Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Finished Object: Madeline Shawl

Quick. Easy. Squishy. AWESOME.

I love the color. LOVE.

Pattern: Madeline Shawl (my rav link) from Vintage Modern Knits (amazon link)
Yarn: Fibre Company Organik in Atoll
Needle: US 10 - 6mm

 I put on lip gloss so that my lips would be extra pouty for you, Janey. :) And yeah, could my nose look any more broken? (I've broken it more times than I can count and have never had it fixed.)

Anyway, I do not want to take this shawlette off. LOVE, love love love it. LOVE.

And hey, on the plus side, my camera got the color right in the first two photos! Amazing. See, even my CAMERA likes this thing.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dyed Vine Loop and the Madeline Shawl

As I mentioned yesterday I dyed my vine loop. Unfortunately my camera seems incapable of conveying the depth of the dye. It's  a nice color, just not me. At all. In any way. Well, as someone pointed out, it'll be a nice gift:

I also cast on for a Madeline Shawl yesterday, and will probably finish it up today or tomorrow (it is a ridiculously quick easy knit). It is from the book Vintage Modern Knits: Contemporary Designs Using Classic Techniques from the ladies at Kelbourne Woolens in Philadelphia. I'm using their yarn, Fibre Company Organik in the Atoll colorway, and it is gorgeous; soft, squishy and yet feels silkier than malabrigo. Somehow my camera actually managed to pick up both the color and the glowy properties of the wool. And it really does seem to glow when you look at it:

I love the picot edging. It's really really pretty and feminine without being over-the-top girly.Yes, I will wear this color. I'm VERY excited about finishing up this shawl(ette).

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Finished Object: Vine Loop

So, after my initial shock with the yarn color I ordered (it was, um, green and not gray) I decided to go with my traditional knitting philosophy (damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead) and knit it up anyway, figuring that if I didn't like it I could dye it, and if I still didn't like it after that I could give it away.

Here it is pre-dyed (and pre-blocked). Also, the color does not show up well at all. It's much much greener than it appears. If it had been the color shown below, I wouldn't have dyed it:

ANYWAY, I dyed it. Apparently if you attempt to overdye something green with teal dye it comes out a deep emeraldy/malachitey color. Who knew? Unfortunately it is also not a color that I can (or would) wear. When it dries I'll post another photo. Sigh.

However, the yarn is nice and soft (Cascade Dolce, worsted weight) and the pattern was well written. I only used about 250 yards of the yarn for this.

I will knit another one out of a yarn in a color that I DO actually like. That should help. :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

And Then There Were Two

Monkey socks, that is.


Pattern: Monkey (free!)
Yarn: Knit Picks Imagination Hand Painted Sock Yarn in Ruby Slippers
Needle: US 2 (2.75mm)

They're nice and cozy warm. YAY! Socks for Bruce are forthcoming. Not sure what pattern to use for him. Any suggestions?

I also started a Vine Loop in Cascade Dolce, which is a yarn I've never used before. Began this morning and it is moving pretty quickly.

Also, minor medical problem turned out to be minor after all (YAY!). Life is good. Yup.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

Well. It's been a busy two weeks, with lots of ups and downs, and very little knitting.

In order:

  1. Major work drama for me (which seems to have died a quiet death, thankfully)
  2. Major workplace drama for my husband (it seems to have all turned out all right in the end).
  3. Earthquake/tsunami in Japan, making me worried about my mom on the Oregon Coast (she was fine) and bringing to the forefront of my mind some major personal nightmares stemming from when I survived a fairly major natural disaster with my folks. (one that nobody knows about because it happened in an area with less than 1,000 people, and nobody died. Thankfully).
  4. Stomach virus or something. Not fun. Couldn't even knit. Feh. What use is an illness like that?
  5. House guests last weekend. That was fun.
  6. Jenny and her husband visited NYC from Sweden on their way to Virginia (the state) to meet up with another knitting blogger (Sarah, The Student Knitter). I took Jenny on a mini yarn crawl through NYC (we went to Knitty City, Annie & Co and School Products) and we had a blast. And completely forgot to take any pictures
  7. I've discovered another small medically-related problem which I won't have any conclusive answers on until Tuesday morning of next week.
  8. Bruce and I actually got to have a date night last night, and we went to see The Fantastiks, which was a really really really good time. Plus, awesome to have a date night.
Alls I wanna do right now is knit.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I finished one Monkey sock last night (hence the title of this post. I presume the ...KEY will come in a few days).


It was fun! Really well written pattern and quite easy. Not sure what the fuss is about turning a heel and grafting the toe is all about. Then again this encompasses my basic style of knitting: FULL SPEED AHEAD. DAMN THE TECHNIQUE (or torpedoes, really). Plus I am very good at teaching myself stuff, be it from books, articles or videos.

I am a little dubious about knitting the second sock. Didn't I already do this once?

And honestly, the whole product vs process debate that "rages" on in the knitting world is moot. I am both a product and process knitter, depending on what the project is. And sometimes I'm both at the same time. For socks, it is definitely product. I am motivated to knit the second one because I want a damn pair of red monkey socks.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ok, ok, FINE! I get it. Finally.

The Monkey, as it stands right this very second. (this picture was preceded by an incredibly amusing swearing and hopping session across the living room to where I left my camera. Yeah. Probably would have been smart to get the camera first.) Sorry about the crappy pix quality, but, I really just had to share.

Turning the heel and doing the gusset weren't too bad. It took about an hour to figure it out. I discovered that actually reading the directions helps. Go figure.

And yes, I sort of "get" socks now. Not in their entirety. But sort of. I still find them a little fiddly, less so than mittens. Additionally, I'm not really a fan of knitting at tight gauges, though the Monkeys are totally bearable. 

I just looked at the patterns in Knit. Sock. Love. and yes, Cookie A.'s patterns are art. They are breathtaking. And I will likely knit quite a few of her designs. Maybe even this year.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Finished Object: Idlewood

I finished the Idlewood (my rav link) last night and am happily wearing it today. Georgia has informed me that she wants one exactly like mine except in red and not itchy. I LOVE this sweater. Bruce likes the cowl neck and the fit, but he hates the short sleeves (it was a little hard to take pix of the short sleeves on my own. Sorry). Ah well. I'm enjoying the sleeves and I might have enough yarn to make them longer in the future if I so choose. But I'm pretty happy with the short ones for spring.

Pattern: Idelwood (Rav pattern page) by Cecily Glowik MacDonald
Yarn: Cascade Eco +
Needles: US 10.5, 10, 9 and 8 (6.5, 6, 5.5 and 5 mm)
Modifications: I switched the garter stitch bands at the hip and arms to 2x2 ribbing, as the garter stitch was not flattering on me at all. In any way. Nope. I made the sleeves about three inches longer than the pattern called for as cap sleeves are not flattering on me. To reduce the circumference of the sleeves I ended up graduating downwards in needle size on the ribbing so that I had a nice tight finish without having to reduce stitches. I also left off the pockets. I am such a minimalist.

I also cast on for some Monkey socks yesterday. It has been at least a year since I picked up double pointed needles, and I have to say, still not really a fan. I don't find them difficult to use or anything, just annoying. But I figure I should at least give them a fair shake and attempt to get more comfortable with them before I consign them to heck.

See, Kael, even just a mention of handknitted socks inspired me! Thank you again!

Also, my buddy over at Annie Mall got me some graphite Smencils. So I got us some color Smencils. And we are going to have a Smencil party soon. Very exciting. Thank you, "Annie."

Two totally random acts of kindness for Kael and Annie brightened my Tuesday (and numerous other days for the foreseeable future) immeasurably. I'm feeling very very lucky right now to have these two awesome ladies in my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Lil Bit More Inspired

Lots of knitting has been happening here. I've knitted what feels like 40,000 of the flowers for Ella's wedding, but in reality it is only 10. I blocked all of them and sewed some of them, however I got burned out on the sewing after a while and had to stop.

Sewn Flowers

Un-sewn Flowers

I've also made a great deal of progress on the Idlewood:

A mere seconds after I snapped the first photo, Beezer decided to make a guest appearance:

Next, on to socks and a sweater for Bruce. And also to start/finish up a few mittens here and there for a variety of folks.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Been kinda Meh.

Well, I've been working on more of Ella's flowers, and on the interminable stockinette of the Idlewood sweater and waiting for the appropriate yarn for Bruce's sweater to finally show up from Webs (it did). I don't really have any good pictures of the Idlewood, as it basically looks like a giant lump of knitted fabric, and Ella's flowers all look pretty much the same, although they will be coming in different colors soon as I just got all of the Aloft yarn from KnitPicks. We got eight of the available 15 colors. It doesn't feel as nice as the Lion Brand Silk Mohair yarn, but we'll see how it feels when it knits up.

And I've been feeling pretty meh. I think it is the end of winter blues. I just haven't been that interested or excited about much of anything. I have been meditating, and that's been pretty good. I just got a book called Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation by Sharon Salzberg, which should prove to be interesting. I was reading the first few chapters of it in the post office while listening to people argue with postal employees. Seemed appropriate, somehow.

However, there is one thing I am very very excited about. I finally purchased Barton Hollow from Amazon's MP3 store, as it is on special for a whopping $5 this month (the linky above takes you to the $5 awesomeness).

Barton Hollow

The album sounds like bluegrass re-imagined by somebody who had spent an awful lot of time listening to moody jazz in Paris in the rain. It. Is. AWESOME.