Tuesday, May 31, 2005

I'm sooooo close to done with my top from the latest VK. It's pattern #5, the twist front top. All the knitting is done, it's blocked, and assembled, so now I'm just crocheting the trim. I got about 75% of that done this evening, but it's killing my hands, so I had to stop.

This photo's a bit behind, as the seams weren't yet sewn here, but it gives you the general gist of things:

The yarn, Berroco Denim Silk, blocks incredibly well. I have two full balls left over right now, so I need to come up with something fancy to make. I think I might mix it with some pink or other pastel ribbon yarn to feel my current color addiction.

I also made good progress on other projects this weekend. Tonight I officially hit the halfway point on GAAA, which is excellent. I also made good progress on the VK Cross Strap tank (last summer's cover pattern) which I put aside after it got too cold to wear it last summer. And I even made some progress on Zeeby's bag, despite taking it to a triple feature Saturday night, and then being unable to work on it because I left one needle at home!!! I was desperate--I even contemplated trying to knit with straws!

I did a little stash enhancing this week too. I just got enough Silk Garden this afternoon to make a cardigan--haven't got a pattern picked out yet, but there's a semblance of a shape in my head. I really only ordered that because I was placing a yarnmarket order anyway to get the last needles and yarn I needed for Carlotta. I'm a sucker for the free shipping. I also ordered some clearance priced R2 Paper from Ram Wools to experiment with.

Next up for projects: a modified Heirloom Bag in Rowan Summer Tweed (from Rowan 37), a summer twinset (shrug and halter top) from Suss Cotton, and socks galore, as soon as I get some short small metal needles. I've snapped three size 0 Brittany needles recently, so I'm taking that as a sign. Too bad the new LYS (Heavenly Creations) was unexpectedly closed this evening--I would have gotten those there. Oh well. I'll have to drive up to Knitter's Mercantile later this week I suppose. Oh, darn. :-)

Saturday, May 28, 2005

SP5 questionnaire

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?
I do prefer natural fibers, and I'm not a big into eyelash yarns, but really interesting ones are cool. I can't stand the feel of cheap acrylic, but acrylic wool blends like Encore are pretty cool.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?
Nope. I can do a bit of crochet, but really just enough to decorate the edges of knitting.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
I don't like artificial scents/perfumes.

4. How long have you been knitting?
About 4 years.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yep. Here it is.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
I love herbal scents like lavendar, bergamot, peppermint, sandalwood, etc.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
Yep. And it loves dark dark chocolate.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
I do some beading, and also some sewing, though not near as much as knitting.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Yep, I can play MP3s and I'm obsessed with my iPod. I used to have a radio show called The ChickRock Hours, and my taste still runs to that gamut--Tori Amos, PJ Harvey, Ani Difranco, Jonatha Brooke, Lucinda Williams, Neko Case, etc. I also like a lot of alt-rock bands like Interpol, Radiohead, The White Stripes, Air, Coldplay, etc.

And I *love* weird cover songs.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
I like just about anything. I am currently obsessed with chocolate brown combined with pastels.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I am delightfully single. I don't have any pets, because I'm just not good with animals.

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
To be able to buy a house soon, and to start a knitwear design and teaching business.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
I love anything with silk in it and also covet anything by Rowan. I would love to try Koigu, but haven't yet.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I'm not huge on 100% cotton, though I like it when appropriate. Laceweight yarns also give me a lot of trouble, but I'm getting better. I do not like 100% synthetics, unless I've got a real good idea for what to do with them.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
I've been doing tons of cables lately, which is funny because I used to hate the look of them. I'm also on a quest to find the perfect tank top and bolero/shrug patterns to make myself a warm weather twinset. I'm also trying to build up a good pallette of colors in worsted and sport/fingering yarns so that I can start working on intricate colorwork a la Kaffe Fassett and Karen Allen.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I like to have a variety of things on needles at once, for quick gratification knitting (hats, socks, bags) and for bigger stretches (sweaters, complex designs).

17. What are you knitting right now?
An Aran sampler afghan as a gift and the short sleeve twist front top from the Spring VK. I'm starting the heirloom bag from Rowan 37 and the Hourglass Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts soon.

18. What do you think about ponchos?
They have their place. I'm actually quite fond of the shorter capelet varieties.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
I like short straights and circs for bigger pieces. That way things are portable, and my needles don't hit the arms of my favorite knitting chair.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Bamboo. Or Birch. Or Inox.

21. Are you a sock knitter?
I've done a couple of pairs. I like doing them, but I need to graduate to something other than just a straightforward cuff down style.

22. How did you learn to knit?
Taught myself using Knitting for Dummies.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?
About 2 years ago I started Zeeby's bag from SNB and it's about 40% done. I can't seem to bring myself to finish it because it's just straight stockinette. I work on it when I go to the movies, but not much else. Last time, I took it to a triple feature, and forgot the second needle, so I couldn't work on it. It may be cursed.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
I like Hello Kitty, and I love her obscure friend Chococat. I also like origami cranes--I'm planning a tattoo of some at some point.

25. What is your favorite holiday?
Halloween. I love to dress up.

26. Is there anything that you collect?
Not really--I do have a very small collection of old etiquette books--they are a riot!

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
Vogue Knitting and Interweave Knits

28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?
Scarf Style and Teva Durham's Loop-d-Loop. Also the newer Kaffe Fassett design book. And Knitting on the Edge.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Just a quick FO

Since my sister's bridal shower was this weekend, I can finally post the photos of the object that was giving me hand cramps for a month or so.

No, actually, it wasn't that bad -- it went much faster than anticipated. But let me just warn you, that if you plan to do a project with size 2 needles and doublestranded kidsilk haze, you shouldn't wear black while doing so. You will be *covered* in fuzz.

Anyway, here's the finished product:

Pattern: Loosely based on the cover pattern of Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I adjusted the size for my gauge and added some more gradual shaping at the bottom.
Yarn: Kidsilk Haze, 1 strand meadow, 1 strand pearl
Needles: 16" size 2 Inox circular.

My big achievement on this was not only finishing it in time, but adding a white bridal satin lining to it.

My sewing machine actually got some use! Although I did hand baste the lining inside. There was no way that fuzzy thing was going through my machine.

I'm working on a huge post with lots of circular sock machine info. I've tried to start cleaning the thing up, but I think I'll be better off calling in professional help for it, as my 2 hours with a can of compressed air didn't do all that much.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Sock knitting machine!

Long day, but good. I just walked in the door 10 minutes ago, having driven straight from work to an auction an hour away. At first, when I got there, mom thought I'd be disappointed because all the yarn was rug yarn, and they sold it early outside in the rain, but all in all, I did well. For $85, I got:

-a box of icord makers (I think there are 6 of them)
-2 tabletop looms, 1 simple, 1 compound (I think. I really know nothing about weaving. Guess it's time to learn.)
-a box of odd purse handles and weird plastic craft items
-a jar of cool old white buttons
-a five foot tall yarn winder of some sort. I'm not sure exactly what it's for, but I'm sure I can use it to measure yardage of recycled yarn at the very least

and....wait for it....drum roll.....

-a 1920s hand crank circular sock knitting machine.

Yep, I got it. That's why I drove an hour. And I got it for $75. All the parts are there, including the original wooden shipping box, and the instruction booklet which contains a whole stack of correspondence between the original owner and the manufacturer, for whom she was consignment knitting socks/hose between 1925 and 1928. This is way cool.

I'm going to try to set it up sometime this weekend. It has a fair bit of rust, so it needs some work, but there's a woman in Ohio who restores these, and I met her last year at the Wool Gathering in Yellow Springs, so I have her info somewhere. One of the carriages (I think the ribber) is virtually untouched though, so I should be able to test it out soon.

My one disappointment is that I didn't bid up the treadle spinning wheel higher. The woman who bought it got it for about $35.00. I don't have great aspirations of spinning yet, but I know some people who do, and that would have been a fantastic beginner wheel.

I have a busy weekend ahead of me, but I'm going to try to set this up and take some photos of it to post. If you've never seen one of these in action, you'll be amazed at the ease of knitting a sock with this little contraption. Here's a photo of one just like mine, all restored.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Wet Kidsilk Haze is not a smell you'll soon forget. Bleh. Wet goat.

After this weekend, I'll be able to show you all what it is that is so smelly and fine-gauged.

Monday, May 16, 2005

I can however, give some long overdue shout outs to the SP4 people who I was lucky enough to be Secret Pal of and to. (There's got to be a better way to phrase that, but you know what I mean.) I played Secret Pal to the lovely Annabel of Doigts de Fee. And I was bestowed with Katy of Why Not? as my Secret Pal. Thanks guys!

I can also provide an overdue photo of the lovely stitch markers I received from my Bead It partner, Rebecca of Me Myself & I:

Aren't they cool? I love the italian looking ones, and the green one's especially shiny, and the pink one's so fun--obviously I like them all. I'm using them lots on the GAAAA, but I have failed so far in my quest to take an action shot of them. I'll do this, I promise.

If I'm suspiciously silent right now, it's because I'm doing several gift pieces at the moment, so I can't post them publicly yet. Suffice it to say though that I'm doing a lot of what I call "sweatshop knitting" at the moment, which is when I do nothing but knit after work, in the interest of producing as much as I can as quickly as possible. Check out the GAAAA for photos of one of these projects if you're so inclined (but not if you're my sister.)

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

On deck

What happens when I have four projects going simultaneously? Well, my brain turns to thoughts of starting more, of course. :-)

I have been ruminating on what to do with this yarn:

for quite some time. That's about eleventy-billion yards of Suss Cotton that I got when I found two poncho kits on killer sale at a DSW a while back. I have no aspirations of a stockinette poncho, so I've been mulling over what to do with that. My first thought was a sundress, but all the patterns I've found that I like (like the cover of the latest IK) wouldn't exactly lend themselves to striping. So then I found this t-back tank pattern and thought, hey, what about that, and a shrug to go with it?

I'll probably do one of the shrugs from the latest IK, or maybe one from VK. But the shrug pattern I found that I really like is I Do from knitty. Which I wouldn't like in the suss cotton, but I think would look spiffy in this yarn:

but I don't have nearly enough, and besides, I'm using that for a scarf right now. The thing is, I already had plans for another summer weight scarf, out of these two:

So why do I need two summer scarves?? Maybe I'll frog the lace one. I'm not terribly in love with the pattern.

I also need to find a use for this stuff:

That's 14 balls of Patons Grace. I got it on super duper sale, which is why I bought so much. That might be a likely candidate for a dress too. Maybe the one on the cover of the newest Rowan (although I also bought kidsilk haze for a shortie version of that too!) My original thought on this yarn was to use it doubled for the Angelina jacket. I think this would also work for the lacy wrap cardigan in the latest VK.

So many ideas! So much yarn! Will she ever make it through it all? Stay tuned!


I love this--a knitter recreated the Firefox logo on a hat for their fifty million downloads contest.


Monday, May 02, 2005

Weekend's Progress

I'm moving right along on another summer top. This one, I'm hoping to wear at a bridal shower three weeks from now. Despite the fact I'm working on three other projects right now, 2 with deadlines, I think I might make it. Here we are so far:

That's the back of the twisted front short sleeved top from the Spring/Summer Vogue Knitting (pattern #5). I'm making it in Berrocco Denim Silk, which is a really really cool ribbon yarn in a Silk Rayon blend. It has little nubbies which I like. I used about 2.5 balls to do the back.

I've never done set in sleeves before, so the shape of the top part of that piece is weirding me out a little. I'm trusting in my ability to read the pattern though.

The big challenge on this one is going to be the edging. I started the pattern, then read to the end and realized the scalloped edge is crocheted. Ooops. It's all single crochet, which I've technically done before, but I'm a bit nervous. I may have to have my SNB group walk me through it.

Progress as well on other projects, but seeing as how they're gifts, you'll have to wait on one, and check out GAAAA for the other. The one you have to wait on will probably make you all question my sanity. Let's just say it's Kidsilk Haze, and I'm not making lace.

Also a big hello and thanks to my SP! And a big hello and welcome to my Bead It Sp!