Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What have I been up to?

Well, let's see. Since my last post, I went to Boston for a few days. Of knit-worthy note, I completed the Branching Out scarf. I used just under 2 balls of KP Elegance (70% Baby Alpaca/30% Silk) in Grass, which I think gave me something like 31 pattern repeats. I don't have pictures yet because I still have to block the scarf.

Speaking of which, I was driving on the north side of Chicago yesterday and passed a dry cleaner (I think). This would usually go unnoticed by me, except that there was a large green sign on the window stating "Knits blocked!" What a temptation! I don't know why, but I really hate blocking. I think it's because once I've finished the creative part of the knitting, I feel like my job should be done. Plus I don't really have a good space for blocking. Currently, I use the bed in our guest room. Which creates problems when we have guests.

While in Boston, I also visited Windsor Button (acclaimed by both Grumperina and Knit Mongrel). The sheer volume of yarn and other crafting supplies is quite impressive. I am quite proud of myself, though, that I didn't succumb to the pressure - I actually just browsed a while, petted some yarn, and then walked out without making a purchase. The will power amazed even myself. But I currently have more yarn than I know what to do with, so that helped me refrain from purchasing. Well, I actually know what I am going to do with most of the yarn I have. It is finding the time to actually do what I plan to do that is causing me grief. Yeesh.

Hmm, what else? I've been knitting along quite diligently at the Mystery Stole 3. Here's what I have so far (I'm about 20 rows from completing the 4th clue):

All right, so I need to 'fess up something on this. I actually had knitted halfway through Clue #3 when I noticed a (to me) rather large screw up in the knitting. I had dropped or added stitched at some point, and I thought I had adequately fixed the mistakes, but I didn't. And because I had been rather cavalier about the placement of lifelines, it wasn't something I could easily fix. So (take a deep breath), I frogged the whole thing and started over. I figured, since we had 2 weeks for Clue #4, that now was the time to do it. So I very diligently knit and knit and am caught up again. But man, I definitely learned my lesson and am placing frequent lifelines!

Other than that, in the knitting world, I'm still plugging away at my Clapotis. I also started an Odessa for my sister. MS3 has kinda taken over my knitting life, so I haven't had much time for anything else. But I try to get bits in on my other WIPs when I can.

And I had to take a bit of a break from knitting last weekend to join the hordes in reading the final installment of Harry Potter. Don't worry, there will be no spoilers here for anyone who hasn't finished it. I will say, though, that I was not completely satisfied with how Ms. Rowling wrapped up the saga.

Happy knitting, everyone!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I received the most wonderful gift from my Secret Pal yesterday - my own copy of Victorian Lace Today! Every time I go to the bookstore, I thumb through this book, but I've always refrained from purchasing it. And now, I don't have to! This book is so unbelievably gorgeous, and I'm already making mental notes of the patterns I want to try out. My Secret Pal also revealed herself as Alexis of The Longest Yarn. Alexis, I have been so spoiled by you, and I've loved every bit of it! Thanks so much!!!

Alexis's gift couldn't have come at a better time, too, since I've become SOOO into lace knitting. I'm enjoying the Mystery Stole 3 KAL a lot more than I thought I would. Since I'm going to be out of town for the rest of the week and didn't really want to travel with a cone of laceweight yarn at my side, I worked overtime on MS3 over the weekend and got through the second clue. Here's how it looks:

I was so worried when I joined the KAL that I wouldn't be able to hack the lace knitting. And I don't necessarily expect to stay this on top of the clues as the KAL progresses. But I find that I really enjoy the challenge of lace. And I love how it is turning out. So I definitely see more lace in my future. And now, I have an excellent source for patterns and ideas!

Friday, July 6, 2007

It's been a while...

...since I've had any yarn pr0n to show off. Not that I haven't had the pr0n, and with the recent increases I've made to my stash, I should have lots to show of for some time to come. But my camera doesn't take the best pictures, or I'm just not the best photographer, so getting good pr0n shots can be a bit tough. But I got some decent pictures of one of my more recent acquisitions.

This is Dream in Color superwash merino, worsted weight, in the Dusky Aurora colorway. I saw this at my LYS and fell in love with the colors. One skein will probably be booties that will be gifted for Christmas, but I don't know what the other skein will be. Maybe booties for me?

I've used Dream in Color yarn before, and it knits up really nicely. The only thing about it is that the dye from the yarn rubbed off on my bamboo needles. Not that I really care, but I just have never had that happen with yarn before. Maybe because it's hand painted (as opposed to hand-dyed? I don't fully grasp the difference).

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

I must be crazy

Because I signed up for Mystery Stole 3 last week. I fully blame Knit Mongrel for my dementia. I originally figured it wouldn't be such a big deal for me to join, since I already had enough lace weight yarn and Bryspun needles, which are supposedly great for lace knitting. But I discovered that my lace weight is more like cobweb weight (I'm not sure if that's a technical term, but I think I've read that term online, and it seems to accurately describe the stuff I was using) and I didn't like how it was knitting up at all. And I wasn't digging on my Bryspun. Well, to make a long story not terribly longer, I settled on some beautiful 100% bamboo yarn (Silk City Yarns Bambu 7, to be specific) in my favorite color, purple (to ensure that I keep this knitted item for myself - more on that later) and size 2 Inox circulars. I couldn't actually pick up the required amount of yarn until yesterday afternoon, so I only cast on last night (although the first clue was posted on Friday). But I'm about halfway through the first chart. Wanna see?

The color in this picture isn't entirely accurate - it's much more of a royal purple than blue. Doesn't look like much yet, but I love it! I really like how the bamboo feels. It's really splitty, which can be a pain, but overall, I haven't had too many problems with it.

The MS3 designer recommended a black or white yarn for this project, and I could've purchased some black bamboo for this. But Knit Mongrel and my LYS owner both said that knitting with black yarn is not so much fun. Plus I kinda figured that I'd be more inclined to gift the stole if I knit it in black. And that's a problem because in a year and a half of knitting, which includes a number of FOs, I HAVE NEVER KNIT ANYTHING FOR MYSELF!!! That's so wrong, isn't it? I mean, I love to knit for others, but I think it's about time I make something for moi. So, since I don't know anyone who loves purple as I do, I figured if I got the purple bamboo, I'd be more likely to keep it than find a reason to gift it.