Archive for April, 2008

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

April 26, 2008

Nope, not Christmas. Right now. I am LOVING this weather – sunny, blue skies, warm…you couldn’t ask for better weather. Plus everything is so green right now – all that rain we had in early spring has really paid off. Our cherry tree is almost done with its blooming, but our pink dogwood is about to be full bloom and it is just gorgeous.

I sat outside and knit for a bit earlier today – this is my view from the bench in the backyard:

Not bad, eh? You can just see the dogwood peeking out on the left. And our crappy, patchy grass on the bottom – having two dogs that love to chase does not do wonders for your lawn, let me tell you. And that’s Ruby chilling in the lower left corner. The dogs are enjoying the weather, too –

That’s Miss Ruby (or as I’ve been calling her lately, Rubo-Tuber – I think I’ve mentioned before my silly dog nicknames – fortunately, they both answer to about anything) – and Petey:

We let them out and they run like crazy around the yard for about 60 seconds, go pee, then flop on the grass and chill.

And hey, guess what? It’s picture time, kids!! How about some pretty sock yarn?

On bottom is the Online I mentioned last post – I just love those colors. On top is some of the new Kureyon sock yarn I picked up in Cincinnati yesterday – I was there for three days for work and thought it would be a damn shame if I didn’t hit a yarn shop! One More Stitch on Madison, by the way, if you are in the area. It’s a really nice little shop – lots of needlepoint supplies in addition to a pretty good yarn selection. Lots of Rowan and other higher end yarns, and some stuff I hadn’t seen anywhere else (that of course I can’t remember now).

I wanted to try the Kureyon sock even though I’d heard mixed reviews. I just love their colors, and the scratchiness of it doesn’t bother me too much. What did was the $19 price tag – that’s kind of a lot (for me) for a ball of sock yarn, but I decided to splurge and treat myself. Now I have to pick a pattern – I’ve been preliminarily nosing around on Ravelry and can’t really decide what to do. The OnLine I’m going to just do a simple K3P1 rib, but I want something with a little more visual interest for the Noro. Maybe Broadripple? I’m a little scared of the Chevron socks since my Jaywalker experience. I love the look of the Jays, but they were just not elastic enough.

Speaking of socks, I have a decent picture of my first finished Canterbury Cable Sock:

It’s kind of hard to take a picture of your own foot! I really like this sock – it’s good and stretchy and really comfy – the Treking Pro Natura is really soft – the bamboo content, I’m guessing. I’ve got a couple inches of the cuff done on the second one.

Now, my early progress on the Montego Bay Scarf I blogged about last time:

This picture is kind of shady, so the colors aren’t coming through great, but it looks like it’s going to do that zig-zaggy flashing thing that variegated yarns seem to do. Plus these colors are really kind of not me. I pretty much have a no-yellow rule in my life (yellow+olive skin=jaundice, at least in my case), and this has more yellow than I thought it would. But – it kind of looks like something my mom might like – so it might be destined to be hers. We’ll see.

I’ll have some more project photos to post next time – don’t want to spend them all in one post!

A question for anyone who has made Tempting and might be reading this, or who has more experience knitting clothing and with ease – I am precisely in between two sizes – the first size is for a 32″ bust, the second is for a 36″ – I’m a 34. Should I make the 32 for two inches negative ease, or the 36 for two inches positive? I’m thinking the 32 since it is ribbed and stretchy – but I don’t want it to look too stretchy! I’m certain I will have to add length, because I’m tall and long waisted, but that is easy enough.


Late Monday

April 22, 2008

This entry will be short and sadly, picture-less (at least no new pictures). My mom is borrowing my computer, so I have no ability to upload new pics.

So tell me if this ever happens to you. You run across a project – not even a new one, but one that’s been kicking around for a while, say on Ravelry or in an old magazine – and all of a sudden, you MUST KNIT IT. Right now! That totally happened to me this weekend. I ran across someone’s Montego Bay scarf on Ravelry on Saturday – I don’t even remember whose right now, or I would link to it, and even though I’ve seen it a hundred times and never particularly wanted to knit it, but for some reason, I felt like I had to start on it that instant. And here is one of the fun things about Ravelry – I was able to review my stash and see if anyone else had made Montego Bay out of anything I had.

Turns out I had some Gossamer lying around (Caribbean colorway) that I thought might be a good fit, so I cast on Saturday night. First on size 6 needles, and I decided that made the resulting fabric too stiff, then on size 8s, which was much better. I’m very much not used to working with variegated yarn, however – the pooling that is occurring is slightly worrisome to me, but I am trying to just go with the flow and see how it turns out.

I also sneaked into the yarn shop last week while on lunch – I managed to only pick up a skein of sock yarn – some ONline Supersocke in a self-striping blue. I really wanted the bright orange, but decided that would be impractical.

I’m also thinking about FINALLY casting on for Tempting – I bought this:

ages ago for that very reason. It’s the time of year when I could actually wear it, so it’s not a bad idea. But all that 2X2 rib – it sounds kind of exhausting!

And that’s all for now – it’s late and I’m tired!

Now with pictures!

April 12, 2008

Hey, I have some knitting to show! How about that ubiquitous Lace Ribbon scarf that everyone is knitting?

I haven’t worked on this in a couple of weeks – the weather turned really warm and gorgeous, and I lost all my impetus to knit a scarf – even a “spring” scarf. But we’re supposed to have a cool snap this weekend, so maybe I’ll pick it back up.

I’ve been wanting to knit a pair of super-cozy and warm footies to wear around the house – I’m one of those perpetually cold people, and I use a space heater most of the year. So I found a pattern in the new book Knitalong by Larissa Golden Brown (Socks 101) that looked like it might work with some leftover Malabrigo I have lying around. The progress so far:

I don’t have enough in any one color to complete the pattern, so these are probably going to be total Frankenstein socks. That’s Vaa and Stonechat (I think), and I have a partial ball of a navy blue that will go in to the next sock. I am fully aware that these will pill like crazy, but I don’t care. They are soooooo soft and I can’t wait to pull them on!

Finally, I started the Flame Wave Socks from Favorite Socks in the recommended yarn (a rarity for me), Cascade Fixation.

Knitting with Fixation is…interesting. If you’ve never used it before, it’s cotton and elastic and verrrry stretchy. Figuring out what tension to use has been tricky, and for some reason, I have been dropping stitches like crazy. I never drop stitches, so I’m totally blaming it on the yarn. It’s really soft yarn, though, and is knitting up quickly (when I’m not fixing dropped stitches) since it’s sport weight. After perusing other pairs on Ravelry (how much do you love that you can do that now?) I followed a couple of other knitters’ suggestions and am doing yarnovers instead of m1s for the increases. It makes a lacier, prettier sock (IMHO), and I do yarnovers a lot faster than m1s. How much, by the way, does that ball of Fixation look like an apple? After I started knitting these socks, I got an incredible craving for Granny Smith Apples, and got a few the next time I went to the grocery.

Also, I don’t have a FO picture, but I finished the first of the baby cable socks I mentioned post before last. I’ve decided to name them – since I did sort of make them up. Henceforth, they will be known as the Canterbury Cable Socks – since I knit a large portion of the first one on the train to Canterbury. I have also cast on for the second one, hoping to one day have a complete pair of socks to wear, instead of just singles.

Yep, I’ve totally got the sock knitting bug again. I’ve queued up a bunch of new patterns in Ravelry, and having dreams of handpainted sock yarn. I’m dying to try Socks that Rock…but $19 a skein for 360 yards. I’m not even sure if I can make a pair out of one skein – I have pretty big feet. But, oh, the colorways. I may sneak by the yarn store after work today and see what they’ve got in pretty sock yarns.

Speaking of work, I have to be there in an hour and still have to feed the dogs and get ready! Happy weekend!

Rules are (sometimes) meant to be broken

April 8, 2008

So, I kind of have this unwritten rule in my blog-house – I don’t write about work.  I like to keep those two parts of my life separate.  Pretty much everything else is fair game – I write about my husband, my dogs, my family, and of course, my knitting, but not about work.

Until now.

Yup, that’s me and the Yarn Harlot.

One of the most fun parts of my job (as a marketing manager at a large independent bookseller) is getting to meet lots of really cool authors.  In the seven years I’ve been there, I’ve met some pretty famous folks (Jimmy Carter, Loretta Lynn, Paula Deen) and some of my all time favorite authors (Barbara Kingsolver, Neil Gaiman, Jasper Fforde, to name a very few).  This past weekend was way up there – I got to hang out with the Harlot!  I’d already worked with her a couple of times at a yearly book festival we do, but this time she was at MY store.   And it was a blastl!

I got to meet lots of Ravelry folks (Artsluvr made us all nametags), see everyone’s WIPS, and hear most of Stephanie’s talk (I was working, after all, so I had to dash out a few times) – she’s absolutely hilarious – as I’m sure you know from reading her blog, plus smart and sarcastic and inspirational.  Slowgraffiti did a raffle for Doctors Without Borders with a truly awesome prize basket with gifts from Magpie, ReBelle, and other local vendors and we raised nearly $600 – I’m very proud of my fellow knitters.  I enjoyed meeting all the ones I met, and wish I could have talked to every one of you!  Thanks for making my event such a huge success!

I Aten’t Dead

April 3, 2008

(props to anyone who gets the above reference)

No, I’m not dead – just considerably negligent in posting of late. Last weekend I was out of town (went to my Grandmother’s in Illinois with hubby and the dogs – you haven’t lived til you’ve seen a 110 lb dog and a 50 lb dog try to co-exist in the backseat of a Camry for 300 miles – Ruby pretty much just perched on top of Petey) and the weekend before, just busy. Plus work has been supernuts lately, so there you have it.

I have been knitting – I don’t have much photographic proof, however. But here’s what’s been on my needles of late:

1. The Shetland Triangle – I really am enjoying knitting this. I got through the requisite number of rows required for the body, and decided I had enough yarn for another repeat. I told hubby I was playing chicken with my yarn – I’m pretty confident I will have enough, but I’ll be ripping back otherwise. If you want to see a really pretty version of this shawl, check out StitchyWitch’s – it is gorgeous. I’ve got to save up my pennies and get some Handmaiden yarn – I’ve been itching to try Seasilk. Maybe a birthday present?

2. Veronik Avery’s Lace Ribbon Scarf in the spring Knitty – pretty much me and everyone on Ravelry cast on for this right after Knitty came out. The pattern calls for sock yarn, which would be nice and light, but I had a random skein of Silky Wool in navy that I thought would be pretty, and Magpie just happened to have a second skein in the same dye lot (even though I bought the first one months ago – how often does that happen?), so I thought it might be fate. I eliminated two repeats, after casting on and knitting for a foot just eliminating one. I think it was just too wide with 44 stitches. I don’t have a picture yet – hopefully next time. I think it’s very pretty in the Silky Wool, though – slightly more rustic looking than the original.

3. And, just today, I got the hankering to knit some socks. I really wanted to cast on for a pair of these – the Super Simple Short Sock from Radiant Twist, with some Knit Picks Palette I have lying around, but considering I have three single socks either finished or on the needles, I decided to make myself work on one of those. I don’t think I’m ever going to finish my second Jaywalker – the socks are adorable, but just not very stretchy and kind of big on me. I love the Waving Lace socks, but that was more complicated than I wanted to get into, so I went back to my London socks:

As I’m calling them, since I took them with me to London. It’s kind of a made up pattern – I’m just using a basic sock recipe with Baby Cable Rib from the first Barbara Walker Treasury. That photo, by the way, is totally craptacular – I tried to Photoshop it into submission, but it’s not much of an improvement.

Some random knitbits…

I recently bought two skeins of Cascade Sierra at ReBelle – this is a lovely nice light cotton/wool blend. I got a gorgeous rich periwinkle color – I’m thinking a nice spring scarf but can’t decide. Any suggestions?

I also caved and bought five back issues from Interweave Knits that I didn’t have. I ended up purchasing Spring 2006 (why I didn’t have this one I can’t imagine), Fall 2005, Summer 2005, Spring 2005 and Winter 2004. If you buy four you get one free, which essentially means free shipping, so I thought, why not? If I got them on E-Bay, I wouldn’t get free shipping, plus I would rather my money go directly to Interweave. I ordered them yesterday – I can’t wait for them to get here!

And a couple of other random bits…

I started reading a new blog after finding out the author was coming to my store for a signing – Half of Me by the PastaQueen.  It is amazing – girl has lost almost 200 pounds the old-fashioned way – through eating better and exercising.  Check out her progress photos – you will be knocked out.   Plus they do a super-cool rotate-y thing when you click and drag on them!  Her blog is just flat-out fun, and so is the book – I totally recommend them both.

I also started using bloglines this week – I had been using My Yahoo since I have yahoo email, but it was just too doggone slow – plus it didn’t even load all the blogs half the time.  Weak.  So far I’m pretty pleased.

Jeez, I have lots more stuff I want to talk about, but I have got to run.  On the plate for next time – season finale of Lost, good books I have read recently, and more!