Friday, November 28, 2008

Oh, I was bad.

But, before I get to that, I've made a decision about BMFA's Rockin Sock Club for next year.

Even though I really loved the fun of getting surprises every couple of months, the yarn was scrumptious, and I would someday like to attempt most of the patterns, I'm not going to re-up next year. Like I mentioned, for the same price, I can get more yarn, and choose the patterns that I really like and will definitely make.

(plus, there's the fact that lately I'm using sock yarn to make everything but socks, so the patterns right now are somewhat of a waste of money).

I'll miss the surprise factor with the yarn choices, for sure. This year, I really loved each kit, but for different reasons. The last two offerings were what I would consider within my normal color preferences, while the first three weren't necessarily what I'd pick out for myself. Strangely enough, the only one I think I'd have picked off the shelf at first sight is Goody Goody. I'm not a pastel-wearer, but I just love it. The shaded solid offerings were a way of pushing me out of my comfort zone - I love knitting with really wacky colors; solids don't keep my attention. Out of the three, I think the violet choice is my favourite - I love really intense dark-bright purple.

But, enough about the club. I've been given a certain yarn budget for my Christmas presents, and I was originally going to spend it on (a LOT of) Socks that Rock. Then, I thought maybe I'd spend part of it on a slightly more economical yarn to make myself the sweater I've been needing for ages.

Yesterday, I was bad, and made an impulsive decision. I'm not sure it was a smart one, considering I theoretically have the ability to borrow these things when I need them.

I ordered a swift and a ball winder.

(eek!)

I visited my LYS last weekend, on my never ending quest for the perfect buttons for the February Baby Sweater for Niece v1.0. I also bought yarn for my best friend, who's showing an interest in taking up knitting; her husband is taking a course this winter, and she needs a new hobby for the evenings when he has to study. She's getting two skeins of Cascade 220 and some bamboo straingts, but I couldn't in good conscience send her skeins to wind by hand when she's never dealt with yarn before. The LYS has a swift/winder and everyone there has always said we could use them at any point, so I took them up on it so I could send A. some nice, neat yarn cakes without spending an hour or so of my precious evening time on winding (it's tough with a baby around!).

I didn't fully appreciate that you can wind an entire skein of yarn in about 75 seconds. Holy crap, it was fun.

I've been thinking about getting a swift/winder for a while now, but I always figured that I'd rather spend my money on yarn. I realized that I have more yarn now than I can knit up in a year, considering how babies eat up your free time (and I wouldn't trade him for all the knitting time in the world). And, yes, I could always go to the yarn store, but now that I'm back working, the opportunities to get there are fewer, and I don't want to spend our family time on Saturdays trekking there and back. Having the equipment at home is a nice way to balance - the hours I'd normally spend on winding, with Hubby helping, we now both have free again. I think it might even be a nudge to knit more.

I didn't do too much research on the best place to buy from price-wise, since most places seemed to be approximately the same. I ordered from KnitPicks, and I'm hoping they'll arrive before we leave for Christmas vacation; I'll keep you posted on how good the free shipping option is.

(Is it sad how excited I am about this?)

;-)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Speedy!


(or, it's speedy for me, at least)

Here's the FBS, somewhere near half finished. My original goal was to get it finished in time to give it to my sister-in-law for Christmas... Now I'm thinking I might be able to get a pair of booties done too, if I have enough yarn left over.

I also have decisions to make... Hubby, in his loving support for my knitting/yarn habit, has agreed to let me get more for Christmas this year. Last year, I joined the RSC, but I'm not sure I want to re-join. For the same amount of money, I can get nearly twice as much yarn, and choose the colors myself. I did LOVE the surprise with each kit, but I likely won't make many of the patterns, so looking back on it, it might not be the wisest decision for me.

There's also a sale (see their front page!), so the decision has to be made soon.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Onward!

Ok, so I decided to keep the momentum going, and I cast on the February baby sweater (Ravelry link) the other day.

Oh my freakin God. I forgot how much fun it is to knit lace. Granted, it's simple lace, but it's still a really nice change.

I'll try and take some pics soon; right now, it's my lunchtime project at work, and I rarely remember to take it out to photograph when I'm home and the light is good.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Cardiganny goodness

Pattern: Debbie Bliss Classic Cardigan, published in Essential Baby (Ravel it!)
Started: Jan 29, 2008
Finished: Nov 6, 2008
Yarn: Patons "Look at Me!" in Good Sport Variegiated, almost 5 skeins
Needles: Bamboo circs, 12", size 5 and 6
Gauge: 6 st per inch (I think)
Modifications: I swapped sides for the buttonband & buttonhole band. I'd like to say I did it so it would have the buttons on the proper side for a little boy, but I did it because I wasn't paying attention.
New techniques I learned with this project: Knitting a sweater (!) (I count the BSJ as a sweater, but it's one piece, and in my mind it's easier), picking up buttonbands, finishing with mattress stitch.

More things I learned:
1. I really like knitting with multi-colored yarn. I'm afraid that even with such a small project as this, I'd get bored with one color.
2. I like picking up stitches and knitting button bands - it really gives me a feeling of accomplishment.
3. I don't like casting off in rib.
4. I don't like casting off, period (hurts my hands, I cast off too tightly), aside from the fact that it means I'm finished (or nearly finished).

There's no way this should take anyone 9 months to do, but I plead pregnancy, newborn, and Clapotis. The pattern is clearly written, easy to follow, and easy to knit. Once I picked it up again, most of the knitting was done during my lunchbreaks; I used to knit on the bus, but my schedule right now means I have to take a very crowded bus, and I get no elbow room.

Next, I have to decide what to do. I have a sweater to knit for Niece v1.0, but I also have mittens that have been sitting on the needles for almost 11 months. I really don't feel like knitting the mittens ;-)

Buttons!

So, I'm trying to add a blog poll here, so all 6 of my readers can vote on the button choice :-) (asking forgiveness if I have to republish a bunch of times)

Here are the pics:

Red

Yellow

Green

Apples!




Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Lots of fun stuff happ'n'in round here

Knittinks - I has dem.

This was the state of the Debbie Bliss Classic Cardigan a few weeks ago. As of last night, I cast off the neckband, and all that's left is button bands and we're good to go. I've learned lots of things while knitting this little sweater:

1. Don't knit with acrylic immediately following a project that's silk/merino. It'll feel like plastic (and that's coming from an equal opportunity yarnie - I'm not a snob by any means)
2. Sweaters aren't that scary, especially if they're small.
3. (and I should've known this one) Knitting for babies is a race against time.

It *should* fit N. for a little while; I made the largest size, which I believe is 9-12 months, but he's a biggun, my boy (already into 12 month sleepers, and 12-18 month onesies). My yarn substitution may have bumped up the measurements and saved my butt on that front.

I also have new buttons to go with it, even though my mom had sent me some plain (albeit perfectly suitable) red ones. They're cute, methinks, and unisex.

I'm not really going to comment on the election, since I haven't commented at all before, and I wasn't eligible to vote. Hubby did, though, and I'm proud that he did.

Oh, and we now officially have daycare for N. I might actually be out of a job soon, since we haven't heard back on our contract, but with him contracted in daycare, that's lots of knitting time in between searching for a new job. Blech.