Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My brothers mittens are completed and I have the fingerless mitts for my sil nearly finished, as well. Here are the finished mittens, Peekaboo. They have a large "buttonhole" in the palm of the hand to allow the fingers to poke out in case the full sense of touch is required for a task. I love them and hope that they fit him well. They are knit with Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK, which is quite soft and lovely.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Two Finished Christmas Presents!

Though I just blogged about the yarn 2 days ago, I actually received it over a week ago and have been enjoying knitting through it just as quickly as possible. As a result, I have 2 presents completely finished: a pair of socks for my dad and a scarf for my sister's husband. I have started 2 more, a pair of mittens for my youngest brother and an afghan for my mom. Each one is coming along quite well and I am excited to work on each one. I have one mitten completely done and 2 skeins (out of 14) done on the afghan. I have made something for everyone only once before and had such fun with it. I love to give hand made gifts and they like receiving them as well. The other year that I did this was 2 years ago and I had been knitting since February. This time, I did not decide to do it until about 2 weeks ago, and will have to push myself a little to get them all done. However, I am happy to do so. :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Yet More Stash!

Last week, I went on Ravelry, searching for the perfect gifts to knit for my family for Christmas. I have 4 siblings, all of which are married or in a stable relationship. Two of them have a son. This ends up totaling 16 people! After finding the perfect patterns, I opened my stash page to see if I already had the yarn that I needed. In a couple of cases I did. However, I was able to happily click over to, next. There I found just the right yarn for over half of the projects for which I did not have the right thing. Elann didn't have much selection in DK weight yarns and the remaining projects that I still need yarn for all require it. I am really looking forward to doing some shopping with exact projects in mind. It always goes quickly and yet is still quite fun.
First up, is 4 skeins of Peruvian Highland Bulky. I plan to make my middle brother a hat. Then, there is the Zarina in Tangerine. The color looks a little darker in person and will become a Gator scarf for my BIL who is a big Florida Gators fan. The white Superwash Bamboo is slated to become a throw for my mom. Finally, there is the Peruvian Highland Sport which I plan to make a pair of White Witch Mittens for my father-in-law's fiance.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Meet Fred!

About 2 weeks ago, I was talking with my sister about her son's 7th birthday party. When I asked what I could give him, she wasn't sure. Then, she started to list some of his favorite animals: sharks, lizards and dogs. He has several dozen stuffed dogs. (I'm not exaggerating, really!!) So, I decided that the subject matter should be one of the other 2 choices. After deciding that I wanted to make his gift, I searched Ravelry for some choices. Many of the shark patterns were far too "cute," and I was looking for something more dangerous or angry looking. :) There weren't very many lizard patterns available, at least not something other than a gecko. I wanted something very original, so when I happened on this "Texas Horned Lizard," I knew that I had it made. I clicked over to Etsy to make the pattern purchase and the designer emailed the crochet pattern to me within 24 hours. What, "crochet?" I hear you saying? Yes, I do crochet. I was taught to crochet as a child, but rarely use it. It makes my shoulder hurt and knitting is so much easier, but when a cute, quick pattern comes along, who am I to complain? I finished Fred in just 2 evenings and am not in pain from it, so all is well.

In addition to the critter, I found a used book that is a story about this type of lizard, where he lives and eats, etc. The book looks like it is probably intended for an 8-10 year old, but I am sure that if he can't read it himself, that his parents won't mind. He is ahead of the curve, though, for reading, so I expect that this will be thoroughly enjoyed.

Friday, September 18, 2009

September's Malabrigo Projects Club

This month's shipment from Eat.Sleep.Knit. is a skein of Sock in Abril. The yarn was so lovely, that I just couldn't wait to begin, not even long enough to take a picture before winding the hank into a ball! I cast on as soon as I finished the square for the afghan. The accompanying pattern has cables around the top. Otherwise, it is a basic, top-down, stockinette sock with an eye-of-partridge heel. I have added some arch shaping and love the effect. I finished the first sock just 3 days after I had begun. I started after work on 9/9 and finished it 9/11. There have been many things going on at church, allowing for several hours of knitting that I might not have had otherwise!
By Wednesday, I had finished the second one, even though I spent much time on Saturday knitting a swatch for a new project that I want to start.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

SP 14 Package

I received another, wonderful package from my Secret Pal, last Saturday. She sent 3 skeins in one of my favorite yarns: Berroco's Ultra Alpaca. They're lovely and I can hardly wait to find the perfect project for them.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Contest Winner!

Thanks for the two wonderful ideas. Have any of you felted Malabrigo? I do like the idea of knitting a bag and love carrying ones that have been felted. I have made so many shawls, lately, that I am looking for something else, though I liked the pattern that was suggested.

AND, the winner is: Jen!

Monday, September 14, 2009

New Laceweight Stash

I have been enjoying the purchasing of many thousands of yards of yarn, lately! I received an email from Eat.Sleep.Knit that they were clearance-ing some colors of Malabrigo. I just had to buy some and finally made the (difficult!) decision to purchase Citrus. I have over 1200 yards with which to make a shawl. I am probably going to make this with it. I already have white, glass beads to use, too. I believe this combination will be wonderful.
Then, about a week later, I recceived a similar email from Knit Picks. Their yarn costs less and was such a great buy that I purchased enough for 3 shawls! This is around 4800 yards worth. First, there are three hanks of Gloss in Raisin. Then, 4 hanks each of Shadow in Midnight Heather and Hot Rod. I am not entirely sure what I will make with these, yet, but have been wanting to make a project from Victorian Lace Today. I have started a couple of things out of it, but have never started using the right yarn. The projects are so lovely and complex that they require a simple yarn, like these. I would love suggestions, please feel free to leave me a comment with your favorite idea. Ravelry links are especially welcome. :)

NOTE: Remember that the contest closes tomorrow. Leave a comment on that post, if you have an idea for me!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Taste of Aran Afghan

I love knitting in groups, especially in groups of people who are all knitting the same thing. So, when Faye, at Village Yarn and Tea, started talking up her aran afghan class, I was intrigued and signed up. I didn't want to spent hundreds on the yarn, so I ordered 24 balls of Wool of the Andes from Knit Picks in white. My living room is mostly black and white, with a floral black and white couch, so this will go great. It is also a great, neutral color so if I decide to use it in a different room it will still go great.

Class began on September 8th. We started the simplest block, Candle Flame, during class. Faye taught cabling without a cable needle, a technique that I already love to use. The class was fun and I look forward to October's class.
I finished the block the next day. The top picture, is of the unblocked "square." Faye recommended not blocking any of the squares until the end as they will probably come out different sizes, due to the nature of the patterns. They will need to be blocked to match one another closely.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Stash Enhancement

Back on August 31st, I told you about a sale at my favorite LYS, Village Yarn and Tea. That day, I also purchased a skein of Araucania Lonco Multy in a beautiful variegated orchid color. It is 440 yards. I started searching Ravelry, almost immediately for the best pattern and easily narrowed it down to a pattern from "Victorian Lace Today" and Zetor. Both were shawl patterns. When I finished my Fan Shawl, I had those needles, the ball of yarn and both patterns with me. (I usually take the bus from work to my father-in-law's house on Fridays and this Friday was typical.) I began to work with the pattern from VLT. The needles I had were too large and so I was unhappy with the way that the pattern was working. I frogged what little I had knit, and cast on for Zetor. BEAUTIFUL! The Saturday after I began the shawl, I was at VY&T with my friend K (like usual) and she found some black beads on clearance that were just perfect for the shawl. So, I purchased them and added beads to an already wonderful knitting pattern. I loved knitting the pattern so much, that in a few days I had the entire shawl finished. I did wait almost a week until I blocked it. Blocking, as always, really made the knitted piece shine.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Silky Fan Shawl

Last Friday, I finished knitting the main body of the Malabrigo Shawl. I took all but around 2 yards of the 5 skeins of Silky that I had from Eat.Sleep.Knit's Malabrigo Projects Club. To knit the border, I dug into my stash and pulled out the remaining 1/2 ball of Silky from a club shipment earlier in the year. I love the raspberry color with the gray. Blocking this one was difficult and I am still not completely happy with the results. As you can see, there are points where it should be round. I may need to re-block it and not use blocking wires. However, I was trying to get some good stretch to it and felt like I needed the wires for that. The shawl is soft, lovely and warm. It will be a great addition to my fall wardrobe.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Latest Shawl

When I get really tired of my current stealth project, I have been working with the yarn from last month's Malabrigo shipment. I am knitting the Fan Shawl from Crystal Palace with Malabrigo Silky. It is a free pattern that I found on Ravelry and is very fun to knit, while still being simpler than the said stealth project.