Friday, August 31, 2007

Another New Project!

When I arrived home, last night, the yarn for Bristow was waiting just inside the front door! Of course, I had to start a gauge swatch immediately! I knit and knit, then measured. It was way, way too small and too firm a fabric! So, I ripped and went up 2 needle sizes. (The yarn is worsted weight and the pattern called for a size 6/4mm to get 19 stitches over 4 inches/10cm. The yarn label calls for a size 7-8 to get the same gauge.) Going up to a size 8/5mm made gauge perfectly and the fabric is still a little drapey. I love it! I started the waist decreases before setting it down to go to bed. I was so into the knitting, I forgot to eat last night. That doesn't happen very often. The only unfortunate thing about starting this project is that I'm using the needle that I need in order to finish the second sleeve for Durrow. I guess it'll just have to wait!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Picture Progress...

I finished the front of Durrow. Last night, I finished all the seams that I could! Its looking good and I am ready to cast on for the second sleeve. However, I expect the yarn to arrive for Bristow, today, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep myself working on this one. Maybe I'll take a little break from all the black darkness & work on the light blue Bristow instead.

Also, the UnGranny Smith Sweater is coming along. Now that I am to the cabling on the sleeve for Durrow, UnGranny makes better commuter knitting. I am about 3 inches above the elbow for the first sleeve! I love the cute little polka dot pattern!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Only A Little Knitting Progress

I've been working on 2 sweaters at the same time and expect to receive the yarn and start a third at any time...As such, I don't have very interesting progress to show for it. However, I am progressing. On Durrow, I have started the raglan decreases for the front. (I already have the back and one sleeve finished.) At first I was having a terrible time because I was finding knots in the yarn (where is broken) every 60-70 yards! The first 5 skeins I knit from were all in the same bag. Then I starting from the 10 skeins that were in another bag and have found no knots, yet. I'm so glad this problem is not continuing. The yarn (Knit Picks Swish) is so soft to the touch and has great stitch definition. I think this will become a favorite sweater for dh.

On the UnGranny Smith, I've finished the first front and am about a 1/3 of the way into the first sleeve. It, too, is going quite quickly. I'll have to get a picture of the finished front. It looks gorgeous with the beautiful shine from the rayon part of the yarn.

Yesterday, I felt like working on a short project, so I knit these baby socks. The yarn was left over from a sweater that I made. This set will probably get a hat knitted for it in the future so that it can be given as a baby shower gift. The socks were a fun, cute, quick project that makes me smile.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Caught the Startitis Bug...

Last night, I just couldn't resist any longer and cast on for another project. This I am planning to make another Christmas gift. The pattern is UnGranny Smith. My gauge is slightly tighter than recommended, but after doing the math, I can just knit 1 size bigger and expect it to come out well. If I were to go up a needle size, the fabric would look lacy. This gauge has plenty of drape, but is still without holes. I think its perfect. So far, the "curls" on the stockinette fabric are so much more fun to knit than plain and its really cute! This one will be for Mom, knit from Elann's Endless Summer Luna, a non-wool since she is allergic to wools.

The Spiralling Socks are going to be frogged, again. I think I was so ready for something new after realizing that I must "face a full frog" as put it so well by Put a Sock In It. I purchased the sock yarn for the purpose of knitting socks for Christmas gifts. Since it can be so difficult to find colors that are "manly," I really do need to rip and re-knit. However, I may give up with this pattern. When I need to frog, it takes all joy out of knitting with that pattern. Sometimes months later, I can work with it again in a different yarn, but I just don't have the motivation to work this one. I'm not very disappointed as I was already tiring of the pattern.

For a couple of years, I've been trying to get my sister to let me knit her a sweater. The first time I asked about a particular pattern, Union Square Market Sweater, she said, "Don't you think the neck is kind of funny?" I knew what she really meant was, "Thanks, but I don't like the pattern." I'm really glad I asked and that she didn't say she liked it when she didn't. It has been a few years, and I decided to try, again. This time with Tangled Yoke Cardigan. This time I was told, "Lovely sweater, but yoked sweaters don't look good on me." Wow, now that's a statement I can do something about! I showed her Bristow, and she liked it! I ordered yarn, yesterday, and am looking forward to starting it as soon as the yarn arrives! I ordered the same yarn as the pattern, Knit Picks Andean Silk. I don't usually use the specified yarn, but I though I'd try it for a change... :)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Project Updates

I've been knitting a little on the Spiralling Socks. I took out my tape measure and found that the sock is not as big around as I though that it was when last I measured! It is only 8" around (a women's S/M), but is long enough to be a men's medium! I was aiming for a men's large! I'm debating: do I take out about 1-1/2 inches of the length and make the sock a women's medium or do I rip the whole thing, again, and make it the men's large? I doubt I'll be happy with it if I don't start over, but at the same time I am a bit tired of the pattern. Decisions, decisions, decisions....

On a better note, though, I finished my Mystery Stole on Saturday afternoon! (Click the link to see the picture!) It came out so well. I am not sure that I would wear this one and Mom has been eyeing it all along, so when I was showing it to her yesterday, she still liked it, so I gave it to her. I think it surprised her! I enjoyed that. At first, she said, "No, I couldn't take that you spent too much time on it!" But, it didn't take much convincing.

Friday, August 17, 2007

SP 11 Contest

1. What is the one knitting accessory you could not live without? There are so many that I use frequently, but I can imagine coming up with some other way of doing just about everything except the swift. If I didn't have a swift, I'd probably make sure that I always bought my yarn and wound it the same day the the store!

2. If you're heading on vacation, do you take knitting with you? If so, how much and what type of project? Of course I take some with me! It depends somewhat on the type of vacation. Mostly we go for short weekend trips, by car. This gives plenty of knitting time. I just take whatever I'm working on at the time. Sometimes I'll throw in an old WIP in case I need a break from the primary project.

3. Where have you travelled to that you'd consider your favorite spot? The beach on Maui. Its been too long, almost 9 years, but I'll always remember it.

4. What is your favorite knitting book at the moment? Do you own it? I don't really have a favorite right now, but have been taking much enjoyment from reading Victorian Lace Today which I just received as part of my Sockapalooza package.

5. Do you listen to pod casts? Which is your favorite(s)? Nope. I don't have Ipod or other MP3 player so it would be difficult!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Looky, looky!!

I'm so excited to see the cables taking form on this sleeve! I only have 1 row to go before starting the raglan decreases! The picture is a bit dark on the top, but at least the color came out better, this time! Black can be so difficult to take a decent picture. I'm quite happy with the way that this is turning out and I love knitting cables.

Updated: The sleeve is now finished! I did add 5 extra decrease rows per the designer's advice on Ravelry. Now I'm working on adding the extra 5 decrease rows to the back.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Another WIP?

On Saturday night, I was looking for a mindless project to work on while TV watching with a headache...So, I decided to cast on for a scarf, using yarn sent to me when I did the No Sheep Swap. I have a couple of family members who think that all wool is "itchy" so I'm sure this will go to a nice home with one of them for Christmas.
I've also been steadily working through the next clue for MS3. Last night, I finished! I stayed up too late, but once I approached the end of the clue, I just had to complete it! I'm guessing that this week's clue will be the last one, but I guess I'll have to wait to see if I'm correct!

Here is the current state of the first Spiralling sock. I had about this much done, before, when I realized that I was knitting the pattern incorrectly. I ripped it out and also added a few more stitches as I was afraid that it would be too small. I'm liking the effects much, much better, now!

I've also completed much more of the first sleeve on Durrow, but have not taken a picture, yet.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Sockapalooza Package!!

Wow! My "sock savior" came through! She sure is a fast knitter. The socks fit well and the book is GREAT!! It gave me an acute case of startitis, though...I want to choose the most complicated, huge, huge pattern and cast on immediately! Fortunately, I didn't have the yarn for a project like that already in my stash! LOL!!
[There was a very nice card withe the name of my "savior" but I forgot to bring it to work so that I could write it, here. I'll update this post later as a proper thank you!]

Friday, August 10, 2007

Durrow: Sleeve Started!!

Since my Worship Team Practice at church was cancelled for last night, I knit, knit, knit, and the back of Durrow is finished!! I'm still surprised that it has gone so quickly! (It needs a good blocking, but there are still live stitches, so I haven't done it yet. I will probably follow the directions and block it after I've finished.)

Having finished the back, I started on the first sleeve. It took me a while to figure out how to do the increases, but I did finally figure it out and
have been knitting away on it quite happily, since then. For today, a day off from work, I plan to set aside Durrow and work on the Mystery Stole until I have clue 6 finished! The clue came out this morning, of course, so I'm anxious to work on it.

By clicking on the picture of the started sleeve, you will be able to see the stitch markers from Danielle at Mad Caterpillar. They are staying out of my way while knitting (as they have no pretty danglies on them) and contrast the yarn so well that I never forget to change from 4x2 ribbing to the charted pattern. I love them.

In Exchange news, I received an email earlier this week saying that my Sockapalooza pal will need to be replaced by an "angel" because she broke her arm and collar bone. I don't mind waiting and my heart goes out to this knitter. I know that I would be soooo bored if unable to knit! I also received an email from my Secret Pal Hostess saying that she plans to get the matches made and emailed by the end of the weekend. I am almost as excited to start as I was for my first time in Secret Pal. I'm already collecting a few little things that I think any knitter would like and am planning on making this a great exchange for her!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Continued Progress!

Woohooo!! I'm past the start of the arm hole decreases on the back of Durrow. You may be able to see that I have almost 2 inches done for the armhole. I'm ready to take on a sleeve, but I want to get the back done first. My goal: to have the back done before Saturday afternoon. I know that I will want to work on the Mystery Stole as soon as the next clue comes out, so I'm going to be knitting feverishly to accomplish this self-set goal. I'm not promising anything, though! LOL!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Secret Pal 11 Questionaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I love 100% natural yarns like wool, alpaca, silk, cotton, hemp, etc. I really do not like knitting with acrylics, except in the case of sock yarn where a little acrylic (25% or less) mixed with wool really extends the life of the sock.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? I have a folder that I purchased from Joann that zips around. It works well enough for dpns, but not so well for circulars. (I don't have more than 2 sets of straights as I prefer dpns or circs.) I'm always looking for something better to hold the circular needles.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I've been knitting about 4 years (I think!) I would consider myself to be an advanced knitter. I've tried nearly every technique that I've ever read/heard about. Some I've loved, others, not so much.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Yes:

5. What's your favorite scent? I love lavender from natural oils. I get migraines around chemical scents so I have to be very careful about scents.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? I don't usually eat sugar and don't have a favorite candy. However, I love teas and coffee (especially those that are without caffeine, but I like them all!)

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I also scrapbook, crochet and enjoy photography.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I usually listen to soft music by Christian artists or Classical. Once in a while I'll put on a little opera or country music. I don't, yet, have an MP3 player.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? My favorite colors are nearly any color that it muted. My least favorites are those that are very bright (think fluorescent!)

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I am married and have 2 cats.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? I wear all of these except ponchos. I prefer shawls for cooler days.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Boy...I really don't know. I'm always looking for some new thing to try knitting. I usually have several sweaters and a pair of socks on the needles at any given time.

13. What are you knitting right now? Socks, a sweater, and the Mystery Stole as well as several other projects that are hibernating, just waiting for me to feel inspired.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Of course!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Circular for sure. I used to only use bamboo/wood, but am starting to use some nickel plated needles.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Yes.

17. How old is your oldest UFO? 9 months?

18. What is your favorite holiday? Thanksgiving or maybe Christmas. In fact I'm currently working on knitting Christmas presents.

19. Is there anything that you collect? Not really.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I subscribe to Interweave Knits, and would love to have Victorian Lace Today, or other books that show different techniques.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? I'm always looking for something new, but cannot think of any that I haven't tried that I'd like to try.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? Yes, I do knit socks. 8-3/4 inches circumference and 9 inches long.

23. When is your birthday? May 23

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID? Yes, I am on Ravelry, isn't it cool? My ID is danim.

Monday, August 06, 2007

1 Down, at least 10 to go!

I finished the Snowmen & Skates Vest, yesterday! I'm still not entirely happy with the snowmen rows as they pucker a little, but I love the way that the embroidery came out!! Since I finished my first Christmas present, I decided to cast on for the next one, this time a pair of socks. I'm knitting a men's' size large, probably for the daddy of the little guy that will receive the sweater vest. The pattern is this month's Sockamania pattern, Spiralling Socks, knit with the Dream In Color Smooshy that I bought last week.

Durrow is still getting some work, as well. I have about another 1/2 skein knit into it. I'm finding at least one break/knot in each skein, so far. I've knit from 3 different skeins, 1 for the gauge swatch and 2 for the back of the sweater. I'm not very happy about this, but am waiting to get through a few more skeins to see if it gets any better/worse before I email Knit Picks about it.

I also finished clue 5 for the Mystery Stole. I'm knitting it just as the designer intended. Working in short rows has been such fun. (I thought that I had taken a picture, but its not on my camera, so I'll have to try and get one to post, later.) It really through a great twist into the design, making it more exciting and new, again. I can hardly wait to finish and block it so that I can really see what it looks like! (Lace always looks so frumpy until its blocked...) My parents are going on a 3 week cruise in September. As such, I may give this stole to my mom to wear. They will be going from Seattle to LA, and down to Mexico, through the Panama Canal, visiting much of the Caribbean and finally up to New York, where they will fly back to Seattle. Dad was like a little kid when he started talking about it! I'm sure they are going to have so much fun, but I'm equally sure that Mom will really, really get homesick by the end. This will be their first time ever being away from home on vacation for more than 4 or 5 days (since having kids over 30 years ago!)

On Saturday, I met a friend, as usual, at Village Yarn. Usually, we sip tea while she crochets and I knit. However, she has decided that she want to learn to knit. After purchasing yarn, needles and a pattern, she started knitting the bottom of a bag that will be felted. I can't believe how quickly she's picking it up! She brought it with her to church on Sunday, and has half the bottom done, already!! She's knitting a somewhat large tote, Maggie's Felt Tote from Fiber Trends. There is only 1 error that can be seen easily, it is in the first row and will not be seen once the bag is felted.

Friday, August 03, 2007

New Christmas Present OTN

After I finished weaving in all the ends on Snowmen and Skates, I started Durrow for my dh's Christmas present. I have about 4 inches done on the back, already. Knitting on 5 mm needles versus 3 mm sure makes it go faster!!

I'm using needles from Knit Picks' Options line. They are nice and pointed. I'm having no troubles at all knitting with them.

The color is a little off, here, as the yarn is definitely black, not dark gray. The yarn, also from Knit Picks, is Swish Superwash, the worsted version. It is so soft that it almost feels like a cotton mix! He'll love it, as when I suggested wool, he told me that wool isn't soft enough. Mostly, he likes acrylic or cotton, which I don't like knitting with as well as wool. (He doesn't have an allergies to wool, just likes knitted fabrics that feel very soft when he runs his hand over them.)

Casting on is such fun, but I may have to be careful, or it could lead to a case of startitis! I also just received the latest pattern from Sockamania. Since I just bought sock yarn on Wednesday night, I have an idea that I may start a pair of socks or two, too! (I bought 2 skeins of Dream In Color's Smooshy in dark green/teal and dark blue. They're lovely and the yarn is so soft!) Those socks will probably be Christmas gifts, as well. Since they are dark colors that guys might wear, they will probably go to my brother-in-law and maybe one of my brothers. We'll see!!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Lots of Project Updates!

I have been working on the Mystery Stole, some more and have finished Clue #4! Now that I am ready for Clue 5, I went back to work on the Chevron Socks. They are now finished, too!!

Then, I was planning on meeting my friend at Let It Rain Yarn, so I needed to find a project that I could take with me. Snowmen and Skates won out on that one. I finished cutting all the steeks and finished the armhole ribbing. This morning, I picked up all the stitches required to do the neck binding. I had done this, too, last night, but was unsatisfied with the results. So, rrrriiiipppp! I'm, once again, enjoying this project. Its hard to believe how long I've let it sit! I hope to have it blocking before I go to bed tonight.

On another note, I ordered yarn for Durrow. I showed my dh the pattern online and he said that he liked it! I'm really hoping that the yarn (from Knit Picks) shows up tonight. The USPS website says that it was "accepted," yesterday. I didn't get it, so hopefully it will be there when I get home tonight. I'd love to be able to start swatching.