Wednesday, January 28, 2009

FO: Fruit Loop

Pattern: Fruit Loop by Kristi Geraci Knitty Spring 2008
Yarn: Madelinetosh Sock in Lichen
Needles: Inox US1 29"

A sick day today has allowed me to finish my toe-up fruit loop socks. I'm really pleased with the way they came out. I used Judy's magic cast on and increased to 63 stitches. Then I reversed the chart and knit until the heel. For that I did a slip stitch heel and then knit per the pattern until the end where I did a sewn bind off. They are just the right length and fit perfectly. The only down side is the yarn is showing signs of wear already, just from being moved around in my lap. It's a shame because the color (which is much nicer in person) and the pattern are really nice. These went super fast even with other projects on the needles. My feet are happy and finishing these allow me to start another pair, some cabled heart socks I may try to finish for Valentine's Day. I'm not going to commit to knitting a pair a month but I think I will aim for that. One down!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Victory is Mine! FO: Beech Wood

Friday evening I began to feel guilty for giving up on my aunt's cowl. So I decided to give it another go. Very late Saturday night I cast off Beech Wood and despite my sore hands I'm glad.

Pattern: Beech Wood by Ilga Leja
Yarn: Elen Cashmere
Needles: Knitpicks Options US6

The pattern is really easy and creative. It really helps the yarn which is such a plain color. I can't say I enjoyed knitting this at all. The yarn really hurt my hands and I hate deadline knitting. These are both my fault but I do love the finished product. Towards the end I was just so tired and sore that I started to ignore the pattern substituting some of the purl rows with faster knit rows. I think the randomness created by this is nice. I couldn't find a nice pin so I added a button to the cowl. I think it was well received. I'll have to make one for myself someday. Now I really am done the gift knitting and I think this year I'm going to scale it back a bit. I think every other year is fair enough. I need to get through my sweater and sock stash now.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Admitting Defeat

I had planned to make sure at least everyone on my side of the family got something hand knit for Christmas this year and I very nearly made it. My aunt has been out of the country until recently so I only cast on for her gift this week. Unfortunately i am not in love with the cowl. In fact I've pretty much decided to give up on it. The yarn, Elen Cashmere, I liked much more in the skein. The color is just a bit too blah for this cowl and my knitting is rowing out terribly. Maybe this will tech me to not put things off to the last minute so I have the option of making something different. Ah well, having that off my plate is a bit liberating. I plan to mess around with a sweater design that has been on my mind since my trip to WEBS before Thanksgiving.

I finished my husband's vest this weekend and photos will come once it has dried. I can't wait to see it on him. Let's end my long absence with something positive, some toast mitts I made with leftover Malabrigo.

Against my purply green tiles you can sort of make out the purple hues to the yarn. I did not make thumbs but cast off 4 stitches and then cast them back on in the next row to make a slit for my thumb. This way I can pull them up if my fingers get cold. Really I like them better as armwarmers but it is nice to have that option. They are so soft and warm but are already showing signs of wear. Who cares though, they still function :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

FO: Just Enough Ruffles

Pattern: Just Enough Ruffles by Laura Chau
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in Pearl 1.5 Skeins
Needles: Knitpicks Options US9

Finally! I loved this scarf the minute I saw it and I'm so happy with the way it came out. I used the same yarn as suggested in the same color. I knit the scarf in two days, it was extremely easy but dang those rows are long! This is my first experience with Malabrigo and I do see why so many people rave about it. The finished scarf is so thick, warm, and squishy. It will be a welcome addition with the frigid temperatures on the way. I do apologize for the grimy bathroom mirror pictures but my photographer has been working late and the light outside is gone by the time I get home anyway. The lighting in the bathroom is surprisingly good though, this is a pretty accurate representation except the slight purple hue isn't captured. I'm really starting to appreciate semi-solids for their gentle color variations and the way they add to simple patterns. I have enough of this yarn leftover to knit some toast mitts too. How I ever lived without my kitchen scale and ball winder I just don't know. It's amazing how the most simple patterns can be the most creative and versatile.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Creative Blocking

Well my husband says you've gotta take a picture of that I know it must be interesting. I've never blocked a hat so I decided to try two different approaches, a plate and an exercise ball. We'll see which one works best.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Decisions, decisions

I don't know what to do. I bought two skeins of this lovely green Merino silk blend yarn at Woolworks and cast on for Instant Glamor. I wasn't sure how I felt about it and I had an entire untouched skein so I started the Sweet Honey Beret from the Winter 08 IK. The only problem is that it really didn't have as much slouch as I had hoped with the one skein. Now I have two hats in need of a bind off but in order to improve the Honey Beret I'd need to take apart the other hat. I'm not sure if a good wet blocking will help either hat.

Sigh, I think these are going to sit for another few days until I can make a decision. I think tonight I'll work on my socks. For some reason Ive had a real urge to knit socks lately and I've decided to embrace that. These are Fruit Loops in some Madelinetosh sock in the Lichen colorway, really beautiful stuff so far. I'm knitting these toe-up and two at once becuase that's how I roll. I have an unreasonable fear of running out of yarn and doing both at the same time avoids getting bored with the second sock. I'm not sure this is the best pattern for this colorway but it's fun and easy enough to do while watching TV.

Closing the loops amuses me, as does my "snowman" A skein of Malabrigo broke while I was winding it the other day. After I stacked the skeins I had to finish him off. I'm silly, I know.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

2008 in Review

I think I've finally gotten the hang of this mosaic maker. 2008 was a very productive year. Above are all the items that were not Ugghs! Many were gifts and many taught me something new. One was lost :( Of these I wear my Tangled Yoke Cardigan the most but the Cotton Bamboo Girl Tank may be my favorite. I learned how to magic loop toe-up socks two at a time and knit both lace and entrelac. In the year ahead I hope to knit more socks, which I will get into in the next post, finish all that I currently have going, design my own sweater, and knit more lace. Perhaps if I get my grandmother's sewing machine up and running I'll even try a steek. Cutting my knitting is a terrifying thought so I'm not ready to commit to that yet. Here's to a creative 2009!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Christmas Gifts 2008

From Left to Right: Reversible Cabled Brioche Neckwarmer, Ice Queen from Knitty, Ice scraper mitt from One Skein Wonders, Attack of the Killer Pompom hat by Marnie Mclean, Picot Gloves, and Dayflower Scarf.

Not pictured is the little bear ornament I gave to my Mom and some Plum Blossom mittens that went to my sister without pictures. I did the garter stitch version of ice queen and I really liked it. Some day I'll make myself a beaded one. The ice scraper mitt went to my dad. It was in his stocking with some beer and I think it may have turned into a beer cozy :) For the hat I did some extra rounds of light grey to conserve blue yarn for the pompom and I added another two rounds of colorwork. Next time I won't do the extra rounds. It is soft and warm and she loved the set. The picot gloves were done in some Regia 4ply tweed on US1 DPNS. I love them. They are really cute but simple and warm. The dayflower scarf may just be my favorite and man was it hard to give that away. It was done in Rowan Kidsilk Haze on US3 needles. I think it is about 36" long and I made two halves and grafted them together. I didn't have enough left to make myself a scarf but it is definitely something I want to get around to. I do have one more gift to make, a cowl for my aunt but she is traveling and won't be back for awhile. Oh yeah, and my husband's vest...maybe I should get back to that so he can wear it this winter.