Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holiday Knitting

I never seem to be able to get ahead of holiday knitting. I bought more festive holiday-ish yarn with the intention of supplying loved ones with scarves by Thanksgiving that they could wear throughout the holiday season. When productivity on that idea slowed to nil, I changed my idea to hats. But can't seem to get the assembly line momentum going. I have been bouncing back and forth on knitting projects for myself. The newest addition comes from the second edition of the Noro Catwalk patterns. It calls for Silk Garden Lite--I'm using Kureyon and my friends at The Skein Attraction helped me choose the appropriate size. They ordered yarn in a different colorway for me but I couldn't wait so I started knitting with Kureyon #149. I ordered additional yarn from someone on eBay. That turned into something scary--the lot of 9 skeins should have been around $72 plus S&H. They ended up multiplying $72 x 9--I nearly fainted when I got the PayPal receipt! Luckily I was only charged the appropriate price. I've already finished the left front. Now I just need to figure out what to do with the other Kureyon.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Work Work Work

It keeps me in fiber and nice shoes, but it also keeps me too busy to knit as much as I'd like. I think I've finally found things I like to do most--I was warned away from bulkier yarns because of the bulk they add, but I am a loose knitter and I will simply not finish a worsted weight project knit on #6 needles or, Heaven forbid, a DK weight project unless it's for a child. I'm also a lot better at top down, minimal finishing pieces than I am at knitting all the pieces individually.

I finished the Plymouth Mulberry Merino shrug for my sister's MIL and am now concentrating on a couple of treats for me. I saw an adorable baby sweater at The Skein Attraction knit in Mission Falls 1820 and have started a top down striped cardigan for myself. I learned to add stitches on the ends of my work in the middle of the project--woo hoo--shout out to Carol who showed me how.

I'm also making a pink Mulberry Merino shrug for myself--knitted doubled and it will be trimmed with Cha Cha from Trendsetter. It's supposed to ruffle--can't wait to see that. While I was at Skein, one of the ladies was finishing a pretty fall sweater--the pattern is called Nimbus and it's from Berrocco. I think she used Peruvia as called for but I am doubling a new Colinette worsted weight and also knitting in some Kidsilk Haze. There's not much of an aura from it but it transforms the ombre yarn, which is grays and browns and a little umber/orange.

I'm also trying a new boucle from Plymouth--I've always wanted to knit a "Chanel"-like jacket for myself but was confounded by the loops of boucles in the past. This is pretty easy so far--I'm also working it doubled so I'm getting a nice fabric from it. It will have to be finished at the LYS though--I'm having troubling "reading" the work and I'll never be able to pick up stitches for the edgings.

Finally, I dug out a project from last year--it was going to be a shawl alternating 2 rows of Touch Me with four rows of Tilli Tomas Disco Lights knit in a seafoam-esque pattern. I was on #5s but the Touch Me still wormed. So I frogged it and swatched the Touch Me on smaller needles. I'm down to a size 2 (they suggest 8s or 10s on the band!) and the fabric looks great but I'm waiting to see if the worms pop out later. Now the dilemma is whether to start the shawl again, or make something else. Such problems! : )

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

I Cannot Resist

I love Debbie Bliss. Her patterns, her yarn and now her new magazine. There are so many projects I would love to knit... Started the Moss Stitch Jacket last night. You heard me.

Stopped at The Skein Attraction in Teaneck for needles and stitch markers. I started the Kim Hargreaves Tender sweater on Saturday but the points of my Addi Turbo Lace needles are scratched and I needed new ones. I also have misplaced my tool bag and cannot find small stitch markers and need them for the Koigu Pi Shawl.

Skein had just received a shipment of new yarn which included some Blizzard from Plymouth. I've worked with it before and grabbed 20 skeins in a faded red, almost tomato color and cast on last night. I got 13 rows done last night and added another 3 this morning before leaving for work. It's a bit fuzzy and I'm hoping it won't pill. Otherwise I'm loving it.

Monday, August 31, 2009

I couldn't be more proud

My niece learned to finger knit at Girl Scout Camp and on Saturday night, I helped her braid three super long strands together to make a scarf.

We spent some time together yesterday and I taught her a rhyme (left to right, around the back, through the window, off jumps Jack), then I gave her needles and some Zara and she picked it up right away. She's thinking of being a Gingerbread person for Halloween and will need a pink scarf. She was a little disappointed with some of the stitches but I convinced her that they should be considered design elements!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

On the Road Again

Still traveling and making very little progress on my CPH--which is an AUGUST KAL with the ample knitters' group on Yahoo. Oh well. I do have the back done.

I had delusions of knitting on the plane to Chicago and Miami and then to Dallas and then San Diego, but no such luck. I'm feeling like I need to be on a strict knitting regimen to work through this. Some of the ladies zipped on through theirs! How do they do that?

Meanwhile, I've purchased some Koigu and have started another Pi Shawl using it. I've not done anything fancy with the stitches and it is zipping along. I started on size 4 needles but realized that was going to take forever so began again with 8's.

I discovered Kim Hargreaves while buying the Koigu at Patricia's Yarns in Hoboken (love Margo and her enthusiasm!). I bought her pattern books "Nectar" and "Breeze" and have been trying to find "Precious" because of the designs I've seen. Oh so pretty. And I think I can use many of these patterns to stash bust. I have some really nice cashmere and a big lot of alpaca crying to be used. But of course I'm drawn to "Tender" which is made with Kidsilk Haze. I'd need 7 skeins for me and wouldn't you know I have 5. I do have some Suri Merino that I'd like to see if I can substitute--it won't be as airy but maybe I can use needles larger than #2! I have these cute cat and mouse buttons that I could use.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Summer Reading, Some Are Not

There's nothing like a warm sunny day and a good book, although my ideal scenario would be a shady spot at the pool with a book on tape and my latest knitting project.
I have given up on the idea of a customized Pi shawl for the niece who is getting married and am focusing on finishing the Tilli Tomas shrug for her. I'm almost done with the second sleeve and took the body to The Skein Attraction for some help. The neckline on each side was different; turns out I used armhole shaping to make the neckline on one of them. Ooops! Any way, it's coming along nicely.

The other niece demanded (oh yes, she did) a rainbow sweater like the one I made for a family friend's daughter. We could only get two skeins of Kudo in the colorway she wanted (EXACTLY like the other one) and here's hoping I have enough left over from Project 1 to successfully complete Project 2. Meanwhile, I told her that I would not get to her new sweater right away (this is the girl I made the two pink shrugs for!) and she replied "What am I going to do with a sweater in the summer?"
Meanwhile, she found a pattern book for little characters called Pocket Pals--they are 3" tall. These are made on #1 needles with DK weight yarn. I knitted one last night; need to add the detail and hair--her hair is curly so this is going to be a challenge--fun, but definitely a challenge.

Finally (honestly there is much more to add but I haven't taken pictures)--I am doing to do a KAL in August--the Central Park Hoodie. I'll be honest, I've been looking at it for a while although I don't think I want a hood per se. I decided to use Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk Aran--I had twelve skeins at home for a project I didn't get very far on and thought this would be a good stash buster (stop laughing). However, I needed 25 skeins total. It was my good luck that the ladies at The Skein Attraction found the extra yarn on site and--wait for it--it's the same dyelot. How lucky is that? The photo shows my chosen color--Noisette. I'm using #6 Addi Turbo lace needles...people who made it say that it's lots of fun, so I can't wait to start.

I'm trying to finish Purple Passion (Giotto and Banyan shell) while on the bus these days. So pretty! The colors match so well.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

On My Way to Cape May

On Thursday.  Can't wait.  I have assemble several "almost" done projects to work on for a long weekend at the shore.  

I have to finish Hannah's Rainbow Shrug (she's expecting it this weekend; I promised).

I also have the Tilli Tomas Shrug for my niece who is getting married in August.

And I have a third shrug that I am making with Wild Stuff Half and assorted other yarns (of course, my intention was to work with leftover yarns but "had" to purchase new skeins to make it beautiful).  

And then there are three shells for me!

I found my camera and will post photos shortly!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Knit Faster!

I wish I were able to knit a lot faster than I do. There are so many projects I want to work on. I keep buying yarn, but things take a whole long time to make. I have to go find my camera so I can post what I'm working on now.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Crazy Days

I've been busy at work and I'm not complaining because, as I like to say, consider the alternative. But I have been lucky enough to be able to make a few visits to The Skein Attraction on Wednesdays, which is their late night. On my first trip, I found some Prism "Stuff" and Shaina wrote a pattern for me to make a pullover for myself. We added in some additional yarns like Colinette Giotto, Trendsetter Dolcino and Charm, Louet Euroflax and Luisa (can't remember who makes this). I'm using a cotton blend from Plymouth for the ribbing and am happy to report that I love it! It's so soft and I love the feeling. I'm knitting this on size 11 needles so it's going quickly--in fact, I started on Wednesday night and had the back done by Friday night. I love the play of different colors and textures--the "Stuff" is the color "Sky" which you can see in the photo here.
I went back last Wednesday to have them measure the back for safety and Adina helped me design a shell using Colinette Giotto. My vision was cotton on the bottom, Giotto on the top. They had something called Banyan from Colinette in stock--it's also a cotton blend and the colorway matches the Giotto exactly. I'm doing my shell in purple passion which is a surprising choice--I'm more of a beige/neutral person, but the purple is sooooooo pretty.
I need to post photos of the two shrugs I made for my younger niece--she made her First Communion a few weeks ago and her dress was sleeveless, so I made a shrug using Tilli Tomas Disco Lights. I loved it but later learned her dress had rhinestones on the top, so I quickly made a second version in Pure Merino. I think I liked the merino better because the stitch definition is so good. And my niece reported that the sequins on Disco Lights were scratchy.
I'm still working on a similar shrug in Disco Lights for my older niece who is getting married in August. I'm doing hers in Natural. I'm hoping to finish soon so I can have the shrug lined so we don't repeat the itchy problem.
I've also started another shrug for another young friend. Her color request was "rainbow" so I got a new yarn from Plymouth called Kudo. It's a cotton blend with rayon and silk and it's self striping (yippee-I didn't' want to stripe different colors and have to weave in all those ends). I like the feel of it and am considering something for myself too (I know, I have to finish the above mentioned projects plus a boatload of others first).

And if that's not enough, I've been working my way through Elizabeth Zimmerman's knitting workshop book. I have made half a hat so far, and cast on twice for a sweater, although I'm reconsidering which yarn to use for what. I really like the jerkin but with sleeves--I have a lot of Noro Silk Garden I can use. And some Manos. Or Brown Sheep. I did cast on for the Pi shawl using some Koigu KPPPM that I had originally bought to make a Charlotte shawl. The first 48 rows went quickly but my enthusiasm is already waning. I'm looking for lace patterns to work into it to keep my attention. I'm having a hard time imagining what this will look like after it's blocked and may be on a needle that's not large enough. But maybe it will be fine. Just worried about all that work and having it be a mistake, you know?
One of the challenges I'm facing is finding portable projects--with shaping and patterns, it's difficult to knit on the bus or a plane. Well, I'll just have to soldier on!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Two Rows of Fish

I finished the "Mother-of-Pearl" color and "bubble" lace for the seashore shawl and started the darkest blue. I knit two rows in garter and six rows in Stockinette then started the lace pattern for fish--got one row in pattern and one purl row done. I should listen to my instincts more often--I don't love the spacer rows but there are too many stitches to frog unless I make a mistake.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I Am a Process Knitter
I read somewhere that some people are project knitters--they want to work on something because they like the progress, and other other process knitters--people who like the planning and starting etc. That's me. Which accounts for the inventory to over 100 started and unstarted projects in my closet. I gave the two baby sweaters pictured here as gifts recently so there is evidence that I actually do finish things--eventually. The neckwarmer has been done for months now but I just recently weaved in the ends. I bought the yarn, which is silk cashmere from Elsebeth Lavold several years ago in Dallas, TX. It's almost too pretty to wear.

Tiny Bubbles
I haven't had a whole lot of time to work on my new seashore inspired shawl but I have been having fun with it. The first photo shows how large it is--290 stitches! The second is a close up of the "bubble" lace pattern I started for the bottom edge. The bottom few rows do look like bubbles, but then I put it down for a few days and when I continued, forgot I was spacing each YO row with three additional rows (P K P). I thought it would look more frothy but am getting a mesh feeling from it. Since the next row will be fish, still will work, right? Have to clean up around the house and also have work work to do, so I'm not sure how much progress I'll make this weekend. I'm hoping to at least finish the bubbles and get in a couple of rows of fish!

Monday, March 09, 2009

In the Mood

I've been so busy at work that I haven't been able to spend any time online and have had precious little time to knit, much less update this blog. Well, can't complain considering the alternative, right?

I need a better storage system for my yarn--I have a problem working on one thing at a time and I'm always pulling out multiple projects at once and somehow they don't get put away...I like to keep them close at hand. I thought I might get a handle on the projects I have by assembling a list of projects on needles as well as yarn in my stash. There are over 110 items on the list--time for a purge, I think.
I hae been looking for a KAL to participate in and really liked the Yahoo group for the Creatures of the Reef shawl. You work at your own speed, which is entirely up my alley. However, finding the pattern has been a problem--it's not the cost of the pattern (which is about $12.), it is the S&H (which is about $10.50!). Frustrated, I checked my LYS. They don't carry the Fiddlesticks line but said they would look into it for me. But they also suggested that I could design my own shawl, which we are doing...I'm so excited.

We're using Mica from Berrocco and I'm knitting on #4 Addi Turbos for lace. I bought the second Barbara Walker book because that has most of the patterns although I also bought another pattern for a shawl that had nautical themes as well as one of the Great American Afghan booklets. I feel like I shouldn't say too much about it because it will jinx my progress, but I can't resist.

The final size should be about 60" long x 20" tall. I cast on 290 stitches in Mother of Pearl last night and started a shell pattern but got all jumbled up, so I switched to bubbles. I got through 12 rows which is just about a full skein of Mica (108 yards). I hope to get through another 12 rows of bubbles, then I'll switch to Vivianite, an almost navy blue and knit in some fish. After that, I'll use Abalone, a silvery gray, to knit fish hooks out of the BW book and then I'm switching to a nice sandy beige (can't tell which it is from the color card) to represent the shore. I really really really liked the starfish in the Reef shawl but couldn't find a pattern but found one yesterday--I ordered Ocean Breezes: Knited Scarves Inspired by the Sea from Barnes & Noble and hope to have it in hand later this week. I need to decide whether to switch colors for the starfish or if I want to use the same beige I'll use for the sand. I have some Tilli Tomas Disco Lights in beige as well as one skein of brown---I'm a sucker for sequins anyway. Or I could just get some brown and have it represent wet sand.

Shaina from The Skein Attraction found a pattern for a gingerbread house in the BW book--I'm going to put that in the middle of the back in the sandy color and I am making applique crabs and snails from the Great American Afghan booklet in Cinnabar and Purple Pectin. Then I'm finishing it off with an edging pattern from one of Nicky Epstein's books--I'm using a blue called Lazulite, which is meant to represent the sky, but I'm using a pattern that looks like a wave.

In other news, Adina (also from Skein) wrote a pattern for me so I can make my youngest niece a shrug with some Tilli Tomas Disco Lights--I only have two skeins in a very light pink--gives me 450 yards. I started this yesterday so I can work on it on the bus--there's no shaping for anything to keep track up so should be easy enough to commute and work on it.

I'm also trying to make the Aran sweater for the American Girl doll. Berrocco had a free pattern online recently, however, I haven't been able to find Comfort in DK weight and I'm struggling to get gauge.
Finally, Shaina was wearing a great sweater on Saturday and I had to get the pattern and some Euroflax in Terra Cotta for myself. I started it but frogged it because I don't like the increases...need to give that some attention.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What A Day

We have a new president! I was watching coverage on NBC news and the anchors were joking about how they became emotional as they watched President Obama being sworn in. Well, me too. I'm hoping this is the being a wonderful new era for us.

Sadly enough, another era ended for me and my family yesterday--we said good-bye to my grandfather who was 101 years old. You can't be sad too long when you think about it but it's still hard. I had made a list of all the wonderful things he saw in his lifetime when he turned 100--too bad he didn't get to see this day.

What does this have to do with my knitting? Well, I still haven't finished my inauguration day scarf that I started in February 2008 and was supposed to finish and wear today. But I did give my youngest niece a new pink scarf made from a fuzzy polyester called Cocoon from Universal Yarns. I'll post a picture of it later.

Meanwhile, I took the opportunity to take pictures of my nieces and nephews before the funeral yesterday. Aren't they a great bunch?

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Happy New Year!

I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted, but considering how hectic the holiday season can be, I shouldn't be surprised. Thanksgiving was at my house and I had decided to make everything from scratch this year--delicious but very ambitious and I have a tendency not to read recipes through completely in advance of cooking. Good thing my mother was here to help.

I am the eternal optimist and convinced myself that the year end at work would be quiet and I would be able to accomplish much of my holiday goals in the weeks before. Wrong, again. It was however a wonderful holiday and I can't complain. I took a cooking class at the Institute for Culinary Education, spent Christmas day at my sister's home, where everyone gathered and unfortunately we didn't take pictures! and went to Hershey Park in PA for a few days.

The photos with this post show my Muses, a wildly successful store-bought Christmas gift and a handknitted one--the neckwarmer is the Elsbeth Lavold pattern I posted about previously.

I visited my LYS several times over the holidays and that is always fun. I am making a few things that I will post later.