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!

Advertisements
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. 😀

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 Completed Projects, Knit Ramblings

Summer Spirals and Project Talk

Last week I managed to finish a project that’s been lingering since June! Not the best picture of these socks, but it’s the only one I have of them finished. I took this picture with my iPhone right after I finished them, then forgot to get a decent picture before I gave them away. Oops! A better photo of the pattern and color are below so you can see what they really look like.

Summer Spirals
Summer Spirals

Pattern: Summer Spirals by Ina Isobe (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: June 3, 2011
Completed: September 22, 2011
Yarn: Unknown yarn, gifted to my friend Karen, knit up into socks by me for her boyfriend’s mom
Needle: US 1 (2.25mm) Knit Picks circular
Notes: These took me so long because of Camp Loopy. I think if I hadn’t done Camp Loopy, I probably would have had these done back in June! Not sure what the yarn actually was made up of since I didn’t bother with a burn test, but it wasn’t too bad to work with and the socks knit up fairly fast when I actually worked on them. I did modify the pattern to have one extra purl stitch in each purl section. Took a while to get the right stitch count for a good fit.

Summer Spirals
Summer Spirals – In Progress

I don’t think I mentioned it previously, but I wasn’t entirely happy with how the sleeves ended up on Eadon. The bothered me, even after living with it for a few days. Ultimately I decided I didn’t like the cast off I used after cutting a chunk of the sleeve off and that the sleeves needed a little more length. If you look at the sleeves of Eadon in the first picture here, you can see they’re a bit flared. It made them loose and bothered me when I wore it. To fix it, since it’s knit in 3 by 2 rib, I had to knit a small piece and graft it. This was no small task because it would be my first time grafting ribbing together. After some fiddling, I did figure out how to do it, though. After bringing it to knit group, all agreed you can’t tell where it was grafted. I can a little on the first sleeve I did, but the second one isn’t noticeable to me. I’m quite happy with the results and can now truly say I’m happy with how this sweater has turned out!

After finishing up the socks and fixing Eadon, I tired to be good and finish things on the needles first. Sadly, almost everything I had going required a chart that isn’t easily memorized, which made them not portable projects or I just wasn’t feeling like working on it. As much as I really love some of the designs that require lengthy charts, it’s difficult for me to work on those projects away from home and I spend a huge chunk of my knitting time away from home! The Seneca sweater just wasn’t holding my interest, the Grove mittens have a large chart that make them not portable, and High Seas shawl is charted on right and wrong side rows (too much for my poor brain at the moment). I look at Seneca and High Seas as longer term projects and I’m sure I’ll get around to finishing Grove.

I did try to focus on finishing up the Dawn Gnot sock before I started something new. Something about the cables in the pattern are bothersome to my wrists. I can only knit a few rows at a time, plus I can’t seem to memorize the chart, so they aren’t a good project for me right now. I may frog them and start a different pattern from the series (Crafty Detour CSI: Most Wanted – Ravelry link) with the yarn. Still undecided, though.

Are there ever times that you just can’t focus or work on whatever projects you have going? Do you start new projects, frog the ones you have, or just keep going? I tend to be a mix of all three depending on the projects I have going. I did end up casting on for some new things. I’ll share them in my next post later this week!

Posted in Knit Ramblings, Life

ChiaoGoo RED Needles

Recently, I’ve mentioned that I’ve tried out the new ChiaoGoo RED Stainless Steel Circulars. I’ve had a few people ask what I think about them, so I thought I’d do a little review.

ChiaoGoo RED Needles (original & lace)
ChiaoGoo RED Needles – Original on the left, Lace on the right.

There are two types of ChiaoGoo RED Stainless Steel Circulars: original and lace. Initially I bought the original in US 8’s in a 24″ and 40″ circular since I wanted to use them for Eadon. I bought those from Grandma’s Hand Knitting on Etsy. They are relatively inexpensive (similar in price to HyaHya Stainless Steel circulars) and they arrived within a few days of ordering. The cable is the most unique I’ve ever seen in any knitting needle to date. It reminds me of the type of cable you’d use to lock up your bicycle with. The cable has no memory at all, unlike the plastic that most circulars use which have to be stretched out or used to lose some of the memory it has from being packaged. Straight out of the package the cable can be straightened easily. The size is printed lightly on the side, which you can kind of see in the picture below if you look closely at the bottom needle.

ChiaoGoo RED Stainless Steel (Original)
ChiaoGoo RED Needles – Original

Later, when I placed an order at The Loopy Ewe, I decided to order a few of the ChiaoGoo RED Stainless Steel Lace Circulars. I ordered a US 0, US 1, and US 6, all in the 40″ size.

The original tips are the same as their Stainless Steel Circulars which have now been discontinued. The biggest difference between the original and the lace is that the original has a bend at the base of the tip near where it joins the cable. The other difference between the two is that the lace tips are sharper. I’d say that the lace are similar in sharpness to the Addi Lace needles. As for the sharpness of the originals, I’d compare them to Knit Picks Nickel circulars or HyaHya Stainless Steel circulars. Not as sharp as Addi Lace, but not dull like Addi Turbos are. Here are the Original and Lace needles side by side.

ChiaoGoo RED Stainless Steel Comparison (original & lace)
ChiaoGoo RED Needles – Comparison (top: Original, bottom: Lace)

I like both the Original and Lace ChiaoGoo RED needles. The bend at the base of the Original ones don’t bother me at all, but a knitter I know who has a few of the ChiaoGoo RED needles said she doesn’t care for the bend in the Originals. I like that the Lace are pointy which are great for, well, lace! The Originals are nice to knit with, I like the bend, and they aren’t too dull (not a fan of Addi Turbos personally – too dull). While I like both the Original and Lace needles, I really do not like these needles for magic loop. I know there are knitters out there that have said they use them for magic looping socks, but I am just not at all a fan. I bought the US 1’s and US 0’s for magic looping socks. I tried it and frankly, I hated it. For reference I use Knit Picks Nickel needles for magic looping socks right now. Their cable does have a curl in it. It just stays out of my way by curling down and away from me. The ChiaoGoo RED needles twisted a bunch, curled a bit up, curled a bit towards me, and just generally got in my way. The cable got in my way so often that I felt like I was fussing with it constantly instead of knitting! I had to switch back to my trusty Knit Picks needles. I will give them another try sometime for magic looping socks, but I just wasn’t that fond of them.

Overall, I’d recommend that you give these needles a try. If you like HyaHya Stainless Steel or Knit Picks Nickel or Addi Lace needles, I’d recommend giving these a try. They’re great needles for a good price with a very unique cable!

Posted in Completed Projects

Eadon

It’s Friday and I have an FO to share! 🙂

I finished Eadon yesterday and on time! After seaming it, I felt the sleeves were just too long. They covered a good portion of my hands! I was worried about this when I was knitting the sleeves, but I couldn’t figure out a good way to shorten them or figure out if they even needed to be shortened since the construction of it was throwing me off. Turns out I have short arms and they did need to be shortened after all. Since I had some time yesterday, I too my scissors to the sleeves, cut where I wanted the new end to be, and did the bind off at that point. They are just a bit short when I stretch my arms up, but they fall right to my wrists when worn with my hands at my sides. Overall I’m really happy with how it turned out!

Eadon - Front
Eadon

Pattern: Eadon by Susanna IC (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: August 15, 2011
Completed: September 15, 2011
Yarn: MadelineTosh Vintage, colorway Mrs Taylor, 8 skeins
Needle: US 8 ChiaoGoo circular
Notes: Took off 5 inches in the length of the body and ended up shortening the sleeves. RAN OUT OF YARN. If you make this and want it to be the length of the pattern buy extra yarn. Despite getting gauge and taking off 5 inches in length, I ran out of yarn. The extra skein I ordered ended up being darker and more solid then the rest of the skeins, but I don’t think it’s too noticeable on the sweater. It did end up a little bigger then I expected, but I think that’s because of the ribbing adding so much stretch to it. I think this is a great sweater to wear around the house or office when it’s chilly or to throw on over layers when fall comes. I can see wearing it quite a bit!

Eadon - Sides
Eadon – Sides

You can see more pictures of the sweater on my project page.

Now that Eadon is completely finished, I feel almost at a loss for what to knit. I have things on the needles and I’ve even started new things, but it seems my knitting mojo is down at the moment. Perhaps I got a little used to all the deadline knitting with Camp Loopy this summer and now I have no deadlines for anything I’m currently working on (well, sort of, if I count the hat and gloves for Rhinebeck). What do you do when your knitting mojo seems to have gone on vacation?

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?