Thursday, March 27, 2008

scramble for progress

Hey Robin,
The weather outside is frightful.... and the yarn is so delightful... so since I've no place to go (except for a bajillion errands and stuuuuuuuff) let it rain! let it rain! let it rain! *sigh* Isn't it supposed to be spring? Oh yeah, it rains in spring. I got so spoiled by So Cal weather...

The Dudelet is playing with his new set of lego figures... I'm running a stopwatch to see how long it is before he no longer wants to play with them. I got my money on 10 more minutes. DH has 20 (they're LEGO's!).

While I watch him frolick, here's what I have been working on the last few days...

Progress is made on the Rogue! I swear, I thought this whole thing would be a slog, but the bottom of the body went surprisingly fast! I really think having that wonderful cabling on the sides breaks up the monotony JUST enough that it keeps things exciting! Here's the latest:

I'm on the slog-part about halfway between the arm hole shaping and the shoulder shaping. Woot! I haven't looked to see what's after that. I want to be suprised...

I also couldn't wait to cast this on. The yarn was burning a hole in my stash! Really! No really! Did I give you a peek of the haul? No? Brace yerself:

Vaa Vaa Vaa VOOM!
I mean, hubba hubba ya knowz?

I knew instantly that I wanted to make the Hemlock Ring Blanket with this. No question. I am to row 40 on the original pattern, at 47 I switch over to Jared's added chart, this should be fun. I have 4 skeins, so it should come out rather large, maybe I will have enough leftover to make another Koolhaas.

OK here's a picture of it so-far, but it really doesn't do the color justice. So try picturing the above colors in the below-configuration:

Knitting this is making me very happy. The colorway reminds me of a certain Tartan, so it's perfect for taking in my favorite Scottish accents and relaxing....

There's only a few days in Malabrigo March left! Help us move the perfect yarn to #4 on the favorite yarns list and cast something on TODAY!!


Thursday, March 20, 2008

My new cable kneedle

Hey Kate!

I've been eyeing the Harmony Cable Kneedles for some time, but now I'm taking them off my pretend Wish List (since Knit Picks doesn't have a real one) because I found the perfect ones in my crafting tool kit: crochet hooks.

Ok, there are probably thousands of knitters who have already figured this out, but I'm always late to the party. The problem with an extra DPN is that it is very susceptible to Emme's patented Grab and Run technique, leaving my stitches without a kneedle to hold on to. It's also really easy to have stitches slide off of it. My crochet hook/cable kneedle, however, has that thumb area that can keep stitches inbetween it and the hook. The hook part stops (or at least slows down) the Grab and Run. And it is very handy to have it nearby for drop stitch retrieval.

So, yay this will save me money right? Except that most of my crochet hooks are ugly. Way ugly. And this is just another excuse to replace them all with pretty ones. Some day.

Oh yeah, and Fetching is coming along slowly as you can see.



Sunday, March 16, 2008

A smattering of this and that...

Hey Robin,
I have, once again, been so focused on the fun-in-my-Ravelry-notebook that I have neglected these hallowed pages. So I will try to make up for lost time. First! I must link to big news. I am so proud to have been a part of creating a new sock yarn colorway! I found out a week ago (or so) but didn't have a link to a picture until now. So please to be going to the Hazelknits shop in Etsy and check out Alki Reflections! I even have a mention in the description! Yay! I have to point out that the product you see is nowhere NEAR what I had in mind when I suggested an Alki Beach colorway, but I can see what she did there and I love it. Beautiful bright colors that I just want to knit in a sockinette so i don't have any silly stitches in the way of my enjoyment. I can't wait...

OK I know... I'm not allowed so much text without pictures so here are some FO's. Truly, i finished so many since my last post that it was silly to come here and add them to the "on the kneedles" sidebar because i would just have to change it again in a day! And me, i'm just too lazy for that fiddly-stuff.

Fibonacci Kitty Pi:

A 'thank you' to Miss Libby for helping me model the bed for scale purposes. You may remember last year I made a kitty pi for my Dad's Blossom. But in a huge miscalculation of scale (Thank you Douglas Adams) it was entirely the wrong size. However it might have made a nice hat... this time I used the right weight of yarn and voila!

For fun I used the Fibonacci sequence in the striping. I thought it was fun and ironic (the sequence being somewhat related to pi... don't ask me how... I'm not sure i entirely understand it myself). The Yarn is Elann Peruvian Highland Chunky, the fuzzy stuff was a clearance yarn at Jo Ann... I think it was called "mink" and it has created a rather delightful ruffle on the edges. I hope Blossom likes it. When I get a picture of her languishing inside I will post one :)

Easter Basket:
In other felting news. I decided to use the last of my Bijou Blue malabrigo to make a basket for Little Guy. I just sort of winged-it for pattern: cast on 30 or so sts, garter st until i had a squarish shape, picked up sts around the edge and started the basketweave pattern that I found in my stitch a day calendar (given my by my great-good friend Robin) and went on and on until I was afraid I wouldn't have enough for a handle.

I had some leftover malabrigo-like yarn and did an applied i-cord edge to give it a little bit of structure then made a garter stitch handle. In retrospect I should have made a smaller basket and doubled-up the yarn to make a thicker fabric. Live and Learn. Oh and also I would have forgotten the basket weave stitch. It's lovely pre-felting but you can't see it at ALL afterwards. Oh yeah and i would have made a thicker handle, wider at the bases etc... for structure. It's a pretty color though!

Next up: BABY SOCKS!
I tell you, if you ever want almost-instant gratification in a knitting project, these will do it for you. Seriously. I was done in a day and a half and I am slow...

Its just a simple rib and a heel-flap style sock. So simple, yet with a sock yarn like Lorna's Laces, it becomes this heirloom-like item that you just want to keep forever. These are another pair for Hub's boss who just had twins (well they are for the twins... I don't think they would fit the boss-man).

For the same little tykes I have started another set of footwear that just have me in a dither. They are so WONDERFUL and so easy. So easy... that it makes NO SENSE that they come out looking so great.

This is the Baby moc-a-soc from Bekah Knits. She has created a whole set of patterns for baby feet that are so cute you want them all (I bought the patterns for two different 'shoes' and i think i will be making a pair for every new baby that enters my life from here on out). I was desperate to get started on a pair, so i ended up spending way too much on a hank of alpaca for the tan color on these but oh my. Blue Sky Alpaca Sport. 100% Baby alpaca. This yarn is so. yummy.


The green turtleneck on the top is... you guessed it! Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock. Again. This makes three projects I have dome from two hanks of this glorious socky goodness. As soon as this yarn famine is over I might get more... a note about the 'turtleneck' comment. I am calling it that because as I was knitting this portion of the pattern (k1,p1 repeat) i was reminded of the instructions from EZ on how to make a turtleneck. I will paraphrase here: "Pick up enough stitches around the neck and knit a rib until you are sick of it". For me, 20 rows of that madness was enough. The pattern calls for 24. Sue me.

I am also still plugging-away on the rogue hoodie. The pattern is still kicking my butt but I am enjoying it, and the Swish Superwash from Knit Picks really is a joy to knit with. Really really. Sorry I don't have a picture to show you, there's just not much to look at right now (and be able to comprehend the image). Hopefully I will have something soon though!


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Impending frog

Hey Kate!

There it is! It's the beginning of the Donyale sock aka the Sock that makes me happy. Only it's not really making me happy.

The yarn is wonderful. It is squooshy and colorful and a real joy to knit with.

The kneedles are a joy. They are just the right pointiness, size and feel.

The pattern is perfect. It is complex enough to be interesting and repetitive enough to be relaxing.

The problem is that the yarn is way too variegated for the pattern. You can't see the eyelets at all and the colors in the pattern make both sides look like the wrong side. I want to knit with this yarn and I want to knit this pattern -- but not together.

I will probably make this scarf pattern with the yarn. We'll see.



Wednesday, March 5, 2008

All done!

Hey Robin,
I got two quickies for you and then i gotta get back to work!
Finished the Vinnland socks! They ROCK. I don't think i can express how much i love these socks. Between the yarn (Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock) and the pattern (Vinnland) i am in sock-heaven. Seriously. Can you look at these and not feel love?
Yesterday... or was it the day before. I finished my koolhaas for the Ravelry KAL. I really like this Pollen colorway, unfortunately I didn't have enough yarn to do the hat right. So I just 'finished' so i could say I was done. Fortunately I have all of March to make another one so I might "trip" on my yarn diet and get one skein of Malabrigo so i can make a whole-hat. Heh. Anyway, it's real pretty and mostly fits! It's just a little short is all:
I really really really like this pattern and I was almost able to do the whole thing without a cable kneedle, but it was a bit stiff so i used one off and on anyway. I WILL make another one of these and go stand outside the library downtown to see if anyone notices the similarity ;)

Next projects: still gotta make headway on the Rogue hooded sweater and i am working on a little Easter surprise for the Little Guy... in Malabrigo so I seriously hope i have enough for that. And i also wanna make another kitty pi and some felted clogs, and more socks, and, and, and... will my queue ever get any shorter?!?