Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Xmas Progress Report

One Xmas present, done but for a bindoff. I'll probably wait to block it until closer to Xmas, so it's nice and fresh when the recipient gets it. But that's the last you'll see of this one for now, in case the recipient looks at the blog between now and Xmas.
That is what's left of the yarn for Xmas present number 2. This one had been on the back burner until I finished number 1, but it's flying right along now. If the recipient wasn't coming home for Thanksgiving, I might even be done before December.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday By the Numbers

It feels like it's been forever since I've had a good Sunday post for you all, but I have lots of good, exciting stuff to show you this week, so let's get started:

1. Boom. One pair of mitts, just need a quick blocking and a photoshoot.  Right on schedule. And for the photoshoot:
2. OMYGODIHAVEAREALCAMERA. It's a Canon PowerShot SX170 IS and it's super pretty and shiny. I can't take any pictures with it yet, since I'm still waiting for a memory card to come, but I am so excited to not have to take all my FO pics with an iPhone anymore.
3. Having an actual camera is good, because I have this pile of samples that need to be photographed while Anemone's down here over Thanksgiving. Yup, I'm a little behind. I'm pretty sure I have another FO lying around somewhere that needs to be photographed too, so  I'll need to dig that out and use it for a trial run.

4. I also accidentally started a new design sample for the photoshoot. It's super quick, uses just a tiny bit of yarn, and is practically done already, so I don't feel bad.


5. Oh, I also have this little thing for you: Follow my blog with Bloglovin . Some of you are already following me on Bloglovin, so I thought I might as well make it official. 

That's it for now, I think. Thanksgiving is this week, so I have a metric ton of baking to get done before Thursday-two loaves of bread, a giant pan of cornbread, and a couple of pies.

Friday, November 21, 2014

A List of the Things I Get to Knit Once Xmas Knitting is Done

1. Tubularity-remember how I said I found the perfect pattern for my Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere? Boom. This is perfect, and it's going to be fantastic. Can't wait.
2. Purls and Seaweed Wrap Scarf-Cory has knit a couple of these, but I was especially taken with her pink one. I'm ripping her off just a little-I have four skeins of The Fibre Company's Road to China Light in Ruby and they are destined to become this. Delicious.
3. Flower Market Shawl-I've been in love with this pattern for ages, and I kind of went on a Road to China Light binge a few weeks ago and have four skeins in Agate that are screaming to become this. I need to do a tiny bit of gauge math to make sure I won't run out of yarn since it's sport weight instead of fingering, but I think I'll be okay.
4. Come Along, Pond-I love this thing. It's fabulous, looks amazing, and totally blends a wearable design with its Doctor Who inspiration. I have a skein of Colinette Jitterbug in Lapis that I had originally intended for my BOTI shawl before I realized there wasn't going to be enough yarn. It's just the perfect blue, and I think the colorway won't overpower the lace here.
5. Pip-this hat is super cute. Super, super cute. I don't have yarn for it yet, but I have a full punchcard at Athena Fibers and I bet I can find something perfect. But seriously. Super cute. And I need something that's not a scarf or shawl on this list.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

WIP: Pi Shawl

Disclosure time: sometimes I go on a kick and pick an old favorite knitting blog and read through all the archives in like a week. A couple of weeks ago, Glenna C was the victim of my binge-reading (but her blog really is fantastic and I love her work) and I got to read about all of her pi shawls again. I love them, I really do. I think they're charming, and cozy, and straightforward, and easy to knit, and perfect for when I'm sitting watching tv or reading and don't want to think too hard about what I'm doing.
So I'm shamelessly ripping her off. I am ashamed to admit that I don't own Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac, and I haven't ever requested it through inter-library loan, so I haven't actually read the pattern (considering how rarely I read the patterns I'm using anyway, this shouldn't make me feel as bad as it does). Basically, I took EZ's pi shawl shaping rules, which I'm familiar with thanks to the wonders of the internet, and Glenna C's note that she did the eyelet rounds every 6th round, and making it up from those pieces of information. I also plan to make up the garter stitch border that Glenna C used too, because I think it's cozy and charming.

I'm using Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Sock, in Maple Grey, but it doesn't look like this color is still available. I bought this stuff from Athena Fibers back in 2010 or 2011, and I've been holding onto it because I never really knew what to knit with it. It's not really colors that I wear a lot of (I totally just bought it because I wanted some of all the colors they had in stock-I love this yarn so much). However, they are really good neutrals, and I know they'll match several of my outfits-I just usually prefer my accessories to have a bit more color-and these colors will go great with my green corduroy jacket, so I decided to go ahead and take the plunge (I'm also not technically breaking my xmas-and-design-only rule, since I technically started this before that rule was in effect).


Monday, November 17, 2014

A Brief Xmas Update

Pretty surprisingly, Xmas knitting has been going very smoothly. Mum's present is almost done, and Anemone's yarn came on Friday and is off to a good start. I also got a shiny new yarn scale.
I've been wanting one for ages. I've been weighing things all weekend, and it's ridiculously exciting. I also started working on a new swatch with these yarns:
It's a lot of fun, and I really like it so far. Hopefully I'll have more to share with you guys soon.

I'm also really proud of myself right now. I finally found the perfect pattern for my Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere 2-ply, and I came really close to casting on for it this weekend. But I stopped myself. And if Xmas knitting keeps going the way it is, I'll be able to knit all the nice things for myself I want in a couple more weeks.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Second Mitt

I've mentioned having some really bad second mitt syndrome right now, but I don't think I've really shown you these yet. I know they look a little weird here, but I promise they're super awesome and might be one of my favorite pairs of hand things ever. Once they're actually a pair, that is.
What you see here is actually my second go at knitting the second hand, because the first time I messed up the rate of increases for the thumb (seriously, how did I do that? It's a friggin thumb, for crying out loud). But having to rip out back to the cuff and re-do it has pretty much cured my second mitt syndrome (fingers crossed). I still have a bunch of ribbing left, and the second thumb, but it's feeling less like a slog right now.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Some Yarn, a Swatch, and a Pile of Books

Remember the brown swatch I showed you the other day? Yup, it's gone now. I'm toying with a few different ideas, but this yarn is proving to be more difficult to work with than I thought. It's okay though, I can figure it out. We just need to get to know each other a little better. You know, have some wine, get a little adventurous, make a few more bad decisions.

I did get a moderately more successful swatch out of some other yarn though.
Aww, look at the cutie. There's a lot of good information here, and it's giving me lots to think about. This stuff is so soft too-100% baby alpaca. I've just been sitting on my sofa rubbing the swatch on my face all weekend.

Remember that promise I made to not start anything new until Xmas knitting was done? That is a really hard promise to keep. I'm so bored and I can't start anything fun. This is ridiculous. I need to stop making impossible promises to myself (I am conveniently forgetting that this promise is the only reason I'll get Xmas stuff done before December 24 and not be a raging mess of anger hormones and Irish coffee at 3am on Xmas morning).

On a different note, guess who scored big at the library book sale?
Soooo pretty. And only $2 each. Boom. I've been thinking about doing a Bronte sisters one-woman book club next year, but I think I'm going to have to squeeze in some quality time with these as well. Maybe I'll use these as motivation to get done with ASOIAF by the end of the year (I'm still stuck just over halfway through book 3, but I took this quiz and if I make myself read for 40 minutes every day I can get the rest of them done by the end of the year). I really wish there were more hours in a day.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

When Things Don't Go As Planned

I had a big plan for a post yesterday, but my wifi was down almost all day. So now you get this.

I was home sick with some blood sugar issues, so I decided to crank out part of Anemone's xmas present. I was nervous about running out of yarn, and about halfway through yesterday I was ready to tell you all about how I thought the project was cursed.
I don't think it's cursed. It is definitely cursed. I got the part I was most worried about done, and blocked it, and it's just not working. The project I'd picked out was one that would either be absolutely perfect and work so well, or one that would be terrible and unsalvageable. There was no in between, and it had to be scrapped. Thankfully, I made myself power through and figure that out yesterday, so I have time to start something new. I picked out a pattern, and yarn, and just have to wait for it to get here.

I did get a few rows done on my mum's xmas present though, and that's going pretty well so far. I also finished my orange mitts, so I can start bringing mum's present to work to knit over lunch. After finishing the orange mitts, I told myself I couldn't start anything new except for xmas presents and design samples until I was ready for xmas. Which means I'm hitting some serious second mitt syndrome on one of my pattern samples, so I started swatching today for a new one.

I think the swatch is turning into a sample, but I'll have to wait and see how it looks as it gets bigger. The plan I had for it didn't work out, so I'm just going to see how it goes.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

WIP: Dårlig Ulv Stranden

Oh hey, a new WIP, and it's definitely not Xmas knitting (is it just me, or is it really hard to get into the Xmas knitting mood this year? I don't have to panic yet, but I will soon, and that's not motivating me at all...).

I've had these mitts queued FOREVER. My best friend from middle and high school turned me on to Doctor Who back in 2007, and Doctor Who actually had a really strong influence on me deciding to start knitting. Anyway, three years later, when I actually started knitting and joined Ravelry, I found all these supermegacool Doctor Who-inspired knits-these mitts included (fellow Dr. Who nerds will note my project name for these and smile knowingly).
 I got this yarn (and now it's discontinued, because of course it is) at Athena Fibers over the course of a couple of years (I bought one skein in late 2010 because I liked the color, and then I bought one more in mid 2011 when I decided it would be perfect for these mitts, and then I bought another skein of it in the spring of 2012 because I was afraid I wouldn't have enough, and it's really hard to find decent orange yarn). Then I noted the yarn in my queue, and I promptly ignored it for the next couple of years.

Guys, I'm really good at procrastinating. I don't even know what made me pull these out a couple weeks ago except for the sheer desire to just get them out of my freaking queue already. The first one knit up pretty quickly, but I think I'm hitting second-mitt syndrome on the second one. I'm working these without a cable needle, and I've messed with the cables so that the mitts are a mirrored pair and that each mitt is mirrored as well (I have a thing about mirroring cables and symmetry. It's kind of pathetic, actually).
I'm really pleased with the first one though, and while I was a little hesitant about the color when the yarn was balled up, it's knitting up beautifully. This yarn is so squishy and bouncy, and it has great stitch definition-so it's pretty perfect for these! I'm hoping to get them done soon so I can kick myself into gear on my Xmas knitting, but....I'm reeeeaaaallllly good at procrastinating.

Monday, November 3, 2014

New Pattern: Lisbet

I have a new pattern out today, and it's perfect for those of you who may be starting to panic about holiday knitting. This cowl is super warm and works up quickly. It's a fun little one-skein project-only 25 rounds, and the cables add just enough interest to make you want to keep going.
Ravelry pattern page is here!