Friday, April 21, 2006

Long Overdue

This post is long overdue. First I got caught up in midterms and then my colloquium (which is my college's version of defending your thesis) and after that was done, the internet in my apartment was out for three weeks. Ah. Such is life. And now of course, my brother lost the digital camera, so I have some update pics, but not very new.

My Lady E is coming along quite well. I've used about three or four balls of Kureyon so far, and the shawl is growing large. I might not use all ten balls, make a bit shorter Lady E.
Link
Also in this time I've started and frogged about four socks and become addicted to sock yarn in the process (joining many others on the road to financial ruination via thin, brightly colored yarn). I've almost completed one sock (my first one!) which is full of mistakes, and needs it's toe grafted. I've taken to heart, however, as the illustrious Yarn Harlot, mentioned at some point that she considers any sock that fits on a foot a good outcome. I'm going to have peace with my mistake-ridden sock, and already with my second I'm improving.

Some old pics...more to come soon (as soon as I borrow a digital camera.)











My Lady E has grown since this pic was taken. But I was so excited I finally figured out entrelac--it took me several frustrating tries.


Link
I got my hands on some Vesper in the "Knit & Tonic" colorway. Eventually this will be a pair of Jaywalkers. The Vesper is only one of my sock yarn sins, I'm got some Lorna's Laces, Opal and Koigu stashed. I recently caved and asked Sweet Georgia to dye me some of her "Speed Demon" sock yarn in the "River" colorway. But that's absolutely it on sock yarn for awhile. I've got enough to last me at least a couple of months (I hope.)

Friday, March 03, 2006

Unconscious Yarn Selection



The result of my trip to Seaport Yarn, 10 balls of Noro Kureyon in colorway 184. This is the yarn that's on it's way to becoming my Lady Eleanor from Scarf Style. I debated and went back and forth over my choice of yarn for this project. I saw the version knit with Southwest Trading Karaoke at Stream of Consciousness, I saw the version knit with Noro Silk Garden at Fig and Plum and I saw the color (in this project) on Tres Chic Veronique. I know that Laura at Stream of Consciousness doesn't like Noro very much, and I understand her criticisms (a lot of the colorways are "ruined" by one ugly color in the bunch, and it is thick & thin, which is annoying.) That said, however, I didn't feel that Karaoke held up to Noro in the color department. I had trouble-finding Karaoke at a LYS until I noticed it (after I had bought the Noro) at Knitty City. The yarn seems nice, it felt like a light cotton or maybe even linen, and the colors are subtle-- but it just wasn't right for Lady Eleanor.

I was wary about using Kureyon, but after I felt it, and tested it against my neck (it wasn't overly itchy for 100% wool); I decided to use it. Noro Silk Garden is softer, but I decided on the Kureyon for the superior color and to preserve some of the original "rustic" quality of the yarn used in the original. In the ball I've used so far there was a knot, but I easily broke the yarn and then felted the ends back together. The colorway is great. Perfect. I noticed when I got home how eerily similar the yarn colors are to the shag rug in my room (hence the title of this post and the unconscious color selection.)




I haven't had a chance to start the Lady yet, as I'm in the midst of midterms.



I did however start a project with my other purchase at Seaport, a hank of Brown Sheep in a Peacock blue color for some knitty Fuzzy Feet. I've also been knitting up some Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino in a fuchsia color (I'm too lazy to get up and get the exact color at the moment) that I had in my stash. I want to try to Embossed Leaves socks from the Fall 2005 issue of Interweave Knits. I'm going to stop at the LYS I don't like (but which is convenient) on my way to work and get some size 2 dpns so I can start those.


After working with all of that 100% wool yarn for Lady E & the Fuzzy Feet I needed to treat myself to something soft & squishy. I've got to do some mathematics on the socks, as the pattern specs are too small for my feet. Hopefully, I can manage to do the calculations correctly. Keep your fingers crossed!

More after midterms.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

A cat is to a dog: As an Odessa is to....






An Onion Dome? Not exactly. I know Odessa was named after the Russian city, as mentioned in the pattern notes (Odessa) and maybe this is just because I'm an art history dork--but the hat reminds me very strongly of the Russian onion domes. Or a swirl of ice cream...but I was trying for some class.

Here she is, my finished Odessa. Please ignore the weird fold in the upper right of the photo--she does lie flat (just not in this picture.) And the specs:

Pattern: Odessa (link above) courtesy of Grumperina.
Yarn: Rowan CashsoftDK, color cream 500, most of one skein.
Beads: About 127 size six metal "gold" beads.
Needles: Size six needle, sixteen inch Addi Turbos.
Modifications: I knit 1/2 inch longer in the body of the hat (making for 6 inches from the CO edge) than the pattern dictated to accommodate my ginourmous head. And it fits perfectly!

Check it out:




I enjoyed this pattern quite a bit. It was complicated enough not to be boring, but simple enough to memorize (and if I forgot all I had to do was look at the stitches to figure out what I was supposed to do.) And the results were fantastic! I also love the yarn, it's soft--has great yardage--and a very nice sheen to it. I wore my hat out on its first outing yesterday to a new (at least to me) LYS: Seaport Yarn. Much fun to be had there & cash spent. More info on that to come.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Progress


I love it when things go well. Here's a little timeline:

Re-cast on for Odessa on Sunday.

Monday: Knit

Tuesday: Knit

Wednesday: More Knitting. Almost done actually. I have just under 5 1/2 inches from the cast on edge. I'm toying with whether to knit a bit more than the pattern specs dictate (playing with fire I know.) My problem is this: the pattern hat is specified to fit adult heads up to 23 inches. My head is between 23 and 24 inches (I have an enormous head.) The yarn is very stretchy--and my stitches are fairly loose. I think I'm going to knit a bit more, just to give my head a bit of space.

A close up:


And because she had to get into the action, presenting Cleo (better known as Chicken) & Odessa.

I'm off to watch the Olympics now, and participate in my own sport (even though I didn't officially join Harlot's Olympics.) I might even get Odessa finished by tomorrow or the next day.

Backyard Leaves Turns into a Whole Backyard



FO: Backyard Leaves Scarf (though I've decided to call mine Backyard Scarf due to it's inadvertent enormous proportions) from Scarf Styles and designed by Annie Modesitt.

Yarn: Karabella Aurora 8, color 7, 4 (& about 3/4 balls)

I bought this yarn originally because of the rave review I read about on Laura's blog @ Stream of Consciousness. I know other people have had problems with the yarn (as Grumperina mentioned.) So far, I've been very happy with it. It's lovely to knit with, soft, springy and luscious. It also didn't make my neck itch when I wear it, always appreciated. It did "deflate" a little bit when I wet it and blocked it--but I'm still happy with the yarn. Hopefully, it'll continue to wear well (without the dreaded little pills.)

The pattern is wonderful--a lot has been said about in blog-land and I concur with all the rave reviews. I would like to knit this scarf again (paying attention to gauge this time.) And paying attention to a couple of other little mistakes I made, including not Ssk'ing but k2tog tbl instead (also using the wrong cast on--which caused some grafting issues at the top). The FO ended up being far larger than the pattern specs--each half was about 56 inches blocked. It actually works well when wrapped around my neck, a nice warm scarf with plenty of "tail" left over to hang down and show off. But--as soon as I unwind it from my neck it is rather unwieldy. This was the first FO I've ever done with a chart--and the most complicated knit I've ever undertaken. Overall I'm pleased with the results--and have learned (I promise you) the importance of gauge in a pattern.

Also--finally--we have pictures! The digital camera blues are over.

Unblocked Backyard Leaves


& finally a close up of some of the lovely leaves.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Good, the Bad & the reknitting

First the bad:

No school work got done today. I was thinking about doing some work for my short story class (writing the letters to other writers and working on the story I have to hand in on Monday) but that didn't get done. Maybe, hopefully, I'll get some work done on my story--it has to be revised a bit before I hand it out to the class for *gasp* discussion next week. What did get done is:

The Good:

I wove in the ends and blocked my Backyard Leaves scarf. It's reclining on the living room table, drying overnight from its dunk in the sink. This scarf was the first FO I ever knit using either a chart or a pattern.
Well, that's not exactly true. Several years ago, (I'm not sure when even) I got a quick pattern written up for a hat at my LYS. The hat looks lovely--but, I never wore it, as it was far too big. It was also knit during my unfortunate fascination for novelty yarns. (Novelty yarns have their place--and their are some really lovely ones--but this hat was not the place for quite so many of them.)

More to come on Backyard Leaves (cross your fingers for pictures too!) when I finish it--which will also hopefully be this weekend.

The ReKnitting:

Either later tonight or tomorrow, I am going to (re) cast-on for Grumperina's Odessa hat. This time, there will be no twisting. There will only be a lovely, wooly, soft, white & gold hat at the end. Which will fit and unlike my earlier LYS novelty hat--I'll wear.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Twisted

Sad day in knittingville. But--I learned a very important lesson that I should've realized a long time ago. That lesson would be: Do not twist stitches when knitting in the round. Seriously. Do not twist the stitches. I knew this. Somehow--I think I thought I was above this knitting "golden rule." Or maybe not above--I was just misguided. I have learned my lesson.

My Odessa hat? It was lovely--but it was sooo twisted. I had to frog it. The whole, lovely, beaded, Cher & Bob Mackie softness of it. It was sad--but funny too. I realized that if I was living on the frontier--or in any situation where my knitting was to clothe my family or myself--my family would be dead. Like in Oregon Trail--they'd die on the trail from my twisted knitting. Well, I have stumbled, and frogged and am now picking myself up again. Tomorrow I am hopeful that I will have time to cast on again and re-knit. Also upcoming this weekend is finally finishing & block Backyard Leaves.

Also sad--still no digital camera. Though, with my twisted knitting disaster, maybe not such a bad thing.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Digital Camera Blues

First post, which is unfortunately pictureless. I've been holding off starting the blog in truth for a couple of weeks because I was waiting for the digital camera problems to be resolved. They will hopefully be resolved soon (as a new picture card [stand in for a lost USB cable] has apparently been ordered.) In the meantime I decided to go ahead and post, for myself, if nothing else, so that I can start keeping track & sharing all my knitting goodness--even sans pictures. So! On to the knitting content of this post:

Backyard leaves is still awaiting my finishing it. I've got progress pictures (currently trapped on the digital camera) and all I have to do is finish weaving in the ends, block that baby, and then graft the two pieces together. I'm going to try to do that this weekend so that I may actually get a chance to wear it this winter--especially if we get that snowstorm that they're predicting for this weekend.

My fingerless-glove "Urban Mittens" from Subway Knitter's pattern (slightly modified) are a little less than half-way done. I've finished the body of one glove sans mitten cap and need to weave in the ends on that and then knit the mitten cap. Then of course I have to knit the second mitten--unless I'm planning on having my hands take turns.

And I've started my Odessa (pattern courtesy of Grumperina). I am so excited about this hat! Part of the reason I'm excited is that yesterday I bought my first pair of Addi Turbo's--and may I say: Wow. I know that many others have sang their praises--but Wow. Let me just join in the hallelujah chorus. I -love- these needles. They are so expensive, $16 at one of my LYS', but worth it. So worth it. They're so light--and fast--and quiet--and just wow. I am lustful for more pairs now. I'm also enjoying knitting Grumperina's pattern. It's fairly simple but the results are v. beautiful. I'm using the recommended yarn in a cream color (more detailed specs to come) and gold beads. V. Cher & Bob Mackie in the 70's but elegant too.

Hopefully my next post will contain pic's.