Monday, January 30, 2006

Don't mess with the penguin

Scott, having safely traveled to Antarctica with his new beanie, has sent back pictures to show how much he's enjoying his new hat. (My thanks to the photographer, photoshopper, and fellow knitter who took the pictures, but I don't know the name of.) Scott also reports that he's gotten quite a few compliments on it... so much the better! I never thought my knitting would travel so far abroad. So just beware, if you have travel plans to Antarctica in the near future and run into Scott, don't mess with the penguin.

Also in the world of knitting requests, I've been asked to knit -- of all things -- legwarmers! Barb, one of the ladies that I drum with on occasion, can't seem to find any commercially produced legwarmers that suit her, so she asked if I could make her a pair. It's so much fun yarn shopping with other people, making them something from their purchase and seeing them smile.

Lastly, I got to put a few more rows on that lace shawl (Cozy) I recently started, and it is actually starting to look like the picture. Although I think the pattern looks more like leaves than feathers. But who cares, it's pretty either way!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Barter Cardi: done!

What a relief! Last night before I left for the gym, I finished the button loops, wove in a last few ends, and blocked that puppy. Juli's sweater now sits on the drying rack and my craft room is filled with the lovely aroma of wet wool. Yum. The sweet smell of project completion! (No, really. It smells good.) I used three towels to extract most of the excess water, but if I was smart, I probably would have just thrown it in the washer and put it through the spin cycle. Oh well. What's done is done. As soon as it's dry, I hope to sneak into Juli's office and leave her a little surprise!

As a reward for finishing one project, I started another. The contraband silk yarn I got from the LYS sale is now on the needles: Cozy from Knitty. It took precious minutes to wind the skein into a ball by hand, but I still managed to get 6 rows of the pattern done before I had to go work out. How come mine doesn't look like the picture? I'm sure it will after a few repeats...

Also, something I squeaked in under the radar: a catnip filled mouse for Dopie and Company. (They're three cats belonging to my friend Jeff.) This little rodent was great for using up scraps, as well as the last of my catnip. Good thing I'll be growing more this spring! Here's the finished product posing with my mouse at work.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Finishing by increments

Juli's sweater is still almost done. I managed to sew up the sleeve seam last night, but didn't get a chance to crochet on the button loops. Or sew on the buttons. That's it! Just two little things!! I want to get this thing blocked over the weekend and have it for her Monday.

I have been making progress on the cabled sweater though! It's grown noticeably since I began working on it since the months long hiatus I've taken from it. If all goes well, I might have it for next winter.

As it is, I hardly have time to update my blog. I've had this post sitting in purgatory since the 20th. And of course, Juli's sweater still isn't done. Maybe tonight. Maybe.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Knitting conundrum

What to knit next? I've been agonizing over that since I've gotten a few projects completed in record time, and I feel like starting more so I have plenty of WIPs to choose from. I dug through my cedar chest last night and unearthed some llama-paca (it's a blend, I think) sportweight yarn from the Fuzzy Farm I got a couplefew years ago that's been neglected. So I took all of it out, two skeins and a wound ball, and thought on it. For the longest time, I've wanted to make the Matthew scarf, but didn't have the skill to do so when I first found the pattern. In one of many knitting baskets I own now sits the seed stitch start of the scarf!! I'm not going to do the pattern exactly as it is written because I don't want a seaman's style scarf. Rather, I'll just use the lace pattern and do one continuous run of it until it's as long as I want. I'm not sure what my mileage will be with the yarn I've got, as the pattern calls for 4oz of sportweight yarn... I've got way more than that. Depending on what I end up with, I may make a coordinating hat (not like I need another one! or another scarf for that matter, but what the hell) and if I can stretch my yardage far enough, perhaps a second scarf as a gift. It's never too early to start knitting Christmas or birthday presents!! And I've got the 2nd Annual Jasmine Trust Silent Auction to consider, as well.

In consideration for a second project to start, perhaps after Juli's barter cardi is all done, I would like to give Cozy from Knitty a go. You see, my LYS had a sale and I found the exact yarn for the pattern. So, I bought it. (Don't tell!!!)

Also, I gave Scott his completed Antarctic Beanie complete with penguin patch! He loved it and has promised to send a picture of him wearing it while doing his Southern Hemisphere research on algae. I'm really looking forward to seeing it...

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

$0.45 Purse completed!

Okay, it's almost finished, but the knitting part is done! All I need to do now is get a zipper and figure out how to sew the damned thing in. I have good directions, so we'll see how well I can follow them.

Last night I also finished a hat for my friend Scott who is going to do reasearch in Antarctica. I found some nice Aurora 8 bulky weight (major squish factor!!) at my LYS in a dark sapphire blue color. He only wanted a simple "beanie" to keep his head warm, so it was easy enough to knit up in an evening! The pattern I used was from Jimmy Beans Wool. I didn't know they were in Reno... I'll have to visit them next time I go back. Or Truckee for that matter. It's a small world!

Friday, January 06, 2006

The $0.45 Purse (in progress)

When you find yarn at a thrift store for only 45 cents, how are you supposed to pass it up? I really couldn't help myself, so I bought the two skeins that were sitting quietly, sealed in a plastic baggie. They're by Brunswick Yarn, Casablanca, a discontinued line to be sure. If I remember correctly, the fiber content is 50% cotton, 25% linen, and 25% acrylic. I'm no fan of acrylic, but for the most part it looks and feels solely like a cotton/linen blend. And it takes cables fairly well! It's being worked in the round on a size 4 circular. This will be my replacement for Tasha (from Knitty) so I can take time to make badly needed repairs. In the meantime, I'm still weaving in ends for the Barter Cardi. Bleh.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The sewing... the horror!

Vacation was good seeing as I had plenty of time to knit. On the drive to TN and back, I finished my stocking cap made from my MI Fiber Festival handpainted yarn. I also whipped up a silly tasseled hat from my DaveSpun yarn, with some to spare -- I have no idea what I'll do with the remaining skein. When I returned home, I also completed the final Christmas present left on my list, the scarf. (Still working on that chart!) And of course for Christmas, my sweetie got me a (really nice) digital camera, so now I can take pictures of yarn and FOs to my heart's content. I just have to remember to bring the USB cable with me when I'm ready to download pictures! Grr.

While recovering from the flu this weekend, I finished knitting the body of the sweater of Juli's barter cardi. All that's left is to weave in ends (feh) and sew the dratted pieces together. *bloodcurdling scream of terror* Okay, it's not that bad, I know, but I really do hate sewing. I just want to get Juli her sweater before winter is over so she can wear it! She did such a lovely job on my quilt, and I feel guilty for not being done sooner. But I did have some good, valid excuses...

After I finished the second sleeve, I treated myself to some alternate knitting by working up half of a 14" pillow cover and starting a new purse for myself, seeing as my old Tasha from Knitty is beginning to fall apart at the strap and the lining needs to be replaced. Once the new purse is knit (self designed, too!), I will rip the lining out of the old one, knit in a new one, and try to salvage the selvedge on the strap that's coming apart. What else is in the waiting to be knit lineup? Lots and lots. That won't stop me from making a trip to my LYS for some Noro, enabling me to knit mittens for my winter coat. I feel validated, seeing as I've completed so many projects.

New Year's resolution: I don't have one.