Monday, March 31, 2008

Yarn Harlot in NYC on Wednesday

The Yarn Harlot is going to be in NYC on Wednesday. I am really hoping to attend. Thing is that this is the week before conference. So I have to have things done before I can leave. But I am hoping that I can be there. But I definitely suspect I can't get there too early. So I will be standing. But hey, it would be great to hear her speak.

Borders - Columbus Circle

If you are going, let me know.

Rethink on Blue Jeans Lace Leaf Shawl

I completed 15 repeats. I was thinking I was going to go with 30 repeats. However, holding it to my back, it isn't going to be long enough.

I was figuring it would be 25", which is 30 repeats. 15 repeats is measuring 12 1/2", so I was right with the count. However, it doesn't feel long enough. So now I am figuring on 35 repeats. It will just make it about 2" longer, but I suspect that is better overall.

Then again, I might get further along in this and decide I am done. *laugh* But we will see.

So that means I am only 15% done. Whee.

I am glad I will have this with me for the plane to and from Arizona. It will give me a good chunk of knitting time. Though the flight home is a red eye so I suspect I will be sleeping, not knitting. But I am hoping that I can still get some done in the evenings.

I still need a super simple project for knitting during the meetings. I had the bulky baby kimono last conference and that worked out really well. I just can't seem to find a simple pattern that is all one piece. Most seem to be pieces that will need to be sewn together. And I confess. I am lazy! I hate piecing after the fact.

Hmmm. I could do another Tomten with the Lion Brand Suede I have. It would look very different than the one I did for littlest George. I could do that for my grand niece Trinity for Xmas. Getting an early start wouldn't be bad. And I can always oversize it a bit so I know it will fit her. Hmmm. Thinking this is a very good idea.

I might send Paul to the library for another EZ book. I have been tempted to try the baby surprise sweater. So that is another thought.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Azalea Malabrigo Blue Jeans Lace Leaf Shawl - 10% Done

I figure I would like the shawl to be coming to touch my tush. This is about 25" on me. So I measured the repeats to see. And I think I need to do 30 repeats to get the length I want. Mind you, I might tweak that along the way in either direction, but that is my thought currently.

Azalea Malabrigo Blue Jeans Lace Leaf Shawl - 10% Done

Cast On:
March 19 2008

Blue Jeans Lace Leaf Shawl by XXXX


US 5 / 3.75 mm Knitpicks Harmony

Malabrigo Yarn Lace in Azalea Colorway
Purchased on sale from Pick Up Sticks
Have 3 skeins but I don't think it will take more than 1- 1 1/2 skeins.

I still feel the pattern is probably more busy than it should be for the yarn. But I also decided, I don't care. I like it. And that pattern is interesting enough that I am enjoying it. It looks good. And if I had to do this much stockinette in lace weight for a shawl, I would go batty! *laugh* So I will continue with it.

I like that it is only an eight row repeat. I definitely find the more I do it, the more I get used to it. So I am getting a bit faster with my knitting, though not as much as I would hope really. Because the yarn is very thin and there numerous k3 togethers, I have to look at the project. So really not ideal tv knitting. It hasn't stopped me sometimes, but only with shows where I know if I am not looking it won't be too bad. *grin*

Because I am a geek, I decided to figure out how long I had to knit before I was X% done. Because each repeat is getting more stitches, it was interesting to calculate it. Silly, I know. But I like having an idea of how far in I am. The funniest part is that if this is indeed 30 repeats, I am 10% done, despite having 11 repeats completed. *laugh* For the next 5-6 repeats, there is 5% more every other row or so, then it 5% for every repeat to the end.

I need to get something else on my needles. I am just debating what. I have the Scout's Swag Soctober colorway that is still begging for a pattern. I am holding off in hopes it will work for the April Sock Knitters Anonymous KAL. If I have some time today, I will take a look at the patterns available for the KAL.

I also need something super simple for my work conference. Last time I was working on a baby kimono for my niece. It was mostly stockinette with very basic shaping. So I could knit it without looking which is critical with conference. I have to be able to drop it any time to make notes. I suspect I can find something in that ilk that will work. Could always start prepping for next Xmas, right? *chuckle*

The plus side is that I have 5-6 hours of knitting on a plane on the trip out to AZ. So I am guessing I will get a nice chunk of the lace shawl done then. Woohoo.

Time to get some work done. This week has been kinda crazed. I am glad that I had Pandora radio on to keep me happy while working.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Music to Knit To...?

Found via Snuffywump's blog.

Pandora Radio is streaming music. But you pick favorite artists 'stations' which play the band songs or similar artists. You can say yay or neigh on different songs of artist. From there, it will also make suggestions.

Given I just do not spend the time to search out new music these days, I am really enjoying it. So far I have only listened to a few of the stations of my fav bands. But there is a quick mix option which I am guessing will use my favs to create more customized listening. But I haven't tinkered with that yet.

On the down side there are ads. And it will only allow you to skip so many songs per hour. But hey, it is free. So it may be worth a listen.

I am guessing this is probably old news for some of you. But I am really enjoying it. I suspect I will put this on tonight while doing some more lace knitting.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Two Projects in a Weekend

I am happy. I finished two projects in a weekend. It helps that I wanted to give them away on Sunday. But still. I am glad to feel like they were completed quickly.

These quickie projects are a nice contrast to the shawl. I suspect the shawl will be on my needles for quite some time. But I am actually making more progress than I figured so that is nice.

Quicky Purse for Denise's Sister

Cast On:
March 21, 2008

Completed :
March 22, 2008

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Knitted Bag from Reader's Digest The Complete Knitting Set

Made for:
Denise's Sister

US 6 / 4.0 mm Knitpicks Options

New Relax Wool in Bordeaux
Purchased at School Products in New York City, New York

I made this purse in the fall. It was part of the Reader's Digest The Complete Knitting Set. I gave the one from the kit to my grand niece. (No I am not that old! My nieces and nephews are around my age.) She didn't seem to care for it as it didn't play music or beep. *laugh*

However, her aunt raved about it and wanted to know if I sold them. *chuckle* So I figured it would be nice to give one someone who actually appreciated it.

It is a very quick project. In about 2 hours of knitting, I have half of the purse done. And it was some relaxed, tv knitting. Definitely a plus. The handles and finishing work took as long as the purse body to complete. *laugh*

This one was knit out of the New Relax. It is a wool I bought in a cone. Though doing it in the wool (rather than the acrylic provided with the kit) means I needed to block it. There was a good bit of pulling from the cable so I needed to get it to flatten out. I finished the body on Friday so I could block it. I figured I need to complete it by then otherwise it wouldn't be dry in time which was correct. It was still damp on Saturday.

I liked the cable so I did it on both sides. The pattern suggest garter for the center for the entire back. But I think it looks better with both sides having some design.

I added a bead for the closure. It was a large glass bead that I think matched the color nicely.

I gave it to Denise on Sunday (Easter) when I went up to visit my family. It worked out well as she was going over to see her family. So it was good timing.

It was definitely nice to have it done so quickly!

Lilly Hat for Trinity

Cast On:
March 22, 2008

March 23, 2008

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Lilly Hat by Larissa Brown
Modifications with help of Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns

Made for:
Size 6-24 months

US 10 1/2 / 6.5 mm Knitpicks Options

Lion Brand Chunky USA in Napa Grape
0.25 skeins = 38.8 yards (35.4m)

I definitely liked the pattern. It was super easy and quick to knit up.

I did this with a much thicker yarn than the project suggested. However, I found it was good as Trinity is a large baby for her age! So the hat will actually fit her. I pulled out the Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns to check how long the hat should be.

I also added some yarn overs to give it a lacier look without getting it to be too open.

Trinity's mom seemed to like the hat which is what matters most at this point. *smile* Though I did learn that Trinity doesn't like to have anything on her head currently. I am all the more glad it is on the large size with plenty of stretch. This way she can wear it when she gets bigger and stops fussing about hats.

I was working on this in the car on the drive to CT for Easter. I was glad it got done in time. Though I admit that I would also like to have done a hat for Littlest George as well. I am sure his folks would have liked it. But I didn't have time to do it. I should have started sooner. Ah well. I am tempted to make one in fair isle with the same colors as the Tomten sweater I made for him.

I have to say that the Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns is probably the most useful pattern book I have bought. I reference it a lot when I am tweaking patterns. I find it is great being able to figure out the specs I need to tweak patterns. I definitely use it a good deal.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Azalea Malabrigo Blue Jeans Lace Leaf Shawl & Quickie Purse

Here is the start of my first knitted shawl. It is only 36 rows into it.

Azalea Malabrigo Blue Jeans Lace Leaf Shawl - Start

It says to repeat the 8 row repeat until I have "added 21 repeats ( starting to count with the very first one on the tip of the shawl) end with a WS row!". So does that mean another 17? Given the pattern says it can be shorter or longer, I guess I will just see when I get there. I have plenty of yarn to do it.

Cast On:
March 19 2008

Blue Jeans Lace Leaf Shawl by XXXX


US 5 / 3.75 mm Knitpicks Harmony

Malabrigo Yarn Lace in Azalea Colorway
Purchased on sale from Pick Up Sticks
Have 3 skeins, will work 1 skeins = 470.0 yards (429.8m) and see whether I want to do more.

I confess. I am not sure if the yarn works with the colorway. I think the colorway might be too busy for the shawl. But I do like it so far. So I think I will keep going.

This is my first lace project that isn't on socks. I admit I am a bit nervous about it. But also kinda excited.

I had to rip out the beginning at least 4-5 times to get it right. Also, I started off with the Knitpick Options metal size 6 needle. It was way too slippery. I switched to a size 5 Harmony wood needle as I don't have a size 6. It is definitely working better.

The Options were just too slick. Things kept sliding off and it wasn't really working well. I am glad I picked up the Harmony. Though does this mean I should pick up more of the Harmony needles...? Hmmmm.

The repeat isn't too bad. Though I confess I wish there was some way I could figure to use stitch markers to figure out the repeat. There are markers on each end as the pattern says, but I fear what will happen when this gets wider. If there is a mistake, it might be challenging to figure out what happened. And ripping out lace would be a nightmare. So I have to be careful.

I suspect lace knitting will get better at it with time. It is taking some getting used to lace yarn. It is much thinner.

I fear this won't be tv knitting. There is just too much going on with it to keep track.
I did find that I was able to knit without looking as much with the wrong side rows. But I still need to keep an eye on things. When I am not looking at my knitting it is because I can feel the yarn. With how thin the yarn is, that isn't likely to happen as easily.

It is definitely interesting. I am glad I am trying it. I hope I like the finished results. Though heaven knows it will be a long time before I figure out what they will be. *laugh*

Quickie Purse

I also decided to cast on a tiny purse from the Reader's Digest Complete Knitting Set. I did one for Ashley, my grand niece. (And no, I am not that old. I have nieces and nephews around my age.) Her aunt loved it and asked if I sold them. I said no, but I figured it would be nice to give it to someone who liked the piece. Mind you, Ashley barely opened her Xmas pressie of two purse I knit her. *shrugs* So the fact that someone else likes it encouraged me. *laugh* It is also super simple and very quick.

I have about half of it done already. Half the bag part is done. The cord takes a bit longer. The pattern says to just braid them. But I have a spool knitter that creates a very nice cord. Though I do wonder if there is a way with crochet to make a cord much quicker. Might have to check into that.

The kit came with acrylic. That didn't need blocking. But the wool definitely does!I figure I need to complete the bag part tonight so I can block it. Otherwise it won't dry in time.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring Socks

I just finished these yesterday. The timing is kinda perfect given it is the first day of spring. The colors are definitely on target for that. And I am wearing them today.

Cast On:
March 3 2008

March 19 2008

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Combo of
Basic Sock Pattern from The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns
The stitch pattern of Ladder of Life socks
both by Ann Budd

Made for:
Me - 9 1/4" circumference & length

US 3 / 3.25 mm Knitpick Options & Harmony
2 socks on 2 circs method

Sarah's Yarns 100% Bamboo
Handdyed by me
1.2 skeins = 120 grams / 342 yards

I combined two of the Anne Budd patterns. I took the # of stitches and design from her basic sock pattern in the "The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns". The stitch pattern is from her Ladder of Life.

The Ladder of Life requires 5 sts = 1”. Too large for most of my socks. But I figured the pattern would flatter the self-striping yarn I dyed. It is enough to keep me interested, yet simple enough to be a good knit right now.

Things are kinda crazed so I really wanted some comfort knitting. Something familiar yet also bright. I think this definitely fit the bill.

I cast on 64 stitches. However, I found it was too big. So I decreased the stitches to 56 so I could keep the pattern going. It also gave me a larger area over the calf which I tend to need.

I think I liked the hand dyeing I did more before I knit it. I think I didn't lay it out well. The stripping didn't come out even because of the yarn. I tried to match them but quickly gave up on that as they weren't lining up right. I need to figure out how to do it better next time. I think I understand what I did wrong. I think the piece I was using pulled in the more yarn I laid out. So that the length of the stripes was not consistent. I know how to fix that for next time and have the pieces to do it. So I hope my next self-striping attempt will be better.

The socks feel great on. They are very soft. And there is a nice sheen to the yarn. I am still concern about the memory of the socks. But I am hopeful that they will work well. I am finding they fall down a bit. But I suspect I didn't make the top tight enough. I still like them and suspect they will be ideal summer socks.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Shawl Thoughts

Note on Thursday, 20th - I went with the Blue Jeans one...

I am debating casting on a shawl. I have the yarn. It is Malabrigo Yarn Lace.

The yarn is very different in colors, red, black & purple. So I fear anything with too much pattern will get lost. But I want to try something interesting.

I haven't taken pics, but there are a couple similar ones on Flickr:

I have 3 skeins, which is around 1410.0 yards according to Ravelry.

Of course, the pattern I think would work with the yarn in the Folk Shawl book is a very different weight (DK vs. Lace). So I don't think I will do that. Given this is my first large lace project, I should stick with something where I am not tweaking it given I am not sure of how it works.

I have sorta narrowed it down:

Blue Jeans Lace Leaf Shawl Pattern -
Ravelry has some of these in more complex yarns and they still seem to hold up okay. So at the moment I am leaning towards this one. But I am not sure.

Flower Petal Shawl -

Think this might be the best match to the yarn. But I also fear as a lot of it is stockinette that I will get really bored. I also confess. The thought of purling back every row is not so appealing.

Kiri -
(The pattern is a pdf. So I don't think you can see it.
Like this one a lot, but not sure it will look good with the yarn.

Wild Flower Shawl -
I think this might wait for a simpler yarn. Though it might look pretty with the yarn I have.

I admit I am most tempted by something that starts at the tip and works up. That way if for some reason I really don't care for lace knitting, I can stop when I feel it is done. Also, that way I know I have enough yarn. And it I have more, I could make it longer.

I am certainly open to suggestions!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Alpaca Moebius Cowl

Cast On:

March 8 2008


March 9 2008

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Moebius Cowl by Cat Bordhi,2025,DIY_14142_4894528,00.html

Made for:

Me probably. Though I am thinking this project is perfect xmas gift knitting.


US 10 Knitpicks Options

Tried 47" as suggested. But went down to 36"


Catalina Yarns Baby Alpaca Worsted in Deep Eggplant

0.7 skeins = approximately 152.6 yards

I thought this project might be nice with the Catalina alpaca. I figured it would be good to wear under my coat to keep wool away from my neck.

Casting on and the first row were definitely the challenging part. However, after that, it is basic knitting.

I cast on 80 stitches as stated in the pattern. I think I probably knit them too tightly. I found the 47” circ too large. I went down to a 36" circ and found that was easier for me to use. The 47” was stretching it too much.

I was so glad I saved the episode of Knitty Gritty with this item. I don’t know if I ever would have gotten it started otherwise.

It was a very fast project. I am not a fast knitter yet I completed it within about 10 hours of knitting time. I think I might do the pattern for some xmas gifts.

I have 30 gms of the alpaca left! I really wasn’t sure if I would have enough yarn when I started. I like the overall finished piece. Also, the alpaca is going to be nice and warm. Definitely good. And the yarn is sooo very soft and yummy.

It was nice to have a quick knit like this while I was home with a sick kitty last weekend. And getting to do this while my darling hubby was away was probably for the best as I could rewind the Knitty Gritty again and again to figure out the cast on & first row.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Coriolis Socks in Lisa Souza Mars Quake

I just finally got around to posting the pics for this one. I am wearing the socks today and really like them.

Cast On:

February 16 2008


March 1 2008

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Master Coriolis by Cat Bordhi

From New Pathways for Sock Knitters

Made for:

Me - Size 9 shoe, 9" at ball, 9 1/4" long


Lisa Souza Sock! in Mars Quake

75% Superwash Wool/25% Nylon

0.8 skeins = 90 grams / 360 yards


US 1 1/2 / 2.5 mm

Knitpicks Options and Harmony

2 socks on 2 circs method

I definitely like this pattern. It is actually pretty easy and looks good.

I found that I had to do the heels one at a time. Given the short rowing, there is no way to do both at the same time. Next time I would just remove one sock from the needles and put it on a holder. I slid the stitches around twice and found there was no reason to do that.

Of course, I didn’t realize at the time I paired the yarn and the pattern that it is a similar colorway to the one on the cover of New Pathways!

I made two sets of the letter markers in different colors. This made it very easy to spiral the sock in the correct direction. I also used the A marker of one sock and B for the second. It was marked this way at the beginning of the pattern. However, after the heel, they both would have been marker E (she has you change to c & d for the heel, leaving e for the marker for the swirl).

I think next time after the heel I would start another swirl at the opposite side. I think that would add more visual interest.

I did do increase along the leg as Cat suggested in the pattern. The stockinette of the leg doesn’t have a lot of give so I wanted to make sure it wasn’t too tight. Also, my calves are pretty bulky. So it means they fit nicely.

I really like the way these came out. Only wish I had finished them on Friday, Feb. 29th so they would have been within the same month they were started. Just me being silly. *laugh*

I suspect I will make the pattern again sometime. I like it and it really accentuates a yarn wonderfully.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Lost: Medium Red GoKnit Bag, Size 5 Knitpicks Circ & 8 oz of Black Alpaca

(I am also posting this on my livejournal.. But I figured I would post it here as more of youwill understand my sadness.)

I was walking from the PATH station at 14th and 6th Ave to a doctor’s appointment at Union Square East (14th & 4th Ave.) today at aout 3:15-3:30.

I had my Medium Red GoKnit Bag attached to my purse. Inside were my Size 5 Knitpicks Options Circ & 8 oz of black sport weight Alpaca. It is the sweater I started.

If anyone found, I would appriecate it back. I am willing to give some reward or something.
Without the yarn, I will probably not be able to finish the sweater I started. I bought the yarn at Rhinebeck and am not even sure I can purchase more to match.

*sigh* This is so not good. This has been a tough day. It was already rough as I had to rush my cat into the vet’s as she is having trouble moving. She is improving I think. But this has so not been a good day... *sigh*

The problem is now I am not sure I have enough. I *think* I may. But I am not sure. I purchased 5 skeins to be sure. It is sport weight. Raverly calculates the 4 skeins at 2768.0 yards. I am hoping that is enough to complete a sweater, but I am honestly not sure.