This year wasn’t as productive of a knitting year as I would have liked, as far as the number of finished knits goes. And sadly, there were a couple knits that I don’t have good pictures of. Le sigh… However, this year marked my first in design ventures, which is exciting! We shall see what 2012 has to bring!
Many FOs. Socks:
And some other odds and ends. There’s also been a lot of lace knitting happening over here, but I’ll save that for another post. 😉 That last hat is my very own Grave Danger merch, and I am quite happy with how it turned out! (I really need to get some good photos of me wearing it to an actual bout.)
What a weekend! Saturday I drove down to Portland for Sock Summit, which was incredible!! I stayed with a friend in Dallas OR Saturday night, then drove back up to Portland for a class Sunday morning. If I didn’t have to work, I would have been there the whole time! It’s just amazing to walk into a huge conference area surrounded by people that you’ve never met before, and still feel completely at ease with everyone and everything. Knitters are just so neat like that; people from all walks of life, coming together in friendly near-chaos. So cool. 🙂
My class was on knitting lace socks, taught by Anne Hanson. I’ve drooled over and knit up several of her designs, and her blog is a highlight on my RSS feed. Though most of us in the class were already lace knitters, it was fabulous to hear her go over the fundamental basics of lace. I figure there will always be something I can learn from someone who has been knitting since she was five years old. 😉 It was such a wonderful opportunity, and I feel very fortunate to live within driving distance of the Summit, as well to have won the class spot in the lottery. I can’t say anymore that I never win anything!
It was terribly difficult to behave myself in the Marketplace, but I had to. (I’m saving my pennies for a new Macbook Pro.) I decided to not get any more sock yarn, even though I was surrounded by it! I already have enough sitting in my stash, so I turned my focus on other things. My fiber stash isn’t all that great, so I started out by stopping at the Tactile booth to see what they had. Brooke and her darling baby boy helped me pick out a sampler of Alpaca:
Five ounces of the stuff! It’s sooo soft and yummy, and Brooke showed me a new spinning trick. I can’t wait to try it. My next stop was to see Chris from Briar Rose Fibers; her booth was brimming with so many beautiful yarn and samples, I had to sleep on it before I could decide which to buy! The lace bug that has bitten me prevailed, and I walked away with 2500 yards of Angel Face Alpaca laceweight:
2500 yards! More than enough for a couple of decently-sized shawls; maybe one as a gift, and one for me. 😀 Finally, I wanted more fiber, and I kept going back to the Girl on the Rocks booth. Karrie had some wonderful fiber and yarn, and after much deliberation and drooling I bought this:
Superwash Merino, white with dashes of blues, purples and greens, all my favorites in one. LOVE. And there’s nearly five ounces of it, which can get me quite a bit of yarn.
I’ve also been knitting some socks, of course. Last week I started some Roger Socks, as well as a pair of Waving Lace Socks for Anne’s class. I’ve just started the lace socks, and I’m on the heel of the first Roger sock. Socks are so wonderfully portable. I actually found myself knitting on one while I was stuck at a dead stop in traffic during rush hour last week. Yet another example of how incredibly awesome socks are.
I’m getting soooo close to finishing my Aeolian! I’ve finished the first 24 rows of the edging, which means I have 22 rows left. I’ve been really good about inserting a lifeline along the way, usually at the beginning of every chart repeat, although I wasn’t so good about it when I first started. I had to rip back and start over a couple times, and once I finally started putting in lifelines at regular intervals, my mistakes didn’t require such drastic measures to fix! It’s funny how when you have lifelines you don’t really need them, but when you neglect to put them in you pay for it later! In this case, I don’t know if I was screwing up more in the beginning simply because I was getting used to the yarn/needles/beads/pattern, and now that I have the hang of it all I’m just not having many issues. That’s probably the case, but the superstitions about lifelines are still floating around in my brain!
After I finish this Aeolian, I would really like to make the smaller version. This one will still be with Habu Bamboo, which I have in a deep purple. I’m tempted to double up the yarn with the silk stainless steel that I have in a similar color:
I’ll need to make a test swatch and see how it knits up. I still want to use beads, just not as much throughout the shawl. I’ll probably only use them through the agave and edge charts, and maybe in place of the nupps. We’ll see!
Amazingly, this is my first pair of socks knit up with Artisan Sock yarn, and I love this yarn!! Wendee has some amazing colorways, too, and I can’t wait to get my hands on some more.
Ok, one more picture of the shawl:
We were in California for nearly two weeks last month, and the time to relax/knit was most welcome. I was especially happy to get a lot of work done on this:
I’ve been steadily knitting away on my Big Ginormous Project, finally making it past the 12 repeats of the Yucca chart and nearly finishing the transition chart before getting on to the Agave chart. (This is actually an old picture; the shawl is far too big now to spread out on the needles to take a decent picture.) Adding the beads isn’t nearly as tedious as it was when I first started, simply because I’ve done it so many times now! Right now the shawl is my main project to work on at home (when I’m not spinning!) and my Chocolate Socks have been tagging along in my bag and getting lots of love. So while this blog has been rather quiet, that doesn’t mean the knitting has stopped! I’ve found it interesting how I crave to work on the lace; the increases and decreases are relaxing to me, somehow, and at the same time they keep me thinking as I knit. If I had my way, I would spend my days back at the beach, knittin’ my lace.
|From Spring in California 2009|
Almost done with the first sock. I could have finished the last inch of the foot and toe last night, but I’m afraid my eyes were drooping just a tad bit too much from the long week! I really do love this yarn, and the colorway is fabulous. The browns are just so deep and rich. Love!
I’ve been eyeing some gadgets and equipment online, and frankly I’m a bit floored by how much money I can spend on tools for blocking garments and measuring my yarn. I’m not made of money, and I figure that the less of my ‘fun’ budget I spend on other things, the more I can spend on yarn! So I did a little Googling and found some great deals and ideas from other knitters.
First off, I’m already looking towards blocking the lace that’s on my needles. I’m not anywhere close to finishing this piece, but I wanted to have a peek at how much a wire blocking set would cost me. I found a nice set for $50, which was a bit steep for me. I kept looking and found the same exact set on Knitting Warehouse for nearly half the price.
Next was a blocking board, which retails for $80+. Um, no! Going through some forums on Ravelry, I found a blog post from a knitter who made her own blocking board. Brilliant! I found some red-and-white checkered fabric (the blocks are exactly 1 inch x 1 inch) for about $6 for two yards. I still need to track down the foam core boards, but I’m sure that won’t be a problem. I already have a ton of T-pins from previous blocking and the pins that came with my lace blocking kit. So I’m pretty sure I can construct a similar blocking board for well under $20.
Finally, I’ve been thinking about how I can figure out how much yardage I have of yarn leftover from projects. I’m looking into getting a small scale; I don’t want to get the cheapest thing on the market, because I would like it to be pretty accurate, but I don’t want to spend too much on it either. Then while I was poking around on Knitting Warehouse, I saw a yarn counter. Brilliant. This one is $30, and I think I found one somewhere else for $50. Again, a little pricey for me. And again, I poked around Ravelry and found someone who uses a fishing line counter for the same purpose. I found one at Joe’s for $20.
Hey, ten bucks can buy me a good chunk of roving! I think the guys in the fishing section were kind of amazed that I even knew what a line counter was. 😛 This morning I gave it a test run:
All I have to do is convert feet to yards, and voila! I wound up my Kauni into cakes so that I could see all of the layers of color:
(Yes, that’s three balls of Kauni; I got another one yesterday.) Look at those colors! I am SO excited to work with this stuff, I just have to practice some self-control and finish a couple other projects first. 😉
My knitting ADD has struck again. I’ve been finishing projects, but I’ve also been casting on new ones at an alarming rate! My boss has commissioned me for another scarf; she bought the yarn (Beaded Rhapsody by Artyarns and Kidsilk Haze by Rowan) and I picked out the pattern and will knit it up (Brambler, a lacy concoction from Anne). I was on my second pattern repeat when I screwed something up, and I decided to rip it out and start over. My gauge was a little tight, too. The second time has been the charm so far. I’m not the biggest fan of the Beaded Rhapsody, though. It’s absolutely gorgeous, but knitting with it has been absolutely frustrating. Ripping it out was no picnic. No pics yet, hopefully will get some soon.
I’ve also started another pair of socks, because really, how can I go so long without having a pair of socks on my needles?!
For Christmas, my boy got me a gift certificate to one of my favorite LYS’s, Hilltop Yarn (such a good lad). At first, I was planning on stocking up on some Hazel Knits sock yarn, but their selection was sadly lacking. I made one quick pass through the store, thinking I would just save the certificate until they had stocked up again, but then I saw some
Wasonga superwash merino sitting on a table. I couldn’t help it. It was $40 for one skein, but I couldn’t help it. By 5 am the next morning, I had picked out a little lacy nothing and finished several pattern repeats.
It’s really difficult to capture the true colors in this yarn. But trust me, it’s purty! And this pattern is so fun, I can literally stay up all night and work on it without getting bored. Love. It. Actually, I just realized that all of my new projects are Knitspot creations. I can blame her for my lack of sleep while I work on all of these… 😉
My boyfriend survived Stitch n’ Pitch, and the Mariners actually won. It was a good evening. 😉 We were surrounded by hundreds of knitters, hookers and even a few people doing cross stitch. Loads of glorious yarn and other goodies were to be had at the booths, and I ended up walking away with this:
Artisan Sock Yarn from Hazel Knits in the Hometown Baseball colorway. I’ve been itchin’ for this yarn for ages! I’ve wound it up into a ball already, and I’m trying to decide which pattern to use. I would love to do something like Spring Forward, but with these colors I may be better off with a simpler pattern. We shall see. There were several other skeins of yarn that I picked up and fondled, but I held off on spending any more money. My stash really doesn’t need much enhancing right at the moment!
And now for my FO:
This pattern was simple enough that these things flew off my needles (when I actually had time to work on them) but the cables down the sides add a little pizzaz.
The yarn pooled and striped in all the right places, and were the same on both socks. I am so happy with how these turned out!
The legs are really long, and I was worried with the STR’s yardage that I wouldn’t make it. I went on Ravelry and found another knitter who used STR with this pattern, and she said that she left one cable repeat off of the legs and she was just fine. I think I had about two yards of yarn left after stitching up the second toe. Phew!
I’ve dug into my stash of Socks That Rock, and started a new pair:
Can I say again how much I love this yarn? It just feels… neat. The colors are fabulous, as always, and I love the little bit of pooling I got at the top when I decided to switch to a smaller needle earlier than the pattern called for. I can’t wait to see what the colors do at the heel and foot.
I also have a Finished Object; well, a piece that was mostly finished quite a while ago, but I was just lazy about weaving in the ends.
I finally got them all taken care of last week, and gave it a light blocking on Saturday to flatten the flowers a bit. My boyfriend took one look at this thing and said “You’re crazy.” Why yes, yes I am!
What a fun knit! I loved working with this yarn; aside from the occasional knot in the ball, I didn’t have any breakage or any of the other problems I’ve heard people having with it. And even after just blocking, the fabric softened up quite a bit. I love the randomness of the texture and colors.