Posted in Current Projects, Knit Ramblings, Life, Spinning

Not Knitting, Upcoming Projects, and a SAL/KAL

Since my last post and my mention of my back hurting a bit, I’ve had some further injuries. My right wrist started hurting suddenly and I was getting a very sharp pain when I moved it. Along with that pain, I started having some pain in my right shoulder as well. After a few days and it not improving, I decided to haul myself to the doctor to get it checked out. Doc told me it was tendinitis, gave me a few prescriptions to help, and told me to rest my wrist and shoulder as much as possible. Since the pain in the wrist started, I put aside the knitting, crocheting, spinning, and limited my computer use. I’m right handed, so at work I started using the mouse with my left hand and using my right hand as little as possible and really just trying to do nothing while at home so I didn’t further injure myself. I’m not entirely sure what caused it other then overuse/repetitive motion. I had been using the mouse more at work since a particular program I use can really only be navigated by mouse or special voice software (which I don’t have), so the repetitive motion of that for 4-5 hours per day for 3+ weeks is likely what put me over the edge into the “wow that hurts and it’s not going away” territory. Before the wrist pain even started, I did have some on and off shoulder problems, but it wasn’t sticking around until after the wrist really hurt.

Anyhow… all of that to say for the last two weeks I haven’t been knitting which leaves me with very little blogging content! I have been reading, but I’m a fairly slow reader. When I put aside the knitting and spinning, I picked up a copy of Mr. Peanut by Adam Ross at the book store and I’m now roughly 70% through it. I’ve really enjoyed it so far. My book queue has grown quite a bit in the last two weeks, that’s for sure!

I do have a little bit of knitting to share. Before I wasn’t knitting, I started the Fresh Mint tank top out of Spa yarn.

Fresh Mint
Fresh Mint

I’ve already attached the top edges together where they should be to make it easier to try on as I go. I’ve also modified it a bit by doing the garter stitch border on the edge, doing a different increase in place of the yarn over increase row, and doing more increases after joining the front/back together to account for my 45″ bust (I’m knitting the 44″ size and there is no ease in the pattern). I also plan on adding waist shaping to it. This is really the only thing that saw any progress that I hadn’t yet showed on the blog! Both the socks I’m working on haven’t really seen much progress. The Jaywalker sock is slightly longer and I’ve done 5 rows of ribbing on sock number two of Maelstrom.

This “knitting break” has given me some time to think about the next things I’d like to knit. I’ve even started considering my Rhinebeck sweater for this year. I’m still not 100% decided and I think that the amount of time it takes to get back to my regular knitting will decide what my choice will be.

The two sweaters I’m looking most at knitting next are: Cottage Garden and Jumper Cardigan.

Cottage Garden and Jumper Cardigan

One of these will likely be my Rhinebeck sweater. I already have yarn in mind for both sweaters. For Cottage Garden I have two colors of purple from Brooks Farms Solo Silk.

Brooks Farm, Solo Silk
Brooks Farm Solo Silk

The Jumper Cardigan is a vintage pattern that only comes in one size, but I think I can upsize by adjusting the gauge and using a bit heavier weight yarn. I’ve decided I’d like to do it in this fantastic pink and green combination. I have 4 skeins of Vesper Sock Yarn “Quick Sock” in the Ivy League colorway (this was a club color, which I received, then collected 3 others from Ravelers destashing) and 2 skeins of The Plucky Knitter MCN in the Ellen Arden colorway (also a club colorway from The Plucky Knitter Classics Club, which I got in a destash on Ravelry – from my Spring Fling roomie, Lauren). When I got both of these colors together, I KNEW it needed to be a sweater.

Possible Sweater
Vesper Quick Sock in Ivy League and The Plucky Knitter MCN in Ellen Arden

I’ve even knit a swatch and it looks like a gauge change will be just what I need to upsize the pattern.

Sweater Swatch
Swatch for Jumper Cardigan

Currently I’m leaning towards the Jumper Cardigan because I’m really in love with the color combination. Still trying to decide, though, so any thoughts are always welcome! 🙂

Along with the wrist/shoulder thing, I also seem to be getting some tingling in both hands and both feet. Not really sure what’s going on, but I did get blood work done yesterday and have some doctors appointments scheduled to try and figure it out. Because of the tingling in my feet (which is pretty continuous, in the left foot more then the right), I’ve limited what spinning related things I do. I did try a little spinning yesterday. It seemed to be okay on the right side (I have a single treadle wheel), but when I switched to the left side, it caused some pain in my lower back. At that point I stopped spinning trying not to over do it. I was just happy to get in some spinning time after almost two weeks of no knitting or spinning!

After that I prepped the fiber I’m going to use for the SAL/KAL that’s going on in Zarzuela’s Fibers Junkies group on Ravelry. The SAL/KAL is to spin a specific weigh of yarn (your choice) then incorporate it into a sweater (also your choice). You can even combine what you’re spinning with a commercial yarn. I thought this would be a great challenge for me since I’ve never spun enough yarn for a sweater before! I recently purchased 8 ounces of two different colors from Zarzuela’s Fibers. It was tough to decide which to use because both are really pretty!

Targhee from Zarzuela's Fibers
Targhee in Orange Dream and Emeralds

I decided to spin the 8 ounces of Targhee in the Emeralds colorway, aim for a fingering weight yarn, and knit the Featherweight Cardigan. So far the first 4 ounces of fiber are prepped (pre-drafted). Now I just need to decide if I want to finish the current fiber on the wheel (Cheviot in DC Sunrise from Zarzuela’s Fibers) or to put that aside and get started on the Targhee in Emeralds. I’ve never worked with Targhee before, so I’m looking forward to trying something new. It’s really soft! Reminds me a little bit of merino when I was pre-drafting it.

Time to get off the computer for now and enjoy the weekend! Hope everyone has a good weekend 🙂

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

Diagonal Lace Socks and Daybreak

Yesterday was busy, but in that good way where I feel like I got a lot accomplished. I planted my potatoes finally (in containers), cleaned up around the house, had dinner at Dewey’s Pizza (YUM), went grocery shopping, and managed to take, edit and upload pictures. I can now show off my finished Diagonal Lace Socks! This color with the green walls in our dining room seem like such a perfect color combination to me. 🙂

Diagonal Lace Socks (Front)
Diagonal Lace Socks

Pattern: Diagonal Lace Socks by Wendy D. Johnson from Socks From the Toe Up (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: June 1, 2010
Completed: June 16, 2010
Yarn: Wollmeise 80/20 Twin in Campari Piccolo
Needles: Knit Picks Nickel US 1 (2.25mm) 40″ circular
Notes: I worked this smaller then the smallest size listed in the book (medium). I removed one stitch and one row from the pattern repeat and had a 59 stitch sock. Adjusted the heel to accommodate the smaller sock I was making. It fits great, was a quick and interesting knit, and this yarn? I really love it for socks. It makes the most solid, squishy, and just dense enough fabric. As always, a fabulous pattern from Wendy! (BTW, this is available as a free download on Wendy’s blog under Free Patterns.)

Diagonal Lace Socks (Heel)
Diagonal Lace Socks – Heel

Diagonal Lace Socks (Crossed)
Diagonal Lace Socks

Since I was in a picture taking kind of mood, here’s what Daybreak currently looks like.


I did end up ripping out part of Sweet Tea and going back to where I joined the two top pieces. I had put them together with one wrong side on the outside, which was causing one row to look different then the rest. It’s all fixed now and looks a lot better. Can’t wait to get it done and wear it!

TGIF everyone! I’m ready for a weekend that is less busy then the last. 🙂

Posted in Completed Projects

Back-to-School U-Neck Vest – FO!

I have another FO!! Yes, my Back-to-School U-Neck Vest is complete! I finished all the knitting on Wednesday but didn’t weave in the ends until last night (well, more like 1 am this morning – this is what I do when I take naps after work then can’t sleep, haha). I don’t know why I didn’t have this thing finished a while ago because there was hardly any knitting left on the darn thing. This KAL really kicked my butt into gear to get it done. I really like how it turned out. It’s a bit longer than it is supposed to be – apparently I can’t read the right part of the pattern at the right time and this actually ended up being a good thing.

Here it is all finished:

Of course it looks much better on me:

Pattern: Back-to-School U-Neck Vest from Fitted Knits
Started: May 9, 2007
Finished: June 16, 2007
Yarn: Cotton Fleece in Soft Mauve
Needle Size: US 7 and 5 circular bamboo needles
Notes: I made the ribbing of the body about 2″ longer than the pattern says to. The pattern doesn’t mention to keep the bust portion in the stitch pattern when doing the increases, so if you don’t think about it, you could get the stitch looking all wonky, but this was easy to do. Overall a very easy knit. I LOVE all of Stefanie’s patterns that I’ve knit and I’m looking forward to knitting more from this book!

Alright, that’s TWO things off my KAL within a KAL commitment done (which I’m doing over at Stashalong)! I’m feeling so good about getting things finished up and proud of myself for not casting on the 1328895200478 things that I want to right now.

The last thing to get done is a pair of socks. I wasn’t happy with how what I had on the needles was turning out, so I frogged it and started a whole different pattern. I like it much better now!

Here it is before:

And now it has become this:

Hopefully it will soon be a pair of socks!

In other news – no yarn purchases have happened since going to KC, so I’m doing well. I’ve got many things planned for stash yarn and that’s always a good thing! Happy knitting/crocheting everyone :o)

Posted in Completed Projects

Bad Penny FO and pattern notes

Last night I completed my first knitted garment – Bad Penny.

I used Cascade Sierra Quatro (color 88) and Sierra (color 12). They’re both 80% pima cotton, 20% wool. Working with this yarn was great. I really liked it and would definitely work with it again. I think it’s perfect for next to skin garments because it’s quite soft. It’s a little on the heavy side, though. I love the way it feels on (though this could also be because this is my first garment, so…).

I would recommend this pattern to someone who hasn’t knit a garment before. It’s quite easy (knits, purls, yarn overs, k2tog’s and p2tog’s). The only thing that tripped me up was how to really do the bottom pattern and when to use the k2tog or p2tog to make it look nicer (the pattern says k2tog for all of it, but if you do that it just doesn’t look pleasing to the eye, IMO). Also, for the XXL size (which is what I made) it says:

On last round, inc 2[3, 8, 0, 1, 2] and dec 0[0, 0, 4, 0, 0] sts evenly around.

My issue is the inc 1 evenly around. If you do this, you’ll have an odd number of sts while doing 1 x 1 ribbing. I didn’t bother to do it and it worked out fine. I had to do the last row of yo’s for the chart pattern slightly differently, but it’s not at all noticeable. It was just a matter of being one stitch shorter because of not doing the increase. I think the bottom pattern could be not done at all for someone with a little less experience who still wants to make a garment.

I also worked the sleeves in the round because I found it impossible to knit flat. Because of the raglan style of this shirt, it’s quite difficult to do anything other than knit the sleeve edging any other way. That’s my opinion, for whatever it’s worth.

When I picked up the sts along the collar, I had a difficult time. I know I’m really just not good a picking up stitches “properly” so it seemed to stick up a bit before I blocked the collar. After blocking it, though, it now stays flat instead of trying to fold outward.

Okay, enough of that… look at my FO!

Here it is with the collar blocking:

Me modeling it:

TA DA! Look I can wear it now!!