Thursday, October 27, 2005

Secret Pal Strikes Again!

A dreary drizzly day was brightened considerably by the arrival of another package from my super Secret Pal. The box was packed with Halloween goodies! The package contained the following:
An adorable Secret Pal Halloween card, a cute Halloween bag with a black cat on it, some little plastic cups with bats (always fun to have), Black Cat Peeps (didn't even know they made those), a cute little box of fortune telling cards, some black cat Halloween socks (I love holiday themed socks!) and two balls of Tahki Murano (one in black with gold and silver and the other in purples). I love it all! Thank you, Secret Pal -- you definitely are spoiling me:) Now....what shall I make with my new yarn...Maybe a stripey hat? Ummm, for now I think I'll just pet it! Thanks again!

Let's Do The Twist....

I really need to stop looking at patterns online. My future project list long ago passed the unwieldy stage and has now taken on a life of its own (it seems to grow even when I'm not around). But Chicknits has a new design. It's wonderful (though I'm not 100% sold on the fringe, yep, fringe). I need to make this sweater: Twist. I am already considering yarn choices...I'm thinking Cascade 220 Superwash in a nice dark blue. Right now I'm just thinking, not buying. For right now at least:)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

2 Months to Go until the Holidays.....

With around 2 months to go until the start of the gift-giving season I have been concentrating my obsession, I mean attention, on holiday knitting projects. This weekend I knit like there was no tomorrow. I knit all Friday night. I knit all Saturday afternoon and night (I sleep in so no morning knitting will ever be reported). I knit all Sunday afternoon and night. The fruits of my labor:

A mistake rib patterned scarf using some of the Brooks Farm Four Play yarn I got at Stitches Midwest this past August. This scarf used 2 hanks (270 yards each) and was knit on size 5's. This is my first time knitting mistake rib, but it most definitely will not be my last. (Cast on a multiple of 4 plus 3 extra, then k2p2 every row). The pattern is wonderfully well-suited to the slight variegation of the yarn. It gives interest without being fussy. I'm tempted to keep the scarf for myself, but I know, in the end, it will be given to the person it was knitted for and s/he will give it a proper home.

Next up, we have the beginning of a second mistake rib scarf (told you I would be making more). This scarf has actually been frogged two times already, but I am really thinking third time is the charm. First time it was frogged I was doing a simple pattern of k1p1 one row, knit the next, then just repeat. The stitch looked awesome in this lovely Malabrigo -- I got a foot in and realized it was curling like stockinette. I tried to ignore it for another few inches. I finally realized it was not going to magically uncurl so I had to frog. Second incarnation was mistake rib, but this time I got in around 6 inches when I looked more closely and thought that the scarf needed a little more width. Frogged again. Now, third time, proper pattern, proper width, and fantastic yarn -- smooth sailing, uh, knitting.

Finally, I have a little cap I made last week. It only took a couple nights. I bought the pattern from the same designer who designed Eris (let's not talk about her languishing with only one sleeve). This is the Celtic Cap made with one of the new KnitPicks yarns - Ambrosia in the color Night Sky. Wonderful feel, a little splitty, but so soft I didn't mind (the ingredients of this yarn are: 80% Baby Alpaca, 20% Cashmere). My only hesitation on this project is that I made this for a man (not Papa Smurf, though he looks dashing) and I am concerned it might not be masculine enough (whatever that means). What do you all think?

(It does match my jacket....:)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Quick Update Post

As proof that all the time I'm not blogging, I am accomplishing some things here are a couple finished objects. First, a holiday stocking for my little niece Skye! I am very proud of this stocking -- it only took me a couple nights, but it was my first real foray into two-handed Fair Isle knitting. While I had a little trouble with the short row heel (that seems to be a problem for me whether the sock is foot-sized or stocking sized), overall this was a very fun project -- Hope my sis-in-law is not reading my blog! I got the pattern from the online store theknitter and the yarn is, of course, KnitPicks Wool of the Andes in Grass, Cloud, and Cranberry.

This next project was something to amuse myself last night. I didn't want to work on anything hard and I had seen this pattern online. I'm thinking Bobbles the Sheep may go live with someone else, but we'll see -- Laska liked using him as small cat blanket last night! The yarn is just good ol' Sugar & Cream cotton.

Monday, October 10, 2005

I Swear I'm Not A Slacker!

It has been close to a week since my last post. Eris is exactly as we saw her last week. My sock is still singular and unfinished. What on earth have I been doing? Well, the pressure to get a holiday gift done finally got to me (and I was distracted with a fingerless glove pattern for myself:) ) The Here and There Cable Scarf from Scarf Style is complete! I really enjoyed the pattern once I got into the rhythm of it.

Official Stats for the project:
Pattern: from Scarf Style book, Here and There Cable Scarf
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay - Stellar
Needle: U.S. size 7

Eris' final sleeve shall be completed soon and I ordered a color card from zipperstop to select a zipper (I read Jen's comment right after I ordered it! I'll be sure to check out Vogue Fabrics as soon as I have a chance). I think I'll cast on for another holiday project tonight. My plan is to always have the following on needles:
a sock;
an easy, no-thinking holiday gift;
a more complicated holiday gift; and
something random for me (sweater, bag, etc.)

I keep looking at my list of holiday knitting...I hope I didn't over do it!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Another Package!

I got home today in a terrible terrible mood, but that all went away when I saw another package from my super Secret Pal. Inside an adorable bright blue mailing envelope was a copy of the much-desired Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitting Without Tears, some cute knitting notecards, and a cheery card from my SP. Thank you so much! I've already perused the book and can't wait to get started on my first EZ sweater. You have impeccable talent for making bad days into great days-- Thank you:)

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

One Sleeve To Go

Eris is nearing completion. I finished the first sleeve last night and just need to do the other one (unless I want to make an amazingly strange fashion statement). Then I have to order a zipper and sew the hem. And weave in the ends....So, looks like I'll be spending a little more time with Eris -- it's ok, I like her:)

Other toe-up sock is going well -- I turned the heel. This time my short-row heel looks much better.

Holiday knitting is going nowhere right now. I need to keep moving on it. The list is quite long and I don't want to be rushed during the holidays. I think I'll try to work out a schedule to keep me on track. Of course, once Eris is done, the other projects will probably start getting more attention -- she's a demanding project!

I am very upset that it is hot again here in Chicagoland. We had a few lovely days of cool weather, but it's gone! I hate humidity. I hate heat. Bring on Autumn!