Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Lace Bug...

I've been bitten again. The last time the lace bug bit was in the spring, resulting in one Sea Silk Shetland Triangle from Wrap Style, and one slightly heavier weight one in raspberry colored Koigu.

This time when it bit, it wanted lace weight wool or a wool blend. I found an overflowing cupboard of Fiddlesticks Zephyr Wool-Silk in my LYS, Three Bags Full.

Fiddlesticks Zephyr Wool-Silk is a 50/50 blend of merino wool and tussah silk (tussah silk is from wild silk worms, and is collected after the silk worm is done with it, making it the humane silk).

A deep plum color would be made mine, for it's resemblance to a AE sweatshirt I tried on at the AE in Bellingham was unmistakable. Stu said the color was great on me, but I opted for the familiar gray instead.Plum is destined to be a Print O' The Wave Stole by Eunny Jang. I will be knitting it in one piece instead of 2 halves grafted together. Life it too short for ugly graft lines in pretty lace shawls. Too. Short.

Pewter also spoke to me. It's silvery tendencies had me envisioning a lacy rectangular shawl, not to big, but sporting an extensively intricate border.

Likely the Pewter will be turned into something from Victorian Lace Today. Exactly what, I am not sure.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My So Called Scarf - Take 3!

When I finished my Azul Profundo Malabrigo My So Called Scarf a little while ago, I wore it over to my parents ' house where my brother saw it, and almost wouldn't give it back!

The only way I got it back was to promise I would make him one in the same pattern and same color. I had to get this yarn from Personal Threads in Nebraska, because it was the only store I could find that had 3 skeins of the Azul Profundo color.

I'm making it twice as wide as the original pattern, so I needed lots of extra yarn. I figure I might need part of the third ball, but if not, I'd be more than happy to use the leftovers to make something for myself.

This scarf is 60 stitches across, so it will be nice and toasty.

As you might be able to see, I'm using 2 dpns to knit this scarf, because Redd gnawed on my 8mm bamboo needles and totally destroyed them.

I'm going to be hauling this scarf to work as my lunchtime knitting for the week, and hopefully I can get most of it done by next weekend.

Considering this is my third My So Called Scarf I am surprised that I am not totally sick of this pattern. I think it's the perfect mix of mindless yet stimulating. I know that some people are intimidated by this pattern, but seriously, it's easy. Just do it!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I Don't Know What You Call Them, But 'Round Here, We Call Them Pirates...

I am so glad that this knit is done. It was a PITA from beginning to end, which was entirely my own fault. That being said, I am pleased with the results, and I think the recipient will be quite happy as well.


Yarn: 1 skein Cascade 220 - Black
1 skein Cascade 220 - White
1 bit of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran - Black (for lining)

Pattern: We Call Them Pirates by Hello Yarn.

Needles: 3.25mm 16'' circular Addi Turbo x 2 (I used one until I had decreased too much, then I knit in the round using 2 circs.

My Own Project Issues:

First of all, I think I picked a horrible week for doing color work. I haven't been getting enough sleep, it has been insane at work, busy at home, and I've been really distracted, because my Grandma is in the hospital and I'm really worried about her. This leads me to my first complaint, which is that I had to pay too much attention which was unenjoyable for the above reasons.

The second is that I used some dishcloth cotton for the provisional cast on; this made it difficult to pick up stitches in the first place, but when I went to pick up the stitches for the lining, it was even worse! So, bad choice in provisional cast on yarn.

The hat turned out a bit too big, so I followed the pattern's advise and got it wet, then threw it in the dryer for a little bit. This left it the perfect size, and very slightly fuzzy, not felted. I did this before doing the lining (which I still think was the right choice, because I didn't use the same yarn for the lining, so they would not have shrunk up at the same rate. Unfortunately, once the hat was totally dry, the provisional cotton was still soaking wet, making picking up the stitches 10 times worse.

Here's the hat part way through the lining---

As you can see, all of my complaints were from what is going on with me personally, and a bad choice of cast on yarn, followed with some good old fashioned deadline knitting (did I mention this is a Christmas present that has to be shipped overseas, and therefor has to be done ridiculously early?).

Even with all the odds stacked against it, I am impressed with the simplicity of this pattern, as well as the ease and speed with which I was able to knit it up.

Would I do it again?

In fact, once things settle down a bit in the new year, I think I'll probably knit myself one with some hot pink skulls on a black background.

Friday, November 16, 2007

My Favorite Socks?

You know I live socks, handknit socks to be precise. I knit them like a fiend. I wear them like a zealot! So you may be shocked to know that this is my favorite pair ----

I do have a favorite handknit pair, but as for my overall favorite, your looking at them! They're the ones I want to put on on a Friday night after a long week, they're the ones the I reach for after swimming in freezing water at the cabin.

Strange isn't it? So that begs the question --- What are your favorite socks? Are they handknit or commercial?

Redd is already enjoying his weekend---

These are some of my favorite pictures of Redd.

I'm looking forward to a weekend of knitting, listening to podcasts, and relaxing.

There might even be a few blog posts!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Lexie Barnes Knitting Bag!

I have to share my latest knitting acquisition. It's a knitting bag designed by Lexie Barnes!

This bag is in my colors, pink and black, and has little skulls all over it. How cool is that!?! It is also waterproof, which is of utmost importance when it comes to Vancouver's rainy weather.

It has a ton of room in it, and looks stylish enough to use everyday. I think it's even got enough space in it to use as an overnight bag.

It has a very small zippered pocket on the outside near the top. This would be a good fit for a cell phone or iPod.

It also features an outside pocket that would be a perfect place to keep a magazine or your pattern.

The inside is a very pretty pink and has a ton of pockets. I have to say that this bag is refreshingly well constructed, and I can see it lasting a very long time.

You may wonder how I can spend $130 on a knitting bag (guilt free even!). I have a budget. I have been sticking to my budget for the last month, and it is going well. Basically, I get my spending money every Friday, and I have to spend it on whatever I want. That means I can't be buying things like toilet paper or milk or gas (those are accounted for separately in my budget).

So, for the bag, I saved for a bit and was able to buy it for myself. It is so nice to be able to buy something so frivolous and not feel guilty for it.

For the first time in my life, money is not stressing me out. I mean, I used to agonize over every penny I spent, because I had no idea what state my finances were in. I really didn't know if I could afford that latte I was buying. My solution was to charge it and feel stressed and guilty. (Thankfully I have a really low credit limit).

I came home about a month ago, took my debit and credit cards out of my wallet and gave them to Stu to hold onto. I just couldn't deal with it anymore. I am now using cold hard cash instead of my credit and debit cards. I get my cash on Friday and I have to budget that money until the following Friday.

I know that I can afford to spend every penny I spend. Honestly, I have never felt so free!

* The reason I am blogging about this is that money issues are normally something one keeps to oneself, but I'm hoping that my experience can help others.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Finished Drops 103 Jacket!

I actually finished it mid-week last week, but didn't get it blocked or put the buttons on until this weekend.Unfortunately, the only picture that shows the whole sweater while I wear it is very poor quality. (I snapped this on my way out the door yesterday. For some reason, all the rooms with mirrors are on the dark side). You at least get the gist of how it hangs ---
Of course I had to get a close up of the shoulder seam since I used the new technique of sewing up the seams and then attaching the sleeve to the body. I'm still very happy with the results. I've been going around telling everyone to look at my shoulder seams!

Now, my buttons are not placed evenly, but i think it makes it look very funky. The funny thing about these buttons is that I actually bought them about 3 years ago from Fabricana in Richmond. I dragged Stu and Martin in there with me to find buttons for my first cardigan (it was a disaster, knit out of cotton before I knew how cotton behaved). I think they go perfectly with this jacket, so I just cut the buttons right off my old cardigan.

There is only one thing I would do differently if I was making this jacket again. I would add an inch or an inch and a half to the sleeves. I like my sleeves long, and I found myself tugging on them yesterday while wearing the jacket out and about. Here's one with the cuff detail---

And here we have an oh-so-flattering torso shot. This one was more to show how the color worked out.


Pattern: Drops Jacket (No. 103-1.

Yarn: 7 skeins of Malabrigo Worsted in Forest. I used only about 20 yards ( maybe less) of the 7th skein.

Needles: One 32" 5mm Addi Turbo circular needle.

*Remember, delurking is delightful!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Sleeve Attachment: There Is More Than One Way...

Usually when I attach a sleeve, I do it before I do any seaming (other than attaching the shoulder seams). This time I choose to try something different, hoping it would give me slightly more professional results.

I sewed up the side seams then I sewed up the sleeves before attaching the two together. This left me with a better idea what everything would look like as I was sewing the two together. All in all, this method caused me less grief than sewing everything up pose attachment. The first sleeve took me two tries to get everything to match up how I wanted, but the second one took me no time at all.

As I would for the other method, I began my sewing at the top center of the sleeve cap, and worked my way all the way around going counterclockwise.

As of last night, the whole thing has been seamed, but I've still got to block it before it's big unveiling.

I needed strength last night while doing all of this seaming, so Stu made a very yummy dinner of salad, followed by perogies with lots of garlic and onion and sour cream for dipping.

I'm going to try to get the jacket blocking tonight, but I have to work at my old job (I'm getting sooo sick of it, but I think this is the last time so I'll tolerate it). I am really looking forward to the long weekend.

Friday's coming!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Caught Off Guard...

Was anyone else caught completely off guard after work by daylight savings time? Yes, I changed all the clocks on Sunday, that's not what I'm talking about. What I'm talking about is getting home from work at 4:3o, sitting down at my computer to read my email for a few minutes, and then looking up 15 minutes later, and I was sitting completely in the dark!

I was going to take a few pictures of the Drops 103 Jacket (which is coming along swimmingly), but it was pitch black before I knew it.

I'm still working on the collar, but I've only got an inch or so to go. The collar construction is quite neat, since you increase 2 stitches on each side several times, so you end up with little wing type things on each side of the collar, which get sewn to the top of the double moss stitch on each of the fronts the fronts. Doing it this way makes the collar wrap around and be very turtle-necky.

Here's a little picture of the state of the stash (the bottom bin has FO's and my needle case in it and that's about it (maybe some dishcloth cotton). So, I'm still making good destashing progress.I know it's a bit of a side note, so back to the Drops Jacket ---

Unfortunately, I could not take this project as my lunch project today, because I need to wind another skein of Malabrino (Forest) Worsted to finish it off. I thought that 6 skeins would be plenty, but it turns out that I'll need to to use part of the 7th skein.

So for lunch, I worked on a dishcloth.

Goodbye fish tank---

There has been a bit of a change in our living room too. Our last fish died (don't feel bad, we were waiting for it), so we got rid of the fish tank tonight!

Monday, November 05, 2007

A Weekend In Tuscany...

My Socktober socks this year are extra special!I only knit one pair, but they were a test knit for Abigail's new sock pattern called Tuscany, which she has just released today!

I knit them over the weekend last weekend.


Pattern: Tuscany by Abigail 1870 Pearl.
Yarn: 1 skein of Cascade 220 Paints in color number 9930 (make sure you don't do to many leg repeats if you're only using one skein). 6 max.
Needles: 3.5mm 32" Addi Turbo circular.

These were a very quick knit, and I really enjoyed every minute of them. They had just enough detail that they were not boring for even a second, but it only took me a few rounds to memorize the pattern repeat.

These would make an excellent gift. Especially if you haven't started your Christmas knitting yet!

Thank you Abigail for letting me be the first to knit these!