Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I never actually summed up my total count for UFOctober. Suffice to say that I didn't reach my goals and that, a month later, I am still working towards finishing up a couple of them.
One of those unfinished stragglers as it were are the lovely Spiralling Coriolis socks. The first one is finished and I'm working on the gusset increases for the second. Judging from my general lack of love for the SSK, I would suspect that these will follow me home for the holidays...
These socks fit well once you finally get them on but mine are quite the struggle to pull on and off. The coriolis band really affects the stretch of the fabric and it requires a lot of maneuvering to pull it on over my heel. If you decide to give these lovelies a try I would suggest trying them on regularly to minimize disappointment.
In keeping with the unbridled startitis that has taken my stash and swift by storm (more on that later). I've already got my next socks from Cat's book picked out. I've even gopher-ed the perfect skein of self-striping yarn from the stash and wound into a tasty tasty yarn cake. The only thing keeping me from casting on is my lack of available sock needles. Although I refuse to facilitate the insanity by buying yet another set of needles, I have considered frogging other socks in progress just to steal the needles. It's crazy, I know.
To compensate, I've cast on for not two but four new projects...none of which are my obligatory gift knitting. To minimize the shock (mine not yours), I'm only introducing two of the new kids today.
First up is Norah Gaughan's, creator of the Sand Dollar Pullover, Spiral Scarf in Noro Silk Garden. This is the first and largest of 12 hexagons that will eventually turn into a finished scarf.
And then there was the knee-jerk reaction to my freezing cold office: Eunny Jang's Endpaper Mitts, knit with Sweet Georgia's amazing Superwash Sock yarn. I love these colours, even if they are similar to the ones Eunny originally chose. The first mitt is finished aside from the tubular bind-off that I have to re-try when I have a few moments in front of my computer.
The last new thing I want to mention today is the newly implemented Trim the Stash initiative here in the knitter household for the coming months. I've decided that I need to cut back on the amount of yarn that follows me home from the LYS. I love every single skein that I own and I'm tired of feeling overwhelmed with beautiful yarn that wants to become beautiful things.
I'm not interested in resolving not to buy anymore yarn for a certain period of time. Yarn and fiber inspire me and digging through the bins at my LYS is part of what I love about the process of bringing a project to life. Since I refuse to give up buying any new yarn I'm hoping to acquire less yarn than I knit up. I've gone through and cataloged all of the yarn in my stash (you can check out most of it on Ravelry if you're interested) and I'm instituting a chequebook system for stash management. Over the next year, I hope to cut the stash down by about 12%. If I knit about four balls of yarn less than I buy every month I shouldn't have any problem reaching that total.
In the interest of accountability, I have posted a current tally of my stash in the sidebar. I'm starting with 411 balls of yarn coming in at a whopping 92,953 yards and 28,977 grams of yarn (a.k.a 63 pounds). I'll update the totals whenever I use or acquire new yarny friends and you can feel free to heckle me when the numbers start getting out of hand.
Spinning content is forthcoming...as soon as I can find my camera, my wheel and some natural light in the same place at the same time.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I have so much to share with you. There's a finished Tilted Duster, about three new projects, a few more that have been picked up and dusted off from the archives, and even some spinning.
Can't wait to tell you more.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Taadaa! A finished pair of Chrissy Gardiner's Snowflake Socks, from the Fall 2007 issue of Interweave Knits. I'm pretty amazed that these actually fit since I didn't do anything *right*. There were no swatches, no modifications, and no regard for anything that might impact fit.
These have been on the needles since late August but they really didn't require much actual knitting time and the result is warm and cozy enough to get even me into the holiday spirit six weeks early (it may have something to do with those stripy bottoms).
These puppies used just over 1 skein of the sportweight Louet Gems yarn that I had lying around in the main colour and just under one skein of the contrast colour.
Strangely enough, this is the first time that I've used stash yarn for something other than its originally intended purpose and I am very pleased with my cleverness. Better yet is the fact that I seem to have found the perfect project to use up that last little bit of the red yarn.
Don't you love when things just work out like that.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Secondly, something wonderful happened.
I love how the feathers photographed in this blocking picture. It's so amazing that the different directions of the stitches cause the yarn to look darker on one half of the feather than on the other.
Pink Lemon Twist's Mystery Stole 3: Swan Lake
Yarn: JaggerSpun Zephyr Wool-Silk in Pewter
Amount: 1.2 skeins
Left over: about 504 yards
Size: Long version
Started: July 2007
Finished: October 23, 2007
Finally one out of five goals accomplished for this month. If I'm lucky I might even squeeze out one more tonight or tomorrow.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Autumn Rose on the other hand is holding its own with one entire pattern repeat done on the first sleeve. I am in love with the transitions between colours. This picture does not do it justice (can you believe that there are 11 colours in this?!). In person, everything seems to effortlessly fade from one colour to the next.
In other colour news, I took my first ever trip to the dye pot a few weeks back and came out with this.
200 grams of a Merino Tussah blend. Dyed in bright raspberry, twiggy brown-green, and leafy green.
Mmmm...silky. I can't wait to spin this up! It is so soft and shiny and I am very happy with the colours.
I also dyed up 200 grams of this tone-on-tone turquoise merino. It was dyed using three different intensities of turquoise.
I really enjoyed spending an afternoon over the dye pots. After I see how both of these rovings spin up, I will definitely going back to see what else I can come up with.
Hope you all have a great and yarn filled weekend!
Friday, October 12, 2007
Although unblocked lace is pretty nondescript, I am attaching photos.
As mentioned in the last post, I decided to knit the long version of the stole. This will hopefully turn out to be a smart idea in the end but it was a painful two hundred some rows of cat's paw lace.
The goal for this week is to finish Clue 6. This goal is overly ambitious but I feel like it is the only way that I am going to have a hope of making it through my UFOctober list over the next 19 days. Mystery Stole is the priority since I need the needles for my November NaKniSweMo project, Eunny's Tangled Yoke Cardigan from the Fall '07 Interweave magazine (and for those who are keeping count, that will be my third project from this issue).
At least there is a method to my madness.
Friday, October 05, 2007
It is frustrating. The Tilted Duster is five, yes FIVE, rows from being finished. Sew up two seams, slap on some buttons and voila a FO. Still, I can't bring myself to do it. Every morning as I choose my commute knitting for the day I look at it, sigh and pick up something else.
I feel overwhelmed at the number of UFOs in the metaphorical knitting basket. Some days I'm not knitting at all.
In the past week I've done a dozen rows on MS3, started a sock from Cat Bordhi's new book, picked at my first Autumn Rose sleeve, completed two rows on a scarf that I abandoned shortly after casting on last winter, knit a few rows on the second Snowflake Sock and spun an ounce or two of fleece. Looking at it now the list seems long but there is no noticeable progress on any of my projects.
To try and shake the blahs, I've decided that it is time to prioritize and set some goals for October as a way to prove to myself that I'm making some headway on the ol' WIP list. As an added incentive I've decided to join the UFOctober KAL.
So which "monkeys" will I be getting off my back?
1) Mystery Stole 3 - Swan Lake
- After realizing that my gauge was going to yield more of an oversized scarf than an actual stole, I decided to knit the long version. This has set me back roughly one hundred rows. I hope to survive Clue 4 and get this project off the needles.
2) Snowflake Socks
- I've started the second one out of habit but it needs to get done. This month is the one.
3) Tilted Duster
- So little left, I should be able to get this done in the next twenty-some days.
4) Autumn Rose
- This is a long-term project. If I knit nothing else all month, I might be able to finish it. Given the length of this list it is probably more realistic to commit to finishing both sleeves by the end of the month.
5) Spiraling Coriolis Socks
- The first one is past the heel turn, the second is conceptual at this point. I should be able to finish these off in honour of Socktober.
And there you have it, a shove out of a rut. Wish me luck.
(Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends. Hopefully 9 hours on a train will provide me with some updated photos for you next week.)
Sunday, September 23, 2007
I decided to tackle one last stranded warm-up before taking the metaphorical fair-isle plunge. Enter Chrissy Gardiner's Snowflake Socks, also from the new Interweave (I love this issue).
I love how this project is turning out so far. Everything is looking pretty John Dandy. The floats are nice and loose, the yarn was a stash orphan, and the ultimate gratification, they stretch enough to fit over my heel.
So on that optimistic note, I decided to pick up Autumn Rose again. So far I've made it through the first part of the first sleeve. Still a long way to go but it is beautiful and I can't wait to finish the first motif repeat.
My technique is a far cry from being perfect or even being technically correct, but I can live with it for now and I'm already seeing improvements.
Considering the time it has taken to get this far, I expect that this project is one of those long-term type things. The body is going to require some serious project monogamy.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
In the meantime, I thought I'd show you how nicely the duster has grown. She has sleeves and most of a skirt, and is generally not purple (the photo here is more accurate on the colour front). If all goes as planned I should have it blocking by Saturday!
Now it's back to the shetland for me, I have sleeves to knit.
Monday, September 10, 2007
My first toe-up socks, more commonly known as Ann Budd's On-Your-Toes socks from the Summer Interweave Knits.
Although tricky at first, the eastern cast-on is genius. I used right and left leaning M1s and they look exactly like a regular top-down toe. I'm still a little lukewarm on the short-row heel thing, I think that I'll tackle a reverse heel flap on my next pair.
I decided to split the skein into two balls since the Colinette Jitterbug only has about 290 yards in a skein. Since my scale is not 100% accurate, I decided to try a different technique. I put the yarn on my swift and counted how many times the yarn was looped around the skein. I then tied a piece of scrap yarn onto the swift and counted the number of times it turned as a wound the ball. About halfway I broke the yarn and started the second ball. My counting was a little off but it still worked out well enough.
In the end it wasn't necessary since I didn't even come close to running out of yarn, even with the fairly respectable length cuff I knit.
I love how these socks turned out. They're cozy and comfortable. I'm certainly not a toe-up convert but at least it's a start. Part of my glee may also be caused by the fact that I officially have one less skein of sock yarn in the stash. I've started a bit of a yarn diet. My stash has substantially outgrown its designated home and I decided it was time to trim the fat, or at least reclaim some closet space (hence the sweater fixation).
As for Autumn Rose, I am still working to get gauge. I hope to have a swatch post for you all later this week.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
***Warning: camera happy person post.***
Another FO that, pathetically enough, was finished August 18th! I'm amazed that I haven't gotten around to posting about it until now. This sweater only took me about 2 weeks from cast-on to blocking and cleared up a whopping 800 grams of yarn out of the stash. I forgot how fast worsted yarn flies off the needles after Icarus, MS3 and months worth of socks.
I now present Rosedale United or Rosedale Redux as I call her. Redux because I completely rewrote the pattern down to a 35" bust, I modified the waist shaping, added length on the body, used a different rib stitch and learned the stretchy-est cast-on I've ever come across.here
Yarn: Noro Kuryeon in colour 207
Amount: 7.75 skeins
Left over: about 25 grams
Size: 36" bust measurement to fit a 35" bust.
Started: July 29, 2007
Finished: August 17, 2007
Since this sweater is knit from the bottom up in the round the cast-off edge ended up at my neck. Right about the time I finished the raglan decreases, I started to realize that the neck opening looked pretty small. Since I have been known to have difficulties fitting my hefty cranium through shirt necks, there was a small amount of panic.
Luckily, I found the stretchiest bind off I've ever seen here and the pending crisis was averted.
Since it's been a comfortable 8 months since my last attempt at any sort of tutorial, I figured I'd share the-bind-off-that-saved-the-day since someone is always looking for a stretchy (but not sloppy bind-off).
Best thing about this technique is that you don't have to worry about making your BO row stitches abnormally loose. It's already perfect, no need to compensate.
As with most bind-off techniques, you begin by knitting the first two stitches in the regular fashion.
Next, insert the left-hand needle as you would to SSK (just the K part not the SS).
Wrap the working yarn counterclockwise around the right-hand needle.
Pull the yarn through the two stitches and then drop the two stitches that have been worked off the left-hand needle.
Knit the next stitch on the left-hand needle and repeat from Step 2 until all of the stitches have been cast-off.
Break the working yarn and pull the tail through the last remaining stitch. Admire your work.
Stretch your work and notice how the bind-off does not restrict the stretch of your fabric at all.
Hopefully that is easy to understand. Thanks to a very productive and amazingly relaxing long weekend, I should have another FO for you later this week.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
So instead....I thought I'd distract you with the fact that I started Autumn Rose. Before you judge, look at this.
stranded mittens where the floats were, shall we say, a little snug. Snug enough that a sweater knit with that sort of float would have zero stretch and may even stand up unassisted.
Originally, the plan was that I would knit Eunny's Deep-V Argyle Vest first. The two colours, the larger needles, the lack of sleeves all made it seem like a good warm up project. After being hit by some serious yarn fumes, I ended up here.
Alright, I'm terrified all over again where's that Duster?
Friday, August 24, 2007
I started this puppy last Saturday night, got perfect row and stitch gauge on my first shot and lunged forward from there. Look at it now.
I *heart* 6.00 mm needles.
Friday, August 17, 2007
This week was Stitch n' Pitch. It was a blast! A surprising conclusion given my general avoidance of anything that involves sitting for more than three hours. The other half came along and brought (get this) HIS knitting. I have a couple of photos but they'll have to come off the camera later.
There's also a new sweater. Although this may look like just another Rosedale United, it has undergone significant modifications. I've sized it down from a 38" to a 36", changed the ribbing, went a little free form with the striping and sort of made up my own sleeves. This is basically the only project I've been knitting on the past two weeks. I thought I would have it done by now but as you can see the yoke is not quite up to snuff.
Nicole nominated me for a Rockin' Girl Blogger award (started by Roberta Ferguson). So the deal is that you; 1) give her credit, 2) put up the badge and 3) add 5 other rockin' girl bloggers to the list. Thanks Nicole!
Here is my list of nominees.
1) Liz, who always has amazing projects to show off.
2) Linz, who discusses interesting things.
3) Susan, who has a way with words.
4) Sian, who always has a new post to read.
5) Elaine, who just finished a gorgeous Icarus.
In a moment of weakness I bought this kit (scroll down). So what do you think, should I go for it after this current sweater is off the needles or should I cop out and start Norah Gaughan's Tilted Duster from the cover of the new Interweave (also exciting)?
Oh, and I FINALLY fixed the broken link from my last post, now you can go inspect that seam if you wish. Thanks for all your wonderful comments on my sweater.
Let's just say it's been a busy week.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
See how pretty it is? Look at this center medallion! I am smitten with the construction of this sweater, Norah's use of bias makes the whole thing so darn flattering.
I used exactly 4 skeins of Posh Yarn's Victoria in the lagoon colourway. It's a gorgeous cashmere, cotton, silk blend. So soft and it has excellent stitch definition, and a fabulous drape. I knit the smallest size (40" bust), but thanks to the artistic license I took with my gauge it ended up being more like a 34" bust. I started it in September 2006 and finished it today!!
And here's my very first set-in sleeve. I'm pretty proud of my seaming skills on this. I had no idea what I was doing but thanks to Norah and her amazing design it looks flawless.
And lastly what you all really care about, what it looks like when you wear it... ;-) (click to big-ify).
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Project Specs: Icarus
Yarn: Handmaiden Lace Silk in Bronze
Amount: 1 hank
Left over: 125 yards
Needles: 3.25 mm circs
Completed: July 10 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
And here's what's been keeping me from progressing on MS3 (still only about 2 rows into the third clue). Meet my very first toe-up sock. It's Ann Budd's on-you-toes sock from the summer Interweave. I have no idea what possessed me to start this little guy. I just reached into the stash Friday morning on my way to work, found some Jitterbug and threw the mag into my bag for the commute.
That tricky European cast-on took me more than a few tries, but it was worth in the end. I made a few changes to it, namely I alternated right and left leaning M1s to keep things symmetrical and got rid of the first knit round on the toe since I felt it looked too pointy. Here's where things were Friday evening.
I also made my way back to the wheel this weekend, hopefully by the end of next week I'll finally finish the seaside singles I've been working on so I can start plying. Fine spinning is fun but slow...