacted her and she assured me it was okay, just keep the floats loose. Thanks Michelle!

I've also cast one the One Skein A Stole scarf, which designed for one skein of Noro sock yarn, which is just what I have:

FOs: Here's my hemlock ring blanket all pinned out an drying (should be done by tomorrow). I love it.

Ralph scarf is done, it just needs a little blocking:

Secret Santa mitts are nearly done, but I done have a updated picture. By the end of this week Christmas knitting should be totally finished!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

knitting progress and stash enhancement

I love the hemlock ring blanket. I never want it to stop knitting it. Both the yarn and the pattern are wonderful. But I will stop, and soon. I'm down to the last four knit rows (472 stitches each) and then the bind off. Here it is in all it's unblocked, almost finished glory:

I've also finished 56" on my father-in-laws Christmas present, a One Row Scarf by the Yarn Harlot.

It was going to be for work's Secret Santa, but then my father-in-law fell and ended up in the hospital and I thought I should send him something handmade. So my Secret Santa giftee is getting some mittens, knit out of a lovely natural yarn I got at The Purple Purl:

Finally, I'm knitting along in happy stockinette my first EZ percentage sweater. The yarn is also natural, but very stiff. I'm hoping it will soften up with washing.

Speaking of The Purl, I was there Thursday night for the Knitty Roundtable, and as a prize I got this lovely bit of sock yarn: Schaeffer Heather (wool, silk and nylon, $29). Not in colours I normally buy, but lovely stuff:

Today The Purl celebrated its first anniversary (Yay! Congratulations ladies!) and all purple yarn was 30% off, so I got some silk seacell for me

and this cotton, wool, seacell, silk blend for a Clapotis for my friend Sharon

Monday, November 10, 2008

mostly complaints

Nobody has updated their blogs.
I've had insomnia since the time change. Keep waking up at 5am.
Tom is out of town for the second weekend (helping out his dad who's in the hospital).
Tom is coming back tonight and I have to drive to the airport and pick him up.
The kids are stuck late at school with a rehearsal.
I forgot to bring home the marking I have to do (maybe not a complaint).
The girls have a really hectic week which making me stressed out.
I can't watch episodes of "Chuck" or "Bones" online.


Knitting continues apace. I love knitting the hemlock blanket and it's going very fast.
I'm almost done with Christmas knitting.
I've started my EZ percentage sweater.
I want to cast on lots more, but I will restrain myself.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

More ow, and pics

The caffeine headaches were too much, so I decided to do a slower withdrawal. Just a quarter cup of coffee was enough to stop the headache, so now, two weeks later, I am completely caffeine free. Yay!

But then I threw out my back: too much food and drink, followed by too much knitting without moving, and my back blew out. It's been a week, and I'm much better, though I still have to be very careful.

But lots of knitting has been happening, especially lots of mitts:

These are from The Knitter's Big Book of Yarn. I cast on more stitches since I thought, I have large hands, but I shouldn't have. Still, I like them.

These are Maria's using Kate Atherley's generic mitt pattern.

They match Maria's Watchcap (EZ, Knitting Without Tears)

I finally finished Tom's dreaded socks

except he thinks the cuffs are too short, so I said I would add some length (when I could face them again).

So now I've cast on another One Row Scarf, since I decided I would keep the one I knit before since it match my mitts and the calorimetry I've knitted:

I've also cast on Brooklyn Tweed's hemlock ring blanket, using Cascade ecological yarn

Finally, some cute pics of Kisa

Thursday, October 16, 2008

just ow

No knitting, no pics, no Kisa, just pain. I've had a headache for three days and today I discovered why: Tom accidentally bought decaffeinated coffee beans. I've been going cold turkey with no warning. However, I had already decided to break my addiction to caffeine over Christmas, so I guess I'll just do it early.

Still, lots and lots of pain. I just hope I can manage the creativ festival on Saturday. I want to do some major yarn scoping/comparing/planning/shopping. I need my brain to function.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Obligatory Thanksgiving Post

And I am thankful, despite having woken up with my daughter's cold (you can have it back now dear), and a load of cooking and marking to do. We'll alive; my husband and kids are the best; we still have food, clothing and shelter; I have a decent stash of yarn; my daughters have joined the knitting club at school (yeah!); Kisa has recovered from spaying and is back to her ridiculously cute self (I must post more pictures); and we haven't directly effected so far by all the economic turmoil (though I haven't looked at a report on our investments lately).

So I give thanks.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Picture of FOs and why I hate gauge

I'm really happy with my TIFF scarf, I just hope the (still to be announced) recipient will like it:

Maria's Tree Jacket turned out well. She wore it to school and got lots of complements. The sleeves grew quite a bit after washing/blocking, but fortunately Maria likes very long sleeves:

Here's the back, with a peak at Kisa:

And a close-up of the back:

I cast on and knitted the ribbed edge and the beginning of the honeycomb pattern for Honeycomb by Sarah Castor from Knitty. Then I realized I had started the crossovers the wrong way. After frogging the 7 rows of pattern I had done, I decided to slip it on to check the fit. It was way too big (as I had suspected, hence the trying on). Of course, I hadn't knit a gauge swatch, because the swatch requirements just seemed too difficult (the gauge was given only in pattern, not stockinette; I was knitting the pattern in the round, not flat, so my swatch needed to be in the round, or so say the experts). Meh. I ripped the whole thing, and decided to put it aside and knit Maria a hat on really bulky yarn on huge needles.

After sleeping on it I decided how to proceed. If I go down a needle size (Honeycomb pattern calls for 3.5mm) it will just be too small and fiddly. So I'm just going to knit the next size down, knit at my normal loose gauge, and adjust for length (which I would probably have done anyway, since I'm tall).

Next sweater will be EZ still, knit to my own gauge and no one else's.

I hate gauge.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I still don't have my computer back, and the house is too disrupted to block the FOs, so no pictures. I'm almost done with Maria's Tree Jacket. I've been having a terrible time with the sleeves. Knit according to the pattern, they're way too wide, so I've been adding a lot of decreases, but I'm still not totally happy. But Maria says they're okay, and I'm sick of the sweater, so I'm letting it go.

One of the things I like about knitting is I'm always learning something. I'm on my second version of the Celtic Cable scarf, this one for my sister-in-law, and I decided to learn to do the cables without a cable needle. I knew how to do it, but I didn't feel confident enough. But it's going great. The yarn is really sticky, so there's almost no chance of dropping stitches.

I'm still knitting on Tom's tiny-stitch socks (I hate them, but they must be done).

Oh, and I successfully completed my TIFF one-row scarf, more or less within the time-frame of the festival. Turned out great, but needs to be washed.

I frogged my Victorian shawl, and will start again sometime with a smaller size, stickier needle.

Pictures will come at a later date.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Finally, an update

I've been having computer problems, so I've been reluctant to post (and right now it's difficult to write because Kisa is being incredibly cute with a stolen ball of yarn). Here's a great Kisa pic taken by Tom:

I've made good progress on Maria's Tree Jacket, though of course I didn't finish it by the closing ceremonies. All I have left are the sleeves:

(Don't worry, the stains are just water. Kisa again.)

Progess has also been made on Tom's socks, though I still hate knitting them:

Finally, progess on Feather and Fan shawl, followed by the beginning of my TIFF scarf (to be given away at Christmas for the office Secret Santa; it's Yarn Harlot's One Row Scarf):

Friday, August 8, 2008

Grrrrr, my Olympic Challenge

I wasn't planning on doing an Olympic knitting challenge, as I have too many projects in the works or in the cue to take on something just for that. But this morning I happened to turn on the live broadcast of the opening ceremonies and thought, "Hey, I'm about ready to cast on Maria's Tree Jacket sweater, so why not now?" So I did. The pattern calls for as 16 or 20 inch circ size 5mm, so I pulled out my Knitpicks Options, set it up with the smallest cable and cast on. Then I went to work.

When I picked it up again this afternoon I realized the cable was too long. The Options set doesn't come with anything smaller than 24". Oh well, I thought, I'll just have to order a 16" cable (and of course other things to justify the $9 shipping charge). At the website I see that there are no smaller cables for the Options. Why not?! So I figure I'll order a fixed circ in that size (along with other things of course).

Then I remembered I 5mm dpns, so the circ isn't really necessary. Yay! (or Boo! I can't order other stuff). So pull out the dpns and start knitting. I get through 3.5 rounds when I click in that I'm knitting on 4.5mm, not 5mm. Grrrrrr! The whole thing gets ripped and I have to start over. At least the opening ceremonies are being repeated this evening.

Obviously, no pictures.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The big problem I have with blogging is I'd rather be knitting. But I guess it's an important record of things.

Tom and the kids are gone, so I'm totally alone (except for Kisa, of course)for the first time in years. I still don't sleep soundly, but it's much easier to get back to sleep without Tom's weird sleeping behaviour to cope with.

So pretty much knitting it happening (though yesterday was mostly planning knitting and thus little progress was achieved).

Two Christmas FOs:

That's brother Marc's Celtic Cable scarf. Fortunately, washing it took out some of the itchiness. I'll be knitting another one for his wife.

That is mother-in-law's Scaruffle from The Big Book of Yarn. That green is her favourite colour. It was an incredibly easy knit, and the halo from the mohair completely hides the mistakes. The yarn is ShibuiKnits Silk Cloud, which I bought at the Knitter's Frolic in May.

Since I finished two scarves, I decided I was allowed to start a shawl for myself. I'm tasting out knitting the feather and fan shawl from Folk Shawls in fingering weight Araucania. We'll see.
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