Monday, December 8, 2008

Crazy busy and all I wanna do is knit.

Surely it's common that when the going gets tough, it gets tough to stave off the knitting urge.

But, since it's nearing the holidays, large amounts of knitting is actually a good thing.

So, what have I got on my needles? About a billion things. Some are progressing more quickly than others, especially those projects that are intended as gifts. Like this (excuse the bad photos, it's been gloomy here for a week):

Pattern: Hourglass socks from Knitty (Rav).
Yarn: Mystery yarn which I have noted before.

I started this sock a while ago and for some reason, the pattern and I had no chemistry. I couldn't fall into a rhythm where I didn't have to check the chart constantly. I set it aside for a couple months, and went back at it with a vengeance yesterday. I got 2" or 3" on it in one day, which is lightning fast in my book. And looking back, I cannot tell what my problem was over the summer because the pattern is pretty intuitive.

Anyway, the yarn doesn't seem very strong but the yarn is so soft and this colorway is gorgeous. I think I know the perfect recipient who will really appreciate these socks, even though she isn't a knitter herself.

Also growing are these:

Pattern: 9-to-5 socks from Nicole Hindes (Rav), two at a time on 2 circs
Yarn: Cascade Heritage

These will be a gift for a man, but I am not sure who. I would love to knit socks for all of my friends, but time is limited and I have to prioritize. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it; for now I am just enjoying the pattern. I really like this stitch. It looks like cabling but there is no actual reordering of the stitches, which makes my sore hands very happy.

I also like this yarn. I think when I get around to making socks for myself I will use this yarn. It's relatively cheap and my bf's socks in this yarn are holding up pretty well.

Anyway, the main reason I am so overwhelmed right now is that I am traveling for a month starting Monday. Three weeks in Medellin, Colombia to visit bf and one week in DC for a conference. I've never been to either place before so I'm pretty stoked.

Now, off to find my passport...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Boring FOs

I have actually been knitting quite a bit lately (for me), but I haven't felt like posting. Also, I haven't been taking good pictures lately. But today I am sick, and it looks like I will have plenty of time to stay home, drink tea, eat soup, and knit, so I better catch up before all that.

I've been a commitment-phobe lately with my projects so I have a bunch of things on the needles, but nothing really at an interesting phase yet.

For now, I will just show you my quick 'n easy FOs from the last couple weeks.

In the foreground is Turn a Square from Brooklyn Tweed (Rav). I used Noro Kureyon for the color-changing stripes and (I believe) Cascade 220 for the solid. The hat came out really big, probably because my gauge was off, but I like it that way. I can have my hair up and the hat still fits over it.

Faced with leftovers of both yarns, I decided to use them up by making a matching cowl. I cast on and knit stockinette until I ran out of Noro. I made the stripes a little wider on the cowl to better match the ratio of yarns left over (on the hat it's 3 rows of solid for every 2 rows of Noro; on the cowl I did 5 rows of solid to every 3 rows of Noro). Something I noticed on the hat, but moreso on the cowl, is that my jogless striping is very visible. I read that it would be a little noticeable, but when the cowl is flat you can see it pretty bad:

However, when it's on you can't really see it, and I will just chalk it up to being a novice at the jogless striping thing.
The cowl is humongous but it will keep me warm as I walk to and from school every day. I probably should have made it a little narrower, but it will still do the job.

Ever-so-fashionably. ;)

Monday, September 22, 2008

The sophomore effort is always the lamest.

Between moving, some minor personal catastrophes, and the crazy Ike leftovers that blew through here, it's been a while since my first post. Not a great way to start a blog. And like so many musicians, I feel that my second attempt is going to be less-than-stellar.

Anyway, the holiday gift knitting is well underway. I have 3 projects recently cast-on but they are all in their infancy. This year, I am under extra pressure to finish gifts up early since I'll be out of town for most of December. I hope I haven't bitten off more than I can chew. (Whatever, of course I did! Just like almost every other knitter in the 'verse.)

But, I finally finished these simple socks for the bf. The yarn is Regia Spirit Color, I used 2 skeins.

I'm not too sure I like the color combo, or the way the colors fell on the sock. But the bf really likes them and they fit his giganto feet so I guess they are a success. Of course he is out of town for the next week so I don't have a proper-sized foot to model them right now.

I used Wendy's basic toe-up pattern and Judy's magic cast-on. I tried out Elizabeth Zimmerman's stretchy bind-off, which I found here, and was pleased by the result. I love knitting socks toe-up. Something about watching the toe grow really tickles me. Plus I find it more fun to try on a little toe-let as I go than a little cuff-let.

So, off to prepare for the start of classes at my university. As a grad student I get to experience the "joys" of taking classes and also teaching freshmen. All this gift knitting will come in handy to deal with the stress!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My kind of cupcake

I don't have much knitting to show today, because I've been on a bit of a frog-fest lately.

Example: I cast on for a pair of Jaywalker socks (Ravelry link) in a beautiful mystery yarn. It's a sport weight wool sock yarn that I got at Knitter's Connection and by the time I got home I had lost the tag. It's gorgeous and probably the softest yarn I've purchased. BUT it pills like crazy. If you breathe on this stuff it generates chunks of fuzz.

Anyway, about 3 inches into the first sock, it was a hopeless mess and the tangles in the yarn were causing me to curse just about everything in sight. I had wound the cake myself on a nostepinne, but my skills with the nosty have vastly improved since then so I frogged and rewound. Though I am better, I'm still not perfect so the cake ended bigger on the top than the bottom - a perfect little cupcake!

I left the ribbing of the sock un-frogged because it was kinda cute as a cupcake wrapper.

I actually love winding my own cakes. Since I'm on a student budget (and I do mean budget), I like getting a couple more hours of enjoyment out of expensive yarn. The rhythmic repetitive motion is soothing much like knitting a stockinette tube is. I got the nosty here. The rest of my winding setup was part of my house already:

kitchen chair, digital scale, comfy couch. I find that the knob on the top of the chair works rather well for keeping the yarn organized. Quite honestly I have less trouble with the chair than the employee at one of my LYSs had with the swift last time I was there.

Unfortunately, I am moving into an efficiency apartment at the end of the month and both kitchen set and comfy couch will be gone. So I think I'll be winding like a madwoman for the next week!