Aug 15, 2006

New Projects

Out of the blue, I decided to start on my first sock last week. I was in between projects for about a day, so it seemed like a good idea at the time. I've finished knitting my Fuzzy Feet and they just need to be felted and they were pretty much like knitting giant socks so I figured I could handle a real one. I've had some Bernat Sox in my stash for quite some time so I pulled it out and decided to follow the pattern on the label (which you almost need a magnifying glass to read). The size is a Child's, but my feet are pretty small and even if they don't fit I can frame them or something. I think the colors are very pretty, all stripy and such, but do I hope this sock knitting thing grows on me. Knitters go on and on about knitting socks and some rarely knit anything else, but so far I don't find it quite as enthralling. First of all, I don't especially like dpns, I tend to really slow down when I'm using them and I have trouble with ladders, no matter how tightly I pull the yarn. I guess I can try the 2 circular thing, but somehow I don't think I'll care for that either. Secondly, I'm using size 3 needles and it seems to take forever to get an inch. Anyway I digress, it actually is progressing pretty well seeing as how I've finished turning the heel on the sock and I only left a small hole on one side. The photo is out of focus, but you get the idea.

I swore that I was going to finish the Candle Flame shawl before I started on Lady Eleanor and I intended to do just that. At this point the only thing I need to knit is the border, then I can block it and it will be finished. I put all 300+ stitches on a lifeline (checking several times to make sure I did have all of the stitches), pulled it off the needles and held it up to get a sense of how big it is going to be. I started putting the stitches back on the needle the next day, when lo and behold, I discover 2 or 3 dropped stitches! I've gotten much, much better at correcting mistakes in the past year, even in complicated patterns, and I wasn't afraid to play around with the dropped stitches. I tried different ways to re-incorporate them, but it wasn't working. I decided to look at it again in a few days and in the meantime my Kureyon arrived and I couldn't stop myself from casting on yet again.

Lady E looked a mess after the backward loop cast on and the first few rows, but she's maturing rapidly and has completely stolen my heart. There were a couple of mistakes in the first row that I'm too lazy to correct, but I figure most people won't see them anyway and I like to think a few imperfections make her more "real". In the photo she looks more like a purse, but that's just because of the circular needles. I might do an entrelac bag in the future though. I went with color 124 because there were limited choices in the WEBS closeout. Several other knit bloggers have used this color and it is mighty pretty. When I am sitting in my house this Winter all wrapped up in my jewel-encrusted Lady E, I will envision myself strolling the drafty stone corridors of a walled castle city. Can you tell I'm enchanted? This is after one skein (I have 10 in all), isn't she lovely?

Aug 14, 2006

New Arrivals

Say hello to my new nephew Simon. He arrived Friday night healthy & curious. His nose matches those of his sisters when they were born and he has a very sweet disposition. Of the 2+ hours I spent with him yesterday, he only let out one little cry which quickly passed.

My favorite thing about brand new babies? Little tiny feet of course!

So the million ends of the baby blanket were finally worked in and the kimono finally sewn. Hopefully Simon will find some comfort in these items because I have definitely had him on my mind for most months of this year.

Project: Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimono
Source: Mason-Dixon Knitting
Yarn: Sugar 'n Cream in Key Lime Pie, 1 1/4 skeins
Needles: US 6
Started: 6/16/06
Finished: 8/7/06
Comments: The pattern is easy, though not very exciting. I became pretty over this when I ran out of yarn and had to eventually go to 3 different stores to find it. I did find the same dye lot though! It does look pretty sweet all sewn together and be-ribboned though.

Project: Simon's Baby Blanket
Source: My Design (Diamond Brocade taken from The Harmony Guide 450 Knitting Stitches Volume Two) with 3" Seed Stitch Border
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Worsted in Green Apple, 12 skeins
Needles: US 8
Started: 4/24/06
Finished: 6/15/06
Comments: Dimensions are approx. 22" x 50". This yarn is so soft & very stretchy, I love the feel of the seed stitch. I do wish the skeins had more yardage, as each skein only got me a few inches, hence all of the ends to weave in. I did notice after washing & drying the yarn already seemed to pill a little as well. The previous baby blanket I made was way too small so I cast on a whopping 193 stitches for this, perhaps I overcompensated? I think it will be nice to wrap the baby up nice and snug in this extra long blanket and hope that Simon will use it for years to come. It can double as a wrap for the weary momma!

Aug 3, 2006

Stash Enhancement

Ok, now I really have to stop buying yarn. My rubbermaid box thing has almost reached capacity & I really don't have the room or the want to have a stash spilling out of every corner of my home. I just ordered some Noro Kureyon from WEBS for my Lady Eleanor because they are having a great sale, which I've been waiting for. My goal is to finish my Candleflame Shawl first and then have Lady E completed by Christmas. That sounds easy enough, especially since I've started some of my Christmas knitting this week and am moving swiftly along.

I did pick up some Baby Alpaca Worsted & Chunky this weekend courtesy of my LYS:

I think I'm going to make a squishy hat with the chunky green to match the first scarf I made and I'm not sure what for the orange. This is my first alpaca and boy was I missing out! This is the softest stuff imaginable and I love these colors.

In other news I've been pretty successful with my small projects this week. I've finished knitting a bowl, I just need to felt it this weekend. I've also knit one slipper and am working on the heel flap of the second one. Those will also need felting. I've also finished my first christmas present. I'm trying to get a good head start so I won't be knitting like crazy on Christmas Eve like the Harlot. The Ninepatch Dishcloth is almost finished, for me it's a lot slower going than the Ball Band. I think I finally understand when I hear people complain that cotton hurts their hands. All for now...

Aug 1, 2006

Waterlily Makes Her Debut

Finally, Waterlily from Interweave Knits Spring '06 issue. I've been lusting over this since Feb. or something. From the first cast-on to the final blocking, with a few days of doing nothing, this only took me 11 days! I knew it would be quick, but this really surprised me because I'm a somewhat slow knitter. I made the largest measurement because I was worried about fitting the bust. The bust size came out perfectly but the rest is a little loose, of course the lower half is knit on larger needles so that makes sense. I think it really looks better than these photos show. I don't have to wear a top under it, it really doesn't come down that low, but you can't see the eyelets as well without a background. All in all, I think I did pretty good for my first garment and I'll probably wear this from time to time. Now I can move on with my life and don't have to continue pining away after this yarn. I do still get distracted by all the pretty garden colors when I'm wearing it though.

Project: Waterlily Top
Source: Interweave Knits Spring '06
Yarn: 3 1/2 skeins of Colinette Giotto in Florentina. I found a much cheaper source in London, Loop
Needles: US size 10 1/2, 11, & 13 24" circs
Started: 7/18/06
Finished: 7/29/06
Comments: Things I learned while knitting this top- 1) Provisional Cast-On, 2) Shaping a garment, 3) Three Needle Bind-Off (the pattern didn't call for it, but I didn't want any bulky seams!), 4) Steam Blocking. There were no mistakes in the pattern and it was very straightforward.

More Baby Knits

More knits for nephew Simon, who will be arriving in 2 1/2 weeks! The One-Hour Booties from Stitch 'n Bitch Nation are made with Bernat Cotton Tots in Jelly Belly. I held it doubled & used US size 8s. The Baby Hat is from One Skein, and it also used Cotton Tots (different dye lot, that's why it's brighter) and US size 7 DPNs. Both were relatively easy knits, I just hope Simon has a petite head and feet.

Mason-Dixon Knitting

I'll start today with 3 Ball Band Dishcloths I made while I was completing the blanket. These are addictive, as I'm sure every knitter knows. From left to right: Sugar 'N Cream in Hot Purple & Patio Pinks, Grape & Beach Ball Blue, Playtime & Hot Blue. US size 7 needles.

Next up: Baby Genius Burp Cloth & Baby Bib O' Love. I didn't make these in matching colors because I just used what I had in the stash, but I like the different colors. The burp cloth is SnC Early American Ombre & the bib is Country Brown Ombre, both using US 6 needles.