Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Why I love my husband

My birthday is still a week away but this came in the mail a few days ago and he gave away what it was. This was the one item I begged for and after the tangled nightmare last time he tried to help me wind skeins it wasn't going to be a surprise. I love it. It is the best thing since sliced bread and it is honestly taking restraint not to wind up every skein I have in the house. Look at the nice tidy yarn cakes! Unfortunately I want to use the wine colored skein with a very light grey so I had to unwind it and wash it so it wouldn't bleed. The dye just kept coming out, I soaked it with vinegar but the water still wasn't clear after two days of washing and rinsing. I just hope I've gotten enough out so that it won't bleed in the final project. He ordered the swift and ball winder from WEBS, the small set in their catalogue and it arrived in one day. Now that is fast. I could never say enough good things about WEBS, or about my husband :) To thank him I have finished his socks, I just need to get a good photo of them.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Aquisitions and Dilemmas

This weekend we went to the Coventry Farmer's Market annual fiber twist. It turned out to be a family affair as my parents and sister came with us. Even Penny made the trip though her attitude toward other dogs likely made that her only trip. She did love all the people. I had been looking forward to this for a while since I've decided Rhinebeck is just too far to go this year :( There was way too much to choose from, I wish I had more money and had been better prepared. Here is what I got:

From left to right: Shimmer a merino tencel/blend sock yarn from The Painted Sheep in Mocha. Jewel a merino/bamboo sock yarn from Mocha's Fiber Connection in Indian Corn and an unknown semi-solid wine colored yarn in what I think is a fingering weight. I can't for the life of me remember the vendor and the tag only lists the price. I think it might be some kind of goat fiber. I know the mocha colorway will become socks but I'm not sure what to do with the other skeins. The Indian corn yarn is soooooo pretty and the skein is 550 yards. It just seems too pretty to put on my feet but what else to do? I'm not sure I'd wear a cowl so I'm thinking either fingerless gloves or a shawl. I'm worried I wouldn't wear a multi colored shawl, I'm really conflicted. The red skein may go into some color work items since I think it may not be soft enough for a shawl/scarf. My sister was quick to note she liked the color so I may see if I can work it into a gift for her.

I was bad and also stopped into Woolworks last week to get yarn for the house sweater from Charmed Knits that I really want to wear. I ended up not finding the right color gold for the small stripe it calls for and came home with 9 skeins of black Ultra Alpaca Light. This yarn is great, I loved the Ultra Alpaca so I'm sure the Light version will be nice, the price sure is. The only issue is that I don't think the black will look good with gold and maroon so it won't become the house sweater :( I'm really torn now between the Gathered Pullover and the Vintage Pink Cardigan. I think the color would work with the cardigan but I had planned on a Christmas splurge for the Blue Sky Alpaca Silk. I'll have to swatch and make sure the drape is ok with my yarn. Pretty funky bag too :)

And because I think this picture is hysterical here is Penny after her bath the other day. So spikey.

And for her humiliation she got some couch time after she dried. I shooed her away from my WIPS three times before I gave up and let her bury her face in them. She had a rough day.

Monday, September 22, 2008

FO: Banded Peasant Blouse

Pattern: Banded Peasant Blouse by Mary Jane Mucklestone IK Spring 2008
Yarn: Louet Merlin
Needles Susan Bates US5 and Inox US 3 40"

I meant to post this last week but my computer decided to stop booting up completely. This was a nice straight forward knit. The neckline is too big and that makes it unwearable at work but I really do like it. I wore it to the Coventry Farmer's market this weekend and it was very comfortable, not too hot at all. Say what you will for summer knits but I have been very pleased with mine this year. I absolutely love the Merlin, I have a bunch left over and I'm going to find some way to use it all. WEBS has the worsted version on closeout and it has been very hard not to snatch it up. A word of warning thought, my yarn bled a bit. My only complaint about this sweater is how tight the arms are, if I were to make it again I wouldn't decrease as much before starting the color work bands.

Well, I'm all up to date on my FOs and now that I have inherited my husband's old laptop I hope my blogging will be more frequent. Next time I'll show my new acquisitions from the Market.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

FO: Guinevere

Pattern: Guinevere by Melissa Wehrle
Yarn: Garnstudio Lin 105
Needles: Susan Bates US4 and 5 Inox dpns US1

This was my Ravelympic sweater and this post is long overdue. I had some issues with the pattern but now that the error has been fixed and some more directions have been added I suspect it won't be as problematic to future knitters. My gauge was off with this yarn so I knit the smallest size to get about zero ease and it worked out perfectly. The yarn was a bit stiff but didn't hurt my hands at all and it softened up with blocking. I really like the color (a little more rich in real life) and feel of the linen, I have worn this sweater a ton and it has held its shape wonderfully. As much trouble as this was I really love the sweater and I'm thinking of using the white Merlin I bought at WEBS for a longer, 3/4 sleeve version. I'd have to do some math to make set in sleeves but I think the style is really flattering and I do love the Merlin. We shall see, it is time to turn to fall and winter knits so my mind may change. I have one more FO to show and then I'll be all caught up, as long as I don't wait too long to post it :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Where have I been?

I really didn't mean to stay away for so long. Being camera-less for a few weeks really threw me off and it's been hard to get back in front of my computer. I've been knitting a lot recently, my husband was working hard to finish up his PhD which gave me time to finish up a few WIPs. He's done now so I'm not sure how his free nights will affect my knitting but for now there's much to show. Two things motivated me to get back into the blogging thing, my husband is going to upgrade his computer for work which means I get his old one. So only a week or two of my lovely yet very slow computer. The second is my awesome new camera, I got an award from work and we decided to treat ourselves. It's a fabulous blue Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS, the one Maria Sharapova has in the commercials. My family has had great luck with Canon and I do love my new toy, my knitting pictures are much improved. Here's an example, picture one from the old camera and picture two from the new one.

You can see the stitches! Granted the first is a bit dark but I love that Penny looks so surprised I finished these socks. These are my first magic loop toe-up socks on Inox US2. I used Judy's magic cast on and a slipped stitch gusset heel from a free pattern on the Knitpicks website. The yarn is Lane Cervina Forever that I picked up in Maine. It's nice and I think it will wear well. It is more busy than I would normally like but I like it enough.

I have started some toe-up magic loop socks for my husband using Valley yarns Huntington, the new sock yarn from WEBS, for my husband. I'm really liking this yarn a lot and when we go to WEBS around Thanksgiving I plan to get some for me. I can't say I love knitting socks but they are a nice change when I need a distraction from a sweater. I'm totally smitten with two at a time magic loop, I don't think I'd be knitting socks without learning this.

I've got plenty more to show soon, if you can't wait you can check me out on Ravelry (katiekakes).