Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Christmas to all

Things have calmed down around here (yesterday was, well, what do you think Christmas in a family of 7 kids is like?!)

I finished the first of my Slippery Socks yesterday and promptly cast on for the second in the grand tradition of avoiding second sock syndrome, because it is worth xp on knit wars, and because I need more knitted socks now! I really like the pattern and it worked up nicely. I was worried about whether the darkness of the yarn would be a problem but it turned out lovely. There was some pooling of the darkest colour on the leg, and it striped vertically on the leg and horizontally after the heel - I think I like the horizontal better. The slipped st heel looks really neat with this colourway. And I did it with a heel flap, which I normally avoid, but I rather like the way this one turned out.

My Hand-dyed yarn swap package arrived from Australia - yeah my sock yarn! and fun stuff.

I got two knitting books for Christmas:
*Stunning Shawls and Wraps by Scarlett Taylor - all shawls with beads, there are a couple that I really like, and a few other that I'd like to modify into sweaters/tops. Several different techniques for adding beads are included and patterns range from simple garter sts triangular shall to shrugs and caplets, colour work, and cables.

This is one of my favourites, and as my mother rather likes it... (I think I'll have to tell dad that she wants it for her birthday... - what is it they say, find a pattern you love and get someone else to pay for it...)

I liked the creative use of self-striping yarn in this one.

And these two I'd like to take and turn into tops.
This one would make a nice pull over.

And this one I'd like to turn into a sleeveless top, but adding arm holes (between the collar and the body) and extending the body.

*At Knit's End by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee - always hilarious, my family has been enjoying it (though they haven't exactally gotten the mohair jokes...)

My Grandmother gave me the sock needle set of Harmony dpns. And two antique metal circs - they belonged to my great-great grandmother Annie (Grandma's father's mother). They are pretty heavy duty - as in if I ever needed to garotte someone... I'll be interested to see how they work.

My Christmas knitting was distributed, and much enjoyed. Mom is now wearing both the socks and the shawl and L. carried around the Dr. Who scarf all day yesterday, while T. wore his hat -inside- all day.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A couple more for the pile

So in addition to the two things from last post (socks and hat), I've finished another hat (for me) and a scarf and hat (for my uncle as requested by my aunt).

I used SWS Natural Garden for my hat, and the modified tea cozy pattern.

The scarf is A Scarf Askew from Magknits, in Patons Classic Wool in Dark Grey Mix, using about 1.25-1.5 skeins.

The hat is SWS Natural Coal, same pattern.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

V is for Victory

I have officially completed not only my list but bouns items.

Dad's socks - the end of the list

Nick's hat - the first 'list is finished' bonus (it was a hat based on Em's Tea Cozy pattern).

I've already started another hat like the one for Nick, this one for me. I've also realized, I would have failed all my students on the last two assignments if I didn't have my knitting (WTF! Why can't they analize the text I gave them instead of importing all sorts of irrelevant shit!? And where the frak did he get the idea that Antony was one of the conspirators and that he was arguing to justify Caesar's death?! - grrr- *breathes deeply and pets yarn*)

[Blogger is being stupid and won't let me add pictures...]

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells

Christmas knitting victory is in sight. I'm not sure why I keep hearing about the stressy-ness of Christmas knitting (despite last year), but I've loved it this year, and actually it has been less stressy because I haven't been running all over hell's half acre looking for things.

I ended up with:
*finishing the purple diamond shawl for my mom
*three shawls for my girlfriends
*hedera for mom
*3 pairs of mittens
* 4 Koolhaas hats
*a tea cozy
*a teddy bear
* Dr. Who scarf
* multiple face-cloths
*a pair of fetching

I have yet to finish-
*dad's Phineas socks - I'm now doing the ribbing on each, having knit both to 4.5 diamonds and not having enough yarn for ribbing so I frogged back the .5 and cut the yarn in half, balled it back up and am now going to rib each little ball for each sock.

I'm also giving knitting gifts
* two hand-dyed skeins
* two kits (needles, yarn, pattern)

It is a very knitterly Christmas! Once everythings is done, I have a couple of lacey things for myself that I'm working on and a half dozen pairs of socks I want to make (as well as a Koolhaas for myself - I LOVE THAT PATTERN!)

For next year there are two things I really want to knit that I don't have the yarn for: one will probably involve needing to buy 2 full bags of the bare Wool of the Andes worsted and the other is the Ivy League vest (which my plan is to knit in pallett).

I have the yarn for and will knit before ordering more yarn:
*the Cochella
*the Red Carpet Convertible top (not the dress)
*a shawl - either the Spanish Christening one or the Feather and Fan one
*I also have all but one or two balls of the calmer for a Nothin' but a t-shirt (I need another one or two of gold as an accent colour)

Final cool thing:
I have a friend who just came back from a trip to Australia and New Zealand and she brought me back four worsted weight skeins of Merino/Possum(!) blend.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Ouch - my hands

Soooo - only part of a pair of socks, one pair of mittens, and part of a hat to go...

I finished 3 Koolhaas hats - in Red, Blue, and Teal-ish... to be variously distributed and am working on a 4th. At some point in the new year, I'm going to have to knit myself one - I really like them.

I finished Bertie's mitts, but the last pair of mittens has yet to be cast on, I'm thinking of just doing the same as the other two but on much larger needles, esp. since the cart itself is actually written for adult size... we'll see, I could just use the chart from the other pattern, but knit the same mitten pattern as I'm now very familiar with...

I also cast on a scarf/shawl for me, since I found a pattern that calls for about the yardage of my Mini-maiden. (Though my shrug hasn't seen any action since I started it... oops.)
My hands are a bit sore, I've been pushing it a bit - and I did a power point presentation for a talk at school last week and my laptop mouse is really hard on my hands. So I'll take it easy for a bit... (well, at least until tomorrow night...)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mittens and 5 things...

I finished the mittens for my sister. They were a huge pain in the ass (well, hands actually). I had ordered yarn in appropriate shades of pink/purple of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, worsted, and wanted to knit her Norwegian style mitts (originally from the mitten shaped mitten book... title escapes me, book burried somewhere, but ultimately from the Generic Mitten Pattern). The problem was the only pattern I had was for adults, so I sized it - way down- based on some measurements, and they were WAY too small, so I frogged, changed needles sizes, and did it again, also WAY too small. So I gave up and worked an adult sized pattern on teeny-tiny needles (2.5mm). The restul is a pair of decent looking, well fitting, bullet proof mittens on which I intend to blame any future arthiritis in my hands.
I've started a pair for my youngest brother, these with Telemark, I'm planning to make them the same (but not inverted) and am hoping the difference in yarn weight will make up any sizing difference... (yeah, right...).
Said youngest brother with yarn for mittens.

Today my Cro-hook came! I am soo excited, I want to run right out and order me a fair isle project. But I will wait... must finish Christmas knitting and knit at least one of the tops I have the yarn for first...
As per the Hand-dyed Yarn Swap...
(5 favourite things - in no particular order)

1. naps
2. late 1960s American muscle cars
3. hanging out with friends, esp. when my bar is invovled
4. North American Football
5. good Tiramisu

(honourable mention to: bubble baths, fire, snow, rum, milk chocolate, action movies, and red lipstick)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Socks, fingerless gloves, and shopping

Today I (finally) finished mom's Hedera socks and also finished a pair of Fetching for my cousin. The Hedera are in Louet Gems Sage, they are sized for ladies 9 narrow and they should fit her fine. I could have made them longer and between the left over of the two skeins I used and the extra one I bought I should be able to make another complete pair of socks. I did a short row heel, because I like them better.

For the Fetching I used SWS in Natural Violet. I love the way the pinks work in it but I'm not sure about the greenish sections. They are much bigger than the other pairs I've made, which makes me think I'd used smaller needles for the others and that the yarn is definately smaller guage. But I like the extra length and will be making myself a pair, probably in Natural Garden. It is a bit scratchy so I'm thinking maybe I should wash them...
When I picked up the SWS (in Violet, Garden, Plum, and Navy) I also picked up a skein of Mini-Maiden in a beautiful green-brown colourway, I will be making something shawl-scarf-ish out of it eventually. I also got the new IK, and will be doing the Ivy League Vest as soon as my Christmas knitting is out of the way (and KP gets more of the Tidepool Heather...). I ordered a Cro-hook too, which I hope to get in the next week or so. I heard about it on David Reidy's Podcast Sticks & String, it is a circular needle where one of the points is a crochet hook, great for picking up stitches along arm-holes and neck edges. I like toys, this is an exciting one.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Just keep knitting...


Do I want Emerald, Plum, or Ruby zephyr or similar colours of the Elann peruvian baby lace merino for knitting the Mediterannean Shawl? (Now if I can manage to get some Wollmeise lace weight all bets are off... and if it rains blue cheese ...)

I've finished another dish cloth (of which I will spare you yet another picture), and the Baby Bobbi Bear and I've nearly finished one Phineas sock - I'm keeping it on the needles until I knit the other one (the first one is to the ribbing) so that I make sure I have enough yarn for both of them.

The bear will be a Christmas present and was knit with about 4 skeins of fingering weight Katia alpaca (double stranded) on 5.5mm. It is super soft. The pattern was fairly easy to follow though the head does end up a little oddly shaped, mostly in the back -my mom suggested it needed a hat...

In other news, the Crazy Knitting Lady brought me a present from Rhinebeck - the most beautiful lilac bamboo roving!! I am soo excited. Spinning has always fascinated me, but since I've really started to look at it, it has been the thought of spinning bamboo, silk, and flax that have excited me most. Ergo, much squee! I am saving it for the moment until I get a bit better, and trying to decide whether I might not try spinning it with some silk...

Also, I have my new swap partner for the next round of the Hand-dyed yarn swap. This time all the way from Australia - which is very exciting to me. I think given the icky wet cool weather we've started to have, I'll have to do the dying this week to give it time to dry properly, now I just have to figure out what my dad did with all my dying stuff when he cleaned the garage...

Saturday, October 20, 2007


The shawl - the purple monster- is done, blocked, and nicely wrapped in tissue paper and stored away for Christmas wrapping. I finished knitting it on Thursday and blocked it Thursday night (I left it soaking while I chatted on the phone... there was no water left in the sink when I got back!! NTS- wool is absorbant, if you don't want to be wringing water out of lace for hours don't abandon it in the sink....). I had to fold it in half to block it and then it only just fit on the towel/foam mats combo that I wanted to use.

Yesterday I started on my mitten blitz. I'm doing three pairs for my sibs - not really that big of a deal. But naturally I decided to try stranded colour work (which I rarely do and never do well) and that I wanted to do Norwegian style stars on them. Unfortunately the only patterns I have are for adults (one pair is for a 7 year old girl and one for a 3 year old boy - adult sizes not so much). So generic mitten pattern to the rescue... sort of... I used the template to create a scaled down template in excel and then did the design on that. Then I tried knitting it, first version too small... even for Bertie, so I frogged back to the ribbing and knit again using larger needles, which seems to have worked.

Last night, for some variety, I cast on the tea-cozy. The pattern was great, very easy, and I finished it last night before I went to bed. I really liked the picot hem, I've never done a hem before but this was easy and very smart looking. I think I may modify the pattern in future to make a toque.

Today, more mittens, and maybe working on the socks. Phineas is going slow, the needles are tiny!! So I've been leaving it to the side in favour of projects with greater instant gratification potential. I'm thinking maybe I'll cast on the Hedera for mom....

In my last KP order (which I was waiting for for my mitten yarn and sock needles) I also got the set of metal options. I have loved them, I actually knit the tea cozy on two cables and one set of 5mm tips (I had to switch tips at the end of each half row, but it worked really well anyway). I'm going to have to get more tips (and some doubles I think) and more storage and cables.... (obsessive compulsive much ....) I also got the Teach Yourself Visually Handspinning book. I really like it, though to my mind there is too much attention devoted to spinning novelty yarn. I'd have liked more space given to non-wool fibers (like bamboo), though I did like the sections on flax and silk, and to the properties of different fibers in general. The result has been, the plying of two spindles of singles that I had and pricing spinning wheels. Oh, how I want a Kromski Symphony...

*pout* My connection is being stupid so I can't upload pictures right now...

Friday, October 12, 2007


Dr. Who scarf - Done (the ends are now sewn in)

Shawl 3 - Done

Facecloth #7 - Done

Friday, October 05, 2007

Two posts in one day... (or my afternoon in pictures)

So, I checked out some older spinning material on Knitty and found a link to a DIY lazy kate, which I modified.

I wound my singles onto 'bobbins' (aka straws on knitting needles).

And plyed it. I must have divided the original pretty evenly (or had the dumbest luck in the spinning) since I only had around a foot extra.

It looks a little like yarn barf, but oh well.

Then I skeined it around a chair.

Soaked it in my sink.

(Wacked the snot out of it against my shower wall - as instructed in Spin to Knit).

Now it is hanging up in the shower drying.

Once it is dry I have two things to figure out - 1. how much of it is there ('cuz, dude, I need that information to enter it into Ravelry) and 2. WTF am I supposed to make out of it?!

So, now if only I could spin something remotely consistent... (on the other hand, the current situation might prevent me from buying lbs and lbs of fiber...)

Spinning and Dr. Who

My most recent trip to yarn store also included a side trip to the bead store. Among the various things I picked up were some beads intended for use as spindle whorls. Last night I went to the dollar store in search of cheap wooden handled paintbrushes.

This is what I came home with (the paint brushes and eye hooks, everything else I already had).
And this is what I made. It spins pretty nicely, with only a bit of wobble at the end of a spin, the only real problem with it is that the handle is too short to hold what I was trying to use it for last night. I'm going to need to hit Curry's downtown to find something with a longer handle (and a wider circumference as the hole in the flat beads was too big). But over all I am pleased.
I spun all of the purple/brown/pink fiber yesterday, trying to do so according to the article on fractal self striping yarns in one of the Spin-Offs from earlier this year. This is what I ended up with.

Now I just have to figure out how to ply these singles...(and also to figure out if I spun one of them the wrong way... should I have done one S and one Z or do I do both the same and then ply them the other way... guess I should have checked that first huh...). I did spin some of the one with my DIY spindle, but ended up transfering the singles to the ashford and finishing it with that. It is uneven and wretched, but an improvement over the last time, so I count that as a small victory.

This week, knitting wise, I've been focusing on the Dr. Who scarf I'm knitting for my sister for Christmas. It is now significantly taller than I am... and I'm only about half way through. She is coming home this weekend so I won't be able to work on it then, but I should be able to finish it up next week. By which time the needles and yarn I need to move on to the next batch of Christmas things will have arrived. (If only my school work were this productive and well organized....)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Fiber, facecloths, and footwear

oh my!

Soo - today I was supposed to go fiber crawling with a friend, but she had to bail - so I went alone.

I visited:

Lettuce Knit - where I picked up: 3 patterns (Thelonius Socks, Gothic Spire Socks, and Baby Bobbi Bear); a Go Knit Yourself magnet; and a pair of 5.5mm circs

Arton Beads- which really is AMAZING - where I got um.. beads... and some charms, I'm hoping maybe I can find some appropriate cheap paint brushes and make some spindles a la Em.

Romni - where I wandered at length and left with fiber - though I did leave the merino silk where I found it...

I have some serious online shopping to do, so I can get into the main portion of my Christmas stuff.

ION- My hand-dyed yarn swap package arrived today:

On Saturday and Today, I finished another couple of face-cloths. I've also charted a design I want to do for one, if it works I'd like to post it somewhere... anyone know of a good way of doing that?

This was my, knitting during parade one.

Here is the 3rd Martini one, finished this morning (cast-on last night).

(Also, I got shoes over the weekend - aren't they fab?!)