Saturday, December 29, 2007

Merry Winter Solstice Celebration and a happy annual rotation to you!

For Christmas this year, I got some super nifty stuff. My sister bought me Mr. Funky's Super Crochet Wonderful, Elizabeth Zimmerman Knitter's Almanac and Amigurumi!: Super Happy Crochet Cute. Lots of cute stuff in there to make. And yeah, I must have been the LAST Knitter on Earth without the Knitter's Almanac in my library.

Teenuh got me a super cute Loopy Ewe Needle felting sheep kit that I can't wait to do. It looks so cute! It is wearing socks! She and I will hopefully do ours together.

My mother purchased 2 books for me, at the TKGA in Oakland a couple of months ago which I finally got for Christmas. Barbara Walker's Third book of charted knitting desings and a tiny spiral bound book on how to make any sweater into a top down seamless sweater.

I also picked out this super yummy lace weight silk, approximately half a pound making 800 or so yards and Mom bought that for me too. This was from the Solvang based The Village Spinning and Weaving Store, which was where I picked up that giant cone of red silk at Stitches. I buy all this fantastic silk and sea silk, etc and then I won't commit to using it. I am like Golem. I would hide in a cave rolling about in all of my "Precious" in the dark, never using it and never allowing anyone else to use it. I have to get over that and start knitting stuff out of it. I have 2 skeins of Claudia, 3 skeins of Handmaiden Seasilk, at least 3 more skeins of pure silk. Plus all of those amazing little skeins from Redfish. I think there is something wrong with me. Perhpas I should make it my New Year's resolution to use up more of my Precious regardless of how special it is, I know I can always buy more right!?

Also along lines of addiction. I made 2 more tiny, tiny sweaters. I sent one along with my mom to Hawaii to my grandparents. My grandma has probably already sealed it up in plastic and set it out in one of her many plastic "display" cases. Also I have finally turned the heel on the second sock of my Embossed leaves sock. So I am basically in the home stretch. As long as tragedy stays away it will be done soon and I can get back to cranking out that Madeira Stole. Mmm, that makes me want to go to Cheesecake Factory.

Ah, duh, also added to my stash about 2 weeks ago were somethings that I couldn't post about because it was a dead giveaway to what Teenuh was getting for Winter Solstice day. I orderd some yarn from the Netherlands. It took 3 weeks to arrive. The skein prices were so very reasonable, until you add on the international shipping rates.... The glory is the marvelous excuse I used to justify an order was that some was to be given as a gift. Thanks Teenuh, haha! I have 2 skeins of Kauni in the Rainbow EQ colorway. Hideously bright orange on the outside, beautifully rainbowliscious on the inside. I also have 2 colors of Kauni's sister yarn, beautiful color graduating, Evilla Art yarn. This is made in the same factory and has the same style of slow color graduations. One large skein of A-31 a warm fall colored rainbow of magenta, olive green, orange and dark purple and two smaller skeins of this blue-brown one, A-8. Reminiscent of that sock pixie color way I said look like Mud spilling into beautiful ocean water that I thought was so ugly. Funny how a little desire can change an opinion.I am ITCHING to knit some of this up. Discipline. Self-control. We'll see.

Friday, December 21, 2007

I've got the fevah!

I cranked out another Minutia (#6) yesterday. I used Knitpicks bare merino laceweight and size 00 needles. It was SO super tiny and cute. It was about an inch and a half tall and about 2 and half inches wide. I took this picture from an odd angle trying to minimize the flashback from the shiny plastic measuring board and minimize the washout. I worked the cables reversed on the back side so the cables point in the same direction, not up one side and down the other side as written. It was very hard to pick up stitches for the neck and I only crocheted one row around instead of the 3 the pattern called for. The sleeves were about 1-1/4 inches wide before folding them over. I made them wider to allow for the seams and ease of turning.

At this very moment I am convincing myself not to start another one. It was a quick 2 hours of work. I seamed it up and sent it to school today. I am now wanting to make another one (or 10) to keep for myself, because the blue one I made went to school on the front of my son's teacher's gift and this one was gifted to a friend of mine as well. I enslaved my husband to make me a couple of hangers (he has a good attention for fine details) and he made me 2 perfect little hangers in 2 sizes. He may yet become my hanger making slave....

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A warm sense of accomplishment with hands still attatched!

As a result of constant and rapid knitting, the super scarf for DS's teacher has been completed. It is blocked and drying on the living room floor! Woo hoo! Finsihed it at Starbucks knit night. It looks fantastic and was easily blocked without much stretching to the exact size I wanted it. 7 inches wide by 58 inches long (okay it turned out 2 inches longer than I planned. Sheesh).
I am fairly certain I will NEVER make anything in Frog Tree Dark Grey Charcoal ever again. It was SO hard to see the stitches it was like going blind the whole time, and I don't even have problems seeing in a dimly lit room or semi darkness.
I can only imagine the torture that other more visually challenged persons must face with this. Here is a close up, you can vaguely see the chevron design. It is perfectly subtle for a conservative and professional man such is DS's teacher. I hope that he will enjoy it.

And to celebrate its completion I also made a little Minutia, #12. From left overs of my Regia Kaffe Fassett socks. With a little pulling and cutting of the leftovers of the 2 balls of yarn I had, I have perfectly matching fronts and backs, as well as sleeves. Most satisfying. It was hilarious that I made a tiny 2.5" tall sweater and had 12 ends to weave in. I don't have any wire to make the amazingly cute hangers so I will have to run to the store tomorrow. Darn another reason to shop... Just as a side bar, I have to say I can't compete with Melissa's rapid production of Minutia. She is a tiny sweater machine! Each one, a tiny marvel of knitting perfection!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Did you ever knit until you thought your hands would fall off and you would go blind? I changed my mind on the Teacher's scarf design for the 4th time ripped back the 9 inches of scarf I already had knit and cast on again. This was Friday night. I then realized I had 6 days to complete, block and wrap said scarf for delivery at school Friday morning. Um. Minor panic ensued. I now have 24 inches of scarf, I figure I am probably 2/3 of the way there. I am not sure. How long do they make men's scarves?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I am back on track again. I think.

My mysteriously lost Knitpicks order was reordered and finally shipped to me and I can FINALLY resume work on my embossed leaves sock. Somehow the gauge or yarn is different on the second sock and it was pooling so, so badly and you all know how obsessed I am with my socks matching. So Melissa, suggested I reduce by a couple of stitches and I decreased by 2 stitches. Miraculously the pooling disappeared, with just 2 stitches. Amazing. I am just hoping it doesn't return when I have to add the 2 stitches back in up at the ankle.

I took advantage of Commuknity's 20% of sale and purchased 4 skeins of Frog Tree Sport weight Alpaca in dark grey. This is already on the needles, becoming a scarf for DS's teacher. I am having a difficult time generating a pattern that shows up. The yarn has lots of lighter gray hairs waving out of it and it really obscures the stitch definition. I had a nice, reversible, manly pattern worked out in just knit and purl. But when I applied it to the yarn, the design was completely indiscernible, even after I had worked up 8 inches! Ugh! So I ripped it back and have been experimenting. I think I am going to stick with a 2 cable pattern with the cables running up the sides and garter stitch border. The lack of definition frustrates me though and makes me feel like I am going slightly blind. I tried a reversible cable scarf I found on the internet but it pulls in so much I would have to make the scarf like 80 stitches wide to have a reasonable width (about 8 inches wide) and imagine how much yarn that would use!

Also purchased at Commuknity was another skein of Claudia Handpainted Silk Lace in this fantabulous peacock color way. It is SO bright and beautiful and was purchased spontaneously, who could pass it was so lovely and 20% off. In the hopes that I will someday compelte the Ice Queen wimple, I purchased a ball of Kid Silk Night in Starlight. It is already has a little sparkle it it and it will look nice with some clear beads with metallic centers that I bought last week. Since I am now working on 3 projects I will have to finish up at least 2 (particularly the gift scarf!) before I cast on for that. Also spontaneously purchased was this ball of Melody that was up by the register. Damn tricky last minute buys. But look how pretty it is!!

Aha Guilty! I did not confess all of my recent purchases. I also bought, last Saturday at Purlesence 2 colors of Panda Cotton and 2 skeins of the humorously named Panda Silk (a whole 5% silk in there!) which I think I will probably make into another swallowtail shawl with beads like the Harlot did.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Blog, what's that!?

Whoops. I suppose I have been careless in my attempts to blog. No posts for 2 weeks. Good Grief. Well, the new camera is out of the box and snapping pictures. It took the best picture of my black dog that I have EVER been able to take (and it should!) I have started and finished a pink hat and sweater for Angelika's baby. Who is scheduled to be born Dec 26 (scheduled c-section). The hat is just a circular generic hat with a 2 stitch cable alternated with 2 purl stitches. The sweater is the collar only version of Diane Soucy's Easy Baby Cardigan. I made all of the edges with the same cable pattern from the booties and cap, including the collar. I worked up very fast, it is seamless so it was a total breeze. You work from the top down, starting at the collar top (or hood if you are making the hooded version) and work down increasing raglan style until you reach the arm pits at which point you pull off the sleeve stitches onto a holder then continue working to the bottom. Then pick up the stitches from the holder, lift a few stitches from the pits and work in the round until you reach the bottom of the sleeve. Weave in ends and tada! You have a sweater. Now off to work on those triplet sweaters....