Posted in Current Projects

Super Summer Knitaway KAL and NaKniSweMo

Happy Halloween! Do you have any fun Halloween plans for the day? We’ll be handing out candy to all the trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood tonight. 😀

Today is also Matt’s birthday, but we celebrated over the weekend. I took him out for a surprise day of fun things on Saturday! Started with a trip to the spa for pedicures and massages, then we had lunch at Take the Cake . After that I’d planned go karts, but they ended up being pretty booked up and the next time slot conflicted with the dinner reservations, so we paid in advance and will be going another day. Since that didn’t work out and we were really close to Dave & Busters, we went by there and played games for a while. For dinner we got all dressed up and went out to Embers. He said he had a great day and enjoyed all the things I had planned for him. Hopefully we’ll get to the go karts sometime this week or weekend. It looks like it will be fun. 🙂

Now… onto the knitting things!

I did start one new project last week that I didn’t mention. It’s for the Super Summer Knitaway KAL. I’m fairly certain I haven’t mentioned the Super Summer Knitaway or that I got a spot, so let me back up a moment and talk about that!

Back in August, The Knit Girllls and Carin from Round the Twist announced a knitting retreat planned for June 2012. Spots would be limited and attendees would be chosen by lottery. It sounded like it would be a lot of fun and a lot of the folks I met at the Spring Fling in 2010 or know on Plurk were putting their names in, so I put my name in the hat for a spot.

When the lottery spots were first announced, I didn’t get in. I admit I was a little sad to see a lot of my Plurk friends saying they got a spot when I didn’t, but I was on the wait list in case someone else couldn’t make it. On October 3rd I received an email saying that someone had to drop out (sad for them) and my name came up in the lottery (yay for me!). I’ve already sent in my deposit and I’m looking forward to attending next year! 🙂

Leading up to SSK next year, in the Ravelry group we’re doing some KAL-ing to support the teachers and hosts of the event. The first one features the designer Wendy D. Johnson. For each KAL you participate in and complete, you get extra raffle tickets for door prizes at the event. I initially started to knit the Transvers Shawlette using Tempted Good Grrl yarn in Pocket Full of Posies (which will earn me 5 extra raffle tickets!).

Transverse Shawlette
Transverse Shawlette

I was moving right along on it, but something about this yarn and pattern weren’t really working for me. I like the yarn, I like the pattern, but not together. I think the yarn is just a bit too variegated for the pattern for my taste, so I decided to knit something different. I pulled out all three books I have from Wendy and looked at all my options. I decided on the Crocus Socks from Toe-Up Socks for Every Body and cast them on last night. I’m just about through the toe of the first sock.

Crocus Socks
Crocus Socks

Did you notice the DPNs there? I can’t remember the last time I knit a sock on DPNs! When I went to start these, I couldn’t find the US 1 (2.25mm) Knit Picks circular that I know isn’t on a project. I know I have at least two in this size and one is with my Embossed Leaves sock. I looked everywhere, including my WIP drawer and I couldn’t find it. I decided that since I used to knit on DPNs all the time, I could just use those instead. One thing I seem to have completely blocked out of my memory of knitting socks with DPNs was how fiddly it is to cast on toe-up socks on them. It took me two tries to get it going! Guess I was really sold on magic looping and it’s hard to go back to DPNs now. I’ll be taking another look for the missing circular because the lace pattern on these socks will definitely be easier with all the top of the foot stitches on one needle.

Since I finished the Luz Mojito socks last week, I’ve been working on Matt’s scarf as my TV knitting and other projects as my on-the-go knitting since the scarf, with it’s two balls of yarn, isn’t really that portable since they tend to get tangled in the project bag no matter how hard I try to place them in there so they don’t.

I can’t believe it’s nearly November! How did October go by so quickly? November, if you aren’t aware, is the National Knit a Sweater in a Month challenge, which was created in response to NaNoWriMo. This used to be hosted on Knitgrrl’s blog, but now has it’s very own Ravelry group where you can participate. Since I’m not a writer, but do like knitting sweaters, this challenge is right up my alley, especially considering that I recently took the Fit-to-Flatter class at Rhinebeck and I’ve been itching to test out my new knowledge. I’ve seen a few folks mention what sweater they have planned for NaKniSweMo, which of course is making my queue grow. I can’t believe I nearly forgot about it until I saw people mentioning participating! Luckily I recently swatched and had plans for a sweater, so I’ll be casting on with everyone else tomorrow. Will you be participating this year? If so, what do you plan on knitting?

I’ll share my NaKniSweMo plans tomorrow, along with an FO!

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Posted in Current Projects

Frogged and in Progress

The other day I realized that I don’t often mention projects again if I end up frogging them. Often I start projects, find they don’t work or I don’t like them or I’m no longer interested in working on it, frog them and move on. Since I’ve moved on, if I’ve blogged about that project at all, I forget about it completely as if it never happened and never think to mention it here. There are sometimes projects I don’t mention on the blog at all and never make it into my Ravelry notebook. Frogged projects have a story that doesn’t get told on my blog. I don’t really have a reason for this, so I think I’ll try to mention when projects get frogged or don’t work out.

Back in September I was working on a pair of Ambroso mittens. Even after trying to turn them into fingerless gloves, I just wasn’t happy with the way they looked at all, so I frogged them. RIP mittens/fingerless gloves!

After finishing Eadon, I frogged the first Seneca I knit and started one in a smaller size. As you know, I took a class at Rhinebeck about sweater fit (Fit-to-Flatter with Amy Herzog). When I got home, I looked at Seneca and contemplated it with my new knowledge. I decided that it needed to be frogged because it was going to end up a bit too big. Since this is already re-claimed sweater yarn, I figured I should put it to good use to knit up a sweater I can wear that won’t be too big. I’m on the lookout for just the right pattern for the yarn. I’m thinking it’ll be a pullover, but I’m open to suggestions if anyone has a favorite sweater pattern for a worsted weight yarn.

Since I last talked about what I currently have on the needles, I’ve cast on for a new sock project: Luz Mojito (Ravelry link). My first two attempts to knit socks from the CIS series didn’t work out, but these have! I finished the first sock on Sunday and I’m now through the leg of the second sock (not pictured below). Hoping to have them done by the end of the week. The yarn is MadelineTosh Sport in the colorway Terra. Makes a very nice, squishy sock!

Luz Mojito (Sock 1)
Luz Mojito – Sock 1

Speaking of socks, since it is Socktober (though I haven’t been much of a participant this year), I finished another first sock. This is just a plain vanilla sock in Vesper colorway Venus In Furs. I like having a plain sock on the needles at all times in case I need an easy project for knitting in public. They often don’t progress very fast, but they are fun to knit up! I haven’t started the second one yet. I’m focusing on getting Luz Mojito done first.

Venus In Furs (Sock 1)
Venus In Furs – Sock 1

What are you working on this week? Something new? An old WIP you’ve pulled out to complete?

I have a few other projects on the needles, but they haven’t seen much noticeable progress recently. Matt’s scarf did see some love this past weekend. No new photograph because it’s not all that exciting – just imagine a few inches added to this picture of it. I may focus on getting that scarf done next so Matt’s neck is warmed with handknit love this winter.

I’m still working on the Embossed Leaves socks and Ashby. They’ve been set aside for other projects at the moment. Oh if only there was more time in my day to spend knitting!

Posted in Completed Projects

Three FO Monday

It’s nearly the end of October and I haven’t shared much of what I’ve been working on. Despite that, I have THREE finished objects to share today! Even when blogging doesn’t happen, I’m always busy working on something. 😉

The first FO is the hat that was such a hit at Rhinebeck this year. I don’t know if I even mentioned that I was working on this one! I got quite a few compliments on it! I love the way it turned out. Next I’ll need to figure out a red bird version for Matt!

Angry Birds Green Pig
Angry Birds Green Pig Hat

Pattern: Green Pig Beanie by knitterbees (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: September 25, 2011
Completed: October 10, 2011
Yarn: Various acrylics listed on my Ravelry project page
Needle: US 3 bamboo circular and DPNs
Notes: This pattern is no longer available, but I wanted this hat! I used Jared Flood’s free hat pattern Turn a Square as the base and followed the instructions for knitterbees Green Pig Plush Toy for the eyes, nose, ears, and crown. Took a little trial and error to get it just right, but I’m really happy with how it turned out!

Next up is a shawlette that I knit in the week before Rhinebeck. Someone *cough*Andrea*cough* decided to knit one and talked me into knitting one, too. It knit up pretty quickly and I finished it just in time to wear to Rhinebeck unblocked. The yarn I used, Handmaiden Casbah, was great to work with. The pattern, Maluka, is a free one that can be found on Ravelry.

Maluka (front)
Maluka

Pattern: Maluka (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: October 8, 2011
Completed: October 13, 2011
Yarn: Handmaiden Casbah, just under 1 skein
Needle: US 6 Knit Picks Harmony circular
Notes: I made two modifications to the pattern: instead of decrease short rows, I did wrap and turn short rows and instead of the garter stitch edge, I did an i-cord bind off.

Maluka (Edge Detail)
Maluka – Edging Detail

The last FO I have to share are the Grove mittens I started a while back. These started out pretty roughly, but I’m happy to say I like the finished mittens. The first yarn I chose didn’t work out (too thin), then they weren’t very portable because I had a hard time getting the hang of the chart, then I finished one mitten only to find I’d missed the 4th row, a knit row, which threw the design off and made the right mitten look different. I would have just matched the right mitten to the left one, but I didn’t like the way it looked with two garter ridges on the top of the cuff pattern and only one below it. After starting the right mitten, knitting it correctly, and noticing my error, I decided I would re-knit the left mitten after finishing the right one. Much happier that way! I’m glad I have a new pair of mittens waiting to be broken in when it gets cold out here.

Grove Mittens
Grove Mittens

Pattern: Grove by Jared Flood (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: October 7, 2011
Completed: October 21, 2011
Yarn: Berroco Vintage Chunky, color 6175, 2 skeins
Needle: US 6 Banboo DPNs
Notes:Start and finish dates are based on when I started the right mitten since I didn’t keep the first left mitten I knit. Made no modifications to the pattern. It would be easy to lengthen or shorten these by adding or removing the pattern repeats.

Grove Mittens
Grove Mittens – Palm

Despite these FO’s, I still have quite a few things on the needles. I suppose that’s how it always goes with knitting… well at least for those of us that aren’t monogamous knitters! Even with all the things I’m working on, I want to cast on more things. I’m hoping I can resist casting anything else on until I finish up at least 2 more things I’m working on. Maybe it’s that time of year. Fall is definitely here in Southwestern Ohio and I’m itching to make sweaters and other warm things.

Ever get that urge when the fall months hit that you want to cast on more things? What’s next on your list to knit or crochet?

Next time I’ll share what I currently have in progress! 🙂

Posted in Current Projects, Fiber Events

Rhinebeck 2011 – The Purchases

Time to share all the things that just HAD to come home with me from Rhinebeck this year! 🙂

This year I came with a list of yardages for different projects I had in mind, just like I did last year. I find this is the best way for me to shop so that I don’t come home with things I can’t figure out what to do with and end up destashing it later. I knew I wanted to get yarn for the Peak Island Hood and enough yarn for a sweater, but the rest of my purchases would be left up to what I came across.

Saturday I got my goodie bag when I checked in for my class. The bag was for being one of the first 250 people to register for a workshop. The tote bag is pretty nice and inside there were coupons, catalogs, and a skein of yarn from Knit Picks.

Rhinebeck Goodie Bag
Goodie Bag

The very first purchase I made was on Saturday afternoon at Good Karma Farm. The yarn was so soft and I fell in love with a bright blue they had. I decided it would be the perfect thing to make the Peak Island Hood out of and purchased 3 skeins of 60% wool/40% alpaca in a worsted weight.

Good Karma Farms
Good Karma Farm Wool/Alpaca

Sunday was the day I made most of my purchases. I took my time and went through the different booths a few times before deciding on what I wanted. Here’s all the loot!

Rhinebeck Purchases
Top (L to R): Goodie Bag, Goodies in the bag, Handmade Basket, Brooks Farm Trio, Brooks Farm Solo
Middle (L to R): Bittersweet Woolery Star Dust Lace, Socks That Rock Lightweight, Twist of Fate Spinnery (Worsted), Loop Batt, Into the Whirled Superwash BFL
Bottom (L to R): Bosworth Walnut Midi Spindle, Jessalu Spindle Bag, Good Karma Farms Wool/Alpaca, Signature Arts Needles (US 6, 24″), Non-fibery goodies

I think the red Brooks Farm Solo will become Parcel and the Twist of Fate Spinnery yarn will likely become Anaya with 3/4 length sleeves. Not sure what the Bittersweet Woolery Star Dust Lace or what the Socks That Rock will be, but I’m sure I’ll find suitable patterns for each!

For those that went to Rhinebeck, what came home with you? Any purchases you couldn’t live without or anything you’re now itching to cast on?

I’m hoping that I can knit up some swatches for sweaters soon! I’m thinking that Anaya will be first on my list to knit. After all these new purchases, I’m itching to cast on for new things! I’m making myself finish the Grove mittens I’ve been working on and I’d like to get another project or two off the needles first, but I can swatch in the mean time, right? 😉

Posted in Fiber Events

Rhinebeck 2011

I can’t believe how quickly the last few weeks have gone by! I had the best of intentions to blog before Rhinebeck, but I ended up not having time. A small part of it was also that while I had been knitting, I didn’t have any pictures to share because I’d been too busy to take or upload any, so it seemed boring to just say “Oh I’m going to Rhinebeck, hope to see you there!” Ah well. Life happens sometimes!

Last weekend was New York Sheep and Wool, also known as Rhinebeck. I planned to take Wednesday off to get packed and ready for the road trip, leave Thursday, see people and shop on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, drive home Monday, and take Tuesday off to recover. All went according to plan! Diana shared the drive with me again this year, but we had our own hotel room. Friday she had a workshop at the fairgrounds. I spent some time driving around Kingston when Hillary sent me a text saying she was getting into town earlier then planned, so we met up for lunch and went to a sushi place. Friday evening we went out with a few of Diana’s friends that were there for the weekend.

Saturday morning we were at the fairgrounds early since I had workshop in the morning. I took Fit-to-Flatter with Amy Herzog. The class was fantastic! I learned quite a bit from it and would recommend the class to anyone who likes to knit sweaters. I spent the afternoon walking around, checking out vendors and met up with quite a few folks. I wish I could remember and link everyone, but I think my brain was a bit on overload from everything going on that I know I’d leave out a lot of people! It was so great to see all the familiar faces and meet some new folks, too. I only bought yarn from one vendor on Saturday, Good Karma Farms. I think there was just so much going on and so many people that I was just overwhelmed by the vendors. I was really glad I planned to go both days this year! Saturday evening we were both so wiped out from all the socializing, the class, and the vendors, that we went back to the hotel and relaxed. We did meet another group of Diana’s friends for dinner, but only went to the diner across the street, which was probably all we could manage at that point after all the action of the day.

So many colors!
There were so many great vendors and a huge range of colors!

Sunday we got to the fairgrounds pretty early, partially because we didn’t realize that it didn’t open until 10 am and partially because we were worried about parking. We had breakfast at the Eveready Diner right across from the fairgrounds Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning and on Sunday morning, we saw quite a lot of people in the parking lot, so we decided to go over early to get a good parking spot.

Eveready Diner
Everady Diner

We got over to the fairgrounds a little after 9 am. I walked around a bit, checked out a few of the vendors I wanted to see (who were all not ready for customers yet), then wandered around until Kim (aka crazywig on Ravelry) found me. We had coffee together and chatted for a bit until things started to pick up. While we were sitting and chatting, Jesh came walking by. I’d been trying to find her most of Saturday, but she had been good about not being at the Holiday Yarns booth any time I walked by! After things started picking up and vendors opened, I wandered around contemplating what would come home with me.

Around lunch time while I was sitting eating a chicken pita, Michelle finally found me! We tried to meet up on Saturday, but didn’t find each other. I was so glad she spotted me in my Angry Birds green pig hat (which got TONS of comments from people) before she left for the day. It was great to have a chance to talk to her in person. 🙂

The fairgrounds closed at 5 pm on Sunday and I admit I was a bit sad to see it all come to an end. I had a really good time, came home with lots of goodies, and was so happy to be able to see many of the folks that I have the pleasure of knowing through Ravelry, Plurk, and Twitter.

As I was leaving the fairgrounds on Sunday
As I left the fairgrounds Sunday

I didn’t take nearly as many pictures as I wish I had (especially not of all the lovely people I saw), but I’ve uploaded my Rhinebeck pictures to Flickr and you can check them out here.

Did you go to Rhinebeck this year? If you did, how was it? If not, do you have plans to go next year?

Next time I’ll share all the goodies I purchased. 😀