EZ does it

I’ve been giving myself a bit of a mental break these last few days.

In the last post, I mentioned that I would again cast on for the Secret of Bad Nauheim Stole, this time in the rectangular format.

After much thought, the decision was made to do the smallest of the 3 versions (1/2 of Moni’s original pattern width) because as it stands, I feel that it will give me the most satisfaction without feeling that I have to slog through the pattern in any way.

The smallest version is about 24″ wide without the border, so in no way will this end up looking like a scarf. Here is clue 1 completed:

Secret of Bad Nauheim - Clue 1

Catching up a little on my Dishcloth Weekly KAL:

Hanging Mitred Dishtowel

Pattern: Mitred Dishcloth by Rozzie (Ravelry Pattern) with added garter stitch tab
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, Summer Sky and Christmas Green
Needles: 4.5mm

Kapow! I love this colour combo – no boring towels here!

Modified Feather and Fan Dishcloth

Pattern: Modified Feather & Fan Dishcloth by Miss Woolly Knits (Mary Ann)
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, Lavender Ice
Needles: 4mm

A classic – nuff said.

Dishcloth Duo

Pattern: Dishcloth Duo by Gwen Bortner
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, Shades of Green
Needles: 5mm

This is yer very basic garter stitch dishcloth, but with a cute little scrubbie partner. I like the scrubbie – good for using up scraps (acrylic scraps too!!).

This means presently I’m only 5 cloths behind – not too bad.

The Mystic Light Shawl Clue 1 was released today. I’m at row 24 and it looks Anna has another winning pattern on her hands. The cables are wonderful.

Mystic Light - Row 24

Some new craft books made their way onto the shelf this week:

New Books

Going clockwise, they are:

“The Opinionated Knitter” by Elizabeth Zimmerman
“Elle Knitting Collection – 50 Exclusive Designs from France” by Sandy Carr (1989 edition) – this one was only released in the UK and amazingly enough has only 5 patterns with shoulderpads
“Hollywood Style” by Suss Cousins
“A Beader’s Reference” by Jane Davis
“The Anchor Book of Counted Thread Embroidery Stitches”

Really – can anyone have enough reference books?

The last three came with this little toy:

Headset Light

Talk about your ultimate knitting accessory – an adjustable booklight on a headband! Too cool!

Hey, guess what this is?

Baby Surprise Jacket

Here’s a clue – it’s from book #1.

Sock Madness ramps up again this coming Tuesday (April Fools Day) which ironically enough is also the launch of the Yarn Harlot’s new book in Toronto AND the date that TTC workers can legally go on strike (again). Stephanie must be having fits of apoplexy.

Later.

Published in: on March 26, 2008 at 5:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Spring has sprung…

…the grass is frozen and the birds are wondering what the heck is going on. However, the sun is shining and it is a beautiful day (as long as you don’t look at the thermometer – eek! I’m glad I’m a knitter.)

Happy Ostara everyone!

(Ha! Just learned that little trick! See? I can figure these things out.)

As I mentioned last post, I had planned on working on my Garter Stitch Jacket and Arabian Nights Stole on Wednesday and Thursday. I did, only I did not progress as far as I wanted to.

I am just shy of completing the first sleeve on the Garter Stitch Jacket:

Garter Stitch Jacket - Sleeve 1

The beads slowed me down a little on Arabian Nights and embarrassingly I only got a few more rows in:

Arabian Nights Stole - Chart A, Row 13

Friday was the release of Clue 1 of the Secret of Bad Nauheim KAL. Moni* has made the pattern adjustable – letting us choose whether we wanted a rectangle or square shawl. I thought to myself “hey, I haven’t done a square one yet! I’ll cast on for that!” and dutifully did so. I was at the beginning of Row 3 of the pattern when I spread out the stitches on my 47″ Addis. Whoa! I grabbed the nearest tape measure. The centre square alone (without the border) would come out to over 5′ square – yikes! Um, needless to say, I’m going to re-start the shawl with the rectangle directions.

* her website is completely in German.

To make myself feel a bit better, I crocheted a couple more filler squares for my 2008 Sampler Afghan:

Pinwheel Square

Pattern: Pinwheel Square by Dayna Audirsch
Hook: 5mm
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool, 531 Sprout & 005 Raven

Love, love, love this colour. Must find a sweater to make out of it. Also definitely going to make some dishcloths using the centre motif.

Drop in the Bucket Square

Pattern: Drop in the Bucket Square by Janie Herrin (you have to scroll down – the pattern is near the bottom of the list)
Hook; 5mm
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool, 015 Putty & 005 Raven

This one was mostly treble crochet and quite fun to do.

Last night, wanting to catch up a little on my Weekly Dishcloth KAL (I’m about 7 cloths behind), I whipped off a Log Cabin dishcloth out of some of my scrap kitchen cotton.

Log Cabin Dishcloth

Pattern: Log Cabin Dishcloth by Mary Anne Dinsmore
Needles: 4mm straights and DPNs (for applied i-cord border)

The applied i-cord border is what I eventually want to use for my Log Cabin Afghan and it was good practice as I haven’t attempted it in a good long while.

Speaking of my Log Cabin Afghan – the Harvest Gold section is done! I’ve already started on the first Chocolate side strip.

Log Cabin Blanket - Harvest Gold Done

(Note to self: need longer than 29″ 5mm circular needles…)

Wishing you all loads of happiness and chocolate this holiday weekend…

Easter Bunny Painting Eggs

Published in: on March 22, 2008 at 2:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Tracking UFOs in the Rain

It is just cold, wet and miserable weather around here. Best to stay inside with a large chocolate-mint latte and blog a little.

Brightening my day, my VVS CAL prize arrived in the mail this afternoon (thank you Lorraine!!):

Crocheted Bags! by Candi Jensen

Ooohhh the possibilities! I’ve fallen in love with about 5 of the bags already.

In the manic knitting of last week, I forgot to mention that I received my etsy stitch marker order from Rae of Light (who also does really pretty jewellery) which included a lovely surprise…

Crystal Balls and Dragonflies

Dragonflies!! Thanks Karen!

I had a heck of a time getting a picture of these until I figured out that trying to photograph crystal with a flash is just plain silly. I ended up putting them on the windowsill and thankfully it worked.

The tiger’s eye/crystal balls have both the lobster claw AND needle loop so I can use them either way – what a great idea.

The Carnivale du Printemps Socks have undergone a bit of transformation:

Carnivale du Printemps socks - 3rd rpt

The cuff has now been re-knit in a dark purple heather on 2mm needles and looks much better. I’ve decided to do the entire foot in the purple so I can make the leg as long as I want without worrying about yardage. If they get finished before the next Sock Madness round (I hope), they will be my 8th pair of the year.

I’ve gotten a bit further on my Log Cabin Blanket due to the fact my fuzzy brain could only handle worsted weight garter stitch after my self-imposed knit-a-thon:

Log Cabin Blanket

I’ve split the remaining olive green and chocolate brown yarn into 2 even amounts of both. After the harvest gold is finished, I’m going to do a stripe of chocolate brown down both sides, a small border stripe (the same width as around the centre square) of dark brown and then the olive green. At that point I’ll figure out how big I need to make the final border around the entire blanket and then do an applied i-cord around that.

It’s gonna look cool and since it’s entirely out of acrylic (some of which most likely pre-dates me), it will probably outlast modern civilization. Yep, just my blanket, the cockroaches and Keith Richards :1)

Taking stock of my UFOs, here’s what’s currently on my needles/hook and their status (in no particular order):

Carnivale du Printemps Socks – see above

Simple S’mores Socks – in my purse, this is my travel project

Garter Stitch Jacket – just needs the sleeves (working on this tomorrow)

Austermann Abotanicity Sweater – have to rip back 2 rows, finish the skirt and sleeves

Shetland Faroese Shawl – main pattern begun, still have a ways to go

Mystic Waters Shawl – 4 rows into Clue 3 (shelved until summer)

Arabian Nights Shawl – 6 rows into Chart A (working on this Thursday)

Mystic Light Shawl – Swatch done, KAL begins March 26th (next Wednesday)

Secret of Bad Nauheim Shawl – Swatch done, KAL begins March 21st (on Friday)

Log Cabin Blanket – see above

Vintage Vertical Stripe Afghan – 45 stripes done, need to source more Lopi yarn

Juggling this lot should be fun… TTFN.

Published in: on March 18, 2008 at 7:47 pm  Comments (1)  
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Arrrrrggghh Brains…..

I am a sock zombie.

On this dawn of the knitting dead I am recovering from a Sock Madness weekend.

It is truly amazing what one can accomplish on 4 hours sleep a night if there is handpainted sock yarn on the line.

Round 1 – Zombie Socks by Sheryl Giles

Zombies in the Mist Socks - complete

Needles: 2.25mm DPNs and Circulars (Leg and Cuff and Heel – DPNs, Foot – circs)

Yarn: Shelridge Farms Soft Touch Ultra Handpaints (SU0107S-098) 2 skeins

As you can plainly see, I changed my mind about the yarn when I received the pattern.  This SF Handpaint totally moaned “Zombie” at me and is truly the creepiest sock yarn I have ever purchased (last summer when I was irritated at DH, if you’re interested.)

Started at 1:20pm on Thursday and completed at 9:50pm on Saturday.  I actually lost Friday due to work and family (grrrr) or else I would have been done Friday night.

As soon as the date of the next round is released, I’m re-booking everything so I can sleep the entire day before and then go into seclusion and knit like a madwoman.

Yesterday, I worked and then had dinner with my mom and sister (she loved her birthday purse btw) in Toronto.  I forgot my *bleeping* camera at home (damned sleep deprivation) or else I would have some great snaps for ya.

I have to catch up on a few things today, like wading through laundry and trying to find the counter in the kitchen.

Wish me luck (now, where did I put that machete…?)

Published in: on March 17, 2008 at 11:36 am  Leave a Comment  
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Howling at La Luna

It’s done! It’s finally done!

Luna Moth Shawl - complete

The Luna Moth shawl is now happily in it’s new home at the shop.

Look how diaphanous it is!

Luna Moth on chair Luna Moth Shawl - close up

It was driving me a bit batty near the end. I ended up using only 2 skeins of Tilli Tomas Voile de la Mer in “Mermaid” on 3.75mm Addis and had about the size of a hazelnut or small gumball left. Silk and my wrists do not mix too well – had 2 CTS flareups during this project. It’s a great beginner lace pattern but to tell you the truth, I got quite bored with it about 4 repeats in. Must be my Ravenclaw nature.

In the spirit of National Crochet Month, I’ve finished the first of 12 filler squares for my Mission Falls Sampler Afghan (2008 12″ Crochet Square CAL). I gotta say, I’m having a ball with this CAL and want to do one of these every year!! Okay here’s the square:

Esther's Square

It’s the Esther’s Square pattern done in Mission Falls 1824 Wool (Denim 021 and Raven 005) using a 5mm hook. I’ve also made out a master list of the 24 colours I’m using for the afghan so I don’t have to stress it anymore – just grab a ball and go.

The swatch for the Mystic Light shawl was released. Anna gave it to us in the form of pulse warmers – what a great idea! The pattern is cabled so I made my final decision on yarn as Auraucania Nature Wool in colour 33 (Rust). I’m going to knit the shawl on 4.5mm needles. Whatcha think?

Mystic Light Pulse Warmers Mystic Light Swatch

As part of my Oddballs group on Ravelry this month, we were challenged to use a non-traditional medium for a project. So Little Robin Redbreast was hatched:

Little Robin Redbreast Little Robin Redbreast - profile

Believe it or not, he’s made out of heavy duty jute twine. I used the Berocco Bluebird pattern. His bead is out of leftover Phentex from Fiona’s beach tote, I used a magic marker for his eyes and makeup for his belly. At 5″ high he came out a bit bigger than expected, but, oh so cute!

A little more progress has been made on the Carnivale du Printemps socks:

Carnivale du Printemps Socks

The yarn is looking tremendously purple right now – I’m hoping the green and gold will show a bit more as I go.

My Fleece Artist Garter Stitch Jacket only needs the sleeves now! I motored on this the other day and couldn’t believe how much I got done.

Garter Stitch Jacket - sleeveless

I’ve been trying to clear up some UFOs in prep for the KALs coming up this month.

And none too soon – Sock Madness 2 starts tomorrow! I completely forgot signing up for this one (sorry guys) and was a bit freaked out this morning to find that I only had 24 hrs to prep for Round 1! I don’t quite know whether to be terrified or excited.

The divisions are based on Women’s Basketball Teams and I’m in the Tennessee Twisted Knitters. Bring it on!

A bit of stash diving came up with the right yarn as the specs we’ve been given are for a solid/semi-solid “scary” yarn at a gauge of 8 sts/inch. This’ll work:

Trekking XXL - Colour 76

Trekking XXL in colour 76 which Yarndex calls “blacks, reds, browns” but totally looks deep purple to me. Once I see the pattern I’ll decide whether to use 2mm or 2.25mm.

Guess what I’m going to be up to the next few days?…

Published in: on March 12, 2008 at 5:25 pm  Comments (1)  
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Start and Finishitis

To begin with – I won a thing!!!

My Vintage Vertical Stripe CAL group on Ravelry held a contest draw in February and I won FIRST PRIZE!!!!!  I have no idea what I’ve won, but as soon as it comes in the mail, I’ll let you know.  I’m so excited!

As promised, I have some photos of my Arabian Nights stole:

Arabian Nights - Border  Arabian Nights - Beads

So pretty.  Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to work on it this week due to other projects needing my time but I’m back to it next week.

Danny’s Nordic Grey Socks are done.  These are pair #5 for the year:

Nordic Grey Socks - Complete

I also whipped off a pair for me – Ravenclaw Frankensocks (Pair #6)

Ravenclaw Frankensocks - Done  Ravenclaw Frankensocks

As their name suggests, they are made up of 4 different DK/sportwt stash wool yarns.  The main yarn is Patons Double Knitting, the short-row heel is Smart, the toe is made up of Tapestry yarns (as are the stripes).

I honestly had half the first sock done without realizing that I was knitting one.  I was watching Willy Wonka at the time so I blame the mesmerizing effect of Gene Wilder.

Gene Wilder, Willy Wonka

Nothing against Johnny Depp (ooohhh Sweeny Todd!), but this is the REAL Willy Wonka film.  How I love this movie.

See – sidetracked again.

I also started a new pair as part of my Knitting Vintage Socks KAL.  We had 2 patterns to choose from this time – Gentleman’s Socks with Lozenge Pattern or Fancy Silk Socks.  I made a pair of the silk socks a while ago:

Tomato Patch Socks

(Tomato Patch Socks – Fleece Artist Merino & FDC Zara)

so I’m going with the other one.

These I’m calling these “Carnivale du Printemps” (Pair #7) and they’re out of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock “Watercolors” and a butterscotch fingering wt from the stash. I’ve altered the pattern to 70 sts on 2.25mm DPNs (I may switch to 2mm for the leg to avoid pooling).

Carnivale du Printemps

The 12″ crocheted afghan square for this month is called “Cygnus” and here is my version:

Cygnus Square

again, out of Mission Falls 1824 Wool and the last of the black Georga 100% Wool.

I’ve actually decided to forgo the mitred squares to join all of these up and am going to make 12 filler squares in 12 more 1824 colours.

Yesterday, I motored away on the Luna Moth shawl because Wendy needs it before April.  I think I only have a couple more repeats to go, thank the gods.

Luna Moth Shawl - Almost Done

Silk is not really forgiving to my wrists.

I completed Fiona’s crocheted tote bag.  I ended up using some of my acrylic stash in beige (yay! – one more ball gone!) when I ran out of the rust Phentex.  General consensus is that it needs some retro flowers on it, but I’ll let Fi add them on.

Crocheted Tote Bag - complete

Swatching has begun for the Secret of Bad Nauheim shawl and here is mine:

Secret of Bad Nauheim Swatch

Misti Alpaca 2-ply Laceweight (Natural Dark Tan) on 2.5mm needles.  I may go up to 3mm for the shawl, we’ll see.

Today I spent working on a birthday gift for my sister Robin:

Robin's Nordstrom Bag Robin's Nordstrom Bag - liner

I used the Nordstrom Crocheted Hobo Bag pattern by Dao Lam.  I made it quite a bit smaller (about half the original size) for an evening bag.  I used Mary Maxim Parisienne DK in black and Berocco Metallica in black on black held together for the body of the purse (I only had an inch of the Berocco left when I reached the 1st sc rnd).  The handle is 6 chains of 50sts braided together.  I fully double-lined the bag with a gorgeous plum coloured fabric, added a snap closure and matching grosgrain ribbon.  Ta-da!  I hope she likes it.

Robin's Nordstrom Bag - close-up

I think it’s adorable – and it sparkles!

This weekly update thing seems to be working for me, so let’s see if I can stick with it.

Best wishes all!

Published in: on March 7, 2008 at 11:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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