Thursday, August 21, 2008

In which she finishes in time.

So, my rule about not starting the sweater? Definitely too vague, as I instead started a new project...

This is the swatch for the Secret of the Stole III. I'm using Zephyr Laceweight in (surprise, haha) a nice orange. It changes intensity depending on the light it's in, and it usually photographs a bit more vibrantly than it appears in real life. It's soooo soft and squishy...!

I finished Hint #1 this morning, and I'm pleased with how it's coming so far. I'm going to go ahead and put a lifeline between clues; I know what I've done so far is right, and the changes in charts make for easy rip-back points if needed (cross fingers I won't need to do anything that drastic!). And since I can't help but take the beauty shots...


I can't wait to see the final stole!


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

In which her toes are warm.

(I'm a bad blogger. I'm still trying to figure out why it's so much easier to post to Livejournal, even though I've got clients for both... Hm.)

When last we spoke, I pledged to finish some projects before I started a new one. I think I might have been a little vague in the specifics of that rule... So, I have to finish both the socks and Stag Bag before starting the Opulent Raglan.

Socks? Check!

Pattern: Swirl Socks by Sulafaye (Ravelry) in Large
Yarn: Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks Kona Superwash Fingering in Embers
Needles: US4
Modifications: Short row heel, ankle-high. 
Started: March 15, 2008
Completed: July 12, 2008

I'm really quite pleased with how these turned out, especially considering they're my first socks. They are a little loose in places, and a little tight in others, but they're warm and squishy and soft, so really, I don't have a lot of complaints. Were I to knit them again, I'd go for the medium size and just make them longer, increase a couple stitches over the arch, and use a different heel to give me more room there. I also think a longer, 2x2 rib cuff would be a nicer finish, as the 1x1 strains and breaks up the color too much.

All that said, however, the pattern is great for variegated yarns, with the slipped twisted stitches providing that little bit of pop without being busy. They've already gotten some wear around the house and are starting to fuzz a bit, but they're still just as fab. I've got the remains of this skein, plus a whole 'nother skein, with which I plan to make more ankle socks. Just have to find a suitable pattern... Nutkin, maybe?


Friday, July 11, 2008

In which she lusts.

Meet the Opulent Raglan.


She's from the new Fall Knitscene, and I have fallen head over heels. Seriously, if I could take this sweater to Vegas and marry her, I would. I looked her up on Ravelry and cross-checked the yarn requirements with my stash, based on the listed yarn weights, and lo! A perfect match!

Lana Grossa Royal Tweed. Unfortunately, Ravelry lies. The suggested yarn, GGH Cumba, is an "aran/10-ply", at 150 yards per 50 grams. Royal tweed is also listed as an "aran/10-ply", but is only 110 yards per 50 grams, and has a suggested needle size a full two US sizes larger. Since the Raglan's suggested needle size is 6, and I was last swatching the Royal Tweed on 9s... I'm sorry, my pile of red loveliness, your time has not yet come. I will find a sweater for you someday, my dear, yes I will....

With the Royal Tweed a bust, I glanced at my stash again... and what's that?

This lovely Henry's Attic Peruvian Tweed crossed my path at Stitches West '08, and I couldn't leave it in that bin, soft, squishy, and oh-so-forlorn. After doing a little math, this yarn is only sliiiightly thicker than the Cumba (if grams per yard is any indication), so all that's left is to swatch and see if I can match gauge while creating a fabric I like. Note to self: WASH THE SWATCH. The alpaca will do funny things, and you know it, so just wash the damn thing. (On a related note: My birthday's in a couple weeks. Who wants to buy me a swift so I can turn these behemoths masquerading as skeins into neat little cakes?)

I'm terribly excited to start on this, as I think it's high time I knit a sweater for myself (and while I love Drops Alpaca, the gauge is so tiny that I'm hesitant to start a full sweater's worth of knitting before my size stabilizes). Thus, a deal with myself: I can swatch now, but I'm not allowed to cast on until I finish both the Stag Bag (half done, just need to knit the back, then sew a lining and strap) and the second Swirl Sock (had to rip back to below the heel to add an extra inch of length). Since the sock is maybe two hour's worth of work, if that, and the bag should be easy, if time-consuming, I think that's a more than reasonable goal... especially since I have something else on the needles that is keeping me distracted...


Thursday, June 19, 2008

In which she reflects.

Last weekend was WWKIP Day, and being dutifully exhibitionist, I went down to Marin Fiber Arts to join the outdoor knitting group for a few hours. I spent the time working on my Intricate Stag Bag by the incomparable Norah Gaughan (Ravelry).


I've got the front completed (about time, since I cast on in July '07), and now I'm just trying to decide what fill pattern to put on the back. The pattern calls for a plain stockinette back (black, in my case), and that's just boring. Right now, it's looking like I'll just repeat the chevron chart over and over to make zigzags.

Anyhoo, I bring this up because another knitter was astonished at the stranding, and asked how long I've been knitting. "A year and a half," I replied, and she just stared at me.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that's a lie. I've considered myself a "knitter" for a year and a half, ever since I finished my first real object (the Medallion Mitts) at Thanksgiving '06. However, I'd been stumbling along for a few months at that point, with little skill or real "knitterly" tendencies. And really, when I sit and recall properly, a friend and I would spend rainy recesses knitting in the library way back in elementary school (somewhere between ages 8 and 10).

I find this kind of throw-back is true in most of my creative endeavours. I haven't been "a knitter" for very long, but I've always been knitting. I've been "a costumer" for the past several years, but I've always been sewing. It makes me wonder what I consider myself in the future.. I've made a couple quilts, but will I one day consider myself "a quilter"? I can write blog entries and clever emails, but will I ever be "a writer"?

Just some food for thought.


In which she contributes.

IMG_2137Pattern: Sampler Afghan from Cables Untangled (Ravelry)
Yarn: Garnstudio Paris 
Needles: US9
Modifications: None
Started: May 15, 2008
Completed: May 15, 2008


Tabby, from the Marin Fiber Arts knit night group, is pregnant, so the gals got together to create a baby blanket for her. Everyone picked a color of the cotton Paris and knit an 8" square with a garter stitch border, and Renee seamed the squares together and added a border.

After seeing everyone else's squares, I realized I may have been a little overambitious with the cabling.....


In which she catches up.

So, apparently, I completely fail when it comes to keeping this blog up-to-date. I'm going to make a couple FO posts over the next couple days to try and catch up to my current projects, and hopefully that will get me to post more regularly... We'll see!

Pattern: Hemlock Ring Blanket (Ravelry)
Yarn: Cascade Eco+
Needles: US10
Modifications: Modified bind-off (k3 into YO instead of k5) to create less-frilly edge
Started: Feb 4, 2008
Completed: March 16, 2008


The throw blocked to just over 4 feet. I was hoping it would be larger, but I already had issues getting the feather and fan to lay flat due to the number of repeats and the limits of how far it could stretch.


I really love the finished throw, and I'm tempted to make another one, but with very bulky yarn and huge needles. I think that would also help with blocking, as fewer repeats seem to submit to flatness much more easily.


The cast-off process was frustrating, to be sure, but the agony has since faded (much like that of childbirth), so I'm excited at the prospect of knitting another... Or perhaps find another doily to "blow up" into a throw!


Saturday, March 15, 2008

In which she must be patient.

After ripping out the bind-off and last two rows on Thursday, I was able to successfully finish binding off the Hemlock Ring Throw later that night. I've waited to block it, as really, where do you block a 4' circle when there are kids in the house? Answer: the bed. Unfortunately, I have this horrible habit of sleeping in the bed....


However, as I'll be out of town overnight, I'm taking this opportunity to spread towels over the bedspreads and pin this sucka out. It's still kinda puffy, but survey says: that's normal. I'll take a warm iron to it before I unpin the throw when I  get home Sunday night.


I'll make an official FO post early next week. So far, absolute adoration for this guy!


Thursday, March 13, 2008

In which she is grumpy.

Well, doesn't that just take the cake! I've been working ever-so-diligently on the Hemlock Ring Throw (Ravelry link). Everything is going beautifully, despite the fact that it takes over 30 minutes to knit a round, thanks to the 500+ stitches on the needle.




The bind-off. Oh, bind-off, starter of a dozen threads on Ravelry. I thought I was thinking ahead, leaving a nice little cake with plenty of yardage for the lacy, yarn-consuming edge.


But then, halfway through the bind-off.. that happy little cake ran out. I knew it was going to happen two repeats ago, but in a fit of denial did I soldier on. Yeah, that worked. =____= So tonight I get to rip out the binding-off I've already done, then frog down two rows into the shawl and start again. YAY! Not.

Awesome! :)


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

In which she fidgets.

I am a knitting slut. No, really. I don't have a monogamous needle in my stash. Even though I'm actively working on Jeanie, the Hemlock Ring Blanket, and a simple ribbed scarf (not to mention all the ignored projects that are monopolizing needles...), I decided I need something I can wear to Stitches West. There's no way Jeanie will be done by then, and the Hemlock Ring is a bit heavy and awkward for a shawl...

Hence, Norah Gaughan's Medallion Shawl (shown in lavender).

It'll be a quick knit (knock on wood), portable so I can take it to school and on the road, and a stashbuster to boot; I picked up the yarn last summer in Fort Bragg. The pattern calls for a 16" circular needle, but I'll definitely need to work it on DPNs - I can't deal with that short of a circular once you start decreasing. I'm also going to need a template to block the hexagons.. As you can see, it's a bit wonky when I do it by the seat of my pants!

As a sidenote, the yarn I'm using is Zitron Campus. It's a discontinued fingering-weight yarn, and it subs just fine for the DK-weight Ultra Alpaca Light called for in the pattern. I wasn't sure it was going to block out, but once soaked it didn't need any coaxing to reach 8" point-to-point.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

In which she drops a link.

I think I've found an update client that will make posting easier.. we'll see how well it works. ;)

For those of you on the bandwagon, I'm on Ravelry as FaireGoddess. My notebook there is much more up-to-date in regards to my knitting exploits, so I suggest you check it out. :)