Wednesday, January 03, 2007

 

Eeep! UFOs

Yes, I'm still alive, but between school stuff, traveling, Christmas presents and life in general I really haven't much time to post. I've been knitting and I've even taken pictures of the stuff I've knitted (when I remembered), but I haven't gotten online to post them...I'm hoping to do that later this week.

While I was reading my normal blogs I came across the UFO Resurection Challenge 2007 (I can't figure out how to do buttons yet) and decided to give it a go since I still have projects left from high school...After rather a lot of digging I managed to come up with 12 projects, though some of them were crochet. This made me wonder as I thought I had a lot more. Then I remembered the boxes under the coffee table and the couch exploded...


Believe it or not I am now easily up to 20 projects (including the two afghans that the rest are sitting on), and though some of these are pretty quick and easy there are still several sweaters to be considered. My plan will be to start one of the faster projects each month and then to move to a larger project when I've finished it so that I can hopefully get more than one done some months...

After some thought (or just grabbing the easiest...) I've decided that the first project I'm going to finish is the sweater vest for my sister. I started this project towards the end of last summer and still haven't finished it. It is knit using a polar weight yarn on size 13 needles and has been langishing mostly done for months. (When I say mostly done I mean I have to knit a facing on one armhole and sew in the loose ends, I'm just easily led astray by shiny objects and new projects...) Now, off to knitting land to beat some of those UFOs into submission (I'll try to actually post when I finish.)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

 

My Credit Card Hurts

I was planning on making my next post about knitting, maybe even the projects that I've finished recently (a lovely shawl and a wine cozy from Handknit Holidays). Perhaps I could have even posted about how much fun I had last weekend teaching my mother-in-law to knit again. However, I've had school so it hasn't happened. This, however, I have to post about.

It all started the other day I picked up a copy of Interweave Knits holiday edition because I saw a couple or neat patterns in it. In the store I was showing my husband some of the patterns (he's really nice about putting up with my knitting) and we saw the felted pears. He actually took an interest in them. This was amazing as he normally couldn't care less about anything decorative. (Owning a cat that gets into everything and a large dog with a powerful tail tends to do this to people.) So, since he actually thought they were neat (mostly because they weren't breakable and you can play catch with them in the house...) I figured I'd stop by the yarn store and pick up some yarn for them while we were out running errands in the area. One of those errands involved dropping off a wedding gift (including the felted wine cozy) to some friends who got married last week. We had planned on just dropping by, but then we all got to talking until after the yarn store closed at 5. We left shortly after 5 and I decided that I wanted to at least hit a local bead store to pick up some beads for an Odessa hat that I've been wanting to knit with the yarn left over from the Swallowtail Shawl. We went to a nearby bead store only to find that the had recently decided to stop selling any yarn and so they had marked down all of the yarn by 50%. Not only that, but magazines, patterns, books and needles were buy 1 get 2 free!!! I figured "what the heck, it won't hurt to look to see if they have anything that would work for the pears..." so I went back. After all, the store was closing in 30 minutes, how much damage could I do...(famous last words, I know).
They had a ton of yarn, some of which was really good. They also had some of the larger double point needles that I've been meaning to pick up because I'm really getting into this whole felting thing. When I looked around for my husband to reach some stuff for me I saw him looking at a magazing, it was Interweave Knits Summer 2006, I've been wanting it for a month now but couldn't find it. I asked him if he saw anything that was neat and he started showing me patterns so I set him to work finding two more magazines while I stood there talking myself out of yarn. All in all I did pretty well and only spent $75. It would have been less, but they had some yarn that is perfect for mittens (it looks purple in the picture, but its really a tweedy dark blue) and Koigu KPM which I've been dying to try...

I have too much yarn, I had too much before, but now I really have too much. Plus I have new pattern ideas that I want to try, even though I have two projects for my mom waiting to be started. Thus the yarn is back in the bag, for now at least.
But its calling to me, I found some beautiful tan, wool yarn that will be perfect for a sweater with a colorwork yoke. The yarn was $2.25/ball, and they had 900m of the stuff. The first thing I did when I got home was to pull out all my scraps of yarn to see if I had anything that I could use to start the sweater tonight. Luckily my DK stash is slightly depleted at the momment so I was able to resists...
Its hiding for now, maybe I can last...

Saturday, October 14, 2006

 

Swallowtail Shawl

Yay, I finished my first shawl. I actually finished and blocked it a week ago, but I haven't had time to post it until now. This is the Swallowtail Shawl (while blocking) from the Fall 2006 Interweave Knits. I knit it on my size 5 Addi Turbos using Plymouth's Dreambaby D.K. yarn. Because the yarn is an acrylic/nylon blend the shawl didn't grow as much as it might have with blocking. It now measures 45" across the top and is the perfect size for a scarf, which is what I was going for anyway with such a bright blue. I am very happy with how it turned out, though the p5tog on the nupps with the blunt tips on the Addis almost caused me to abandon the whole project...However, I pushed through (with the help of some foul language and maybe some wine) and am glad I did. Isn't it pretty:
I know, I know, here we are halfway through Socktober and all I can show you is a shawl? Whats with that? To make matters worse, I'm not even working on a sock now, not much anyway. Most of my knitting time is going towards another shawl. In my defense that shawl must be done (and blocked) by early afternoon on October 19th. After that I plan on cranking out a sock or two. I even already started the sock I want to work on.

Monday, October 09, 2006

 

More Socks

I said earlier that I didn't have any pictures of the other socks I'd finished recently. Luckily my sister saw the post and sent me a picture of the socks I'd given her, so here they are. My most recent pair of finished socks.


I also finished and blocked a shawl over the weekend so hopefully I'll have pictures of that up soon.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

 

Sock History

Yay, a sock survey! Here goes:

Socks were actually one of the first things I attempted to knit. I started crochet when I ws about 7 or 8 and was really into that for many years. Then about the time I graduated from high school I was realizing that there were some things that just didn't look right when you crocheted them and a bunch of afghan and lace patterns that you just couldn't do. So I picked up my old knitting needles (or possibly pulled them out of the scarf I'd started at age 7 and never finished) and relearned how to knit. I was able to borrow needles from my mom and I had a ton of yarn to play with. However, normal knitting was boring, I could make cloth just as well (and much faster) with my crochet hook. What I really wanted to knit were socks. For some reason I never really mentioned to my mom that I wanted to learn to knit socks, I just picked up a ball of (DK weight?) yarn from the yarn store. Then I borrowed some needles and a sock book out of my mom's collection and tried to make socks. This lead to a number of problems. First of all you will note that I said I picked up "a" ball of yarn, as in one. This was not some super magical giant ball of yarn, it was a normal ball of yarn, only enough for one sock (if that). The second problem was that I never bothered with a gauge swatch so the sock didn't come close to fitting. Also, by the time I got down to the foot I was getting pretty bored and had realized that I wouldn't be able to make a second sock nor was this going to be even close to fitting. At that point I decided that I should just work the toe so that I would at least know all the techniques involved in knitting a sock. This was the result:The first "pair" of socks I did however, went much better. I've been knitting for several years now, but I never really went back to socks after that first one. I've knit several sweaters as well as hats and mittens, but never more socks. That is until I saw the pattern for Grumperina's Jaywalkers... I had some sock yarn in my stash that I had originally started to knit into a sock, but I got less than an inch of cuff worked before I got banished to the stash. When I saw the Jaywalker I knew I had my socks. I ripped out the 1" of cuff I had started and started my Jaywalkers. I have no clue what the yarn is, but the pattern looks great and they are the most comfortable socks I have ever owned. This pair got me hooked on hand knit socks (though for some reason I still only own this one pair having given the others I've knit to family in an effort to share the joy.) Here they are, my Jaywalkers:

If this question is to the first sock I ever knit I would answer that I'd do everything differently. First, I wouldn't have just grabbed a random ball of yarn from the sale bin, I would have picked something pretty and exciting that would keep me interested. The second thing I would have done would have been to knit a gauge swatch. They really are worth the time, even for sock. The third thing is that I wish someone would have mentioned the importance of negative ease for a sock. It sounds so obvious after you know, but I didn't ask anyone...The final thing I would have done differently would have been to actually stick it out and knit the whole length of the foot. Though at that point I was pretty tired of it and knew I would never wear it so I figured why bother. As a result I have a sock meant for a baby moose, not a person. As for my Jaywalkers, I love them and I want more.
I really haven't knit socks with any of the sock yarns. For the most part lately I've been knitting up some worsted weight wool yarn from my stash to make warm winter socks for loved ones. However, I am also making a pair of socks for myself out of the wonderful handdyed cotton/lycra sock yarn from Greenwood Fiberworks. This yarn is absolutely beautiful and feels so wonderfully soft and squishy that I can't wait to get more. The only problem is that I'm not letting myself by more yarn until I finish a few of my projects...I hope she still has my favorite colors by then. I'll try to post a picture of that sock soon.
If I knew you could crochet socks I probably would never have learned to knit. However, now I you 4 or 5 DPNs to knit all my socks. Maybe someday I'll learn to crochet socks and then things will come full circle.
I've only ever worked a flap heel, but I do like the way they feel and they are pretty easy other than needing to count how many rows you've done.
I have made 3 full pairs of socks (1 for me, one for my sister and one for my mother-in-law), but I've had many false starts that I'm not counting. So far all the socks have been appriciated and both recipients have commented on how well they fit and how beautiful they were so that makes up for not having more socks for me. :)

Anyway, the thunder and lightning are getting closer so I should probably stop typing now. Hopefully I'll be able to post again sooner this time.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

 

Hello World (yes I'm a computer nerd)

After nearly a year of reading knitting blogs I have finally decided to get my own. I have been toying with the idea for a couple of months now, but never really got around to it until I learned about Socktoberfest. I've been knitting socks for a few weeks now and found that they really do work better for bus knitting than most other projects and are really appriciated by those that receive them. Unfortunately, the past two pair (and only two sucessful pairs) of socks I've made have both gone to their intended receipents without pictures being taken first. So no pics for a while, maybe later if either of the new sock owners can find a camera. Anyway, yay for Soctoberfest and more (coherent?) writting later. Though I don't know that anyone will be reading this anyway...

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