Sunday, December 30, 2007

Blocking measurements

Well everything was dry last night when I went to bed so I unpinned the shawl and the swatch to let them assume their 'everyday' shape overnight.

The faroese swatch (on US 5's) measured in at 4.75 sts/in and 9 rows/in; the pattern calls for a gauge of 5 sts/in and 8 rows/in. That means the whole thing will be a little bit smaller than the pattern. This works out well for me because my grandma is much smaller than me and I thought the shawl was a bit on the large side for her.

The Lily of the Valley Shawl disappointed me :( I measured the entire width at 21 in, which is fine I don't have any problems with that. However, 3 repeats of the pattern is almost 10 in. That is an average of 3.33 in/repeat. Doing the math I will have to perform 17 repeats, compared to the 10 that the pattern calls for. This just brings me back to the original problem I had with the rows/in being so much higher than the pattern needed. I changed the needle size by 3 or 4 (I think) and when I did the first gauge measurement (on the swatch) it came out that I would only need to add 2 repeats. I think the shawl looks gorgeous and I'll still finish it; I'm just upset that, somewhere, something lied to me!

I (and most knitters, I would imagine) only do swatches because it's supposed to give you an idea of the finished dimensions of the garment. If this keeps happening you can bet I'll just give up swatching all together.

PS- Last night while the swatches were drying I worked on the one row scarf (in that unknown brown fiber) at a '3 ply' meaning 3 strands knitted together. I think I'm about half way and will have pictures at a later date.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

How I spent my afternoon

I went to my LYS in search of a good faroese shawl pattern to knit up using the Webs yarn for my Grandma. Even though I didn't find one I did come home with some much needed lotion, eucalan, stitch markers and a lace blocking kit!

I needed to block out a piece of the actual shawl to see how close I would be to its actual measurements when I finish the written pattern (this doesn't include any changes that I will make). Here's a pic for now, dimensions soon to come.
Also, Michael got a new grill for Christmas from my parents and just HAD to use it last night. Yes, we made steaks on December 28 on the VERY cold patio. And, yes, they were phenomenal! We haven't had steaks since the one time (that is a grand total of one time) we did at my parent's house this summer.
Since my shawl will be practicing its blocking technique tonight I think I will get started on the swatch for my Grandma's shawl. I will wash it in the new eucalan and hope I can get all the spinning oils off so that is soft and cozy for cuddling up in.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

FO: Cabernet Socks

I know it's really hard to see the cables but they turned out beautifully and I apologize for the late-night-fluorescent-light shot but I really wanted to get these up. I followed the Yarn Harlot's Early Grey pattern (on US 3's) almost to a 'T,' toe-up of course! I don't really like the pointier toe that most sock patterns seem to call for. With the Trekking socks I CO a much larger number of stitches (which I don't seem to have recorded: DOH!) and the toe is much rounder and comfortable for my wider than average feet.

This pattern kept me interested without requiring a chart kept by my side and I could see knitting it up again with fewer stitches around the foot so that the pattern will show up a bit more. I also could have continued much farther up the leg with pattern or ribbing because of the excess yarn in this skein. I finished these Sunday night and really just wanted to get back to working on my Lily of the Valley Shawl. Also, in the future I should make the ribbing on smaller needles. I would have done so with these socks except I didn't have enough size 2 needles on circs to do it with. :)

This yarn is LOVELY to work with and I have already contacted the dye-er about purchasing more. She's told me that she's currently stewing up some more colors in this similar base yarn so none of ya'll better be snatching it all up before I'm able to convince Michael that I really don't have enough sock yarn!

On our way to my parents house north of Denver this morning Michael and I got stuck behind 5 plow trucks as they cleared the road. Finally they turned around to go back and clear the other side of I-25 and this is what we saw:
An ENTIRELY empty north-bound I-25! Those of you living near the area know how very rare this is, so much so that I just HAD to take a picture!

One of the more knit-blog worthy items I received for Christmas from my parents was the neutral Knitpicks sock yarn sampler bag. I took individual pictures of the yarns and posted on Ravelry or you can view them through the previous knitpicks link.
My mother has requested a pair of socks made with the Flint Tweed! I didn't think that she really wanted knit items from me and when I suggested this package to her I didn't really expect to get it. I was also hoping to knit myself up a pair of blue socks...
Oh well, anything to fuel familial love of knit garments so that later in life I am not bogged down with too much knitting to store. :)

Also, I'm sure you are all aware of Webs' year end clearance sales on their yarn. Well... I'm sad to say that I actually bought something for myself in the few days before Christmas (the first day the sale started, to be exact) and received it yesterday:
You are looking at approximately 1984 yards of 2/4 Highland Tweed in the Arctic colorway. I got the the whole cone for 8 bucks and have absolutely nothing planned for it... This is 100% wool and seems a bit itchy, however the supplier says that it still has the spinning oil on it and that it will soften up after washing. When this large amount of yarn first arrived I was thinking a sweater but if it doesn't soften up enough in the wash I could make some GORGEOUS shawls out it. Come to think of it, my Grandma was talking about needing a shawl....

One last thing, I forgot to post a picture of the finished scarf for my sister. I finished it on Monday and wrapped it immediately and it really looks exactly like this earlier picture:

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Half-way socks

Last night I had much more to show for all the knitting I've put in on my Earl Grey socks, I had just turned the heel Sunday night and have been very busy since. Last night I finally tried the socks on and found that the heel was much too big and I should have started it at least a half inch sooner... So I've ripped it back and just now getting ready to start the heel again. I have a few more good sized time chunks and am still very hopeful about getting the pair done by Christmas.... I shouldn't forget about my sister's scarf though (it hasn't seen any progress since I last posted :) This picture I took Sunday afternoon while there was still some decent day light:
Those cables are showing up quite nicely! I've contacted the person I bought this from about perhaps buying some more because I LOVE THIS YARN!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Link Happy

This past week I've spent a lot of time on Ravelry queuing up patterns and making plans for my stash, I thought I'd post here to bring the blog up to date and so I don't forget what I planned!

I've frogged that boring brown garter stitch scarf because I know it was never going to get done. I had planned to use the Yarn Harlot's One Row scarf as a new pattern. It will be easier enough to remember and work on when I can't put all my attention on the scarf, but should draw me in enough to make me want to finish it. Now that I've been working on my sister's scarf with the yarn doubled and the bigger needles I think that even that might be a possibility. Another thing, I found a matching ball of yarn to the more tweedy one and might be able to include that as well.

I haven't touched the afghan since I last posted a finished repeat over a week ago. It's just too involved for me to make any significant progress on it and I think the overwhelming size is impeding my progress. I was really enjoying the Lotus Blossom shawl: the pattern and the end result are AWESOME. Then I found this pattern and I think that this could be a real contender for a do-able afghan. Another thought I've been having recently, my sister's garter stitch scarf is SOO squishy that maybe I could just do that for an afghan. However, I'm already pretty bored with the scarf and can't imagine finishing an entire afghan in that stitch. Maybe the Yarn Harlot's One Row scarf would be good for an afghan?

I've decided on a pattern for my Cabernet socks: another Yarn Harlot original, the Earl Grey socks. I found some GORGEOUS examples on Ravelry of some longer socks and in some pretty colors, here for those Ravelrous readers, that really sparked my lust. I know that I wanted some simple socks in a fairly solid colorway and I think that this might be them! I've even been feeling some inklings of having them finished in time to show off for Christmas... that might be laughable, but I'm going to give it a shot! I'm hoping for some GREAT stitch definition on those cables.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Knitting

The yarn for my sister's hat and scarf finally arrived and I spent Monday and Tuesday night working on the Snowball hat from Interweave. My sister said that she didn't want the pompom on top so I finished it last night without one.
Now, I'm working on her scarf; just a simple garter stitch with the yarn doubled on size 15's. The flash is on and the picture is a little blurry but it's just garter stitch and this was the picture that best showed the color.
As you can see the two items aren't really a set. She had a scarf that she wanted me to match with a hat and then one can never have too many scarves, so I'm knitting this green one up.

My family hasn't really taken to my knitting enough for me to be overloaded with Christmas knitting, but a girl sure can hope!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Late post.

Sorry for the late post, I sat down with my cup of tea at 2:30 to write but got distracted when the doorbell rang and this showed up:
and this:
Michael's chanukah gift to me. Needless to say I had to play with it a little:
That's Oriri Draco's yarn that she sent me a while ago. I kept telling myself that Christmas knitting was coming soon and that I should wait to get started on these until I had a ball winder and some time. WELL.... the yarn for the Christmas knitting still hasn't shown up and I got the ball winder... The cake is currently sitting on the coffee table awaiting a weak moment in my knitting emotions to pounce on a pair of needles for some toe up pomatomi.

Well that winding went so well and the end result was so yummy I decided to keep playing; two hours later and one pair of the devil's socks less I had this:
That one big one on the bottom left is what the whole thing started with. Everything else is some handspun that I tried to knit up into socks. The going was well until I realized that I'm not very good at colorwork, especially in the round when the end result should be stretchy. I'm not sure how I ended up with all those little balls of grey because I have a GORGEOUS picture of the finished yarn skeined up into one big one...

Anyway, I found some great Kelly green glass beads at... you'd never had guessed.. Hobby Lobby! I wracked my brain and Google trying to find nearby yarn stores that had good bead selections, then it was nearby bead stores. Those 'nearby' bead stores were at least 45 minutes out of my way and in places I don't normally go. Then... ( I finally came back to reality) I called my LYS for suggestions and they recommended a bead store in town. I went there, as well as another place down the street with no luck. They had nice bead selections but were geared more towards jewelry with higher prices and fewer beads. While I was out doing some Christmas shopping yesterday I saw Hobby Lobby and thought I'd give them a shot because I seemed to remember a better stock of beads than at Joanns. I'm SOO glad I did! I got what I believe will be MORE than enough beads for 8 bucks! They were having a 50% off sale on all Czech glass beads and had just the right color and size for my project.
I came home, ripped back to the appropriate row and got to beading right away:
(I think the picture is a little better if you biggify) I'm VERY happy with the result and finally feel like I can commit to the pattern enough so that it can be finished in time for the wedding. Then I'll decide if I should wear it :)

And, since I mentioned it yesterday, here is a picture of the scarf. I'm at a little over a foot.
And one last picture of unblocked lace.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Beaded Lily of the Valley!

Today I FINALLY found some beads! And you'll never guess where! I've been working a lot on the Lotus Blossom shawl and that darned brown scarf so there really hasn't been much in the way of blog fodder. However, I plan to work on the Lily shawl with my new beads tonight and give you a full update (with pictures) tomorrow while it's storming it up outside. :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Beaded Lily of the Valley?

I haven't been knitting on my shawl at all lately because I have this nagging thought at the back of my head that I should replace the nupps with beads. I've looked all over google, ravelry, and flickr but haven't found anyone else who has recorded this change in their pattern so I've been nervous to make the switch. Until today. I decided that I can't knit the shawl up and wear it for the wedding if I'm going to keep having these nagging thoughts. I went to Joann's today with high hopes of finding some suitable beads. I'm not sure where these thoughts came from because when I got there they had a very limited selection and almost nothing that would match the shawl. I am still beadless and trying to plan a trip to a bead store some time soon (read: this weekend) so that I can put this nagging feeling to rest.

I'm hesitant to buy the beads online because I know absolutely nothing about bead sizing and what it means in relation to yarn. I plan on crocheting the beads onto the garment and this doubles the size of the yarn coming through the hole. Does anybody have any suggestions? I'm working with Bambu-7 yarn on size 7 needles.

I was having a lot of trouble with the saxon braid that runs through the middle of the green afghan I'm working on. I was trying to interpret all the written descriptions of the stitches into a chart but that just wasn't happening. Then, I found that Eunny had used this exact braid in a cable tutorial! The afghan is moving along smoothly now, I've got a full repeat done:

This year my sister and I decided to try something new for christmas gifts. She picked out some yarn that she liked and a hat pattern, then bought enough yarn for the hat and a scarf and gave it to me. The plan is to have a finished set of a hat and a scarf to give to her for Christmas... so far the yarn has not gotten to her house... I'm really starting to feel the crunch. I was planning on using those two projects as 'commute and at work' knitting because of their apparent portability. The other day I was thinking that I really could use a scarf because I have yet to knit one for myself. I dug through my stash and found two mismatched balls of brown yarn and thought that they were close enough to create some subtle striping in a scarf.

I've reserved this project for only while I'm away from home and just got started on it on Sunday night, this is what I have to show for it:
Probably around 6 or 7 inches.... just something to keep my hands busy at work while waiting for a procedure to finish.

This last Saturday Michael and I had plans with another couple to go up the mountain and bring home our first Christmas tree... We were all ready to go at 8 am and piled in the car with our blankets and layers and knitting... Driving down the road, we maxed at 20mph because the world decided to become one solid sheet of ice overnight. Within two blocks of our starting point we had seen 2 accidents involving at least 5 cars and they weren't just little fender benders. We are talking full on body repair work because the drivers didn't understand the severity of the ice. Needless to say, we did not continue our trek up the mountain and succumbed to buying our tree from a roadside lot.. Not that exciting but it sure is nice to have a fresh tree this year

*Please remember that you can always click on the image to see a bigger, clearer version!

Friday, November 30, 2007

FO: Trekking socks

That's me wearing my first pair of finished socks. I found myself thinking... WHY on EARTH didn't I make some keepers before?! I love these socks, they keep my legs warm, at least the part that's always cold and this, in turn, warms my feet and the rest of my body! Next time though, I'll add some ribbing to the top because the darn things curl like mad from the picot cast off I did.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Now in Color!

So I tried my socks on yesterday afternoon, as promised. This picture:
Shows how far I've come and how little more there is to go... In fact, when I had this ONE sock on yesterday I couldn't believe how soft and warm and cozy it was or that I had strayed from his pair for one second! As soon I finished the little photo shoot I sat right down and knit on these the rest of the night so add about 2 inches to the length of the sock for a more accurate idea of what they look like now. I'm almost finished, I'm not sure if I should keep knitting on them and make them as long as possible because my lower legs get cold as heck these days. There really isn't much yarn left but I think I could get another inch or two out of it, placing the CO edge well up my calf muscle which might cause problems with stretch because I'm not ribbing the tops. We will just have to wait and see.

This next picture shows how far I've come on my Lily shawl and how much better it looks than the first one. I forgot to take pictures of the swatches that led me back to the Lily but they are mostly for the Lotus Blossom and not entirely applicable here.
Yesterday Colorado got another dusting of snow and I took a few pictures from the window outside my 7th story lab! This one shows downtown Denver smack dab in the middle of one of the bigger clouds. That dark bluish black cloud that looks like it's in the background is actually hanging right around those buildings, it was REALLY neat, but I guess you just had to be there.
This is a gorgeous picture of classic Colorado winters, snow dusted pines!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

No pictures

I don't really have much to show you in the way of progress on my knits.

The socks seem to have taken a back perch on the 'knitting shelf' even though they could easily be finished in a night or two! The original plan was to use up all of the trekking but since I seem to have lost interest in them, perhaps I should just cast off a bit early. I've been trying them on as I go and had a destination in mind as far as height up the calf but they might be long enough as it is... I'll have to let you know, perhaps with a picture!

I spent Sunday and Monday evening knitting up various swatches that I actually cast off, washed, and blocked!! I knit up three swatches of the Lotus blossom shawl with needle sizes 7, 8, and 9. (I think) After doing this I realized.. I really want to make the Lily of the Valley shawl with this yarn and decided to try another swatch with a larger needle size to see what would happen. I made the swatch with the 7's and decided that I thought some of the yarn overs were too big. NOW I am knitting up the Lily of the Valley shawl with 6's, am through the first repeat and really seem to like the looks! YAY!! I think it'll all work out. I did the math and if I just add one repeat at the end the end result should be pretty similar to that of the book's.

Hopefully I won't be long at work today and can take some pictures that will please all of us. :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Help end world hunger

This is a multiple choice vocabulary game where you match the meaning of the word to its mate. Each correct answer donates rice and increases the difficulty of the next word. It's free and a great way to improve your vocabulary a little bit at a time!

The arrival of gorgeous yarn is always anticipated..

It came yesterday! I'm finding that capturing the true essence of yarn related items is very difficult to do at night. So the gorgeous yarn from Oriri Design arrived! It is somewhere between this :
And this:
I LOVE IT! So soft and pretty with its subtle variations; I think I'm going to bring it with me to Kansas and cast on for some toe up pomatomi as soon as I finish the Trekking socks. I'm hoping that the pattern will convert easily from top down because some of the ladies on ravelry said that they were having some trouble with it. If I can't convert the pattern, I'm sure that this yarn will look gorgeous just knit up with a general pattern.

On Sunday I did a little spinning since I had received some luscious brown alpaca fiber from the fiber club I joined earlier. I did not spin the alpaca because I had already started some camel/tencel that I got from the Estes Park Wool Festival and wanted to do a three ply which would use up 4 of the 5 bobbins I have. (Yes I went to the wool festival and yes I took many pictures fully intending to blog. However, those pictures of long since been deleted and I think I'll just blur over that blogerly indiscretion.)
Again, this picture was taken at night and doesn't capture the true essence of my yarn! The consistency is pretty darned good since I didn't put too much effort into it. Both skeins are from the same batt, just different ends and so one is darker than the other. The purple is truly more purple and the pink actually has some brown in it to tone it down. Both are quite pretty and soft and much less shiny than the flash would have you think. Also, I only had about 2 yards of singles left that I wasn't able to make into a three ply! I just split the batt into what I thought were three equal lengths and eye-balled the bobbins as I went along! That sure made my day on Sunday. I got about 200 yards of 3 ply that I would categorize as sport weight. I'm not really sure what I could do with that... One sock, a hat? Is that enough for a hat?

Speaking of hats, it's getting pretty cold outside and I didn't bring one! My ears are cold and I'm hankering to start a hat, we'll see what happens.

Monday, November 19, 2007


So lately I've been thinking about jumping back into blogging again. Things have calmed down at work and I have time to formulate a blog post every once in a while. I don't really want to blog when I'm at home because I'd much rather be knitting but I feel bad when I knit at work. I don't feel any remorse if I look busy aka blogging, so this might work! I take pictures when I'm at home, post them to flickr where I can use them for both the blog and ravelry, which I've become quite smitten with lately. :)

Recently I finished a pair of Log Cabin Socks (from Holiday Knits) for Michael because his feet get quite cold in the evenings. I made them toe-up, which seems to be my preferred method of late, and so the heel flap doesn't have the cable pattern on it. These took me about a week and a half! I'll try to get a picture of them on the recipient some time!
A side note, I imagine that many of my pictures will have to be taken with no natural light because I take them when I get home from work and after my workout, by then it's pretty dark!

Here is a picture of the socks I'm currently working on for myself. They are just a general toe up sock pattern made with Trekking XXL in 147 Burgundy. I've worked a bit more on them since this picture was taken on Friday and have passed the heel turn. I find that when I'm knitting both socks at the same time I am actually able to finish them, and in a decent amount of time too! I started these last weekend I think... I also really enjoy being able to try them on as I go, ensuring that most, if not all, of my work will come to fruition!

I decided that I would probably get cold shoulders at my wedding reception and, thus, should knit myself a shawl! I also thought that I would like to wear the thing after the reception and for some reason white did not seem the best choice. I went to Shuttles about 2 weeks ago and purchased a cone of Bambu in this green:

I had the idea of knitting something with a springtime theme, since the wedding is in April, and decided on Nancy Bush's 'Lily of the Valley' found in Lace Style. The stitch gauge works out fine, but the row gauge is almost HALF what it should be! I chose this pattern because I thought that it was fairly calm and wouldn't draw too much attention from my GORGEOUS dress. If I double the repeats to account for the decreased length I feel that the pattern would be too busy for the simple style I wanted. I started looking for another pattern..... And decided that the Lotus Blossom shawl might be a suitable substitute. That pattern has been ordered and is on its way, but I don't expect it before Thanksgiving.

After I finished Michael's socks, before Lace Style arrived and before I started on the Trekking socks, I learned just how dangerous it is to be without anything on the needles... That's why I bought that sock yarn, knowing full well that I have PLENTY more at home. That's also why I bought this sock yarn in cabernet... I was caught off-guard at work and put in the order so fast I sent it to the wrong address! It hasn't come in yet, but you can bet I'll take a picture as soon as it does. This new colorway in prosperity is also REALLY calling my name! Don't you snatch it up until I figure out what to do with myself!

At work, this is my baby:
For those who know a little bit about science, this is a Western Blot set up. For those of you who don't know much about science, it moves DNA from a gel to a piece of paper that can be manipulated a little easier.

I'll be going to Kansas from Wednesday through Sunday to visit some family and won't be able to blog then, so don't think I've abandoned you again!

And, in closing. The obligatory picture of Fez!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

A miracle!!! A post!!!

Wow, sorry it's been so long since I've updated. I had plans to finish another skein of yarn before posting and then I never finished it and the post never went up. So a lot of stuff has been going on around here. I think I'll limit this post to stuff I have pictures of and talk about my new job in a later post because not much has been going on on that front.

So.... I think I'll start with the rambouillet that I finished spinning up. I think it turned out WONDERFUL!
I don't plan to knit the pattern that came with it but I'm not quite sure what I should knit from it. I have a little over 600 yards of thin sock weight yarn. So, I'm thinking socks, toe-up and possibly little anklets. Then I was thinking that I should get a new sweater going because I scrapped the cardigan that I was working on and I was also thinking about knitting this up with that purple-y fiber that I bought quite some time ago. I thought that I should knit up a swatch of the rambouillet so that I could see what the gauge might look like with the purple-y merino if I modeled it after the grey.
I LOVED knitting with my own yarn. I can't wait to be able to make a whole garment out of my own hand spun yarn. Another thing I'm very proud of is this:
Yeah, the yarn has no extra twist at all! It's just laying there quite happily on the floor, in whatever shape I give it. All of this talk about my own yarn is reminding me of why I started this whole thing in the first place... I might just finish it up....

So that second skein of yarn I was trying to finish was the purple. That didn't happen. I have two full bobbins, I just need to ply them but I've really let it slip away from me.
Lets see... I finished the green ankle socks:
I really enjoyed the pattern and how quickly these knit up. But... I hate the yarn and the way these socks have hardly any stretch and the way they feel when I walk around. Apparently, I have sensitive feet. Huh. It's a superwash wool from knitpicks and has great stitch definition but I'm thinking that is it's only redeeming quality and it isn't enough to make me want to knit another pair of socks for myself out of this.
On the other hand, I am really enjoying knitting with the tofutsies. I'm also doing a toe-up sock and finding that I like it much more than top-down. I like how the toe looks and feels and I enjoyed knitting the turn of the heel much more than the other way and now this way I can see how much yarn I have to work with. However, I'm not sure how tall the socks should be so I think I'm going to have to go pick up another set of needles and knit from the other end of the yarn so that I can get the most out of my yarn!

I've been making a lot of progress on my shawl:

I love the way it smells and the feeling of the yarn as I knit it up.

I NEEDED a new sock book... preferably a toe-up book, but that doesn't exist so I had to 'settle' for this magnificent thing!
The plants have been growing, but no blooms. Everybody else's flowers are blooming and mine are just growing taller and green... I'm not if this means I'm a bad gardener but I continue to water them and wait.
I bought a new purse, it's soo cute! And a perfect spring purse to transport knitting around in!
I got a new haircut in preparation for my new job. I thought that perhaps I should try to thin some of the bulk out and look like a person rather than a head with a mop on it:
The other day Michael and I were running errands and we saw this:
It's a little blurry but that's because we were driving and this man was driving his motor cycle and the two cars had a hard time working together. Anyway, strapped to the front of this man is a small dog with rider goggles. Now at first I was shocked and thought that this man must be doing something cruel to the poor dog. But then I realized, if the dog was really that scared he would probably pee all of this man so the whole thing took on a much funnier mood.

And finally, some cute pictures of Fez: