Monday, January 29, 2007

A little story...

...about how this...

...a sad, lonely ball of Rowan Cashsoft DK (57% extrafine merino, 33% microfibre, 10% cashmere) in #525 Kingfisher, after a few days of a little love, attention, and knitting, became this...

an Odessa hat! My mom recently requested that I make her a hat, so I decided to try Grumperina's pattern. I eliminated the beads, 'cause my mom's not much of a bead lady (and I, frankly, did not really feel like attempting to knit with beads at this juncture). Here's another view:That's my lovely daughter modeling the hat. This yarn is quite stretchy, and my mom has a rather small head anyway, so this hat should fit her quite snuggly. The kid looks so cute in it that I think I'll have to make her one, too (in pink, of course).

For any knitters in the Chicago area who may read this blog, the dream of the knitter's book club is coming to fruition. The club has been dubbed Stockinette & Sophistry (although I, of course, would not partake in any sophistry :), and the first meeting will be on February 18 at 4 p.m. (at a location TBD) to discuss The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai. For the official announcement, click here.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Yarn Pr0n Friday!

For last week's yarn pr0n, I branched out and showed off some Lorna's Laces I had just bought. But now, it's time to return to the old favorites. That's right, this week, I again show off some Knitpicks yarn.

This is Panache in Moss. It's a blend of baby alpaca, Cashmere, Silk, and Extrafine Merino. Can you say SOFT! I don't think my pictures are really doing the color much justice - it's a much deeper, richer green than is showing up on the screen.

These will eventually become booties for me. I made a pair of booties out of Panache for my mom a while ago, and they came out so nicely that I decided I needed a pair for myself. As with most of the other Knitpicks yarn I've worked with, it knits up very nicely, and because it's a bulky yarn, it also knits up very quickly.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A loner...for now

I have a partial FO. Well, it's a completed object, but since it's only 1 sock of a pair, I guess it only counts as a partial FO. But here it is, the first sock!

The pattern is the Baby Cable Rib pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks. I used less than 1 skein of Knitpicks Gloss (70% merino, 30% silk) in Woodland Sage.

Here's a close up of the ribbing. While I've made adult booties and kid socks before, this is actually my first proper adult sock. And it fits like a glove - it's like it was made for me. Wait, it was made for me!

Lest you worry, I've already cast on and finished the cuff for the second sock - so no second sock syndrome here! It'll probably be a while before I can show you the completed pair, since I have at least a scarf and a hat to complete first (they are for others, so I feel obligated to work on them more diligently than on the sock for now). I really enjoy working with this yarn, though, and the Knitpicks dpns, so I quite look forward to knitting the second sock.

In non-knitting news, I have been on cloud 9 all week. Why, you ask? Because, after 22 years of watching, waiting, and hoping, my beloved Indianapolis Colts are finally going to the Super Bowl!!! [Insert image of me doing a little jig here. Ok, maybe that's not a good image.] What a roller coaster ride of emotions I went through on Sunday - from the depths of despair and depression at halftime (so much so that I refused to talk to my husband or take any calls - well, except one from Knitdds), to the cautious optimism of the 3rd quarter, the heart palpitations and nervousness of the 4th quarter, and the sheer joy at Marlon Jackson's game-ending interception in the final minute. What a game! Unfortunately, as much of a superfan as I consider myself to be, I can't fathom shelling out thousands and thousands of dollars to go to Miami for the big game. Luckily, I have a 52" flatscreen as a substitute. I live near Chicago, so clearly I'm not a particularly popular person right now. But such is life.

(And my apologies to Knit Mongrel and any other unfortunate Patriots fan out there. But you've had years of domination - now it's our time to shine, baby! So I guess that's not much of an apology, huh? :)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Yarn Pr0n...Thursday?

I'm posting this now because I don't know if I'll have a chance early enough tomorrow to post and didn't want to skip out on the pr0n for this week. So this week, I give you:

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Cedar. This is actually the first Lorna's that I've ever worked with. So lovely to knit with. I'm making a Shifting Sands scarf from Grumperina for my hubby for his birthday. This has required me to learn how to cable without a cable needle (which Grumperina so beautifully explains on her blog). This pattern has so many cables in it, I couldn't imagine doing it with a cable needle - I seriously think it would take twice as long. Here's my progress so far:

Excuse the gratuitous shot of my hand - because it is essentially a stockinette pattern, the ends curl up. It's a bit slow going since it's a sport weight yarn. But I have about a month and a half until the husband's birthday, so I should be able to get it done (I know, famous last words). And I do think he'll like the weight of the lighter yarn much better. I actually made him a scarf for his birthday last year. But I had only been knitting a few months at that point, so I used a bulkier yarn and followed a very simple pattern. At the time, I was so pleased with how it turned out, and I still think it's very nice. But I look at it now and just think, "I could do so much better than that." I suppose that probably happens to knitters often when looking back at their earlier works.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Meet Sheldon!

This project made me so happy!

I saw the pattern for Sheldon on Knitty and knew that I absolutely had to make this for dear Knitdds, who is expecting her first child (yippee!) in the spring. So I cast on, and about a week later had this:

I've already told Knitdds that I'm vying for favorite auntie status, and I'm so not below bribing the kid to get it. :)

Overall, I thought this project was a lot of fun. The pattern was SOOO well written and super easy to follow. Working the double points was a bit tough on some of the smaller sections of Sheldon (like the neck and the legs), but luckily those didn't last too long. And the shell is supposed to be removable - which technically this is, but I think getting the shell back on Sheldon would be a bit tough. I happened to have the suggested Knitpicks yarn in my stash (I know, shocking!), and I think I actually have enough to make another (I know, more shocking!). Since my daughter apparently really loves Sheldon (or so she told me), I may be commissioned to do another.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Baby FO

I am planning to visit a friend on Friday who recently had her 4th child (yeah, you read that right - I can sometimes barely manage my 1, let alone being able to think about adding 3 more to the bunch :) Actually, the baby was born in July, so I guess she didn't have the kid all that recently. But with 4 kids, it can be difficult for her to arrange time for a get together, so this is sadly going to be the first time that I even see the new(er) baby girl. So I checked out my stash yesterday, found some leftover yarn from a baby blanket I did a while ago, and made this:

I love making baby hats - this took me all of a couple of hours to finish. I also tried a new technique with this hat - I knit it continental style. It was surprisingly easy and quite speedy, although the Addi Turbos I used to knit the hat may have helped the speediness of the process. I don't know that I'm ready to cross over to the dark side yet - for example, I still can't purl continental. I'll try that someday.

Of course, I have no idea if this hat will fit a 6 month old baby's head. My daughter is almost 3, and I have absolutely no recollection of how big her head was 2-1/2 years ago. I know, I'm an awful mother. But my daughter apparently liked the hat:

She likes anything pink, though, so I don't know how good a critic she is! The scarf she's wearing was one of my first knitting projects. She likes it but has already requested that I make her a new one (all pink, of course). :)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Yarn Pr0n Friday!

Hello all, and Happy Friday! I don't know about you, but this has been a long week. I spent the first half of Wednesday thoroughly convinced that it was actually Thursday. So needless to say, I'm happy that it's finally Friday! And I have pr0n!

Here we have a pile o' Knitpicks Elegance, which is a blend of 70% baby alpaca and 30% silk. The color is Barn Red, although I think the color is much warmer than what I would consider barn red.

The yarn is so scrumptiously soft, and I just can't wait to work with it. The majority of it will become the Cinnabar scarf from Magnits (for me) and the rest will tranform into a hat. I haven't made a final decision on which hat I will knit, but it will most likely be Grumperina's Odessa.

So although I really had every intention to stop my constant yarn-buying fixation, I find that I've placed several orders recently. But I have plans for everything I've gotten - I just got some Lorna's (which will probably be the subject of next week's pr0n) to make a scarf for hubby for his birthday, and my mom recently requested that I make her a hat, and she wanted a specific color, so I had to order some yarn for that. But I really do plan to stop purchasing yarn for a little while - at least until I've finished some of these projects. I need to start showing some more FOs on this blog! Hopefully I'll have some for you very soon.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

First FO of 2007

I'm proud to show off my first FO for the new year:

This is actually a scarf I started way back in November at the Dulaan Knit-In hosted by Franklin (of the Panopticon fame). But then when I found out I had until July to actually send in my Dulaan projects, I decided to hold off finishing it until I finished my holiday knitting. Not that I ended up doing much holiday knitting, but that's beside the point. I'd kinda forgotten about the poor little scarf until I recently forced myself to pull out and assess all my UFOs. I used some leftover Lamb's Pride yarn (can't remember the exact colors or anything) and I only had enough to make a small, child's scarf. But from what I understand of the Dulaan project, they're particularly looking for items for children, so it should work out well.

Sunday, January 7, 2007


OK, if you look at the comments to my last post, then this post may make sense.

Joe - I second Jessica's comments. Eww! How did you find my blog? And how the hell did you know that it was me? In addition to being frustrated with Discount Yarn Sale, I now think I'm a bit frightened by your tracking methods. I guess the site must be fairly concerned about its image, if you go searching blogs for consumer comments to respond to. That being said, I stand by my post. I see now that the web site has updated its ship to time, but I swear when I ordered, I double-checked and triple-checked, and it gave an approximate 1 week ship time for that yarn. And regarding my previous orders, I was never told that anything was backordered until I contacted Discount Yarn Sale to inquire about status.

Ok, I'm officially creeped out.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Yarn Pr0n 2007

I'm very pleased to kick off yarn pr0n in 2007 with this beauty.

Would you like a closer look?

This is Hill Country Yarns Merino Silk in the Indian Summer colorway. It's a 50% wool/50% silk blend, advertised as comparable to Lorna's Laces Lion & Lamb (although never having fondled the latter, I can't attest to that). This yarn is quite yummy, though. I purchased it in order to finally knit the amazingly beautiful Clapotis - I'm so excited! But I have a few other projects in the works that I feel I must finish before I can cast on for the Clap (as I've seen it lovingly referenced). Ah, it's just motivation for me to get some projects finished.

I ordered this yarn through a website called Discount Yarn Sale - anyone else order through this site? If so, what are your experiences? I actually tried ordering yarn from them some time ago, but I found the customer service to be somewhat lacking. Although the site had said 2-3 weeks to ship the yarn I had ordered, 2 months later I had heard nothing. So I e-mailed customer service to find out what was up and was told that the yarn was backordered. They couldn't have told me that when I ordered?!? And 2 months later they still didn't have it? I was so annoyed I just canceled the order. I was wary of ordering from them again, but since this yarn is just for a project for me, I figured it didn't matter if it took a while. That said, the site said 1 week to ship, and it took them over a month to actually ship it to me. Frustrating. I definitely would not order from this site for a project with a deadline.

But let's not end this post with a note of frustration. The yarn is here, and it is lovely, and I'm so looking forward to working with it. I never thought I'd so looking forward to having the clap. :)

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Obligatory resolutions for 2007

1. Knit more for myself. I know, awfully selfish, huh? But I have never knit anything for myself. Well, that's not entirely true. My first knit socks were booties I made and kept (because I didn't want to expose anyone to my first attempt at socks). And I was right to keep them - my half-assed attempt at the kitchener stitch didn't hold up, and I didn't have any extra yarn to even try to correct the mistake. So it would've made an awful gift. The bottom line, though - I don't own anything that I've knit. I must rectify this in 2007 - I've one pair of socks started and many others in line, and I plan on ordering some yarn to make a scarf and hat. Oh yeah, and I ordered some beauteous yarn to make myself a Clapotis. Yay!

2. Start Christmas knitting WAAAAAY earlier. To complement my first selfish resolution, I must include a more generous one. I had aspirations to knit gifts for friends and family this year but just did not have the time when it came to the wire. But not so in 2007. I purchased Holiday Knits, which has some lovely patterns in it. I think I'll start my holiday knitting in March.

3. Refrain from the "eyes are bigger than my knitting needles" trap. I have a bad habit of seeing a pattern and thinking, "That's awesome! I could knit that!" Then I proceed to order the yarn and get all excited about starting the project. Then I start the project and realize just how complicated and/or time-consuming the project will be. Then I lose interest. But not so in 2007! I resolve to read patterns through carefully and completely at least 3 times before committing to any project. I will only take on projects that I really and truly believe that I can/will knit. I will not needlessly and recklessly add to my already substantial stash.

4. Complete the tie-cropped cardigan for my sister. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

5. Visit Arcadia Knitting. I know, a travesty that I'm so near it but have never been. For those not in the know, Arcadia is (as I understand it) rather a mecca of the Chicago knitter. So I guess I already know that my resolve will crumble with respect to the last part of #3 above...

6. Make room in life for more than knitting. OK, I'm not as lame as this resolution sounds - I actually do have other things in my life besides knitting. But since beginning to knit just over a year ago now, I've become quite obsessed. I stay up late at night to finish just a few more rows. I carry my knitting around wherever I go, even when I have hardly a hope of having an opportunity to knit. I guess what I've most let go to the wayside since beginning to knit is reading. Don't get me wrong, I still read a fair amount. But the list of books that I want to read continues to grow, and I haven't been very good about checking names off the list. So I gotta work on that. I guess that means the title of this resolution should have been "read more." But I like to keep it all about knitting. :)

7. Get the knitting book club going. Talk about killing 2 birds with one stone (which, really, is a terrible saying. Poor birds.). I had first discussed this with Knitdds, who posted about it and I think had some response from those interested in it. I'll admit I was part of the problem in its not coming to fruition - Sunday is really the best day for a book group meeting, and I refused to give up my Sunday NFL ticket. But football season is almost over, so I'm all about getting the knitting book club in order. Oh, and Go Colts! (I know, I live near Chicago and should be a Bears fan, which I am. But I grew up near Indianapolis, so gotta stay loyal to the home team.)

8. Actually stick to a fitness program. So I couldn't get the word "knitting" into this resolution. And this is such a cliched resolution. But it's an important resolution, nonetheless. I can be so hot and cold about exercising, although I will say that 2006 was a better year than most. I started going to spinning (biking, not roving) classes in 2005 and actually was relatively consistent with it through 2006. But I have a terrible all-or-nothing attitude about exercise - if I'm in the routine, I'm gold. But if I have to skip a workout or 2 for whatever reason, it's very easy for me to skip several weeks of exercising. Then it's tough for me to get motivated to start again. I've allowed myself to slack off over the holidays, but I'm going to be good from here on out!

I hope the first 2 days of 2007 have been all you've dreamed for and more!