Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Some socks for me.

These were fun and quick to knit up and I learned two new things;
1. none of my boys like solid brown colored socks and
2. "cables on socks are girly."
I really thought my youngest was going to claim them, I did get him to try them on and he admitted that they were incredibly comfortable, but then when they were finished he told me, "That's ok mom, you can just have them." So, I ripped back the toes and shortened them up for me. They are quite comfy!

Pattern: Whitby from Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush
Yarn: Louet Gems in Caribou
Needles: #2 dpn
Start/Finish: Feb. 23 - Feb. 27

Group Wednesday night was great, I love our new location, and I especially enjoyed show and tell of all the new yarn acquisitions. Alyssa and Claire both had the Duet sock yarn in Turquoise Tranquility that I have been coveting. I have never been able to bring myself to order yarn on-line ( I did sign-up for the BMFA Rockin' Sock Club, but that doesn't count). I am always afraid that I might not like the yarn in person, it might have a different feel or color than I expected. This yarn was exactly what I expected, perfect! I actually had a dream Wednesday night in which I was knitting with that yarn! I finally broke down and ordered the yarn on-line the next day. I was sure that it would be sold out but the order went through and I even got a confirmation email. I am happy but at the same time I am worried, if I am now comfortable ordering yarn on-line this has the potential to become a real problem.

I did not get my Fiber Trends felted clogs finished. Wednesday night after Group I did sew one of the bottom seams and weave in all the ends, but then I got bored and went to bed. I didn't even look at them on Thursday, I started a new pair of socks instead, in Mountain Colors Bearfoot - so soft and warm and fuzzy - I just love them. I don't think I am quite ready for Spring to come yet, these are really warm socks. I will try to get myself to finish off the clogs and get them felted so I can bring them to Group on Wednesday. I will get some before and after pictures to post as well. I must admit, these clogs have been fun.

THIS JUST IN - It's here!! It's here!! I just received my first shipment from the BMFA Rockin' Sock Club and I don't think I'm giving anything away by saying it is absolutely splendid!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A bag, some socks and no scarf

I am pretty sure this was instigated by Lynae's great adventure bag. I think I wanted a felted bag but didn't feel like felting a bag so I just knit it at a very tight gauge and it almost feels felted. I knit this during my breaks from the Irish Hiking Scarf that I have been having some yarn shortage issues with. I guess I have been a bit distracted because I had to restart this thing 8 times! Talk about determination. Just silly little things - cast on wrong # of sts., forgot to knit edge sts., started over on wrong needles - every time I got about 1-2 inches before I realized it and had to start over only to make the same mistake again! Finally all went well until I got to the strap which I decided to change (knit roughly 20 different ways and settle on the first change anyway!) It's done and I am happy, and the scarf, for now I am done with that too!

I started the Irish Hiking Scarf with some Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino that I had 2 balls of (not enough to make the scarf) but that didn't slow me down, I figured I would see if I even liked it before I worried about the little things, like having enough yarn to finish. It knit up quickly and I liked it so when I got to the end of the 1st ball I had to make some kind of decision. I bought the yarn last summer at a little shop up in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, on clearance. There was very little chance that I could match the yarn and I didn't want to try so I figured I would just pickup a ball of the same yarn in a different color for the middle and finish with the 2nd ball of the 1st color. I went to my LSY and she didn't carry that yarn, but she did have this wonderful Zara yarn that matched nicely. I added the new yarn and the gauge was perfect, the colors matched nicely, the only problem was that I liked the Zara more and now I wanted the entire scarf in the Zara. I ripped it all out and restarted with the new yarn. I only bought 1 ball of the Zara so after knitting that up I ran over to my LYS to get 2 more balls of the Zara and guess what? She sold all 8 balls that she had in the 24 hrs since I was last there! During a Blizzard! ARG! So I picked up 3 more balls in matching colors and started again. Now the colors matched too well. I started over rearranging the colors. Over and over I tried different color combos. I took breaks from the scarf and worked on the bag until finally the bag was finished and I accepted the fact that I just wasn't going to be happy with the yarn compromise on the scarf. That was when I realized I didn't really need to own this scarf, I just needed to knit it. I rewound all the yarn and was done with the scarf. What I finally ended up with was; a new knitted bag, 2 balls of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino returned to my stash, 4 balls of Zara added to my stash and a whole week worth of knitting fun!

After all that I was in need of some relaxing knitting so I finished up these socks, they were supposed to be for Valentine's Day but better late than never (and you guys think I get to Group late).

Pattern: Basic sock w/ Chevron stitch
Yarn: Regia 4 color
Needles: #1
Start / Finish: Feb. 2 - Feb. 22

Monday, February 12, 2007

Clapotis is done.

Yeah! I finished my clapotis, it still isn't blocked (crazy weekend here) but I love it just the same! I must admit I have seen this all over the web, every one has made one, I just wasn't that interested in it. I had seen lots of pictures of it and even read through the pattern, it didn't grab me. Then last month, when I was at Fiddlehead Yarns in Kenosha, I saw one on display in the shop. I loved it, I had to have one!

I spent about a week thinking about different yarns for it, including the recommended yarn, but nothing was what I wanted. Then it came to me. I had bought a summer sweater set, it was beautiful but gravity was not kind to it. The sweater would stretch as you wore it and by the end of the day it looked terrible. Finally, I ripped out all the seams to keep myself from wearing it again! I really wanted to like it.

I left the pieces knitted so I wouldn't forget how badly it distorted and waited for the right pattern to come along. Well, I found it and it turned out better than I could have hoped! It looks wonderful with the top, glad I didn't rip that apart too. I still have quite a bit of the yarn left, don't know what I am going to do with it? Any suggestions?

Pattern: Clapotis, by Kate Gilbert
Yarn: Rayon / silk ribbon - (reclaimed)
Needles: US #5 circ. Crystal Palace.
Started: Jan. 24, 07
Finished: Feb. 8, 07

I have Liz and Alyssa to thank for this scarf that I finished this weekend. I posted about the yarn and Liz asked what I was going to make with it, I had already been swatching with it and now I couldn't stop thinking about it! The other week at GROUP Alyssa was working on a scarf that I really liked. So, I put the two together and wallah. Thank you both. I did think it was going to be for me, but I barely got a picture before my youngest grabbed it, threw it around his neck and said, "Don't I look like Hobbes? I feel like Hobbes." and it was gone.

Pattern: One row handspun scarf by Yarn Harlot
Yarn: Classic Elite Inca Aplaca (1.5 skein) and Inca Marl (.75 skein)
Needles: US #5, metal
Started: Feb. 9, 07
Finished: Feb. 11, 07

I thought I might as well throw this in here. I finished this Knit Picks pocket shawl a while ago, but I am just mailing it off today for my Mom's Birthday. The yarn is from a sweater that I knit last winter that was just awful. It was fun to knit, once I got over all the typos and mistakes. I was concerned about some of the parts and just kept on knitting thinking it will look better when it is all seamed up. Well, it didn't. I looked back at the picture on the pattern and yep, that's what it really looks like. Damn those photographers! So I frogged it and this is what I made with some of that yarn. The cat just wouldn't leave it alone so he is here again too.

Take care all and have a Happy Valentines Day!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

5 Things about me

Nothing really finished in the last few days. I did complete two socks, not a pair, just two different socks. The clapotis is coming along nicely, it should easily be done before the end of February. I have also narrowed down my piles of UFO's. I became suddenly overwhelmed by them yesterday and spent the entire day reorganizing and frogging things! The reclaimed yarn is washed and hanging to dry and I have only a handful of UFO's to worry about! I also gathered up most of the wayward balls of yarn that have been scattered around my house. I still have one knitting basket in my bedroom to clean up and the guest room. The guest room is a big job, that will probably have to wait until March!

Now that everything is all neat and tidy, I have plenty of room for more yarn! Since a post without pictures is kinda boring, let me show you what I got in January. (I didn't go crazy, remember this was before I cleaned everything up).

I needed a set of #3 dpns so I ran over to The Keweenaw Shepherd (no link, sorry) but Mary didn't have any #3's. She did however have some wonderful yarn to taunt me with. I ended up with the Schaefer Yarn's Anne and a set of Crystal Palace #4 dpns. No, the #4's are not for this yarn, I planned to buy needles, so I did.

I happened to be in Kenosha, Wi. and decided to check out Fiddlehead Yarns, I still needed those #3's. They had them, they also had this nice blue Austermann Step and Dale Baby Ull that matched too perfectly to pass up and this green SISU that perfectly matched a pair of socks I had in my bag and was just rows away from knitting the heel.

This is Blue, he wanted to pose with the blue yarn.

Finally, on a recent ski trip (I don't ski, I knit) I checked out the local yarn shops.
I found a great one, Lakeside Fibers. They have a large store, with lots of yarn, for every taste.
I was in there a long time and I can't believe this is all I left with, Classic Elite - Inca Alpaca in Blue Danube (2) & Inca Marl in Great Lake, Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Juniper and Interlacements Tiny Toes in Woodland. They also have a coffee shop in the back of the store, so cozy! I know I will be stopping there again.

Last, but not least, thanks to Alyssa, here are 5 things you might not know about me:

1. I eat cereal before bed, usually Apple Jacks.

2. I don't count sheep when I have trouble falling asleep, I count stitches. It works, try it, and if it doesn't, at least you'll have that pattern memorized.

3. I always have M&M's in my house, color coordinated for that month's holiday. The Blue & Orange are gone, but not forgotten. Now we have pink, red and white. If I am careful and only eat the pink ones, I can just throw in some blue and be ready for President's day.

4. I can't throw things away. I keep thinking there must be someone, somewhere that can use it. I might run into them one day.

5. I usually drive barefoot, even in winter. This is legal, I actually asked a police officer. Speeding, on the other hand, is not.

Have a great day, enjoy the snow & stay warm.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

He calls them Fish Socks!

I finished these up just in time for Socktopia's January pool. The theme for these socks was, "Celebrate good times". The red spots reminded me of confetti, so I thought they were fitting. The pattern stitch on the leg is from Slouch Socks in Not Just More Socks, I made several changes to the rest of the sock (cast on fewer sts. to make a tighter fit, continued a rib pattern on the top of the foot, changed the heel & toe, etc.). The yarn is Austermann Step worked on size #2 needles and SISU for the heel and toe on size #1's. Normally when I use a striping yarn I cast on at a color change to make it easy to make the 2nd sock match, but this time I just cast on willy nilly and didn't really care if the "matched" perfectly. Then I got to the white and red stripe area, I have knit with this yarn before so I should have remembered, especially because my son didn't like the "pink" and said, "can't you just take that out?" So I did and after the socks were done he didn't want the socks because he knew there was supposed to be pink there! ARGH!! So, I really should have remembered that little stripe, but I didn't and now I was worried that not having them "match" just might make me crazy! But I let it go and didn't even worry when I started the yarn after the heel, right in the middle of a color, again! When it was time to cast on the 2nd sock I realized that I couldn't deal with the stripes not matching so I did my best to match them up and Wow I am really proud of my self! They match almost perfectly! And they are finished in time for the recipient's B-Day! Now if these aren't Celebration socks, I don't know what is!

Oh, about the fish. The men in my house have been conditioned. When I walk around the house sticking my knitting in their face's, they instinctively reach out, touch it and say something like, "that's nice". Well, as I was knitting these socks my husband, with no prodding at all, said, "Those are great socks, I really like the colors". Hmm? What did he do? But the he kept mentioning how much he liked the colors. Finally I said, "So you really like these colors?" and he said, "Yeah, they look just like a salmon right after you catch it, before the colors start to fade." He is a fisherman. I had to break the news, they weren't for him. His response, "You knit fish socks for someone else!" I guess I will be casting on another pair of fish socks for Valentines Day!

This is Enzo and my new T.V. shawl, he likes it. Last Thursday my hubby and I were watching some TV and I was cold so I reached in the knitting basket for something to throw over my shoulders. I pulled out a lot of stuff; pieces of a vest, squares for a blanket, the beginning of a shawl that I decided I didn't like after 5" and ripped out the needles, mumbling to myself, "I like this pattern, I don't need to swatch", it was knit sideways so it may only be 5" long but it is 5 1/2 feet wide! I finally found a poncho that only needed one little seam finished. Perfect, I wrapped it around me and continued with my knitting. Later that night I walked past the mirror in the hall and caught a glimpse of me in the unfinished poncho. That was when I realized why I never finished sewing that seam, it was hideous!! Now, don't get me wrong, I like ponchos, but you should never knit a poncho (or anything else for that matter) in super bulky yarn on size 17 needles in a lace pattern! I don't care how cute it looks in the picture, those photographers can make ANYTHING look good.

I don't remember what I had gotten up to do, whatever it was, it wasn't as important as getting rid of that poncho! I went right upstairs and frogged the whole thing directly onto the ball winder! I stacked the nicely wound balls on top of the TV cabinet, they looked so cute now, kinda like a snowman. I was happy.

Friday, I was cold. Saturday, I decided to put that yarn to good use and knitted up a simple stockinette st. shawl with a garter st. border. It knit up FAST. Saturday night, I was warm.