Knitting goddess

Waterfall Socks

Since I luuurrve sock yarn, I occasionally make socks:

These are made from Wendy Johnson’s “Waterfall Socks” pattern.  I think it was published in her book Wendy Knits but is available at her site for free.

The yarn is Mini Mochi from Crystal Palace Yarns.  The striping pattern makes “fraternal twins”, completely unpredictable, and I love it.

The pattern calls for a Turkish cast-on for the toe and a short row heel (after finishing the second sock I realized that I had done the toe increases slightly different on each sock – one is pointer than the other, oh well).  The eyelet pattern is pretty easy to memorize – if you can count to four; I pretty well borked up the first sock because I forgot how to count to four.

Of course, I had to put them on right away, I made them for me! (My feet get cold at night while I’m asleep – not sure why, since they’re under the covers, but I have cold feet.)

Pretty!!

I already casted-on for my next project – Melissa Wehrle’s “Origami Shrug” from the Brave New Knits book.  408 stitches in the round to cast-on – oy!

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Knitting goddess · secret knitting · Xmas knitting

Orchid Thief Shawlette (and other knitted things)

Knitting has occurred in copious amounts at my house.  Knitted gifts galore.

First, there’s the shawlette for my boss.

The Orchid Thief Shawlette by Ysolda Teague from Brave New Knits, knit from Malabrigo Sock in Primavera.  The boss has an enormous garden and is a knitter, too, so I think she’ll love this.

Then a hat for one of the secretaries – she helps me out a TON throughout the year.

A water bottle/coffee mug cozy for my Secret Santa at the office.

And last, but certainly not least because it was the first one done but last given, is my little niece Alexis’s Christmas Stocking.  All three girls’ stockings were laid out by the fireplace on Christmas Eve and they looked so sweet together, just like ours did when I was little (it’s the same pattern my Grandma used).

I’m still working on a sweater (for me), the DNA scarf (for whoever – maybe me), a pair of socks (half-done, for me), and a summer blouse (also, for me).  I need to knit faster!

knitting · Knitting goddess · new yarn · secret knitting · Xmas knitting

What I do when I’m not reading (or working)…

Reading has been hard as of late – whenever I sit down to read I fall alseep in about 2 seconds (the last several nights I’ve fallen asleep with the bedside lamp on, Pandora streaming through the Blu-Ray, my nook on my face, and the cats snuggled under my arm only to wake up when my alarm goes off and wonder what idiot left the TV and light on; I blame the cats for activating the “sleep” neuro-chemicals).  I do have two reviews to finish writing but I’ve been so busy with work and knitting I haven’t had much time to write.

Speaking of knitting….

I finished the shawlette for my boss (shhhh…. she doesn’t know that it’s for her).  I have to get it blocked out – challenging because this is a curved piece so I don’t have a straight edge to pin out first.  Edyie gave me some pointers so we’ll see how it goes.

While I was in the yarn shop I was captured by yarn fumes.

Cashmere yarn fumes – they held me ransom until my debit card freed me.  Araucania Trauco Cashmere in a beautiful berry colorway.  It was on sale, not quite half off, and I can’t wait to see what I can make from it.

Then I bought my Christmas present to myself because it also went on sale.  I’ve been salivating over D-SLR cameras for quite some time.  My little Canon point-and-shoot is nice to just take quick pictures/videos but it never quite satisfied for taking really nice shots; nothing came out looking quite like how I saw it.  I learned to take pictures using my Dad’s 35mm camera with it’s lenses and manual aperture/exposure settings so I wanted a more “professional” level camera.  I stopped in at Best Buy to see what early holiday deals they had and the Canon EOS Rebel XS/1000D I’d been looking at was ON SALE!  Merry Christmas!  I already tried it out on the shawlette and cashmere yarn, but I got the cats into the act….

and they weren’t quite up to cooperating, choosing instead to come and “love” the camera lens (I felt like I was on Wild Kingdom with the animals ganging up on me).  They kept licking their noses when I clicked the shutter:

Dante finally let me take a nice profile picture of him. 

Isn’t it nice?  No “lazar kitteh eyz” in sight.  All the pictures are wonderful and I just need to learn about all the bells and whistles on my new baby (I already figured out that if I fiddle with the “White Balance” I can take pictures that are blue – wicked!).  I plan on taking TONS of holiday pictures (this is also part of the plan, if I take the pictures then I don’t have to be in any of them, hah).

Knitting goddess · Xmas knitting

A long-overdue update from the "sticks and string" front

 I’ve been so busy I completely forgot to post about my Icarus shawl – I finished it in July!
First, it got a sink bath in Eucalan.  You would not believe how long it took to do the bind-off, it just kept going and going, the neverending shawl edge.
Then rolled in a towel to get as much water out as possible.
Here it is, pinned out on the floor.  I did some local investigating and no one seemed to have knitter’s blocks or interlocking foam blocks that didn’t smell like a gasoline factory.  I made do with vacuuming the carpet extra-good and scowling at the cats since they were more-than-a-little interested in what I was doing with thread, pins, and that big blue thing I kept yelling at them for standing on.  Chaucer insisted on being in the picture so you can see how big Icarus is compared to little, old him.

I think I used about 120 T-pins between the top border and the edge points (I don’t have blocking wires, either, *le sigh* ).
Icarus Shawl by Miriam Felton, Interweave Knits Summer 2006 and/or The Best of Interweave Knits: Our Favorite Designs from the First Ten Years.  Knit in Classic Elite Yarns Silky Alpaca Lace, 2.33 skeins.

I also bought a pretty shawl pin of copper to wear with Icarus at the AXS Kuebler Banquet in August (it was pretty, sorry no pictures to show, and Icarus unblocked itself in my luggage on the way back to Iowa; it’s currently making-do as a pretty scarf until I get a chance to re-block)
 My next project was started at AXS Conclave in order to teach a fellow brother how to knit cables.  The pattern is June Oshiro’s DNA Scarf (but only the DNA bit, I didn’t want to knit the border cables).  I bought some beautiful Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Sotobosque to use.
 As you can see, I had a little trouble getting the yarn to wind up properly and spent several hours in ball-winder and swift limbo untangling all the crazy knots before I could get it into two pretty yarn cakes.
It’s coming along nicely, albeit a bit slow because you cable on every right-side row at least twice in a very long repeat.  It’s not very memorizable.
I also cast-on for Wendy Johnson’s Waterfall Socks to use my gorgeous Mini Mochi yarn from Crystal Palace.  I think I borked the eyelet pattern already so I may need to rip back a few rows.  Boo.
And then I bought more yarn.  Why?  Ummm, I was in the yarn shop?
Three very pretty skeins of Manos del Uruguay, mint, berry, and pink.  I think they’ll make a nice scarf together.
I am sure this is why I buy yarn all the time, it’s for the colors.
Except, in this case, it was the soft luxury.  Plymouth Yarn Paca Tweed.  Alpaca.  I have no idea what I want to do with this yarn, I just had to have it.
I also recently (as in last night at dinner) casted on a new project (no pics yet) for my niece Alexis – her Christmas stocking.  I’ve become a better knitter in the several years since I made her older sisters’ stockings so I should be able to get this done by Christmas.  I’m more experienced in intarsia colorwork and I can knit with both hands now so this should go faster (I refuse to give it to her for her second Christmas).

Knitting rules!  Knit on, knit on.

Knitting goddess

I’ve been KIP-ing all week

On Sunday I KIP’d at church for Alexis’s baptism:

Hi, baby!

And then I KIP’d at my parents’ house for a bit:

The twins were completely uninterested in my knitting – they were busy sending Cookie Monster into outer space.

 The rest of the week I KIP’d on the bus – I got plenty of knitting time, too, thanks to the weather.  On Tuesday the bus got stuck in traffic (approximately a 45 minute delay) caused by flash flooding:

The driver of the small blue car (near the center – in the middle of the puddle) tried to do exactly what you’re not supposed to do when there’s water over the roadway…he or she got the car stalled when they tried to drive through the water.  So not only did the police have to re-route traffic through the shallow part of the flooding they also had to have the blue car towed away.

Then we had a few road obstacles on Thursday:

That’s a very large tree blocking 23rd Ave; the bus had to turn around and go back.  We had a ton of downed trees due to straight-line winds estimated at 70-80 mph – yikes!
I must have looked like the most unperturbed person in the world, knitting away on my shawl while everyone freaked out.  However, a few words of wisdom: never interrupt a knitter when she’s counting.

The net result of WWKIP is that I’m started on the third repeat of the first chart:

The shawl will get much wider faster than it will length-wise so I switched from a 24″ circular to a 40″ circular.  This is the easy part of the “Icarus” pattern, very easily memorized.  The “feather” portion on charts 2, 3, and 4 will be far more complicated and with longer rows.

Chaucer is doing a very good job of “helping” me take a picture!

I have a large backlog of book reviews to finish – they might have backdates (sorry) since I’m that far behind.  But I am still reading – I didn’t just KIP all week.

Knitting goddess

Don’t forget – KIP!

Tomorrow, June 12, is the kick-off for World Wide Knit In Public Day!

The fun lasts all week so don’t forget to take your knitting out into the wide, wide world!  Visit the WWKIP site to find a KIP event near you or to promote your own.

I don’t have a particular event in mind for me – I will be out and about in the Iowa City/Coralville area.  Since my handbag doubles as my knitting bag you’ll find me with my knitting just about everywhere (whether I’ll have the sheddy blue sweater or something new I don’t know yet).

Knitting goddess

The socks are knitted!

In an effort to reduce the number of started projects in my Ravelry queue I’m trying really, really hard to finish what I’ve got started. 

Voila!

Ann Budd’s “Punctuated Rib Socks” from the pattern book Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn edited by Carol Sulcoski and knitted using Mountain Colors Bearfoot in colorway Red Willow.

And, yes, they are toe-up socks.

Sorry for the goofy angles.  (Do you know how hard it is to take pictures upside down?  I had to model the socks on my feet to get the pictures.  Head. Rush.)

Now to finish another project…how about the V-neck sweater?

Knitting goddess

I have been knitting!

Which explains why I’m so far behind in posting!  And reading!

First of all, I have a new baby niece – Alexis – and she deserves a pretty cardie.

This is the Classic Yoked Cardigan by Erika Knight.  I had to use Ella Rae Lace Merino (100% extra fine merino) yarn to get the right gauge (i.e. not very big).  It’s a lovely blue-green-lavender-off-white that creates a pretty variegated fabric when knitted in stockinette on US2 and US3 needles.  The only major drawback is that there’s no dye lot on the skeins – it’s a hand-dyed yarn so no two skeins come out looking exactly alike.  Even though I color matched as close as I possibly could the second skein had a little more green as an overall color than the first skein which was a little more blue.  So the right sleeve is slightly different than the rest of the sweater…boo…but Alexis is a baby and she’ll look cute anyway.

Alexis’s older sisters turned four in March…and they needed a pretty knitted garment apiece.  Ana and Livy are getting to be big girls so I made them each a ribbon-trimmed shrug in a very drapey bamboo yarn from Sirdar (Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo, 80% bamboo/20%wool).  The bamboo lends this yarn a lovely shimmer and the pattern from Claire Montgomery’s Easy Kids Knits is very easy to knit.  It only took about a week each to get the shrugs done before the girls’ birthday party.  The hardest part was getting the ribbon to lay flat while threading it through the eyelets!

The shrugs do fit – Ana modelled one for Grandpa so he could see what it was but she didn’t wear it long enough for me to grab the camera (I was burping Alexis so I didn’t have a free hand).

Now that I have the girls’ knitting finished I can work on other things…like socks!!  I have a whole drawer of sock yarn….and I have a sweater to finish for me…and a shrug….

Did I mention that I’m afflicted with knitting start-itis?