Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Few Too Many Trips to the Frog Pond
I haven't made much progress on my projects. I've been busy at work and had knee surgery earlier this week. Unfortunately, too, I ordered some extra Zanziba and Fandango for my sweater and instead of Tapis, they sent me Lapis. Have to get that straighted out.
I've been bouncing from project to project. These include the Secret of the Stole--I ripped out both points and have begun again. And the Mystic Waters KAL--thank goodness for lifelines. I'm using Koigu for that. I have a gift certificate to a LYS in Manhattan which I could have used and my LYS in NJ has recently begun to offer it. I love the variations in color. But I'm having difficulty with the pattern.
I have been working on the spiral novelty hat I picked up at Stitches. I had to rip out some of that because the some of the novelty yarn was difficult and I ended up with too many stitches. Now I've misplaced the direction--this is what happens to me when I try to get organized! I lose track of things. To ensure I'll really have a nice warm hat for the winter, I've ask my mom to make me a hat from the alpaca my sister brought back from the Vineyard. Which reminds me, I need to get started on the hats for my nephew and my niece. Oh my!
And I've started the feltable snowman project--I actually picked that up at Stitches Midwest--it's fairly easy to do. I figure I need to get started on holiday ornaments if I want to make enough of them to decorate a tree (albeit a small one!). Hopefully I'll have more energy this weekend. I need to finish sorting my needles and log them and the rest of my stash on Ravelry. OOOh, and I mailed my Mystery Swap gift--can't wait to see what comes in the mail for me.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I'm a Swatching Maniac

Okay, I don't like knitting swatches any more than anyone else but I appreciate how this can prevent future problems--like hating the whole thing after it's done and sewn together. So I'm swatching some of the yarns I have before I get started.

But I'm not getting gauge. I usually have to go down one or two needle sizes from what's suggested to get gauge, but now I find myself going up in size. And I don't necessarily like the density of the resulting fabrics. This means I've been spending more time thinking about the knitting than actually knitting things.

I still haven't made much progress on yarn and needle organization which is unfortunate given how messy everything looks, but since I've been approved on Ravelry, I have a good process to go through.

I'm also having trouble prioritizing which projects I want to work on--it seems I love all my "children". I recognize the value of variety so I know I definitely need to have more than one WIP available to me. I'm trying to bucket them in terms of degree of finish, degree of probability of getting finished, yarn weight consistency the weather and my overall interest in the project. Then I'm going to have to put a lot of the yarns, patterns and needles AWAY.

I finally found a project I can be excited about for my Mystery Swap partner--I had the ladies from my LYS involved and they had great ideas. I'll have to get that off this weekend--I'm having knee surgery on the 29th and may be less mobile after that.

I also bought some Noro Silk Garden for an entrelac scarf that reminds me a lot of the Lady Eleanor stole. I have to go down a needle size or two so I ripped back, but it's been fun. It will go well with the spiral novelty hat I picked up at Stitches.

Photos of all these fine projects will follow.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Why, oh why?

Work is overwhelming. I've worked until 3 AM several days this week so I can't knit during the day, or night. Started the spiral hat from Stitches. Haven't made any progress on the SOTS or any of my other project. Oh well.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Greetings from Stitches East

I arrived late on Thursday. I unfortunately missed the class I had scheduled but it was an easy trip from NJ by train. Had a nice steak and crab cake dinner and watched some TV and got ready for the next day.

I took a full day class on Friday--You can design your own sweater! Really! It was taught by Lorna Miser, who is the Lorna of Lorna's Laces. There was a lot of math but I got a lot out of it. I have a terrible habit of not reading, or perhaps understanding, the class descriptions and instructions so I didn't bring the yarn I was planning on using but I did have some yarn for today's class, so I used that and went through the exercise--I imagine I'll be able to work my way through it again. I've got some really soft baby alpaca I can use--it's beige which is kind of boring but I've previously purchased some large ceramic buttons that look like a Siamese cat and they will all go well together.

Today's class was Concentration on Color with Brandon Mably. I'd met a woman in the bar of my hotel yesterday who told me she walked out of the class last year so I was nervous. I've never done intarsia or fair isle so I had a lot of problems joining colors and carrying it too but I stuck with it. I bought Brandon's book--there are illustrations on color techniques in it and some really nice patterns too.

I need more yarn like a whole in the head so I've been resisting. I did, however, buy yarn and patterns for 3 hats. One of them is a spiral pattern--you use two skeins of Noro and you do 6 rows in stockingette and then 6 rows of reverse stockingette with the Noro and a novelty yarn--there are nine different novelties! It's going to be so wild. The other two are more sedate and will match my shearling and my mink--both are dark brown.

I picked up some Touch Me in a dark green for my green striped cardi--I wanted that for the wrists and collar. I also got some green Lurex thread and Trendsetter Dune from Great Yarns. I got some green beads from Twisted Sister too.

I've got my eye on some cashmere from Hunt Valley...I'd like the red if it were thicker. Thought about beading it for the holidays. I've also picked up a lot of patterns which can help me work my way through the stash.

The most exciting things I found have been shawl pins--I got a starfish for myself. There was also a stickpin topped with crystals--it looks like a crystal sea anemone. I picked up a couple for Christmas gifts.

But the best find was about two seconds before the market closed tonight. I was at the Yarn Barn buying patterns and was looking for something for the Mystery Swap I signed up for...the themes I got for my swap partner were turtles, moose and gnomes. I have to admit it's been difficult--I found a pattern for a knitted gnome, but its only available from the UK and they haven't answered my email yet. I looked for buttons but no one had anything close. I've even asked the ladies from my LYS to think about it--they have some great ideas I can check out when I get home, but I found the perfect pattern just as the market closed. Can't say anything more...she may be reading this. LOL

One more class tomorrow. It's a Sally Melville class on First Choices. I'm looking forward to it. Then it's back to reality. I'll have to work all the way home and into the evening. But the fun here was worth it.

I have to plan my knitting schedule now.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Slow Going Again

I don't know what the barrier is but I can't seem to finish things. I did finish the second sleeve for my Disco Lights sweater but haven't sewn it together. I have several baby sweaters I need to assemble because they are gifts--I even bought a blocking board. I also have some hats that need crowns and then need to be felted. What am I waiting for?

I started the first point of the Secret of the Stole on Friday night. That went well. However, I went to my local meetup on Saturday and ripped back several times. I picked it up again on Sunday and am still have problems with the second point. Time is getting away from me--I don't want to fall too far behind!

I picked up the new cotton wool shell I started so I am making progress on something.

Off to Stitches East on Thursday. I'm taking Round Up on Thursday, a design class on Friday, a color class on Saturday and First Choices with Sally Melville on Sunday. I can't wait. I really like taking these classes because I'm engaged both mentally and physically and can't dwell or worry about other things, so it's a real escape for me. And being out of town is a real plus too--I love not being responsible for anything but me sometimes. I won't even have to feed the cats. Just get up, get ready and go to class.

I've printed out information about Baltimore and will choose some restaurants tonight and tomorrow. I'm back on Weight Watchers although I've switched to the Core Plan, which is new for me. I've promised myself I'll do preplanning on food choices so I keep to the plan.

Got to pack.