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?