Saturday, January 26, 2008

So, about that more blogging thing

Kinda fell off the horse on that one. But I do have two FOs for you today!

Pattern: Monkey by Cookie A.
Yarn: BMFA Socks that Rock Silkie - Sock Club yarn
Needles: Chiagoo DPNS 2.75mm
Dates: um, summer/fallish to January 22, 2008
Mods: none
Thoughts: Love the yarn. Love the colors. Love the pattern. I can see why this has been so popular! I did have some gauge issues, and then some pooling issues with other yarn, but this has been a winner. Glad to have new socks this week, since it's been cold.

And now, I can finally reveal one of the secret projects I've been working on. My LYS, Yarns Ewenique, is having a sock club, and I was flattered to be chosen as one of the pattern designers. It has been an interesting experience for me (and it's not over yet!) The first pattern was "released" on Friday, so now I can show it to you!

Pattern: Loopy Laces by me!
Yarn: Louet Gems fingering weight yarn
Needles: Chiagoo DPNs 2.75mm
Mods: I knit the sample socks with the fine/sport weight yarn, so mine feel a bit different from the others, but the gauge worked out the same for me, so it's all good.
The pattern is exclusive to the club for one year, but after that it will be available here for you! (It will be available next year through the shop and here as a downloadable pdf.)

I really do hope to make some progress on a few other things this last week of January, so stay tuned!

Monday, January 21, 2008


I didn't mean to fall off the blog for a week there, but life had other plans. Anyway, there has been knitting - not much, but a little progress. One of the projects I've been working on I can't show you quite yet, but I was finishing it up on Sunday, and ran out of yarn. Oops.

I weighed the first sock - 53g. The second sock - 46g. That is a BIG difference. Luckily, my LYS had another skein in the same dyelot, so it is finished now, and you'll see it soon.

I hope to have some more things to show you soon, and to get back on the blogging horse this week. I'm off to enjoy the last few hours of my holiday and get to bed early - more soon!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sometime this has to stop, right?

I managed to finish up another project this weekend! Put some butter on me baby, 'cause I'm on a ROLL!

Pattern: Seaman's Cap from Brenda Zuk at Needle Beetle
Yarn: Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in Mist - about 1.75 skeins
Needles: Sz 7 Addi Turbos and Clover bamboo DPNs
Dates: Tuesday January 8 - Sunday January 13
Mods: I added length before beginning the crown shaping
Thoughts: Great length, according to hubby. Very soft and warm. Love this pattern.

I promise this won't turn into a FO blog, but I can't stop the train!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Stripey and Pink. What more could I ask for?

Pattern: Snowy Triangle Scarf by Iris Schreier from Handknit Holidays
Yarn: Paton's Soy Wool Stripes in Natural Geranium - a smidge under 3 balls.
Needles: Sz 10.5 Clover Bamboo Circulars
Mods: longer
Dates: July 2007-January 2008
Thoughts: Love this. Love the triangles, love the stripes. It was relatively easy, though I did make a bit of a mistake early on.

Hint to those of you think of making this - when you've repeated row 3 until you have *31 (if you have the pattern, this makes sense), DO NOT turn and knit back. Ask me how I know. You immediately start over with row 1.

The pattern was deliciously simple and went surprisingly fast. I knit 11 middle triangles, and I might have been able to get 12, but I didn't want to run out of yarn.

I find the yarn a bit scratchy on my neck, but not enough to not wear this loveliness. I haven't made a scarf for me in forever, so this is a welcome addition to my small collection. And just in time for the "winter weather" we're supposed to get next week.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A Couple of Critters

Pattern: Huggable Hedgehog from Fiber Trends
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Worsted, Berroco Disco and some scraps of Flash FX from Trendsetter and Wool of the Andes (paws)
Needles: Sz 11 Clover bamboo circulars and Addi Turbos
Dates: summer 2007 - January 6, 2008
Mods: None

Thoughts: I ran out of the Disco before the second and third sets of short rows. I dug around in the stash and found the Flash, which is a sorry substitute, but it works for a hedgehog butt. The Disco was nasty. It stuck like the devil to the bamboo needles, but switching to the Addis made it much more enjoyable. I'm so glad this is done.

Pattern: Ladybug from Buggin' Out Vol 1 by Crafty Alien
Yarn: Lion Wool and Paton's Classic Merino
Needles: Sz 10.5 Clover bamboo circulars
Dates: Sunday January 6, 2008
Mods: none
Thoughts: Excellently written pattern. Very cute! And my first hand-felting experience. I am excited to try out more of her patterns.

These FOs just keep coming! There is a finished scarf waiting here for photos, and a nearly finished vest, and I hope to crank out a finished sock or two sometime soon. I'm enjoying this, as much as I know it's the result of having too many projects on the needles!

Monday, January 07, 2008


This pretty much sums up our weekend. Hubby received The West Wing series collection for Christmas, so we've been slowly working our way through the first season. On Friday we stayed in our pjs until we had to leave for family dinner. Saturday we did leave the house for a bit (knitting!) and Sunday we drug ourselves to the grocery store, but otherwise, it was much laziness.

I did make some progress on a few things, but nothing too exciting right now. I also ripped a few projects - 2 pairs of socks that were barely started, and my Alpaca Wrap (Otis attacked the center-pull ball a few weeks ago, and I had wasn't looking forward to ripping it all out to rewind, but I did Saturday night).

I started Rogue, but it's only 6 rows, so it's a boring thing to see right now. I'm also trying to decide if my first book will be Knitting Without Tears or The Knitter's Book of Yarn. Hmmmmm.

Back with more excitement later this week!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

And another!

It's all FOs all the time!

Pattern: Bowknot Cardigan from Classic Elite City Park booklet
Yarn: Classic Elite Flash - 7 skeins
Needles: Sz 7 Clover bamboo circulars
Dates: July 2007-January 2008 (though the knitting has been finished since November, it's just been sitting, waiting to be seamed.)

Mods: I lengthened the body about an inch
Thoughts: Fairly simple, straightforward pattern. No excellently written, but I could figure it out since I've knit other sweaters.
Best thing about this project? It's done too! Even though I can't wear it for a few months.

Sure would be nice to keep up this pace of finished sweaters, but alas, these have been close to done for a bit now. I'll keep plugging away at the others on the needles, and see if I can finish more sweaters this year than last year.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Goals for Janauary and the first FO!

FO before business:

Pattern: Wicked by the gals at Zephyr Style
Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted - just a smidge over 4 skeins
Needles: Sz 9 Clover Bamboo circular and Chiagoo DPNs
Dates: October 2007-January 1, 2008
Mods: I improvised 3/4 sleeves after seeing other cute ones on Ravelry.
Thoughts: Cute! The yarn is wonderful - super soft and squishy. I love the simplicity of the pattern - it really works in a shaded yarn like this.
Best thing about this project? I love it and it is super wearable.

I had tried to finish this up New Year's Eve, but I was too tired to finish. So it was the first FO of 2008. I have another sweater that only lacks seaming, and a felted object that is drying, so a few more FOs will be coming soon.

Down to business:

January Goals:
Finish Wicked (already done!)
Seam Bow-knot cardigan
Finish Hedgehog
Finish Snowy Triangle Scarf
Finish Noro Scarf
Finish Monkey Socks
Finish Zuluknitty socks
Knit 8 panels of Log Cabin Blanket
Finish back of Bristow, start fronts.
Finish back of Cambridge jacket, start fronts.
Finish back of Salina, start front or sleeve.
Finish 2 mystery knits.
Knit hat for hubbo
Knit hat for hubbo's friend
Knit fingerless gloves for hubbo
Start Rogue
Finish one Embossed Leaves sock
Finish one Child's First sock
Finish one of hubbo's ribbed socks

That seems like a lot, but I'm a good portion of the way done with a few of these (the benefit to publish the list 4 days after I've written it), and some are not as much work as they might appear. I also need to put away the Christmas decorations, but I'll get that done sometime. OK - off to get some of this done! Have a great weekend - I may pop in with a FO or two - we'll see how it goes!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Where I'm going

OK - I'm back and I have a more fleshed-out idea of what I want to do this year.

I've chosen 12 months of reading, in my effort to be a more "literate knitter." In no particular order, the books I'll be reading are:

Sweater Design in Plain English
Knitting in Plain English
Opinionated Knitter
Knitting Workshop
Knitter's Almanac
Knitter's Book of Yarn
Knitting Around
Knitting Without Tears
Folk Socks/Knitting Vintage Socks
Victorian Lace Today/Gathering of Lace
Folk Mittens/Folk Shawls
Knitter's Handbook/Finishing Techniques

And the books I'll be knitting from are*:

Kid's Knits - Heads Hands and Toes
Jo Sharp Knit Issue 1
Ella Rae Book 7
Handknit Holidays
Greetings From the Knit Cafe
Knit 2 Together
Folk Mittens
Vintage Knits
Favorite Socks
Knitting Vintage Socks
Opinionated Knitter
Knitter's Almanac

*Special thanks to Theresa for her inspiration for this.

Disclaimer: Some of these books I have already started projects from. However, they are still in their infancy, for the most part, so, rather than cast on more projects (in an effort to keep with that other resolution to not start so many projects), I decided to work with what I have. I also have a ton of magazines with some great patterns, and I expect some of those to pop up as well.

I'll also join Theresa in Time Machine Tuesdays - I wanted to share how some knits are holding up, and this is the perfect place for it.

In other excitement, I did spend several hours this morning working on reorganizing the stash, putting patterns away in their binders, and sorting out the books. I feel much better about the current state of the stash and the crafting area. I cleaned up this area in an effort to allow myself to pursue other crafts. I said last year that I wanted to branch out into other crafting, and I did do some sewing (that I didn't show you - but I will), and I'd like to do more and continue to work on my embroidery and spend more time with cross-stitch. I purchased Bend the Rules sewing with a Christmas gift card, and I have Amy Butler's In Stitches, and I hope those two resources will allow me to become more adept at sewing.

In my personal life, I have a few goals to share - much of the same as many of you, I hope to spend more time at the gym (4 days a week), and eat better. I also want to read more books and enjoy more podcasts v. TV.

We're also trying, as a family, to be greener. My wonderful hubby built an "encasement" for our compost pile yesterday and we'll be getting ready for our garden as soon as it warms up some. We're planning on installing new windows and reinsulating our attic to help out with energy at home. And we'll offset our carbon this year too. But we're looking for other things to do. We already do basic things like recycling all we can, using canvas bags, having wind-powered energy, drying our clothes on the line, and driving one car. If you have other suggestions for us, please leave them in the comments.

I've rambled long enough for tonight, so I'll be back tomorrow with my January goals and a closer look at that WIP list (which I miscounted, and only stands at 46 - so much better, huh?).

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

A look ahead

2007 was an interesting year for me in many knitting related ways. I started working at the yarn store (yay!), I knit more sweaters, I joined a sock club, and I had cast-on-itis with the kitchen stress. This is especially reflected in my current WIP list.

2008 will be different. I did not rejoin the sock club (since I've only just cast on one of the pairs, and don't have plans to knit all of the patterns), and I will not have cast-on-itis this year (hear me now, believe me later). I do want to get the WIPs down to a more manageable number, and try not to cast on for any more socks until I get the current ones pared down.

Okay, enough rambling, time for some lists.

Goals for 2008:
Knit more.
Make my knits count - less whimsy stuff, and more things people want (including me).
Knit more gifts and more sweaters.
Try out different sock constructions. Including toe-up socks.
Knit more lace.
Become a more literate knitter. I have lots of books that I haven't read - books about sweater and sock construction, about fixing mistakes, different techniques for casting on and finishing details. I'm going to look more into them tomorrow, but I'd like to assign a book to myself for each month and share some tidbits with you all.

Speaking of those tons of books, I've got lots that I haven't knit from. While I don't have a defined plan, I am kicking around the idea of one project from a previously unused book each month. I'll have to spend a little more time with my Ravelry queue to suss that out.

I'd also like to try to use up some stash. Thanks to the greatness that is Ravelry, I exported my stash (after updating it this morning with stuff that hadn't made it in), I learned that I have a lot of yarn. Last January I had 604 balls of yarn. Right now I have 821 balls and 166,195 yards. I did toss or trade 140 balls. So really, that's only a net gain of 80 balls or so. That's much better, right? I do really want to use up some stash that has been hanging around for a while.

In 2007 I also stayed away from KALs and swaps, and stopped making monthly goals. I feel that the absence of both affected my productivity this year. Swaps I didn't really miss too much (and did a few), and while I didn't ever keep up well with KALs, they did provide inspiration and direction. My monthly goal lists also helped provide direction, and keep me accountable for finishing things. While I won't go over the top joining KALs, I will lurk around a few for inspiration. And I will resume my goal lists.

Whew, that's a lot! I do have more to say about what I want to do, but it is still a little jumbled in my mind, so I'll sort it out as I clean up the knitting corner/stash/pattern binders tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Year in Review

In keeping with the trends, I thought I'd do a year-end wrap up.

Finished in 2007:

7 sweaters
14 pairs of socks
3 adult hats
4 Calorimetrys
10 baby/toddler/kid hats
4 baby items
5 bags
2 handwarmers
3 stuffed toys
2 pair felted clogs
3 scarves
2 dishcloths
2 beer coozies
1 felted bowl
1 belt

for a year end total of 62 items. Whew!

It sure didn't seem like that many throughout the year though. I didn't meet my goals of 2 pairs of socks and 1 sweater per month, but I did start plenty of projects!

I currently have 49 WIPs. Yikes. That's a big, scary number.
Of those, 4 will be hibernating until spring.
At least two will be finished by the end of the week. Hopefully more.
4 are secret projects you haven't seen yet.
And there are a lot of socks on that list. Lots.

My favorite FO of the year was the Central Park Hoodie. I wear it almost every day I can. I love it. My favorite gift to knit was Jarrett (though I thought that all that stockinette might kill me).

My knitting followed much the same trend as last year, with the exception of more sweaters. I really enjoy wearing my sweaters, so I'm going to keep on knitting them! I have several currently on the needles, and plans for more!

I will have lots more to say about my upcoming knitting goals, personal goals, stash enhancement, and more in the coming days. But in the meantime, I'm really enjoying seeing everyone's goals and year end wrap-ups, so keep 'em coming!

2007 was a big year for us, with the kitchen remodel, a new kitten and new grade levels, and I'm sure 2008 will bring more excitement! Happy New Year to you and your families! Thanks for reading!