Monkeys and palm trees

Well, my first Monkey sock was finished about a week ago, but I’ve been putting off knitting the second one, because I’m leaving tomorrow for St. Thomas! I figure that second Monkey will be the perfect vacation knitting, and the plane ride + layover is so long that I may even get the whole thing done on the trip!

I haven’t been doing a ton of knitting in the meantime, but what little time I have devoted to it has been spent on my Oblique cardigan. It’s really satisfying to go back to it after a few months and still be able to knit the pattern more or less from memory. It’s such a nice, simple pattern with such stylish looking results.

Of course another factor in knitting pattern repeats from memory without having to constantly consult the printout is being able to read one’s knitting. I’ve come a long way in the approximately 1.5 years I’ve been knitting when it comes to reading my work. After awhile, you really get the hang of recognizing a k2tog when you see one, knowing exactly when the next yarnover needs to be made, and remembering whether you’re supposed to knit or purl this row.

Being able to read one’s knitting is also extremely helpful when it comes to fixing big screw-ups. When I first started knitting, I practiced by making small swatches, and if I made one mistake, I would rip the whole swatch up and start over. I am SO GLAD to be past that stage, because I cringe at the thought of ripping up an entire sleeve just to fix a mistake a few rows back. ^_~ Dropping down a column of stitches and then bringing them back up with a crochet hook is probably one of the most valuable knitting techniques I’ve learned so far.

Anyway, I didn’t mean to get all philosophical here. I’m still on the first sleeve of the Oblique cardigan, and starting the increases. I thought about taking it to St. Thomas as well, in case (heaven forbid) I finish the Monkey more quickly than expected, but…I just don’t know if I can bring myself to knit a sweater in a tropical climate.

March 5, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Still alive and knitting

Yes, I’m still around, even though I’ve been horrible about posting. I come bearing pictures, though, so that’s gotta count for something….right?

Well, in my last entry I talked about a desire to knit more socks because I wanted more instant gratification type projects, and I’ve sort of lived up to that. I present to you, my finished Jacobean socks:

The majority of knitting on those was done on my trip to Colorado in January. I greatly enjoyed having a small project to knit on the plane and whenever I had a free moment. I’m going to St. Thomas in March, which will be a much longer flight, complete with layover, and I anticipate doing some heavy sock knitting then as well. ^_^

Right now, I’m working on my first (and definitely not the last) pair of Monkeys:

I’m really enjoying knitting these, and they go fairly quickly, especially now that I have the lace pattern memorized. The yarn is Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Amethyst Stripe.

When I was winding the yarn into a ball, I noticed there was a bright fuchsia-ish spot on the  skein. The jury’s still out on whether that’s supposed to be there or not. As it is, I sort of like the occasional bright stitch it creates at random points on the sock, but I’m interested to see whether the other skein has the same splotch when I wind it up. (The fuchsia stitches don’t show up in the photo, I’m afraid.)

So, remember my very first post in this blog where I talked about my inside-out DPN knitting and how I had no plans to stop anytime soon? Well somehow, in the course of all this sock knitting, I’ve started knitting right-side out. It really wasn’t intentional, but there it is. I may still choose to do colorwork inside-out, though.

Somewhere in there, I also knit a Gryffindor scarf for my husband’s aunt:

I gotta say, all that stockinette was nice mindless TV knitting, but I am not sad to see the end of that scarf. I need some variety! Fortunately I have those Monkeys, not to mention my Oblique cardigan to finish. (No, I haven’t forgotten about it. I just hope I can remember where the heck I was on the sleeve when I last touched it.)

February 25, 2008. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

s0xx0rz

Lately I’ve had the desire to knit socks. Yes, it just might have something to do with the fact that I’m currently embroiled with my third sweater in a row while simulatenously neglecting the throw I’ve been slowly plodding away at for about 8 months, why do you ask?

I sometimes feel that I should have more FOs to show for the one year plus change that I’ve been knitting, and then I look at the FOs (or nearly FOs) that I’ve done, and quite a few of them are semi-major projects.

So, I’ve been queuing up sock projects on Ravelry like a madwoman.

Incidentally, next Friday I’m going on a trip to Colorado, where I’ll be attempting to thwart my husband’s efforts to get me to ski. I hear socks make excellent travel projects. Hmmmmm…

TO BE CONTINUED…

January 3, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone’s holiday season was enjoyable, and that you have a great 2008. My New Year’s resolution? To be a better knit blogger, of course.

Although I haven’t yet been happy enough with my hair on any given day to obtain photographic evidence, you’ll be happy to know that I met my goal of having the zipper sewn onto Roam by December 23rd. I wore the sweater to my family Christmas party, where it got many compliments and joking (I hope) requests for knit sweaters. As soon as I have a good hair day, I’ll get a picture of myself wearing it.

HOWEVER, I come bearing other gifts. First of all, a sampling of snowflakes:

Those are the Annie, Juliet, and Emma Snowflakes, respectively. They were fairly easy to knit, although there was a lot of weaving in of ends involved. I’m very happy with them.

As a bonus, I have some Oblique progress to show off. I’ve actually got the front and the back done, but I only took pictures of the back because….well, the front is pretty much the same thing, only split in two.

I’m really loving how it’s turning out. Is it a sign of knitting nerd-dom that I’m giddy with anticipation to do the short-row collar?

January 2, 2008. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

YIKES!

I haven’t posted ANY entries yet for the month of December?? REALLY? Wow, what a slacker. Oh, looking back I see I have a draft that I started, but didn’t get past one sentence. Ok, there’s some catching up to do.

Instead of going to Yarn House to get Malabrigo for Oblique, instead I went to Loop and got some Frog Tree 100% merino which is THE SOFTEST yarn I have ever touched. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. It’s single-ply, which is a new experience for me, and I think it’s perfect for Oblique. It’s got just a little bit of fuzziness to it.

I’ve finished knitting the back of Oblique, and I’m a few inches into the left front.

I’ve also been knitting a scarf for a Christmas present for my mother-in-law. The pattern is Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks, and I’m using a variegated version of Paton’s Decor, which is (I think) 75% acrylic and 25% wool. Why acrylic, you ask, especially now that I’m being completely spoiled the softest merino ever? Well, the scarf I knit for her last Christmas met an unfortunate felted end in the washing machine, so I’m making sure this one doesn’t suffer the same fate.

My MIL gave me a book for St. Nick’s: Knitted Snowflakes. She also gave me some white crochet thread to go with it. So some of my knitting time has also been somewhat distracted by knitting these fun little snowflakes. The only downside is after working them in the round for awhile, each point is worked back and forth flat, which leaves a lot of ends to weave in. I’ve knit 3 so far, but only finished (woven in, blocked and starched) one of them. Pictures (of everything I’ve mentioned in this post) forthcoming!

December 18, 2007. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

I might splurge…

Ok, so my idea of splurging is probably not a hardcore yarnie’s idea of splurging, but considering I almost always use Paton’s Pure Merino as my general purpose worsted weight, this is splurging to me.

I think I might use Malabrigo for Oblique when I make it. I hear from the ladies at my knitting group that it’s wonderful, and the price is actually not bad at all. And since Oblique only takes maybe around 900 yards, I’ll only need 4-5 balls, so I think it’s a good way to ease into the world of nicer yarns. ^_^

Now my only problem is to try to finish seaming Sesame AND sew the zipper onto Roam by Saturday, so I can go yarn shopping without my husband making me feel guilty. ^_~

We’re going to my parents’ house tonight for the Packer game, so I think I’ll be able to get some good seam action going. I’ve actually made good progress in the past two days; the left sleeve is set in and the side/sleeve seam is almost done, with just another inch or two left on the cuff. I think the second sleeve will go a lot faster than the first; there was a little bit of trial and error involved with getting the sleeve cap to look nice, but now I feel like I know what I’m doing. I’m actually fairly proud of my first set-in sleeves. (Roam has raglan sleeves, if you recall.)

Lately I’d been thinking that someday I’d like to own a yarn store, but after reading some posts on Ravelry in the LYS owners group, I don’t think I will. Sounds like way more business than pleasure, and I think I like actually knitting much better than helping others knit.

November 29, 2007. Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Whoops…

I’ve been an absentee knit blogger! Sorry about that.

Sesame is very close to being done. I set in my first sleeve yesterday, so I should be able to do the other one tonight, as well as seaming the sides. Have I mentioned that I love doing mattress stitch? I really do.

I’ve also started making a scarf for my mother-in-law for Christmas, based on this pattern. It’s going fairly quickly, and I like the way it looks. Pictures, of course, are pending. I’ll try to figure out my camera settings tonight so I don’t have to wait until Saturday to take pictures in sunlight.

Now that I think of it though, it is light outside when I leave for work in the morning. Hmm…maybe I should add knitting photography to my morning routine. ^_~

I think I may put the Vogue sweater coat project on the back burner for now, and instead do Oblique from Knitty. It didn’t do much for me when I first saw it, but the more I look at it, the more it’s growing on me. I definitely like it closed better than open, and I think I prefer it in a light color like the one in the Knitty pictures. I feel that it shows off the lace pattern a little better.

Consequently, I’ll probably put Q on hold as well, since I was going to order fingering weight yarn from Knitpicks at the same time I order the yarn for the cable coat. We’ll see though; I’ll probably be going to a yarn store this weekend to look for yarn for Oblique, and if I find some nice sock yarn that won’t cost me an arm and a leg, I’ll go for it. ^_^

November 28, 2007. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Calloo Callay!

Last night, on a whim, I went to the library about a half-hour before they closed, with the intention of picking up Alice Starmore’s Book of Fair Isle Knitting. I ended up with that, Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmermann, and Knitting In Plain English by Maggie Righetti. PLUS, I noticed they had some back issues of Vogue Knitting available for checkout. Now, I’ve had my eye out for the Holiday 2006 issue of Vogue Knitting for at least a month or two. In particular, I like this (minus the hideous dress and the wheelbarrow, that is):

and this:

(I like what I’ve seen several people do on Ravelry, which is to eliminate the belt and add buttons.)

Anyway, at first when I was looking at the back issues, the most recent one I saw was Fall 2006. I was briefly disappointed, until I noticed that there were a few more issues slightly further to the right, with some books in between. I spotted the Holiday 2006, audibly gasped, and snatched it! I’m so excited.

I think the next project I do is going to be Q after all. I’m really confident in my colorwork after doing the Mitts. I’m probably not going to do it on circulars as the pattern is written, but just on the good old DPNs.

November 16, 2007. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Random thoughts

Sesame’s still truckin’ along, so until I have some actual news to report, here’s a smattering of thoughts.

My second visit to the knitting group at Perk ‘n’ Pub was as enjoyable as the first. I got to show off my Endpaper Mitts, and I always enjoy seeing what other people are knitting. I also have a new fascination with watching people to see if they knit English or Continental. (I’m a thrower, myself, although one of these days I’ll probably give my left hand a chance to audition for Preferred Knitting Hand.)

I would primarily categorize myself as a product knitter. Knitting, for me, is mostly driven by seeing things I’d like to wear or that I’d like to give to someone else as a gift. I do have some elements of a process knitter, though. I strongly prefer to learn at least one new technique every time I knit. My first project involved ribbing, my second had cables, the next one was an illusion knit, the next one had an i-cord bind off. My projects have taught me seaming, mitered squares, lace, short rows, and most recently, colorwork. Sesame will teach me buttonholes, and Roam will teach me how to sew a %$#@ zipper on.

Speaking of Roam, I’ve also discovered over this past year that while I really enjoy knitting, I’m not a fan of finishing. Guh. But, it must be done, so this product knitter can actually wear her products.

For example, I have yet to knit the neck and armhole ribbing for the ProtoPretty DNA Tank top:

It would be so easy to do, but I just haven’t gotten around to it.

Maybe this weekend should be Round 2 of Finishing UFOs Weekend.

November 14, 2007. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Well, I was partially successful…

…with my attempt at Finishing UFOs Weekend. After I finished the Endpaper Mitts, I also wove in the ends on Hedera, so they’re officially done.

I was amazed, upon turning them inside out, at how much they’ve felted in the few times that I’ve worn them. There was one yarn end on the inside of one of the toes that I didn’t even have to weave in, because it had felted so much; I just snipped it short. The bottoms of the socks have also gotten really smooth.

I started to remove the Wrong Zipper from my Roam hoodie, but became impatient and decided to continue knitting Sesame instead. I tell you, after all that colorwork, regular old stockinette just flies by. I’ll probably be able to finish the left front tonight and start the sleeves.

Here’s a picture of (the back of) Roam anyway, though:

The colors are a lot blobbier on my Roam than the one in the pictures in the pattern; in hindsight, I probably should have switched balls of yarn frequently to avoid that. I think the blobbiness is growing on me, though. It sort of looks like camouflage! You know, if I’m trying to hide in a chocolate-covered cherry factory or something.

November 12, 2007. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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