Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Last New Project, I Promise

Okay, this is the last new project until I finish a few things. I have now finished my Christmas knitting. The gifts will be given early, so you'll finally get to see some pictures of what I was working on sometime next week. Meanwhile, you'll have to settle for yet another new project.

This is the back of the sweater for which I bought all the Color Your Own Wool of the Andes.

The Christmas sock is finally progressing. I had to start over because it was too tight with the Fair Isle floats and I just couldn't loosen them up as they already were pretty loose. So I'm close to finishing the first one. I'd love to see your socks from Sensational Knitted Socks! Join the Knit Along!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Who Needs Another Knit-Along?

Psst, come closer. You know you want to join another knit-along. You do, don't you? It's for socks. Socks don't take long. You could probably finish a pair before the holidays. You know you want to join. So go on over to the Knit-Along I'm hosting for Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlotte Schurch. Come join!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Bad, bad

I really need to stop buying yarn for a while. "Why?" you ask. Well, this for one.

That's Trekking color 78 from The Knitter. Lots of different purples with a few specks of green, blue and pink. It's really very pretty and will make a lovely pair of socks. And then there's this.

Rocky Mountain Dusk from Knit Picks. What I'm not showing you are the twelve skeins of Color Your Own Wool of the Andes. I'm planning on using them as they are for "Lizzie" by Kim Hargreaves from this book. It's a long cardigan type sweater with an optional belt and cables. Guess what I started?

I should finish up Mystery Christmas Present #3 tomorrow, so I'm back to my usual selfish knitting consisting of lace, socks, and the sweater, all for me.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

My Spinning

See, I have been spinning. The twist hasn't been set yet, but it is pretty balanced. The color is a silvery grey, with a rose cast. This is probably a little less than two ounces and it's 350 yards. I still have a little bit of the fiber so I'll probably end up with about 500 yards, enough for a nice little lacy scarf.

Monday, November 21, 2005

I love Handknit Socks

Thank you all for the birthday wishes! I did have a nice one.

I've been working on socks. I've finished the Child's First Sock in Shell pattern. That is singular; I've finished just one.

Luckily, I've yet to fall victim to SSS (Second Sock Syndrome), and I plan to cast on for the second one soon even though I've started this.

I couldn't resist the Sensational Socks book. So I decided I could justify starting another pair before the Child's Socks were finished because I needed some Christmas socks. I had the sock yarn already - Burgundy and Pine from Knit Picks. This sock will have a green cuff, toe and heel and the second sock will have red cuff, toe and heel. How's that for festive? In reality the colors a little more distinct, but it is overcast today, so I can't seem to get a better picture.

As soon as I finish Mystery Christmas Present #3 (it's almost done!), I'll get back to some lace knitting.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yes, it's my birthday. Because I'm an impatient person, it's not all that exiting. Why? Because I talked my wonderful husband into letting me get my wheel a couple of months early. (My mom also helped; Thank you!) I have a nice dinner to look forward to tomorrow night sans kids. (Harry Potter will have to wait a couple of weeks.) Tonight, I plan to watch Pirates of the Caribean yet again. Since it is my birthday, I doubt my husband will make too many snide comments:)

I now have a little mad money that will feed my fiber habit. I plan on getting some dyes from Pro Chemical & Dye, probably an order from Knit Picks, and an order of fiber to dye including some merino and BFL (for socks!). I have to decide exactly what I want, so goodies to come.

I also want to say Happy Birthday to my friend Susan who shares the exact same birthday down to the year. We like a lot of the same books, movies, tv shows (X-Files when it was good and Buffy) and we both would have been in Ravenclaw. And our mothers are both Gemini. How's that for weird coincidence? Susan introduced me to both the Harry Potter series (which I had refused to read until then because of all the hype, but she said they were worth it) and the Falco novels (a series about a private detective in Ancient Rome - wonderfully written with great characters. I'm currently re-reading them.) Happy Birthday to me and Susan!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Socks and Spinning

I got my copy of Sensational Socks on Monday. I've been hearing a good bit about this book lately and decided to see what it was all about. This book is seriously cool. You basically measure your foot, check your gauge and go to the pattern that you want to do. The patterns tell you how many stitches to cast on based on your gauge and foot circumference (meaning you can use any size needle you want; there are also instructions for 4 dpns, 5 dpns or 2 circulars). There are several basic patterns each of which gives several variations. For example, there is a basic four-stitch ribbing pattern. There are several types of four-stitch ribbing you can do. And I have to say that the mosaic patterns are really cool. Yes, I sound like an ad, but I think this book will get some good use.

What I've been working on - the Child's Shell Sock (I won't bore you with more pictures until I finish), Mystery Christmas Present #3 (which I can't show you) and spinning. Of couse the only thing I can show you has a blurry picture, but the color was the most accurate of the ones I took.

It's a silvery grey with a bit of rose. I'll get some better pictures once it's plied.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Child's Shell Socks

Apparently, I'm currently obsessed with socks.

This is my start to the Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks. So far, it's an easy pattern, but there will be a bit of math to figure out once I get to the heel as I had to add a few stitches.

I'm still working on my shawls, but I have done a bit of spinning in the last couple of days as well. Remember this? It's a 50/50 merino/tussah blend in "Rose". I'm spinning it very thin, so it's going to take a while. It's sort of a silvery grey with rose in it. I can't wait to see what it looks like plied. I'll get pictures up soon.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Warm Feet

Here are my finished Conwy socks.

And the close-up. The color is actually much more accurate in the close-up. It is more of a dark blue-grey than blue.

The specs:
Pattern: Conwy from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush for the Knitting on the Road KAL
Yarn: Essential from Knit Picks in Dusk
Modifications: The pattern was written for a smaller foot than mine, so I added a few stitches which would have made the socks too big, so I went down a needle size to 0. They fit perfectly.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Night-time sky

"Alison tries to fake an astronomy lesson" might be a better title. The other night the moon was just a sliver, but it was so clear that I attempted to get a picture. This is what I came up with.

I couldn't zoom in anymore without making the picture much blurrier. I also tried cropping the picture and ended up with the same blurriness effect. You can click the picture for a bigger picture. If you look to about 2 o'clock of the moon, you'll see a bright object that is a planet. Now, I couldn't tell you which planet because I may have skipped a few too many astronomy labs back in college, but I know it's a planet. So I did learn something. (I can also locate Orion in the winter sky, but it's a pretty easy constellation.)

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Warm Hands

I finished my fingerless Snowflake gloves. Fair Isle may just be a new obsession.

I actually had to frog the right glove twice. The first time, the snowflake design was going to be too low on the back of the hand, so I added a couple of bottom borders and the second time, I put the thumb opening a wee bit too high. Third time's a charm though because they turned out well. I am aware that the pinkie on the left glove is a little short, but there is a reason. I am a continental knitter which means I wrap my yarn around my left pinkie, so I had to leave that free as I'm very likely to be knitting with my gloves on. Why else would I make fingerless gloves? Here's a closeup of the snowflake design.

I enjoyed working with Knit Picks Palette yarns and I will be doing more Fair Isle.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Pssst...I've got a secret

Lace is not hard! If you are reading my blog, chances are you know that I am a lace addict. Completely and totally addicted. I'm not by nature a daredevil, not where my life is concerned anyway. I've never gotten past an intermediate ski slope and I actually prefer nice long green runs. Knitting, however, is a different story. I will try just about anything when it comes to knitting. I've found that a lot of it is actually deceptively simple. Things that look complicated can actually be really easy. Okay, there are some patterns that are not easy by any stretch of the imagination, but much of the stuff that people fear is actually easy.

Take my friend from the weekly Sit 'N' Knit. She refuses to try lace. She says that she can't do it. Sunday, she was wearing a poncho she made and it had a bit of simple lace around the neck. I told her she was ready to try lace and she just looked at me.
"Your poncho has lace."
"What this? This is just yarn over and knit two together."
I looked at her and smiled. "What do you think lace is?"
"But what about all the fancy stuff that you do."

There is a little more to it, of course, to get the "fancy stuff", but if you can knit, you aren't far from being able to do simple lace. Get yourself some worsted weight cotton and size 6 needles and cast on 40 stitches. Knit garter stitch for 5 rows or so.
Row 1: K5, *yo, K2tog, repeat from * to last 5 stitches, K5
Row 2: K5, purl to last 5, K5
Row 3: K5, *K2tog, yo, repeat from * to last 5 stitches, K5
Row 4: Repeat row 2
Repeat pattern rows until it's about a square and end with five garter stitch rows. You have a nice lacy dishcloth.

Now, I'm not saying you have to love lace as much as I do. But it's not something you should fear. What's the worst that can happen? So you have to frog a bit. It's not like you'll have to go down a ski slope on your butt (or sliding head first) if you get in over your head.