Sunday, October 29, 2006

One Down, One Started!

IMG_1832.JPGThe sun graced our presence for about fifteen minutes today, so I took advantage of it and took a quick photo of glove #1. The color in this picture is not at all true. It's darker, a typical, Army-issue shade of green. I am through the cuff and working on the gusset of the second glove. Again, trying not to be cocky, but I think I might get these done on time. That is, if I get back to work right now!

Friday, October 27, 2006

A Linkfest!

The other day (or maybe it was just yesterday), I was browsing through my Bloglines roster, and noted all of the blogs I read that have nothing (or little) to do with knitting, but I enjoy nonetheless. Since I don't have any photographic proof that I have finished fingerless glove #1 today, I thought I'd point you to some other people who are interesting.

1. A Dress a Day. She posts a dress (mostly) every day, with comments about style, fabrics and fashion. The designs are mostly vintage, and she's always good for links to eBay sellers of vintage sewing patterns. Every time I read this blog, I want to go home and dust off the sewing machine. Unfortunately, I usually run out of steam when the time comes to pin the pattern. Still, she's made me more aware of what I wear and the choices I make while shopping, for which I am grateful. Oh! Check out the Secret Lives of Dresses, too!

2. Bitch. Ph.D. I've linked you to her introduction post for new readers. This is a feminist blog, and decidedly liberal. That might make it sound exclusionary, but it's not! The comments are fodder for great debate and discussion, and she often posts great links to news and editorials. My favorite posts, though, and the ones where she shares snippets of conversation from her day. She's a good writer, and funny as hell.

3. Bits and Bobbins. This is a blog I just found today! I obviously found it through knitting sources, as her latest post is about a (beautiful, impressive) sweater she designed. A lot of her blog is personal, talking about her move and what furniture she would like for her new apartment, but she also has some interesting posts on fashion and creativity and expression of self through clothes. She also heads up a pretty awesome Flickr group, where people post their outfits for the day. Maybe it sounds superficial and silly, but I find it inspiring to see what people do with the basic wardrobe offerings. Plus, there seem to be quite a few knitters in the group!

4. Tales of the Cupcake Mafia. I just found this blog this week, too. This girl is hilarious. I know she's a knitter, because she's on a holiday knitalong that I'm on (I need to put that button back on!), but I haven't found any evidence on her blog yet. Her blog is like a journal, where she shares overheard conversations, anecdotes from her childhood, and generally funny stories. One of my favorites has to be the one where she talks about her dad's missing food processor. She is a riot!

I will be on vacation next week! This usually means very little blogging, as I gallavant hither and yon in search of yarn, fried food, and good times. As I said, I've got to get the second glove finished in time for Halloween, but I'm not sure what else I'll knit. It's kind of exciting! All of these possibilities... all of this time!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Wee Hats

IMG_1772.JPGI only have this one mediocre photo to share. Curse this rotten weather! The mom loved this hat, so now I can pick up a second skein of SWS for some tiny mittens. I wanted to make sure she liked the colors in this yarn and how it felt before I went for a second ball. This is just your basic hat, but it's my first one finished off with icord. I really like this look. It's devastatingly adorable, and I will henceforth use icord (or a pompom!) on all wee hats. You have my promise.

I'm almost through with fingerless glove #1. I anticipate finishing it tonight, and starting on the second tomorrow. I'm feeling a little pressure. I want to take the finished gloves on a trip we're taking on Halloween, and give them to him there. It seems like plenty of time, but I hate to get cocky. Oh! And let me tell you, I think these puppies will wear like iron! The small gauge is stiff, but not rigid, and makes a pleasing fabric.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Let the Gift Knitting Begin!

With my endorphins rushing after I removed the (finally) dry Christmas stocking from the radiator, I casted on immediately for a birthday gift for my boyfriend. Gift knitting has begun in earnest. Expect little else before February (my Gramma's birthday is in January).

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The 6 in the 2006 doesn't look quite as wonky in real life, but it's also not as good as I hoped it would be. Que sera, sera. DeanB reminded me in the comments that I have neglected to share yarn and pattern information for this stocking! I used Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride in (I believe) Blue Blood Red, Cream, and Christmas Green. One skein each made two stockings, with enough leftover that I could probably squeeze out a third if I changed the colors around. I purchased the pattern as part of a kit at Patternworks, on sale. I don't see it on their site now, but the pattern (or a kit) can also be purchased through the designer's website, Annie's Woolens. She has a lot of other very cute designs. In particular, I'm eyeing the snowman. Most of the pattern is just following a chart, though she does provide instruction for heel and toe. I ignored these in favor of my favorite short-row heel and the standard toe that I know by heart.


Next up is a pair of fingerless gloves for my boyfriend. Last year (or was it the year before?), I made a pair of these for him, and they were trashed by the end of the winter. I used Naturespun sport and US4 needles. They didn't stand a chance. The fabric was too thin, the yarn too flimsy, and the gauge too large. He drives for his work, so the palms felted first, then the knuckles, then the unfelted fabric started to pull away from the felted knuckles. He needs a new pair, but now I'm thinking smart. I'm thinking indestructible. I'm thinking, worsted weight yarn on US2 needles! Mohair (which makes my eyes water and gets me sneezing, but is undeniably strong)! I think these are going to make it through at least one winter. I have about one week to get them done.

Other gifts I'm thinking about? For Christmas, socks for my boyfriend and mittens for my best friend. A sweater for my mom for Christmas (though that may get pushed back). A shawl for my Grandmother for her birthday. I'm trying to keep the list small so I don't drive myself crazy, but I'll probably end up trying to adding a few things as I finish them. I would like to make a sweater for myself sometime, too!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Jolly Guts

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I was patting myself on the back for finishing my first Christmas gift of the year this evening, when I remembered the ends. I had to share the horror before I buckled down with some America's Next Top Model and Lost.

I have to admit, I had to smile aat that jolly red, green and white spilling out from the top. Next time you see it, it'll be woven and blocked!

Sunday, October 15, 2006


IMG_1711My knitting lately has been bor-ing. To me, anyway. Dude, I have second sock syndrome... and I've yet to finish the first sock. It's not the pattern, the pattern is fun! It's not the yarn, the yarn is delicious and soft. I think it's just the fact that I've been looking at this sock for way. too. long. I'm about one repeat away from doing the toe on this one, and I'm struggling to even get myself interested in that. I will endeavor to do so, though, and then immediately cast on for a new pair of socks. I think after a break, I'll be ready for Hedera again.

IMG_1709In other news, a friend asked me to recreate a hat given to her last winter for her baby. Naturally, he needs a bigger hat this winter. The hardest part was finding appropriate yarn (she wanted something that matched as closely as possible to the last hat). I suspected that the old hat was made with craft store yarn (I detected acrylic content... cheap acrylic), so after hitting a couple of local shops, I hit up Michael's and found Patons SWS, which is a wool/soy blend. It's an interesting yarn to knit, it reminds me of mohair fleece that I've seen. It has a nice shine, and is reasonably soft. I like the drape, too! She wanted a kind of slouchy hat, and I think that yarn will deliver. Also, please note the needles. I have a small weakness for Inox needles, and will always buy a set on sale, even though I have pretty much every size I need. I broke these open because my other US8 double points were being used on the Christmas Stocking (more on that later, over half finished!), and was horrified to discover that they're plastic. I've never used plastic needles before, and was sure I'd hate them (I'm a metalhead). Surprise! I like them! I don't love them, by any means, but I won't give them away.

I picked up my yarn today for a bitchin' bag, along with a skein of this really terrific orange/yellow sock yarn. It'll be the perfect antidote to cold, dreary days.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Things That Make Me Happy

1. IMG_1649.JPGFinished objects! Especially scarves! I finished my Kureyon scarf last night, and wore it all day today. If I ever make another one (who am I kidding? I'll make another one), I'll go up another needle size to a US10. The scarf isn't stiff, by any means, but it would be nice to have a little more drape. I'd love to share the colorways I used, but I let Mrs. Cooper go nuts with the ball bands before I wrote the numbers.

2. I made my donation goal for the memory walk. I've already thanked Tammy, but another fellow knitter helped! A big thank you to Amy! I always enjoy the Memory Walk. Next year, I'm thinking of finding out how to get involved behind the scenes.

3. IMG_1655.JPGHalcyon's annual sale. This is this year's haul. Including the deal of my life! See the off-white yarn in upper left? That's 100% cashmere, bulky weight, which I scored for $6.00 per skein! They only had four skeins, and I snapped them all up! I'm envisioning a nice hat that won't make my forehead itch. A first!

4. IMG_1650.JPGFair yarn! I went to the biggest fair in Maine a few days ago, and was delighted to find the Fiber House. I didn't get a picture, but there was a woman there spinning yarn directly from the back of an angora rabbit! I was excited to find some Cormo yarn, but it didn't come in any colors I liked. The yarn in the top of the photo feels a lot like the Cormo did, so I think it might be that. The bottom yarn is blue faced leicester, which is another wool I've been wanting to try. The Fiber building was mostly geared toward spinners, with the bulk of the room looking like this: IMG_1620.JPG

5. Sheep from the eighties: IMG_1631.JPG

I hope everyone else out there is happy! I am at this moment watching my favorite Christmas movie (Elf), getting into the spirit for some gift knitting!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

New Book, New Favorite

Last Friday, I got out of work early to take my dad to an appointment. Since I got to town early, I decided a quick pit stop at Purl Diva was in order. This is my new favorite store, for several reasons.
1. When I walked in the door, the owner (whose name escapes me), said hello, clearly remembering that she'd seen me before, and said, "You're the blogger, right?" I had been in there exactly once before. I've been to the other yarn stores in the area (ALL of them) multiple times, and still no one recognizes me when I enter. It's a good feeling.
2. I was looking for something specific, which she didn't have in stock. She immediately offered to special order the yarn, and pointed out an alternative that she had in stock. Now, I've had other stores offer to order in yarn, but never so enthusiastically. And she had no problem whatsoever with ordering a skein or two of a few colors. I could have continued down the road to Halcyon and purchased the yarn there, but opted to wait a few days because of the kindness and courtesy.
3. I love this: while she had the Brown Sheep book out, she asked my opinion on some colors she was going to order for the superwash. I've had a couple of other stores do this, and I always think it's so fun! Looking through color cards seems as though it would be one of the most fun parts of owning a yarn store!
4. The stock is varied, with lots of weights, colors, textures and fibers represented. She has some yarn that is difficult to find in the area, like Lorna's Laces (she even has the worsted!), ArtYarns, and Cherry Tree Hill.
5. THE DOG! She has the sweetest dog EVER. I want to take her home.

So, if you're ever in Brunswick... now you know where to go for yarn!

While I was at Purl Diva, I picked up 50 Baby Bootees to Knit. The weird spelling of bootie notwithstanding, I love this book! There are only a couple of patterns I could never see myself making. I do wonder how practical some of the patterns are; there are some darling shoe shaped booties that look like they'd fall off at the first kick. I'm torn whether I should wait for someone I know to get pregnant before making a pair, or to just make booties with wild abandon and give them away as necessary. There is a pair of booties in there that look like bunny slippers. I think we all know what I'll be making first.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Slowly but Surely

IMG_1617.JPG I've been making decent progress on Hedera and the scarf. I'm starting to remember why I'm not really a scarf person. They seem to take ages, and don't change much. But this one sure is pretty. One of the shades of Kureyon I'm using is very bright, and the other is more subdued. So far, they seem to mirror the first two colors I used somewhat in intensity. It's getting very cold here, Saturday I wished I had this scarf finished already! Speaking of cold and needing accessories, have you seen these yet? These are the armwarmers I was going to design myself, and they will be mine! I'm especially excited by the prospect of trying out Debbie Bliss' Pure Silk.
IMG_1614.JPG I'm onto the foot on Hedera. I was feeling pretty pleased myself, when I realized that I have another to knit after this one. Aside from my very first pair of socks, this might be longest sock project I've worked on. I know it's because of the break, but it still feels long. Luckily, I still love the yarn, and I still love the pattern! I am also completely enamored of Wendy's short row heel from her toe-up sock pattern. It's incredibly well-written, and gave me such clearly defined wraps, I almost felt magical. Next up: try a pair of toe up socks! I have some sock yarn I want to use to make socks for my boyfriend, but I don't know how long the leg will be able to be.

Thanks to Tammy for her donation to the Memory Walk! I really appreciate it, Tammy. Thanks!