Thursday, June 28, 2007

Packing for a weekend getaway

Packing for the weekend getaway to a cabin in the woods is what I should be doing. Let me clarify. Packing in the traditional sense is what I should be doing. Instead, I haven't put one thing into a suitcase. I have, though, transferred all the knitting supplies and projects I might work on into a weekend knitting bag. At least I know what's important eh?

We are leaving tomorrow afternoon so I'll be up bright and early to get the traditional sense packing done. I'm planning on actually getting to go to the Friday knitgroup meeting tomorrow morning, so I need to get that done early.

Today, the first official day of my vacation, I finished up the back of Intoxicating. I've started on the sleeves and they are knitting up really quick. I may find that all the other projects I plan to bring on this getaway just sit in the bag and I fly through the sleeves of this one instead.

The sleeves are knit in a very easy lace pattern to memorize, and so far the shaping is intuitive.

I also spent a bit of time on the Bonsai Tunic. I can't say enough about how great this yarn is to knit with. Although the photo doesn't show it well, there is a hint of sparkle in this top from the rayon wrapped around the bamboo ribbon. I might have to get some more of this to keep in my stash for another project somewhere down the line.

Tomorrow starts the kickoff of Mystery Stole 3. I'm all set with my supplies, and hope I don't have trouble getting in to download the first clue. I'm hoping to work on it a bit while sitting in the woods. Hopefully I'll have a whole slew of new photos to post when I get back on Tuesday.

Monday, June 25, 2007

A Break From Knitting??

Can you believe that I actually took almost a full week's break from knitting? Me? The one who always has waaaaaay too many projects going at any given time!

See, I got a new toy last week, and from the time I got it until Saturday I didn't knit a stitch. My new toy? A Dell laptop!! As soon as I got it and got everything installed, I started up Guild Wars (the game Paul and I play) and that's all she wrote. I couldn't believe the huge difference in both graphics and performance. I was hopelessly addicted.

Well, as I said, Saturday I came to my senses and picked up the needles again. I finished off the Simply Lovely Lace Socks. Love Love Love them!

Pattern: Simply Lovely Lace Socks
Yarn: Cider Moon
Started: 5/19/2007
Finished: 6/23/2007

I also made quite a bit of progress on the Rock and Weave Socks. I love the colors in these. Thinking I might have to find some chili pepper buttons for the cuffs.

Progress was made on Intoxicating too. I don't think it will take too much longer to finish this sweater. Maybe another week. Maybe less, since this Thursday starts a well deserved vacation. Won't be going back to work until July 11, 2007.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Let there be socks!

I'm not quite sure what possessed me to cast on 4 pair of socks at once, but that's exactly what I did. Maybe to help me "see" where I stand on completing what I need to in June? Not sure how this will work out, but if it turns out well, I might just do this every month. Might be a good way to keep up in the 52 Pair Plunge.

Paul requested I make a pair of baby socks in boy colors for someone he knows who just had his first child. I knew just what yarn to use. There was a bit of the Haiku I used to make his Retro Rib socks with and that would be perfect for a little boy. I finished them up tonight.

Pattern: My own
Yarn: Haiku, Cider Moon
Started: 6/10/2007
Finished: 6/13/2007

1 Pair down, 3 to go! Next on the needles are some socks I've been promising to start for Paul for quite some time. I've had the yarn for months, but just hadn't cast on for them. Only a toe to show for now, but these will be the Cable Rib socks from Favorite Socks.

I've been wanting to make the Rock & Weave socks from BMFA ever since I bought the pattern. Finally decided to pull out some of that bright sock yarn I have been hording in the craft room and just make them. I love the way the linen stitch looks. I may try this stitch in a tighter gauge for a heel flap.

Just about finished with the first Simply Lovely Lace sock. I'm hoping to have the pair finished this weekend. The lace pattern is easy to memorize and in the sport weight yarn, knits up fairly quickly.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Oops I did it again .....

A few too many projects on the needles. At tonight's count, there were 9 of them. Oops!! Oh well, at least I won't get bored with any one project for awhile. The only problem is that I want to work on ALL of them!

I'm still going strong on Intoxicating. I love the drape this sweater has knit up in the bamboo yarn. I finished the front Sunday evening, and cast on for the back.

Only a couple rows done on the back so far, but I love the combination of the green and orange together.

Late last week, my Webs backorder arrived. I tried to resist it, I really did. Alas, last night I gave into temptation and cast on for the Bonsai Tunic from the Spring issue of Interweave Knits. This sweater is being knit in bamboo yarn too. Berroco Bonsai is a ribbon bamboo yarn wrapped in nylon. It has great drape and a really nice shine to it.

I've been knitting so many sweaters and socks lately, that I just had to knit on something else for awhile. I ran across a really nice lace skirt pattern on Elann about a month ago and purchased the Luna yarn for it. Not much progress on it yet and it's hard to see the lace pattern in this photo, but it's knitting up pretty quickly. Don't you just love easy to memorize lace patterns? Maybe after a few more repeats the pattern will show up better.

Tomorrow: sock progress (and there's plenty of it with 4 pair on the needles right now!)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

My baby is all grown up

It's a day I've both anticipated and dreaded for many years. A day that sometimes I thought would never come. But, come it did. It is now come and gone.

My baby is all grown up. She has graduated from High School and is eagerly awaiting the start of her College education.

Doesn't she look beautiful?

And so proud as she accepts that diploma.

Part of my knitting goal this week was to finish the Turtleneck Tube Vest so that I could wear it to Jenn's graduation. I was up into the wee hours Friday night to accomplish this, and wound up too tired to go on only inches from the finishing. I frantically finished up those last inches yesterday morning and I love the result.

Adrian was sweet enough to offer to be the photographer so Paul could get into a shot with me.

Pattern: Turtleneck Tube Vest, Fitted Knits
Yarn: Porto Cervo In Jeans, Filatura Di Crosa
Started: 6/2/2007
Finished: 6/9/2007

I sure I will think about my daughter's graduation every time I wear this sweater.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Two down one to go

It's amazing what you can accomplish when you really put your mind to it. Sunday I set a weekly goal of finishing 3 items. Last night I finished up 2 of them!

First off the needles was the second facecloth I wanted to finish up in May. Black does not photograph well at all, and with a flash it's even worse. You can't see the nice tidy little purl stitch zigzags that run up the cloth, but you can sure see the little gaps that will hopefully settle down once it's washed.

Pattern: My own
Yarn: Catania
Started: 5/25/2007
Finished: 6/5/2007

I was so thrilled at finishing the facecloth, I pulled out that almost done sock. What do you know, about 20 minutes later all that was left was weaving in the two ends.

Pattern: Plain Vanilla Stockinette
Yarn: Tofutsies
Started: 4/20/2007
Finished: 6/5/2007

With such a good start on meeting my weekly goal, I decided to cast on a couple more pair of socks to help meet the monthly goal of finishing at least 3 more pair. First up was to finally knit up that Cider Moon I bought way back when. I fell in love with the yellows and oranges, so I'm not sure why I've waited so long to knit it up. I chose to use the Simply Lovely Lace pattern from one of the IK issues from last year. I knit another pair in this weight of yarn and they are one of my favorite pair, so it seemed appropriate. These should knit up fairly quickly so hopefully won't languish too long in the knitting bag.

I also did some more work on Intoxicating. Why yes, I do plan to show you multitudes of photos of this sweater as it is knit. Yes, I do know that there is no difference other than another repeat or so from the last photo. Surely you aren't bored with it? Doesn't everyone love this sweater as much as I do??

Just about to the halfway mark on the Turtleneck Tube Vest. This might actually be done in time for me to wear it to my daughter's graduation this weekend. I had to take some major liberties with the pattern. Anyone else knit this and have problems with the instructions not making sense for their size, or is it just the smallest size that has the problem? When I followed the instructions, the ribbing pattern didn't match up on both sides next to the arm openings. I adjusted for that, then continued following the instructions. Once I was done with the increases, I noticed the next issue. Increasing on every right side row only gave me an armhole depth of about 4 inches. I needed more like 8. Ugggggg to the frog pond it went. The width was fine after increasing, so I did the same number of increases but did them every other right side row. Now it fits like a dream. Since I'm knitting this in cotton, which isn't going to have the memory that wool would, I am going to do a few decreases in the stockinette section to give it a bit of waist shaping before I start on the 4 or so inches of ribbing at the bottom. So far this is working out fine and the sweater fits beautifully.

Monday, June 4, 2007

It's a Miracle!!

Posts two days in a row! Woohoo, I am no longer neglecting the blog :o)

I take the most horrible photos when I'm posing. Anyone else have that problem?? Now, if Paul had caught me by surprise I probably wouldn't look like I had smoked a lil wacky weed, or was coming down off a weekend drinking binge. But, I do and that's that.

As promised, here's a modeled photo of the Tuxedo Collar Tank. I really like this top and might make another one later this year.

I'm kinda digging on the slight variations in the colors of the Alchemy bamboo. Makes for photos that look like I messed up the pattern, but in person this sweater is awesome. The knitting is going so quickly, I might start the lace skirt that is sitting in the "soon to be cast on" section of the craft room.

Also knitting up quickly is the Turtleneck Tube Vest. At the rate I'm going, I'll be ready to join the front and back and start on the body section. I'm not seeing any problems so far using cotton so it looks like one of my next projects will be a stash buster.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

New Month, New Goals

It's a new month, and time to set some new goals. I didn't quite make my May goals. Instead, I gave in to temptation and worked on new projects instead of the ones I was hoping to finish.

With that in mind, I have decided to set some weekly goals when I see myself getting behind. For some reason, if my deadline is close to when I set my goal, I seem to do better and meeting it. First on the list for this week is to finish off the second of the two washcloths I wanted to finish in May. I am half done with it, and set it aside to work on a sweater that wasn't even on my list. Next up will be to finish the Tofutsies socks. I was so close to finishing (only about an inch from the toe shaping) when I bought the bamboo yarn for a new sweater and got distracted. Also this week I want to finish a new sweater I started last night. It is knitting up very quickly so I don't see any problem accomplishing this.

Later in the month I am hoping to finish the Leg Cozies I wanted to finish last month. For some reason the lace pattern just lost it appeal and I set them aside. I'm not going to worry about these too much since Jenn says she won't use them til it gets chilly, but I don't like to leave projects to languish too long in the knitting bag. Also in June, I want to finish Intoxicating, which I started yesterday. It is knitting up quickly, like the one I want to finish this week, and I am in love with the yarn (photos of both sweaters later in the post). I am falling behind in the 52 Pair Plunge, but I'm sure I will catch up eventually. I am hoping to finish 3 new pair of socks this month.

This afternoon I put the finishing touches on the Tuxedo Collar Tank, which diverted me from my May goals. I really like this sweater. It knit up quickly using Tahki Cotton Classic, and the collar gives it an interesting look. I'll get a modeled photo tomorrow as I plan to wear it to work.

Pattern: Tuxedo Collar Tank
Yarn: Tahki Cotton Classic
Started: 5/15/2007
Finished: 6/3/2007

Actually finished in May are the Knee High to a Grasshopper socks from the Rockin Sock Club. I love the new yarn BMFA is carrying and plan to get some more. My feet do so love silk.

Pattern: Knee High to a Grasshopper, Rockin Sock Club
Yarn: Silkie Socks That Rock, Blue Moon Fiber Arts
Started: 4/29/2007
Finished: 5/27/2007

Last night I cast on for Intoxicating. The pattern is very intuitive so it's knitting up fairly quickly. I hope the back pattern is as easy to work. I love the colors and can't wait to get to the orange parts.

Speaking of orange, I decided to knit the Turtleneck Tube Vest from "Fitted Knits". Several other SAM knitalong members have knit this and I just love how theirs look, so jumped on the bandwagon. The pattern calls for wool, but this is too summery a sweater in my book to be wool, so I am attempting it in cotton. This yarn is part of the grab bag goodies I got from Webs a month or so ago. Although it didn't photograph well, it is a tweedy mixture of orange, white, and a taupe color. In my stash I have some Pakucho cotton that is very close to the taupe color in this and may make a shrug from the same book using that with some of the orange as trim. It will all depend on how this knits up in the cotton. I will soon know as this is almost knitting itself.