Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

End of 2011, Beginning of 2012

Happy New Year everyone! I hope that 2012 is treating you well so far.

I have one last FO for 2011. I finished this up on New Years Eve. I blocked it right away so it would be dry and I could take pictures before gifting it to the intended recipient (a coworker) January 2nd. This is really a Christmas gift even though I didn’t get it started until AFTER Christmas. I think it worked out okay since the recipient was on vacation prior to Christmas and I had it finished before she returned from vacation. 🙂 I hope she likes it!

Dover Castle Shawl
Dover Castle Shawl

Pattern: Dover Castle Shawl by Judy Marples (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: December 26, 2011
Completed: December 31, 2011
Yarn: sKnitches Cinema Sock Club, MCN in Everybody Knows (410 yards)
Needle: US 6 circular
Notes: I did 10 repeats of Chart A and one full repeat of Chart B. This was a great quick knit and allowed me to use the full skein of yarn with just a small amount left over. The pattern repeats were easy to memorize and I hardly had to look at the chart after the first two repeats. This is one I’ll be making again so I have one of my own!

Dover Castle Shawl
Dover Castle – Close Up

With that last FO completed, I have a total of 35 projects that I finished in 2011. Here’s the breakdown:

– 10 pairs of socks
– 6 shawls
– 6 hats
– 4 sweaters
– 3 scarves
– 3 cowls
– 1 set of potholders
– 1 pair of mittens
– 1 tiny bunny

Completed Projects in 2011 (BHL Mosaic)

Projects Completed in 2011

In 2011 I think my only knitting related goal that I had was to knit 12 sweaters, but that was abandoned when I started losing weight (on purpose). I can’t find where I really posted any other goals for 2011. The sweaters didn’t work out as planned, but the weight loss has been going well, as has the eating healthier overall, and exercising regularly to keep my back healthy. Those weren’t really goals I talked about here or goals that I set out to make happen when 2011 started. Really happy with how far I’ve come with those goals, though! 🙂

For 2012, my goals are a little different. Not so project-type-focused. My main goal is work on reducing stash which means knitting projects from stash unless it’s gift knitting and I don’t have something suitable. I’ve joined a few groups on Ravelry to help keep me on track, but I’ll post a bit more about the specifics later. Do you have any knitting/crocheting/spinning related goals this year? Speaking of spinning, I really need to do that more. Maybe I’ll plan to spin an hour a week and see how that goes.

My starting stash total is 95,455.2 yards (54.23 miles). Each month I plan to post a little update here.

It’s hard to not cast on EVERYTHING right now, especially with having a number of projects ready to go. I did finish up one WIP that was left over from 2011 and I’ve started two new projects from stash. Now that I’ve finally taken pictures of all my current and finished projects, I’ll be updating on those in a post later this week (I know I promised it last week, but well the week just got away from me!).

I know a lot of folks had a tough 2011. I had my own ups and downs as well, though I know many had a much more difficult year then I did. Here’s hoping that 2012 is a lot better then 2011!

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Posted in Current Projects

All the FO’s

Wow, it’s nearly the end of December! I can hardly believe how fast this month has gone by. Considering all the holiday things going on this month, I’m not really surprised that it’s gone by so quick since we’ve been rather busy most of the month. Just hard to believe December and 2011 is nearly over!

Hope everyone has had a good holiday season. For those who celebrate gift giving holidays this time of year, I hope you got all the knitting/crochet/fibery things you asked for! 🙂

Turns out that since I haven’t blogged for nearly a month, I have a number of FO’s to show (five. FIVE?!). I know I showed this first one previously and promised better pictures, but since he’s been wearing it, I’m not sure when that will happen, so I’ll go ahead and give the details with the picture from last time. (Forgive me, it’s been tough to take pictures this month with all our dreary weather!).

Matt and his scarf
Matt’s Striped Scarf

Pattern: 1×1 rib scarf, switching colors every 2 rows (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: November 17, 2009
Completed: November 29, 2011
Yarn: 1 skein each of Dye Dreams Luster Sock in Shades of Ireland and Malabrigo Sock Yarn in Negro
Needle: US 5 birch straights
Notes: The pattern is the Noro Striped scarf using non-striping yarns. Really easy, but really boring which is why it took me 2 years to complete! He loves it, though, and I’m glad I finally got it off the needles.

A friend of mine, Jessie (who is a knitter), asked me to knit a sock monkey hat for her soon to be born son and I was happy to do it. How could I resist knitting something so cute? Initially I knit the larger size (baby) and it looked way too big for a tiny baby, but since I’d already knit it and had enough yarn, I finished it and sent it along with the newborn sized one. She said she loves how they turned out. Now the little one just needs to decide to make an appearance so he can wear it!

Sock Monkey - Baby/Toddler
Sock Monkey Hat – Baby/Toddler Size

Pattern: Sock Monkey Ear Flap Hats for the Whole Family – Baby size (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: December 5, 2011
Completed: December 14, 2011
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash in Really Read, Charcoal, and Aran
Needle: US 5 bamboo DPNs
Notes: Modifications I made were to use felt for the eyes instead of buttons and I knit i-cord instead of doing the braid which I thought was way too bulky. I used a 3 3/8″ Clover Pom Pom maker for the pom pom.

Sock Monkey - Newborn

Pattern: Sock Monkey Ear Flap Hats for the Whole Family – Newborn size (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: December 10, 2011
Completed: December 14, 2011
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash in Really Read, Charcoal, and Aran
Needle: US 5 bamboo DPNs
Notes: This is the newborn size one. Modifications I made were to use felt for the eyes instead of buttons and I knit i-cord instead of doing the braid which I thought was way too bulky. I used a 2 1/2″ Clover Pom Pom maker for the pom pom.

Sock Monkey Hats
Sock Monkey Hats

Sock Monkey Hats
Sock Monkey Hats

Originally I was going to keep these socks for myself, but ended up deciding my mom could use another pair and I finished them in time to gift them to her for Christmas. She loved them and kept saying “NO, these are MINE.” hehehe 🙂

Embossed Leaves
Embossed Leaves

Pattern: Embossed Leaves by Mona Schmidt (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: September 22, 2011
Completed: December 17, 2011
Yarn: Alchemy Juniper in Autumn Ecstasy, 2 skeins
Needle: US 1 (2.25 mm) Knit Picks circular
Notes: I made a small modification to the heel flap. Instead of knitting 3 stitches on each end, I slipped the first stitch of each row creating 2 garter stitches on each side instead of 3. This made it easier to pick up the stitches on either end. I didn’t cut my yarn after finishing the heel and picking up stitches along the flap – there’s really no reason to do that unless you like weaving in ends!

I started these socks for Matt after knitting myself a pair of sport weight socks from this yarn in a different color. He knew I was working on them, but I finished the second sock just before Christmas and decided to package them with the other gifts I gave him. He’s up to 3 pairs of winter house socks now! I think these are the squashiest of the 3 pairs. There’s only one sock pictured here, but trust me, they are done and they both look the same! 🙂

Matt's Socks
Matt’s Ribbed Socks

Pattern: 50 stitch toe-up 3×2 ribbed sock (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: November 29, 2011
Completed: December 19, 2011
Yarn: MadelineTosh Tosh Sport in Boxwood, 1 skein
Needle: US 2.5 (3.00 mm) Knit Picks circular
Notes: Basic 50 stitch toe-up sock with slipped stich heel. Did a k3, p2 rib for a snug fit. Squishy! This just might be my favorite sport weight yarn for socks. Not that I’ve knit many pairs, but I do love how it knits up.

I think these will be the last FO’s of 2011, but there’s a small chance I may get the shawl or mittens I’m working on done before the year ends.

With this year nearly over, have you been thinking much about knitting/crocheting/spinning goals for 2012? I certainly have. There’s so many things I want to knit and work on next year, but I’m still working on some strategy to complete the goals I have in mind. If you have knitting/crocheting/spinning goals for 2012, what are they?

Next time I’ll share some of my WIPs! Until then, happy knitting all. 🙂

Posted in Current Projects

Scarf of DOOOOM and Other WIPs

Since finishing the two pairs of socks, I’ve been fighting the urge to cast on something new. I have at least 3 projects in mind that I’d like to start, possibly more if I thought about it longer!

Thankfully, seeing how far along I am on my current projects and seeing how fast they’re moving along has kept me from starting anything new before finishing something up. As luck would have it, I was able to finish up one of the three projects I had on the needles yesterday.

Matt's Scarf
Matt’s Scarf

This project has been on the needles since 2009. I started this scarf for Matt in the winter of 2009 and it kept getting put aside for other things. It’s finally DONE! I hope to take a better picture of it soon for a FO post. So incredibly happy to have this project off the needles!

Matt and his scarf
Matt and his new scarf!

Finishing those two pairs of socks I has allowed me to pick up the Embossed Leaves socks again. The pattern repeat was easy enough to memorize and is just enough to keep me interested without being bored. I finished the heel flap and I’m now working on the foot of the first sock. The yarn I’m using is Alchemy Juniper, which I’ve not used before. It’s really squishy and nice to work with. This is one of the yarns I got in The Loopy Ewe Sock Club in 2010. Nice to be knitting up some of the older things in my stash!

Embossed Leaves
Embossed Leaves

The other project on my needles is probably the least interesting to look at. It’s a black cardigan. The pattern I’m knitting is Estelle Cardigan, which is a pretty simple cardigan with a feather and fan edging around the collar, cuffs, and bottom of the sweater with ribbing at the waist. I think it will be very wearable, but really just not that interesting to see! Plus, black is sort of hard to photograph and hides any of the details in pictures, so it ends up looking like a blob of black instead. Ah well. I think the yarn is pretty nice to work with. Matt thinks it’s too rough and not soft enough – what a yarn snob I’ve turned him into!! Hehehe 🙂

Estelle Cardigan
Estelle Cardigan

I debated starting another pair of stripey socks to work on after finishing Matt’s scarf. There’s a lot of holiday parties coming up this month and a plain sock that I don’t have to think much about seems like just the right thing to have to work on. I took a look at my stash and decided to cast on a pair of house socks for Matt. I picked up a skein of MadeleineTosh Sport at Lambikins Hideaway the last time I was there. At the time, I had just finished a pair of socks for myself out of this yarn and enjoyed working with it, so I thought I’d knit him up a pair. I used a US 1.5 (2.50mm) needle for my socks with this yarn, but I thought that was a little on the tight side (though, personally I like my socks with a bit tighter fabric). For his, I decided to go up to a US 2.5 (3.0 mm). I didn’t have a plan when I cast on aside from making it a 50 stitch sock. Once I finished the toe, I played around with different stitches until I decided I liked the look of 3 x 2 rib best. It’s working up really fast! I’ve already knit 5″ of it.

Matt's House Socks
Matt’s House Socks

What are you working on this week? Something new? Holiday gifts?

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

Rikke Hat, Sweater Fail, and Other Projects

Wow, where has November gone? I can hardly believe it’s almost Thanksgiving. I’ve had the best of intentions to blog over the last almost 3 weeks. Things have been busy lately. It doesn’t help that the sun going down so early now or that the weather has been rainy and dreary making it difficult to take decent pictures. Despite all the busy and lack of photographic evidence, I’ve been knitting things. In fact I started and finished a project since I last posted!

After some issues with another project (which I’ll get to in a minute), I needed something that was almost-instant gratification and fairly simple. I happened to see this hat pattern on Ravelry and immediately knew that I needed to make one out of the Malabrigo Rios I had.

Rikke Hat (Front)
Rikke Hat – Front

Pattern: Rikke Hat by Sarah Young (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: November 11, 2011
Completed: November 13, 2011
Yarn: Malabrigo Rios, colorway Solis, 1 skein
Needle: US 4 and 7, bamboo circular
Notes: This is a free pattern that can be found here. I ended up using a yard or so from the leftovers from the first skein of this that I had for the last 2 rows of the hat plus bind off. Simple pattern that makes a great, squishy hat!

Rikke Hat (Side)
Rikke Hat – Side

It is November and it is NaKniSweMo. Do you recall me talking about a sweater I planned to knit this month? Yeah… about that… I ran into a problem. It’s small. REALLY small. I had a feeling it might be a bit on the small side from the gauge being off, but I thought the changes I planned on making would allow it to still fit well even if it was a bit snug. After finishing the right and left fronts, I tried it on and it just felt incredibly small. Way smaller then I’d want it to be for a cardigan I want to wear over other layers. I haven’t frogged it yet because part of me thinks I should just finish it, wash it and see how it turns out. However there’s a secondary issue. The second skein is quite a bit lighter in color from the first and other two skeins. Guess where I joined the second skein and there’s a pretty distinct line! The bust. Right around the largest part of the bust even. Yep. So, it’s sitting in time out for now while I debate what to do. Thoughts or ideas what to do?

Metro
Metro

Since that didn’t really work out, I went back to working on my Lace and Cables socks for the SSK KAL. I finished the first sock last Monday. Not the best picture as it was taken in the car on the way to take Matt to the airport last week, but hey, it’s a picture of my progress! I’ve finished two of the lace repeats on the second sock. It goes pretty quickly, so I’m sure I’ll be able to finish it this week I have some time off this week because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Lace and Cables Sock
Lace and Cables Sock

Last week, while Matt was out of town doing some training for work, I spent a lot of my free time cleaning and organizing parts of our house that we usually ignore: the spare room that has boxes of things that don’t have a place to go and the basement that holds both things that have no place to go and things that are only used occasionally. Much of this stuff needed to be sorted through, thrown out, and given away, so while he was away, I focused on taking care of these two areas of the house. I’m pleased to say I made huge progress on both! I think there’s probably a little room for improvement in the spare room, but that can’t happen until we have some sort of storage solution for it. Overall, I’m really happy with getting rid of a lot stuff and having a better idea of what we have.

As a reward for getting all that done, I cast on for a sweater: Estelle. I picked up yarn for this sweater after seeing a sample at Lambikins Hideaway. The sample was knit out of a different yarn, but this yarn was near where I saw the sample and was really reasonably priced. If I’m remembering correctly from what the shop employee said, this yarn was something that was custom spun for the shop quite some time ago (I think before owners changed). The yarn is Yarn Source Sol, 100% wool, and 220 yards for $4.50. They didn’t have a huge selection of colors, but since I’ve been wanting a black cardigan for a while, I figured this was the perfect opportunity to knit myself one.

Yarn Source Sol
Yarn Source Sol

When I got home and looked up the pattern, I found it was already in my queue. No wonder I liked it!

When I bought the yarn, I decided I was going to wait until the socks were done to cast on. After almost a week of hardly any knitting and getting so much accomplished at the house, I made Saturday “knit anything you want” day and cast on for Estelle. I’ve knit to just past where you split for the sleeves. Since my gauge is different then the pattern, I’m knitting the smallest size to get the size I want and it’s moving along quickly. Now to get those socks done so I can get back to it! 🙂

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

NaKniSweMo, Luz Mojito, and SSK KAL

It’s November and today is the start of NaKnitSweMo! Have you cast on for your sweater yet?

After getting home from Rhinebeck, I started searching for just the right pattern to use for the Twist of Fate Spinnery worsted weight 50 wool/50 alpaca yarn I purchased.

Twist of Fate Spinnery
Twist of Fate Spinnery Wool/Alpaca

I swatched with one sweater in mind, but ultimately decided to knit something different and to knit it for NaKniSweMo. I wanted something that would be great to keep at the office for when it’s freezing and that would use the new knowledge I had from the Fit-to-Flatter class I took. I combed through my queue and all sorts of patterns on Ravelry. Ultimately I decided on Metro. I had the right yardage available, it’d be easy to take on and off at the office, and it would challenge me to use shaping modifications I haven’t used before.

It took a little math since my gauge is different then the pattern, but I’ve decided to knit the smallest size and add in vertical bust darts with the waist shaping increases. I still haven’t quite worked out how to do the bust darts other then a general idea of where I’ll put them. I plan on taking a look over my class materials tonight to plan out exactly how I’ll do that when I get there. I feel pretty confident that I can do this, but I think it’ll be a challenge to make these modifications and trusting that it’ll work. Here’s hoping it all works according to plan!

Now for an FO! 😀 I finished the Luz Mojito socks last Thursday, but didn’t get finished photos of them until the weekend. I love these socks! They are so squishy. I can definitely see myself wearing them around the house this winter to keep my feet extra warm. This is my first time knitting sport weight socks, but I have a feeling it won’t be my last! One skein of yarn was just enough for these for me. I had only a tiny bit left over. If you have larger feet (I wear a US women’s 7 or 7.5) you’ll want more then one skein if you like the leg to be somewhat tall and knit a denser fabric like I did.

Luz Mojito (Front)
Luz Mojito

Pattern: Luz Mojito by Heather Zoppetti (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: October 14, 2011
Completed: October 27, 2011
Yarn: MadelineTosh Tosh Sport, colorway Terra, 1 skein
Needle: US 1.5 (2.50mm) Knit Picks nickel circular
Notes: Followed the pattern as written. Only mod I made was to the toe. I knit as written until there were 16 stitches on each needle left, then decreased every round until 8 stitches were left on each needle, then kitchnered the stitches together. I chose to do these on a US 1.5 instead of a US 2 because of the stitch count. I knew that the stitch count called for in the pattern would be too big on a US 2, so I went for a denser fabric.

Luz Mojito (Heel)
Luz Mojito Socks

Little update about the SSK KAL. When I looked at what I had knit of the Crocus Socks, I didn’t like how the side lace stitches looked. They didn’t look much like the pattern. I figured out that this was because I was knitting the smallest size which wasn’t producing the same look as the medium or large size would. I really like that design element, but knew I couldn’t go up a size and still have socks that would fit, so I decided to pick another pattern. I settled on the Lace and Cables socks instead. It had the same stitch count I knew would fit and from reading over the pattern I knew that none of the design elements would be lost on the smaller size. Ripped back the Crocus Socks and added 10 rows of stockinette before starting the charts (prevents the lace from showing “toe butts” which I’m not fond of). Not much to look at so far, but they’re moving along quickly.

Lace and Cables Sock
Attempt 3: Lace and Cables Socks

Look! I found that other circular! Turns out I’d missed it in my WIP drawer. It was on a project I’d marked as frogged in my Ravelry notebook, but apparently hadn’t actually frogged yet. Oops! I think the sock is going a lot faster now that I’m not using DPNs. Guess I’m a total magic loop convert! Hahaha 🙂

Start anything new or have any plans to? As usual, I’ve got other things I want to start OMGRIGHTNOW and making myself hold off. I have plans to participate in the Solid Socks (Ravelry Group) November KAL, but holding off on casting on until I get at least one of the Lace and Cables socks done. I would like to focus on other WIPs, too, however new things seem to be winning out at the moment! What do you to to help motivate yourself to finish WIPs? I keep trying to make myself work on them, but struggling because they aren’t holding my interest.

Off to start Metro! Happy Knitting/Crocheting!

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!

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 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 Current Projects, Sewing

WIP Wednesday

It’s been a while since I shared all of my current projects and since I recently cast on some new things, I figure it’s time to share what I have on the needles today.

Sometime at the end of August or early September, I decided I needed to have a plain vanilla pair of socks on the needles. I have enough stripey yarn that I could probably have a pair of striped socks on the needles for at least a year or two! I pulled out a skein of Vesper self striping yarn in Venus in Furs. This is a colorway I traded with Jen (of the Piddleloop Sewing Team) for. I don’t know if my knitting changed or what, but for some reason my normal 64 stitch sock was way too big. Then, I went down to a US 0 made, but the fabric I was getting was a bit too tight and the sock (66 stitches) was too big. After a number of failed attempts at getting these socks going, around mid-September I finally re-started these with a stitch count that worked (60 stitches). I’m past the heel and halfway through the leg on the first sock. Behind the sock, you’ll see one of my bags from Jen. I love the fabric and it’s just the right size for a sock project!

Stripes - Venus in Furs
Venus in Furs Stripey Sock

I think I could have forced myself to work on things I had going, but last week Knitty released their Deep Fall issue and Brooklyn Tweed released the Fall 2011 collection. Two patterns jumped out at me as things I MUST KNIT NOW.

The pattern from Knitty caught my eye was Ambroso. I had a skein of Cascade 220 Superwash on hand that I’d been trying to find a pattern that suited it. Yesterday I spent a lot of time working on the decreases on the top of the hand portion, but after working it as written twice and trying to adjust it twice, I’m just not happy with how it’s turning out. The decrease section on the outer part of the mitten tends to shift itself almost to the center of the backside of my hand. Personally, I’m not at all a fan of how this looks. In looking at the pictures on the pattern page, I do notice this issue. I guess I didn’t think much of it when I started knitting them. After some thought on what to do since I couldn’t straighten it out, I’ve deiced to make these into fingerless gloves instead! I’ll knit ribbing around the thumb and hand to match the cuff.

Ambroso Mittens
Ambroso Mittens

The pattern from Brooklyn Tweed that caught my eye was Ashby. As the weather has turned a little cooler, I’ve found myself wanting something light that I could wear and easily take off. A non-lace shawl made from a warm fiber was just what I needed. I picked up some Ultra Alpaca and started it this past weekend. I like the construction of it. You knit the edge first, then pick up the stitches from the edge and knit the shawl from there. It avoids the problem of having 400+ stitches when you get to the bottom of the shawl! The color of the yarn is a little lighter in person then the photo shows.

Ashby
Ashby

For a while now I’ve wanted to make a pair of Embossed Leaves socks. I also wanted to use up this very fall colored yarn I got from the Loopy Ewe Sock Club last year. The yarn is Alchemy Juniper in Autumn Ecstasy. I’ve not used this sock yarn before and at first I wasn’t fond of the colors, but it seems to have grown on me and has been demanding that I make it into some nice fall socks. When I saw another pair of Embossed Leaves out of this very colorway, I knew I needed to finally knit this pattern. So far I’m enjoying both the yarn and the pattern. The yarn reminds me a bit of Fiesta Baby Boom. Looks kind of fluffy in the skein, yet isn’t as fluffy when you wind it at work with it, but makes a really nice fabric.

Embossed Leaves Sock
Embossed Leaves Socks

Despite casting on three new projects, I can’t shake the urge to cast on more things! I’ve noticed some other folks feeling the same way. Maybe it’s just the time of year. The weather has started to cool for many of us. For many knitters and crocheters, we start to think of all the warm, wooly things to knit and wear during the cooler months. I’ve already got my eye on at least one pair of fingerless gloves, a scarf, a hat, and a few pairs of socks. I won’t even talk about all the things in my queue!

Have you started any projects recently? Is anything calling to you to start right now? Any new patterns come out recently that you just can’t resist?

Posted in Current Projects, Life

Sweaters, Weight Loss, and Rhinebeck

There’s good news, bad news, and an annoying thing that happened with Eadon.

The good news is that the yarn arrived on Thursday to finish Eadon, I’m now done with all the knitting of it, and it’s been blocking since Saturday morning. The bad news is that the skein of yarn that arrived for me to finish it was a tiny bit darker and much more of a solid then the rest of the yarn. I’m hoping once it’s all sewn up it won’t look horrible. The annoying thing that happened when I started working on the shoulder seam part of the second sleeve was that I realized I didn’t bind off enough stitches on the first sleeve and I had to rip it back Friday night to fix it. At least I realized it, wasn’t too bad to fix, and didn’t take long! I started seaming Eadon Monday night, but it’s taking me a while to do. The way the prices go together is different from every other sweater I’ve seamed up until now. I’ve started seaming parts of it only to not like the way it’s going and starting over again. I’ll get it done tonight, though. Only one more sleeve to sew in!

Eadon Blocking
Eadon – blocking!

Since I finished knitting Eadon Saturday morning just before we went out of town for the weekend, I decided to try and work on the socks I have on the needles. Sadly, that hasn’t really worked out very well (I’m glad I brought a non-small-needle project with me, more on that below). Small needles still really bother my wrists and I can only knit a few rows before having to put it aside. No real progress on socks to show right now. Knitting Eadon didn’t bother my hands or wrists at all which makes me think it’s the needle size that’s doing it. I want to get at least one of the pairs off the needles, but after that I think I’ll take a break from knitting anything on small needles for a while. At least there’s always plenty of other things I can knit!

Last week sometime I got this idea in my head that I needed to knit a Rhinebeck sweater. Yes, I’ve got a sweater I’m nearly done with, but it wasn’t knit with Rhinebeck specifically in mind, so my brain reasoned that I should start something new with about a month to go until Rhinebeck. I was looking at DK and sport weight patterns initially. Even decided on two to pick from. One out of the yarn I bought at Rhinebeck last year and one out of the yarn I bought at the Spring Fling last year. Then I realized this was all rather crazy talk. I’d be stressing myself out trying to do this on a deadline when I’ve spent the summer working on deadline projects for Camp Loopy and haven’t really enjoyed it. So, I took a step back to think about it.

I looked at my stash. No worsted or bulky weight of yarn in a sweater quantity. I looked at sweaters I’ve knit that no longer fit me since I’ve lost over 60 lbs since I knit some of them. Even after I lost about half of the weight, I think I was still knitting to those heavier measurements and some things ended up not fitting that well. The difference in measurements wasn’t that big. I think I was just sizing up the way I did before and ending up with oversized sweaters rather than ones that were fitted. Anyhow, I now have a pile of sweaters that look like I’m swimming in them when I put them on and it makes me sad. While looking at my stash and my finished sweaters, I saw Seneca. I knit this earlier this year. When I finished it, it did end up a little too big. I loved the yarn and the pattern, though, and when I started losing more weight, I decided I would re-knit it later.

I’m still about 20 lbs from my goal, but it’s later enough and I decided I’m close enough to goal that I can reasonably start re-knitting Seneca with Rhinebeck in mind. Last week after deciding this, I frogged the Seneca I finished in February. After finishing Eadon on Saturday, I started Seneca. I’m knitting a smaller size, still adjusting for the gauge like I did the first time around. This time it should end up about 40″ across the chest, which is a bit less then my current chest measurement. It gives me some room to “shrink” into it! Even if I don’t end up losing any inches in my bust, I think it will still fit well with a bit of negative ease. I’ve managed to make my way through the cable on the bottom of the body and I’m currently working on the waist decreases.

Seneca Take 2
Seneca Take 2

The last two years I’ve gone I’ve had a new sweater to wear, one that was finished with the intention of wearing it to Rhinebeck. Earlier this year I had planned to not knit a sweater for Rhinebeck because I had taken a break from sweaters since I was losing weight (and still have a way to go, so I still am). I may or may not have Seneca done and if I don’t, I’ll probably wear Eadon along with the hat and mittens I plan on making. I think it’s kind of fun to have something new to wear that was made/bought just to wear at Rhinebeck, though I know a lot of people don’t bother with new things and wear things they’ve knit/crocheted without Rhinebeck specifically in mind.

Planning on going to Rhinebeck this year? Knitting or crocheting anything specifically for it?