Thursday, May 31, 2007

ITE IV Bag Started!

Since I finished so many UFOs, this last weekend, I can start this one guilt free! (Well....almost =) ) My partner loves earth tones so I am using Lamb's Pride Worsted in Chocolate and Natural. I'm making Knitty's French Market Bag. As of this morning, I'm done with the increases for the bottom of the bag and only have 8 more rows to knit before switching colors! Its going quickly and the fabric is looking nice. I am thinking about making a muted pink rose and sage green leaves to accent the side of the bag, between the handles. I just have to see if I can find some yarn that will work in my stash, or maybe a friend might have a little yarn left over from another project that I could trade for. I don't want to buy an entire skein of each color, just to use a few yards off of each.

I pulled the second May Day sock off the sock blocker, last night, to take a picture, and what did I see, but the second one has one less repeat in the foot! I spent a few minutes frogging the toe and putting the needles back through the stitches. I'd love to finish it off tonight and then get the finished product posted to the Sockamania (& my own FO blog) tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Lots of FOs!

This past weekend, we drove about 3 1/2 hours to spend some time camping with friends. We were out near Pateros, WA staying in the trailer. There was some work to be done, as the property owners (my friend C's parents) are getting ready to have their manufactured home brought in. I mostly walked about, going to find and retrieve things that were needed for everyone else to keep going...Things such as duct tape, beer and water, and so on...This gave me lots of knitting time. I finished so many projects this weekend!
On the way to Leavenworth to meet up with our friends, I finished the Lace Wing Scarf. (See the details here.) Since it was dark on our way from Leavenworth to Pateros, I worked on Green Gable for while. On Saturday I finished the second May Day Sock, and then went back to Green Gable, finishing on Sunday. After that, I turned to Snowmen and Skates, finishing up to the point where I needed to sew & then cut the steeks! After all this, I worked on the Luna Moth Shawl. I knit more than one skein of yarn into it, though I had to spend about 2 hours fixing some mistakes. When the pattern mirrors for the left side, I seem to have troubles remembering to change the pattern that I was knitting for the right side of the shawl. I do love it, though and expect to get much wear out of it. (I'm going to try to get more pictures up of my FOs later this week, maybe one a day? =) )

Finally, to answer a great question from Put a Sock In It:

"How do you decide which ones to work on? I only ever
have 3 or 4 on the needles, and I struggle!"
I, too, often struggle with this one...There are many different things that will get me to work on a specfic project: 1) if it is nearing a deadline (for gift knitting or KALs,) 2) if it is nearly done and I really want to have a FO, 3) small items are great for knitting on the road, 3) simple projects are great for either knitting on the road or knitting when I'm tired or there is little lighting (like in a movie theatre!) Sometimes, I just reach for whichever project is closest to where I am sitting. This reason, I guess is just out of laziness, but I do get some knitting done!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sock Progress

I have been working diligently on my second May Day sock and it is almost half done! I'm about halfway through the heel flap. I'm excited to get these done and then, on to the next project, Green Gable. My mom's birthday is June 3rd, so I want to have it done by then. We are going camping, again, this weekend. Woohoo! 3 days to relax, knit and enjoy the sunny, warm weather of eastern Washington. This will all be with the same, good friends that we last camped with, plus some of their extended family. This time, we're staying at C's parents' property. 40 acres on a hillside above the Methow River. Aaah, the views are stunning! I plan to try and finish Green Gable on the way to "the property." That way I can knit on something more fun, like Luna Moth or one of my other WIPs. I won't be as tempted to start a new project as there aren't any LYS out there (at least none that I know of.)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A Decorated Desk

This hat (yes, its a hat!) was sitting on my monitor, when I arrived at work, today! Isn't it funny! There were various other "Happy Birthday" signs, as well. A coworker in my office, loves to decorate cubicles whenever someone has a birthday. She didn't over-do it and it has been fun.

In knitting news, I finished the first lace, fingerless mitt for Laura's friend Mary. The lace is coming out beautifully, and they are very stretchy so they should fit just about anyone. Check out Laura's blog. She's having a drawing for 2 skeins of Koigu for anyone who makes a pair of fingerless mitts. Also, check out the pair that Katie is making for Mary. The smocking looks good, too!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Lace Wing Scarf

I kept telling myself that I would not start a new project, but I just couldn't wait to start this scarf. It is the Lace Wing Scarf from Let It Rain Yarn, knit in Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Tweed. This yarn is so soft that it is making the perfect scarf. I have about 14 inches knit, already! The lady in the shop said that the pattern was designed to be a first lace pattern for those that want to learn lace knitting, or a simple knit for those that have already knit lace. I found, however, that the pattern was not very easy to memorize. It took me about 14 pattern repeats before I really down! (Its only a 4 row repeat, but the the 5 stitch edging, there is pattern work on all 4 rows.) Now that I have it down, I'm zooming along, having a great time. On size 7 needles, the scarf seems to grow by several inches in a half hour! (It probably isn't that much, but it seems like it!)

When I arrived home, Saturday, there was a package waiting for me from Fire Mountain Gems, containing some bead that I had ordered to make some more stitch markers. I made these on Saturday night. (Click the picture to see it bigger.) They may or may not go for some exchanges that I have coming up!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Saturday Yarn Tour

Saturday was the day that my friend C & I set aside for the Local Yarn Store Tour. Since she was not picking me up until 11AM, I started to work on another pair of fingerless mitts. I have the first one about an half hour away from being done! I'm knitting them with a skein of the burgundy alpaca from my stash. I'm reworking a pattern from Vintage Socks so that I can use the lace pattern. Its coming out beautifully.

For the LYS Tour, we started at Great Yarns in Everett. No purchases for this store, although there was, of course much to tempt us! Next, we headed over to Let It Rain Yarn. I think this was our favorite for the day. It was so cozy and inviting to just sit, knit and talk with a friend. We both bought a skein of yarn to knit the free pattern. I have also been looking for a longer needle to put my CWS on, and they had the right size in a 47" Addi Turbo Lace Needle, so of course, I bought that, too! They are a small shop in a brand new building, but we have already decided that we'll have to go back for one of their Wednesday night drop in knitting sessions. The 20% off coupon for later this summer, will certainly be used!

Next, we drove into Seattle, stopping first at Fiber Gallery. This store had an amazing selection of yarn. If I hadn't been on such a tight budget, I could have purchased a ton of yarn, here! I did find 2 skeins of yarn in the perfect color to send my Secret Pal. I loved their free pattern, as well, but it will be added to the stack of patterns until I find the perfect reason to knit it. We walked across the street to a market/deli to buy lunch and then continued on toward the University District. On our way we stopped at a store that was not part of the tour, Acorn Street Yarns. This is a small shop, but with nearly floor to ceiling yarn, they had plenty to choose from. They have the largest selection of knitting needles that I've ever seen!! Going on to the next store, we headed for Weaving Works. We found parking easily, next to the store, which was wonderful and unexpected. This was another store with a great selection. I really liked the way the store was arranged. They had almost an entire wall, divided in 2, with wool yarns that would felt. It was divided to make it easy to see which yarns were worsted weight and which were bulkier. Once I have my partner information for the ITEIV, I may go back to find yarn for the tote, assuming my partner would like a felted bag! I did find a skein of sock yarn in dark colors with some black, purple, rose and green. That was my splurge for the day.

Finally, we drove to the 2 stores that we most frequently go to, Main Street Yarns and Village Yarn and Tea. At Main Street, we had our passports stamped picked up the free pattern and looked through their clearance shelf. I found some beautifully hand painted needles for my SIL's birthday gift. (These are the ones that are painted by women in Eastern Europe. I don't remember the country or the brand name.) At Village Yarn, we loved the free pattern, but the yarn they had available for it was not quite what I wanted to use to knit it, so no purchases for me, but C found some great clearance Eco-Wool. (I had a difficult time passing that up, at $13 per
skein for almost 500 yards!) The day was absolutely wonderful!

In sock knitting news, I worked on the second May Day Sock, almost finishing one pattern repeat for the leg, while riding in the car between stores.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Next Sock

I started the second May Day Sock, last night. The ribbing is finished and I've begun the chart for the leg. I get so many positive comments from knitters on the color/pattern/yarn combination. It makes me so happy to hear that others like it, too! (This is probably, especially because they are a gift for my Sockapalooza exchange partner, whom I've never met!)

In other sock news, I did frog the Leaf Lace Sock. I will probably hold the yarn to use in the next Sockamania pattern, assuming that it will work better than with this pattern. I could use a larger needle, but don't really need to start another project right now. (I didn't need to when I cast on, but I'm taking it as the voice of reason, this time, and waiting.)

I, also, retrieved the CWS from my pile of WIPs/UFOs. I finished 1 and a half rows. I'm going to try and get another 2 rows done tonight, but only time will tell if I really can stick to it! The group begins the edging on June 1st and I would love to have it caught up so that I can start it with them.

Last weekend, my friend C and I poured over the information for the Local Yarn Store Tour that we received from the ladies at NW Handspun. We looked at the addresses and the map to figure out where we'll go and to how many stores. It looks like we'll visit only about 5-6 from Everett to Seattle. We're not going to go to Bellevue, Bainbridge Island, or south of Queen Anne Hill. Its just too far for the 6 hours that we are going to get. I am really looking forward to it. To top off the day, my dh has volunteered to have dinner and a movie waiting at home when I arrive. He really is great!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Some Lovely Things

I've been working on the Luna Moth Shawl, some more! You can see that it is growing. (The needle it is on is a 60" incher, just to let you know how big it is getting.) I still have much left to do, but am re-motivated to work on it, lately. I really do love knitting lace!
On Monday night, I received this set of stitch markers from my "Stuff Knitters Want" group. I love them and will use them for the next project that I start.
Then, there's the Leaf Lace Sock. I tried it on as I was starting the toe decreases, last night, and think that the yarn is too heavy for these needles. It is also a little tighter than I'd like, so I will probably frog the first sock and re-knit on larger needles. I like the pattern, so knitting it again is fine. Not only that, but the size 1 needles were splitting the yarn a little and the pattern decreases were difficult to work. I think that all of the should be better with a larger needle. I still love them, but may take some time to work on some older WIPs before restarting.

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Great Idea

Go over to Laura's blog and see the cool contest idea she has to knit fingerless mitts (to help out a friend of hers)! This sounds like fun and fingerless mitts are quick and easy to knit. I'll have to check my stash and see what I can do, tonight!

Knitting & Camping

The Curvalicious Cardigan is finished (see picture at left)! I managed to get it all done in time for our camping trip. It was the perfect weight for the somewhat overcast, warm weather we had over the weekend. I rarely took it off, and yet didn't really need another coat, either. (Since we were renting a 1 room cabin at the KOA and our friends had their trailer, we were indoors or sitting around the campfire whenever it was cool enough to need something heavier.)
On the one and a quarter hour drive to the campground, I worked on Snowmen and Skates. After unloading the car into the cabin, I continued to work on it...until I ran out of cream yarn! I'll need to go over to Village Yarn and Tea, to buy another skein. At this point, I switched over to Green Gable. Finishing the skein I was on, and barely starting the next/last one, I tired of the stockinette stitch in the round and moved on to the Luna Moth. This one, I kept working on until Saturday afternoon, when I purchased yarn to start the Leaf Lace Socks from Fiber Trends.

On Saturday morning, our group met to make breakfast. After the cleanup, the kids and guys rented some bikes from the KOA office. They rode around for a while and even let us (my friend C and I) have a turn. They were fun, but made us all use muscles we're not used to! Around noon, we made lunches and took the 20 minute drive to Lake Padden. The kids were happy to run and play on the playground while we took in the beautiful scenery. After eating, we packed the stuff back up to the car, and then walked around the lake. Its about 2.5 miles. The day was so gorgeous and the sun came out just enough to burn the tops of my shoulders around the back of my neck just a little.

After our walk, C & I took the kids and dogs and the guys went for a game of golf. While they were golfing, we went in search of a yarn store. We found NW Handspun in downtown Bellingham. They had a 20% all yarn sale going on for Mother's Day weekend. Who could withstand that temptation! So, I purchased a ball of Louet Gems in a medium purple and the Fiber Trends Leaf Lace Socks pattern. I started immediately, as I was not driving. We also visited Michaels in search of items to make stitch markers. We found some great charms on sale.

At this point we met the guys at the golf course to pick up the keys to the trailer. They offered to take the kids, so we had about 2 hours to sit outside and knit away. By the time I went to bed last night, I had the first sock about 75% done! It looks great, but the yarn is a little heavier than I realized, so they'll be very warm socks, that I'm sure I'll love to wear.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

1st May Day Sock Finished!

The first May Day Sock is finished!

More Curvalicious Frustration

I continued working on the May Day Socks and the Curvalicious Cardigan, last night. The first sock is almost done, but the cardigan? That's another story...I ripped 2/3 of the edging out again so that I could make more of it pink instead of brown, around the hood. I really want to take this sweater with us as we are "camping," this weekend, so I will, hopefully, finish it tonight. A hooded sweater will be just right for the 70 degree weather we're expected to have!
We have a one room cabin reserved at a KOA, up north, for two nights. Friends of ours will be bringing their trailer and the 6 of us (4 adults & their 2 children) will spend most of the weekend together. The guys plan to golf, early Saturday morning, and we gals plan to spend as much time possible knitting and catching up. We're all really looking forward to it! I just have to decide which WIP to take to work on. I will probably not take socks as the needles are small and would be easy to lose. Right now, I am thinking about taking my Civil War Shawl and Green Gable. Green Gable is now approaching a deadline (June 3rd) so it really needs to get finished. The CWS has not been worked on lately, but is a tricky knit, so I'm not sure about taking it. I may substitute Snowmen & Skates. Whatever I decided to do, I should have some wonderful progress to show on Monday!!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

More Progress

I worked on the May Day Socks some more, yesterday. I almost ready to star the toes decreases on the first sock! I, also, started to sew in the zipper on the Curvalicious Cardigan. However, I really don't like the way that it looks. I think that I should have blocked it before deciding on the front edging. When I tried it one, the zipper is keeping the center front pulled up higher than the rest of the hem. I guess I'll be ripping the zipper and the front edging out, again, so that I can block it, put the edging back on and then the zipper. This one is driving me nuts!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Sock Update

I have finished the heel and am over half way through the gusset on the first May Day sock! All is well and this project seems to be the one getting the most attention, lately.

Last night, dh had dinner waiting when I arrived home from work. It was so nice, as I had a not so great day at work...Then, he drove so that I could knit, while we finished a few errands. I had a book to return to the library, and 2 on hold to pick up. I only brought 2 home with me, as the other was not what I expected. I checked out Pursenalities. I took some time in the car to to flip through it. There are a couple ideas that I like and may incorporate any particularly good ones into my design for the International Tote Exchange IV. Last time, I designed my own bag and it was a great hit! After the library, he took me to the driving range. He has been wanting me to take up golf, so this was a natural first step. We each hit a some balls. It was nice to spend some time together, just the two of us without the TV on. I'm sure we'll try it again in a week or two. On the way home, we stopped at the video store. He rented A Night at the Museum, which we watched while eating popcorn that I made at home. It was the perfect end to a not-so-perfect Monday.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Decision Made

I kept thinking about the May Day Sock all day during work, yesterday. I made even more time to think about it by working on Green Gable. As I knit about 1/2 skein into it, I made the decision to frog the sock and restart on the smaller needles. This morning, I worked on it for about 2 hours and finished the first pattern repeat for the leg. It looks great, and I am sooo glad that I made the right choice. I've measured it, and the circumference is just perfect for my partner. I think she'll love them.

I've also been working on the Curvalicious Cardigan. I ripped a little of the hood so that I'd have the yarn to edge the front. I started working with this yarn and made it all the way to the last 15 stitches, when I ran out of yarn, again!! Now, I'm using some leftover brown yarn and am starting to re-knit the applied i-cord edge. I plan to knit it brown for the part that will be attached to the zipper and use the pink to edge the hood and the part of cardigan front that will not be attached to the zipper. I'm hoping it will look good.

I am pretty proud of myself that I've mostly worked on old WIPs these last 24 hours!

Friday, May 04, 2007

New Socks

As I finished 2 projects, yesterday, I decided it was time to cast on for another! I bought a skein of Fleece Artist Sock yarn in a solid golden wheat color at Village Yarn and Tea. I cast on before I left the store as I had about a half hour to knit with a friend. After I arrived at home, I continued to work on the sock. I did about 3 inches, when I realized that I had started with the wrong needle size (a US 1 instead of 2!) I am knitting these for my Sockapalooza partner, and the size was going to be way, way too small. So, I frogged it and began again. I managed to get the ribbing re-knitted and started on the charted pattern. Its looking good, but I'm trying to decide whether to rip it again, as I liked the denser fabric created by the smaller needle. There is a larger size in the pattern that I could easily knit from, so I would not have to recalculate the number of stitches, pattern repeats, etc.

As I was looking at my list of WIP on my blog, this morning, I was realizing that I really should try to finish up some of the those projects which are more than half done. Maybe that would be a good thing to do this weekend? I'll just have to see what I feel like working on...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

2 FOs!!

I finished the Lacy Mock Cable Socks!! Good thing, too, as my feet have been cold all morning. They're warming up, now!

This pattern was fun to knit and I think I may have even begun to figure out how to do the Kitchener stitch a little better with this pair. I've always knit socks toe-up until these last 2 pair. I still prefer the toe-up method, but am fairly confident at my skills for top-down, now, as well.

I, also, finished the last bit of work on the Dashing gloves for my SIL. I took the cue from Firefly and added a button on the cuff so that it is easy to tell which glove belongs on which hand. This really was not necessary as the gloves could fit either hand, but I found than when worn on the "correct" hands, the last bound off stitch is on the side of the little finger rather than in the palm where it feel like a small knot and irritates my hands. I'm thinking about giving these to her for her birthday and adding in a pair of needles, a ball of yarn, and a certificate for knitting lessons. The last 2 or 3 times I saw her, I was knitting, as usual. She commented each time that she really would like to learn to knit...What's a knitter to do, but enable another person into this great addiction!?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

More Snowmen & Skates

I worked on Snowmen & Skates some more, last night. I have started knitting the steeks. Its looking great, but I am glad that I'm making the smallest size. Its a ton of work and I tend to grow tired of a project before its done. This project is no exception, but I'm committed to this one. (It is easier to be committed on smaller project! LOL)
The Lacy Mock Cable socks are also getting there...I am working the gusset decreases on the second sock. Sockapalooza and Sockamania have both begun, so I want to get the socks done & start working with Anni's great, new pattern.
Tomorrow, I'm taking the day off from work to meet a friend for lunch and a trip to the Village Yarn and Tea. I'll probably spend the morning knitting or cleaning house. There is so much that could be done.