Friday, October 31, 2008

Little Progress

This week has been a difficult one. As such there has been little knitting progress. I get migraines and they are worse when it is getting darker outside. They are also worsened by strong chemical smells. At work, lately, there has been a tar smell in the building. (A neighboring building has been re-roofing using a tar based product. Our building's ventilation system is set to bring in "fresh" air but can be reset to recirculate the air, instead. However, they have not reset the system until there is already a very strong smell in the building.) During the time off that I've taken due to said migraine, I did get a little further on my Alpaca Sox, getting the heel turn and gusset decreases finished on the first sock.
In addition to not feeling well, I hit a wall with the sweaters that I've been knitting. The colors for the fair isle work are not working together as I planned, so I'm waiting on it until I can go look for a different color to use. The mostly cotton yarn for Yosemite bothers my hands after a while and I'm getting tired of the same thing! :) However, I did pick it up again for a while today and have just another 2 1/2 rows until I start working decreases and binding off a few stitches. That will make it new and interesting and I'm sure to get much done on it in the next week or so.
I needed a cast on fix, today, so I started another present. I'm knitting the Cambridge Jacket by Ann Budd (Interweave Summer 2006) in Elann's Peruvian Wool. On the large, size 9 needles, this was a great quick satisfaction project. I have knitted through 2 of the 18 balls of yarn, in just the first day, and am almost to the bottom of the arm holes on the back! I'm not sure how much more progress I'll make as I do want to cast on for the NaKniSweMo KAL. I want to make Morrigan, from "No Sheep for You." I have the exact yarn, yes even the color, as the one in the pattern and have been excited to start ever since I decided on a project. I just finished looking at my Ravelry Projects page and I already have 10 projects started, but I am going to start something new. Ooo, I can hardly wait!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Continuing Onward!

I have been making progress on my two sweaters! On Yosemite, I have finished the increases and have about 3 inches to go before starting the armhole bind offs. Cascade's Sierra makes a wonderful fabric and looks great in the heavily cabled stitch pattern. I also expect this sweater to hold its shape quite well as the cables draw the fabric up very nicely. On my Bohus Cardigan, I am also finding that progress just kind of “happens.” I have finished the sleeves and put them both on the needle with the main body. I have knit about 4 rows and need around 6-7 before starting the yoke decreases. Then, I get to start the color work. That’s the part I am really looking forward to doing. I received the third color of yarn in the mail yesterday. It’s a deeper shade than I thought that I was ordering, but it looks better with the other colors than I would have ever imagined!

While at work, yesterday, I received a call from my husband. He often calls late in the work day to ask what I have planned for dinner, so I was a little surprised that he was calling about a box that had arrived via UPS while he was gone. The box had been almost completely smashed on its way from Massachusetts to me! He first asked, “Did you order anything breakable?” I thought, “Oh, NO!” but then asked him from where the box was coming. When he replied, “Webs,” I laughed a little. He, of course did not immediately understand, so I explained that it was yarn and not to be worried. He used to work for a UPS store and said that he has rarely seen a box more abused by the shipper than this one. I thought he was over reacting, but later I saw it as I came through the front door. One side had been smashed almost completely to the other side. I sure am glad it was “only yarn” instead of a crystal vase! I am also happy that Webs had left the yarn wrapped in plastic before boxing it up.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Christmas Knitting

I've recently begun my Christmas knitting. Last year, my family decided that it would be better to draw names rather than buying for everyone. (I have 4 siblings, 4 of the 5 of us are married and 2 have sons, so that's quite a few people!) They wanted to do it last year, but didn't tell me until I had some gifts completed already. So, they drew on Christmas Eve last year, for this year. I have my newest SIL. While I was looking through back issues of Knitty, I came upon the pattern for Yosemite. She even looks a bit like the model in the sweater, so I immediately thought of her. She is probably going to be living in the Philippines for most of next year, so I wanted a sweater made from cotton. This one is just perfect and the cables keep me from getting bored. I am also making rapid progress because she is a small size, and I am used to knitting an XL or larger, depending on the recipient. I began about 10 days ago and have about 9.25 inches finished. The sweater will be 13 inches when I start the armholes, so I'm getting close! :)

Since I can only work with cotton for a limited amount of time before my hand starts to hurt, I am also making noticeable progress on my Bohus Cardi. I just finished the second sleeve, yesterday and am anxious to start the yoke. I have a little ways to go before I'm ready to start the color work, but I do have to wait until at least Wednesday to start that part. I have ordered (online) another color of Cascade 220 that I could not find at my LYS. I have a deep blue-turquoise for one of the contrast colors and have ordered a pale yellow for the other. Both of these colors are part of the heathered green that I am using for the main color. I can hardly wait to see it all together!

My other projects have been hibernating. I still like them all, but have little motivation to work on anything but these 2 sweaters. LOL! I am also planning on knitting a sweater from No Sheep for You with the NaKniSweMo group on Ravelry. I ordered the yarn from Webs, when I ordered the yellow for my Bohus Cardi, so I'll have it in plenty of time to start with the group. I'm really hoping to finish the 2 projects above, first though! :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Feeling Green?

Realizing that it has been awhile since I last blogged, I took pictures of my three latest projects. Imagine my amusement (with myself) when I realized that they are all slight variations on the same color! I started another sweater for myself back at the end of September. On this project, I have the body finished to the bottom of the armholes. For this project, the body is set aside while the sleeves are knit to the same point. Then, all the stitches are knit together on one, long circular needle to finish it off. I have about 10 inches of the first sleeve finished. I still need one more color for the fair isle that will be on the yoke. I guess I had better find the color I want and buy it as this is going rather quickly. I shouldn't be so surprised about that, though, as it is Cascade 220 (a worsted weight) on size 7 needles. I often knit with much smaller needles and still finish my sweaters in a rather short period of time, or so my knitting buddies complain! :)
Two weeks ago, I went into the yarn store and purchased 2 skeins of fingering weight super wash wool to make a coworker a pair of Selbuvotter. I have been swamped at work for about 8 months, now. We have been preparing to replace the hospital's patient accounting system. This is a huge undertaking. Then, a person on my team was either fired or quit. She wasn't really pulling her weight, but not having her there meant that I needed to help get the work done and train the two temps that we had, until her position was posted and filled. Each of the three people that have worked the position were intelligent and were rarely kept very busy. As such, they also helped me keep up. However, the third coworker is the one who was the recipient of the mittens. She has been helping all along, and has been quick to do so joyfully, often asking specifically what she can do to help. When I took my little present to her, she responded, "I really like helping you and can't believe that you didn't know that!" I knew, of course, but didn't realize quite how much she likes doing the part of my job that I consider boring. Most of this is time-consuming work, not requiring much thought. Our reviews are being prepared by the supervisor, so I also sent an email to the supervisor commended said coworker for all her help, going beyond what is required and being a great team player. As I was very motivated to give my knitted gift, the mittens were complete in 1 week.

As I had finished my project, I felt I should reward myself with yet another new project. Last Saturday, I was finally able to meet my friend at Village Yarn & Tea for tea and knitting. She was having such fun shopping from the clearance area, that I stepped up and bought a pattern and some great, new (to the store) sock yarn. this is when the Cabled Socks were begun. The yarn is Classic Elite Alpaca Sox. Its lovely, fuzzy yarn that is knitting up beautifully. The pattern is an interesting mix of cables and lace that may be a little difficult to see in this photo, but it sure is keeping my attention! In fact, so much so, that I need my full attention to get the pattern perfect. I'm really having fun with these.
Today, I started a new pair of socks. We went to visit my MIL at the hospital, yesterday, and she said that she needs new socks since all of hers need washing and with feeling poorly, due to chemo therapy and complications, I thought that sounded like a great idea. She is home from the hospital, now, so she could wear them. (While she is there, they have her wear socks with non-slip grips on them to prevent slipping. However, when she is home, she is always walking on carpet rather than linoleum, so the wool socks work fine.) The pattern is Thuja from Knitty and the yarn is Berroco's Pure Merino Heather. Well, its time to get back to them! :)