Thursday, December 22, 2005

Top 5 for 2005 and 6 Resolutions for 2006

I've been seeing these posts around the knitblog universe, and I figured I'd put my goals up here. That way I have some clear goals for 2006 (and you all can give me grief next year if I don't finish them!). :)

Top 5 for 2005

1. Socks on 2 Circulars
Not only did I get into sock knitting this year by joining Sockapal-2-za, but I learned to use the 2 circular method. I find myself knitting faster using the 2 circular technique. I think I'd like to try the Magic Loop soon to see how that differs. I need to find myself a book or a class to teach me. I also can't wait for round 3 of the Sockapalooza!

2. Handpainted sock yarn.
Oh, dear, I have found the ultimate indulgence. Handpainted sock yarn. I've become a good customer of both Dani at Knitting Sunshine (Gryffindor, prism, and candy cane colorways anyone?) and Sweet Georgia's Sweet Shop (Slayer, Fondant, and Firefly colorways). I've bought many, many skeins from the two of them. An informal goal for next year is to make socks out of most of these skeins (that way I can get MORE!) :)

3. Cabling
Before this year, I (for some CRAZY reason) thought cabling was more complicated than it really was, and was intimidated to try it. My first cabling project was my Sockapal-2-za socks. I thought I was crazy when I thought--hey, my first real sock project, and my first cabling project--let me make socks for someone else! :) I used the rib and cable sock pattern from the fall Interweave Knits. They turned out beautiful, as I used a blue variegated Koigu. I'm gong to dig around the files on the 'puter to see if I can find my picture of the socks.

4. Cabling without a cable needle
After I got the socks out of the way, I fell in love with cabling! I decided I wanted to make my Mom a sweater. I showed her a few patterns, and she narrowed it down to Rogue and Mariah. Mariah seemed a little easier, so I decided to make that for my Mom for Christmas. I went to Grumperina's site and read her tutorial about cabling without a cable needle.

5. Sending away for TKGA Master Knitter Level 1
I was inspired by Felicia at Sweet Georgia to do this. I looked at her progress pictures and decided that this would be a good way to increase my knitting knowledge. One of my dreams is to have my own yarn store, and I figured that if I ever did that, I'd be able to do so confidently. I've completed one swatch, and have started another. I figure that this will be a long term project.

6 Resolutions for 2006

1. Finish my Mom's Mariah and my Dad's Professor vest, STAT!
These were SUPPOSED to be Christmas gifts... I think I was a little ambitious. I'm thinking that I'll finish up my Mom's Mariah, and give it to her when it's done, and then making my Dad's vest for Father's Day

2. Learn how to spin using a drop spindle
I've asked for a drop spindle for Christmas. A Cascade Spindle Mt. Shuksan. I'm hoping to learn and not get too addicted. :)

3. Finish my TKGA Master Knitter Level 1
I'd like to do this before the summer.

4. Use up at least 20% of my yarn stash
I've become a collector of yarn. Maybe one day I'll get brave enough to show you my stash. I think I'll just start out with just the sock yarn stash.

5. Finish all current WIPs
This includes the Professor Vest, Mariah, some socks for a coworker, a pair of Jaywalkers, a mate for my Firefly sock a mohair sweater (Cosmopolitan from Jo Sharp) in some yarn I got from Tokyo, and a turtleneck shrug. Wow, I didn't realize how many WIPs I had!

6. Start Christmas knitting earlier, like starting on Jan 1, 2006!
I'm thinking Rogue for my Mom. I'll have to look into cardigan vs pullover and see what she prefers.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Finally some pictures, as promised. :)

First off, I figured I'd go back, and show you all all the sweaters I've finished since I got back into knitting. When my friends at work got back into knitting, one of them had the Stitch and Bitch book. I took a look through it and decided I'd get back into knitting. I went on a search for a LYS and found a few. I ended up going to the now closed Skeins, Ltd. in Bellevue, WA and got some Manos for a "Ribbed for Her Pleasure" scarf. After falling back in love with the art of knitting, I decided to finally start a sweater. I really liked Fluffa's Peppermint Twist sweater that was in the Stitch and Bitch book and decided to make it. When I went to Skeins, they didn't have the Cotton Glace that I was looking for, and they steered me towards some Anny Blatt wool. Here's my finished product:

Looks decent from the distance. I really did a bad job with finishing--I had no idea what I was doing at this point. I carried the yarn up the sides for the stripes, and also ended up doing both sleeves at once. I really ended up liking the colors. Perhaps one day this sweater can be saved. But right now I have no motivation to re-do the seaming.

The second sweater I worked on was Martha from Rowan 37. I ended up doing the eyelet version. I did it in the recommended yarn, the 4-ply Cotton. I really enjoyed working on this sweater, and figuring out how to continue the pattern with the waist shaping. And the texture created by the pattern is amazing.

This is also the first time I've ever installed buttons in a sweater. It took me forever to find these buttons. :)

The sweater ended up being a little small because I'm--how shall I put this--large on top. I also don't like how the yarn is pilling and fuzzing.

The last sweater I finished was Audrey from Rowan. I did this in Black Calmer. Audrey ended up getting pushed aside for other projects quite often. I do love working with the Calmer though. :)

Audrey has been the sweater that I've liked the finished product the best. The body fits well, but I do wish I did one less repeat on the lace edging, as the neck is a little large, and it's hard to wear the proper undergarments without broadcasting what I'm wearing to the world. This picture of the black is pretty washed out--It's much more blacker than this picture.

Here's the Christmas presents I've been working on. This hat and scarf set is from Holiday Knits, done in Karabella Aurora 8. It's black and and a nice cornflower blue. This set is destined to go to my friend Dave.

Finally, a Pumpkin colored scarf for my Mom with a green hat. The yarn for the hat is Anny Blatt Ksar, and the yarn for the scarf is Jo Sharp Silkroad Ultra that I got on sale at Hilltop East.

Now I just have to figure a good way to package these scarves and hats. :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Life...or something like it

Hello everyone,

Sorry that I've been neglecting the blog lately. I need to share some pictures! Several Christmas gifts are done and I still owe you pictures of old FOs. Let's just say I've done:

A hat and scarf set for my friend Dave for Christmas
A hat and scarf for my Mom for Christmas
I finally sewed together the two halves of my Backyard Leaves, and have been wearing it often.

My boyfriend (who I live with) and I are discussing breaking up. Let's just say right now our parents aren't supportive of the relationship. There have been many, many cultural misunderstandings. My boyfriend is Chinese (born in Hong Kong). He's spent the last 12 years or so in the US. His mother just moved here to Seattle to cook for him to help him lose weight. Needless to say, now there's bad feelings all around. My parents only see him treating their little girl badly and my father has forbidden him from coming around to the house. His parents see me as a rude and ungrateful girl, and last night my boyfriend shared with me that his father feels that if we were to get married, he wouldn't attend the wedding. I don't want to get in between my boyfriend and his parents, and if he had to choose between a relationship with them and a relationship with me, I'd break up with him so he wouldn't sever ties with his parents. I've been using knitting as my therapy, and it's been helping thank goodness.

Culture and cultural misunderstandings are playing a KEY ROLE in this. Has anyone been in an interracial relationship and have any tips? Or just general tips for me to help mend things with his Chinese parents?

I'm starting a few shifts tonight, and promise pictures at the end of the week.

Thanks for understanding everyone.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Drop Spindles

Hello everyone,

Was hoping for some advice. I'm asking my Mom and Dad for a drop spindle for Christmas, and was hoping for some advice for the right one to choose for a beginner. I like Cascade Spindles. Either the Little Si or the Mt. Shuksan. I love the coloring and appearance of the Mt. Shuksan most. Any other advice on what accessories to go with my drop spindle?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Knitting Meme--with pictures to come!

What is your all-time favourite yarn to knit with?

This one is hard... If you asked me 6 months ago, I would have said some sort of cotton, but now I've been knitting with Merino of all sorts--sock yarn, worsted weight, etc. Right now I'm liking Karabella Aurora 8, but that may change next week. :) The Cascade 220 that I'm using for Christmas presents is great too. :) Let's just say I'm a yarn ho.

Your favorite needles?
Again, my tastes have evolved over the past 6 months or so. It used to be Crystal Palace bamboo straights for everything, now I'm loving Addi Turbos. I especially love using the turbos to knit socks.

The worst thing you’ve ever knit?
Hmmm... That would probably be between Christmas stockings I knit for my parents when I was in college (which my mom LOVES) or my Peppermint Twist from Stitch and Bitch. I ended up going to my LYS in search of Cotton Glace, which they didn't have. The sales person convinced me to try to knit it out of some Anny Blatt wool. The yarn was luckily on sale, and I found some good colors. But the wool ended up being ITCHY! Plus my finishing job left much to be desired. I've never worn it, and it's sitting up in my closet. I'm tempted to rip out my seams and to re-seam it. We'll see if that happens any time soon. :)

Your most favourite knit pattern? (maybe you don’t like wearing it…but it was the most fun to knit)
Well, I really enjoyed knitting my Audrey. It's also been the knit item I've worn the most. Backyardty Leaves was also fun to knit, as was Ruffles. Ruffles made the flight to and from Japan and Hong Kong tolerable. :) I measured time in balls of yarn I went through. :)

Most valuable knitting technique?
Easy--Socks on 2 circulars!

Best knit book or magazine?
If there's one thing other than yarn I collect, it's books. I love looking through them at all the beautiful pictures. My "best" tends to rotate, right now they're all gift themed. I like Last Minute Knitted Gifts, Handknit Holidays, and Holiday Knits

Your favorite knit-a-long?
I've only joined two--Sockpal-2-za, and Who Wouldn't Love a Handknitted Gift. I'd say Sockpal-2-za was my favorite.

Your favorite knitblogs?
This is the easier of the questions Blue Blog Alison, Sweet Georgia, Grumperina, Whispering Pine, See Eunny Knit, Marnie Talks, Marirob and Crazy Aunt Purl to name a few. My bloglines roll has finally hit 100.

Your favorite knitwear designer?
Kim Hargreaves,for the "professional" designer. I have to admit I really love all the work of the knitbloggers...

The knit item you wear the most? (how about a picture of it!)
Audrey for the sweater I wear the most, and Ruffles for the scarf I wear the most. I also wear the purple socks Penny gave me for Sockpal-2-za at least once a week. Gotta love that superwash wool! :)

Friday, November 25, 2005

Firefly Sock 1 Finished

Yay! I've finished a Firefly sock! I actually like how the colors have gone, and the spiral of browns down the leg to the foot. Since I've freed up the needles, I'm debating about whether or not to cast on for the second like I should, or work on some Candy Cane socks or start on some Jaywalkers. I haven't decided yet.

I've finally started on my father's Professor Vest. The texture is called broken rib. It's K the RS row, and K1, P1 the WS row.

I'm starting to realize how little time I have left for knitting these gifts. Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

HP Pics

Finally some Harry Potter Pictures. My mom and I have tickets for tomorrow's 11:30 am show.

Here are my Gryffindor socks


Pattern: My own, cast on 60 stitches and went on my way
Yarn: Dani's Gryffindor Yarn
Verdict: The yarn is warm and toasty. I'm just worried my feet will be dyed red, just like my hands have been from red yarns.

I did my best to make the stripes match up, so check this out:

One has the teensy bit of yellow! I think it's kinda cute, and shows the socks are handmade. :)

Some other projects in the works:

Firefly socks from the Sweet Shop. Only have this sock on the needles at this time.

After freeing my #2 circs from the Gryffindor yarn, I casted on with the Dragon colorway from the Sweet Shop. These socks will be destined for a co-worker of mine.

One more FO:

Project: Scarf Style's Ruffles Scarf
Yarn: Dale of Norway Svale
Modifications: None, other than length. This sucker is LONG! I'll need to take some more pics to show you how long... :)

Here's a Get-Off-Your-Butt-And-Get-It-Done-WIP

Backyard Leaves from Scarf Style. It's blocked, ends are woven in and all I have to do is sew the two halves together.

Here's my latest interior decorator touch--for the centerpiece on the coffee table I've created this:

Mmmmmm... Beautiful colors... Filled with all my favorites: Sweet Georgia Yarn, Sunshine Yarns, and Koigu. I'm thinking the bright pink/yellow one will be destined for some Jaywalker socks. Any other suggestions for the rest?

Scout says:

"Dude, enough with the yarn--come over here and pet me"

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

HP Socks!

I finished my Harry Potter socks! Pictures to come when I get home from work in the am!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Why do I have issues?

With cabling?? ARGH! I'm working on the sleeves of my Mom's Mariah sweater, and I've had to rip out the complicated cabling TWO times now because I haven't been able to fix it without ripping.

The first time, I miscrossed a cable multiple rows down and ended up dropping down my stitches to try and fix it--no luck

The second time I jumped over a stitch in the chart and ended up with an extra stitch, and was unable to tink back to fix it.

Wish me luck as I try again. I want to post project pics, but I know my Mom visits the website. I'll have to see how she feels about me posting projects. I'll probably be starting my father's vest soon. Thank goodness his vest has no cabling. :)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Sweet Yarn

Felicia's photograph of her Slayer Yarn

Oh, slayer yarn, how I've wished you were mine, and now you are! w00t!

This is the Slayer colorway from Felicia's Sweet Shop

I really LOVE her colorways and have purchased several.
Much knitting has been done in the past week! I managed to finish my first Gryffindor sock! w00t! Just like Blue Blog Alison I cut out the yellow stripes so my heel would be solid red. I can't wait to finish up the second sock (which you'll see I cast on for already) in time for the movie. With how fast the first one knit up--it only took 3 days of knitting during breaks at work--I should have plenty of time to finish before the movie.

I've also been doing a lot of knitting for my Mom's Christmas present. I've found that I must have some crazy reaction to red dyed yarn, as with the Gryffindor yarn and the cranberry Cascade 220, I've been dying my fingers red like CRAZY! I must do some investigating to see if lotion or something is the culprit. Anyone else had this problem??

I'll leave you with the funniest picture I found on my camera as I was loading up my pics to Terence's laptop. Terence took this of me sleeping the other night before he went to bed. You'll see that the kitties have taken up their usual spot of sleeping on me. :) Now, just to return the favor to Terence. :)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Knitting Guru
You appear to be a Knitting Guru. You love knitting
and do it all the time. While finishing a piece
is the plan, you still love the process, and
can't imagine a day going by without giving
some time to your yarn. Packing for vacation
involves leaving ample space for the stash and
supplies. It can be hard to tell where the yarn
ends and you begin.

What Kind of Knitter Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Shortest Personality test

Your Personality Profile

You are pure, moral, and adaptable.

You tend to blend into your surroundings.

Shy on the outside, you're outspoken to your friends.

You believe that you live a virtuous life...

And you tend to judge others with a harsh eye.

As a result, people tend to crave your approval.

Please forgive me for lack of original posts. I'm in a work chunk so I'm sleeping when I'm not working. I'm still chugging along on my Gryffendor socks--I've made it past the gusset and am on the foot. Only a few more inches before I can start decreasing for the toe.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

How accurate is this?? :)

Your Aura is Blue

Your Personality: Your natural warmth and intuition nurtures those around you. You are accepting and always follow your heart.

You in Love: Relationships are your top priority, and this includes love. You are most happy when you are serious with someone.

Your Career: You need to help others in your job to feel satistifed. You would be a great nurse, psychologist, or counselor.

What Color Is Your Aura? Take This Quiz :-)

Find the Love of Your Life
(and More Love Quizzes) at Your New Romance.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Sock FO!

What do these look like? Some finished socks, that's what! I got this sock yarn (Opal) from one of my LYS, the Weaving Works. My mom and I ended up going there on her birthday (August 23) where she picked out some yarn for socks. She picked out some Koigu and this Opal. At that time, I was already knitting her a pair of socks, so she got these 2 months later. I did my best to get the stripes to match, and I did pretty good. This was my first attempt at self striping yarn.

Here's the obligatory shot of the socks on my feet. They're nice and toasty.

Pattern specs:
Yarn: Opal self striping yarn
Pattern: No real pattern, I cast on 60 stitches and followed Knitty's Socks 101.
Needles: 2 Addi Turbo #2 circulars.
Verdict: I like these socks, but the toe came out really pointy. Not really noticeable when the socks are on. For my next pair of socks, I'm going to find different toe and heel instructions.

Speaking of my next pair of socks, what's this:

Oh, just the beginning of socks out of Dani's Gryffindor sock yarn! My goal is to have them finished by the time Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire comes out!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Sockpal-2-za THANK YOU!

I'd like to take this time out to say a big public THANK YOU to Penny, my sock pal from Sockpal-2-za. I was super lucky to have Penny as a pal. She sent me TWO pairs of socks.

I love them both. First are the self striping purple socks (with Einstein checking them out!)

Then we have the deep blue/green socks with eyelets.

(OH DEAR! Look at that pale leg!)

Both socks fit like a dream.


Thursday, October 27, 2005

First Post

Well, I've finally decided to jump into the world of knitting blogs. Lord knows I've been stalking enough blogs and have been inspired. Maybe having this blog will help keep me on task with my knitting projects. :)

A few things about me:

I'm 26
Live outside Seattle, WA
I'm a registered nurse who works in the ICU of one of Seattle's hospitals
I work 3 twelve-hour NIGHT shifts a week
I have two cats, Einstein and Scout
I live with my boyfriend, Terence
I've completed three sweaters, an Audrey, a Martha, and a Peppermint Twist
I love knitting--I'd quit my job and knit all day if I could
I've signed up to do the Master Knitter Program from TKGA.

Until next time, I leave you with a picture from my recent trip to Japan, where I shopped, shopped, shopped for Japanese yarn.