Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Wrecked.

So, the Shipwreck Shawl is all consuming. It helps, I suppose, that I've had a Friday and a Monday to work on it (my usual days off), but I'm surprised at how fast it's coming. I'm completely finished the center patterned sections, and am about 1/6 through the first row of netting.

It's about 7 times as big as this now ;-)




I'm under no illusions that the rest of it will go as fast, nor am I expecting it to remain portable. The initial netting row (yo, k2tog) involves moving from US4's to US8's, and it's proving to be torture. Even once I'm done that initial transfer, there's the bead issue to contend with, and I think I'll be lucky to get one row done per day. I'm thinking I might be lucky to get two done per week, actually. I just desperately hope I don't get so annoyed with this section that I give it up and let it hibernate. Although, I'm leaving the door open for anything.

Watching this project grow over just a few days, and enjoying it so much, makes me believe even more in the whole "knit what you like" philosophy. I don't do Christmas knitting very often, or even gift knitting (except for baby sweaters), because I don't like deadlines, and I don't like to knit with yarn or patterns that I don't absolutely love. I tried to do the Leyburn socks for the knit-along, but it was such a spectacular failure that I won't do that again. I like the yarn, of course (STR!), and I like the color, but the pattern wasn't fun for me, and the gauge was causing some flare-ups in my hands. I gave up, and I don't really regret it. Knitting time is precious for most of us (with the exception of those who do it for a living), and I feel it's doubly wasted when I knit on something I don't like - first, I'm not getting the enjoyment that I feel should come with knitting, and second, I knit much more slowly on things I don't like (more wastage).

I have to get over my complete hatred of frogging, though, in order to live my philosophy, since sometimes there's no way of knowing I'll hate a project until I'm knee-deep. Those Leyburns are still on the needles even though I know I'll never finish them, and I really should rip 'em out.

But not until I'm done my Shipwreck ;-)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

LOVE.

Lace, that is.

I cast on yesterday for the Shipwreck Shawl (Ravelink), which I shouldn't have done since the latest Baby Yours isn't finished yet, but so be it. I've been sick, I felt like it, so there *stomps feet*.

I think I love knitting lace.

I realize it's not a hugely complicated pattern (or at least, the first two sets of charts aren't too bad), but it's so much fun. As I knit more and more projects, I find myself getting more and more comfortable with the process, and I love it. I also feel like I can "read" my knitting better, and once I'm in the swing of it, it's easier to predict what comes next and/or memorize the charts, rather than looking up at every single stitch to double check.

I'm halfway through the Bleeding Heart section, and I'm a bit worried about all the stitch marker shifting in the Madeira chart, but we'll see how it goes. For now, I'm just going to enjoy the process.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Are crappy pictures better than no pictures at all?

I'm going to assume yes.

Clockwise from top right:
Knitpicks interchangeable needle set,
Knitpicks bare merino/silk sock yarn,
Jacquard Acid dyes in Sapphire Blue and Jet Black,
Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in Amethyst Heather,
and Knitpicks CotLin in Glacier.


My birthday haul is not too bad. I've been wanting the needle set for a while, since it's a pain to walk to the store each time I want a new length/size of circ. I'm hoping this is as useful as it promises to be. The Bare sock yarn and dye are for the Shipwreck Shawl (Ravelink) that I cast on yesterday. It promises to be an interesting knit, but I just couldn't resist it. I even have beads for it, which I may regret. The Wool fo the Andes is for a Central Park Hoodie, which I will start after I finish the shawl (hopefully), and the CotLin is for my mother - she wants to knit when she visits, and is scared to risk bringing knitting on the plane (although I know it would probably be fine). This way, she doesn't have to check luggage, and she can knit when she gets here.

I'm not totally oblivious to the fact that summer is coming, and all that wool isn't going to be that much fun to knit with, but I did get the majority of my clapotis done during the summer last year, and I tend towards air conditioned spaces anyway, so it shouldn't be too bad.

The Baby Yours for my friend is nearly done - the pieces are all finished, so it's just seaming and trim that's left. I should've done that before casting on for the shawl, but I felt like spoiling myself this week. The plague of cold and flu has once again desecended upon my house, and I feel like crap. Not helped by the baby waking at all hours because the poor little thing is congested. But, we'll get through it. Knitting helps, surprisingly ;-)

Monday, March 16, 2009

There's been actual knitting happening, although not much picture-taking.

I've been steadily working on the Baby Yours for my friend's baby boy-to-be, mostly on my days off, and it's coming along nicely. The back, and right front, are done, and the left front is nearly there. It's still lots of fun, but I'll have to do something else before I do this one again - I love the pattern, but I'm a scatterbrain with a short attention span. I'm surprised I even cast on for a second sweater in the same pattern so fast. It's really great in the STR, and I think this will be lovely.

(Total disclosure - I know this will be lovely, because searching on Ravelry revealed someone else had already done it in this color)

I also have ordered my birthday present, and it's supposedly in the mail winging its way to me. I was bad. Very bad.

Originally I wanted to order yarn for my mom. She's flying down for N.'s birthday at the end of next month, and wants to have a project down here to work on. She picked a nice little girl's sweater to give to Baby O., my niece/her granddaughter, and I ordered some yarn from Knitpicks. But, of course, I wanted to make the order worthwhile, so I put some yarn to knit the Central Park Hoodie in my little shopping cart. Finally. I've had the pattern for a while, and really want to knit myself a sweater.

So, that was fine. Until the spring Knitty came out, and I saw a shawl pattern that I absolutely fell in love with. I also really want to knit myself a shawl, and this one is just beautiful. It's knit in undyed yarn, has beads knit into the very wide border, and is dyed after the fact. So, I put some undyed yarn in the cart (the stuff that was called for in the pattern), along with two acid dye colors, as well as beads from a different website.

Gah.

Pictures, etc. later, I promise.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Memerrific

39 Secrets About Yourself
Be HONEST no matter what.

1. Name one song that reminds you of an ex?
Mambo No. 5

2. Where was your profile pic taken?
My old apartment

3. What's your middle name?
Ellie

4.relationship status?
Happily married

5. Honestly, does your crush like you back?
Yes

6. What is your current mood?
Tired

7.What colour underwear are you wearing?
Bright pink

8.What makes you happy?
Having time to spend with my family, and a little extra to knit

10. If you could go back in time, and change something what would you change
I would get out of a couple of bad relationships earlier than I did.

11. If you MUST be an animal for ONE day- what would you be?
Cat

12. Ever had a near death experience?
I don't think so

13. Something you do a lot?
Worry

14. What's the name of the song stuck in your head right now?
None

15. Who did you copy and paste this from?
Ruthie

16. Name someone with the same b-day as you?
Michael Caine - a classmate, not the actor

17. When was the last time you cried?
A couple of days ago

18. Have you ever sung in front of a large audience?
Yes, two songs (and it was NOT for karaoke)

19. If you could have one super power what would it be?
Flying

20. What's the first thing you notice about the opposite/same sex?
Eyes

21. What do you usually order from Starbucks?
Grande nonfat latte

22. What's your biggest secret?
How lazy I am

23. Favourite colour?
Pink

24. When was the last time you lied?
Probably a few days ago :(

25. Hopeful destination
Canada

27. What are you eating or drinking at the moment?
Coffee

28. Do you speak any other language?
French (a bit)

29. What's your favorite smell?
Baking pies

30. If you could describe your life in two words what would it be?
Nearly ideal

31. When was the last time you gave/received a hug?
Today

32. Have you ever been kissed in the rain?
Yes

33. What are you thinking about right now?
How much laundry there's about to be to fold

34. What should you be doing?
Folding the laundry

35. What was the last thing that made you upset/angry?
My mother-in-law

36. How often do you pray?
Not often enough

37. Do you like working in the yard?
Not really. Prefer sitting in the yard and reading/knitting

38. If you could have any last name in the world, what would you?
My own name

39. Do you act differently around your crush?
Nope

*Does anybody notice how many of the meme questions are starting to sound like they're written by junior high students? Although they probably are... duh ;-)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Baby Yours of mine

Finished, except for the buttons (these are stand-ins):



Baby Yours for a mystery baby (Ravelry link)
Pattern: Baby Yours, by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, from Blue Moon Fiber Arts
Started: January 20, 2009
Finished: February 28, 2009
Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy, colorway Butter Peeps
Needles: US 6/4.25mm bamboo 16" circs
Gauge: ~6st/inch in double moss
Modifications: On purpose - yarn selection, obviously. Things that just happened - I think I did my RT columns incorrectly, but they look OK; I wasn't going to rip it out because of that.

Thoughts:

The pattern is lovely, and was really fun to knit. I've been OK with cables before now, but this sweater really helped me with chart reading and complex cabling. I'll never be afraid of cables again. Next time, I might cast on fewer stitches for the front left and back panels, though; the M1's that were used to add enough width to compensate for the cable panel weren't quite enough to prevent it from pulling in.

The DiC is also really amazing; the color is so cute and fun and yummy. I'm not sure it's entirely suited for this pattern. It's finer than the STR Mediumweight that it calls for, and the resulting fabric is a bit flimsy.

I'm also wondering what it would be like if I replaced the double moss with stockinette, at least on the sleeves. I think the moss will be crisper in STR, so the next one I do will likely be in that yarn instead.

Bottom line - I'll be making this again. And hopefully again and again. This one will either go into my cedar chest for any future daughters I may be blessed with, or else I'll give it to Niece v1.0. It does deserve to be worn.

(After I get decent buttons, that is.)