Monday, January 28, 2008

Two steps forward, one step...

So, two of my single socks now have mates:

Soltice Slip socksLenore Socks

Soltice Slip and Lenore Socks from my sock club
Socks that Rock Lightweight in Firebird and Lenore
US 1 needles

I liked both of these kits. The Lenores are a beautiful black with red, and I like cables so that Soltice Slip socks are very nice (they also have a garter stitch short row heel, similar to a previous kit that I find really pleasing). No real pooling on either. That makes 4/6 sock kits finished for the 2007 Rockin Sock Club, really its 4/5 because I JUST received the final shipment last week (when everyone else was getting the first shipment of 2008, I haven't received it yet of course, here we go again...). My first shipment was lost in the mail, and I had to be patient with all of the problems they had with shipping around Christmas, and then they had to dye more skeins, and I get stuff so slowly through the mail...They really were very nice throughout it all. It must be a nightmare dealing with the post office, I am sure. Anyway, I fully appreciate what a spoiler is now, I am going to be much more aware of that from now on and hopefully not contribute.

So, I had to reward myself, and what better than a nice Malabrigo hat?

Simple Hat from Cables Untangled

A Simple Hat from Cables Untangled by Melissa Leapman
Malabrigo merino worsted in Golden Ochre, less than 1 skein
US 6 needles

I love this hat! I don't know about you, but knitting cables really make me feel like a good knitter, like I really know what I am doing. I love that these are braided, although my hands were a little sore after knitting this. And, MalabrIgo, wonderful as usual. This is hat # 3 for me with it, the colors are beautiful, and it makes a soft, warm, and just slightly fuzzy hat. The golden ochre did threaten to pool at the top of the hat, but I don't think its too bad.

Now, its a beautiful hat that will get used. But, what I should have been doing ... While I do not do well with deadlines, something that I love to do is to knit something for vacation in order to get excited for the trip. Really, this is how I got back into knitting almost 2 years ago: I took a trip across Canada on the train (great trip, my first time in the Canadian Rockies and Vancouver - both beautiful places, and then Toronto is such a cool city), and I was at Borders looking for travel books when I came across a Knit1, their travel issue. I made socks, a passport cover, and a luggage tag, and enjoyed them on the trip, and just kept knitting once I returned! So, I am taking a trip to Montreal with my sister for our birthdays this year in a little over 2 weeks, and I decided that I must knit an Iceland sweater from Rowan 42 for this trip. Montreal, February, cold, Iceland...
Anyway, here is where I am:
Beginnings of Iceland
1 skein.
But it is a bulky knit on big needles and the first skein is learning the pattern so it takes longer, right? We will see....

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Here we go 2008!

Its my first FO of 2008! My unoriginal (but only 45 yard) hat:
an unoriginal 1 skein hat

Top view An unoriginal (but only 45 yard) hat

An Unoriginal Hat by the Yarn Harlot
Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky Naturals, ONE SKEIN!!!! (thats 45 yards)
US 15 and 10.5 needles
Blue Sky

Yes, I am very proud that I knit this out of one skein, and a very small skein that has been sitting in my stash forever because I only had one skein of it and didn't know what to make! The original unoriginal hat (see above) was made out of variegated yarn and very nice, but I am really happy with the plain yarn: I love the stitch definition, and the cables really stand out this way.

So, the modifications: I only cast on 42 stitches (1 less pattern repeat around) and used size 15 (US) needles. I planned to use 15s the whole way, but ran out at the decreases. So, I ripped back, and did the decreases on 10.5 needles, skipping the non-decrease row in the decreases. And it fits! I like a hat that sits over my ears, and this does, but barely. I may try to block it to make it longer, but I wore it out tonight (and it was cold out there) and I think it will work as is.

Now, I have to work on some of my single socks. They are starting to get out of control and unfortunately I added one this week:
Pomatomas sock #1
Its a Pomatomus from Knitty. I am using some old Koigu (also from the stash) and am very happy with these so far: the colors are working perfectly with the pattern (and a little aquatic I think), and the pattern is so cool! In my defense for casting on another pair of socks (I had 6, now 7 socks awaiting mates) these were my vacation socks, for my trip to Florida last week. I saw it as a perfect Florida project because of the pattern (water-themed) and colors (teal, purples, oranges). I wanted to pack light but have enough to knit for the 5 days I was there so I had to start a new pair!

Friday, January 4, 2008

End of the year organizing...and blogging...and a new FO!

This blog is in need of both! Its been a while since I blogged, and a few things on this blog have gotten out of date. Its been driving me a bit crazy, and causing a vicious cycle of not wanting to deal with it so not blogging, things getting even more behind, and so on.

And, as I love the end of the year recaps on the news channels.... is my year of knitting (finished projects):
(from L to R, by rows, not all of these were blogged about (I'm not a year yet!), so I put details in where needed)
1. Mitered Mittens (see below), 2. Huckleberry Ascot, 3. Fetching, 4. Koolhaas Hat, 5. Central Park Hoodie, 6. New York Hat (from Magnits, Jan 2007), 7. Eyelet Cardigan, 8. Foilage Hat, 9. Chunky Ribs and Ruffles Scarf (free pattern from Misti Alpaca, here, made with Misti Alpaca Chunky), 10. Grasshopper Socks (Kit #2 from the Sock Club, using Socks that Rock Silkie in Walking on the Wild Tide), 11. Fitted Tank, 12. Cropped Poncho #4 (from Rebecca 32), 13. Fingerless Mitts from Loop, 14. Clementine Shawlette, 15. Calla Tank, 16. Monkey Socks, 17. Inside Out socks, 18. Shedir hat (from Knitty's Fall 2004 Surprise, Rowan Calmer), 19. Calorimetry (from Knitty, Winter 2006, in leftovers from the thrummed mitts) 20. Fleece Artist Thrummed Mittens (from this kit, in Fleece Artist Blue Face Aran and roving).

Observations? My favorite finished knit is the Misti Scarf, its soft and long and keeps me warm but I like the way it looks worn loosely draped inside as well. I probably wear the Shedir hat the most, its cotton so not the warmest, but I love the fit and cables. My most significant project was the Central Park Hoodie, and I am starting to wear it more as it gets cold. I have a pitiful showing for the Rockin Sock Club, just 2/6 socks finished (although, pout, I haven't recieved the Dec shipment yet, they shipped it 2 weeks ago but I guess with the holidays there have been problems and I have to sit tight for now. I have one sock done on another shipment, and a start on another shipment, I am going to make something else with the Summer of Love shipment - at least all of the yarn is accounted for!)

And, since I haven't blogged for over a month, I have a FO to report:
Mitered Mittens - done
Mitered Mittens from Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitters Almanac, May Pattern
Yarn: Noro Kureyon color 154, 2 skeins, but only because I wanted to match the colors - I made these with long cuffs, you could make shorter ones and definitely use just one skein)
Neeldes: US 8 DPNs

I love the color for the winter:
Mitereds in Action
I like to wear black coats, and its dreary enough in the winter (those Cleveland winters were worse for the lack of sunlight than the cold and snow) so these brighten up the outfit. Its an afterthought thumb (scary!), so I used the part of the skein that would come next after the mitten tip and I got happy orange thumbs! It also shows how different these mitts could have looked if I started at a different part in the skein.
Mitered Mittens
This was an easy pattern, of course well written, quick, and I didn't make any modifications except to make an extra long cuff. And, as you can see, its finally cold here! (I love winter) and I just love wearing these!

Thanks for reading, and I wish you all a happy New Year!