Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Like a broken record!

I'm about 70% finished with the second sock (woot!), but it's not very good picture fodder. I'm a little more than 50% finished with the mystery project, pictured at left. I love working on this, but I'm trying to concentrate on gift knitting right now. I don't want to drive myself crazy, but I'd really like to make a scarf, two flower washcloths and a pair of mittens before Christmas. If only I could stop working until the New Year and just knit. Sigh.

365_41In other news, I found a fall/winter use for the fabulous Rebecca tank I made last summer. I got tons of compliments on it, which was nice. And I felt very stylish in my new vest. So stylish that I decided I want to knit a proper one. Now I just need to find the perfect pattern.

And the time!

Monday, November 20, 2006

A surprise entry!

wee hatI really didn't anticipate being able to update this week, but I had to share this tiny slice of cute I started and finished during a movie last night. I got caught up in my own blog post, and decided it was time to contribute to the Caps to the Capital project. Ellen at Purl Diva is collecting the hats and sending them off. I'll be dropping this one off with the Opal Tiger baby hat I made awhile ago. For this little darling, I followed the pattern provided by the Caps to the Capital people, and used one ball of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky. I had so much yarn left at the finish of the hat, I decided to put on a big old pom-pom. My pom-poms need a little work.

I am such a good knitter, I casted on for the second gift sock tonight, and now have a toe. I think this one will go faster. I have experience with the pattern behind me, as well as a perfect model to follow. Taking measurments is as easy as counting repeats!

(I also snuck in a few rows of the mystery project!)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Do men wear knee-highs?

Almost a sock! Well, I was concerned about having enough yarn for these socks, but I oughtn't have worried. If I knit any more on these socks (excluding a 1x1 ribbed cuff), they will be knee-highs. Now, I know I've seen guys wearing kilts who wear knee-highs, but I've never seen my boyfriend wear them (neither a kilt nor knee-highs). It's been a little disconcerting at times knitting these, I keep feeling like I should be decreasing for the toe! I think my best bet will be to cast on for the second sock immediately upon finishing this one. Otherwise, I'm afraid they won't be done for Christmas! One thing I love about these socks, is that one repeat of the pattern is just about one inch. Not only does that make it easy to measure for the foot and leg, but it also makes me feel like I'm getting a lot done when I'm only doing one repeat a night. I love that!

IMG_2073.JPG Work continues on the mystery project. I put it aside for the most part to concentrate on finishing sock #1, but have managed to get a little more done. I might take the teensiest break in between socks one and two to get halfway through this project.

Now, a PSA. I know that for many people, myself included, the holiday seasons leads to thoughts of giving to charity and sharing personal good fortune with others who are not so fortunate. If you are in that mindset, please visit Tammy's blog. She's running a contest for The Dulaan project. The Dulaan Project asks knitters to put their skills to use making warm clothing for the needy children of Mongolia. Even if you can only manage one hat amidst all of the holiday rush, you can know that your hat helps one person be a little less cold.

Speaking of the holidays, I'm not sure if I'll be able to post in the coming week. If I don't, to all of my compatriots, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I can't think of a title today.

IMG_1976.JPGI realized the other day that I'd forgotten to show off my single completed Hedera. Last weekend, I finally decided to pick it up and make the toe already. It feels very comfortable on, and looks pretty (I'm glad I decided to do a few extra repeats on the leg, though), but I'm still in no rush to make the second sock. I like Knitpicks Gloss very much, and I can't wait until they introduce more colors. I'd love to have some in a brighter blue, a true red, a leaf green and maybe even some pastels. Heck, even plain white and black would do. This yarn would make wonderful, practical booties and baby hats, but I like to use more fun colors for babies.

IMG_1979.JPG Works continues on the toe-up socks. I finished the heel this morning, and felt a thrill when I realized I had a foot! The realization that I now have to make an entire leg in 2x2 rib let me down somewhat, but it's really not so bad. At least it's fairly mindless. The only problem with the sock project was the color of the yarn. We were having gray skies around here all last week, and coming home to gray project was sapping my strength.

IMG_1981.JPGSo, I found the best antidote my stash had to offer, Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Flames. I'm not going to reveal what this project is yet, just because it looks like it will be interesting to reveal at the end. Let me say, though. This project is not exactly mindless. I had to create a spreadsheet to keep track of it, and almost cried when my computer had a tantrum and shut itself off, erasing my (foolishly unsaved) work. I guess I know what I'll be doing tonight!

In non-knitting news, I whole heatedly recommend this recipe. It's a pork tenderloin with pomegranate sauce, and it is unbelievably delicious. I have to note my surprise that every recipe from Gourmet magazine each month is available for free on the Epicurious site. Why the hell have I been buying the magazine?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

How Deep Is Your Love?

IMG_1944So, I've been thinking about knitting the Gentleman's Fancy Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush pretty much ever since I got the book. I'm not sure how I thought that neat stitch pattern worked, but it turns out that it's basically 2x2 ribbing. I know you feel my pain. I am persevering though, because I do like it. I'm really only using the stitch pattern from the book, since I've changed the gauge and decided to do them toe-up (for the first time! So fun!). I'm using Wendy's Generic Toe-Up Sock Pattern for the general sock part. Now that I have experienced the delirious joy of making a toe first, I don't know if I'll ever go back to cuff down. I'm also pretty excited by the idea of not wasting any yarn anymore. In fact, I decided to do these toe-up because I'm using a yarn I've never used before, and the skeins look kind of small. I'm using Spirit Trail Fiberworks superwash merino in gray. I love the color; it's slightly variegated, which adds depth and interest. It kind of feels like knitting with cotton, though. The fabric is nice, and I think it'll bloom nicely after a wash, but I really checked the tag about three times to make sure I did, indeed, buy the merino. Stay tuned to see how it looks after it gets wet. Since I took this photo this morning, I've done a few more repeats. I am now at a point where I would have started the heel for myself. But, since these are for my boyfriend, I have a ways to go. And that also explains the subject of this post. What we knitters won't do for love. I would actually love to know the most mind-numbingly boring challenging project you've made in the name of love.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

As one passes, so is another created.

The fingerless glove situation was worse than I had feared. After damage began to show on the gloves, my boyfriend continued to wear them (and says he will continue to wear them!), and it appears there are almost more holes than glove at this point. As a side-by-side comparison, here are the gloves I made for him last year, and the gloves I just finished.

trashed glovesshiny new gloves!

So now I am at that wonderful place where a new project stretches before me like a tree-lined autumn road, and all I have to do is choose which fork in the road to follow. There are so many choices! Do I cast on for another pair of these gloves (my brother tried them on and asked for a pair), swatch for that Astrakhan cardigan (again), swatch for Ivy, or cast on for a pair of gift socks? I feel only the slightest pressure from the holidays. I've completed a stocking, my brother wants those gloves (see how things magically get added to the list?), and I plan to make a scarf for my cousin. I also want to make a couple of washcloths to go with some fancy soap I bought. Nothing big. I bet I could squeeze in a little somethin'-somethin' for myself. Right?

In non-knitting fun, we went to the aquarium in Mystic, Connecticut this week. It was amazing! Mystic in general was fun (though the shopkeeps could use a little friendliness training), and beautiful. Here are a couple of my favorite shots from the aquarium.

Beluga WhaleBashful Fur Seal


Oh! And I almost forgot one other thing! One of the first things I did upon our arrival in Mystik was check the phone book for yarn stores. There was one store in town, called Mystik River Yarns. They had a very interesting selection, including some baby camel yarn that I squeezed five times before deciding it had to come home with me. I want it to be next to my face, so I think a gator is in order. Another thing about this store, and I don't know if they do this all the time, but they had tons of sale yarn. They sold it by the bag, and it looked like it was just leftover dye lots. None of it caught my eye, but there were some very good deals. I also got a good deal on a Rebecca magazine. They had a huge stack for about $10 each. And can I just say? You know the aquarium is awesome when I almost forgot to include the yarn shopping.

mmmmmmm... camel....