Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Current WIPs

My Celtic Icon is nearing completion. 2 sleeves are finished and sewn on, all that is left is the sides of the hood and the left side has been started. Of course, I also still need to buy a zipper and sew it in, and I haven't blocked the sleeves, so there will be some blocking going on too, but those things are fairly minor, right?
My second sock is also moving along, thanks in part to about 4 hours of knitting time yesterday while I did my civic duty and appeared for jury duty. I was never called to a court room, which meant that I had lots of uninterrupted knitting time.
After I finished with jury duty I went home and cast on for a Newsboy Cap from one of the Stitch and Bitch books. I have a cold right now and that has sapped some of my energy, so I knit on this while lying in bed and occasionally napping. The hat seems to move fairly quickly and I hope to have it done by the end of the weekend.

Thats about all there is to report from Boston. Have a good one!

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Blobs

I've been a terrible blogger lately, but I haven't had anything to share, really. I have been working on things, but they're in various states of blobness. I have blobs of knitting everywhere but nothing truly blogworthy. However, last weekend, I knit my first Herringbone Fingerless Mitt. I used Wool Cotton from my stash that seemed destined for stash oblivion until this project emerged.


I really enjoyed knitting this, but this was an exercise in re-learning fair isle knitting. Mostly, it involved getting comfortable with just how loose your floats have to be to keep the pattern from looking pinched. I finally got into the swing of it toward the end, but the sections near the wrist could use a little work. The second one is turning out much better. This project did help me to remember that I really do like stranded knitting and I think perhaps I should do more of it. I have a long-term goal of knitting a Dale of Norway sweater, so perhaps I can dream?

I am also working on a self-designed raglan sweater in Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed for which I have almost finished the second sleeve, at which point I will join into one big blob for the yoke. I am also making a Drive Thru out of Cotton-Ease for the fair Savannah. That is a more diversionary project that will be finished soon, at which time I will return to the raglan.

I also did some damage at the Two Sisters and Ewe sale where I bought a total of 12 skeins of Cascade 220, enough for two sweaters in some smokin' colors, projects TBD. All of that yarn only set me back around $60.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Sock

After writing about how I haven't been inspired by socks for awhile, I went out and bought some Noro Kureyon Sock yarn. The start of the sock was shown in my last post. Now, I have managed to have one finished sock. I started the second sock last night. Unfortunately my toe on my second sock is going to be different than the toe on the first but I don't feel like tearing it out and starting again. I also screwed up on my guesset and heal on the first one, so I think I will correct that problem on the second. I like the stripes on these socks and the Kureyon yarn actually isn't bad to wear, and is sort of nice on the feet, in fact, I didn't want to take the sock off and wanted to wear it out right away. Of course, I did take it off because going out with two totally different socks probably wouldn't have been appropriate.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Another Day of Hodge Podge

Celtic Icon continues, though it is moving slowly. I have finished the first sleeve up to the raglan shaping. Before starting the raglan shaping I need to visit a raglan shaping calculator to make sure that I do my decreases right--for those that know these things, does raglan shaping on sleeves always match the shaping on the body of the sweater?

I know have the body done, some of the hood (the cabled section) and 3/4ths of one sleeve. Hopefully, I will have an actual sweater before too much longer.

During some time that I should have been working on my sweater, I finished the second of my herringbone mitts. I am very pleased with these. They are shorter than I have been making wristwarmers, but that seems to be ok. I have also managed to end them at the point where I can still knit with them on, so that is a very good thing. I wore them all yesterday and have had them on since I left my apartment today. In the center of my hands is a sock that I started yesterday. I needed a travel project, the sweater is too big.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Warming the Hands

About 2 summers ago I went on a sock kick. Basically, the focus of my summer knitting was socks and only socks. I sort of lost interest in socks after awhile and haven't knit many pairs since then. This winter I feel like I am on a wrist warmer kick. In Novemberish I knit a pair of long malabrigo wrist warmers which were inspired by Hurry Up Spring. The warmers are a bright screaming red, and very thick (worsted weight yarn thickness) which means that I can't wear them under close fitting blouses or sweaters. They are great for outdoor wear on chilly days. Unfortunately, after about a week of wear they looked very worn (the down side of malabrigo)
Because of the deficiencies with my red Malabrigo mitts, I made a second pair this winter. Again, I chose Malabrigo yarn, this time, though, Malabrigo laceweight yarn. These mitts are good for indoor use, when my hands get chilly (all winter long) and since they are thin they fit well under close fitting tops. Unfortunately, they are purple. Not a sublte purple either. Also, since they are again Malabrigo, they look really worn already.

Since my recent mitts (I had 3 pairs before) are all looking really worn, it was time to start a new pair. I had been feeling pulled to one pair that I saw through ravelry, but then K sent me a link to a pair of herringbone patterned mitts and I was sold.

Because most of the mitts I own don't really go with my work wardrobe, I wanted to find colors that were tamer, and closer to neutral (though I didn't really want neutral). I chose to work with Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino yarn in brown and a dusty lavender, both of which they had a Windsor Button. I cast on for the first. I decided to add a picot edging to the top and bottom of the mitts and made the wrist part longer than it was in the original mittens that these are based on. This is perhaps a tad smaller than would ideally be comfortable, but adding more than a stitch or two would make them too loose, so adding a whole pattern repeat was out of the question. Now I have one down and a second one started.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Left and Right

Another weekend has been spent knitting, and actually, it has been a week since I last posted. What do I get after a week of knitting? Well, I get a left front of Celtic Icon and a right front of Celtic Icon. I also had some time to block the back of Celtic Icon, though I have no photos of the blocked back.

I also get a finished tri-color (I was using left over yarn) reverisble, ribbed braided cable, short scarf.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Look at Me, Look at Me!

I got to wear my new sweater today - and I was so thrilled when I finally got to put it on:


Can't you tell?! It fits perfectly! Trust me, I had my doubts because I tried it on frequently and it just seemed a little wonky. Blocking did the trick, though. When I put it on, it was still a little damp but I just couldn't wait. Today was the last day of this little "cold" spell we've been having so I really wanted to wear it today before it was too late. The specs are:

Pattern: Cozy V-Neck Pullover, designed by Stephanie Japel, published in Fitted Knits
Yarn: Cascade Eco Wool +, which is the dyed version of Eco Wool
Needle: Size 10, for both stockinette and ribbing portions
Size: 42" chest

I LOVE this sweater! It's one of my favorites that I've ever made. So, it just goes to show you that even if it doesn't look so great while you're knitting it, you never can tell how wonderful it will be in the end.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Churning out Boring Sweaters

I guess it's the nature of working on a major project like a thesis. My brain is so taken up with work stuff that I don't have any intelligence left for things like knitting. Take the Cozy V-Neck Pullover from Fitted Knits. This is probably the simplest sweater I have ever knit. In fact, I wish it had been my first sweater. There is literally no shaping anywhere except for the neckline. The sleeves get their shape from ribbing that starts on the upper arm. This means that there are only a handful of things one can screw up. The first is the aforementioned neckline shaping. The second is grabbing the correct size needle from the collection and creating knit and purl stitches. So, what did I screw up? That's right - the neckline shaping and the needle size. On the day I began knitting the sweater, I had to rip out about two inches of progress because I hadn't done the neckline increases correctly. This is because I hadn't read the pattern closely enough. Hmmm. Secondly, on that very same day, I grabbed a size 10 needle thinking it was a 10 1/2 needle. The day I started this project was clearly an unusually stressful day. When my gauge swatch turned out too small, I figured it would all work out. Oddly enough, it did. The sweater turned out to be the size I chose to make, although it fits a bit more snugly than I'd intended. All in all, though, I think this project is a success, despite my errors. Here it is, blocking:


It should be dry in a day or two. It's really soft and snuggly so I'm looking forward to wearing it.