Saturday, March 24, 2012

Oh, sigh

Ripped my Leyburn Sock back to where I was on April 9, 2011. My Ravelry page says that's when I put in a lifeline after the heel so I'd be able to make sock #2 match sock #1. Oh, sigh.

At knit night this week I decided the leg I had knitted so far looked oddly wide, so I tried it on was oddly wide. I'm glad that lifeline was there because I ended up needing it so I can fix this ridiculousness.

On the bright side, the foot fits great! And I did have a lifeline in there. I'm going to make the stockinette heel a little taller and decrease 18 sts before starting the leg in pattern. Wish me luck.

Monday, January 23, 2012

2011 FOs

I did not knit much during my pregnancy, as evidenced below. And I just recently picked up the needles again so hopefully 2012 will have many, many more FOs! Babies certainly are a lot of work...

2011 Reads

  • A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1), by George R.R. Martin [!!!]

  • Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson [!]

  • Lottery, by Patricia Wood

  • 1/3 of The Weird Sisters, by Eleanor Brown [#]

  • Nora, Nora, by Anne Rivers Siddons [!]

  • The New Yorkers, by Cathleen Schine

  • Baby books

  • Baby 411, by Denise & Alan Fields [!]

  • The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein

  • Lost and Found, by Carolyn Parkhurst [!]

  • The Beach House, by Jane Green

  • 1/3 of Room, by Emma Donoghue [#]

  • Change of Heart, by Jodi Picoult (audio) [#]

KEY: [!] = Highly recommend and [#] = Disappointing

Friday, December 09, 2011

Elizabeth's Ark

My friend Ana made me an awesome baby gift and gave it to me in October. I promptly photographed it for her Ravelry page and wrote a nice thank you note, but forgot to post it to my blog.

Presenting....Elizabeth (then about 2 months old) and the BEAUTIFUL Noah's Ark blanket that Ana crocheted for me.

Monday, November 14, 2011

I'm back!

Well, hopefully :) My daughter is almost 3 months old now and I finally have the urge to knit again. I frogged the baby kicking bag I started when I was pregnant and am instead making a scarf for myself.
It's an easy chevron pattern, but requires me to knit the two halves separately and then seam them together so the scarf is symmetrical. Tonight I divided the yarn in half - I'd like to CO this week.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

OTN: Kicking Bag

Though I can't concentrate on anything elaborate right now, I would like to knit something for my soon-to-be-here daughter. I had to kill a few hours in the hospital waiting room yesterday (not there for me) and a nice, mostly stockinette baby Kicking Bag seemed like the perfect project to bring along.

I CO Thursday night just to get the right number of stitches on the needle--no mini cable, sorry Baby--and there are many many inches of (manageable) stockinette in my future.(Look how puffy my feet are and it was only about 8am.)

The other project sort-of-OTN is my Leyburn Socks. The pattern is still driving me nuts but I'm winging it nicely based on what I know the diamond shape is supposed to be doing (instead of following the instructions). I'm about halfway up leg #1 and it's turning out well.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ok, so it’s about time for an update

There has NOT been a lot of knitting going on… On June 10th I got up to the border/edging on Girasole and promptly put it aside. I have no idea why, but the thought of it overwhelms me a bit. I put in a lifeline and will just go for it. I should have plenty of yarn. I’d like to finish this in the next 4-5 weeks. Think I can do it?

Since they were less daunting, I thought maybe I’d tackle the Leyburn socks that have been in time-out for over a month. At lunch, (I thought) I figured out which row to start on (Row 1) and knitted away…

Obstacle 1: When I got to the end of Row 1, I was a stitch short. I fudged it, picked up a stitch, and moved on to Row 2.

Obstacle 2: When I was 3/4 of the way done with Row 2, I realized why I was a stitch short on Row 1. I missed picking up a stitch from my lifeline. I tinked back 1.5 rounds so I could pick up that stitch (all I need is a dropped stitch at the end of all of this), properly finished Row 1, and continued on my merry way.

Obstacle 3, a.k.a. The fun never ends: Row 1 proved not to be the right round to start with. When I went to knit Row 3, I realized that picking up the float where the pattern said to would make me create a second top-of-diamond instead of the bottom-of-diamond I can tell I need. Ugh. Must tink back again tonight and more carefully decide which round to start with: 3 or 5 or 7.

I’m not sure if this is all just me being dense, pregnancy brain, or lack of sleep…but to try to insure success tonight I decided to type up some idiot-proof directions. Directions that could not possibly steer me wrong. Well, unless one of the last two causes is to blame. We shall see.

The end of my lunch involved a visit to Ravelry. I copied the relevant parts of the Leyburn pattern and pasted them into Word. The lattice instructions are given for the foot (flat) and in order to knit the lattice pattern in the round (leg), you have to fudge the end of row 5 / beginning of row 6. The designer provides new instructions for Row 5 only, along with written instructions.

Instead of counting on my ability to look at a different part of the pattern when Row 5 rolls around, I deleted Row 5 from the foot/lattice instructions and pasted in the new Row 5 from the leg instructions. Think it will work? ::sigh:: I hope so. I want to wear these socks at some point!

…..AND….. (just so this isn’t a picture-less post)

My baby shower was this past weekend and I got some lovely handmade items.

My mother-in-law’s friend Michele made me this blanket and hat. Aren't they beautiful?

My friend gave me this gorgeous blanket, crocheted by her mom.

(My own baby knitting has not progressed past row 5 of a cardigan. Yeah, I better get on that now while I still get at least a little sleep.)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Been knitting


Here's the blanket as of lunchtime today. I'm on row 2 of repeat 2 of Chart F (that means I only have a few rounds until I start the knitted-on edging!).

I bought an extra skein of yarn so I wouldn't have to worry about running out but still got nervous when I had to begin my 3rd-to-last skein a few rows ago.

The blanket is GIGANTIC now and I didn't check my gauge so I was worried the border would eat up a ton of yarn. I asked in the Brooklyn Tweed group and another Raveler assured me that she knitted a larger version of the Girasole blanket and her border still took less than one skein of Cascade 220. That means I should be fine! ::phew::

Baby Sweater
(See previous post)

I swatched yesterday for my Maile Sweater, but think the needles may have been in the wrong slot of my case.

I used #2 needles (gauge = 6.75 sts/inch) and #4 needles (gauge = 7 sts/inch) and washed the swatch before I measured. This seems wrong, doesn't it?

The suggested gauge for my yarn (Ella Rae Lace Merino) is 6.5 sts/inch and the pattern, which only comes in one size, calls for 6 sts/inch. Even if the needles really were #2 and #4, I'll have to do some math to make sure I'll have enough yarn for the sweater.

ETA: Decided to knit the Sunnyside Cardigan with this yarn.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hello, strangers!

I am still alive. I'm fighting with my Leyburn socks (they're in time-out) and plugging away on my never-ending Girasole (which I still love). I'm knitting Chart F now, the last chart before the knitted-on border, and plan to get through its two repeats as fast as possible. The blanket is an enormous ~700 sts of worsted weight yarn and turning out beautifully. My goal is to finish it by July because....

....I'm having a baby girl in a few months! Yay!! That's what's been keeping me away from knitting and blogging, but now I'm getting down to the wire and really have to get moving on baby knitting. I've decided to make a purple Maile Sweater but my CO has been delayed by the fact that I can't find my needles. Um, yeah. We're rearranging our house in preparation for the little one's arrival and my knitting stuff is now in two rooms. I'll have to look again tonight.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Girasole progress

My sweetie was in New England at the end of last week and I took Amtrak there to meet him. I'm telling you this because I got lots of knitting done!! I knitted away for 4 1/2 hours on Friday night and then again for several hours today during our car ride home.

*drum roll please*

I'm now done with Chart E!! I have 640 sts on the needle. It seemed to take forever to get to this point but I'm now just 22 (long) rows from the (time-consuming) knitted-on border. Yay!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Back in the knitting groove

After a bit of a hiatus, I've been knitting pretty regularly again.

Last Saturday I spent a good deal of time knitting my Girasole blanket. I'm totally in love with this project again and bummed that it isn't very portable. It takes me about 30 minutes to knit a plain row and 45-60 minutes to knit a lace row. I don't mind...I love it anyway.

This past week I brought my Leyburn Socks to work a few times and finished most of foot #1. I went to visit friends yesterday, a trip that involved several hours on Amtrak trains and in waiting areas. By the time I got home last night I had finished the heel :)

Though I'm loving the way this sock is turning out, the pattern leaves something to be desired (at least for me). The instructions are kind of bare-bones and I had to resort to Googling on my phone to figure out how to do the heel… I had to fudge it in a couple places but think I did ok. Woohoo! 25% done with this project!

While I was in Philly, I visited Loop and bought myself some souvenir yarn: Ella Rae Lace Merino in a beautiful purple.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Bit by the knitting bug

Girasole isn't very portable so I must cast on for some other projects if I want to have something to knit on at lunch, while I ride public transportation (3 days this week), and at knit night. Here's the plan for today:

#1 - Wind skeins into center-pull balls (done).
#2 - Admire cute dogs eating ice cubes in their sunny patch (done).
And being sweeties (done).

#3 - CO for the Leaf Lace Scarf with the purple Alpaca Cloud yarn. US #3 needles should work because that's what I used for the last project I knitted out of Alpaca Cloud.

#4 - Swatch for Leyburn Socks with the blue-purple Stroll yarn. I usually knit fingering-weight socks with US #1 needles so I'll start there.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Crafting Time

Ok, so I've crocheted exactly one thing since I "learned" to crochet last March. I've been meaning to take on another project but honestly I haven't had time to decipher crochet abbreviations (makes me appreciate how foreign knitting instructions look to newbies) and master new techniques. My crafting time has really taken a hit the last year or so because of finishing up my second master's degree and, lately, because I've been ridiculously busy at work. Things have calmed down now so I'm picking the needles back up!

Back in October, I bought yarn to make a Moss Fern Wrap and last Friday I went through the pattern and translated all of the abbreviations into words. Monday I brought my yarn, hook, and pattern to work with the intention of starting the project at lunch and thanks to the video at the bottom of this page I learned how to fsc (foundation single crochet). When I actually went to fsc, it occured to me that lace-weight mohair/silk yarn is not the best way to jump into crocheting. Um, yeah. Obviously.

Since then I've searched Ravelry to find an interesting crochet project that could be made with stash yarn. I didn't want to make a scarf or potholder, didn't have enough yarn for a sweater or shawl, and couldn't get excited about making a blanket or hat. Then I found some cute bibs: a frog-faced bib (have green yarn!) and a bib with an elephant on it (have gray yarn!). With any luck, those projects will each get another post sometime soon.

After several months of hibernation, Girasole returned to my knitting rotation on February 1st. It sat untouched for many months because I kept making mistakes and because I had some master’s thesis deadlines to meet. (MA conferred February first--hooray!!)

<--I took this pic at lunch today. I'm a few rows into my second repeat of chart E. I was switching from a 32” cable to a 60” cable and the blanket still doesn’t lie flat with 92” of cable. That means it’ll be nice and BIG. Yay! Can’t wait to use this thing :) Since the number of sts increases with each round it's hard to estimate how much longer it will take to finish. It takes about an hour to do one round so I've got quite a bit of work still ahead of me.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

FO: Candlelight Scarf

A looong overdue post!

Pattern: “Candlelight Shawl” by Saccade Elyse
Source: Ravelry download [link]
Started: December 3, 2010
Finished & Blocked: January 31, 2011
Dimensions: 48” wide and 22” top to tip (just blocked--later shrank some)

Yarn: ~307 yds of Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label Fingering Weight yarn (80% Superwash Merino Wool, 20% Nylon; 400 yds per 115 g ball) in "Poppy"
Needles: US #5
Modifications: See below.

I’m using this shawlette as a winter scarf. Lovely yarn, lovely color, beautiful design... However, I had trouble following the pattern so I’m sure it’s not exactly as the designer intended. I still like how it turned out and it’s the perfect size to wrap around my neck. The NY area is getting pummeled with wintery weather this year so it got lots of use this season.

I knitted the set-up rows and rows 1-30 without any trouble but when I got to the spot where I was supposed to repeat the rows/areas in the red box, my stitch count wouldn’t have any of it. After PMing back and forth with the designer and another Raveler, I ended up repeating rows 15-30 instead of 13-20 (be sure you repeat sts 12-19 and 48-55 as necessary from row 15+), and stopping at row 20 to begin the edging. I had 31g of yarn left and all worked out fine.

For the edging, I decided to continue in pattern for the edge sts and incomplete section (part right before the first full pattern repeat). It was supposed to be stockinette but I didn’t like the way that looked since we were still doing yo, k1, yo for the center sts. I’m pleased with the final result!

Overall, a beautiful pattern and a relatively quick knit.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

2010 FOs

2010 Reads

  • Every Last One, by Anna Quindlen

  • Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: a novel, by Helen Simonson [!]

  • Digging to America, by Anne Tyler (audio) [!]

  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson

  • Thesis stuff

  • The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag, by Alan Bradley [#]

  • Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke (audio) [!]

  • Unaccustomed Earth, by Jhumpa Lahiri [!]

  • When You Are Engulfed In Flames, by David Sedaris (audio)

  • Heloise & Abelard: A New Biography, by James Burge

  • Abelard and Heloise, a play, by Ronald Millar

  • The Help, by Kathryn Stockett (audio) [!]

  • In Extremis: The Story of Abelard and Heloise, by Howard Brenton

* KEY: [!] = Highly recommend and [#] = Disappointing

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Here's a picture of our peanuts under the tree. Hope everyone has a nice holiday & a happy and healthy new year!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lots to say

Though I haven't been posting much, a lot has been going on.
  1. I CO for the Candlelight Shawl in beautiful "Poppy" (red) Tanis Fiber Arts fingering weight yarn. That will get its own post.

  2. I participated in my first-ever swap with the Mad Men group on Ravelry. It was an easy swap that involved sending off yarn, a pattern, and snacks (totaling $20-$25) to the person you got matched up with. The person I got likes Jane so I found a picture of Jane online, bought yarn inspired by the color of her dress, and a curvy sock pattern. For snacks, I went to a local store that sells old-fashioned candy and chose two 1960s-era goodies. Here is what I sent off:
    The person who got my name went a little crazy (in a good way) and sent me a ton of stuff. In addition to yarn, a pattern, and snacks, she also gave me a calendar, a magnetic shopping list, a gift card, a candle, and more. The yarn is Manos del Uruguay Silk in colors Peggy would wear. Here's a picture:

  3. I finished my Rooibos vest, and it's a bummer. It's such a bummer it doesn't even get its own FO post or a proper photo.

    Started: September 18, 2010
    Finished: December 2, 2010
    Yarn: About 5 skeins of Knit Picks Swish Bulky (100% Merino; 137 yards per 100g skein) in Saffron, #25132
    Size: Women's medium

    Modifications: Went up a size because my gauge was off. I figured if the vest ended up too big, I could give it to my sister - unfortunately I somehow managed to read "repeat these six rows two times" as "repeat these six rows six times" (no idea how) and made the silly decision to carry on instead of ripping & re-knitting. Figured it'd just be a little long, which was fine with me. As it is, it's way too long for my short sister. Maybe with additional washings it will shrink, but it's definitely not meant to be a gift!

    I had my eye on this pattern for quite a while and am upset about how it turned out. When I noticed that I'd messed up between the waist and armholes, I really should have ripped back. At least then I'd have a project that could be worn in public. As it is now, the vest is entirely too long and destined to be an in-house-only garment. ::sigh::

  4. My sister has requested slipper-booties for my 1-1/2 year old nephew. I found a pattern for Greemy Slippers, which look similar to an outgrown slipper that actually stayed on his foot, but now that he's running around the house I'll have to find a way to make them grippy-bottomed. I really have to buy the yarn and get moving! Christmas Eve will be here before I know it.

(Excuse the poor writing in this post. Just needed to get it out there because it's been too long since I wrote anything here!)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

FO: Monkey Socks

Pattern: "Monkey" by Cookie A.
Source: Knitty, Winter 2006
Size: Women's medium
Started: October 9, 2010
Finished: November 2, 2010
Gifting: December 25, 2010

Yarn: less than 1 skein of Fiber Optic Yarns Foot Notes (420 yards per 114g skein; 80% Merino, 20% Nylon) in "No. 26 - Days of Wine & Roses" (even prettier in person than in these pics)
Needle: US 1½ - 2.5 mm
Modifications: Cuff is K2P2 ribbing instead of K1P1 ribbing. Did it by mistake on the first one, and made the second one to match.

I'm giving these Monkeys to my sister-in-law for Christmas. They should fit her more snugly/better than shown in the pictures and I really hope she likes them. I've never knitted her anything before and am sure I'll be super-nervous when she opens them.

It usually takes me forever to make socks, but these got knitted pretty quickly because of all the traveling I did in October - on planes, in cars, and on the subway. I originally CO with Socks That Rock Mediumweight with the intention of knitting these up on the bus/plane ride to and from two DC rallies. Unfortunately that version of the socks ended up being unacceptably unattractive (ugly color pooling) so I ripped it out in favor of this yarn. What a good decision - these socks are beautiful!
Knitted these socks with two circs, but used dpns to do the gussets. I was calling the STR version my "rally socks" so it's kinda cool that I finished them on Election Day.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A celebratory post

I'm pretty much done with my thesis!! I filed my graduation paperwork today and will have my master's thesis 100% done by the end of the month. I can't even tell you how relieved I am!!!! To celebrate, I've been knitting like it's my job. Here's a taste of what I've been working on:

That's Hazel helping me photograph Monkey sock #1. I'm also working on a vest and some other stuff. More posts to come :)

Saturday, September 04, 2010

FO: Wavy Socks

Pattern: "Serpentine Socks" [Rav link]
Source: Socks from the Toe Up, by Wendy D. Johnson
Started: May 20, 2010
Finished: September 1, 2010 (Sock #1 was done on 6/18/10)
Gifting: December 24, 2010

Yarn: 2 skeins of Patons Kroy Socks 4 Ply [75% Wool, 25% Nylon; 166 yds per 50g skein] in #55011 - "Flax"
Needles: US #2
Size: Smallest size, to fit Women's medium
Gauge: 6.5 stitches and 9 rows = 1 inch in stockinette stitch
Modifications: I knitted these as written, except for an unintentional “design modification.” I knitted all even rows instead of purling the purls on those rows. The wave isn’t as pronounced as it should be but, since I did this consistently, the socks turned out fine.

Back in the beginning of the year, my mom requested another pair of socks. She *loves* the pair I gave her back in 2009 so is definitely worthy of more knitted gifts. :D I decided that socks would be a good Christmas present, but only if I left myself plenty of time to make them.

My schedule has been really crazy lately (thanks to a MA thesis that needs to get done asap) and socks take me forever to knit so...I kind of cheated. I chose a pattern that required non-fingering weight yarn. These knitted up quickly, and I'm happy with how they turned out. Hope they fit my mom as well as they fit me!

In the pictures, you can see how they're constructed. There's a stockinette ridge going up either side and a wavy pattern all down the front and on the back of the leg. I think they look cool on, and they fit snugly (which I think is essential for socks). The yarn was soft so I enjoyed knitting with it; if my mom tells me it holds up well, I'll use it again.

I learned some stuff while making them, too. This was my first time knitting a sock on 2 circs instead of 5 dpns. I like the technique even though I think I’m faster on dpns--it's nice not having to worry about sts slipping off the needle, etc. It was also my first time doing a Turkish cast on and an especially-stretchy bind off.

I knitted them a lot while in the car or at knit night, and even a little at WWKIP Day in Eisenhower Park. I brought them along on my vacation in July but didn't even take them out of my bag during our 2,600 mile road trip. I really should have finished them then, but was too busy enjoying the scenery and cuddling with my dogs, who came with us. ;)

Anyway, I'll give these to my mom on Christmas Eve. I hope she likes them!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Can I do it?

Can I finish a sweater in time for the Fall weather? Probably not, but I'm going to try.

The Jali Cardigan was in the summer issue of IK and is knitted with cotton bamboo yarn. I'd like to finish it before it gets too cold, but any FO would be admirable at this point. ;)

My knitting friend stopped by the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in NYC and picked up the yarn for me. I liked the color and drape in the magazine, so asked her to buy me the same exact yarn. Not very creative of me, and I think it's the first time I've ever knitted with the exact yarn called for in the pattern. I swatched last night at knit night and may cast on for it this weekend.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


We entered this picture of Hazel in our local newspaper's "Cutest Canine Contest." Unfortunately she didn't win, but isn't she cute??

This year we brought the dogs on vacation with us. We drove 2,600 miles in 7 days (WV, VA, SC, GA, AL, TN, and an 8th day in NJ) and our pups behaved like angels the entire time. Dewey mostly sat on my lap, and Hazel mostly sat on the floor by my feet.

(Edited this post to better explain picture)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wow, almost two months!

It's been a long time since I last posted--I am alive and well. Attempting to write an 80-100 page master's thesis doesn't leave me much free time so I've been slacking on the knitting and the blogging. Here's a quick update.

Back in May I finished my husband's never-ending red socks and gleefully handed them over to him as he returned from his 100 mile bike ride, the Montauk Century. I was much less gleeful when sock #2 fit perfectly while sock #1 was a bit tight in the foot. (Sock #1 is on the left & comes to a point above the toes.) There's not much motivation to fix wool socks when it's 97 degrees outside because Dennis isn't going to wear them anytime soon...

I brought the deformed sock to WWKIP Day a couple weekends ago to unravel the foot, but thought I bound off too well and needed scissors (which I hadn't brought to the park). At knit night on Thursday, as I was picking out the stitches, I realized that I was undoing the *CO* (um, ribbing) instead of the BO (complicated shaping that needs repair). Ugh. It's at the bottom of my knitting basket now. Think I'm a bit over-tired & distracted? Yeah, me too.

On June 18th I finished the first of what I'm now calling my Wavy Socks (previously known by their pattern name, Serpentine Socks). At WWKIP Day, I CO for the second sock and finished the toe. I'm hoping to make good progress on it over the next 1.5 weeks...

...and maybe even start a baby sweater (small & portable). I swatched for the Maile baby sweater last night and might cast on as soon as Friday. I'm using stash yarn that I bought last summer while in France. It just so happens it's almost the same color as the Wavy Socks. Oh well. No need to buy yarn when there's beautiful and suitable stuff in my yarn hamper...

The black lace shawl I began a while back hasn't been touched because it's too complicated for tv knitting and my lunch breaks and after-work-time have been focused on my thesis whenever I'm not exhausted.

What else? Hmm. The puppies are best friends. Dewey has doubled in size since we got him in April; this picture is a little old already. He's getting a hair cut Thursday and I'll have to post an updated picture.

Friday, May 07, 2010

First crochet FO!

This is just a basic granny square baby blanket; it was based on Baby Afghan #70454AD by Lion Brand Yarn.

Started: March 25, 2010
Finished: May 7, 2010
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Solids & Heathers (20% wool, 80% acrylic; 197 yds per 85g ball) in Blush Heather (<2 balls), Violet (<1 ball), and Dark Rose Heather (just >1 ball)
Hook: size J

My knit night friend showed me how to do the shell edging. I really like the way this turned out!

Old posts here.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A non-knitting post

Just wanted to say that I'll be MIA for a while longer. I'm really killing myself trying to get my thesis completed... Send good luck thoughts my way!

p.s. I'm super-close to finishing the crocheted baby blanket.

Monday, April 12, 2010

So many WIPs

I don't think I've ever had so many works in progress before.

1. Oliver Socks - I'm about 1/2 done with sock #2's heel flap. This project is no longer suitable for buses, subways, or trains but still fits easily into my work bag. I knitted most of a heel flap at my ridiculously-early-dinner today (worked tonight so had dinner at 3:45). This pattern requires you to knit the gusset and arch shaping at the same time, which I found confusing the first time around because the stitch markers moved in a way I didn't anticipate. Now that I know what to expect, the second time should go much smoother.

2. Girasole - I'm happily knitting Chart D. I went away for Easter weekend and knitted a lot of Girasole on the way to SC and a bit more on the way home.

3. Square blanket - My first crocheted project is coming along nicely. I saw some granny square blankets at Lion Brand Yarn Studio and think I'm crocheting this too loosely but don't really care. I still love it! Next time around I'll know I'm a loose crocheter and will use a smaller hook.

4. Haruni Shawl - I started this this morning with the help of this helpful video (provisional COs always give me trouble). Only one half of the shawl is charted - the second half isn't included and neither are the first 3 sts, center stitch, or last 3 sts. It's not a big deal now that there are only a few sts per row but I hope I don't make a mess of things later on. I put 4 stitch markers to help me keep track of things.

5. Serpentine Socks - okay, well I'm jumping the gun a bit on these because I haven't started yet. My yarn, needles, CO instructions, and pattern (with errata) are ready to go though and I plan to begin asap.

In other big news: We got a(nother) puppy. His name is Dewey and he's a 3-month-old Miniature Schnauzer. He and Hazel are getting along smashingly so far. *huge smile*

Also, I saw Jared Flood speak recently. I sat in the last row and only took one blurry, far-away picture but the LBY Studio people took some great photos and really captured what the presentation was about so take a look at their blog post.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'm back

Wow, I've been MIA for weeks! I've been really busy meeting grad school deadlines but have been squeezing in yarn whenever I can.

Since my last post was about crochet, I'll start there. I got super motivated after "learning" to crochet a granny square at my knitting group, went out and bought all the stuff in this picture, and then massively failed at crochet attempt after crochet attempt. I could do the set-up round but was incapabale of going further. It turns out that I was pulling it too tight and trying to crochet into the wrong chain.

It wasn't until my group met up again on March 25th that I was able to master the granny square. And look at how much progress I've made!

Please excuse this cell phone picture, but here's what I've got so far. I'm doing LP, DP, LP, P, LP, DP, etc. Since I'm using the light pink yarn every other time, I've used up one full ball already. I'm not sure how big a square baby blanket should be, but I'll just crochet until I've either run out of light pink yarn or think the blanket is big enough.

I've also been knitting Dennis's Oliver socks. The cuff of the second sock is about 2/3 done and has been my commuter-knitting for the past couple of weeks. It's a super boring k2p2 ribbing that is perfect for mass transit (unless it's rush hour when you're crammed in the subway car like a sardine) and I've been keeping it in my purse for my frequent bus, subway, or train rides. Once I finish the cuff, I'm going to have to find another commuter project because the foot requires lots of concentration. The fussy foot is worth the effort though because sock #1 fit Dennis perfectly.

Lastly, Girasole is resting comfortably in my yarn basket. On March 6th I started ripping back to Chart C's halfway point, where I had put a lifeline. <-- Here is a picture of the blob that resembled a sea creature.

Since then, I knitted six more rows, put in a lifeline, then knit some more before realizing I'm one stitch short. I'm currently contemplating whether I should again rip back to mid-Chart C or fudge the one stitch and knit on. I don't see any errors in my knitting and am feeling kind of defeated. I'm supposed to see Jared Flood again tomorrow night (Kim sucked me into this one) so maybe I'll be that annoying audience person and ask for his expert eyes.

p.s. I really want to cast on for a black lace shawl; I'm not optimistic about finishing it in time for the May 1st wedding but may give it a go. This is of course despite the fact that I haven't worked on my mom's vest since before the Olympics. *sigh*

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Crochet, here I come!

Thursday night I learned to crochet. At least for the time being, I know how to single crochet, double crochet, and granny square. Very exciting! I've been wanting to learn for several years and am so glad that I now have a weekly opportunity to get help if needed (sorry & thanks, Kim!).

I'm envisioning myself crocheting blankets, baby stuff, and edgings for knitted items. After knitting a swatch and square, I think I'm ready to start my first real project.

I've decided to crochet a baby blanket from the Lion Brand website [someone's pretty pic here.] I went to Jo-Ann tonight and bought crochet hooks, a learn-to-crochet book that has great color illustrations and useful instructions, and purple, dark rose, and light pink Wool-Ease yarn. I'm going to use three colors instead of four and hope the combination looks nice.

I also bought a few other things: another ball of Rose Heather yarn so I can make a scarf to match my Ravelympics hat, a darning needle set, and button pins. The little container that holds my tapestry needles is cracked and I'll use the pins (don't have a little kink in the bottom) when I make the second of Dennis's socks.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

FO: Claudia hat

This project was a last-minute addition to my Ravelympics repertoire and got me a medal in the "Hat Half-Pipe" event.

Pattern: Claudia by MJ Kim
Started: February 26, 2010
Finished: February 27, 2010

Yarn: less than 1 skein of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Solids & Heathers (80% Acrylic, 20% Wool; 197 yds per 85 g ball) in "Rose Heather"
Needles: #5 for most of the hat; #4 for the CO and fancy-ness

I saw this hat on Thursday night at my knitting group and *loved* it. On Friday I decided to use some stash yarn to knit one up for myself. I feel less guilty now about how easily I finished my Ravelympics socks...

This is the nicest hat I've knit, and I'm really happy with how it turned out. During the decreases, I could have k2tog a bit tighter but I think it turned out great. If I make this hat again, I'll learn how to cable without a cable needle. I was too busy watching tv to learn a new technique. ;)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

FO: Sunday Swing Socks

My Ravelympics 2010 project is done! These socks were entered in the "WIPs-Dancing" event, as you can see from the snazzy medal I just received.

Pattern: Sunday Swing Socks by Kristel Nyberg
Source: Knitty, Summer 2009
Started: August 19, 2009 (in Nice, France)
Finished: February 20, 2010 (during two man bobsled)

Size: Women's medium
Yarn: 240 yds of Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label Fingering Weight yarn (80% Superwash Merino Wool, 20% Nylon; 400 yds per 115 g ball) in "Peacock"
Needles: #1 dpns

This pattern is from the Summer 2009 issue of Knitty. It was easy to follow and went by really quickly. (That's saying a lot because socks usually take me forever and a day to make.)

The toes fit especially well, and the color is really pretty in person. I only strayed once from the pattern; it said to pull the yarn through the 8 live stitches to close the toe, but I did Kitchener stitch.

I knitted them in front of the TV--Olympics, of course--and finished the first one during the pairs figure skating event and the second one during two man bobsled. In between, the socks and I saw men's figure skating, various skiing & skating events, and ice dancing.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ravelry is awesome

Most knitters know that Ravelry is completely awesome. Until recently, I'd been obsessed with it for searching for patterns, seeing what others are working on, looking for pattern help/errata, etc.

Additional Reason #1: About a month ago, I found a small group of young knitters who wanted to get together right up the street from my house. We now meet once a week and I always have a great time. (Last week I also got a lot of Ravelympics knitting done and soon I'll learn how to crochet.)

Additional Reason #2: A couple of weeks ago, someone contacted me because she saw my stash contained a 1/2 ball of yarn in her dye lot. I was happy to help and mailed it off. To my surprise, she wanted to thank me by sending yarn back my way. Look at the fabulous yarn she gave me.

The two skeins of Schoeller Stahl Fortissima Socka yarn in "Wine" will become Oliver socks for Dennis. The hank of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Mediumweight yarn in "River Rocked" will become socks for me. Roseann is awesome, and very generous!!

I got the yarn the other day and spent a long time looking for patterns on Ravelry. If I'd voted in the Bobby Awards before today, I would have found the Database of Sock Patterns that was nominated for Most Educational Post/Thread. Educational indeed! I promptly voted for them and joined their group. (I also found some really cool patterns while voting.)