Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I guess I am a slutty knitter. Something new and pretty walks into my life and I just have to get a piece of it. Not only did I cast on for the Back to School vest from Fitted knits which was slightly planned, but I also came across the Gemma Beret pattern in one of the discussions on Ravelry. I don't know what came over me but at that moment I had to have that beret. It's just so cute! So last night the Valley Yarns Sugarloaf I had earmarked for a moss stitch beret started being worked into the Gemma Beret. I love the color of this yarn and the feel is really nice I just don't know if I like the way it is working in this pattern. I'm going to keep knitting it a bit longer and then reassess. I really wanted to use this yarn so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Tomorrow I am going to try to take a knitting day off to rest my hands and soak up the new episode of Lost. So excited! The pictures do a good job of representing the blue color but not the rusty orange, it is so much lovelier in person.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

FO: Endpaper Mitts

A week to knit and here they are:

Pattern: Endpaper Mitts by Eunny Jang
Needles: Inox US0 and Susan Bates US2
Yarn: Rowan 4ply Soft (Blue) and Mondial Extrafine (Brown)
These were pretty quick to knit and the pattern was easy enough to follow while watching TV. I really enjoyed not having to worry about catching any floats. It is definitely worth it to do the Italian tubular cast on, the mitt I used this for fits better. My hand measured exactly 7" but I didn't have the correct DPNs for that size and I wanted them to be snug so I threw caution to the wind and went with the small size. They fit well although they are a bit long. When I knit I wear them folded back so they don't catch the yarn. This is a pattern I will very likely be making again. I had a hard time picking colors at Webs and even though they look good I don't think there is enough contrast to the colors. I really wanted a nice marroon but I didn't see one I liked. I think the store overwhelmed me that day and I just lost focus. They serve their purpose and have already seen some wear, I have to take them off long enough to block then and I think my stitches will even out nicely. I loved the Rowan yarn, so nice and tightly spun. The Mondial I think may pill and was a bit splittier. I don't think I'll be doing any more color work for awhile, I'm really not a fan of knitting English style. I can do it but it feels very unnatural for me. For my first official FO of the new year I am pleased with these.
The first yarn store I ever went into was The Knitting Knook in Coventry, CT. It was a great experience and I liked the store a lot. It's small but well stocked and the owner has always been very nice to me. I've since moved further away and haven't been to the store in about a year. I recently found out she now carries Cascade 220 (which I could never find out here) and since we were out running errands that way my husband and I had to stop in. I picked up three skeins of cascade 220 in a heathered Sapphire color for the Back to School vest from Fitted Knits. The picture is a pretty good representation of the color, it is perhaps a bit more vibrant in person. I hope to swatch and cast on this evening while my husband is making his first batch of homemade beer. We both satisfied our hobbies this weekend :) Next weekend Woolworks in Putnam, CT is having a Super Bowl sale so I may use that as an excuse to pick up another sweater's worth of yarn and some lace weight to start a shawl for Mother's Day. If I start now I should be able to finish in time with no stress, we'll see how that goes.

With my new comfy mitts on I finished up the last sleeve to my Tangled Yoke and joined both to the body while lounging on the couch and watching movies this morning. I love a Sunday with no chores, so relaxing before heading back to work on Monday. I'm excited to be nearing the cable on this, even more excited to be done with DPNs for awhile.

Monday, January 21, 2008

FO Bird in Hand Mittens

Pattern: Bird in Hand Mittens by Kate Gilbert
Needles: Inox US1 DPNS
Yarn: Valley Yarns Southbridge and Ella Rae Classic (white)

My mittens finished drying this weekend and I've worn them out a few times. They are indeed very warm and the pattern is very cool looking. My tension was totally different for the second (left) mitt because I switched to keeping the main color in my right hands instead of the left. I really shouldn't have changed mid project, I think had these two yarns been similar in weight things would have been fine but since the Southbridge is thicker things got screwed up. They came out to be about the medium size which is what I wanted but they don't fit too well. I think because the row after the braid is so loose they move around on my hands a bit. I'll keep wearing them but only time will tell if they become a permanent wardrobe item. I would not recommend the Southbridge yarn for these, it's too far off and I payed the price. These mittens hurt my hand something terrible.
I went back to my Tangled Yoke and my hands kept hurting. I eased up a bit and took this as an excuse to cast on for Eunny Jang's Endpaper mitts Saturday. Two color knitting with fingering weight yarn doesn't bother my hands at all, yeay! I love an excuse to give in to temptation and cast on another project. I had the day off today so I managed to finish one up.

These are a fabulous knit. The pattern is really easy and only requires a quick glance at the chart every so often. We keep the house very cold and I often knit in a pair of pink fetchings
I made a while back. These work fine when using circular knits but since I've been using double pointed needles a lot recently I've run into problems. They are just too bulky and keep snagging my needles. I unfortunately picked up 8" DPNS at Webs last time I was there and it turns out that extra inch is pretty annoying. I really want these mitts so I think they'll be off the needles soon, probably before I continue work on my sweater. I left off the Italian tubular cast on from this mitt because I was too lazy to look it up and I think it was a mistake. I may undo this row and do the Kitchener rib bind-off the pattern called for at the tops of the mitts. This bind off technique isn't too hard but I either have no coordination or the cold house has caused me too loose feeling in my finger tips because I dropped the needles so many times. Thank goodness this isn't slippery yarn! It took me longer to do the bind off than to knit the ribbing. I'm hoping with practice it will get easier and I'll be happy I know it the next time I knit socks. I've managed to grasp the Italian tubular cast on for the second mitt, I recommend watching a video online as I had a hard time getting it from written directions. We'll see how it turns out as I get further into the mitt.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I'm having a bad week so this will be a quick post since I've been MIA for awhile. I finally finished my Bird in Hand mittens. I have had a love hate relationship with these, see the difference between the two. Never change techniques mid project no matter what the so called right way is. The bird is pretty cute at least. I'll write more after they finish blocking.And because she makes me smile and is my biggest fan Penny gets to be in my progress shot.

Crappy photo but the puppy was cute and I don't have the patience to mess around with pictures tonight. That is one sleeve of my Tangled Yoke Cardigan down. I love knitting this and it is going pretty quick. Now that those endless mittens are done I can knit peacefully on this until I give in to temptation and start another project. I need this easy sleeve tonight.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

1.5 FOs!

Yesterday I seamed up my Drops Jacket just in time for the 50 degree weather expected this week!

Pattern: Drops Jacket 103-1
Needles: Denise US
Yarn: Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky bought at Webs ~7.3 skeins
Mods: Three needle bind off at shoulders

Hubby is really busy this weekend but I got him to snap a few quick pictures of me modeling the jacket. I love this jacket so much! It is warm and cozy and so cute. I made the medium size and used just over 7 balls of the Berkshire Bulky yarn. The last 2+ I bought go into the stash and await future inspiration. I really like this yarn, it's soft and not at all itchy. I plan on wearing this jacket until the cold temperatures return so I'll be sure to report on how it wears. The pattern was confusing but easy enough to follow after reading it a few times. The only problem I had was that the sleeves turned out way too long. Maybe I didn't understand the directions well enough, or maybe I have short arms but they look cute folded back so that is how I'll be wearing it. This was a very fun knit and went pretty quick. If it had been my only project I doubt it would have taken more than a couple of weeks. I managed to get one sleeved done in two evenings for a time estimate. Seaming this wasn't too bad either but I am glad that my next sweater project won't have any seams to sew. I don't particularly mind seaming especially with selvage stitches but it definitely isn't my favorite part of a project. Weaving in the ends would be my least favorite part. The collar keeps my neck nice and warm but flipped down is a nice look too. Here is a close up that shows the buttons I picked up from JoAnn Fabrics on the way home from work Friday. I think they are glass.
After the jacket was done I finished the thumb on my right Bird in the Hand mitten and did the seaming and weaving in on that Saturday too.

I love this pattern too, very very cute. I used some embroidery floss I picked up for sewing buttons onto my winter coat and my Drops jacket to embroider the wing and eye and to sew up the picot hem. I of course forgot to embroider the beak on before I closed the top of the thumb is I decided to wait on that until the next one is done. The rest of the yarn necessary to finish the second one should hopefully arrive this week so I'll be starting the second one soon. I really hope I can finish these before it gets cold again. I was really wanting them when the temps were in single digits this week!. I'm thinking of making some less dense ones in pink and brown eventually, maybe in a DK weight yarn. We'll see, the worsted weight yarn on small needles hurts my hands and can be frustrating at times. It is probably a good thing I had so much sewing to do this weekend, it gave me a chance to rest my knitting muscles.

My Tangled Yoke cardigan has been growing quietly in the background all along. Today I finished the body and cast on for the first sleeve. Below is a crappy picture. I'm excited to devote more time to this, I think I will really enjoy the finished product. The next sweater will be the Tilted Duster, the project I bought the magazine for has been waiting patiently to be knit and I really want it as a spring coat. I'm trying to keep from swatching, having two sweaters on the go makes me a bit uneasy and I want to make sure I enjoy everything I knit this year. I guess it's kind of my resolution. That and to knit up everything I have already bought yarn for. I've been good about buying yarn with a project in mind but I've built up a queue that has me a bit intimidated and knitting for me should be a stress relief tool. So I'm going to be good this year and have fun. On the to do list for me is more colour work, felt something (on purpose :) ), and finish my print O'the wave stole for my friends wedding in June.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Home Sweet Home

It's good to be home, not so good to be going back to work tomorrow. We got back from the inlaws Sunday night. It wasn't a bad trip other than the 8 hour drive up there in the snow storm. It usually takes 2 hours from Webs, this time it took 5 and was not fun at all. Webs was packed. We picked out our yarn and got a couple things from the warehouse and were on our way. Hubby wants a sleeping cap with stars and one crescent moon (way to make it easy on me) so he picked out some Filaturia Di Crosa Zarina, a fingering weight yarn in blue and white.

I picked up some Valley Yarns Sugarloaf in a nice rust color for a moss stitch beret, I don't think now that I bought enough but we'll see.
Some Rowan 4 ply soft and Mondial Extrafine for Eunny Jang's Endpaper mits.

And finally some olive Valley Yarns Sugarloaf and some cream Ella Rae Classic for the Bird in Hand mittens. I'm stupid and can't do math so I didn't buy enough of the green yarn. I should have stuck with the Cascade 220 or Ultra Alpaca but I had my heart set on this green. Stupid me. Now I have to order one more skein. I do have to note that the sugarloaf is not good for this pattern, it is too thick and hurts my hands on the US1 I am using. this is the progress so far on one mitten. Maybe I'll finish it tonight, I only have 1 sleeve left to the Drops jacket and I really want to wear that.

These were my knit related gifts. The latest Interweave and Knitter's magazines, Fitted Knits and Lace Style. Hubby got me the needle size checker thing and the thimble for color work (another reason for the Webs stop, just had to try it). The thimble is cool, I really have a hard time holding the yarn in my right hand so I used it for about half the mitten. I really don't care if it is cheating or not. I'm really excited about Fitted Knits, I think the cover sweater will be first. Once I've knit all I have already bought yarn for...