Just One More…

Ahh yes, the plaintive call of wild and domesticated knitters alike:

“Just one more” (row, round, stitch, skein, ball),

“Then I’ll get to” (sleep, housework, cooking, bathing, blogging).

I am not immune and that is why there was no blog post last week.

I had personal goals that I wanted to hit and, well, I figured you guys knew me well enough to know that if there was a gap in my blogging, there’s probably some good stuff coming in the next post.

And there is!

So here we go…

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Sockapalooza

In the last 2 weeks, I finished a whopping *4 pairs* of socks. Yes, I said FOUR.

Crocodilian Socks - Done Crocodilian Socks - Complete

The Crocodilian Socks (aka the Entrelac Socks from HELL) were finished first. As expected, the second one went a *little* faster than the first due to extensive notetaking.

BadgerDan declared them quite comfy and wore them most of last weekend. He does, however, mention that one really shouldn’t wear entrelac socks in workboots as they’ll give you some weird-ass welts on your instep.

Sound advice, thank you dear.

Garden Stroll Socks - Complete

Those were followed closely by the Garden Stroll Socks.

(Very cute – I really need to pick up some summer skirts to wear them with.)

Next past the finish line was my “fun stuff” project from the week before last.

Now, I may not have mentioned it before, but I try and do something quick and frivolous every week to break up the steady work on my epic projects.

Sometimes they get ripped out and you don’t hear about them, but for the most part, they do get finished and that’s the origin of all the bags, hats and other ephemera speckled throughout my posts.

I generally call them my “day projects” as they normally only take a day or so to finish.

Well, this time I decided to tackle some crocheted socks.

Why? Because you can never have too many socks.

(Do you *hear* the sarcasm? Yes, I know I have a problem. I’ll figure out what to do about it. Eventually.)

These ones I totally blame on the yarn which didn’t want to work for any other thing I tried to use it for and I just wanted it out of the stash before it influenced any of the other balls. (Hey, if stash can breed, it can also organize an armed coup.)

Patons Kroy Summer Moss

Behold – 2 upstart balls of Patons Kroy Jacquards in “Summer Moss”.

And here’s what they became:

Crocheted Carnival Socks

I used the “Ultimate Crocheted Socks” pattern by Dorothy Hardy which I had attempted about 5 yrs ago and gave up on, but managed to muddle my way through this time.

Crocheted Carnival Socks - Complete

I call them my “Crocheted Carnival Socks“.

Being toe-up, I simply continued the leg until I ran out of yarn and then proceeded to do the cuff in some solid Patons Kroy 4-ply in Burgundy.

I think they have been tamed quite nicely :D.

Bliosan Socks - complete

And last, but not least, I finished off my Bliosán Socks today!

Janel threw us a bit of a curveball with the last clue – shaped arch construction on the foot.

Bliosan Socks - Bottom Bliosan Socks - top

Sneaky. Clever. Pretty darned funky.

~~~

Fun Stuff

Last week’s little fun project came in the form of a wee stuffed bird.

Stripey Chirp - front

Meet “Stripey Chirp“. He’s 3″ tall and made out of scrap Noro Kureyon, and some other wools.

Stripey Chirp - side

(My apologies for the fuzzy photos, it was late at night when they were taken.)

The pattern is another one of Rebecca Danger’s adorable creations called “Chubby Chirps” and is available for free.

(I may have fallen down and purchased her Big Book of Knitted Monsters. Shhhhhh!)

~~~

Epic Garter Stitch

What really has been taking my time up has been a slight obsession with my two blanket projects.

I finished the middle 12″ of the Patchwork Blanket which consists of 36 two inch mitered squares:

Patchwork Blanket - Centre Square

Sock yarn. 2.5mm needles. This is gonna take FOREVER!

So I decided to upsize the squares a little:

Patchwork Blanket - 6

The 6″ squares still take forever to knit (about a day each), but at least it *seems* like progress.

The Moderne Log Cabin Blanket has also been getting a fair bit of love:

Moderne Log Cabin Blanket - Block #7, 35 ridges

Block #7 is now over the halfway point… only 62 more rows to go.

This is Hockey Playoff knitting at it’s best :D. (GO CANUCKS GO!!!)

~~~

A New KAL

A bunch of my Plurk friends twisted my rubber arm and suddenly I found myself participating in WendyKnits’ Summer Mystery Shawlette KAL

Lucky Penny Shawl - Clue 1

I’m using MadelineTosh Tosh Sock in “Copper Penny” on 4mm needles and decided to call it my “Lucky Penny Shawl“.

It’s been easy going so far:

Lucky Penny Shawl - Clue 2 Complete

The largest clue (Part 3) is due out in a few hours, so you know what I’ll be up to tonight :P.

~~~

Next Week’s Agenda

All this clearing off my proverbial desk is to free me up to work on my nephew’s Christening Set which I hope to get done in the next 2 weeks.

I also have the last 3 clues left to do on my Dreamscape Shawl.

Never a dull moment around here.

TTFN.

Published in: on May 26, 2011 at 2:42 pm  Comments (1)  
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Breaking Even

Remember back in March when I told you about the master plan to work my yarn stash down to more reasonable levels?

Well, I encountered my first fullblown challenge to the plan a little over a week ago while out shopping with a girlfriend at the local Salvation Army Thriftstore.

You see, I found yarn.

Good yarn. Wool yarn. Useful yarn.

Lana Grazia Lavabile

2 balls of Lana Grazia “Lavabile” (100% Wool, DK, 110m/50g) in a lovely camel colour @ 99c each.

Simpsons Supremacy 4-ply

1 oz ball of vintage Simpsons Supremacy 4-ply “All Purpose” Fingering Yarn (50% Wool/50% Nylon) @ 79c.

Total purchase price = $2.79

Now here’s the kicker – at that point, I had only earned 30% of a single new yarn purchase. A deficit of 2.7.

Translation: I would need to use up a full **27 balls of stash yarn** before even looking at any new fiber purchase. ACK!!!!!!!

After I finished thwacking my head against the wall for a bit, I girded my loins and decided to face the monster head on.

~~~

First up – finish the Sampler Baby Blanket.

I simply couldn’t afford to wait another 2 months for the CAL patterns.

So a few more filler squares, a couple more February squares, four of the April squares for the corners and a sewing marathon later, I had this:

Sampler Baby Blanket - Sewing Complete

Added an improvised border and VOILA!

Sampler Baby Blanket - Complete

One crib sized baby blanket ready for the baby nephew :)

~~~

Next – finish the Exploding Plum Blanket.

And holy cow, did it ever explode! It’s almost 6 ft wide!

Exploding Plum Blanket

Had to get a little creative at the border due to goofing up the pattern sequence a little and not wanting to pull it back to correct it. It’s not perfect, but it still looks pretty cool :).

~~~

Well that’s 22 balls down. Need 5 more. Hmmm…

I *had* planned on using some Malabrigo for this month’s Woolly Wormhead KAL Hat (“Waffle Slouch“) – maybe I’d better check the wool “oddball” case instead.

Rummagerummagerummage

Here’s 22yds of a dark brown mercerized wool (okay, that’ll totally work for the brim…), 71 yds of brown tweed Aran wt (nice for the body… but will it be enough? Better be sure…) and 28 yds of red heather (well, it blends a *little* with the tweed… maybe some stripes?)

Crossing my fingers, I used the stitchcount of the smallest size with larger needles and hoped for the best.

The brim yarn yielded a good 2″ of ribbing on 5mm needles. (The pattern said 3″, not too bad.)

Upsized the needles to 5.5mm for the Aran wt tweed and got to work. After a couple of repeats, decided that I’d need the red heather after all and threw a single repeat of it after every 2 of the brown tweed. Had *just* enough tweed to finish the hat. (Whew! That was close!)

There’s still a little bit of the red heather left… hey, how about a flower applique? There’s that one in the Knit 2 Together book

Add an army surplus button from ye olde button box and…

Crunchy Granola Hat

The Crunchy Granola Hat is born.

I swear to you that the red heather wool isn’t NEARLY as pink as the photo suggests and actually blends with the brown.

I’ve been wearing it for 2 days now – it’s cute as Hell.

Webcam Hat Shot

~~~

Damn – still behind by 2.

It’ll be summer soon… maybe it’s time to do something with those pesky balls of shiny cotton-blend ribbon yarn.

Enter the Steampunk Safari Scarf.

Steampunk Safari Scarf

I offset the ribbon with some heavier mercerized cotton braid in a deep rich brown.

The pattern is called “The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief” by Orange Flower and only calls for 240yds of DK wt yarn.

BTW, did I mention that it’s *FREE*?

Webcam Shot, Scarf

Lovelovelovelovelove. OMG – Must. Make. More.

~~~

Beginning Yarn Stash Talley: -2.7
Current Yarn Stash Talley: +0.1

And that, dear Reader, is why this week’s post is a day late.

Now there’s the small matter of the 9 more balls that need to be used up before this GORGEOUS Highland Handmades Corridale can come home.

Highland Handmades Peacock Corridale

I *really* need to get on that.

TTFN.

Published in: on April 15, 2011 at 7:14 pm  Comments (2)  
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A January of FOs and Preparing for the Olympics

First off, I decided that with the new decade, my blog needed a bit of a facelift – you like?

~~~

January started, as in previous years, with my annual New Year’s Day Crochet-a-thon.

This year’s sampler afghan will use all 3 of the CAL patterns – the 12″ Ravelry Square, 12″ Craftster Square and the 6″ Ravelry Square (of which I’m making 2 per month). The plan is to have all the 6” squares in an “Aran” coloured acrylic and the 12” squares out of scrap neutral acrylics (including some darker colours and black, but no white or cream). The final border will be done in Chunky cream acrylic.

January Squares

February Squares

With my plan in place, I’m able to piece together strips every 2 months – yay for forethought! (See 2010 Sampler Afghan project page [Ravelry link] for pattern details)

Here’s what it looks like as of right now:

2010 Sampler Afghan - Jan-Feb

I also started a Moderne Log Cabin Blanket out of 4 colours of frogged sweater cotton that have been sitting in my stash *forever*

Moderne Log Cabin Blanket - Yarn

It currently sits at the 2 square point:

Moderne Log Cabin Blanket - Square #2
~~~

But, as the title of this post suggests, I do have some FOs to show you and I hope they go towards explaining my radio silence during the previous month. In order of completion – here we go…

~~~

Wings of Horus Shawl

Wings of Horus Shawl - Blocked & Complete

The beaded edging on this shawl nearly *killed* me, but I love the results!

Oh, and if you don’t believe me when I said that it was big – here’s some proof:

Wings of Horus 1 Wings of Horus 2

~~~

Some gifted dishcloths were next:

Double Flower Cloth Double Flower Cloth

Denim Squidge Cloth Denim Squidge Cloth

Lacy Round Cloth Lacy Round Cloth

~~~

Niagara Falls Socks

Niagara Falls Socks - Complete

I only did 2 pattern repeats on the cuff and used a standard heel pattern rather than as written, which, by centering it on the back, accidently off-set the foot lace pattern. You can’t really tell though.

(I had also originally planned to use white yarn for the heel and toe, but chickened out and used dark blue instead.)

~~~

Mystic Waters Shawl

Ahh, yes… Let’s just say that my wonderful friends over on Plurk could tell you *all* about the saga of Alynxia and the big blue shawl. Took 2 years to knit the first 3.5 clues … and a *WEEK* to do the last 4.5 clues (+ border edging)

Mystic Waters - Clue 4Mystic Waters - Clue 5Mystic Waters - Clue 6Mystic Waters Clue 7Mystic Waters - Clue 8

Mystic Waters - Complete

Makes Wings of Horus look like a shawlette – doesn’t it? :D

~~~

YenforYarn Socks

YenforYarn Socks - Complete

I really like these – even if I had to use a different dyelot for the second toe. (When they’re in shoes, nobody’ll notice :P)

~~~

Road to Oslo Socks

Road to Oslo Socks

Nancy Bush, how I do love thee! Leave it to her to have the perfect pattern to use up some recycled lambswool in grey and red. (This one is from Knitting on the Road)

~~~

Everglade Hat

Everglade Hat

Made as a gift for YenforYarn, who recieved it earlier this week and thinks it’s wonderful. Glad you like it Lisa :)

[Just a quick note here: I *did* cast on a pair of Lisa's Manhattan socks in January (see?), but the yarn I used (Lisa Souza Sock!) was just a little too light for the pattern and ended up frogging it. So after all the Olympic hubbub dies down, I'll be casting on again with a slightly heavier yarn.]

~~~

On to February’s FOs

Smoke & Ashes Cardigan

Smoke & Ashes Cardigan - Complete

Yes. A mohair cardigan.

I finally found a pattern that those pesky balls of King Cole Luxury Mohair liked!

Can’t say that the pattern didn’t have it’s issues – it was a really sketchy English translation which really made me rely on my knowledge of how a sweater *should* kinda fit together. Many a “hunh?” and “oh they must mean *this*” was muttered throughout.

I completely ran out of yarn as I cast off the second sleeve – so the picked-up collar ended up not being an option. So I added a couple of strategically placed buttons and made it into a rolled edge, wrap around. Wabi Sabi :D Fini!

~~~

Handspun Headscarf

Handspun Headscarf

I whipped this up yesterday on some 12mm needles to use up the small ball of experimental superbulky barberpole I spun up in January. (Yes! I’ve been spinning! More on that after the Olympics.) The black is some stash Cascade 128.

Attractive – no?

Handspun Headscarf - Headshot

Well, I like it :)

Handspun Headscarf - Front

~~~

Other than the long-term blanket projects, I do have 2 current WIPs that I’m working on, heading into tomorrow’s Opening Ceremonies in Vancouver…

~~~

Rocky Butte Socks

Rocky Butte Socks - Sock #1

AKA “The Team L&V Fitness Challenge Bootcamp Sock” by Eliza Metz (the incomparable Miss Violet of the Lime & Violet Podcast)

(What is the Team L&V Fitness Challenge you ask? Well, head on over here and Miss V will tell ya all about it ;).)

This is one of the very rare times I’ve actually intentionally gone out and bought yarn for a specific pair of socks. The yarn is Sandnes Garn SMART (superwash DK wool) in col. 1093 (black/grey variegated).

The pattern calls for sportweight (STR Mediumweight specifically), but I like a slightly thicker yarn when using US3/3.25mm needles. My gauge ended up being bang on and I think it looks pretty darn close to Miss V’s original:

Rocky Butte - Original

I’ve started the second sock and think it’ll probably be done by the start of the Opening Ceremonies tomorrow night – cross your fingers.

~~~

DivaRomana Shrug

DivaRomana Shrug - Clue 1, Side 1

This is a mystery KAL from Knitting Delight Yahoo Group. It’s a shrug (not a shawl, which I’m not allowing myself to cast on until the last one is finished.) and Clue 1 looked sooo pretty! Had to do it, couldn’t help myself :)

I’m using the same yarn combo as I used for this scarf a few years ago – CPY Kid Merino in Chocolate (col. 4673) and Spinrite Orlon (also called “Chocolate”) held double throughout.

Mmmmm Fudgy.

It’s knit out from a provisional cast on (centre back), then you work in the opposite direction. I’m 20 rows shy of finishing the second side, but if I don’t finish it before tomorrow night, I’m not going to worry about it too much.

~~~

So why all the fuss about the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics? (You know other than they’re the OLYMPICS in MY HOME COUNTRY?)

Why, the Ravelympics and Knitting Olympics of course!

I’ve signed up for both :)

Team Madness in Progress

I’m on Team Madness In Progress for the Ravelympics. (Many people are on multiple teams, but I’m keeping it simple *cough* this time round.)

In the WIPs Dancing Event…

Shetland Faroese Shawl

My long neglected Shetland Shawl. This is how it looks going into tomorrow and it hasn’t been touched since I can’t remember when.

In the Sock Hockey, Cable Cross-Country & Stash Compulsary Dance Events…

Saviano Socks - Yarn

A pair of Saviano Socks in See Jayne Knit Superwash DK, “Iguana” (that has been marinating in the stash since October 2007). It’s Yarnissima’s pattern from the latest issue of Knitty.

The official start of the Ravelympics is the beginning of the Opening Ceremonies.

The Yarn Harlot‘s Knitting Olympics, however, begins with the official lighting of the Olympic Torch.

And this is what I’ll be casting on when the torch is lit:

Maple Leaf Forever Socks

My Maple Leaf Forever Socks, (aka “Regent Man’s Socks No. 2065″ from “Hand Knit Socks by Regent, Vol. No. 20″) will be done in Cable’s & Lace Lizard Toes in “Beltane” (totally Canadian Flag colours!), some vintage Paton’s Scotch 3-ply Fingering wool in White & some leftover Sandnes Garn Lanett in black.

The maple leaf pattern will be intarsia’d in white on the handdyed red/white background. The black will be used for the leaf detail and used to embroider an outline around the white leaf for contrast.

Vintage. Intarsia. Embroidery. Leg knit flat and sewn up.

Challenging? Hell yeah.

[Note: These socks also qualify for the Ravelympics in the following events: Sock Hockey, Nordic Colorwork Combined, and Snowcross.]

~~~

Now there is another mystery KAL that starts tomorrow that I haven’t mentioned and that is the Evenstar Shawl KAL by my incredibly talented friend Susan Pandorf (aka Pandosu). She’s a fellow yarn-obsessed lace junkie who has one of the most creative minds in the business. Not to mention her patterns are like crack.

The Evenstar Shawl is the start of a whole Lord of the Rings series that she came up with one day and it sort of steamrolled…

Over 770 members (from 18 countries) as of today and still growing. Way to go Sue!!!!!

I have my yarn and beads ready to go for when I can find time to start it. (You know, *after* I finish the WIP Shetland – wink, wink, nudge, nudge.)

Evenstar Shawl - Yarn & Beads

~~~

Well, I guess there’s only one thing left to say…

GO CANADA!!!!!!!!!!!!

I believe – don’t you?

Falling Off The Proverbial Wagon

Yarn acquisition has been running rampant Chez Alynxia lately. Mostly within reason, but I have strayed enough from my stash rules to feel incredibly guilty about it.

The recent happy arrival of the following gifts from some Plurky friends certainly has done nothing to quell the addictive fire:

KatKoe of Paper and Yarn sent me one of her cute little Copper Stitch Bugs (which seems to be hiding on me at the moment, so here is a photo of one of them from her store)

Copper Stitch Bugs

And TheChicksWithSticks sent me 4oz of GORGEOUS custom-dyed BFL roving in my favorite colours and 2 bars of her yummy homemade soap as a KAL prize from the KnittingPurls group on Ravelry. (You can also find her stuff here – please, someone buy her out of the Brandied Apple before I completely lose my resolve!)

TheChicksWithSticks BFL Roving & Soap

LOVELOVELOVELOVELOVE!!! Thank you both soooo much :D

~~~

I shall now confess to you the extent of my yarny shame:

Marks & Katten Soft Mohair

A ball of creamy Marks & Kattens Soft Mohair (40% off) from Needles & Knits in Aurora.

It goes with the 2 balls of Estelle Watercolours (actually it’s the same yarn with a different name) already in my stash.

See? A couple of balls of grey and I’ll have enough for a decent sized project.

Totally justified.

Next came a couple of thriftstore sweaters for frogging:

Both are handknit – the first one I’ve identified as Bernat Softee Chunky (in Grey Ragg) and has already been frogged to make BadgerDan’s requested cardigan. It was $6 from the Goodwill.

All ready to go.

That second one is a huge, 100% wool Cowichan-collared zippered jacket and was only $2.99(!) from the Salvation Army. BD is using it until his cardigan is done. The jacket is very “retro Grampa sweater” and has grown on me so much that I might keep it as is instead of frogging it :).

~~~

Also found at the Salvation Army Thrift Store:

~ Mary Maxim Northland Wool – Black
~ Lion Brand CottonEase – Violet
~ 35g Mystery Ball of Worsted Weight Merino (probably Debbie Bliss Merino)
~ 87g Mystery Ball of Chunky Alpaca Blend, Blue Marl

All 4 balls for $2.99.

Not bad, not bad at all you say… why all the guilt?

This is when I fell down and bought full price retail.

*GASP*

Hear me out now…

I have instituted a new rule – if the full price yarn is necessary to complete a project that removes 1 or more skeins from the stash it can be considered. Logically, they cancel each other out!

I have been wanting to knit myself the Cowl sweater by Diana Rupp (from Stitch ‘N Bitch: The Knitter’s Handbook by Debbie Stoller) for years now… (the red one on the right)

and decided long ago that I wanted to make out of the Cascade 220 in #7811 Purple Jewel Heather in my stash. (It just *wants* to be purple!)

Problem was that I only had 4 skeins of it. Why not make it without the cowl? Sorry, not an option.

After much deliberation, I finally made the decision and ordered that single skein from The Loopy Ewe – and look what it arrived with!

Loopy Groupie Package

My friends, I am now a Loopy Groupie! Squee! (Maybe now I’ll finally be able to score me some Wollmeise…)

In addition to the purple C220, I also received a skein of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock DK in “Northern Lights” (which is totally going to make a pair of Woven Ridge Socks by Cat Bordhi), the “Brick by Brick Hat and Socks” pattern also from Cherry Tree Hill & a Loopy Ewe tote bag which is now completely filled with “queued” yarn. There were also some Tootsie Rolls in there, but they didn’t last long enough to make it into the photo. Thank you Sheri (and elves) – you ROCK!

(I hope to start the sweater after all the holiday knitting is done.)

~~~

Also purchased for full price (from Needles & Knits) were:

A ball of Lanett Superwash in black (which I’m pairing with the last of my precious Fleece Artist Sock in “Cosmic Dawn” for another pair of Cat Bordhi socks -Slipstitch Rings.)

and a skein of Shelridge Farms Handpainted Soft Touch Ultra 3-ply (col.SU0107N-093) to use with these 4 from the stash:

for the new Monika Eckert (Wollklabauter) Mystery KAL ShawlWindsbraut Spitzbergen.

~~~

Thus bringing me to another admission…

I’ve started another Mystery KAL project. Actually… make that 3 Mystery KAL projects:

Windsbraut Spitzbergen (which translates from the German to “Bride of the Wind” – Spitsbergen, a Norwegian island in the Arctic Ocean) and since it only calls for 800yds of yarn and Moni’s KALs usually run to 8 clues, I think I can keep up.

It started on October 31st with Clue #1:

Windsbraut Spitzbergen, clue 1

and we’re now up to Clue #2:

Windsbraut Spitzbergen - clue 2

It totally looks like Arctic tundra :).

~~~

November 1st marked the start of the new Sock Knitter’s Anonymous Mystery Sock KAL – a mosaic sock pattern written by the wonderful Star Athena and called “Miss Marple”.

There was no way on Earth I wasn’t going to do this pattern – Agatha Christie fanatic that I am, so using a stock photo as inspiration for my colour theme, I chose these stash yarns:

Yarn for Miss Marple socks

Those would be a ball of KnitPicks Palette in “Merlot Heather” and the leftover frogged 2-ply wool from my Peacock Track Scarf (which, incidently, I’ve been wearing constantly now that the temperature has dropped dramatically) again, held doubled, on 2.5mm needles.

I just finished Clue 2 earlier today:

Miss Marple Socks - clue 2

They are most awesome – can’t wait for the next 2 clues :D.

~~~

The last mystery KAL is a pair of hats (I bought both patterns) by Woolly Wormhead.

I started with Pattern “B” using 2 balls of Araucania Atacama Alpaca (say *that* 10 times fast!) and 3.75mm needles.

It doesn’t look like much now, but reserve your judgement until the beret is done and blocked.

I’ll be starting Pattern “A” (a slouch hat) after I finish this one, as they take the same needle size.

~~~

Well, that’s a load off my conscience.

Oh, by the way, did I mention that I also started a crocheted sweater for my brother?

Hey, what do you mean “Intervention” and “Rehab”?

It’s only a little yarn… and I can handle the new KALs – really ;)

Published in: on November 13, 2009 at 1:25 am  Comments (3)  
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Tunnel Vision

Yet again, I find myself falling behind on my blogging due to a sudden desperate case of “Finishitis”.

UFOs have been dropping like flies off my list to make room for new projects:

Robin's FLS - Complete

The February Lady Sweater for my sister was first off the list.

I opted for a couple of handcarved wooden buttons from Equador that matched better than the plastic ones I had originally picked out and I did end up having to rip back the entire body of my Zen Pullover to do the sleeves, but, no matter…

Zen Pullover (Revised)

I like my newer version much better :D.

Using 8mm needles and increasing at the sides whenever I felt like it resulted in a well fitting comfy sweater that I’ve already been wearing quite a bit.

LOL – I guess they can truly be called “sister sweaters” now.

~~~

There was a bonus square pattern included this month for my Afghan CAL, so I cheated a little and finished off the 2009 Sampler Afghan a bit early:

2009 Sampler Afghan - Complete

These squares were quite fast and fun to do – great for a stash buster all-over motif afghans if you’re looking for a pattern.

November Bonus Square November 2009 Bonus Square
(“Julia’s Flower” by Melinda Miller)

November Square 2009 November Square
(“Gem Star” by Chris Simon)

As for the blanket’s recipient, Danny is thrilled with it – as evidenced by his stretching out on it and napping in front of the TV every night for the past week.

The December CAL square (or squares if there’s another bonus pattern) will become a matching pillow for him – which seems to be needed :).

~~~

Not really a UFO, but a FO nonetheless, last week BadgerDan requested a scarf for a buddy of his who was just getting out of hospital after successful treatment for prostate & colon cancer (menfolk, please get thyselves checked!) and I was more than happy to oblige:

Diagonal Rib Keyhole Scarf

Pattern: Misti Alpaca Chunky Diagonal Rib Knit Scarf by Alicia Fleitas
Yarn: Mystery Chunky Blue Wool from Stash
Needles: 10mm

I cast on 20 sts and made an 8 row keyhole about 12” from one end of the scarf.

~~~

And last but not least, the decision was made to call it quits on the idea of the Forest Witch Mittens due to time constraints. With an additional cable repeat and some clever decreasing, the mitten in progress became a pretty awesome camera cozy:

Forest Witch Camera Cozy - FrontForest Witch Camera Cozy - Back

Those bobbles still crack me up.

~~~

Some other UFOs have been taking a bit longer, but progress is slowly being made:

Regent Hose for Hubby

Regent Hose for Hubby - Sock #1 Complete

LOOK! A COMPLETED INTARSIA SOCK! AMAZING!!!!

(And it only took me how long to knit? *groan*)

This is what the leg looked like before the heel:

Regent Hose for Hubby - leg

The cuff for the 2nd one is finally done and I’m on to the leg of it later today. Alcohol might be involved, just sayin’…

~~~

Wings of Horus is in the final stretch, and like most large shawl projects at this stage, is taking FOREVER to knit (beads not withstanding).

This is how it looked after Clue 5:

Wings of Horus - Clue 5

and here is where it is now (Clue 6, Row 230), only 16 rows from completion:

Wings of Horus, Clue 6, row 230

So close, yet still so far…

~~~

In the next posts – a new pattern for sale(!) and what other things I’ve been getting up to.

Stay tuned ;).

Published in: on November 12, 2009 at 4:31 pm  Comments (1)  
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On Obsession, Inspiration and Adaptation

Holy smokes! Here it is, the middle of March & I haven’t posted since my birthday.

In my defense, our internet connection went down in February, followed by my laptop having a meltdown (BadgerDan was able to resurrect it, but we are seriously looking at new ones right now for both of us.)

When last we left our intrepid knitter, she had just discovered the Sock Knitters Anonymous group over on Ravelry and was working on the January Mystery Sock Pattern…

The Beaded Mystery Socks are now done:

Beaded Mystery Socks, complete

Pattern: SKA January Mystery Pattern by Sheryl Giles
Yarn: Lang JaWoll Color, 82.0198 (2 skeins)
Needles: 2.25mm
Beads: #8 Miyuki Glass Beads, Gold-lined Brown (8-135S)

As are the Strange Bedfellows Socks:

Strange Bedfellows Socks, complete

Pattern: Coupling by Deb Barnhill
Yarn: Louet Gems Fingering, Fern Green; Misti Alpaca Handpainted Sock, Taos
Needles: 2.5mm circs

I used a “Judy’s Magic Cast-On” Toe instead of Short-row one as in the pattern & did the foot in plain stockingette.

What they don’t tell you is that SKA is *not* a 12-step program and will lead you down a slippery slope, as I soon discovered…

First, I thought, I have time to do another pair for the January Challenge…

Rolling Thunder Socks

Rolling Thunder Socks, complete

Pattern: Rolling Thunder by Sivia Harding (from Knitty)
Yarn: Austermann Step, col. 01 (approx. 1/2 ball – 45g); Patons 3-ply Scotch Fingering, Butter Yellow & Dark Burgundy
Needles: 2.25mm KnitPicks Classic Circulars, 2mm DPNs (for 3-ply sections)
Beads: Amber A/B #6 Miyuki Beads (6-257)

I shortened the leg by 1.5″ and reduced to only 68 sts at the gusset to accommodate tighter gauge and needles of 3-ply.

Hey, it’s stash busting right? Sure.

Enter the February Challenge and a designer that I had lots of patterns by, but had never gotten around to knitting…

Naniboujou Socks

Naniboujou Socks, complete

Pattern: Naniboujou by Chrissy Gardiner (from Knitty, Winter ’08)
Yarn: Cascade 128 Solids in Dark Brown (1108), Rust (2414) & Cream (8010)
Needles: 4mm

Chunky yarn, why not? (I used the 4.75″ size of the pattern)

Nice and fast, neat pattern, Husband loves them.

Which soon led to some simple kneesocks…

Ribby Retro Socks

Ribby Retro Socks, complete

Pattern: Ribby Retro Socks by Chrissy Gardiner (Knitscene, Fall ’07)
Yarn: Sean Sheep Armytage, Greens; Bucilla Tapestry Wool, Col. 011
Needles: 2.75mm DPNs

Hey, why aren’t you using the “good” yarn? Okay, I thought, let’s do some really nice ones…

Knotty or Knice Socks

Knotty or Knice Socks, Complete

Pattern: Knotty or Knice Socks by Chrissy Gardiner (Interweave Knits, Fall ’08)
Yarn: Stonebarn Fibers/Gypsy Girl Creations, Cattails (2 skeins)
Needles: 2.25mm

I worked a toe-up flap heel (a la Wendy Johnson) instead of the short-row one as written (added a stitch to the sole needle sole to accommodate this) and then added 15 rnds of K1B, P1 ribbing as I felt they needed a cuff.

This yarn was actually the first yarn I ever bought from The Loopy Ewe.

Why not a cabled pair?

Tilted Cable Socks

Tilted Cable Socks, complete

Pattern: Tilting Cables by Chrissy Gardiner (Interweave Knits, Winter ’07)
Yarn: Lana Grossa Meilenweit Multiringel, Col. 5020
Needles: 2.5mm

I again knitted the foot in plain stockingette and lengthened the heel flap from 32 rows to 36 rows for my high instep.

Here’s a close up of the cables:

Tilting Cable Socks, close up

How about another stash buster pair?

Kaibashira Socks

Kaibashira Socks, complete

Pattern: Kaibashira by Chrissy Gardiner (Knotions)
Yarn: ONline Supersocke 100 Highland Color, Col. 840 (45g); Paton’s Scotch 3-Ply Fingering Wool, Kelly Green (18.4g); Ornaghi Filati Merino Oro 2-ply Laceweight, Black
Needles: 2.25mm DPNs

I held the laceweight and 3-ply held together to recreate the effect of the Supersocke yarn and to bring up the gauge.

And darn it, I need a pair to go with my big ol’ grey tweed sweater…

Squares & Stripes Socks

Squares & Stripes Socks, complete

Pattern: Squares & Stripes by Chrissy Gardiner (from Lion Brand “Just Socks”)
Yarn: Sandnes Garn Smart Superwash DK, Grey Tweed (2 balls); Mission Falls 1824 Wool, Raven (005)
Needles: 2.75mm DPNs

Enter the March Challenge and another mystery sock kal…

March Mystery Socks

March Mystery Socks, Clue 3 Complete

Pattern: SKA March Lace Mystery Sock by Kristi Schueler
Yarn: Cascade 220 Paints, Cherry Berry (9926)
Needles: 3mm DPNs (leg & heel); 3.25mm DPNs (foot)

I used the 42 stitch option & we have one more clue (the cuff) to go on these.

Did I mention that the new Spring 2009 issue of Knitty is out and fricking incredible???

I couldn’t stop myself…really!

Absinthe Socks

Absinthe Socks, Sock #1 Foot/Heel

Pattern: Absinthe socks by Sara Morris (Knitty, Spring 2009)
Yarn: Scheepjes Invicta Extra, Electric Green (discontinued)
Needles: 2.25mm

And how about some baby socks?

Sporty Striped Baby Socks

Sporty Striped Baby Socks

Pattern: 44 stitches, 2×2 rib leg, flap heel, reduced down to 40 sts for foot.
Yarn: DGB Confetti Superwash, Col. 193
Needles: 2.5mm DPNs

Yarrr!! Baby Stockings

Yarrr!! Baby Stockings

Pattern: I started out with a standard Judy’s Magic Cast-On Toe, 32 sts (3″ foot), short-row heel and worked 1.5″ of the leg in stockingette, then on a whim incorporated the central pattern from “Jack Sparrow’s Favorite Socks” by Pamela Northrup, worked 3 rounds, then did 1/2″ in 2×2 rib before binding off. Leg measures 5″ to the bottom of the heel.
Yarn: Opal Pullover & Sockenwolle (10g sample ball), unidentified colourway; Paton’s Scotch 3-ply fingering wool, Black
Needles: 2.5mm

These just crack me up to no end.

Good news? I have 29 pairs already done for the 52 Pair Plunge II ending April 31st. Bad news? I think my husband wants me fitted for a straight-jacket.

By the way, the first round of Sock Madness 3 is tomorrow (maniacal laughing…)

It wasn’t just socks I’ve been working on during this period of radio silence…

There has been sweater knitting:

Austermann Abotanicity is finally off the needles!!!!!!

Austermann Abotanicity Sweater, Complete

Pattern: Abotancity by Cassie Rovitti (Knitty, Winter ’07)
Yarn: Austermann Step, colour 06 (4 balls)
Needles: 2.75mm, 3.25mm & 3.75mm circulars

I made mine short sleeved by using 2.75mm needles and decreasing every other row to 83sts then knitting even until I hit 4” and will need to put some darts in at the back as it’s a little big on me.

I finished half of a mohair sweater before deciding it wasn’t working:

Swirling MIsts of Doom Sweater

(I took it off the needles, but haven’t yet pulled it apart, just in case I want to give it another go.)

And started what I’m calling my Zen Pullover:

Zen Pullover

It’s the “Rectangela” pattern from Berocco that I’m doing in Briggs & Little Heritage, Sheep’s Grey.

I mean how pretty is this?

Rectangela

There have also been dishcloths:

February Monthly KAL Cloth

Peppermint Pink Kiss Me Cloth

Pattern: Kiss Me Cloth by Lisa Milan
Yarn: Scrap Dishcloth Cotton in Pink, Bright White & Variagated Pink
Needles: 4.25mm

(It is *very* pink to my “non-pink-person” eyes, but isn’t really all that aesthetically or technically offensive.)

February Mid-Month KAL Cloth

Circle Cloth

Pattern: Circle Cloth by Hakucho
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, Sage Green & Green Twist (+ a scrap of lighter green when I ran out of the sage)
Needles: 4.25mm

And the March Monthly KAL Cloth

Pot o' Gold cloth

Pattern: Pot O’ Gold Dishcloth by Emily Jagos
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, Banana Yellow
Needles: 4.25mm straights

For some reason, I decided that I immediately needed a new spring scarf to go with my green Levi’s jacket and after a stash dive, came up with this:

Grizabella Scarf

Grizabella Scarf

Pattern: Wear-as-a-Collar Scarf by Sally Melville (from Scarf Style)
Yarn: 3 Novelty yarns from stash (your guess is as good as mine)
Needles: 6.5mm straights

I am thoroughly surprised at how much I actually like it, for a novelty yarn scarf.

There has been crochet:

March Squares for the 2009 Sampler Afghan

March Squares

Pattern: March Square by Julie A. Bolduc
Yarn: Chunky Homespun from frogged Equadorian Sweaters
Hook: 8mm

Thoroughly by accident, I stumbled upon a crocheted lace shawl mystery CAL and one “ooh shiny” moment later had this done:

Dogwoods in Spring Mystery Shawl

Dogwoods in Spring Mystery Shawl

Pattern: Laceweight Mystery Shawl 2009 by Tracey McCorkle
Yarn: SouthMaid Mercerized Crochet Thread, Size 20 (White)
Hook: 3.5mm

which I took apart and re-did yesterday in some ancient 2-ply wool from the stash because the mercerized cotton was playing hell with my hands.

Dogwoods in Spring, take 2

I plan on handpainting this shawl when it’s done.

And talking about shawls…

Last post I mentioned Mystic Star and how I wouldn’t start it until after the other ones were done.

Yeah. Then I saw a gorgeous clue 1 done in midnight blue accented with clear beads on Ravelry.

In the span of 3 hours this happened:

These

French 2-ply laceweight

went in here

Dying laceweight

to look like this

Rit dyed laceweight wool

and a bit of a blow-dry later, became this:

Mystic Star, clue 1

It now looks like this:

Mystic Star, clue 3

I just have clue 4 to finish and it’s done. Stunning.

(I also signed up for Mystic Roses, but honestly won’t be starting that one for a while – it’s the same size as Mystic Waters & I don’t have the yarn for it at the moment.)

It just goes to show you what happens to a knitter when you limit his/her internet useage!

In other news, my extremely wonderful & talented friend Silver Pheonix from over on Plurk & I will be meeting up in Toronto for a bit of a takeover yarn crawl on Friday. You have been warned. (Muahahahahaha)

Sock Madness and David within a 24hrs of each other. Be afraid, be very afraid. (I can’t wait :D )

It’s my birthday and I’ll blog if I want to…

Just got home from a fantastic dinner with BadgerDan at our favorite local restaurant (& a stopover at the Chapters bookstore).

My birthday gift?

MP3 player

It’s a Samsung S2 Digital Audio Player, aka “The Pebble”. Now if we can just fool the software into thinking that I’m running Windows instead of Linux, I’m all set.

As for what I’ve been up to these last couple of weeks – hooboy.

Where do I start?

How about some FOs?

My February Lady Sweater is done:

February Lady Sweater Done

and it fits like a dream:

FLS Modelled

It’s knit out of “the good stuff” – 2 balls of Noro Kureyon (col. 150) and 5 balls of Queensland Collection Kathmandu Aran Tweed (col. 120). The buttons are mother of pearl, natural side out. I think this is the nicest sweater I’ve made to date.

Hot off the needles today is my Hemlock Ring Blanket:

Hemlock Ring Blanket

The result of much late night lace knitting, ripping out and redoing on larger needles – OMG soooooo worth it though.

Some small stuff:

The first pair of the promised “oodles of baby socks” to an online friend of mine who found out over the Christmas holidays that the IV was successful and is finally pregnant with her first child. YAY!!!! (Elaine – expect socks – lots of ‘em!)

Rainbow Baby Socks

There are definitely more where those came from!

Baby sock yarn (more…)

Published in: on January 23, 2009 at 11:22 pm  Comments (4)  
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And on the 8th day…

…she blogged.

My personal mission this year will be to knit/crochet only from stash and get it down to the point where I can upload it to Ravelry.

I make the following exceptions for Stash Enhancement:

1. Thriftstore yarn.
2. Discounted oddballs @ 40% off or more.
3. The occasional ball of happy dishcloth cotton.
4. One or two splurges (aka sock yarn) on Worldwide Knit in Public Day.
5. Any yarn won in a contest/draw.

I think this is a feasible, realistic plan that I can follow.

In keeping with this plan, I hit the ground running (or crocheting) this year:

The January Squares for the 2009 Sampler Afghan are the first FO out of the gate:

January Squares

Followed closely by a completed Lopi Vintage Vertical Stripe Afghan! Yep. Done.

VVS Afghan - Complete

What had been taking me *forever* to complete ended up taking 4 days (I had to give my hands a day or two of rest in between sessions) to complete. And holy smokes – what a stashbuster!

The Lopi stash which once looked like this:

Lopi Stash

is (after setting aside what I need for my Hemlock Ring Blanket) now down to just this:

Lopi Stash (Post-VVS)

Not a bad start I think.

Speaking of the Hemlock Ring

I’ve managed to make it to the first Feather & Fan repeat:

Hemlock Ring

My Seaweed Socks are done too!

Seaweed Socks - 1 Seaweed Socks - 2

First Pair of the year. (And super comfy too, I might add.)

I have signed on for the 2009 Monthly Dishcloth KAL Challenge over on Yahoo! rather than doing the Weekly one this year. This means only 2 cloths a month and those are done 10 rows at a time with my morning coffee. Infinitely more manageable and those not to my taste can be given away as gifts.

January Cloth #1 – Ice Skate Dishcloth

Ice Skate Dishcloth

Completely by chance, I stumbled upon Clue one of the Sock Knitters Anonymous Ravelry Group‘s January Sockdown! Challenge. They have the occasional Mystery Sock KAL and this month’s KAL is a beaded lace sock designed by Sheryl Giles (aka Emm1e) who also did the Zombie Socks for last year’s Sock Madness 2.

What can I say? Mystery? Beads? Lace? SOCKS? Potential Prizes? Umm…yeahhhhh…

Beaded Mystery Socks - Clue 1

I’m soooo loving these socks! Already halfway through with Clue 2 (which was released today). Gorgeous.

The socks beckon…must go knit now…

And see if Maverick will let Mommy put the blanket away…

Maverick on VVS

Published in: on January 8, 2009 at 11:05 pm  Comments (1)  
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Out with the old and in with the new…

First off – our Holidays were wonderful. It was great to have some time with my family for a change – we don’t get to see each other that often. Everyone loved their gifts, and as promised here is what I made for BadgerDan:

Varsity Socks - 1 Varsity Socks - 2

A Pair of Varsity Socks (which he immediately put on as soon as they were unwrapped) and

WWII Watchcap

an authentic WWII Watchcap (which he asked for).

BadgerDan made(!) me a truly fantastic handstitched leather satchel – it’s huge (14″ x 14″ x 6″) and has more clips than you can shake a stick at. In a word – SQUEE!!!!

Satchel -1 Satchel 2

My travel project for the Holidays was my Highland Hose, and I actually managed to finish the first one:

Highland Hose - Sock 1

These, my friends, are what I call “kneesocks”!!!

In anticipation for the new year, I’ve been going through my projects and wildly finishing off WIPs, ripping out those that needed it and gathering yarn for some new ones.

I present to you – my completed 2008 Mission Falls Sampler Afghan!

2008 Sampler Afghan

and (finally) my completed Mystic Earth Stole!

Mystic Earth Stole - Blocking

Relegated to the Frog Pond was my Casablanca Shawl – I had run into some mistakes (all mine) and didn’t get back to it. I can always knit it again later.

I also took apart my Lopi Vintage Vertical Stripe Afghan (9.75 feet is WAY too big for a blanket) – reballed the yarn and made a new plan of attack. Using the blanket as a massive gauge swatch – I calculated that 165 sts/84 rows would give me a blanket measuring approx 5.5 ft x 3.5 ft. Much easier to deal with. And since it seems that I don’t really do “random” all that well – I sorted the yarn into colour groups and plugged them into a Random Stripe Generator using 1 row & 42 rows as the parameters. I tweaked it a bit in my spreadsheet program, reversed the stripe sequence for the 2nd half of the blanket and voila! One pattern chart to follow. I’m restarting this one at Midnight tonight.

VVS Yarn

This allowed me to free up yarn for a Hemlock Ring Blanket that I couldn’t resist starting on:

Hemlock Ring Blanket

I’m using all browns/beiges/creams radiating out from darkest to lightest.

Unfortunately, I can’t go any further on it until I get a certain ways into the VVS!

The 2009 Sampler Afghan yarn is ready to go:

2009 Afghan Yarn

This is the result of frogging two chunky homespun & handknit sweaters from Equador that I found at the thrift store. It has way too much vegetable matter in it for a garment – but perfect for a camp blanket for BadgerDan! By using an 8mm hook and this year’s CAL’s 6″ square option I should be in pretty good shape. I can always border it with any leftover Lopi from the VVS.

Hmmm, what else??? Oh yeah! I started an Aran Scarf for the Red Scarf Project:

Scarlet Aran Scarf

Today I organized my remaining WIPs and did a little mending that I’d been putting off.

So to sum up the year I have just gone through and counted all my Finished Projects from 2008 – here’s the final tally:

**big breath**

Blankets (3)
Sweaters/Tops/Vests (5)
Lace Shawls (6)
Bags (11)
Hats (9)
Socks (29 pairs)
Mitts (2 pairs)
Slippers (5 pairs)
Dishcloths (42)
Stuffed Toy (1)
Bottle/Tea Cozies (2)
Charity Blanket Squares (3)

Total Completed Projects: 118

Holy smokes is that a lot of yarn!

I’ve learned a lot this year and am very thankful for all the new people who have come into my life. **hugs**

Let us meet this new year with strength, hope and the will to see & make positive changes in our lives and the World.

Fireworks

Happy New Year Everyone!

Published in: on December 31, 2008 at 8:30 pm  Comments (2)  
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A Lace Battle Plan

Yesterday, I took stock of all my lace projects and devised a plan for working on them.

I have *4 Mystery Shawls OTN at the moment, all of which are around the Clue 3 completion level:

Mystic Waters

Mystic Waters

Casablanca

Casablanca Shawl

Goddess Knits Anniversary

Goddess Knits Anniversary Shawl

and what I worked on today:

Slow Bee II

Slow Bee II - Side 1, Clue 3

Here’s some close-ups:

Slow Bee II, Side 1, Clue 3 (Centre Closeup) Slow Bee II - Side 1, Clue 3 (Edge Closeup)

(The Slow Bee II is knit from the centre outwards and mine measures around 36″ wide.)

(* Technically I have 5 Mystery KAL shawls on the go, but the Mystery Lace Shawl is officially on hold due to some health and other issues.)

Also OTN is my Shetland Faroese Shawl (Tessa’s Shawl by Lynda Illingsworth) which is a long-term project anyway:

Shetland Faroese Shawl

What I’ve decided to do is work one clue on each mystery KAL shawl, then go on to the next until they’re all at the same level. Some of them are longer than others so it should keep me interested and hopefully will mean faster completion. I’ll then allow myself to start some new lace projects.

I hope to have at least the Goddess Knits shawl (it’s only 5 clues long) done before Mystery Stole 4 begins.

Wish me luck.

Published in: on August 12, 2008 at 11:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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