Apr 30, 2007


After much debate within my skull over yarn choices and many different stitch patterns swatched, I have finally decided on the yarn & pattern to use for my next baby blanket. This baby is #1 for my brother in-law and they have decided not to learn the sex of the baby beforehand. In addition, he had no clue on the colors in the nursery. So armed with that plethora of information, I decided on green again. Green is classic and timeless and has a certain understated elegance. I read many, many reviews of yarns for baby blankets and the result was quite mixed results. I'm opting to go with Knit Picks Swish Superwash because it's inexpensive, is supposed to soften up after washing (it does), machine washable (a must), wool=warm (they're in NJ), and the color choices are good. Plus, I have a bunch in my stash that I could swatch with. This is leftover from my ill-forgotten First Sweater. I am hereby passing that title to the cardigan I'm working on. I still can't find a suitable pattern for all of my Swish. Anyway, I like a stitch in a blanket that's unique, lies flat, has no lace for little fingers to snag on, looks good on the wrong side, and is neither too complicated (changes crazily from row to row), too boring (miles & miles of endless stockinette) or insane (K1, P1). The answer: what the Harmony Guide Vol. 2 calls something something Diamonds, I really cannot remember right now. Ta-da! Look at the pretty little swatch!

The Right Side:

The Wrong Side:

You'll probably have to click on the pics to enlarge them for stitch definition. This yarn was pretty nice to work with and definitely softened up after a little bath. I wasn't sure I could block superwash wool, but it stretched out nicely & the kinks disappeared. Speaking of blocking, I'll admit I've never liked to do it very much, it kinda scared me. Along comes another wonderful Eunny tutorial to rescue me. Now I love to block! I've blocked 3 swatches alone this month and I find it very exciting. By the way, did you hear about Eunny becoming the new editor of Interweave? I'm very excited to see what she's going to do with the magazine. She's completely brilliant as far as I'm concerned. So my blanket yarn has been ordered, along with a few other goodies like Cotlin to experiment with and more blocking pins for my newest obsession.

I treated myself to some lovely, long-lasting Carnations for my birthday, so here are a few lush, Spring pics for you. Don't they look tastily sparkling?

P.S.- Birthday yarny goodness pics to come soon!

Apr 24, 2007

The Stash is Overflowing

I'm really running out of room for yarn. My rubbermaid tub has like a 2 1/2 foot high stack of yarn & WIPS & other layabouts on top. Anyway, I'm still pleased to add another skein of beloved Noro Kureyon!!! The color is 194 & it's a mixture of fushcia, green, red-orange & browns. This lone skein comes home to the stash courtesy of my squeeze, who stopped by the yarn store (!) on his way home from work to pick out the perfect colors for me & to see the delighted smile on my face. How thoughtful! He's a keeper (duh).

I finally got my act together & gathered all of my dishcloths to be put to use. I love them! I'm never going back to small, flimsy machine-made cloths again. Looks like I need to get cracking on summer cloths to fill up the basket spaces.

Apr 18, 2007

Spring Fever

So a few months ago I finally dug out all of my projects that needed finishing and did just that, excepting of course those stupid Fuzzy Feet that I still haven't felted. I've been trying to be very good and really complete things instead of just starting a bunch of projects. Well Spring is upon us and I've been very bad lately. My yarn hiatus lasted only a month or so (!) and I've got so many projects lined up. I've developed a mild case of Viral SSS and a slightly more serious case of Startitis. This all has to do with socks and more yarn and not being able to decide exactly which project I'm going to obsess over for the longest period of time.

Here's a lovely picture of my Alternating 2x2 rib sock in progress (it, at the very least is complete):

I failed to have any self control and ordered some yarn from the HUGE sale at Knit Happens and then ordered some more from Red Needle's moving sale. Luckily (I guess), I did get into the Knit Happens sale until very late, so there were not dozens and dozens of skeins of Kureyon to tempt me (only 1).

Here's what I did score:

Left to right: Nashua Creative Focus Worsted in Syrah & Rust, Noro Kureyon #147 & Araucania Nature Wool in Violets.

The Creative Focus is already being turned into this:

While waiting for that yarn to arrive, I had to distract myself from continuing my second sock by starting on a Noro blanket in very many stitch patterns. I also ordered yarn for the Vintage Velvet scarf from Scarf Style. Isn't it pretty? It's so soft, I can't stop touching it and it is all I can do to stop myself from casting on.

So my knitting plate is most definitely full right now. I've got to finish these projects, plus block my capelet, embroider my Mother Bear (oh, the afghan squares are actually for Warm Up! America) & of course, felt my Fuzzy Feet. I need to make yet another baby bib ASAP, get yarn for a new baby blanket and I can't stop thinking about Isabella from Knitty and it's knit on such small needles! I really need to get busy.

Apr 4, 2007

Too Many?

So I just finished reading the Yarn Harlot's newest book, Casts Off and I think it's her best yet. The idea of a travel guide to knitting is just brilliant! The only thing I really dislike about her books is how it takes absolutely no time to read them. I wish she could crank them out faster.

Last month I read Knitting for Peace, which is a gorgeous little book. It explains the history of knitting for charitable causes and includes descriptions of many present-day organizations and projects. It includes several patterns too. I found it very inspiring and have vowed to do more charity knitting from now on. I want to make something for every cause mentioned! I almost immediately cast on for a blanket square for afghans for Afghans and right after that started a cuddly little bear for Mother Bear Project. Sarah made a really cute one last year. I still have to embroider the face, but I plan on making more of them. I think I could probably complete an afghan square between every 1 or 2 projects and it would help to keep me sane and go to a good cause. I've been using up some stash yarn for these projects that are machine washable, leftover from the Jayne hat. I want to make more hats, but I'm thinking some rough Lopi would be better for the cowboys in space look.

Anywho, after making Two socks & Two mittens, I needed some quick no frills projects. Hence the blanket square, the bear, and the following.

Project: Leo's Lap Blanket
Source: Mason Dixon Knitting
Yarn: TLC Essentials in Cranberry, Butter & Persimmon, Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Brown
Needles: US 8
Started: 2/26/07
Finished: 3/1/07
Comments: This is for my elderly cat Leo. He is frequently cold, his claws are constantly out and he sits on my lap as soon as I sit down. The blanket is to protect my poor legs & clothes from anymore painful clawings, as well as to keep him warm when I'm not around. It's been in use for about a week and is already pretty ripped up itself. No matter, he likes it okay, as do the other cats. It's maybe 14" x 14", just big enough to cover my lap and fit most of their bodies. Crochet border to "finish the look".

So after that, I ask you how many dishcloths is too many? I ran from the blanket straight into a dishcloth jag (thank you Harlot for that phrase). I was having trouble sleeping and was churning out an average of a cloth a day. Except for the monstrosity that is the Flower Petal. Here goes:

Project: Flower Petal Washcloth
Source: Weekend Knitting
Yarn: Lion Chenille Thick & Quick in Violet
Needles: US 6
Started: 2/26/07
Finished: 2/28/07
Comments: I hate this yarn and I cannot understand how people can knit with it. It was the first yarn I ever bought (also in 2 other colors) and it made me want to give up knitting before I had barely started it. I've never made anything with it and it is going straight to the Salvation Army next weekend. The cloth only took 2 days but it felt a lot longer. It was sheer will that got me through this. I believe it may have turned out much bigger than was intended. It is pretty soft, but it's so solid & bulky that I'm doubtful it will even soak up water.

Project: Slip Stitch Dishcloth & Double Woven Stitch Cloth
Source: Blossom Knitwear & Knitting Knonsense
Yarn: Sugar 'n Cream in Hot Pink & Red, SnC in Beach Ball Blue
Needles: US 7
Started: 3/9/07 & 3/11/07
Finished: 3/9/07 & 3/12/07
Comments: I love the Slip Stitch Cloth & will definitely use the pattern again.

Project: Eyelet Square & Swish with a Twist Cloth
Source: Knitting for Peace & Creative Knitting Magazine
Yarn: TLC Essentials in Butter & Snc in Cornflower Blue
Needles: US 7
Started: 3/2/07 & 3/8/07
Finished: 3/5/07 & 3/8/07
Comments: I love a cable dishcloth!

Project: Love & Shamrock Cloth
Source: Knitting Knonsense & Knitting Knonsense
Yarn: Snc in some kind of pink & emerald
Needles: US 7
Started: 3/7/07 & 3/10/07
Finished: 3/7/07 & 3/10/07
Comments: I like the idea of seasonal cloths. Now I need to find a bunny!

So five regular cloths & one giant one, that's enough for now...I think.