Friday, June 27, 2008

buy local

ravelry is certainly a time suck, but it is an awesome data base. where else can i search endlessly on all things knit & crochet?

not so long ago, i spotted this wonderful pullover. of course, i perused all the versions on (ravelry).

and so, i decided i must also make this sweater!

buy local
i could had ordered online, paid my shipping, and gotten it in a few days. but instead, i decided to buy local. i remembered that one of the local LYS carried the lite lopi, so i called the store and asked if they had the book. they did. how about the yarn? ... "i can order it". COOL! and it came in less than two weeks.

while i was there, this stupid woman said, "oh, not only are you knitting with wool, ... you're knitting lopi !" i wanted to say 'shut up', but instead gave her one of my 'looks'.

hairy stuff!

it is hairy stuff. but, it's icelandic wool ! i guess i'm not as much of a yarn snob as some people. i will knit with yarn that tears up my skin (ie: hemp and linen), is splitty as hell (ie: panda cotton), or bleeds to death (ie: some colorways of bearfoot), or everyone else deems as cheap crap (ie: acrylique). and i will wear itchy things because they're so cool (looking) (ie: my lamb's pride skully sweater). and, when my apt. is a whopping 55* next winter, i will be cozy in my icelandic pullover.

knitting wool in summer ....
of course, we can all think positive in this crazy summer heat .....

Thursday, June 26, 2008

yummy stuff

i was knitting on the pagewood, and the pattern/yarn/needles were not lovin' each other. first of all, i think i should had been knitting with 1's vs 2's. but, like a dummy, i cast on with the recommended needle size because this pattern has a cast on of 54 sts. and, what i "forgot", like a dummy, was i ALWAYS knit looser in k/p combination patterns, ... oh, and throw some lace in there, and we're talking loooooose !

plan B. i also decided that the pattern i was knitting may look nicer in a solid or semi-solid. so, i pulled out my beautiful plant dyed yarn by siri.

how beautiful!

it was the right thing to do. i love the pagewood, but i'm thinking it's going to end up as nutkins.

i'm quite excited about this sock! the pattern is quick to memorize, easy, virtually mindless ... and very elegant. another perk is that i am using my clover (size 1) dpns. i cannot remember the last time i used them, because i often reach for my metal susan bates dpns. but, knitting this lovely plant dyed yarn with bamboo is quite appropriate somehow.

i totally feel that the yarn (follow my links to read about the yarn and where the dye material was gathered) and the pattern were made for one another.

in other yummy news, i got my namaste newport bag in the mail the other day. i bought this bag sight unseen (well, as unseen as one can get with the internet).

namaste newport

it's everything i hoped it would be. this is my first 'real' knitting bag. i love their bags because they're solid vs. prints (i wear enough prints in my clothing), and have a dual purpose as knitting bag and purse, w/o making one look like a frumpy bag lady.

it's pretty cool. i used it today for the first time and loved it !

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

i almost forgot ... porch, part II

how could i forget i finished my socks?! good grief!

yay! a pair!

i finished these a couple of days ago. most socks that get finished in the summer don't really get worn until the fall or winter. and i'm not sure if i'm going to keep them. i think the foot is slightly too short for me.

all the details in my notebook.

since it is summer of socks, i did cast on for something new. i am a bit doubtful of the gauge, but if it works out, they will be mindless knitting. the pattern is fibertrend's raindrop lace. the yarn is a merino/bamboo/nylon mix, a treat from agent scarlet. it's hard to believe she parted with red yarn. sucker! of course, if i have problems with the pattern, it's because the yarn is cursed.

Monday, June 23, 2008

porch edition

i could had used so many other titles for this posting, such as ... "this IS love!".

i had a nice surprise waiting on my porch today. i knew something was coming, but i had no idea what would be in the expected package.

though this is my crafty/knitting blog, the first thing i want to share is my favorite thing of all ....

i LOVE my scarecrow ....

so many things my friend leanne makes moves me. i don't know why. i don't know if it's the imagery, or just that this friend i love makes such wonderful art. awhile back, she had painted this amazing scarecrow ........oh, how i coveted it !!!
but, it was not to be mine. it belongs to someone else. but, now, i have my own version of it. it's petite ... about the size of a sheet of paper. after i opened my box with the painting, i walked around my apartment trying to decide 'where' should it live. i don't know yet. it will come to me.

noro socken yarn

along with the painting, came something of the knitterly persuasion ... noro socken yarn!. i had seen it locally. i carried around a few balls of it, not being able to decide. and, when i cannot decide, i cut my strings. i put it back.
but, now i have some. and i'm thinking, perhaps i should challenge myself with this cool socken pattern on knitty.

this was not in the box, but something i made this past weekend, when i could not focus on anything else ... a little crochet .....


he is cute! i think he's a he. hmmm ... well, this little amigurumi guy is crocheted with (mostly) vanna's choice acrylique. i do like the yarn. it has a great palette.

(sigh)... it's been a long day. the timer for dinner beeped about 10 min. ago. ... that would be the timer saying, "the falafel is ready to cook".

Saturday, June 21, 2008

everyone else is doing it ....

why can't i ?! well, i can. the bigger question is, will i stay the course ?

i can, but will i ?

this is part of the unsettled feeling in my knitting. i have been searching for some time, for the *perfect* summer cardigan. i have seen several that i like, but there's always something about it that doesn't jive (ie: size options, too busy, too plain, etc).

the ones i like, but not "enough"? well ...

... the first is IK's spring '08 hexacomb cardigan. it's simply cute. but, i am in between sizes. and i'm not sure i like all its elements. i would do it in one color though.

... secondly, this free pattern from lion brand for the top down cropped raglan sweater. i have seen some good, and bad, versions of this, but, it has potential.

... another one i like? ... nashua's cropped lace cardigan (seen here made and modeled by the lovely zarah.

... oh! and speaking of lace, let's not forget this beautiful katherine hepburn cardigan from IK's _lace style_.

so, i am perusing my barbara walker books, taking notes from ann budd, sippin' beer, hanging with stuart, and dreaming of what i can create.

incredibly distracted

that seems to be a constant theme in my knitting. i'm worse than the weather. my mind is on cute summer sweaters (of the instant gratification variety), lace stoles (but which pattern? yarn? color? is there enough yardage?), and socks (summer of socks begins today ... and i separated my 'summer socken yarns' from the wools ... but, i think i still want to knit with the wools .....). see what i mean?

past (most) of the hard parts

and if i don't figure out the next project soon i'm gonna totally freak when i do finish this sock.

what's a knitter to do? well, what i've done thus far today ... 1)blown off a monthly optional meeting 2)surfed ravelry endlessly 3)still in pj's 4)heading out soon to wander the aisles of a cheapie craft store.

not terribly productive, but probably something i need(ed) to do.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

ripping green

i'm afraid i've knitted a big sloppy swatch. as i moved into my second ball of yarn, the wonkiness of the stitches next to the dropped stitches started to bother me more and more. i have not officially ripped yet, only because i want to take a picture before it all gets unwound.

in the meantime, i am knitting on things that don't matter so much. ie: dishcloths and washcloths. easy peasy. stashbusting.

i am not giving up on the green tahki though. now my eyes have wandered over towards cece.

and today, because i was so disgusted with my wonky green blob, i went back to working on my pgr periwinkle sockens.

this morning (on the bus) i grafted the leg. this afternoon, on the return trip, i hope to pick up the stitches for the foot. i'm eager to knit the heel too ... i like pgr's yo method (ie: wraps suck).

Monday, June 16, 2008

knitting green

so, i started knitting this sweater. and i made a mistake. and i had to rip back ... so i thought, "hey, this might be a good time to take a break and update the blog !"


i did swatch. there's the proof. i got gauge.

i almost finished knitting the first ball tonight (tahki cotton classic, 108 yds), but then i saw a mistake ... a mistake i could not fudge nor fix, without ripping.

i could pick up where i left off (after picking up my stitches again) ... but no, i don't feel like it right now.

i think, instead, i'm going to knit on my dishcloth!


pattern: Openwork Boatneck Pullover #7 by Rosemary Drysdale
yarn: tahki cotton classic, col. 3609
needles: size 6 harmony circs.
smallest size (it's gonna stretch) ~

Friday, June 13, 2008

some satisfying knitting ....

...though there are socks i want to be knitting, and some that even have deadlines, it's fun to pick up something that promises to be quick and mindless ... and a stashbuster !

instant gratification

a number of weeks ago, a woman that i helped with her crochet, said thanks by knitting me a washcloth. at the time, she called it a 'doily'. her daughter said that it took mom 6 hrs. to knit one.

it has become my favorite washcloth. period. but, i need more. i knitted one as a bus project in just a few rides. i finished it on wednesday, and passed it on to my mom. so, i still don't have more. perhaps this weekend will see some more little washcloths pop up?


pattern: old copy from an unknown yarn store with the woman's notes on it (she altered the pattern and made it 14pt. vs. 13pt.)
yarn: peaches & creme
needles: size 8 clover shorts
used less than 1/2 ball of yarn ... can get 2 from 1 easily.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

i pledge to knit the mate

... i do. if i don't, my sock won't count as an entry for this month's challenge with ska.

one down ....

i actually knitted this without modifications ! that may be a first for me. and the results? the fit is fine, i like the pattern, the construction, etc. what do i not like? i don't like the 'seam' across the toe. i don't mind the seam as much as the very last stitches i bound off ... i ended up with a wee lumpy thing just at my little toe. i don't think it will be an issue in shoes, but ... i don't like it. the mate will suffer the same affliction, but for future reference, i will do toes as like 'em.

click on picture for further notes ....

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

teddy bear baby blanket

blocked and ready to wrap

in the end, i was quite pleased with this project. towards the end, i was doubtful. i did laundry after work on saturday, which included washing the blankie. the blankie emerged from the dryer even softer and drapey, but still rather shapeless.

i took the blankie home and spread it on the bed and smoothed things out with the steamer. but, it was still feeling a little "droopy". it was lacking any structure on the top and bottom edges. a little crochet took care of that problem ... i did a row of single crochet across the top and bottom edges, and that seemed to give it the support it needed.

in retrospect, i think i could had knitted it a bit more firm. the pattern called for 8mm needles (the yarn was double stranded), gauge was not crucial, but it seemed to loosen up after washing & drying. i probably could had gotten away with 6.5 or 7mm needles.

at the shower, the blanket received oooooh's and aaaaaah's. yay!


pattern: teddy bear baby blanket from cpy.
yarn: caron simply soft heather in denim heather, 4 sk.
needles: 8mm

Monday, June 09, 2008

meow MEOW meow meow ....

new friend

stuart found a little friend hanging out on the porch today ... meet devil kitty !

wee kitty is crocheted in black vanna's choice acrylique with a G hook, from this free pattern by lion brand yarns!

there's lots of cute CUTE crochet toy patterns on their site. i printed out 4 patterns, but only had time for this one (so far).

Sunday, June 08, 2008

unexpected bliss and revelation

though i don't feel i've knitted enough today, i still made some decent progress on my pgr periwinkle sockens. i did some of the hard parts yesterday (ie: grafting the leg together in garter stitch and the bulk of the short row heel).

i finished the heel this morning, and dove right into the foot. i am eager to get this first sock finished, and start the mate ... 'cause we all know if i don't i will have another orphan on my hands foot.

definite progress

i am pleased with the design and construction of this sock, though i now find the colorway rather boring. it would be nice if the fixation or esprit came in semi-solids. though, it would probably look kinda cool in their variegated versions too, as there's a change of direction from the leg to the foot (leg is knitted flat, side to side, and foot is knitted in the 'regular' way to the toe).

did you see my pretty blue needles?! i was at my lys yesterday, and realized i didn't have any US4 dpns, but my lys had a set in pony pearl. often, i skip the pony's because their tips are hit&miss. this set looked good, the price was right, and i was on my way to knitting in the round.

the stitch marker on my leg marks the area inwhich i grafted the leg together. i was concerned that it would be a hideous blemish, but i think it looks like the rest of the stich pattern, which is *perfect* in my book.

anyways ... this sock is kind of a milestone for me. i've knitted lots of socks. lots of pretty socks with lace and cables and such, but ... this sock ......
the construction is unusual. the yarn is *different*. and i am actually knitting a pattern without modifications !!! in some ways, i like the task. i also like the variation on sock construction.

it makes me think that i could design something with this kind of construction with one of the many edging or border patterns from my library of hand or machine knitting stitch books.

(sigh) ... well, though it looks like a flat periwinkle socken, ... there's a lot more going on there!

Friday, June 06, 2008

what's in your bag?

mine's full of good stuff!

stuart !

on my way home from work today, i looked down into my bag beside me, and saw a boat load of good things ......

click on picture for notes ....


i have the sock bug. of course, it never really goes away ...

so, on ravelry, ska's (sock knitters anoymous) challenge this month includes a sock designed by priscilla gibson-roberts, or a 'design your own'.

as i didn't feel like designing my own, i must say swatching for the pgr sock has me thinking about a possible design.

i'm going to knit the dresser scarf socks from IK spring '03.

the leg/cuff is knitted flat, side to side, then grafted, and then the stitches for the foot are picked up and knitted down to the toe. so, it has an intersting construction, and it's knitted with an interesting yarn, cascade's fixation.

i started swatching on the bus this morning, so i used my crappy camera phone to take a picture.

the color is actually periwinkle.

note to self: first portion on size 5's, changing to 4's ....

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

other things ....

brigit's in the back seat. i cannot knit her on the bus. the bus is too bouncy for wee stitchs on slippery 2mm needles.

plan B just needs a toe grafted.

but even plan B is taking a rest, as i have been knitting furiously on this!

teddy bears baby blanket

i am really enjoying this project, and i am about 5 rows from binding off. i started this on sunday, and my deadline is this sunday. i must finish before then so i can wash and block, plus i will be teaching tomorrow night, ... so there goes an evening of knitting.

the pattern is absolutely adorable! ... and it's free ! it's called the teddy bear baby blanket from crysal palace yarns. it's easy to knit, the instructions are very clear, and it has a chart! what more could you ask for?

i am using caron simply soft heather in 'denim heather'. depending on the light, sometimes it's more gray than blue. the yarn is very soft, as the label promises. how well it will hold up ... only time will tell. i am double stranded on size 11 needles. i have even been knitting this on the bus ... out of desperation to finish on time.

so, what's on the schedule for tonight? hmmm ... make some dinner (enough for leftovers for lunch tomorrow ... and the next day ... hmmm ....), then finish knitting the blanket!