Friday, April 28, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my 30th birthday - time flies:) So, I will indulge in a little non-knitting musing...

I started to get nervous about being 30 during the past year. Before then I had always been one of those people that firmly believed getting upset about being a certain age or espousing the virtue of any particular age range was just silly. Then I started my last year of my 20's. I had younger friends asking if I was freaked about turning 30 and older friends declaring that their 30's have been their best years. I thought about all I have not accomplished - I don't have a career, I don't own a house, I don't have any children, etc. Now, as the actual day has arrived I realize I was working myself up simply because, it seems, that is what is expected of a person turning 30.

Instead of being concerned about things that have not happened yet, today I am celebrating all of the things I have accomplished in the past 30 years - here's just a sampling in no particular order:

  • Married M (how can I ever be unhappy with my life when I have my husband at my side?)
  • I made it through grade school, high school (that was a close one), college, and law school.
  • Developed wonderful friendships with numerous family members and other people in my life.
  • Had/have numerous pets that have made my life better.
  • Visited some other countries (Colombia, Germany, & the BVI to name a few).
  • Read some wonderful books.
  • Knit knit knit.
  • Voted in every election I could since I was 18.
  • Passed the Bar Exam.
  • Laughed daily.

I look forward to the future. I am hopeful that it will hold many exciting and new developments. If nothing more, I'm sure it will offer me time to be with those that I love, read a few good books, and knit away.

And, if you remember, as part of my FEAP (fiber enhancement alleviation program) I allowed an exception that I could buy some yarn for my birthday - Here it is: Chocolate Cherry...Mmmmm:)

(Claudia Hand Painted in Chocolate Cherry)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Picovoli and Playtime

Picovoli Pattern: Picovoli from (40 inch size)
Yarn: KnitPicks Shine Sport in Violet
Needle: Size 5 circular (5 1/2 stitches per inch)
Start Date: April 15, 2006
End Date: April 18, 2006
Comments: Super fast, pleasing knit. KnitPicks Shine Sport is such wonderful stuff. This is my fourth project with it and I'm still in love:) The pattern was well-written and the picot edging added an interesting element. Unfortunately I'm getting a bit of rolling on the picot edge. Ironing helped, but I may run a thread through it to see if I can tighten it up a bit. Other than the rolling, the top fits fantastically. I really appreciate that the designer indicates a couple places in the pattern when you should try the top on to check the fit. That really helps create a custom fit. Overall, I'm pleased with this top, but the rolling edge prevents me from being thrilled.

My So-Called Scarf
Pattern: My So-Called Scarf
Yarn: Malabrigo in Little Lovely (from Stitches Midwest 2005)
Needle: Size 7
Start Date: January 18, 2006
End Date: April 22, 2006
Comments: This was one of the few projects I've knit that I just put aside and ignored for months. The stitch is gorgeous. I love the yarn, but overall I found the whole project to be tedious. I have no idea why. However, tedious or not, I am incredibly happy with the finished scarf. The pattern shows off the lovely yarn to great effect. Even though this knit was slow going, I'm actually considering making another in some other Malabrigo I have (Melilla - pinks and greens)....not for a while though.

As for other knitting, well....I knit on my Satellite of Love Dublin Bay sock, but other than that I spent a lot of my weekend playing Nintendo. I'm a huge fan of video games, but I find I get nothing done as I get sucked into playing so I try to avoid them most of the time (even though we have 4 game systems). Well, I have been looking at my Nintendo DS for weeks now and finally broke down. I've been alternating between Animal Crossing and Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time. I can easily spend hours playing these games...cuts into the knitting time so I'll be careful:)

Friday, April 21, 2006


This post was supposed to be about my finished Picovoli, but it is not done drying (and I think I might need to steam block the picot edge) so instead I am posting about the scarf I am trying to finish. It's an unfinished project from when it was cold and snowy. It is very difficult to work on now that it is warm and sunny, but it has been hovering in my living room for too long. I shall finish this scarf. I love the effect of the stitch. The texture and color of the Malabrigo (color Little Lovely) is wonderful. I hope tonight I finish it and then I can remove it from my living room (and blog sidebar!).

Monday, April 17, 2006

What To Do While Waiting For the Cable Person

You can get a lot of knitting done while waiting for the cable person for hours and hours on a Saturday afternoon. In fact, if you knit the whole time you are waiting and then through the evening plus part of your rainy Sunday you may end up with 2/3 of a Picovoli. I'm doing the waist increases now. I've tried it on a couple times as I've gone along and I think this may turn out fantastically. I couldn't get the color right in this picture. The violet is a deep rich purple - think Northwestern University purple:) I'm using KnitPicks Shine (I think it's called Shine Sport now) and I'm very pleased with it.

Friday night I finished up my first Satellite of Love sock (Dublin Bay Sock Pattern -link on the sidebar, Lorna's Laces Strawberry Satellite Stripe). I've done a couple inches of sock #2, but for now it will be on hold until Picovoli is completed.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Another Pair

Trekking XXL #126

Yarn: Trekking XXL #126
Pattern: My own - Picot Cuff and plain stockinette
Needles: Bamboo size 0
Start Date: March 31, 2006
End Date: April 11, 2006
Comments: This was my first time doing a picot cuff and I really like how it turned out. I used the directions from Ann Budd's Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns and it came out great! I love the patterning in this yarn. It was so much fun to see how each part knit up and I was always looking forward to the next section. I highly recommend the yarn - Trekking XXL knit up very much like Opal and washed up just as softly.

What's next in the world of sock knitting? My fourth pair of Dublin Bay Socks! This time I am using some super Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in an exclusive colorway - Strawberry Satellite Stripe. For some reason in my head I call this yarn Satellite of Love, so, these will be my Satellite of Love socks:) I just started Tuesday night and I'm cruising along. This picture washes out the color a bit in the sock (I just couldn't resist the sunshine this morning) - the ball of yarn next to the sock is a better representation of the true colors.

On the non-sock knitting front - I swatched for Picovoli last night in KnitPicks Shine Violet. I'll probably start once the first Satellite of Love sock is finished.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Orangina *Added Photo*

Orangina Pattern: Orangina (size large)
Yarn: 5 skeins of Rowan 4 ply cotton in Fandango
Needle Size: Size 3
Start Date: April 1, 2006
End Date: April 9, 2006
Comments: Hooray! Orangina is finished! This is a project I started and frogged last year due to gauge issues. I am excited that I completed it so quickly and with no gauge problems this time around. The pattern was elegant in its simplicity and well-worth the 5 bucks.

As I have finished up Orangina I thought it was a good time to answer a couple of the questions people have asked:

Kathy wants to know how complicated is the lace pattern.
Answer: It's simple. It's a 4 row repeat wherein 2 rows are purled and 2 rows are the pattern. Very easy to memorize.

Lynae would like to know what I plan on wearing underneath Orangina.
Answer: A tank top, probably black. Racy, huh? :)

The Trekking #126 second sock is nearly finished and I'll begin swatching for Picovoli soon. As soon as #126 is done I'll begin my next sock...another Dublin Bay - shocking! A few people have mentioned problems with opening the PDF link to the Dublin Bay Pattern (I actually just had to try that link 3 times before it loaded...strange)- Here's an html link, maybe give it a try... Also, I can email it to you directly, but I need your email address. That or here's the direct link to the designer's website- The pattern is on the left hand side towards the bottom. Hope this helps!

And here's a random rundown on the movie-watching during the past weekend:
Brokeback Mountain - lovely and moving story - definitely watch this film.
History of Violence- disturbing and pointless, but surprisingly well-acted.
V for Vendetta - Fantastic, thought-provoking movie - highly recommended.

Knitting GROUP is tonight - 6:30 to 8:00 at the Borders in Wilmette (corner of Skokie and Lake) - See you there!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

April Goals

Every month I have a list of knitting goals that I attempt to accomplish. I'm a little Type A...I also have lists of every skein of yarn I own, what pattern I will use with each skein of sock yarn in my stash, what projects I will knit each month and on and on...I like lists:).

On my list for April I have the following:
1) Orangina (started)
2) Picovoli
3) Trekking #126 socks (started) and more socks after that...
4) Winter Works in Progress (WIPs) (My so-called scarf, trinket, misc. fingerless glove)

So, on to the progress...
Here's Orangina as of this morning. I've completed the front lace section and started the back. I call it front and back, but they are really interchangeable. Once I knit up the second lace part I will join the two panels together and knit the waist in the round. It's a pretty neat construction. I'm hoping to have this project all finished by the end of this coming weekend, but as I'm always getting distracted by my sock knitting I can't be sure:)

Speaking of socks, here is the completed sock #1 of my Trekking XXL #126 socks. Plain sock pattern (my own formula) with a picot edge on the cuff. For the picot I used the guidelines in Ann Budd's Handy Book of Patterns (what a great book!). I cast on for sock #2 last night, but it was late and I only knit a few rows. I really love the patterning on this sock yarn. It's knitting up a bit scratchy, but I'm hoping that it's like Opal sock yarn and it will wash up to super softness.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Rainy Weekend

Cherry Tree Hill Hand Painted Supersock Old Rose Dublin Bay Socks

Pattern: Dublin Bay Socks (PDF)
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Hand Painted Supersock Old Rose
Needles: Size 0 bamboo (9 stitches per inch)
Start Date: March 12, 2006
End Date: March 31, 2006
Comments: This is my third pair of Dublin Bay Socks (PDF). I don't know what it is, but I love knitting this pattern. A little lace, a little stockinette, perfect socks. This yarn was outstanding. Gorgeous color, sumptuous texture, lovely stitch definition. (Sorry about the dark's been raining for days here in Chicagoland).

Thursday night I started swatching for Orangina. I bought this pattern last spring and I had the yarn in my stash, but I ran into gauge issues and I lost interest. Well, the interest is renewed. I swatched first on size 2's, but it was a little small, so after a quick swatch and wash using 3's I was on my way.

This is the progress so far - It's knitting up fairly quickly. The Rowan 4 ply Cotton is such a pleasure. It's really one of the only cotton yarns with which I enjoy knitting. This is in a discontinued color - Fandango. (Same stuff I used for my Stitch 'N Bitch Nation Lucky Wrap sweater last year).

Finally, here are the current socks I'm knitting. Trekking XXL #126. The patterning and colors are a lot of fun. I did a picot edge for the first time and I think it looks pretty neat.