Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Woe, Woe

I have been cruising along with my Noro Top-Down V-Neck Sweater and was excited to work on the neck and button bands. The first band went fine. I picked up the same exact number of stitches in the same exact way (pick up three, skip 1) but it was about 3 inches longer than the first.

So I frogged it and started again. It's still about 1-1/2" too long. I don't know what's happening? Do buttonholes through it off? I am flummoxed.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I'm Sailing Away

I have been working 20 hour days this week and there was nothing but madness last week. At around 3 AM one night, I decided I needed to go away and made a list of potential destinations. Atlantis is a favorite of mine and they don't seem to charge a penalty for single occupants. Club Med can be reasonable if you take advantage of the last minute deals but there's no guarantee that a destination I'm interested in is available and there is a penalty (they call it a "single supplement"). And I also considered that traveling alone to these places truly means being alone.

I had found a knitting cruise through a couple of links to Voila! A seven day cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to the Carribean (San Juan, PR; St. Kitts and St. Martin) aboard the Celebrity Solstice with a group of knitters and classes led by Barry Klein from Trendsetters Yarn and Chris Bylsma. I've taken classes with both and learned so much so this was a no brainer, even though I haven't seen a bit of information on the classes. Based on my "back of the envelope calculations", the cruise was cost $1000 more than my next option when I totaled in taxis to and from airport, cat care and, ahem, liquor.
Around 4 am one day this week I decided that didn't matter--great destinations, great people and I will be out of cell and email range for 7 days (I can get cell service in Puerto Rico but I'm not telling anyone that).
Despite being exhausted when I got home last night, I did the very important inventory of appropriate footwear and found a nice pair of black pumps for evening wear that I did not know I had. I really don't remember when or where I bought them; it apparently wasn't for a particular occasion because they've never been worn.
I got a roundtrip flight on JetBlue through Expedia and selected my seats today. I splurged on the extra $$ for the seat with more legroom--I am a decadent girl!
I also signed up for two excursions--both beach days in St. Kitts and St. Martin. Not sure what I'll do in Puerto Rico--I've already toured the city and the old fort--I guess it will depend on the weather. Next, need to look into the specialty dining options and beverage packages next.
I have to assess my current knitting projects--I've been working on two Noro sweaters for myself but I have three sleeveless shells from last summer that need fronts (I run out of steam after I complete a back) and two sleeveless shells that need to be finished. One is made from Tessa's Silk Merino and the armholes are way too deep, so the top needs to be frogged to the armhole. The other is a tank made from Rowan Cotton. It's the first garment where I used short rows so it should fit nicely.
I'm waiting for some Mission Falls wool to come in to my LYS (The Skein Attraction, Teaneck, NJ and highly recommended) because it is supposed to be the basis of my Ravelympic sweater. The Ravelympics kick off toward the end of the cruise week so I'll have to have some of the project with me. I can also bring a WIP that I can register to be my "event". Prior to that, I thought I might work on socks for my niece and nephew, who insisted I knit socks for them despite that fact that I told them I don't knit socks. I've made one sock in my knitting career and that worked out well because I fractured my foot in cold weather and needed a nice cozy sock to protect my foot in the orthopedic (and oh so comfy) sandal-esque shoe I had to wear.
Need to go to The Skein Attraction to pick up 8" needles for gauntlets and the sleeves of a top down sweater. Soooo close to done.
I vow to finish the Mission Falls striped sweater this weekend.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Pretty and Warm

Finally finished the Prism scarf--it was a kit; two skeins of Symphony and one skein of an angora. Really pretty. Not too long (I'm sure it will grow). And wide enough to double around my neck. Since we're having artic weather, that's a VERY good thing.

I have been investigating the Great Balls of Yarn cruise in February...oh could use the warm weather. Can I be that lucky?

Monday, January 04, 2010

A Piece of Pi

Clearly I am not good at focusing my energy on one thing at a time. I unearthed some Koigu KPPPM destined for a sweater with the Noro Kureyon I'm using for the Catwalk sweater and found several more skeins packed away with the holiday knitting from last year. The dye code is 315--cream, taupe and greys--very neutral and subtle. So I started a Pi shawl. After a few false starts with other Koigu colorways, I think I'm going to start with the traditional Pi. The only yarn overs will be the increases. I started on size 3 needles last night and finished five sets of increases (I'm up to 144 and working on the 24 rounds) but had to change to size 4 because I didn't have a larger needles in 3. It's very Zen working straight stockinette in the round. I'm trying not to think about how to finish it off....

I have two other Pi shawls that I need to rip out--they were practice Pis--one is in pink KPPPM and the other in blue KPPPM. There is a third that I started in some delicious Karabella silk merino DK--I think I need to frog half of what I have done...ribbit ribbit.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Top Down Appeal

I was only introduced to top down sweaters in the last year and I am a big fan. Not only do these patterns eliminate the need for seaming and require little finishing, the seem to move a whole LOT faster. Plus, with minimal to no shaping, the knitting is kind of mindless, which is a welcome relief sometimes. Here's my Noro top down--it's growing quickly!!! The picture is a lot brighter than it appears to me in real life--the darker stripes are more dominant. I think there's about 4-5 more inches to go, then I start on the sleeves and the neck and front bands. Have to think about what buttons to use.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to decide what project to work on for the 2010 Ravelympics. One month one week and two days until the Winter Olympics begin. I am considering the WIP Wrestling event--that would be smartest....but...I have the new Vogue Knitting and there is a cardigan I love--Tanis Gray's XOX Raglan Cardigan. I have some natural colored cashmere I've been saving for a long time as well as some gray suri merino. But...I've always wanted to make the DNA Sweater from Simply Brilliant Knits. It's made with Mission Falls 1824 wool and I've ordered the yarn from The Skein Attractions. Decisions, decisions.

Today I'm going to inventory the smaller projects I have in progress. I need to balance the projects that require thinking/tracking/shaping with straight knitting for bus rides to and from work.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!

I enjoyed a lovely New Year's Eve with my family. We had dinner at Legal Seafoods and played Sketchy and reviewed the monumental events of our lives in 2009. Now we have a brand new year--365 days and a blank slate to do whatever we want and live however we want.

I'm making simple resolutions this year. I'm not tweezing my eyebrows for 6 months in the hope they will fill in. I will try to take better care of myself (okay, that one's not so simple but I'm using the "schedule time with yourself" technique). And I will not feel guilty about abandoned WIPs or the size of my stash. In fact, I'm going to start being honest about whether I will go back to the WIPs and I am going to donate a whole bunch of yarn.

I would like to finish at least one project a month. For January, I'm hoping it's my top down Mission Falls 1824 striped sweater. I just have the sleeves and front bands left.

But I've started a Knitting Pure and Simple Neckdown Cardigan (#221) for my sister. I had some Koigu KPPPM, Frog Tree Alpaca and Kidsilk Haze that I'm knitting up around these heart-shaped buttons. If she doesn't like this, I also have Neat Stuff and Symphony in "Shadow" (grey) from Prism for a shrug, Brown Sheep Wool in a bright pink and some Wedgewood blue Encore and dark blue Kidsilk Haze that I've swatched--very pretty too.

And I'm working on two Noro sweaters for myself--the Kureyon I posted about before and a top down in Silk Garden. So much fiber, so little time!

Well, here's to 2010--best wishes that you all are happy, healthy, wealthy and wise in this new year!