Saturday, January 27, 2007

Me? A spiritual leader?

I'm sure about 8 besquillion people will be posting these quiz results on their blogs soon, but hey - I'm a guru!







What Kind of Knitter Are You?




You appear to be a Knitting Guru. You love knitting and do it all the time. While finishing a piece is the plan, you still love the process, and can't imagine a day going by without giving some time to your yarn. Packing for vacation involves leaving ample space for the stash and supplies. It can be hard to tell where the yarn ends and you begin.http://marniemaclean.com
Take this quiz!








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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Size Matters

Well, at least in knitting it does. Ah, the ever alusive "guage".

Remember my big 'ole hat from a few posts back? Well, my bulky beret was proving to be a little too bulky. After wearing it for a week I realized it was hampering my ability to move my head, thus hampering my ability to look both ways before crossing the street, thus a serious problem indeed for someone who commutes on foot.

At first I lied to myself; "It's supposed to be oversize! It's from a Vogue pattern! I don't care if it's ridiculously large! They know fashion!" Unfortunately, as much as I strive to be a snappy dresser, I am smart enough to know when fashion is overshadowing function.

Being one of the only patterns I had knit using the suggested yarn, I didn't bother with a guage swatch. Besides, it can be tough to count stitches over a pattern! So I didn't bother with a guage swatch. Plus, it was a hat! So I didn't bother with a guage swatch.

You can probably see where I'm going with this.

After measuring my hat, then cross-checking with the guage in the pattern: Good grief, Charlie Brown! My bulky beret was FIVE FREAKIN' INCHES bigger than it was supposed to be! How can this be possible with the suggested yarn and suggested needles? How can a suggestion be so horribly, horribly off?

Frog.

Knit.

Voila!



I now have a decidedly smaller bulky beret which doesn't interfere with my peripheral vision. Yet another reminder to respect the almighty guage swatch!

***SIDE NOTE***

I am a very silly blogger. I recently switched my comments setttings to the thingimehoo in Blogger that allows you to preview them before publishing. (I had recieved an unsolicited comment - try to sell stuff on my blog, will ya?!) Lately, I've been wondering why no one seems to be commenting on my blog. Am I speaking to no one? Doesn't anyone have any interest in what I have to say? Am I really so unloveable?

I forgot I actually had to read and publish the comments.

Gahhh! Sincere apologies to everyone who has commented in the past while. I love getting comments! Keep 'em comin'!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Voila la petite chemise!

How's that for incorrect French? Allow me to translate: I've finished the baby sweater!



It's all blocked and ready to get zippered (see my last post for pattern/yarn info). I'm all over the finished objects this week as I also completed my mum's birthday socks:



They are uber-soft but alas, not very sturdy. The are meant to be slipper-socks, so I suppose I shouldn't worry too much about wear and tear. I hardly think mum will be running any marathons in them anyway.

My quest to find an appropriate pattern for this yarn:



...is still ongoing. After swatching, it seems the pattern I had in mind isn't going to work (unless I knit it double, in which case I probably won't have enough yarn.) On size 6.5mm needles I get about 3.5 sts/inch. (If I find a good jacket like pattern I would knit on smaller needles for a denser fabric.) The yarn is fairly rough, so I'd like to knit some kind of heavy cardigan or coat. Does anyone have any suggestions?

For now I'll just plug away at my orange sweater. So much orange... so much more knitting...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Tiny sweater, Tiny victory

I have a friend with bun in the oven, and that bun is, well... just about ready. Lucky for me, I'm finding baby sweaters are a piece of cake!



Two evenings of knitting and she's almost done!



I'm not sure if I take the cat's interest as approval or disdain. I certainly know it's not jealousy. (My younger self learned that lesson trying to dress my family cat in Cabbage Patch clothes.) I don't think she wants a kitty sweater.

The pattern is this from Knitting Pure and simple. The yarn is Red Heart (hush you yarn snobs!) Cotton Twist from the stash.

This yarn has lived many lives. It was originally purchased to become my very first sweater. After knitting the back and one sleeve I lost interest . Frog. Rewind. It's second life? The accidentally tiny, accidentally fishnet shrug. Frog. Rewind. I've learned a lot since then, and so far the baby sweater is measuring up to be it's final incarnation. Fingers are crossed this one will never test the waters of the frog pond!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

W.I.P's and one big honkin' hat

Time for a little update on the works in progress, the works out of progress, and the works soon to be in progress.

In the "hot of the needles" category:





I finished my Odessa hat as a late Christmas present for a friend (the so called "gravy" x-mas knitting). I made a few mistakes throughout , but after a light blocking things look a little more even. (Don't be alarmed by the large lump on the bottom right side - that's my ear!) It's knit from yarn left over from my Clapotis: Rowan Tapestry #173: "antique".

With yarn I got with my Lettuce Knit gift certificate, I knit me up one of these puppies:






"Bulky Beret" pattern #26 from Vogue Holiday 2006. It marks the first time I've knit something with exactly the same yarn called for in the pattern. I even used the same colour (Blue Sky Bulky Hand Dyes)! The super-bulky yarn made for a super quick hat - a two movie knit. I finished just in time too, as winter seems to have finally reared it's ugly head. This beret is so ginormous and cozy I'm sure I could make it through any blizzard mother nature has up her sleeve. As an added bonus: Giant hat = giant lack of hat head. Fabulous!

Still on the needles?

The brushed cashmere sweater is coming along nicely....




I managed to finish the back and one sleeve before growing bored. I've made a promise to myself to finish it in time to wear this winter, but I need to give it a rest for a while. Endless stockinette with fiddley scrawny yarn isn't all that fun. I'll get back to it though, I swear!

And last but certainly not least, birthday socks for mum:



I'm using the Cowgirl Slipper Socks Pattern from Interweave Knits Winter 2006, and Misti Alpaca yarn. Soooo soft.

Soon to be on the needles? I'm swatching to see if I can use for my x-mas Lopi yarn:



for this coat:



It's a pattern from a 1968 McCall's Needlework magazine. I hope I can get it to work! I'm also looking to cast on: a sideways knit scarf and a hooded baby sweater.

Can you tell I've had some time off lately?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Christmas round-up continues!

At long last, I've taken pictures of the gift I knit the BF this x-mas. Knowing full well of the dreaded "sweater curse", I chose to knit him something I was 90% sure he would wear: Convertible glove/mittens!




I used the Broadstreet Mittens pattern from Knitty, and vintage sock yarn I found at a thrift store. This was my first glove project, and it really wasn't as difficult as I had anticipated. Using black yarn on the other hand - I now understand why my mother steadfastly refused to knit with black! It was worth it though - he likes them, and more importantly, he wears them!

On the receiving end, Santa brought me a set of Denise Interchangeable needles!


Okay, by 'santa' I really mean 'my brother'.


I was doubtful that anyone would be able to find the special pink (for breast cancer) set for me, so I was thrilled to find them under the tree. I've already put them to use, and so far, so good! The needles have great pointy tips, and the case is overwhelmingly more neat and tidy than a big tangle of circular needles. I have a feeling I'll be using these a lot.

I just finished my final 'gravy' x-mas gift (I'm well aware that Christmas was two weeks ago, thank-you) and pics will be coming soon. I can't wait to start knitting for myself again! Sweater, and mittens and sock - oh, my!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

All in the family

I come from a long line of crafty ladies. Apparently, my maternal grandmother could churn out a pair of knit gloves in an evening. Two gloves! In one night! And that's when yarn was so fine, today's sock yarn would have been considered bulky! My mother on the other hand, dabbles in a little bit of everything. At one time or another she has knit, crocheted, embroidered, rug-hooked, cross-stitched, needle-pointed, sewn... you name it. If it's a needlecraft, she's done it. It's no wonder where I get it from.
Right now my mother is on a needlepoint kick, so she asked me to keep an eye out for needlepoint wool at thrift stores. Within a couple of months I sent her so much yarn, she's starting new projects left, right and centre. In return, I asked her to look for knitting yarn. At Christmas, she revealed her score:


10 skeins of bulky icelandic wool!


I have no idea what to do with it as of yet. It's pretty "rustic" (read: scratchy), so it couldn't be anything worn close to the skin. I'm thinking a jacket-y sort of thing. All I know is I'd better find a use for it soon, as it's a great big bulky addition to my overflowing yarn stash. Time to downsize!

My mum also gave me a couple of handmade gifts. It's been a long time since I've received anything hand knit or crocheted from my mum, but this year proved different. Perhaps my knitting obsession has rubbed off on her?


Dishclothes knit by mummy-dearest




A crocheted mesh bag. Perfect for groceries!



And here I knit nothing for her in return! Her birthday IS next month. Methinks she'll be getting some cozy, hand-knit socks...

Monday, January 01, 2007

Knit-o-lutions?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I'm back from my holiday travels and am no where near ready to be going back to work. I was just getting into the swing of things! Fine food, sleeping in, ample knitting time... retirement looks appealing.

With the new year comes resolutions, and I will be no exception - at least when it comes to my knitting. Here is what I resolve to accomplish, knit-wise, in 2007:

2007 KNIT-O-LUTIONS


Learn to knit Continental style
I knit in a (quasi) English method, and have a feeling it isn't all that efficient. I have a book all about knitting continental and I plan on finally putting it to use.
Knit something requiring colour work
And no, I don't mean stripes. 'Stranded' knitting, I suppose is the correct term. Though traditional fair isle is a little too 'Heidi' for my taste, I'm sure I can come up with something.
Felt something on purpose
Knit something with cables
Knit double the amount of sweaters that I did last year
I only knit one. It shouldn't be a problem.

I like to think I've chosen short, attainable goals but only time will tell. Judging by Christmas knit-list, I could be completely deluding myself. I DID complete four items on that list, and without further ado, here's the first FO:


My bro, x-mas morning, sporting his new scarf. (He doesn't exactly love having his picture taken first thing in the morning, unshaven and in his pjs, but he still looks cute, right?)


DR.WHO SCARF!!!

Pattern: http://www.doctorwhoscarf.com/pattern2.php

Yarn: Lamb's pride bulky (colours: M-115, M-04, M-175, M-82, M-14, M-41, M-145)

Needles: 6mm Addi Turbos

My brother LOVES Dr.Who, and when I was trying to come up with something to knit him for x-mas, it seemed like a no-brainer. Until I did my research. Eighteen feet of garter stitch in sport weight?! I'd be lucky to get it finished in time for x-mas 2007! I made some major modifications, and crossed my fingers that my brother wouldn't be such a purist as to reject a Dr.Who 'inspired' scarf. Here's what I changed:

- I cast on 30 sts instead of the recommended 60.
- I knit half of the amount of rows suggested for each colour block
- sport weight became bulky
- garter stitch became stockinette (with 2 stitches of garter each side. Although, If I were to do it again, I'd knit it all in garter to prevent curling)

Despite all the changes, it's still undeniably a Dr.Who scarf. Most importantly my brother loves it!