Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Wow, you all sure know how to make a girl feel loved. :) Thank you to everyone that delurked and left a comment over the last couple days. I really enjoyed hearing from everyone and I'm so glad you like the blog. I never thought I would have any regular readers and it's pretty darn cool that you all take the time to read my little blog. Hope I can keep it interesting for you all. :)

Thermal is finally growing. My gosh this is a slow knit. I mean, sure, knitting a sweater on size 0 needles should have been my first clue that I would be dedicating the next several weeks to knitting at a snail's pace, but geez! Two nights of knitting and I only got through a few inches. I can however safely say I really do love the fabric and the yarn is very nice to knit. Good thing Thermal makes great American Idol knitting.

The last of my little sock yarn spree from the past couple weeks showed up on the porch the other day. Here we have 3 (!) more Duet Sock yarns from A Swell Yarn Shop (and one is by way of the Yarn Grove - free shipping!). From left to right we have Turquoise Tranquility, Mr. Roper, and Hip Chic. Love love love them! If I ever put down Thermal long enough to work on my Apple Laine socks I'll be able to cast on with some of these lovelies...And let's not forget that the first 2007 Rockin' Sock Club kit will be arriving any day now...Mmmmm, sock yarn.

***Knitting Group is moving! We'll still be meeting tonight (Wednesday), but instead of the Borders we are moving a little west to the new Starbucks in Wilmette (corner of Lake & Laramie, just to the west of I-94 on Lake Ave.). We meet from 6:30 until 8ish and any yarn enthusiast is welcome!***

Monday, February 26, 2007

Yarn! (And A Shameless Plea for Comments)

Matt and I got back last night from 3 days in Carbondale where we were visiting family. My mom had some surgery a couple weeks ago and Matt and I went down to help out for the weekend. As there was no knitting the past few days I'll instead show you a couple recent yarn acquisitions.

Late last week I received a couple of packages in the mail. First up is my February Pick Up Sticks Sock Club Kit. This month the yarn is a gorgeous color of Spunky Eclectic Skinny Socks called Romance. The pattern is a classic ripple pattern that will show off the colors in the yarn very nicely. The white yarn is to knit the removable lace cuff detail of the pattern...I'm not so into that. All in all it's another great sock kit!

I also received my first skein of Yarn Pirate in The Loopy Ewe exclusive color, Sweet Jules. This is the 50/50 Merino/Tencel sock yarn and it has the most gorgeous shine. I love the variety of colors in the yarn. I'm going to have to think a bit on what pattern to use with this lovely lovely yarn. Any ideas?

And finally, a request for comments. Connie, the owner of Pick Up Sticks, recently asked everyone who reads her blog to delurk and just say "hi," so I'm going to copy her and do the same. I'm always curious who reads my blog and where you all are. So, whether you comment a lot or never, please leave me a comment just so I know you all are out there. And if you want, let me know where you are or how you came to find my blog or if you have a blog of your own. :)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Waffles and Apple Pie

I've finally made it to the thermal part of Thermal! Please admire the little waffle stitches. It took a while even to get this much done, but I love it. I'm knitting one size smaller than my actual bust measurement as I hoping that I can get back to healthy habits now that my neck is much better. I've started working out again, so with some serious commitment to the gym I should be able to fit Thermal sometime while the weather still calls for it.

I really like knitting with the Knit Picks Gloss (Merino Silk blend). It has a gorgeous stitch definition and the dusk color is just a gorgeous shade of blue. My plan is to work on Thermal at least one hour a day while still knitting other projects. I just want to wear it now!

In other knitting, I cast on for the Pick Up Sticks Sock Club Conifer pattern last night, again. I attempted this one a few weeks ago and totally botched it up. This time around I'm taking my time and really focusing on the pattern (perfect American Idol knitting). The yarn, Apple Laine Apple Pie in English Garden, is just wonderful to knit. It's very silky with just a bit of a mohair halo. The colors are very rich. It was tough getting a good picture of this stitch pattern. Once the sock is done and washed I think it will show a lot better. The pattern has these neat cluster stitches that are really unique, but impossible to photograph!

***Knitting Group is tonight (Wednesday) at the Borders' Cafe in Wilmette (corner of Lake & Skokie). We meet from 6:30 until 8:00 and any yarn enthusiast is welcome!***

Monday, February 19, 2007

Danica Complete!

Danica Scarf

Pattern: Danica from Knitty (with only one yarn colorway)
Yarn: Patons SWS (Soy Wool Stripes) in Natural Green (right around 4 balls)
Needles: US 7
Start Date: February 11, 2007
End Date: February 16, 2007
Comments: What a fun knit! During the last few weeks I started to see a lot of people online knitting entrelac using Patons SWS and I couldn't resist. Entrelac is a fun technique and the scarf is just so cute. I really like the Patons SWS and it is very nice that it is in a worsted weight. I like Rowan Tapestry, which is also 70% Wool, 30% Soy, but as it is only available in a DK weight it doesn't make for a quick knit (see never-ending Tapestry scarf in the Knits in Progress list to the right). This scarf is my first entrelac, but I have this really cute Malabrigo color, Melilla, that would be perfect for this pattern. My only complaint about the SWS is that in one skein I found 3 knots! In the others one knot was the norm. This is pretty annoying especially as it would sometimes have a big color shift. Even with the knots, I'm still very pleased with the scarf and I'll wear it happily.

I got a bit of a start on Thermal yesterday, but this knit is not going to make for any exciting photos. What you see to the right is the product of 4 or so hours of knitting. It's 280 stitches done in 1x1 Twisted Rib on US1 (2.0mm) needles. I need two inches and I'm half an inch away. The Knit Picks Gloss (Dusk) is very nice to knit. It's not splitty at all and the little bit of silk in it gives it that kind of crunchy texture. Luckily I'm enjoying the yarn since this may take weeks and weeks to knit. :)

Friday, February 16, 2007

Progress and an Announcement

Danica is coming along very well. I'm on the third ball. I think one more and I'll be done. The Patons SWS is becoming a favorite. Very nice to knit.

The needles have arrived so I can continue swatching for Pippa, but now I think there will be a change of plans. Along with the needles I needed I happened to order the Knit Picks Gloss (Dusk) necessary to knit Thermal. I can't resist. Pippa is being bumped and I'll be starting Thermal once I get it swatched.

And it's official, Matt and I will be moving to Oregon this summer. Matt is getting ready to defend for his PhD (probably in July) and he is about to accept an offer for a wonderful job out in the Portland area. Yea! I'll be close to some of my family as well as fields of sheep! Sorry about the abundance of exclamation points, but I'm so excited!!! I'll miss my dear knitting Group, but I have a feeling I can lure them out once I reveal that we will be within one hour's drive of Blue Moon Fiber Arts. :)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

The first three years we were together, Matt and I never got to celebrate Valentine's Day on the 14th. Matt was a waiter then and could never get the night off so we would always go out on the 13th instead. It's nice now that those days are over and we can now enjoy ourselves on Valentine's Day. I know some view it as a commercial holiday, but I'm a sucker for it. Bring on the candy hearts and flowers! Matt and I are going to go out to a little French bistro tonight and we'll exchange presents too. How are all of you celebrating?

For the curious, the yarn is Vesper Self-Striping in Ramblin' Rose, the final Sweet Sheep Sock Club yarn.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Endpaper End

Endpaper Mitts

Pattern: Endpaper Mitts by Eunny Jang
Yarn: Louet Gems Merino in Indigo (dark blue) and Neptune (lighter blue)
Needles: Bamboo dpns sizes US 0 and US 3
Start Date: February 2, 2007
End Date: February 10, 2007
Comments: First of all, these Mitts would have never ever been made in a million years if it hadn't been for the fantastic (and free!) pattern from Eunny Jang. Overall, I have not been that into two-color knitting. The few projects I've done I rushed through because the process was not that pleasant. Well, I'm not rushing so much now. The pattern is so well written and simple and elegant and perfect. Thank you, Eunny!

So, the Gems Merino worked very well though it is a tad on the thinner side. The yarn is very soft and knit up with a nice give. The colors worked really well together and have a terrific contrast (colors are most true in the top picture). I plan on knitting the Anemoi Mittens sometime soon with some more Gems in the stash.

Overall, I am surprised at what I can do. I look at these mitts and I am very proud of them. Hooray for me!

Yesterday I started my first entrelac pattern. I'm using the basic pattern from Danica, but knitting it all in one yarn. The yarn is Patons SWS (Soy Wool Stripes) in Natural Green. I really like how the blocks are all knitting up in different colors. The pattern is simple enough for TV watching, but interesting enough to engage part of the brain. I have some family health stuff going on so I need a project that keeps whirring thoughts out of my head and this scarf works perfectly. This yarn is 70% Wool 30% Soy just like Rowan Tapestry. However, while the Tapestry yarn is DK, this stuff is a nice plump worsted weight so it knits up very quickly. It's a little splitty, like the Tapestry, but the end result is so nice and soft I don't mind.

Friday, February 09, 2007


Duet Socks
Pattern: Modified from the pattern that came with the yarn (increased circumference to 60 stitches)
Yarn: A Swell Yarn Shop Duet Yarns in Sweet Valentine
Needles: Inox 2.5 mm
Start Date: January 31, 2007
End Date: February 7, 2007
Comments: Again I will toss out the word "love" to discuss some socks. I love these socks! Even after Angela from A Swell Yarn Shop (from whence the yarn comes) commented and told me I would have plenty of the solid color for my increased-sized heels I was unsure. Well, I ended up with about a yard leftover! That was cutting it close, but all's well that ends well. I did have plenty of the variegated left and that was with knitting for my size 10 feet and a 7 inch leg. Nice!The yarn is squishy and lovely to knit. It's taking a lot of will power to resist buying more...

These socks are so cute and happy. I think I will don them on Valentine's Day for their inaugural wearing.

In other knitting project news, I have officially swatched (and washed the swatch) for my next big project -Pippa. This cardigan is going to take a while, I know, but I think it will be worth it. Unfortunately my swatch grew a little after it's bath and I have to wait for some size 1's to arrive. The yarn is Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in Navy. Hopefully it does not turn my fingers blue like it did Claire's...It's so soft and it has such lovely stitch definition. Oh well, if I have to be a smurf, I have to be a smurf. :)

This weekend I plan on finishing up the second Endpaper Mitt. The first one is all done and ready to go - it just needs a mate. I'm surprised how much I've enjoyed two-color knitting with such tiny yarn. I think a lot of it has to do with how much I adore the finished product. (Yarn specs: Louet Gems Merino in Indigo and Neptune). If I get the Mitts done quickly enough I will also cast on for my Apple Laine socks. I've got a busy weekend ahead of me! How is everyone else going to spend the weekend?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A Rare Occurrence

Rarely do I drop everything to start knitting something the moment it arrives. However, a couple weeks ago I received my latest Pick Up Sticks Sock Club kit and I actually did just that. I pulled out the swift and winder, wound up the balls, pulled the needles out of another sock, and started knitting. Unfortunately after a couple inches I realized I was knitting part of the pattern incorrectly, but I decided to continue on. Then about an inch later I made a larger mistake. So...I cast on for my Posh Yarns socks and put this new club kit away.

Well, as you know, the Posh Socks are done and now the Duet socks are nearly complete (pictures Friday!), so I will be casting on (again) for the club socks and this time around I know I will be successful. The yarn is Apple Laine Apple Pie in English Garden. It's a wool, silk, mohair blend and it's just lovely to knit. The pattern is another winner from Meghan Jackson. She designs all the patterns for the sock club and honestly they are the some of the best sock patterns I've used. They are all really unique and they go so well with club selection of yarn.

And as usual I have many more yarns waiting in the wings. I recently bought some of the new Crystal Palace Panda Cotton (left: blueberry-grape. right: painted iris). It comes in the cutest little skeins and it feels really soft. I'm going to hold off on knitting this until I actually have a need for warm weather socks, but I expect great things!

In my pursuit for more alternatives to all wool sock yarn I decided to give Regia Bamboo a shot and picked up a couple balls for a good price on ebay (the color is descriptively called Red Dot). The yarn is a bamboo and wool blend. It has a terrific shine to it and I look forward to seeing how it knits up. I'm a little dubious about how well it will wear since it feels so silky, but Regia makes some great yarn, so I'm hoping for the best.

Finally, I came across this gorgeous Lisa Souza color on a couple blogs. I've been wanting to try her yarn and when I saw that she created this color to help someone out with her medical costs associated with potential breast cancer I just couldn't resist. The colorway is named Violet's Pink Ribbon and it is simply one of the most creative and lovely sock colors I've ever seen. Some of you may already know this, but I am a huge fan of splotchy dye spots (that's what I always look for in Koigu). This yarn has both splotches and a solid section. So pretty! I recently purchased the Survivor sock pattern from Wild Horse Farms Designs and I think it will be the perfect pattern to go with this yarn.

***Knitting Group is tonight (Wednesday) at the Borders' Cafe in Wilmette (corner of Lake & Skokie). We meet from 6:30 until 8:00 and any yarn enthusiast is welcome!***

Monday, February 05, 2007

Baby It's Cold Outside

It's a bit chilly here in Chicagoland. The weather people are predicting a high of 6. Yikes! Good thing I just started on a project that will keep me toasty warm. I present the first nearly completed Endpaper Mitt!

I'm knitting the mitts in Louet Gems Merino in the colors Indigo and Neptune on size 2.75mm needles. I can't believe how quickly the tiny tiny yarn knits up into such a beautiful pattern. Eunny's design is just perfect. That's not a ladder running down the left side, but a tiny little purl seam. I'm hoping to finish this one today and have the pair done by next week.

I originally cast on using some Fleece Artist merino sock yarn in Moss and Louet Gems Merino in Champagne, but after I got a couple repeats in I pulled out the needles and cast on with the blues you see. Now I wish I hadn't been so hasty as Matt saw the start of the other one and said it looked great....maybe I can pick up all the stitches...

Aside from the Endpaper Mitts (which I admit are absorbing most of my time) I've made some progress on my Duet Socks. The first sock is all done except for the heel and the second one is cruising along. I'm just going to do both heels at the end as I'm a little nervous about having enough yarn to do both (I increased the size a bit from what the pattern indicated).

I checked this weekend and A Swell Yarn Shop did have more of this terrific sock yarn back in stock, but who knows how long it will last. I really really really wanted to order another set (the Dylan colorway is so cute), but I'm least until a little destash sale of mine is over on Ebay (shameless plug).

I swatched for my next sweater project. It's a time consuming one. Tiny yarn, tiny needles, knit in pieces. Details soon. :)

Ack! Just got tagged by MLE for the 5 Secrets About Me meme.

Here you go:
1) I have to eat KitKats in layers (chocolate first then each individual wafer);
2) If I finish a book, I have to start the first chapter of the next one, even if it's 2am;
3) The colder it is, the more I want ice cream (Saturday night when it was -3 we went to Ben and Jerry's);
4) I knew I would marry Matt the night we first kissed; and
5) I went to law school on a whim - whoops!

I tag my fellow knitting Group Members (links for those that have blogs on the right hand side. Those that don't you are welcome to just leave it in a comment): Adrienne, Liz, Kathy, Jen, Lynae, Tamara, and Claire. :)

Oh and Kim - Tag you are it too!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Posh Socks

Posh Yarn Toe Up Socks
Pattern: Self-designed from different sources - Magic Cast On Toe, Peasant Heel
Yarn: Posh Yarns Lucia in Passionate (From Pick Up Sticks Sock Club)
Needles: Inox 2.5mm (US 1)
Start:January 25, 2007
End: January 31, 2007
Comments: I really wasn't sure this day would ever come. The day I would post about a successfully completed pair of toe-up socks. But here I am, telling you all that the Posh Toe Up Socks are done! Hooray! First of all, the yarn was lovely to knit. It is a wool/cashmere blend and it is just so soft and spongy. The colors are deeply saturated and it knit up with no pooling. Very pleasant knitting experience.

As for the toe-up success I couldn't be happier. I am definitely going to be doing the peasant heel again and I have a feeling it will replace my default heel flap heel as my favorite. The fit is terrific and I just love how easy it is. Plus it looks great! And I never have to worry about running out of yarn. Can you tell I love this heel? :)

I've already cast on for my next pair. This yarn is the Duet sock yarn I got from A Swell Yarn Shop. (It sells out really quickly, so, if you are interested, I suggest you sign up for their newsletter to get advance notice). The sock is being displayed by Kilby who always takes a strong interest in my knitting activities.

I'm knitting this on my trusty Inox 2.5mm double points and I am getting a gauge of just shy of 7 stitches per inch. It's a very plump yarn and it's knitting up quickly. I started this sock late Wednesday night and I'm already a few inches past where the heel will go. I added a little to the circumference, but other than that I'm following the pattern that was sent with the yarn. I see more of these socks in my future (if I can get my hands on more of this yarn!).