Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Kindness of Knitters

I'm starting to think my SP has hacked into my computer, or else she's a seriously gifted psychic. How else would she know to send me this? That's two skeins of Knit Picks Memories in Geranium, and a size one circular needle to try out Magic Loop. On Tuesday, I almost ordered some Knit Picks size one needles, and I was checking out this very yarn, too. In the end, I didn't order because I didn't have quite enough for the free shipping. I'm thrilled! The very needles I was looking for, and my favorite colorway of the Memories. Thanks so much, SP! How much more lucky can I get?

Well, maybe I could meet Kathrows on the spur of the moment for a little stitchin and bitchin and she shows up with this:

Um, yeah. That's a skein of Schaeffer Anne. Luscious, innit? And some loverly bamboo doublepoints. For no reason. Isn't my life charmed? Wait, it gets better. Remember this handdyed, handspun merino? Kathrows took that and made these:
Some perfectly-sized mittens and a calorimetry! Aren't they great? And she gave them to me! Now, it may be that winter is over here, but then again, you never know....

It's a good thing I have all these goodies to savor, because the knitting front is pretty grim:
Here's the first ten rows or so of my first attempt at real lace. Eunny Jang's Print O' the Wave Stole. Other than that, I have a first sock that I have frogged at least six times and need to frog again, and a baby sweater languishing in the sew-up stage and two other projects drifting dangerously close to UFO area. Should I cast on something new? Silly rabbit.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Some finished business

Progress has been made:
Red Velvet Waffle.
Yarn: Knit Picks Mainline, 75% pima cotton 25% wool, color: Red Velvet Cake, 14 balls
Pattern: Bottom-up seamless raglan from The Sweater Workshop by Jacqueline Fee
Stitch: Waffle stitch
I like the yarn, I love the color, I don't look good in raglans. This is a relief to know, because now I can stop denying my love for set-in sleeves and seaming. That's right, I love to seam. I feel better now that that's out in the open. On the plus side, the sleeves are exactly the right length. Not too short. Not too long. That's a monkey off my back.

Trekking XXL socks

Yarn: Trekking XXL, superwash wool/nylon mix, color: 108, one ball

Pattern: Cuff down, short-row heel and toes, 6x2 rib

I like to learn something new with each project I make, but I didn't learn anything new with these. I keep saying I'm going to try toe-up socks, but I don't. I like cuff-down, I love the yarn-over short row heel and toes, and I find them comfortable. I'm not so sure I am going to knit other kinds of socks. I loved knitting these, mostly because of the subtle color suspense involved. When will the yellow ply start? Is the orange block on the second sock going to match? Well, I think they match pretty well. Not exactly, just off enough to be quirky without upsetting my little compulsive side. They fuzzed up quite a bit in the wash, and they softened too. It's a good day when I wear the Trekkings.

I've been doing other fibery things besides knitting. It took me six weeks to produce this:

Handwoven Sampler Table Runner

Yarn: 8/2 cotton in sage green and cotton rug yarn in natural

Pattern: Rosepath, plain twill, and point twill threading, with fourteen different treadling patterns.

Fits two cats.

I really enjoyed making this, but I feel like I still have very little idea of the whole craft of weaving. It's an entirely different feel than knitting, but it definitely has charm. The pattern and fabric are formed in front of your eyes, almost like magic. Maybe it just feels that way because I don't get the mechanics of the weave structures yet. Just like knitting, tension is very important and I definitely will need to get a lot more yards of weaving under my belt before I gain consistency there. I'm contemplating my next weaving project. Maybe towels.

Finally, I have to admit I have purchased yarn for myself. One ball of Trekking ProNatura (bamboo!) and two balls of a lovely soft worsted weight alpaca. Purple alpaca. I'm not made of stone! Still making good progress on knitting up the stash, though.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Yarn in the Mail

Is there anything better than getting yarn in the mail? How about getting purple merino laceweight and 7 ounces of dark chocolate in the mail? I'm pretty sure my secret pal must have a hidden camera trained on my stash 'cause she sent me this:I'm thrilled by the Knit Picks Shadow. 100% merino wool in a color they call Grape Jelly which does not do its beautiful heathered purpleness justice. Neither does my picture. It's a wonderful subtle color, and so soft and light. My sp suggests Eunny Jang's Print O' the Wave Stole, and I think she's right. As for the chocolate, well, let's just say the Green and Black's Maya Gold is already half-consumed as I post this! Yum, yum, yum!

Here's my mom's two-color brioche hat finished! Westozcaat suggested I call it the Galah, after a pink and gray Australian bird. So I looked that bird up (gotta love Google!) Here it is:

I think the name fits! But don't tell Mom her hat is named after a bird. She'll freak, because she's severly bird-a-phobic.

And finally, I have been knitting like a fiend on this (excuse the crappy pic):

I'm calling it my Red Velvet Waffle. It's a seemless, bottom-up raglan, out of Knit Pick's Main Line, in (of course) Red Velvet Cake color. I'm going to make it a high v-neck. The stitch is a waffle stitch which is basically 3 rows of K3 P1 and then a row of all purl. I'm already done with the sleeves--did those first as a gauge check. I put a few short rows in the back and the pattern got a little wonky at the side because of it, but it's not too noticeable. I am loving the Main Line. My stitches are even and consistent, and it seems to need no blocking. But it's killing my hands! They are dried out and my thumb is aching. This is the first time I've had any hand problem with a yarn. I'm actually inclined to blame all the shovelling I've had to do the past two weeks, and not the Friday I had off work and knit all day long!